In any draft, the board can shift greatly. The guy you see at 5th may drop to 17th, the guy at 85 can hop to #30, and the guy at #1 can drop to #11. It’s almost guaranteed every year, that where you see the board on January 1st will be very different than the board on July, and Baseball America provided some insight today with an updated board on March 2nd, with now the top 300 prospects in the 2018 MLB Draft. It’s a paid article, so I’m going to give you some insight on the risers and fallers so far for the updated board:
OF Trevor Larnach has jumped from #92 on BA’s 200 on January 12th to #52 and may keep rising. The Oregon State outfielder has put on a nice display, outhitting teammate and potential top pick Nick Madrigal (will get to him later), with a lot of power and a middle of the order bat as a strict left fielder.
HS LHP Matthew Liberatore is looking excellent, with a new fastball that was sitting around 92 before, and reached 97 in his most recent start with a plus curve, he’s looking like the top high school arm in the country.
OF Travis Swaggerty from University of South Alabama is hitting with crazy types of authority thus far after an excellent Cape last summer and is probably the most intriguing variable in the draft. He’s hit for more power this year so far, and has more walks than games as well.
HS SS Nander de Sedas is the top guy on my board with a sweet swing from the right side and some nice work on his left side too. With high upside, he is very intriguing, but hasn’t hit pitchers that he should be dominating early in spring, so people are getting wary of his bat. In addition, his defensive play that warranted his billing at short has slipped, even though many had him as a 3rd baseman as a pro anyway.
SS Jeremy Eierman was a top guy, put into the top-20 with the ability to stick at short, and plus raw power. He had a rough go in the wood bat Cape League and his swing and miss issues have continued. He’s fallen to #27, and may fall further if he can’t get going and cut his strikeouts.
OF Griffin Conine, who I covered in my last draft article hasn’t done anything to warrant any notion of falling, but has been passed by players who are starting to emerge. He’s still a very interesting and advanced college bat with plus raw power and the ability to stick in right field. In BA’s top 200, he was at #16, but now is at #24.
2B/SS Nick Madrigal out of Oregon State is also a top guy on my board like de Sedas and Swaggerty, and was doing very well, including showing power. Unfortunately, he broke his wrist sliding into home and will be out for a month. Most people don’t doubt Madrigal’s talent and ability to hit, so they don’t think his draft status will change from the upper tier of the draft.
HS RHP Ethan Hankins was the top high school pitching prospect in the nation, but Liberatore has surpassed him for now, and he had a shoulder issue that had no structural damage. Neither factors are going to keep him from the top 10 in the draft, due to his incredible talent.
Kentucky OF Tristan Pompey has some good talent, with possible 5-tool potential, but holds in the 20-21 spot for BA’s rankings. He is the younger brother of Dalton Pompey, and projects to stick in Center, and hit for more power than his older brother. He also has been dealing with a bad ankle sprain.
- USF Lefthander Shane McClanahan continues to dominate, with 32 strikeouts in 18 innings, and dominating lineup after lineup.
- NC State Left Fielder Brett Kinneman has 7 homers already in this very short college season and could find his way up draft boards early.
- The placements for #6 & #46 for the top 300 are HS 3B Nolan Gorman and HS OF Mike Siani