Baseball America Releases First 2019 Mock Draft

By Teddy Klein

December 21, 2018 No comments

Photo Credit: Barry Westerman, UK Athletics

Baseball America released today their first mock draft of 2019, giving new speculation to what your favorite team may pick come June out of the amateur ranks.

According to BA, Oregon continues their dominance of the top third of the draft, with yet another sure-fire top-ten pick in catcher Adley Rutschman
, who can hit, and hit for power, and stay at the catcher’s spot. He’s projected to go first overall, and there’s a lot of doubt he will be unseated from first overall pick with the Baltimore Orioles. In the prep ranks is Bobby Witt Jr, a five-tool shortstop, and the son of Bobby Witt is projected to go second.

The Mets select 12th overall, after placing 11th on the reverse standings, and losing an additional spot to the Braves’ failure to sign Carter Stewart in the first round. Based on Baseball America’s current projections, the Mets are projected to pick LHP Zack Thompson out of Kentucky.

Thompson is a Left-handed starter from the University of Kentucky. Originally, he was drafted in the 11th round in 2016 by the Rays, but a shoulder injury and the commitment to Kentucky was a little too much for them to pay the price Thompson wanted. Fast forward two years and Thompson is projected to be the ace of the Kentucky staff. Thompson tosses a fastball that can get up to 96, and flashes a plus slider at times, and throws an above-average curve and changeup as well. Thompson did have an elbow injury at the beginning of last year and missed the first two months of the season, but after that, he didn’t pitch well, to a 4.94 ERA in 31 innings, while walking 20 and striking out 42. While the stats are discouraging, scouts predict he’ll round back into form and dominate the conference.

The reasoning that Baseball America put behind Thompson was as follows:

The Mets have gone the college route with four of their last five first-round selections. The only high school player the team did draft in that time span—outfielder Jarred Kelenic— is already out of the organization after being traded six months after he was selected. Thompson profiles as a mid-rotation starter, if healthy, and looked good for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team this summer. With a strong junior campaign and improved strike-throwing, Thompson could take advantage of a subpar college pitching crop and join an organization built on arms.
Personally, I wouldn’t take any stock into it. The draft is six months away, and no spring baseball has arrived. A lot will happen between now and then. I also think that the changes in regime will cause new draft strategy for the team, so it’s hard to take this than anything more than a grain of salt.
Other interesting names to keep your eye on: Outfielder Kameron Misner out of Missouri, a power-speed combo in the outfield with the athletic ability to stick in Center Field. RHP Daniel Espino is a prep righty who works 94-97 with a plus slider. RHP Jack Leiter, the son of Al Leiter is an advanced prep righty out of New Jersey.