The Pittsburgh Pirates make their first selection of the 2019 MLB draft on Tuesday with the 95th overall pick. When the draft resumes today at 1PM, the Baltimore Orioles will be making the 79th overall pick to lead off the third round. Here’s a look at the top available players going into day two of the draft. These rankings are based on top 200 prospect list from MLB Pipeline and the top 500 list from Baseball America.
Matthew Allan, RHP, Seminole HS (FL) – Allan is the top ranked player, but he’s highly unlikely to be selected here unless his bonus demands have dropped last night. Someone threw out a $4M demand, which could be true considering that Allan has consistently been ranked as a top 20 draft prospect all season and he didn’t get picked last night. The slot amount for the 95th overall pick is $610,800, so you can see why he won’t be a fit here. You can read about him here if you want to dream.
Maurice Hampton, CF, Memphis US (TN) – Another top high school player who dropped and you can assume bonus demands had something to do with that. He’s a talented two-sport star with a commitment to LSU, so I wouldn’t expect him being picked either. Here’s our report on him.
Jack Leiter, RHP, Delbarton HS (NJ) – The son of Al Leiter was ranked as a possible late first round pick, who could drop into the second round for teams that have concern over his size. He has a commitment to Vanderbilt, which can scare some teams off and lead to a big bonus price tag. I wouldn’t rule out him being picked on day two, but we will see. Here’s his report.
Hunter Barco, LHP, Bolles School (FL) – Here’s one to really watch. Pirates were said to be focused in one Barco, a high upside prep lefty, who has been inconsistent on the mound. He was ranked 34th by MLB Pipeline, but I mentioned in our draft tiered rankings that he’s someone who could fall in the draft. Here’s his report.
Tyler Callihan, SS, Providence School of Jacksonville (FL) – Another player connected to the Pirates at one time, Callihan has some questions to his all-around game, but he’s considered to have a top lefty bat with potential for a high average and medium power. The fact that he’s mostly an all-bat player who could end up at a position of lesser defensive value, probably had him drop in the draft. He’s committed to South Carolina. Here’s his report.
Others of note (with MLB Pipeline’s rankings in parenthesis): Brooks Lee, SS (37th), Bryce Osmond, RHP (53rd), Andrew Dalquist, RHP (65th), Jerrion Ealy, OF (66th), Ethan Hearn, C (67th)
Drew Mendoza, 3B, Florida State – The college players that are still available are less likely to be here due to bonus demands. That happens occasionally with JUCO players and draft-eligible sophomores, but not often. Mendoza was ranked 55th by MLB Pipeline and 75 by BA, so it’s not odd that he’s still available here. Pirates went for potential big bats on day one and Mendoza has plus power, with questions whether it will translate to the pros due to bat speed and wood bat college league performances.
Erik Miller, LHP, Stanford – Miller is a power arm with a big frame and three pitches, but control issues and questions about his delivery make some think he’s a future bullpen arm. A team that sees him as a starter could pick him early today.
Will Holland, SS, Auburn – A poor season at the plate has really cut into his draft stock. He was actually rated high enough early on that we profiled him in one of our Draft Prospect Watch articles. Since then, his stock has dropped enough that he’s still available in the third round. You could gamble on his track record prior to this season, in which case he was considered a first round pick just two months ago.
Noah Song, RHP, Navy – Song is a rare senior who has improved his draft stock enough to be considered early on day two of the draft. He’s a 6’4″ starter who can hit 98 MPH. He’s a talented player and a great pick in the third round, but he is likely going to be missing time (two years) due to military service. Wouldn’t be a bad player to take a chance on, considering his talent and the lower price tag with him being a senior.
Graeme Stinson, LHP, Duke – An injury and lower velocity early in the season could be the reason that the 6’5″, 250 lefty is still available. There are questions about his durability, but when he’s healthy, he has lots of upside due to mid-90s velocity and a plus slider.
Zack Hess, RHP, LSU – Hess was highly rated out of high school, but had a strong commitment to LSU. He has an upper 90s fastball and a slider that is a plus pitch at times. He’s been inconsistent in college and dealt with some injuries. There are questions about whether he’s a pro starter, but this is a big arm on a big (6’6″) righty.
Matt Cronin, LHP, Arkansas – Cronin is a reliever with effort to his delivery, so he’s unlikely to be more than a 1-2 inning reliever in the pros. He throws mid-90s with a plus curve and a track record of success. He’s someone who could move quickly in the pros and pitch in the back-end of the bullpen.
Ryan Pepiot, RHP, Butler – A mid-90s fastball and a plus changeup are the highlights here for Pepiot, who projects as a starter. He’s been inconsistent at times and doesn’t have a strong breaking ball, otherwise his first two pitches alone would rank him much higher.