2018 MLB Draft Thread

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    2018 MLB Draft Thread

    The 2018 MLB Amateur player draft begins Monday.

    Figured I'd start a thread to track draft and any chatter.
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    The Reds will be selecting 5th this year.

    MLB.com's most recent mock draft have them selecting Florida Gator 3B Jonathan India at 5.

    I'll post the scouting reports on him, as well as the other names being mentioned at #5 for the Reds.

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    Jonathan India Scouting Report (per MLB.com)

    India was a solid, albeit unspectacular, prospect coming out of high school powerhouse American Heritage three years ago, one whose strong commitment to the University of Florida, teams knew would be tough to break. After two fairly pedestrian years with the Gators, along with a pair of summers in the Cape Cod League, the infielder has broken out in a big way during his junior season.

    India has been perhaps the best all-around college hitter this spring, showing the ability to impact the game in a number of ways. He has an advanced approach at the plate, showing excellent plate discipline and the ability to hit for average that should translate. His pitch selection has improved tremendously, which in turn has given him better pitches to drive, something he's doing more consistently this year, with some evaluators seeing at least average power from him in the future. He's a solid runner with excellent instincts and can steal a base. India has played a lot of third, but his athleticism and instincts, not to mention his strong arm, could allow him to play any of a number of infield positions at the next level.

    College bats are always hard to find, and those who perform in their Draft year tend to shoot to the top of boards. That's exactly what's happening with India, whose performance in the top-notch SEC is putting him into many first-round conversations.

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    Brady Singer, RHP (Florida)

    Singer has been able to pitch with such top college talent like A.J. Puk, the No. 6 overall pick in 2016, and Alex Faedo, who went No. 18 last June, at the University of Florida. After playing a pivotal role in helping the Gators win a national title, and pitching better than Faedo in many ways, it's now Singer's turn to be the Florida ace. At first it seemed like Singer would have the chance to be the No. 1 overall pick in the Draft, but a slow start to his junior season knocked him down a peg.

    Singer checks off all of the boxes teams are looking for out of a potential top pick. Long and lean, he has a terrific pitcher's body that has thus far proven to be durable. He'll throw his fastball up to 95-96 mph consistently, with plus life. His slider plays well off of his fastball, a second above-average pitch he manipulates in terms of depth and velocity. His changeup continues to improve and should give him a third above-average offering. He commands the ball well, gets high marks for his makeup and is a plus competitor.

    Both Puk and Faedo entered into their Draft seasons as potential 1-1 selections, but they didn't perform quite well enough to go in that top spot, and in some ways Singer followed suit. His stuff was bouncing back as the Draft approached, so don't expect him to slide too far down boards.

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    Nick Madrigal, 2B (Oregon State)

    In the not-too-distant past, a player like Madrigal would have been overlooked by many teams because of his size. The combination of more organizations embracing analytics and the success of players like Jose Altuve, not to mention the superb performance of the 5-foot-7 infielder, had Madrigal poised to perhaps be the top college position player taken in the 2018 Draft. A broken wrist at the start of the season slowed him down, but he returned in April swinging a hot bat.

    While Madrigal might have been more of a gut feel kind of player for scouts, he now has track record on top of being a scout favorite. Analytics departments love him because of his approach at the plate that led to more walks than strikeouts in 2017, and while he doesn't have a ton of over-the-fence power, he makes consistent hard contact and is a legitimate extra-base threat. His speed and instincts should allow him to continue to be a base stealer.

    While Madrigal has played mostly second base in deference to Cadyn Grenier at Oregon State, some feel he could handle shortstop if need be. If not, he has the chance to be a Gold Glove caliber second baseman in the future. Even with the injury, he should land squarely in the top 10 in June.

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    Matthew Liberatore, LHP (AZ HS)

    In an age when radar gun readings often rule the day, Liberatore stood out on the summer showcase circuit more with his feel for pitching than plus velocity. He threw 12 shutout innings for the 18U U.S. National Team, and there was a reason he got the ball for their gold medal game against Korea, won by Liberatore thanks to his six scoreless frames.

    There are better fastballs among the deep high school pitching crop in this Draft class, but Liberatore's pitchability is what separates him. That's not to say he doesn't have good stuff, because he has the potential to eventually develop three pitches that could garner a 60 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale. He'll throw his fastball in the 89-94 mph range, maintaining the velocity throughout his starts, and he opened some eyes by touching 96-97 mph frequently in the early stages of the spring. He's also made mechanical changes to vastly improve his command of the pitch. He throws a slower curveball with three-quarters tilt and good spin rate and introduced a new, and very effective, slider this spring. And his changeup gives him a third secondary pitch that could be plus when all is said and done.

    The top left-hander in the Draft class, Liberatore has thrown well enough this spring to cement himself as a potential top 10 pick in June.

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    Carter Stewart, RHP (FL HS)

    Stewart jumped on the radar with a strong summer showcase circuit showing at a number of events. When he came out this spring even better, with more velocity, he made a huge leap to near the top of many Draft boards.

    With a projectable 6-foot-6 frame, there was always the thought that there might be more in Stewart's tank in the future. Evidently, the future is now. He has been as lights out as any prep arm in the country, coming out of the gate up to 98 mph and touching 96-97 mph in just about every start and easily sits 92-94 mph. He has one of the best breaking balls in the class, a power curve that is now a mid-80s hammer. While his changeup is behind right now, and he occasionally slows his arm down, he has feel for it and it should be a solid pitch in the future.

    While some have expressed mild concern with a deep arm action in the back, Stewart has shown he can fill up the strike zone with two current plus pitches. The Mississippi State has moved into the top of the first round conversation, with some thinking he would be a candidate to go 1-1 if it weren't for the fact a high school right-hander has never been taken with the top pick.

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    From a local perspective I’m curious to see how high Drew Rom goes.

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    Is there any other KY High School kids that have a possibility of getting drafted?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelPops View Post
    From a local perspective Iím curious to see how high Drew Rom goes.
    I think he's got a chance at rounds 2-5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NKYFootballer View Post
    Is there any other KY High School kids that have a possibility of getting drafted?
    No idea. I don't believe there are any KY HS kids in the top 200 prospects list per MLB.com.

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    Another 3rd baseman?

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    Quote Originally Posted by UKMustangFan View Post
    No idea. I don't believe there are any KY HS kids in the top 200 prospects list per MLB.com.
    I think Rom was at one point.

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    Based on everything I've read about them, I'd be happy if the Reds end up with any of the trio of Madrigal, Singer, or India.

    Singer is probably my top choice as I think he has top of the rotation potential, and Madrigal is probably the "highest floor" bat in the draft. India has probably the higher ceiling of the two hitters, and is more versatile defensively, but not quite the hit tool you'd get with Madrigal.

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    Another mock draft, and more draft information | redsminorleagues.com

    The MLB Pipeline mock draft from yesterday is the first time someone has the Reds selecting Jonathan India. Cincinnati has been linked to India in the past, but he’s never been projected by anyone to land there. The third baseman out of Florida is hitting .362/.502/.723 on the season with 17 home runs for the Gators. Earlier this week I wrote up a draft profile on Jonathan India, so if you missed that, go read it.

    Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs held a chat yesterday. He stated in the chat that if Oregon State infielder Nick Madrigal is there for the taking, that the Reds will take him. The chat is full of good information, though that was the only specific part directly about the Reds in the chat.

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