MLB Prospect Watch: A look at Joey Bart, Casey Mize and the rest of the 2018 draft class a year later

With the 2019 draft less than three weeks away, we decided to dedicate this week's Prospect Watch to the first-round class of 2018. That means everyone listed below will have either been a first-round pick or -- in less frequent cases -- will have been the top pick of a team without a first-round selection. Got it? Good. For a look at which prospects you should be targeting in fantasy baseball, check out our colleague Scott White's take.

Now, onto the Watch.

Prospect watch

The Diamondbacks had two first-round picks last year. They didn't sign Matt McLain (No. 25), but they did ink Jake McCarthy (No. 39). Despite his struggles in High-A, his well-rounded skill set should give him a chance to be a starting outfielder. 

The Braves didn't sign Carter Stewart, their first-round pick, either. Greyson Jenista was their top pick who signed, and he too has a chance to overcome some High-A struggles to become a well-rounded starting outfielder. 

Large Texan Grayson Rodriguez was the 11th pick last year. He's been covered here before, but he's off to a splendid start, striking out 41 of the first 100 batters he's faced in A-ball.

Triston Casas (No. 26) has primarily played first base this season. He has big-time raw power -- as shown by his .243 ISO in A-ball so far this season.

The 24th pick in the draft,shortstop Nico Hoerner has already achieved success in Double-A, hitting .300/.391/.500 with nearly as many walks (seven) as strikeouts (eight). Unfortunately, he hasn't played since late April after suffering a hand injury on a hit by pitch.

Nick Madrigal was the No. 4 pick despite being listed at 5-foot-7. He's expected to threaten for batting titles some day -- he'll need to, since he's a second baseman and he doesn't offer much power.

Jonathan India was the fifth pick by way of the University of Florida. He's a well-rounded third baseman, but it's concerning that he's struck out nearly three times as often as he's walked in High-A,.

The Indians used their three first-round picks on catcher Bo Naylor and right-handers Ethan Hankins and Lenny Torres. Each has the chance to be a league-average player or better.

The Rockies chose southpaw Ryan Rolison No. 22 and first baseman Grant Lavigne No. 42. Rolison has mid-rotation potential while Lavigne will need to tap into his raw power.

We've covered Casey Mize in this section before. The top overall pick is really good and could reach the majors later this year if the Tigers want to be aggressive. 

Houston took former Clemson slugger Seth Beer 28th. He's hitting .328/.406/.590 with eight home runs in his first 33 games in High-A. Beer lacks the athleticism or arm to be a defensive asset, so his future hinges on his stick.

The Royals used four first-round picks on pitchers: Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch, and Kris Bubic. Each looks like a mid-rotation arm or better, with Singer being the top dog.

The Angels paid Jordyn Adams $4 million to choose baseball over football. That investment hasn't paid off in on-the-field results yet, but he's a premium athlete and those tend to be worth betting on.

The Dodgers did not sign pick No. 30 J.T. Ginn. They did sign pick No. 68 Michael Grove, who has a quality fastball-slider combination. He's fanned nearly two per inning this season in High-A -- just ignore his other numbers.

Connor Scott (No. 13) received some Christian Yelich comparisons on draft day. He's yet to hit much at all as a professional but time is on his side.

About the only thing No. 21 Brice Turang can't do is hit for power. That's OK, since he can hit for average, reach base, run, and throw. He's reaching base more than 40 percent of the time in A-ball, which is a great sign for him.

Trevor Larnach was the 20th pick on the strength of his bat. He has the chance to hit for average and power. He has a strong arm, too, though he could end up in left field due to his lack of foot speed.

The Mets drafted Jarred Kelenic sixth overall. They've since traded him to the Mariners as part of the Robinson Cano deal. He looks like a potential stud.

Backstop Anthony Seigler was chosen 23rd. He's a switch-hitter with a good arm.

The A's drafted Kyler Murray No. 9 but … uh, well, you know.

Third baseman Alec Bohm was the third pick in the draft. He's already earned a promotion to High-A this season and just keeps on hitting.

The Pirates had two first-round picks: Travis Swaggerty (who they signed) and Gunnar Hoglund (who they didn't). Swaggerty hasn't taken well to the FSL but has starting outfielder potential. 

The Padres also had two first-round picks. They chose polished southpaw Ryan Weathers (who is now injured) and shortstop Xavier Edwards. Edwards has the chance to be a defensive delight with near-elite speed -- oh, and he's hitting over .360 so far.

No. 2 pick Joey Bart is the best catching prospect in the minors -- and will be until Adley Rutschman is drafted.

The Mariners took Logan Gilbert out of Stetson with the 14th pick. He had a 1.83 ERA and 6.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio in four A-ball starts. His introduction to High-A didn't go quite as well.

Add the Cardinals to the list of teams with multiple first-round picks. Third baseman Nolan Gorman hasn't stopped hitting since he turned pro, while Griffin Roberts is currently serving a 50-game suspension over a failed drug test.

The Rays had three first-round picks of their own, snagging southpaws Matthew Liberatore and Shane McClanahan, and outfielder Nick Schnell. The lefties get all the love, but Schnell could be a starting outfielder.

Right-hander Cole Winn was the 15th pick in the draft. He's far more polished than your standard prep arm and could move up quickly.

It's possible that shortstop Jordan Groshans ends up at third base when all is said and done, but his well-rounded skill set should make him playable there all the same. He's currently sporting a .900 OPS in A-ball.

Picked 27th, Mason Denaburg could be a steal in a few years' time. He has mid-rotation potential behind his fastball-breaking ball combo.
CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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