Prep Baseball Report

2018 MLB Draft: Day 1 Notes

Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

The 2018 MLB Draft kicked off on Monday and it hardly disappointed with a wild first day. The first five picks were all college prospects, led by RHP Casey Mize (Auburn), which really didn’t come as a surprise. OF Jarred Kelenic (Waukesha West HS, WI) then went to the New York Mets at sixth overall before the first real surprise of the night in the San Diego Padres selecting LHP Ryan Weathers (Loretto HS, TN). That spot was long thought to be reserved for LHP Matt Liberatore (Mountain Ridge HS, AZ), but Weathers was hardly a reach. He has two plus pitches and the potential for plus command, so it’s a worthy selection.

The biggest surprise of the night was arguably OF Kyler Murray (Oklahoma) going ninth overall to the Oakland A’s. David Seifert covers that and more in his notebook, which can be found on

With Weathers going seventh to the Padres, Liberatore began to slide and the question became where would a deal be struck? Unsurprisingly, he landed with the Tampa Bay Rays, who had five selections on the first day and possess the second largest bonus pool at about $12.4 million. Getting Liberatore at 16 is an absolute steal and they followed that up with LHP Shane McClanahan (South Florida), OF Nick Schnell (Roncalli HS, IN), SS Tyler Frank (Florida Atlantic) and RHP/OF Tanner Dodson (California). So the Rays got two of the top southpaws in the draft and two top 20 prospects with picks 16 and 31. At 32, they got Schnell, who is an excellent athlete with a strong left-handed bat and the chance to stay in center field. Even if he doesn’t, his offense and arm profile easily for right. Frank and Dodson give them a balanced start to the draft, as they are safer picks with higher floors, but still plenty of value.

Another huge steal was the Milwaukee Brewers getting SS Brice Turang (Santiago HS, CA) with the 21st pick. Turang was long a possible top five pick, but some questions about his bat have floated around. At the end of the day, the Brewers are getting a likely big league shortstop with plus defense, plus speed and a potentially average to above average left-handed bat.

The Cleveland Indians have had a good run of getting upside in draft recently and nothing changed Monday night. C/3B Noah Naylor (St. Joan of Arc SS, ON) has a big offensive ceiling with the ability to hit for average and power. He could stick behind the plate, but can handle third or second base as well if Cleveland doesn’t want to slow his bat down. After that, they got a couple of arms with electric fastballs in RHP Ethan Hankins (Forsyth Central HS, GA) and RHP Lenny Torres (Beacon HS, NY).

The draft always has big implications on the college game with high school recruits being drafted and ultimately signed straight into pro ball. Vanderbilt lost four recruits on the first day in Weathers, Hankins, C Will Banfield (Brookwood HS, GA) and SS Xavier Edwards (North Broward Prep, FL). However, the Commodores still stand to get RHP Kumar Rocker (North Oconee HS, GA), RHP Austin Becker (Big Walnut HS, OH), OF Ryder Green (Karns HS, TN) and 3B Nick Northcut (Mason HS, OH) to campus at this point. Florida also lost four recruits in RHP Mason Denaburg (Merritt Island HS, FL), OF Connor Scott (Plant HS, FL), Anthony Seigler (Cartersville HS, GA) and RHP Lyon Richardson (Jensen Beach HS, FL).

Lastly, we’ve talked all year about the state of Florida having a deep class. Eleven of the top 38 picks and 13 overall came out of the state on the first day.

As we head into Day 2, here is a look at the best available prospects at the top of the PBR Draft Board.

Rank Name Pos School
12 Kumar Rocker RHP North Oconee (HS)
25 Adam Kloffenstein RHP Magnolia (HS)
34 Mike Siani OF William Penn Charter (HS)
35 Nander De Sedas SS Montverde Academy (HS)
39 Tristan Beck RHP Stanford
40 Blaine Knight RHP Arkansas
47 Cole Wilcox RHP Heritage (Catoosa) (HS)
49 Michael Byrne RHP Florida
53 Adam Wolf LHP Louisville
54 Cal Raleigh C Florida State
58 Konnor Pilkington LHP Mississippi State
61 Bren Spillane 1B Illinois
69 Austin Becker RHP Big Walnut (HS)
72 Kyle Isbel OF Nevada-Las Vegas
73 Eric Cole OF Arkansas
74 Tristan Pompey OF Kentucky
75 Zach Watson OF Louisiana State
76 Mateo Gil SS Timber Creek (Keller) (HS)
77 Terrin Vavra SS Minnesota
78 Ryder Green OF Karns (HS)
79 Slade Cecconi RHP Trinity Prep (HS)
80 Elijah Cabell OF TNXL Academy (HS)
83 Durbin Feltman RHP Texas Christian
84 Kody Clemens 2B Texas
85 Devlin Granberg OF Dallas Baptist

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