Prep Baseball Report

2019 PBR Draft Board

PBR Staff

In six months, Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, will stand at a podium in Studio 42 of MLB Network and announce the beginning of the 2019 MLB Draft. The Baltimore Orioles will make the first pick a few minutes later, which at this point is most likely to be C Adley Rutschman (Oregon State). What happens next is anybody’s guess.

The first version of the 2019 PBR Draft Board—a ranking of the top draft-eligible prospects—is live with Oregon State’s backstop sitting at No. 1. This list isn’t meant to predict the order in which players will be drafted. Signability makes that much too cloudy. Rather, this is how the class stacks up based on looks by Prep Baseball Report’s staff covering the college, junior college and high school levels, as well as conferring with members of the major league scouting and college communities.

Rutschman is an excellent athlete, serving as a place kicker for the Oregon State football team as a freshman, and conjures memories of Matt Wieters as a switch-hitting catcher with power and pure hit tools. He is also a premium defender with loose hips, strong hands for receiving and a plus arm.

At No. 2 is Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville Heritage HS, TX), fresh off winning a gold medal and MVP honors at the COPABE 18U Pan-American Championship. The son of former major leaguer Bobby Witt, the Oklahoma recruit has a complete toolset. He is a plus defender with athletic actions, a plus arm and high baseball IQ. He is a plus runner and projects to hit for average and power with his quick bat.

1B Andrew Vaughn (California), the 2018 Golden Spikes Award winner, checks in at No. 3. While he carries the stigma of being a right-handed hitting first baseman, his ability to hit for average and power more than makes up for the limited defensive profile. He has a tremendous track record with the bat, using a short stroke with great balance, strength and bat speed to produce power to all fields.

C Shea Langeliers (Baylor) holds down the No. 4 spot. He has a strong frame with good feel for hit and power potential. He receives well behind the plate and has pop times in the 1.95-2.0 second range.

At No. 5 is LHP Graeme Stinson (Duke), who has an imposing frame at 6-foot-5, 260 pounds and the fastball-slider combination to match. He easily sits in the mid 90s and snaps off a wicked slider in the mid 80s with late break and depth. His command can come and go, stirring the starter vs. reliever debate, but he already possesses two pitches that can get major league hitters out now.

The list is currently split 50/50 between pitchers and hitters, with a few being two-way prospects. There are 54 players at four-year programs, 44 in high school, one at junior college and one currently at no school—RHP Carter Stewart. The eighth overall pick in 2018, Stewart didn’t sign the Atlanta Braves when they reduced his signing bonus offer after concerns with his physical. He is not currently at a school and there were rumors that he was trying to become an unrestricted free agent, but that seems unlikely. Most likely, he’ll end up at a junior college in the spring or pitch in another setting ahead of the 2019 draft.

Here is a look at the top 10:

1 Adley Rutschman C Oregon State
2 Bobby Witt Jr. SS Colleyville Heritage (HS)
3 Andrew Vaughn 1B California
4 Shea Langeliers C Baylor
5 Graeme Stinson LHP Duke
6 Josh Jung SS Texas Tech
7 Zack Thompson LHP Kentucky
8 Nick Lodolo LHP Texas Christian
9 Carter Stewart RHP No School
10 Brennan Malone RHP IMG Academy (HS)

Click here to view the entire top 100.

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