2019 MLB Draft Report: Week 2

Well, here we are!  Late February and amateur baseball is in full swing.  Here at Royals Farm Report we look to keep you in the loop regarding the top players eligible for the 2019 draft class as well as lesser known players that are turning in great performances.  With that said, here’s a look at the goings-on of the past week.

Adley Rutschman continues to lead the pack…

If Rutschman keeps this pace for a full season there is little doubt in anyone’s mind who the number 1 overall pick will be on draft day.  The Oregon State catcher homered from both sides of the plate this week and also showed off his powerful arm gunning down a would-be base stealer.  At some point I think I’ll have to stop providing updates because it’s just too cruel.  Credit to Jason Pennini for the video and breakdown.  Definitely check out ProspectsLive.com, it’s an amazing site to gather information on not only draft prospects but players in the minor leagues as well.  They’ve got a great staff and their Minor Graphs page is phenomenal.

Not to be outdone, Andrew Vaughn has continued to decimate opposing pitching staffs.  He’s making a strong case to be the second pick with so much uncertainty throughout the rest of the draft.  That pick may not be the most popular, but if you’ve expedited your rebuild and you’re not sold on Witt, Abrams, Misner, etc., it wouldn’t totally shock me to see Vaughn in Lexington (or even Wilmington) later this year.

A seemingly week college pitching class, but…

While this college pitching crop doesn’t have the flash or depth of 2018, there are some names worth following that have turned in some outstanding performances.  Alek Manoah has the look of a mid-rotation workhorse that can run his fastball into the upper 90s.  He’s put up some gaudy numbers in a small sample size (15.32 SO9 and a 0.73 ERA).

Elon features two of the best pitchers in college baseball this year in Kyle Brnovich and George Kirby.  Kirby won’t be around when the Royals draft at 43 overall (barring some unforeseen circumstance) but may be playing himself into that top 5 overall range (2-0, 13.2 IP, 1 ER, 21 SO, 0 BB) .  Brnovich may not have the pure stuff but he put up some flashy numbers last season and pitched over the summer with Team USA.  Both are players worth keeping in the back of your mind.

A few other names worth mentioning:  Carter Stewart, Noah Song, Erik Miller, Graeme Stinson, Jackson Rutledge and Seth Johnson.

Blue-chip prep hitters standing out…

There seems to be a small crop of prep hitters that currently stand out above the rest.  They are, in no particular order:  Bobby Witt, Jr., Riley Greene, Corbin Carroll, and CJ Abrams.  The popular choice for the Royals at number 2 is obviously Witt, but any of the other three could overtake him for that honor.  Greene is a corner outfield profile with the best bat to ball skills in his class.  Carroll is a tooled up CF prospect with blazing speed who has seen his stock soar since the summer circuit.  Finally, Fangraphs lists Abrams above Witt as the top prep player in the country.  He doesn’t offer the power but has ELITE speed and strong contact skills.  If he doesn’t stick at short stop he should be able to make a seamless transition to CF.

A premier, prep pitcher showdown in prime-time…

In the final game of the Prep Baseball Report Florida Preseason Classic, Brennan Malone and IMG Academy took on TNXL Academy and potential first rounder, Joseph Charles.  Malone featured a mid 90s heater and a plus curveball.  He’s one of the top 3 high school arms in the draft and will be in high demand come draft day.  As you can see from the .gif below, Malone has elite arm speed and a strong frame.  If he can improve his command, lookout.

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