Here’s the second version of my MLB Draft Big Board. There have been a few changes, including a new name at the top, as well as a few new names overall.
Previous Big Boards
My Big Board, v 2.0
1. RHP Daniel Espino, Georgia Premier Academy (Ga.)
2. OF Maurice Hampton, Memphis University HS (Tenn.)
3. RHP George Kirby, Elon
4. 3B Keoni Cavaco, Eastlake HS (Calif.)
5. RHP Brennan Malone, IMG Academy HS (Fla.)
6. RHP Quinn Priester, Cary-Grove HS (Ill.)
7. 3B Kody Hoese, Tulane
8. 3B/C Tyler Callihan, Providence HS (Fla.)
9. SS Brooks Lee, San Luis Obispo HS (Calif.)
10. OF Kameron Misner, Missouri
11. RHP J.J. Goss, Cypress Ranch HS (Texas)
12. SS Gunnar Henderson, Morgan Academy HS (Ala.)
13. 2B/IF Braden Shewmake, Texas A&M
14. SS Logan Davidson, Clemson
15. RHP Noah Song, Navy
Espino has jumped ahead of Hampton to top my Big Board. It may be a 1-week thing, it may be a permanent thing. Despite the risks, I’m all-in on Espino’s stuff.
Hampton is my favorite prep position player in this class. He’d be a fine addition and fit the Dodgers’ mold of going after athletic players recently.
Kirby probably won’t make it to 25 because the crop of college pitching isn’t terribly deep this year, but his combination of stuff and polish — despite pitching for a small school — is enticing.
Cavaco has a lot of helium and there’s a chance he could go in the teens, but if he’s there at either 25 or 31, he’d be a nice get. The kid can hit.
Malone might be the most polished of the prep pitchers. He has a devastating fastball-slider combination that the Dodgers might covet.
Priester is another of the high-upside high school arms who could go earlier than 25, but he’d be a nice value pick for the Dodgers (and a bit of a throwback kind of pick).
Hoese has shown a lot of power this season that has caused him to jump up draft boards. Word is his floor is No. 32 with Houston.
Callihan can hit a ton and the fact that he could be a catcher is something that’s sure to intrigue the Dodgers.
Lee is a new entrant to the Big Board. The local product is one of a number of prep shortstops the Dodgers are looking at, and he should be plenty signable at either 25 or 31.
Misner falls from the last board due to inconsistent performance this season. He has tons of talent with a questionable hit tool. Sound familiar? (Jeren Kendall)
Goss is another new name. The Texas prep righty has shown the kind of spin the Dodgers look for in a pitcher, so there’s a good chance they’re looking at him.
Henderson is another prep shortstop who’s flying up the draft board. He’ll probably go higher than 25 and could potentially be a Top 10 pick with a team looking to save some money on an under-slot deal.
Shewmake is one of the safer prospects available early in the draft. He has great bat-to-ball skills and is versatile on the dirt.
Davidson is a big, switch-hitting shortstop who has some concerns about his offensive potential, especially since he hasn’t shown very well with wood bats thus far.
Song is the most interesting prospect here for a number of reasons. He’s a college senior, and not many seniors are projected to be 1st-rounders. But on stuff alone, he looks like a late-1st rounder. But there’s a question about his military service commitment. As of now, he has to serve two years of active service before he could play pro baseball. From Baseball America:
“Song’s draft status is once again clouded by the fact that, under the current U.S. Department of Defense policy, he would have to complete two years of military service before he could pitch professionally, at which point he would be 24 years old. In 2016, Air Force righthander Griffin Jax was in a similar situation, but the third-round pick was able to join the Twins’ organization immediately. That was because Jax’s situation played out prior to former U.S. Secretary of Defense Jeff Mattis rescinding a Department of Defense policy in 2017 that allowed athletes to avoid active-duty service after graduating in order to pursue a career in professional sports.”
We’ll see what happens. He does seem like the kind of kid the Dodgers could take a chance on at No. 31, seeing as he might not make it to their next selection at 78. They might also be able to save some money on him, allowing them to swing big with their first selection.
Expect more draft profiles this week. Mr. Malone is up next. There will be two more Big Boards — one next week and one on draft day (June 3).