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Jun. 19, 2019 - Michael Stewart

Top 3 Winners and Losers in the MLB 2019 Draft

Introduction: The 2019 MLB draft has quietly come and gone without much fanfare or hoopla. This year’s prospects are overall solid, but not one prospect captured the limelight and stood out among his peers like this year’s NHL prospects. After the dust has cleared, some teams had an outstanding draft; while other not so understanding. Let’s take a look at the top 3 winners and the top 3 losers in this year’s draft.

Top 3 Winners

  1. San Diego Padres: The Padres had a very impressive 2019 amateur draft; which will only make their already deep farm system deeper.
  • CJ Abrams-Shortstop (6th overall): Abrams abilities checks off all the boxes and should have a bright future.
  • Joshua Mears-Outfielder (48th overall): Mears is big and strong (6’3/235) and has natural raw power. Needs to refine his game in all areas; but has a high ceiling.
  • Logan Driscoll-Catcher (73rd overall): All around catchers are hard to find and surprisingly Driscoll lasted until pick 73. Driscoll equal success defensively and offensively makes him a prospect to watch moving forward.
  1. New York Mets: The Mets needed to have a solid draft in 2019 and according with the results, it seems they did just that.
  • Brett Baty-3B (12th overall): Baty is considered one of the best pure left-handed hitters in this draft and has good size (6’3/215) and could even get bigger as he is only 18 years old. Baty’s ceiling is extremely high and should move through the Mets system rapidly and be ML ready by 2022 or possibly before.  
  • Josh Wolf-RHP (53rd overall): Wolf has a live arm (97 mph) with a nasty curveball. Wolf has command of the strike zone and has a high ceiling.
  • Matthew Allan-RHP (89th overall): Allan has 1st round talent and should have been taken arguably in the top 20 if not for his $4M signing bonus demand and his strong commitment to Florida State. Allan is already a very polished pitcher with an arsenal that’s comparable to most established college pitchers. If Mets sign them, expect Allan to make a quick route to the ML level.
  1. Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles had the 1st overall pick in the 2019 draft and needed to not only get it right with the 1st pick, but also with the other picks they have as well. Let’s see how well they did.
  • Adley Rutschman-Catcher (1st overall): Rutschman is clearly the best catcher since Buster Posey and has a high ceiling and is projected to move through the Orioles system quickly.
  • Gunnar Henderson-Shortstop (42nd overall): Henderson was projected to go in the top 20 and is considered a value pick at 42. Some scouts rated him very close to the other two shortstops taken in the 1st round (Bobby Will Jr. and CJ Abrams).
  • Kyle Stowers-Outfielder (71st overall): Stowers has raw power and was projected to go between picks 40-60. Stowers would benefit from a good start; which could propel him to the next level in 2020.
  • Zach Watson-Outfielder (79th overall): Watson is already ML ready defensively and needs to refine his offensive game. Projected to be a solid 4th outfielder at the ML level.

Top 3 Losers

  1. Chicago Cubs: The Cubs are still a solid organization with well above talent in their farm system. However; they didn’t help their cause in the 2019 draft.
  • Ryan Jensen-SP (27th overall): Jensen has an electric right arm (98 mph) and a above average slider already, however; Jensen is undersized (6’0) and many projected him going somewhere between 75-100 as he was rated #109 by Baseball America and #99 by MLB.com.
  • Chase Strumpf-2B (64th overall): Strumpf is not a bad player, but just doesn’t project with a high ceiling and could eventually be a career minor leaguer.
  1. Washington Nationals: The Nationals could be a team in transition; which we’ll know more after the trading deadline if they are buyers or sellers. Either way, they needed to get more youth into their system.
  • Drew Mendoza-3B (94th overall): Mendoza had a poor contact ratio at Florida State (24.9) and really didn’t establish himself above many of the other prospects. Needs to work on making more consistent contact if he expects to get the ML level.

 

  1. Colorado Rockies: The Rockies historically have had a tough time enticing free agent pitchers to pitch at Coors field, so the draft should be their main avenue to acquire and develop pitchers. Unfortunately; someone forgot to remind the Rockies in this draft.
  • Michael Toglia-1B (23rd overall): Toglia has raw power without a doubt, but the Rockies have an abundance of young skilled infielders in their farm system and also at the ML level. Toglia needs time to develop into a serviceable ML player.
  • Aaron Schunk-3B (62nd overall): Another young infield prospect taken when their system is already deep in infielders and low on starting pitching. Schunk has a limited ceiling and could be taken much later in the draft.

Final Thoughts: There were other notable teams who could have made this list, but these teams listed above are my top 3 in both winners and losers of the draft. There’s no guarantee that any prospect drafted will be a major leaguer as the journey can often be very rocky and of course injuries play a major role.