As a companion series to Kris’ fine work, here’s a quick summary of the players drafted in the first round this year and how they are doing so far, plus an educated guess about where they will begin 2019. We’ll divide this into four articles for space reasons.
31) Shane McClanahan, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays: Lefty from University of South Florida, threw seven shutout innings in rookie ball with 13 strikeouts and just one walk; Rays are usually pretty conservative with pitchers, may open in Low-A but with High-A promotion on tap quickly if he performs as expected.
32) Nick Schnell, OF, Tampa Bay Rays: High school outfielder from Indianapolis, Indiana; strong tools across the board; hit .239/.378/.373 with 14 walks, 23 strikeouts in 67 at-bats in Gulf Coast Rookie League; doesn’t turn 19 until March, probably heading for extended spring training then New York-Penn League in June.
33) Jackson Kowar, RHP, Kansas City Royals: University of Florida right-hander went directly to Low-A and performed well with 3.42 ERA in 26 innings, 22/12 K/BB, 1.70 GO/AO; still needs some polish with secondaries, probably begins 2019 in High-A.
34) Daniel Lynch, LHP, Kansas City Royals: More college pitching for the Royals, University of Virginia southpaw Lynch posted 1.58 ERA in 51 innings between Appalachian League and Low-A with 61/8 K/BB; already polished and threw harder in pro ball than in college, looks very advanced, likely to open in High-A with rapid promotions possible.
35) Ethan Hankins, RHP, Cleveland Indians: Georgia high schooler threw just three innings at the end of August in rookie ball; assignment will depend on health and how he looks in the spring but my guess is that he opens in extended camp then goes to the NY-P in June.
36) Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates: Florida high schooler did not sign and will attend the University of Mississippi.
37) Cadyn Grenier, SS, Baltimore Orioles: Oregon State product provides impressive defense but didn’t hit much in debut, .216/.297/.333 in Low-A over 162 at-bats; may return to same level to open ‘19 depending on offensive progress in spring.
38) Xavier Edwards, SS, San Diego Padres: Outstanding debut from Florida high schooler, hit .384/.471/.466 in 73 at-bats in Arizona Rookie League then moved up to Northwest League and hit .314/.438/.360 in 86 at-bats against older competition; combined to steal 22 bases in 23 attempts; will begin 2019 in Low-A, do not overlook this guy, huge leadoff potential.
39) Jake McCarthy, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks: University of Virginia product hit solid .288/.378/.442 in Northwest League with 22 walks, 40 strikeouts, 20 steals in 208 at-bats; expect to open 2019 in Low-A but with promotion to High-A on tap rather quickly if he performs well, could make a lot of noise once he gets to the friendly Cal League.
40) Kris Bubic, LHP, Kansas City Royals: Another college arm for KC, this one out of Stanford, posted 4.03 ERA in 38 innings in Pioneer League with 53/19 K/BB, needs to sharpen command, probably begins in Low-A.