As a companion series to Kris’ fine work, I have been doing 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.
Reader response to this series was positive so we’ll keep going for awhile. Here are spots 51-60.
51) Braxton Ashcraft, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates: High school right-hander from Waco, Texas; posted 4.58 ERA in 17.2 innings in rookie ball with 12/5 K/BB; low-90s sinker and promising slider, number three starter potential; probably opens 2019 in the New York-Penn League though strong spring might push that up.
52) Griffin Conine, OF, Toronto Blue Jays: Duke University product, possible first-rounder until erratic spring; hit .238/.309/.427 with 19 walks, 63 strikeouts in 206 at-bats in Northwest League; 60-grade power but with contact concerns, likely opens 2019 in Low-A.
53) Osiris Johnson, SS, Miami Marlins: From high school in Alameda, California; hit .301/.333/.447 in 103 at-bats in rookie ball, then aggressively promoted to Low-A and hit .188/.205/.294 with 34 strikeouts in 85 at-bats; totally overmatched in Low-A but only 17 years old; broad tools, should return to Low-A in ‘19.
54) Josh Stowers, OF, Seattle Mariners: From University of Louisville, hit .260/.380/.410 with 20 steals in 200 at-bats in Northwest League; intriguing leadoff potential with OBP/speed combo; will start in either Low-A or High-A depending on factors like roster construction and spring training look.
55) Owen White, RHP, Texas Rangers: High school arm from China Grove, North Carolina, hasn’t pitched in pro ball yet in accordance with Rangers development path for prep arms; unsure where he opens ‘19 but probably in short-season ball.
56) Tyler Frank, SS, Tampa Bay Rays: Florida Atlantic infielder hit well in debut, .288/.425/.412 with 33 walks, 28 strikeouts in 177 at-bats in NY-P; polished bat, could start 2019 in Low-A with High-A on the promotion agenda if he gets off to a good opening.
57) Jeremiah Jackson, SS, Los Angeles Angels: Prep infielder from Mobile, Alabama, hit .317/.375/.598 in 82 at-bats in Arizona Rookie League but just .198/.260/.396 in 91 at-bats in Pioneer League; intriguing speed/power mix but needs strike zone work and defensive polish, could open 2019 in Pioneer League or Low-A.
58) Jonathan Bowlin, RHP, Kansas City Royals: University of Memphis product crushed in pro debut, 6.94 ERA in 35 innings in Pioneer League, 23/9 K/BB with incredible 51 hits allowed; will open 2019 in Low-A, sinker/slider type.
59) Ryan Jeffers, C, Minnesota Twins: Catcher out of UNC-Wilmington off to hot start, hit .422/.543/.578 in 102 at-bats in Appalachian League then .288/.361/.446 in 139 at-bats in Low-A; strong strike zone judgment, could open 2019 in High-A.
60) Joe Gray, OF, Milwaukee Brewers: High schooler from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, hit .182/.347/.325 with 18 walks, 25 strikeouts in 77 at-bat in rookie ball; big tools with speed, power, and throwing arm but will need time to refine skills to go with the tools, could open in either short-season ball or Low-A.