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 three articles for space reasons.
1) Casey Mize, RHP, Detroit Tigers: Auburn University ace threw 13.2 innings in pro ball between the Gulf Coast rookie league and the High-A Florida State League, posting a 3.95 ERA with a 14/3 K/BB, until being shut down for workload reasons. Although short his debut was considered successful and he’ll probably begin 2019 in Double-A.
2) Joey Bart, C, San Francisco Giants: Georgia Tech catcher hit .298/.369/.613 in the Northwest League with 13 homers, 12 walks, 40 strikeouts in 181 at-bats while throwing out 42% of runners; overall very much as expected, probably begins 2019 in High-A.
3) Alec Bohm, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies: Wichita State product hit .224/.314/.290 in 107 at-bats in the New York-Penn League while fielding just .846; a disappointing debut though he also missed a month with a knee injury; 2019 assignment will likely depend on how he looks in spring training.
4) Nick Madrigal, INF, Chicago White Sox: Oregon State sparkplug hit .303/.353/.348 with seven walks and just five strikeouts in 155 at-bats between rookie ball, Low-A, and High-A; made just one error at second base; could begin 2019 as high as Double-A.
5) Jonathan India, 3B, Cincinnati Reds: Florida Gator hit .261/.452/.543 in 46 at-bats in the Appalachian League but slumped to .229/.339/.396 in 96 at-bats in Low-A; played well defensively and offensive production was picking up in late August; probably opens 2019 in High-A given pedigree.
6) Jarred Kelenic, OF, New York Mets: Wisconsin prep blasted GCL at .413/.451/.609 through 46 at-bats then moved up to Appy League and hit steady .253/.350/.431 in 174 at-bats; also swiped 15 bases in 16 attempts; likely to skip NY-P in 2019 and open in Low-A.
7) Ryan Weathers, LHP, San Diego Padres: Tennessee high schooler posted 3.44 ERA in 18 innings between rookie ball and Low-A with sharp 18/4 K/BB; very polished, will likely return to Low-A to open 2019 but should advance more quickly than the typical prep arm.
8) Carter Stewart, RHP, Atlanta Braves: High schooler from Florida did not sign after physical revealed wrist ligament injury and the two sides were unable to come to terms. Originally a Mississippi State recruit but expected to attend Eastern Florida State Junior College so he can re-enter 2019 draft.
9) Kyler Murray, OF, Oakland Athletics: University of Oklahoma super-athlete signed but didn’t play during the summer; currently playing quarterback with the Sooners but will turn to baseball full-time in the spring; assignment will depend on how he looks in camp.
10) Travis Swaggerty, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates: University of South Alabama product hit .288/.365/.453 in 139 at-bats in New York-Penn League but just .129/.225/.226 in 62 at-bats after promotion to Low-A; could return to that level to open ‘19 although a strong spring might still result in High-A assignment.