The MLB Draft is set to take place on Sunday, July 17 at 7:00 p.m. ET. But which team will fare the best? That much is left to the experts.
The Draft is a chance for teams around baseball to add to their farm system in a big way, but unlike in basketball or football, those prospects are unlikely to contribute to the big-league product right away.
No, recently-drafted players often go through a rigorous minor-league process, and depending on their age upon getting selected, may not see MLB action for 3-5 years. Some prospects, taken right out of high school, are so raw that their talent must be perfect in Low-A level on a measured schedule.
MLB Draft: Best prospects available
Here are the top-10 prospects available per MLB Pipeline:
1. Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS (Ga.)
2. Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy (Fla.)
3. Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater HS (Okla.)
4. Termarr Johnson, 2B, Mays HS (Ga.)
5. Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
6. Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
7. Jacob Berry, 3B/OF, Louisiana State
8. Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech
9. Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech
10. Brock Porter, RHP, St. Mary’s Prep (Mich.)
Jones and Holliday are second-generation MLB talents, as Jones is the son of fringe Hall-of-Fame candidate Andruw Jones, while Holliday is the son of former Rockies and Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday.
MLB Draft order
The MLB Draft order was determined by record this year, but that’s all set to change next season, when Rob Manfred imposes a lottery system to combat tanking.
Here is the MLB Draft order:
- Baltimore Orioles
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Texas Rangers
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Washington Nationals
- Miami Marlins
- Chicago Cubs
- Minnesota Twins
- Kansas City Royals
- Colorado Rockies
- New York Mets (compensation for failing to sign 2021 No. 10 overall pick Kumar Rocker)
- Detroit Tigers
- Los Angeles Angels
- New York Mets
- San Diego Padres
- Cleveland Guardians
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Cincinnati Reds
- Oakland Athletics
- Atlanta Braves
- Seattle Mariners
- St. Louis Cardinals
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Yankees
- Chicago White Sox
- Milwaukee Brewers
- Houston Astros
- Tampa Bay Rays
- San Francisco Giants
- Colorado Rockies (for losing Trevor Story)
- Cincinnati Reds (for losing Nick Castellanos)
MLB Draft grades: 1-5
Baltimore Orioles draft grade: A-
Jackson Holliday was the presumed No. 1 overall pick here, so the O’s get an A. Baltimore isn’t shying away from the slot value he will presumably bring. Holliday’s signing bonus could keep him from a potential Oklahoma State return. Shortstop is such a premium position, and Holliday has 20-25 home run power at his best.
It turns out that kind of power runs in the family.
Arizona Diamondbacks draft grade: A+
Jones is ranked the top player in this draft class by several databases, and for good reason. The son of Andruw Jones was the easy choice in terms of best player available, and the Diamondbacks went that route. Jones had the highest ceiling of any player available at this point.
Texas Rangers draft grade: B-
Pairing former college teammates Rocker and Jack Leiter is a bold, yet potentially successful move. Rocker was a borderline first-round pick, but the Rangers surprised us all by overlooking his injury history and selecting him at No. 3. Rocker was taken by the Mets in last year’s draft, but failed to sign a contract.
Pittsburgh Pirates draft grade: B+
The Pirates had to choose between Johnson and Elijah Green. Just a year after having the No. 1 overall pick, the Bucs added to their farm system in a big way. Johnson is arguably the best pure prep hitter in this class, and he’s a monster add to Pittsburgh’s prospect list.
Washington Nationals draft grade: B+
On the surface, Green was the right pick here. He was the best-player available, ranked No. 3 via MLB Pipeline. The IMG Academy alum is the son of a former NFL Pro Bowl tight end, and has the body to reflect that. Green does strike out a lot, which isn’t unusual for a player his age. He needs to improve his plate discipline before he reaches the majors.