2019 Post-Lottery NBA 1st Round Mock Draft 1.0

With the much debated NBA Draft Lottery recently completed, we now know where every team will select, making it possible to do a full 1st round mock draft. While the top few picks might seem like locks, the rest of the Draft could go in many different directions. Here are my projections for the 1st round of the 2019 NBA Draft.

  1. New Orleans Pelicans – Zion Williamson, F, Duke
  2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ja Morant, G, Murray State
  3. New York Knicks – R.J. Barrett, F, Duke
  4. Los Angeles Lakers – De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia
  5. Cleveland Cavaliers – Jarrett Culver, F, Texas Tech
  6. Phoenix Suns – Cam Reddish, G/F, Duke
  7. Chicago Bulls – Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt
  8. Atlanta Hawks – Coby White, G, UNC
  9. Washington Wizards – Jaxon Hayes, C, Texas
  10. Atlanta Hawks – Sekou Doumbouya, F, International
  11. Minnesota Timberwolves – Romeo Langford, G/F, Indiana
  12. Charlotte Hornets – Bol Bol, C, Oregon
  13. Miami Heat – Kevin Porter Jr., G, USC
  14. Boston Celtics – Nassir Little, F, UNC
  15. Detroit Pistons – Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga
  16. Orlando Magic – P.J. Washington, F, Kentucky
  17. Brooklyn Nets – Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga
  18. Indiana Pacers – Cameron Johnson, F, UNC
  19. San Antonio Spurs – Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech
  20. Boston Celtics – Keldon Johnson, G, Kentucky
  21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Talen Horton-Tucker, F, Iowa State
  22. Boston Celtics – Grant Williams, F, Tennessee
  23. Utah Jazz – Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky
  24. Philadelphia 76ers – K.Z. Okpala, F, Stanford
  25. Portland Trailblazers – Daniel Gafford, F, Arkansas
  26. Cleveland Cavaliers – Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue
  27. Brooklyn Nets – Ty Jerome, G, Virginia
  28. Golden State Warriors – Admiral Schofield, G/F, Tennessee
  29. San Antonio Spurs – Goga Bitadze, C, International
  30. Milwaukee Bucks – Naz Reid, C, Louisiana State

Ranking MLB’s Best Minor League Farm Systems, Early-2019 (1-10)

These are my 2019 Early Season Rankings for MLB’s top farm systems. In this article, we will be looking at the systems ranked 1-10. Numbers 11-20 and 21-30 were released earlier in May.

10.) Los Angeles Angles

  1. Jo Adell, OF (18)
  2. Griffin Canning, SP (48)
  3. Jeremiah Jackson, SS (98)
  4. Jordyn Adams, OF (100)
  5. D’Shawn Knowles, OF
  6. Brandon Marsh, OF
  7. Jose Suarez, SP
  8. Kevin Maitan, OF
  9. Jahmai Jones, 2B
  10. Jose Soriano, SP

LAA Overview: In their past few drafts, the Angels have been targeting athletic prep players with their early picks. Jo Adell, Jeremiah Jackson, Jordyn Adams, Brandon Marsh, and Jahmai Jones were all selected within the first two rounds of recent drafts, and all five of them show 5-tool abilities, exactly what the Angels were hoping for. Getting Kevin Maitan must have been a pleasant surprise for LA, as they were able to land him thanks to international scandals involving the Atlanta Braves. Though his numbers aren’t the best, he is still very young and was compared to some of the greats before his struggles. Griffin Canning has done okay in his first few MLB starts and the hope is that he’ll stick in the weak Angels rotation for years to come. With Adell, Adams, Knowles, Marsh, and Maitan all being quality outfield prospects, the hope is at least two will live up to their potential, giving the Angels two outfielders to surround Mike Trout.

9.) Texas Rangers

  1. Hans Crouse, SP (60)
  2. Julio Pablo Martinez, OF (61)
  3. Leody Taveras, OF (93)
  4. Anderson Tejeda, 2B (94)
  5. Bubba Thompson, OF
  6. Cole Winn, SP
  7. Cole Ragans, SP
  8. Osleivis Basabe, SS/2B
  9. Jonathan Ornelas, UTIL
  10. Christopher Siese, SS

TEX Overview: The top five prospects of the Rangers are very underrated in my opinion. Hans Crouse has been dynamic for Class-A Hickory, and word is that he will be moved up a level within a week. With his promotion, 2018 1st rounder Cole Winn will fill his spot in Hickory, where he will make his first ever professional stats. Bubba Thompson, JP Martinez, and Leody Taveras make up a stacked Down East (A-Advanced) outfield. While Martinez is ranked higher, that is mostly due to his three year age difference with Thompson and Taveras. Martinez should move up the ranks quicker, but Taveras and Thompson have better long term potential in my opinion, as both possess the size Martinez does not. Tejeda is a great middle infielder and his bat isn’t too shabby either. His power/speed combo could fit well at the top the Rangers order come 2021/2022. Both Chris Siese and Owen White will miss all of 2019 due to injury, but both recent draftees could climb in the rankings when they return.

8.) Detroit Tigers

  1. Casey Mize, SP (19)
  2. Matt Manning, SP (34)
  3. Alex Faedo, SP
  4. Beau Burrows, SP
  5. Franklin Perez, SP
  6. Christin Stewart, OF
  7. Dawel Lugo, INF
  8. Parker Meadows, OF
  9. Willie Castro, SS
  10. Jose Azocar, OF

DET Overview: By far the most pitcher heavy farm system, all of the Tigers top five prospects are starters. Casey Mize was absolutely unhittable in his four starts in A-Advanced and has been just as good since his promotion to Double-A. Not only is he holding opposing hitters to a batting average in the low .100s., but Mize has also only given up three walks in 45 innings this year. His excellent command will put him on the fast-track to the majors and I’d expect to see him in Detroit around this time next year. Former 9th overall pick Matt Manning has been stellar as well, posting a sub-2.50 ERA through his first seven starts of the season. Add in two more former 1st round picks, Alex Faedo and Beau Burrows, along with high-ceiling prospect Franklin Perez, and the Tigers have 5 of the best starting pitcher prospects in all of baseball. Using these five guys, Detroit could field an entire rotation of quality starters with just their prospects. Outside of their pitchers, Christian Stewart, Dawel Lugo, and Daz Cameron are all MLB ready prospects primed to make an impact in 2019.

7.) Toronto Blue Jays

  1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B (1)
  2. Bo Bichette, SS (6)
  3. Nate Pearson, SP (71)
  4. Cavan Biggio, 2B (89)
  5. Jordan Groshans, SS/3B (90)
  6. Eric Pardinho, SP
  7. Orelvis Martinez, SS
  8. Adam Kloffenstein, SP
  9. Kevin Smith, SS/3B
  10. Anthony Alford, OF

TOR Overview: Having the best, most hyped prospect of the decade would automatically vault any farm system to the upper tier of the rankings, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is not the only talented prospect in the Blue Jays organization. Shortstop Bo Bichette does not have nearly as much power as Guerrero but could be just as good of a hitter while surpassing him in areas such as base-running and defense. Nate Pearson has been just as dominant as Casey Mize of the Detroit Tigers this season. Like Mize, Pearson started the season in A-Advanced but received a well-deserved promotion to Double-A. The third Blue Jays’ prospect with strong baseball bloodlines, Cavan Biggio, has been outstanding this season at Triple-A Buffalo. At 24 years old, Biggio might be the next high profile call-up for Toronto.

6.) Minnesota Twins

Nick Gordon, SS (MIN)
  1. Royce Lewis, SS (4)
  2. Alex Kirilloff, OF (11)
  3. Brusdar Graterol, SP (77)
  4. Wander Javier, SS (96)
  5. Nick Gordon, SS/2B
  6. Griffin Jax, SP
  7. Ryan Jeffers, C
  8. Brent Rooker, OF
  9. Trevor Larnach, OF
  10. Luis Arraez, 2B/OF

MIN Overview: 2017 1st overall pick Royce Lewis has the most potential out of the bunch, but Alex Kirilloff might be the safer player as of now. Either way, both of these guys are above average in nearly every aspect of the game and they should both have a place on the Twins’ roster come 2021. Starter Griffin Jax has been a pleasant surprise this season. After having issues with his military status holding him out of much of his career, Jax was allowed to continue baseball full-time thanks to new rules this season. It seems like he has not lost a step, and he has been superb through his first seven starts in Double-A. 77th overall prospect Brusdar Graterol has also been lights-out in Double-A, posting number even better than those of Jax. One of the most advanced Twins prospects is Nick Gordon (brother of Dee Gordon). While Nick does not have the same top-line speed as his brother, Nick shows more power and he has a great all around feel for the game. Wander Javier is a bit of a wild card after missing all of 2018 and the first chunk of 2019 due to injuries, but if he comes back strong, Javier has the abilities to compete to be the Twins future shortstop.

5.) Houston Astros

  1. Forrest Whitley, SP (10)
  2. Yordan Alvarez, OF (28)
  3. Kyle Tucker, OF (37)
  4. Corbin Martin, SP (57)
  5. Freudis Nova, SS
  6. Seth Beer, OF
  7. Bryan Abreu, SP
  8. Peter Soloman, SP
  9. J.B. Bukauskas, SP
  10. Ronnie Dawson, OF

HOU Overview: All four of Houston’s top 4 prospects are currently either in Triple-A or at the MLB level. This is a great sign for Houston, as they should have quality players able to join their roster when needed. Forrest Whitley has had a rough stretch the past two years including a long suspension in 2018 and struggles in 2019. He is still one of the best pitching prospects and could join fellow top prospect, Corbin Martin, in Houston soon. Kyle Tucker did not perform well during his time in Houston last season and has been as good as hoped for in 2019. Like Whitley, these struggles are likely a fluke as he is too talented to put up weak numbers for an extended period of time. Quite the opposite of Tucker, Yordan Alvarez has been absolutely outstanding in 2019. In his first 130 ABs, Alvarez has already hit 15 HRs and hit over .400. After this amazing start to 2019, Alvarez leapfrogged Tucker as the Astros’ best outfield prospect. Freudis Nova has yet to make his debut with a full-season club, but he excelled during his two seasons in the DSL and GCL, making 2019 an exciting year for the 19 year-old shortstop. 2018 first rounder, Seth Beer, possesses tantalizing power and has been flying through Houston’s system. Beer could reach Triple-A in his 2nd professional season, and a September call-up is not out of the question.

4.) Atlanta Braves

  1. Cristian Pache, OF (21)
  2. Mike Soroka, SP (26)
  3. Austin Riley, 3B (35)
  4. Ian Anderson, SP (40)
  5. Kyle Wright, SP (50)
  6. Touki Toussaint, SP (52)
  7. Drew Waters, OF (62)
  8. Williams Contreras, C
  9. Kyle Muller, SP
  10. Joey Wentz, SP

ATL Overview: The top four farm systems are in a tier of their own in my opinion. Each of these four teams has at least ten high-quality prospects that make up well-rounded systems with talent at almost every position. In the Braves system Cristian Pache has been a name on the rise. Drawing exciting comparisons to Ronald Acuna Jr., Pache fits the same mold as the former Rookie of the Year, but these comparisons might be coming a bit too early. Even if Pache isn’t quite as talented as Acuna, his all-around talent is hard to ignore. Switch-hitting outfielder prospect, Drew Waters, has 5-tool abilities as well, and an outfield of Waters, Pache, and Acuna could be a possibility come 2020/2021. Austin Riley had been tearing it up in Triple-A before his promotion in mid-May. In the race for most HRs in all of minor league baseball, Riley should be able to continue his home run barrage in Atlanta. The best aspect of the Braves farm system is its wealth in young starting pitching. Mike Soroka, Kyle Wright, Touki Toussaint, Luiz Gohara, Kolby Allard, and Bryse Wilson all are guys who have had a taste of the majors, albeit with varying results. Ian Anderson, Kyle Muller, and Joey Wentz are also a big part of the Braves future, with the only question being which of these prospects will make the rotation. With well over ten candidates for the rotation, some of these pitchers could be moved to the bullpen or used as trade chips.

Wander Franco, SS (TB)

3.) Tampa Bay Rays:

  1. Wander Franco, SS (5)
  2. Brendan McKay, SP/DH (20)
  3. Brent Honeywell, SP (27)
  4. Jesus Sanchez, OF (30)
  5. Matthew Liberatore, SP (32)
  6. Vidal Brujan, 2B (78)
  7. Ronaldo Hernandez, C (87)
  8. Shane McClanahan, SP
  9. Lucius Fox, SS
  10. Shane Baz, SP

TB Overview: The Rays’ system is one of my personal favorite in terms of individual talent and the Rays’ group of pitching prospects might be my favorite out there. Brendan McKay is the most interesting guy on this list as he is one of the only two-way players around. Having been much better as a pitcher than a hitter, McKay is in his third season of playing both ways. Brent Honeywell should be beginning his rehab assignment pretty soon and might make the Rays’ rotation later in the summer. 2018 first rounders Matthew Liberatore and Shane McClanahan are currently in Class-A and both did excellent in their Rookie League debuts in 2018. I fully expect both to excel as they climb the ladder to the MLB. I was very surprised to hear Shane Baz was the PTBNL (player to be named later) in the Chris Archer trade with the Pirates. Austin Meadow and Tyler Glasnow were already quite a bundle, so adding the 19 year-old first round pick really made the deal lopsided for Tampa. Wander Samuel Franco may very well be the #1 overall prospect in my Late-2019 rankings, and it appears as if this would be very well deserved. Franco’s superb play these past couple years have vaulted him in the top ten of almost all prospect lists. Infielders Vidal Brujan and Lucius Fox possess similar skill sets to each other. Both are speedy middle infielders who can hit from both sides of the plate. Tampa also has a good bit of talent outside their top ten with guys like Nick Solak, Taylor Walls and the Lowe brothers (Nate and Josh). Jose de Leon is about to return from Tommy John surgery and could be an intriguing option for the Rays rotation.

2.) Chicago White Sox:

Luis Robert, OF (CHW)
  1. Eloy Jimenez, OF (3)
  2. Luis Robert, OF (13)
  3. Michael Kopech, SP (15)
  4. Dylan Cease, SP (24)
  5. Nick Madrigal, 2B (31)
  6. Dane Dunning, SP (84)
  7. Micker Adolfo, OF
  8. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF
  9. Steele Walker, OF
  10. Alec Hansen, SP/RP

CHW Overview: The White Sox are at the final stages of a massive rebuild, and their wealth of prospects is what will make them contenders once again. After signing a six-year deal with the White Sox, Eloy Jimenez made his much-hyped MLB debut. Michael Kopech also has made his MLB debut (2018), but succumbed to Tommy John surgery, keeping him out all of 2019. Dane Dunning and Micker Adolfo also will be missing all of 2019 with arm injuries which required surgery too. Although the injuries have been bad for the White Sox prospects, there is still a lot to like in the system. Luis Robert has been on a tear in 2019 and earned a promotion to Double-A early this season. Steele Walker also was promoted and took Robert’s spot in Winston-Salem (A-Advanced). Outfielders are plentiful in the White Sox organization with Jimenez, Robert, Adolfo and Walker being joined by Luis Basabe, Blake Rutherford, Luis Gonzalez and Joel Booker as possibilities for Chicago’s future lineup. The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A) boast one of the best catching tandems in all of minor league baseball. Both Zack Collins and Seby Zavala narrowly missed the White Sox top ten list and would have made the top ten on almost any other team. With all the talent in Chicago’s system, it is hard to argue against what the White Sox have been building for their future.

1.) San Diego Padres:

  1. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS (2)
  2. Chris Paddack, SP (9)
  3. MacKenzie Gore, SP (23)
  4. Francisco Mejia, C (41)
  5. Luis Urias, SS/2B (42)
  6. Ryan Weathers, SP (63)
  7. Luis Patino, SP (76)
  8. Adrian Morejon, SP (97)
  9. Michel Baez, SP
  10. Luis Campusano, C

SD Overview: The number one farm system rightfully has the most prospects on my top 100 list. Fernando Tatis Jr. made his debut around the same time as Chicago’s Eloy Jimenez and experienced the same amount of hype. Tatis made a great impression in San Diego before suffering an injury in his 27th game. He should be returning soon and will be welcomed back enthusiastically. Chris Paddack is another guy who has been killing it in his first MLB games. Already in the conversation for Rookie of the Year and even the Cy Young, Paddack has been nothing short of excellent. The most surprising thing about Paddack and Tatis is that neither were rated very highly before being traded to San Diego, therefore the Padres got both at bargain prices. Both the White Sox (Tatis Jr.) and the Marlins (Paddack) already must regret dealing these youngsters, and the regret will only increase as Tatis and Paddack continue to dominate. MacKenzie Gore is the best left-handed starter of the Padres, but he is not alone in that field. Ryan Weathers, Adrian Morejon, and Logan Allen are all quality lefties as well, showing the depth of the Padres pitching prospects. Luis Urias struggled in his time with the Padres, but has been performing very well after being optioned back to Triple-A and should be recalled within a few weeks. Having guys like Josh Naylor, Cal Quantrill, and Xavier Edwards being left off the Padres’ top ten list shows how deep this system truly is.

Ranking MLB’s Best Minor League Farm Systems, Early-2019 (11-20)

These are my 2019 Early Season Rankings for MLB’s top farm systems. In this article, we will be looking at the systems ranked 11-20. Numbers 11-20 were released earlier this week and 1-10 will be released later in May.

20.) Oakland Athletics

  1. Jesus Luzardo, SP (16)
  2. A.J. Puk, SP (65)
  3. Sean Murphy, C (67)
  4. Jorge Mateo, SS
  5. James Kaprielian
  6. Lazaro Armentaros, OF
  7. Austin Beck, OF
  8. Sheldon Neuse, 3B
  9. Skye Bolt, OF
  10. Grant Holmes, SP

OAK Overview: There is not much excitement in Oakland’s system except for Jesus Luzardo. The 21 year-old southpaw is in the running with San Diego’s MacKenzie Gore for the best young left-handed starter. Though he has missed a good chunk of the 2019 season, Luzardo has a chance to debut with the Athletics late-summer. AJ Puk missed well over a year with TJ surgery, but could also make Oakland’s rotation along with Luzardo. Adding both these young lefties would greatly improve a weak A’s rotation. One of the good things about Oakland’s farm system is that most of the talent is at (or nearing) Triple-A. Assuming Puk and Luzardo both return to Triple-A, six out of their top nine prospects would be at that level in 2019. Injuries have been a huge problem for the A’s pitching prospects as Luzardo, Puk, Kaprielian, and Holmes have all missed significant time in 2019. The hope is when all four of these guys are healthy that at least two or three turn out to be mid-rotation starters.

19.) Arizona Diamondbacks

  1. Jazz Chisholm, SS (45)
  2. Jon Duplantier, SP/RP (55)
  3. Dalton Varsho, C
  4. Alek Thomas, OF
  5. Blaze Alexander, SS
  6. Yoan Lopez, RP
  7. Kristan Robinson, OF
  8. Matt Tabor, SP
  9. Pavin Smith, 1B
  10. Geraldo Perdomo, SS

ARI Overview: Aside from Jazz Chisholm and Jon Duplantier who were already part of my Early-Season top 100 rankings, Arizona has a few young guys who I expect to skyrocket up the standings. The 19 year old Alek Thomas is the first candidate. The left-handed outfielder is not necessarily a power hitter, but he does have 15-20 HR ability and will only get stronger as he matures physically. The next guy, Blaze Alexander, another 19 year-old, might be the future shortstop of the Diamondbacks (competing with Chisholm). He profiles similarly to Thomas, as both are around the same size and should progress through Arizona’s system with similar timeframes. Outfielder Kristian Robinson will be only 18 for the 2019 season and may be one of the breakout prospects of the year. He has raw power similar to fellow Bahamian, Jazz Chisholm, yet he is a superior all-around player and is 3 years younger. These guys, coupled with Andy Yerzy/Dalton Varsho, two promising catcher prospects, are the main reason for the D-Backs being in the top 20. Outside these few guys there is not a whole bunch of top-end talent.

18.) Seattle Mariners

  1. Jarred Kelenic, OF (44)
  2. Justus Sheffield, SP (66)
  3. Julio Rodriguez, OF (83)
  4. Justin Dunn, SP
  5. Logan Gilbert, SP
  6. Evan White, 1B
  7. Noelvi Marte, SS
  8. Shed Long, 2B
  9. Kyle Lewis, OF
  10. Dom Thompson-Williams, OF

SEA Overview: Through many different trades, the Mariners drastically improved their wealth of prospects. Their top two prospects, Kelenic and Sheffield, were both acquired via recent trades and five of their top ten were as well. Julio Rodriguez is one of my favorite prospects in all of baseball and he is only 18 years old. Rodriguez is one of the most exciting outfield prospects and I believe he will be nearing my top 20 by the time I release my Late-Season top 100 rankings. Had he had more at-bats in professional games, he would have been much higher than 83. With a very well rounded system in terms of positional needs, the Mariners have one of the deeper systems in this grouping. As young players like Rodriguez, Marte, Kelenic and Gilbert develop, expect to see the Mariners rise in the Farm System Rankings.

17.) Baltimore Orioles

  1. Ryan Mountcastle, 3B (39)
  2. Grayson Rodriguez, SP (59)
  3. DL Hall, SP (82)
  4. Austin Hays, OF
  5. Zac Lowther, SP
  6. Yusniel Diaz, OF
  7. Blane Knight, SP
  8. Adam Hall, SS
  9. Jean Carlos Encarnación, 3B
  10. Keegan Akin, SP

BAL Overview: The Orioles have a solid farm system, but the biggest issue is that Baltimore’s system has not improved as much as would be expected for a rebuilding team. With one of the worst rosters in all of MLB, it is hard to gain good prospects via trades, so players must be acquired through the Draft or via international signing periods. Both Ryan Mouncastle and Austin Hays are chomping at the bit to join the Orioles in Baltimore sometime soon. Grayson Rodriguez has been lights out in Class-A at only 19 years old. It is looking like he may be a future ace for the O’s, but it is obviously too early to know for sure. After receiving a whopping 30+ million dollar signing bonus from the Dodgers, Yusniel Diaz has not done too well since being acquired for Manny Machado. Starters Luis Ortiz and Dillon Tate are two former 1st round picks who have done poorly, but are looking to reach their lofty expectations originally placed on them when drafted. Shortstops Cadyn Grenier and Adam Hall have done well for Class-A Delmarva and are vying for promotions.

16.) Pittsburgh Pirates

Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B (PIT)
  1. Mitch Keller, SP (36)
  2. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B (38)
  3. Oneil Cruz, SS (73)
  4. Travis Swaggerty, OF (91)
  5. Calvin Mitchell, OF
  6. Bryan Reynolds, OF
  7. Cole Tucker, SS
  8. Lolo Sanchez, OF
  9. Kevin Kramer, 2B
  10. Braxton Ashcraft, SP

PIT Overview: Pittsburgh is the first team to have four prospects in my top 100. Keller, Hayes, Cruz, and Swaggerty make up the top of their system, but there is quite a bit of talent beyond them. Calvin Mitchell is one of the next to make the leap into the top 100, as he was very close to making it this time around. Outfielder Lolo Sanchez has been having a very nice 2019 season and should see a promotion sometime soon. Both Cole Tucker and Bryan Reynolds have recently been promoted to Pittsburgh, making their MLB respective MLB debuts. Although Tucker has struggled a bit, Reynolds has been on fire and is looking like a reliable player. Hayes and Keller should be able to contribute sometime soon as both have been doing well at Triple-A Indianapolis.

15.) Colorado Rockies

  1. Brendan Rodgers, SS (7)
  2. Colton Welker, 3B (64)
  3. Ryan Rolison, SP
  4. Ryan Vilade, SS
  5. Grant Lavigne, 1B
  6. Peter Lambert, SP
  7. Sam Hilliard, OF
  8. Daniel Montano, OF
  9. Terrin Vavra, SS
  10. Riley Pint, SP

COL Overview: Brendan Rodgers is one of the best hitters in all of the minor leagues, and is the main reason for Colorado’s top 15 ranking. Since being drafted 3rd overall in 2015, Rodgers has done nothing but hit. He has posted a career .294 batting average and is doing even better this year. Already with 7 HRs and a .336 AVG in 2019, Rodgers should get the call within the next month or so. Colton Welker, the Rockies only other top 100 prospect, has been excellent as well and has shown signs of improvement as well. Pitchers Peter Lambert and Riley Pint have struggled the past couple seasons, but a lot of that can be attributed to pitching at hitter-friendly parks the majority of their starts. Ryan Rolison, another starter, has shown that it doesn’t matter what stadium he is pitching in. Posting a 1.17 ERA across Class-A and A-Advanced, Rolison is looking like the best pitcher in the Rockies system.

14.) Los Angeles Dodgers

  1. Gavin Lux, SS/2B (47)
  2. Keibert Ruiz, C (49)
  3. Dustin May, SP (54)
  4. Diego Cartaya, C
  5. Jeter Downs, SS
  6. Mitchell White, SP
  7. Josiah Gray, SP
  8. Jeren Kendall, OF
  9. Will Smith, C
  10. Tony Gonsolin, SP

LAD Overview: A unique system, the Dodgers have three quality catcher prospects, an extremely rare commodity to possess. Keibert Ruiz, Diego Cartaya, and Will Smith all ranked in the Dodgers top ten prospects and are solid catchers behind the plate. At only 17 years old, Cartaya is a bit of a wild-card after signing for 2.5 million dollars in 2018. Gavin Lux and Jeter Downs could be the futures shortstop/2nd base combo for the Dodgers and they both have similar skill sets. With 20/20 potential, both could also hit close to .300, Lux being the more likely to do so. Mitchell White and Josiah Gray have impressed on the mound this year, making them two of the Dodgers best pitching prospects. Pitcher Yadier Alvarez showed so much potential early on after signing in 2015, but he has deteriorated enough to keep him off the Dodgers’ top ten. The hope is that he can regain his control and return to form.

13.) Kansas City Royals

Seuly Matias, OF (KC)
  1. Brady Singer, SP (33)
  2. Khalil Lee, OF (99)
  3. Jackson Kowar, SP
  4. Seuly Matias, OF
  5. MJ Melendez, C
  6. Nicky Lopez, SS/2B
  7. Daniel Lynch, SP
  8. Nick Pratto, 1B
  9. Kris Bubic, SP
  10. Kyle Isbel, OF

KC Overview: Kansas City has one of the more underrated farm systems in my opinion. While only two out of their top ten prospects are at Double-A or above, that means they have youth and a lot of potential to improve. 2018 1st rounders Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar have been dominating for Class A-Advanced Wilmington Blue Rocks, and have posted nearly identical stat lines. Matias, Melendez, and Pratto have all struggled mightily with the Blue Rocks, but are all only 20 years old. Lynch and Isbel are also part of a stacked Blue Rocks roster, making for one of the most talented teams in all of MiLB. Khalil Lee just made my top 100 rankings and he should be joined by other Royals prospects come the end of 2019.

12.) Miami Marlins

  1. Sixto Sanchez, SP (29)
  2. Victor Victor Mesa, OF (74)
  3. Monte Harrison, OF (85)
  4. Zac Gallen, SP
  5. Jordan Yamamoto, SP
  6. Edward Cabrera, SP
  7. Jorge Guzman, SP
  8. Trevor Rogers, SP
  9. Braxton Garrett, SP
  10. Jordan Holloway, SP

MIA Overview: The Marlins might have one of the deepest systems out of this grouping of teams. After dealing stars such as Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Dee Gordon, JT Realmuto, and Marcell Ozuna, the Marlins system was rejuvenated with much needed talent. Zac Gallen has been one of the best starters in all of MiLB, taking many by surprise. Other starters Sixto Sanchez (extended Spring Training), Braxton Garrett (TJ surgery), and Jordan Holloway (TJ surgery) all had late starts to their 2019 seasons, but are looking like quality pitchers at A-Advanced Jupiter. Other starters Yamamoto, Rogers, Cabrera, and Guzman have all performed very well at their respective levels. While the Marlins top ten is predominately pitchers, outfielders Victor Victor Mesa and Monte Harrison both made the back end of my top 100 rankings and have done well so far in 2019. One of the first teams that I had a hard time picking guys to leave out of the top ten, the Marlins have depth well beyond ten. Osiris Johnson, Jose Devers, Tristan Pompey, Isan Diaz, Nick Neidert and Connor Scott are all very talented players who could be among the top ten in my end of season rankings.

11.) Cincinatti Reds

  1. Nick Senzel, 3B, (8)
  2. Taylor Trammell, OF (17)
  3. Hunter Greene, SP (43)
  4. Jonathan India, 3B (68)
  5. Mike Siani, OF
  6. Jose Siri, OF
  7. Mariel Bautista, OF
  8. Tyler Stephenson, C
  9. Tony Santillian, SP
  10. Ibandel Isabel, OF

CIN Overview: Right on the cusp of the top ten, the Reds’ farm system falls in at #11 overall. Top prospect Nick Senzel has recently made his MLB debut and is a key player in the Reds organization. Unfortunately flamethrower Hunter Greene will miss all of 2019 due to Tommy John surgery, but he is still the best pitcher in the Reds system by a wide margin. Outfielder Taylor Trammell and Jose Siri are both doing well in Double-A and have been flashing 5-tool potential. Though Trammell is much higher rated than Siri, I expect both will get a promotion around the same time, possibly this June. Ibandel Isabel is one of the best power hitters in all of the minors, but he has struggled with his all-around game. If he can step up his defense and/or reduce his strikeout percentage, then he could be a very valuable asset as well. Bautista might be the most underrated Reds prospect as he possesses the very sought after combination of power and speed.

Ranking MLB’s Best Minor League Farm Systems, Early-2019 (21-30)

These are my 2019 Early Season Rankings for MLB’s top farm systems. In this article, we will be looking at the systems ranked 21-30. Numbers 11-20 and 1-10 will be released later in May.

30.) St. Louis Cardinals

  1. Nolan Gorman, 3B (46)
  2. Andrew Knizner, C
  3. Malcom Nunez, 3B
  4. Jhon Torres, OF
  5. Dylan Carlson, OF
  6. Genesis Cabrera, SP
  7. Justin Williams, OF
  8. Johan Oviedo, SP
  9. Ryan Helsley, SP
  10. Luken Baker, 1B

STL Overview: After graduating players like Jack Flaherty, Alex Reyes and Harrison Bader, and dealing other top prospects like Oscar Mercado and Carson Kelly, there is not much talent remaining in St. Louis’ farm system. Nolan Gorman is the exception, coming in at #46 on my 2019 Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings 1.0 (Early Season). Gorman, along with catcher Andrew Knizner, are the only two Cardinals prospects who I see as reliable guys, who I would be confident in saying they will be successful major leaguers.

29.) Chicago Cubs

  1. Nico Hoerner, SS (79)
  2. Brailyn Marquez, SP
  3. Miguel Amaya, C
  4. Oscar De La Cruz, SP
  5. Adbert Azolay, SP
  6. Aramis Ademan, SS
  7. Corey Abbott, SP
  8. Zack Short, SS
  9. Tyson Miller, SP
  10. Nelson Velazquez, OF

CHI Overview: I was very close between St. Louis and Chicago for the last spot in my rankings, as I dislike both systems equally. After multiple terrible trades (Jose Quintana/Aroldis Chapman) the Cubs lost elite prospects Gleyber Torres, Eloy Jimenez, and Dylan Cease. It is very hard for a system to recover after trades like these, especially if their major league club is not willing to part with any talented veterans. Nico Hoerner is their only top 100 prospect, and may be their only one for quite a while. Oscar de la Cruz was one of my favorite Cubs prospects a couple years ago, but injuries and a long suspension have dampened expectations. If he can turn things around, de la Cruz is probably the only possible candidate to make my Late-2019 top 100 list.

28.) Washington Nationals

  1. Carter Kieboom, SS (25)
  2. Luis V. Garcia, SS/2B/3B (72)
  3. Mason Denaburg, SP
  4. Tim Cate, SP
  5. Wil Crowe, SP
  6. Sterling Sharp, SP
  7. Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
  8. Jeremy De La Rosa, OF
  9. Seth Romero, SP
  10. Jose Sanchez, SS

WSH Overview: Out of all the MLB systems, I’d have to say the Nationals’ is the one lacking the most depth. Outside of the top two or three guys, I wouldn’t consider many of the rest to be quality prospects. Carter Kieboom just recently made his MLB debut, so when he ends up losing his prospect status, I would have the Nationals as the last ranked group. Luis V. Garcia is a decent prospect, but he has struggled mightily after his promotion to Double-A in 2019. To be fair he is only 18 years old (well under the average for Double-A), but I’m sure the Nationals expected a bit more. Mason Denaburg, the Nationals’ 2018 1st round pick, has yet to pitch in a professional game, but could wind up being their best pitching prospect. Yasel Antuna is an intriguing guy, but he is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery.

27.) Cleveland Indians

  1. Triston McKenzie, SP (51)
  2. Nolan Jones, 3B (88)
  3. Ethan Hankins, SP
  4. Tyler Freeman, SS/2B
  5. Oscar Mercado, OF
  6. Lenny Torres Jr., SP
  7. Brayan Rocchio, SS
  8. Bo Naylor, C
  9. Luis Oviedo, SP
  10. Daniel Johnson, OF

CLE Overview: The Indians have one of the youngest farm systems out of any team. While this means their rank is quite low, most of their players have plenty of time to develop, and I could see Cleveland making a big jump in my Late-2019 rankings. 2018 draftees, Noah “Bo” Naylor and Ethan Hankins are both guys I could see being in my Late-2019 Top 100 Rankings. Both offer high ceilings and they will both be 19 for the majority of the 2019 season. Oscar Mercado is one of the more underrated prospects in my opinion. On the brink of reaching the MLB, Mercado is a speedy outfielder who could make a big impact on the major league roster. The Indians’ top two prospects, Triston McKenzie and Nolan Jones, are only 21 years old and also have plenty of time to increase their stock. The only issue with having such a young farm system is that Cleveland won’t be able to get much help within the next year or two, but youth is always a benefit when it comes to building superstars.

26.) San Francisco Giants

Heliot Ramos, OF (SF)
  1. Joey Bart, C (12)
  2. Heliot Ramos, OF (80)
  3. Marco Luciano, SS
  4. Jake Wong, SP
  5. Shaun Anderson, SP
  6. Sean Hjelle, SP
  7. Seth Corry, SP
  8. Jairo Pomares, OF
  9. Jalen Miller, 2B
  10. Luis Toribio, 3B

SF Overview: The Giants possess one of the rarest things among their prospects, an elite catcher. Joey Bart is not only the best catching prospect, but he is one of the very best prospects at any position. It is extremely rare to see a catcher rated so highly as both a defender and as a hitter. As of now Bart has a huge gap between him and the next best catching prospect, but that may change when Adley Rutschman (projected #1 overall pick in 2019) gets drafted. Aside from Bart, Heliot Ramos and Marco Luciano are the only other two guys who I’d consider to be “top prospects”. Ramos has shown a lot of power amidst his inconsistency, and Luciano would likely have ranked in my top 100, but he is yet to appear in a professional game. The rest of the system has some talent, but I don’t see anyone currently in San Francisco’s system else ever reaching my top 100 list. Seth Corry is a name to watch as a guy who has been flying under the radar. Corry has dominated in Class-A, and I’d expect a promotion within weeks assuming he keeps it up.

25.) Philadelphia Phillies

  1. Adonis Medina, SP (58)
  2. Alec Bohm, 3B (70)
  3. Luis Garcia, SS (95)
  4. Adam Haseley, OF
  5. Spencer Howard, SP
  6. Mickey Moniak, OF
  7. Enyel De Los Santos, SP
  8. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF
  9. Cole Irvin, SP
  10. Kevin Gowdy, SP

PHI Overview: Even after losing their best prospect, Sixto Sanchez, in the trade for J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia still had three prospects in my top 100 rankings. Both Alec Bohm and Luis Garcia started the 2019 season in Class-A, but Bohm already received a well deserved promotion to A-Advanced. One of the biggest names in the Phillies system Mickey Moniak, was the #1 overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. Yet to break out as a professional, Moniak is still only 20 years old and there is still a chance he turns out to be the star that the Phillies expected when taking him first overall. Outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz offers exciting raw power and Adam Haseley, another outfielder, has a very well rounded skill set that should keep him moving up the system. Medina, Howard, and De Los Santos offer relatively high floors as starters, and should all be contributing within a year.

24.) New York Yankees

  1. Estevan Florial, OF (69)
  2. Albert Abreu, SP
  3. Jonathan Loaisiga, SP
  4. Clarke Schmidt, SP
  5. Anthony Seigler, C
  6. Deivi Garcia, SP
  7. Domingo Acevedo, RP/SP
  8. Thairo Estrada, UTIL
  9. Luis Gil, SP
  10. Josh Stowers, OF

NYY Overview: For one of the best MLB rosters, the Yankees farm system is understandably depleted. Recent graduates include stars like Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier and Domingo German. Their only top 100 prospect in my rankings, Estevan Florial, is yet to play in 2019 due to a broken wrist. Recent 1st round picks, Clarke Schmidt and Anthony Seigler, seem to be worthy of those high selections, but are very far from contributing to the Yankees. 2017 2nd round pick, Matt Sauer, would have ranked in the Yankees’ top 10 list, but will miss all of 2019 and a large part of the 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery. With Estrada and Loaisiga already called up to the MLB, Domingo Acevedo or Albert Abreu could be next. Both at Double-A, with the amount of injuries to the Yankees’ MLB team, Acevedo or Abreu could be up before expected.

23.) Boston Red Sox

  1. Michael Chavis, 3B/2B (56)
  2. Darwinzon Hernandez, SP (86)
  3. Bobby Dalbec, 3B
  4. Tristan Casas, 1B
  5. Antoni Flores, SS
  6. Jarren Duran, OF
  7. C.J. Chatham, SS
  8. Bryan Mata, SP
  9. Jay Groome, SP
  10. Tanner Houck, SP

BOS Overview: Ever since losing Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, and Luis Alexander Basabe in the Chris Sale trade, Boston has not had the same top tier talent. Chavis, my number 56 overall prospect, may be the exception. After being called up to Boston early in the 2019 season, Chavis has gotten off to an extremely hot start. Darwinzon Hernandez also got a taste of the majors, pitching well in one relief appearance before being optioned back to Double-A. #9 prospect, Jay Groome, has been derailed by injuries, but may be Boston’s best pitching prospect when healthy. Antoni Flores is a guy who I could see doing very well, but he has not had enough at-bats to constitute a top-100 ranking.

22.) New York Mets

Ronny Mauricio, SS (NYM)
  1. Peter Alonso, 1B (14)
  2. Andres Gimenez, SS (53)
  3. Ronny Mauricio, SS (75)
  4. Anthony Kay, SP
  5. Adrian Hernandez, OF
  6. Simeon Woods-Richardson, SP
  7. Mark Vientos, 3B
  8. Junior Santos, SP
  9. David Peterson, SP
  10. Shervyen Newton, SS

NYM Overview: One of the best rookie performances so far in 2019 has been Pete Alonso’s amazing stretch with the Mets. Taking opponents by storm, Alonso already has 10 HRs in just over 100 at bats. Alonso will soon no longer be “prospect eligible”, which will most likely make the Mets system drop in the rankings. Shortstops Andres Gimenez and Ronny Mauricio are two former international signees who will likely be the Mets’ future SS/2B combo if all goes well. The Mets pitching lacks a “front of the rotation” guy after the trade of Justin Dunn, but they still have quality depth with David Peterson, Anthony Kay, and Simeon Woods-Richardson all projected to be mid-to-back end rotation guys.

21.) Milwaukee Brewers

  1. Keston Hiura, 2B (22)
  2. Corey Ray, OF (81)
  3. Mauricio Dubon, SS/2B
  4. Brice Turang, SS
  5. Joe Gray Jr., OF
  6. Lucas Erceg, 3B
  7. Larry Ernesto, OF
  8. Troy Stokes Jr., OF
  9. Tristan Lutz, OF
  10. Marco Feliciano, C

MIL Overview: Keston Hiura is the gem of the Brewers’ system. The former #9 overall pick has been excellent at the plate, and is looking like he will make a huge impact sometime in 2019. The Brewers’ second top 100 prospect is Corey Ray. The #5 overall pick in 2016, Ray had struggled in 2016 and 2017, not living up to the expectations of a top five pick. 2018 was a breakout year for Ray as he showed his exciting 5-tool abilities. Both Ray and Hiura started their 2019 seasons in Triple-A, so both may be up in Milwaukee as early as June/July. Their top three prospects (and five out of the top ten), are in Triple-A, so the Brewers should have some available talent during the 2019 season. Although all ten of the Brewers top prospects ore position players, they do have some quality pitching prospects as well. Starters Zack Brown and Trey Supak narrowly missed my MIL top 10, and both are having great starts to 2019.

Trade Review: Chris Sale, CHW & BOS

Yoan Moncada, the key piece of the Chris Sale trade

At the 2016 Winter Meetings, the topic of a potential Chris Sale trade was prominent throughout the week. Eventually the Red Sox pounced, prying super star pitcher, Chris Sale, from the rebuilding White Sox. This was the first domino to fall in Chicago’s rebuild which included the White Sox dealing Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana, Todd Frazier, and David Robertson. The Sale trade got the White Sox the biggest return, landing them four pieces in total.

The Deal: December 6th, 2016

Red Sox Receive: Chris Sale (SP)

White Sox Receive: Yoan Moncada (2B/3B), Michael Kopech (SP), Luis Alexander Basabe (OF), and Victor Diaz (SP)

General Overview: After multiple unpleasant incidents between Chris Sale and the White Sox organization, many expected Sale to be dealt over the offseason. On his way to the Red Sox, Sale joined a rotation already featuring the likes of David Price, Rick Porcello, and Drew Pomeranz. Joining a winning organization was something Sale greatly desired, so all three parties were happy with the deal. The Red Sox got the ace they desperatly needed, while the White Sox got two top tier prospects and two lower end guys who they felt could step up as well.

Red Sox Overview: No matter how well any of the players the Red Sox gave up do, it is hard to argue that they will be more valuable than Chris Sale was for them. Sale was not the only star player on the team in 2018, but he was one of the main reasons they made it to the World Series. Though doing poorly in his World Series start, without Sale, it is unlikely that the Red Sox would have even made it as far. Giving up two top tier prospects is tough, but it is hard to compare that to a World Series victory. Unfortunately for Boston, Sale’s 2019 season has been about as disastrous as possible, starting the season with an ERA over 6.00.

White Sox Overview: In the return for Sale, the White Sox got a massive haul of young talent. Just after reaching the majors, Yoan Moncada was MLB Pipeline’s #1 overall prospect in all of baseball. After his arrival, Moncada starred in Triple-A Charlotte for the first half of 2017 until his promotion to Chicago. Things did not go great for Moncada as his batting average and strikeout rate both worsened after the jump to the majors. In 2018, Moncada played the entire season at the MLB level, showing his 5-tool abilities, but again struggled with his contact. So far in 2019, Moncada has been excellent, looking like a true #1 overall prospect. His strikeouts have fallen drastically, while his HRs and AVG are both well above his previous season’s. It is a bit to early to tell for sure, but it appears as if Moncada was well worth being the centerpiece for Chris Sale. If he keeps performing at this rate, the Red Sox will soon (if not already) regret parting with him

Michael Kopech, another top prospect at the time, was dealt as a 2nd headliner to pair with Moncada. His combination of a high 90s (up to 100mph) fastball and a devastating slider really caught the eye of White Sox scouts. After doing well in Double-A (2017) and Triple-A (2017/2018), Kopech finally got a taste of the majors at the back end of the 2018 season. After a dominating first three starts, Kopech got absolutely shelled in his 4th. A day later, it was discovered Kopech needed Tommy John surgery, sidelining him for 2018 as well as 2019. He is expected to be fully healthy by 2020, and will be a crucial part of Chicago’s rotation then.

Though not as highly rated at the time, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, may turn out to be the 3rd very good player the White Sox got. A switch hitting outfielder, Basabe was traded away from his twin brother, Luis Alejando Basabe, who also played in the Red Sox organization. Though both were viewed as similar level players, Luis Alexander took off upon his arrival in the White Sox organization, and has proved himself to be an important member of their rebuild.

Victor Diaz, the 4th and final piece of the deal has not been much of a factor at all. After the trade, Diaz pitched 12 inning of relief between Class-A and Class A-Advanced, combining for a disgustingly bad 12 walks, and a 14.25 ERA. Diaz has been sidelined since 2017 due to injuries, so he is hoping to bounce back later this year. It’s always hard to tell for sure, but it appears that Diaz will be a pretty irrelevant part of this deal, essentially making it a 3:1 deal.

Chris Sale pitching vs Orioles (9/20/17)

Player Grades:

Chris Sale: A

Yoan Moncada: A-

Michael Kopech: A-

Luis Alexander Basabe: B-

Victor Diaz: D

Winner: Chicago White Sox

Prospect Profile: Wander Samuel Franco, TB

Wander Franco, TB

Wander Franco, the Tampa Bay Rays top prospect, is the next player in the Prospect Profile spotlight. Franco came in at #5 overall in my Early Season Prospect Rankings, and he is only getting better. Coming into the 2019 season at 18, Franco is one of the youngest players in all of Minor League Baseball.

Height:5’10″ Weight: 190 lbs. Age: 18

Position: SS Bats/Throws: S/R ETA: Early 2021

Overview: The future is looking very bright for the Tampa Bay Rays. With one of the best records in the MLB so far, and one of the best farm systems, they should also be expecting young pitchers Brent Honeywell, Anthony Banda and Jose De Leon to all return from Tommy John surgery this season. Wander Samuel Franco is at the top of Tampa’s prospect rankings, yet he is only 18 years old. Franco is at the top of a stacked system that contains players like Honeywell, Brendan McKay, Matthew Liberatore, Jesus Sanchez, and Shane McClanahan. Factor in current major league Rays like Austin Meadows, Willy Adames, Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow, the Rays have the best organizational depth in young, high-potential talent. I would expect the Rays to be in contention for the next 6-7 years at least, as they have the makings of a dynasty.

Signed in 2017 for just about four million dollars, Franco has not disappointed in his first profesional seasons, proving worthy of the large signing bonus. The switch hitting shortstop is one of the highest rated prospects by both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America. Coming in at such a young age (18) and already at Class A, Franco has the potential to be a complete superstar for the Rays. One of his most impressive stats is his strikeout rate, striking out only 9% of the time. Hitting well over .300 in both Rookie League (2018) and Class-A (2019), expect Franco to fly through Tampa’s system. Barring injuries, Franco will surely reach A-Advanced, and I don’t find it hard to believe that he’ll finish 2019 in Double-A Montgomery.

Ceiling: Troy Tulowitski – Currently, Tulowitski isn’t the star he used to be, so many people may have forgotten how dominant he used to be. He had a great bat, as well as a very good glove as well. During his career, Tulowitski had eight All-Star worthy seasons, and I could see Franco producing similarly to him. Franco has the tools to hit close to 30 HRs a season, while hovering around a .300 BA.

Projection: Gleyber Torres – One of the rising stars, Torres could be a very accurate comparison for Wander Franco. While its too early to tell for sure, Franco appears to be a pretty solid defender, who is an elite hitter both in terms of power and contact. Being a switch hitter is a plus as well, and he can produce from both sides of the plate, although he has more power from the left.

Floor: Willy Adames – One of the Rays former top prospects, shortstop Willy Adames was expected to be the Rays future shortstop as well as a franchise player. Adames has done pretty solid, but I’m sure they would have hoped for more. Francos expectations will be higher, so I view Adames as a worst case for Franco. If Adames is good enough to stay long term, he may have to relocate positions to make room for Franco.

Player Grades: Contact: A Power: B+ Speed: A- Fielding: B Arm: B- Potential: A+ Overall: A

2019 NFL Draft Grades and Analysis

With the 2019 NFL Draft all wrapped up, I will be taking a close look at many of the players selected. Here are my 1st round grades, as well as my favorite late round picks, and my winners/losers of the Draft.

Round 1 Grades

Josh Allen, #7 overall pick by JAX
  1. ARI – Kyler Murray, Oklahoma, QB: C+ – Don’t get me wrong here, I like Kyler Murray a lot. He is a dynamic athlete who proved himself to be elite during his collegiate career. As much as I like Murray, I think the Cardinals really put themselves in a bad spot with Josh Rosen. After taking Murray every team knew Rosen was going to be moved, so Arizona lost all leverage. They wound up trading Rosen for what should be an early 2nd round pick as well as a 5th. That is just inadequate for someone who was picked 10th overall just one year ago. Had Rosen be dealt before, this pick would’ve received a better grade, but the Cardinals handled this situation poorly in my opinion.
  2. SF – Nick Bosa, Ohio State, DE: A – Much like his brother, Joey Bosa, Nick was well worthy of a top three pick. It was between Bosa and Quinnen Williams for the 49ers, and they obviously felt like Bosa fit their defensive scheme better. Nick may indeed be better than his brother, so there’s really nothing bad to say about this pick.
  3. NYJ – Quinnen Williams, Alabama, DT: A – The Jets were either going to go with Bosa or Williams, whoever the 49ers passed on. After Bosa was taken 2nd, the choice here was obvious. Williams is one of the two defenders in this draft who I have absolutely no doubt will be a star in the NFL. Being paired with Leonard Williams gives the Jets a scary combo up front.
  4. OAK – Clelin Ferrell, Clemson, DE: D – This was probably my least favorite pick of the 1st round. In my mock draft, I had Ferrell at 19, and I haven’t seen him in the top 10 of any other mock. Now if Ferrell was really the guy the Raiders wanted, they easily could have traded down with a team like the Steelers, Packers or the Redskins. A guy like Josh Allen or Jonah Williams could have been a bitter pick here.
  5. TB – Devin White, LSU, ILB: A- – There wasn’t a better Kwon Alexander replacement than Devin White in the draft. White will pair with Lavonte David nicely, giving the Buccaneers two elite linebackers one again. The only other spot the Bucs could have gone this early was with a O-lineman, but David will make their defense so much better.
  6. NYG – Daniel Jones, Duke, QB: C – The more I’ve thought about this pick the less I hate it. Yes, the Giants did take Jones too early, but I feel like someone with his personality is needed in a city such as New York. Dave Gettleman obviously felt the same way, using his top pick on his Eli Manning replacement. I gave this pick a C just because Jones would likely have been available at 17, which would have allowed the Giants to get Josh Allen with this pick.
  7. JAX – Josh Allen, Kentucky, OLB: A – The Jags could not have been happier with the way things unfolded in the top 6. I’m sure they expected Allen, Williams, and Bosa all be gone by 7, but the sup-rise selection of Clelin Ferrell gave the Jags to snag Allen. Getting Allen at 7 gives Jacksonville its 4th above average D-lineman on an already stacked defense.
  8. DET – T.J. Hockenson, Iowa, TE: B+ – Joining an extremely well rounded squad, Hockenson should succeed with the Lions. Dynamic both as a pass-catcher and as a blocker, he gives Detroit an elite option at TE. Even if it doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet, Hockenson is a guy who will contribute in more ways than one.
  9. BUF – Ed Oliver, Houston, DT: B+ – As a team with so many holes on the roster, the Bills were wise to go with the top talent on the board. Ed Oliver reminds me think of a guy like Oliver Vernon, who can get to the QB and disrupt the run game.
  10. PIT – Devin Bush, Michigan, ILB: B- – Trading up to select Devin Bush in the top 10 was a very surprising move by Pittsburgh. Giving up their 1st and 2nd round in the 2019 draft as well as a 2020 3rd, the cost was quite steep. While I believe Bush can fill the void left by Ryan Shazier’s devastating injury, I would question if giving up 3 early round picks was worth it.
  11. CIN – Jonah Williams, Alabama, OT: A – This is exactly where I mocked Williams to go, and I still believe it is the best match for him. The Bengals desperately needed help on the O-line, and Williams is someone who I consider to have the potential to be a well above average LT. The only other two picks the Bengals might have taken here (Devin Bush/Devin White) were already off the board, so Williams was a very smart choice.
  12. GB – Rashan Gary, Michigan, DE: C+ – I’m personally not a huge fan of Rashan Gary, so I feel like a guy like Christian Wilkins or Jeffery Simmons would have been a better selection here. In college, Gary was very good in the run game, but really lacked explosiveness in the pass rush. The guy the Packers were looking to get, TJ Hockenson, was off the board at 12, so they really missed out on their first choice.
  13. MIA – Christian Wilkins, Clemson, DT: A- – I really like this pick for the Dolphins here. Since the Josh Rosen trade was already in the works, QB wasn’t a need here, and Wilkins was the best available player. Wilkins was ranked among the top two at his position in both run defense and pass rushing. Not only is Wilkins great on the field, but he is a well rounded individual who will be a defensive leader as well.
  14. ATL – Chris Lindstrom, Boston College, OG: B- – Lindstrom is a pretty solid addition to the Falcons O-line which already features two above average linemen in Alex Mack and Jake Matthews. He should help injury-prone Devonte Freeman stay on the field most of the season, especially with the loss of fellow RB, Tevin Coleman.
  15. WAS – Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State, QB: A- – The Redskins must have though Haskins would be gone by now. The Cardinals, Giants, Broncos, Bengals, Dolphins, and maybe even the Raiders, were all though to be looking at QBs in the 1st round. As it turns out, only two teams took QBs ahead of the Redskins, one being someone they were likely not interested in anyways (Daniel Jones). Getting Haskins at 15 give the Skins a quality QB prospect at a very good value.
  16. CAR – Brian Burns, Florida State, OLB: B+ – An athletic specimen, Burns’ explosiveness off the line of scrimmage will no doubt make an impact in the NFL. Burns should be able to get 8+ sacks a season since he shouldn’t be having to face many double teams.
  17. NYG – Dexter Lawrence, Clemson, DT: B+ – A true big fella, Lawrence ranked in the top six in both run stopping and pass rush defense. I feel like Lawrence could have a similar presence to former Giants, Damon Harrison in the run game, while being more of a factor in pass rush as well.
  18. MIN – Garrett Bradbury, NC State, C: B- – The Vikings offensive line healthy has struggled as of late, so it can’t hurt to add a 1st round center into the mix. Without any other glaring holes on either offense or defense, selecting an O-lineman was a good choice for Minnesota.
  19. TEN – Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State, DT: A- – Simmons could be one of the biggest steals of the draft. Had he not torn his ACL earlier in the season, Simmons would have surely been taken in the top 10. Simmons is joining what I believe to be the most underrated defense in all of the NFL. Looking through their depth chart, there is not a single defensive starter who I would consider to be below average, so Simmons makes that defense even better.
  20. DEN – Noah Fant, Iowa, TE: B+ – When I see Noah Fant, I am instantly reminded of O.J. Howard. An outlier at the TE position, Fant’s extreme athleticism should cause mismatches against linebackers or cornerbacks that try to cover him. While he is not the blocker that former Iowa teammate TJ Hockenson is, Fant’s athleticism and verticality are both far superior.
  21. GB – Darnell Savage Jr., Maryland, S: C+ – At the time this was a pretty good pick, getting a solid safety for a team with a weak secondary. As it turns out, safeties were not highly sought after, so they could have waited till their 2nd round pick to draft a safety. Had they done that they could have still got a guy like Taylor Rapp or Chauncey Gardner-Johnson while freeing up a pick for any other need.
  22. PHI – Andre Dillard, Washington State, OT: A+ – What a move this was by the Eagles. Trading up right in front of Houston really ruined the Texans’ selection while giving the Eagles a very high quality blocker who can take over for the aging Jason Peters.
  23. HOU – Tytus Howard, Alabama State, OT: C+ – After loosing out on their obvious target, Andre Dillard, the Texans had to look elsewhere for offensive line help. Unfortunately for the Texans, they did not really pick an NFL ready guy. More of a project, Howard will not be starting close to the same level as Dillard or other options that the Texans could have went for like Dalton Risner or Jawaan Taylor.
  24. OAK – Josh Jacobs, Alabama, RB: B- – Jacobs is one of the bright spots in an extremely weak RB class. This being said, I don’t believe he, or anyone else in the class, was worthy of a 1st round selection. Running behind a below average O-line won’t help Jacobs either, so I’d expect his production to be limited early on.
  25. BAL – Marquise Brown, Oklahoma, WR: B – The first WR off the board, the Ravens definitely did need to fill the wide receiver spot. Lamar Jackson desperately needs weapons, as he can’t perform as a runner without downfield threats. Brown is a vertical target, who can be used to help Lamar Jackson become more of a passer.
  26. WAS – Montez Sweat, Mississippi State, DE: A+ – By far the best athlete at his position, Sweat fell due to health concerns. Reports are out now stating that these conditions were incorrectly measured, so the Redskins felt like he would be worth a gamble. If healthy, Sweat could be one of the biggest steals of the first round.
  27. OAK – Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State, S: C – The 3rd first round pick of the Raiders, and another guy I’m not a huge fan of. I feel like Abram wasn’t even one of the best safeties available at the time, with 2-3 other guys I liked better. I’m not sure what the Raiders were thinking with their three 1st round picks, but as of now, I can’t say I’d be happy as a Raiders fan.
  28. LAC – Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame, DT: B – One of the best interior defenders in the pass rush, Tillery is joining a stacked Los Angeles defensive line. Not a real flashy guy, Tillery will be able to face 1-on-1 matchups almost 100% of the time, with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram on the ends.
  29. SEA – L.J. Collier, TCU, DE: B – The Seahawks are going to need lots of time to bring their defense anywhere near the level it was a few years ago. I’d expect many early round picks in 2020 spent on defense as well. Collier is a quality end, someone to lessen the loss of Frank Clark. Unfortunately this means that the Seattle offensive line will likely struggle once again, making Russell Wilson’s job a lot harder.
  30. NYG – Deandre Baker, Georgia, CB: A+ – One of the best picks of the first round, the Giants traded up to select Baker, the first CB off the board. I was amazed no other corner was taken before 30, and the Giants obviously felt like Baker was a bargain here. Had it not been for character issues, Baker would have been taken well before this pick, so I believe that the Giants got lucky no other team was willing to select him.
  31. ATL – Kaleb McGary, Washington, OT: C+ – After drafting offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom, the Falcons went right back to the same spot, getting tackle Kaleb McGary. I don’t think McGary is anywhere near the play Lindstrom is, and one of his biggest issues is excessive amounts of penalties. If McGary can’t fix that, then there will be no way for him to succeed in the NFL
  32. NE – N’Keal Harry, Arizona State, WR: B- – While receiver was definitely a need for the Patriots, I was a bit suprised that N’Keal Harry was there guy here. With DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, Parris Cambell, and Deebo Samuel all on the board. Harry will fill the question mark left by Josh Gordon, but we will have to look back to see if he was the best option.

Best Late Round Picks of the Draft

ARI – Byron Murphy: 2nd (33rd) – The first pick of the 2nd round, the Cardinals must have been estate when day one ended, knowing they’d select Murphy the next day. Arguably the best CB in the draft, Murphy was a first round talent who happened to fall based upon team needs.

DEN – Dalton Risner/Drew Lock: 2nd (41st/42nd) – Two back to back picks for the Broncos resulted in a much improved offense. With Noah Fant taken in the 1st round, that totals to three talented players being added to the Broncos roster. Risner is an extremely versatile lineman who played all over the place for Kansas State. Drew Lock, My 3rd ranked QB, gets Risner for protection, and a receiving TE to throw to as well. Going into the 2019 season and beyond, I’d expect the Broncos offense to be much better than in the past.

CLE – Greedy Williams: 2nd (46th) – After trading their 1st round pick for Odell Beckham Jr., the Browns could not have expected to land a player of Greedy Williams’ caliber. One of the top tier CBs in the draft, the Browns now have Williams to pair with rising star, Denzel Ward.

LAC/LAR – Nasir Adderley/Taylor Rapp: 2nd (60th/61st) – Adderley and Rapp were two safeties that I surely though would be gome by the very end of the 2nd round. Fourtunatly for the two already stacked defenses of the Chargers and Rams, Adderley and Rapp fell into their laps. Rapp was one of the best tackling safeties in all of college football, so he will be a major presence for the Rams. Adderley is the best coverage safety of the class in my opinion, so he will be a big factor for the Chargers’ defense as well.

SEA – DK Metcalf: 2nd (64th) – Metcalf was my #1 receiver in the class, so for Seattle to get him at the very end of the 2nd is a steal in my book. Metcalf will replace Doug Baldwin as WR1, although he is a different type of player. One of the best athletes out there, Metcalf should have decent production, even on a run-heavy team like Seattle.

NYJ – Jachai Polite: 3rd (68th) – Had it not been for disastrous results at his pro days and the combine, Polite would have been picked 1st or early 2nd round. Looking to prove doubters wrong, Polite should be very good at putting pressure on the QB, while being a decent run stopper, and even dropping into coverage on occasion.

NE – Chase Winovich: 3rd (77th) – Winovich is a guy I think will really thrive in New England. One of the more underrated prospects, Winovich couldn’t have been selected to a better team to reach his potential. I definitely see Winovich becoming an above-average player, if not even better, possibly like former Patriot, Rob Ninkovich.

NYG – Oshane Ximines: 3rd (95th) – Ximines is a guy I really like for the Giants. A lot of people thought that New York would select Josh Allen with their 6th overall pick but they instead went for Daniel Jones. Later in the 1st round they got Dexter Lawrence, who is an interior presence. One other spot they really needed was edge rusher, so getting a value guy like Ximines is a great pick. After starring at Old Dominion, Ximines has a very good chance to start for the Giants as early as this year.

CAR – Will Grier: 3rd (100th) – This pick is based on the future of the franchise. Cam Newton has been suffering from shoulder problems, and his performance has been effected by that. Under contract only two more seasons, Grier could save the Panthers from spending big on Newton. I considered Grier to be a 2nd round pick, so they also got good value snagging him late 3rd.

NO – Chauncey Gardner-Johnson: 4th (105th) – Gardner-Johnson was another DB who I was surprised to see fall this late. After performing really well in his last season at Florida, and a very respectable showing at the Scouting Combine, I figured Gardner-Johnson to go late 2nd. Luckily for the Saints, they were able to grab him in the early 4th round, adding him to an already young secondary.

NYG – Julian Love: 4th (108th) – Another pick I like by the Giants, Love will be a very good CB, a position which the Giants really need. Love should be paired up with fellow 2019 draftee, Deandre Baker for many years to come.

TEN – Amani Hooker: 4th (116th) – A really high ceiling safety, Hooker should have time to develop on a loaded Titans defense, but he should also be able to make in impact in the short term as well. The hope is that Hooker’s great coverage skills will translate into the NFL, making for a versatile safety to pair with Byard.

Winners

Kyler Murray #1 overall pick by ARI

Kyler Murray – Being picked 1st overall, it’s hard not to be considered a winner. Proving to any doubters about his size wrong, Murray earned this selection with his elite performance. Also, after giving up a massive signing bonus from the Oakland Athletics, had he fallen down the board, he would have been losing millions.

Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals really cleaned up this draft. Not only did they get their franchise quarterback, but they added three quality WRs for him to throw to. On the defensive side, defensive backs Byron Murphy and Deionte Thompson were both great value picks. I also like Zach Allen a lot, making for an extremely deep draft for the Cards.

Drew Lock – Luckily for Lock, he was drafted to a team where he will surely become the starting QB by year two, if not before. Joe Flacco is clearly not the answer for Denver, so Lock should have the job whenever he is ready. Conveniently for Lock, Denver just added a great pass protecter in Dalton Risner as well as a great pass-catching TE in Noah Fant.

New York Giants/Dave Gettleman – After what seemed like a disastrous pick at #6 overall with Daniel Jones, the Giants really recovered with a pair of excellent selections in the 1st round. Dexter Lawrence and Deandre Baker are elite defenders, both in the conversation for being the best at their respective positions in the draft class. Their 3rd and 4th round picks, Oshane Ximines and Julian Love, were both value picks, and should contribute as soon as this year.

Losers

Josh Rosen – It can’t feel that good being given up on in under a year. Hours after the Cardinal’s selection of Kyler Murray, Rosen was on his way to Miami via a trade. The former 10th overall pick will be joining a very weak offensive team, where I doubt he’ll find too much success right away. With a pretty terrible offensive line, and close to no offensive weapons, it wouldn’t surprise me if Rosen performs a lot worse than he did with the Cardinals.

A.J. Brown – Tennessee might just be the worst team for a WR to be drafted to. An extremely run heavy team, even the QB, Marcus Mariota’s game is more based on the run. 5th overall pick in 2017, Corey Davis, found trouble reaching his potential in his first two seasons in Tennessee, and I fear Brown will experience the same troubles. Brown would have been much better off going to a team like the Patriots, who instead took K’Neal Harry over Brown.

Oakland Raiders – Being a team with holes all around the roster, Oakland should have been taking the best available with their first few picks. Starting off with Clelin Ferrell at 4th was a huge mistake in my opinion. There were at least 5-6 guys that would have been better picks, or trading down would have been a much better option. I don’t think the Raiders got much talent on the back end of their draft either, making for a terrible draft. Considering Oakland had some of the best draft capital (3 first round picks), I couldn’t be more disappointed with the Raiders selections.

Cam Newton – With the selection of Will Grier, it is apparent that the Panthers don’t fully believe that Newton is 100% healthy. After undergoing two shoulder surgeries, Newton may not be the same QB he was during his electric first few seasons. The hope is Grier’s presence will give Newton extra motivation to pick up his performance, and if not, be a replacement in 2021.

Te’Von Coney – Coney was someone I though would be gone by the late 2nd-early 4th. For whatever reason, Coney would up being undrafted before signing a deal with the Raiders. I’m sure Coney thought he could be picked day two as well, and he must have been shocked to not hear his name called on day three.

Houston Texans – There’s not much to say here other than the Texans just had a really bad draft. After missing out on Andre Dillard, Houston took a lottery ticket in Tytus Howard, not someone many considered to be 1st round worthy. Lonnie Johnson may wind up being a decent cornerback, but other than that, there isn’t anyone else I like in Houston’s draft class.

Russell Wilson, SEA

Russell Wilson – I’m sure Wilson thought he’d get some help on the O-line within the first two rounds, but three Seattle’s first five picks were on defense. DK Metcalf and Gary Jennings give Wilson a couple decent receiving options, but it’s unlikely they’ll have the same impact a healthy Doug Baldwin did, who is considering retirement. Also neither will make an impact when it comes to pass protection, on a O-line that has struggled many years in a row. Wilson will also be facing newly improved NFC West defenses which include additions of Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Jason Verrett, Kwon Alexander, Jordan Hicks, Terrelle Suggs, Byron Murphy, Taylor Rapp, and Clay Matthews. Couple that with the fact Wilson lacks pass protection and elite receiving options, 2019 is shaping up to be a bad year for Wilson.

Defensive Backs – With no defensive backs selected in the top 20, and only three DBs taken in the first round, I was very surprised to see many cornerbacks and safeties fall. Guys like Byron Murphy, Greedy Williams, Taylor Rapp, Nasir Adderly, and Deionte Thompson I expected to fall somewhere in the late 1st round, but most fell outside the top 50.