The MLB Draft is rapidly approaching - a mere 26 days away from the publication of this article, if my calculations are correct. Leading up to the draft, it seems like a new mock draft or updated set of rankings is released nearly every day. These mocks and rankings are not just from John Q. Draft Enthusiast, but they comes from the likes of Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, Keith Law and a wide swath of reliable publications who have turned their focus to this upcoming three-day event.
Have you ever wondered what it would look like if someone took these listings and combined them to form a massive composite ranking system? A one-stop shop for all of your MLB Draft needs? If so, you’re in luck...because that’s exactly what I’ve done.
This has become my favorite pet project over the past several years. I have tried to provide as much information as possible here, but if there is anything else you would like to see here, please let me know.
Much like I did with my Farm System Rankings, I determined rankings by way of a reverse point system. In this system, the lowest ranked player on each list received one point, the second-lowest ranked player received two points, all the way up to #1 where the top ranked player received the maximum amount for that particular list. By adding up any and all points generated across the outlets, the players were then ranked according to the corresponding point values. Aggregating the rankings in this way should help to offset any massive swing in rankings.
The maximum amount of points varies from list to list. MLB Pipeline’s top draft prospects list goes to 100, so their #1 - Auburn’s Casey Mize - gets 100 points. Mize also topped Keith Law’s Top 50, so as the top player, he gets 50 from that list. The lists for Baseball America and Perfect Game are ridiculously thorough and go to 500 and 350 respectively, but I have only listed the first 200 (these lists are already bigger than everyone else’s and there’s only so much I wanted to swing this in favor of any one publication). Accordingly, Mize - #1 for on both - gets 200 points from each.
Among the other outlets whose rankings are reflected are Fangraphs, Perfect Division I / Prep Baseball Report’s hybrid Top 100, and 247 Sports, just to name a few. You can click the link on any college player and it will take you to their individual The Baseball Cube page (where available) - this site is an invaluable asset for tracking season stats for college players
The top column of the spreadsheet provides a link to the full list from each source; in several cases, there are player profiles / write-ups available. These are recommended reading for familiarizing yourself with each player’s strengths and weaknesses. As the draft grows closer, more information will come out about organization philosophies and which way teams are leaning (college bat, HS pitcher, high floor vs. high ceiling, etc.), as well as industry murmurs about links between players and teams.
This ranking system establishes general tiers for each level of player; you can get a sense of who should, in theory, be going where. To give an idea for which tier of player would be available relative to their position, I have included the team that corresponds with each ranking. Of course, with the creativity teams are able to wield with bonus pools (the Rays, Royals, and Indians each have multiple picks early and could all shake things up), as well as team tendencies and strategies, I will be the first to tell you this would be an inexact science for using the rankings as a mock draft.
The second tab reflects bonus slot pools for each pick through Round 10, as well as the total bonus pools for each team.
As the draft grows closer, these lists will be updated ad nauseum and these rankings will change as a result - so bookmark this page and re-visit often. For now, however, based on the composite rankings, here is the Top 10:
- Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
- Nick Madrigal, 2B, Oregon State
- Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge HS (AZ)
- Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State
- Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha West HS (WI)
- Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida
- Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama
- Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie HS (FL)
- Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
- Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech
As you can see from the list, the top tier is heavy on college players. Mize has established himself as the odds-on favorite to go first overall to the Tigers, but beyond that it’s still anyone’s guess. Unlike 2017, which had a clearly established Top 5 by now, there is still plenty of intrigue remaining in sorting out the top of the board. The next few weeks will be interesting to track and see who rises and who falls.
The draft starts on Monday, June 4th. Who do you want to see the Braves take at 8? Let’s talk about it in the comments.