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2019 MLB Draft Preview: Top Senior Signs

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Here are the top senior signs in the 2019 MLB Draft.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Every year for every team senior signs happen. These players are a way to help manage the bonus pool since they’ve got no leverage, but some of these kids can actually play.

This year is no different, and the senior sign pool is as strong as ever with one player that is arguably the best senior prospect in the history of this current draft system.

The Top Guy

  1. Noah Song, RHP, Navy

Noah Song isn’t your normal senior sign. He’s a legitimate first round talent on this list only because no one knows what to expect with his status. That is because Song has a military commitment that can keep him off the field for the next few years. If we were talking just talent, I have no doubts he would be a first rounder. But with him being a senior needing to likely spend a few years away from the game, he’s a real question mark.

Song was a very good prospect last year but went undrafted because of the questions around him. He’s got a big fastball and plus curve along with great results and some strike throwing ability, so if a team is willing to gamble he could pay off in a big way.

The Rest of the Top 10

2. Evan Edwards, 1B, NC State

Evan Edwards got off to a great start to his season when he mashed a massive homer on Opening Day, and hasn’t slowed down much since. The productive senior has always hit for power, but feels like he’s taken a slight step forward this year at the plate despite the numbers not being much of an increase. Edwards is a potential power hitting first baseman that can move through the minors quickly. He may not have the highest ceiling, but he’s got it in him to be a solid player who hits the ball hard.

3. Ethan Paul, 2B, Vanderbilt

One of the more high upside guys in this group, Paul has some power, some speed, and some feel for hitting at second base. The biggest question with Paul, who is one of the best second basemen available this year regardless of class, is the fact that he strikes out more than you’d like. Still he had a big spring this year after subpar 2017 and 2018 seasons by his standards

4. Jake Mangum, OF, Mississippi State

The SEC’s all time hits leader was draft eligible the last two years but decided to return to school each time and saw his draft position drop for that. Mangum is a guy who has always rated highly because of his contact ability, speed, and makeup. He profiles as a potential leadoff guy in pro ball since he’s not much of a power threat.

5. Kevin Strohschein, OF, Tennessee Tech

With an OPS of at least 1.083 in three of his four years, and a career low of 14 homers in a season, Kevin Strohschein is a very interesting analytics prospect. Strohschein has above average power and the glove and arm to be an asset in the field, so with his production history he will be one of the quicker seniors off the board on Tuesday.

6. TJ Hopkins, OF, South Carolina

TJ Hopkins has been a star for South Carolina for the last few seasons, but because of injuries hadn’t been drafted yet. He’s as productive as you can ask for in the SEC and has some tools with power and speed, so he’s certainly a high quality prospect.

7. Nelson Maldonado, OF, Florida

Nelson Maldonado is going to be drafted for his bat, as he can really hit. Maldonado has been very productive for the Gators, hitting for average and some power against the top competition in the country, and also has some on base ability. If it wasn’t for his lack of a defensive profile he would have been a guy teams were higher on last year, but this year as a money saver his bat will intrigue.

8. Ryne Olenek, OF/2B, Ole Miss

Ryne Olenek was highly rated in the draft last year but decided to return to school instead of signing. He’s a guy that teams are going to be in on due to his contact ability and versatility more than anything.

9. MD Johnson, RHP, Dallas Baptist

Every year it feels like Dallas Baptist is producing senior signs and relievers, and this year they have done it again. MD Johnson isn’t a college reliever, he’s the ace of an NCAA Tournament team- but his stuff projects him best into a bullpen role, as his fastball sits more 88-92 MPH. Johnson has three pitches, including a slider which can get swings and misses, and there is some versatility to his pitching profile.

10. Cam Warren, 1B/OF, Texas Tech

After putting up a .993 OPS last year, Warren has a 1.123 OPS this year with a combined 32 doubles, 25 homers, and more walks than strikeouts in each year on campus. He’s been one of the most productive players in the nation, and that’s why I am putting him here over guys with slightly better tools than the likely first baseman. An analytics based team will be thrilled to get a guy with the production of Warren to save some money.

More to Watch

Cole McDonald, RHP, Iowa

Stephen Scott, OF/C, Vanderbilt

Antoine Duplantis, OF, LSU

Patrick Raby, RHP, Vanderbilt

Joe Genord, 1B, South Florida

Zach Ashford, OF, Fresno State

LJ Talley, 2B, Georgia

Josh Watson, OF, TCU

Jared Mang, OF, New Mexico

Zac Taylor, OF, Illinois

Bryce Fehmel, RHP, Oregon State

Aaron Ochsenbein, RHP, Eastern Kentucky

Connor Wollersheim, LHP, Kenya State

Jared Janczak, RHP, TCU

Davis Sims, 3B, Western Kentucky

Ako Thomas, 2B, Michigan