MLB Mock Draft: Who will be the first high school player off the board?

Kevin Askeland | MaxPreps.com Friday, June 1, 2018

Florida pitcher Carter Stewart edges Arizona's Matthew Liberatore as first high school player chosen.

Video: Top 10 high school prospects
Who will be the first high school player off the board in next week's draft?

Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers was the seventh overall pick in the 2006 draft out of Highland Park (Dallas, Texas). Why is that significant? Kershaw was the first high school player selected in the draft that year, marking the last time a high school player wasn't among the first five selections in the Major League Baseball Draft.

Until now.

Based on a cross-section of a multitude of MLB mock drafts, the top five selections in this year's draft will likely be college players. The most likely high school player to go first is either Carter Stewart of Eau Gallie (Melbourne, Fla.) or Matthew Liberatore of Mountain Ridge (Phoenix, Ariz.) and that probably won't be until the sixth or seventh pick. Since 2007 an average of two high school players have been chosen among the top five picks. Last year, the top two players selected were high school players.

Ironically, the 2018 high school draft class is considered to  be a deep one, especially at pitcher and in the outfield. So while there may not be any high school players taken in the top five, as many as 17 could go in the first round, based on a composite ranking of 10 mock drafts. Nine of those players are pitchers and three are outfielders.

We looked at 10 mock drafts and assigned a point total for each of the players listed based on the number of their selection. Players not included in a mock draft were given a total of 31. Listed below is the average ranking for each player, the mode (the highest number of times a player was chosen in a certain slot) and the highest slot a player was selected. For college players, we've listed their previous high school team and where they were drafted coming out of high school.

Another irony, five of the college players on the list below were not drafted coming out of high school, including No. 1 pick Casey Mize, who was a unanimous pick at No. 1. Two others were chosen in the 40th round and only one was taken prior to the 17th round.
2018 MaxPreps Major League Baseball Mock Draft

1. Tigers — Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
High School:
Springville (Ala.), 2015
Average rank: 1.0
Mode: 1.0
Highest: 1.0
Previously drafted: Not drafted

2. Giants — Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech
High School:
Buford (Ga.), 2015
Average rank: 3.2
Mode: 2
Highest: 2
Previously drafted: 2015, 27th round, No. 808, Tampa Bay

3. Phillies — Nick Madrigal, 2B, Oregon State
High School:
Elk Grove (Calif.), 2015
Average rank: 3.8
Mode: 4
Highest: 2
Previously drafted: 2015, Round 17, No. 514, Cleveland

4. White Sox — Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
High School:
Eustis (Fla.), 2015
Average rank: 4.7
Mode: 5
Highest: 2
Previously drafted: 2015, 2nd round, No. 56, Toronto

5. Reds — Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State
High School:
Roncalli Catholic (Omaha, Neb.), 2015
Average rank: 4.9
Mode: 3
Highest: 3
Previously drafted: Not drafted

6. Mets — Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie (Melbourne, Fla.)
Average rank:
7.9
Mode: 7
Highest: 4

7. Padres — Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge (Glendale, Ariz.)
Average rank:
8.0
Mode: 7
Highest: 3

8. Braves — Jonathan India, 3B, Florida
High School:
American Heritage (Delray Beach, Fla.), 2015
Average rank: 9.7
Mode: 6
Highest: 6
Previously drafted: 2015, 26th round, No. 781, Milwaukee

9. Athletics — Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama
High School:
Denham Springs (La.), 2015
Average rank: 9.9
Mode: 9
Highest: 6
Previously drafted: Not drafted

10. Pirates — Jarred Kelenic, OF, West (Waukesha, Wis.)
Average rank:
11.6
Mode: 8, 16
Highest: 7

11. Orioles — Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida
High School:
Cape Coral (Fla.), 2015
Average rank: 13.7
Mode: 8, 12
Highest: 7
Previously drafted: 2015, 26th round, No. 779, New York Mets

12. Blue Jays — Nolan Gorman, 3B, O'Connor (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Average rank:
14.5
Mode: 18
Highest: 8

13. Marlins — Ryan Weathers, LHP, Loretto (Tenn.)
Average rank: 15.2
Mode: 17, 20
Highest: 7

14. Mariners — Cole Winn, RHP, Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.)
Average rank: 15.8
Mode: 10
Highest: 10

15. Rangers — Ryan Rolison, LHP, Mississippi
High School: University School of Jackson (Jackson, Tenn.), 2016
Average rank: 17.0
Mode: 12, 14, 17
Highest: 11
Previously drafted: 2016, 37th round, No. 1,104, San Diego

16. Rays — Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State
High School: College Park (Pleasant Hill, Calif.), 2015
Average rank: 18.9
Mode: 14
Highest: 9
Previously drafted: 2015, 40th round, No. 1,197, San Diego

17. Angels — Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson
High School: Wekiva (Apopka, Fla.), 2015
Average rank: 18.9
Mode: 19
Highest: 12
Previously drafted: Not drafted

18. Royals — Brice Turang, SS, Santiago (Corona, Calif.)
Average rank: 20.2
Mode: 17, 19
Highest: 14

19. Cardinals — Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Central Heights (Nacogdoches, Texas)
Average rank: 20.2
Mode: Out of first round
Highest: 10

20. Twins — Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida
High School: Charlotte Christian (Charlotte, N.C.), 2015
Average rank: 20.5
Mode: 20
Highest: 13
Previously drafted: 2015, 40th round, No. 1,210, Detroit

21. Brewers — Conner Scott, OF, Plant (Tampa, Fla.)
Average rank:
20.5
Mode: 16
Highest: 13

22. Rockies — Kumar Rocker, RHP, North Oconee (Bogart, Ga.)
Average rank: 21.1
Mode: Out of first round
Highest: 7

23. Yankees — Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central (Cumming, Ga.)
Average rank: 21.8
Mode: Out of first round
Highest: 8

24. Cubs — Triston Casas, 1B/3B, American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
Average rank: 21.9
Mode: 13
Highest: 13

25. Diamondbacks — Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope (Cary, N.C.)
Average rank: 24.7
Mode: Out of first round
Highest: 16

26. Red Sox — Mason Denaburg, RHP, Merritt Island (Fla.)
Average rank: 25.3
Mode: 27
Highest: 13

27. Nationals — Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma
High School: Prosper (Texas), 2016
Average rank: 26.5
Mode: 25
Highest: 21
Previously drafted: Not drafted

28. Astros — Jordan Groshans, SS, Magnolia (Magnolia, Texas)
Average rank: 27.7
Mode: Out of first round
Highest: 18

29. Indians — Cole Wilcox, RHP, Heritage (Ringgold, Ga.)
Average rank: 28.2
Mode: Out of first round
Highest: 22

30. Dodgers — Anthony Seigler, C, Cartersville (Ga.)
Average rank: 28.3
Mode: Out of first round
Highest: 22