The Major League Baseball Draft is set for June 3 and MaxPreps is getting ready for the three-day event by taking a look at the top players at each position. First up are the right-handed pitchers, a group that includes 5-7 potential first round picks.
In the coming days, we will look at left-handed pitchers, catchers, infielders and outfielders in the walk up to the draft.
In 2018, 37 high school players were chosen on the first day of the draft, which includes two rounds and several compensatory rounds.
Video: Top pitching prospect strikes out 17 in perfect game
Seminole's Matt Allan is projected to be one of the first five right-handed pitchers taken in the MLB Draft.
MLB Draft Prospects: Top 5 right-handed pitchersMatt Allan, Seminole (Sanford, Fla.), 6-3, 210
The field of right-handed pitchers in the Class of 2019 is an interesting group in that none of them are identified as being potential Top 10 selections, however, a high number are expected to go in the first round. Allan could be the first to go as he's projected to be chosen somewhere around pick Nos. 10-15. His fastball hits between 92-97 mph and his curveball and change are also seen as potential out pitches. Scouts also predict Allan's control will improve over time. Just last week, Allan pitched a perfect game with 17 strikeouts.
Draft forecast: Could be first right-hander taken around picks 10-15.Brennan Malone, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), 6-5, 220
Malone has one of the top fastballs in the high school ranks, topping out at 97 mph. His curveball is also seen as a potential out-pitch at the next level. Control was thought to be an issue entering his senior season. Facing national competition after transferring to IMG Academy from Porter Ridge, Malone lowered his walks for the season (17 down to 14) in nearly the same amount of innings. He also lowered his ERA to 0.27 from 1.36 as a junior. He posted an 11-0 record this year after going 3-4 as a junior.
Draft forecast: Malone could go somewhere between 10-20.Daniel Espino, Georgia Premier Academy (Statesboro, Ga.), 6-4, 200
Espino could have the top fastball in the country at nearly 100 mph. His slider is also one of the best at the high school level, and he also has a curveball and a changeup. Batters reportedly were able to get base hits off Espino during the summer, but that wasn't the case during his season at Georgia Premier Academy. He went 9-0 on the season and gave up 10 base hits in 44 innings. He also showed good control with 109 strikeouts and nine walks.
Draft forecast: Espino could come off the board before the 20th overall pick.Jack Leiter, Delbarton (Morristown, N.J.), 6-1, 195
There's a lot to like about Leiter. First, he's the son of former Major League pitcher Al Leiter and he's obviously well-coached in how to get out batters. He's improved his fastball, hitting 94 mph this summer, and he has shown impressive stuff with a curve and a slider. Batters have had difficulty getting to Leiter this year. After finishing the 2018 season with a no-hitter, he's added a no-hitter in 2019 and also took a perfect game to the final out before giving up a walk and a base hit. Leiter has five wins and 61 strikeouts in 33.2 innings pitched and is committed to play at Vanderbilt.
Draft forecast: Could be drafted somewhere between 20-32 unless teams feel he' s more committed to playing college baseball.J.J. Goss, Cypress Ranch (Houston), 6-3, 185
Goss is part of a pitching staff that includes Matt Thompson, another right-hander who could go in the top three rounds. Goss has a higher ceiling than the other pitchers on this list as he has the potential to put on about 20 more pounds and increase his velocity on his fastball. His fastball is already in the low to mid-90s and his slider and changeup are expected to improve. He's 10-1 on the season with 132 strikeouts in 75.1 innings pitched.
Goss could go anywhere around pick 30-35.