Major League Baseball’s annual free agent draft begins Monday in Secaucus, New Jersey. The Mets own the sixth pick and the Yankees draft 23rd. Here’s how the top-10 (and Yankees) might go:
1. Detroit Tigers: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
The 6-3, 220-pound junior seems to be the consensus top pick, thanks to a strong four-pitch repertoire: a mid-90s fastball, slider, split-finger and cutter that should get him to the majors quickly. Mize is 9-5 with a 3.07 ERA in 15 starts, striking out 140 over 102 2/3 innings while limiting the opposition to a .209 batting average.
2. San Francisco Giants: Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech
With Buster Posey turning 31 in March, it’s the right time for the Giants to look into their future at catcher, and Bart appears to be a solid choice to follow in those likely Hall of Fame footsteps. Bart, considered the best backstop in the draft, is hitting .359 with a 1.103 OPS and 16 home runs in 220 at-bats.
3. Philadelphia Phillies: Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State
Bohm is a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, given annually to the top collegiate player, and is heading into the draft after hitting .333 with 14 homers and 51 RBIs this season for the Shockers. The young Phillies feature an infield stocked with versatile players, and Bohm could eventually anchor third as the team sorts itself out moving forward.
4. Chicago White Sox: Nick Madrigal, 2B, Oregon State
It’s not usually a plus when most of the buzz is generated by Madrigal’s relatively small stature at a listed 5-8, but if that puts him in the same conversation as Jose Altuve and Ozzie Albies, that’s good company. Was the Pac-12 Player of the Year as a sophomore, and returned from injury this year with a slash line of .395/.459/.563. Also did not make an error in 29 games.
5. Cincinnati Reds: Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
The Reds could use pitching help ASAP and Singer, a 6-5 junior, is polished enough to help them sooner rather than later. Sidelined for most of May with a hamstring injury, Singer still led the SEC with 10 wins and a 2.25 ERA, holding opponents to a .186 batting average. Singer features a mid-90s fastball, slider and changeup, with excellent command (259 Ks/67 walks in 257 2/3 career innings for the Gators).
6. Mets: Jonathan India, 3B, Florida
A pivotal spot for the Mets, whose last top-10 pick was Michael Conforto (No. 10) in 2014. Based on their sketchy luck with young pitchers, and glaring need for corner infield help, a position player should be the call again — and India seems like the perfect fit, especially with David Wright’s increasingly murky status. India, like Conforto, is another advanced college player, coming off a breakout season: .365/.506/.730 with 16 homers in 54 games.
7. San Diego Padres: Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida
The Mets drafted McClanahan out of high school in 2015 (26th round), but he opted for the college-route instead and needed Tommy John surgery the following year. Still, the hard-throwing McClanahan recovered fine, and combines a triple-digit fastball with excellent changeup and improving slider. The redshirt sophomore had a 15.06 K/9 rate and held opponents to a .174 batting average.
8. Atlanta Braves: Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge High School (Peoria, Ariz.)
Featuring a mid-90s fastball, solid changeup and a 12-6 curve, the Arizona player of the year was 8-1 with a 0.93 ERA during his senior season, with a K/9 rate of 15.5. At 6-5, 200, Liberatore still has some room to fill out, but could be on the fast track based on the advanced quality of his repertoire.
9. Oakland Athletics: Nolan Gorman, 3B, Sandra Day O’Connor High School (Phoenix)
The lefty-slugging Gorman, at 6-1, 210, may possess the best raw power in the draft, as evidenced by his two Home Run Derby crowns on the elite high school circuit, one at Marlins Park and the other at Wrigley Field. Gorman needs work defensively at third, but dominated his senior season at the plate with a slash line of .421/.641/.894 in 32 games.
10. Pittsburgh Pirates: Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama
Swaggerty is drawing comps to Brett Gardner, another athletic outfielder that can play center but is better suited in a corner spot and has leadoff potential. The lefty-hitting junior has a slash of .296/.455/.526 with 13 homers and was 9-for-14 in stolen-base attempts.
23. Yankees: Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson
From the school that produced both Jacob deGrom and Corey Kluber, Gilbert might be a reach to be available down here, but he checks all the boxes for the Yankees, who love the mound giants. Gilbert stands at 6-5, 220, but isn’t a pure flamethrower with a fastball that mostly sits in the mid-90s. He does have three other workable pitches — slider, changeup, curve — which then could be polished once Gilbert is in the system.