<
>
Get ESPN+

MLB draft Big Board: Ray tops list, Groome next up

The draft class this year is notable for the lack of any clear 1-1 (top-pick) candidates, as ESPN colleague Eric Longenhagen and I have been saying all spring. Not only is there no Bryce Harper, there isn't even a Gerrit Cole or a Carlos Correa in this class. There is, however, substantial high school pitching depth of just about all flavors, and I think there are about as many corner bats as you'll see in a typical draft. However, we're at Division IV levels in terms of college starting pitchers, and the few who are good may get pushed up half a round or so as teams flee to the supposed safety of the college arm.

With that, here is the first set of my top 100 MLB draft prospects. Note that this is not a mock draft -- my first mock will come out next Wednesday (May 18) -- but rather how I'd rank them. Each top 100 draft prospect has a player card with his scouting profile, written by Longenhagen; click on the player's name to go to it. (Some of the profiles in the second half of the top 100 don't have write-ups yet; we'll fill those in soon.)

1. Corey Ray, OF, Louisville

Right now, if I had the top pick, I think I'd go with Ray, the best all-around college position player who is at worst a solid everyday left fielder with the upside of a Ray Lankford (whose name I've heard from a couple of scouts over the past year as a comp for Ray). He can hit; he can run; he has some power. Although center field, where he plays part of the time for Louisville, is a pipe dream, he could develop into a capable left fielder. I think he goes among the top three picks.


2. Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat (New Jersey) HS

Reports of Groome's demise from local media in south Jersey are greatly exaggerated; you're still looking at a tall, athletic lefty with a good delivery and a grade-70 (on the 20 to 80 scouting scale) breaking ball. I think Groome goes among the top four picks.