Now that the 2018 MLB draft is in the books, it's time to break down notable picks from this year's class. Today, it's the National League's turn, and on Friday, I'll examine the American League.
I liked the D-backs' first two picks, just in the opposite order. They took Matt McLain (1) in the first round and Jake McCarthy (1A) in the sandwich at pick 39. I think McCarthy, if healthy, is the clearly better prospect because he can play center field and has plenty of hit tool to be above average. Meanwhile, McLain is an undersized prep infielder who won't stay at short and really has to hit. I think you're hoping he's Alex Bregman, who was also an undersized prep infielder who really had to hit but did hit everywhere -- in high school and in three years at LSU (and, last I checked, he hasn't stopped). Outfielder Alek Thomas (2) was a very good value in the second round to cap Arizona's Day 1.
Jackson "The Auteur" Goddard (3) had a rough spring, missing about five starts with an oblique injury and walking 28 guys in 52 innings. He's 92-94 mph with what looks like a potentially average changeup, and his delivery isn't bad at all, but he needs to throw more strikes, and his breaker is fringy. He might be a starter with health and enough reps, but I find his films pretentious and his characters thinly drawn.
Wright State right-hander Ryan Weiss (4) has some back-end starter potential, with a fastball sitting 90-92 from a pretty high arm slot that gives him a lot of depth on an upper-70s curveball, and he does throw a lot of strikes. Matt Mercer (5) of Oregon is a pure reliever, touching 97 but never sitting there as a starter, with below-average control and too much hard contact for that velocity.
If Travis Moths' (7) name is familiar, that's because Tennessee Tech handled him in a completely irresponsible manner in regionals this past weekend, throwing him in relief in both games Monday less than 48 hours after he made a 90-pitch start.
Levi Kelly (8) was a big name as a high school sophomore when he committed to LSU and transferred down to IMG Academy in Bradenton. The right-hander has grown to 6-foot-2 and will touch 95, though with effort that might shift him to a relief role.