I can't wait to remember these 5 2019 MLB draft picks in 3 years

by Fred Hofstetter on June 4, 2019

Gear up for some serious nostalgia the next time the names of these top 2019 MLB draft picks cross your mind.

MLB Top Draft Picks 2019

The time is now – for these 2019 draft picks to gracefully blur into the background and become forgotten over the next couple years.

As the first round of the 2019 MLB First-Year Player Draft comes to a close, we’re all aboard the hype train and eager to see the next class of MLB first-rounders get signed to big contracts, earn tremendous signing bonuses, toil in the depths of the minor leagues and mostly disappear altogether into oblivion. The next wave of baseball’s biggest stars geared to reach their prime in 5-9 years just found their new homes – time to get hyped.

There are a few names I’m watching as prime candidates to get back on the radar and inspire hardcore baseball fans all around the league to say things like wasn’t that guy drafted in the first round? then quickly use a search engine to verify their suspicion.

1. Adley Rutschman – C, Baltimore Orioles

  • 2019 MLB draft pick: #1
  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 216 lbs
  • Bats/throws: S/R
  • MLB.com draft ranking: #1

This guy is a complete package and the best player in the draft. This fella’s worth 5 first round picks bottled up in one. He was the projected number 1 overall pick and he’s become the number 1 pick. I’ve seen a publication compare him to Bryce Harper. He’s got a big power and overall hit profile, and with a sterling reputation as a defender behind the dish, he projects to become one of the better catchers in the league. Lucky Orioles. Rutschman will earn every penny of that #1 overall compensation. Prepare to add Rutschman to the list of top first overall picks in MLB history.

In a few years I’ll be happy to finally see him in the big leagues after a three-year stint of blacking the Orioles out of my baseball awareness due to their withering fecklessness. We’ll see if I run into another “Adley” between now and then.

Expected debut: 2022
Pick grade
: A+

2. Riley Greene – OF, Detroit Tigers

  • 2019 MLB draft pick: #5
  • Age: 18
  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 191 lbs
  • Bats/throws: L/R
  • MLB.com draft ranking: #6

This is a toolsy corner outfield prospect out of Hagerty High School in Florida with a sweet, effortless left-handed swing. He shows excellent plate discipline at such a young age, and there’s very little doubt he’s going to hit well at the MLB level. Experts agree he’s the best left-handed bat to go in the draft and certainly worthy of a top 5 pick. The Tigers will be eager to pencil this guy into the top of the order every day.

I’m looking forward to him struggling with the breaking ball when he reaches AA, getting packaged in a trade deadline deal in 2021, bouncing back with a change of scenery with his new organization and making his MLB debut in 3-4 years.

Expected debut: 2023
Pick grade
: A

3. Josh Jung – 3B, Texas Rangers

  • 2019 MLB draft pick: #9
  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 215 lbs
  • Bats/throws: R/R
  • MLB.com draft ranking: #16

Here’s a big third base prospect out of Texas Tech. Big power potential + a simple approach makes him a highly projectable bat in the middle of an MLB batting order. MLB projectors might call this a reach inside of the top 10, but there’s notable potential here. If he can muscle up and harness his power on the pull side, he can become an all-star in a pro-hitter environment in Texas.

That is…before he scuffles as a third baseman in single A, moves over to 1B, loses a season to injury and gets blocked by a better bat for a couple years before becoming a secondary piece in a trade deadline deal to the Cincinnati Reds, making his MLB debut in 2024.

Expected debut: 2024
Pick grade
: A

4. Alek Manoah, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays

  • 2019 MLB draft pick: #11
  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6’6″
  • Weight: 260 lbs
  • Bats/throws: R/R
  • MLB.com draft ranking: #11

The mock drafts had him at 11, and he goes at 11. This massive fellow is the only pitcher to make the list (in a year with historically few high draft picks who are pitchers). He’s got an elite fastball/slider combination and a fiery disposition to make hitters swing and miss them. There are some command issues here but he’s got the fundamentals to develop into something special for the Blue Jays. The Jays were wise to snatch him up with the #11 pick.

After Toronto tries and fails to get him comfortable with a third pitch as a starter, he’ll lose a season and a half to Tommy John, drop a couple MPH into his mid-20s and debut in middle relief several years from now.

Expected debut: 2024
Pick grade
: B+

5. Corbin Carroll – OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

  • 2019 MLB draft pick: #16
  • Age: 18
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 161 lbs
  • Bats/throws: L/L
  • MLB.com draft ranking: #15

This is a good value pick at #16. Don’t get hung up on his size – Carroll has elite projectability. There’s big speed here and enough competence in the outfield defensively to log above average innings in centerfield. Scouts expect him to grow into a greater power profile and make a great hit tool punch harder. He’s got one of the best overall approaches at the plate in the draft.

Carroll is an 18 year old out of high school, so you can wipe him from your memory entirely for at least a few years. He’s got a lot more growing to do. Diamondback fans, get pumped up for Carroll to suffer through myriad physical and emotional growing pains and break into the league with wide, enthusiastic eyes in about half a dozen years.

Expected debut: 2025
Pick grade
: A+

Anyone else getting excited?

Well, don’t get too excited yet. The real excitement comes gradually over the next few months when a couple of these guys decide whether or not they’re going to go to college or decide to play an entirely different sport.

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