The MLB Draft is officially underway, and there was some top talent taken at the top.

The Philadelphia Phillies may have taken the next transcending outfielder in baseball, while the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox both drafted some steals.

Here are some grades and the best and worst from Thursday. 


Best Draft Picks

Mickey Moniak, OF, Philadelphia Phillies

Labeling any high school prospect the next best anything is a stretch. Mike Trout and Bryce Harper have set the bar for top overall picks, especially in the outfield.

Enter Mickey Moniak, per the Phillies:

The La Costa Canyon outfielder is the kind of player the Phillies need. He’s someone who can do it all. He has a great arm, can hit for contact with potential for power while possessing stellar speed to run the bases.

Outfielders going No. 1 are a rarity, especially in this decade, according to ESPN Stats & Info:

Right now, he won’t have the power to wow the Phillies. That will come with time. One evaluator told Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly other than that component, there’s no downside to taking Moniak No. 1 overall.

“The bat is good,” the evaluator told Salisbury. “He’s going to hit and hit for average. He’s a good centerfielder. He can run. The question is how many home runs will he hit? If he ends up getting stronger, he could be a corner bat that’s unbelievable. There’s no negative here. It’s a good pick.”

Moniak just turned 18 years old. There’s plenty of room to grow and become that complete player who can be a transcending figure for the Phillies.


Riley Pint, RHP, Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies could use some pitching. Not since the days of Ubaldo Jimenez have the Rockies had a pitcher with so much potential. 

Riley Pint might be just a flamethrower now, but in a few years, MLB could be seeing its next Stephen Strasburg. Just don’t tell Pint that.

“I feel like I’m my own pitcher,” Pint told MLB Network (per Nick Groke of the Denver Post). “I just want to develop more over the next few years.”

Pint is capable of hitting 102 miles per hour on the gun. While he needs time to develop his command on off-speed pitches, that heat can’t be ignored. Even if Pint develops into a closer role in his early days, that’s fine. He’ll have the David Price treatment.

The highest-drafted player out of the state of Kansas, and LSU commit, is the third high school pitcher the Rockies have ever taken in the top 10, per Groke.

He’s got great size at 6’4″ and is only 18 years old. The Rockies need a future star in their rotation, and Pint could be that guy after a healthy stint in the minors.


Worst Draft Picks

Ian Anderson, RHP, Atlanta Braves

This isn’t necessarily a terrible pick, but it’s a stretch. 

When Ian Anderson is healthy, he has one of the liveliest arms of any prospect in this class. But he suffered an oblique injury this year and saw his stock drop. But the Atlanta Braves don’t see it that way.

The Braves made Anderson the first pitcher taken off the board with the No. 3 pick. His fastball isn’t at the clip of a Riley Pint or A.J. Puk. And while his off-speed pitches are his most dangerous weapons, his health and arm strength are a concern.

Puk’s off-speed pitches can range from 88-90 miles per hour. He can give more velocity and better control than Anderson can. 

At least with Anderson, though, the Braves are saving a considerable amount of money, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

The Braves are in desperate need of immediate impact on the mound. There’s a lot of pressure now with Anderson being the top pitcher taken. He’ll need to perform well in the next few years to validate him being selected this high.


TJ Zeuch, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays are so talented across the board, that this draft was more of a ho-hum set of affairs.

TJ Zeuch is a tall right-handed pitcher out of Pittsburgh with the ability to be a Chris Young-type of pitcher.

Maybe that’s what the Blue Jays need, especially with how Young and the Kansas City Royals bullpen performed in last year’s American League Championship Series.

But Zeuch seems like a filler pick for Toronto. Zeuch has a strong command of his release, but scouts are concerned with off-speed pitching, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet (via Baseball America):

Zeuch could be an effective ground-ball pitcher, but it feels like Toronto could’ve addressed other needs like outfielder (especially if Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion leave). Toronto needed pitching, but Zeuch may not be the guy to have in this spot.

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