Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn lead top 10 picks in MLB draft
SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) — A capsule look at the first 10 picks in the Major League Baseball draft Monday night:
No. 1 – BALTIMORE ORIOLES: ADLEY RUTSCHMAN, C, OREGON STATE
Golden Spikes Award finalist was Pac-12 player of year and conference’s co-defensive player of year. Marked seventh time player drafted as catcher taken with top pick — first since Joe Mauer in 2001. Switch-hitting slugger batted .411 with career-best 17 homers and 58 RBIs for Beavers, and threw out 13 of 27 runners attempting to steal. Ranked among national leaders in several offensive categories, including on-base percentage (.575), slugging percentage (.751) and walks (school-record 76). Was 40th-round pick by Seattle in 2016
No. 2 – KANSAS CITY ROYALS: BOBBY WITT JR, SS, COLLEYVILLE H.S. (TEXAS)
Son of former big league pitcher Bobby Witt , who was selected No. 3 overall by Texas Rangers in 1985 draft. Witts became highest-drafted father-son duo, topping Tom Grieve (No. 6, 1966) and Ben Grieve (No. 2, 1994). They’re also seventh father-son combo of first-rounders, and first since Delino DeShields (1987) and Delino DeShields Jr. (2010). Younger Witt considered top high school prospect this year. Five-tool shortstop has impressive power with smooth right-handed swing.
No. 3 – CHICAGO WHITE SOX: ANDREW VAUGHN, 1B, CALIFORNIA
Outstanding overall hitter looking to become first repeat winner of Golden Spikes Award after being selected country’s top college player as sophomore last year. Widely considered best all-around hitter in draft , Vaughn hit .381 with 15 homers, 50 RBIs and .544 on-base percentage that ranks among national leaders. Struck out just 74 times in three seasons.
No. 4 – MIAMI MARLINS: JJ BLEDAY, OF, VANDERBILT
Finalist for Golden Spikes Award. With quick lefty swing, Southeastern Conference player of year leads nation in homers with school-record 26. SEC Tournament MVP hitting .351 and brings 42-game on-base streak into next weekend’s super regionals in NCAA Tournament. Cemented status as potential top-five pick when selected last summer as Cape Cod League’s best prospect.
No. 5 – DETROIT TIGERS: RILEY GREENE, OF, HAGERTY H.S. (FLORIDA)
Gatorade’s Florida state player of year hit .422 with eight homers, 27 RBIs and 38 runs as arguably country’s top prep outfielder. Has smooth left-handed swing that produces consistent line drives. Projects as corner outfielder in pros with good pop. Was one of stars of Team USA’s 18-and-under national team, leading squad with 20 RBIs.
No. 6 – SAN DIEGO PADRES: CJ ABRAMS, SS, BLESSED TRINITY H.S. (GEORGIA)
Speedy shortstop is lefty hitter who batted .418 with eight home runs and 100 RBIs in high school career. Impressed teams last summer by hitting .297 with eight RBIs for Team USA’s 18-and-under national team while playing center field. Has speed and arm to remain at shortstop, but could shift to center or second base at next level.
No. 7 – CINCINNATI REDS: NICK LODOLO, LHP, TCU
Generally regarded as top pitching prospect in this year’s class, lefty went 6-6 with 2.36 ERA and struck out 131 while walking just 25 in 103 innings for Horned Frogs. Was 41st overall pick by Pirates in 2016 — highest selection to go unsigned that year. Became school’s highest-drafted player, topping Lance Broadway (No. 15 by White Sox in 2005). Uses three-quarters arm angle to throw mid-90s (mph) fastball with nice sink. Slider also plus-pitch that sits in low-80s and complements solid changeup.
No. 8 – TEXAS RANGERS: JOSH JUNG, 3B, TEXAS TECH
Co-Big 12 player of year was among conference leaders in several offensive categories. Batted .340 with 11 homers and 53 RBIs while helping lead Red Raiders to NCAA Tournament. Had 11 homers and projects to produce good pop at next level with controlled, consistent right-handed swing and terrific plate discipline. Slid over from third base to shortstop early this season.
No. 9 – ATLANTA BRAVES: SHEA LANGELIERS, C, BAYLOR
Outstanding defensive catcher threw out 14 of 25 would-be basestealers. Would have been shoo-in for first catcher selected if not for Rutschman. Bounced back from broken hamate bone in left hand that sidelined him for 10 games. Has raw power in smooth right-handed swing. Hit .308 with 10 homers and 42 RBIs. Set NCAA Tournament record with 11 RBIs in three-homer game vs. Omaha last Saturday night.
No. 10 – SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: HUNTER BISHOP, OF, ARIZONA STATE
Slugging outfielder has powerful left-handed swing that helped him rank among national leaders in home runs (22), RBIs (63), total bases (165) and runs (65). Has light-tower power and finished five homers shy of Sun Devils’ single-season record of 27 by Mitch Jones in 2000. Had 44-game on-base streak. Younger brother of Mariners outfielder Braden Bishop (third round, 2015).