The MLB draft provided great news for Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, Texas high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. and California first baseman Andrew Vaughn.
Those three players were the top picks in the 2019 draft, and the trio are likely to be on a path to the major leagues over the next three years.
The Baltimore Orioles made Rutschman the first pick in the draft, and he has the tools to become a dominant player for a team that badly needs star power to turn the franchise around.
Witt is the son of former pitcher Bobby Witt, a hard thrower who was the No. 3 pick in the 1985 draft by the Texas Rangers and played 16 years in the major leagues. The younger Witt is a five-tool player who has been selected by the Kansas City Royals.
Vaughn has an excellent swing, and he is a skilled and powerful hitter who can be a run producer in the major leagues.
Here’s a look at the results of Round 1, and the grades for each team.
2019 MLB Draft Round 1 Results and Grades
1. Baltimore Orioles:Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State, Grade: A+
2. Kansas City Royals:Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Colleyville (Texas) Heritage HS, Grade: A+
3. Chicago White Sox: Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California, Grade: A
4. Miami Marlins: J.J. Bleday, OF, Vanderbilt, Grade: A
5. Detroit Tigers: Riley Greene, OF, Hagerty HS, Oviedo, Fla., Grade: B+
6. San Diego Padres: CJ Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity HS, Roswell, Ga., Grade: A-
7. Cincinnati Reds:Nick Lodolo, LHP, Texas Christian, Grade: B+
8. Texas Rangers: Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech, Grade: B
9. Atlanta Braves: Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor, Grade: B+
10. San Francisco Giants: Hunter Bishop, OF, Arizona State, Grade: A-
11. Toronto Blue Jays: Alek Manoah, RHP, West Virginia, Grade: B+
12. New York Mets: Brett Baty, 3B, Lake Travis HS, Austin, Grade: B+
13. Minnesota Twins: Keoni Cavaco, SS, Eastlake HS, Chula Vista, Calif, Grade: B
14. Philadelphia Phillies: Bryson Stott, SS, Nevada-Las Vegas, Grade: A-
15. Los Angeles Angels: Will Wilson, SS, North Carolina State, Grade: B
16. Arizona Diamondbacks: Corbin Carroll, OF, Lakeside HS, Seattle, Grade: B
17. Washington Nationals: Jackson Rutledge, RHP, San Jacinto (Texas) JC, Grade: B+
18. Pittsburgh Pirates: Quinn Priester, RHP, Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill, Grade: B
19. St. Louis Cardinals: Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky, Grade: A-
20. Seattle Mariners: George Kirby, RHP, Elon, Grade: B-
21. Atlanta Braves: Braden Shewmake, SS, Texas A&M, Grade: B+
23. Colorado Rockies: Michael Toglia, 1B, UCLA, Grade: B
24. Cleveland Indians: Daniel Espino, RHP, Georgia Premier Academy, Statesboro, Ga, Grade: B-
25. Los Angeles Dodgers: Kody Hoese, 3B, Tulane, Grade: A-
26. Arizona Diamondbacks: Blake Walston, LHP, New Hanover HS, Wilmington, N.C., Grade: C+
27. Chicago Cubs: Ryan Jensen, RHP, Fresno State, Grade: B-
28. Milwaukee Brewers: Ethan Small, LHP, Mississippi State, Grade: C+
29. Oakland Athletics: Logan Davidson, SS, Clemson, Grade: B
30. New York Yankees: Anthony Volpe, SS, Delbarton HS, Morristown, N.J., Grade: B-
31. Los Angeles Dodgers: Michael Busch, 2B, North Carolina, Grade: B
32. Houston Astros: Korey Lee, C, California, Grade: B-
Baltimore Orioles: Adley Rutschman , C, Oregon State
Baltimore Orioles @Orioles
Baltimore, meet your 2019 #1 overall pick, Adley Rutschman! #MLBDraft | #Birdland https://t.co/GvsCMOMymb
Rutschman was viewed as the No. 1 prospect in the draft throughout the season, and he earned that status as a result of his .411/.575./.751 slash line that included 17 home runs, 58 runs batted in along with 76 walks.
In addition to his explosive offensive numbers, he is also seen as a sensational defensive catcher with a powerful arm.
The 21-year-old was named the college player of the year, the Pac-12 player of the year, and he shared defensive player of the year honors in the conference.
Rutschman is a switch-hitter with the skill set to become a dominant player at his position. He will become the face of the Baltimore franchise.
Kansas City Royals: Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Colleyville (Texas) Heritage HS
With the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 #MLBDraft, the @Royals select SS Bobby Witt Jr. from Colleyville Heritage HS (TX). https://t.co/vh1wuxIJA6
Witt has been in the Royals’ sights for months, and he is a terrific offensive prospect with the defensive skills needed to play an impressive game at shortstop. He can go deep in the hole and has the powerful arm needed to take advantage of that range.
The 18-year-old is also a fabulous hitter who won the High School Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game last year. He also has excellent speed and is a fine baserunner.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore was thrilled to draft a potential star.
“It’s an amazing family. We’ve been following him and knowing him, really, since he was 14 years old,” Moore said, per Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star. “It’s been a joy to scout him. It’s been an absolute honor and privilege to follow him and his career. It’s a great celebration in this organization today because we were able to select him.
Chicago White Sox: Andrew Vaughn, 1B
MLB Stats @MLBStats
Some familiar names have won the Golden Spikes Award. Will Andrew Vaughn live up to the hype? https://t.co/hjqT6TOyn6
“I love to hit, that’s my thing,” he said, per Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I love to come out to the ballyard every day and take on the best pitchers possible. I’m very excited to do that and hopefully get to the next level facing the best.”
While Vaughn is an aggressive hitter, he also takes an intelligent approach as he understands how pitchers will try to work him. White Sox scouting director NickHostetler told Van Schouwen that could get him to the major leagues faster than most draft picks.
White Sox fans already have a potential star in Cuban import Eloy Jimenez, and they will hope Vaughn can join him shortly.