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Draft Prospects To Watch - Rutschman Goes No. 1, Allan Falls And More

This week is a little special since the 2019 MLB Amateur Draft took place on Monday and ran through Wednesday. So instead of focusing on current minor league players that are standing out with their performance, we're going to take a look at some of the high-profile draft prospects that were selected this week and which of them might have the best shot at either reaching the big leagues quickly or providing the complete long-term package down the road.

To set the stage, Day 1 of the draft on Monday featured position players selected with the first six picks. There were only three high school pitchers taken in the first round, which was the fewest since 2008. Nine shortstops went in the first round as well, which was the most in any MLB draft.

Professional baseball seems to get younger almost every season with a massive influx of young players already making their mark in the major leagues in 2019. The big names in the first few rounds often make the leap to the higher minor league levels in short order, but there are always unforeseen sleepers that wind up coming out of nowhere, too. Here are a few names that you might hear at a big league stadium near you before you know it:

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Switch-Hitting Catcher Comes Off The Board First

Adley Rutschman - C, Oregon State (No. 1 overall by Baltimore)

If you're selecting first like the Orioles did, you better make sure you get a stud. Check. He might be the most complete prospect since Bryce Harper. Rutschman helped the Beavers win the College World Series as a sophomore and then came back and dominated as a junior as both a defender and at both sides of the plate with the bat.

When talking about the complete package, Rutschman's name and image certainly come to mind. He's very confident and controlled with the bat and has an advanced approach at the plate that allows him to take walks frequently. The 21-year-old hits the ball hard to all fields with gap-to-gap power that should lead to more over-the-fence power as he develops in his first few seasons of pro ball. The polish that Rutschman comes with will no doubt help him move quickly through the O's system. Heck, they could use his help right now!


Lefty Lodolo The First Pitcher Drafted

Nick Lodolo - P, Texas Christian University (No. 8 overall by Cincinnati)

He was the consensus best arm in this draft, so it's no surprise he was the first pitcher taken, in the top 10 no less. He was previously chosen with the 41st overall pick in 2016 by the Pirates but went to college instead. It looks like his gamble paid off handsomely. The 6-foot-6, 185-pound left-hander became the highest pick in Horned Frogs history on Monday night.

Lodolo has three plus pitches (fastball, slider and changeup) and is able to create a steep downhill plane that makes his low- to mid-90s fastball very tough to hit. The 21-year-old needs to fill out his long, lean frame with a bit more muscle to reach his true potential, but he's already shown improved control and command since he was drafted in '16. It's not out of the question that he could debut in the majors as early as 2020.


Mets Make Steal Of The Draft?

Matthew Allan - P, Seminole (Fla.) High School (third round)

New York also scored in the first round with their pick of Texas high school third baseman Bret Baty, but Allan fell because of a reported $4 million price tag. The 18-year-old right-hander is big and physical and already measures in at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds as a senior in high school. His strength and frame give him a four-seam fastball that touches 97 mph on the radar gun.

Allan has a knack for pitching and complements his heater with a power curve that he throws for strikes and consistently misses bats with. He's developing a changeup that is above-average. It's rare for a high school arm to be this dominant and have repeatable mechanics and solid control and command of three pitches, but Allan does. As long as the Mets can sign him, Allan has the potential to be a frontline starting pitcher in the majors in a few seasons.


Big Things Come In Small Packages

Corbin Carroll - OF, Lakeside (Wash.) High School (No. 16 overall by Arizona)

The 18-year-old won't wow you with his size (5-foot-11, 161 pounds), but Carroll is an exceptional athlete and has done nothing but hit as one of the top prep bats in the country. He's drawn comparisons to Jacoby Ellsbury and Andrew Benintendi and is committed to UCLA.

Carroll's approach at the plate from the left side is mature and advanced beyond his years, which gives him a good shot to succeed at the next level. The speedy outfielder uses the whole field and has sneaky pop that should only improve as he gets stronger in the minors. Carroll's speed and outstanding defensive ability should help in center field long term. In short: Carroll can do it all on a baseball field.

He probably won't move as quickly through the D-Backs minor league system as quickly as some other high-level prospects in this draft because of his age, but Carroll shouldn't be overlooked simply because of his stature.

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