Unless you’re a hardcore baseball junkie, you probably don’t follow the MLB draft very closely. While just as important as the NFL and NBA drafts, it doesn’t seem that way because it can take some time before they make it to the MLB. With that being said, some of these players are so talented, we could see them by the end of this season or by the beginning of the 2019 season. For example, Andrew Benintendi, who was drafted in 2015 by the Red Sox, played in only 152 games in the minor leagues. He was called up to the MLB in 2016 and hasn’t looked back since. 2017 was a star-studded draft, with five players who were in the conversation at number one overall. Let’s take a look at where all five of them are now on their track to the MLB.
The draft’s golden boy, Greene graced the cover of Sports Illustrated at just 17 years old. He hasn’t fared too well in the minor leagues so far, as the two-way superstar decided to focus all his energy on pitching. The 18-year-old is definitely still adjusting to the switch, as he is currently 1-3 with a 6.32 ERA for the Cincinnati Reds Single-A affiliate, the Dayton Dragons. Greene’s first win came on June 4th, and looked very good, striking out eight batters in five innings. Maybe this is a sign of things to come for the prospect currently ranked 20thin all of baseball.
In terms of the MLB Pipeline’s ratings, Gore is the highest rated prospect. He currently sits 18th, after he was picked third overall by the San Diego Padres in 2017. Another high schooler, out of Whiteville High in North Carolina, Gore has had his fair share of struggles this season. The left-hander has hit the disabled list more than once already, battling a nasty blister on his left middle finger. After a strong showing in rookie ball in 2017, Gore has thrown only eight innings this season and has a 10.13 ERA.
It was a surprise to some when he was taken as the first overall pick by the Minnesota Twins, but Lewis has been well worth it so far. He won Gatorade’s High School Player of the Year in California over Hunter Greene and has not disappointed for the Twins. He’s currently batting .297 with three home runs and 27 RBI’s. One scout has even gone so far to call Lewis a “Derek Jeter reincarnate.” Lewis is currently ranked as the 19th overall prospect in baseball, and if he keeps playing like this, it won’t be long before he hits the MLB.
Regarded as the best two-way prospect in the draft, McKay has shown up in a big way on both sides of the diamond. As a pitcher, he’s 4-1 with a 1.51 ERA over 41.2 innings this season. He has struck out 59 batters and has a .121 batting average against. At the plate, his batting average doesn’t tell the whole story. While he’s only hitting .238, he has a .446 on-base percentage and has also driven in 27 runs. The Rays will definitely be able to use him as a pitcher and first baseman, and if all goes well we could see McKay on the big club by 2019.
Wright, who was in the conversation to go first overall, slid all the way down to fifth before the Atlanta Braves grabbed him. The best college pitcher in the draft, the Vanderbilt product has had some ups and downs over his first full year playing professional baseball. He’s currently 3-6 with a 4.37 ERA over 12 starts.
Out of the top five, Wright has progressed the fastest as he is currently pitching for Atlanta’s Double-A affiliate, the Mississippi Braves. Many are projecting him to be ready for the 2019 season, so keep an eye out for Wright. The Braves are a team full of young talent, and an arm like Wright’s would definitely be a huge help for them.