Draft Prospect Watch: New Name at the Top for MLB Pipeline

In a normal draft year, we would start ramping up the draft coverage around May 19th, as multiple sources started piling on new mock drafts and updated rankings. With the draft pushed back until the All-Star break in mid-July, we still have nearly two months until the Pittsburgh Pirates make the first selection in the draft. However, there’s a bit of interesting news in the update from MLB Pipeline today. They have a new #1 prospect and a new possibility for the first overall pick.

Pipeline ranks Marcelo Mayer as the top prospect in the draft now. The high school shortstop from California is a 6’3″, left-handed hitter, who received above average tools in four of five categories. Only his speed is rated as average, while he gets a 60 grade for his hit tool and his arm. His power and defense get 55 ratings. This isn’t a huge bump to the #1 spot. Mayer has been top five all season, many times ranking third overall. The rest of the top five rounds out as Jordan Lawlar, Jack Leiter, Henry Davis and Kumar Rocker. All of those names should be familiar because at least one person has ranked them #1 in this draft. Another prep shortstop in the #6 spot, Brady House, has also been mentioned as a top five prospect in this draft class.

Here’s video for Mayer, uploaded just a week ago (don’t know if it’s that recent though)

Pipeline has an article for their updated top 200 rankings in which they say that Oklahoma HS right-handed pitcher Jackson Jobe has a chance to be the best arm in this draft and he has separated himself from the rest of the HS pack. They rate the 18-year-old, 6’2″ Jobe as having four above average pitches, led by a slider that gets a 65 rating due to it’s “elite spin rate”. The only drawback is that his control ranks as average at this time. His fastball hits 96 MPH and his changeup is rated by some as being as good as his slider. He also has a strong curveball.

Here’s a semi-recent video from Prospect Live and it’s has a lot of looks at his pitches. I’ll note that he was highly rated at this time, but this is from before he separated himself from the rest.