Press release Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball completed its 2019 Draft, with a total of 1,217 players being chosen in the 40 rounds, two Compensation rounds and two Competitive Balance rounds. The Draft resumed in the 11th round via conference call this afternoon after Tuesday’s completion of rounds three through 10.
Pitchers were the most frequently chosen players, with 653 being selected (493 RHP, 160 LHP), matching the exact number of pitchers drafted in 2018. The rest of the 2019 pool was comprised of 262 infielders (including 125 shortstops, 49 first basemen, 48 third basemen, 37 second basemen and three utility infielders), 197 outfielders and 105 catchers.
Vanderbilt University and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) each had 13 players selected, marking the most in the Draft. Mississippi State University followed with 11 players drafted, while Indiana University and the University of California at Santa Barbara each delivered 10 players. Three schools – Stanford University, Texas Christian University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – each had nine players drafted. Seven schools produced eight different players, including Fresno State University, North Carolina State University, Oklahoma State University, the University of Georgia, the University of Louisville, the University of Mississippi and West Virginia University.
Players were selected from 44 states, with Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming being the states to not produce a draft selection. The states that had the most players selected were California (180), Florida (129), Texas (128), Georgia (67), North Carolina (53), Illinois (44), Arizona (35), New Jersey (35), New York (32) and Pennsylvania (31). Forty-seven draft-eligible international players were selected in the 40 rounds, including 24 players from Puerto Rico; 22 players from Canada; and one player from the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Baltimore Orioles selected Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman with the first overall pick in the Draft. Rutschman was the first catcher taken with the first overall selection since Minnesota selected Joe Mauer in 2001, and he joined right-handed pitcher Ben McDonald (1989) as the only number one overall picks in Orioles history.
Four players who were in attendance at Studio 42 were selected on the opening night, including three in the first round and one with the first pick of the first compensation round. The players in attendance included Lake Travis H.S. (TX) third baseman Brett Baty, who was selected 12th overall by the New York Mets; San Jacinto Junior College right-handed pitcher Jackson Rutledge, who was drafted 17th overall by the Washington Nationals; Georgia Premier Academy right-handed pitcher Daniel Espino, who was taken 24th overall by the Cleveland Indians; and IMG Academy (FL) right-handed pitcher Brennan Malone, who was taken 33rd overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Seven of the first 33 selections (21.2%) and 19 of the opening night’s 78 picks (24.4%) came from diverse backgrounds, including African-Americans, Latinos and Pacific Islanders. Those selected in the first 33 included Riley Greene (5th overall, DET); C.J. Abrams (6th overall, SD); Alek Manoah (11th overall, TOR); Keoni Cavaco (13th overall, MIN); Greg Jones (22nd overall, TB); Espino (24th overall, CLE); and Malone (33rd overall, ARI). With the selections of Greene and Abrams, it marked the second time in three years that two African-American players were selected within the top six picks (also 2017 with top overall pick Royce Lewis and second overall pick Hunter Greene). Overall, 12 of the first night’s 78 selections were African-American (15.4%).
Among the alumni of MLB’s Youth Academy network drafted were Jordan Brown (6th round, CLE), Kelvin Bender (17th round, MIL) and Mahki Backstrom (18th round, ATL) from the MLB Youth Academy in Compton; Antoine Harris (34th round, MIN) from the New Orleans Youth Academy; and David Leal (38th round, OAK) from the Houston Astros MLB Youth Academy.
Among the eight alumni of MLB’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Program selected in the Draft were Yordys Valdes (Miami Marlins RBI, 2nd round, CLE); Isaiah Campbell (KCK RBI, CB-B, SEA); Mike Harris (Atlanta Metro RBI, 3rd round, ATL); Avery Weems (Arizona RBI, 6th round, CWS); Kona Quiggle (Arizona RBI, 16th round, DET); Myles Austin (Atlanta Metro RBI, 20th round, ATL), Jason Hodges (Chicago White Sox RBI, 34th round, CIN), and Kendal Ewell (Chicago White Sox RBI, 40th round, CWS). Campbell (2014), Quiggle (2015), Harris (2017 & 2018), Hodges (2017), and Ewell (2017 & 2018) all played in an RBI World Series championship tournament.
In addition, the following 32 drafted players participated in either an Elite Development Invitational (EDI – now called “Hank Aaron Invitational”), a Breakthrough Series (BTS) or the “DREAM SERIES,” all joint initiatives of MLB and USA Baseball: Nasim Nuñez (2017-2018 BTS & EDI; 2nd round, MIA); Yordys Valdes (2018 BTS; 2nd round, CLE); Kyren Paris (2015-2018 EDI; 2nd round, LAA); Isaiah Campbell (2014 BTS; CB-B, SEA); Mike Harris (2018 BTS, EDI & Dream Series; 2019 Dream Series; 3rd round, ATL); Marcus Smith (2018 BTS; 3rd round, OAK); Glenallen Hill Jr. (2018 BTS; 4th round, ARI); Jalen Greer (2018 BTS & EDI; 5th round, OAK); Luis Guerrero (2016 EDI; 8th round, HOU); Todd Lott (2014-2015 BTS; 9th round, STL); Antoine Mistico (2018 EDI; 12th round, SEA); Anthony Tomczak (2016 EDI & BTS; 2017 Dream Series; 15thround, SEA); Aaron Roberts (2018 BTS; 2018-2019 Dream Series; 15th round, BOS); Dexter Jordan (2017 BTS & 2018 EDI); 16th round, HOU); DJ Gladney (2018 BTS; 16th round, CWS); Kelvin Bender (2017-2018 BTS; 2018 EDI; 2017 & 2019 Dream Series; 17th round, MIL); Christian Johnson (2018 BTS; 19th round, TB); Myles Austin (2016-2018 BTS; 2016-2018 EDI; 2017-2018 Dream Series; 20th round, MIL); Trey LaFleur (2018 BTS; 2018 EDI; 2018-2019 Dream Series; 21st round, LAD); Cordell Dunn Jr. (2016 EDI; 2017 & 2019 Dream Series; 2018 BTS; 30th round, DET); Jerrion Ealy (2016 EDI; 2017 BTS; 31st round; ARI); Jefferson Figueroa (2017-2019 Dream Series; 2018 BTS; 2018 EDI; 32nd round, MIL); Jason Hodges (2018 BTS; 34th round, CIN), Antoine Harris (2018 EDI, BTS & Dream Series; 34th round, MIN); Isaiah Bennett (2016 EDI; 2017 BTS; 2017-2019 Dream Series; 36th round, SD); Caleb Hill (2016 EDI; 2018 BTS & Dream Series; 36th round, BOS); Maxwell Dias (2018 EDI & BTS; 37th round, HOU); Tyresse Turner (2017 BTS; 38th round, MIA); Darius Perry (2018 BTS & EDI; 2019 Dream Series; 38th round, COL); A.J. Bumpass (2014 BTS; 29th round, CIN); Sammy Faltine (2017-2018 BTS; 2018 EDI; 2018 Dream Series; 39th round, BOS); and Kendal Ewell (2018 BTS & EDI; 40th round, COL). Nearly 60 players from MLB/USA Baseball development events have been selected in 2018 and 2019.
The new inter-state rivalry tournament States Play, had 22 alumni chosen in 2019, including Bobby Witt Jr. (Texas), Baty (Texas), Wolf (Texas), Paris (California), Lewis (Texas), Joseph Naranjo (California), Cody Freeman (California), Colin Barber (California), Evan Fitterer (California), Garrett Frechette (California), Joey Estes (California), Justin Campbell (California), Nate Rombach (Texas), Kadon Morton (Texas), Jared Southard (Texas), Seth Tomczak (California), Cutter Clawson (California), Mason Greer (Texas), Dias (Texas), Faltine (Texas), Logan Britt (Texas) and Tyson Heaton (California).
Three hundred and seventy (370) players who voluntarily participated in 2018-2019 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) program (a joint initiative by MLB & USA Baseball) were selected during the 2019 Draft (full list accompanies this press release). The 370 players represent an approximate 155% increase over PDP alumni selected in the 2018 Draft. The structure of the voluntary program provides a streamlined, official identification and assessment pathway service for elite high school age athletes to maximize their exposure to MLB Clubs and their scouts by conducting regionalized, professional workouts where they can be evaluated. At each PDP assessment, players undergo a unique athletic evaluation consisting of sport performance vision screening, swing analysis and precise physical testing. Following each assessment, players are given direction on next steps toward improving various areas. Players were evaluated at various events operated (jointly or independently) or supported by USA Baseball and MLB, including Breakthrough Series, Dream Series, Elite Development Invitational, Tournament of the Stars, Cape Cod Baseball League and more.
Five of the eight participants in the 2018 High School Home Run Derby during MLB All-Star Week in Washington D.C. were selected, including Witt Jr. (the 2018 H.S. Home Run Derby Champion; 1st round, KC); Green (1st round, DET); Rece Hinds (2nd round, CIN); Tyler Callihan (3rd round, CIN); and Hunter Barco (24th round, NYY).
The Kansas City Royals selected Witt Jr., a shortstop out of Colleyville Heritage H.S. (TX), with the second overall pick in the Draft. Witt Jr. is the son of former Major League pitcher Bobby Witt, who was the third overall pick in the 1985 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers. With the selection of Witt Jr., the pair became the highest drafted father-son duo in Major League history, eclipsing Tom (6th overall, 1966) and Ben Grieve (2nd overall, 1994).
Other notable selections during the 2019 MLB Draft included:
- Hunter Bishop (10th overall, SF), brother of Seattle Mariners outfielder Braden Bishop;
- Logan Davidson (29th overall, OAK), son of former Major League outfielder Mark Davidson;
- Sammy Siani (Competitive Balance A, PIT), brother of Cincinnati Reds prospect Mike Siani;
- Grae Kessinger (2nd round, HOU), grandson of six-time All-Star shortstop Don Kessinger;
- Matthew Lugo (2nd round, BOS), nephew of nine-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltrán;
- Dominic Fletcher (Competitive Balance B, ARI), brother of Los Angeles Angels infielder David Fletcher;
- Grant McCray (3rd round, SF), son of former Major League outfielder Rodney McCray;
- Ryan Kreidler (4th round, DET), son of sportswriter Mark Kreidler;
- Glenallen Hill Jr. (4th round, ARI), son of former Major League outfielder Glenallen Hill;
- Christian Cairo (4th round, CLE), son of former Major League infielder Miguel Cairo;
- Jaxx Groshans (5th round, BOS), brother of Toronto Blue Jays prospect Jordan Groshans;
- Dante Biasi (6th round, KC), brother of Milwaukee Brewers prospect Sal Biasi;
- Blake Sabol (7th round, PIT), second cousin of former Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu;
- Peyton Battenfield (9th round, HOU), brother of Chicago White Sox prospect Blake Battenfield;
- CJ Stubbs (10th round, HOU), brother of Houston Astros prospect Garrett Stubbs;
- Nick Sogard (12th round, TB), cousin of Blue Jays infielder Eric Sogard;
- Ben Anderson (13th round, TEX), twin brother of Atlanta Braves prospect Ian Anderson;
- Mason Janvrin (14th round, BAL), son of former Olympic decathlete Kip Janvrin;
- Carter Aldrete (15th round, SF), nephew of former Major League outfielder Mike Aldrete;
- Eli Wilson (16th round, PIT), son of former All-Star catcher Dan Wilson;
- Jordan Jones (16th round, CLE), brother of Astros prospect Taylor Jones;
- Oraj Anu (16th round, BOS), son of former Olympian track athlete Oralee Fowler;
- Jensen Elliott (19th round, BAL), brother of White Sox prospect Jake Elliott;
- Jack Leiter (20th round, NYY), son of two-time All-Star pitcher Al Leiter;
- Branden Fryman (21st round, NYM), son of five-time All-Star third baseman Travis Fryman;
- Grayson Byrd (24th round, CHI), son of former All-Star pitcher Paul Byrd;
- Alex McFarlane (25th round, STL), son of Olympic taekwondo athlete Tami Noel;
- Josh Bissonette (31st round, PIT), son of musician Matt Bissonette, who has played bass with Elton John, Ringo Starr, ELO and David Lee Roth;
- Jonathan Allen (32nd round, CWS), grandson of former Major League outfielder Don Landrum;
- Braden Halladay (32nd round, TOR), son of 2019 Hall of Fame inductee Roy Halladay;
- Jonah Dipoto (35th round, KC), son of Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto;
- Scotty Bradley (36th round, TOR), son of former Major League catcher Scott Bradley; nephew of former U.S. Men’s National Soccer team manager Bob Bradley; and cousin of Michael Bradley, the captain of Toronto FC of MLS and member of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team;
- Mason Greer (37th round, ARI), son of former Major League outfielder Rusty Greer, and high school teammate of number two overall selection Bobby Witt Jr.;
- Trei Cruz (37th round, WSH), son of former Major League outfielder José Cruz Jr., and grandson of two-time All-Star outfielder José Cruz;
- Bryce Jarvis (37th round, NYY), son of former Major League pitcher Kevin Jarvis;
- Max Dias (37th round, HOU), son of Astros Vice President of Communications Gene Dias;
- JC Correa (38th round, HOU), brother of Astros All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa; and
- Gianluca Dalatri (40th round, DET), son of Brooklyn Nets strength and conditioning coach Rich Dalatri;