Updated: Jun 1, 2018
It's Memorial Day, and that means that we are one week away from the first round, compensitory round, and competitive balance round-A of the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft. You'll be able to watch the first 43 selections live on The MLB Network.
The St. Louis Cardinals will be selecting 19th overall and 43rd overall. There are seemingly thousands and thousands of names that are draft eligible. It's exhausting. What I've decided to do is comb through the countless mock drafts, as well as some of the names that I've heard through the very limited connections I've made. We will go over these names one by one over the next week. These evaluations will be the "brass-tacks" type. Very concise. Very much to the "bottom line."
I'm only going to touch on the potential targets for the 19th overall pick with this primer. Later on, I'll give you some of the players that I'd like to see the Cardinals target at 43rd overall and beyond in the draft.
This comes with a caution: THE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL DRAFT IS THE CLOSEST THING THAT YOU'LL FIND IN SPORTS TO A FERAL ANIMAL. I believe that it's the most unpredictable draft in all of professional sports. Hell, it's probably the most unpredictable and malleable "thing" in all of sports. Because of the draft pool, teams often jockey their allotted cash so that they can afford to give larger bonuses to players later in the draft. Sometimes that means not drafting the best available player with their pick. Sometimes that means having to draft over slot. What I'm saying is, the MLB draft is a game of roulette, and one in which the wheel never stops spinning and the ball never stops rolling until all 40 rounds are complete.
Let's get to it! Here's our first potential draftee write up:
Green Hope High School, North Carolina.
Age on draft day: 18
Jordyn Adams is as athletic as you'll find in this MLB draft. The 6'2", 175 Adams possesses elite speed and a very quick bat. While I believe that his hitting mechanics are a little clunky and mechanical, you can see a solid foundation for those mechanics to smooth out with a little refining and coaching.
There is a lot to like about Adams, but any conversation about him starts with his speed. He's a true demon on the base paths. I'm not just talking about stealing a base. He's a truly gifted base runner with a tremendous understanding and control of his elite speed. He'll go first to third with ease where others would struggle to either/both get a proper read or not make it to third in time.
As it's states above, Adams has played both at short stop and in the outfield this season, but that elite speed along with his average to above arm makes him a prototypical center fielder in my book. He's also pitched, but his future is in an everyday lineup, in my opinion. It doesn't hurt to have pitching as a fall back, though.
I mentioned that I think his hitting mechanics are a bit clunky. He has a lot of motion in his hands and an inconsistent leg kick that gets pretty large at times.
However, what has really impresses me is how hard he hits the ball when he makes contact. The ball jumps off of this young man's bat even when he doesn't barrel it. There is true home run potential in that bat. This isn't a case of Nick Plummer who's athleticism you could dream on while worrying about power potential. This is very raw and very real power that Adams possesses. couple that with his speed and he's a true 20/20 player in the future with a peak 30/30 if his 5% chance of making his true ceiling happens.
There is a catch with Jordyn Adams. He is a true "wild card" in this draft. He's a two sport athlete that is committed to play both football and baseball at the University of North Carolina. A four-start wide receiver according to Rivals, Adams has an interesting incentive to go to UNC to play football: His father, Deke, is a defensive line coach for the Tar Heels. If there's one thing that being a fan of the Mizzou basketball team has taught me in recent years it's that there are few things as strong as a family bond.
While Adams hasn't given a strong answer one way or the other, he is constantly saying that his decision will come down to "the best circumstance for him." Now, that's an ambiguous comment, for sure, so let me tell you how I read it: He'll forgo college if he's selected in the first round and by an organization that he likes. I would think that the Cardinals are one of the organizations that would appeal to Mr. Adams. Unfortunately, you just never know.
Right now, Jordyn Adams is all potential. Best described as "raw", his draft and decision will be one of the story lines that I'll be keeping a close eye on during the early stages of this draft.
- Kyle Reis