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Who would you take with the #2 pick?

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YOU make the call.

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The Royals have the #2 pick on Monday, their highest pick since they selected Mike Moustakas second overall in 2007. The farm system has been lowly ranked in the past few years, but it is on the rise and their selections this week could be a big boost.

Most evaluators expect the Orioles to take Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman with the first pick, with the Royals taking Texas prep infielder Bobby Witt, Jr. Other names near the top of the draft include Cal first baseman Andrew Vaughn, Vanderbilt outfielder J.J. Bleday, Arizona State outfielder Hunter Bishop, Georgia prep infielder C.J. Abrams, Florida prep outfielder Riley Greene, and TCU pitcher Nick Lodolo.

We know who the Royals are reportedly likely to take, but who would you take?

Max Rieper

Draft board:

  1. Adley Rutschman
  2. Bobby Witt, Jr.

Adley Rutschman is the best player in this draft. He has been considered the best talent in this draft for over a year. I don’t know that he’s a “generational talent”, but he looks like one of the best first overall picks in many years. He’s a switch-hitting catcher with great power and a good eye who could win a Gold Glove. His floor is much higher than anyone else in the draft and he has a solid chance to be an All-Star. He is also likely to be a Baltimore Oriole.

But Bobby Witt, Jr. is about the best consolation prize the Royals could imagine. I am not very concerned about his age relative to high school players, and I think his tools will translate to a very high ceiling, higher than even former top five picks like Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer, and Mike Moustakas. He is the high-impact player the Royals desperately need in this system. I like Andrew Vaughn quite a bit as well, and even C.J. Abrams, but Witt’s more versatile toolset give him the edge.

Shaun Newkirk

Draft board:

  1. Adley Rutschman
  2. Andrew Vaughn

It’s not secret my preference for Vaughn. I don’t think you can hold Witt over the Royals, like Vaughn is a supremely better prospect than Witt Jr, that’s just my preference. Rutschman is clearly better than the three (that doesn’t mean he will end up better, just that at this current moment he is a better prospect).

Sterlingice

Draft board:

  1. Adley Rutschman
  2. Bobby Witt, Jr.

I was hesitant to even add my two cents to something like this as I know very little about the MLB draft except what I read from others. I’m more likely to defer to someone like Shaun, who knows better. But here’s what I’ve gleaned from other sources as a content aggregator. If Rutschman is unexpectedly available at 1.2, you take him even if it disrupts the rest of your draft board. When there’s a guy who has been at the top of the board for more than a year, as Max writes, and lives up to it - he’s probably the real deal. You can dream on a Buster Posey comp but I’ve seen a lot of Matt Wieters comps and that seems like a good floor-to-median outcome. Salvy has two more years on his contract and now you have his heir apparent.

Of course, he’s likely to be gone by then and, really, the only other two names I’ve heard around #2 are Witt and Vaughn. I remember hearing Witt’s name as a “player to watch” about a year and a half ago and it appears he’s done little to tarnish that pedigree so that’s a huge plus. As a prep hitter, he’s going to be boom or bust with high ceiling and low floor. Near as I can tell, there’s no “Alex Gordon”, an obvious college bat you take at #2 over the prep bat. So, Witt seems like the best pick unless the Royals are trying to do a “wave” and develop all of their hitters and pitchers at once, as some have suggested. Most of what I know about Vaughn is from this article and, while I know it’s dangerous to draft in buckets/tiers rather than looking at the individual player, the number of good short, right-handed 1B in recent MLB history is a really short list. So I’d be a bit scared away from him due to that.

Seth Jarman

Draft board:

  1. Adley Rutschman
  2. Bobby Witt, Jr.

Vaughn is sometimes called the best hitter in this year’s draft and I’ve heard Witt referred to as having the most upside, but by all accounts, there isn’t a more complete, proven player than Rutschman. It’s unlikely to happen, but if he does fall to the Royals at #2, he’s the obvious pick. If they were to snag him, there’s a decent chance he would be able to come up through the system with last year’s class of college pitchers, which would be a pretty dreamy scenario. His defense and reputation for handling a pitching staff are valuable enough on their own that, even if he struggles to excel at the plate, he’s still likely to make significant contributions. Every prospect is a gamble, but he seems like a pretty good bet.

But the Royals are much more likely to take Bobby Witt, Jr. with the second pick and that’s exactly what I would do if Rutschman goes to the Orioles as expected. It’s not hard to imagine a player with Witt’s tools and pedigree ascending through the ranks quickly and becoming a perennial all star. Then again, there’s reportedly some swing-and-miss in his swing, which sounds like the sort of things that could be exposed pretty quickly once he starts seeing better pitching. That scenario is scary in general, but it’s downright terrifying given the Royals track record with developing prospects. Still, his tools and ceiling make him a no-brainer at #2; I’d be happy if the Royals take him there.

Alex Duvall

Draft board:

  1. Adley Rutschman
  2. Bobby Witt, Jr.

I don’t actually think that this draft is as clear-cut as a lot of people think. I think the first couple of picks are very likely to happen, but I think there’s a really good chance that we’ll look back at this draft in five years and laugh at when we thought we had it all figured out.

Adley Rutschman has the best combination of floor and ceiling in this draft. Bobby Witt Jr. probably has the highest ceiling of any player in the draft. Andrew Vaughn and Nick Lodolo might have the highest floors of any players in the draft. Corbin Carroll and CJ Abrams present prep gambles with potentially enormous upside. While I presently agree with the consensus of Adley Rutschman and Bobby Witt Jr. to go number one and number two tonight, I don’t blame teams for wanting to make sure the money is right either. I’m not sure any of these guys are worth $2M more than the next.