2019 MLB Draft Notes: Manoah vs. Rutschman, Vaughn’s power, and Lodolo impresses

Keeping track of the best and worst from March 1st games

Before this weekend’s action LSU was ranked number one in National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll in massive thanks to their offense. Averaging 11.5 runs per game, I had to see how the Tigers would hold up with a trip to Austin facing the #20 Texas Longhorns.

What I saw was an offense that finally faced good pitching, a lack of good pitching from LSU, and poor infield defense resulting in an 8-1 loss for the Tigers, their first defeat of 2019.

Many teams had their unbeaten streaks snapped Friday night as only eight teams in Divison I remain undefeated.

While keeping the Tigers vs. Longhorns in my peripheral vision, most of my attention Friday night was fixated on West Virginia against #3 Oregon State. An early draft storyline was the emergence of the right-handed starting pitcher, Alek Manoah. With an ideal body frame of a power pitcher standing at 6’6” and weighing 260 pounds, Manoah dominated in his first two starts of 2019. In 12.1 innings, Manoah struck out 21 hitters while just walking two, and limiting opposing offenses to seven hits with only three runs (one run earned).

Manoah’s arsenal is a four-pitch mix of a four-seamer that runs 94-95 mph, a 90-92 mph sinker, a sharp slider, and a show-me changeup. In his first inning against the Beavers, Manoah was working his fastballs and sliders well striking out two which included consensus #1 pick, Adley Rutschman.

The first frame was a best of for Manoah, the next inning was a worst of Manoah. Losing a fastball command led to the dreaded leadoff walk and shortly after the game got out of control for Manoah.


  • Walk
  • Single
  • A 5-6 forceout at third base on a bunt attempt
  • Throwing error by Manoah to turn a double play on a comebacker
  • Hit by Pitch
  • Hit by Pitch
  • Wild Pitch
  • Double
  • Strikeout
  • Infield Single (By Rutschman)
  • Single
  • Single, runner thrown out at third base.

In total, Manoah allowed seven runs (four earned) in the second inning and his night was done. Definitely worth a second look because Manoah at times Friday night looked impressive, but he just lacked composure when put into a jam and the results were ugly.

On the other side, Oregon State’s Kevin Abel was really sharp. The 2018 College World Series hero didn’t have the best start to 2019, but while Manoah faltered Abel dominated. Striking out 11 in six innings compared to three walks while allowing only one hit and one run. Abel is someone to track for those concerned about the 2020 MLB Draft.

Adley Rutschman had a quiet night going 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.

Thursday night was a quiet one for the reigning Golden Spikes winner, Andrew Vaughn, and his Cal teammates as St. Mary’s won 10-3. Vaughn had a tough time barreling up pitches going hitless 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.

Different story on Friday, as Vaughn had no trouble barreling up pitches and showcased his power hitting two home runs with four RBI in a 4-for-5 night at the plate.

Vaughn already has five home runs and 13 RBI to start 2019, hitting 15-for-30 with 15 walks to just five strikeouts. First two weeks Vaughn is continuing to show why many believe he’s the most polished bat available in the 2019 MLB Draft.

While scouts are still searching for quality pitchers the best place to see some this weekend was down in Houston for the Shriners Classic. Southpaw starter Nick Lodolo of TCU has been followed by scouts for his starts early in 2019. According to sources, both White Sox GM Rick Hahn and Director of Player Development Chris Getz were in attendance for his first start on February 15th against Cal State Fullerton.

Lodolo has a slender frame standing 6’6” and weighing 185 pounds. His pitch mix is an average fastball that runs 92-94 mph, a cutter/changeup (scouts are split on what the pitch actually is) at 86-88 mph, and his best pitch is the slider. Lodolo gets great horizontal movement on his breaking ball that helps him establish strike one, or used to punch out hitters.

Against Houston, Lodolo was lights out striking out 13 batters to one walk over seven innings allowing just two hits and one earned run on 97 pitches. In three starts, Lodolo has pitched 19 innings striking out 25 with only two walks allowing 11 hits and five earned runs. Someone to keep an eye on as Lodolo may emerge in the Sox Machine Top 10 MLB Draft Prospects in the next release on March 15th.

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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Great stuff, as always, Josh. Thank you.


Good stuff, Josh. I’m curious how you follow/watch college baseball. I know most SEC and ACC games are available on WatchESPN. But how about the Big 12 and Pac 12?


Thanks for this, Josh. Great stuff.
After 9 games Vaughn only OPS’ing 1.700.
6’4″ RHP George Kirby, who is getting some early hype from Fangraphs, pitches today for Elon.


Also, KLaw recently had a rather lukewarm scouting report on Witt Jr’s swing mechanics.

lil jimmy

Oregon State has a pitcher, Kenyon Yovan, who will be in the draft this year. The Sox scouts will see plenty of him this spring. He’s a second or third round pick. I liked his composure last year. He could follow in the footsteps of Jace Fry, and Bernardo Flores.


Assuming Rustchman is definitely going #1 or 2, I’d be pretty excited if the Sox took Vaughn. That bat is legit. You can never have too many middle of the order mashers, even if he is limited to first.


Vaughn will be a White Sox for no other reason then the fact that Nick Hostetler is the scouting director. A big college bat, low strike outs, and no other upside? Sounds right up his alley….


Josh – I strongly believe that catching is the first and foremost need for the W Sox going forward as Collins /Zuvala seem to be coming along very, very slowly.

When you watch Rutschman in action and report on it, I’d be interested in how you’d evaluate his defensive abilities – catching, throwing, framing, etc. (Sox picked a ‘hit-first’ catcher Z Collins #1 and we’re still waiting). Also, Is it not out-of-the-question that Rutschman could fall to #3 for the WSox ?

Shea Langeliers, Baylor catcher…should be there at #3 also. Have you seen him? I’ve been touting in other posts over the winter for either Rutschman or Langeliers as catching prospects like these 2 just don’t come along every year.

Thanks for the report.

lil jimmy

Langeliers is out with a broken Hamate bone. He’s going to drop a bit.


Thanks, l j


Vaughn is 3-4 adding 2 more HR’s and 5 RBI so far today.


See a Ryan Zimmerman in his swing.