By Scott Barancik, Editor

The 2019 draft was a strong one. Our colleagues at Jewish Sports Review have identified at least 16 Jewish draftees so far and may yet find more. The class includes 9 pitchers, 4 outfielders, 2 catchers and a shortstop. Three players were selected in the first 5 rounds, all but one were drafted out of college, and three have brothers in professional baseball.

Hunter Bishop was the #10 overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft

Hunter Bishop was the #10 overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft

Here are brief bios on the 16 players:

Hunter Bishop (OF), Giants (Round 1, #10 overall pick)

  • As a junior at Arizona State University this year (see bio), Bishop hit 22 HRs in 54 games, tying him for #6 among among NCAA Division I athletes. He also hit .342 and drove in 63 runs, an ASU record. Bishop is the younger brother of Mariners CF Braden Bishop, who has converted to Christianity.

Josh Wolf (P), Mets (Round 2, #53)

  • A 6’3″ right-hander out of a Catholic high school in Texas, Wolf throws a fastball in the mid-90s as well as a curve and slider. He pitched a no-hitter in the 2019 playoffs, and his 2-hit shutout in the semis moved his team to the state title game.

Evan Kravetz (P), Reds (Round 5, #144)

  • A 6’8″ southpaw out of Rice University, Kravetz was 6-2 with a 3.24 ERA senior year, his first as a starter. He struck out 108 batters in 80.2 innings and allowed just 1.12 walks/hits per innings.

Ben Gross (P), Twins (Round 10, #299)

  • A Princeton University alumnus who joined the Duke University team as a graduate student, Gross was 7-4 with a 4.09 in 2019, tying him for the team lead in wins. The 6’1″ righty also was drafted in 2018, but not until Round 34.

CJ Stubbs (C), Astros (Round 10, #316)

  • The younger brother of Astros rookie (and fellow catcher) Garrett Stubbs, redshirt junior CJ Stubbs hit .285 at USC with 6 HRs, 35 RBIs and a .378 on-base percentage. He also erased 13 attempted thefts, tops in the Pac-12. Stubbs started his USC career as a pitcher but turned to catching after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

David Vinsky (OF), Cardinals (Round 15, #455)

  • A junior outfielder at Northwood University, Vinsky is the best hitter in school history and its first player ever drafted by an MLB team. In 2019 he hit .367 with 12 HRs, 49 RBIs and a .476 on-base percentage.

Davis Vainer (P), Astros (Round 21, #646)

  • A 6’1″ southpaw out of the University of Alabama, Vainer was 1-1 with a 3.34 ERA his junior year, striking out 43 batters in 29.2 innings.

Alex Segal (P), Braves (Round 22, #667)

  • A 6’4″ southpaw out of Wichita State, Segal was 1-2 with 2 saves and a 5.50 ERA as a redshirt junior, but he held opposing batters to a .195 average.

Jakob Goldfarb (C), White Sox (Round 24, #710)

  • A fifth-year senior at the University of Oregon, Goldfarb hit .304 with 2 HRs, 18 RBIs and a .407 on-base percentage. As an outfielder, he set a school record for assists.

Justin Friedman (P, White Sox (Round 26, #770)

  • A 6’3″ righty out of Hope International University, Friedman had a 5.63 ERA as a senior and struck out 53 batters over 48 innings. Hope was his fourth school in four years.

Kyle Molnar (P), Angels (Round 26, #781)

  • A 6’3″ right-hander out of UCLA, Molnar was a freshman phenom in 2015, leading the team in wins and ERA and becoming Baseball America’s #53 prospect for the 2015 draft. But due to injuries and Tommy John surgery, he has thrown only one inning since 2016.

Matt Woods (CF), Angels (Round 29, #871)

  • As a senior at Rowan University, Woods hit .421 with 12 HRs and a .743 slugging percentage. He ranked among Division III leaders in several offensive categories.

Greg Leban (P), Braves (Round #31, #937)

  • The twin brother of Marlins prospect Zack Leban, Greg was 3-0 with a 3.50 ERA as a senior at Austin Peay State University. The 6’3″ righty struck out an impressive 64 batters in 34 innings.

Josh Shapiro (P), Brewers (Round 34, #1033)

  • A 6’0″ southpaw out of Marshall University, Shapiro was 5-3 with a 3.61 ERA in 2019.

Keaton Weisz (SS), Angels (Round 36, #1081)

  • As a redshirt junior at Coastal Carolina University in 2019, Weisz hit .187 with 3 HRs and 13 RBIs in 75 at-bats.

Matthew Kanfer (RF), Dodgers (Round 36, #1091)

  • Kanfer hit .301 with 3 HRs and 36 RBIs his senior year at Pepperdine University.


If additional draftees are identified, Jewish Baseball News will post their names on our social-media pages and in our weekly Minor-League Monday column.

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