This mock draft was full of mixed results in my mind. I love my first six picks but then things went a little south with some great picks sprinkled throughout. I tend to pride myself on being able to wait on pitchers so the track that I took goes against my normal course of action in drafts. But this is why we mock, right? In a dynasty draft, taking four starting pitchers in your first six picks might not be the right strategy for everyone, but I could be looking at four aces moving forward if everything breaks right for me. In hindsight, I may have went a little too far in this strategy and ended up too pitching heavy in my early picks. That became very apparent after my Gore pick when I was left scrambling for bats. There’s definitely some picks I would like a re-do on but as you’ll see, I am a huge fan of some of these picks and would be excited to have them on my dynasty team.
If there’s one piece of advice I can give you its this: pick a strategy. I don’t care what it is, but own it, and stick with it. In a dynasty draft, you have to go in with a purpose and you have to know where your team stands. Do some mock drafts and learn from your mistakes, as I will learn from mine here. But most importantly, have fun with it!
Round 1 (Pick 13) Trea Turner, SS, WSH
This was a fairly obvious pick for me. With the 13th pick, many of the guys I really wanted with my first round pick I knew would be gone, so I had my sights on Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Trea Turner. Joe made the decision fairly easy for me when he grabbed Vlad Jr. at #11 overall. Turner’s frequent trips to the team trainer do worry me but being able to lock down stolen bases so early with a guy who can contribute across the board is huge. He is one of the best speed threats in the game, has solid average, and if he can stay on the field for the full season, he will provide me with plenty of counting stats as well, especially runs. He’s only 26 and has been a darling in the fantasy world since he got the call. When he was on the field for the entirety of 2018, we saw what he was capable of. I feel very confident in this pick.
Round 2 (Pick 20) Aaron Judge, OF, NYY
I went with another oft-injured guy with my second pick. When he plays, Judge is an unstoppable source of power and doesn’t sink you in average despite high strikeout rates. He’s one of the handful of players you can almost bank of 40+ homers in a healthy season. His statcast numbers are downright amazing, suggesting that he should have been better than he was in his 227 plate appearances in 2019 and should leave you feeling confident investing a high pick in the slugger. I feel like I got a steal with this pick because I’m convinced Judge would be a first-round pick if he wasn’t limited to 102 games in 2019. He is one of the biggest sources of power in the game and will load me up with runs and RBI while hitting in the middle of a potent lineup. At 27 years old, taking Judge at 20 overall in a dynasty draft seems like a very obvious call for me. Despite my first two picks being injury-prone players, if everything breaks right I just secured my stolen base and home run numbers while not sinking other categories.
Round 3 (Pick 45) Mike Clevinger, SP, CLE
I love this pick. This pick set off a series of starting pitcher picks that I am extremely pleased with. Clevinger just keeps impressing me. He could have won the CY Young last year had he stayed healthy. His superb 2.71 ERA through 126 innings was validated by a 2.49 FIP and 3.09 xFIP, and his 12.07 K/9 ranked 6th in starters with at least 120 IP. His SwStr% increased from 12 in 2018 to 15.2 in 2019, and he wasn’t prone to the long ball either in an environment that clobbered pitchers in that area. Clev-Dog keeps steadily improving and I would be thrilled to have him anchor my staff in any league I have the opportunity to grab him in. You should feel comfortable with him as your SP1.
Round 4 (Pick 52) Chris Paddack, SP, SD
Chris Paddack with the 52nd overall pick in a dynasty draft? Sign me up. True, pitchers are riskier picks this early in dynasty drafts with such good hitter still on the board but I wanted to grab Paddack who has a high ceiling to go with a high floor. I don’t see a scenario where this pick goes bad. 9.79 K/9 with a sub-2 BB/9 is just incredible for a rookie to go along with a 3.33 ERA. Paddack averaged less than six innings per start in 2019, but look for the Padres to let him go further starting in 2020. If a sub-1 WHIP in your rookie season isn’t a sign of fantastic things to come then I’m not sure what is. I’m not suggesting that he will have a 0.98 WHIP moving forward, but he has the floor of a top-30 SP with the ceiling of a top-15 SP. High strikeout rate, low walk rate, good ERA floor, and 24 years old? That’s dynasty gold. I have to say that 2020 might not be his full breakout party, but his outlook is bright. We might be talking about Paddack as an SP1 headed into 2021.
Round 5 (Pick 77) Jesús Luzardo, SP, OAK
Another SP? Yeah, another SP. Luzardo is the next big thing in fantasy. After dominating minor league hitters and striking out seemingly everyone who came to the plate, an Oakland A’s rotation spot is his to lose coming into 2020. Luzardo made his major league debut in 2019 and had plenty of success. Getting those first few major league innings under his belt, even if it was only 12 total innings, is a big step and should give him confidence headed into 2020. Don’t expect him to pitch a ton of innings in 2020 since he only has roughly 194 innings pitched total in the minor leagues and no more than 108 innings in one season, back in 2018. When he pitches, his 2020 will be brilliant and you will be able to rely heavily on him, but just don’t expect him to be a high innings guy until 2021 and beyond.
Round 6 (Pick 84) MacKenzie Gore, SP, SD
This pick ends my run of pitching. To start my dynasty rotation with Clevinger, Paddack, Luzardo, and Gore is amazing. I will have to make up for bats here soon. Honestly, I may have went one pitcher too many as many of the bats that I wanted were gone by this point. But I can’t be mad by adding the best pitching prospect in baseball who will be showing us why he’s as highly touted as he is as early as the 2020 season. There’s not many prospects that you can almost definitively count on as a future front of the rotation starter and Gore is one of those few. He is a strikeout artist with a deadly 4-pitch arsenal at his disposal. He has a high likelihood of logging innings in the Padres rotation this year, but don’t count on it being a lot. This pick could make me look really good moving forward and I’m sure I sniped some guys here who thought they could get him with their next pick.
Round 7 (Pick 109) Trey Mancini, 1B/OF, BAL
While I do like Mancini, I don’t love this pick. I gotta admit, I was on vacation without the draft board in front of me on a few of these picks so I drafted from memory. This was one of those picks. But here’s the good stuff: Mancini is only 27 and he keeps improving. He had his breakout in 2019 with 35 home runs, 106 RBI, and 97 runs. His .291/.364/.535 helped pave the way to a 132 wRC+. Granted, he is in a bad lineup, but I don’t see any reason he can’t put up impressive numbers moving forward. 2019 is likely the ceiling and I am not expecting a full repeat but he should continue to compile for my team for the foreseeable future.
Round 8 (Pick 116) Brandon Nimmo, OF, NYM
Here is another pick that I don’t love and one I had to make without my draft board. But, here we are. Nimmo could bat leadoff for the Mets, and if that pans out, this could turn out to be a pretty good decision. I think there’s plenty of guys like Nimmo available later in the draft, and in hindsight I wish I would have grabbed a minor league bat here like Dylan Carlson or Jarred Kelenic. Too little, too late, and I have to work with what I have. Nimmo’s BB% ranked second for batters with at least 250 plate appearances, right between Trout and Gallo. His .221 batting average is less than desired, but he still gets on base at a decent clip thanks to his high BB%. His K% is still a little too high, but at this point I think he is what he is and we have to accept that. Yes, he has his warts, but he’s a former first round pick, he’s only 26, and he will likely bat in front of the likes of Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, and Robinson Cano, so he’ll compile some good runs scored numbers. Injuries limited Nimmo to only 69 games in 2019, so 2020 will be a big year for him to see if he can improve on his strikeout rate which really seems to be his biggest issue. The Mets still seem to be invested in him as he wasn’t moved this offseason after being discussed in a potential Starling Marte trade, so I’ll invest as well.
Round 9 (Pick 141) Carter Kieboom, SS, WAS
With the defending World Series Champions losing Anthony Rendon and not doing much to replace him at the hot corner, look for Kieboom to be given the shot at nailing it down. It sounds like Kieboom will be given an ample shot at locking down third base this spring, so he will be an interesting story to watch as Spring Training unfolds. Kieboom is a recent example of a highly regarded prospect that sputtered upon major league promotion. But he tore up AAA and was highly successful throughout his minor league progression. I’m excited about Kieboom and his dynasty outlook. He could be a potential post-hype guy after not looking great in his initial call-up, grab him and don’t look back.
Round 10 (Pick 148) Bryan Reynolds, OF, PIT
This might be my favorite pick of the draft. Reynolds will likely bat lead-off for the Pirates and set the table for Josh Bell. I think many people forget that Reynolds was a highly rated prospect and he had a very underrated and often overlooked rookie season in 2019. He batted .314/.377/.503 in 134 games with 16 home runs, 83 RBI, and 68 runs. He only chipped in three steals but he has the speed for more. I’m super excited about Reynolds for 2020 and beyond, so grabbing him at pick 148 in a dynasty draft is a steal in my eyes.
Round 11 (Pick 173) Kyle Schwarber, OF, CHC
It seems like people either love Schwarber or they want nothing to do with him. I’m in the first camp, and not just because of my affinity for all things Chicago Cubs. Do ya’ll realize how good of a year Schwarber had last year? He hit a career-high 38 home runs and had the lowest strikeout rate of his major league career, albeit still at 25.6%. Plus, he’s only 26 years old, he’s slated to hit in the middle of a really good lineup, and he should be a run-producing machine. A lot of people are down on the Cubs lineup heading into 2020, but it is still a scary and formidable squad. Schwarber will play a huge role.
Round 12 (Pick 180) Dan Vogelbach, 1B/DH, SEA
Meh. I’m ok with this pick, I guess, but not enamored with it. I went way to early on Vogelbach, I must admit. This was another pick I made without the draft board in front of me, but enough with the lame excuses. There were guys available I would have much rather have had here like Willson Contreras, Garrett Hampson, or Miguel Sano. But I have to work with what I have. Vogelbach put together a really nice year. The problem is that he did most of his damage from Opening Day to July, hitting only 5 of his 30 home runs from August 1st onward. I don’t have to tell you that is not good. He batted only .162 in the second half and was really bad against lefties. I’m not saying to totally disregard Vogelbach in 2020, but after researching him more, I’m not as keen on him as I was before writing this, and definitely not at pick 180 in a dynasty draft. Carry on.
Round 13 (Pick 205) Ian Anderson, SP, ATL
I took my second prospect here to stop the bleeding of a few regrettable picks. I love Anderson. He struggled in his first taste of AAA in 2019 but he was absolutely dominant in every other stop. Braves have a set rotation heading into 2020, with only Sean Newcomb looking like someone who can be replaced headed into the year. This is a long-term play as the Braves have a lot of arms coming through the system at a fairly fast pace and Anderson will have to fight his way into innings, especially after sputtering in AAA. 2020 is a big year for Anderson. He has a mid-rotation upside floor in my opinion and could end up even better than that.
Round 14 (Pick 212) Nick Solak, 3B/DH, TEX
I’m going to put my stamp on Nick Solak for 2020. I think this is the year he breaks out. The only thing holding him back would be lack of playing time. His best path to a substantial role with the 2020 Rangers is probably in a utility role with time at 3B, 2B, OF, and DH. I hope he hits the ground running and forces the Rangers hand into giving him everyday at-bats. He’ll likely start the year on the bench but the dude can flat out hit. Between three stops in 2019 (the Rays AAA affiliate, the Rangers AAA affiliate, and the Rangers themselves), he hit a combined 32 home runs with 98 runs and 71 RBI and also stole 7 bags. I see a 30 home run, 90/90/10 season at his best. I love Solak and just hope he finds his role, and that role is as an everyday player in a good spot in the lineup. Love this pick in dynasty. Give him another look if you haven’t already.
Round 15 (Pick 237) Luis Urías, 2B, MIL
Disclaimer: I made this pick prior to the surgery announcement. Urías is a guy I can’t quit. A perennial top prospect who never really seemed to cement his place in San Diego. He got shipped to Milwaukee and looks to be their choice for starting SS (needing only to beat out Orlando Arcia). Unfortunately, he injured his wrist in winter ball which required surgery. Fingers crossed that this doesn’t keep him out of service for too long. He has made a mockery of the minors but major league pitching has given him problems, albeit in only 302 plate appearances. I’m not willing to throw in the towel on Urías and hopefully he can overcome this injury, find his place in the Brewers everyday lineup, and hold it down. I think he can.
Round 16 (Pick 244) Joe Musgrove, SP, PIT
Much has been discussed and debated about Musgrove and how/why he could be better than he has been. I can’t give up on him either. Is it possible that he is given a longer leash because he was traded for an ace? Maybe, but he improved his SwStr from 11.4% to 12% and his K/9 from 7.80 to 8.30 between 2018 and 2019. He can take a step forward in 2020 and beyond, and I like him as a SP I can heavily rely on in 2020 and beyond especially while guys like Luzardo, Gore, and Anderson get their feet wet in the majors. Grabbing arms like Musgrove is important in dynasty drafts if you have a young and mostly unproven staff. Plus, he’s only 27 and has a repertoire you can dream on.
Round 17 (Pick 269) Edwin Díaz, RP, NYM
I grabbed my first closer in the 17th round. I’m going to be all over Díaz this year as it seems that his horrific 2019 has completely overshadowed his otherworldly 2018 season. The immense strikeout upside was still there in 2019, and in fact, his K% was even higher than 2018. The 57 saves that he had in 2018 will not be touched, but it would not be out of the question for him to be top-5 in saves in 2020 and moving forward. It was walks and home runs that put Díaz in his grave in 2019; if he can get those under control, Díaz should be a steal only a year removed from being extremely overpriced. This scenario goes to show you how fickle of a position that RP is. But at 25 years and with the keys to the closer role for the Mets, I love this pick in dynasty. I hope he gets a decently long leash in case he starts off with some issues because the Mets could be quick to turn to Dellin Betances or Seth Lugo, but I’m still a fan of Díaz here.
Round 18 (Pick 275) JJ Bleday, OF, MIA
Bleday, the 4th overall pick in the most recent Amateur Draft, has the potential to be a .300 hitter at the major league level to go along with 30+ home runs annually. The only thing missing from his fantasy appeal is steals, but his plus power and plate discipline should make him a fantastic dynasty asset. He could be a quick mover through the system and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him roaming Marlins Park in 2021. He should be a top prospect target for your dynasty teams. A big year in 2020 could catapult him to top 15-20 overall prospect status.
Round 19 (Pick 301) Cole Winn, SP, TEX
I did the top 50 Rangers prospect list so these next two picks might have been due to some recency bias, but nonetheless, I really like these two guys. The team is full of potential All-Stars and fantasy studs in the top half of the system. At 19, Winn already has two plus pitches, his fastball and curveball, as well as a slider that is vastly improving. Winn also throws a change-up that he will need to continue to improve to have a solid 4-pitch arsenal at his disposal. 2020 will be an interesting year to see if he can bounce back from what was chalked up as a disappointing, yet developmental year in 2019. Winn has all the makings of a front line starter. I won’t get any production from this pick for a few years, but that’s ok; these picks are necessary in dynasty.
Round 20 (Pick 308) Josh Jung, 3B, TEX
Jung hits the ball to all fields (35.4% to left, 22.3% to center, 42.3% to right) and has a controlled swing. I like to see that in a young hitter. Just by watching him, he looks like a plus hitter and should develop more pop. Jung may not be showing in-game home run power yet, but has the ability to knock it out of the park. We probably won’t see Jung in the Rangers major league lineup until 2022 but when he does arrive, he will hold a prominent role in it.
Round 21 (Pick 333) Franchy Cordero, OF, SD
I’m still torn on this pick. Do I love Cordero? Absolutely. Can I quit on him? I wish. The power/speed combo is incredibly enticing, if only he could just stay healthy enough to play a full season. The Padres had an already loaded OF prior to getting Trent Grisham from the Brewers, so I’m not positive he gets enough at bats to reach his ceiling. Given a full season, he would be a near lock for a 20-20 campaign, which I can see on the horizon in 2020. Still only 25 years old, it could still all come together for him. I sure hope it does because he has a projectile profile you can dream on.
Round 22 (Pick 340) Spencer Turnbull, SP, DET
This was a pick of mine where I really just needed to add a starter that would get me innings this year and Turnbull seemed to fit the bill. I wanted to go with relative youth here as well but youth that was in the major leagues. There were some prospects and hitters that I liked better, but I went into this pick with a plan and purpose and stuck with it. Now, let’s talk about Turnbull. Nothing really stands out about him to be honest with you. He’s fine. He’s ok. I feel comfortable starting him at times. But he’s probably just a Toby, in the words of our wise and fearless leader. He has a decent strikeout rate at 8.86 K/9 but walked a ton of guys last year with a 3.58 BB/9. He had a high ERA at 4.61 and plays for an awful team, highlighted by his 17 losses last year. I relied some on Turnbull last year in the 1st half of the season where he finished with pre-All-Star break ERA of 3.31, but things fell apart in the second half. That’s not incredibly surprising given that he had never pitched more than just under 134 innings in a season, but he only pitched 148 innings in 2019, so the jump shouldn’t have been unmanageable. The more I write about him, the less enthusiastic I get about my pick. Should be the other way around right? I wouldn’t recommend this pick here, and if I could have a do-over, I would take it. A Turnbull pick in a deeper league is fine but I wouldn’t suggest this pick here in a dynasty format. At 340 overall, it could have been worse.
Round 23 (Pick 365) Khris Davis, DH, OAK
Talk about a fall from grace. There’s not many things that you can write in stone in baseball, but if you were to make a bet on something, you would have been smart to predict a .247 batting average for Khris Davis in 2019. 3 straight seasons of a .247 average! Are you kidding me? That’s pretty cool. From 2016-2018, Davis hit 133 home runs, drove in 335 runs, and scored 274 runs. To say that 2019 was a disappointment would be an understatement. He batted .220 with 23 home runs (10 of which came in his first 31 games), 61 R, with 73 RBI. His .220/.293/.387 split and wRC+ of 81 were all awful and well below what we had grown accustomed to seeing from him. He did deal with injuries to his hand and hip and they could have lead to his drop in power. His barrel% dropped from 17.2 to 10.1, his exit average exit velocity dropped from 92.5 to 90.1, and his launch angle dropped from 18.1 to 13.2. We can certainly chalk much of this up to injury, and Davis wasn’t right for most of the year. Age could also be catching up to him as he is 32 years old after being somewhat of a late bloomer. I see no reason that a healthy Davis can’t get back to being who he was since joining the Athletics in 2016. Will he hit 48 bombs again? Ehh, not likely. But to expect 35 home runs, with 90 RBI, 80 runs, and a .245ish average isn’t out of the question. In the 23rd round? All day!
Round 24 (Pick 372) Jorge Alfaro, C, MIA
I waited and waited and waited on a catcher. I probably could have waited one more round but my choices were fading. It was between Alfaro, Francisco Mejia, Carson Kelly, and Danny Jansen for me. Alfaro could be something of a post-hype sleeper this year. He has great power for the position and has surprising speed. It’s not a ton of stolen bases, but to get four from the catcher position is a nice toss-in. His awful plate discipline is his downfall, with a 4.7 BB% and 33.1 K%. A triple slash of .262/.312/.425 from your catcher is nothing to scoff at and he’s only 26. He could sniff 20 home runs and could surprise you with more if he’s able to tap into his raw power more. I really do like this pick at #372 overall, although if you were to take Kelly, in particular here instead, I wouldn’t blame you one bit. In fact, I may encourage it.
Round 25 (Pick 397) Jordyn Adams, OF, LAA
Nick Randall sold me on Adams in his Top 50 Angels prospects article. He’s likely a couple of years away but he could be a potential 5-tool fantasy stud down the line. He has eye-popping speed which Fangraphs grades as a 80/80 and should be able to tap into his raw power as he matures. The Angels might have a good problem on their hands in the next couple of years with a surplus of high-end OF studs. Keep Adams on your radar in dynasty leagues and swipe him up where you can. He could make an immediate impact when he gets the call. I’ll be watching him closely the next couple of years.
Round 26 (Pick 404) Zach Plesac, SP, CLE
I needed another starter with this pick. Plesac won’t wow you with strikeouts but he’ll give you some solid innings and should start 20+ games for the Indians this year. I can see an ERA in the mid-to-high 3s a guy you can count on in most starts. He’s not a sexy pick by any means, and I won’t try to sell it as such, but consistency in the late rounds is important especially after grabbing some starters I will have to wait on. He should be penciled into the 5th starter spot following the Corey Kluber trade and he’s only 25 years old. Look for him to pitch 180+ innings and if his minor league ERAs and WHIPs tell you anything, he could be in for a solid year. He is under the radar right now and could be a steal in dynasty at 404 overall.
Round 27 (Pick 430) Ian Happ, OF, CHC
As Happ withered away at AAA in 2019, all we could do was watch from afar. When he finally got the call, he actually made the most of it. He’s probably the starting CF for the Cubs in 2020, but with Albert Almora still there and with the addition of Steven Souza Jr., he could be fighting for playing time yet again. I’d like to see how he does in a full season so I’m hoping they take the leash off and let him do his thing. In 58 games, he hit 11 home runs and batted .264 with 25 runs and 30 RBI. Granted, the counting stats won’t likely be there because he’ll be stuck near the bottom of the order unless he forces David Ross‘ hand. I haven’t given up on the former first round pick who has been shuttled back and forth between the majors and minors and who in my opinion hasn’t been given a fair chance to prove himself and has been mismanaged. Don’t give up on him. 25 home runs, 60 runs, 70 RBI, and 10 stolen bases with a .250 average isn’t a pipe dream.
Round 28 (Pick 436) Cole Hamels, SP, ATL
I grabbed a tried and true starter here and love it. Guys like Hamels, although not a dynasty-centric pick, can win dynasty leagues. As other guys are grabbing prospect fliers, I’m taking ol’ reliable to help get me through 2020. Before missing practically the whole month of July with injury, Hamels was cruising. In the first half he had a 2.98 ERA and was holding hitters to a 2.34 avg, .302 OBP, and .357 SLG. In the second half, he had a 5.79 ERA and batters hit .315/.397/.506 collectively against him. He should win a fair share of games for what should be a really good Braves team. I love this pick paired with Plesac and my final pick in the 30th round.
Round 29 (Pick 461) Hansel Robles, RP, LAA
Robles should be the closer for an improved Angels team. Their offense got better with the addition of Rendon and they lengthened their pitching staff by adding Julio Teheran and Dylan Bundy. Say what you want, but those two should keep them in games longer than the alternative choices to fill those spots from within. He saved 23 games for the Angels last season and I see no reason why he can’t top that total in 2020. The biggest improvement for Robles in 2019 was cutting down on the walks, as his is BB/9 improved from an awful 4.02 in 2018 to 1.98 in 2019. Securing a good source of saves in the 29th round after only drafting Edwin Díaz as a RP up to that point was a huge get for me.
Round 30 (Pick 468) Logan Webb, SP, SF
I wanted to grab a good lottery pick with my last pick and I settled on Webb, a 23-year-old SP in a pitcher-friendly park. Webb will struggle with his control from time to time, evidenced by a 3.18 BB/9 last year, but he showed a propensity to maintain low ERAs throughout his time in the minors. I’m not sure that Webb is guaranteed a spot out of spring training but I don’t think it will be long until he’s given a chance. It’ll be up to him as to whether or not he can hold it down.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)