Pitcher List Dynasty Mock: Kyle Horton’s Picks

It’s my first off-season here with Pitcher List, which also means it’s the first time I’m doing mock drafts that aren’t filled with computer bots and people that left after...

It’s my first off-season here with Pitcher List, which also means it’s the first time I’m doing mock drafts that aren’t filled with computer bots and people that left after the third round. It’s exciting, fun, and new. What’s even more new to me is a dynasty mock draft. I’m going into my seventh consecutive year of playing fantasy baseball but I have never been in a dynasty league, so prioritizing age and minor league players in order to allow for years of success is foreign territory for me. I went into this mock draft without any expectations and absolutely zero preparation—I didn’t even look at the rules of the hypothetical league. I made some mistakes, but I also made what I believe to be some really solid picks. I am pleasantly surprised by how my team turned out and would be pretty excited if this was a real roster. There was one major disadvantage that I and many other participants had to draft through: a lack of leaderboard. This made it incredibly hard to keep track of who was still available and caused some players to be drafted much higher (or later) than they should be. Nonetheless, I had the 12th-overall draft pick in the 16-team Head-to-Head dynasty mock draft and these are the results.

Round 1 (Pick 12): Anthony Rendon, 3B, LAA

I pretty much had two main options here: Anthony Rendon or Aaron Judge. I went with the former and love that I did. He was easily a top-five hitter in the league last season, posting a 154 wRC+ with 34 home runs. He checks off every offensive category, except steals, and will now be hitting in a lineup consisting of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. He may be 29-years-old but he’s locked down in a lengthy contract and should be a lock for plus offensive production for years to come.

Round 2 (Pick 21): Ketel Marte, 2B/SS/OF, ARI

In what some people considered a reach, I saw an opportunity to grab one of the most complete hitters in 2019 that also happens to offer dual-position eligibility—Ketel Marte. With shortstop eligibility, the 26-year-old can be one of the most productive shortstops in the league, offering a combination of power and speed. He slashed .329/.389/.592 while smashing 32 home runs and stealing 10 bags. He was in the 94th percentile in expected batting average, 86th percentile in expected slugging, and 88th percentile in expected wOBA. He has a plus hit-tool and enough power to help him remain an excellent contributor to all offensive categories.

Round 3 (Pick 44): Lucas Giolito, SP, CHW

One of the biggest breakouts in 2019, Lucas Giolito saw one of the most impressive turnarounds in a one-year span. He contributed the change in results to a mechanical improvement in his arm path. Throwing with a much smaller arm motion in 2019, Giolito pitched to the tune of a 3.41 ERA in 176.2 innings with 228 strikeouts. His FIP was nearly identical at 3.43 and his SIERA was an above-average 3.57. Giolito also showed good fastball spin and great fastball velocity.

The biggest attraction to Giolito, besides the strikeout rate that put him in the top-10 percent, is his age. He’s just 25-years-old and now has a year of great success under his belt. How much better can Giolito get? With a great fastball/changeup combination, Giolito’s ceiling has yet to be reached.

Round 4 (Pick 53): Matt Olson, 1B, OAK

One of my favorite picks in the draft, I took Matt Olson in the fourth round. Matt Olson is an all-around great hitter. He hits for power and hits the ball very hard. In 2019, Olson slashed .267/.351/.545 with 36 home runs in just 547 plate appearances, resulting in a 134 wRC+. He drove in 91 runs while scoring 73 himself. He’s one of my biggest targets in all drafts because he has the talent that can make him a top-10 hitter in the league and, like Giolito, he’s only 25.

Last season, Olson was in the 94th percentile in exit velocity and 98th percentile in hard-hit rate. His expected slugging was in the 95th percentile and his expected wOBA was in the 93rd percentile. He had 50 barrels and a barrel rate of 14.5%, well within the top six percent of the league. When Olson makes contact, it is LOUD. This makes his power sustainable and repeatable, making him a must-have hitter.

Round 5 (Pick 76): Max Muncy, 2B/1B, LAD

Now one of my favorite players in the league, Max Muncy, was my next selection. I was a proud owner of Muncy in 2018 when he broke out and performed like one of the best hitters in baseball and I owned him again last season. I’ll do whatever it takes to own him in 2020. Muncy had numbers extremely similar to Matt Olson, while scoring 30 more runs and even stealing four bases. His wRC+ was 134, hit 35 home runs, and has a walk rate over 15%. Although he didn’t hit the ball as hard as he did in 2018, Muncy still barreled the ball 12.3% of the time and had a hard-hit rate in the top-100.

Muncy is likely to see time at both second base and first base, giving him eligibility at multiple positions. He’s more than likely the best-hitting second basemen you will get. Even if he is going into his age-29 season, Muncy is a safe pick for lots of balls into the ocean.

Round 6 (Pick 85): Patrick Corbin, SP, WSH

I felt really good about getting Patrick Corbin in the sixth round. He’s posted at least 200 innings pitched the past two seasons while pitching to a 3.25 ERA and 3.49 FIP in 2019. Additionally, he had a 28.5% strikeout rate paired with 8.4% walk rate. Corbin is projected to throw close 200 innings in 2020 and should continue with his solid ERA and strikeout rate. I wanted another starting pitcher and this pick was a bit of a no-brainer.

Round 7 (Pick 108): Joc Pederson, OF, LAD

Joc Pederson was a nice pick that I probably took a little bit earlier than I should have. He finished his second straight season as a full-time starter in 2019 and hit to the tune of a .249/.339/.538 slashline. He smashed 36 home runs, drove in 74 runs, and scored 83 runs. He posted a slightly above average 9.7% walk rate and finished with a 127 wRC+, making him an above-average hitter for a second straight season. Although the counting stats may not be the greatest, I took Pederson because of the power and run potential in that loaded Dodgers lineup. He was in the 83rd percentile in exit velocity and 76th percentile in hard-hit rate. He’s projected for another 30-home run season and should reach 80 runs and 80 RBI at the minimum. At this point in his career, although still 27 years old, Pederson seems to be a sure bet for solid offense with still some potential growth in his ceiling.

Round 8 (Pick 117): Frankie Montas, SP, OAK

Before he was suspended in June for a banned substance, Frankie Montas was having an amazing season. In 96 innings pitched, Montas had a 2.63 ERA, 3.00 FIP, and 3.76 SIERA. He struck out 26.1% of batters, walked 5.8% of batters, and held opposing hitters to a .229 batting average. His ERA- finished at 59. His production was impressive and the peripherals support the results. Montas’ best pitch is his really strong fastball. It ranks in the 93rd percentile in velocity and 76th percentile in spin. The active spin on his fastball ranks him at 67th among all pitchers with a minimum of 250 pitches. His slider doesn’t show as good of an active spin, but it was still worth 9.6 runs, so it performed pretty well in 2019. I’m a big believer in Montas (given he can keep himself away from the gummy vitamins), so I like this pick a lot.

Round 9 (Pick 140): Yasmani Grandal, C, CHW

One of my older picks in the draft, Yasmani Grandal in the 9th round seemed too good to pass up. In 2019, the 31-year-old hit .246/.380/.468 with a staggering 17.2% walk rate, 28 home runs, and even five stolen bases. He drove in 79 runs and scored 77 runs. The switch-hitting catcher is one of the few offensively-blessed players at his position. The depth is so shallow at catcher that I felt the need to capitalize on one of the best. His exit velocity and hard-hit rate ranked well, and his xwOBA was in the top 16 percent. His walk rate finished in the top one percent, making his ability to get on base extremely attractive to me. He’s now on a team that’s ready to win, so I think Grandal will perform the same, if not better, than he did with Milwaukee. Projections have him producing nearly an identical year to his 2019 and if that’s what I get from him, I’ll be extremely happy.

Round 10 (Pick 149): Jesse Winker, OF, CIN

Admittedly, I drafted Jesse Winker way too high. I could have let him go another 100 picks and still gotten him. This is where the lack of a leaderboard hurt me. The bias in me made me need him, so I reached really far to satisfy myself. However, Winker is still really good. In his career 855 plate appearances, he owns a .285/.379/.466 slashline and a 122 wRC+. Although his last two seasons he has gone through two significant injuries, including shoulder surgery, he’s a legitimate on-base machine and can tear up right-handed pitchers. I love his plate discipline and plus hit-tool, but it comes with power that hasn’t come to full fruition. Additionally, he is miserable against left-handed pitchers, which is bound to eat into his playing time. I’m happy to have him on any team, but where I drafted him in this draft definitely outweighs his fantasy value.

Round 11 (Pick 172): Jameson Taillon, SP, PIT

Jameson Taillon is out for the large majority of 2020 after having Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2019 season. I didn’t remember this during the draft. I am a fool.

Round 12 (Pick 181): Marcus Stroman, SP, NYM

Just about everything I just said about Taillon can be applied to my next pick, Marcus Stroman. I wanted to double down on pitchers here to make sure I have a some-what reliable staff. I saw Stroman as a safe pick for success. His 2019 was very similar to his 2017 season that put him on the map. Last year he finished with a 3.22 ERA, 3.72 FIP, and a slightly-less-friendly 4.41 SIERA. Stroman induced ground balls at a rate of 53.7%, the 4th highest rate in the league. He isn’t a strikeout pitcher, but he has great fastball spin and solid curve spin. Like Taillon, I saw Stroman as someone who I can grab later in the draft while knowing what I will be getting from him.

Round 13 (Pick 204): Yoshi Tsutsugo, OF/DH, TB

Yoshi Tsutsugo was more of a fun pick than anything. He was taken way too high, but I’m pretty sure I was just excited about the signing. I don’t even know much about him to be honest, but the power seems to be legit. The Rays are a weird organization and this seems like another signing that will work out perfectly for them.

Round 14 (Pick 213): Hunter Renfroe, OF/DH, TB

Hunter Renfroe has an interesting case. He’s 27 years old, hit 33 home runs last season, but seemingly has a lot more power to offer. If the Rays are trading away Tommy Pham for a guy who was roughly league average last season, there’s probably something they see that most don’t. Renfroe posted a decent walk rate last year of 9.3%, but was middle of the pack in runs and RBI, with 64 each. Of course that has more to do with the poor lineup he was hitting in at San Diego than Renfroe’s actually hitting ability, but it’s worth noting for fantasy sake. Renfroe hit the ball very well in 2018, but took a step back in the hard-hit department in 2019. However, his barrel rate and exit velocity didn’t change at all. I see a lot of upside in Renfroe, but I probably took him a few rounds too early.

Round 15 (Pick 236): Brent Honeywell, SP, TB

The first prospect I took was Brent Honeywell! Evaluating prospects is hard, so I usually leave that to the pro scouts that get paid to do it. In doing so, I’m drafting prospects more off name than just the stats we see on Fangraphs. However, Honeywell did post a 2.84 FIP in 123 innings at AAA last season and that’s pretty damn impressive. His strikeout rate was 29.1% and his walk rate was 5.9%. The hype on this 24-year-old is extremely high and rightfully so. I’ll stick by the hype and take Honeywell with ease.

Round 16 (Pick 245): Kevin Cron, 1B, ARI

It’s the younger Cron brother! I took Kevin Cron mainly because he has serious juice. He only had 78 plate appearances with Arizona last season, but he still hit 6 homers and 10 barrels (22.7% barrel rate). He also hit 38 home runs in 82 games for the Diamondback’s Triple-A affiliate. His slash line there was .331/.449/.777! That’s nuts! His absurd 182 wRC+ makes him extremely appealing in dynasty drafts since he’s still 26 years old and has legit power that’s needed on every team. He has five minor league seasons of at least 20 home runs. I’ll gladly take someone with his kind of power potential.

Round 17 (Pick 268): Elvis Andrus, SS, TEX

I hate this pick so much and I won’t even hide it. It was at this point I realized that my only shortstop was Ketel Marte, and he isn’t even technically a shortstop, so I had to make sure I drafted a shortstop who I know will keep the position eligibility. Enter Elvis Andrus. Unfortunately, there isn’t much good to say about his offense. He was a 76 wRC+ hitter last season and slashed .275/.313/.393. However, he did steal 31 bags, which could be quite helpful on this hypothetical team since I did not draft many base-stealers.

Round 18 (Pick 277): Jazz Chisholm, SS, MIA

I followed up the poor Andrus pick with another shortstop, so that I can have some sort of depth at the position. Jazz Chisholm’s performance was pretty solid last season overall at the Double-A level. With the Diamondbacks, he hit .204/.305/.427 with 18 home runs and 12 stolen bases. When he got to Miami, he hit .284/.383/.494 with three homers and three bags. The average may jump out as a negative, but the power-speed combination is a huge plus for the 21-year-old. He has an overall FV of 55, and although his hit tool doesn’t grade out that well, the rest of his tools are legit. He isn’t expected to debut in the bigs until 2022, but I think Chisholm has a high upside at a premium position that I would be okay with waiting on.

Round 19 (Pick 300): Cal Quantrill, SP/RP, SD

I can’t totally remember why I took Cal Quantrillit was a long draft. Quantrill, just 24 years old, threw 103 innings for San Diego last season. He logged a 5.16 ERA, 4.28 FIP, and 4.58 SIERA. His ERA stunk, but his peripherals said he was league average. He showed decent fastball velocity, marking in the 73rd percentile, and induced solid weak contact by owning a hard-hit rate that ranked in the 80th percentile. I overlooked how many guys there are that could be in the Padres starting rotation, making the case for Quantrill as a fantasy option quite thin. I think this is definitely a poor pick, but at least it’s only in a mock draft!

Round 20 (Pick 309): Nick Lodolo, SP, CIN

I’m a Reds fan and Nick Lodolo was their first-round pick in 2019, so of course I was going to draft him. Lodolo has a low-to-mid 90s fastball and can top out at 96 mph. His fastball, slider, changeup, and control all grade out at 55 on the 20-80 scale. Lodolo dominated college baseball in 2019, posting a 2.36 ERA and striking out 131 batters in just 103 innings of work. He gets high praise for his ability to command three pitches and is a high probability Major Leaguer. He’s the perfect option to add depth to my team since he won’t debut until at least 2021.

Round 21 (Pick 332): Miles Mikolas, SP, STL

Needing to fill out my rotation, I saw Miles Mikolas as a safe option. He regressed a bit in 2019, but still posted decent numbers. He threw 184 innings with a 4.16 ERA. He isn’t much of a strikeout guy, but he seems like a safe choice to get serviceable and consistent innings.

Round 22 (Pick 341): Jose Quintana, SP, CHC

My reasoning for picking Jose Quintana is pretty much the same as Mikolas. Quintana hasn’t pitched less than 170 innings in a season since 2012! He’s an inning eater while being a league average pitcher. He may not be the prettiest pick, but well into the 300’s, he’s a very safe and smart pick for my team.

Round 23 (Pick 364): Patrick Sandoval, SP, LAA

I don’t really have a real reason for drafting Sandoval other than how much Nick Pollack loves him. If Nick likes him, then I figured he would be decent stash in the 23rd round. He’s only 23 years old and his curve spin is pretty good too. Plus he’s just a few letters away from being a California legend.

Round 24 (Pick 373): Kolten Wong, 2B, STL

At this point, my starting position players were well settled and now I just needed to add bench depth. Specifically, I needed another second baseman, since most of my lineup lacks multiple-position eligibility. I saw Kolten Wong as a really good option this late in the draft. He turned 29 years old at the end of last season, where he hit .285/.361/.423 with 11 home runs and 24 stolen bases. He was a league average hitter, and didn’t do well in the runs or RBI departments, but his 24 steals and consistent playing time are awesome.

Round 25 (Pick 396): Mike Tauchman, OF, NYY

Here it is. My sleeper pick of the draft… Mike Tauchman. I recently wrote about his breakout 2019 season (you can read about it here) and I am fully on board the Tauchman hype train. He has great speed, a plus plus hit tool, awesome plate discipline, and hits in Yankee Stadium for half his games. Last season he posted a 128 wRC+ and slashed .277/.361/.504. He will also hit in one of the league’s best lineups in 2020, making his run-scoring opportunities plentiful.

Round 26 (Pick 405): Devin Smeltzer, SP, MIN

Devin Smeltzer pitched just 49 innings for the Twins last season and didn’t grade all that well as a minor leaguer, but he owns a great curveball spin rate and an even better fastball spin rate. Both spin rates are above the 80th percentile. Smeltzer has consistently shown plus command but hasn’t always gotten the strikeouts. But at just 24 years old, there’s still some definite upside based on the peripherals, making him an attractive candidate for my team.

Round 27 (Pick 428): David Bote, 3B, CHC

Similar to Wong, I needed another corner infielder for team depth. David Bote showed some decent offensive ability with the Cubs in 2019. The 26-year-old hit .257/.362/.422 with 11 homers. He had a walk rate of 12.5%, produced a wRC+ of 106, and ranked in the 63rd percentile in hard-hit rate. If the Cubs trade Kris Bryant, Bote would be expected to take over full-time at the hot corner. If not, he’s expendable. But this late in the draft, I saw him as someone that still offered a little bit of offense worth keeping.

Round 28 (Pick 437): Adrian Morejon, SP, SD

To be completely honest, I knew nothing about Adrian Morejon other than the fact that he is 20 years old. I simply drafted him because he is extremely young, already debuted in the Major Leagues, and ranked very highly by the Sparkman WAR projection system of minor leaguers. That is it. Those are my only reasons.

Round 29 (Pick 460): Matthew Batten, Utility, SD

At this point in the draft, my team is set and I am just drafting for minor league depth. These last two picks are as bias as they get since they both happen to be former college teammates of mine. Matthew Batten, a shortstop by trade who has always been known for his defensive ability, spent 109 games at AAA for the Padres minor league affiliate last season. He finished with a .299/.351/.424 slash line while logging innings at every infield position and even left field. He has a pure-hitter approach and can steal some bags.

Round 30 (Pick 469): Thomas Jankins, SP, MIL

As another former teammate of mine, Thomas Jankins spent almost all of the 2019 season with the San Antonio Missions, the Milwaukee Brewers affiliate. He made 21 starts, logging 123.1 innings and pitching to a 4.38 ERA. His ERA was the fifth-lowest among qualified starting pitchers in the PCL. Although he only struck out 88 batters, he owned a 54.8% ground ball rate and just a 6.1 walk rate. His FIP sat at 5.11, and although it may be inflated by the offensive nature of the league he pitched in, it will also look less impressive because of the lack of swings and misses Jankins produces. That might sound like a knock on his ability, but his plus command and ability to induce weak contact are the primary skills that allow him to succeed. It’s these abilities that made him one of the best pitchers in the PCL last season.

 

Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Kyle Horton

Kyle is a senior baseball player at Quinnipiac University, Cincinnati Reds fan, and Max Muncy enthusiast. Please follow him on Twitter @WhoHearsHorton, he already told his mom that you did.

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    Taillon is out all of 2020 – even better!

    Andrus is a plenty solid option in fantasy in a 20 teamer. No need to worry about things like wRC+ unless that is a category for some reason. That is just one approximation of value and doesn’t map to fantasy production too well unless it is a category. Basically it is saying how good at walking and hitting for power a guy is and there is a lot more to baseball and fantasy in particular than that. I don’t think that was a particularly bad pick at all.

    IMO you got crushed from pick 100 on. You could have taken Blackmon over Joc! Montas looks like the only potential exception. Youth is overvalued in the dynasty format. Lots of younger guys have value near zero within a few years and the veterans keep chugging along at somewhat reduced but still far superior production. Fun to see the results – thanks for sharing.

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