It was a winter full of mock drafts for the Pitcher List staff. That included a prospects-only dynasty mock for 12 brave souls. 300 prospect-eligible players were snatched up, and each of the writers is here to tell you the reasoning behind their picks, why you should consider them in dynasty leagues, and for some of them, possibly even redraft leagues.
As for my personal strategy, I didn’t have one. How can you? With the second overall pick, I just wanted to take best available and let the strategy develop as things happened. It turned out well, I think. Between recent draftees and injury risks, there’s a lot of ceiling here without much floor, especially in the pitching. I would say squad as a whole would be a competitive MLB team about five years down the road.
Round 1 (Pick 2): Luis Robert, OF, CHW
Wander Franco goes first overall and Luis Robert goes second. That’s just how life works. Jo Adell could also have been an option here, but there is just something about Robert that makes him tantalizing. That is how he ended up here, anchoring my outfield and my team. It would’ve been hard to go wrong with anyone second overall.
Round 2 (Pick 23): Nick Madrigal, 2B, CHW
I stayed on the South Side in round two. If there’s a guy higher on Nick Madrigal than me, I don’t want to meet him. His contact skills are out of this world and his glove is even better. After being the White Sox first-rounder in 2018, he’s threatening to be the starting second baseman early in 2020. Getting him at 23rd overall is a bargain in my mind.
Madrigal won’t be a power threat, but he will get the job done. It’s hard to ignore his strikeout rate of less than five percent at any level he’s been at during his professional career. The flip side is that he doesn’t walk a ton either. His first taste of Triple A came in his second professional season and provided a 117 wRC+ in 134 PA, I’ll take that out of my second baseman any day.
Round 3 (Pick 26): Taylor Trammell, OF, SD
A year ago, Taylor Trammell might be a first-round pick. Lucky for me it’s not a year ago and I have the landscape for an athletic outfield. Prior to the trade that sent Trammell from the Reds organization to the Padres, he was struggling. Then he was traded and continued struggling, until he wasn’t.
I watched, at minimum, one game a week after the trade to monitor what the Padres were doing to help Trammell get back on track and that’s when I started seeing it. His swing was changing, and it kept changing. All of a sudden he hit a hot streak at the end of the year, capped by a clutch go-ahead GRAND SLAM to secure the Double A championship for the Sod Poodles. It’s real, he’s on the way back.
Round 4 (Pick 47): Nolan Gorman, 3B, STL
Nolan Gorman was the most hyped prospect in the Cardinals organization before he started slow and Dylan Carlson happened. Those two things seemed to have thrust him out of the spotlight, but I don’t really know why. He’s a 19-year-old who has already made it to Advanced A-ball. It took him two seasons to get there too.
I’m not complaining that Gorman was there for the taking; in fact, I’m very happy about it. He started 2019 repeating A-ball with Peoria, and he started slow. Once he started to figure it out, my goodness was he fun. I don’t live far from Peoria so I was lucky enough to see this in person. He got hot, then he got called up and slowed down. Rinse and repeat. He will turn 20 next year and is showing signs of being a solid middle of the order power bat.
Round 5 (pick 50): JJ Bleday, OF, MIA
More homers, please! JJ Bleday is a power threat out of Vanderbilt and who is now part of the Marlins organization. He can play some defense too. This now gives me a starting outfield of Robert, Trammell, and Bleday, excuse me while I scream with excitement.
Bleday hit three homers in 38 games while being worth 107 wRC+ after being drafted this year. His strikeout and walk rates were good enough. At minimum, his power can develop to play at the top level. I’m very interested to see how his first full season goes in 2020.
Round 6 (Pick 71): Luis Campusano, C, SD
Luis Campusano in the sixth round is criminal and I’m elated about it. He was the seventh catcher taken. PSA: Don’t assume this is going to keep happening. Campusano has a breakout season at the plate and it wasn’t luck. He’s got a chance to blossom into a top offensive catcher in the league, and don’t worry—he has the defensive tools to stick behind the plate.
The 21-year-old backstop was worth 148 wRC+ with 15 homers in Advanced A-ball for the Padres. Catching prospects are tricky, but Campusano’s good year seems legit, and he’ll get a shot in Double A next year.
Round 7 (Pick 74): Brady Singer, RHP, KC
I drafted Brady Singer so he can pay off my student loans, just like he did in that viral video for his parents. Kidding (partially). I took Singer because he can pitch. He’s the ace of my staff. He made it up to Double-A in 2019, making 16 starts with an FIP of 3.78.
Setting the table for pitchers, I took a floor guy. Singer does have limited upside in the eyes of some scouts, but he can eat innings and be effective. I’ll take that any day of the week out of my rotation.
Round 8 (Pick 95): Hunter Greene, RHP, CIN
Hunter Greene missed 2019 with an elbow injury, but I decided to cash in on his athleticism in round eight. He’s got a blazing fastball and can throw it for strikes, which good. His problem, outside of staying healthy, will be developing secondary pitches.
Even if development is slow, Greene is only 20 and he has the foundation to build on. Hopefully this injury is a one-time thing and not the beginning of a ‘What Could Have Been’ story, but I anticipate good things coming from a healthy Greene.
Round 9 (Pick 98): Josh Jung, 3B, TEX
After being the Rangers first round pick this year, Josh Jung quickly proved too advanced for the rookie level and was promoted to A-ball, where he slashed .287/.363/.389 in 179 PA. Admittedly, he’s the first guy on this list I haven’t had eyes on, but his grades say he is a solid bat.
Round 10 (Pick 119): Brice Turang, SS, MIL
Have you ever done a draft, not known who to take, then while you are looking you strike gold? I have. His name is Brice Turang.
I caught him early in 2019 when the Timber Rattlers played the Chiefs. He was on a field with Gorman and I remember Turang as the stand-out player. That’s not me saying Turang will be better than Gorman, but it made me a fan of the Brewers shortstop prospect. He’s got solid tools all around and will be a nice partner to Keston Hiura down the road.
Round 11 (Pick 122): Jhon Torres, OF, STL
This was my first real reach in this draft, at least in my eyes. Jhon Torres likely would be around for awhile, if not the rest of the draft for me to take. I was compelled to take him here because of a prospect crush.
There is a long way to go for Torres, but his physical tool are undeniable. He’s listed as 6’4″ and 199 pounds on FanGraphs, oh and he turns 20 in March. After dominating the rookie levels he was over matched in a brief stint in Peoria. What I saw during that short stint was a lot of promise from the big fella.
Round 12 (Pick 143): Jahmai Jones, 2B, LAA
There was a time when Jahmai Jones had some hype behind his name. After an invite to Spring Training didn’t go well, he lost some of that sparkle. Tweaks to his swing and a position change to second base should help his case.
He is a plus runner and makes good contact. That is the recipe to be a viable fantasy contributor if he can earn reps as the Angels’ second baseman.
Round 13 (Pick 146): Ryan Weathers, LHP, SD
I finally returned to pitchers with Ryan Weathers. He is another high floor pitcher who can eat up innings. He has a mid-rotation ceiling if everything can click for him. In 21 starts in 2019 he posted a 3.84 FIP in A-ball. He didn’t walk many batters either.
Weathers has nice secondaries that compliment his fastball. Some scouts believe he can be a quick mover if he stays healthy. While he lacks a true strikeout pitch, he is effective and should have a successful future ahead of him as a starter.
Round 14 (Pick 167): Alex Faedo, RHP, DET
Finally, the Tiger fan in me was satisfied. Alex Faedo is not the best prospect from this organization to grab, but frankly I didn’t want to reach for the others. So, I’ll settle for a former first-rounder in the 14th round of this draft.
For all the areas of concern, Faedo showed well in 2019, posting a 3.57 FIP and 10.46 K/9 across 21 starts at the Double-A level. There has been some inconsistencies in his velocity, which will be important to monitor as he progresses towards Detroit.
Round 15 (Pick 170): Jay Groome, LHP, BOS
Here is my risky ace. I am all about Jay Groome and his ceiling, despite the injury. The risk on him is high, but it’s one I’m willing to take for the potential reward.
A smooth delivery with some zip on the fastball has been his calling card, along with a nice curveball from the left side. Injuries continue to hinder his career, but if he can find a way to be healthy, his ceiling shouldn’t have changed much.
Round 16 (Pick 191): Graeme Stinson, LHP, TB
I wasn’t targeting lefties, but I got a ton of them. In my book, Graeme Stinson is one of the more interesting picks I made in this draft.
Fangraphs says he might be a reliever. I’m fine with them being right as long as they are also right about him have two 70 grade pitches. Injuries dropped Stinson into the fourth round of the 2019 draft, so there is risk involved, but his slider is really good.
Round 17 (Pick 194): Ryan Rolison, LHP, COL
Early struggles have made way for improvements from Ryan Rolison recently. Enough to make him feel like a real value pick for me in the 17th round. He’s risen to be the number-two prospect in the Rockies organization according to Fangraphs, and that is on top of being a top 100 prospect for MLB Pipeline.
Rolison is a back-end starter type, but this late, that is quite the accomplishment. This was the pick I got the most props for from my fellow drafters.
Round 18 (Pick 215): Bryant Packard, OF, DET
This is my favorite pick of this draft. I will gladly be Bryant Packard’s hype man until he doesn’t need one anymore. The Tigers took him in 2019 as a lefty power bat with some injury history. Frankly, the power isn’t what caught my eye.
My first glimpse of Packard came when I was watching the Whitecaps to see Riley Greene‘s debut. I remember nothing of Greene from that game, only Packard. Every time I saw him, he impressed me at the plate, which is a product of him being a college bat. Either way, I am excited about Packard.
Round 19 (Pick 218): Kevin Maitan, SS, LAA
Remember this guy? He was the big name at the center of the Braves scandal a few years back. Then he didn’t perform like people thought he would so we all forgot he existed. Baseball is fun.
Trivia question, how old is Kevin Maitan? He will be 20 in March.
His raw power potential from the shortstop position makes him interesting. He was worth 76 wRC+ with 12 homers in 2019 playing for the Angels Class A affiliate. Maitan might not be the superstar people thought he once was, but he seems to be improving and he’s still young. That is what compelled me to take him.
Round 20 (Pick 239): Elehuris Montero, 3B, STL
Yet another infielder for me who was stellar, then had his value drop due to injury. Emily Waldon turned me on the Elehuris Montero, so I am going to remain on the belief train. When I’ve saw him live, it was apparent that the ball made a different sound off his bat. From that moment on, I’ve been truly bought in to his upside.
Montero will likely repeat Double-A in 2020 due to a lack of success in an injury-marred 2019 season. He was the Midwest League MVP in 2018, so there’s a lot of upside here.
Round 21 (Pick 242): Hudson Head, OF, SD
Coming into the 2019 draft, I likened Hudson Head to Manuel Margot, which made me snicker when the Padres drafted him. I stand by that, but don’t forget there was a time where Margot had tons of hype behind him.
Head is very raw, but he can become a decent power/speed threat from the outfield position. He started his professional career being worth 119 wRC+ in the Rookie League.
Round 22 (Pick 263): Griffin Roberts, RHP, STL
Griffin Roberts has had trouble getting his career off the ground after being a Competitive Balance pick of the Cardinals in 2018, followed by a 50-game suspension.
I decided to draft him for the same reason he created buzz as a draft prospect—his plus slider. He might turn into more of a high-volume reliever, but that pitch can carry him into some role in the majors.
Round 23 (Pick 266): Adinso Reyes, SS, DET
For the most part, Adinso Reyes might be an unknown name to those who aren’t prospect nerds. That’s okay. Reyes had a very solid debut year in 2019, posting a .418 wOBA and 140 wRC+ in the Dominican Summer League.
The pop in his bat, and the fact that he is 6’1″ and 195 pounds as an 18-year-old means he is likely to transition to the third base at some point. Either way, there is a plenty of upside for the Tigers infielder.
Round 24 (Pick 287): Gabriel Arias, SS, SD
Pure upside is how many evaporators describe Gabriel Arias. I think Fangraphs does the best job, likening his swing to Carter Kieboom, and his prospect path to Tim Anderson. Both are solid comps.
Defense and power are Arias’ calling cards, and while I’m not personally very high on him, his upside at 287 is a very good value. Plus, when people smarter than me see good things, it’s hard to ignore.
Round 25: (Pick 290): Bo Naylor, C, CLE
Truthfully, I didn’t realize this was my last pick. I was having too much fun. Regardless, Bo Naylor is a solid pick here. He doesn’t have the power potential of his brother, Josh, but Bo is an athletic backstop. Between him and Campusano, I love my catching situation.
Naylor’s offensive potential is good, but there is a fear that Cleveland will to do him what they did to Francisco Mejia. That is something to keep an eye on. Still, a good pick to close things out for the best drafted team in this mock. There’s no bias in that statement, I swear.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)