After the initial drafts in dynasty leagues, the annual First-Year Player Draft (FYPD), is a great way to add talent to your squad. And while it can be tempting to just go down the line and take the highest drafted players, it is important to factor in more than just draft order when looking to add talent to your roster.
Clearly, your own team’s needs should come into play, both from a position standpoint and from a statistical standpoint. Beyond that however, looking at a player’s fit with their new organization, their age, and of course their numbers will help you find the players that best fit your team during the FYPD.
Here at Pitcherlist, ten of us got together and put together our own five-round first year player mock draft. We will each have our own analyses running from July 1-5 and again from July 8-12.
|Brennen Gorman’s Analysis||Adam Lawler’s Analysis|
|Travis Sherer’s Analysis||Jamie Sayer’s Analysis|
|Paul Ghiglieri’s Analysis||Shelly Verougstraete’s Analysis|
|Andy Patton’s Analysis||Scott Chu’s Analysis|
|Daniel Port’s Analysis||Hunter Denison’s Analysis|
Today, on America’s Independence Day, I’ll provide you with the five players I chose to write-up, and why I think they could be valuable in dynasty formats.
Pick #9: Josh Jung, 3B – Texas Rangers
Jung went eighth overall to the Texas Rangers, staying in his hometown after he completed a monstrous three-year career with the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. Jung did take a slight step backward in 2019, although his .343/.474/.636 slash line with 15 home runs and 58 RBI in 64 games played is hardly cause for concern. If anything, it just highlights how incredible he was as a sophomore, when he slashed an absolutely scorching .392/.491/.639.
Jung’s biggest concern, in real life and in fantasy, will be his defensive alignment. Scouts are already worried that he does not have the arm strength to play third at the big league level, which likely limits him to first base or left field in the show. That obviously means his bat will have to play up even more, as the bar to be a fantasy-relevant 1B or corner outfielder is much higher.
Jung has the potential to reach and exceed that bar however, with broad shoulders and a disciplined approach at the plate. He has the ability to spray the ball to all fields and lets his power come naturally. Most expect that he’ll be able to produce 20-25 home runs annually once he gets more comfortable pulling the ball, and his approach should help him draw plenty of walks and avoid the big strikeout issues that often plague young hitters.
If he can stick at third base, he’s a potential dynasty gem. Even if not, I think his bat profiles as strong enough to make him fantasy relevant at 1B/OF, and I’m happy to get him in the first round of the FYPD.
Pick #12: Corbin Carroll, OF – Arizona Diamondbacks
I wasn’t sure that Carroll would make it back around the bend, but I was very happy to get him with my second pick at No. 12 overall. Part of me feels that the Andrew Benintendi and Jacoby Ellsbury comparisons are kind of lazy, but in reality there is a lot of similarities—particularly to Benintendi.
Carroll is undersized (5’10”, 160 pounds) which makes it hard to project average to plus power. However, his swing is nearly flawless, and he demonstrated an ability to spray the ball to all fields while generating a fair amount of loft and pop. His competition in high school may not have been great, but he made the rounds on the elite high school circuits, and that level of competition only served to elevate his game.
Combine that pop with his blazing speed, and you have a prep bat who should develop even more power as he grows into his frame, making him a potential 20-20 contributor from the left side—hence the Benintendi comparisons.
Pick #29: Braden Shewmake, SS – Atlanta Braves
Standing at 6’4″ and swinging from the left side, it’s easy to see the appeal of former Texas A&M shortstop Braden Shewmake. His profile currently only shows average power, but at 190 pounds it’s entirely possible he adds muscle onto his frame, which could lead to a bigger power output down the line.
He’ll have to work hard to stick at shortstop long-term, with some scouts projecting a future at second base. A potentially power-hitting second baseman with the ability to hit to all fields and excellent makeup, Shewmake reminds me a bit of Daniel Murphy, although that’s probably the high-end of his power potential.
His ability to play multiple positions could make him a Marwin Gonzalez-type as well, which would still hold plenty of fantasy value in dynasty formats. Something in the middle and you have yourself a very nice asset, and one that you should be happy snagging in the third round of first-year player drafts.
Pick #32: Ethan Small, LHP – Milwaukee Brewers
I felt I should grab at least one pitcher, although I am very wary of most pitching prospects thanks to the oft-mentioned mantra, TINSTAAP (there is no such thing as a pitching prospect).
I made an exception for Milwaukee’s first rounder, Ethan Small. Small had the opposite reaction to most pitchers after having Tommy John surgery. Originally throwing 96 as a freshman, Small came back sitting between 86-92, but with an improved feel for his changeup and better overall command—two traits that pitchers often lose after going under the knife.
All this lead Small to a monstrous campaign. Across 18 starts with Mississippi State, Small posted a 1.94 ERA with a 176:32 K:BB ratio in 107 innings pitched—a whopping 14.8 K/9.
His changeup and curveball both flash plus, and his fastball is excellent at generating swings-and-misses and weak contact. He’ll need to improve his curveball (which he didn’t use much in college) and probably develop a fourth pitch—either a cutter or a slider—if he wants to reach his ceiling as a No. 2 or 3 starter. However, scouts already feel his pitchability, frame, and command make him a big league starter even at his floor, and that is enough for me to snag him at No. 32 overall.
Pitching prospects are inherently risky, so mitigating that risk as best you can is an effective strategy in all dynasty formats, although the best laid plans don’t always come to fruition.
Pick #49: Thomas Dillard, C/OF – Milwaukee Brewers
I’ll concede this is probably a reach in a standard FYPD, but I wanted to highlight Brewers fourth-rounder Thomas Dillard and why I think he could be a sneaky good value pick in dynasty formats.
Dillard lead all high schoolers in home runs in 2016, but concerns about his position and his dire commitment to Mississippi lead to him going undrafted. After three years at Ole Miss, Dillard still doesn’t have a strong position, but that power is oh so real.
Dillard blasted 27 home runs in the past two seasons, hitting .310 in each of them and tacking on 25 doubles and four triples for good measure. The switch-hitter was quite possibly the best raw power hitter left in the draft, and while there are some concerns, he’s a great player to keep an eye on.
A “poor man’s Kyle Schwarber,” Dillard is expected to land in left field or even at DH long-term. He caught in high school but rarely in college, instead playing mostly left field. If he’s eligible at catcher, he’s definitely worth a look. Even if not, that raw power and improving plate discipline will make him a prospect to keep an eye on in deeper dynasty formats, and at the tail end of most FYPD.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter)