Pitcher List’s 2019 First-Year Player Mock Draft – Reviewing Brennen Gorman’s Picks

There is not a lot of drafting that takes place in my dynasty leagues so mocking a First-Year Player Draft (“FYPD”) is as close to capturing that pure rapture that is laying dibs to a player after they fall to you. I approach prospects from two angles: (1) high-performing players in higher levels and (2) high-ceiling players in lower levels. That translates to an FYPD as a lot of younger players that are more likely to crash and burn in the hopes of snagging the next Eloy Jimenez.

I came into this draft with the hopes of grabbing the best available player regardless of position; for the most part, I have no regrets about how it shaped up. At each pick, I will give some insight into why I chose the player I selected and what other options I considered if any.

Mock Draft Analysis will run from July 1-5 and July 8-12, with one release per day. Here is the Draft Board for reference.

 

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 Denson’s Analysis

 

Pick #4: Jasson Dominguez, OF, (Team TBD)

 

I had Jasson Dominguez as #3 on my big board behind Andrew Vaughn and Bobby Witt Jr. One of the most exciting international bats in recent years, Dominguez is a switch-hitter that profiles as a five-tool player with at least plus projections for each tool (and potential for a plus-plus hit tool and speed—Yoan Moncada with fewer strikeout issues comes to mind). On ceiling alone, Dominguez would immediately rank in our top 100 prospects (I would put him top 50) with a strong likelihood of making it to #1 overall before his time is over in the minors. I had not considered anyone else at this pick, although if I had it would be Riley Greene, because I am a sucker for a plus to plus-plus hit tool, and as far as Rule 4 draftees go, Vaughn and Greene had the two best hit tools of this past draft.

 

Pick #17: Robert Puason, SS, (Team TBD)

 

I had not really planned on grabbing another J2 player so early in the draft, but after players like Corbin Carroll and Jackson Rutledge went earlier than I expected, I went again with the upside of another potential five-tool switch-hitter in Robert Puason. Puason has long been scouted, having a tentative agreement with Atlanta as young as 14 years old (Puason is banned from signing with Atlanta after the team’s 2017 signing scandal). He has a discernible ceiling, floating somewhere between plus and average on each of his tools, but at 16 years old, I will bet on MiLB to help along Puasons mechanics to ensure he hits the ball consistently.

 

Pick #24: Daniel Espino, RHP, (Cleveland Indians)

 

I was sorely torn at this pick whether to go for Daniel Espino or Zack Thompson. I selected Espino over Thompson for his fastball-induced ceiling over the safety of Thompson’s high floor. Espino was drafted out of high school and threw a 0.32 ERA with 109 strikeouts in 44 innings (an 82% strikeout rate). Espino features a fastball that can hit 99 mph, coupled with a plus slider and above-average curve. At 18 years old, Espino could move quickly through the minor league system with three complete pitches that he can continue to improve upon. His biggest knock is his size and weak four offering, a changeup, which in total could relegate him to the bullpen, but as a ceiling drafter—Espino could be an ace.

 

Pick #37: Zack Thompson, LHP, (St. Louis Cardinals)

 

Much to my surprise, Zack Thompson fell to me and I snapped him up immediately. While Thompson’s ceiling is as a No. 2-3 starter, there is no way he should have fallen to pick #37 after breaking out in a big way for Kentucky this past year, throwing a 2.40 ERA with 130 strikeouts in 90 innings. An elbow injury in 2018 sidelined Thompson for most of the year and remains an outstanding concern (despite not missing a start in 2019), but he is otherwise an above-average pitcher that could be one of the first in his class to see major league action. Thompson at #37 is the unquestionable steal of this draft.

 

Pick #44: Erick Pena, OF, (Team TBD)

 

I had really wanted Rece Hinds with this last pick, but Shelly Verougstraete beat me to him six picks prior. Erick Pena has a burgeoning power tool and a smooth swing—making him the next-most balanced J2 player after Jasson Dominguez and Robert Puason, even if he might not be the third-ranked J2 player. I feel a more athletic Yordan Alvarez, depending on how Pena grows into his 6’3″ frame, and would gladly make that bet with the #44 pick.

Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter)

Brennen Gorman

A lifetime Tigers fan (oh boy) getting ready to watch some good minor league baseball for the next few years. Liquor lawyer by trade, consumed by baseball statistics for pleasure? Yep. Seems about right.

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