PL Dynasty Mock: Adam Lawler’s Picks
It has been a winter full of mock drafts for the Pitcher List staff. This latest is a prospects-only dynasty mock for 12 staff members in which 300 prospect-eligible players were selected. 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 well. Here is the link to the draft results. Other mock draft reviews can be found below:
Here are the 25 players I selected, plus a small write-up of why they could hold value in dynasty formats and eventually in redraft leagues—some sooner than others.
Here we go:
Pick 1.2: Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago White Sox; age: 22
You’re going to see a a few common themes running through my draft, and hit-tool outfielders with a lot of upside will be one of them. I can’t say anything you already don’t know about Eloy Jimenez. If we want to do a crossover here, I took Eloy with my second-round pick in the inaugural PL Dynasty League. He’s worth every penny.
Pick 2.23: Sixto Sanchez, SP, Miami Marlins; age: 20
I drafted Sixto Sanchez prior to his cannon of an arm being shipped to Miami. To be honest, it scares me that Sixto — by all accounts a raw talent that needs harnessing — is going to an organization not known for growing pitchers. Sure, there was Jose Fernandez, but he was a generational talent. I’m not actively fading Sixto, but I’m not going to be hyping him any higher than he was this past summer.
Pick 3.26: Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox; age: 21
Robert is going to be one of the key pieces in determining whether the White Sox rebuild is legit. A potential five-category contributor with a major impact in stolen bases and average, Robert’s lazy comp is Lorenzo Cain. We’re a little worried about the injury history, but he smoked the Arizona Fall League in 2018, showing his immense talent. When you’re a plus bat with plus plus speed, there’s a lot of leash (read patience) to give.
Pick 4.47: Alex Verdugo, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers; age: 22
The knock on Alex Verdugo is that he is a better IRL prospect. This may be true, but he’s entering 2019 in the middle of a heated competition with established players such as Joc Pederson. No, he’s not going to be great in any one category, but if you’re in an OBP league, he’s going to be an OF2 for years to come. The risks are low with this guy, and while boring can be, well, boring, we need players like that to keep our teams intact.
Pick 5.50: A.J. Puk, SP, Oakland Athletics; age: 23
A.J. Puk may be the opposite of Verdugo. Coming off a season lost to Tommy John surgery, people are going to overlook the four above-average pitches Puk offers, including a mid-90s fastball and a pretty little wipeout slider. Puk will be back for an appearance late this year, but he’ll be ready to ascend as a No. 1 starter entering the 2020 season. He’s a top-10 pitching prospect, for my money.
Pick 6.71: Drew Waters, OF, Atlanta Braves; age: 20
Drew Waters has been on my radar for a while. He’s about a raw as talent as can be at the moment. Fangraphs hung a 35 CV/60 FV on hit tool. After a very successful run through Low-A, his abilities carried him to High-A for 100 at-bats where he struck out a bunch. While we shouldn’t dismiss the bust potential, he is a player on whom I am very high.
Pick 7.74: Seuly Matias, OF, Kansas City Royals; age: 20
Light. Tower. Power. While the hit tool will likely never be average and Seuly Matias will strike out a whole heck of a lot, all the major sites are dropping a 7 on his power. Let’s put it another way: in 375 at bats, Matias hit 31 home runs. The only thing more stunning than that was his strikeout rate (34.8%).
Pick 8.95: Corey Ray, OF, Milwaukee Brewers; age: 24
Corey Ray came out of the draft and into the Brewers organization with a ton of buzz. Then, his 2017 came to a sad end when he couldn’t piece together improvements in his game. That scared off a ton of prospect hounds. I’m willing to give Ray a mulligan, however, as he made clear adjustments to his game that resulted in an extra-base barrage, with 27 home runs and 37 steals. Growth isn’t linear, and if people want to jump off Ray’s wagon, I’ll gladly hitch up.
Pick 9.98: Travis Swaggerty, C/3B/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates; age: 21
Swaggy T was one of my favorite first year player targets for 2019. Travis Swaggerty has been overlooked because he played at directional school Alabama and the swing was a work in progress during the final year of college. Now? His bat is polished and controlled. His glove is plus, allowing for the big league club to consider multiple places to put him. He’ll find his way into Double-A at some point this year. Think of him as a young peak Brett Gardener with just a bit more power.
Pick 10.119: Esteury Ruiz, 2B/OF, San Diego Padres; age: 20
Another raw hitter with lots of power, Esteury Ruiz has a chance to be good, but it’s a long way away for this young man. He stole 49 bases in Single-A this past year, but he’s going to need to cut the strikeout rate and slightly increase the walk rate to make himself into a viable top-100 prospect.
Pick 11.122: Bryse Wilson, SP, Atlanta Braves; age: 21
Bryse Wilson got a surprising call up to the big league roster this past year, appearing in three games and getting knocked around a little bit. Not very surprising for a 20-year- old who hadn’t been above Single-A ball at that point. Still, he pitched 77 innings in Double-A this past year to the tune of a 2.03 xFIP and a 11.45 K/9. That’s pretty impressive given his age. The fastball and slider are currently enough to play in the majors, but the third pitch (currently a slider) needs a bit more bite to make him into a mainstay in a very competitive rotation.
Pick 12.144: Khalil Lee, OF, Kansas City Royals; age: 20
Stop me if you heard this before: raw bat, lots of power. Everyone has their type, what can I say? While Khalil Lee is not at the level of his counterpart, Matias, he’s got plenty of muscle to make him an intriguing prospect. He may get a cup of coffee in 2019, but your best bet is 2020.
Pick 13.145: Shed Long, 2B, Seattle Mariners; age: 23
The keystone cop will not wow you in any one category. Shed Long had a lot more buzz coming into the 2018 offseason given the hit tool improvements. 2018’s season was more of the same. Long is going to be a boring but good middle infield option for you in the years to come, providing a 10-plus HR, 10-plus SB option and a .260 Avg.
Pick 14.167: Calvin Mitchell, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates; age: 20
Calvin Mitchell is one of the more underrated OF prospects in baseball at the moment. He’s at least two seasons away and he’s pretty volatile for an asset, but if he can provide 20-plus HR seasons with a perennial .270 average? That’s something you should invest in early and use as a trade chip later.
Pick 15.170: Ryan Helsley, SP, St. Louis Cardinals; age: 24
Admittedly, Ryan Helsley is a bit of a pet project for me. He has the look and feel of a Cardinals pitching project. In other words, nobody will know him until he’s called up, pitches six seasons of 3.4 ERA and 8.8 K/9 ball. Four average to fringe-plus pitches and a fast mover through his system, don’t be surprised — barring a strange but undisclosed injury — by his being up in 2019.
Pick 16.191: Starling Heredia, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers; age: 20
Starling Heredia gets me giddy. I have been following his career since the Dodgers drafted him at 16 years old. He has steadily produced and impressed along every step in his progression. Well, until he hit Single-A, where his K% jumped and his BB% dropped. Still, Heredia is a giant human bowling ball who grades out as a plus runner, and he’s considerably younger than his competition. He’ll be fine, and he’s my breakout pick this year for those keeping tabs on the lower level minor leagues.
Pick 17.194: Nick Gordon, SS, Minnesota Twins; age: 23
This wasn’t a fun pick for me by any means. I’m not confident in Nick Gordon‘s ability to take away at bats from Jorge Polanco, Royce Lewis, or even Jonathan Schoop for that matter. Still, he’s on the cusp of a call up despite an abysmal 2018 which featured a career-low slash line over 400 ABs. He’s going to end up a very average second baseman somewhere in the league, but I have my doubts it’s this year and even more doubts it will wind up being with the Twins.
Pick 18.215: Anthony Alford, OF, Toronto Blue Jays; age: 24
The former college football player turned professional baseball player was always going to be a slow burn. His speed, however, is anything but as analysts have dropped a 7 on that tool. His pitch recognition hasn’t progressed to the point of displaying any level of confidence he will be more than an OF4. However, there is undeniable athleticism there, and he could very well wind up being one of those pop up productive major leaguers in his age-27 season as everything clicks.
Pick 19.218: Yasiel Sierra, P, Los Angeles Dodgers; age: 27
I’ll be honest: I am not clear on what I was thinking in picking Yasiel Sierra. It was a long draft and one that I know I missed on at a few spots. This was one of them. A former highly sought after international prospect with a penchant for walks and who’s coming out of the bullpen? I don’t know, maybe you can hope for a dude who will get a bunch of one-inning spots where he keeps the ERA down for your team.
Pick 20.239: Dylan Carlson, OF, St. Louis Cardinals; age: 20
When box score scouting, nothing pops off the screen for Dylan Carlson. Then, you consider names such as Nolan Gorman, Jhon Torres, and Malcom Nunez getting the buzz, and it’s easy to overlook Carlson. Fun fact: Carlson is a switch-hitting, power corner infielder who has cut down his strikeout rate and maintained his walk rate at every stop. So why do those points matter to you? Well, the switch hitting means there’s a good chance he won’t be platooned. The fact he’s cut down his strikeout rate upon advancement while maintaining a healthy walk rate means that pitch recognition is legitimate, and we should be excited.
Pick 21.242: Kyle Lewis, OF, Seattle Mariners; age: 23
This is a make-or-break year for Kyle Lewis. That’s kind of odd to write considering Lewis was a first-rounder just two years ago. He damaged his knee and lost a year of development. The common thought is that the speed will no longer be what everyone thought it might have been. That said, there are reasons to be optimistic. Upon his promotion to Double-A, Lewis raised his BB% and cut his K%. The power presented itself as well. I’m buying in if the price is right.
Pick 22.263: Stephen Gonsalves, SP, Minnesota Twins; age: 24
A four-pitch mix of average to fringe plus pitches from a large lefty who’s already shown he can do it in the majors? I will gladly take Stephen Gonsalves this late in the game. The command was a little iffy his first time through the league, but it wasn’t as awful as the stat line would suggest. If he can find another tick in his fastball velocity, the ability to take off is there.
Pick 23.266: Luken Baker, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals; age: 21
Move over, Seth Beer, there’s a bigger, better, beefier big bat that is about to take steal our hearts. Analysts drop a 7 raw power on Luken Baker‘s bat, and he’ll wind up pushing a 5-plus on the hit tool. In his first trip through Single-A, Baker posted a very respectable BB-K% that shows he’s more advanced than he got credit for. The only thing bigger than Baker is my desire to roster him.
Pick 24.287: Tucupita Marcano, 2B, San Diego Padres; age: 19
As a 17- and 18-year-old, Tucupita Marcano approached the plate 369 times. He walked more than he struck out. While there isn’t any pop in the bat, he clearly has an eye for the ball. He has some serious speed to pair with the advanced approach. There are worse players on whom to bet.
Pick 25.290: Micker Adolfo, OF, Chicago White Sox; age: 22
Of course I am going to end this write up the same way I started: betting on the promise of the South Side. Micker Adolfo — like almost all of my other picks — is a power-first outfielder with a fringe hit tool. At least one of these guys will pan out, and I’m hoping beyond hope it’s this guy. After a lost season to Tommy John surgery, he’s ready to take on some advanced arms.
Graphic by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)