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2019 MLB Draft Live Observations

The 2019 MLB Draft begins today! Last week, I analyzed the top fantasy prospects available, from elite college performers to precocious prep prospects. As the draft progresses, I will note my pick-by-pick observations and the fantasy potential of each pick.

THE MLB DRAFT IS WEIRD

As an initial matter, the MLB Draft is strange and confusing. Unlike other professional drafts, teams may not trade draft picks, except compensation and competitive balance picks. Further, MLB assigns each draft pick in the first ten rounds a slot value, the bonus amount the pick should be worth. The total slot values of all picks determines the team’s bonus pool–how much a team can spend on draft picks. If a team exceeds its bonus pool by five percent or less, it must pay a luxury tax on the excess amount. Penalties escalate to include a higher tax and draft picks for exceeding the bonus pool by over five percent.

As such, the MLB Draft involves a lot of behind-the-scenes direct negotiation with agents and immense amounts of strategy. Indeed, teams with many picks often select players early who will sign below slot value. Then, such teams push players down the draft, by promising an over-slot deal at a later selection. This very well could be the case for the Diamondbacks this year with seven Day 1 selections. Consequently, where a team selects a player in the draft often is not a proper gauge of value. Instead, the bonus amount is the best guide to player value.

2019 MLB DRAFT DAY 1 LIVE OBSERVATIONS

Teams select 78 players during Day 1 of the MLB Draft, including Rounds 1 and 2, compensatory picks, and competitive balance picks. Day 2 consists of Rounds 3 to 10, the remaining rounds with slot values attached to each pick.

Round 1

5 pm EST – Final mock drafts from MLB Pipeline, Fangraphs, 2080 Baseball have the first five picks as Adley Rutschman, Bobby Witt Jr., Andrew Vaughn, J.J. Bleday, and Riley Greene. From there, the mocks deviate. It appears C.J. Abrams may be falling.

6:30 pm EST – Michael Toglia, 1B/OF, UCLA is a late rising prospect on the back of a strong conference performance (.351/.414/.772) for the top team in the country. In fact, he led the Pac-12 in conference-only slugging percentage, ahead of Adley Rutschman, Andrew Vaughn, Hunter Bishop, and Spencer Torkelson. Most recently, Toglia blasted home runs in each of his last two games in NCAA Regionals. UCLA faces Loyola Marymount at 10 pm EST tonight for a spot in the Super Regionals.

6:58 pm ESTFangraphs updated its mock draft and now have C.J. Abrams going 6th overall, in line with other mocks. Nick Lodolo is a common pick for the Reds at 7th overall as well. The Rangers have long been a question mark, often linked to Texas products Josh Jung and Brett Baty.

7:08 pm EST – Jackson Rutledge is so large. He towered over Brett Baty during an interview earlier this evening. There is not a great track record of success for 6’8″ pitchers.

1. Baltimore Orioles – Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State

The anticipated pick all along. Rutschman immediately becomes the top catching prospect in baseball. Rarely, a catcher possesses potential plus hit and power tools with legit defensive ability. This is obviously a great landing spot for Rutschman from a fantasy perspective. He likely will land in the top 20 overall fantasy prospects in the June update next week. In two-catcher or deep (24+) formats, he is my top fantasy prospect in this draft class.

2. Kansas City Royals – Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Coleyville Heritage HS (TX)

Witt Jr. has plus raw power and speed. In addition, most believe he is the best defensive shortstop in this class. His hit tool draws mixed reviews, but he impressed with Team USA and had no issue this spring, though against lesser competition. Arguably, Witt Jr. has the most fantasy upside of any prospect in this draft class as a potential 20/20 or better shortstop.

3. Chicago White Sox – Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California

Vaughn is my top fantasy prospect in this class. He is the best college hitter in recent memory. While he likely is limited to first base, and he lacks ideal size, he has massive power and elite hitting ability. This is a special, pure hitter who should move quickly in the minors. A debut as soon as next year is very possible (Jose Abreu is a free agent). Vaughn is a potential .300+ hitter with 30+ home run power.

4. Miami Marlins – J.J. Bleday, OF, Vanderbilt

The Division I leader in home runs (26), Bleday has a leveraged, powerful left-handed swing from a well-built 6’3″ frame. Plus, he is not just a power hitter. He shows an excellent feel for hitting, driving the ball to all fields, and hitting it where it is pitched. Bleday has potential above-to-plus hit and power tools, and he should move quickly through the minors. With the Marlins front office in attendance, he went 5-for-5 in the SEC Tournament.

5. Detroit Tigers – Riley Greene, Hagerty HS (FL)

The first thing the MLB broadcast said after this selection is describing his swing as “smooth.” This is a very appropriate opening for Greene. He certainly has a beautiful swing! In addition, he has consistently excelled against elite high school competition during the showcase circuit and for Team USA. Greene has a thin, projectable frame with present plus raw power. It is easy to envision a potential plus hit and power tool. In fact, some scouts believe his hit tool is a potential 70-grade tool. Concerns about his athleticism are a bit overblown, in my opinion.

6. San Diego Padres – C.J. Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity HS (GA)

Abrams can fly! As such, some may compare him to 2018 draftee Xavier Edwards. While he may have similar speed, Abrams has three inches on Edwards and far more power potential. Indeed, most project above-average raw power at peak. Currently, he favors contact over power. Even if his game power does not quite take off as anticipated, Abrams still has 10+ home run and 30+ stolen base potential.

7. Cincinnati Reds – Nick Lodolo, LHP, TCU

The first pitcher off the board. Lodolo is tall (6’6″) and projectable with a low-90s fastball, a plus slurve, and feel for a changeup. In addition, he has much improved command of his entire arsenal, especially his fastball, allowing some to project above-average command. Overall, he projects as a high-floor, mid-rotation, 3- or 4-starter absent increased velocity. This profile does not quite carry a lot of fantasy upside.

No surprises so far. The Rangers are the first big question mark.

8. Texas Rangers – Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech

The Rangers appropriately nabbed a Texas prospect. As a sophomore, Jung hit .392/.491/.639 with 12 home runs. Although he struggled at times this year, he finished strong, and showed defensive improvement, including some time at shortstop. Obviously, the bat is the draw here, and Jung has potential above-average hit and power tools.

9. Atlanta Braves – Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor

This pick is compensation for unsigned 2018 first round pick Carter Stewart. Langeliers is an elite defensive player who started to heat up at the plate at the right time, including a massive game in NCAA Regionals (5-for-6, 3 HR, 11 RBI).

Still, most believe Langeliers is just an average hitter with average raw power. He is a far better real-life prospect than fantasy prospect. For example, I did not even rank him in my top 30 fantasy prospects for this draft class. Regardless, Langeliers is a high-floor prospect, almost a sure bet to rank highly on most real-life prospect lists and have a big league career.

10. San Francisco Giants – Hunter Bishop, OF, Arizona State

The younger brother of Braden Bishop (outfield prospect for the Mariners), Hunter has high-end athleticism (heavily recruited as a wide receiver), speed, and raw power. This year, he made significant adjustments, leading to a massive breakout performance. Given his large 6’4″ frame, his speed does not quite play as well on the bases as you would like. Plus, his long levers lead to concerning swing-and-miss issues. In Pac-12 Conference play, Bishop hit just .256/.387/.530 with 38 strikeouts in 29 games. His hit tool likely is below-average, but his double-plus power and plus speed make him a high-upside fantasy prospect.

11. Toronto Blue Jays – Alek Manoah, RHP, West Virginia

Large (6’6″ and 260 pounds) and imposing, Manoah understandably throws mid-to-upper-90s gas. In addition, he has a lethal, power slider. Both pitches are potential plus-to-double-plus offerings. Continued development of his change-up (which he rarely used, but showed promise in the Cape Cod League) and command will determine his ultimate role. Due to his size and two elite pitches, some will believe he is a high-leverage reliever. As a starter, Manoah has 2-starter upside if everything comes together, but there is a lot of risk.

12. New York Mets – Brett Baty, 3B, Lake Travis HS (TX)

Like Jarred Kelenic last year, Baty is old for a prep prospect (19.56), but boy can he hit! A high school basketball player, he has the requisite athleticism to stick at third base with a huge arm. Most importantly, Baty has huge raw power, rivaling anyone in the prep class, and a well-regarded hit tool (he hit .658 this year).

13. Minnesota Twins – Keoni Cavaco, 3B, Eastlake HS (CA)

Few prep prospects have as much upside as Cavaco. A huge rising prospect this spring, he impressed with massive raw power, which some project to double-plus. In addition, Cavaco has plus speed and a plus arm, which profiles well at third base. His pop-up performance means there is little track record against elite prep pitching. Further, there are concerns about swing-and-miss against lesser competition.

14. Philadelphia Phillies – Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV

Many regard Stott’s hit tool as plus and, this year, he added game power to his tool box. Optimists believe he will develop into a plus hitter with above-average raw power, above-average speed, and the ability to stick at shortstop. His overall offensive tools profile somewhat similarly to 2018 first round pick Nico Hoerner.

15. Los Angeles Angels – Will Wilson, SS, NC State

A power hitting middle infielder, Wilson is a consistent college performer in a difficult ACC. As he lacks ideal athleticism, arm strength, or defensive actions for shortstop (he made some bad errors in the ACC Tournament), he is a strong bet to move to second base. Nevertheless, Wilson has average-to-above hit and power potential, and a .260-.270 hitter with 20+ home run pop at second base carries a lot of fantasy value.

16. Arizona Diamondbacks – Corbin Carroll, OF, Lakeside HS (WA)

The day of the Diamondbacks begins! They have seven Day 1 selections. Consequently, expect some maneuvering with a mix of over- and under-slot deals. Carroll profiles extremely similarly to 2018 draftee Alek Thomas, but with slightly louder tools across the board. Just 5’10” and 170 pounds, give or take, he lacks a ton of raw power. However, he makes the most out of his frame, with well-regarded work ethic and strength gains over the past year (see below). The main draws for Carroll are his double-plus speed and potential plus hit tool.

17. Washington Nationals – Jackson Rutledge, RHP, San Jacinto College

As stated above, Rutledge has a XL-frame. A junior college arm, he enjoyed a huge boost in velocity this year, now sitting in the mid-to-upper-90s. Additionally, he has three potential average-to-above offspeed pitches, headlined by a potential plus, mid-to-upper-80s slider. His size and long levers cause him difficulty in repeating his delivery and, consequently, he suffers from some lapses in command. Rutledge may have the most upside of any college arm in the class.

18. Pittsburgh Pirates – Quinn Priester, RHP, Cary-Grove HS (IL)

A self-taught pitcher, Priester promises tantalizing projection, an ideal frame, superb athleticism, well-regarded work ethic, and two potential plus offerings (fastball and curveball). In addition, he has a picture-perfect delivery, which bodes well for his command.

19. St. Louis Cardinals – Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky

Injuries plagued Thompson’s college career. Finally healthy this year, he flourished in the best college conference (SEC). Despite his success, Thompson profiles as a high-floor, 4-starter, with four average-to-above offerings and average command. The MLB broadcast compared him to Brett Anderson (they love comps!), and it looks and feels very appropriate.

20. Seattle Mariners – George Kirby, RHP, Elon

Kirby is a command and control arm with four average-to-above pitches. Further, he has remaining projection with a lanky 6’4″ frame. This year, he had a sparkling 105-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. While he did not face top college competition, he did excel in the Cape Cod League in a relief role. This type of arm tends to fly through the lower minors. Kirby profiles as a high-floor 4-starter, but with upside for more.

21. Atlanta Braves – Braden Shewmake, SS, Texas A&M

A very consistent performer in the SEC, Shewmake has yet to display the game power promised by his 6’4″ frame, largely due to his flat swing. Whether he grows into his frame is an open question. Shewmake may just be a player who always remains thin. Still, he is a versatile defender with an above-average hit tool and potential average raw power and speed. A high-probability player, he lacks much fantasy upside.

22. Tampa Bay Rays – Greg Jones, SS, UNC Wilmington

The Division I leader in stolen bases (37), Jones often earns 80 grades for his speed. This year, he made a lot of progress at the plate and in the field, reducing his strikeout rate by nearly 10%, doubling his isolated slugging percentage, and making far less errors. Now, Jones looks like he may be able to stick at shortstop, with second base or center field as reasonable fallback options. With speed dwindling in the game, he possesses tons of fantasy upside.

23. Colorado Rockies – Michael Toglia, 1B/OF, UCLA

As stated above, Toglia finished strong in Pac-12 Conference play and the NCAA Tournament. A switch-hitter, he has plus raw power from both sides of the plate. His poor early season performance caused concern about his hit tool. Indeed, he has always suffered a good bit of swing-and-miss, including a 63-to-26 strikeout-to-walk ratio this year. Even with a below-average hit tool, his power will play, especially in Coors Field. This is an ideal landing spot for Toglia.

24. Cleveland Indians – Daniel Espino, RHP, Georgia Premier Academy (GA)

Espino has incredible stuff, including a mid-to-upper-90s fastball and two breaking balls that flash plus. Further, he has a promising, but firm, change-up and solid command. However, prep pitchers who throw this hard often suffer arm injuries, he has a long arm action, and he lacks ideal size (reports range from 6’0″ to 6’2″). Regardless, Espino may have the best repertoire in this class and the most upside.

25. Los Angeles Dodgers – Kody Hoese, 3B, Tulane

Hoese was one of the top hitters in Division I this year (.391/.486/.779 with 23 home runs). Large (6’4″) and strong, he has plus (or better) raw power and solid contact skills despite his long levers.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks – Blake Walston, LHP, New Hanover HS (NC)

This pick is compensation for unsigned 2018 first round pick Matt McLain. This may be the first serious reach of the draft, and likely an under-slot deal. Regardless, Walston is athletic and extremely projectable (6’4″ and 175 pounds) with a potential plus or better curveball.

27. Chicago Cubs – Ryan Jensen, RHP, Fresno State

The biggest reach so far. Jensen lacks ideal size (6’0″) and throws very hard, mid-to-upper-90s fastball. His offspeed pitches are both borderline-average and he has average command. Ultimately, he likely profiles as a potential high-leverage reliever.

28. Milwaukee Brewers – Ethan Small, LHP, Mississippi State

A finesse left-handed pitcher, Small utilizes tons of deception to allow his upper-80s-to-low-90s fastball to play up. Further, he has a potential above-average change-up, with excellent arm speed, and above-average command. Development of his breaking ball will be crucial.

29. Oakland Athletics – Logan Davidson, SS, Clemson

Davidson is a switch-hitter with above-average raw power and above-average speed, but a long swing creates some swing-and-miss. This pick is somewhat similar to the Athletics’ pick of Jeremy Eierman last year in terms of hit tool questions, above-average power, and average-to-above speed. Davidson is a better defender, though. Concerningly, he struggled in the Cape Cod League two straight summers.

30. New York Yankees – Anthony Volpe, SS, Delbarton HS (NJ)

An above-average defender, Volpe lacks much upside at the plate, with limited power and speed. More of a gamer, strong real-life prospect, than a fantasy performer.

31. Los Angeles Dodgers – Michael Busch, 1B/OF (2B?!), UNC

This pick is compensation for unsigned 2018 first round pick J.T. Ginn. Busch struggled down the stretch, causing him to fall to the late first round. In addition, he lacks size (6’0″) and athleticism, likely limiting him to left field defensively. At the plate, however, he has a long track record of success, hitting and hitting for power. Busch has a quick, left-handed swing, with all-fields power and excellent discipline. Interestingly, the Dodgers announced him as a second baseman!

32. Houston Astros – Korey Lee, C, California

Overshadowed by Andrew Vaughn, Lee quietly performed very well this year (.338/.419/.626 with 15 home runs). He has plus raw power, but a borderline-average hit tool and some swing-and-miss concerns. Most importantly, Lee is a solid defender with a strong arm.

Compensation Picks

33. Arizona Diamondbacks – Brennan Malone, RHP, IMG Academy (FL)

This pick is compensation for Patrick Corbin. Presumably, Malone is an over-slot deal as a well-regarded prep arm with a low-to-mid-90s fastball and three average-to-above secondaries (slider, curveball, and change-up). Further, he has an ideal 6’4″ frame with remaining projection. At the National High School Invitational in April, he impressed in front of tons of scouts.

34. Arizona Diamondbacks – Drey Jameson, RHP, Ball State

This pick is compensation for A.J. Pollock. Jameson is a small (6’0″ and 165 pounds) fireballer with a mid-to-upper-90s fastball, two potential above-average breaking balls, and an inconsistent change-up that flashes plus. His electric stuff lead to 146 strikeouts in 91 2/3 innings this year. However, his poor command and diminutive size lead many to project him to the bullpen. As a draft-eligible sophomore, Jameson will not come cheap.

Competitive Balance Round A

35. Miami Marlins – Kam Misner, OF, Missouri

My 14th overall fantasy prospect in this class, Misner possesses mammoth power and plus speed. A disastrous performance in SEC play caused his draft stock to plummet. Now, many question is ability to hit high-quality pitching. Further, his large 6’4″ frame likely will cause his speed to play down. Still, Misner has an intriguing power/speed blend.

36. Tampa Bay Rays – J.J. Goss, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS (TX)

Cypress Ranch boasts two well-regarded pitchers, Matthew Thompson and Goss. As the spring progressed, Goss passed his teammate, promising a projectable 6’3″ frame, present low-90s velocity, a potential plus slider, and an improved, fading change-up.

37. Pittsburgh Pirates – Sammy Siani, OF, William Penn Charter School (PA)

This pick is compensation for unsigned 2018 pick Gunnar Hoglund. The younger brother of 2018 draftee Michael Siani, Sammy lacks his brother’s elite speed, but makes up for it with a more polished approach at the plate. Overall, his tools all fall around average, with his speed and defense occasionally drawing plus grades.

38. New York Yankees – T.J. Sikkema, LHP, Missouri

The Yankees acquired this pick from the Reds in the Sonny Gray trade. A classic crafty left-handed arm, Sikkema utilizes tons of deception, including changing his arm slot. In addition, he enjoyed a wildly successful stretch between the Cape Cod League (1.72/1.00 ERA, 31 1/3 IP, 23/8 K/BB) and his junior year (1.32/0.96 ERA/WHIP, 88 2/3 IP, 101/31 K/BB). His repertoire is merely average, with a low-90s fastball, an above-average slurve, and an average change-up. Sikkema profiles as a fast-moving reliever, where his velocity should play up a bit more.

39. Minnesota Twins – Matt Wallner, OF, Southern Mississippi

Like Michael Toglia above, Wallner suffered a slow start, likely due to a forearm strain which kept him from pitching this year. Once conference play began, however, he took off, hitting .389/.486/.867 with 15 home runs! His hot hitting continued into the NCAA Tournament, including an absolute moonshot (below). A prototypical right fielder, Wallner possesses easy plus to double-plus raw power and a huge arm.

40. Tampa Bay Rays – Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell

The Rays acquired this pick from the Athletics in the Jurickson Profar and Brock Burke trade. A former JUCO shortstop, Johnson has only fully committed to pitching for one year. While his numbers are mediocre, he possesses nice upside, with impressive feeling for the craft and two potential plus pitches: a low-to-mid-90s fastball and a mid-80s slider.

41. Texas Rangers – Davis Wendzel, 3B, Baylor

The Rangers acquired this pick from the Brewers in the Alex Claudio trade. Another Texas third baseman, Wendzel has an above-average hit tool, leading to a huge year (.367/.484/.610). Further, he is a strong defender at third base and should stick, quelling any size-related concerns (6’0″). However, he has just borderline-average game power and, as such, may not profile at a corner position.

Round 2

42. Baltimore Orioles – Gunnar Henderson, SS, Morgan Academy (AL)

Henderson is tall (6’3″) and projectable with potential average-to-above hit and power tools, and plus raw power potential. As he fills out, he may require a move to third base. Notably, he has drawn comparisons to 2018 draftee Jordan Groshans.

43. Boston Red Sox – Cameron Cannon, SS, Arizona

Cannon can hit. This year, he slashed .397/.478/.651 with just 29 strikeouts. However, his above-average hit tool likely is his only above-average tool, maybe his only average tool. Cannon possesses only borderline-average power and speed. In the field, he is a poor defender with an average arm, leading the Pac-12 Conference in errors (22). As such, many project him to play second base or third base long-term.

44. Kansas City Royals – Brady McConnell, SS, Florida

A former highly rated prep prospect, McConnell barely played last year with Florida. This year, he exploded on to the scene, hitting .332/.385/.576 with 15 home runs. A high-upside prospect, he possesses plus raw power and speed. Despite his elite tools, McConnell has a highly questionable hit tool and a poor 57-to-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio. As a draft-eligible sophomore, he carries a lot of leverage and likely will demand a hefty price tag. Still, the Royals arguably drafted the two shortstops with the best power/speed combinations in the class.

45. Chicago White Sox – Matthew Thompson, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS (TX)

The teammate of J.J. Goss, Thompson struggled with inconsistent stuff this spring. At his best, he has a low-90s fastball, an above-average mid-80s slider, and a projectable frame.

46. Miami Marlins – Nasim Nunez, SS, Collins Hill HS (GA)

Nunez is an excellent defensive shortstop with double-plus speed, but he is small (5’9″ and 155 pounds) and lacks much power.

47. Detroit Tigers – Nick Quintana, 3B, Arizona

Quintana is a strong defensive third baseman with above-average raw power, but swing-and-miss issues, including 33.6% strikeouts in the Cape Cod League last year. Still, he has a solid bat, hitting .342/.462/.626 with 15 home runs and 54-to-45 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his junior year.

48. San Diego Padres – Joshua Mears, OF, Federal Way HS (WA)

A surprise selection for many, Mears is a large (6’3″ and 235 pounds) and powerful (plus raw power), and had a big spring, but he is raw at the plate and lacks much speed (athletic, though).

49. Cincinnati Reds – Rece Hinds, 3B, IMG Academy (FL)

With a large and powerful 6’4” frame, Hinds possesses mammoth power, regularly launching blasts in home run derbies and games. However, he has a questionable hit tool and uncertain defensive home.

50. Texas Rangers – Ryan Garcia, RHP, UCLA

An elite performer, Garcia anchored the staff of the best team in college baseball with a 1.36/0.83 ERA/WHIP and 109-to-25 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 86 1/3 innings. While he excelled, he lacks size (6’0″) or a plus pitch, with four average-to-above offerings, including a low-90s fastball.

51. San Francisco Giants – Logan Wyatt, 1B, Louisville

Over the last two years, Wyatt has walked 131 times (plus, 29 times in the Cape Cod League)! While an extremely patient, passive hitter, he only has borderline-average game power, despite above-average raw power and a large 6’4″ and 230-pound frame.

52. Toronto Blue Jays – Kendall Williams, RHP, IMG Academy (FL)

A teammate of Brennan Malone and Rece Hinds, Williams has comparable upside with a highly-projectable 6’6″ frame and a deep, five-pitch repertoire. Currently, his stuff is mediocre, with a low-90s four- and two-seam fastball and three average secondaries, but could improve as he fills out.

53. New York Mets – Josh Wolf, RHP, St. Thomas HS (TX)

Over the past year, Wolf made significant strength gains, adding weight to his thin 6’2″ frame, and he now runs his fastball up to the mid-90s. In addition, he flashes a plus, upper-70s curveball. Like most prep arms, he needs to refine his change-up and command.

54. Minnesota Twins – Matt Canterino, RHP, Rice

The model of consistency, Canterino has logged 93+ innings with 111+ strikeouts three straight years. With borderline-average stuff, headlined by a mid-80s slider, he relies upon repertoire depth, command, and deception to find success. Specifically, Canterino employs an unusual delivery, with a high effort leg raise before gathering and driving toward the plate.

55. Los Angeles Angels – Kyren Paris, SS, Freedom HS (CA)

Paris is a gifted defensive shortstop with plus speed and a solid, line-drive stroke. While he currently has limited power, he is still filling out and may develop average-to-above power at peak.

56. Arizona Diamondbacks – Ryne Nelson, RHP, Oregon

A college closer, and failed starter (he started 4 games early this year), Nelson has a potential double-plus, mid-to-upper-90s fastball in relief and an above-average power slider. As he lacks much command or a third pitch, he is likely a future reliever.

57. Pittsburgh Pirates – Matt Gorski, OF, Indiana

A raw, high-upside prospect, Gorski has an ideal, 6’4″ frame, plus speed, and plus raw power. However, his hit tool is a work-in-progress (.271/.371/.498 with 62 strikeouts).

58. St. Louis Cardinals – Trejyn Fletcher, OF, Deering HS (ME)

Fletcher was a late reclassification from the 2020 to 2019 class and a cold-weather prospect all the way up in Maine. As such, teams had less eyes on than other prep prospects. Nevertheless, he possesses a tantalizing blend of plus tools (power, speed, and arm strength). Fletcher likely will demand a significant signing bonus.

59. Seattle Mariners – Brandon Williamson, LHP, TCU

Another left-handed TCU starter, Williamson has a four-pitch repertoire of average offerings and borderline-average command. Standing at 6’6″, he has excellent size and some remaining projection.

60. Atlanta Braves – Beau Philip, SS, Oregon State

A junior college replacement for Cadyn Grenier, Philip is a below-average hitter with nominal power and some speed, but no standout tool.

61. Tampa Bay Rays – John Doxakis, LHP, Texas A&M

62. Colorado Rockies – Aaron Schunk, 3B, Georgia

A potential two-way player, Schunk thrived at the plate (.336/.368/.580) and on the mound as the closer for Georgia. Notably, he stepped up his game in SEC play (.362/.389/.571). Schunk is an aggressive hitter, walking just 13 times, with potentially average hit and power tools.

63. Cleveland Indians – Yordys Valdes, SS, McArthur HS (FL)

Valdes is a slick defender with a weak bat and only average speed. Not a fantasy relevant prospect.

64. Chicago Cubs – Chase Strumpf, 2B, UCLA

Strumpf struggled at times this year, hitting just .288/.422/.489 with 61 strikeouts. Still, most observers believe he is a potential above-average hitter, partially on the basis of his strong sophomore campaign (.363/.475/.633). With only borderline-average power and little speed, Strumpf possesses only modest fantasy upside.

65. Milwaukee Brewers – Antoine Kelly, LHP, Wabash Valley College (IL)

It is all about upside with Kelly, who is 6’6″ with a mid-to-upper-90s fastball. However, the rest of his game is extremely raw, though he shows some aptitude for a slider.

66. Oakland Athletics – Tyler Baum, RHP, UNC

Baum has a low-to-mid-90s fastball and two potential average secondaries. The strength of his change-up, command, and build (slight 6’2″) lead some to project him to the bullpen.

67. New York Yankees – Josh Smith, 2B, LSU

A college shortstop, Smith was announced at second base, likely due to his more limited athleticism. This year, he returned from an injury-shortened sophomore year and impressed in the SEC (.346/.436/.533). Smith has a bevy of average tools, including his hit, raw power, and speed tools.

68. Houston Astros – Grae Kessinger, SS, Ole Miss

During SEC play, Kessinger slashed .405/.472/.556 with just 12 strikeouts in 30 games, launching him from a potential Day 2 selection into the second round. Now, most believe he has a potential above-average hit tool, but little else in the way of impact tools.

69. Boston Red Sox – Matthew Lugo, SS, Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy (P.R.)

A young, raw prep shortstop, Lugo has a promising bat with a line-drive stroke. He has more upside than a normal late second round selection, and he could develop average-to-above tools across the board. With a strong commitment to Miami, Lugo likely will require a substantial signing bonus.

Competitive Balance Round B

70. Kansas City Royals – Alec Marsh, RHP, Arizona State

71. Baltimore Orioles – Kyle Stowers, OF, Stanford

A Stanford hitter, Stowers employed a more controlled swing and approach during the spring, causing his power to play down in games. However, he has plus raw power, which he fully displayed in the Cape Cod League (.326/.361/.565 with 6 home runs, but 34 strikeouts). Of course, Stowers taps into his power at the expense of his hit tool, which likely plays below-average.

72. Pittsburgh Pirates – Jared Triolo, 3B, Houston

Triolo has a nice track record of hitting, including .276/.364/.423 in the Cape Cod League and .332/.420/.512 this year. Further, he is a well-built third baseman with a strong arm and solid fielding ability. However, he lacks much game power and bat speed, limiting his offensive upside.

73. San Diego Padres – Logan Driscoll, C, George Mason

Driscoll is a career .336 hitting for George Mason, and he doubled his isolated slugging percentage this year (.339/.462/.600). In the Cape Cod League, though, he hit just .204/.250/.235, leading many to question his ability to hit more advanced pitching.

Here comes a run on Michigan and Arkansas players!

74. Arizona Diamondbacks – Tommy Henry, LHP, Michigan

Henry possesses three average offerings, with his low-80s change-up carrying above-average potential. This spring, his fastball velocity, and the quality of his secondaries, fluctuated. During Big-10 Conference play, he performed poorly (6.50/1.44 ERA/WHIP). In all, he profiles as an innings-eating backend starter.

75. Arizona Diamondbacks – Dominic Fletcher, OF, Arkansas

The Diamondbacks acquired this pick from the Cardinals in the Paul Goldschmidt trade.

The younger brother of David Fletcher, Dominic enjoyed a successful three-year run with Arkansas. While he played center field for the Razorbacks, he likely will move to right field given his below-average speed. There, it is unclear whether his bat will play, as he has swing-and-miss issues (52-to-24 strikeout-to-walk ratio) and lacks plus raw power.

76. Seattle Mariners – Isaiah Campbell, RHP, Arkansas

The Mariners acquired this pick from the Indians in the Edwin Encarnacion trade.

77. Colorado Rockies – Karl Kauffmann, RHP, Michigan

Kauffman is an underrated arm with a sinking, low-90s fastball and two average-to-above secondaries. Arguably, he is the superior Michigan arm.

Compensation Picks

78. Los Angeles Dodgers – Jimmy Lewis, Lake Travis HS (TX)

This pick is compensation for Yasmani Grandal. The teammate of Brett Baty, Lewis is quite the prospect himself, with a large, projectable 6’6″ frame, a low-90s fastball, and two promising offspeed pitches. Over the past year, his velocity has increased approximately 5 mph, and most expect him to add even more velocity as a professional.

Day 1 Fallout

Many top prospects did not hear their names called on Monday, including Matthew Allan, Maurice Hampton, Jack Leiter, and Tyler Callihan. Leiter has a strong commitment to Vanderbilt and has made it known he is unlikely to sign absent a huge payday. Hampton clearly expressed his intent to honor his commitment to LSU to play football and baseball on Twitter, then deleted his account.

Jesse Roche's 2019 Prospect Series

DateArticle
11/5/18Top 600 Dynasty League Players, Fall Preview
11/12/182019 Top 40 Fantasy Catcher Prospects
11/19/182019 Top 30 Fantasy First Base Prospects
11/26/182019 Top 30 Fantasy Second Base Prospects
12/3/182019 Top 40 Fantasy Third Base Prospects
12/10/182019 Top 70 Fantasy Shortstop Prospects, Part 1
12/17/182019 Top 70 Fantasy Shortstop Prospects, Part 2
12/24/182019 Top 140 Fantasy Outfield Prospects, Part 1
12/31/182019 Top 140 Fantasy Outfield Prospects, Part 2
1/7/192019 Top 210 Fantasy Pitching Prospects, Part 1
1/16/192019 Top 210 Fantasy Pitching Prospects, Part 2
1/21/19Upon Further Review: Notable Grade Changes
1/28/192019 Top 500 Fantasy Prospects
2/11/192019 Top 100 Upside-Only Fantasy Prospects
2/20/192019 First Year Player Draft Rankings
3/11/192019 Impact Prospects
3/18/192019 Breakout Prospects
4/1/19Prospects Breaking Camp
4/3/19Monthly Prospect Update: Infielders, March 2019
4/4/19Monthly Prospect Update: Outfielders, March 2019
4/5/19Monthly Prospect Update: Pitchers, March 2019
4/22/19Scouting Report: Grayson Rodriguez
4/29/19Scouting Reports: Delmarva & Greensboro
5/2/19Monthly Prospect Update: Infielders, April 2019
5/4/19Monthly Prospect Update: Outfielders, April 2019
5/8/19Monthly Prospect Update: Pitchers, April 2019
5/10/19Top 200 Fantasy Prospects, May 2019
5/27/192019 MLB Draft: Top Fantasy Prospects
6/3/192019 MLB Draft Live Observations
6/5/19Monthly Prospect Update: Infielders, May 2019
6/6/19Monthly Prospect Update: Outfielders, May 2019
6/7/19Monthly Prospect Update: Pitchers, May 2019
6/10/19Top 200 Fantasy Prospects, June 2019
6/17/192019 Short Season Assignments: DSL, PIO, NWL & NYP
6/24/192019 Short Season Assignments: AZL, GCL & APP
7/1/19Monthly Prospect Update: Infielders, June 2019
7/3/19Monthly Prospect Update: Outfielders, June 2019
7/5/19Monthly Prospect Update: Pitchers, June 2019
7/8/192019/2020 First Year Player Draft, Rounds 1-2
7/12/19Top 600 Dynasty League Players, July 2019
7/15/192019/2020 First Year Player Draft, Rounds 3-4
7/22/192019/2020 First Year Player Draft, Rounds 5-6

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO POST COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, OR YOUR OWN OBSERVATIONS!

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @JAROCHE6

The Author

Jesse Roche

Jesse Roche

Jesse is an attorney, currently residing in Greensboro. An avid fantasy baseball player, Jesse has experience in a diverse range of leagues, including head-to-head, rotisserie, points, and simulation. Jesse is a four-time website-wide champion at Benchwarmer Baseball and a repeat champion of a dynasty league with John Sickels at Minor League Ball. With a specific interest in baseball prospects, Jesse plans to provide in-depth analysis of up-and-coming stars accessible to all league sizes and types.

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