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2019/2020 First Year Player Draft, Rounds 3-4

Following the 2019 MLB Draft in early June, I gathered sixteen prospect writers from across the industry for a six-round first year player draft. This esteemed group includes writers from Baseball Farm, Baseball HQ, Baseball Prospectus, Fantrax, MLB Pipeline, Prospects 365, Prospects 1500, Prospects Live, Rotographs, Rotowire, Rotoworld, and, of course, The Dynasty Guru.

ParticipantInformationTwitter
Alex JensenMLB Draft Lead & Prospect Scout for Baseball Farm@jensen_juicy
Bret SayrePresident of Baseball Prospectus & Founder of The Dynasty Guru@BretSayreBP
Chris BlessingProspect Writer for Baseball HQ@C_Blessing
Christopher CrawfordWriter for NBC Sports/Rotoworld@Crawford_MILB
Eddy AlmaguerWriter for Prospects Live@EddyAlmaguer
Eric CrossLead MLB Writer & MLB Prospect Analyst for Fantrax@EricCross04
James AndersonLead Prospect Analyst & Assistant Baseball Editor for Rotowire@RealJRAnderson
Jesse RocheSenior Prospect Writer for The Dynasty Guru@jaroche6
Matt ThompsonCo-Founder of Prospects Live & Co-Owner of Friends With Fantasy Benefits@mdthompFWFB
Mike RosenbaumProspect Writer for MLB Pipeline@GoldenSombrero
Ralph LifshitzCo-Founder of Prospects Live@ProspectJesus
Ray ButlerFounder of Prospects 365@Prospects365
Shelly VerougstraeteWriter for Rotographs, FWFB & Pitcher List and Nationals Correspondent for Prospects 1500@ShellyV_643
Tom TrudeauWriter for The Dynasty Guru@TomTrudeau
Will ScharnaglRoyals Correspondent for Prospects 1500@WillScharnagl
Wilson KaramanProspect Content Editor for Baseball Prospectus@vocaljavelins

The rules of the first year player draft are simple. The hypothetical league is a standard, 5-by-5 format with a 500-player active roster and unlimited minors (to the extent the 96th selection is rosterable). All recent draftees and anticipated international free agents are eligible. No other amateur or professional players are eligible.

In order to better capture player value, participants could trade draft picks, and, of course, there were several trades.

  • Tom trades 1.5 and 5.5 to James for 1.16 and 2.1
  • Will trades 1.10, 3.42, and 5.74 to Tom for 1.16, 3.37, and 4.60
  • Will trades 1.16 and 4.60 to Eric for 2.30 and 3.35

Last week, I revealed the results of the first two rounds of the first year player draft. This article details the results of the third and fourth rounds, and, next week, the rest of the draft results will follow! Previously, I touched upon many of the top fantasy prospects in the 2019 MLB Draft, and I provided my live observations during Day 1. What do the industry experts have to say?

2019/2020 First Year Player Draft, Rounds 3-4

Pick No.ParticipantPlayer NamePositionMLB Team
33Eddy AlmaguerSammy SianiOFPittsburgh Pirates
34Jesse RocheZack ThompsonLHPSt. Louis Cardinals
35Will ScharnaglTrejyn FletcherOFSt. Louis Cardinals
36Matt ThompsonDavis Wendzel3BTexas Rangers
37Will ScharnaglBraden ShewmakeSSAtlanta Braves
38Ralph LifshitzLogan DavidsonSSOakland Athletics
39Wilson KaramanMatthew LugoSSBoston Red Sox
40Alex JensenKyren ParisSSLos Angeles Angels
41Bret SayreAnthony VolpeSSNew York Yankees
42Tom TrudeauNasim NunezSSMiami Marlins
43Shelly VerougstraeteChase Strumpf2BChicago Cubs
44Chris BlessingLuis RodriguezOFLos Angeles Dodgers
45Christopher CrawfordCameron Cannon2BBoston Red Sox
46Ray ButlerMatthew AllanRHPNew York Mets
47Mike RosenbaumKendall WilliamsRHPToronto Blue Jays
48James AndersonBrennan MaloneRHPArizona Diamondbacks
49James AndersonBlake WalstonLHPArizona Diamondbacks
50Mike RosenbaumJJ GossRHPTampa Bay Rays
51Ray ButlerBayron LoraOFTexas Rangers
52Christopher CrawfordShea LangeliersCAtlanta Braves
53Chris BlessingHudson HeadOFSan Diego Padres
54Shelly VerougstraeteSeth JohnsonRHPTampa Bay Rays
55Will ScharnaglJoshua MearsOFSan Diego Padres
56Bret SayreNick Quintana3BDetroit Tigers
57Alex JensenJack KochanowiczRHPLos Angeles Angels
58Wilson KaramanJordan BrewerOFHouston Astros
59Ralph LifshitzKyle StowersOFBaltimore Orioles
60Eric CrossYiddi CappeSSMiami Marlins*
61Matt ThompsonAaron Schunk3BColorado Rockies
62Eric CrossBryant PackardOFDetroit Tigers
63Jesse RocheJake SanfordOFNew York Yankees
64Eddy AlmaguerDrew Mendoza3BWashington Nationals

3.33. Eddy Almaguer – Sammy Siani, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

A hit-over-power left-handed bat, Siani is a prep outfielder who has a good foundation of skills without lacking any one tool. While there is some vacillation on where his power lies, I think there is above-average power potential thanks to a slight uppercut swing that more often than not connects due to his smooth stroke.

3.34. Jesse Roche – Zack Thompson, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals

Prior to this year, injuries plagued Thompson’s promising career, including a sore elbow that caused him to miss nearly two months last year. Now healthy, he has dominated the difficult SEC (2.27/1.06 ERA/WHIP, 67 1/3 IP, 93/27 K/BB). Thompson has a deep, four-pitch repertoire, including a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a mid-80s, power slider, a mid-70s curveball, and a lesser-used, but solid, change-up. Impressively, all four pitches flash average-to-above. Despite elite performance, Thompson profiles as a quick-moving, high-floor, 4-starter. In fact, the Cardinals already promoted him to High-A.

3.35. Will Scharnagl – Trejyn Fletcher, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

A top prospect in the class of 2020, Fletcher immediately became a very interesting case when he reclassified to the class of 2019. Despite all the raw tools in the world, he is a high-risk, high-reward pick from a cold-weather state (Maine) due to his lack of experience playing against good competition. This lead to questions about his hit tool and signability, allowing him to fall to the Cardinals in the second round. Overall, Fletcher possesses the tools scouts absolutely dream of. He is an elite athlete, plays a solid center field, and has the potential to hit for a decent average and a lot of power. There are very few players in this draft who I think have as much potential (30/30) as Fletcher.

3.36. Matt Thompson – Davis Wendzel, 3B, Texas Rangers

Wendzel has strong plate skills that bump his above-average hit and power tools up a bit. The complete package on offense, he can also pick it at third. Get ready for the Justin Turner comps due to the hair and beard combo, but those also make sense from a tools standpoint as well.

3.37. Will Scharnagl – Braden Shewmake, SS, Atlanta Braves

Shewmake is a tall, athletic, college shortstop who does everything well, but does not particularly stand out in any aspect of his game, with all of his tools likely grading average-to-above. Despite unorthodox motions at the plate, Shewmake has a consistent, leveraged stroke and quick hands to allow him to make solid contact very often. If he adds weight to his lanky, 6’4” frame, he could be a 20/20 player down the line. Outside of Andrew Vaughn and J.J. Bleday, Shewmake may have the best chance to make a quick impact in the majors. In fact, the Braves already assigned him to Low-A Rome, where he is off to a fast start (.932 OPS, 10 2B in 21 G). Most importantly, Shewmake can play basically any position on the field, and his peak likely is as a Ben Zobrist type super utility man.

3.38. Ralph Lifshitz – Logan Davidson, SS, Oakland Athletics

Dipping back into the college hitting class with the former Clemson shortstop. The athletic switch-hitter is coming off consecutive strong seasons at Clemson, but struggled to hit during his two summers down the Cape. I caught Davidson a few times between the Cape and Clemson’s visit to Boston College, and the looks were Jeckyl and Hyde like. He was flat out bad on the Cape, but redeemed himself with a good showing this spring. Davidson is a risk/reward pick at a discounted price.

3.39. Wilson Karaman – Matthew Lugo, SS, Boston Red Sox

The Champs popped Carlos Beltran’s nephew in the real-life second round, and I’m more than happy to cop Lugo in the third here. It is more sum-of-parts value than standout-in-one-area, and guys like that can lose perceived value in dynasty because they are boring. I also do not love the lead time here, as it is the kind of well-rounded prep profile that is not likely to either move fast or take the league by storm once he is finally seasoned and ready. But Lugo is one of those guys who just has the look of a good player, and one with a lot of avenues to helpful production. Snagging a guy like that nearly 40 picks deep is a real testament to the depth of this draft class.

3.40. Alex Jensen – Kyren Paris, SS, Los Angeles Angels

Paris is one of the youngest players in the entire class, still 17 years old for another 4 months. A premium athlete and defender, he has 60-grade speed, and he should be a premium defender who sticks at short. Hyper-projectable with an athletic, 6’1″ and 165-pound frame, he should grow into more strength with time. Paris makes good contact with a line drive oriented swing. I like to bet on athletes and I prefer guys who make good contact over loft. It is easier to change the swing plane of a guy who already has bat-to-ball skills than teach a guy to make good contact. The Angels’ track record with premium athletes makes me even more confident. I see Andrelton Simmons with some untapped upside.

3.41. Bret Sayre – Anthony Volpe, SS, New York Yankees

There may not be any plus tools here, but Volpe projects to be at least average across the board, and 40-plus picks into this first year player draft, I’ll take one more stab at a player who is likely to have a major-league future instead of a purely fun flier. He is lauded for his makeup and if you are going to bet on anyone outperforming their skillset, it is the player who might just hit.

3.42. Tom Trudeau – Nasim Nunez, SS, Miami Marlins

Billed as the dreaded “glove-first prospect” in many baseball publications, Nunez possesses double-plus speed that gives him oodles of fantasy upside despite the slap-and-dash approach. If he can hit juuuust enough for his glove to get him into MLB lineups regularly, he could be a mainstay in our fantasy lineups, too. With Nunez, you are hoping for the Xavier Edwards archetype.

3.43. Shelly Verougstraete – Chase Strumpf, 2B, Chicago Cubs

With my third pick, I decided to go with the advanced college bat of Stumpf.  In his best season at UCLA, he slashed .363/.475/.633, struck out 53 times, and walked 45 times. Strumpf struggled a bit this season, but I have confidence in the Cubs’ player development staff when it comes to hitters. He will have to continue to hit as he is only a second baseman and just an average one at that. With that being said, give me prospects that can hit and we will work on defense. It worked for Marcus Semien, right?

3.44. Chris Blessing – Luis Rodriguez, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

I’m usually risk adverse and never pick July 2nd types. After debating Matthew Allan and Blake Walston, who were both picked before my fourth round selection, I targeted Luis Rodriguez, who is the best prospect out of Venezuela. I’m betting on the hit tool and the power to come. Although Rodriguez is probably not a center fielder, I do believe he will have enough power to fit into a corner outfield spot.

3.45. Christopher Crawford – Cameron Cannon, 2B, Boston Red Sox

I’m happy to be able to get Cannon this “late” in the first year player draft. I see a second baseman with a plus hit tool who could provide some pop from the right side. While he is not going to give you many steals, Cannon is a good hitter, and I would not be shocked if he was a quick advance for Boston.

3.46. Ray Butler – Matthew Allan, RHP, New York Mets

Pitching prospects are naturally fickle, but this could be the steal of the draft in retrospect. Allan is one of the top prep arms in the 2019 MLB Draft, but fell to the third round due to signability concerns. Nevertheless, the Mets managed to sign him for a huge, over-slot $2.5 million bonus. Allan boasts an upper-90s fastball, a plus curveball, and a changeup that could eventually become an above-average offering. In a first year player draft that–let’s face it, is shallow—I had no problem (at the time of this selection) living with the risk that the 6’3″ right-handed arm might honor his commitment to the University of Florida instead of signing with the Mets.

3.47. Mike Rosenbaum – Kendall Williams, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays

I had been thinking about going after high-ceiling-type arms with my middle picks, and I was pushed even further in that direction when Ray took Matthew Allan in front of me. Knowing I had another pick around the bend, and intending to get back-to-back arms, I decided to go with Williams, a 6’6″ high school arm with good feel for pitching and a lot of remaining projection. Another gamble, perhaps, considering there were good college players still on the board, but I’m thinking long-term with most of my picks and Williams fits that plan.

3.48. James Anderson – Brennan Malone, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

4.49. James Anderson – Blake Walston, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

If we are being honest, I’m taking either a big leaguer or a prospect that is not from this draft class by this point if it is a league like TDGX where the entire player universe is available in the first year player draft. All of the top-200 prospects are gone.

Malone and Walston not only represented the two best players available, but they also come with very high ceilings and nobody has a high floor in this range. Malone has the smoothest delivery among the prep pitchers and possibly the best fastball, when factoring in present command. He should end up with four average or better pitches, so there is clear upside here, but as a prep righty he is obviously very risky. Walston is a really projectable lefty with size (6’4″) and stuff. If the fastball improves–and I would be surprised if it did not–front-of-the-rotation upside will come into focus. When you take two high school arms like this, you are really just crossing your fingers that one of them works out.

4.50. Mike Rosenbaum – JJ Goss, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

Back to pick here after Ray set off a mini-run on high school arms, I decided to keep that run alive by taking Goss, who I was honestly surprised was still on the board. Another guy who is presently nasty, flashing big league stuff with so much room to improve and get physically stronger. Between Rutledge, Williams, and now Goss, I feel like I have a chance to develop one or more 3-starter or better arms who could also serve as nice trade bait with hot starts to their respective careers.

4.51. Ray Butler – Bayron Lora, OF, Texas Rangers

There is always so much unknown with international free agents, but Lora fits the profile of a potential fantasy monster and serves as solid value at this point of the draft. Reports suggest the 16-year-old already possesses 70-grade raw power, which should eventually tip the scale with further physical maturation and development. Already standing at 6’4″ and 235 pounds, Lora projects as a bat-first corner outfielder. As is typical with these profiles, the hit tool will be a work-in-progress early in his professional career.

4.52. Christopher Crawford – Shea Langeliers, C, Atlanta Braves

Another college player for me, what have I become? Langeliers is much better with the glove than the bat, but I think the bat is getting undersold. I see above-average power from the right side, and I think he can make just enough hard contact to have close to an average hit tool, as well. The fact he is so good with the glove also should help him move quickly through the Atlanta system. I would not be shocked if he was an everyday backstop at this point in 2021, and I think that is a nice thing to get this “late” in the draft.

4.53. Chris Blessing – Hudson Head, OF, San Diego Padres

Receiving a record bonus in the third round, Head is my third round pick. I do not know much about the player other than he is a five-tool prospect with good bat speed and a projectable body. However, I know enough about the scouting and player development departments to know they are one of the best at identifying and developing talent. It was costly to get Head out of his commitment to Oklahoma and the Padres would not have spent $3.0 million (22nd overall pick money) in the third round if they did not believe in the kid.

4.54. Shelly Verougstraete – Seth Johnson, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

Johnson has a pretty interesting story. He was a struggling shortstop who moved to the mound during his junior year of college. Despite his short time as a pitcher, he has a very smooth delivery, and great fastball, slider, and change-up combination. The Rays are pretty good and developing pitchers so I feel “safe” with taking a pitcher here.

4.55. Will Scharnagl – Joshua Mears, OF, San Diego Padres

Despite being relatively unknown before last summer, Mears boosted his stock all the way up to the second round. At 6’3” and 235 pounds, he looks like he could be lining up at linebacker rather than in an outfield. This size helps Mears to have some of the best raw power in the draft. One look at his batting practices will make anyone see the potential in his bat. Mears has very fast hands, plus bat speed, and a fairly pretty swing. In addition, he runs extremely well for a guy pushing 250 pounds, and I believe 5-10 stolen bases per year is realistic. Of course, his approach still needs a ton of work and he is extremely raw. If Mears puts everything together, though, you could be looking at a 35+ home run bat.

4.56. Bret Sayre – Nick Quintana, 3B, Detroit Tigers

A strong power hitter out of Arizona, Quintana flies slightly under the radar because there have been concerns about the contact rate that comes along with his plus raw. That said, Detroit doesn’t exactly have a lot of hitting prospects that will prevent him from getting plenty of run to see if he can be part of their next contending team.

4.57. Alex Jensen – Jack Kochanowicz, RHP, Los Angeles Angels

Kochanowicz was a must draft guy for me in this first year player draft. As a cold weather (Pennsylvania), prep righty, he has obvious risk, but he is a no doubt top 5 arm in the class for me based off of pure upside. Standing at 6’6″ and 210 pounds, Kochanowicz is very projectable, and his velocity already ticked up from 88-91 to 90-95 with high spin rates on his curveball and change-up. Despite his size and youth, he repeats his crossfire delivery very well with excellent downhill plane and extreme extension, making all of his pitches play up. Although Kochanowicz comes with risk, he could be what we all hoped Carter Stewart was going to be this time last year and he really reminds me of Forrest Whitley when he was drafted.

4.58. Wilson Karaman – Jordan Brewer, OF, Houston Astros

Now that he is done leading Michigan to the College World Series Finals, Brewer can move on to bigger and better things, specifically Houston’s player development machine. There is not a ton of track record here, with just one season of big-stage performance against quality competition, and he was uneven through the bulk of Michigan’s post-season run, but he is a great athlete with speed, power, and a reasonable contact rate against the best pitching he has yet seen. It is a flyer, but a really fun one at this stage of the draft.

4.59. Ralph Lifshitz – Kyle Stowers, OF, Baltimore Orioles

Stowers is a corner outfielder with above average-power and a good approach at the plate. Otherwise, he is average across the board making him a good everyday player with the sum of his parts. Stowers played some centerfield in college, but should profile long-term as a corner outfielder with value in his bat. Although he had some swing-and-miss with Falmouth last summer on the Cape, his approach numbers with Stanford were excellent. I like the bat and I like the new front office in Baltimore.

4.60. Eric Cross – Yiddi Cappe, SS, Miami Marlins*

In addition to having a fun name to say, Cappe is one of the top international players in this year’s international crop. All of his offensive tools are above-average to plus and there is more raw power to be tapped into. At peak, he could be a .280/25/20 player.

*Cappe has yet to sign during this international signing period, and many outlets speculate he will wait to sign until next year. Sources believe the Marlins are likely to sign him at that point for approximately $3.5 million.

4.61. Matt Thompson – Aaron Schunk, 3B, Colorado Rockies

Schunk played third baseman and served as the closer for the Georgia Bulldogs. The Rockies have some work to do with him from the offensive side, but the potential is there for him to become a strong offensive contributor. Schunk needs to focus on pulling the ball in the air more to draw out some of that raw pop. In the SEC, he had a tendency to hit line drives the other way.

4.62. Eric Cross – Bryant Packard, OF, Detroit Tigers

Packard is one of my favorite under the radar bats for this year’s first year player draft crop. A fifth rounder out of East Carolina, he is a polished collegiate bat with a good feel for hitting and above-average raw power.

4.63. Jesse Roche – Jake Sanford, OF, New York Yankees

A former JUCO walk-on from Canada, Sanford was a relative unknown until a huge spring performance at Western Kentucky (.398/.483/.805 with 22 home runs). This out-of-nowhere rise from afterthought, if that, to third round pick is due to his loud offensive tools, including prolific power and above-to-plus foot speed. However, it is an open question whether he can hit quality pitching, but this type of upside at this juncture in the draft is well worth any risk. A left-handed hitter, he should also benefit from the short porch at Yankee Stadium.

4.64. Eddy Almaguer – Drew Mendoza, 3B, Washington Nationals

At this stage in the draft, I’m hunting for tools, not so much overall profile. Mendoza’s carry tool is his power, graded by some as plus-plus raw. The Florida State third baseman might soon see a move to first base which is a knock against him, as is his ability to hit which will limit the game power. But, I’m optimistic the Nationals can leverage his 6’5″ frame to maximize the lefty bat’s potential.

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
7/29/19Short Season Breakout Prospects
8/7/19Monthly Prospect Update: Infielders, July 2019
8/8/19Monthly Prospect Update: Outfielders, July 2019
8/9/19Monthly Prospect Update: Pitchers, July 2019
8/12/19Top 200 Fantasy Prospects, August 2019
8/19/19Scouting Report: Seth Corry
9/11/19Monthly Prospect Update: Infielders, August 2019
9/13/19Monthly Prospect Update: Outfielders, August 2019
10/4/19Top 200 Fantasy Prospects, September 2019

Please feel free to post comments, questions, or your own observations!

Next Monday, the results of Rounds 5 and 6 of the First Year Player Draft. Stay tuned!

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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