2019/2020 First Year Player Draft, Rounds 5-6
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.
|Alex Jensen||MLB Draft Lead & Prospect Scout for Baseball Farm||@jensen_juicy|
|Bret Sayre||President of Baseball Prospectus & Founder of The Dynasty Guru||@BretSayreBP|
|Chris Blessing||Prospect Writer for Baseball HQ||@C_Blessing|
|Christopher Crawford||Writer for NBC Sports/Rotoworld||@Crawford_MILB|
|Eddy Almaguer||Writer for Prospects Live||@EddyAlmaguer|
|Eric Cross||Lead MLB Writer & MLB Prospect Analyst for Fantrax||@EricCross04|
|James Anderson||Lead Prospect Analyst & Assistant Baseball Editor for Rotowire||@RealJRAnderson|
|Jesse Roche||Senior Prospect Writer for The Dynasty Guru||@jaroche6|
|Matt Thompson||Co-Founder of Prospects Live & Co-Owner of Friends With Fantasy Benefits||@mdthompFWFB|
|Mike Rosenbaum||Prospect Writer for MLB Pipeline||@GoldenSombrero|
|Ralph Lifshitz||Co-Founder of Prospects Live||@ProspectJesus|
|Ray Butler||Founder of Prospects 365||@Prospects365|
|Shelly Verougstraete||Writer for Rotographs, FWFB & Pitcher List and Nationals Correspondent for Prospects 1500||@ShellyV_643|
|Tom Trudeau||Writer for The Dynasty Guru||@TomTrudeau|
|Will Scharnagl||Royals Correspondent for Prospects 1500||@WillScharnagl|
|Wilson Karaman||Prospect 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
Over the last two weeks, I revealed the results of Rounds 1-2 and Rounds 3-4 of the first year player draft. This week, we complete the first year player draft! 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 5-6
|Pick No.||Participant||Player Name||Position||MLB Team|
|65||Eddy Almaguer||Dasan Brown||OF||Toronto Blue Jays|
|66||Jesse Roche||James Beard||OF||Chicago White Sox|
|67||Eric Cross||Ethan Small||LHP||Milwaukee Brewers|
|68||Matt Thompson||Noah Song||RHP||Boston Red Sox|
|69||James Anderson||Jimmy Lewis||RHP||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|70||Ralph Lifshitz||Logan Wyatt||1B||San Francisco Giants|
|71||Wilson Karaman||Yordys Valdes||SS||Cleveland Indians|
|72||Alex Jensen||Ismael Mena||OF||San Diego Padres|
|73||Bret Sayre||Josh Wolf||RHP||New York Mets|
|74||Tom Trudeau||Glenallen Hill Jr.||SS||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|75||Shelly Verougstraete||Christian Cairo||SS||Cleveland Indians|
|76||Chris Blessing||Colin Barber||OF||Houston Astros|
|77||Christopher Crawford||Drey Jameson||RHP||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|78||Ray Butler||Arol Vera||SS||Los Angeles Angels|
|79||Mike Rosenbaum||Antoine Kelly||LHP||Milwaukee Brewers|
|80||James Anderson||Dauri Lorenzo||SS||Houston Astros|
|81||James Anderson||Enmanuel Rodriguez||OF||Minnesota Twins|
|82||Mike Rosenbaum||Ryan Jensen||RHP||Chicago Cubs|
|83||Ray Butler||Luis Gutierrez||LHP||San Diego Padres|
|84||Christopher Crawford||Maximo Acosta||SS||Texas Rangers|
|85||Chris Blessing||Will Holland||SS||Minnesota Twins|
|86||Shelly Verougstraete||Stephen Paolili||OF||Atlanta Braves|
|87||Will Scharnagl||Ronnier Quintero||C||Chicago Cubs|
|88||Bret Sayre||Graeme Stinson||LHP||Tampa Bay Rays|
|89||Alex Jensen||Jose Salas||SS||Miami Marlins|
|90||Wilson Karaman||Joe Naranjo||1B||Cleveland Indians|
|91||Ralph Lifshitz||Kevin Made||SS||Chicago Cubs|
|92||Tom Trudeau||Beau Philip||SS||Atlanta Braves|
|93||Matt Thompson||Ryan Pepiot||RHP||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|94||Eric Cross||Luis Medina||OF||Milwaukee Brewers|
|95||Jesse Roche||Jhon Diaz||OF||New York Yankees|
|96||Eddy Almaguer||Junior Sanchez||SS||Miami Marlins|
5.65. Eddy Almaguer – Dasan Brown, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
I’m a sucker for speed, and Brown is hands down the fastest player of the entire class, showcasing true, 80-grade speed. While he can be a plus defender in center, there is a lot of room to improve at the plate, where the Canadian standout can only handle fastballs at the moment. I expect a slow ascent through the minors but the steals can be gaudy.
5.66. Jesse Roche – James Beard, OF, Chicago White Sox
Beard rivals Brown as the fastest player in this first year player draft. Not only does Beard receive top-of-the-scale, 80 grades for his speed, but Kiley McDaniel posited he “could be the fastest man in pro baseball.” Indeed, he reportedly ran a 6.21 60-yard dash last summer. Most importantly, he has aggressively utilized his speed on the bases at showcase events and throughout his high school career. Beard’s hitting ability and power potential are open questions, however, and early returns from his debut evidence his raw bat.
The defense needs to be on their toes when James Beard steps up to the plate. Even just a small mistake will allow him to reach base with that speed #WhiteSox pic.twitter.com/hy3y9SMYDx
— Sean Williams (@Sean_W10) July 14, 2019
5.67. Eric Cross – Ethan Small, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers
While Small might have been a reach as a first round pick, there is still solid upside here with three above-average offerings and strong command. He has the looks of a mid-rotation arm.
Ethan Small, 4 Windups (quick pitch, regular, pause and long pause), Overlay. pic.twitter.com/SMD8RJx3dx
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 24, 2019
5.68. Matt Thompson – Noah Song, RHP, Boston Red Sox
Song was one of the top pitchers in college this year, and led the nation in strikeouts per nine innings, but questions about a Naval commitment caused him to slip to the third round. The fastball is the best pitch here, but his curveball took a step forward and is now a plus pitch as well. It is a high-risk, high-reward pick, but Song has the look of a future 2- or 3-starter.
5.69. James Anderson – Jimmy Lewis, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
With Lewis, it is all about projecting how much his arsenal could improve in the coming years. While his fastball is currently a low-90s offering, he should add good weight to his 6’6″ and 200-pound frame, which, coupled with pro training, could lead to his fastball being a 70-grade pitch. Lewis also features a potentially plus curveball and an average changeup. Despite his size, his delivery should prove repeatable, and he is athletic enough that I expect him to develop average command. That is a 2-starter ceiling.
5.70. Ralph Lifshitz – Logan Wyatt, 1B, San Francisco Giants
Wyatt is another advanced college hitter with a good plate approach. In many ways, his bat profiles in a similar way to Michael Busch, and they share many of the same concerns in my mind. It is hit over power with some questions about the bat playing at first base long-term. While I think these concerns are magnified in Wyatt’s profile versus Busch, his on-base ability is on par with the Dodgers’ first rounder and among the best in the draft. Much like Busch, there were some power gains over the summer and into the spring. Wyatt slugged .438 in the Cape Cod League last summer, which is better than it sounds, as only six players slugged over .500 in 2018. He proceeded to tapped into more power this season with Louisville producing his first .200+ ISO campaign.
5.71. Wilson Karaman – Yordys Valdes, SS, Cleveland Indians
No, this league does not include FRAA among its scoring categories, but as arguably the top defensive shortstop from the prep ranks this year, Valdes is going to get a whole lot of leeway and investment in the development of his bat. I think there is sneaky projection to his frame, and there is likewise some raw material to work with in building a future swing that drives pitches with more authority than he has to date.
5.72. Alex Jensen – Ismael Mena, OF, San Diego Padres
I was really surprised to see Mena still on the board here after many international prospects had gone. He is a 6’3″ and 185-pound, 16-year-old who draws comparisons to a young Gregory Polanco. Likely the fastest runner in the international class, Mena receives double-plus speed grades. Further, he is a plus center fielder with a very strong arm and good jumps. While his large frame may cause his speed to regress as he fills out, he should be able to stay in center field. Meanwhile, he likely will grow into even more power. At the plate, Mena makes good contact to all fields. This package is second only to Jasson Dominguez in this international class for five-category upside. In fact, Mena may offer even more pure upside due to frame differences (though, Dominguez has a much higher floor). Further, the Padres have a favorable history of developing similar profiles.
5.73. Bret Sayre – Josh Wolf, RHP, New York Mets
I was eyeing Jordan Brewer with this pick after I took Nick Quintana in the fourth round, but the spotlight from the College World Series shone a little too bright and Wilson snapped him up. So I pivoted, and went with the highest-upside arm left on the board. In reality, there is not much of a difference between Wolf and prospects like Blake Walston and Kendall Williams, who went 25-30 picks earlier. It is a typical fastball/curve prep pitcher profile, so I will keep my fingers crossed.
5.74. Tom Trudeau – Glenallen Hill Jr., SS, Arizona Diamondbacks
After a two-run ? in his first ever professional at bat last night, @Dbacks 4th rounder Glenallen Hill Jr. drives in 2️⃣ more with a single past first base. Signed for 2nd round money ($850k) out of Santa Cruz HS, he also shows soft hands at second. pic.twitter.com/U11M9f3wMH
— Jacob Zweiback (@TheReelJZ) June 24, 2019
5.75. Shelly Verougstraete – Christian Cairo, SS, Cleveland Indians
The son of major leaguer Miguel Cairo, Christian is on the smaller side but there is some growth potential. He is super fast on the base paths and in the field. This slick defender should be able to stay at short. Cairo has a high-contact, spray the ball to all fields approach. There is upside here for a guy that hits doubles to the gaps with the ability to pick up a few steals here and there.
5.76. Chris Blessing – Colin Barber, OF, Houston Astros
A fourth round pick, Barber is the only non-college pick in the first 17 rounds for Houston. Some scouts knocked the level of competition he played against in high school. However, on the showcase circuit, Barber showed plus bat speed and over-the-fence power.
5.77. Christopher Crawford – Drey Jameson, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Jameson is yet another college player for me — the prep side of this first year player draft just did not do much for me — but I think there is more upside here than some people think. When he was at his best this year, he showed three plus pitches, and the fastball would flash plus-plus. The question is if he can do that consistently, but he does not turn 22 years old until August, so there is definitely time. Worst come to worst, I think Jameson could be a closer.
5.78. Ray Butler – Arol Vera, SS, Los Angeles Angels
Standing at 6’2″ and 170 pounds, Vera is a switch-hitting shortstop and the second best Venezuelan prospect in this international class behind Luis Rodriguez. Physical projection is the name of the game for Vera as he possesses a frame you can dream on. His development could eventually cause a move away from shortstop, but the teenager possesses the offensive tools and fluidity to be a difference maker regardless of defensive position.
5.79. Mike Rosenbaum – Antoine Kelly, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers
After a million-pick layoff, basically any player I thought might fall to me was already taken. You sharks. So for lack of a better strategy, I just continued to go after potential high-ceiling arms who had fallen down our board. Kelly is an athletic but raw lefty with a 94-96+ mph arm and an idea how to repeat, and there is something to be said for the Brewers ability to identify and develop college arms. I’m betting on him just as they are. This was my favorite pick.
Strong professional debut for #Brewers 2nd-round pick Antoine Kelly
2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Fastball sat 94-96 mph. Here’s Kelly striking out #Padres prospect Hudson Potts. pic.twitter.com/W7CekVznf5
— William Boor (@wboor) June 29, 2019
5.80. James Anderson – Dauri Lorenzo, SS, Houston Astros
I really love Lorenzo’s bat speed. He should be able to use that quick bat to hit for a high average and hit for power from both sides of the plate. He is also a plus runner. For me, he ranks fifth in this international class behind Jasson Dominguez, Robert Puason, Luis Rodriguez and Erick Pena. Lorenzo’s 6’1″ and 160-pound frame is perfect for adding good weight without compromising athleticism. He may stick at shortstop, but I really do not think it matters. The bat should play anywhere on the dirt.
6.81. James Anderson – Enmanuel Rodriguez, OF, Minnesota Twins
After the top-tier guys in every international class, I like to go after guys whose power potential is their “weakest” tool as long as they (a) have a strong hit tool, (b) are at least above-average runners, (c) are not built like a twig, and (d) will add some defensive value. Prospects who check all those boxes often develop power later. Rodriguez fits this profile perfectly. It will be crucial for him to work diligently on his cardio and his diet so that he does not get too stiff in the midsection.
6.82. Mike Rosenbaum – Ryan Jensen, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Jensen is nasty. I get the stigma, because he is a normal-sized human and right-handed and all, but he is also just nasty with a really live arm and live stuff. That plays. There is something here. I do not know what, honestly, but the Cubs think he is something and they beat us all on Nico Hoerner a year ago. Jensen, with his stuff, should have Major League value. P.S. Anyone want to make a trade for one of my pitching prospects?
6.83. Ray Butler – Luis Gutierrez, LHP, San Diego Padres
I always target upside and projection at the tail-end of first year player drafts, and I believe I’ve attained that by snagging Gutierrez with my last pick. Still only 15 years old, the southpaw is currently undersized at 5’11” and 170 pounds. However, international evaluators believe Gutierrez has a frame that will add size—both in height and weight—as he develops physically. The left-hander’s arsenal currently consists of three pitches: a high-80s fastball that will undoubtedly tick-up as he develops, a sharp curveball that currently projects as his best pitch, and a changeup that shows promise but needs further refinement. Drafting Gutierrez is a long-term commitment, but upside, athleticism, and projectability are hard to come by so late in a first year player draft. I trust the Padres to properly develop the 15-year-old Venezuelan.
6.84. Christopher Crawford – Maximo Acosta, SS, Texas Rangers
Acosta reportedly has one of the most advanced hit tools of this international class, and I cannot pass on that this late in the first year player draft. It is also worth pointing out Texas has done very well in developing these types of talents, so, I like that, too.
6.85. Chris Blessing – Will Holland, SS, Minnesota Twins
Holland was on my board at 4.5 and 5.12 despite going against my upside strategy. He was a borderline first round pick leaving the Cape last year for some teams. Then, he had a disastrous 2019 season at Auburn, knocking him to the 5th round. The Twins went over slot to sign Holland who fits at shortstop and has a history of wood bat performances.
.@Twins 5th round pick Will Holland recently arrived in Elizabethton, here’s a round of his batting practice today pic.twitter.com/VHXMDtHzx7
— Nicholas Badders (@BadderUpSports) June 27, 2019
6.86. Shelly Verougstraete – Stephen Paolini, OF, Atlanta Braves
There are not many reports on Paolini, but I like what the Braves have done with hitters in recent years. He is a cold-weather (Connecticut) prep outfielder with plus speed. One report also mentioned Paolini should be able to hit for a bit of power from the left-hand side. To me, he sounds Ender Inciarte-ish.
6.87. Will Scharnagl – Ronnier Quintero, C, Chicago Cubs
The Cubs added yet another talented catcher in Quintero from Venezuela for $3 million. This far down in the draft, you are better off investing in upside. Young catchers take a lot of work, but Quintero has the tools to make it worth the wait. Quintero has easy power from the left-side, and compliments it with an advanced approach and a knack for making solid contact. I could easily see him hitting 20+ home runs, which would already make him one of the top fantasy catchers, but throw in a .275+ average and the potential for even more power, and you are looking at a guy who could be the best catcher in baseball. Although he is not elite defensively, he has solid mechanics and a strong arm, so it is likely he will stay behind the plate, where few have more potential in their bat than he does.
6.88. Bret Sayre – Graeme Stinson, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays
This deep in the draft, I might as well go with the player equivalent of the shruggy guy. Once thought of as the top lefty in this draft class after a dominant sophomore season (mostly in the bullpen), Stinson was not only bad in his brief junior season at Duke, but his velocity dropped precipitously and an injury held him out the last six weeks of the season. It is a dart throw, but if the mid-90s velocity returns, he could see a future as an elite reliever.
6.89. Alex Jensen – Jose Salas, SS, Miami Marlins
Salas is a hyper-athletic switch-hitting shortstop from Venezuela who just signed for $2.8 million. He sports plus to double-plus run times depending on reports with good instincts. With a 6’1″ and 150-pround, projectable frame, Salas has real power upside. Last summer, he stood out at the WWBA National Championship with elite contact skills. Salas has been mentioned as having 30/30 upside although I think 20/30 is more likely. His father, Jose Salas, is likely the top trainer in Venezuela and has trained other top prospects including Daniel Flores, who was regarded as arguably better than Wander Franco before tragically dying of cancer the summer of 2017.
6.90. Wilson Karaman – Joe Naranjo, 1B, Cleveland Indians
6.91. Ralph Lifshitz – Kevin Made, SS, Chicago Cubs
I wanted to get in on some of the international action, so I grabbed Made with my last pick. Hold your puns… Signed by the Cubs for $1.7 million, he has been praised for his ability to hit for power and his defensive prowess by Baseball America’s Ben Badler. Not sure if I knowingly did this, but I sandwiched four college bats between two highly touted teenagers.
6.92. Tom Trudeau – Beau Philip, SS, Atlanta Braves
This home run by Beau Philip … 483 feet and 107 mph off the bat.
— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) May 25, 2019
6.93. Matt Thompson – Ryan Pepiot, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
It is not surprising that this high spin rate arm ended up being selected by the Dodgers. Armed with a plus changeup to go along with his mid-90s heater, Pepiot was third in strikeouts per nine innings in Division I. The landing spot combined with the newly plus changeup make him an interesting flier late in drafts.
6.94. Eric Cross – Luis Medina, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
It is damn impressive to see a 16-year-old with as much raw power as Medina. With plus or better raw power and a swing that generates loft, the power potential here is massive. In addition, Medina projects to hit for a decent average.
6.95. Jesse Roche – Jhon Diaz, OF, New York Yankees
Overshadowed by the Yankees’ more high-profile international signee Jasson Dominguez, Diaz also has five-category upside. Although he has a stocky build, and lacks as much projection as other international prospects, he still packs a punch, with potential average raw power. The draw here, however, is his well-regarded present hitting ability with a quick, compact swing, a feel for all-fields contact, and solid plate discipline. Add present plus speed to the mix and you have a prospect with potential average-to-above future hitting ability, power, and speed. Meanwhile, Diaz has consistently performed in games, and he receives unanimous acclaim for his baseball instincts.
I also strongly considered Alexander Ramirez, OF, New York Mets, another high-upside international prospect, and Josh Smith, 2B, New York Yankees, an advanced college bat from LSU with potential average tools across the board.
6.96. Eddy Almaguer – Junior Sanchez, SS, Miami Marlins
A Dominican shortstop that signed for just over $1 million, Sanchez has a projectable frame that should fill out, especially in his upper body. The lefty’s best tool is his hit, where it could be potentially above-average thanks to his zone awareness and average bat speed. The upside is not tremendous here, but it is a commendable lotto ticket to cap the draft.
The 2019/2020 First Year Player Draft is now complete! I want to again thank all the writers who participated in the draft. It was a ton of fun and an excellent exercise, even if the value of many of these players fluctuates over the coming months. Finally, I encourage our readers to follow each of these writers on Twitter and read their articles. The more perspectives, and eyes on, prospects, the better!