Way Too Early FYPD Ranks
We finally got a taste of baseball action this past week with the MLB Draft. Due to COVID-19 and ownership (eyeroll), the draft was only five rounds this year. The draft class itself was easily one of the most talented classes in recent memory. Unlike last year, the class was chock full of college arms but there are top 100 prospect level college and prep level bats. I thought it would be a fun exercise to put together a Way Too Early FYPD list. I’m doubtful we will see any of these players this year unless we get access to whatever extended spring training looks like. Without further ado, here are my top ten prospects for your FYPD.
1 Spencer Torkelson (Age: 20) – 3B(?)/1B – Detroit Tigers
This pick was easy for the Tigers and should be for you if you have the first pick in the draft. In a surprising move, Torkelson was announced as a third baseman instead of a first baseman. I’m guessing they are going to see if he can make the switch to the hot corner but I think he will be back over at first whenever he makes it up to Tigers Stadium.
2 Austin Martin (Age: 21) – SS/OF – Toronto Blue Jays
Some players in the fantasy baseball circles have made the case that Austin Martin should be the first player selected in FYPD. Martin does make a great case for it. He should be a five-category contributor and the Toronto Blue Jays have a great core of young bats to surround him with. He will probably shift to the outfield or maybe second base but if you have the first or second pick in the draft, you really cannot go wrong.
3 Nick Gonzales (Age: 20) – SS/2B – Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates were lucky to have Nick Gonzales fall to them with the seventh overall pick but he shouldn’t fall that far in your FYPD. While he will probably not be the five-category contributor like Martin or bring the power of Torkelson, Gonzales will bring average and power to your squad. The 12 home runs in 84 plate appearances before the season was shut down was impressive but don’t expect that level of power from Gonzales. I would expect to see double-digit with an above-average batting average with plenty of RBI opportunities.
4 Asa Lacy (Age: 20) – LHP – Kansas City Royals
For me, I thought Lacy was the best pitcher available on the draft board and to see him go fourth to the Royals was pretty shocking. He is 6’4” lefty and 215 lbs and just looks like a starter. Fastball sits in the mid-nineties, great slider, plus changeup and above-average curveball. After posting a 2.13 ERA with 130 strikeouts in 88.2 innings in his first full season as a starter in 2019, Lacy was well on his way to more dominance in 2020. In four starts he struck out 46 batters compared to eight walks and allowed just two earned runs—good for a 0.75 ERA. His delivery is smooth and easily repeatable and a competitive demeanor on the mound. KC has something going here with their pitching. Daniel Lynch, Jackson Kowar, Brady Singer, Kris Bubic, and now Asa Lacy. Pretty legit starting rotation and very young.
5 Max Meyer (Age: 21) – RHP – Miami Marlins
Meyer has really moved up draft boards and looking at video and scouting reports it is easy to see why. Meyer easily has the best slider in the entire draft class. After pitching out of the bullpen in 2018, he successfully moved into a starter’s role in 2019 where he posted a 2.11 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 76.2 innings pitched. He sits in the low nineties and he is not expected to add much more velocity, mainly due to his 6’0″ frame. That being said, he has excellent command and the ability to get batters to swing and miss. The Marlins have been great in developing pitchers and he could move fast through their system as he is a polished college right-handed pitcher, the “safest” bet in the draft.
6 Zac Veen (Age: 18) – OF – Colorado Rockies
Rockies hitters typically rank highly in dynasty rankings just due to their environment. However, with Veen, he would rank highly even if he was not in Colorado. Veen has a smooth, left-handed swing that he uses to get to his above-average power. Not only does he bring power but also brings an excellent batting eye and patience at the plate. He gets deep into counts and waits for his pitch that he can drive to all fields. He has played centerfield during high school and should begin his career there but I could see him move to one of the corners by the time he makes his debut in Coors Field.
7 Emerson Hancock (Age: 20) – RHP – Seattle Mariners
Hancock busted onto the scene after his sophomore season where he had a 1.99 ERA, 0.84 WHIP. He might have some of the best command plus stuff in the class. His fastball sits in the mid-nineties with a low eighties slider that is above-average. His best secondary is his changeup that has been able to generate a bunch of swings and misses. He should be a good to great pitcher and what the Mariners have going on with Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, and others to go along with their increased focus on pitching development. Things are looking good for Seattle.
8 Garrett Mitchell (Age: 21) – OF – Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers must have been kicking themselves when Garrett Mitchell was available with the twentieth overall pick. He was a starter all three years at UCLA but he did not break out until his sophomore year. Mitchell is an 80-grade runner with massive raw power. His swing is a bit choppy so if the Brewers can unlock something with his swing he could be a five-category contributor. Mitchell is a prospect with a very high ceiling that is easy to gamble on in your FYPD.
9 Austin Hendrick (Age: 18) – OF – Cinncinati Reds
I was pretty excited to see the Reds select Austin Hendrick with the twelfth overall pick. Like Veen, he is a prep hitter that brings both an above-average hit tool and power. I will have to give Hendrick the better power potential, especially knowing that he will call Great American “Small” Park home. Hendrick has a leg kick that helps him get to his 70-grade power and quick hands through the zone. Scouts and evaluators are a bit torn on which outfield position he will ultimately end up at but that should not matter has the power potential is too much to pass up.
10 Ed Howard (Age: 18)- SS – Chicago Cubs
Howard is easily the best prep shortstop in the draft on both sides of the ball. He has quick feet and a strong throwing arm and should have no problem sticking at the position. He has good feel for contact and adequate bat speed. The power hasn’t quite materialized but being 6’2′ and 185 pounds, there is projectable power. He is more of a gap to gap hitter at present but with some work with the Cubs, he should be able to refine his approach at the plate.