2019 MLB Draft Primer

by Bobby Sylvester | @bobbyfantasypro | Featured Writer
May 24, 2019

Bobby believes there may be a “Turner with power” in the draft class

The MLB Draft is coming up quickly with just 10 more days to count down. You may not see an immediate fantasy impact, although top-end prospects can make for stellar trade chips in a dynasty championship run. Apart from the fantasy relevancy, however, this is a much underappreciated day on the sports calendar every year. Just three years ago, Pete Alonso and Nick Senzel had their names called, and with Keston Hiura recently making his debut, the influx of talent from the 2017 class is starting to make its way into the bigs. As the Cubs and now Astros can tell you, the MLB Draft can quickly change the course of your franchise. I know most of you don’t know the first thing about the players so let me introduce you to a few of my favorites before we dive into a mock draft next Friday.

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Who has the highest fantasy potential?

#1 Bobby Witt Jr. (SS – TX High School)
It seems likely that the Orioles will go with all-around catcher, Adley Rutschman number one, but Witt is in the conversation. He possess 40-steal speed with tantalizing exit-velocities and perhaps even better defense at shortstop. He is a lock to stick at the position and carries the type of upside to put up Adalberto Mondesi and Trea Turner type of numbers if he continues progressing into his virtually unlimited potential.

#2 Hunter Bishop (OF – Arizona St.)
#3 Riley Greene (OF – FL High School)
#4 Adley Rutschman (C – Oregon St.)
#5 Brett Baty (3B – TX High School)

Who are the safest players?

#1 Andrew Vaughn (1B – Cal)
If Vaughn played any other position, you could bet on him going 1.1 this year. First basemen are rarely selected that high, however. He is your typical masher with a heavy build, and has the most certain college bat we’ve seen in years. If he doesn’t hit .300 with 30 homers at some point down the road, I’d be absolutely astonished. Think of a right-handed Prince Fielder with a better body.

#2 Adley Rutschman (C – Oregon St.)
#3 Logan Davidson (SS – Clemson)
#4 George Kirby (SP – Elon)
#5 Josh Jung (3B – Texas Tech)

Who are the big lottery tickets?

#1 Daniel Espino (SP – GA High School)
Like other high-upside pitchers before him, Espino has some command issues that he needs to get in order. His delivery is clean but an MLB team may need to tweak his mechanics to get more consistent results. If they do, he has two potential plus breaking balls to go with a heater that touches triple-digits. I don’t need to tell you that a combination like that could turn into a future ace. More than likely, he will come off the board between picks 15 and 30 but don’t sleep on him honoring his commitment to LSU and returning to the draft in a few years once he boosts his stock.

#2 Rece Hinds (OF – FL High School)
#3 Tre Fletcher (OF – ME High School)
#4 Blake Walston (SP – NC High School)
#5 Drew Mendoza (3B – Florida St.)

What does next year’s draft class look like?

While much can and will change in 12 months, as of now, it seems to be among the weaker classes in the last decade. There is no true elite prospect and only a handful who scream first round locks. The real talent is in the 2021 class as Kumar Rocker looks like a possible Justin Verlander-type prospect and Blaze Jordan is the best power-bat since Bryce Harper. If you want to take a look at the current top-five, these are the players to pay attention to:

#1 Dylan Crews (OF – FL High School)
#2 Austin Hendrick (OF – PA High School)
#3 Spencer Torkelson (1B – Arizona St.)
#4 Cole Wilcox (SP – Georgia)
#5 Pete-Crow Armstrong (OF – CA High School)

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Bobby Sylvester is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Bobby, check out his archive and follow him @BobbyFantasyPro.

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2Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
3Christian McCaffrey (CAR)RB
4Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
5Chris Carson (SEA)RB
6James Conner (PIT)RB
7Aaron Jones (GB)RB
8Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
9Derrick Henry (TEN)RB
10DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
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12Julio Jones (ATL)WR
13Nick Chubb (CLE)RB
14Josh Jacobs (OAK)RB
15Michael Thomas (NO)WR
16Marlon Mack (IND)RB
17Latavius Murray (NO)RB
18Cooper Kupp (LAR)WR
19Tyler Lockett (SEA)WR
20Sony Michel (NE)RB
21Chris Godwin (TB)WR
22Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
23Phillip Lindsay (DEN)RB
24T.Y. Hilton (IND)WR
25Kenny Golladay (DET)WR
26Tevin Coleman (SF)RB
27Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
28Mike Evans (TB)WR
29Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
30Stefon Diggs (MIN)WR
1Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)LF,CF
2Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
3Mookie Betts (BOS)CF,RF
4J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
5Trevor Story (COL)SS
6Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
7Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,CF
8Trea Turner (WSH)SS
9Alex Bregman (HOU)3B,SS
10Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
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11Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
12Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
13Gerrit Cole (HOU)SP
14Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B
15Javier Baez (CHC)2B,3B
16Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
17Aaron Judge (NYY)RF,DH
18Juan Soto (WSH)LF
19Anthony Rendon (WSH)3B
20Bryce Harper (PHI)CF,RF
21Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
22Xander Bogaerts (BOS)SS
23Starling Marte (PIT)CF
24Walker Buehler (LAD)SP
25Manny Machado (SD)3B,SS
26Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B
27Kris Bryant (CHC)3B,RF
28Whit Merrifield (KC)1B,2B
29George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
30Paul Goldschmidt (STL)1B
1Anthony Davis (LAL)PF,C
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
4Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
5Kevin Durant (BKN)SF,PF
6LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
7Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
8Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
9Damian Lillard (POR)PG
10Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
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11Russell Westbrook (HOU)PG
12Paul George (LAC)SF,PF
13Joel Embiid (PHI)PF,C
14Kawhi Leonard (LAC)SG,SF
15Chris Paul (OKC)PG
16Kyrie Irving (BKN)PG,SG
17Kemba Walker (BOS)PG
18Jimmy Butler (MIA)SG,SF
19Ben Simmons (PHI)PG,SF
20Jrue Holiday (NOR)PG,SG
21Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
22Donovan Mitchell (UTH)PG,SG
23John Wall (WAS)PG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
25Andre Drummond (DET)PF,C
26Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
27Khris Middleton (MIL)SG,SF
28Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
29Draymond Green (GSW)PF,C
30LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
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