I lied to you loyal Razzball readers. In part 1 of this 2019 fantasy baseball mock draft hosted by Justin Mason of Friends with Fantasy Benefits, I told you this was going to be a four-part series. Well, unfortunately between rounds 23 and 24, the MLB regular season ended and thus, so did our Fantrax mock draft. The draft room disappeared from the league page and every future pick was being auto-drafted. Rather than waste your time discussing random players being auto-drafted I’m just going to highlight a few notable undrafted players at the bottom of this article. Back to the draft itself: three words can sum up rounds 15 through 23: risk, relievers and rookies. You’ll soon see what I mean. (BTW, the 2nd part of the fantasy baseball mock draft.)

Round 15

Round.Pick Player Selected 2018 Fantasy Pros ADP
15.169 Tyler Glasnow 400
15.170 Rick Porcello 216
15.171 Austin Meadows 616
15.172 Will Smith N/A
15.173 Luke Weaver 118
15.174 Lance McCullers Jr. 115
15.175 Trevor Williams 415
15.176 Elvis Andrus 65
15.177 Yoenis Cespedes 80
15.178 Sean Newcomb 317
15.179 Zack Godley 113
15.180 Jesse Winker 345

My Pick

15.169, Tyler Glasnow, SP: I’m not even going to talk about Glasnow, the Pirates reliever. I’m only here for Glasnow, the Rays ace! Yes I said it. ACE! Because that’s what he’s going to be in 2019. After his July 31st trade, Glasnow made 11 starts and I’d say only one of them was a true disaster — a 0.2 inning, 7 ER disaster against the Blue Jays. Remove that one nasty start, and it brings his ERA as a starter from 4.20 to a much more respectable 3.11. And I haven’t even mentioned the 10.3 K/9 he had in those starts!

Interesting Picks

15.176, Elvis Andrus, SS: This draft drop is a result of Andrus missing 65 games in 2018, but I think it is a mistake. Before this season, Andrus played in at least 145 games in 9 straight seasons. In those 9 seasons, he averaged 30 SBs and 83 runs with a .277 AVG. Players with those numbers don’t usually make it to round 15. If he’s discounted this much in your league, you need to pounce — although I don’t think he will last this long.

15.180, Jesse Winker, OF: Let me get this spoiler out of the way now — Jesse Winker is going to be my Most Valuable Fantasy Hitter in the 2019 Razzball predictions article. I see the risk here with Winker. His season ended due to shoulder surgery. This is a shoulder injury that has been hindering Winker since 2015. It has caused him to not crack 10 HRs in 4 straight seasons. Before this injury, he had 16 HRs in 2013, 18 in 2014 and 13 in 2015. If this surgery gets his shoulder back to 100% I believe he can reach 20 HRs while continuing his unbelievable BB:K rate (49:46 in 2018; 330:385 in 566 minor league games). 

Rounds 16 & 17

Round.Pick Player Selected 2018 Fantasy Pros ADP
16.181 Kirby Yates 552
16.182 Carlos Rodon 400
16.183 Odubel Herrera 209
16.184 Cody Allen 94
16.185 Miguel Cabrera 88
16.186 Justin Smoak 137
16.187 Sean Doolittle 117
16.188 Julio Teheran 206
16.189 Ramon Laureano N/A
16.190 Bo Bichette 846
16.191 Ken Giles 97
16.192 Framil Reyes N/A
17.193 Cesar Hernandez 279
17.194 Rich Hill 119
17.195 Jake Arrieta 91
17.196 Alex Reyes 298
17.197 Adam Eaton 149
17.198 Jon Gray 161
17.199 Ian Happ 249
17.200 Jon Lester 103
17.201 Carlos Santana 143
17.202 Johan Camargo 482
17.203 Buster Posey 56
17.204 Hunter Renfroe 321

My Picks

16.192, Franmil Reyes, OF: On the tight end-sized outfielder scale, I’m hoping Reyes is more Aaron Judge than Kyle Banks. The 28.1% K-rate isn’t K-great, but an 8.4% walk rate isn’t that bad. Of course, when you’re talking about Reyes, you don’t care about plate discipline — you’re here for the dingers!  In only 261 ABs in 2018, Reyes hit 16 HRs. Tack that onto the 16 he had in 210 ABs in AAA, and that’s a solid 32 HR in 471 ABs or 14.7 AB/HR, which would have him in the top 10 across the entire MLB. If Franmil works this offseason to lower his 49.2% GB%, then he could reach an even higher level in 2019.

17.193, Cesar Hernandez, 2B: In the 2018 Razzball expert picks article we released before the season, I listed Cesar Hernandez as my sleeper breakout pick. In the 2018 Razzball bold predictions article, I extrapolated on my thoughts, “Cesar Hernandez finishes with 100+ runs, 15 HR, 60 RBI, 30 SB, .300 AVG, .375 OBP and heads into 2019 as the second best second basemen….but then gets injured in May 2019 and misses all of next season. You asked for bold!” His final numbers: 91/15/60/19/.253/.356 OBP. Spot on for HR and RBI, little short on runs and OBP, big miss on SB and AVG — but still — in the 17th round? With a Phillies team that is sure to make some solid off-season signings to make the playoffs? I think Cesar gets closer to my predictions in 2019 — except for that injury hopefully!

Interesting Picks:

16.185, Miguel Cabrera, 1B: For the first time in 14 seasons, Miguel Cabrera played in under 115 games. In the 38 games he did play, however, he still hit for a .299 AVG and a .843 OPS. Cabrera had surgery in June and it’s looking like he’ll be ready for spring training. Everyone in your league is going to discount Cabrera after suffering such a major injury to end his 2018. However, his pre-injury numbers and history of production has me feeling like he can be a solid UTIL member of your offense especially at a 16th round value.

16.189, Ramon Laureano, OF: Here are Laureano’s numbers over the past 3 seasons:

2016 (A+, AA): 417 AB, 89/15/73/73/43/.319

2017: (AA): 463 AB, 65/11/55/24/.227

2018: (AAA, MLB): 402 AB, 71/19/54/18/.297

Laureano’s power/speed threat is tantalizing and he’s earned himself the starting CF gig for the A’s in 2019. That down 2017 is looking like an outlier after his bounceback 2018. Over 600 ABs, he could be a 20/20 threat with respectable numbers across the three other roto categories.

16.190, Bo Bichette, SS: Time & performance will tell where Bichette starts his season in 2019, but I’m thinking he’ll be in AAA. It remains to be seen if the Blue Jays hit him with the same service time nonsense that they did with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Whenever he does come up, Bichette and Guerrero could quickly turn into the best young left-side of the infield duo in the major leagues. In 595 AA plate appearances, Bichette hit 11 HRs with 32 SB. The top 10 prospect gets overshadowed by Vlad, but he could be every bit as good.

Rounds 18 & 19

Round.Pick Player Selected 2018 Fantasy Pros ADP
18.205 Wade Davis 113
18.206 Brendan Rodgers 681
18.207 Kyle Gibson 429
18.208 Marcus Stroman 135
18.209 A.J. Minter 341
18.210 Billy Hamilton 73
18.211 Shane Bieber N/A
18.212 Willy Adames 697
18.213 Gregory Polanco 147
18.214 Scott Kingery 237
18.215 Andrew Heaney 419
18.216 Jeremy Jeffress N/A
19.217 Dereck Rodriguez N/A
19.218 Wilson Ramos 196
19.219 Yadier Molina 163
19.220 Hyun-Jin Ryu 366
19.221 Nick Senzel 362
19.222 Marco Gonzales 566
19.223 D.J. LeMahieu 112
19.224 Chase Anderson 168
19.225 Marcus Semien 270
19.226 Arodys Vizcaino 161
19.227 Chris Taylor 113
19.228 Reynaldo Lopez 375

My Picks

18.216, Jeremy Jeffress, RP: Jeffress was pitching angry this year and, boy, did that work out for him. He made the first All-Star Game of his career and finished the season second in ERA among qualified relievers (to my first closer selection, Blake Treinen.) The Brewers’ 3-headed closing situation is a bit fluid, but when you have the best 2 heads (I drafted Josh Hader as well) on your team you can deal with not having a guaranteed 9th inning guy. This may be the best we ever see Jeffress pitch (especially with a 92.9% LOB%) but even if he slips a little I still think this is a great value to shore up my bullpen.

19.217, Dereck Rodriguez, SP: Pudge’s kid finally made his debut as a 26-year-old rookie in 2018, due to injuries all over the Giants’ starting rotation. He finished second only to Walker Buehler in ERA among rookie starting pitchers. D-Rod didn’t overpower his opponents with only a 6.59 K/9, but limited the damage he allowed himself with a 7.2% BB%. He did a lot of damage with his changeup, which is ranked the 4th best in the league, but he’ll need to work on his fastball and other secondary pitches as most of them didn’t rank in the top 40.

Interesting Picks

18.207, Kyle Gibson, SP: Wait — Kyle Gibson, who had a 5.07 ERA in each of the last two seasons, Kyle Gibson? Yeah, that Kyle Gibson. Gibson’s slider evolved this year into an extremely dangerous pitch. It ranked 7th in horizontal movement in the league and he upped his usage of that pitch from 17.5% in 2017 to 21% this season. He’s also continued to rely on his sinker which had the 4th best vertical movement in 2018. I’m not totally sold on Gibson — he could easily turn back into that 5.07 ERA pumpkin, but this late it’s worth the flyer.

18.210, Billy Hamilton, OF: How much value would Billy Hamilton have as a designated pinch runner? In 1974, the Oakland Athletics signed former track & field star Herb Washington as a designated runner. He played in 92 games, stole 29 bases and scored 29 runs with 0 ABs on the season. Sounds Terrance Gore’ian!  Hamilton’s OBP was under .300 for the third time in his 5 seasons. Imagine pairing Hamilton with Joey Votto or Jesse Winker’s .400+ OBP? He could finally potentially be that 80 SB threat we all dreamt he’d be. 18th round for a 2 category player is about right.

19.222, Marco Gonzales, SP: Gonzales was a MLB first round pick way back in 2013, so this surprise breakout maybe shouldn’t have been such a surprise. He made 29 starts for the Mariners this year, and, while the 7.8 K/9 isn’t much, the 1.7 BB/9 definitely is. One thing Gonzales will have to work on in the offseason is his stamina. He went 7 innings deep only five times the entire year and the 166.2 innings he pitched all season was his most since 2014’s 122. If he heads into the season healthy, he could reach the 190-200 inning total and hopefully he can maintain that 4.00 ERA/3.43 FIP.

Rounds 20 & 21

Round.Pick Player Selected 2018 Fantasy Pros ADP
20.229 Francisco Mejia 343
20.230 Jordan Hicks 735
20.231 Michael Fulmer 173
20.232 Joey Wendle N/A
20.233 Forrest Whitley 854
20.234 Kyle Tucker 751
20.235 Cole Hamels 194
20.236 Jake Faria 221
20.237 Jose Alvarado 1042
20.238 Mike Soroka 937
20.239 Luke Voit N/A
20.240 Peter O’Brien N/A
21.241 Touki Toussaint N/A
21.242 Randal Grichuk 300
21.243 Framber Valdez N/A
21.244 Yasmani Grandal 244
21.245 Sonny Gray 116
21.246 Willians Astudillo N/A
21.247 Manuel Margot 150
21.248 Teoscar Hernandez 415
21.249 Jake Lamb 140
21.250 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. N/A
21.251 Andrelton Simmons 216
21.252 Avisail Garcia 194

My Picks

20.240, Peter O’Brien, 1B: I know what you’re thinking, “Wow, Kerry must really think Peter O’Brien is going to live up to that 35+ HR potential we saw in the minor leagues of a NY team!” The correct thought should actually be, “Wow, I wonder if Kerry searched for ‘Peter’ in the draft room and accidentally clicked the wrong name?” I was looking for 30 HR potential at the first-base position, but I was hoping it would come from the other NY team’s minor league system: Peter Alonso and the NY Mets. With the Adrian Gonzalez experiment a failure and Dominic Smith being played in the OF and not living up to his potential just yet — I think the 2019 Mets first base position should be handed to Alonso. In only 478 minor league ABs, Alonso scored 92 runs, 36 HRs, 116 RBI with a .285 AVG. Like anyone, he’s not a sure thing to be successful right away, but if he’s given the role and the time to develop, he could be a great major league hitter.

21.241, Touki Toussaint, SP: I think a few things about Touki Toussaint. One, he has an all-time great name. Two, he had a fantastic 2018 minor league season — 2.38 ERA/10.8 K/9 in 24 starts — and a solid MLB debut: 29 IP, 4.03 ERA/3.78 FIP with a 9.9 K/9. Three, I think he deserves a shot to be a starting pitcher at the big league level in 2019. Four, I don’t think it will be with the Atlanta Braves. They have four starting pitchers on the roster who are locks: Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz, Kevin Gausman and Sean Newcomb. I think the #5 rotation spot will go to Mike Soroka, who is currently rehabbing from a shoulder injury. Toussaint will either be used as trade bait or start the season with the Gwinnett Stripers. If Soroka suffers a setback or Toussaint is sent to a rebuilding team, he will be in line for some starts.

Interesting Picks

20.230, Jordan Hicks, RP: Carlos Martinez should be back in the starting rotation in 2019 and Bud Norris will be a free agent leaving the 22-year-old as the best closing option in the Cardinals’ bullpen. Hicks’s fastball and sinker both average triple-digit velocities and has a wipe-out slider that had the 6th most horizontal movement among qualified relievers. Then there’s his control. You don’t want your closer allowing free baserunners at a 5.2 BB/9 clip. Hicks has shown better control in the minors, so maybe as he learns to be a big league pitcher and brings that walk rate down.

20.233, Forrest Whitley, SP: Whitley missed most of 2018 due to injuries and a 50-game positive drug test. He still came back for 8 starts in AA to continue his streak of putting up a double-digit K/9 rate. Whitley should make his debut for the Astros in 2019 and will immediately display his ace potential. He recently made his Arizona Fall League debut and struck out 8 of the 11 batters he faced. That’s the rule for Whitley — not the exception.

21.251, Andrelton Simmons, SS: Simmons had a breakout season in 2017 hitting 14 HRs with 19 SB. This year, both those numbers came down (11/10) but he set a new high in RBI and batting average. The batting average is Simmons’s biggest calling card. If you waited this long for a middle infielder, getting a guy with a 92% contact rate is the perfect “won’t hurt ya” type of player to plug into your lineup.

Rounds 22 & 23

Round.Pick Player Selected 2018 Fantasy Pros ADP
22.253 Jimmy Nelson 325
22.254 Brandon Morrow 155
22.255 Kevin Pillar 331
22.256 Max Kepler 316
22.257 Adam Ottavino 986
22.258 Lucas Giolito 224
22.259 Domingo German N/A
22.260 Marwin Gonzalez 133
22.261 Daniel Palka N/A
22.262 Matt Kemp 288
22.263 Tyler Skaggs 386
22.264 Joey Lucchesi 961
23.265 Fernando Tatis Jr. 694
23.266 Kevin Kiermaier 178
23.267 Justus Sheffield 1009
23.268 Alex Verdugo 802
23.269 Steven Matz 811
23.270 Trevor May N/A
23.271 Kenta Maeda 189
23.272 Zach Eflin N/A
23.273 Andrew Miller 258
23.274 Jorge Polanco 320
23.275 Dylan Bundy 180
23.276 Jesus Luzardo N/A

My Picks

22.264, Joey Lucchesi, SP: Lucchesi had a solid, but unspectacular debut for the Padres. 26 starts, 4.08 ERA, 10.0 K/9. Lucchesi’s biggest issue is pitching late into games. Of his 26 starts, he pitched 6 or more innings only 6 times. Hopefully, in his sophomore campaign, he’ll be able to improve on that number.

23.265, Fernando Tatis Jr., SS: This point in the draft we’re just throwing darts at potential. Tatis is still only 19 years old, but is unblocked at the big league level with Freddy Galvis being a free agent. Tatis went 16 HR/16 SB in only 353 ABs after going 21/29 in 2017 as an 18 year old. Tatis is the Padres SS for the next 15 years and should be an annual 30/30 threat and a top-5 fantasy pick for years.

Interesting Picks

22.261, Daniel Palka, OF: This has to be one of the quietest 27 HR seasons of all time. Those 27 HRs actually lead the White Sox.  (I know it isn’t saying much, but he’ll be in a record book somewhere!) Palka will never be atop any batting average list, but this power is legit — he hit 37 in 583 minor league ABs in 2016 and 32 in 601 in 2015. A 35+ HR season isn’t off the table with 600 ABs in 2019.

22.263, Tyler Skaggs, SP: Nasty Boy Skaggs had a nice little season in 2018, despite some injury issues. He had a 3.63 FIP and averaged 9.3 K/9. He had a stretch in June that had him looking like a Cy Young: 32 IP, 36 Ks, 3 ER. If he can harness performance over more of the season (and stay healthy), then pick 263 is a steal!

 

My Final Team

C:

1B: Matt Carpenter (4.48)

2B: Jurickson Profar (10.120)

SS: Amed Rosario (11.121)

3B: Miguel Andujar (9.97)

OF: Mike Trout (1.1)

OF: Christian Yelich (2.24)

OF: Mitch Haniger (6.72)

OF: Harrison Bader (14.168)

OF: Franmil Reyes (16.192)

CI: Peter O’Brien/Peter Alonso

MI: Cesar Hernandez (17.193)

UTIL: Fernando Tatis Jr. (23. 265)

 

SP: Aaron Nola (3.25)

SP: Charlie Morton (5.49)

SP: Mike Foltynewicz (7.73)

SP: Kyle Freeland (12.144)

SP: Tyler Glasnow (15.169)

SP: Dereck Rodriguez (19.217)

SP: Touki Toussaint (21.241)

SP: Joey Lucchesi (22.264)

 

RP: Blake Treinen (8.96)

RP: Josh Hader (13.145)

RP: Jeremy Jeffress (18.216)

 

Notable Undrafted Players

 

  1. knucks says:
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    Love the open Catcher slot. I leave most of my drafts the same way.

    Thanks for posting these, great read brother.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @knucks: haha thanks for reading!
      When the auto-draft started my next pick was Yan Gomes. Yuck.

  2. bigbear says:
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    That 17th round has a ton of interesting names…

    What do you think about Posey heading into 2019? I’m not sure I’ve owned him since his rookie year… So I haven’t even glanced at his stats. But if he’s being drafted this late, I start thinking… Maybe even draft him and use him as trade bait.

    If Arrieta, Hill and Lester are going this late, I’ll be buying too. Either the floor is fairly high (Arrieta/Lester) or the ceiling is high (Hill).

    The Braves may be better off shopping Teheran and letting Touki have the #5 spot. But I doubt they do that. SP depth is a good thing to have.

    The Matt Kemp pick looks good.

    Thanks for the tips on Gibson. I’ll keep an eye on him and look for value next year.

    • LenFuego says:
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      @bigbear: For me, Posey is as yawnstipating as they come. Dude had 5 HRs and 3 SBs while hitting .284 last year – you could have literally left his spot blank and barely noticed the difference. Yawwwn. It is clear that at 32, his power-hitting days are over, and so are his “let’s get him at-bats at first base” days … he has become what Francisco Cervelli was until this season. Yawwwwwn.

      • bigbear says:
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        @LenFuego: I just went and looked at his stats and yeah, underwhelming. The Giants still seemed to hit him somewhere in the 2-4 range though. So you’d think the R/RBI’s would be there. But they really aren’t… I guess I’m thinking of that good Posey from days of yore…

        • Kerry Klug

          Kerry Klug says:
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          @bigbear: Reminds me of Joe Mauer.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @bigbear: I meant to write about Posey — the power has been trending downward for years now and health will always be a concern. At this round though you’ll know you’re at least getting a solid average and counting stats as long as he’s on the field. Then you hope he was embarrassed by his down 2018 and works hard in this offseason.
      Arrieta Hill and Lester were all of us just trying to not be boring. Why take an old reliable pitcher when you can take a young sexy guy like Glasnow?
      The Braves are going to setting up their next dynasty realllllyyy well.
      Kemps month by month numbers were so weird:
      OPS
      March/April: .901
      May: .935
      June: .749
      July: .816
      August: .577
      September/Oct: .922

      I remember seeing a LOT of people get hyped about Gibson, but I’m not too much of a believer.

  3. gg says:
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    A few of the undrafted names surprise me. I guess some players have to be undrafted, but Calhoun was crazy hot for a couple months last year, Franco was pretty great at times. I guess over the course of a season a lot of guys are going to be pretty great for times..but still. Choo also had a very solid year, most of which was due to quantity, but that is a real thing. Would def draft him over a couple of those OF 3 types.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @gg: Choo was a huge shock for me too! First half of the season he was an MVP candidate. Second half….better not to talk about the second half.
      I think the Franco hate comes from his 2016-2017 downside. He is still only 26 and I think he still has more to offer.
      It was a tale of three seasons for Calhoun.
      Beginning of season: 173 ABs, 14 runs/ 1 HR/ 11 RBI/ .374 OPS
      Jun 18 – Aug 21: 198 ABs, 44/16/39/ .976 OPS
      End of season: 120 ABs, 13/2/7/.511 OPS

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