In dynasty baseball, the June draft is must-watch television and the July 2 international signing day is fodder for a million clicks. 

Months later, typically in February or March, dynasty leaguers select their favorite college, high school and international players in annual first-year player drafts. I have attempted to consider and rank this year’s player pool for your reading pleasure. 

Here’s the top 20.

 

*Note: I’ve written a fair bit about each of these guys if you’d like more than the words here and are curious enough to follow the threads to my Top 150 for 2020 Fantasy Baseball or my organizational top ten lists

** Note pt. 2: I recommend synthesizing this list—or some list of your own design—with your league’s free agent pool if that’s allowed in your league. Guys like Francisco Alvarez, Luis Matos, Heriberto Hernandez, and Joe Ryan won’t be listed here, but they might be available in your league. 

 

21. OF Hunter Bishop | Giants

22. OF Shogo Akiyama | Reds

23. SS Maximo Acosta | Rangers 

24. OF Hedbert Perez | Brewers

25. RHP Kameron Misner | Marlins

This tier is a good window into just how loaded this year’s FYPD is. Each of these guys would be a decent fit in a first-round every other year, and here they are drifting toward the third in a 15-teamer. 

Bishop and Misner are power-speed college bats who’d be great gets in any league. 

Shogo Akiyama offers the awkward promise of an everyday gig before we see him play. He played against just five teams in the Japan Pacific League. It’s a six-team league. What? Might look back and think he was much too low here; might be just the opposite. Posted excellent slash lines showing plus plate skills. 

Maximo Acosta and Hedbert Perez are helium-filled fever-dreams building momentum across a long winter. They won’t have stat lines until Summer, and when guys are getting excellent publicity like these two, they might just build value until they sink or swim. I prefer Perez because his dad was a big leaguer and because he’ll be cheaper on draft day. Maximo is climbing so fast he might be a consensus first rounder a couple weeks from now. 

 

26. OF Hudson Head | Padres

27. 3B Brett Baty | Mets

28. OF Luis Rodriquez | Dodgers 

29. SS Reggie Preciado | Padres

No, really, it’s THIS tier that shows how happy fun this draft is.

Brett Baty was the top high school bat on a lot of boards, and Hudson Head was an over-slot, tooled-up third rounder who flashed against strong competition in the Arizona league.

Luis Rodriguez was a consensus top five player in this year’s J2 class, landing second on some lists. A strong defender in center with plus tools across the board, he’s become one of my favorite slow-build values of the season. Who doesn’t love an uber-talented teenage Dodger?

Just down the road, A.J. Preller has enjoyed incredible success on the international market in part because he enjoys the scouting work, grinding it out to see as much baseball as he can. Reggie Preciado is his latest big-money splash. He was already kind of a big deal among Panamanian youth baseball players, but now he’s also signed the highest bonus. Tall shortstops are in right now. Pretty obvious benefits like power and speed on offense. Here’s Preciado demonstrating one reason it works on defense.

 

30. RHP Shun Yamaguchi | Blue Jays 

I’ve written a bit about Yamaguchi already. 

Gets his own tier here, and I already feel like I’m undervaluing him. Yusei Kikuchi and the story of the terrible no good happy-fun baseball did a lot to suppress the price of guys like Shun, who has better raw stuff, especially the life on his fastball. 

 

31. LHP Blake Walston | Diamondbacks

32. SS Kyren Paris | Angels 

33. OF Bayron Lora | Rangers 

34. LHP Ethan Small | Brewers

I love all these guys. 

Walston might be special, and I think he’ll climb some mid-season boards, but we are moving toward a range where you might not find much near-term trade value. Makes sense seeing as we’re in the third round of a 15-teamer now, but it’s something I’ve noticed nonetheless. Lots of good players after this point, but this general area feels like the trade-up line. Beyond this point, you’re probably better off just waiting for your pick than scrambling to move up. 

Bayron Lora’s got light-tower power, Insta-model money and name value after signing for $ 3.9 million. 

Kyren Paris might be on his way to the Dodgers. We don’t even have whispers of that and don’t know the full details, but Paris is a silky fast shortstop with big upside, and these are the Dodgers. Could be a bump coming as this trade continues its slow reveal, but whether or not he’s in it, I’m flying to Paris first chance I get. 

Ethan Small is actually six foot three. 

Wtf, man?

He’s my kind of dude though: four-pitch, plus command lefty with creativity and good-enough stuff to generate elite WHIPs if it all comes together. 

 

35. RHP Jackson Rutledge | Nationals

36. SS Bryson Stott | Phillies

37. 3B Aaron Schunk | Rockies

38. 1B Michael Toglia | Rockies 

39. SS Will Wilson | Giants

40. 2B Tyler Callihan | Reds

41. SS Braden Shewmake | Braves

Apologies for the glob. We’re not in yawn city by any means. Sorry for invoking the action. The research is in on this: we can make each other yawn. Words . . . ya know? Wild stuff.

Rutledge is enormous (6’8”) and has barely pitched but was good when he did.

Stott is the best branch manager in the history of Dunder Mifflin. (Also a bag of 50’s with an idea at the plate.)

Aaron Schunk went both ways in college, but who didn’t? He’s in Colorado’s cushy system, so he might not play real baseball (AA) for a full year yet. Sharp leagues might devalue him for that and the whole Rockies mind-eff thing. 

Rinse and repeat for the Michael Toglia blurb. These two might be the best on the mountain of corner prospects in Colorado’s system, but we’ll never know it. Or wait . . . will we?

The other day, I started to think the dam would break soon (meaning I was anticipating the inevitable firing of a total stranger during my free time) and that someone would step in to a glut of talent and find a way to stop messing it up. Stop spending dumb, sunk money. Allow the best players to reach the level their skill demands in real time–not get promoted and sit the bench and shuttle and bus for years and years. Someone might step in and use Colorado to its max capacity as a hitter-development system. Start trading bats like crazy the way great orgs lean into their strengths. 

Anway, weird day. 

Will Wilson and Tyler Callihan are better fantasy prospects than real-life prospects, and Braden Shewmake is the opposite. The first two might struggle to hold a position but can rake, and while I think Shewmake is a likelier big leaguer than either, I’m not confident he’ll hit or run enough to really help.  

 

42. SS Keoni Cavaco | Twins

43. OF Emmanuel Rodriguez | Twins

44. OF George Feliz | Mariners

45. 3B Rece Hinds | Reds

46. SS Arol Vera | Angels

Big dreams tier here. Just buy, hold, and hope. I like all five at the price. Especially Feliz. It’s time to get happy!

Also like Emmanuel Rodriguez. Betting on Twins hit-tool types all day. Which is

Cavaco I’d take, but he won’t fall this far. 

Hinds has the kind of power that tastes good with everything (except steak, you monster . . . although . . . new thought: catsup on steak might look enough like blood that it triggers some primordial saliva thing . . . so . . . go ahead and put Hinds on your steak if you’re nasty?). 

 

47. OF Ismael Mena | Padres

48. SS Gunnar Henderson | Orioles

49. OF Alexander Ramirez | Mets

50. C Ronnier Quintero | C Cubs

Okay as we come to the end of the night, let’s bow our heads and say a prayer for Ismael Mena, wishing him good health, continued (and increasing speed) and batted ball success. He’ll probably go earlier than this in some, but scoop him up if not. 

Baltimore is doing some good things on the development side, so I won’t be shocked to learn I was low on Henderson here, but I’m not worried. So many good players in the class. I can afford to miss one that’s going slightly higher than I like. 

There’s another Alexander Ramirez on the Angels, and he’s good, too, so be careful or just go ahead and draft em both.

We have finally made it to our second catcher: Cubs’ top international acquisition Ronnier Quintero. I’d pass if I thought he’d go undrafted because it’s hard to own catchers long-term in dynasty, but this could be a quick mover as a lefty power bat. Go with OF Peyton Burdick if you’re looking for near-term power  or LHP Zach Thompson for a near-term arm. LHP Kwang-Hyun Kim makes sense too, if you need a pitching flier for 2020. 

Thanks for reading! Best of luck in your leagues!!

 
  1. Snacks Zillion says:
    (link)

    Cool article, thank you. I have 2 questions. Would you drop Adell for Bichette ( I know, surprised he is available) I am priority 11 of 12 with a faab of $100. If so, is $10 too much to bid? I am new to faab. Thanks!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
      (link)

      Thanks, Snaks!!

      I would drop Adell for Bichette and then cry about having to do that.

      I’d go at least 15 percent for a guy like Bichette, and if possible I’d be grinding to make a 2-for-1 or 1-for-faab-picks trade before the Faab day so you don’t have to drop Adell.

      • Snacks Zillion says:
        (link)

        Oh man, that’s a great idea. Will do, thank you. I do love Adell also.

        • The Itch

          The Itch says:
          (link)

          No problem, and if you are able to swing a deal so you don’t drop Adell, I’d bid a lot more in faab. Like 40+. Maybe up to 100 if the league allows zero dollar bids and there’s not much else in the pool. I hedged because the value of adding Bo was mitigated by losing Jo.

          • Snacks Zillion says:
            (link)

            Very cool, have a few deals out there now. Thak you again for the help!!

  2. Whatever says:
    (link)

    I always try to look for difference makers ahead of time. I drafted Marco Luciano two years ago when he was a dot on the prospect horizon. Do you think Aaron Sabato is that special type of bat to invest in early?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
      (link)

      Good question.

      He looks a little stiff to me.

      Not what she said.

      But it’s a lot of muscle and not a ton of sweet-spot contact, from what I can find to watch, but anytime a freshman is among the nation’s best college bats, he’s not a bad investment, I think. Might not’ve turned out ideal so far if you’d bought Seth Beer that early, might’ve been pretty great to get Spencer Torkelson then, but in general, I think it’s a smart super-long-term flier if you’ve got the roster space.

  3. Chris H says:
    (link)

    Love the Ethan Small love. I’m a big Hail State homer though. What’s a realistic ETA for him?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
      (link)

      Hi, Chris!

      Tough to say as he’ hasn’t found his level yet. I mean I don’t think he goes back to the Midwest league after posting a 0.83 WHIP in five starts.

      If he’s similarly dominant in high A, he’ll be in AA and a phone call away by June.

      Middle 2021 feels like a floor late outcome.

  4. Swfcdan says:
    (link)

    Reason for the Hunter Bishop (relative) hate? I thought I had my draft rankings nailed down having Bishop at 9, then I see this! Gonna really make me sweat my likely 1.9 choice between Puason/Pena and Bishop now. Is it mainly Giants hate (ballpark/player development)?

    And are Lodolo and Kirby the clear most special arms of the group or is it purely down to proximity? Guessing both profile as no2’s rather than aces?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
      (link)

      Hi, Swfcdan!

      Bishop was really tough for me. I tend to avoid college bats with troublesome hit tools, but his other tools are so big and his plate patience so extreme that he demands extra consideration.

      Tough for me to be optimistic about power bats in that park, but at least they’re moving the fences in a little.

      And the game has been moving in Bishop’s direction for a long, long time. He’s not doomed if he’s hitting .215 with some walks and some power early in his career, so he’ll have time to figure out the hit tool part and will keep getting promoted despite low contact rates.

      My problem with hitters of his type = bat-to-ball shows early. Either you have it or you don’t. There are ways to work around it, and Bishop’s extreme patience is a popular one, but he’s not great at the most important thing about baseball.

      I do think they’re special and that either could have fantasy ace stretches in them.

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
        (link)

        Sorry, that last line is about Kirby and Lodolo. Reads very weird without that in there . . .

        • Swfcdan says:
          (link)

          Hah yeah did read wierd, with all the info about Hunter then one line on the pitching guys. I have 1.9, 2.2 and 2.3 (lotta trading as I said) in my upcoming draft, hope to snag Bishop at 1.9 , Puason/Pena at 2.2 and finish off with a pitching hotshot in Kirby/Lodolo. Will let you know, wish me luck!

  5. For An Armenianless Vacation Come to Akron says:
    (link)

    asked grey already, see what you think. non super deep short keeper questions

    1. 16 team roto. keep 4 per year at last year’s end of season ADP’s. rosters:
    1 of each hitting spot + a CI, MI, 4th OF, 3 utils, 5 SP, 5 RP, 1 P (max innings 1800, max starts 170)
    scoring: 5×5 stuff with OBP over AVG, slugging, OPS, total bases, hits, steals % for hitters, and holds, K/BB, K/9, QS, holds and net saves + holds.
    possible keepers:
    bregman (1)
    mookie (1, so can’t keep both of him and bregman)
    soto (2)
    gallo (7)
    hiura (28)
    laureano (14)
    otani (hitter, 11)
    mostsuckass (9)
    hampson (13)
    h.dozier (28)
    degrom (1)
    bieber (10)
    corbin (3)
    ed rod (10)
    gallen (28)

    2. same keeper settings, but NL only and only keep 3 and it’s 10 team h2h.
    rosters: 1 of each + a CI a MI, 4th OF, 1 util, 5 SP, 4 RP
    scoring: 5×5 except OBP over AVG, net steals over steals, total bases added for hitters, QS over wins, holds added for pitchers
    possible keepers:
    edman (25)
    freeman (2)
    harper (1)
    hoskins (3)
    stressbird (4)
    lux (25)
    conforto (7)
    mcneil (16)
    l.castillo (8)
    j.urias (15)
    lucchesi (11)

    3. 3. same exact settings as NL only, but AL only.
    options:
    antana (tons of positions, 25)
    gallo (5)
    vlad (3)
    k.davis (2, nope)
    mercado (25)
    altuve (1, last year i had the 1.2 and wanted judge, but went altuve when judge was gone)
    odor (6, probably nope)
    s.murphy (25)
    ed rod (7)
    yarbrough (15)
    minor (14)
    paxton (3, nope)
    pressly (14)

    • For An Armenianless Vacation Come to Akron says:
      (link)

      leagues 2 and 3 are h2h not roto, with 35 min innings per week. so usually i’d have 1 total BN spot for hitters, the others for pitchers, ending up with about 8 SP (usually 1 streamer). also max DL’s in all these leagues. 1 NA in the AL/NL onlyies, 2 in the 16 team mixed.

Comments are closed.