2019 First Year Player Draft Rankings (Plus International)
Hot damn, it’s MLB draft time. Seems like just yesterday we were analyzing the 2018 crop and now some of them are in Double-A and/or breaking into my top-10 overall prospects. Our little prospects are growing up so fast (sheds a single tear). This year we have a distinguished top-3 that have been locked in for months now. After the top three, 4-10 are very close. You have a few power-hitting outfielders, some speed plays, and our first international prospect to choose from.
There’s no Casey Mize type pitching prospect in this draft. In fact, there aren’t many arms that scream future #1 or #2 overall starter either outside of a handful of guys. Instead, there’s a ton of safe, high floor arms this year. The first of those arms checks in just outside the top-10 and only 13 pitchers make my initial top-50.
Before we get going, just remember, saying a player “has the upside” to do this or “projects” to do that, is just that; Upside and projections. Each player develops differently and few ultimately reach their projected upside. But that’s what makes baseball fun, right? It’s such a hard game to excel at. After examining this year’s draft class, here are my initial top-50 for dynasty FYPDs. I’ll be adding and tweaking these moving forward, so stay tuned.
If you aren’t playing your dynasty leagues on Fantrax, you’re missing out on the deepest player pool and most customization around. Just starting out in a dynasty league? Then check out Eric Cross’ Top-250 prospects and Top-300 Dynasty League Rankings.
Initial FYPD/INTL Rankings after MLB Draft
1. Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 3 – Chicago White Sox
You could honestly make a case for any of these top-3 as the #1 guy this year. A lot will likely go with Adley Rutschman, but personally, I give the slightest of edges to Andrew Vaughn. His combination of a plus hit tool and double-plus raw power give him the potential to be one of the top offensive first basemen in baseball down the road.
Andrew Vaughn. MERCY!
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) June 4, 2019
Vaughn finished his collegiate career at California slashing .377/.495/.695/1.190 with 34 doubles, 50 home runs, and more walks (116) than strikeouts (72) in 156 games. His 43.1% extra-base hit rate in 2019 and 38.5% for his career top Rutschman’s 35.6% and 31.3% respectively. It’s splitting hairs, as both have the skills to hit for a high average and plenty of power, but if I had the 1.1 in a FYPD, I’d take Vaughn.
2. Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 1 – Baltimore Orioles
This whole “Don’t value catchers highly in dynasty/FYDP” stigma needs to be squashed. Especially so when the catcher is one of the best pure hitters and one of the top power bats in this year’s draft class. Rutschman dominated during his final collegiate season at Oregon State, slashing .427/.584/.772/1.356 with 16 home runs and a 69/36 BB/K ratio in 52 games. Rutschman went 1st overall to Baltimore and is a locked in top-3 pick for FYPD drafts due to his ability to hit for a high batting average and plenty of power. He’s likely to slot in just behind Joey Bart in my prospect rankings. And you all know how highly I value Bart. yeah, Rutschman is THAT good.
3. Bobby Witt Jr, SS, Colleyville Heritage HS (TX)
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 2 – Kansas City Royals
If you want to grab the highest upside in your FYPD, Witt fits the bill. His combination of power and speed is something Vaughn and Rutschman cannot match, mainly because Vaughn and Rutschman don’t run. However, Witt doesn’t possess the type of hit tool that Vaughn and Rutschman have. So, along with that highest ceiling, Witt also has the lower floor of this top three.
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) June 3, 2019
4. Riley Greene, OF, Haggerty HS (FL)
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 5 – Detroit Tigers
This is the best pure prep hitter in the 2019 draft. Greene might not have the power/speed upside that Witt possesses, but the hit tool is easily plus and this is a downright beautiful left-handed swing. There’s some above-average to plus raw power here, but he’ll need to add some loft to his swing to fully capitalize on that raw power. Minimal speed, but you have to love the batting average upside and 20+ homer pop.
5. Hunter Bishop, OF, Arizona State
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 10 – San Francisco Giants
This might higher than you’ll see Bishop elsewhere but I love the power and speed blend that he brings to the table. After a lackluster first two collegiate seasons, Bishop added strength and loft to his swing and really took off this spring, hitting .356 with 22 homers and 11 steals in 51 games. There are still some improvements to be made to his hit tool, but the power/speed blend is so enticing.
6. J.J. Bleday, OF, Vanderbilt
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 4 – Miami Marlins
Like Bishop, J.J. Bleday broke out the power bat during his final collegiate season at Vanderbilt, mashing 25 home runs to go along with a .346 average and as many walks as strikeouts. With an above-average to plus hit tool and plus raw power, Bleday has the potential to hit for both a high average and 25+ home runs. He immediately becomes one of the top two position prospects on Miami’s system along with Victor Victor Mesa.
7. Jasson Dominguez, OF, Dominican Republic
This might initially seem high for a 16-year-old international player that won’t be signed for another month. But if you watch video of Jasson Dominguez for longer than two seconds, you’ll understand why he’s top-10 here. Plus tools as far as the eye can see and a projectable frame. With his combination of hit, power, and speed, there’s no international player I’d rather have this year than Dominguez. And frankly, it’s not that close either.
16-year-old switch-hitting Dominican outfielder Jasson Dominguez is No. 1 on our new Top 30 International Prospects list. The #Yankees are considered the favorites to sign him. Here's the scouting report on him: https://t.co/yYZ7Flg8NY pic.twitter.com/06zNgOfuZb
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 9, 2019
8. C.J. Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity HS (GA)
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 6 – San Diego Padres
If speed is what gets your motor running, let me introduce you to C.J. Abrams. The Georgia prep shortstop possesses double-plus speed and above-average to plus contact skills. He’s a below average defenfer at shortstop, so a move to second base might be in his future, but the offensive upside is certainly there. Abrams could be this year’s Xavier Edwards.
9. Kameron Misner, OF, Missouri
Drafted: CBA, Pick 35 – Miami Marlins
This was one of my favorite picks of the first day of the draft. When talking about the top power/speed threats in the 2019 class, Kameron Misner is firmly in that conversation. He’s able to generate easy plus raw power from his big 6’4 frame and a quick swing that generates natural loft. Add in his plus speed and you have a potential 20/20 threat or better down the road. Misner has really improved as an overall hitter too, even if his drop in batting average from 2018-2019 doesn’t indicate so. With a clean swing and sound mechanics, Misner should be able to hit for a decent average to go along with his intriguing power/speed profile.
10. Corbin Carroll, OF, Lakeside HS (WA)
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 16 – Arizona Diamondbacks
After taking Alek Thomas last year, the Diamondbacks added another speedy outfielder with a plus hit tool this year with their first pick, taking prep bat Corbin Carroll 16th overall. Carroll is an electrifying athlete with elite speed, plus contact skills, and an advanced approach at the plate. He might never get past the 10-15 HR range, but the rest of the profile is enticing.
11. Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 8 – Texas Rangers
There’s a theme in the 2019 draft class. Sprinkled throughout the first two rounds are AVG/HR threats with below-average speed. Josh Jung fits that mold quite well. He didn’t hit for a ton of power at Texas Tech but has displayed an above-average hit tool with plus raw power. There’s a ton of bat speed as well so once he starts hitting the ball in the air more consistently, additional power should come.
12. Daniel Espino, RHP, Georgia Premier Academy (GA)
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 24 – Cleveland Indians
Like I mentioned above with Lodolo, upside arms aren’t as plentiful as they were in last year’s draft. However, if you want to put your money on one high-upside arm, I’d recommend Daniel Espino. With a electric mid to upper-90’s fastball and two plus breaking pitches, Espino has plenty of upside in his arm. He’ll just need to improve his changeup and overall command to capitalize on that potential.
Daniel Espino, upper 90s FB/mid-80s slider (from last night. 11Ks in 4 innings).
There are HS kids who have to try to hit this. 😳🤣
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 9, 2019
13. Brett Baty, 3B, Lake Travis HS (TX)
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 12 – New York Mets
This is a sneaky good pick for the New York Mets. Baty kind of reminds me of last year’s #12 overall pick, Jordan Groshans. Both are infielders from the Texas prep ranks with above-average hit tools and above-average to plus raw power. His defense at the hot corner is suspect, though, he has a strong throwing arm, which might force a move off the position, but Baty’s contact skills and raw power would profile just fine at any position. I’d even say he has more raw power than Groshans has shown and has a swing that produces natural loft. It wouldn’t be surprising at all is Baty ended up as one of the top-5 or so hitters from this draft class.
14. Brennan Malone, RHP, IMG Academy (FL)
Drafted: Round 1C, Pick 33 – Arizona Diamondbacks
There are three or four big upside pitchers in this year’s draft and Brennan Malone is one of them. A prep arm from IMG academy in Florida, Malone has one of the best fastball/breaking ball combinations in the draft. He’ll sit in the low to mid-90’s consistently on his fastball with plenty of life and gets sharp two-plant tilt on his slider. Both the changeup and curveball are behind. If he can turn that changeup into a third weapon and continue to refine his command, there’s huge upside here.
15. Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 14 – Philadelphia Phillies
Bryson Stott is a hitter through and through. He has shown a plus hit tool and sound plate approach throughout his collegiate career at UNLV, hitting above .350 with a XBH% above 40% in each of his last two seasons. The power is likely capped in the teens, but with his quick swing, clean mechanics, all-fields approach, and feel for hitting, Stott should hit for a high average to go along with his above-average to plus speed that could translate to 20-25+ SB.
16. Kody Hoese, 3B, Tulane
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 25 – Los Angeles Dodgers
Mark my words, Kody Hoese is going to be one of the sneaky-good picks of this year’s first round. He added strength and loft this season and ow possess easy plus raw power to go along with above-average contact skiils and a sound plate approach. He’s able to generate plenty of bat speed with a clean swing and quick wrists. There’s not much speed projection here, but Hoese should be able to hit for both average and power moving forward.
17. Jackson Rutledge, RHP, San Jacinto Junior College (TX)
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 17 – Washington Nationals
If you’re going off pure stuff, Jackson Rutledge is one of the top arms in this draft class. He throws in the mid to high-90s with armside run on his fastball and has shown two plus breaking pitches with his slider being the best of the bunch. The changeup and command are behind and need to be developed if he wants to reach his lofty ceiling, but there’s plenty of upside to dream on here.
— Prep Baseball Report (@prepbaseball) June 4, 2019
18. Matthew Allan, RHP, Seminole HS (FL)
Drafted: Round 3, Pick 89 – New York Mets
The fact that Allan wasn’t drafted in the first two rounds might signal some signability concerns, but I feel a little better now that he went in the third round. Maybe it’s this growing cautious approach with high school arms. Who knows. Allan uses a three pitch mix with a low to mid-90’s fastball, plus curve, and a changeup that has flashed above-average to plus. With those three potential plus pitches and solid command, Allan has the upside of a #2 starter. Lets hope the Mets offer him enough to sign and not go to the University of Florida.
19. Greg Jones, SS, UNC Wilmington
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 22 – Tampa Bay Rays
20. Nick Lodolo, LHP, TCU
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 7 – Cincinnati Reds
Remember when I mentioned that there was a bunch of “safe, high-floor arms” in this draft? Well, Nick Lodolo is prime example of that. Lodolo really increased his draft stock with a strong final collegiate season at TCU, posting a 2.18 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 1.9 BB/9, and 11.2 K/9. A big 6’6 southpaw, Lodolo features three above-average to plus pitches with plus command of his entire arsenal. Might not have the upside of a top-of-the-rotation starter, but arguably has the highest floor of any pitcher in this draft with the upside of a rock-solid mid-rotation starter.
21. Alek Manoah, RHP, West Virginia
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 11 – Toronto Blue Jays
With one of the best farm systems in all of baseball, the Blue Jays could afford to go with an upside pick in the first round this year and that’s exactly what they did with the selection of Alek Manoah. Manoah attacks hitters with a plus fastball/slider combination, but has struggled with consistently commanding his arsenal and developing his changeup, though, the changeup has flashed above-average at times. There’s solid upside here, but the floor isn’t quite as high as others.
22. Keoni Cavaco, SS, Eastlake HS (CA)
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 13 – Minnesota Twins
23. Quinn Priester, RHP, Cary-Grove HS (IL)
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 18 – Pittsburgh Pirates
24. Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence HS (FL)
Drafted: Round 3, Pick 85 – Cincinnati Reds
25. Jack Leiter, RHP, Delbarton HS (NJ)
26. Will Wilson, SS, NC State
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 15 – Los Angeles Angels
27. Robert Puason, SS, Dominican Republic
28. Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 9 – Atlanta Braves
Shea Langeliers was by far the hardest guy for me to rank. He was taken much higher than this ranking due to his outstanding defensive skills, but he’s not quite as advanced on the offensive side of the ball. With that being said, he’s not a zero offensively by any means and has been improving at the plate. If you want safe, Langeliers is your guy. The defensive skills will carry him to the Majors as long as he shows adequacy at the plate, which I believe he will.
29. Sammy Siani, OF, Penn Charter HS (PA)
Drafted: CBA, Pick 37 – Pittsburgh Pirates
30. George Kirby, RHP, Elon
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 20 – Seattle Mariners
31. Braden Shewmake, SS, Texas A&M
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 21 – Atlanta Braves
32. Logan Davidson, SS, Clemson
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 29 – Oakland Athletics
33. Michael Busch, 1B/OF/2B, North Carolina
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 31 – Los Angeles Dodgers
34. Mike Toglia, 1B, UCLA
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 23 – Colorado Rockies
35. Erick Pena, OF, Dominican Republic
36. Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 19 – St. Louis Cardinals
37. Matthew Wallner, OF, Southern Mississippi
Drafted: CBA, Pick 39 – Minnesota Twins
38. Gunnar Henderson, SS, Morgan Academy (AL)
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 42 – Baltimore
39. Reece Hinds, 3B, IMG Academy (FL)
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 49 – Cincinnati Reds
40. J.J. Goss, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS (TX)
Drafted: CBA, Pick 36 – Tampa Bay Rays
41. Bayron Lora, OF, Dominican Republic
42. Logan Wyatt, 1B, Lousiville
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 51 – San Francisco Giants
43. Brady McConnell, SS, Florida
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 44 – Kansas City Royals
44. Chase Strumpf, 2B, UCLA
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 64 – Chicago Cubs
45. Anthony Volpe, SS, Delbarton HS (NJ)
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 30 – New York Yankees
46. Trejyn Fletcher, OF, Deering HS (ME)
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 58 – St. Louis Cardinals
47. Josh Wolf, RHP, St. Thomas HS (TX)
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 53 – New York Mets
48. Matthew Lugo, SS, Beltran Academy (Puerto Rico)
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 69 – Boston Red Sox
49. Kyren Paris, SS, Freedom HS (CA)
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 55 – Los Angeles Angels
50. Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell
Drafted: CBA, Pick 40 – Tampa Bay Rays
Photo/Video Credit: John Peterson/Icon Sportswire, Rob Friedman/Pitching Ninja, Chicago White Sox, Ben Badler, MLB Pipeline, Prep Baseball Report.
Eric Cross is the lead MLB/Fantasy Baseball writer and MiLB prospect analyst for FantraxHQ and has been with the site since March 2017. In the past, he wrote for FantasyPros and FanSided. He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) and a contributor in the best-selling Fantasy Baseball Black Book. For more from Eric, check out his author page and follow him on Twitter @EricCross04.
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