Pitcher List Dynasty Mock: Nicklaus Gaut’s Picks

Nicklaus Gaut reviews the 25 prospects he selected in the Pitcher List prospects-only dynasty mock draft—with write-ups on Jo Adell, A.J. Puk, Vidal Brujan, and Sixto Sanchez.

It was a winter full of mock drafts for the Pitcher List staff. That included a prospects-only dynasty mock for 12 brave souls. Three-hundred prospect-eligible players were snatched up, and each of the writers is here to tell you the reasoning behind their picks, why you should consider them in dynasty leagues, and for some of them, possibly even redraft leagues.

While this mock draft was prospects-only, I kept the same approach for player evaluations as I would in a full dynasty draft. Given the fickle nature of minor leaguers actually turning into sustainable fantasy assets in the near and long-term future, I think about prospects in terms of what their eventual production could mean for my team but also what I think about what kind of trade potential their profile could earn in this next season of action and evaluation. The path of a prospect is not always linear, and the players who I consider untradeable from year to year are few and far between, so I’m always looking for players who could climb the Steam-Index* rapidly. While it’s nice to think that all of the top prospects you draft this year will be making significant contributions to your fantasy team within the next season or two, more often than not, prospects get shuffled back and forth between rosters before they finally stick.

*Copyright not pending

Do I hope that all of my picks in this mock draft will help me at the major league level in the next few years? Absolutely. But what I’m really hoping for is that back-end picks end up on top-100 lists and top-100 guys turn into top-20 guys. And then those guys will get shipped out to my leaguemates for players who have already turned their steam into real profits in the big leagues. Or, everything blows up in my face.

Bring me your tools and your flaws and l will hope the former outweighs the latter until I can staple you together with other assets, in order to land a fantasy whale. They call me The Aggregator.


Round 1 (Pick 3): Jo Adell, OF, LAA


This prospect-a-palooza started off great, with Jo Adell falling to me, as I am not one of those who favor Luis Robert. For me, Adell is a clear No. 2 behind Wander Franco after he spent most of 2019 treating the minor leagues like Rocky treats sides of beef and carrying some of the loudest tools in the minor leagues. Gifted athletically and still only 20 years old, Adell injured both his hamstring and ankle last March, causing him to miss almost three months. After a brief six-game stint at High-A, he was sent back to Double-A, the same level he had struggled at (relatively speaking) after being promoted there to end 2018. In his first time around, Adell batted just .238 with a 115 wRC+ over 71 plate appearances but 2019 quickly proved to be a different kettle of fish for the future outfield-mate of Mike Trout, with Adell slashing .308/.390/.553 over 182 plate appearances. After hitting two home runs in his six games at High-A, he hit eight more in 43 games for the Mobile BayBears, with a .424 wOBA and 173 wRC+ before the Angels finally promoted him to Triple-A (Salt Lake). While Adell did struggle in his 27 games, slashing .264/.321/.355 and failing to hit a home run, that’s no reason for alarm, and I fully expect Adell will adjust in 2020 in his second go-round at the minors’ highest level. Hopefully, we’ll see him in the majors as soon as no more service-time shenanigans can be pulled he proves he has the offensive ability, defensive ability, mental maturity to handle the big leagues.


Round 2 (Pick 22): A.J. Puk, SP, OAK


In hindsight, maybe I would’ve taken Nate Pearson instead of A.J. Puk, but that doesn’t mean I’m bearish on the 6’7″ southpaw, who is heading into 2020 in a great position to either contribute real value to one’s roster or turn into a top-level trade piece. After being selected sixth overall by Oakland in the 2016 draft, Puk was dominant over two levels in 2017, striking out 184 batters in 125 innings before succumbing to the curse of Tommy John the following spring. Puk was back throwing bullpens by this past March but was handled delicately upon his return to game action, pitching just 25 innings (and striking out 38) across three levels before being called up by the A’s in August for a bullpen role. That role was carefully managed, with Puk often getting more than three days off between appearances, with the rookie doing OK, allowing four earned runs over 11.1 innings with a 27.7% strikeout rate.

What I said earlier about the riskiness of prospects, goes trebly for pitchers, always making me very cautious about tying up a lot of assets (whether picks used, or roster spots occupied) in young arms. The further a pitcher is from the majors, the more talent he needs for me to feel comfortable investing a lot in him. Puk has already pitched in the majors and has buckets of talent; carrying premium velocity and throwing four pitches. More importantly for the near future, he has a path to the rotation if he has a strong spring, putting him a favorable position to contribute to your fantasy team from jump street. He’s also in a favorable position to be a premium trade piece, who could have multiple windows of inflated value in 2020. Barring an injury or being a complete train wreck in spring, the worst-case scenario is Puk not making the rotation out of spring and being sent to minors. As he hasn’t pitched as an unrestricted starter on a normal schedule since 2017, maybe this is a good thing for Puk’s long-term development? Regardless, he will probably do what he’s always done in the minors: strike fools out.


On the other hand, there are many likely scenarios where Puk greatly increases his perceived market value this season. Even working as a starter, Puk sits with velocity usually only seen in top relievers. He pairs it with a nasty slider and two other potential plus-pitches in his changeup and curveball, which could overwhelm hitters his first true time through the league, particularly in the spring. If he earns a starting spot, his value will rocket up; if he doesn’t make the rotation but is posting elite strikeout numbers and is seen as a lock to be promoted soon, his value will still rise. And while I’m not guaranteeing Puk will be starting and a star in three years, I do like his chances of a successful first season, especially with the potential to put up attention-grabbing strikeout rates by using a K-triforce of high-90s heat, nasty secondaries, and getting so much extension from his 6’7″ frame that it must look like the ball’s getting released about two feet in front of the batter’s face.


Round 3 (Pick 27): Vidal Brujan, 2B, TB


Getting one of my favorite prospects in the minors in Round 3 was boon, as Vidal Brujan’s elite speed and on-base skills come with the bonus of his playing at one of the most muddled positions in the majors. Just 20 years old when he opened 2019 at High-A, Brujan overwhelmed the competition just as he has at every stop since signing with the Rays at age 15 for $15,000. In 196 plate appearances, Brujan slashed .290/.357/.386 and stole 24 bases, a year after stealing 55 bags across two levels the previous year. Brujan wasn’t quite as good upon his promotion to Double-A, slashing .266/.336/.391 over 233 plate appearances, once again stealing 24 bases in a league where he was three years younger than the average player.

Over the last five years, Brujan has succeeded at every level of the Rays system and should be in the majors by 2021. With the number of elite base-stealers continuing to dwindle as fast as the league’s overall stolen base numbers, Brujan has the potential to be Trea Turner-light: less pop but at a position far more shallow.


Round 4 (Pick 46): Nolan Jones, 3B, CLE


If I had known that the diabolical Nate Watt would steal Philadelphia’s Spencer Howard from me just two picks later, I would’ve passed on Nolan Jones and hoped he made it back around. Alas, I may have missed on another one of my favorites in Howard, but I’m certainly not cross about ending up with the Indians slugging third baseman. Because just like a lost Outhere Brother, Jones’ stick can go boom boom boom; instead of wayo, can you hear me say 65-grade raw power with 70-grade potential? While Jones only hit seven home runs in 324 plate appearances at High-A to start the year, he also hit 12 doubles with a .408 wOBA and a 157 wRC+, being promoted to Double-A after 77 games. Freshly turned 21 years old, Jones handled the new level even better, as he hit eight home runs in just 211 plate appearances and posted a .213 ISO that was 74 points higher than at the previous level. Jones then kept the power going in the Arizona Fall League, with his four home runs tying him for the second-most behind the inexplicable nine that were hit by Oakland’s Greg Deichmann.

With a strikeout rate that has risen at every stop in the minors, topping out last year at 29.9%, Jones certainly has plenty of risk in his profile and is the type of player whose development could be bumpy once he gets to the advanced pitching of the majors. He is the type of player I’d much rather move while he’s in the minors than gamble on if and when he’ll be a productive major leaguer. Likely to start the season in Double-A, Jones has the type of power that could make him a top-10 prospect by the time summer rolls around.


Round 5 (Pick 51): Sixto Sanchez, SP, MIA


Let the race to beat Tommy John, begin! The latest entry in the TINSTAAPP book of records, Sixto Sanchez has a questionable build and an injury rap sheet as long as his rocket arm is big. The top arm in Philadelphia’s system before being traded to Miami as the centerpiece of the J.T. Realmuto deal, Sanchez has long got the Pedro Martinez comparisons that inevitably come with being a hard-throwing, slight-of-build teenager from the Dominican Republic. Sanchez throws an easy 97 with plus command and improving secondaries but hasn’t been able to stay on the mound, throwing fewer than 50 innings in both 2017 and 2018. In that regard, 2019 was Sanchez’s most successful year, as the then 20-year-old right-hander debuted for the Marlins on May 3 and managed to make every subsequent turn in the rotation for the rest of the season.

After a brief two-start stay at High-A, Sanchez made his next 18 starts at Double-A Jacksonville, going 8-4 with a 2.53 ERA over 103 innings. That’s the most innings he’s pitched since 67.1 in 2017 and a 2.69 FIP and 2.92 xFIP were both pretty shiny themselves. Sanchez has yet to unlock the strikeout potential portended by his electric stuff, posting only a 23.6% K rate in 2019 but also showed off his pinpoint control with only a 4.6% walk rate. His first 10 starts at Double-A were spotty, at best, culminating in an eight-run blowup where Sanchez gave up three home runs (he would allow only six total for the year). After that debacle, Sanchez finished strong in his last eight starts of the season, going 5-0 with a 0.95 ERA.

If Sanchez continues to stay healthy and pitch well in 2020, he should move quickly through the Marlins system and quickly back up all the important prospect lists. IF he stays healthy. Getting Sanchez outside the top 50, I’m willing to take the chance. 


Round 6 (Pick 70): Ronny Mauricio, SS, NYM


Whether he grows into their successes, 18-year-old Ronny Mauricio has a similar physical profile to uber shortstop prospects who have come before him, such as Fernando Tatis Jr. and Carlos Correa most recently. Mauricio, 6’3″ and wide-framed, has the premium athleticism, big-time arm, and hand-eye-coordination to make scouts believe he’ll be able to stick at shortstop as he grows into his frame and adds power to an already impressive profile. The top prospect in New York’s system, Mauricio is a switch-hitter with an advanced feel at the plate for his age and just finished a strong year in his first full season of pro ball. Over three years younger than the average player in the South Atlantic League, Mauricio put up a 93 wRC+ over 504 plate appearances, hitting 20 doubles and four home runs. While his power numbers were better the previous year in rookie ball, Mauricio showed improvements in his pitch selection, dropping to a 12.0% swinging-strike rate after putting up an 18.0% mark the year previous.

Like Nolan Jones before him, Mauricio has the type of profile that could rocket up the valuation ladder with a strong 2020; but unlike Jones, Mauricio is the type of player I’m more apt to hold on to. The difference is that if everything breaks right with Jones, he probably maxes out as a top-10 guy before he gets called up; Mauricio, on the other hand, has top-three upside (non-Franco division), and in a year he could develop into one of the impact prospects that I’m more unwilling to move. After he played a career-high 117 games at rookie ball in Columbia, it will be interesting to see how aggressive the Mets are in his 202o assignment, with Mauricio not turning 19 until April.


Round 7 (Pick 77): Brayan Rocchio, SS, CLE


How about that? It’s another switch-hitting, toolsy teenager who plays up the middle and has massive growth potential in 2020, both on the field and in the dynasty marketplace. Part of Cleveland’s impressive 2017 international signing class that includes George Valera and Aaron Bracho, Brayan Rocchio is slight of stature but large of stick, bursting on the scene as a 17-year-old in the DSL, forcing a promotion after only 25 games by slashing .323/.391/.434, with a 140 wRC+. Rocchio responded to his move to the AZL by putting up a slightly better line against much older competition, with a .343 batting average and 137 wRC+ in 35 games. His overall numbers weren’t as high in Low-A this past season, slashing .250/.310/.373, but even though Rocchio’s strikeout rate climbed almost three points to 13.6%, the 18-year-old continued to show an advanced eye, with his 8.8% swinging-strike rate half of his mark the season before. Some of the power started to show up too, with Rocchio hitting five home runs in 295 plate appearances after hitting just two in 269 plate appearances the year before. Rocchio will get his first taste of full-season ball in 2020 and with continued performance could see Double-A by the end of the season, putting him on a path to prospect gold.


Round 8 (Pick 94): Jesus Sanchez, OF, MIA


Traded to Miami along with Ryne Stanek at the trade deadline for reliever Nick Anderson, Jesus Sanchez is a 6’3″, 230-pound outfielder with plus, plus bat speed, and a lot questions about his plate discipline. Putting up a 115 wRC+ in 78 games for Tampa Bay’s Double-A affiliate this season, Sanchez faltered upon his promotion to Triple-A, putting up a 53 wRC+ with a .206 average and 28.2% strikeout rate through 71 plate appearances before his trade to the Rays. He bounced back post-trade, slashing .246/.338/.446 in 78 plate appearances and dropping to a 19.2% K rate while raising his .111 ISO for the Rays to a .200 ISO for the Marlins. With Miami still non-competitive in this the Marlins’ latest cycle of rebuilding, Sanchez will likely be pushed aggressively, with seeing the majors this season a strong possibility.

More importantly, I learned my final lesson in making sure I don’t wait on guys I wanted, as the Dastardly Nate Watt (spelled with two D’s for his double-dose of his dastardly) snatched Robert Puason two picks later, giving no respect to the fact that I had already planned on taking Puason. Lesson learned.


Round 9 (Pick 99): Luis Garcia, SS, WAS


This draft has 99 picks and now Luis Garcia is one. I got raps. I also have the Luis Garcia that’s not the one in Philadelphia and whose prospect stock has taken a hit after putting up subpar numbers in 2019 at Double-A, slashing .257/.280/.337 with a .280 wOBA over 553 plate appearances. For me, it’s hard to hold those numbers against Garcia, seeing that he was still just 18 years old when the season began; a very aggressive assignment that Garcia earned after cruising through the previous two levels in 2018, slashing .299/.338/.412 with a .340 wOBA over 221 plate appearances at High-A. Likely to again start at Double-A in 2020, Garcia could see his stock start to rise quickly if he starts hitting like he has previously at the lower levels.


Round 10 (Pick 118): Gilberto Jimenez, OF, BOS


I think my pitcher queue was destroyed more prior to this pick than any other point in the draft, with Brailyn Marquez, Shane McClanahan, Kris Bubic, and James Karinchak all coming off the board before my next pick. With many favorites gone, I pivoted back to offense and made sure I didn’t miss out on another one of my favorites, grabbing the speedy outfielder who just won the NY Penn League batting title at age 19. Possessing Willie “Mays” Hayes levels of quick, Gilberto Jimenez used his 80-grade speed and plus bat speed to slash .359/.393/.470 in 2019, stealing 14 bases and posting a 158 wRC+ over 254 plate appearances. A switch-hitter only since 2017, Jimenez is still extremely raw but carries loud tools that garner a lot of attention quickly.


Round 11 (Pick 125): Luis Matos, OF, SF


Many of the things said above about Jimenez can be copied and pasted into the profile of Luis Matos, a 17-year-old center fielder who just tore up the Giants’ DSL affiliate, slashing .362/.430/.570 with a .471 wOBA over 270 plate appearances. Matos then got a brief promotion to the AZL, collecting seven hits in 16 at-bats and putting up a 199 wRC+ in the five-game sample. With his plus speed and elite athleticism, the DSL didn’t provide many challenges to Matos, so exposure to better pitching in 2020 should help to divine if there are any red flags flying beneath the surface.


Round 12 (Pick 142): Randy Arozarena, OF, STL


Seen as more of a tweener outfielder entering this season, lacking the speed to play center and the power to play in a corner, Randy Arozarena quieted some of those concerns by hitting a combined 15 home runs in 399 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. Rewarded with a 23-plate-appearance cup of coffee, Arozarena accounted for himself well, going 6-for-20 with a home run and two stolen bases for the big league Cardinals. Arozarena’s role in 2020 is yet unknown, but I’m optimistic he can carve out a spot considering that the Cardinals outfield is likely to be a mashup of Tyler O’Neil, Jose Martinez, Harrison Bader, and the ever-decaying body of Dexter Fowler.


Round 13 (Pick 147): Joey Cantillo, SP, SD


After taking seven straight bats, I finally went back to the pitching well to grab Joey Cantillo, who’s yet another interesting arm in a deep San Diego system. What Cantillo lacks in velocity, he makes up a nasty changeup, thrown with the “vulcan” grip recently popularized by Trevor Bauer and fellow Padre Chris Paddack, among others. 6’4″ and left-handed, Cantillo throws out of a high three-quarter arm slot similar to Joey Lucchesi, making for a funky delivery that lower-level hitters have had trouble figuring out. Over 19 starts and 98 innings for the Single-A Fort Wayne Tincaps, Cantillo posted a 1.93 ERA and 2.14 FIP, with a 0.87 WHIP and a 34.7% K rate. While not as dominant upon his promotion to High-A for the last three starts of his season, allowing seven runs in 13.2 innings, I’ll bet on the Padres’ magic changeup dust turning Cantillo into a valuable asset.


Round 14 (Pick 166): William Contreras, C, ATL


The younger brother of All-Star catcher Willson Contreras, William Contreras has always been advanced defensively, with an above-average hit tool for the position. Contreras followed up a breakout 2018 campaign with an impressive 2019, slashing .263/.324/.368 over 207 plate appearances at High-A before getting promoted to Double-A for the final 60 games of the season. Contreras was slightly less productive upon his promotion but was still impressive given the difficulty of the position and the fact that he was almost three years younger than the average player. If I’m forced to take a minor league catcher, then give me one who has an advanced hit tool and glove for his age, with catching bloodlines to boot.


Round 15 (Pick 171): Seth Corry, LHP, SF


Named the Sally League Pitcher of the Year after leading the league with a 1.76 ERA and 172 strikeouts, left-hander Seth Corry is moving up the Giants organizational lists and could start garnering national attention with another strong season in 2020. A prep pitcher selected by the Giants in the third round of the 2017 draft, Corry has made significant strides with the development of his changeup after being heavily reliant on his two and four-seam fastballs that sit 92-95 mph and a 12-6 curveball thrown in the low 80s. Along with pitching coach (and former major league LOOGY) Clay Rapada, Corry has focused on being able to throw his mid-80s changeup more consistently, feeling that the pitch tunnels better with his fastballs than his curveball does. While there is plenty of risk that Corry will wind up as a multi-inning reliever, for now he’s a pitcher on the rise who could start showing up on top-100 lists soon.


Round 16 (Pick 190): Ljay Newsome, RHP, SEA


One of Seattle’s many curious 40-man roster decisions recently, 23-year-old Ljay Newsome was left unprotected for the upcoming Rule V draft, even after a breakout campaign that saw him strike out 124 batters in 100.2 innings at High-A before being promoted and making his last nine starts at Double-A (Richmond). While Newsome’s strikeout rate dipped to at the higher level, he also had the lowest walk rate of any qualified pitcher in the minor leagues. Any pitcher available at this point in the draft is going to carry plenty of risks, but Newsome has enough upside to make him more than intriguing.


Round 17 (Pick 195): Aramis Ademan, SS, CHC


Once a much-hyped prospect in Chicago’s system, Aramis Ademan’s stock took a tumble after an aggressive assignment to High-A Myrtle Beach left him barely hitting above the Mendoza line in 2018. Ademan did better in his second go-round in the Carolina League, raising his OPS from .563 to .652. While he lacks any standout tools, Ademan has an all-around game that should still let him reach the majors; but whether it’s as a starter or a reserve player remains to be seen. A once-hyped prospect who bottomed out in a league where everyone was much older? Sign me up.


Round 18 (Pick 214): James Kaprielian, RHP, OAK


Remember him? The former Yankees top prospect was shipped to Oakland for Sonny Gray following Tommy John surgery in 2017, with James Kaprielian missing all of 2018 as well. Finally returning in 2019, Kaprielian pitched 68 innings across three levels, finishing with a combined 27.0% K rate and was hitting 96 mph on the radar gun by late August. That may not be the high 90s he was able to touch prior to surgery, but Karprielian still has plenty of stuff, featuring a plus slider and changeup, as well as a decent curveball. Still only 25 years old and already on Oakland’s 40-man roster, Kaprielian could figure into the Athletics’ rotation plans as soon as the coming season.


Round 19 (Pick 219): Bryan Mata, RHP, BOS


Just 20 years old, Bryan Mata’s development has been bumpy, with the Red Sox keeping him on an aggressive path since assigning him to full season ball at age 18. Things got better in 2019, with Mata starting at High-A and finishing the season making his last 11 starts at Double-A. Mata features a four-pitch mix, leading with a sinker that sits in the mid-90s, and can touch 98-99 mph, along with a plus changeup and a curveball that he can throw for a strike, as well as a putaway pitch out the bottom of the zone. There’s still a lot risk for relief in the future but Mata has big stuff and as one of the best pitchers in a system thin on arms, he’ll get plenty of chance to prove himself as a starter.


Round 20 (Pick 238): Tristen Lutz, OF, MIL


One of the top players in the Brewers system, Tristen Lutz has big-time 70-grade power and made more incremental improvements while spending all of 2019 at High-A, where he hit 13 home runs in 477 plate appearances, slashing .255/.335/.418 with a 120 wRC+. Lutz makes up for average bat control with excellent breaking-ball recognition, but that will be really tested for the first time with a likely 2020 assignment to Double-A. Lutz is a below-average fielder with a strong arm, so he’ll have to harness all of that power if he wants to be an everyday player. If he can, Lutz profiles as a middle-of-the-order bat. Gimme, gimme.


Round 21 (Pick 243): Grant Lavigne, 1B, COL


At this point in the draft, the pickings are getting real slim, real fast; so when all else fails, you can’t ever go too wrong with a slugging first baseman for Colorado, right? Grant Lavigne hasn’t tapped into his power yet, only hitting seven home runs in 526 plate appearances at Class-A (Asheville), slashing .236/.347/.327 with a 104 wRC+, a year after putting up a 160 wRC+ in his first taste of pro ball at Low-A in 2018. Lavigne does bring other things to the table, stealing 20 bases in his two years in Colorado’s system and plays above-average defense but will need to start slugging if wants to gain any real value.


Round 22 (Pick 262): Andrew Knizner, C, STL


The development of a minor league catcher may be the trickiest to predict, but Andrew Knizner feels safer than most. He doesn’t have the upside of Contreras, but Knizner has posted strong slash lines at every level and broke out with 12 home runs in just 280 plate appearances for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. Knizner did a few stints with the big league club, coming up for good when the rosters expanded in September and in total posted a 78 wRC+ over his 53 plate appearances with two home runs, seven RBI, and seven runs scored. As Yadier Molina will be in the last year of his contract and 38 years old by the time spring rolls around, Knizner should have a safer path than most to a major league job. Unless, of course, the legend of the Hidden Molina* turns out to be true, in which case we’ll have to wait and see where Knizner gets traded to before reassessing his value.

*Do people outside of St. Louis not know about the legend of the Hidden Molina? Foretold in the after-credit scenes of the Nicolas Cage vehicle, “National Treasure”, the leg-…Wait, I probably shouldn’t say anything. Forget I even brought it up. 


Round 23 (Pick 267): Hudson Potts, 3B, SD


The 24th overall pick out of high school in 2016, Hudson Potts mashed as advertised in his first two years of pro ball, hitting a combined 39 home runs in 2017-18. This past season wasn’t as smooth, with Potts struggling at the plate as he tried to play second base for the first time, as the Padres wanted him to pick up additional flexibility after signing Manny Machado to play third base for the long term future. While Potts’ .226 batting average was the lowest of his career, he still managed to hit 16 home runs in 448 plate appearances and 2020 should be a defining season in terms of what kind of player we can expect him to be.


Round 24 (Pick 286): Liover Peguero, SS, ARI


Carrying arguably the coolest sounding name in this draft, I was really happy to get one of Arizona’s best prospects this late in the draft. Looking like a taller Jean Segura, Liover Peguero’s swing is lightning quick back through the zone, allowing him to stay back that much longer and giving him excellent pitch recognition for such a young age. Peguero started the year by tearing up the Pioneer League, slashing .364/.410/.559 in 159 plate appearances, with five home runs and eight stolen bases before being promoted to Low-A (Hillsboro) for the 22 remaining games of the season. While not as overwhelming as he was at the lower level, Peguero was still successful in his 93 plate appearances, failing to hit a home run but putting up a 101 wRC+, with 11 RBI, 13 runs scored, and three stolen bases. With Jazz Chisholm having been traded to the Marlins, Peguero is now the second-best shortstop in Arizona’s system behind Geraldo Perdomo.


Round 25 (Pick 291): Nick Schnell, OF, TB


Finishing off this prospect haul, I grabbed a fellow Nick with my final pick, selecting Tampa Bay’s Nick Schnell. Selected 32nd overall by the Rays in 2018, Schnell has a lot of swing-and-miss in his game but also a lot of power and was promoted to Low-A (Bowling Green) for his final 14 games of 2019. Schnell earned the promotion after starting the year off posting a 134 wRC+ over 166 plate appearances for the rookie-ball Princeton Rays, slashing .286/.361/.503 with five home runs and five stolen bases. That also came with a 30.7% K rate, though, a number that jumped to 40% in his 60 plate appearances at Bowling Green. Schell has a deep load in his swing, making it possible that he’ll never be able to catch up to increasing velocity as he moves up the system but I’m always will to take risks like this for Tampa Bay players, assuming they’ll either fix what ails him or ship him out if they can’t.

Graphic by Justin Paradis (@FreshMeatComm on Twitter)

Nicklaus Gaut

Born scores ago, Nicklaus Gaut is confused by the internet and people in general. But baseball sometimes makes sense, even when it doesn't. So after getting second-place in a writing contest, he now writes for Brad Johnson at his @BaseballATeam, as well as in an editor role at RotoBaller.com. Read Nicklaus for his numbers and stories, but beware of @Nt_BurtReynolds...That dude might be nuts.

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