Dynasty Bats To Help You Win Your 2020 Draft
Dynasty players are always looking for the next big thing, and those choosing near the top of an entry draft heading into the 2020 season will have many options from which to choose.
That’s because a 2019 MLB draft class front-loaded with position players is sure to please. Collegians like Adley Rutschman, Andrew Vaughn and JJ Bleday balance upside with proximity. High schoolers like Bobby Witt Jr., Riley Greene and CJ Abrams have tantalizing offensive upside. Greene and Abrams even made cameos in full-season ball in their pro debuts.
For the more adventurous dynasty player, the July 2 international signing class offers a trio of outfielders who are very much worth your consideration: the Yankees’ Jasson Dominguez, the Dodgers’ Luis Rodriguez and the Royals’ Erick Peña.
Some leagues might even have 2019 breakout prospects like Giants shortstop Marco Luciano and D-backs outfielder Kristian Robinson available. But if those players are still available in your league, you should really consider finding a new league.
The focus of this piece examines the second-tier prospects who can help you win your dynasty draft by out-drafting your competition in the later rounds. Thus the emphasis is placed on prospects who have scouting pedigree and also have demonstrated standout skills in short-season ball in 2019.
You won’t find any Top 100 Prospects on this list—your competition already knows about the cream of the crop—though I did bend the rules for two players who crept onto the back of the Top 100 late in the season: Francisco Alvarez and Corbin Carroll.
1. Alexander Mojica, 3B, Pirates
Rookie-level DSL Pirates (Dominican Summer)
Power: 98% | Discipline: 85% | Speed: 10% | Age: 98%
Context: The Pirates signed Mojica out of Dominican Republic for $390,000 in 2018, and during his pro debut a year later he ranked second in the 45-team Dominican Summer League with a 1.050 OPS.
Mojica is a physical righthanded hitter who blends feel to hit, plate discipline and outstanding power in an intriguing overall package. The 17-year-old ranked top 10 in the DSL with a .351 average (eighth), a .468 on-base percentage (fifth) and a .580 slugging percentage (third). As one of the younger players in his signing class, Mojica will continue to be one of the youngest players in the U.S. league to which he is assigned in 2020.
2. Francisco Alvarez, C, Mets
Rookie-advanced Kingsport (Appalachian)
Power: 72% | Discipline: 76% | Speed: 26% | Age: 99%
Context: Alvarez grew up in Venezuela hauling bags of concrete for his father’s construction company. His physical maturity captured attention in the 2018 signing class, and in his 2019 pro debut the 17-year-old advanced to the Appalachian League, where he ranked as No.1 prospect.
Alvarez has incredible bat-to-ball skills and a natural power stroke to right-center field that should result in plus power at catcher. His strong strike-zone control will make him an overall plus, with the biggest downside being that catchers tend to take longer to develop than players at other positions.
3. Luisangel Acuña, SS/2B, Rangers
Rookie-level DSL Rangers (Dominican Summer)
Power: 70% | Discipline: 83% | Speed: 89% | Age: 84%
Context: The younger brother of Braves star Ronald Acuña, Luisangel signed in 2018 and hit .342 to rank 10th in the Dominican Summer League in his 2019 pro debut. His 5-foot-8 frame belies a power-oriented swing and terrific bat control.
Acuña racked up more walks (34) than strikeouts (26) as he challenged for the DSL batting title. He has above-average speed and could grow into more power as his sturdy frame fill outs.
4. Aaron Bracho, 2B, Indians
Rookie-level AZL Indians (Arizona)
Power: 98% | Discipline: 89% | Speed: 49% | Age: 86%
Context: The switch-hitting Venezuelan middle infielder signed in 2017 but missed 2018 with an arm injury. Bracho returned in fine form in 2019 when he hit for power while drawing more walks than strikeouts in the Arizona League.
Bracho doesn’t have notable speed or defensive potential, but he can hit. He proved as much in his pro debut, showing an ability to take pitches, swing at strikes and loft the ball for power. Bracho hit .281 and slugged .570 in a season split between the Arizona and short-season New York-Penn leagues.
5. Corbin Carroll, OF, D-backs
Rookie-level AZL D-backs (Arizona)
Power: 80% | Discipline: 72% | Speed: 93% | Age: 64%
Context: The top three high school bats in the 2019 draft class—Bobby Witt Jr., Riley Greene and CJ Abrams—went off the board early, leaving Carroll to fall to the middle of the first round. Arizona might have gotten a steal with the 16th overall pick.
Carroll had the best strike-zone discipline and center field defense in his high school draft class. Scouts regarded him as the second best hitter only to Greene. Carroll didn’t disappoint in his pro debut by hitting his way to the short-season Northwest League and finishing with an overall batting line of .299/.409/.487 in 42 games. He hit just two home runs but showed above-average power on contact to go with an 18-for-19 showing in stolen bases.
6. Brayan Buelvas, OF, Athletics
Rookie-level AZL Athletics (Arizona)
Power: 84% | Discipline: 69% | Speed: 74% | Age: 100%
Context: The Athletics signed Buelvas out of Colombia in 2018, and he hit his way out of the Dominican Summer League in a promising 2019 pro debut. He spent the majority of the season in the Arizona League, where he was the youngest player to bat at least 50 times.
Buelvas has a well-rounded game but no single overwhelming tool. His gap power could morph into over-the-fence power. His above-average speed translated to 16 stolen bases. Buelvas has an incredible work ethic and a demonstrated ability to play up to his level of competition. Sometimes this player type exceeds expectations.
7. Misael Urbina, OF, Twins
Rookie-level DSL Twins (Dominican Summer)
Power: 89% | Discipline: 66% | Speed: 93% | Age: 89%
Context: One of the top talents available in the 2018 international signing class, Urbina came to terms with the Twins and made an impression in the Dominican Summer League in his 2019 pro debut with his well-rounded game.
Urbina boasted one of the lowest strikeout rates in pro ball in 2019, accomplishing that while also contributing power and speed. The 17-year-old Venezuelan rapped more extra-base hits (21) and collected more stolen bases (19) than he had strikeouts (14) while shining defensively in center field.
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8. Liover Peguero, SS, D-backs
Rookie-advanced Missoula (Pioneer)
Power: 76% | Discipline: 60% | Speed: 89% | Age: 96%
Context: The D-backs signed Peguero in 2017, betting on his athletic ability and physical upside. He realized that upside in 2019 in his first extended play in the U.S. by ranking as the No. 1 prospect in the Pioneer League and advancing to the short-season Northwest League.
Nearly every facet of Peguero’s game improved in 2019. He hit for more power, improved his basestealing aggressiveness and efficiency and shored up his defensive consistency at shortstop. The 19-year-old is clearly on an upswing.
9. Orelvis Martinez, SS, Blue Jays
Rookie-level GCL Blue Jays (Gulf Coast)
Power: 98% | Discipline: 55% | Speed: 43% | Age: 97%
Context: Martinez signed for $3.51 million in 2018, receiving the largest bonus for a 16-year-old that year. He shined in his pro debut in the Gulf Coast League, ranking second with seven home runs, second with a .549 slugging percentage and fourth with 32 RBIs.
The No. 1 prospect in the GCL has a chance to develop into a plus hitter with plus power. Martinez lacks outstanding speed or discipline and faces a potential move to third base, but the 18-year-old’s bat is worth betting on.
10. Jasiah Dixon, OF, Pirates
Rookie-level GCL Pirates (Gulf Coast)
Power: 48% | Discipline: 81% | Speed: 91% | Age: 95%
Context: The Pirates correctly gauged Dixon’s signability when they drafted him out of high school in the 23rd round in 2019. The SoCal product performed against top-flight competition for four years and then shined in a 22-game pro debut in the Gulf Coast League.
Dixon showcased his athleticism, double-plus wheels, a strong arm and bat speed in the GCL by hitting .329 with eight stolen bases in 11 tries and nearly as many walks (10) as strikeouts (11). How much power he develops is an open question, which combined with his inconsistent timing at the plate as an amateur, helps explain how Dixon fell in the draft.
11. Luis Matos, OF, Giants
Rookie-level DSL Giants (Dominican Summer)
Power: 96% | Discipline: 33% | Speed: 78% | Age: 80%
Context: Matos ranked as one of the top offensive performers in Venezuela in the 2018 international signing class. He lived up to expectations with a high-contact, high-power showing in the DSL that earned him a five-game look in the Rookie-level Arizona League.
Matos finished third in the DSL batting race at .362 but first with 33 extra-base hits, indicating his potential to impact those two categories. That’s good because he doesn’t walk or strike out much, and his defensive tools probably will limit him to a corner.
12. Andy Pages, OF, Dodgers
Rookie-advanced Ogden (Pioneer)
Power: 97% | Discipline: 53% | Speed: 68% | Age: 95%
Context: Pages was one of the top hitters in his age group in Cuba when he signed in 2018. After making his pro debut in the complex Rookie leagues that year, he broke out in a big way as an 18-year-old in the Pioneer League in 2019.
Pages had a reputation for his feel to hit when he signed, but he has established his power credentials after leading the Pioneer League with 43 extra-base hits and ranking second with 19 home runs. That’s a positive development considering his stocky build limits him to a corner.
13. Pedro Martinez, SS/2B, Cubs
Rookie-level AZL Cubs (Arizona)
Power: 83% | Discipline: 62% | Speed: 66% | Age: 80%
Context: Signed toward the end of the 2017 international signing period, Martinez is a switch-hitting Venezuelan middle infielder who batted .352 in the Arizona League in 2019 before advancing to the short-season Northwest League as an 18-year-old.
Martinez is an intelligent hitter with a balanced swing from both sides of the plate. He has the defensive tools to stick on the middle infield. He will be worth seeking out in deeper leagues for those who value a player's ability to hit and control the strike zone.
14. Brenton Doyle, OF, Rockies
Rookie-advanced Grand Junction (Pioneer)
Power: 87% | Discipline: 60% | Speed: 83% | Age: 45%
Context: Had he not played at Division II Shepherd in West Virginia, Doyle might have been drafted higher than the fourth round in 2019. He led the Pioneer League in average (.383), on-base percentage (.477) and OPS (1.088) in a loud pro debut.
Doyle combines feel to hit, power, speed and plate discipline. The biggest down side to his profile is that he was not particularly young for Rookie ball and that he did not receive a promotion to short-season Boise, possibly because he missed three weeks after he was hit in the cheek by a pitch.
15. Victor Mesa Jr., OF, Marlins
Rookie-level GCL Marlins (Gulf Coast)
Power: 59% | Discipline: 77% | Speed: 85% | Age: 95%
Context: Mesa and his older brother Victor Victor signed with the Marlins out of Cuba for $6.25 million after the 2018 season. Mesa Jr. received just $1 million of that sum but had a much louder pro debut as one of the youngest players in the Gulf Coast League.
Mesa is a patient, hit-over-power lefthanded batter who has average speed but strong overall game awareness to get the most out of his tools. He has uncanny bat-to-ball skills, but he could develop more power as his body matures and he learns to impact the ball.