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Dynasty Dugout: Top Fantasy Options From the MLB Amateur Draft

Last week in Dynasty Dugout, we looked at some undervalued prospects. Since then, Derek Fisher got the call to the majors, and A.J. Puk advanced up to Double-A. With the MLB amateur draft concluding last week, we now switch our focus to the recent draftees that every dynasty league owner will soon be clamoring for.

Out of all the professional drafts, the MLB draft is by far the hardest one to predict the future success of the players drafted. There have been plenty of No. 1 picks, like 2013 top pick Mark Appel, that have flamed out. On the other hand, 24 teams passed on Mike Trout in the first round of the 2009 MLB Amateur draft before the Los Angeles Angels scooped him up with the 25th pick.

This wasn’t a stacked draft class. There was no Carlos Correa, Bryce Harper, or Kris Bryant type players for MLB teams to choose from. With that being said, there were some players with the skill sets to become future fantasy stars.

The Cream of the Crop

Jordon Adell, Outfielder, Age 18
Drafted 10th overall by the Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels are a struggling franchise with not much help coming up the pipeline. Go take a look at MLB’s list of the top 100 prospects. You won’t see any Angels on that list. Los Angeles needed to select a high upside player and that’s exactly what they did with high school outfielder, Jordon Adell. If you told me one of this year’s draftees would be a fantasy superstar several years down the road, Adell would be the player I’d guess it would be.

This kid just oozes fantasy potential, and it starts with his lightning-quick bat speed. That bat speed plus his plus raw power, allows him to hit home runs in bunches. During his senior season in high school, Adell mashed 25 home runs in just 96 at-bats while hitting a cool .536. He also added 21 steals for good measure. The one area that has held him back is his tendency to strikeout. Scouts have said that he has trouble with breaking pitches, as well as catching up to higher velocity fastballs.[the_ad id=”384″]

When you look at Adell, he already looks like a major leaguer. He’s got a pro-ready body and still has time to get even stronger as he matures in the minor leagues. Adell is very exceptionally athletic and has the looks of a future fantasy star if he can work on making more contact.

If your league has a rookie draft for all the amateurs and international players that have come to the majors this year, Adell is a name that should be near the top of the draft board. There’s no player drafted last week that I would want more on my dynasty team.

Hunter Greene, Starting Pitcher, Age 18
Drafted 2nd overall by the Cincinnati Reds

Without a doubt, the player that generated the most pre-draft buzz this year was hard-throwing right-hander, Hunter Greene. There was a lot of speculation that he would be the first high school right-hander to go first overall. That didn’t happen, but he didn’t slide very far as the Cincinnati Reds scooped him up with the No. 2 pick.

Greene throws straight up gas. His fastball regularly sits in the mid to upper-90’s and can touch triple digits consistently. Unlike a lot of hard throwing youngsters, Greene has pretty solid control, which is a very encouraging sign for his future potential. His secondary pitches are still a work in progress, but he has flashed a plus breaking ball and also throws a changeup that he can work on in the minors. His big 6’3 frame and easy delivery should allow him to become a workhorse on the mound.

There’s a pretty good chance Greene still would have been a first rounder as a position player, as well. That just shows how great of an athlete he really is. In addition to dominating on the mound, Greene played shortstop in high school. He was pretty good there, too, but with how great he is on the mound, there’s no doubting his future is as a pitcher.

The bottom line with Green is simple. If you’re looking for a potential future fantasy ace, Greene is your guy.

Jake Burger, 3rd Baseman, Age 21
Drafted 11th overall by the Chicago White Sox

The White Sox found their heir apparent to Todd Frazier at third base when they used the 11th pick to select Jake Burger out of Missouri State University. Burger might be the best power hitter in this draft. After hitting a mere four home runs in his freshman season, his last two collegiate seasons were much more productive from a power standpoint.

During his sophomore season, Burger hit .349 with 21 home runs, 13 doubles, and a 1.109 OPS in 235 at-bats. He followed that up with a .328 average, 22 home runs, 13 doubles, and a 1.091 OPS in 247 at-bats during his final season at Missouri State. Pretty consistent, isn’t he?

Burger is a prototypical looking slugging third baseman. His 6’2, 210-pound frame packs plenty of power, and he’ll have the added bonus of playing in a hitter-friendly park once he reaches the majors.

Brendan McCay, 1st Baseman/Starting Pitcher, Age 21
Drafted 4th overall by the Tampa Bay Rays

This draft was loaded with potential two-way players, and Brendan McCay was a top one. During his first two seasons at the University of Louisville, McCay won the John Olerud Award as the best two-way player in the nation. There’s still some questions about whether he’ll end up as a pitcher or a hitter, but when looking at his skills, my bet is he’ll wind up as a hitter.

McCay is a very advanced hitter for his age. He has a smooth swing from the left side and has a knack for making solid contact. He’s not a hulking power threat like a lot of first basemen but is strong enough to hit 25-plus home runs annually at the big league level. If you’re looking for an MLB comparison for McCay, think something along the lines of the San Diego Padres version of Adrian Gonzalez.

Austin Beck, Outfielder, Age 18
Drafted 6th overall by the Oakland Athletics

There weren’t many players whose stock rose more over the last 12 months than Austin Beck. His junior season was cut short due to a torn ACL, and that also caused him to miss the entire summer showcase circuit. Once he was fully healthy entering his senior season in high school, Beck put his plus skills on full display and ended up becoming a top 10 pick.

There’s not really one area that Beck stands out in, but he’s above average across the board. To start, he has good raw power to all fields despite his slight frame. His quick bat speed makes up for it though, and he should turn into a 20-25 home run hitter in the majors.

Assuming his knee doesn’t become bothersome long-term, Beck should be able to steal in the vicinity of 30 bases annually. He has some good wheels and was very successful on the base paths during his high school career.

Like Adell, scouts question Beck’s ability to hit for a high average at the higher levels. His swing isn’t as fluid as most scouts would like and that in turn has given him some difficulties against hard-throwing pitchers.

Other Picks of Note

Royce Lewis, Shortstop, Age 18
Drafted 1st overall by the Minnesota Twins

Lewis is a hit-first shortstop with plus speed and not much power. He could mature and add some power to his frame, but he looks like a .290/10/25 fantasy shortstop. Still pretty valuable, just don’t break the bank for him.

Pavin Smith, 1st Baseman, Age 21
Drafted 8th overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks

This was a head scratching pick for me. Smith is a great hitter, but is slow and therefore, limited to first base. Arizona already has this guy named Paul Goldschmidt there. You might have heard of him, he’s pretty good. Smith has the upside of a .300 hitting, 20-plus home run first base threat, but it’s unsure of when he’ll get his chance. He might have to move to a corner outfield to get to the majors quicker.

MacKenzie Gore, Left-Handed Starting Pitcher, Age 18
Drafted 3rd overall by the San Diego Padres

Fantasy owners have to love when San Diego selects a high-upside starting pitcher with their top pick in the draft. Gore has all the makings of a solid No. 2 or 3 starter in the majors. What might hold him back from being a fantasy ace is his low-90’s fastball and less than elite strikeout ability.

Jeren Kendall, Outfielder, Age 21
Drafted 23rd overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers

Kendall was highly ranked by, but questions surrounding his hit tool caused him to drop to the Dodgers at 23. His speed has been labeled “plus-plus” and should translate to 40-plus steals annually in the majors. While he doesn’t have a ton of power, he has the strength to hit about 10-15 most seasons. MLB compared him to Jacoby Ellsbury, and I think that is a perfect comparison, minus a little batting average. Maybe Kendall is closer to a Keon Broxton type of player.

Got a question about a player not covered here? Feel free to ask in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @EricCross04. Thanks as always for reading, and check back next Tuesday for another edition of Dynasty Dugout.

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