Updated: Jul 7, 2020
This set of rankings will be the final each each player receiving an individual breakdown. Following the 200 will be positional rankings, which will rank out to an overall top 450; basically, a 15-team NFBC league includes 450 rostered players. Again, I'm not including projected stats, but you can view those projections HERE. The sample size of ADP is up to 16 drafts following Sunday's results. Why are people drafting right now despite players announcing each day they're opting out? Great question. Anyway, let's get to the rankings beginning with a righthander whose first professional outing I saw in person while attending the Pirates' Scouting School:
Last season, Mitch Keller was one of the unluckiest pitchers in the history of the sport.
No. 176 – Mitch Keller – SP – Pittsburgh Pirates
Current NFBC ADP: 234
Razzball Player Rater projection: 227
Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: N/A
Quick thoughts: Keller finished last season with a 3.19 FIP, 3.47 xFIP, and… 7.13 ERA. Wait. WTF? Yes, that happened. Even the stars of Tiger King think that shit’s crazy.
Keller’s slider and curve were both elite last season; the former generated a .179 xBA and the latter .149 xBA; and both had nearly identical xwWOBA near .210. So, what happened? Despite average fastball velocity of 95.4 MPH, Keller’s heater was tattooed, but some of that was bad luck. Like historically bad luck. Keller’s BABIP for a pitcher that threw at least 40.0 innings was the highest of all-time. ALL-TIME.
I believe the Pirates will be smarter with their arms and development now. Actually, I know they will be. And while Keller’s command needs to improve, the stuff says the upside is massive.
No. 177 – Julio Urias – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers
Current NFBC ADP: 125
Razzball Player Rater projection: 186
Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 286
Quick thoughts: Was announced this week he’s won a spot in the Dodgers rotation. He also hit Willie Calhoun in the face with a fastball and broke his jaw, which makes me want to never draft him on any team ever.
Urias has been hyped forever and has never stayed healthy. Maybe he does this year thanks partially to the shortened schedule. Maybe the Dodgers jack him around like they do all their starting pitchers not named Kershaw and Buehler. Maybe he gets hurt again.
No. 178 – Ryan McMahon – 2B/3B – Colorado Rockies
Current NFBC ADP: 162
Razzball Player Rater projection: 190
Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 164
Quick thoughts: Besides Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, I’m not a fan of drafting any Rockies players because the franchise is so untrustworthy when it comes to utilizing its roster. So, McMahon could play a lot, and could play all over the place. Or he could be one of the 78 players stuck in an odd platoon role and/or another top prospect who isn’t given a full chance.
No. 179 – Yandy Diaz – 3B – Tampa Bay Rays
Current NFBC ADP: 268
Razzball Player Rater projection: 408
Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 503; injured half of season
Quick thoughts: Have you seen his biceps? I don’t know this for certain, but I bet Diaz is Albert Belle’s favorite player. Currently projected to hit third for the Rays, Diaz’s batted-ball profile rated above average or better across the board. In 2019, he finished with a xBA of .271 or better against all types of pitches, which suggests he doesn’t have a clear weakness pitchers can exploit after a good adjustment hitting offspeed pitches from 2018 to 2019.
No. 180 – Brandon Workman – RP – Boston Red Sox
Current NFBC ADP: 138
Razzball Player Rater projection: 175
Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 100
Quick thoughts: The bad: bottom 1% in MLB in BB%. The good: top 4% or better in barrel%, xBA, xSLG, wOBA, xwOBA, xwOBACON, and K%. If the walk rate trends positively, the three plus pitches will show even better.
No. 181 – Jose Leclerc – RP – Texas Rangers
Current NFBC ADP: 152
Razzball Player Rater projection: 109
Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 295
Quick thoughts: It’s fitting LeClerc follows Workman because their profiles are essentially the same. They have dominant stuff with excellent batted-ball profiles, but walked way too many batters last season.
No. 182 – Didi Gregorius – SS – Philadelphia Phillies
Current NFBC ADP: 225
Razzball Player Rater projection: 193
Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: N/A
Quick thoughts: Although he’s scheduled to hit eighth, he’ll hit in a good lineup and should provide solid or better contribution in homers, runs, and RBI. Reuniting with Joe Girardi should help too, although Gregorious will definitely miss the short right field in Yankee Stadium.
If David Dahl can, finally, stay healthy, his owners will be smiling.
No. 183 – David Dahl – OF – Colorado Rockies Current NFBC ADP: 139 Razzball Player Rater projection: 117 Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 210 Quick thoughts: Could a 60-game season be what Dahl needs to actually come close to playing a full season? Kidding. Kind of. On talent and opportunity, hitting at the top of the Colorado lineup versus righties, alone, Dahl is probably a top 100 player. But the injuries…
No. 184 – Paul DeJong – SS – St. Louis Cardinals Current NFBC ADP: 191 Razzball Player Rater projection: 135 Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 102 Quick thoughts: DeJong is a quality example of opportunity valuing more than skill. For the third-straight year, his xwOBACON and sweet spot% declined sharply, and his xBA suggests hitting .237 was a true indicator of ability. However, he’s projected to hit cleanup, his glove will keep him on the field, and he managed to hit 30 homers last season.
No. 185 – Carlos Martinez – SP – St. Louis Cardinals Current NFBC ADP: 165 Razzball Player Rater projection: 355 Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 207; reliever Quick thoughts: Once upon a time, Martinez was essentially a lock to start 30 games with a good ERA and solid amount of strikeouts. Then, his velocity went the wrong direction and thus a battle began a between the Cardinals and Martinez about how he trains and the strength of his shoulder following an injury-shortened 2018. Well, it seems everyone is back on the same page again because he’s currently projected to be the No. 2 starter in the rotation. And Martinez, although it came in a bullpen role, had his velocity again last season. During his time as a starter in his career, Martinez has never allowed more than a 33.6 hard hit%.
No. 186 – Mitch Garver – C – Minnesota Twins Current NFBC ADP: 116 Razzball Player Rater projection: 160 Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 109 Quick thoughts: Talented hitter batting sixth for one of the best lineups in baseball. Let’s not make this complicated. Garver’s power numbers exploded last season.
No. 187 – Ian Happ – OF – Chicago Cubs Current NFBC ADP: 229 Razzball Player Rater projection: 246 Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: N/A Quick thoughts: The addition of the DH in the NL could mean an everyday role for Happ, who is one of the most perplexing hitters in all of baseball. Despite chasing almost 10% more in 2019, he cut his K% 11.1% down to 25.0%. How? Happ hit offspeed and breaking pitches much, much better; his xBA against breaking stuff improved from .170 to .342 and against offspeed pitches in went from .286 to .357. He might have sold out to do so because his numbers against fastballs declined sharply after pedestrian numbers in 2018. There’s upside here with the former No. 9 overall pick, but it’s not difficult to find someone who could hit 10 homers with a handful of steals and a bad batting average.
No. 188 – Dansby Swanson – SS – Atlanta Braves
Current NFBC ADP: 224
Razzball Player Rater projection: 248
Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 194
Quick thoughts: Generally speaking, Swanson made big strides across the board as a hitter, and remains one of the fastest infielders in baseball. Plus, he was one of the unluckiest hitters – 20-point difference between xBA and BA and 58-point difference in slugging – in baseball last season. He’s one of the most popular “sleeper” picks in baseball for good reason.
No. 189 – C.J. Cron – 1B – Detroit Tigers Current NFBC ADP: 198 Razzball Player Rater projection: 162 Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 259 Quick thoughts: Although it didn’t show in the batting average, Cron posted a .277 xBA, a 26-point improvement from 2018. The power-hitting first baseman also cut down his K% while substantially improving his barrel%, xSLG, and hard hit%. Don’t be surprised if he hits .265 or better with easily more than 10 homers.
No. 190 – Marcus Stroman – SP – New York Mets Current NFBC ADP: 202 Razzball Player Rater projection: 230 Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 179 Quick thoughts: Stroman threw his slider more than he ever had before with he highest average spin rate he’s ever had before. And while the spin could become more efficient, the combination of a solid whiff%, .231 xwOBA and ability to miss barrels and keep the ball on the ground returned Stroman to his 2017 form.
No. 191 - Nate Pearson - SP - Toronto Blue Jays Current NFBC ADP: 253 Razzball Player Rater projection: 454 Razzbal Player Rater 2019 season: N/A Quick thoughts: Sure, there is uncertainty surrounding whether Pearson could begin the season in the Toronto rotation because of service time. Is he completely ready? Maybe not because he's thrown just 80.2 innings in AA or above, but he's very close to it and could have the best stuff of any pitching prospect. Let's say the Baby Jays, who were originally planning to call up Pearson sometime in May, hold him back about a week to grab that extra service, and then immediately start him. With his elite K/9 upside, he would deliver this type of value in return. Heck, probably more if they truly allow him to pitch without training wheels. Before Spring Training was shut down, Pearson was doing stuff like this. Yes, that's Josh Bell, who destroyed many MLB baseballs all last season.
No. 192 – Mike Minor – SP – Texas Rangers Current NFBC ADP: 170 Razzball Player Rater projection: 147 Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 103 Quick thoughts: Unless Minor develops more spin efficiency with his four-seam fastball, we’ve seen the best he has to offer, which is more than okay for this point in a draft. He limits hard contact, strikes out nearly a batter per inning, and should post another respectable walk percentage.
No. 193 – Salvador Perez – C – Kansas City Royals Current NFBC ADP: 156 Razzball Player Rater projection: 107 Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: N/A Quick thoughts: Gigantic jump in hard hit% in 2018 led to 27 homers, and his glove is more than qualified to keep in the lineup more often than most catchers. Although, he’s coming off Tommy John surgery.
No. 194 – Lance McCullers, Jr. – SP – Houston Astros Current NFBC ADP: 174 Razzball Player Rater projection: 151 Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: N/A Quick thoughts: McCullers underwent Tommy John surgery 19 months ago. So, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be fully ready to pitch in the rotation all season. With a career 3.24 FIP and one of the best curveballs in the game, McCullers is a very intriguing option, especially if he looks sharp in Spring Training II a.k.a Summer Training.
No. 195 - Joc Pederson - 1B/OF - Los Angeles Dodgers Current NFBC ADP: 209 Razzball Player Rater projection: 208 Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 121 Quick thoughts: Pederson played in 149 games last season with 514 plate appearances. Yes, the addition of Mookie Betts makes the outfield crowded, but the addition of the DH should allow Pederson to play at a similar rate this season. Why wouldn't he replicate his 2019 value?
Carlson was arguably the best hitter on the Cardinals during Spring Training I.
No. 196 – Dylan Carlson – OF – St. Louis Cardinals Current NFBC ADP: 212 Razzball Player Rater projection: 590 Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: N/A Quick thoughts: A megaprospect, Carlson is currently projected, by Roster Resource, to start in left field and hit eighth. With the addition of the DH to the NL, at-bats were opened up for Carlson who many already assumed was going to be in a competition with Tyler O’Neill for the starting position in LF. What Carlson provides is a little pop, a little speed, a decent or better batting average, and upside for more. Carlson was killing the ball during the first Spring Training and making a very strong case he needed to play immediately with the big club.
No. 197 – Luke Voit – 1B – New York Yankees Current NFBC ADP: 185 Razzball Player Rater projection: 284 Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 243 Quick thoughts: Feeling the best he’s ever felt after offseason core surgery, and projected to start at first base. He posted a 126 wRC+ last season, which might have been hindered by injury.
No. 198 – Mike Foltynewicz – SP – Atlanta Braves Current NFBC ADP: 216 Razzball Player Rater projection: 299 Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: 324 Quick thoughts: Following a very strong 2018 campaign, Foltynewicz was horrific the first half of 2019 – 6.37 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and just two wins in 11 starts. Then, the second half of the season he was back to 2018 form – 2.65 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, six wins in 10 starts. What changed? In 2018, the righty’s slider was among the best in baseball, and during his second-half resurgence, the pitch, with more horizontal movement, was back to being a dominant offering particularly in September. So, is he more like 2017 and 2019 when he posted xERAs of 4.86 and 4.82, respectively? Or is he like the dominant 2018 with a 3.11 xERA? Depends on the slider.
No. 199 – Nick Senzel – OF – Cincinnati Reds
Current NFBC ADP: 205
Razzball Player Rater projection: 257
Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: N/A
Quick thoughts: Senzel is kind of like a speedier Dahl who hits lower in the lineup. No one disputes the talent, but the injuries keep racking up at an alarming rate making it hard to buy the talent.
No. 200 – Jo Adell – OF – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Current NFBC ADP: 270
Razzball Player Rater projection: 859
Razzball Player Rater 2019 season: N/A
Quick thoughts: I talked to someone who played with Adell during the Team USA Premeir event, and he couldn’t stop raving about Adell’s energy and ability to even mis-hit bombs. Already named to the 60-man MLB roster, which means he can’t be sent down, it seems Adell is just a Justin Upton injury (likely) or slumping bad platoon (Goodwin/Fletcher) away from everyday time for an organization that desperately needs to win now.
The issue, obviously, is can you afford to wait on the possibility Adell grabs a job?
Note: Phillies OF/INF Scott Kingery and closer Hector Neris were originally included in this portion of the rankings. However, both are recovering from COVID-19. So, they were removed because of the uncertainty.
Photos courtesy AP Images