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“Alluhring Strategy” 2019 MLB Draft Takeaways: NL East

Welcome back, Baseball Fans!

After a two month hiatus, I am back for the next two weeks as part of the Major League Fantasy Sports MLB Draft Coverage Team. We are breaking down each division and discussing key takeaways of your favorite teams as well as players to keep on your radar for fantasy leagues. These players will likely take several years before they truly impact the Major Leagues, however, shrewd dynasty and keeper league owners should take note of these guys before your league does. This will go beyond a simple recap or draft grades. All that stuff is great, but many sites already do that immediately following the draft. The problem with this is that without seeing who actually signs their contracts, the draft class winners and losers are fluid. In truth, it will likely take five years to determine how well a team drafted in 2019.

With all that being said, let’s take a look at each team in the National League East and breakdown their organizational strategy and key picks. In order to do this, it is important to view this through the lens of their organizational depth chart. Major League teams generally do not draft based on the need of their 25 Man roster. Rather, they want to add the best talent possible and address needs in their farm systems.


Washington Nationals

We start with the Washington Nationals. An overview of their farm system is bleak. Now that Juan Soto and Victor Robles have graduated, only Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcia fall within the MLB Top 100 prospects. Will Crowe is their only pitcher in AA or higher that ranks as a Top 10 organizational prospect. In fact, half of their Top 10 organizational prospects are in Low A or Rookie Ball. The Nats needed to restock their system and needed to do it fast. They needed advanced, polished pitchers and hitters that could move quickly through their system. In order to do this, you must often forego the top talent and look for college players that fit your system and needs.

Rd Pick # Name School Pos. B/T Class Vitals Bonus Slot Value Bonus Signed
1 17 Jackson Rutledge San Jacinto College North (TX) P R/R JC-2Y 6’8″, 250 lbs, 20 yrs $3,610,000 Rumored $3,450,000
3 94 Drew Mendoza Florida State 3B L/R 4YR-J 6’5″, 230 lbs, 21 yrs $618,200 Unsigned
4 123 Matt Cronin Arkansas P L/L 4YR-J 6’2″, 195 lbs, 21 yrs $454,500 Unsigned
5 153 Tyler Dyson Florida State P R/R 4YR-J 6’3″, 210 lbs, 21 yrs $346,800 $500,000
6 183 Jackson Cluff BYU SS L/R 4YR-SO 6’0″, 185 lbs, 22 yrs $266,000 $200,000
7 213 Todd Peterson LSU P R/R 4YR-J 6’5″, 230 lbs, 21 yrs $208,200 Unsigned
8 243 Jeremy Ydens UCLA OF R/R 4YR-J 6’2″, 200 lbs, 22 yrs $169,500 Unsigned
9 273 Hunter McMahon Texas State P R/R 4YR-J 6’3″, 185 lbs, 21 yrs $152,600 $152,600
10 303 Andrew Pratt Lubbock Christian (TX) C R/R 4YR-SR 6’3″, 225 lbs, 22 yrs $144,100 $10,000


As you can see, all their picks in the first ten rounds were college players. This was a risky move because only one was a college Senior (Andrew Pratt, C) so the rest have options to return to school to improve their draft stock next year. If you take this approach, typically you take safe college bats arms that are signable. The Nats could resist higher ceiling potential that fell to them considerably below their predicted slot. All four of their picks in the first five rounds are considered Top 150 draft prospects with Drew Mendoza (3B) and Matt Cronin (LHP) falling 40 to 50 slots below projection. Both of them are College Juniors at major programs that remain unsigned as of this publishing. Mendoza projects as everyday corner infielder that should develop the necessary power but may lack the true hit tool to succeed against left-handed pitchers at the Major League level. Cronin is power lefty with a plus curveball. Due to the lack of a third pitch and command, he projects as a high-leverage reliever that should move quickly through the Nats system and help a beleaguered bullpen.

In order to get top players signed, a team would typically reach with their first-round pick, sign them below slot and use those bonus savings to get the high ceiling guys selected in later rounds. Problem is, the Nats had JUCO star, Jackson Rutledge fell to them at #17 and they couldn’t resist the potential. Rutledge originally attended Arkansas and had a rough first season. He transferred to San Jacinto in Texas in order to take the “Bryce Harper route.” After two seasons at JUCO, he has committed to Kentucky, but they are rumored to have him signed at $160,000 below slot value. Although this hasn’t been confirmed at the time of this publishing, if true, it gives them a fighting chance to get Mendoza and Cronin signed. He is a large man at 6’8”, 240, that can hit nearly triple digits with his plus fastball. He throws both a four-seamer that rises on the top of the strike zone and a two-seamer that sinks from the bottom of the zone. He also features a plus wipeout slider the sits in the high 80s and a potential plus curveball in the low 80s. He isn’t without his red flags. Despite two seasons at JUCO, he is still a bit raw and struggles with command. His size makes it difficult to repeat his delivery and despite his high ceiling, this may lead to a career-long battle with control and command that will relegate him to the bullpen. Despite the obvious talent, sixteen other teams felt the risk outweighed the reward, but the Nats couldn’t pass up the potential with a barren system of pitching talent. The potential success of this draft class hinges for the Nats is looking up with the recent below slot signing of Rutledge. If the savings allows them to sign and develop Mendoza and Cronin, the Nats should feel good about their approach to this draft.


Philadelphia Phillies

Philly enters the 2019 draft missing their 2nd Round pick due to the signing of Bryce Harper. I’m sure no one in the organization regrets that swap, however, it is imperative that they restock their system in a similar fashion as Washington. At a quick glance at their farm system, they only have three prospects in the Top 100 in baseball, with only Adonis Medina above High A. With this in mind, they select a College bat with their first-round pick for the third straight season.

Rd Pick # Name School Pos. B/T Class Vitals Bonus Slot Value Bonus Signed
1 14 Bryson Stott UNLV SS L/R 4YR-J 6’3″, 200 lbs, 21 yrs $4,040,000 Unsigned
3 91 Jamari Baylor Benedictine High School (VA) SS R/R HS-SR 5’11”, 190 lbs, 18 yrs $647,300 $675,000
4 120 Erik Miller Stanford P L/L 4YR-J 6’5″, 240 lbs, 21 yrs $478,300 Unsigned
5 150 Gunner Mayer San Joaquin Delta College (CA) P R/R JC-1Y 6’6″, 190 lbs, 19 yrs $357,100 $600,000
6 180 Andrew Schultz Tennessee P R/R 4YR-J 6’4″, 195 lbs, 22 yrs $272,500 $225,000
7 210 Brett Schulze Minnesota P R/R 4YR-J 6’2″, 180 lbs, 21 yrs $213,300 $175,000
8 240 Nate Fassnacht George Washington SS R/R 4YR-J 5’11”, 180 lbs, 21 yrs $172,100 $100,000
9 270 Rudy Rott Ohio 1B L/R 4YR-SR 6’0″, 212 lbs, 22 yrs $153,600 $10,000
10 300 McCarthy Tatum Fresno State 3B R/R 4YR-5S 6’6″, 210 lbs, 23 yrs $144,800 $5,000


The Phillies definitely sold out to filling their farm system with potential fast-moving college bats and arms as nine of their first ten picks came from the college ranks. In all, they grab four of the top Top 200 draft prospects including three college Juniors (6 college Juniors in their first Top Picks). The Phillies selected Bryson Stott with their #14 overall pick out of the UNLV. He was ranked as a Top 10 prospect so they did well to land him at 14. He possesses a plus hit tool with an advanced approach at the plate, great plate discipline, and control of his hands. His three-year college slash line is .340/.433/.515 with 109 walks and 81 strikeouts. His power is developing and will be key to his overall impact for the Phillies. He projects as an above average defender and arm with a chance of staying at the SS position in the Majors. That being said, despite his overall balanced profile, the one red flag is his throwing mechanics may lead to some accuracy issues. He may have some trouble sticking at SS long term if this is indeed an issue. As of this publishing, Stott has not signed but I’m not hearing anything that suggests they won’t get something done before the deadline.

Perhaps the most perplexing pick the Phillies made was their 2nd round pick in prep SS, Jamari Baylor. At 91, Baylor seems like a reach and they select SS with both their top picks. His best tool is his speed, but his hit tool flashes plus only suffering from inconsistency. He probably moves to 2B by the time he reaches the Majors is why they were willing to spend the high pick on him. What is most perplexing is that they signed him to an above slot value bonus taking money away from Stott. Another risky move was spending a 5th round pick on First-year JUCO RHP, Gunner Mayer. He is a 6’6″ potential power arm with two potential plus breaking balls. Despite being young, raw and only recently being converted to a pitcher, the Phillies saw enough upside signing him to a bonus of $600K which is nearly double his slot value. Due to the overpay of Baylor and Mayer, they run the risk of running out of money for Stott and Junior LHP, Erik Miller, who was a great value pick in the fourth round. They did make up some ground signs picks in the 6th through 10th rounds way below slot value. It just may not be enough to get Stott and Miller. My gut says they get a deal done with Stott and Miller heads back to Stanford where he can hone his control of a 97 MPH heater.


New York Mets

Leave it to the Mets to do things differently from the rest of the class. Where Washington and Philly zig, the Mets zag. With Peter Alonzo graduating (with honors), their top prospects are concentrated in AA and Low A. Seemingly content with the talent being spread out, the Metropolitans aggressively after top talent regardless of concerns of signability.

Round Overall Pick Name School Position B/T Class Vitals Bonus Slot Value Bonus Signed
1 12 Brett Baty Lake Travis HS (TX) 3B L/R HS-SR 6’3″, 210 lbs, 19 yrs $4,370,000 $3,900,000
2 53 Josh Wolf St. Thomas HS (TX) P R/R HS-SR 6’3″, 170 lbs, 18 yrs $1,370,000 $2,150,000
3 89 Matthew Allan Seminole HS (FL) P R/R HS-SR 6’3″, 225 lbs, 18 yrs $667,900 Unsigned
4 118 Jake Mangum Mississippi State CF S/L 4YR-SR 6’1″, 179 lbs, 23 yrs $487,900 Unsigned
5 148 Nathan Jones Northwestern State (LA) P R/R 4YR-SR 6’1″, 200 lbs, 22 yrs $364,400 $10,000
6 178 Zach Ashford Fresno State CF L/R 4YR-SR 5’10”, 180 lbs, 22 yrs $277,100 $10,000
7 208 Luke Ritter Witchita State 2B R/R 4YR-SR 5’11”, 187 lbs, 22 yrs $216,600 $10,000
8 238 Conner Wollershiem Kent State P L/L 4YR-SR 6’2″, 205 lbs, 22 yrs $174,000 $1,000
9 268 Joe Genard South Florida 1B R/R 4YR-SR 6’1″, 227 lbs, 22 yrs $154,600 $10,000
10 298 Scott Ota Illinois RF L/L 4YR-SR 5’11”, 195 lbs, 22 yrs $145,300 $1,000


Risk be damned, NYM grabbed high upside prep starts in each of the first three rounds. This approach is very ballsy but if they get all three signed, they may look like geniuses. In order to pay for these guys, they followed up with nine consecutive picks of college Seniors in hopes to leverage their inability to return to school into cheap bonus payments.

At #12, the Mets scored what is perhaps the top all-around prep hitter in the draft. His borderline plus hit tool is highlighted by his sweet left-handed swing and an advanced approach at the plate for a prep hitter. He has displayed excellent bat speed, strength, and loft with his swing. This could allow him to move quickly through the system despite coming right out of High School. Although he does possess raw power, he doesn’t sell out for the long ball willing to hit the ball to all fields. His athleticism is on display with his plus arm and his average glove could allow him to remain at the hot corner throughout his career. The concern is that if his defense doesn’t develop quickly, he will have to move to 1B or corner OF. The only other red flag is the fact that he was a 19-year-old as a Senior in high school so he was older than most of his competition. Most scouts do not feel that this will matter as his tools speak for themselves and will play at any level. The best part of this pick could be that they were able to sign him below slot value saving $470K toward getting their next two picks signed.

2nd Round pick, Josh Wolf was a ranked much higher than where he was picked at #53 overall. The RHP prep arm has a power fastball touching 97 MPH with a plus curveball. The Texas A&M commit did recently sign an above-slot bonus to officially join the fold. His 1.52 ERA and 126 Ks in 69 innings tease his potential, but he only has two pitches and lacks consistent command. The development of these two concerns will determine the success of this pick down the road.

3rd Round pick, Matthew Allan, is the lynchpin to whether this is the best draft class in this division or perhaps the worst. Allan is early to a mid first round talent that has a strong commitment to Florida. The has the potential of three plus pitches with his fastball already hitting 97 MPH. The reason he slipped to the third round is that he is looking for a $3-4 Million bonus to forgo his commitment to Florida. It will be close as he hasn’t signed as of this publishing, but the team took all those college Seniors which saved nearly $1.3M in pool money. They have yet to sign 4th Round pick, Mississippi St switch-hitting CF, Jake Mangum. As a Senior, he has no leverage and should come cheap helping the Mets get perhaps the biggest steal of the draft signed.


Atlanta Braves

First of all, congratulations to the Atlanta Braves for being the only team in the NL East that has signed all of their picks in the first 10 rounds. This includes two 1st rounds picks since they got a comp pick for the failure to sign last year’s 1st round pick. Anyone that has been paying attention to baseball in recent years would know that the Braves are stacked with pitching prospects and have one of the best overall farm systems in baseball with 10 Top 100 prospects heading into 2019. Although they are known for their ridiculous pitching depth, they do have three top hittings prospects sitting in AA. With that in mind, Atlanta isn’t in a position where they need to sell out for bats, but they can take the guys they want each time their picks comes up.

Round Overall Pick Name School Position B/T Class Vitals Bonus Slot Value Bonus Signed
1 9 Shea Langerliers Baylor University C R/R 4YR-JR 6’0″, 190 lbs, 21 yrs $4,950,000 $4,000,000
1 21 Brandan Shewmake Texas A&M SS L/R 4YR-JR 6’4″, 190 lbs, 21 yrs $3,130,000 $3,130,000
2 60 Beau Philip Oregon State SS R/R 4YR-JR 6’0″, 190 lbs, 20 yrs $1,160,000 $700,000
3 98 Michael Harris Stockbridge HS (GA) P/CF S/L HS-SR 6’0″, 195 lbs, 18 yrs $593,100 $550,000
4 127 Kasey Kalich Texas A&M P R/R 4YR-SO 6’3″, 220 lbs, 21 yrs $447,400 $347,500
5 157 Stephen Paolini St Josephs HS (CT) CF L/L HS-SR 6’2″, 195 lbs, 18 yrs $333,300 $600,000
6 187 Tanner Gordon Indiana University P L/R 4YR-JR 6’5″, 215 lbs, 21 yrs $257,400 $212,500
7 217 Darius Vines CSU Bakersfield P R/R 4YR-JR 6’1″, 190 lbs, 21 yrs $201,600 $127,500
8 247 Ricky DeVito Seton Hall University P S/R 4YR-JR 6’3″, 195 lbs, 21 yrs $166,100 $167,500
9 277 Cody Milligan Cowley County CC (KS) 2B L/R JC-J2 5’10″”, 185 lbs, 20 yrs $151,300 $197,500
10 307 Brandon Parker Mississippi Gulf Coast JC (MS) RF R/R JC-J2 6’1″, 205 lbs, 20 yrs $143,200 $140,700


So with the freedom to select what they want and the extra 1st round in toe, the Braves grabbed three College Junior bats in the first two rounds. None were particularly exceptional value, however, the front office was thrilled to get a top catching prospect at #9. If it weren’t for the generational talent of top overall pick, Adley Rutschman, we might be talking about Shea Langeliers as the best catching prospect in a decade. The Braves managed to not select a college Senior in any of the first 15 rounds. This was a bold strategy as all these players had some leverage and they already got their first 11 picks signed.

At #9, Atlanta takes the unquestioned best defensive catcher in the draft, even better than Adley. His glove, framing, and arm could play at the Major League level this Summer as he has thrown out 60% of would-be base stealers. Although his hit tool is questionable and he will strike out a fair share, over 40% of his hits over his career were extra-bases. Power and run production with plus, plus arm and pitch framing should help him move quickly through system to take over for Brian McCann in short order. They got him to signed below slot value to help cover the rest of their draft class.

Next, Atlanta went with a safe pick at #21 selecting Texas A&M, Junior, Braden Shewmake. He is a SS but likely won’t stay there in the Majors. He has a plus hit tool but doesn’t project to hit with any power. He signs at slot value despite limited upside.

In the 2nd Round, Atlanta grabs another SS with Oregon State, Junior Beau Phillips. He had a great first year at OSU, but this seems like a huge reach at #60. No plus tools, but could develop some power for his size and position. He doesn’t have any glaring weakness but unlikely any of his tools develop as plus. He did save them over $400K in pool money.

I like their 3rd Round pick, Michael Harris, as he is a legit two-way player. Most teams project him as a long term pitcher as an LHP with three MLB grade pitches. He is a switch-hitting prep power bat that loves to hit (but with a lot of swing and miss). For now, the Braves could develop him both ways and see what happens. There is nice upside here for a prep arm/bat below slot value.

My favorite pick by the Braves this year was their 8th rounder, Ricky Divito. This RHP out of Seton Hall was a beast in 2018 but had a mediocre 2019 which dropped him down a few rounds. I believe he has the best stuff of any pitcher the Braves selecting in this draft with a high ceiling. His Achilles heel is, of course, is lack of command. He has the potential of two plus pitches (power sinker and change) with a developing curveball.

Overall, I loved the Braves approach as they filled out the lower level of their system with a lot of potentials that are already in the fold.


Miami Marlins

This sounds strange, but Jeter and company absolutely killed it this draft. Jeter has taken a ton of shit since taking over the Front Office and deservedly so. Most of his trades were head-scratchers. The recent drafts have gone heavy on power prep bats in early rounds that haven’t been working out. Subtly, they have been acquiring arms in these trades which has no led them to three impact arms under 24 years old (Alcantara, Lopez, Yamamoto) that have already made their mark this season with one more coming up imminently (Zac Gallen). It seems that Jeter has been working behind the scenes to change the culture of the club and it starts with their scouting.

Round Overall Pick Name School Position B/T Class Vitals Bonus Slot Value Bonus Signed
1 4 JJ Bleday Vanderbilt OF L/L 4YR-JR 6’3″, 205 lbs, 21 yrs $6,660,000 Unsigned
CBA 35 Kameron Misner Missouri CF L/L 4YR-JR 6’4″, 219 lbs, 21 yrs $2,100,000 Unsigned
2 46 Nasim Nunez Collins Hill HS (GA) SS S/R HS-SR 5’9″, 160 lbs, 18 yrs $1,620,000 $2,200,000
3 82 Peyton Burdick Wright State OF R/R 4YR-SR 6’0″, 210 lbs, 22 yrs $744,200 $397,500
4 111 Evan Edwards North Carolina State 1B L/L 4YR-SR 6’3″, 195 lbs, 22 yrs $522,600 $122,500
5 141 Evan Fitterer Aliso Niguel HS (CA) P R/R HS-SR 6’3″, 195 lbs, 19 yrs $390,400 $1,500,000
6 171 MD Johnson Dallas Baptist P R/R 4YR-SR 6’6″, 185 lbs, 22 yrs $293,800 $17,500
7 201 Bryan Hoeing Louisville P R/R 4YR-SR 6’6″, 225 lbs, 22 yrs $229,700 Unsigned
8 231 Tevin Mitchell UC Santa Barbara RF R/R 4YR-SR 6’1″, 170 lbs, 22 yrs $182,300 Unsigned
9 261 Evan Brabrand Liberty University P R/R 4YR-5S 6’3″, 205 lbs, 23 yrs $157,600 $1,000
10 291 JD Orr Wright State CF L/L 4YR-SR 5’11”, 185 lbs, 22 yrs $147,200 $2,500

The Marlins is still in need of depth and the high upside talent they do have is mostly pitching. With that in mind, they select bats with their first five picks. In order to get their top picks signed, they select 33 college players overall which could also lead to players moving quickly through the ranks. When you pick at #4 overall, you need to hit that pick. Instead of taking high upside prep bats, they took the best overall college bat in the draft. This is a strong statement with the likes of Ratschman and Vaughn going before him.

JJ Bleday has been known for his outstanding hit tool, but this year, he showed his power leading the nation with 26 HRs and 68 RBI heading into the post-season while walking the same amount as he strikes out (45). He is no slouch in RF either with a great arm. He will make contact, get on base, hit for power, drive in runs and player all-star lever RF. I love this pick for Jeter’s club.

#35 overall pick Kameron Misner was not expected to be available at that slot but fell due to a subpar season. Most scouts believe he will hit because he has a good understanding of the zone. He needs to tweak his approach and be more aggressive early in the count. If he does this successfully, he could hit for average, get 15-20 HRs and steal 30-40 bases while being a plus defender. Not a sure thing like Bleday, but high reward potential.

The grab slick fielding prep SS, Nasim Nunez in the 2nd round. Although they were focused on college players, they couldn’t resist arguably the best fielding SS in the draft. He should hit enough and disrupt on the basepaths to be an impact on the offensive as well. They were able to sign him away from this commitment to Clemson by giving him an above-slot bonus. They had to go way above slot to sign 5th round pick and first pitcher selected by Miami, Evan Fitterer. Although raw, the prep arm projects as a mid-rotation starter and was one of the best arms coming out of high school in this draft. He drops to the 5th round due to a strong commitment to UCLA. Apparently, Fitterer had $1.5 million reasons to pass on college.

They still have a lot of work to do to sign Bleday and Misner or else this draft class drops like a rock. With all the college players, they should be able to make it happen and wrap up their best draft class perhaps in franchise history.


NL EAST Superlatives

Best Draft – Miami Marlins

Best Prep Arm – Matthew Allan (NYM)

Best College Arm – Erik Miller (PHI)

Best Prep Bat – Brett Baty (NYM)

Best College Bat – JJ Bleday (MIA)

Best Raw Stuff – Ricky DiVito (ATL)

Best Hit Tool – Bryson Stott (PHI)

Best Velocity – Jackson Rutledge (WAS)

Best Name – Rudy Rott (PHI)

Quickest Path – Shea Langeliers (ATL)


Hope you enjoyed this breakdown and come back next Thursday when we will look at the AL East draft highlights.


Bryan Luhrs

Major League Fantasy Sports
Writer & Contributor
Real Deal Dynasty Sports
Owner, League Developer & Executive Commissioner


Faith, Family and Fantasy Sports.These are the three words that best describe me. I am a faithful husband and father of 6 amazing children. I work to earn a living, but I live for every precious moment I can spend with my family and a passion for sports.

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