PROSPECTS
2035 TNBL Draft Recap and Analysis: First Round
Cave Dameron breaks down every pick from the first round of the 2035 TNBL Draft.
by CAVE DAMERON
# Player POS POT Team
1Yoshiaga KoshinSP71Everett Hawks
Koshin was the best starter in the draft. The other top pitchers all had flaws that might keep them from starting in the TNBL, but Koshin has none. He’s already highly developed for his age, with above-average movement and two above-average pitches. He’ll likely end up with three plus-plus pitches. His velocity is just average, and his control has a long way to go, but Koshin projects as a future #1 starter. He doesn’t have the ceiling or the floor of some of the other top-five picks, so he’s a bit of a reach at #1 overall, but Koshin will make a very good player one day.
2Daniel JironCF79Portland Beavers
Portland’s farm system had a serious lack of power heading into the draft. The pick of Jiron should change that. OSA had Jiron tied with Andres Gomez for the highest power potential in the entire draft. Jiron also has plus contact and eye, and has the ability defensively to stick in CF and potentially win Gold Glove awards there. A defensive CF who can also hit 40+ HRs with a .375 OBP is a rare one, and that combination proved too much for the Beavers to pass up. Portland has stated their intention of being aggressive with Jiron, and it’s likely we see him in the TNBL sometime next season.
3Ivan VizcainoCF78Seoul Phoenix
Vizcaino was the #1 player on my board, only slightly beating out Jiron, and multiple GMs in the TNBL agreed with me. Vizcaino also has the ability to stick in CF, although he won’t be winning awards there like Jiron will. Vizcaino’s power rivals Jiron, but his real value comes from his outstanding plate discipline, which was rated as the best in the entire draft by OSA. He’s also slightly more developed as a hitter than Jiron is despite being a few months younger. No word yet out of Seoul about their plans for Vizcaino, but he’ll most likely be in the TNBL by 2037.
4Ricardo RubioCF70Fargo Rage
Rubio doesn’t have nearly the power that Vizcaino and Jiron do, but he more than makes up for it by making good contact and having good plate discipline. Rubio has the range and glove to stick in CF, although his arm will keep him from being elite there. He’s exceptionally fast and will steal his fair share of bases. Rubio looks like a prototypical leadoff hitter who will hit .330, frustrate opposing pitchers with his plate discipline, and be a menace on the basepaths. In previous years Rubio might’ve been in play for the top overall pick, but in this loaded draft he’ll have to settle for top five.
5Gabriel AlatorreSS75Durham Bulls
The first infielder, first high schooler, and only middle infielder to go in the first round. Alatorre has the tools to play anywhere on the field other than CF, although his future is as a very good defensive SS. He has the potential to be a .300 hitter who hits 35+ HRs and rarely strikes out. The only real knock on his offensive game is his plate discipline, which OSA rates as “merely” good. If that weren’t enough, he’s also got the potential to make it as a pitcher. If his changeup develops fully (which is a long-shot), he’ll have three plus-plus pitches with good control and decent movement. His low velocity will keep him from being a future ace, but he’s got the potential to be a #3 or 4 guy. His future value is almost entirely dependant on his hitting, but the potential to start is interesting, to say the least. Alatorre’s floor is almost non-existent compared to some of the other hitters who went around him, but his ceiling is as high, if not higher, than anyone’s.
6Ed OcasioCF75Los Angeles Earthquakes
Arguably the most well-rounded prospect in the entire draft, Ocasio is a legitimate five-tool prospect who will likely stick in CF. His arm is one of the best in the game, and he could make for a Gold Glove-winning RF as well. He also runs the bases as well as anyone. He doesn’t quite have the power that Jiron or Vizcaino do, or the plate discipline that Rubio does, but he doesn’t have a single weakness, either. Likely the only reason he went after the other CFs is that he’s slightly less developed at a similar age. Regardless, Ocasio would be a lock for the top pick in most drafts, and is an amazing value at #6 overall.
7Edgar BejaranoCF66Washington Nationals
The fifth CF taken in the top seven picks. He might have the tools to stick in CF, but is probably a better fit in a corner spot. His floor is relatively high from his baserunning and ability to hit for doubles. If his power develops, he’ll be a very good player, but his average-at-best eye will keep him from ever being elite. Overall a decent high floor/high ceiling pick, although I would have prefered Quentin Jackson in this spot.
8Andres Gomez1B62Indianapolis Tincaps
Gomez has the highest power grade in the draft. Guys like that typically don’t fall out of the top ten, and Gomez was no exception. Defensively, he’ll be an average 1B at best, and might even be relegated to the DH spot. His eye isn’t great, he’ll strike out more than average, and adds nothing on the basepaths. Combined with the fact that he’s an underdeveloped high school batter makes Gomez a bit of a reach even with his immense power potential.
9Quentin JacksonCF67Toronto Huskies
Jackson has the tools to play a very good CF. He likely won’t set the world on fire with his bat, although he does have some decent power potential. He’ll most likely end up as an average hitter who plays borderline-elite defense in CF. That would make him a valuable player, and a steal at #9 overall.
10Francisco TrinidadSP71Italia Stivali
I’m not entirely sure how Trinidad fell all the way to 10. I thought he’d go in the top 5. He has all the tools to be an ace, with four potentially plus pitches and a fastball that touches 100 with good command. He doesn’t give up many homers, either. Even if his two changeups don’t develop, he’ll end up as a dynamite closer. He reminds me of Rafael Cavazos, last year’s #1 overall pick. He’s an absolute steal at 10.
11Dustin BedlecomCF55Baton Rouge Red Sticks
Bedlecom had no business going in the first round, let alone the top half of the first round. I just don’t see any upside with him. He doesn’t have the tools to play anywhere other than 1B, and his bad eye will keep him from being an above average hitter. He’s a contact hitter with some decent power potential. If he hits his ceiling he’ll be an average player in the TNBL. That type of player usually goes in the second round or later.
12Enrique GonzalesSP63Kansas City Centaurs
Gonzales might be a bit small for a pitcher, but he has all the tools to be a future #1 starter. He’s got three plus-plus pitches with the potential for a fourth plus pitch, all of which are already fairly developed for his age. His fastball touches 98 with good movement and command. Gonzales will be a starter in the TNBL one day.
13 Alex MorenoSP54Atlanta Braves
Moreno is a decent two-way prospect. Originally drafted as a SP, I think his future is as a batter, although I’m not quite sure what his position will be. His bad eye will keep him from ever being an elite hitter, but he makes good contact and can hit for power. As a pitcher, he’ll likely end up as a reliever. At best he’ll have two plus pitches and two below-average ones. If he can work on developing his curveball, he’s got the movement, command, and velocity to be an ace, although that doesn’t seem likely. Moreno will end up as a LF or DH.
14Carlos RosarioSP66St. Louis Cardinals
Rosario was one of the better-value picks in the first round. He’s got four highly-developed pitches already, with good movement and control to back them up. He’s definitely got enough velocity and stamina to make it as a starter. A lefty with that pitching profile would usually go in the top ten, and Rosario should have, as well.
15Adam ChastainSP62Seattle Mariners
Chastain is similar to Rosario, although Rosario has a fourth pitch while Chastain only has three. Chastain makes up for it with plus-plus command and good velocity. If he can hit his ceiling, Chastain will end up as a #2 starter.
16Randall BritzSP61Philadelphia Phillies
Britz is basically the mirror image of Chastain. He also has the look of a #2 starter, although he’s a bit short for a pitcher. He’s fairly developed already for his age, and being a lefty will bump up his value a bit.
17Javier Rodriguez3B66Boston Red Sox
Rodriguez has the tools to play almost anywhere on the field at a replacement level, but he won’t be more than average anywhere except maybe 1B. Even if he does end up there, he’s got the tools to make an elite hitter. He doesn’t have a hole in his swing, and can hit for contact and power while drawing walks and avoiding strikeouts. If he can work on his defense enough to stick at 3B, he’ll be a very good player.
18Kameji UchidaSP73Brooklyn White Sharks
Teams were likely scared off by Uchida’s lack of a true third pitch at this point, although I don’t share the same concerns. If he can keep developing his changeup like he has been, he’ll end up with three plus-plus pitches. Combine that with his above-average velocity and good movement and command and Uchida has the look of a future ace. The only concern I have with him is his reported character concerns.
19Jerry GonzalesSP59Bronx Bombers
Gonzales is a high school righty with low velocity and average-at-best movement. That doesn’t inspire much confidence. At best he’ll end up with three plus-plus pitches and slot in as a #3 or 4 starter, although I’d be surprised if he ever makes it to the TNBL.
20Steve AvilaSP60Vinson Emperors
Pepi has four already-developed pitches, with the potential for a fifth plus-plus one. His movement will never be great, and his control is a bit underdeveloped, but he’s got good velocity and the stamina to go deep into games. How he fell all the way to 20, I’ll never know.
21Adam NunnSP59Birmingham Barons
Nunn might make it as a #4 or 5 starter one day, but I think his future is in the bullpen. He’s got the two plus pitches already, and I don’t see his third one ever coming around. His velocity is good, but his movement and control will keep him from being more than a good middle reliever.
22Edwin Reveles3B65Myrtle Beach Mermen
Reveles has stated his intention to enroll at Clemson University. If Myrtle Beach can find a way to pry him away from the Tigers, they’ll have a very good player. Regardless, players who have already committed to going to school typically don’t go in the first round. The Mermen could’ve waited a few rounds and taken a flyer on him later.
23Hector MartinezRP80Pittsburgh Pirates
Martinez was the best reliever in the draft. He’s got game-breaking stuff combined with plus movement and control. He doesn’t quite have the stamina to make it as an everyday closer or fireman, but he’ll dominate the few batters a game that he does face.
24Omar Rubio3B62Cloud City Sky Pirates
Rubio is already fairly developed for his age as a batter. He’s got the potential to be a very good hitter who can make consistent contact with good power. His eye isn’t great, but it won’t kill him either. Rubio probably has the tools to make it as a 3B, but he might end up at 1B.
25Alex RizoSS58Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox failed to sign their first rounder Bob Morales last year. Rizo has the tools to play at a high level anywhere but CF. He’ll likely end up as an above-average SS. He’s a contact hitter who might hit 15 HRs in a year if he’s lucky, and he won’t draw many walks either. Regardless, his defensive skills will keep his ceiling higher than most.