PROSPECTS
2036 TNBL Draft Recap and Analysis: First Round
Cave Dameron breaks down every pick from the first round of the 2036 TNBL Draft.
by CAVE DAMERON
# Player POS POT Team
12BMoritz Hogh72Durham Bulls
Hogh is the most developed prospect to ever come out of the draft, and the first since Danny Gonzalez to be anywhere near TNBL ready (and Hogh is almost two years younger than Gonzalez was at the time). Hogh has the defensive tools to be a very good defensive 2B, and I think that’s where he’ll end up. He also has the ability to play above-average defense anywhere but 3B. That defensive versatility keeps his floor extremely high. Hogh also projects to be above-average with the bat. He’ll most likely end up as a high-OBP leadoff hitter with the potential to hit 10-15 homers. If his bat comes around, Hogh will be one of the top players in the game. That ceiling, combined with his near-TNBL readiness (and a relatively weak draft class), makes Hogh one of the easier picks in recent memory.
2SPFederico Prada80Seoul Phoenix
Prada has the highest ceiling of anyone in this year’s draft, but there’s almost zero chance he ever hits it. Prada has the potential for two elite pitches and another above-average one, but the changeup is too far away at this point to take seriously. At just 17 years old, Prada has plenty of time to figure it out, but I’m not counting on it. His control projects to be below-average, as is his velocity. On the bright side, Prada’s movement projects to be better than any starter not named Wes Bonaddio. It just won’t end up mattering for a two-pitch, low-velocity pitcher with control issues.
3SPNiculáo Lamaro69Boston Red Sox
For a young pitcher, Lamaro has basically no questions surrounding his ability to start. His stuff, movement, and control all project to be above average, and the stuff and movement are pretty far along for his age. Where Lamaro really shines, though, is in his six pitches -- five of which project to be elite. The changeup is a bit of a long-shot like Prada’s, but Lamaro will have more than enough pitches to make batters look silly. Lamaro’s velocity is about average, and he has enough stamina to go deep into games. Oh, and he’s a lefty, so you can basically double whatever you think his WAR will be.
4SPAlex Sevilla66St. Louis Cardinals
Say hello to my little friend! Except he’s not little -- he’s 6’5, 225 and can hit 99 on the radar gun. Alex “Scarface” Sevilla was the most developed pitcher in the draft, with three average-or-above pitches and average movement. He’s got the potential for four elite pitches, although three is more likely. His control isn’t great for a 23.5 year old. Scouts think it’ll be great in the future, but I’m not counting on it being much more than average given his age already. That being said, Sevilla could stop developing today and be a dynamite reliever in the TNBL. If his control does come around, he’ll be an ace. That floor/ceiling combo was too much for the Cards to pass up here.
5SPKyle Rider65 Washington Nationals
Rider is an even more extreme version of Sevilla minus the awesome nickname. He can throw straight gas, but his control is bad and there’s not much hope for it to get better. He’s got three average pitches, with the potential for five to be above-average, although the changeup isn’t likely to come around. Rider also has good movement for his age, and his stamina is among the best around, which is saying something for someone who hits triple digits. Rider’s ceiling is a borderline ace. He could also make for a fantastic reliever, although that would waste his good collection of pitches. The most likely outcome is an inconsistent #3 starter who walks a few too many batters but flashes ace potential.
6CFFrancesco Iuliano67Portland Beavers
I’m not quite sure how Vatican City produced two top-six picks in this year’s draft, what with their birth rate being exactly zero, but here we are. Like his countryman Federico Prada, Iuliano also has some huge question marks surrounding him. His plate discipline is terrible. He’s got potential to be a good contact hitter, but he’s already pretty old, so I don’t see him reaching his true ceiling there. He’s got some decent pop in his bat, and those doubles will start turning into homers soon. Most of Iuliano’s value will come from his defense, which will be very good if not elite in CF. He’ll add some value on the bases as well. I’d be a lot higher on Iuliano if he were two years younger, but as it is, I don’t ever see him being better than average.
7CFDonovan Baltussen66Toronto Huskies
Baltussen was probably the second-most TNBL-ready prospect in this year’s draft. His range in CF will make him one of the better defensive outfielders in the league, and he can run the bases as well as anyone. His offensive game has a few too many holes for him to ever be a top player. He has no power and will almost never walk. He’ll probably end up hitting around .300 with a ton of doubles (and triples with his speed), and that would make him valuable enough. I can’t see him ever topping 3 WAR, but his defense will keep him above 1 year in and year out.
83BMitsuhisa Fujii70Los Angeles Earthquakes
“Fungo” has some serious upside. He projects as above-average everywhere with the bat with elite power. He’s got the defensive tools to be one of the better 3B in the game. He fell all the way to #8 almost entirely because of his reported character concerns and high signing bonus demand. If he can work hard and reach his ceiling, Fujii would be one of the best players in the game, but I’m not holding my breath. His defense gives him a relatively high floor, though, so he’ll almost definitely be in the majors one day.
9SPJuan Padron58Kansas City Centaurs
Padron has the ceiling of a #2 starter and basically no floor whatsoever. His movement and control will never be more than average, and all three of his pitches are pretty far away. He doesn’t have the velocity to be an elite reliever, so almost all of his value depends on all three of his pitches developing. I’ve got my money on him becoming a good middle reliever which isn’t ideal for a top ten pick.
10RFTony Vaca65Myrtle Beach Mermen
Vaca had one of the best hitting profiles in the entire draft. He projects to be good-to-elite everywhere offensively. His ability to make contact and hit for doubles is pretty well developed for his age, although his low walk rate and HR power at this point are a bit concerning. Vaca doesn’t really have a defensive position. He projects best as a LF, but he’ll always be below-average there thanks to his lack of range and shaky glove. Vaca most likely ends up as a DH, and if he hits his batting ceiling, he’ll be a fantastic one.
11CFBrahmayasas Mageshkumar63Baton Rouge Red Sticks
Mageshkumar has the range and glove to make a very good defensive CF. He has the tools to hit .300+ with a ton of doubles, and he might even hit 20 HRs one day. The main concern surrounding him at this point is his eye, which most scouts consider to be “bad”. His inability to draw walks will keep him from being an elite player, but his defensive floor and ability to hit for contact will get him to the majors one day.
12CFLuis Gutierrez65Everett Hawks
Opinions on Gutierrez will be split depending on if people think he has the arm to stick in CF. I don’t, personally, and I think he’ll make a very good defensive LF instead. If he can work on his arm strength a bit, his value would get a huge boost. His offensive tools are good enough for him to stick in a corner outfield spot and would make him one of the best offensive CFs in the game. His only real concern offensively is his eye, which is below-average. That’s more than made up for by the fact that he could hit .300+ with 30+ HRs. If he can do that while patrolling CF… look out.
13CLFrank Howard80Indianapolis TinCaps
One of the most interesting things in the draft for me is to see when the relievers start falling off the board. Frank Howard is one of the best reliever prospects I’ve seen in a while -- at least since Jonathan Alarcon. Personally, I think the first round is a bit early for a reliever, but I can’t fault anyone for taking Howard. He has all the tools to be one of the best relievers in the game. His velocity is great, and his fastball-slider combo could be one of the best in the league. It’s hard to imagine Howard not being one of the best closers a year or two from now.
14SPJose Urena65Fargo Rage
Many, including myself, were surprised to see Urena fall as far as he did. Sure, he’s got some character concerns and had a high bonus demand, but that’s usually not enough to drop a potential ace out of the top ten. Urena has three above-average pitches, all of which project to be elite, and he keeps the ball on the ground as well as anyone. He’s got the velocity and movement and stamina to be an ace. The only real concern I have is his control, which is a bit underdeveloped for his age. Scouts think it’ll be above-average by the time he develops fully, though, and I don’t see any reason yet to disagree. Urena will almost definitely be an above-average starter in the TNBL one day, which is more than can be said about a lot of the guys taken ahead of him.
153BEdwin Reveles65Philadelphia Phillies
Reveles has the look of a very good all-around 3B. He’s got the arm and range to be one of the best defenders at the hot corner. His offensive game is well-rounded. I can see him hitting .290 with 30 HRs one day. If he reaches his ceiling, he’d be one of the top five or so 3B in the league. He is slightly underdeveloped for his age, however, and his recent broken hand won’t help in that regard.
16RFWillie Trevino60Pittsburgh Pirates
Trevino is another guy with very good tools who will be hampered by his bad eye. He has the look of a .280 hitter who can hit 25 HRs. That’s not bad, especially for a guy who could be elite defensively in RF.
17SPRenzo Ceresa54Atlanta Braves
Ceresa is almost 23 years old, so there’s definitely some concern that he’s close to fully developed. As it stands, he’s a guy with good velocity, movement, and three above-average pitches, but his control will keep him from finding any success as a starter. If he can continue developing his control, he could end up as a #3 starter. It’s more likely he ends up as a back-of-the-rotation guy.
18SPGui-fei Hark62Vinson Emperors
Hark certainly has the stuff to be a very good starter one day. His velocity tops out in the triple digits, and he’s got three above-average pitches -- two of which could be elite. He’s got the stamina to go deep into games, and scouts think his movement and control will both be above-average. Hark’s control is a little underdeveloped for his age, and his curveball isn’t quite good enough yet to be considered a proper third pitch. If the curveball doesn’t come around, Hark will still make a very good reliever. Regardless, it’s rare to find a potential #1 starter this far into the draft, so Vinson has to be excited to land one in Hark.
191BYong-koo Lee57Italia Stivali
The size of this lad. Lee is 6’7, 230 lbs at just 19 years of age. He certainly plays to his size, too, with a power potential among the highest in the entire league, and it’s already starting to come along. Lee doesn’t really have a hole in his swing, either. Scouts think he’ll have an above average eye and good contact ability. We’re looking at a potential .290 hitter who can hit 45+ HRs. He has no defensive position, but who cares. This guy will rake.
20SPSalvatore Valdez59Birmingham Barons
Valdez is a two-way player who has the potential to be above average both ways. He’s got some serious flaws on both sides, however, with almost no control as a pitcher and a bad eye as a hitter. He also doesn’t really have a defensive position as he lacks the range to play almost anywhere. At 22.5 years old, I’m not so sure he can correct those flaws. I still think he’ll end up as a valuable player, it’ll likely just be as a reliever and a pinch hitter.
21SPOmar Arroyo75Seattle Mariners
Arroyo is a slightly more well-rounded version of #2 overall pick Prada with an equally low chance of ever being a starter in the TNBL. Arroyo has the control that Prada lacks, along with good movement and stuff. However, his third pitch is too far away to consider him a starter. Also, his velocity is too low for him to be a good reliever. If his changeup comes around, Arroyo will be an ace, but don’t count on it.
22SPAlistair White61Brooklyn White Sharks
White has three pitches that are already average, and all project as good-to-elite. His velocity is good enough, and his stamina is fantastic. The only thing that could hold him back is his propensity to give up homeruns. Otherwise, White has the look of a #2 or 3 starter.
23CLSu-kweon Kim72Bronx Bombers
Kim was the second true reliever to come off the board and I consider him a bit of a reach. Typically relievers with flaws like Kim’s don’t go in the first round. Late second or early third probably would’ve been a better spot for him. His control is just too far away for him to be a dominant reliever, and his stamina will keep him from being an everyday closer.
24SSJop Moerland55Cloud City Sky Pirates
“Handyman” is the perfect nickname for Moerland. He’s got the defensive tools to play anywhere on the infield at a high level. His batting profile isn’t great, but it’s good enough to make him a useful player. He projects to hit .295+ with a ton of doubles and a homer sprinkled in here and there. That, combined with his elite middle-infield defense, will make him an everyday starter in the TNBL one day.