Top 50 Fantasy Prospects in the 2009 MLB Draft with Comments

Here’s my big board, fellas. Now that we know where the top players were drafted, we get an idea about the seriousness of each player’s signing bonus demands, which is the biggest x-factor in the draft. I will be using this sacred artifact to conduct all of my fantasy drafts. Never draft for need, stick to your board, and enjoy long-term success. Enjoy, and feel free to share your big board in the comments section. Send any minor league questions to

1. SP Steven Strasburg – Washington would not draft him at No. 1 if they didn’t plan on breaking signing bonus records in the process. They are serious about signing the best college pitching prospect ever. He is that good, but there are of course no guarantees. The human mind can be the worst enemy to a pitcher, which has been proving by countless phenoms fading away into obscurity. If you have the top pick in your league’s draft, don’t think twice. Strasburg is as good as they come.

2. OF Donovan Tate – San Diego took him No. 3 overall, and they will have to offer a signing bonus beyond what they paid former No. 1 overall pick Matt Bush. It will come down to the wire, but everything is pointing toward the Padres getting a deal done with the top position player in the draft.

3. SP Zack Wheeler – Recently, San Francisco has proven that they know their stuff when it comes to scouting pitching talent. While Wheeler is only my third favorite high school pitcher in the draft, his draft position and organizational situation have me excited.

4. SP Tyler Matzek – Having Matzek, my favorite high school pitching prospect, fall to Colorado breaks my heart. No pitcher has ever been able to consistently put up elite numbers playing half their games at Coors Field. His slide has me thinking that his commitment to Oregon is very strong. I’m cautiously optimistic that the Rockies will make sure he turns pro.

5. SP Matthew Purke – While it’s not Coors Field, the Ballpark at Arlington is almost just as bad. Plus he will have to face designated hitters. Matzek fell into a disappointing situation, and now my second favorite high school pitcher is facing a similar calamity. At least Texas has a superb recent history of producing strong pitching prospects.

6. SP Aaron Crow – I can not see Crow failing to sign for a second year in a row. Kansas City believes in investing through the draft. They will get a deal done with the potential ace.

7. SP Jacob Turner – Another top flight high school arm. Detroit knows what they like in a high school arm, and Turner has it.

8. SP Shelby Miller – St. Louis had Miller high on their board, and he fell right into their lap. I have no concerns about the Cardinals not getting a deal done with Miller.

9. SS Jiovanni Mier – I have been critical of Houston’s drafting habits, but I like their selection of Mier. In my opinion he is the best pure shortstop in the draft.

10. SP Matt Hobgood – Baltimore surprised many with their early selection of Hobgood, but Baltimore has had a great recent history with pitching prospects. Hobgood fits the mold.

11. OF Dustin Ackley
12. SP Alex White
13. SP Chad James
14. OF Slade Heathcott
15. SP Mike Leake
16. SP Kyle Gibson
17. 3B Bobby Borchering
18. SP Chad Jenkins
19. OF Michael Trout
20. SP Eric Arnett
21. SS Nick Franklin
22. SS Grant Green
23. SP Rex Brothers
24. SP Tanner Scheppers
25. C Wil Myers
26. SP James Paxton
27. C Max Stassi
28. 1B Rich Poythress
29. OF Everett Williams
30. SP Garrett Gould
31. 3B Matt Davidson
32. SP Andy Oliver
33. SP Tyler Skaggs
34. 3B David Renfroe
35. C Tommy Joseph
36. SS Mychal Givens
37. SP Sam Dyson
38. C Tony Sanchez
39. OF Kentrail Davis
40. RP Joe Kelly
41. SP Aaron Miller
42. SP Madison Younginer
43. SP Brody Colvin
44. OF Brett Jackson
45. OF Randal Grichuk
46. SP Kendal Volz
47. SP Kyle Heckathorn
48. SP Mike Minor
49. OF A.J. Pollock
50. SP Brooks Pounders

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  1. Corey Nickles said...

    Why did Atlanta select Mike Minor at 7th overall? It’s weird, he seems like the second-coming of Tom Glavine.

  2. Tim K. said...

    I’m sort of meh on Dustin Ackley for fantasy purposes and it seems like you are, too. Is he going to steal at all or just hit singles and doubles and play good defense?

  3. Matt Hagen said...

    Good observation Tim.  I am underwhelmed.  He will have a lot of value in a trade, though, because he did go second overall.  So, he has to be somewhere near the top of the list.  Some say he has .300/30/30 potential.  Could he reach that?  I guess it’s possible.  If I was to bet on one of those things happening, it would be the .300 average.  His power and speed don’t look 30/30 to me.  But there is still room for him to develop.  You can call me skeptical.

  4. Nevin said...

    Atlanta on Minor: Seems odd that they would pass on Matzek to take Minor.  First assumption is that its about money, that they believe the marginal value difference between Matzek and Minor doesn’t justify the cost difference.  But could be they think that he’s a better fit for them than is Matzek.  Or maybe Matzek is represented by Furcal’s agent, and they won’t deal with him, as they claimed?  For what its worth, someone asked Keith Law in chat whether he would rather have Minor or the recently traded Jeff Locke, and he said Minor.

  5. starkweather said...

    RE: Ackley
    Everything I’ve read about this guy and seen from him makes me think he’s the second coming of Jeffrey Hammonds.  As a lifelong Orioles fan, that doesn’t excite me.  And as far as Strasburg goes, I wonder about his mentality.  I’m sure he will be rushed to the bigs but reading the transcripts of his press conference didn’t give me the feeling he has a ton of passion for what he’s undertaking.  Maybe that doesn’t matter but I am very leery of the hype.

  6. Matt Hagen said...

    Fuentes does have great speed, but little else that’s fantasy relevant.  I don’t invest in pure speed.  To me, Fuentes looks like nothing more than a bit player in the majors.

  7. Max said...

    Really? No Jared Mitchell in your top 50? I know he strikes out a lot, but he draws walks, has a bit of pop, has good defense and is a solid athlete. I have to think that was a huge oversight. He’s certainly a better prospect than Kendal Volz who stunk this year and dropped like a rock in the draft.

  8. Scott said...

    I’m with Max on this one…Mitchell is an incredibly high-upside pick with eventual 20/30 given the advances he made between his first and second year at LSU.

  9. Matt Hagen said...

    Mitchell, coming out of college, has too raw of a bat for my taste.  I may be overly pessimistic about the young man, but I don’t see much power translating to the pros.  He has shown some plate discipline, but there are huge holes in his swing, which is concerning, especially for someone who doesn’t have much power.  Due to his speed, draft position, and decent plate discipline he would have been one of the very next players on the list.  But he is not in my top 50 and it is not an oversight.

    Good discussion.

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