Starting franchise mode with a fantasy draft in MLB The Show 2019 can be both exciting and challenging. Selecting a young, elite, player the first round can be a difficult decision because of the scarcity of talent in later rounds. The player you draft with your first round pick will most likely act as the centerpiece for your team, and an essential factor to your franchise's success.
Therefore, what qualities and characteristics should you be looking for your first round draft pick? You may want someone with a massive bat that can consistently hit for power, a quality contact hitter that also thrives in the field, or a starting pitcher with lots of break and stamina who can shut down an entire dugout. Nonetheless, one of the major criteria for selecting a player in the first-round has to be age. Regardless of the type of player you go after, you want him to be young because there is a greater room for his skills to develop. Not to mention, younger players are farther from retirement so you can utilize a young draft pick for far more seasons. Still, there are many different directions to go when picking your franchise's centerpiece, so here are the ten best players to center your team around in MLB The Show 19, ranked in order.
6 RF Aaron Judge - 92 Overall
Judge is a right-handed, power hitting behemoth standing at 6-foot-7-inches and weighing 282 pounds. In MLB The Show 19, the 26-year-old carries a whopping 99 power rating against right handed pitchers and an 89 power rating against lefties. The right fielder's age also represents a wide window of opportunity for him to develop his skills over the course of a few seasons.
In addition, Judge's impressive arm strength and fielding ratings are set at 98 and 80 respectively, so the advantages he brings to the plate are not brought down by a lack of ability in the field. It is fantastic to have Judge batting cleanup in your batting order; draft some contact hitters that can get on base for when Judge steps to the plate, and watch the RBIs stack sky-high.
5 SP Blake Snell - 94 Overall
Snell is the fifth best-rated starting pitcher in MLB The Show 2019, but the Rays starter's young age is what separates him from the rest of the upper echelon class. At 26-years-old, Snell is in the midst of his fourth season in the MLB and holds a winning career record, as well as 550+ strikeouts.
Although Snell has struggled slightly so far this season, his staggering 21:5 W/L record and 1.89 ERA from the 2018 season are sure signs of prominence, which earned him the American League CY Young Award. Snell's young age provides an opportunity for you to develop him into the best pitcher in the league after a season or two. His 99 break rating, along with his 90 strikeout rating, make Snell a blast to play with.
4 LF Ronald Acuña Jr. - 94 Overall
When Acuña Jr. was first entering the league in 2014, many scouts wrote him off because they thought he had neither the size nor bat speed to make it in the big leagues. Nonetheless, the 21-year-old's performance on the field since has baffled his past doubters. He was rightfully named a National League All-Star this season, and is expected to start in left field.
Acuña Jr. is equipped with stellar ratings for hitting and solid ratings for fielding. The left fielder can hit for power and get on base at a fairly high rate. His young age also allows you to hold on to him as your franchise's centerpiece for a LONG time.
7. RF Mookie Betts - 96 Overall
Although Betts has been struggling at the plate this season, his contact hitting metrics in MLB The Show 2019 are still above average. However, the 26-year-old's power ratings have certainly dropped, being in the mid-60s against both left and right handed pitchers.
Regardless, Betts is still arguably one of the best defensive outfielders in the MLB. He's the reigning American League MVP who earned both the Batting Title and a Golden Glove Award in the 2018 season. Not to mention, he led his team to win the World Series. Betts is a sure superstar who can benefit anyone's team.
6. SS Javier Baez - 93 Overall
Baez is a unique and versatile talent. This 26-year-old is a speedy shortstop that can steal bases and cover a great deal of ground in the middle infield. Due to how terrific Baez is in the field and on the base paths, it's difficult to comprehend that he can also hit for power. Baez kills left handed pitchers with contact and power ratings against lefties at 97 and 94 respectively. His hitting ratings against right handed pitchers slugs a bit behind, but they are still solid enough.
All of these factors, along with the scarcity of other upper-tier shortstops, makes Baez a high quality centerpiece to your franchise team. Especially if you're stuck with a late-round pick, hop on the Baez train because he's usually available.
3 RF Cody Bellinger - 96 Overall
After two decent seasons with the Dodgers, Bellinger has lit up the MLB in 2019 with scorching numbers at the plate. The 23-year-old is batting .344 at the plate and has already hit 30 HRs so far this season. His hitting ratings in MLB The Show 2019 reflect his incredible performance on the field; not one of his hitting ratings are set below 80 and his power against righties and lefties are set at 94 and 90 respectively.
Bellinger is also a quality fielder with a good arm, so everything you gain with having him in the batting lineup will not cost you in the field. Berlinger is also extremely young, and a prospect to become the best offensive player in the league.
4. SP Clayton Kershaw - 96 Overall
Kershaw is another highly-desired Dodger on the list. Although the 31-year-old is in the latter stretch of his career, you can have confidence in Kershaw to continue putting up quality numbers for a few more seasons. Kershaw has one of the highest stamina ratings out of all of the pitchers in MLB The Show 2019 so you can count on him for long innings and maybe a few complete games.
The starter has a 7:2 W/L record and a good ERA of 3.09 so far in the 2019 season, which reflects positive overall performance. Kershaw may not be a high-speed, strikeout pitcher like Snell from earlier in the list. However, Kershaw is a consistent performer throughout the season who always puts your offense in a position to win.
2 3B Nolan Arenado - 99 Overall
This is where the list gets tough because the next three players are so unfathomably good. If you are given the option to pick between these three players, you can relax because all three of them are the best of the best. The reason Arenado is listed behind Yelich, is simply because of the scarcity of quality right fielders following the first round. Therefore, picking Yelich may create less opportunity cost than picking Arenado because there are several great third basemen to pick from after the first round. In contrast, if you were to go with Arenado in the first round, the selection of outfielders available will be greatly inferior hitters in comparison to the third basemen available.
Nonetheless, Arenado is a fantastic offensive player, batting .315 while hitting 20 HRs and knocking in 67 RBIs, so far in the 2019 season. I doubt you would regret plugging the 27-year-old into your lineup because of his 99 ratings in both contact and power against lefties.
2. RF Christian Yelich - 98 Overall
Yelich has been putting up jaw-dropping hitting numbers ever since he joined the Brewers two seasons ago. The 27-year-old currently leads the entire MLB in HRs, hitting 31 of them since the start of the 2019 season. Yelich has also contributed an awesome .325 batting average, which shows you that his success with power at the plate does not come at the cost of a high strikeout count or inability to get on base.
His fielding and arm strength rating are amongst the lowest on this list of players, but Yelich brings extra value with his high speed and stealing ratings. Yelich can be the blow torch your offensive squad can use when they need a spark.
1 CF Mike Trout - 99 Overall
Do I even have to write an entry for this stud? At 27-years-old, Trout has amassed all sorts of awards and decorations for his godly performance on the diamond. Over the course of his career, he has won American League MVP twice and has brought home five Silver Slugger Awards, one of which he received in 2018.
Trout could limit your franchise's cap space because the Angels dealt Trout the world's largest sports contract in history at $426,500,000. Nonetheless, you can count on Trout to earn every penny of his contact with his tremendous ability as a player.