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Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects for 2020 Redraft Leagues (March Update)


The sun is shining in Florida and Arizona, and spring training games are underway. That means it’s time to update our redraft prospect rankings for 2020.

We last looked at the key prospects for the coming season back in January when there was a lot of uncertainty around players' roles and potential playing time. As the spring games continue, the opening day pictures will become more and more clear. Managers and coaches are getting new looks at promising prospects and strong performances could expedite those players' arrivals in 2020. Similarly, poor performances could hinder future recalls. Injuries will also play a huge role as we move forward — both among the prospects (Emmanuel Clase) and also with the veteran big leaguers (Luis Severino) as their trips to the injured list will create opportunities for those potentially headed to the minors.

The top of the list is populated by prospects that are all but guaranteed regular roles once the season begins (barring injury). From there, the list looks at players that should eventually push for playing time if they continue to develop their impressive talents, as expected. Don’t underestimate the value a player can have by coming up in May or June. These hitters all provided massive fantasy value despite opening the 2019 season in the minors: Yordan Alvarez (promoted in June, wRC+ of 178), Bo Bichette (July, 142), Keston Hiura (May, 139), Will Smith (July, 132), Tommy Edman (June, 123), and Cavan Biggio (May, 114). Let’s see who the freshmen fantasy studs will be in 2020.

 

MLB Prospect Rankings - 2020 Redraft Leagues

Ranking Player Pos Team ETA
1 Luis Robert OF CWS March
2 Gavin Lux SS/2B LAD March
3 Brendan McKay SP TB March
4 Carter Kieboom 3B/2B WAS March
5 Jesus Luzardo SP OAK March
6 Alex Kirilloff OF MIN June
7 Jo Adell OF LAA June
8 Nate Pearson SP TOR May
9 Jose Urquidy SP HOU March
10 Tony Gonsolin SP LAD March
11 Sean Murphy C OAK March
12 Dylan Carlson OF STL June
13 Ryan Mountcastle 1B/3B BAL March
14 Nick Madrigal 2B CWS May
15 Dustin May SP LAD April
16 A.J. Puk SP OAK May
17 Nick Solak 3B/OF TEX May
18 Brendan Rodgers 2B/22 COL June
19 Jonathan Loaisiga SP NYY March
20 Alec Bohm 3B PHI July
21 James Karinchak RP CLE March
22 Kyle Lewis OF SEA June
23 Sheldon Neuse 2B/3B OAK June
24 Kyle Wright SP ATL May
25 Mitch Keller SP PIT May
26 Austin Hays OF BAL May
27 Evan White 1B SEA May
28 Sam Hilliard OF COL June
29 Deivi Garcia SP NYY May
30 Cristian Pache OF ATL June
31 Sixto Sanchez SP MIA June
32 Casey Mize SP DET July
33 Nico Hoerner 2B/SS CHC May
34 Jared Walsh 1B/OF/P LAA June
35 Mauricio Dubon 2B SF May
36 Brusdar Graterol SP LAD May
37 Ke'Bryan Hayes 3B PIT May
38 Forrest Whitley SP HOU July
39 Michael Kopech SP CWS July
40 Spencer Howard SP PHI July
41 Wander Franco SS/3B TB August
42 MacKenzie Gore SP SD August
43 Brent Rooker OF/1B MIN July
44 Joshua Lowe OF TB July
45 Daulton Varsho C/OF ARZ July
46 Justus Sheffield SP SEA June
47 Anthony Kay SP TOR June
48 Brent Honeywell Jr. SP TB June
49 Matt Manning SP DET August
50 Randy Arozarena OF TB July

 

Top 2020 Prospects Analysis: 1-10

The top 10 features some immense talent led by Luis Robert, who is off to a strong start to the spring. He has the potential to provide both speed and power to fantasy owners.

Gavin Lux is another player that should make an immediate impact as a rookie in 2020. As a bonus, he could end up being eligible at multiple positions if he moves around the infield a bit for the Dodgers. A strong batting average and power is likely. He also offers the potential for double-digit steals and stole 27 bases as recently as 2017.

Carter Kieboom is a bit of a wild card — but one with a lot of skill. He had a modest performance during his first taste of MLB action in 2019 and is trying to learn a new position but he could hit for average, power and produce good on-base numbers.

Among pitchers, Jesus Luzardo has an intriguing mix of ceiling and ready-now skills. Along with the ability to miss bats, the young southpaw induces a ton of ground balls which helps him mitigate the damage caused by the home run.

Twins’ outfielder Alex Kirilloff also got off to a quick start this spring as he looks to stay at the head of the pack with Minnesota’s impressive young outfield depth that also includes Trevor Larnach, Brent Rooker, and maybe Royce Lewis (who has been playing multiple positions, including the outfield).

Another outfielder, Jo Adell of the Angels, is looking to impress this spring with an eye to getting called up before the summer hits. He’s getting lots of at-bats early on in a bid to shift veteran Brian Goodwin to a fourth outfielder role but the rookie is going to have to improve his swing-and-miss tendencies.

After Luzardo, Toronto’s Nate Pearson could have the biggest impact among rookie starters. He can hit triple digits with his fastball and has a deep repertoire, but his command was inconsistent at times in 2019 despite good control. If he can throw quality strikes more consistently, the sky is the limit. Like Luzardo, Pearson has struggled to stay healthy at times. Both pitchers could face a notable innings limit in 2020 even though both teams are playing that down right now.

Two players rounding out the top 10 could surprise a lot of people this season. The Houston Astros have been attracting a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons but Jose Urquidy could help stabilize an uncertain starting rotation. He doesn’t have the quickest fastball but he hits his spots, mixes things up and gets more than his fair share of swing-and-miss.

You can read more about Tony Gonsolin in detail, click here. He has a deep repertoire that features a lot of potential if he gets a fair shot at starting for the Dodgers. He could provide many wins and quality starts if that happens.

 

Top 2020 Prospects Analysis: 11-30

Sean Murphy currently has an ADP around 240. Ignore the catchers going higher in the draft and nab him later on. He’ll likely produce above-average offense — 20 home runs is possible if he stays healthy — for a low investment.

Dylan Carlson gets a lot of love from prospect watchers and he’s off to a good start this spring but don’t get too excited just yet. Other young outfielders Tyler O’Neill and Lane Thomas are ahead of him on the depth chart and could develop into strong contributors, too. Carlson also isn’t likely to provide a lot of stolen bases in the Majors despite nabbing 20 bases last season. He’s a good base runner but not a real burner and isn’t as likely to catch big-league hurlers (and catchers) napping as he did in the minors.

Ryan Mountcastle is another rookie that’s off to a torrid pace this spring and is getting lots of at-bats early on. The most impressive part of his spring so far has been the lack of swing-and-miss with just one strikeout through his first 16 at-bats. He went deep 25 times last year in Triple-A but it came with 130 strikeouts in just 127 games. The Orioles are also very deep in (modest) first base options but Mountcastle could find additional value (and playing time) by seeing time at first base, third base and left field.

Texas' Nick Solak is another talented player with lots of power to offer — along with good on-base numbers — but he’ll also need to move around the field to find enough playing time to tap into his full potential. The Rangers are giving him a good look in center field and he should also be eligible at third base and second base.

Austin Hays, Kyle Lewis, and Sam Hilliard are three slugging outfielders that could provide a ton of pop for limited investment costs — if they can make enough contact to play every day. Hilliard has the benefit of playing half his games in Colorado and he feasted on fastballs during his brief MLB trial in 2019. But he struggled mightily with breaking balls so he’ll likely see a lot of those early on in 2020. Hays did a much better job of making consistent contact in his second brief MLB trial so he enters the year with increased hype. He had just 75 plate appearances in the Majors last year but the 42% hard-hit-ball rate is intriguing. Lewis flexed his muscles with six home runs in 18 games but it came with a 39% strikeout rate and he went deep just 11 times in 122 Double-A games.

Cristian Pache is another promising outfielder but he doesn’t fit into the same slugging category as the three outfielders mentioned above. He just turned 21 in November and has shown steady improvements each year while being one of the youngest players in every league. It’s unlikely that he’ll open the year in Atlanta but a strong start in Triple-A could get him to the majors before the summer.

A.J. Puk likely has the highest ceiling among the pitchers outside the top 10. But he also has to show that the injury concerns are behind him and he’ll likely face an innings limit in 2020 even if Oakland is downplaying it right now. He’s thrown just 36.2 innings in the past two years combined so a max of 120-140 innings is quite possibly in the cards for 2020.

Dustin May has been durable throughout his career and has provided at least 130 innings in each of the past three seasons but he has yet to see action this spring due to injury. With lots of pitching depth in Los Angeles, May could struggle to gain a foothold in the big league starting rotation.

Jonathan Loaisiga and Deivi Garcia are two pitchers that could benefit from the Yankees’ injury woes. The former is more advanced so he’ll likely get the first shot but he has also been injury-prone throughout his young career. Garcia, just 20, is loaded with potential but the club has been very open about not wanting to rush him and he’s struggled with his command and control in the upper levels of the minors.

The Braves’ Kyle Wright is another player with a lot of potential that’s been hindered by inconsistent command. But the former first-round pick had a strong second half of 2019 and a big spring could vault him into the Braves’ starting rotation.

 

Top 2020 Prospects Analysis: 31-50

The tail end of the top 50 features quite a few highly-rated dynasty players that could make an impact later in the 2020 season. One exception to that is Mauricio Dubon who looked like he might win the Giants’ second base gig before the club brought in defense whiz Yolmer Sanchez. The rookie may now move around the field in an effort to find enough playing time to be relevant. He has good speed and surprising pop.

Casey Mize could be a future ace but he’ll likely head to Triple-A for some additional seasoning to open the year. With another tough season expected in Detroit, the club will likely be hesitant to start the young pitcher’s arbitration clock too early. Once he reaches the Majors, though, it should be a pretty seamless transition.

Forrest Whitley and Spencer Howard saw their promising 2019 seasons cut short by injuries. Both pitchers spent time in the Arizona Fall League in the fall and looked good so they’ll hope to carry those successes over time the 2020 regular season. There are risks with both of these hurlers but they carry the potential for big rewards later this year.

Brent Honeywell’s career has been wrecked by injury. He was likely headed for the Majors in 2018 before he got hurt and missed all of that season and 2019, too. He’ll likely open the year in Triple-A but he could be a force for Tampa Bay in the second half of the year. When he was last healthy, he struck out 172 batters in 136.2 innings.

Wander Franco is the best prospect in baseball and he just turned 19 on March 1. He dominated two A-ball levels in 2019 and should make quick work of Double-A in 2020. With the Yankees vulnerable this year due to injuries, the Rays will likely utilize everything they can to win the division and that could include pushing Franco to the Majors in the second half of the year if he looks ready. He has the potential to be even better than other recent phenoms (Fernando Tatis Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr.) and could have an immediate impact like Juan Soto did for Washington in 2018.

Don’t sleep on Daulton Varsho. He’s an advanced bat that could eventually be eligible at both catcher and in the outfield, which potentially gives him a ton of value as a player that could produce a 20-20 (HR-SB) season with regular playing time. He also takes a good number of walks and should hit for a solid batting average.

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