Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 30 Impact Prospects for 2020 Redraft Leagues

When last we checked in on the top rookies for 2020, the World Series had yet to be decided, the Astros’ obsession with garbage cans was still a secret, and Neal Huntington was running the Pirates. A number of things around baseball have changed since the last update but few, if any, moves have rattled baseball rosters. In fact, to date, only a couple of free agents of note of signed.

None of those moves directly impact the projected playing time or potential impact of key rookies expected to reach the Majors in 2020… but the offseason is still in its infancy. Things should start to pick up now that teams have solidified their 40-man rosters. Conversations over free agent signings and potential trades are no doubt picking up steam as the annual MLB Winter Meetings approaches.

As a result, the list below could change a fair bit by opening day as rosters shift and get reworked but this list will help you start to prep for the 2020 fantasy season and beyond. Baseball has evolved. Rookies can have a huge impact on your season as managers and general managers are more and more willing to give significant playing time to inexperienced players. If you were lucky enough to have the likes of Peter Alonso, Yordan Alvarez, and Fernando Tatis Jr. in 2019 then you know how impactful those rookies were to your season.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: Top 5

1. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (ETA: May)

The White Sox will be looking to compete in 2020 and there has been some talk that the club will chase some veteran players to help fill out the thin outfield depth. Any of the moves, though, will likely be done with the expectation that Robert will reach the Majors after 20-30 more games at the Triple-A level. Robert rocketed through the minors in 2019 after starting the year in A-ball and ending with 47 games at the highest level in the minors. He had a 30-30 (HR-SB) season but his aggressive approach could mean some extremely hot and cold streaks at the MLB level in 2020.

2. Gavin Lux, SS/2B, Dodgers (ETA: April)

The Dodgers have quite a few decisions to make regarding the makeup of their 2020 roster. A number of key decisions could impact Lux’s playing time but he currently appears set to play second base for the Dodgers. He opened 2019 in Double-A but then hit .392 in 49 Triple-A games and forced his way onto the MLB roster late in the season. He could hit 20 home runs with lots of walks as a rookie and with eligibility at two or three infield positions if given an opportunity.

3. Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Rays (ETA: April)

McKay was one inning away from losing his rookie eligibility for 2020. He pitched like a veteran at times in 2019 and showed the ability to miss bats and limited the number of base runners by attacking the strike zone. His biggest goal for 2020 will be trying to cut down on the home runs allowed, but that will be easier said than done if the juiced ball resurfaces. There aren’t many projected No. 4 starters in the Majors that are better than McKay and he'll eventually ascend to the top of the rotation.

4. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics (ETA: April)

With limited payroll flexibility, the A’s will always look to their farm system for impact talent to help them chase a playoff berth. The current projected starting rotation is rather thin so, if healthy, Luzardo should play a key role for the club. He would have been up in the Majors much earlier in 2019 if not for the terrible shoulder injury he suffered and subsequently rehabbed. He pitched 12 innings at the MLB level late in 2019 and looked like he belonged. Luzardo should miss a lot of bats but could be on a strict innings count in 2020.

5. Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers (ETA: April)

May isn’t as electric as some of the other young arms racing to the Majors but he showed two key skills in 2019 that are important in this homer-happy era. The young right-hander throws a lot of strikes and walked just five batters in 34.2 MLB innings in 2019. He also allowed just two home runs and has been extremely stingy with giving up home runs throughout his pro career thanks to well-above-average walk rates. And pitching for the Dodgers should give him a chance to rack up wins, too.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 6-10

6. Carter Kieboom, 2B/3B, Nationals (ETA: May)

Kieboom is well-positioned to see significant playing time in the Majors in 2020. Thanks to free agency, the World Series champions currently have openings at first base, second base, and third base. The rookie infielder could theoretically slot in at any three of those positions — if he can prove to the club that he can be counted on defensively. Kieboom has shown the ability to hit for average, take a ton of walks, and hit for some power — 15-20 home runs could be possible as a rookie.

7. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (ETA: May)

Injuries wiped out a good portion of Adell’s season in 2019 but he looked really good at Double-A before hitting a wall late in the season in Triple-A. He’s still learning to turn his raw power into reliable in-game pop but the young outfielder should eventually have 20-30 home run power in the Majors. He also has the speed to offer double-digit stolen base totals. With very thin outfield depth (outside of Mike Trout), Adell should have a good shot at piling up some MLB at-bats in 2020.

8. Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays (ETA: May)

Pearson was another prospect that played at three minor league levels in 2019 as more and more teams become aggressive at promoting their top assets. The hard-throwing pitcher finished the season with three starts in Triple-A and should be well-positioned, if healthy, to reach the Majors no later than May. Pearson held minor league hitters to a .176 batting average last season and also struck out 119 batters (with just 27 walks) in 101.2 innings.

9. Alex Kirilloff, OF, Twins (ETA: May)

Like Jo Adell above, Kirilloff’s 2019 season was seriously hampered by injuries. He still performed OK and had an other-worldly 2018 season that saw him hit .348 with 20 home runs. Kirilloff needs to tone down his aggressiveness a bit to reach his full potential in the Majors but he has a shot to settle into the Twins’ outfield — and strong MLB offense — in 2020. He'll hit for both average and power.

10. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (ETA: April)

Wright is one of the hardest players to rank. The Braves appears to have a few openings in the starting rotation and aren’t shy about relying on rookies. And Wright is much better than his overall 2019 numbers suggest. He was up-and-down between Triple-A and the Majors multiple times early in the year and his pitching schedule was very inconsistent. In his final eight starts, he posted a K-BB of 54-17 in 48.1 innings. With improved command, Wright could be an impact starter for the Braves.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 11-15

11. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (ETA: May)

After having some real late-season success as a reliever, Puk should return to the starting rotation in 2020 as he continues to distance himself from his Tommy John surgery. After building his arm back up for a month or two in the minors, he should be good to go for an extended stay in the Majors. Puk sat at 97 mph in the Majors in 2019 and also has a wipeout slider so he should provide lots of strikeouts as a rookie.

12. Alec Bohm, 3B, Phillies (ETA: June)

The Phillies currently have a third base depth chart that features Scott Kingery and Maikel Franco so there is very little blocking Bohm from eventually taking over the hot corner in Philadelphia. Bohm’s first full season in pro ball ended with 63 games in Double-A where the prospect posted an OPS of .844. He made excellent contact with producing more than 20 home runs. With two or three months of additional minor league seasoning, Bohm should be ready to make an impact in the Majors.

13. Sean Murphy, C, Athletics (ETA: April)

Another A’s prospect on the list. Injury issues plagued Murphy in 2019 but he still showed well-above-average power in both the minors and MLB with 15 home runs in 61 games. He likely won’t be trusted to play every day as a rookie for a playoff contender but he should still receive the lion’s share of at-bats and could develop into a strong offensive catcher.

14. Casey Mize, RHP, Tigers (ETA: May)

Mize had an outside shot at reaching the Majors in 2019 — his first full season as a pro — but an injury derailed those hopes. The Tigers are in the middle of a rebuild but the club has a wave of exciting young pitchers about to reach the Majors — led by this former college standout. Mize doesn’t have the same electric stuff as Nate Pearson (ranked 8th) but he throws a ton of strikes, induces weak contact and has done a great job of keeping the ball in the park.

15. Wander Franco, SS, Rays (ETA: July)

The best prospect in baseball is just 18 years old but he could reach the Majors by mid-2020. He dominated A-ball and will likely open 2020 in Double-A. As a small-market team, the Rays are in the midst of a win-now stretch until their young stars become too expensive to keep. As a result, look for the club to be aggressive with the likes of Franco, Vidal Brujan, and Shane McClanahan. Franco doesn’t have the same raw power as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Fernando Tatis Jr. but he is a better overall hitter and should produce lots of doubles, walks and a few steals.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 16-20

16. Nick Madrigal, 2B, White Sox (ETA: May)

There are a few teams that show up on this list regularly and the rebuilding White Sox should rely heavily on prospects in 2020 after seeing outfielder Eloy Jimenez debut last year and perform well. Madrigal is a very different player than Jimenez or Luis Robert, who is featured at No. 1 on this list. The diminutive second baseman has almost no power to speak of, and he instead finds value in his ability to make above-average contact and get on base with his outstanding strike zone judgement. Madrigal also has the speed to steal 20-30 bases.

17. Dylan Carlson, OF, Cardinals (ETA: June)

With Marcell Ozuna’s disappointing tenure in St. Louis at an end, it lessens the outfield depth and creates a narrow opening for Carlson to potentially break through in 2020. With just 18 games under his belt above Double-A, the young outfielder will look to prove that his 2019 breakout was not a fluke. He’s a 20-20 (HR-SB) threat but will need to beat out more established young players, like Tyler O’Neill and Lane Thomas, for playing time.

18. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies (ETA: June)

It’s been a slow climb through the Rockies system for this former first-round pick who will be entering his six pro season in 2020. After a strong start to the Triple-A season in 2019, Rodgers was promoted to the Majors for the first time in his career but struggled to find consistent playing time and then got hurt and missed the remainder of the year. He may not be healthy at the start of the year but Rodgers should get another shot to establish himself at the MLB level this year — whether with Colorado or another organization.

19. Brusdar Graterol, RHP, Twins (ETA: June)

Even with Jake Odorizzi accepting the Twins’ qualifying offer, the starting rotation features up to three open slots for 2020. That bodes well for Graterol in 2020. He made his MLB debut in 2019 out of the bullpen but threw very well as a starter in the minors. He should return to his natural role for the coming season and, after building up his arm strength after missing time due to injuries in 2019, he could be a key contributor in the second half of the year. Graterol has above-average control, keeps the ball in the park, and also misses a ton of bats.

20. Matt Manning, RHP, Tigers (ETA: June)

Casey Mize ranks higher on this list as the more advanced hurler but Manning is a beast that can really rack up the strikeouts with his blazing fastball. The 21-year-old hurler also keeps the ball in the park really well and has allowed only seven home runs in each of his past two seasons. Mize gets the edge for 2020 but Manning could be the better long-term prospect and reminds me of a young Justin Verlander.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 21-25

21. Sheldon Neuse, 3B/2B, Athletics (ETA: June)

Neuse would be a little bit higher on the list if he had a clearer path to playing time in 2020 — but he’s also a top candidate to be traded for pitching help given Matt Chapman’s presence at the hot corner. With that said, if the young infielder can prove his worth at second base, he could steal playing time away from Jurickson Profar. Neuse really has nothing left to prove in the minors after two straight seasons in Triple-A given the way he mashed the juiced ball in 2019. There is 20-homer potential here.

22. Cristian Pache, OF, Braves (ETA: June)

Pache reached Triple-A in 2019 at the age of 20 and continues to see his raw power develop into useable in-game pop. He’s an advanced hitter for his age but needs to tone down his aggressive nature to realize his full potential. With a couple of months under his belt in 2020, he should be ready to help the Braves improve their outfield’s collective offensive output.

23. Michael Kopech, RHP, White Sox (ETA: June)

The White Sox’s patience with Lucas Giolito finally paid off for the club in 2019 and Kopech could be the next prospect in line to impact the big league team — if he’s fully back and healthy after Tommy John surgery. The right-hander racked up huge strikeout numbers in the minors prior to his injury and went three straight seasons with 155 or more strikeouts. Keep an eye on his control once he returns; if he can find the zone OK then he could have a real impact in the coming season.

24. Ian Anderson, LHP, Braves (ETA: June)

Anderson is a step behind Kyle Wright on the Braves’ pitching depth chart but he has just as much — if not more — long-term potential. The 21-year-old hurler spent most of 2019 in Double-A but made five late-season starts in Triple-A. He showed swing-and-miss stuff last year with 172 strikeouts in 135.2 innings but he also struggled with his control. A few more months in the minors could prepare him to contribute to the Braves at the big-league level.

25. Tarik Skubal, LHP, Tigers (ETA: June)

This 22-year-old southpaw had a big breakout year in his first full pro season. Finally healthy, Skubal struck out 179 batters in just 122.2 innings while reaching Double-A. He also showed good control and also did a bang-up job preventing the home run. Skubal actually performed better against right-handed batters in Double-A and held them to a .135 batting average.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 26-30

26. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Marlins (ETA: May)

The Marlins organization is starting to amass some pitching depth but there are few, if any, established starters at the big league level. That should lead to the club relying heavily on its minor league system again in 2020. Of the top arms in the system, Sanchez is a little further along than the likes of Edward Cabrera, Trevor Rogers, and Braxton Garrett. This young pitcher has outstanding control, three above-average offers and induces a ton of ground-ball outs, which helps to limit the home run impact.

27. Shane McClanahan, LHP, Rays (ETA: June)

Another breakout southpaw prospect in 2019, McClanahan opened the year in Low-A ball but finished the season in Double-A. He was overpowering in A-ball and held batters to a .190 batting average before hitting a late-season wall late in the season. The left-handed starter can tickle triple-digits with his heater but has historically struggled with his control. He improved in that area in 2019 and walked just 45 batters in 120.2 innings.

28. Joey Bart, C, Giants (ETA: June)

There’s no getting around it. Buster Posey is getting old. For the first time in his storied career, the veteran backstop was a below-average hitting catching, he hit just seven home runs, and struck out at his highest rate since 2011. Bart, meanwhile, has posted an .875 OPS since turning pro after being the second overall selection in the 2018 draft. He also reached Double-A in 2019 despite being slowed by an injury. If he shows enough with the glove, the Giants may not leave Bart in the minors for long, which would allow the club to rest Posey more often.

29. Nico Hoerner, SS, Cubs (ETA: June)

Hoerner was added to the Cubs’ roster last season, despite being in his first full season as a pro. It was out of necessity, though, as the club lacked other upper-level options when injuries struck the big league club. In a perfect world, Hoerner will spend most of 2020 in the minors. He did OK but not great in his debut. He’s shown that he has an advanced approach at the plate which should lead to a strong batting average and limited strikeouts. But he has almost no power to speak of and needs to get a little stronger to withstand a full season against big league pitchers.

30. Daulton Varsho, C/OF, Diamondbacks (ETA: June)

Carson Kelly laid claim to the starting catcher gig in Arizona in 2019 but that won’t keep Varsho down. The Diamondbacks experimented with the young athlete in center field in 2019 at Double-A and he looked good out there. He’ll continue to see time behind the dish, too, so the versatility should be an excellent gift to his fantasy owners once he reaches the Majors and comes eligible at both positions. Varsho is a very good hitter with the raw potential to hit more than 20 home runs and, if his time behind the plate is limited, steal 15-20 bases.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis Editor Note Featured Baseball #2 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Prospects: Top 10 Second Basemen

The 2019 MLB season may be at an end but the off-season baseball coverage is just getting started at Rotoballer. We’re three positions deep now as we review the Top 10 dynasty prospects at each position.

The second base position has a chance to be very interesting over the next three or four years. The position features some intriguing prospects that should arrive in The Show over the next year — and there are some names in the lower levels of the minors that you probably haven’t heard of — but also need to know. Well, assuming you want to stay ahead of your competitors.

We previously took a look at both the Top 10 catchers and the Top 10 first basemen. Let’s see how the second basemen stack up against those other positions.

Top 10 Second Base Prospects

1. Nick Madrigal, White Sox, MLB ETA: 2020

In 162 games over a two-year stretch (628 at-bats), Madrigal has struck out just 21 times. He has more career stolen bases (43) than strikeouts. And he features a career batting average of .309. Madrigal also has a little more line-drive power potential than some of the speedsters lower on this list. The fourth overall pick from the 2018 draft has been every bit as good as expected as a pro and should be a stud at the top of the White Sox batting order with the likes of Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, Andrew Vaughn, and Luis Robert hitting behind him.

2. Brendan Rodgers, Rockies, MLB ETA: 2020

Between the season-ending injury in June and the poor MLB performance, it’s easy to forget that Rodgers hit .350 with nine home runs in 37 Triple-A games in 2019. Depending on how he bounces back from the shoulder surgery, Rodgers’ days of playing shortstop on a regular basis could be over. Labrum injuries can be difficult to recover from so Rodgers slips a little bit in the rankings. But, if he does fully bounce back, there is huge offensive upside here at the keystone position.

3. Vidal Brujan, Rays, MLB ETA: 2020

The next two players listed here are actually very similar players but Brujan gets the edge for being further along in his development. He’ll likely never be a home run hitter, even in the new juiced ball era, but that’s OK. Brujan’s strength is his natural feel for hitting that allows him to put a lot of balls in play and his plus speed provides the potential for 40 or more stolen bases.

4. Xavier Edwards, Padres, MLB ETA: 2021

Just 20 years old, Edwards reached High-A ball in his first full season in 2019 and now features a career batting average of .328. His game is built around making a lot of contract, peppering the ball all over the field, and putting pressure on the defenders with his plus speed. Edwards could develop into a .300 hitter with 40-steal potential at the MLB level.

5. Nick Solak, Rangers, MLB ETA: 2020

It may be difficult to fit Solak into a single position every day for the Rangers in 2020 but the good news is that he’s shown the ability to play multiple positions. As a result, he could receive regular playing time while bouncing from third base to second base and to the corner outfield slots. Between Triple-A and the Majors in 2019, Solak went deep 32 times. He’s also consistently been a .280-.300 hitter in the minors while racking up lots of walks and lots of strikeouts. He could even add 10-15 steals despite average speed.

6. Mauricio Dubon, Giants, MLB ETA: 2020

Dubon had a solid bounce-back season in 2019 after missing almost all of 2018 due to injury. He hit 20 home runs at the Triple-A level and then sent deep four more times in 30 MLB games. The 25-year-old middle infielder hasn’t sacrificed any contact for the increased power output and he posted a BB-K of 28-68 in Triple-A; he will likely need to be a little more patient against big league pitchers to reach his full potential. Dubon’s ability to play both second base and shortstop gives him added fantasy value. He should get a shot at playing every day at the keystone for the Giants in 2020.

7. Otto Lopez, Blue Jays, MLB ETA: 2022

Lopez doesn’t get the attention that he deserves. He doesn’t have much power but he’s shown an advanced bat for his age and has a career batting average of more than .300 in three pro seasons — including a .324 average in his first taste of full-season ball in 2019. He also makes a ton of contact and posted a BB-K of 34-63 in 108 games. Lopez is still raw on the base paths but he has the speed to steal 20 or more bases. A versatile fielder who has played a number of positions, he should eventually settle in at second base.

8. Aaron Bracho, Indians, MLB ETA: 2023

Just 18, Bracho had an eye-opening debut season in short-season ball in 2019. The performance was all the more impressive considering the switch-hitting middle infielder missed the 2018 with an injury. He slugged eight home runs in just 38 games but also showed an advanced approach for his age with a BB-K of 28-29. Bracho has a chance to hit for a solid average, produce above-average power and also provide excellent walk totals for fantasy leagues that reward the stat.

9. Jeremiah Jackson, Angels, MLB ETA: 2023

Jackson produced massive power in short-season ball in 2019. Of his 68 hits, 39 went for extra bases — including 23 home runs in just 65 games. With the power, though, comes significant swing-and-miss tendencies a BB-K of 24-96. He’ll likely need to find a better balance between power and contact as he moves up to face better pitching but Jackson has a chance to be an offensive-minded middle infielder. He’ll move up to full-season ball in 2020.

10. Michael Busch, Dodgers, MLB ETA: 2022

Busch was nabbed at the end of the first round of the 2019 draft by the Dodgers, a team known for excellent player development. The strong college performer projects to hit for a solid average and has 20-25 home run potential. The risk with Busch is that he’s a fringe-average defender at second base and may eventually move to first base or left field, which are the positions he played most often during his collegiate career.

Just Missed: Luis Garcia (Nationals), Ji-Hwan Bae (Pirates)

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 30 Impact Prospects for 2020 Redraft Leagues

Checkout our most recent prospects rankings articles and analysis: Top 50 Redraft Prospects for 2020 and Top 250 Dynasty Prospects

Looking ahead, the 2020 wave of MLB rookies should be much more pitching heavy than it was last year as numerous key hitters made their debuts in 2019, such as Peter Alonso, Yordan Alvarez, Fernando Tatis Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Eloy Jimenez, Bo Bichette and many more. Quite a few of the pitchers with high ceilings received a taste of MLB action in 2019 but retained their rookie eligibility and should play much larger roles in 2020.

A list of this nature considers a player’s overall ceiling and their MLB readiness, as well as the potential for regular playing time. A player like Brendan Rodgers, at this point of the off-season, takes a hit despite having a high ceiling because he’ll have to battle Ryan McMahon for a job or see other pieces moved around to make room. This list will change a lot between now and Opening Day 2020, especially once the wheeling-and-dealing gets started at the MLB Winter Meetings.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (ETA: May)

Robert had a monster 2019 season while playing at three minor league levels. He topped out with 47 games in Triple-A so he shouldn’t need to return to Triple-A for more than a month. He finished last year with 32 home runs and 36 stolen bases, which makes him an extremely valuable fantasy player, although his ugly BB-K of 28-129 suggests he may not hit for a high average right away in the Majors if pitchers are smart enough to exploit his aggressive nature. With that said, he produces epic line-drive rates so he should have a strong impact nonetheless.

2. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (ETA: April)

Lux is another player who had a monster year and played at three levels. But this middle-infield stud finished the year in the Majors — although his results were hurt when he became overly aggressive with a BB-K of 6-23. A natural shortstop, he played more second base in the Majors but should eventually have dual eligibility, which will further improve his fantasy value. Lux has shown the ability to hit for both average and power and could hit 20 home runs as a rookie with a handful of steals.

3. Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Rays (ETA: April)

One more inning pitched in 2019 and McKay would have lost rookie eligibility for 2020. Luckily, we still get to talk about him for now. He entered this past season as a two-way player but it became abundantly clear that his true calling was on the mound. McKay has advanced control for his age but the command comes and goes, which results in too many hits at times; it would be nice to see him induce more ground balls — especially in a potent league like the American League East. Still, a K-BB rate of 56-16 in 49 innings is nothing to sneeze at and it should only get better.

4. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (ETA: May)

The 2019 season was a disappointing one for Adell, who battled through injuries in the first half of the season and then hit a wall at Triple-A in the final month. The 20-year-old outfielder’s strikeout rate rocketed up to 33% in Triple-A after sitting at just 22.5% in Double-A. Adell has the athleticism and strong makeup to learn from that experience and use it to get better. He has 20-20 (HR-SB) potential but he’s never been a big base stealer. If he can show a little more patience and stay healthy in 2020, Adell could be poised for a big breakout.

5. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics (ETA: April)

Luzardo has a case for being ranked even higher but the shoulder injury he suffered in 2019 was pretty serious and cannot be completed discounted just yet. Even if he doesn’t re-injure the shoulder, the A’s will likely be a little extra cautious with the organization’s prized prospect in 2020. Pitching out of the bullpen during his MLB debut, Luzardo commanded three above-average offerings — no easy task for such a young player. He’ll no doubt return to the starting rotation in 2020 and has top-of-the-rotation potential.

6. Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers (ETA: April)

May's minor league success (3.38 ERA, K-BB of 110-29) carried over to a promotion to the Majors in 2019 and he’s well-positioned to challenge for a bigger role in 2020. The right-handed pitcher held numerous roles with the big league club and was unfazed. He posted a 3.63 ERA with a K-BB of 32-5 in the regular season and earned a spot on the playoff squad.

7. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (ETA: May)

Kieboom’s first taste of The Show likely didn’t go as well as he had hoped for, as he got away from his overall game and tried to hit every ball out of the park. The young infielder is at his best when he’s patient, uses the whole field and just looks to hit the ball hard. With that said, he has 20-homer potential and should also produce excellent on-base numbers. He has some added value in fantasy baseball because he can play three infield positions.

8. Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays (ETA: May)

The first wave of homegrown support arrived for the Jays in 2019 but it was almost all offense with the likes of Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. With apologies to Anthony Kay, who appeared in three MLB games in 2019, the wave of talented pitching should really get going with Pearson in 2020. The hard-throwing beast can tickle triple digits with his fastball and has two breaking balls with above-average potential. The Jays are likely to play service-time games with Pearson but he should be up for good in May and could throw 130-140 innings.

9. Wander Franco, SS, Rays (ETA: July)

Yes, the Rays are known for being conservative when developing prospects but Franco has already thrown off those shackles while playing at two A-ball levels in 2019 at the age of 18. He hit .339 with a BB-K of 26-15 in 52 High-A ball games in the second half of the year so Double-A is his likely assignment to open up the 2020 season. To be honest, he’d probably be OK opening the year in Triple-A, especially if the juiced ball remains. But don’t be surprised with six to eight weeks in Double-A, three to four weeks in Triple-A and then a full second half of the season in the bigs.

10. Alex Kirilloff, OF, Twins (ETA: May)

Kirilloff is another player whose 2019 numbers don’t tell the full story. A year removed from hitting a combined .348 with 20 homers over two A-ball levels, the outfielder’s season was delayed by injury and he didn’t look fully healthy until the final month of the year. Expect a huge outburst in Triple-A and then excellent MLB production for the Twins as the club makes another playoff push with its talented young players.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Casey Mize, RHP, Tigers (ETA: May)

The Tigers were terrible in 2019. But they could get very good, very fast if they can find some offense to go along with the wave of pitching talent that’s on a 2020 collision course with the Majors — led by Mize. Had he stayed healthy in 2019, he might have even pitched some big league innings in the second half of the year. Pitching in his first full season after going first overall in the 2018 draft, Mize posted a K-BB of 106-23 in 109.1 innings. He has excellent control and once his command takes a step forward, he should start to rack up more strikeouts.

12. Alec Bohm, 3B, Phillies (ETA: June)

In just his first full pro season, this 2018 first-round draft pick played at three minor league levels. He topped out in Double-A and hit a combined .305 with 21 home runs. He also showed a good approach at the plate with a BB-K of 57-73 in 125 games. With 63 games under his belt at the Double-A level, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Bohm open 2020 in Triple-A and then reach the Majors within one to two months.

13. Sean Murphy, C, Athletics (ETA: April)

Injuries threatened to ruin Murphy’s season but he came back with a vengeance. He slugged 11 home runs in 41 minor league games and then added another four in 20 MLB contests. The young catcher may not hit for a ton of average in the Majors but if he continues to hit for power — and there is no reason to expect he won’t — then he’ll be a valuable everyday catcher.

14. Dylan Carlson, OF, Cardinals (ETA: May)

A former first-round draft pick, Carlson disappeared from the prospect radar for a couple of years but rocketed back into relevancy while spending most of the year in Double-A. After hitting less than .250 throughout his career prior to 2019, the 20-year-old outfielder hit more than .290 and saw his power output jump from 11 home runs in 2018 to 26. He also added 20 stolen bases but relied more on smarts than pure speed.

15. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies (ETA: April)

Rodgers is on the other side of the coin in comparison to Dylan Carlson above. Rodgers is perhaps suffering from a bit of prospect fatigue. He was selected third overall one year before Carlson and has been on top prospect lists ever since. He’s shown flashes of dominance but has also had to battle through a number of obstacles, such as his season-ending injury in 2019. Rodgers has strong offensive potential — especially if he stays in Colorado — but he’ll have to wrestle the second base job away from Ryan McMahon in 2020.

16. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (ETA: May)

Puk had a triumphant return in 2019 from Tommy John surgery and continued to dominate pro hitters despite shifting to a relief role to help the big league club. Puk has never struck out fewer than 10 hitters per nine innings at any stop in his career — including the Majors where he showed a 97 mph fastball and commanded both of his breaking balls. He’ll likely open 2020 in Triple-A while transitioning back to a starting role but should be up quickly.

17. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (ETA: April)

Wright’s early season struggles should mostly be ignored. The young pitcher was recalled and then demoted multiple times and didn’t really get into a consistent groove until mid-season. He was outstanding in the second half of the year and has the stuff to be a No. 2 or 3 starter. He struck out 54 batters over his final 48.1 innings. If he can improve his command even a little bit, he could take a big jump forward in 2020.

18. Brusdar Graterol, RHP, Twins (ETA: June)

Just 21, Graterol’s season was interrupted by shoulder issues but he received a late-season promotion to the Majors where he pitched out of the bullpen. He showed his youthfulness and inexperience but also his raw talent. He pitched 10 games in the Majors during the regular season but allowed hits in just five of those. And eight of his 10 strikeouts came in games where he did not allow a hit. Graterol will likely return to Triple-A to open up the 2020 season but, once he shows a little more consistency, he should be back up in The Show.

19. Matt Manning, RHP, Tigers (ETA: June)

Detroit doesn’t get the same media attention that a team like the Yankees or Cubs does and, even then, it was Casey Mize that got most of the prospect attention in 2019. As a result, Manning flew under the radar a bit but had an outstanding year in Double-A as a 21-year-old. Standing 6-feet-6, the young pitcher held batters to a .192 average and posted a K-BB of 148-38 in 133.2 innings. He has a chance to be a strikeout hurler who can also chew up a lot of innings, not unlike former Tigers ace Justin Verlander.

20. Cristian Pache, OF, Braves (ETA: June)

Pache’s overall numbers were not eye-catching but he was also just 20 years old while playing at both Double-A and Triple-A. He has a little less value in fantasy baseball than real baseball because he’s a plus-plus fielder and that, obviously, does not translate over to the fictional games. Still, he shows an advanced skill for hitting and he started producing more power in 2019 — going from zero home runs in 2017 to eight last year to 12 in 2019. He has some speed, too, but he’s not an overly good base runner at this point. If he can improve in that area, he could steal 15 or 20 bases.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Sheldon Neuse, 3B/2B, Athletics (ETA: June)

The Oakland Athletics’ season had a bitter end to it but a lot of positives came out of it, too. Neuse’s development gives the A’s a good problem as he looks MLB ready with nowhere to play. The natural third baseman won’t push off Matt Chapman from third base so he’ll need to find a home at second base or designated hitter if he’s going to play every day. At Triple-A in 2019, Neuse hit 27 home runs with a .317 batting average over 126 games. He received a late-season taste of action in the Majors and spent most of his time playing second base.

22. Michael Kopech, RHP, White Sox (ETA: June)

Kopech did not pitch in 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery but he could be back for the full year in 2020, although the White Sox will understandably be cautious with their prized arm. The Sox have lots of young offensive so the pitching support will be a welcomed addition.

23. Ian Anderson, LHP, Braves (ETA: June)

Anderson was roughed up at the end of the year when he received a late-season promotion to Triple-A but his overall numbers were still strong. He allowed just 105 hits in 135.2 innings and struck out 172 batters. Anderson was hurt by control issues at Triple-A. He allowed 18 walks in 24.2 innings and was bitten by the home run five times (after giving up just eight in 111 Double-A innings).

24. Tarik Skubal, LHP, Tigers (ETA: June)

Who? If you were prospect-watching very closely throughout the 2019 season, you might know Skubal's name. If not, surprise! He’s the third head in what could be an exciting three-headed pitching monster on a collision course with Detroit in 2020 (along with Casey Mize and Matt Manning). A southpaw, Skubal has seen his overall stuff trend upward since turning pro. He posted a K-BB of 179-37 in 122.2 innings while splitting the year between High-A and Double-A.   

25. Shane McClanahan, LHP, Rays (ETA: June)

McClanahan has just four starts above A-ball but he had a dominant season and is somewhat flying under the prospect radar. The hard-throwing lefty has struggled with his control and command — going back to his amateur days — but was still selected 31st overall in the 2018 draft and into an organization known for polishing and developing high-end pitching. McClanahan showed improved control as the season went on and compiled a K-BB of 154-45 in 120.2 innings.

26. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Marlins (ETA: May)

The Marlins have a wave of four or five minor league starting pitchers nearing the Majors but they may not have large roles until 2021 — save for Sanchez. The start of his 2019 season was delayed as the organization was cautious with his workload after a 2018 injury. He spent most of last season in Double-A where he posted a K-BB of 97-19 in 103 innings. When all is said and done, Sanchez should have three above-average offerings to go with plus-plus control.

27. Nick Madrigal, 2B, White Sox (ETA: May)

Madrigal is such a fascinating prospect — especially in an era where all prospects try to “grip it and rip it” with no concern for strikeouts. The diminutive second baseman played at three levels in 2019. He hit .311 with 35 stolen bases and a BB-K of 44-16 in 473 at-bats. Madrigal’s biggest negative, though, is his lack of strength and there is some concern that he’ll be overpowered by pitchers at the MLB level.

28. Joey Bart, C, Giants (ETA: June)

With Buster Posey still signed to a pretty hefty contract, he’s not likely going anywhere but the Giants can still find playing time for this young up-and-coming catcher by shifting the veteran backstop to first base on a more regular basis in 2020. Bart has 20-25 home run potential but improved patience would help him move into the elite category.

29. Nico Hoerner, SS, Cubs (ETA: June)

The Cubs’ 2018 first-round draft pick, Hoerner moved quickly through the system, mostly out of necessity, but he also had a reputation for being a strong hitter. He hit OK for average in his first full pro season — .284 in 70 Double-A games — but his OPS was just .743. The middle infielder has produced good line-drive rates and he makes a lot of contact. If he can get the ball into the air more consistently and be a little more patient like he was in the lower minors, he should have a strong follow-up season in 2020.

30. Drew Waters, OF, Braves (ETA: June)

Like teammate Cristian Pache, Waters was pushed aggressively through the system and reached Triple-A late in the 2019 season. Just 20, Waters produces massive line-drive rates but he has yet to develop a swing that produces enough fly balls to truly tap into his home-run potential. He went deep just seven times in 134 games. Waters hit .309 but may struggle to hit for average in the Majors. He was very reliant on balls in play in 2019 and had a BABIP of more than .430. The center-field prospect also posted a dismal BB-K of 39-164. There is boom-or-bust risk here.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 8 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 25)

Mother Hubbard’s cupboard is getting bare. The MLB regular season has less than two weeks to go. However, there is a small group of prospects that could still help fantasy managers as the playoffs wind down.

Last week’s list saw five pitchers receive the call to the Majors: Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson, Justin Dunn, Joe Palumbo, and James Karinchak. With any luck, a few of the prospects found on the list below will join them over the next 11 days.

It’s been a busy year for prospects as teams rely more and more heavily on their home-grown, high-upside young guns rather than turning to the more experienced greybeards with modest ceilings. A special thanks to everyone who followed along this year, and we hope that this series made a positive impact on your fantasy season.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-8)

1. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA)

Kieboom remains in purgatory. He’s on the sidelines working out in case an injury necessitates his addition to the roster. If he does get into some games, he has an offensive skill set that can produce power, average, and excellent on-base numbers. His versatility also provides additional value with his ability to play shortstop, third base and second base.

2. Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians (AAA)

Bradley is made for the new MLB - where home runs and strikeouts are king. He has actually controlled the strike zone more effectively during the minor league playoffs where he’s posted a BB-K of 6-7 in seven games. During that stretch, he has produced two home runs — giving him 36 on the year when combining the regular season and playoffs.

3. Rogelio Armenteros, RHP, Astros (AAA)

Armenteros’ minor league season came to end with a loss in the Pacific Coast League finals and his final game was a dud. He allowed four earned runs in 2.2 innings while posting a K-BB of 1-4. Still, he showed well during the regular season in both Triple-A and the Majors, which should earn him some more time in The Show during the final two weeks of the regular season. He has the ability to miss bats but has been hurt by the long ball.

4. Logan Allen, LHP, Indians (AAA)

Allen is enjoying a nice finish to the minor league season. He's allowed just one run in six innings during his final game of the regular season and has allowed three earned runs in 11.1 innings during the playoffs. Allen’s poor control makes him a wild card but, when he’s on, he shows the ability to produce solid results.

5. Jorge Mateo, SS, Athletics (AAA)

Mateo was hit by a pitch in the first at-bat of a playoff game on Sept. 7 and didn’t appear in the subsequent game, which eliminated his team from the post-season. Even if an injury keeps him from hitting, Mateo could still impact the A’s season with his legs. If he can heal well enough to hit, then he has offensive upside with his pop — if he can keep the strikeouts in check.

6. Daulton Varsho, C/OF, Diamondbacks (AA)

Arizona is tanking at the worst possible time. Is the team desperate enough for a spark to delve down to Double-A for one of its best prospects? Varsho doesn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster for another year but he could provide some pop if given an opportunity. His bat was ice cold in the minor league playoffs before it woke up in the Southern League finals. He also comes with the ability to play both catcher and in the outfield.

7. Jake Cronenworth, INF/RHP, Rays (AAA)

It’s a little surprising that Kean Wong got the call before Cronenworth. The latter prospect had a strong offensive regular season and then a monster playoff where he finished the year on a stretch of 6-for-14. If the Rays can find room on the 40-man roster for him then Cronenworth could offer some pop, a strong batting average, a few steals, and excellent on-base numbers — along with his ability to play all over the diamond and even pitch.

8. Edward Olivares, OF, Padres (AA)

Olivares’ intriguing power/speed combination has been on full display in the minor league playoffs. He’s hit two home runs and stolen two bases in the nine games. Over his past five games, he’s gone 10-for-20 with three walks and just four strikeouts.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 15 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 24)

The number of prospects capable of impacting your fantasy baseball season is dwindling but some remain.

Rosters have been expanded at the MLB level but the minor league playoffs are also in full swing. As a result, some prospects with the potential to impact the big leagues are still in the minors. But they will likely be called up with the conclusion of their playoff runs.

Other prospects affiliated with MLB teams in the playoff hunt, such as Carter Kieboom or Tanner Houck (if the Red Sox can be considered still in a playoff race), will be kept in game shape in case injuries on the big league clubs necessitate emergency recalls to The Show.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Braves’ Triple-A affiliate was eliminated from the playoffs recently so Wright will be up any day now. The right-hander had a strong finish to the season and then pitched well in his one playoff start with two runs allowed in six innings and six strikeouts.

2. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: September)

Kieboom remains the most talented, most MLB-ready player not in the Majors right now despite an 11-game, big-league trial earlier in the year. He’s working out and staying in game shape in case he gets the call. Kieboom hits for average, power and posts excellent on-base numbers.

3. Bryse Wilson, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: September)

Wilson couldn’t escape the constant elevator ride that’s been his season — even with September roster expansion. The right-hander was optioned down to Triple-A over the weekend to start the deciding game of the Triple-A semifinals for the Braves’ affiliate. Wilson pitched well but the team was eliminated so Wilson should be back up (for good) shortly.

4. Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians (AAA) (ETA: September)

Bradley’s bat perked up a bit at the end of the minor league regular season and he carried that moment over to the playoffs. His club is moving on to the championship round. Once the playoffs are over, Bradley should be back up in the Majors although playing time could be hard to come by unless he gets hot quickly. He finished the minor league regular season with 33 home runs in 107 games.

5. Keegan Akin, LHP, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Orioles appear to be another club that could be playing the service time game in September. Akin will be added to the 40-man roster this fall so getting a look at him this month makes sense unless the front office is convinced his control isn’t MLB-ready. The lefty has swing-and-miss stuff when he can find the plate, as witnessed by his 131 strikeouts in 112.1 innings.

6. Jorge Mateo, SS, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: September)

Mateo finished the Triple-A season on a cold streak and has been similarly ineffective in the playoffs. But with Oakland in a precarious playoff spot, expect him to get a promotion to the Majors when the minor league playoffs are completed. Even if he’s not hitting well, he can provide baser running value and steals.

7. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: September)

There’s still a small chance that Hayes will receive a promotion this September although the likelihood gets smaller every day. Either way, Hayes will be added to the 40-man roster this fall to protect him from the 40-man roster.

8. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: September)

Dunn had a solid season in Double-A with a K-BB of 158-39 in 131.2 innings and will be added to the 40-man roster this November — if he’s not promoted to the Majors before that. For now, he’s pitching in the Double-A playoffs.

9. Rogelio Armenteros, RHP, Astros (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Astros continue to fight a losing battle with pitching depth so expect Armenteros to get another big league look once the Triple-A playoffs are over for the Triple-A club. In his one playoff start, the burly right-hander struck out nine batters in 5.2 innings. He also has a K-BB of 18-5 in 18 big league innings.

10. James Karinchak, RHP, Indians (AAA) (ETA: September)

Injury issues took a chunk out of Karinchak’s season but he still produced video-game-like strikeout numbers with a K-BB of 74-17 in 30.1 innings. His control has been off in the minor league playoffs and he doesn’t have to be added to the 40-man roster for another year but if the big league club finds its back against the wall in the chase for a playoff spot, he could get a look.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-15)

11. Edward Olivares, OF, Padres (AA) (ETA: September)

Olivares has been playing in the Double-A playoffs so he could be up for a look in September once his team is finished playing. He’s already on the 40-man roster so the only thing standing in his way is potential service time issues but the Padres have shown little concern for that compared to other clubs. Olivares has speed and power potential.

12. Joe Palumbo, LHP, Rangers (AAA) (ETA: September)

If Palumbo can recover from the blister he developed in his MLB start in late August then he could see some innings in September for the Rangers. He finished the Triple-A season with a K-BB of 108-35 in 80.2 innings.

13. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AAA) (ETA: September)

Garcia’s transition to reliever at the end of the year really didn’t go well. The young right-hander struggled even more with his control and melted down as his Triple-A club was eliminated from the playoffs. He walked four batters and allowed five earned runs in an inning of relief. Still, he’s shown swing-and-miss stuff at the upper levels of the minors when he can find the plate on a more consistent basis.

14. Logan Allen, LHP, Indians (AAA) (ETA: September)

Allen should get a promotion to the Majors once Cleveland’s Triple-A team is finished with the playoffs. The southpaw hasn’t been overly effective in the Majors due to inconsistent command and control but he’s shown the ability to miss bats when he’s throwing well.

15. Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Red Sox (AAA) (ETA: September)

Dalbec finished the year with 27 home runs and 73 walks in 135 games split between Double-A and Triple-A. He’ll be added to the 40-man roster no later than November to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. The setback to Michael Chavis’ rehab could accelerate Dalbec’s timeframe.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 20 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 23)

That’s all she wrote, ladies and gentlemen.

The minor league’s regular season is kaput for another year. And as always, it’s been a blast watching the rise and fall of prospect values throughout the 30 teams’ systems. With September 1 came the roster expansion around MLB, and a significant number of key prospects from last week’s list received promotions to the Majors including Kyle Tucker, Gavin Lux, Mauricio Dubon, Sheldon Neuse, Sean Murphy, Nathaniel Lowe, Anthony Alford, Jared Walsh, Bryse Wilson, Bryan Garcia, T.J. Zeuch, Jon Duplantier, and, Brusdar Graterol.

A number of top prospects will remain in the minors to participate in the playoffs before receiving their calls to join the Major League rosters. Don’t worry, this weekly feature isn’t ending just yet. We’ll be with you throughout your playoffs.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: September)

Kieboom is a player that should see a good number of at-bats in September while allowing veteran players around the Nationals’ infield to rest up for the playoffs —assuming the team can hold on to a wild card slot. Kieboom has gained experience playing second base, third base, and shortstop at Triple-A this year. The young infielder has shown the ability to hit for average, power and also added 68 walks in 108 Triple-A games.

2. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: September)

Wright continued to throw well right up until his final minor league start on Aug. 31 when he allowed two earned runs in seven innings. Over his last three starts, he’s struck out 24 batters. He’s still fighting his control at times but he can help a big league team.

3. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics (Rehab) (ETA: September)

Luzardo put an exclamation mark at the end of his MiLB season. In his final start, the southpaw threw six innings of one-run ball while posting a K-BB of 10-0. His consistency isn’t all the way back after his long layoff but he should be capable of throwing some key innings at the MLB level for a team in a precarious playoff position.

4. Jesus Sanchez, OF, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: September)

Sanchez didn’t have the most inspiring season, nor did he finish particularly strong. But he’s considered a Top 100 prospect by many and was a key acquisition at the trade deadline so the Marlins may want to get a good look at him since he’s already on the 40-man roster. Sanchez has promising raw power but his current swing generates too many ground balls to fully tap into it right now.

5. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AAA) (ETA: September)

Garcia’s season didn’t end on the most encouraging note after his shift to the bullpen to preserve innings. He broke the 100-inning barrier for the first time in his career after a previous high of 74, which was reached last year. When his command and control are both working, Garcia has swing-and-miss stuff as witnessed by his 163 strikeouts in 108 innings.

6. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: September)

Hayes really wants that MLB promotion. After a season-long slump, the athletic third baseman has hit .486 over his last 10 games while posting a BB-K of 4-6. Hayes doesn’t offer the power you’d normally expect from the hot corner but he provides a lot of doubles, double-digit home runs and steals, as well as a healthy number of walks.

7. Jorge Mateo, SS, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: September)

Mateo loves to swing. He has a BB-K of 29-144 in 118 games, which is ugly for any player but definitely for one whose greatest value is his base running. If he can make enough contact, the speedy prospect can also turn on a juiced ball as seen by his 18 home runs in Triple-A.

8. Keegan Akin, LHP, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: September)

Pitching is definitely the achilles heel of the Orioles’ rebuilding process so the club should want to get an early look at Akin’s potential this September. He had a strong finish to the Triple-A season with 27 strikeouts in his final four starts which totalled 21.2 innings. His control remains a work-in-progress.

9. Tanner Houck, RHP, Red Sox (AAA) (ETA: September)

Boston’s playoff hopes are dim but not extinguished. Houck, a converted starter, remains at-the-ready in the club’s Triple-A bullpen. Over his last six games, the right-hander has 15 strikeouts and just three walks in 10 innings. It took some time for Houck to get comfortable in the new role but he looks ready to help in the seventh or eighth inning.

10. Daulton Varsho, C/OF, Diamondbacks (AA) (ETA: September)

Varsho began learning a new position late in the season while pulling a Craig Biggio and shifting from catcher to center field. The focus on his new defensive responsibilities did not hurt his offense and he hit .351 with two home runs over his last 10 games. He’s a 20-20 (HR-SB) threat and also finished the year with a batting average above .300.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: September)

This former first rounder ended up spending the entire 2019 season in Double-A after also pitching there for a half a season in 2018. He finished this year with 158 strikeouts and just 39 walks in 131.2 innings. That’s back-to-back seasons with more than 150 strikeouts in just over 130 innings.

12. Jake Cronenworth, INF/RHP, Rays (AAA) (ETA: September)

Cronenworth’s .339 batting average and versatility could earn him a shot at a roster spot this September. The 25-year-old prospect has to be added to the 40-man roster this fall anyway since he’d be a rather attractive option in the winter’s Rule 5 draft given the additional roster spot that teams will have next year when rosters expand from 25 to 26 men (with limits on the number of pitchers that can be kept). Cronenworth can play second base, third base, shortstop and even pitch.

13. Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Red Sox (AAA) (ETA: September)

Dalbec isn’t going to win any batting titles but he slugged 27 home runs on the season and added 72 walks in 134 games. Along with manning the hot corner, the slugger can play first base.

14. Edward Olivares, OF, Padres (AA) (ETA: September)

Olivares doesn’t get the attention that he deserves — especially considering San Diego thinned out some of the MLB outfield depth at the trade deadline. The 23-year-old outfielder hit 18 home runs while stealing 35 bases in Double-A. He’s now produced three straight seasons with at least 12 home runs and 20 steals.

15. Joe Palumbo, LHP, Rangers (AAA) (ETA: September)

Palumbo had a strong finish to the season in Triple-A. Over his final two starts, the southpaw struck out 14 hits while issuing just three hits and three walks in 11 innings. His first taste of MLB action didn’t go so well but he looks better positioned this time around.

16. Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians (AAA) (ETA: September)

Bradley is very much a one-dimensional player but he has prodigious power. He hit 33 home runs in 106 Triple-A games (but also struck out 152 times). He finished the season on an up-swing with a .324 average, three home runs and a BB-K of 5-11 in his last 10 games.

17. Austin Hays, OF, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: September)

Consistency continues to elude Hays but he gives glimpses of his raw potential. He finished the season strong at Triple-A with a .295 average and two home runs in 10 games. His aggressive nature, though, continued to undermine his raw talent and he finished the year with a BB-K of just 18-83.

18. Nick Madrigal, 2B, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: September)

Like teammate Luis Robert, Madrigal played at three levels in 2019 and finished the year in Triple-A. He has elite bat-to-ball skills and produced a BB-K of 44-16 in 468 at-bats. That’s a strikeout rate of 3%. He also finished the year with a .300 batting average and 35 steals.

19. Drew Waters, OF, Braves (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Braves were extremely aggressive with both Cristian Pache and Waters in 2019. Both young outfield prospects spent most of the year in Double-A but received late-season additions to the Triple-A roster. Waters swings and misses too much (162 strikeouts in 133 games) but also offers speed and his 40 doubles hint at the raw power he has.

20. Tyler Stephenson, C, Reds (AAA) (ETA: September)

Stephenson remains on target to become the Reds starting catcher in 2020 or 2021 after a solid season in Double-A. He needs to be added to the 40-man roster this fall so he could get a look in September. He has stands 6-4 but has yet to fully tap into his raw power potential.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Hot Prospects To Watch - Seth Corry, Ryan Mountcastle And More

As we approach the end of the minor league seasons, we'd like to point out a few of the notable players at the Single-A level. Young players in Single-A ball don't always get the notoriety in this space, mainly because they're at least several years away from potentially cracking a big league roster. But that doesn't mean some of them don't have extremely high pedigrees.

The South Atlantic League announced their All-Stars Tuesday morning. Rockies shortstop Terrin Vavra (team's No. 7 prospect) and Giants pitcher Seth Corry (No. 9) were named MVP and Most Outstanding Pitcher. Orioles pitcher Grayson Rodriguez (No. 2) was named Most Outstanding MLB Prospect. The O's righty ranks as the No. 45 prospect in all of baseball.

Some of the others named to the All-Star team include Red Sox corner infielder Triston Casas (No. 1), Pirates first baseman Mason Martin (No. 19), Orioles middle infielder Adam Hall (No. 14), Yankees outfielder Canaan Smith (No. 26) and Braves outfielder Justin Dean (No. 23).

 

Giants Have A Most Outstanding Pitcher

Seth Corry - SP, San Francisco Giants

Back to Corry. The Giants No. 9 prospect and top left-hander's 1.66 ERA (second-lowest in the minors) at Single-A Augusta earned him Most Outstanding Pitcher honors in the South Atlantic League this year. The 20-year-old also leads the league with 168 strikeouts, a 1.04 WHIP, a .160 average against and a 34.4 percent strikeout rate. It's been a good year, to say the least.

The third-round pick in 2017 has been to slow develop, though, as this has been his first full professional season. The southpaw hits the low-90s with his fastball, but his bread-and-butter pitch is his 12-to-6 curveball. Something to watch as he advances to the higher levels of the minors is his command. Corry walked 6.86 hitter per nine last year and lowered it to 4.31 BB/9 this season.

Some scouts have compared him to Matt Moore, but Corry still has plenty to prove and must continue to get better at throwing consistent strikes in order to pan out as a real option for San Francisco's rotation in a few years. He's just one to watch for now and into the 2020 minor league season.

 

Ryan Mounting His Way Toward Majors

Ryan Mountcastle - 1B, Baltimore Orioles

Mountcastle was named the Most Valuable Player of the Triple-A International League on Tuesday. The team's No. 4 prospect and No. 68 overall leads the league with 154 hits and 264 total bases and is among the league leaders in extra-base hits (59), RBI (80), runs scored (79) and slugging percentage (.528). His 25 home runs are a career-high, and he's hitting .308 (154-for-500).

The 22-year-old was a first-round pick (36th overall) back in 2015 as a potential impact bat at the major league level. He's pretty much hit at each of his stops in the minor leagues, which is something he needs to do because of his below-average defense. Mountcastle's quick hands and ability to barrel the ball to all fields has shown itself as he gets closer to Baltimore.

It remains to be seen if he'll be a September call-up for the well-out-of-contention Orioles, but he'll certainly need to adopt some more patience at the plate if he's to hit for a useful average and on-base percentage. Mountcastle has 124 strikeouts and only 22 walks this year at Triple-A Norfolk. Because of questions surround his glove, he's likely to stick at first base at the next level.

 

Angels Could Be Stacked In Outfield Soon

Brandon Marsh - OF, Los Angeles Angels

With Jo Adell likely joining Mike Trout in the Angels outfield in 2020, could Marsh be right behind? He's hitting a cool .299/.383/.429 with seven home runs, 42 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 92 games for Double-A Mobile, including going 30-for-83 (.361) with three long balls, 17 RBI and four steals in 22 games in August.

The 21-year-old left-handed hitter was selected in the second round of the 2016 draft and is already LA's No. 2 prospect behind Adell. Marsh, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, is definitely behind Adell in terms of tools and readiness, but he's getting closer. The outfielder struck out 158 times in 503 at-bats in 2018 but has fanned only 88 times while drawing 45 free passes in 345 at-bats this year.

Not only should Marsh be able to hit for power and steal bases at the next level, but his defense will play at all three outfield spots. He could be a very intriguing fantasy asset for his ability to contribute across most categories. The question will be if there is any room alongside Trout and Adell in a year or two. But this outfield certainly has the potential to be one of the best in the game in the very near future.

 

Marquez Putting Himself On The Map

Brailyn Marquez - SP, Chicago Cubs

This left-handed Dominican product has become Chicago's top pitching prospect in 2019. After getting the promotion from Single-A South Bend to High-A Myrtle Beach, Marquez has gone 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 20 strikeouts and only six walks in 20 1/3 frames over his four starts. Overall this year he has a 3.23 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and impressive 11.2 K/9 in 21 starts.

The 20-year-old has become one of the hardest throwing left-handers in the minors with his ability to regularly hit triple digits with his heater. He's ranked as the Cubbies' No. 4 prospect this year, but he could become one of the more attractive left-handed arms in all of baseball if he continues to grow. If Marquez's curveball continues to show promise, you're looking at a potentially dominant southpaw.

So far in the minors, Marquez has shown solid command, although he has walked 4.5 hitters per nine innings in 2019. His low arm slot and inconsistent mechanics could cause some issues with his ability to throw strikes regularly, but that's about the only concern right now. Marquez has some developing to do and won't be rushed by Chicago. He might become an option for the rotation in a couple seasons.

 

Hayes The Bucs Third Baseman Of Future?

Ke'Bryan Hayes - 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh's No. 2 prospect and No. 37 overall, Hayes is hitting .262/.330/.414 with 10 home runs, 52 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 104 games for Triple-A Indianapolis this year. Those aren't numbers that jump out, but it's what he's done in the second half that has turned heads (.288 average, seven homers, 23 RBI, four steals).

Hayes was a first-round pick (32nd overall) in 2015 and was an Eastern League All-Star and played in the Futures Game in 2018. The 22-year-old has a contact-oriented approach at the plate and also has a solid knowledge of the strike zone, so he should be able to continue hitting for a high average. He's not your typical power-hitting corner infielder, but his pop should improve as he gains strength and grows into his 6-foot-1, 210-pound frames.

With Pittsburgh not really set at the hot corner in the big leagues, we could see Hayes stake his claim to third base at some point in 2020. There's a lot to like about Hayes' future progression, and it helps that he's also one of the best defensive third basemen in the minor leagues already.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 22)

The final week of August is here and it’s already been a busy time for MLB clubs with September just around the corner. Who needs football, right?

Five players featured on last week’s list graduated to the Majors including pitchers Jordan Romano and Justus Sheffield. Hitters Abraham Toro, Willi Castro, and Nick Solak also reached The Show for the first time. Teams with new players on this week’s list include the White Sox, Tigers, Diamondbacks, Red Sox, and Padres.

Next week’s list could be a challenge for yours truly with a wave of minor league players projected to be added to the big league rosters on or shortly after Sept. 1. Some players may have their promotions delayed if their minor league clubs are in the playoffs.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Kyle Tucker, OF/1B, Astros (AAA) (ETA: September)

Tucker is scuffling a bit lately with a .206 batting average over the past 10 games but he’s been more valuable than it appears. During that stretch, he has a BB-K of 8-6 and four stolen bases, which reminds us that power is not the only part of his game. He has 32 home runs, 30 steals and 58 walks in 121 games. With his Triple-A team sitting in first place in their division, the only question is: How much value does the front office put in him playing in the minor league playoffs versus the MLB experience he’d gain in the final month of the season?”

2. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Word around the ol’ rumor mill is that the Dodgers front office is still conflicted over the potential promotion of Lux, who needs to be on the 40-man roster in November anyway. He’s hit just .270 over his past 10 games but is still at .400 through 45 Triple-A games. The Dodgers have depth but the playoffs are long and gruelling so you really can never have too much depth.

3. Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, Rays (AAA) (ETA: September)

Lowe continues to push for a promotion in September with a strong month of August. He’s been really good over the last 10 games with a .316 average, two home runs and a BB-K of 6-9. With the big league club fighting for a wild card slot, you can expect every available hand on deck and every hot hitter in the lineup.

4. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: September)

Washington is currently sitting pretty in the wild card race but there are a lot teams on the club’s tail so expect it to field the best lineup available in September. If Kieboom can carry his hot hitting over to the Majors then he should play a good number of games while giving the veterans some rest. He’s hitting .306 with a BB-K of 10-9 and two steals over his past 10 games.

5. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: September)

Wright continues to pitch well at Triple-A. His last start saw him throw five shutout innings with four strikeouts and three walks. The club will likely want to protect young arms like Mike Soroka and Max Fried, so there will be innings to be had for the likes of Wright, Bryse Wilson, and maybe even Patrick Weigel.

6. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics (Rehab) (ETA: September)

Oakland is in a three- or four-team fight for two wild card spots so you can expect a healthy Luzardo to throw some innings in September. He’s been OK, but not great, in Triple-A as his control has been hit and miss. Over his past two games, he’s allowed just one earned run in 9.1 innings but the nine strikeouts have come with five walks.

7. Brusdar Graterol, RHP, Twins (AAA) (ETA: August)

In 11.1 innings since coming off the IL and missing two months, Graterol has yet to allow an earned run. He has a K-BB of 12-3 during that span and looks like a strong option for the Twins out of the bullpen down the stretch. His future, though, still lies in the starting rotation.

8. Sean Murphy, C, Athletics (Rehab) (ETA: September)

Murphy has now had two stints at Triple-A sandwiched between an IL stay and has an OPS of 1.117 in those 27 games. He’s also slugged 10 home runs at that level — including three in the past seven games. If this offense translates to the Majors, Murphy will be a stud.

9. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/3B/OF, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: September)

Mountcastle should get a ton of at-bats on the rebuilding Orioles in September and the defensive versatility coupled with his power potential could make him a valuable fantasy player. With that said, his value will take a bit of a hit in leagues like Ottoneu that reward walks. Mountcastle is hitting just .244 over his past 10 games but also has slugged four home runs, giving him 25 in 121 games.

10. Sheldon Neuse, IF, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: August)

The A’s lineup could receive a real shot of offense with the promotions of Sean Murphy and Neuse. The young third baseman is hitting .316 with four home runs and a BB-K of 6-10 over the past 10 contests. Overall, he has 27 home runs, 31 doubles and 55 walks in 125 games.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Tanner Houck, RHP, Red Sox (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Sox sit six games out of a wild card slot so they have a chance to make the playoffs, even if it’s a slim one. Houck could help solidify the bullpen and has allowed just one earned run in his last five appearances. During that stretch, he’s allowed just five hits (four in one game) and two walks in eight innings. He also has 13 strikeouts during that span.

12. Jared Walsh, 1B/RHP, Angels (AAA) (ETA: September)

Ho hum. Just 34 home runs in 94 games after another three bombs on Aug. 25. Nothing to see here. Oh OK, even with the juiced ball this is pretty impressive. Toss in 58 walks and a .325 batting average and Walsh should see a good amount of playing time in September, as well as some innings on the mound.

13. Jesus Sanchez, OF, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: September)

Sanchez continues to struggle through the final month of the minor league season. Luckily for him, he’s already on the 40-man roster and the Marlins outfield has been pretty bad this season outside of maybe Garrett Cooper. Sanchez has a .205 batting average with just one home run over his past 10 games. Perhaps the MLB hitting coach can help him hit the ball in the air more consistently and unlock his raw power.

14. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AAA) (ETA: September)

Garcia has been shifted to relief work at Triple-A in an effort to preserve his innings, which also means the Yankees could be considering him for September baseball and the playoffs. With that said, the Yankees have also piled up a number of veteran arms recently for increased depth. Garcia has been inconsistent out of the pen with three earned runs allowed over 3.2 innings during his last two outings.

15. Jon Duplantier, RHP, Diamondbacks (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Diamondbacks club is only four games out of the final wild card slot but it must also jump over four teams to get there. Duplantier could help provide some extended innings out of the bullpen in September. Over his past two outings, he’s struck out seven batters in five shutout innings but has also walked three.

16. Mauricio Dubon, SS, Giants (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Giants may want to get a good look at Dubon in September to help determine if he’s ready to take over second base next season (assuming Brandon Crawford is still at shortstop). The middle infielder is hot right now with a .404 batting average over his past 10 games. He doesn’t look like a power-hitter but he’s gone deep 20 times this season.

17. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: September)

Hayes is making a late push to save his season and also earn a MLB promotion for September. He’s been extremely hot over the past four games with 11 hits in 16 at-bats. He hasn’t struck out (or walked) in five games. Overall, his batting average is now up to .259 with 10 home runs and 13 steals in 14 tries.

18. Jorge Mateo, SS, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: September)

Mateo continues to sputter through the final weeks of the season and is hitting just .205 over his past 10 games. But few prospects can offer his mix of speed and power. He has 17 home runs and 13 triples along with 23 steals in 112 games.

19. T.J. Zeuch, RHP, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: September)

Zeuch, or King Sink as he’s referred to by teammates, followed up his recent no-hitter with a solid performance that saw him allow two earned runs in five innings. But he also allowed eight hits. Because he’s so reliant on his sinker — and isn’t much of a strikeout pitcher — his successes hinge heavily on his defenders.

20. Keegan Akin, LHP, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: September)

Akin continues to battle his control after walking seven batters in 5.2 innings in his last start but he also continues to miss bats. His eight strikeouts in that game brought his season total to 124 whiffs in 106.1 innings. After throwing 137.3 innings last year, he should be able to throw quite a few innings for the Orioles in September.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: September) 

The team continues to stay quiet on the possibility of Robert seeing big league action in September. He looks ready after compiling 30 home runs and 36 steals with a .332 batting average over two levels. Robert is hitting .270 with five home runs over the past 10 games.

22. Zack Collins, C, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: September)

Collins would like another shot at The Show. He’s hitting .355 with four home runs and a BB-K of 6-5 over his last 10 games. He now has 18 home runs and 57 walks in 82 Triple-A games and could be a real offensive force behind the plate if he can stick there defensively.

23. Bryan Garcia, RHP, Tigers (AAA) (ETA: September)

Garcia has looked good in his return from 2018 Tommy John surgery. He has the stuff to be an eighth- or ninth-inning reliever. He’s struck out 32 batters in 31.1 innings this season.

24. Randy Arozarena, OF, Cardinals (AAA) (ETA: September)

It’s possible that Dylan Carlson will get an opportunity in September over Arozarena but the latter has the advantage as he’s already on the 40-man roster. Carlson doesn’t have to be added for another year and there aren’t that many at-bats to go around with a crowded outfield. Arozarena has a .350 batting average this season in 84 games. He also offers some pop and speed.

25. Daulton Varsho, C/OF, Diamondbacks (AA) (ETA: August)

The Diamondbacks organization has started to get this athletic catcher some experience in center field, which gives him even more value from a fantasy perspective. The position change hasn’t slowed down his bat and he’s hitting .350 with four steals in his last 10 games. Overall, he has 17 home runs, 40 walks and 21 steals to go with his .298 batting average.

26. Anthony Alford, OF, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: September)

Alford is back from a brief stay on the injured list and has about a week to get back into game shape for his big league opportunity in September. Derek Fisher has hardly lit the world on fire since his acquisition so there should be at-bats for whatever outfielder gets hot. Alford has 21 steals in just 74 games this season.

27. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: September)

Dunn has now had solid back-to-back starts. During that stretch, he’s allowed just two earned runs 10 innings, as well as a K-BB of 15-2. He has now struck out 153 batters with just 37 walks allowed in 126.2 innings.

28. Jake Cronenworth, SS/RHP, Rays (AAA) (ETA: September)

Cronenworth is done his rehab and back at Triple-A. His defense could be an asset for the Rays in September and into the playoffs. He’s seen time at second base, third base, shortstop and pitcher in 2019. He’s hitting .330 with a .940 OPS.

29. Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Red Sox (AAA) (ETA: September)

Dalbec has his warts — he’s struck out 130 times and is hitting just .245 — but he also has 26 home runs and 71 walks. He’s not overly dissimilar to Michael Chavis although Dalbec has a little more raw power and patience.

30. Edward Olivares, OF, Padres (AA) (ETA: September)

Olivares is already on the 40-man roster even though he spent the entire year in Double-A so there is a good chance that he could see some big league playing time in September. He has some pop, as witnessed by his 17 home runs, and he also offers a lot of speed. Olivares has stolen 33 bases this season while hitting .288.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Aristides Aquino - Man or Myth?

You may not know how to pronounce his name but it would be near-impossible to have not heard of him by now:

ARR -i-STY-Deez. A-KEE-noh. SMASH-er of BAYS-bawlz.

Saying that Cincinnati rookie Aristides Aquino has kind of been on fire, is like saying that Jon Hamm is kind of handsome... A statement that is technically true but falls well short in describing the overall magnitude. Since being called up on August 1, Aquino has seemingly transcended his human form, becoming fire itself. A human torch who now uses a fully open stance to better see the poor pitcher who is about to serve him up another fat meatball. But is this for real? Not as in continuing this impossible pace but rather does his start justify leveling Aquino up in terms of what is now considered possible for this year and beyond?

 

Origin Story

In terms of awesomeness, the numbers speak for themselves; in his first 63 plate-appearances, Aquino has gone into full videogame-mode, hitting 11 home runs in his first 17 games, eclipsing Rhys Hoskin's 2017 record for the fewest amount of games to reach that mark. Aquino also needed the second-fewest plate appearances ever (58) to reach 11 HR, with only Mike Schmidt's 56 PA being faster. Since arriving in Cincinnati his 1.327 OPS is third-best in baseball and his .930 SLG is first. En. Fuego.

For those that follow prospects, Aristides isn't an unknown. The six-foot-four outfielder has been considered one of Cincinnati's top-10 prospects for a few years, even winning the player of the year award in the Florida State League in 2016. Aristides could always hit the ball a so-called country-mile but as it often is with sluggers in the low levels of the minors, that big power came with big holes in his swing that more advanced pitchers took advantage of after the Reds sent Aquino to Double-A in 2017. In 504 plate-appearances that year, Aquino only hit 17 home runs with a .219 AVG and while 2018 was better, he still only posted a .240 AVG with a 25.2% K-rate as a 24-year old repeating the level. So after two uninspiring seasons at Double-A, our hero was subsequentially dropped to his lowest depths when the Reds non-tendered him in November in a roster reshuffling before quickly re-signing him to a minor-league contract the next day.

Cincinnati may have still been interested in Aquino but he nevertheless entered this spring a career crossroads, because at 25-years old it was time for Aquino to either put up or shut up and melt away into the fog of minor league mediocrity. But sometimes all a superhero-to-be needs is a muse to help him find his way.  Enter, Donnie Ecker. An assistant hitting coach for the Reds, Ecker had first seen Aquino in 2016 when he was working in the St. Louis organization, including a game where he smashed two home runs against Ecker's Palm Beach Cardinals. And so when he started working with him in spring, Ecker told Aquino what he had first thought about him in 2016; that Aquino was special, with game-changing potential in his bat...They just needed to figure out how to unlock it. To find the key to transforming him into a hitter worthy of the nickname first bestowed on him by his older brother when Aquino was just a 12-year old kid in the Dominican Republic.

 

The Punisher

Aquino and Ecker got to work all through spring, completely reworking the beginning of the slugger's stance. In year's past, Aquino had a traditional closed stance, only utilizing a toe-tap at the beginning. But with an eye on getting him able to see the pitcher as best as he could, Aquino and Ecker eventually cracked his stance wide open, with his back foot slanted at a 45-degree angle towards the plate, while his front foot starts all the way in the back-left corner of the batter's box. Once the pitch is thrown, Aquino does a high leg-kick as he transitions into a more traditional stance. Aquino now felt more comfortable with how he saw the pitcher, and good results swiftly followed.

The dramatic change took complete hold during spring, so Aquino wisely took it with him to his Triple-A assignment, continuing to work on its mechanics with many members of the Red's minor-league staff over the course of the season. But the real proof of his work was in the pudding, as Aquino lit his new level on fire with prodigious power, hitting 28 home runs in 323 plate appearances, with a .636 SLG and .337 ISO. With Aquino absolutely crushing lasers, it was an obvious move to see what he could do on the big stage once the Reds traded away Yasiel Puig at the deadline.

That question was quickly answered: punish.

 

But Will the Sequel Disappoint?

Putting his aforementioned rookie-records aside, Aquino's first 67 plate-appearances have been remarkable, with 11 of his 19 hits leaving the yard. After back-to-back 0-4 games, he's dropped to a .319 AVG with a 23.9% K-rate but is also running a little low on luck, running a .242 BABIP. And don't let his mundane 86.5 MPH average exit-velocity fool you, because what really stands out is how Aquino seems to treat baseballs like they owe him money, over and over punching them square in the mouth.

44 batted-ball events on the season don't qualify him for any Statcast Leaderboards, but his 14.9% barrel/PA would lead the league over known smashers of baseballs, Nelson Cruz and Gary Sanchez, while his 22.7% Brl/BBE rate would be second only to Joey Gallo. So while his .567 ISO and .496 wOBA are both ridiculous numbers, they're at least understandable considering Aquino's ability to square the ball up so far in this small sample. And this isn't just a case of a rookie feasting on fastballs either, as Aquino has seen fewer and fewer of those, thus far composing only 40% of the total pitches he's seen.

There are few decisions to be made for owners in redraft leagues where the trade deadline has passed. If he stays hot, then many of his owners may ride him to titles. If he dramatically cools off, then it will be easy to bench a guy who likely wasn't on your team three weeks ago. But dynasty owners will have more interesting decisions to make because - barring a complete fall of the cliff - Aquino will likely be a hot commodity in the offseason. But should you sell high before the bubble bursts, or watch him grow into a bull who runs through the market?

It won't be like it's been, he will slow down quite a bit. But regardless of the next six weeks, it cannot be denied that a dramatic swing change has coincided with a dramatic change in his results, first in 323 plate-appearances in Triple-A and now for 67 PA in the big leagues. So a large, athletic player has seemingly used a mechanical change to transmute his loud tools into actionable skills? If so, that is an asset that should hold premium value when comes time to assess your dynasty portfolio.

More 2019 Fantasy Baseball Advice




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 21)

Well, we hope you’ve been reading this series all season long because we’ve introduced you to a plethora of players that have impacted the Majors Leagues this season… and this past week may have been the busiest one all year. Last week’s list saw six players receive a promotion within the past seven days.

Five of the players brought up to The Show were pitchers: Lewis Thorpe, Bryse Wilson, Jonathan Loaisiga, Tony Gonsolin, and most recently A.J. Puk. Outfielder Jake Fraley was the lone position player to receive the call. As a result of the movement (and one player who fell off the list), seven new prospects were added to the list. Those players come from a number of different organizations including the Athletics, Rays, Mariners, Tigers, Orioles, Blue Jays and Giants.

While all the players list below have a chance to make some sort of impact in the Majors throughout the remainder of the season, you definitely want to have players from the Top 10 safely stashed as you await their impending promotions.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Kyle Tucker, OF/1B, Astros (AAA) (ETA: August)

Tucker has started taking reps at first base as the Astros look for added ways to get his bat into the lineup when he reaches the Majors later this month or in September. He’s hitting .278 with two home runs and four steals over his past 10 games. He now has 32 home runs and 28 steals on the season as he closes in on a 30-30 (HR-SB) season at the age of 22.

2. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Dodgers’ front office recently said it was undecided on Lux’s September fate but it’s hard to ignore a 1.262 OPS in 40 Triple-A games. He has a chance to be more impactful off the bench than Jedd Gyorko, or Kris Negron, and he’s more versatile than Matt Beaty.

3. Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Lowe continues to say “Don’t forget about me!” at the Triple-A level. The hulking first baseman is hitting .366 with two home runs and a BB-K of 5-7 over his past 10 games. Lowe has the potential to hit for average, power and produce excellent on-base numbers. If he receives enough playing time in September, he should wield an impact bat.

4. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: September)

Kieboom continues to hit well in Triple-A with a .925 OPS in 98 games. He’s also hitting well recently, and has a .316 batting average with a BB-K of 7-8 over the past 10 games. He should get a chance to gain some big league experience in September and will look to make the most of his second opportunity.

5. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: August)

Wright’s command has been off in each of his past two games. In his latest outing, the right-hander allowed 10 hits and five runs in six innings but also produced a K-BB of 11-1. The talent is there for Wright to throw some key innings in September.

6. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics (Rehab) (ETA: September)

With A.J. Puk getting the call, Luzardo may not be far behind. He’s thrown well for the most part but had a rough outing in his last game when he gave up four runs in 3.1 innings and struck out just one batter. Overall, the 21-year-old lefty has 15 strikeouts in 15 innings at the Triple-A level.

7. Nick Solak, 2B/OF, Rangers (AAA) (ETA: September)

Solak is hitting .452 over his past 10 games. During that stretch, he’s also gone deep four times and now has 10 home runs in 30 games since being traded to the Rangers organization. Overall, he has 27 home runs. Solak will have some fantasy versatility and should be eligible at both second base and in the outfield.

8. Brusdar Graterol, RHP, Twins (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Twins appear torn on whether to call up Graterol or not for September. But he’s been shifted to relief since returning from a shoulder injury which is not expected to be his long-term role so that should give us some indication of which way they’re leaning. He’s looked good in the unfamiliar role and has yet to allow a run in his five outings since getting healthy. He has eight strikeouts in eight innings. On the season, he has a 1.62 ERA and has allowed a .176 batting average with just two home runs in 55.2 innings.

9. Sean Murphy, C, Athletics (Rehab) (ETA: September)

It’s been mostly a lost year for Murphy who is on the cusp of the Majors with a .360 batting average in 23 Triple-A games. His season has been interrupted a couple of times due to injury but he’s now back on a rehab assignment in Rookie ball. He could still reach the Majors in September since he has to be added to the 40-man roster this fall, anyway. Before getting hurt again, he had six home runs in his last four Triple-A games.

10. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/3B/OF, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: September)

With a roadblock at first base and designated hitter in Baltimore, Mountcastle has been seeing time in the outfield with 17 games in left field. That added versatility makes him all the more attractive in fantasy formats where he could eventually be eligible at three positions. On offense, Mountcastle is hitting .270 with four home runs and a 3-8 BB-K over his past 10 games.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Jordan Romano, RHP, Blue Jays (Rehab) (ETA: September)

Romano has now pitched in three Triple-A games since coming off of the injured list. During that stretch, he has five strikeouts in 2.2 innings and has allowed just one run. He has a chance to throw some high-leverage innings in September for the Blue Jays.

12. Abraham Toro, 3B, Astros (AAA) (ETA: September)

Next to Gavin Lux, Toro might be the hottest hitting Triple-A player right now. Since his promotion to the level 14 games ago, Toro has hit .424 with a 1.052 OPS. He has 25 hits in 14 games and a BB-K of 7-5. He has to be added to the 40-man roster in September so he could get a look soon.

13. Willi Castros, SS, Tigers (AAA) (ETA: September)

Castro is showing some life after a summer slump. The middle infielder is hitting .372 over his past 10 games and also flexed some muscle with three home runs. He has an .817 OPS on the season and is up to nine home runs and 17 steals. The club has received very little offense from the middle infield in 2019 so Castro could get a chance to play a lot in September.

14. Jared Walsh, 1B/RHP, Angels (AAA) (ETA: September)

Walsh just keeps crushing the competition in Triple-A. He’s hitting .343 with four home runs and six walks over his past 10 games. He’s now up to 31 home runs on the season with a BB-K of 57-103 in 89 games. That’s 31 home runs in just 89 games. Oh, and he has a 2.25 ERA in 12 Triple-A games and 2.08 ERA in four MLB games.

15. Jesus Sanchez, OF, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: September)

After a hot start to his Marlins career, this former Rays outfielder has quieted down a bit. He’s hitting just .250 over his past 10 games with a BB-K of 4-10. The big league club hasn’t got much offense at all in 2019 so Sanchez may get a look this September since he’s already on the club’s 40-man roster.

16. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AAA) (ETA: September)

Garcia has settled down over his past three Triple-A starts and has allowed two runs or fewer in each of those games. He actually threw five no-hit innings in his latest outing but still struggled with his control. He walked five batters but also struck out seven in that game.

17. Jon Duplantier, RHP, Diamondbacks (AAA) (ETA: September)

Duplantier continues to yo-yo between Triple-A and the Majors after making another one-game appearance in The Show on Aug. 15 where he allowed an earned run in two innings — but also walked three. His Major League numbers continue to look better than his minor league ones, so he should be up for good in September and the consistency could help him shine.

18. Tanner Houck, RHP, Red Sox (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Red Sox’s playoff hopes keep taking hits but the team keeps fighting. That’s good news for Houck, who could be called upon to help solidify the bullpen for the final push. The former first-round draft pick and college starter seems to be settling into his new role as a reliever and hasn’t issued a walk in his past three outings. He now has a K-BB of 16-10 in 15.1 Triple-A innings and has six whiffs in his last two outings (three innings).

19. Sheldon Neuse, IF, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: September)

Neuse has had a monster season in Triple-A and could offer some thump off the bench for the A’s in September. He has a .322 batting average and .941 OPS in 118 games this year. He’s shown excellent power with 24 home runs and 30 doubles.

20. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: September) 

Robert may be tiring after playing more than 100 games in a season for the first time in his career. He’s perked up a bit lately and is hitting .289 with four home runs and two steals over his past 10 games. However, that also comes with a BB-K of 2-16. Overall, he still has a .334 batting average with 28 home runs and 36 steals.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Anthony Alford, OF, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: September)

Currently on the disabled list with an undisclosed injury, Alford has a shot at reaching the Majors this September, if he’s healthy. He’s projected to be out of minor-league options in 2020 but the Blue Jays could petition Major League Baseball for a fourth option given his unique background (playing college football after signing his pro baseball contract) and injury history. Alford was hitting .356 in his past 10 games before getting hurt.

22. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: September)

Dunn has to be protected on the 40-man roster this fall so it makes sense that the Mariners may want to get a look at him in September. Over his last two starts, Dunn has allowed just four earned runs in 11 innings while posting a K-BB of 14-4. Overall, he has a K-BB of 138-35 in 116.2 innings.

23. Jose Urquidy, RHP, Astros (AAA) (ETA: September)

Urquidy had a horrible outing on Aug. 7 when he allowed 11 earned runs in 4.2 innings but he rebounded nicely on Aug. 13 with six innings of one-run ball with a K-BB of 9-1. Over his past 10 minor league starts, he has seven starts with seven or more strikeouts. The Astros solidified the starting rotation at the trade deadline but Urquidy could see innings out of the bullpen in September as the club looks to keep its veteran starters fresh for the playoffs.

24. Jorge Mateo, SS, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: September)

Mateo is back. He’s still not hitting much — .211 and a BB-K of 4-15 over his last 10 — but we’ve also seen how desperate playoff teams are for speed with Atlanta’s recent claim of Billy Hamilton. Mateo could rack up some steals in September and produce a few hard-hit balls in between strikeouts.

25. Keegan Akin, LHP, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: September)

Akin’s last outing was a dud (eight runs in 3.2 innings) but he has a shot at seeing big league action in September for an Orioles club that is desperate for pitching. The former second-round pick has thrown 100 or more innings in each of his three full seasons in pro ball and has shown he can miss bats (116 strikeouts in 100.2 innings in Triple-A). He’s also allowed just nine home runs. The downside to this left-hander is that he struggles with his control (51 walks). Interestingly, he’s also struggled against left-handers and has a collective ERA nearing 7.00 against them.

26. T.J. Zeuch, RHP, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: September)

If the Jays can find room on a packed 40-man roster, then Zeuch is deserving of a look in September. He still has plenty of innings in his arm after missing most of the first half of the season with a back injury. The 6-foot-7 right-hander threw a no-hitter in Triple-A on Monday night, which is no easy task given the offensive explosion that the league has seen since switching to the Major League baseball. The former first-rounder won’t get you many strikeouts but he uses his height to create incredible downward plane on the ball and generates an elite ground-ball rate — so he’s less likely to get hurt by the home run. Fifteen of his 27 outs on Monday night came via the ground ball. And his frame is built for 200 innings, assuming the back issues are behind him (Get it?).

27. Mauricio Dubon, SS, Giants (AAA) (ETA: September)

Traded from the Brewers to the Giants at the trade deadline, Dubon is pushing for another shot at The Show. He’s hitting .333 with two home runs and a BB-K of 3-4 over his past 10 games. With Brandon Crawford, Scooter Gennett and Donovan Solano ahead of him, Dubon doesn’t project to play much unless the Giants fall out of contention.

28. Jake Cronenworth, SS/RHP, Rays (Rehab) (ETA: September)

Move over Brendan McKay, there’s a new two-way player in town. Cronenworth was just about to make his debut on this list when he went on the injured list. He’s rehabbing down in the Rookie ball so he still has a shot at reaching The Show this September. He can play all over the infield and also pitch (no earned runs allowed in seven Triple-A games). He was hitting .339 with 10 home runs and a BB-K of 44-55 in 81 games.

29. Justus Sheffield, LHP, Mariners (AAA) (ETA: September)

Although Justin Dunn is perhaps the more deserving pitcher for a promotion to the Majors, Sheffield has rebounded nicely as of late and could also be in line for a September promotion. He has a 2.19 in 12 Double-A games after posting a 6.87 ERA in 13 Triple-A games. His K-BB was 85-18 in Double-A compared to 48-41 in Triple-A.

30. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Angels recently announced that Adell likely won’t be called up in September so this may be the last time he appears on this list this year unless something drastic changes. He rebounded nicely after missing most of the first half of the season due to injury and could be a major player in the Angels lineup in 2020.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Hot Prospects To Watch - Adley Rutschman Promoted, Nate Pearson Close And More

We have a little more than a week before August is over and the rosters expand at the beginning of September. We're in the dog days of summer and some teams are limping to the finish line, including contenders like the Braves with three of their outfielders currently on the injured list. Reinforcements are coming.

The rebuilding Mariners are beat up and in last place in the American League West. They didn't feel like waiting until September to call up outfield prospect Jake Fraley (Seattle's No. 8 prospect) and starting pitcher Justus Sheffield (No. 9) this week. Both players should have big roles down the stretch and can make an impact in mixed leagues.

In the same division, the Athletics are ready to let their No. 2 prospect, left-hander A.J. Puk, make his big league debut, albeit out of the bullpen the rest of the way. The No. 5 southpaw prospect in baseball, Puk is recovered from Tommy John surgery and has some of the best strikeout stuff for a young arm. He's very intimidating on the bump, too, standing at 6-foot-7, 238 pounds. The future is coming quickly across the league.

 

No. 1 Overall Pick Wasting No Time

Adley Rutschman - C, Baltimore Orioles

Well that didn't take long. The first overall pick in this year's draft, Rutschman is being promoted from Single-A Short Season Aberdeen to Single-A Delmarva after hitting a cool .325/.413/.481 with a home run, triple and seven doubles in 20 games. He had gone 18-for-39 with eight extra-base hits during a 10-game hitting streak.

The 21-year-old was one of the best prospects out of college at Oregon State and hit a ridiculous .411 with a 1.326 OPS and 17 home runs as a switch-hitter his junior season before being drafted. Not only can he hit a lot from both sides of the plate, but Rutschman is also an excellent defender with the glove. He makes consistent hard contact, has great plate discipline and should continue to develop more power as he matures.

As most top picks do, Rutschman has a good chance to rise through Baltimore's minor league system very quickly at a premium position. The O's will want to see what he can do at the higher levels of the minors next year, but it's entirely possible that Rutschman could be the club's everyday catcher by the 2021 campaign. He'll be one of the most coveted fantasy catchers when that happens.

 

Pearson On The Cusp With Jays

Nate Pearson - SP, Toronto Blue Jays

In his debut with Triple-A Buffalo, Pearson tossed a career-best seven scoreless frames while allowing three hits and striking out three on Tuesday. It was fitting, as he also turned 23 on Tuesday. The hard-throwing right-hander earned the promotion from Double-A New Hampshire after posting a 2.59 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 69 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings (16 starts). Before that he was 3-0 with a microscopic 0.86 ERA and 15.0 K/9 in six starts for High-A Dunedin to start the year.

Pearson was the 28th overall pick in 2017 and is Toronto's No. 2 prospect. He's also the No. 14 prospect in all of baseball and is ranked as the second-best right-handed prospect behind Casey Mize. The 6-foot-6, 245-pounder has front-of-the-rotation stuff and boasts the team's best fastball and slider in the system. Pearson's fastball sits in the upper-90s and he regularly hits triple digits on the radar gun.

If he keeps his fastball/slider combination down in the zone consistently, he's extremely tough to hit. Pearson has an incredibly high ceiling at the next level, but the Jays may choose to forgo a September call-up since he only tossed 1 2/3 innings in 2018 due to a fractured forearm. Regardless, he should be in Toronto's rotation next season.

 

KC Lefty Is Special

Kris Bubic - SP, Kansas City Royals

The 22-year-old southpaw has been outstanding all year and is coming off two straight complete games (one run allowed, 22 K's, two walks) for High-A Wilmington in the Carolina League. He was 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 14.2 K/9 in nine starts at Single-A Lexington before his promotion, and he's been just as good at Wilmington (2.34 ERA, 0.98 WHIP) in 14 starts. Bubic's 174 punchouts in 132 1/3 innings (11.8 K/9) leads the minor leagues.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder is the Royals No. 6 prospect and was taken 40th overall in 2018 out of Stanford. His arsenal is mainly a fastball and changeup, with his heater sitting in the low-90s. It's not his velocity that's responsible for his high strikeout numbers, but rather his deceptive delivery. Bubic will need to develop his changeup to continue his success at the higher levels.

Bubic doesn't have nearly the upside that an arm like Pearson possesses, but he could be on the fast track to the majors for a rebuilding KC club if he continues to have success in the minors again in 2020. Despite his unorthodox delivery, the left-hander continues to be around the strike zone.

 

Red Birds Blessed With Outfield Depth

Dylan Carlson - OF, St. Louis Cardinals

The 20-year-old Carlson, St. Louis' No. 2 prospect, was promoted to Triple-A Memphis last week and has felt right at home, going 10-for-21 (.476) with two doubles, a triple, a homer and two RBI in his first five games. That comes after he slashed .281/.364/.518 with 24 doubles, six triples, 21 homers, 59 RBI and 18 steals in 483 plate appearances with Double-A Springfield.

The 33rd overall pick in 2016 is a switch-hitter has broken out this year and also earned an invite to the Futures Game in July. There is plenty of potential with his bat from both sides as he develops his raw power. Carlson is also a good athlete and has an advanced knowledge of pitch selection, which should help him continue to hit for a high average.

It remains to be seen if he'll stick in center field in St. Louis when he gets there, but make no mistake, Carlson should be an everyday player for the Red Birds whenever he's in the big leagues. It speaks to his abilities that he has a chance to be a September call-up next month despite the fact that the Cardinals have some pretty good outfield depth already. He's the No. 50 prospect in baseball currently.

 

Robert Has Little Left To Prove

Luis Robert - OF, Chicago White Sox

It's almost a travesty that Robert, Chicago's top prospect and No. 5 overall, isn't in the big leagues yet. The 22-year-old Cuban has received two minor league promotions already this year after starting at High-A Winston-Salem and has done nothing but hit. In 34 games for Triple-A Charlotte, Robert is hitting .305/.353/.649 with 12 home runs, 31 RBI and seven steals. He's clubbed 28 bombs, driven in 84 runs and stolen 36 bags combined in 109 games this season.

If it weren't for injuries the last two seasons, Robert might already be in the Show. He's exciting because of his amazing bat speed, high-end raw power and speed on the base paths. The downside is his raw power comes with a lot of swing and miss; he's fanned 116 times in 2019 and walked only 25 times in 495 plate appearances.

The No. 2 outfield prospect in the minors, Robert reminds us a lot of Braves superstar Ronald Acuna for his 30/30 potential at the next level. His strong arm might make him a good fit in right field in the long run. This 6-foot-3, 185-pounder is a little rough around the edges, but his upside is unmistakable. Robert should already be stashed in all dynasty/keeper leagues, and we're hoping he's one of Chicago's call-ups once September hits.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 20)

The Top 30 list keeps getting more and more challenging as the window for prospects to impact the 2019 fantasy season gets smaller and smaller. But there are still a healthy number of names to dream on as the minor league season also winds down towards a conclusion at the start of September.

A few players from last week’s list received promotions to the Majors. Cardinals reliever Junior Fernandez received his first taste of big-league action. Josh Rojas, who was traded from Houston to Arizona recently, immediately made his presence felt in The Show. And Mitch Keller received his much-deserved third opportunity for the Pirates.

Four organizations had new prospects make the list this week including the Athletics, Twins, Marlins, and Dodgers.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

He’s still hot. Lux has five multi-hit games in the past 10 contests. He’s also shown both power and speed with three home runs and three steals. In 35 Triple-A games, Lux has a BB-K of 25-29. He’s not a speed-burner but the young middle infielder now has 10 steals on the season to go with 24 home runs and a .356 batting average.

2. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: August)

Tucker is on another hot streak with a .366 batting average over the past 10 games. His BB-K during that stretch is an impressive 4-4 and he has more home runs (five) than strikeouts. On the season, Tucker now has 32 home runs and 25 steals with a .932 OPS.

3. Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Lowe is all but guaranteed a spot on the big league club in September and he’d be even higher on this list if he had a clearer path the regular playing time. He already has an .875 OPS in 30 big league games this year and he’s hitting .314 with five home runs over his past 10 minor league games. Lowe has also really improved his approach at the plate as witnessed by his recent BB-K of 7-6 and overall BB-K which is now 56-68.

4. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: August)

Kieboom is another player that is perhaps being inspired by the impending roster expansions in September. He has four multiple-hit games in the past 10 and is hitting .300 during that stretch. Overall, he’s hitting .311 with 57 walks in 95 games so he has added value in leagues that reward walks.

5. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: August)

Another week, another strong result from Wright. In his last appearance, he allowed just one earned run in six innings with a K-BB of 6-0. He’s now struck out six or more batters in seven of his last eight minor league starts. During that eight-game stretch, he’s allowed just 12 earned runs in 53.1 innings which equates to a sparkling 2.03 ERA. Ignore that first part of 2019; this is the real Wright.

6. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics (Rehab) (ETA: August)

Luzardo makes his way back onto the list in grand style — jumping all the way back into the Top 10. His last appearances on Aug. 10 was outstanding with three shutout, hitless innings, and seven strikeouts. In his two appearances in A-ball since coming off the injured list, he has a K-BB of 12-0 with just one hit allowed in five innings.

7. Nick Solak, 2B/OF, Rangers (AAA) (ETA: September)

Solak is enjoying life with his new organization. Over 24 games with the Rangers, he has a 1.052 OPS although the BB-K of 4-21 leaves a little something to be desired. It could be a moment in time or it could be related to a change in organizational philosophy as the Rangers are a much more aggressive organization than the Rays. Either way, his 26 home runs will play in the Majors and his .425 batting average over the past 10 games suggests he’ll get a shot at The Show soon.

8. Brusdar Graterol, RHP, Twins (Rehab) (ETA: August)

The Twins have recently suggested that Graterol could receive a promotion to the Majors once he shows he’s healthy again after missing over two months with a shoulder injury. And it looks like the team is preparing him for a relief role in the Majors. In three appearances since coming off the injured list, he’s thrown 4.2 shutout innings with a K-BB of 7-0.

9. Bryse Wilson, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: August)

Wilson is likely battling Kyle Wright for big-league innings in September. He’s throwing well over the last four starts with just one earned run allowed in 27 innings (0.33 ERA). His K-BB over that same stretch is 25-6. He’s also doing a nice job of keeping the ball in the park and has allowed just one home run in his past six games.

10. Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP, Yankees (Rehab) (ETA: August)

Loaisiga is another pitcher returning from injury that could have an impact in September — but out of the bullpen. He’s appeared in three games since getting healthy. The one game was a dud with three runs allowed in two-thirds of an inning. In the other two, he did not allow an earned run in 5 combined innings while producing a K-BB of 7-0.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: August)

Puk continues to battle through some command issues as he shakes off the rust from a long injury layoff. He’s now allowed five earned runs in 9.1 innings at the Triple-A level in part because he’s allowing more fly balls and fewer ground balls. The encouraging number is his K-BB rate, which is at 13-3. He has to be added to the 40-man roster this fall so expect him to get at least a look in September.

12. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/3B, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: September)

Mountcastle continues to show a better approach at the plate as the minor league season winds down. He still has an ugly overall BB-K of 17-108 but it’s a more-than-respectable 3-6 over the past 10 games. With a .313 average through his first nine games of August, Mountcastle has hit .300 or more in four of the five months that make up the 2019 season so he gets extra marks for consistency.

13. Jordan Romano, RHP, Blue Jays (Rehab) (ETA: September)

Romano finally began his rehab assignment last week after missing more than a month with an injury. He threw a shutout inning and could be on target for a promotion to the Majors when rosters expand. With closer Ken Giles still hurting, there are high-leverage innings to be had.

14. Abraham Toro, 3B, Astros (AAA) (ETA: September)

Toro is on fire at the Triple-A level. He’s hitting .417 with just three strikeouts and six walks in nine games. Overall between two levels, he has a .316 batting average with a .919 OPS. He’s an on-base machine with legit 20-homer power.

15. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AAA) (ETA: September)

As Garcia approaches the 100-inning mark for the first time in his young career (He’s at 98.2 innings), the Yankees are keeping a close eye on his pitch count. He’s been pulled in his last two games at 4.0 and 4.2 innings despite solid in-game results. There is a small chance that the diminutive righty could be pitching key innings for the Yankees in September.

16. Jake Fraley, OF, Mariners (AAA) (ETA: September)

Fraley has been battling health issues recently and it just doesn’t look like he’s playing at full strength in August. He’s hitting just .257 over his past 10 games with a BB-K of 1-9. Still, he’s a legitimate 20-20 threat when healthy and has to be added to the 40-man roster this fall so he could get a shot at the Majors in September.

17. Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Twins (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Twins may have been unable to make a big splash at the trade deadline but Thorpe appears ready-willing-and-able to help out if needed. He allowed just one hit over six shutout innings while producing a KK-B of 7-0 in his last start.

18. Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (AAA) (ETA: September)

It will be difficult for Gordon to find regular playing time but he should be up when rosters expand in September, if not a little sooner to make him eligible for the playoffs if the club wants to use him as a pinch-runner. He’s hitting well recently with a .357 batting average over the past 10 games and has shown steady defense at both shortstop and second base.

19. Jared Walsh, 1B/RHP, Angels (AAA) (ETA: September)

The versatile Walsh keeps getting teased with short stints in the Majors but is deserving of a more extensive opportunity - especially with the bat. He has an 1.108 OPS on the year and is one home run away from 30. He’s been especially hot over his past 10 games with a .405 batting average, four home runs and BB-K of 7-12.

20. Jesus Sanchez, OF, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: September)

Sanchez has been hitting well since moving from the Rays to the Marlins at the trade deadline. He has a 1.062 OPS in 10 games since the trade and has seen an increase in his power output. After going deep just nine times in 96 games in the Rays system, he’s now hit four with the Marlins organization.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: September) 

After an extended hot streak, Robert has gone ice cold. He’s hitting just .196 with a BB-K of 2-16 over the past 10 games. His OPS for the season is sitting just below 1.000 at .998.

22. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (AAA) (ETA: September)

The window of opportunity is closing fast for Adell with the Angels falling out of playoff contention and with the young outfielder’s recent struggles. He’s hitting just .209 over his past 10 games at Triple-A.

23. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros (AA) (ETA: September)

Whitley’s control issues came back to haunt him on Aug. 10 when he walked five batters in 3.2 innings. The good news is that he was pitching to the same team in back-to-back appearances, which is always tough, and he still struck out five batters and allowed just two hits.

24. Jon Duplantier, RHP, Diamondbacks (AAA) (ETA: September)

Arizona’s starting rotation is pretty full right now but Duplantier could still pitch some key innings out of the bullpen in September. He had an ugly start on Aug. 4 but bounced back OK on Aug. 9 with four shutout innings with six strikeouts.

25. Tony Gonsolin, RHP, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: September)

I tagged Gonsolin as a sleeper a couple of years ago and he finally looks ready to make good on his potential. He showed well in a recent MLB stint and then went back to Triple-A where he continued to throw well. In his last start, he struck out nine batters in five shutout innings.

26. Sheldon Neuse, IF, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: September)

Neuse, 24, has a .932 OPS in Triple-A but he’s also blocked by all-start Matt Chapman. He’s been seeing time at a few different positions. He has lots of power to offer with 22 home runs and 30 doubles in 112 games.

27. Anthony Alford, OF, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: September)

The outfield is pretty crowded in Toronto right now but the club likely wants to see what a healthy Alford is capable of before entering the offseason with a lot of decisions to be made on the makeup of the 40-man roster. He has hits in seven of his eight games since coming off the injured list.

28. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: September)

He’s curiously spent the entire year in Double-A and has battle command issues but Dunn could still see some big league innings in September for the rebuilding Mariners. His last start was encouraging with five innings of one-run ball in which he struck out eight batters and walked just two

29. Jose Urquidy, RHP, Astros (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Astros did an outstanding job at the trade deadline of solving their pitching issues but could use some arms in September to help rest the veteran hurlers for the playoffs. Urquidy and Framber Valdez will likely get a recall in September.

30. Tanner Houck, RHP, Red Sox (AAA) (ETA: September)

Boston needs a minor miracle to reach the playoffs at this point but Houck could still get a look even if the club just wants to see how close the young hurler is to helping out. In his last two appearances, he’s allowed two hits and struck out five batters in 3.1 innings.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Hot Prospects To Watch - Austin Hays, Daulton Varsho, Julio Rodriguez And More

The minor league seasons are winding down with around three weeks left. Once September hits, major league rosters will expand for the stretch run. That means that many of the big-name and under-the-radar prospects that have been performing at a high level all year will get the call to help their respective teams for the final month of the regular season.

Guys like Carter Kieboom, Kyle Tucker and Luis Robert, who have been tearing it up on the farm all year, could help the Nationals, Astros and White Sox, respectively. At the Triple-A level, third baseman Ty France (.399 average), first baseman Kevin Cron (league-high 36 homers and 95 RBI) and pitcher Hector Noesi (133 strikeouts, 1.14 WHIP) could be on their way to promotions soon.

At Class AA, a pair of Braves hurlers are standing out in Tucker Davidson (2.03 ERA) and Ian Anderson (147 strikeouts) for the Mississippi Braves. Brewers starter Trey Supak, who has been mentioned in this space before, is leading Double-A with a 0.87 WHIP at Biloxi. Who else is angling for a call-up before 2019 comes to an end?

 

Varsho Is A Rare Breed Fo Sho

Daulton Varsho - C, Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona's No. 5 prospect is having a stellar season with a .287/.372/.503 slash line, 15 home runs and 47 RBI in 92 games for Double-A Jackson, but the real head-turner is his 17 stolen bases for a backstop. He's hitting a blistering .433/.485/.900 with three homers, six RBI and a steal in eight games (30 at-bats) in August. Varsho ranks as MLB.com's No. 10 catching prospect.

The 23-year-old was drafted in the second round in 2017 and has a compact and powerful stroke from the left side. The most impressive thing about Varsho is his athleticism and wheels for a catcher. He stole 19 bases in his first full professional season last year and has a 20-20 campaign in his sights this year. Varsho is also a selective hitter, so he could continue to hit for average at the next level.

While his defensive skills behind the plate aren't top-notch, Varsho's athleticism is what will get him to the big leagues, possibly by next season. If he doesn't stick behind the plate long term, the Snakes could move him to the outfield. Varsho could wind up being a very valuable utility player in fantasy with catcher eligibility, which is always a big bonus.

 

M's Top Prospects Making Their Push

Julio Rodriguez - OF, Seattle Mariners

This Dominican product has been going off of late, culminating in a 3-for-5 performance on Tuesday with a home run (a grand slam) and career-high six RBI for Single-A West Virginia. He's hit safely in 11 of 12 games this month and is now hitting .411 (21-for-51) with two dingers and 12 RBI this month.

Seattle will want to see more, especially since he's just 18 years old, but Rodriguez has raw power and has a chance to be an impact bat for a team that is in need of that. He's taken a big leap forward in 2019 after hitting .315/.404/.525 with five long balls, 36 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 59 games in the Dominican Summer League last year.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder could become even more electric in the power department if he fills out a bit more, too. The one downfall is he doesn't have a ton of speed for an outfielder, which means he'll likely settle in at a corner spot if he makes it all the way up. There's a lot to like here, but because he's so young he's merely a player to watch in dynasty/keeper formats. He's already Seattle's No. 2 prospect.

Evan White - 1B, Seattle Mariners

White continues to hit in the month of August, batting .320/.346/.680 with three home runs and eight RBI in six games for the Double-A Travelers. The team's No. 4 prospect is having a fine second full season in the minors after being taken 17th overall in 2017, slashing .294/.342/.500 with a career-high 16 home runs and 50 RBI in 310 at-bats.

Touted as the best defensive first baseman in the minors, the 23-year-old ranks as the No. 74 overall prospect and as the third-best first base prospect. Not only has he shown more raw power in 2019 with the ability to make hard contact all over the diamond, but White also knows the strike zone well and takes his walks.

He stands at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds and looks to be well on his way to the big leagues for a rebuilding club. White has a well-round profile both offensively and defensively and is a safe bet to see playing time for the M's in 2020. He could easily be a September call-up, too, making him worth a stash in dynasty leagues.

 

Flying Under The Radar In Houston

Cristian Javier - SP, Houston Astros

It seems like we mention a prospect in the Houston organization almost every week. Their farm system is just that good and that deep. Javier went 2-0 with a 0.94 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 12.6 K/9 in 28 2/3 innings at High-A Fayetteville this year before earning a promotion to Double-A Corpus Christi. The 22-year-old has gone 5-3 there with a 2.06 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 13.4 K/9 in 70 innings.

The right-hander was signed out of the Dominican in 2015 and is the team's No. 10 prospect. Unlike some of the 'Stros other big-name arms, Javier's stuff isn't flashy and features a low-90s fastball with a curve and sweeping slider. He's done nothing but miss bats in the minors, but he'll need to figure out his control (almost five walks per nine innings this year) if he's to continue advancing up the ladder. Keep an eye on him.

The Lowdown On Lowther, Hays

Zac Lowther - SP, Baltimore Orioles

This 23-year-old left-hander leads all Double-A pitchers with 12 wins and is sporting a 2.71 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 124 strikeouts in 123 innings over 22 starts for Bowie. Despite posting a career-low 9.1 K/9 in 2019, Lowther continues to miss bats due to a high-80s, low-90s heater with late riding life. The southpaw also features an above-average curveball and changeup.

Lowther, the 74th overall pick in 2017 out of Xavier and No. 10 Baltimore prospect, is a durable starter with a good frame at 6-foot-2, 235 pounds. He'll need to clean up his 4.2 BB/9 if he's to reach the next level, but given the O's struggles with pitching in recent years, Lowther is a good bet to see starts in Baltimore before long. Here's another name that could see a call-up this September.

Austin Hays - OF, Baltimore Orioles

Hays, 24, made his MLB debut in just his first season after being taken in the third round in 2017. Injuries have been the story since, as he played in only 75 games in 2018 and just 67 so far this year with Low-A Aberdeen, High-A Fredrick, Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. While he's hit just .240, Hays also has 14 home runs and 39 RBI and looks to be past the injury bug right now.

Baltimore's No. 6 prospect should be able to hit for average and power at the next level if he can just stay healthy. He managed to pound 32 home runs, 32 doubles and 95 RBI in the minors in 2017 before his call-up. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder has some swing and miss in his game and average speed, but his presence in the Baltimore system will help him get back to the big leagues sooner than later. If he finishes strong with the Tide, don't be surprised if Baltimore gives him another look before the year is over.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 30 Prospects for Dynasty Leagues (Week 20 update)

In some ways, it feels like the 2019 baseball season just began. But here we are, looking at less than a month’s worth of minor league baseball remaining before the regular season is over. So how do we deal with the crushing sadness that’s descending upon us? How about we take a look at the Top 30 dynasty players in baseball? I know that will make me feel better.

With teams relying more and more on young players, prospects are being pushed through the minors more aggressively. This, in turn, creates more turnover on prospect lists and we see quite a change in the dynasty list from earlier this season with the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Nick Senzel, Keston Hiura, Austin Riley, Yordan Alvarez, Brendan McKay, and others graduating from the list.

*Note, the list omits any players currently playing in the MLB — even if their rookie status has not officially expired.

 

MLB Dynasty Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Wander Franco, SS, Rays (A+) (ETA: 2021)

The ETA on Franco is on the safe side. He could very well reach the Majors in 2020 if the young hitter continues to push the envelope and the Rays are willing to expedite his arrival. Eighteen-year-olds aren’t supposed to hit an easy .300 in High-A ball — or show this level of plate discipline and contact skill (47-30 BB-K in 98 360 at-bats). He’s in the same class as San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. (Age 20 with a .994 OPS) and Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Age 20 with an .800 OPS).

2. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Padres (AA) (ETA: 2020)

The Top 30 list features 15 pitchers and this 20-year-old hurler is the best of the best. He breezed through the California League earlier this year while posting a 1.02 ERA with a K-BB of 110-20 with 36 hits allowed in 79.1 innings. The Cal League is considered a hitter’s league. Someone just forgot to tell Gore. Now in Double-A, he’s found the hitters to be a little more challenging but he’s more than holding his own. Gore will likely reach the Majors with four better-than-average pitches and the ceiling of a true frontline starter.

3. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (AAA) (ETA: 2020)

If an injury hadn’t delayed the start of his season, Adell would very likely be in the Majors right now. The athletic outfielder has incredibly strong makeup which allows him to squeeze every ounce of talent out of his tools. The term five-tool player is thrown around a lot but Adell is one of those players that truly has all five (Six if you count maturity/makeup as a tool, which we really should). He could easily develop into a 20-20 (HR-SB) player capable of hitting .300.

4. Casey Mize, RHP, Tigers (AA) (ETA: 2020)

Selected first overall in the 2018 draft, Mize had an outside shot at reaching the Majors in 2019. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury in mid-June, which kept him out for a month and delayed his development. He’s back now but hasn’t found the same groove after allowing 15 earned runs in his last five starts — after allowing just eight in his previous 20 games. Even with that blip, batters are only hitting .193 against him this year. He’s another ace type with three potentially-plus offerings.

5. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: 2020)

I had my concerns about Robert before the season began. He doesn’t have the strongest plate discipline as witnessed by his BB-K of 23-100 in 99 games this year but he has next-level bat speed and generates excellent exit velocities. Along with plus power, he also has plus speed. He’s made a mockery of the minor leagues this year while playing at three levels with a .339 batting average, 24 home runs, and 34 stolen bases — in just 99 games.

6. Jarred Kelenic, OF, Mariners (A+) (ETA: 2021)

Kelenic is another top prospect that earns top grades on the sixth tool (makeup) and that’s helped to turn him into the second-best prospect to come out of the 2018 draft. The sixth overall selection comes from a cold-weather state so he should, in theory, need a little extra development time than those from the warmer states that can more easily play ball all year round. But Kelenic is already hitting .293 in High-A ball as a recently-turned-20-year-old outfielder. He has a chance to hit .300 in the Majors as a 20-20 threat.

7. Alex Kirilloff, OF, Twins (AA) (ETA: 2020)

Kirilloff, like Jo Adell above, had his season delayed by an injury. His minor league numbers were off-the-charts good in 2018 while playing at two A-ball levels but he’s never been able to get fully on track in 2019 at Double-A although he’s still posting a respectable .721 OPS. Kirilloff has battled a wrist injury all season and may not be fully healthy until he can give it an extended rest period during the off-season. When he gets back to full strength, he should be capable of hitting .300 with 20-plus home runs.

8. Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays (AA) (ETA: 2020)

Pearson is another prospect who’s had injuries delay his arrival in the Majors. A 2017 first-rounder, the hard-throwing right-hander opened the year in High-A ball after missing most of 2018 when a line drive broke his arm in his first start of the season. He needed just six starts this year to earn a bump up to Double-A. His pitch count has been extremely tight most of the year but he’s posted a K-BB of 90-18 in 72 innings. Pearson is a monster on the mound at 6-6, 245 pounds. He can hit 100 mph and has above-average control.

9. Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Rays (A) (ETA: 2022)

The Rays are notoriously cautious (ie. slow and methodical) in their development of pitching prospects and Liberatore has been no exception. A 2018 first-round pick, he opened this season in extended spring training before being sent to Low-A ball in May. He’s still polishing his command but he’s been very good as a 19-year-old. He has a K-BB of 69-29 in 71.1 innings and has a chance to hit the Majors with three above-average offerings.

10. Matt Manning, RHP, Tigers (AA) (ETA: 2020)

The rebuilding Tigers organization is suddenly flush with pitching prospects. Manning isn’t far off from catching Casey Mize as the best pitcher in the system. He has an excellent pitcher’s frame and has produced outstanding numbers as a 21-year-old in Double-A this year. His K-BB sits at 124-36 in 113 innings and he’s allowed just six home runs while producing above-average ground-ball rates.

 

MLB Dynasty Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: 2019)

It’s likely been a frustrating year for Tucker who has been stuck in Triple-A for a second full season. He’s been a little less consistent this year but he’s producing a .926 OPS with 30 home runs and 25 steals in 105 games. And he’s still just 22 years old. The Astros will have to find room for him in the starting lineup in 2020.

12. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: 2019)

This 2016 first-rounder struggled through his first two pro seasons before finding another gear last year. He’s reached an even higher level since being assigned to Triple-A a little over a month ago. Lux is hitting .456 with a 1.380 OPS in 136 at-bats. He has 62 hits in just 32 games since his promotion from Double-A. Overall on the year, he’s hitting .362 with 23 home runs.

13. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: 2019)

Kieboom had a taste of the Majors earlier this year but got homer-happy and hit just .128 in 11 games. Despite posting a .943 OPS in Triple-A, he’s been unable to get back to that level with Brian Dozier, Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon staying healthy. Along with showing good power, Kieboom has also produced a solid BB-K of 53-81.

14. Ian Anderson, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: 2020)

This 21-year-old hurler has been excellent at Double-A this year with a K-BB of 147-47 in 111 innings. Anderson was recently promoted to Triple-A and is on targeted to reach the Majors early in 2020. He has the repertoire to be a mid-rotation starter and a chance to be even more.

15. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros (AA) (ETA: 2020)

It’s been a nightmare season for Whitley who’s battled through injuries and inconsistencies. He opened the year in Triple-A but posted a 12.21 ERA in eight appearances. The young hurler’s stuff has remained strong and he’s throwing well in Double-A now. And he doesn’t turn 22 until September so time is on his side.

16. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: 2019)

Wright, like Forrest Whitley, has had a bit of a disappointing season — although not to the same extreme. Atlanta has jerked him around a bit with multiple recalls to the Majors with few innings and little consistency. He’s been very good at Triple-A since June. Overall, he has a K-BB of 87-23 in 89.1 innings.

17. Andrew Vaughn, 1B, White Sox (A+) (ETA: 2021)

Catcher Adley Rutschman was the consensus best player available in the 2019 draft — but I preferred Vaughn despite the difficult profile of being a right-handed, six-foot (ie. short) first baseman. But he has a special bat an the University of California alum has already blown through three minor league levels. He's hitting .296 in High-A ball and should hit for power and average in the Majors.

18. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies (IL) (ETA: 2020)

It would be a forgettable year for Rodgers if not for the fact that he made his MLB debut. The 23-year-old shortstop posted a 1.035 OPS at Triple-A but could not earn regular playing time with the Rockies. An injury then knocked him out for the year in June. He should be ready for an everyday gig in 2020 but will the Rockies actually let him play? It’s anyone’s guess at this point.

19. Cristian Pache, OF, Braves (AAA) (ETA: 2020)

An .815 OPS in Double-A is a solid result for anyone but it’s all the more impressive when it comes from a 20-year-old. Pache still has some work to do, as witnessed by his BB-K of 37-107 in 104 games, but the skills are there for him to be an above-average regular in the Majors and his raw power is starting to poke through. He was recently promoted to Triple-A.

20. Luis Patino, RHP, Padres (AA) (ETA: 2021)

Patino’s name should become much more familiar to MLB fans as he makes his way up to top prospect lists. Just 19, he was recently promoted to Double-A after posting a 2.69 ERA and a K-BB of 113-34 in 87 innings in High-A ball. Patino could have three plus pitches when he reaches the Majors.

 

MLB Dynasty Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Brusdar Graterol, RHP, Twins (AA) (ETA: 2020)

Graterol’s season was interrupted by a shoulder injury but he’s expected back soon. Minnesota is even considering promoting him late in the year to help out since they struck out on impact arms at the trade deadline. He can fire the fastball into the upper 90s and could eventually have three better-than-average offerings.

22. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics (IL) (ETA: 2019)

Speaking of injuries, Luzardo has had more than his fair share of setbacks in 2019 thanks to a serious shoulder strain and a subsequent lat strain. He should be back soon but has thrown just 21.1 innings this season. Standing six feet tall, there is some concern over his ability to hold up over the course of a full season (He also had Tommy John surgery in high school), although he has developed a mature, muscular frame. He has a chance to be a frontline starter with three above-average offerings.

23. Adley Rutschman, C, Orioles (A-) (ETA: 2022)

Selected first overall in the 2019 draft, Rutschman is advanced on both sides of the ball as a catcher. He’s also a vocal leader and has solid makeup, which should help him succeed at the demanding position. He’s hitting just .173 as a pro through his first 15 games but he also has much more to learn than the average first-year pro and his BB-K of 8-9 in 52 at-bats hints at better days ahead.

24. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: 2019)

Keller isn’t the most electric hurler but he does have a firm fastball in the mid-90s, as well as a promising curveball. He also has above-average control but needs to harness his command to succeed at the MLB level. He throws a lot of strikes but has too often left them in a hitter’s wheelhouse, as witnessed by his 21 hits allowed in 12 big league innings.

25. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Orioles (A) (ETA: 2022)

Just 19, Rodriguez already stands 6-5 and weighs 250 pounds. He can dial up his heater into the 94-97 mph range and he backs it up with a pair of promising breaking balls. Selected 11th overall in 2018, Rodriguez has a K-BB of 101-31 in 75.1 innings at the Low-A ball level.

26. Nolan Jones, 3B, Indians (AA) (ETA: 2021)

It’s a tough decision to pick the best third base prospect in the game but, for me, Jones edges the Phillies’ Alec Bohm. Standing 6-4, the Indians prospect is loaded with power potential but he has also shown a willingness to take a walk, which helps compensate for some of the swing and miss in his game. He’s done a better job of getting the ball in the air since moving from High-A to Double-A.

27. Drew Waters, OF, Braves (AAA) (ETA: 2020)

On the surface, Waters appears to have better numbers than teammate and fellow outfield prospect, Cristian Pache. But the big concern with the former is the lack of discipline at the plate, which has led to a BB-K of 28-126 in 111 games. Waters is a speedy player, even though he doesn’t steal a lot of bases, but he’s due for some regression on his Double-A BABIP, which was at .436 prior to a recent promotion to Triple-A.

28. CJ Abrams, SS, Padres (A) (ETA: 2022)

I had Abrams ranked as the third-best prospect in the 2019 draft but he lasted until the Padres nabbed him with the sixth-overall selection. The ultra-athletic player rewarded them with a .401 batting average in 32 rookie ball games, which earned him a recent promotion to full-season A-ball at the age of 18. He actually stole as many bases (14) as he struck out, and he also showed more pop than expected with 23 extra-base hits.

29. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Marlins (AA) (ETA: 2020)

Sanchez opened the year in extended spring training after struggling through injuries in 2018 but he’s pitched well since reaching Double-A. He has a K-BB of 86-17 in 88 innings. He has good command and control for his age (21) and also flashes three potentially-plus offerings.

30. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AAA) (ETA: 2020)

Like the pitcher ahead of him on the list, Garcia is an undersized player who can nonetheless dial the heater up into the mid-90s. Just 20, he’s pitched at three levels in 2019 but has struggled to command the Triple-A baseball (which is the same baseball used in the Majors but different from any other minor league level). If Garcia can improve his changeup a little bit, it will help to further enhance his plus curveball.

More Dynasty Baseball Strategy




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 19)

The trade deadline came and went with a flurry of moves but there were few big deals as many playoff contenders refused to part with top prospects and most sellers refused to give away players for limited value in return.

Still, the trade deadline impacted a few prospects. Infielder Willi Castro fell off the list this week because the Tigers acquired another second baseman in Travis Demeritte. Dustin May was promoted by the Dodgers when the club was unable to acquire outside help. We also saw Isan Diaz — who was the second-ranked prospect on last week’s list — get the call in Miami even through The Fish were unable to offload veteran second baseman Starlin Castro. And the Angels recalled first base/pitcher Jared Walsh.

This week’s list sees a new No. 1 prospect while the back third of the list saw a number of players fall off due to poor performances such as Ke’Bryan Hayes, Austin Hays, and Bobby Bradley (who was also hurt by Cleveland’s three-team deal with San Diego and Cincinnati).

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Like a number of top clubs, the Dodgers were very quiet at the deadline. Instead, Los Angeles will rely on its impressive minor league depth. Catcher Will Smith and pitcher Dustin May have earned promotions… so when will Lux get the call? He’s not hitting quite as well as he was but that means his batting average is down to "only" .390 over his past 10 games. In 30 Triple-A game, he’s produced 57 hits and has a 1.378 OPS.

2. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Astros dealt quite a few prospects at the deadline but Tucker remained with the organization. The good news from his perspective is that the club has now lost a fair bit of upper-level depth with the trades of Tyler White, Tony Kemp, and Derek Fisher. As a result, Tucker should be the next outfielder recalled in the event of an injury, although the more versatile Myles Straw is also in the equation. Tucker is hitting just .244 through his last 10 games but he’s also curbed the strikeouts (BB-K of 4-6) while still hitting for power (three homers) and stealing bases (three steals).

3. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: August)

Kieboom’s up-and-down results from July have carried into August where he’s posted a .756 OPS through the first five games. He’s not hitting as well as he was but it’s not uncommon for prospects to hit the wall in the summer given how easy it is to wear down in the heat. A promotion to the Majors could help rejuvenate him while given the veterans some rest, too. With Washington currently in a wild card position, it might behoove the team to rest the likes if Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon — especially given their respective injury histories. Current back-up Adrian Sanchez has little-to-no upside.

4. Nate Lowe, 1B, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Rays were one of the few truly busy teams at the deadline and appear poised to beat Boston to the playoffs — although they’ll face stiff competition from the AL East-leading Yankees. New York has been ravaged by injuries and, while Tampa Bay has dealt with players hitting the IL, the club has much more enviable (healthy) depth. That’s not such good news for Lowe, though, as he was recently demoted when the club acquired veteran first baseman Jesus Aguilar.  The young hitter showed well in 30 big league games with an OPS of .875 so he’ll be back the moment an injury makes room.

5. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: August)

With the Braves focusing on improving the bullpen at the deadline, the club will move forward with young pitchers acting as depth options. Wright has now gone five straight games with six or more innings pitched. In his last outing, he threw seven innings of four-hit ball with eight strikeouts. Wright finished July with a 2.49 ERA and a K-BB of 27-5 in 25.1 innings.

6. Junior Fernandez, Cardinals (AAA) (ETA: August)

It was a quiet trade deadline for the Cardinals. The team has very good pitching, including the bullpen, but injuries and ineffectiveness are due to hit the staff at some point. If that happens, Fernandez looks ready to step in and help. The hard-throwing reliever has played at three levels this year and, oddly, he’s done better the higher he’s gone: His batting-average-against has gone down and his ground-ball rate has increased at each stop. He has 23 strikeouts and just 11 hits allowed in 20.2 Triple-A innings.

7. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: August)

With some minor trades at the deadline, the Pirates thinned out the pitching depth in the organization, which should help Keller. And he seems to have taken notice. He allowed four earned runs in his last game but struck out 12 batters (with just one walk) in six innings. Keller now has a K-BB of 123-35 in 103.2 innings and deserves another shot at lowering his 10.50 MLB ERA.

8. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: August)

Puk’s command wavered a bit recently and he allowed three runs over his past three outings but Triple-A hitters are still batting just .160 against him. The club was only able to acquire Jake Diekman during the lead-up to the trade deadline so Puk could very well become a valuable piece in the coming months.

9. Bryse Wilson, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: August)

Like Kyle Wright above, Wilson benefited from the lack of trades to improve the club’s starting pitching depth. He’s on a strong run at Triple-A where he’s allowed just one run over his past three starts, spanning 20 innings. During that stretch, he has a K-BB of 16-4.

10. Nick Solak, 2B/OF, Rangers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Solak is hitting well at Triple-A over the past 10 games with a .343 batting average and a BB-K of 4-6. He’s also gone deep six times in the 18 games since his trade and now has 23 home runs on the season in just 103 games. A recent five-game winning streak has the Rangers back within striking distance of a wild card spot and Solak’s versatility could come in handy.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Jon Duplantier, RHP, Diamondbacks (AAA) (ETA: August)

The club subtracted Zack Greinke at the trade deadline but then also added Zac Gallen (in one heck of a steal) and Mike Leake. The club may very well prefer to have Duplantier in Triple-A to serve as starting pitching insurance but there is also a clear opportunity to improve the bullpen. Whatever the plan, he needs to pitch better. He’s allowed 12 earned runs over his last two outings spanning 6.2 innings.

12. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: September) 

The likelihood of Robert getting a promotion to the Majors is getting less and less as we get closer and closer to the end of the season — but the young outfielder is not going down without a fight. He’s hitting .386 over his past 10 games. His BB-K of 6-18 in 21 Triple-A games is much improved over his results in the lower levels of the system. Overall, he has 23 home runs, 34 steals, and a .349 batting average.

13. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/3B, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: September)

Trey Mancini (and Renato Nunez) remained with the Orioles at the trade deadline so that hurts Mountcastle’s chances of reaching the Majors this year but he seems motivated to nonetheless get the call. The young infielder is hitting .386 over his past 10 games despite an ugly BB-K of 1-9. Overall, he has a .314 average at Triple-A and his next home run will be his 20th on the season.

14. Adbert Alzolay, RHP, Cubs (AAA) (ETA: August)

Alzolay is back off the disabled list and made an abbreviated start on Aug. 3. He went 2.1 shutout innings and allowed just one hit. He didn’t have his best control and walked two batters. If all is well, he should build his stamina back up and be available to serve as depth for the Cubs’ starting rotation throughout the remainder of the season.

15. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (AAA) (ETA: September)

Adell earned a recent promotion to Triple-A after posting a .944 in 43 Double-A games. He’s taken to Triple-A well and is hitting .368 with a BB-K of 4-5 in five games. After a five-game losing streak, the Angels are now nine games out of a wild card spot so it’s getting less and less likely that Adell can earn a promotion to try and help push the club back into playoff contention.

16. Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP, Yankees (Injured) (ETA: September)

Loaisiga was recently sent out on an injury rehab session and he could end up being a valuable pitching piece later this month and down the stretch to the playoffs. He’s struggled to stay healthy in his career but has an impact arm and the Yankees certainly need help on the mound after coming up empty at the trade deadline

17. Joshua Rojas, IF, Diamondbacks (AAA) (ETA: August)

Rojas made the move from the Astros to the Diamondbacks at the trade deadline (in the Zack Greinke deal). That change works out well for the versatile player who moves to an organization with less upper-level depth. He has a .329 batting average, 21 home runs and 33 steals on the season — and is also hitting .600 in his first four games with his new organization.

18. Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Twins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Thorpe has been up and down with the Twins as both a starter and reliever so he’s shown versatility as a pitcher. The club made some moves at the trade deadline to shore up its bullpen but the help for the starting rotation never came. That means that Thorpe could become a valuable arm in the final few months. He hasn’t worked a lot lately (His last minor league appearance was July 17) but Thorpe threw 1.2 innings of one-run ball in the Majors on Aug. 2.

19. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros (AA) (ETA: September)

It might be too little too late for 2019 but Whitley is finally throwing the ball better. Over his last three appearances, he’s thrown 12.1 innings and allowed just six hits and three walks. He’s getting the ball down more consistently and is also missing more bats with 16 strikeouts during that stretch. Whitely still has the raw skill to overpower hitters.

20. Jordan Romano, RHP, Blue Jays (Injured) (ETA: September)

As expected, Toronto mostly gutted the bullpen leading up to the trade deadline but closer Ken Giles stayed put due to a lingering elbow issue. Romano was supposed to be back throwing in games last week after dealing with a minor injury of his own but that return was delayed and no update has been given. If he can get back soon, he has a chance at seeing some high leverage innings in Toronto this year.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Yankees’ lack of moves at the deadline improved Garcia’s chances of seeing the Majors in the final two months of the season. But first, he’s got to figure out how to have success throwing the Triple-A baseball, which is the same as the ball used in the Majors but different than the one used at all the other levels of the minors. The young hurler has allowed 10 earned runs over his past two starts spanning 11 innings.

22. Jake Fraley, OF, Mariners (AAA) (ETA: September)

Fraley’s power has dried up recently and he has just one home run in his past 10 games. But he’s still hitting OK and has a .294 batting average over that same stretch. The Mariners were mostly quiet at the trade deadline but the recently-announced suspension to Tim Beckham could cause the club to move players around which could open up some playing time for Fraley, who has to be added to the 40-man roster this fall anyway.

23 Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (AAA) (ETA: September)

Gordon continues to push for an opportunity to make an impact at the big league level this year. He’s hitting .357 over his past 10 games. Overall, he’s up to a .298 batting average and .801 OPS through 70 games. He’ll face obstacles, though, with Jonathan Schoop (.758 OPS) and Luis Arraez (.356 batting average).

24. Keibert Ruiz, C, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: September)

Well, the trade deadline came and went… Ruiz almost became a Pittsburgh Pirate… but he remained with the Dodgers after a trade could not be consummated between the two organizations. It would be difficult for the Dodgers to find consistent playing time for him right now but it could happen. Ruiz is hitting .316 with a BB-K of 2-1 through nine Triple-A games.

25. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: September)

After throwing 89.2 innings in Double-A last year, Dunn is now up to another 105.2 innings at the same level in 2019 so it’s fair to wonder: What’s up? After seeing quite a few pitchers struggle with the jump from Double-A to Triple-A with the Major League baseball in play, it’s possible the organization may want to jump Dunn right to The Show and help ease him along under their collective watchful eye. He hasn’t thrown overly well lately, though, and has given up nine earned runs in his past 10.1 innings.

26. Peter Fairbanks, RHP, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Rays brought in some pitching depth at the trade deadline, which hurt Fairbanks’ chances of pitching meaningful innings at the MLB level this year. And he also had a pretty poor outing on Aug. 3 when his control left him and he walked three batters while allowing two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning. Still, if the can get back on track, he has the power repertoire to be helpful.

27. Tanner Houck, RHP, Red Sox (AAA) (ETA: September)

Boston was quiet at the trade deadline which could work out well for Houck. After a rough outing in late July, the starter-turned-reliever has had two shutout appearances spanning three innings. The biggest obstacle he needs to overcome is the control issue he’s had as a reliever; he’s walked eight batters in nine innings at the Triple-A level.

28. Abraham Toro, 3B, Astros (AAA) (ETA: September)

Toro was recently promoted from Double-A to Triple-A after producing 12 hits in his final four Double-A games. He has an .864 OPS with an impressive BB-K of 4-2 through his first four Triple-A games. Toro will need to be added to the 40-man roster this fall and he has the ability to play first base, second base, and third base so he could be called upon if an injury strikes the Astros’ infield in the final few months of the season.

29. Anthony Alford, OF, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Jays have little to play for this year and will spend the remainder of 2019 looking at potential contributors for the 2020 season. Alford was beginning to hit well at Triple-A before getting hurt but he played well in a recent rehab assignment in rookie ball and could be recalled soon to rotate into the big league outfield that also has recently-acquired Derek Fisher looking for playing time.

30. Jose Urquidy, RHP, Astros (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Astros greatly improved the pitching depth at the trade deadline with the likes of Zack Greinke, Aaron Sanchez, and Joe Biagini but injuries have a habit of occurring at the worst possible times. As a result, we could still see Urquidy at some point this year. His ERA of 5.87 at the big league level is not the most encouraging but he struck out 24 batters in 23 innings and actually had a couple of really strong starts for the Astros.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Hot Prospects To Watch - Sheldon Neuse, Abraham Toro And More Padres

Last week we were discussing how some of the big trades at the deadline not only drastically affected the major league landscape as contending teams plan for a postseason run, but also how it changed the outlook of certain minor league prospects. One three-team swap even included Cincinnati's top prospect (outfielder Taylor Trammell) shifting to San Diego.

The biggest immediate beneficiary was outfielder Travis Demeritte, who was shipped off to Detroit in the trades that sent closer Shane Greene and reliever Mark Melancon to Atlanta. Demeritte was called up to the Tigers to make his debut shortly after the trade, and he's had 13 at-bats in four games. The most impactful long-term swap came in the Zack Greinke trade, as Arizona acquired Seth Beer, Corbin Martin and J.B. Bukauskas. All three are top-12 prospects for the D-backs and should have a quicker path to the majors in their new home.

Other trades saw the Tigers land lefty Joey Wentz (their No. 10 prospect now), the Reds acquire outfielder Jameson Hannah (No. 10), the Marlins pick up outfielder Jesus Sanchez (No. 3) and shortstop Jazz Chisholm (No. 4), and the Giants snag infielder Mauricio Dubon (No. 8). The Marlins did especially well to land two high-end prospects that could help them in their rebuilding process in the very near future.

 

Friars Youngsters Continue To Impress

CJ Abrams - SS, San Diego Padres

Abrams became the first high school player taken in this year's draft to be promoted on Tuesday, being moved from the Rookie League in Arizona to Single-A Fort Wayne. The sixth overall pick is just 18 years old but hit .401/.442/.662 with 12 doubles, eight triples, three home runs, 22 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 32 games.

It's still early in his developmental process in one of the best minor league systems in baseball, but Abrams could quickly jump onto the radar of those in dynasty/keeper leagues because of his plus speed and above-average ceiling with the stick. He may not stay at shortstop long term, but his skills should allow him to become a fine fantasy middle infielder in years to come.

Abrams is the team's No. 5 prospect and No. 48 overall in baseball. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder won't be known for his power, and he'll also need to perform at a high level if he's eventually going to break into a middle infield that already has Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias at the top level. Stay patient with the 18-year-old.

Ty France - 3B/1B, San Diego Padres

The 25-year-old didn't live up to expectations in his first 34 big league games this year (.235 average, two homers, 25 strikeouts, four walks in 98 at-bats), but he's been one of the best overall hitters this year at Triple-A El Paso. France is slashing a healthy .391/.472/.771 with 26 bombs and 80 RBI in 69 games. He already has two four-hit outings and a three-hit performance with two homers in five games in August.

He's ranked as SD's No. 24 prospect after being drafted in the 34th round in 2015. France has recently started to mature in the power department and has hit 20-plus homers the last two years in the minors. His bat could play at the next level, but the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League is certainly helping his cause right now.

It's good to see France succeeding at Triple-A, but he's also blocked at the hot corner by Manny Machado and at first base by Eric Hosmer. It will probably take an injury ahead of him at the major league level for France to come into any kind of fantasy significance. Still, he's worth monitoring in dynasty leagues as long as he continues to swing a hot bat.

 

Neuse Performing In Las Vegas

Sheldon Neuse - 3B, Oakland Athletics

Neuse, 24, is having a breakout season for the Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators after struggling at Triple-A last year. He's batting .329/.397/.559 with a career-high 21 home runs and 88 RBI in 106 games, including going 9-for-19 with two home runs, three doubles and three RBI in five games to start August. Neuse managed a poor line of .263/.304/.357 with five homers and 55 RBI in 135 games at Nashville in 2018.

The former second-round pick of the Nationals in 2016 came over to the A's in the deal that involved closer Sean Doolittle in 2017. Neuse sprays balls to all fields with his right-handed stroke and has seen his power take the next step in his second full season at Class AAA. It's nice to see his power improve this year, but he still has a tendency to swing and miss too much with 172 strikeouts and 32 walks in 2018.

The big problem for Oakland's No. 8 prospect? He's blocked at third base in the big leagues by one of the best third baseman in all of baseball in Matt Chapman. Neuse would've been one of the players to benefit greatly by being traded to another organization at the deadline. The A's could quickly find another position for him if he continues to hit at their highest minor league level, though.

 

Toro Charging His Way Toward Bigs

Abraham Toro - 3B, Houston Astros

Even after sending three of their top-10 prospects to Arizona in the Greinke trade last week, Houston's farm system remains strong. Toro is helping to prove that by hitting .306/.393/.513 with 16 home runs and 70 RBI in 98 games for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks to earn a recent promotion to Triple-A Round Rock.

The 22-year-old's minor league statistics won't jump off the page, but he continues to make hard contact and is well-regarded for his plate discipline. Houston's fifth-round pick in 2016 has 269 career minor league strikeouts and 164 walks. Toro is also a switch-hitter that consistently works great at-bats and has one of the more advanced hitting approaches in the system.

The Canadian third baseman finished off the month of July by hitting .364/.424/.589 with three home runs, 15 RBI, eight walks and 18 strikeouts in 118 plate appearances over 26 games at Double-A. He'll most likely have to find a new position in Houston with Alex Bregman blocking him, but Toro could easily break in at the majors next year because of his bat. He'd be instantly fantasy relevant in what should continue to be a strong lineup.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups Featured Baseball #2 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Introducing Bo - The Youngest Bichette Has Finally Arrived

It's been years in the making. Who was once a second-round pick for the Blue Jays in 2016 has turned into a real major leaguer, and he is here to stay. By now, we all know about Bo Bichette and his pedigree. He has been one of the most-heralded prospects for the past two years and his time has arrived with Toronto's call-up a few days ago.

Even with all of that, there is an outside chance that you still don't know or realize who the shortstop is and where his game stands right now. If so, there's a good chance you aren't old enough to remember his dad, Dante Bichette.

With him becoming part of every fantasy league from this very moment, it looks like a proper time to asses his qualities and introduce him to every fantasy owner interested in the young infielder.

 

Who Is Bo Bichette?

You have heard the name, but you have not watched the tape. Fear nothing. This will get you up to date with Bichette's profile as a hitting machine.

If there is something to know about Bo Bichette, it must be his hitting prowess and his power. Bichette profiles as a hard hitter and his minor league numbers show it. This year, accounting only for his time at Triple-A Buffalo, he's hit eight home runs in 244 plate appearances, amassed 61 hits, walked 19 times, and converted 32 RBI. His slash line of .275/.333/.473 doesn't look overly great, but given the little time he's spent on Triple-A (at age 21, way below the average), it was enough to grant him a call from the Blue Jays.

After Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s graduation, Bichette became the No. 1 prospect in Toronto's farm system, and with good reason. Even while suffering a little slump during the month of August (which he attributes to his antsy about getting called-up), Bichette surely looks like he's been on a steadily-improving path.

 

Bo's Value Volume I: Dynasty

Let's start assessing Bo Bichette's value for fantasy owners that are playing in Dynasty leagues. Those competitions reward more sound planning and are based on more true-to-life strategies such as stashing prospects that could eventually pan out, getting assets for both the present and the future, etc. Bichette's value in Dynasty leagues is, plain and simple, unbeatable.

The fact that Bichette comes as an organization No. 1 prospect speaks for itself. Not only that, but MLB Pipeline has him ranked as the eighth-best prospect overall. By this time, Bichette must already be part of the player pool in your league, so if you are still able to find him unclaimed don't lose a single second getting him before he flies off the board!

While talking Dynasties, current production is not that important. Bichette will be given even more room to grow at his own pace now that the Blue Jays has traded Eric Sogard just prior to the prospects promotion. The shortstop position is his to lose now in Toronto and it doesn't look like it will change either the short- or long-term future. Even if he eventually moves to second or third base, which some scouts think will happen, there is no doubt he'll remain in the lineup one way or another for years to come.

These are the two-year projections ZiPS is giving him, starting next season:

The only four players to have at least 2.5 WAR in 2018 and 2019 while being 22 years old at most are Rafael Devers, Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, and Cody Bellinger. That's who Bichette is projected to be next season.

Enough to convince you of getting him. So yes, buy/add/get/sign/trade or use whatever means you have, but put Bichette in your roster right now!

 

Bo's Value Volume II: ROS

Here is the tricky part with Bo Bichette. The kid is already a major leaguer, and therefore he's going to produce value for the two months left in the season. This is where discrepancies of his true value for the next few weeks may arise depending on the type of league and how different owners value prospects and strategize.

We have already mentioned how Bichette is a lock in Dynasty leagues. There are no surprises there, and that should be assumed every day. On the other hand, re-draft leagues pose another completely different challenge when thinking about what to do with Bichette's appearance in the players' pool.

As of Wednesday, Toronto has 53 games left on its schedule. Let's not fool ourselves here, and say Bichette will definitely play in no less than 50 of them if not in every single one. In order to assess or predict what we could expect from Bichette in that timespan, I took a look at late-season (June 1 or later) call-ups from last year. There were only six position-players that fit the profile, but only two of them can be seen as comparables to Bichette in terms of sample size: Jake Bauers (96 games) and Kyle Tucker (28 games).

Jake Bauers debut season ended with him hitting 11 HR, scoring 48 runs and 48 RBIs, putting up 6 SB, and slashing .201/.316/.384. Kyle Tucker got 9 H, no HR, 1 SB, 4 RBI, and a slash line of .141/.236/.203. These numbers represent a small sample size of only two players. While there is little use in overanalyzing brief performances, it does identify a very important point: it takes time to adapt to the majors.

Looking at ROS projections by Steamer, Bichette is expected to play 44 games, get 44 H, 4 HR, 20 R, and 20 RBI, 7 SB, and slash .263/.313/.415. Not bad production, but nothing out of this world neither.

In pure re-draft leagues in which you will only squeeze two months off Bichette, though, I'd advise passing on him. Despite a clear path to playing time, it will take time for Bichette's skills to stabilize at the top level. Therefore, his production will probably not help you during the rest of the season.

One thing to consider, although it could be hard to pull off, is to take advantage of the expectations and hype Bichette is bringing to the league with him and try to sign-and-trade him as soon as possible.

In a league full of savvy and experienced owners this would never happen, but in others filled with less experienced players, you could try to get a veteran for Bichette. I would recommend this move over keeping the rookie, as even slumping players with MLB experience are expected to be more valuable ROS than a true newcomer.

While no one will trade any incredibly talented player for Bichette (at the end of the day he's an unproven commodity right now), you could look for trade packages that include players such as Khris Davis, Michael Brantley, Adalberto Mondesi, Scott Kingery, or Brian McCann. It would depend on how different owners see Bichette's potential ROS performance and how high they are on the shortstop, but it is a strategy worth trying if you can get Bichette for free and have space to play around with him.

 

Conclusion

All in all, Bichette has arrived a little late to the party. But don't think he has not brought enough goods to be part of it for years to come. Some of us expected Guerrero Jr. to break baseball from day one, but it is taking a little more time for him to gear up. Whether Bichette follows the same path or start putting on a show from day one, we shouldn't worry too much about it for now given the upside he comes with.

He already has the hitting tools to become a staple in any type of league going forward, boast enough power to put up high HR numbers and although he may lose speed along the way, he can also provide base running production in the shape of SB for quite some time.

Get Bichette as soon as you can and plan ahead of time. You'll need that middle infield free for him to slot in before you know it.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 18)

This was, without a doubt, the most challenging Top 30 list of the year to write. It takes about three days to craft each list so the preparation and execution occurred during the most tumultuous time of the year for any prospect… or prospect writer.

And much more will likely have changed by the end of the day that this piece is published - which just happens to fall on trade deadline day in Major League Baseball. No, the players themselves don’t change but a move from one organization to another can quickly change a player’s MLB ETA — usually for the better, but not always.

Last week’s No. 3 prospect on the list, Will Smith, recently — and very suddenly — went from Triple-A player to the Dodgers’ No. 1 catcher. And then last week’s No. 2 prospect, Bo Bichette, was promoted a couple of days ago when Toronto traded the versatile Eric Sogard to Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays then traded pitchers Marcus Stroman and David Phelps, which brought Sean Reid-Foley, who was in the latter half of the list, back to the Majors.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: August)

It’s been a rough month for Tucker who had an OPS above 1.000 in both May and June. His OPS was sitting at .657 for July just a couple of days ago but then he hit two home runs over the past two days to push it up to a modest .700. He’s now enjoyed two not-so-good months and two very good months. So who is the real Tucker? Given that this is his second full season in Triple-A, the young outfielder should be providing more consistent results. Of course, it’s also possible that he could be playing through a minor injury that’s impacting him at the plate. The trade deadline is not yet over as of the writing of this piece so we don’t have any clarity on his chances of impacting the Majors this year.

2. Isan Diaz, 2B, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Diaz is hitting just .231 with 12 strikeouts over his past 10 games. But he also added another two home runs to give him 24 through 98 games. You have to be interested in any second baseman projected to hit more than 30 home runs in a full season - while also showing a solid BB-K (47-92) and hitting near .300. The 23-year-old infielder’s return to prospect prominence this year has been sorely under-hyped.

3. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: August)

July has easily been Kieboom’s worst month of the year but he’s looking to head into August on a hot streak. Although his OPS is down around .700 for the month, after being above .930 every other month, he’s on fire over his last 10 games with a .349 average and just four strikeouts. The improved contact brings his BB-K to 50-72 for the year, through 83 games. Like Isan Diaz above, Kieboom’s patience makes him even more valuable in leagues that reward walks.

4. Junior Fernandez, Cardinals (AAA) (ETA: August)

Fernandez recently threw about two shutout innings and has some impressive numbers since his promotion to Triple-A. In 10 games, he has a 0.59 ERA with 18 strikeouts and is inducing ground-ball outs at an above-average rate through 15.1 innings. He still has yet to allow a home run this season in 56 combined innings.

5. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: August)

After a stretch of three games with just four total runs allowed, Keller had a rough game on July 27 when he allowed five earned runs on six hits a walk over 4.2 innings. His command issues continue to be a problem, even though he’s mostly solved his control issues and hasn’t allowed more than three walks in a minor league start since mid-April.

6. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: August)

Wright has been much-asked-about during trade discussions but the Braves aren’t overly likely to part with the talented hurler while his value is down after an inconsistent season. With that said, he’s on a strong streak of allowing three or fewer earned runs in seven straight starts at the Triple-A level.

7. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Teams have been pressuring the Dodgers to part with Lux but Los Angeles has, to date, resisted the urge despite being unable to acquire the pitching help that they seek. Lux continues to tear the cover off the ball on a nightly basis and is hitting .419 over his past 10 games with a BB-K of 10-8. Overall through 24 Triple-A games, he has 47 hits, including eight home runs. His BB-K is 17-20.

8. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: August)

Oakland has already been active on the trade market and should continue to seek help right up until the deadline. However, Puk appears to be getting comfortable in his new relief role as he returns from Tommy John surgery and could be a secret weapon for the A’s in the waning weeks of the 2019 regular season and into the playoffs. Since being promoted to Triple-A, he’s thrown three innings without allows a run or a walk. He’s allowed just one hit and has struck out three batters.

9. Bryse Wilson, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: August)

Wilson’s hot-and-cold stretches at Triple-A continue. After a dud performance on July 11, he threw seven innings on July 21 without allowing an earned run. He gave up just four hits and did not issue a walk. The Braves are known to be in the market for pitching but are through to be focused more on relievers so Wilson, Kyle Wright, and other young pitchers could continue to see key innings.

10. Jon Duplantier, RHP, Diamondbacks (AAA) (ETA: August)

Duplantier has now thrown four times since returning from an injury. He was roughed up in the first appearance but has now gone three straight games without allowing an earned run. He’s also walked just one batter to go along with eight strikeouts in 7.1 innings. With the Diamondbacks now looking like sellers, and Robbie Ray expected to be dealt, it could mean more innings at the MLB level for Duplantier in the final two months of the season.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

May is another prospect that teams are trying to pry away from the Dodgers. The 21-year-old hurler recently threw six shutout innings with just three hits and one walk allowed. He has a 2.53 ERA through four Triple-A starts since being promoted from Double-A but neither his control nor his command has not been as sharp.

12. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: August) 

Robert is having a quiet stretch - but it’s one that most prospects would covet as a hot streak. Over the past 10 games, he’s hitting .302 with a BB-K of 4-11. He’s now hitting .356 through 17 Triple-A games with five home runs and five steals. Overall, he has 21 home runs and 34 steals at three different minor league levels.

13. Jordan Romano, RHP, Blue Jays (Injured) (ETA: August)

Romano continues to be sidelined by an injury but he’s expected to soon return to game action and could see some high-leverage innings in the final two months of the year with Toronto’s veteran relievers in high demand as the deadline nears. Ken Giles isn’t likely to be dealt now that he’s dealing with an elbow injury, but he also might not pitch much in the final months of the season if this keeps up. Toronto has also already traded David Phelps with more names continuing to be mentioned in rumors.

14. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AAA) (ETA: August)

Garcia continues to be one of the most sought-after prospects by teams discussing deals with the Yankees. The 20-year-old has pitched at three levels so far this season but has been inconsistent at the Triple-A level. In his most recent start, he allowed four earned runs in six innings but also displayed improved control with just one walk. All combined, he has 128 strikeouts in 82.2 innings this season.

15. Willi Castro, SS, Tigers (AAA) (ETA: August)

The rebuilding Tigers club has been quiet so far leading up to the trade deadline so this second base prospect remains in line for a late-season promotion, although Castro isn’t doing himself any favors. He’s hitting just .225 with a BB-K of 0-9 over his past 10 games. Overall, he’s hitting .287 with 17 steals in 98 games.

16. Adbert Alzolay, RHP, Cubs (Injured) (ETA: August)

Alzolay remains on the Triple-A injured list but it’s not expected to be a long-term injury.

17. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/3B, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: August)

Mountcastle seems to know it’s trade deadline time. He’s looking for his organization to make a big splash and open up some playing time for him. He’s hitting .442 over the past 10 games with 19 hits, including three home runs. He’s now one long-ball away from 20 for the season. His BB-K remains ugly at 14-98 in 95 games.

18. Nick Solak, 2B/OF, Rangers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Solak has had a mostly all-or-nothing approach since moving from the Rays to the Rangers. In 11 games in his new organization, four of his nine hits have gone over the outfield fences. But he’s only hitting .220 with 10 strikeouts. He now has 21 home runs in 96 games this season, which is good pop for someone that should end up qualifying at both second base and in the outfield.

19. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (AA) (ETA: August)

The Angels are still within striking distance of a wild card spot but they also have a number of teams to jump over so they remain stuck in an unenviable position. Adell is also stuck in a rut at Double-A with a .162 batting average over his past 10 games so his chances of getting a late-season promotion to try and spark the club are getting slimmer.

20. Keibert Ruiz, C, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: September)

With the Dodgers wadding into the pitching market, it’s widely expected that one of the two top catching prospects in the organization could be used as bait. It’s probably not going to be Will Smith, who was recently named the Dodgers’ No. 1 catcher and he clearly separated himself from Ruiz earlier in the year. But after struggling early in the season — perhaps due somewhat to the disappointment of returning to Double-A for a second season — Ruiz has enjoyed a recent rejuvenation. That, in turn, earned him a promotion to Triple-A where he’s hitting .333 through four games.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Jake Fraley, OF, Mariners (AAA) (ETA: August)

Fraley went a stretch of five days without appearing in a game — possibly due to a minor injury — and he hasn’t been much of an impact player since returning (5-for-28). Still, he’s done enough this season to earn a late-season look with the Mariners and he possesses an intriguing mix of speed and developing power. Overall, he has 16 home runs, 21 steals, and a .290 batting average.

22. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: August)

Hayes just hasn’t had a great season at Triple-A. But the Pirates are also looking toward the future and there is some value in promoting him to see if he looks capable of impacting the club in 2020 — since he has to be added to the 40-man roster this winter anyway. He’s hitting .244 on the year but has some extra-base power and is 11-for-12 in stolen base attempts.

23. Austin Hays, OF, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: August)

Hays is finally healthy but a recent cold streak has hurt his overall Triple-A numbers. He’s hitting just .186 with a BB-K of 1-11 over his past 10 games. On the plus side, he’s still providing some pop and his OPS sits at .774 through 29 games. Of his 30 hits, 13 have gone for doubles and five have gone for home runs. And with a limited minor league system, Hays’ chances of promotion are positively impacted by the lack of depth.

24. Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Gordon is making a late push for an MLB promotion this year - either with the Twins or perhaps another club, depending on how trade deadline day goes. He’s hitting .378 over the past 10 games and is now up to .301 through 67 games for the season. Of his 85 hits, 28 have been doubles which suggests some raw power potential. He also has 14 successful steals in 18 attempts.

25. Jared Walsh, 1B/JHP, Angels (AAA) (ETA: August)

Walsh’s chances of seeing a return to the Majors this year are solid considering the fact he could have an impact in the bullpen or at the plate. The two-way player is on fire right now in the batter’s box. Over the past seven games, he’s gone 14-30 with seven home runs. He’s hitting .327 with 26 home runs and a BB-K of 50-87 in 77 games. On the mound, his ERA sits at 3.00 and he’s inducing a massive number of ground-ball outs.

26. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: August)

Dunn has had three starting excellent starts at the Double-A level. In his last two starts, he’s thrown seven innings each time and has allowed a total of just one run on eight hits with 12 strikeouts. He has a K-BB of 114-28 on the season and looks more than ready for Triple-A and/or the Majors.

27. Peter Fairbanks, RHP, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Although his future is somewhat dependent on what the Rays do by 4 PM eastern today (Wednesday), Fairbanks could be positioning himself well to help sooner rather than later at the big league level. The hard-throwing right-hander pitched two scoreless, hitless innings over the past week. He walked one batter and struck out three.

28. Joshua Rojas, IF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: August)

A former 26th round draft pick, Rojas has quietly turned himself into a prospect. Although he’s not the most fleet of foot, he’s a good base runner and has posted back-to-back seasons with more than 30 steals. And he’s added power to his game this year (partially due to the juiced balls in Triple-A). After hitting a career-high of 10 homers back in his debut season, Rojas is now at 20 for the season. Rojas’ also has an impressive BB-K of 50-61. The prospect's versatility also makes him attractive, as he qualifies at all four infield positions and in the outfield.

29. Tanner Houck, RHP, Red Sox (AAA) (ETA: August)

Houck’s transition from starter to reliever has hit a speed bump in Triple-A. After his most recent outing, he’s now issued five free passes in 4.2 innings with just two strikeouts. It can take some pitchers more time than others to get comfortable with the less structured routine of pitching out of the bullpen. Houck will need to find his comfort level soon if he’s going to have an opportunity to help Boston this season.

30. Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Indians’ trade for Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes hurts Bradley’s chances of finding impactful playing time in the final two months of the season. Bradley is also hitting just .190 over his past 10 games with… wait for it… 22 strikeouts in 42 at-bats. Yuck. He has 27 home runs in total but his BB-K is 27-113 in 77 games.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Hot Prospects To Watch - Oneil Cruz, Sean Murphy, Jorge Mateo And More

As we close the book on July this week, the biggest thing to watch for is the trade deadline. That comes at 4 pm ET on Wednesday, July 31. There have already been some notable names moved this month -- Andrew Cashner, Homer Bailey, Tyler White, Derek Holland, Eric Sogard, Marcus Stroman, Jordan Lyles, Trevor Bauer, Franmil Reyes, Yasiel Puig and Jason Vargas -- but expect that list to grow by deadline's end, especially with no waiver period in August in 2019.

Most of these trades involve contenders beefing up for the stretch run, but the flip side often includes notable prospects on the move to rebuilding clubs. In some cases, the minor leaguers exchanged could land in a better situation that speeds up their ascent to the big leagues. Cincy's top prospect, outfielder Taylor Trammell, moves to a crowded outfield picture in SD in a three-team deal that also included the Friars' No. 7 prospect in southpaw Logan Allen heading to Cleveland.

Lefty Anthony Kay and right-hander Simeon Woods-Richardson were shipped from the Mets to the Blue Jays in the Stroman package on Sunday. Kay and Woods-Richardson become the No. 5 and No. 7 prospects, respectively, for the Jays immediately. Kay struggled since being called up to Triple-A, but he's closer to a big league debut for a Toronto team already stacked with young prospects.

 

Cruz Walks The Plank To Altoona

Oneil Cruz - SS, Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh's No. 3 prospect and No. 62 overall was promoted from High-A Bradenton to Double-A Altoona on Tuesday after he hit .301/.345/.515 with seven home runs, 16 RBI and seven stolen bases in 35 games in the Florida League.

The left-handed hitter fractured his right foot in late April and thus hasn't had as much playing time as hoped, but he's been great when he's been on the field in the minors. Since his return on June 30, Cruz ranked second in Class A Advanced with a .330 batting average and .960 OPS.

Originally signed by the Dodgers, the 20-year-old has been a prospect to watch because of plus raw power and a plus arm on defense. The Dominican isn't your prototypical shortstop, however, standing at 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds. He can run a little bit despite his size, but a move to the hot corner at the higher levels is probably inevitable.

Cruz should gain more raw power as he matures and fills out physically, which makes him a bat to watch in Pittsburgh's organization. Don't expect him to play the 6 in the Show, but Cruz's bat should make him fantasy relevant when he gets the call in a few years.

 

Murphy Making Up For Lost Time

Sean Murphy - C, Oakland Athletics

Similar to Cruz, Murphy missed a big chunk of time with a torn meniscus in his left knee. But he's back now and is hitting .313 with six long balls and 10 RBI in 10 games (seven in the Rookie League), including three dingers for Triple-A Las Vegas last Friday. Overall, he's batting .349/.422/.640 with six homers and 18 RBI in 22 games for the Aviators.

The 24-year-old was a third-round pick in 2016 and is the No. 4-ranked catching prospect in all of baseball. He also performed well at Double-A in 2018, although he was slowed by an injury that year as well. He's an above-average defender behind the plate with an excellent arm. Murphy is probably major-league ready right now with the glove.

With the bat he shows fine plate discipline and makes enough contact to be one of the better fantasy backstops once he's in the big leagues full time. It makes more sense to keep him in the minors the rest of 2019 given his injuries the last two years, but Murphy should be catching regularly for Oakland at some point in 2020, if not sooner.

 

Mateo Enjoying PCL

Jorge Mateo - SS/2B, Oakland Athletics 

What a turnaround it's been for Mateo in 2019. He hit just .230/.280/.353 with three home runs, 45 RBI and 25 stolen bases in 131 games for Triple-A Nashville in 2018, but he's turned it around in the Pacific Coast League for Triple-A Las Vegas to the tune of a .302/.339/.537 slash line, 17 homers, 25 doubles, 13 triples, 72 RBI and 20 thefts in 95 games.

Oakland's No. 4 prospect was acquired from the Yankees in the Sonny Gray deal in 2017. The 24-year-old has plus speed -- he stole 82 bags in 2015 and 52 in 2017 -- but his lack of plate discipline is a real concern. Mateo struck out 139 times and walked just 29 times in 2018. He's walked 22 times and fanned 116 times in 460 plate appearances this year.

He has plenty of range up the middle and a strong arm on defense, but it's fair to wonder if his hitter-friendly environment in Vegas is a mirage for the underlying concerns with his profile. Mateo's speed and occasional pop makes him an intriguing prospect, but he also has a low floor and may not even develop into an everyday player at the next level.

 

Sixto Numero Uno In Miami

Sixto Sanchez - SP, Miami Marlins

The 21-year-old didn't fare quite so well in two starts at High-A Jupiter to kick off his Marlins tenure (six earned runs in 11 innings), but he's been much better since his promotion to the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. Sanchez tossed seven scoreless frames in his last start and is 7-4 with a 2.96 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 83 strikeouts and 15 walks in 82 innings over 14 starts.

The Dominican right-hander has some of the most electric stuff of any pitching prospect, which is why the Fish demanded he be included in the package that sent J.T. Realmuto to Philly earlier this year. He possesses a four-seamer that can reach triple digits but also induces plenty of ground balls with his two-seamer. If his offspeed offerings develop more, he could be downright nasty at the next level.

Injuries have set Sanchez back a bit, but the 6-foot, 185-pounder is gaining steam and should headline the front of Miami's rotation for years to come, possibly as soon as early 2020. Keep him stashed now in keeper/dynasty leagues. Sanchez is Miami's top prospect in the organization and is ranked as the No. 6 right-handed arm in the minors.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 17)

It could be a busy week ahead with the traded deadline only seven days away on July 31. The impending trade deadline could very well have serious implications for many of the prospects discussed below. A few of them could even be on the move to new organizations.

The Padres front office has been frenetically remaking the big league roster lately and promoted three prospects, including middle infielder Luis Urias, who is back up after a strong performance at Triple-A. The club also brought up two of its upper-level stud arms in Michel Baez and Adrian Morejon. Baez was a member of the last week’s list but Morejon was not as he was pitching in Double-A. Both pitchers may be getting an audition as the trade deadline approaches, or the Padres simply see themselves as being on the playoff fringes and would prefer to try and gain an edge from the minor league system rather than shedding talent to acquire short-term, veteran acquisitions.

The Indians recently recalled pitcher Zach Plesac and sent down fellow prospect Bobby Bradley, who showed some power but struggled to make consistent contact and struck out more than 40% of the time. *Brendan McKay was again optioned to Triple-A by the Rays after his most recent MLB start but this is considered a procedural move as the organization manages his innings throughout the second half so he was kept off the list again.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: August)

The inevitable finally happened with Tyler White receiving his walking papers after a rough season. However, this may not have a direct impact on Tucker, as hoped. The club will fill the vacant roster spot with a pitcher for now and then the Astros will have shortstop Carlos Correa returning from the IL in about a week’s time. Rookie Yordan Alvarez made White expendable and players like Tony Kemp and Myles Straw give the roster flexibility with their abilities to play multiple positions. Tucker continues to be mired in a July slump and is hitting .216 with 10 strikeouts over his past 10 games. On the plus side, he’s still getting on base and has eight walks over that same period.

2. Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Bichette continues to look MLB ready with another solid week at Triple-A. He had a two-homer game on July 17 and is making good contact with just five strikeouts in his last 40 at-bats. The young shortstop’s promotion could hinge on the club’s ability to find a reasonable trade for veteran infielder Freddy Galvis — who has been one of Toronto’s best hitters and also has a reasonable option for 2020 — but wouldn’t be happy sitting on the bench. Veteran second baseman Eric Sogard is in a similar situation (minus the contract option). We’ll likely see one, if not both, on the move over the next week with Bichette’s promotion coming minutes later.

3. Will Smith, C, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Smith continues to hit for power (five homers in seven games) but he took a pitch off his bare hand while catching and has been in and out of the lineup since then. The Dodgers also recently promoted another top catching prospect, Keibert Ruiz, to Triple-A — perhaps in an effort to showcase him for a potential deadline deal. If Smith’s hand is OK, he should soon earn another return trip to The Show.

4. Isan Diaz, 2B, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Diaz could be packing his bags for the Majors this time next week if the Marlins can find someone willing to take Starlin Castro off their hands. He’s obliterated Triple-A pitching recently with a .386 average and four home runs over his past 10 games. Overall, he has 24 homers, 44 walks and a .305 average in 92 games.

5. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: August)

Kieboom has had his ups-and-downs along the way this season but he’s sitting on a .968 OPS through 77 Triple-A games at the age of 21. He’s hit for power, average and also taken more than his fair share of walks. And his batting average is at .314. If the Nationals can find semi-regular playing time for him in the infield, he just might help the big league club push for that wild card spot.

6. Junior Fernandez, Cardinals (AAA) (ETA: August)

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Fernandez dealt in a trade deadline deal but, if he stays put, he could also help out the Cardinals. He’s only allowed one earned run in nine Triple-A games while striking out 16 batters (with just three walks) in 13.1 innings. He has an upper-90s fastball and a good changeup.

7. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Pirates are only six games out of the playoffs but they have a ton of teams ahead of them and are 2-8 in their last 10 games. Bring on the kids! Keller’s inconsistencies can be maddening at times but his Triple-A numbers are quite good so he deserves an extended look in the waning months of the 2019 season. He’s allowed just four earned runs over his last three starts and has 18 strikeouts in 17 innings.

8. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: August)

Just when it looked like Wright was getting back on the… right track… the Braves yanked him up to the Majors and sent him right back down after another rough outing. He needs some stability if he’s going to find success at the big league level. Other organizations are likely sniffing around hoping the Braves might be willing to part with the promising hurler but it would likely take a big deal to make that happen, even with his recent struggles.

9. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

No one in baseball is hotter than Lux. Over 17 Triple-A games since his promotion, he’s hitting almost .500 with an OPS of 1.502. He has a whopping 35 hits with 18 extra-base hits, including seven home runs. That’s more than half the home runs he had in 64 Double-A games. Remember when moving up to Triple-A was a challenge for a hitter? What a difference a juiced ball makes. A promotion of Lux would allow the club to give Corey Seager — who missed most of last year with an injury — time to rest up for the playoffs.

10. Jordan Romano, RHP, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Romano remains on the Triple-A injured list for now but is expected to get back into game action within the next week, which could put him in a good place for a recall to the Majors if Ken Giles and/or other members of the Blue Jays bullpen are on the move at the trade deadline.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Bryse Wilson, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: August)

Like Kyle Wright, Wilson has also dealt with a lot of ups-and-downs with three MLB stints and four Triple-A options. Just 21, Wilson has held his own but has also shown he needs to polish his command before he becomes a truly reliable pitcher at the MLB level. Still, he figures to see more MLB innings through August and September unless the Braves manage to bring in veteran pitching reinforcements and/or Wilson is one of the arms dealt.

12. Jon Duplantier, RHP, Diamondbacks (AAA) (ETA: August)

Duplantier was recently activated from the disabled list after missing all of June and a consistent role in the final two months of the season may give him a better chance of staying healthy. Regardless of his role, he could pitch some meaningful innings for the Diamondbacks in the near future.

13. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: August)

Puk has reportedly earned a promotion to Triple despite uneven results at the Double-A level and the A’s are no doubt looking at him as a potential bullpen reinforcement. In six appearances at that level, he’s struck out 13 batters in 8.1 innings but also allowed three walks and nine hits, including two home runs.

14. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (AA) (ETA: August)

The Angels remain in that sticky spot of “Do they go for it, or hold off and hope for next year?” If they decide to go for it, Adell could be a welcomed addition to the team with his strong all-around play - both at the plate and on defense. But is there room for him in the lineup… and do the Angels expedite his service time in the hopes of making the playoffs? Adell is hitting .333 in Double-A with eight home runs in 40 games.

15. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: August) 

Similar to Jo Adell, Robert looks MLB ready and could probably help the big league club. But do the White Sox want to start his service time clock? The young outfielder has blown away pitchers at three levels now and has an OPS of 1.142 through 10 Triple-A games. He also has five home runs and three stolen bases during that stretch. Overall, he has 21 home runs and 32 steals with a .346 batting average in just 85 games.

16. Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

May had his best start on July 17 since being promoted to Triple-A. He struck out eight batters and issued just one walk over 5.1 innings of one-run ball. He has yet to allow a home run in three Triple-A starts, which is no easy task these days. May remains a dark horse candidate to pitching some innings for the Dodgers in August and September to give the veteran staff a breather - but the actions taken (or not taken) during the trade deadline could give a clearer picture of the Dodgers’ plans.

17. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AAA) (ETA: August)

Garcia’s control issues popped up in his most recent Triple-A start when he walked four batters and allowed three hits in just three innings of work. Despite lacking his best stuff, he still struck out four batters and now has 10 strikeouts through eight innings at the highest level of the minors.

18. Willi Castro, SS, Tigers (AAA) (ETA: August)

The only middle infielder on the Tigers hitting more than .220 is utility man Harold Castro at .302 in 42 games. Willi Castro, meanwhile, isn’t flashy but he can do a little bit of everything and has been one of the more consistent hitters at Triple-A in 2019. He’s hitting .294 on the season and is 16-for-20 in stolen base attempts.

19. Adbert Alzolay, RHP, Cubs (AAA) (ETA: August)

Alzolay was recently added to the injured list in Triple-A after three poor outings in Triple-A. The good news is that he’s not expected to miss significant time with what has been diagnosed as biceps soreness - and no structural issues. After throwing more than 110 innings in each of 2016 and ’17, Alzolay has managed just 39.2 innings in ’18 and 59 innings so far this year.

20. Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians (AAA) (ETA: August)

Bradley’s first taste of MLB action was full of power and strikeouts with six of his eight hits going for extra bases - but also 20 strikeouts in 45 at-bats. It’s been more of the same at Triple-A in recent days with 13 strikeouts in five games.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Jake Fraley, OF, Mariners (AAA) (ETA: August)

Fraley hasn’t played since July 18 due to an unspecified injury. If he can get back into the lineup soon, he could be promoted to the Majors in the final two months of the season - especially if the Mariners trade off some outfielders at the deadline. Fraley has to be added to the 40-man roster at the end of the season anyway and is hitting .300 with 16 home runs and 20 steals in 82 games split between Double-A and Triple-A.

22. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: August)

Dunn surprisingly remains in Double-A despite a strong season. He went seven shutout innings in his last start and has now struck out six or more batters in five straight starts. Overall, he has a K-BB of 108-26 in 88.1 innings.

23. Nick Solak, 2B/OF, Rangers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Solak appears to have gotten comfortable with his new club and went deep three times over the weekend, which gave him 20 home runs on the year. However, the BB-K of 0-14 over the last 10 games could be causing concern over his ability to succeed at the MLB level right now. If Texas sells at the trade deadline, though, it could open up an opportunity for Solak.

24. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/3B, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: August)

Mountcastle is perking up a bit. His season BB-K of 13-92 is still ugly as sin but he’s showing some recent improvements. Over his past six games, he has a BB-K of 1-4. During that stretch, he’s gone 10-for-25 (.400). Trey Mancini remains a dark horse candidate to be traded by the deadline and that moves could open up a shot for Mountcastle, who has to be added to the 40-man roster this winter anyway.

25. Peter Fairbanks, RHP, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Fairbanks was recently acquired by the Rays from the Rangers but will pitch in Triple-A for now. He can throw heat and could be a candidate to help the Rays chase a wild card spot — but it will also depend on who, if anyone, the Rays acquire at the trade deadline and if the young pitcher can find more consistency with his command. He’s looked decent so far since coming over to the Rays with three strikeouts in two innings.

26. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: August)

Hayes has been a little better lately but it’s been a disappointing season for the young third baseman. He’s hitting .295 with two home runs over his past 10 games but his season OPS sits at .738. Still, the Pirates are likely out of the playoff race so there could be value in looking at him at the MLB level over the final month or two.

27. Austin Hays, OF, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: August)

It’s been another injury-filled, disappointing season for Hays but he’s finally getting regular playing time and looking good, which could result in a promotion to the Majors. Over his past 10 games, the outfielder is hitting .333 with three home runs. The lack of walks continue to be a problem, though, and his BB-K is 2-11 over the recent stretch of games.

28. Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Reid-Foley continues to throw poorly in Triple-A but the Jays are already pitching-thin and could be even more so as the trade deadline approaches. He walked just one batter in his last start but also allowed six runs on eight hits in five innings. His results in the Majors have been OK, though, with 12 strikeouts and six walks in 12.2 innings.

29. Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Gordon continues to perform well in Triple-A but the big league club just doesn’t need another middle infielder right now. That could change at the trade deadline with either Gordon or another middle infielder being used in a deal for pitching depth. He’s hitting .279 with a home run and a couple of steals over the past 10 games.

30. Tanner Houck, RHP, Red Sox (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Red Sox need pitching reinforcements but may lack the prospect depth to acquire much help on the trade front. That could force the club to get creative and consider 2017 first rounder Houck. The young pitcher was recently promoted to Triple-A and has also been transitioned to a relief role after starting 15 games earlier in the year. He has allowed just one hit in four innings at the Triple-A level but also has a BB-K of 3-2.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Hot Prospects To Watch - Trey Supak, Trent Grisham, Cal Raleigh, Tucker Davidson

As we get deeper into the second half of the season, there's a greater chance we'll see more and more prospects called up from the minor leagues. That doesn't mean they'll play regularly, however, and not all of them will be fantasy-relevant immediately. But it's certainly an exciting time for those in fantasy leagues looking for a jolt from an unexpected source.

There are many factors that go into whether a young player will flourish right away at the highest level. Prospects on rebuilding teams with not much to play for in the latter part of the season typically have the better avenue to regular playing time. You still have to consider each prospect's pedigree, their skill set and their upside.

Take for instance Luis Urias, who was recalled by the Padres on July 20. San Diego is still in the mix for a wild-card spot in the National League. He figures to see more playing time despite lackluster numbers in the majors in several short stints, but he's baseball's No. 19 overall prospect and has the talent to make an immediate impact on the pennant race in real life and in fantasy.Brew Crew Boast Pair Of Red-Hot Prospects

 

Brew Crew Boast Pair Of Red-Hot Prospects

Trey Supak - SP, Milwaukee Brewers

The 23-year-old right-hander has allowed four earned runs in 25 2/3 innings (1.40 ERA) with 24 strikeouts and only four walks in four starts for the Double-A Biloxi Shuckers in the month of July. Opponents are hitting only .154 against him over that span, and he's gone at least six innings in five of his last seven starts dating back to June 14.

The big 6-foot-5, 240-pounder is 11-4 on the season with a 2.20 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 91 K's and 23 walks in 122 2/3 frames over his 20 starts. Supak's size allows him to reach the mid-90s with his fastball, and he complements it with a decent slider and changeup. His impressive control is what led to his breakout season in 2018, and if he keeps it up, a call to Milwaukee might not be far off.

Supak might not have top-of-the-rotation upside at the next level because of his mediocre minor league strikeout numbers (7.8 career K/9), and he'll also need to keep the ball down to avoid being hurt by the long ball in a hitter-friendly home park. But he's a prospect on the rise and could help the rotation later this year.

Trent Grisham - OF, Milwaukee Brewers

Grisham, the team's No. 30 prospect, is breaking out in 2019. The 22-year-old left-handed hitter is slashing .284/.387/.564 with 23 home runs, 63 RBI, 59 runs scored and 11 stolen bases in 90 games with Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A San Antonio. He's hitting .377/.442/.710 with six homers, 13 RBI and four steals in 18 games with the Shuckers this month.

The former 15th overall pick in 2015 came into the 2019 season needing to prove himself after disappointing in his first three full professional seasons. He's looked much more like a first-round pick this year, delivering on his power/speed potential.

Grisham might need to prove 2019 wasn't a fluke before Milwaukee makes him a part of the big league roster in 2020, but he has intriguing tools with the bat and with his legs. He can play all three outfield positions as well, which will give the Brewers more flexibility down the road. Keep him on your watch list in dynasty setups.

 

Cal Rallying On The Farm

Cal Raleigh - C, Seattle Mariners

Seattle's No. 13 prospect, who was moved up from High-A Modesto to Double-A Arkansas in the middle of July, is hitting a combined .290/.380/.696 with nine home runs and 21 RBI in 79 plate appearances this month. Raleigh was hitting .261 with 22 long balls and 66 RBI in 82 games for Modesto before his promotion.

The third-round pick out of Florida State last year is a switch-hitting backstop who has solid potential on both sides of the ball. Raleigh, 22, has raw power from both sides of the plate and an advanced approach, but he's struggled from the left side in 2019 (.217 average, 19 strikeouts, six walks and four home runs) compared to from the right side (.264 average, 59 K's, 31 walks and 18 home runs).

His bat should play at the next level because of his power and offensive-minded approach at a shallow position, but he must also improve his arm strength on defense if he's to be a regular in 2021 and beyond for the M's.

 

Davidson Chopping 'Em Down

Tucker Davidson - SP, Atlanta Braves

Atlanta seems to always have an endless supply of high-end pitching prospects in the minors, and 2019 is no different. While the Braves have a handful of talented arms ahead of Davidson in MLB.com's rankings -- Kyle Wright (No. 2), Ian Anderson (No. 3), Bryse Wilson (No. 5), Kolby Allard (No. 8) -- Davidson is proving he belongs right up there with them.

The 23-year-old southpaw leads the Southern League with a 2.04 ERA and also has a 1.21 WHIP, 104 strikeouts and 39 walks in 92 2/3 innings over 18 starts for Double-A Mississippi this year. He has a 2.25 ERA, 19 K's and three walks in his three starts in the month of July over 16 innings.

Davidson may prove to be a huge steal after the Braves selected him in the 19th round back in 2016. The left-hander started his career as a reliever -- he might wind up there eventually in the bigs, too -- but he's excelled as a starter mainly because of his mid-90s fastball.

There's clearly enough velocity here and plenty of strikeouts, but Davidson must improve his arsenal of a curveball and changeup to keep hitters off the heater. He'll also need to gain strength and stamina to go deeper into games and improve his command if he hopes to beat out the elite competition for the Braves rotation in the coming years.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Looking Ahead - Prospects to Add for Dynasty Rebuilds

In the world of fantasy baseball, the All-Star break should be a time for reflection. A time for reflection and a time for honesty, as you sit in judgment on what is the best direction that your fake team should take. For those in redraft leagues, these decisions are all about the now. What, if anything, can be done to help win this year; as there is no next? And if there is no realistic path to victory, then the season becomes simply a grind to the finish.

But for dynasty players, the season never ends because there's always another year. This means there are always plans to make and moves to be made because it is the wise fantasy player who constantly keeps their roster stocked with fresh faces that they hope will someday pan out to prospect gold. Because few things are as valuable an asset as the much-hyped prospect on the verge of a call-up. And few things as hard to acquire.

So who are the minor leaguers that you can stash away now, in hope that they turn into that prospect gold by this time next year? Not the guys who sit atop all the prospect lists now, the ones who are already golden. While it'd be lovely, it is not very likely that you can stroll to the waiver wire and pick up the likes of a Jo Adell or Bo Bichette, or a Jesus Luzardo or Casey Mize. So if you don't want to pay through the nose in a trade, the only way to get young talent like that is to pounce on them before the hype train has left the station.

 

Hitters

Vidal Brujan (2B, Tampa Bay Rays)

Age: 21.4     ETA: 2020     Level: AA

Forgotten behind Tampa Bay's bevy of uber-prospects, analysis of Brujan usually comes with the disclaimer, "but he's only 5' 9".  However, it's doubtful that Tampa Bay puts that disclaimer on him as they probably only care about how much he can rake. And that's all Brujan and his elite hit-tool do;  his 15 games since being promoted to Double-A, Brujan is slashing .328/.400/.428 with a .392 wOBA and 151 wRC+, while also swiping ten bases in only 66 plate appearances, while holding an impressive 7.3% SwStr%.

Jarred Kelenic (OF, Seattle Mariners)

Age: 20.0     ETA: 2020     Level: A+

The big prize that Seattle landed when they traded Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to the Mets, Kelenic has not disappointed, tearing up two levels so far this year. In his 338 plate appearances in 2019, Kelenic is slashing .287/.370/.534 with 15 home runs, 13 stolen bases, and a 154 wRC+. He may not see true playing time with the big club until 2021 but Kelenic has the tools and advanced approach to rise quickly rise through the Mariners system and reach his All-Star upside.

Alec Bohm (3B, Philadelphia Phillies)

Age: 22.9     ETA: 2020     Level: AA

Now at his third stop of the year at double-A Reading, Alec Bohm just keeps hitting, posting a 156 wRC+ and .560 SLG through his first 82 plate-appearances at the higher level. He doesn't have the raw power of his third base peers in the minor leagues but his approach is much more advanced, with less than a 15% K-rate across all levels, a 10.2% walk-rate, as well as a .934 OPS. Blocked only by Maikel Franco at the major league level, expect Bohm to continue to rise quickly if he continues to mash.

Nolan Jones (3B, Cleveland Indians)

Age: 21.2     ETA: 2020     Level: AA

At six-foot-four and 220 pounds, there are doubts about Jone's ability to stick at third base. But there are no doubts about the massive power that the 21-year-old possesses, as Jones carries 60-grades for both in-game and raw power.  Jones also has a great eye, never posting a walk-rate under 16% and carrying one over 20% this year. Having only recently been promoted to Double-A after posting a 157 wRC+ and .409 wOBA in his first stop of the year at High-A, Jones could advance quickly through Cleveland's system with continued performance.

 

Pitchers

Deivi Garcia (New York Yankees)

Age: 20.2     ETA: 2020     Level: AAA

With a live arm, but only standing five-foot-nine and 163 pounds, Garcia's hype has been held in check with worries about him being able to stick as a starter. But at some point, his numbers become so fantastic that you just have to assume he can be a starter until it's proven he cannot. And Garcia's numbers are at that point, after striking 114 batters over 69 innings in 2019, with the last 51 innings being pitched at Double-A. And after starting the Futures Game, the 20-year old has been promoted for the second time this year, getting the call to Triple-A and now on the fast-track to the Big Apple.

Luis Patino (San Diego Padres)

Age: 19.7     ETA: 2021     Level: A+

The embarrassment of prospect-riches continues for San Diego, as Patino is the latest Padre to have sky-high upside, with the teenager sitting 94-97 mph, with two breaking pitches that flash plus. Over 67 innings so far this year, Patino has struck out 89 in dominant fashion and was subsequently selected to represent the Padres at this year's Futures Game.  Patino announced himself to the world right away by setting down the five batters he faced in order, with three of them via strikeout. Previously lesser-known behind fellow Padre prospect MacKenzie Gore and former prospect Chris Paddack, Patino won't stay available for long.

Brusdar Graterol (Minnesota Twins)

Age: 20.9     ETA: 2020     Level: AA

It was reported recently that the Twins had listed Graterol as one of their "untouchables" in any trade discussions. It's easy to see why, as the 20-year old sits 96 -99 mph, touching triple-digits frequently, with a slider that flashes plus, and a changeup that could be above-average as well. While not dominant in his 48 innings after getting an aggressive assignment to Double-A to begin 2019, Graterol has still more than held his own, with a 1.89 ERA, 1.10 ERA, and a 24.3% K-rate.

Spencer Howard (Philadelphia Phillies)

Age: 23.0     ETA: 2020     Level: A+

Howard wasn't on many radars entering his first full season as a member of the rotation in 2018, but that quickly changed after he struck out 147 batters in just 112 innings and finished his year by throwing a no-hitter in the Sally League playoffs. Shut down briefly this year with shoulder fatigue, Howard has come back strong, striking out 22 in his first 14 innings back. At only 29 innings on the year, he's unlikely to see the big club this year; but with a fastball that sits 95 - 97 mph, a changeup that projects as plus-plus, as well as a slider and curve that both project as plus pitches, Howard could move quickly through Philadelphia's system.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 16)

We’ve hit an interesting point in the season where a lot of the top prospects that are going to play every day at the MLB level in 2019 are already holding down a spot. The remaining prospects, for the most part, will now have to wait for an injury to provide them with an opportunity - although moves at the trade deadline could also open up some playing time.

With that said, there are still plenty of minor league prospects that could impact their clubs (or other clubs, if traded) over the next two to three months. Players to keep an especially close eye on include: Isan Diaz (Marlins), Kyle Wright (Braves), and Junior Fernandez (Cardinals), as their futures will likely hinge heavily on what happens with their organizations as the trade deadline inches closer and closer.

Reliever Andres Munoz (Padres) was promoted off the list over the past week while the Rangers and Blue Jays saw players added to the list. Brendan McKay is at Triple-A for the Rays but is expected to be recalled before throwing an inning at the level so he remains off the list.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: August)

News that Tucker is now taking reps at first base is welcomed because it gives him added versatility from a fantasy roster perspective but also increases his chances of replacing Tyler White on the big roster. At the plate, Tucker isn’t enjoying July as much as the first half of the year. He has a .718 OPS so far this month after posting 1.000+ months in May and June. Still, he’s doing the little things with a solid BB-K of 8-9 and two steals, which helped him secure three straight 20-20 (HR-SB) seasons.

2. Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Bichette started off the month extremely well but has slowed down a little bit over the past six games (4-for-23) since returning from the Triple-A break for the All-Star and Futures games. Overall, he’s still posting an .886 OPS and BB-K of 21-39 in 48 Triple-A games. He’s also showing good gap power and is 15-for-19 in steals. Toronto likely won’t promote him until the impending trade deadline roster shuffle quiets down.

3. Will Smith, C, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Smith is just 2-for-17 since returning from the Futures Game break but both of those hits went for home runs. He’s now up to 16 home runs in 55 Triple-A games and has another three in nine MLB games meaning he’s just one away from 20 in less than half a season’s worth of games. That kind of power — even in the juiced ball era — is rare from a catcher so Smith could play a role with the Dodgers in the second half and into the playoffs.

4. Isan Diaz, 2B, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Rumors insist that teams are (for some reason) interested in Starlin Castro. And the tight-fisted Marlines would likely jump at the chance to rid themselves of the remainder of his contract. Diaz is doing his part from Triple-A to push Castro out the door. The young middle infielder has been on fire over the past four games and is 9-for-17 with a home run. Overall, he has a .967 OPS and 21 home runs through 87 games.

5. Luis Urias, 2B, Padres (AAA) (ETA: August)

Ian Kinsler is still not hitting, and now Greg Garcia is hitting a little more like the Greg Garcia of old, so Urias’ return to the Majors is likely getting closer. San Diego hasn’t been playing very good ball lately but the club is still only 2.5 games out of a wild card slot. Perhaps Urias can help get the team going without the organization paying prospect capital to bring in an outside veteran. His BB-K over the past 10 games is 3-4 so he’s putting lots of balls in play and has a batting average of .316 on the season.

6. Zach Plesac, RHP, Indians (AAA) (ETA: August)

Plesac is just five innings away from losing his rookie status but he remains eligible for this list for now. The Indians are likely trying to find some veteran help for the rotation but Plesac should still assist in the second half of the year after a respectable first shot at The Show. He struck out nine batters while allowing three runs in 6.1 Triple-A innings on July 11.

7. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Braves have been rumored to be in the market for starting pitching (but then who isn’t?) but a resurgent Wright could perhaps allow the club to focus more on the relief market. The young right-hander has now had some prolonged success at Triple-A after being jerked around for the first half of the year with constant promotions and demotions to and from the Majors. Over his past five starts, Wright has allowed seven earned runs in 31.2 innings with 37 strikeouts.

8. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: August)

Washington finds itself in the No. 1 wild card spot in the National League and has been playing good ball as of late. Second baseman Brian Dozier is producing occasional power and shortstop Trea Turner has his OPS above .800. In other words, the incumbents are doing enough to keep Kieboom stuck in Triple-A unless something drastically changes.The young infielder looks ready for another shot whenever that comes — if he can keep the strikeouts in check.

9. Junior Fernandez, Cardinals (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Cardinals have been putting Fernandez through his paces recently with three appearances in five games at the Triple-A level. That could mean that the club is trying to see if he can help them in the second half or they’re showcasing him for a potential deal. Either way, he should help someone at the MLB level this year. He’s allowed just five hits and three walks in 11.1 Triple-A innings. He’s also struck out 15 batters and allowed just one run. He has yet to allow a home run this season in a combined 52 innings.

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: August)

Keller has allowed more than three runs just once in his last 10 Triple-A starts and that came on July 4 when he coughed up six runs in 5.2 innings. He rebounded very well on July 11 with six shutout innings, which came with eight strikeouts. With the starting rotation producing underwhelming results, Keller’s next shot should come soon if he can continue to throw the ball over the plate.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Lux has found Triple-A very much to his liking. The young middle infielder is hitting .469 through 12 games since his promotion. Twelve of his 23 hits have gone for extra bases, including three home runs. The Dodgers definitely don’t need to chase offense prior to the trade deadline with the likes of Will Smith and Lux waiting in the wings at Triple-A. The injury to Chris Taylor increases Lux’s chances of reaching The Show sooner rather than later.

12. Bryse Wilson, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: August)

Wilson had an ugly outing on July 11 but remains in the mix for innings at the MLB level in the second half of the year. He allowed nine runs in just 2.2 innings but was also making his return to Triple-A after two MLB starts. Both he and Kyle Wright could see significant innings in the second half unless Atlanta brings in a veteran arm.

13. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (AA) (ETA: August)

Adell is 6-for-15 with a BB-K of 2-3 over his past four games. He’s hitting .361 with an OPS of 1.073 through 29 games at the Double-A level. He’s providing an enticing mix of power and speed - as well as good outfield defense. The Angels are surging after a very tough stretch and remain just 4.5 games out of a playoff spot. If they can find a spot in the lineup for his bat, Adell could be a spark plug.

14. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: August) 

The White Sox are effectively out of the playoff race for 2019 but do they want to get a taste of what Robert can do now before he starts for them next year (and give the fans something to be excited about in the dog days of summer). Or do they play the service time game? Sadly, it’s more likely to be the latter than the former but he’s also hitting .429 through his first five Triple-A games and has a combined .354 batting average and 1.038 OPS through three minor league levels.

15. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AAA) (ETA: August)

The youngest pitcher in Triple-A held his own in his first start at the level. He allowed three runs over five innings and was bit by the juiced ball by allowing just his third home run this season. But he also posted an encouraging K-BB of 6-1. Garcia should be an interesting player to watch. He’s a tantalizing trade piece but one that New York may be very hesitant to part with unless the return is a big one. If he sticks with the Yankees, though, he could also be a secret weapon out of the ‘pen in the latter half of the season. With that said, he’s a third-of-an-inning away from reaching a career-high in innings pitched so he likely only has about 40 innings left in the tank this year.

16. Willi Castro, SS, Tigers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Castro has perked up again over the past five games. He’s gone 8-for-25 over that stretch and is now close to hitting .300 again for the year. He’s not flashy, but with the club getting absolutely no offense from the middle infield, the 22-year-old second baseman deserves a look.

17. Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

May’s control has deserted him since his promotion to Triple-A. In 10 innings over two starts, he’s allowed five walks and also hit five batters. That’s after walking just 20 batters in 79.1 Double-A innings. With a veteran-heavy rotation in the Majors, the Dodgers can afford to be patient with May but, if he gets hot, it would be nice for him take some of the load off down the stretch.

18. Adbert Alzolay, RHP, Cubs (AAA) (ETA: August)

Alzolay hasn’t been very good since returning to Triple-A after his first taste of big-league action. In two games, he’s given up eight earned runs in eight innings. He’s allowed a ton of base runners thanks to nine hits and nine walks. Those types of results are not going to earn a young player a return engagement to the Majors from a club in the heart of a playoff race. Alzolay is talented enough to turn it around.

19. Jordan Romano, RHP, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Romano is currently on the Triple-A disabled list with an undisclosed injury putting a cloudy forecast on his return trip to the Majors. As well, the elbow injury to Jays closer Ken Giles (which likely has less to do with a massage of his elbow as publicly stated and more to do with pitching three games in a row) makes it much less likely that he’s going anywhere before the trade deadline. Still, if the pitching prospect gets healthy, he could still take a bullpen spot from another traded reliever (perhaps Daniel Hudson) and see some high-leverage innings.

20. Jake Fraley, OF, Mariners (AAA) (ETA: August)

Playing with the juiced ball in Triple-A has agreed with Fraley. He now has five home runs in 18 Triple-A games (including four in the last eight) after hitting 11 in 61 Double-A games. He’s also impacting the game on the base paths and recently stole his 20th of the season, giving him a strong shot at a 20-20 (HR-SB) season. If the wheeling-and-dealing Mariners shed more players at the trade deadline, it could open up a spot for Fraley.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (AA) (ETA: August)

Puk found his control in his last appearance and did not allow a walk over two innings. He also struck out four batters but did allow a run. The A’s no doubt would love to have his help out of the bullpen down the stretch so hopefully, this is the start of him really getting comfortable.

22. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: August)

Dunn rebounded from a poor outing at the beginning of July with a strong start on July 12. He allowed just one earned run in six innings while posting a K-BB of 6-1. His K-BB on the season is now 102-24 through 81.1 innings. With Anthony Kay struggling in Triple-A, Dunn could earn a bump up to the Majors if the Mets sell pitching at the deadline.

23. Nick Solak, 2B/OF, Rangers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Solak received a much-needed trade out of the Tampa Bay organization where he was stuck behind a number of players with similar skill sets. He’s at Triple-A for now but should get a shot with the Rangers before too long. He had 17 home runs in 85 games before the trade and should be a solid offensive player for his new club when he reaches the Majors.

24. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/3B, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Orioles are another team that could be willing to flip as many players as possible for future assets at the trade deadline. That could open up an opportunity for Mountcastle, although he’s not playing like he wants the shot. He’s hitting just .209 with a BB-K of 1-14 over his past 10 games. He’s struck out nine times in the last four games (18 at-bats).

25. Jorge Mateo, SS, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: August)

Mateo has gone from bad to worse over the past 10 games. He’s now struck out 12 times in his past 28 at-bats, stretching over six games. His BB-K is now an ugly 2-16 over the past 10 games, which is a terrible stat for someone who needs to get on base to use his wheels. Oakland is playing good ball right now and is in the thick of the wild card race. The club could probably really use someone like Mateo…

26. Michel Baez, RHP, Padres (AA) (ETA: August)

The Padres have already promoted one hard-throwing reliever to the Majors (Andres Munoz) and Baez may not be far behind — especially if the club trades Kirby Yates. Baez is a little bit of a different animal than Munoz, though. As a former starter, he’s capable of throwing a couple of innings and could turn into a nice bridge pitcher, covering the seventh and eighth innings for the Padres.

27. Kean Wong, 2B/OF, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

It seemed like Wong was the most likely Triple-A player to be on the move at the trade deadline but the organization found more interest in Nick Solak (showing that the power tool is far more desired in today’s game than the hit tool). Unfazed, Wong continues to play all over the diamond and hit .300. His season average is at .341 through 76 games, and he can clearly help a big league club - if given the opportunity.

28. Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Really good clubs have depth and that’s what we’re seeing from the likes of the Dodgers and the Twins. Gordon is really in the zone now with hits in nine of his last 10 games. He also has an impressive BB-K of 4-6 over that stretch. There’s no spot for him in Minnesota right now but injuries have a way of popping up at inopportune times.

29. Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Reid-Foley continues to be painfully inconsistent at the Triple-A level but the Jays pitching staff is a hot mess and could get even worse if the club can find takers for a few of its veteran arms at the trade deadline. Reid-Foley has a K-BB of 88-60 in 76 Triple-A innings but he’s been better in The Show at 12-6 through 12.2 innings.

30. Monte Harrison, OF, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Harrison is dealing with a wrist injury but the severity has not been made public so his return date remains up in the air. If he gets back soon, he has a solid chance of seeing action as the summer winds down. His power-speed combination would definitely be of interest to fantasy managers.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Hot Prospects To Watch - Trevor Larnach, Isan Diaz And More

We're officially into the second half of the major league season and approaching the dog days of summer. At this point, you should know by now if your team is a contender or pretender in fantasy baseball. If you're still in the running for a fantasy crown in 2019, perhaps a prospect call-up in the second half will make all the difference.

Those that were fortunate enough to swoop on Astros outfielder Yordan Alvarez or Brewers second baseman Keston Hiura know exactly what we're talking about. So who might be next? The second half usually features more youngsters getting a chance at the major league level for the first time, especially when rosters expand.

The No. 6 overall prospect, Rockies infielder Brendan Rodgers, won't be that guy. He's headed for season-ending surgery for a torn labrum in his shoulder. He failed to impress in a small sample size in his first taste of the majors, but his long-term star remains very bright.

 

Twins Promote Under-The-Radar Prospect

Trevor Larnach - OF, Minnesota Twins

Minnesota's No. 4 prospect and No. 93 overall, Larnach was promoted to Double-A Pensacola on Tuesday from High-A Fort Myers after leading the Florida State League with a .316 average, an .842 OPS and 26 doubles. He also ranked second in on-base percentage (.382) and was third-best in slugging (.459). The 22-year-old had six home runs and four steals in 84 games for the Miracle.

The former Oregon State Beaver started the year off with a .244/.297/.322 slash line in 23 April games but has hit .343/.415/.513 in 61 games since. The 20th overall pick in 2018 hit .303/.390/.500 with five homers in 42 games in his first professional season in 2018.

Larnach is a corner outfielder -- he's played primarily right field this year -- with an above-average hit tool and power. He has an advanced approach at the plate and should develop more power as he matures in the Twins system. Larnach's bat should carry him quickly to the big leagues, where he could become a regular later on in 2020.

 

Skubal Blossoming At Erie

Tarik Skubal - SP, Detroit Tigers

Talk about under the radar... For a Tigers team with some of the best pitching prospects in the big leagues, including Casey Mize, Matt Manning, Franklin Perez, Alex Faedo, Kyle Funkhouser and Beau Burrows, Skubal is way down the list at No. 17 in the Tigers system. It hasn't stopped him from being one of their most dominant hurlers this year, especially since getting called up to Double-A Erie.

The 22-year-old left-hander has allowed just one earned run on four hits while walking three and striking out 21 hitters in 10 innings over two starts for Erie. In 17 starts for Erie and High-A Lakeland this year, Skubal has a 2.39 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 22 walks and 118 K's in 90 1/3 innings. He had a microscopic 0.40 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 13.3 K/9 in 22 1/3 innings with three teams in 2018 after being taken in the ninth round.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder has a mid-90s heater and complements it with an above-average curveball and average slider. Health will be key, as he already had Tommy John surgery back in 2016 while at Seattle University. Skubal is no sure thing at the next level, but he's looking good right now and could find himself in the big leagues in a year or two. Don't write him off just because his ceiling isn't as high as some of Detroit's other big-name pitchers.

 

Fish Of The Day

Isan Diaz - 2B, Miami Marlins

The 23-year-old Puerto Rican is batting a crisp .353 with three home runs, seven RBI and two stolen bases in nine games in July to raise his season line to .302/.396/.571 with 21 long balls, 71 runs, 59 RBI and four thefts in 87 games (366 plate appearances) with the Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes. It's a big improvement after he hit just .232 with 13 homers and 56 RBI in 119 games over two minor league levels in 2018.

Diaz was drafted in the second round in 2014 by the D-Backs. He was sent to Milwaukee in the Jean Segura trade and landed in Miami when the Marlins sent future MVP Christian Yelich to the Brewers. He hits the ball hard to all fields and has impressive raw power with excellent bat speed for a middle infielder. Strikeouts have been his bugaboo in the minors, so he could prove volatile in the average department.

The left-handed hitter has average speed and doesn't impress on defense either. However, his offensive upside from the keystone should be attractive whenever he reaches the majors. Starlin Castro, Miami's current second baseman, could be dealt at the trade deadline, meaning Diaz might be up sooner than later as the team's future at the position. He's listed as Miami's No. 6 prospect.

 

No Bitter Beer Face Here

Seth Beer - OF/1B, Houston Astros

Can the Astros save some top prospects for the rest of the MLB teams? Not only does Seth have an outstanding last name, but all he does is hit apparently. He's batted .333/.517/.619 (7-for-21) with two homers, four RBI, five walks and four strikeouts in the last week and is hitting .324/.421/.574 overall with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 85 games for High-A Fayetteville and Double-A Corpus Christi.

Beer was selected 28th overall last June after raking in his time with Clemson. There have been questions about his athleticism and mechanics from the left side of the plate, but Beer has silenced the critics and has gone down smooth so far like a fine ale. At least with the lumber.

The 22-year-old has very little speed to speak of and profiles best as either a first baseman or designated hitter at the next level. But if Beer continues to hit and show great plate discipline, he could see his first major league action at some point next year. The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder is stout but will likely be a one-dimensional fantasy asset for his bat only.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 15)

The MLB All-Star Break is here and rosters are frozen but things could get interesting once play resumes later this week. When that happens, there will be less than three weeks to go before the trade deadline. Some prospects will be heading to new teams and new opportunities while others will simply rise up to fill holes created by trades.

A couple of moves of note occurred before the break. Tampa Bay’s Nathaniel Lowe’s recently earned another shot in the Majors with injuries taking a bite out of the Rays’ roster. Oakland’s injury-prone hurler, Jesus Luzardo, has fallen off the list for now given the glum diagnosis on his most recent injury, which will keep him out a minimum of 4-6 weeks.

The Cardinals, Padres, and Twins have new prospects on the list this week. Note: Brendan McKay was demoted to the minors for the all-star break but the team plans to recall him when his next turn in the rotation comes up. As a result, he has not been included on this week’s list since he’s not expected to play in minors.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: July)

Tucker is still hitting OK at the Triple-A level but he’s cooled off a bit from his previous scorching play. The strikeouts have piled up recently with 33 in 25 June games, and he has yet to steal a base or hit a home run in July. Still, hitting 24 home runs in 81 games is mighty impressive and his overall OPS remains strong at .941. The Astros probably don’t want to trade Tucker but he’s a luxury right now and they may have to rip off the bandaid to obtain a quality pitcher with multiple seasons of control.

2. Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: July)

There’s not much more that Bichette can do to prove he’s ready for a shot at The Show. He’s now hitting .335 in 41 Triple-A games and getting on base at a regular clip through any means necessary; his on-base percentage sits at .409, which would place him fifth in the league if he had enough at-bats to qualify. He’s also hitting for power and stealing bases. But Toronto also has veterans Eric Sogard and Freddy Galvis playing well. They could each potentially bring in a modest return at the trade deadline (think B- or C-level relief prospect) but the latter player also has a team-friendly option for 2020. And both players have been great leaders for the young players in Toronto and may be worth more to the Jays than contending teams.

3. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: July)

Washington finds itself precariously holding onto a wild card slot right now and may need a spark to pull away from teams in the second half of the season. Veteran second baseman Brian Dozier has been heating up with the summer weather which creates a bit of an obstacle but Kieboom could perhaps take part in a second base/shortstop rotation to help keep the veteran middle infielders healthy and fresh for the playoffs. The young middle infielder has a 1.022 OPS through 67 Triple-A games.

4. Luis Urias, 2B, Padres (AAA) (ETA: July)

Urias is still waiting for another shot with the Padres but he’s cooled down a bit recently after his blistering play earlier in the season. Still, his OPS remains above 1.000 through 70 games. Urias is hitting .273 over the past 10 games with a BB-K of 5-6 but he hasn’t hit a home run or steal a base over that stretch.

5. Adbert Alzolay, RHP, Cubs (AAA) (ETA: July)

Alzolay was sent back to Triple-A after an uneven MLB performance that saw him allow a ton of baserunners with 12 hits and seven walks in 11.1 innings. On the encouraging side, the young starter struck out 12 batters while averaging 94 mph with his fastball and showing a good changeup. He should be back up soon but could also be used as trade bait for a more experienced hurler given that Alzolay’s long-term ceiling is modest.

6. Will Smith, C, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: July)

Smith has already been optioned to the minors three times by the Dodgers this season but the power-hitting catcher hasn’t let all that traveling throw off his game. He’s having an outstanding season at both the MLB and Triple-A levels. He’s hitting .344 with six homers and a BB-K of 6-5 over his past 10 minor league games. With both of the Dodgers’ catchers posting an identical OPS of .675, it’s possible Smith could earn even more big league playing time down the stretch if he keeps hitting like this and can earn the trust of the Dodgers’ pitchers.

7. Jordan Romano, RHP, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: July)

Toronto closer Ken Giles recently pitched in back-to-back-to-back games as the team showcases him for a potential deal. He could stick with the Jays because he’s solidified himself as one of the best closers in the game but he’s a luxury on a rebuilding team. That move would then open up the closer’s role for Romano, who showed well earlier this year but got caught in a numbers game. The young hurler just needs to work on suppressing the home run ball.

8. Isan Diaz, 2B, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: July)

Diaz is starting to get snapped up in dynasty leagues and he could soon be of help in redraft leagues, too. He’s on an impressive 10-game streak that’s seen him hit for home runs, steal three bases and post a BB-K of 9-11. Diaz now has 20 home runs and 41 steals in 83 games. The strikeouts are of some concern but also come as a tradeoff for the power output.

9. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: late July) 

Robert will join Triple-A — his third level this year — after he appears in the MLB Futures Game. His stint in Double-A will end on a hot streak that saw him hit .300 over his last 10 games. He also stole seven bases during that stretch. And one of the most positive signs was his BB-K, which was a respectable 3-9 compared to his season total of 17-74 through 75 games.

10. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (AA) (ETA: August)

Adell was recently selected to the MLB Futures Game and has a bright future in the game. He entered the break with a 1.037 OPS through 24 Double-A games. The strikeouts have piled up a little bit recently and his BB-K is 3-13 over the past 10 games. If the Angels continue to hang around the playoff race, Adell could be a weapon later on this season if he continues to hit well. He has excellent make-up/maturity to go with his outstanding athleticism, which would help him handle the jump.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: July)

Wright is really rolling now. Over his past four starts, the right-hander has allowed just four earned runs in 25.1 innings. Over that span, he’s struck out 32 batters with five walks. If he keeps pitching like this in July, he could help the big league club again in short order.

12. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: July)

Keller’s most recent start at the Triple-A level was a dud. He allowed six earned runs on nine hits over 5.2 innings. The good news is that it was an anomaly and he’s been very good at the Triple-A all season long. Keller should get another long look in the second half of the year.

13. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Lux has hits in nine of his last 10 games and earned himself a promotion to Triple-A. The new level hasn’t been much of a challenge; he’s hitting .500 with seven of his 15 hits going for extra bases over his first seven games. Lux and Will Smith give the Dodgers some real offensive insurance down the stretch and lessen the need to acquire some veteran insurance.

14. Junior Fernandez, Cardinals (AAA) (ETA: August)

Alex Reyes and Carlos Martinez have had mixed results this year so why not give a shot to another hard-thrower to see if you can catch lightning in a bottle? Fernandez has finally settled into a relief role and is thriving. He has 61 strikeouts over 48.2 innings thrown at three different levels. Opponents are hitting .174 against him and he has yet to allow a home run this season.

15. Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

May didn’t pitch this past week after heading to the MLB Futures Game. The Dodgers have an excellent starting rotation but the hurlers could use a rest in the second half to prepare for the playoffs. May is a great option to soak up innings in the second half if he throws well at Triple-A over the next few weeks.

16. Jorge Mateo, SS, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: August)

Mateo is hitting .196 over his past 10 games but he’s recently shown signs of breaking out of his slump. He’s 5-for-15 over his past three games. Overall, his OPS is still a healthy .875. The A’s don’t have an outfielder with an OPS above .782. Mateo’s 18 steals would lead the team by eight. He’s volatile, but the young outfielder could also provide a much-needed spark.

17. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AAA) (ETA: August)

Garcia only recently jumped onto the list but he’s also suddenly one of the biggest movers now that he’s been promoted to Triple-A. He wrapped up his time in Double-A with 81 strikeouts and just 36 hits allowed in 51 innings. Garcia was also a participant in the MLB Futures Game.

18. Andres Munoz, RHP, Padres (AAA) (ETA: August)

If the Padres get an offer for closer Kirby Yates that is too good to ignore, he could be on his way out of town even with the team in a wildcard hunt. The closer-in-waiting could be Munoz. The hard-throwing right-hander from Mexico is just 20 years old but he’s throwing triple digits in Triple-A. He’s been roughed up a little bit recently due to some shoddy defense but he has 32 strikeouts in 15.2 innings at the highest level of the minors. When hitters aren’t swinging through his heat, they’re pounding it into the ground.

19. Willi Castro, SS, Tigers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Aside from Harold Castro’s empty .294 batting average, the Tigers’ middle infielders are struggling. There is little-to-nothing to rebuild around on the MLB roster so it’s time to let the kids play. Castro hit a rough patch in June but he’s hitting .289 over his last 10 games. He’s hitting .296 on the year and could add some much-needed speed and athleticism to the lineup.

20. Jake Fraley, OF, Mariners (AAA) (ETA: August)

Fraley hasn’t let the promotion to Triple-A slow him down. He’s hitting .326 over his past 10 games and has gone deep three times in the last four games. If you combined his stats between Double-A and Triple-A, he has a shot at being a 20-20 player (while also hitting .300) this season. Fraley was seen as a bit of a throw-in to last season’s trade between Tampa Bay and Seattle but he may end up being the best player in the deal.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: August)

Dunn was another participant in the MLB Futures Game but he also had a rough outing at Double-A on July 2 before heading off to the festivities. He allowed five runs on eight hits and two walks over five innings. Still, he has 96 strikeouts in 75.1 innings and has a chance to impact the big league rotation in the second half once the Mets start looking towards 2020.

22. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/3B, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: August)

With the trade deadline coming fast, teams have been sniffing around Trey Mancini. If the Orioles get a deal they can’t refuse, then Mountcastle could be well-positioned to replace him. His torrid pace from June has slowed down recently but he’s holding his own recently and has actually cut down on this swing-and-miss tendencies with just seven strikeouts over the last 10 games.

23. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (AA) (ETA: August)

The A’s were probably hoping Jesus Luzardo and Puk would provide much-needed help in the second half of the season but the former is now injured again and the latter has been slow to reacclimatize himself to pro ball after a long layoff. He’s currently working just one-inning outings at Double-A, possibly with the hope of having him help in the bullpen later this year if the team remains in the playoff hunt.

24. Alex Kirilloff, OF, Twins (AA) (ETA: August)

Perhaps third time’s a charm? The outfield prospect jumps back onto the list for a third time after struggling with injuries earlier in the season. He’s finally gotten into the groove we were expecting and he’s hitting .385 with two home runs over his past 10 games. He also has a very encouraging BB-K of 5-6. The Twins have a very good offensive team so it won’t be easy to find a spot of Kirilloff but he’s great insurance against an injury.

25. Brandon Bielak, RHP, Astros (AAA) (ETA: August)

Bielak is getting hot at Triple-A. He had a rough start to the level but recently threw six innings of one-run ball while also striking out eight. Over his past four starts, he’s allowed just five runs in 25 innings with 22 strikeouts. If he can show consistent control, Bielak could get a shot in the second half — especially if the Astros cannot shore up their pitching depth before the trade deadline.

26. Kean Wong, 2B/OF, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Wong continues to hit well at Triple-A and recently recorded his 100th hit on the season. He has an OPS of .910 and continues to play all over the field. He’s hitting .293 with five walks over the past 10 games. The Rays organization is stacked with prospects of a similar profile but Wong deserves a chance to prove himself at the MLB level.

27. Nick Madrigal, 2B, White Sox (AA) (ETA: August)

The Sox probably have nothing to play for but the organization could infuse some additional excitement into the MLB lineup with the promotions of Luis Robert and Madrigal - both of whom would still be controllable for more than six seasons at this point. They’re very different players but they’re both having a lot of success. The young second base is hitting .392 at Double-A and has just two strikeouts in 25 games. On the season, he’s struck out just eight times in 74 games. That’s not a typo. Madrigal has also stolen 28 bases on the year.

28. Michel Baez, RHP, Padres (AA) (ETA: August)

Like Andres Munos above, Baez can throw massive heat and could help solidify the Padres’ bullpen in the second half of the season. His command and control both still need work but he can overpower hitters even when he’s not at his best. He’s allowed five walks in this last three outings but just one hit in the five innings. Overall, he’s only walked 11 batters in 21.1 innings in a season that didn’t start until late May.

29. Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Like Alex Kirilloff above, Gordon faces a tough task breaking into a strong lineup (especially with Luis Arraez playing well) but he looks MLB ready. Slowed by injuries early on, Gordon is hitting .317 with a BB-K of 5-7 over his past 10 games. He’s now hitting .290 on the season and is showing increased gap power with 21 of his 60 hits going for doubles.

30. Monte Harrison, OF, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Harrison was slated to participate in the MLB Futures Game but a wrist injury shelved those hopes and it remains to be seen how long he’ll be out. The Marlins are downplaying the injury but he’s scheduled to meet with a hand specialist. If he only misses a few weeks, Harrison’s power-speed combination could play nicely for the Marlins in the final two months of the season.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Hot Prospects To Watch - Mackenzie Gore, Bo Bichette And More

We hope you're enjoying this week's short break from Major League contests. The action hasn't stopped completely, though, with the Futures Game taking place on Sunday, a wild Home Run Derby on Monday night and the 2019 Midsummer Classic on Tuesday. There's a little bit of everything for the avid baseball fan.

For those playing in dynasty and keeper leagues, the Futures Game is always a must-watch to check out the rising crop of potential superstars. A lot of the young names that played on Sunday at Progressive Field in Cleveland are already worth stashing in dynasty/keeper leagues for their massive upside, even if they may not debut in the big leagues until 2020 or later.

We've already touched on most of the players that were selected to the National League and American League squads for the Futures Game, including guys like Jo Adell, Nate Pearson, Jarred Kelenic, Wander Franco, Jarren Duran, Brady Singer, Matt Manning, Luis Robert, Nick Madrigal and Deivi Garcia, just to name a few. Check out the recap of the 2-2 tie. Moving on...

 

Top Southpaw Prospect Finally Promoted

MacKenzie Gore - SP, San Diego Padres

Baseball's top-ranked left-hander had a scoreless inning in the Futures Game and was promoted to the Double-A Amarillo Sod Poodles of the Texas League on Tuesday. It was a bit overdue, as Gore was dominating at High-A Lake Elsinore with a 1.02 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, .135 average against and 38.2 percent strikeout rate in his 79 1/3 innings. It was especially impressive in the hitter-friendly California League.

The third overall pick in the 2017 draft is ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect by MLB.com and has a very unique delivery that features a high leg kick that creates deception for the hitter. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound lefty has a four-pitch mix that includes a mid-90s fastball, a curveball and a devastating slider and changeup. Gore also rarely gives hitters free passes, walking only 20 hitters in his time with Lake Elsinore.

It's saying something that Gore was ranked as the top overall left-handed pitcher this year and started the year in Single-A. He's just that good, but the Padres aren't rushing him. He is a front-of-the-rotation arm when he eventually arrives in the majors, so he's definitely worth stashing now in deeper dynasty leagues. If he continues to pitch well at Double-A to close out the year and stays healthy into 2020, there's a chance we could see him as soon as next year in SD's rotation.

 

Junior Blue Jays Making Noise

Bo Bichette - SS, Toronto Blue Jays

If it weren't for a broken hand earlier this year, Bichette might already be in Toronto alongside Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The 21-year-old has hit .320/.380/.520 with five home runs, 25 RBI, 27 runs scored and 12 stolen bases in 38 games (167 plate appearances) for Triple-A Buffalo this season. In the last week he's been heating up, batting .412 with four doubles, two homers, seven RBI and two steals in 34 at-bats.

The son of former All-Star slugger Dante Bichette, Bo is the Blue Jays' top prospect and comes in at No. 8 overall. He's the third-ranked shortstop prospect in all of baseball with pure hitting ability. Bichette was the team's second-round selection in 2016. He led the Eastern League in 2018 at Double-A in hits (154), doubles (43), extra-base hits (61), runs scored (95) and total bases (244). Bichette has already played in two Futures Games.

The 6-foot, 185-pounder packs raw power in his violent but controlled swing and generates line-drive contact to all fields. He's not known for his speed, but Bichette managed to rank second in the Eastern League last year with 32 swipes. He's making progress defensively at the 6, but he could eventually move to the keystone at the next level. There's no guarantee we'll see him with Toronto in the second half, but he'll definitely be up in 2020 at the latest, and he should make an immediate fantasy impact in all leagues.

Griffin Conine - OF, Toronto Blue Jays

The son of former All-Star Jeff Conine, Griffin is doing his best to follow in his dad's footsteps by hitting .336/.418/.664 with 10 long balls, 28 RBI, 27 runs scored and a stolen base in 34 games (146 plate appearances) for Low-A Lansing this year. He missed the first 50 games of the minor league season after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Like Bichette, Conine is making up for lost time, hitting .478 with three doubles, two homers and seven RBI in his last 23 at-bats over the last week-plus. Ranked as Toronto's No. 14 prospect by MLB.com, Conine isn't a highly touted prospect like Bichette, but he's making a case for a promotion if he continues to hit like this.

Raw power is the 21-year-old left-handed hitter's calling card, and he also has a plus arm from the outfield. The second-round pick in 2018 could have swing-and-miss concerns as he advances to the higher levels, and his below-average speed for an outfielder will confine him to the corners. Conine must improve his plate discipline, but the power is for real and he obviously has the MLB pedigree. He's a watch-lister in dynasty/keeper leagues for now.

 

Lux Finding Recipe For Success

Gavin Lux - SS/2B, Los Angeles Dodgers

Lux, another Futures Game participant, was promoted from Double-A Tulsa to Triple-A Oklahoma City at the end of June after hitting .313 with 13 home runs, seven doubles, four triples, 37 RBI, 45 runs scored and seven steals in 64 games (259 at-bats) for the Drillers. In his first seven games for OKC in the Pacific Coast League, Lux is 15-for-30 (.500) with a homer, four RBI and five doubles. It's safe to say he's transitioned well.

The 20th overall pick in 2016, the 21-year-old stands at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds and is the team's No. 2 prospect and No. 31 overall. He led all minor league shortstops last season with a slash line of .324/.399/.514 and reached Double-A at just 20 years old. The left-handed swinger has added some power in 2019 and also possesses an advanced approach at the plate with a good knowledge of the strike zone.

Even if he's not hitting for power at the next level, Lux should be able to hit for a decent average due to his knack for making consistent contact. His wheels -- he has the potential to be a 20-20 player in the big leagues -- make him even more intriguing in the middle infield. Lux has the tools to stick at shortstop, but the Dodgers also have the option of moving him to second base in 2020 with Corey Seager at shortstop.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 14)

The Top 10 tier lost two high-profile prospects this past week with the promotions of pitcher Bryse Wilson, pitcher (and hitter) Brendan McKay (Rays), and second baseman Keston Hiura (Brewers). McKay and Hiura could play huge roles in their respective teams’ race for a playoff berth. The Rays’ multi-tool prospect had an eye-opening debut against the Rangers and more than justified his fourth-overall ranking on last week’s list.

Pitcher Dylan Cease (White Sox) is projected to make his first start today, Wednesday, for Chicago and they’ve stated that he’ll remain with the team for the rest of the year. Expect an uneven performance given his inconsistencies in Triple-A this year - days of brilliance and days of quick hooks.

The Astros’ Corbin Martin has been removed from the list as we await news on the severity of his elbow injury. It’s a big blow to the Astros’ depth now that both Martin and Forrest Whitley are on the shelf. New prospects were added this week from the Marlins, White Sox, and Padres.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: July)

The Astros’ offense has been struggling recently but Tucker remains at Triple-A. Tyler White continues to occupy a 25-man roster spot despite his year-long struggles; you have to appreciate the club’s desire to manage and protect its assets (and depth) but regularly rotating Yordan Alvarez and Tucker into the lineup would likely be far more beneficial and help keep some of the veterans fresh for a long playoff push. Tucker is in a small funk right now in Triple-A with 14 strikeouts over his past 10 games but he’s only one steal away from having a 20-20 (HR-SB) season in less than 80 games.

2. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: July)

Luzardo time is coming. The young southpaw has now had two starts at the Triple-A level with the last one extending to five innings of two-run ball. He showed good control with no walks and allowed just four hits. He’s also keeping the ball down and inducing lots of ground balls, which is always important in this homer-happy era. Luzardo will likely receive one or two more starts before getting the call.

3. Luis Urias, 2B, Padres (AAA) (ETA: July)

Veteran infielder Greg Garcia’s resurgence is likely playing a role in Urias being stuck in Triple-A but he’s much better suited to a utility role. Meanwhile, the young middle infielder has been playing excellent defense at both second base and shortstop while also hitting well. His OPS for the season is at 1.022 through 64 games and he’s been an on-base machine with 33 walks and a .322 average.

4. Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: July)

Bichette has had five multi-hit games in the last 10 and he’s hitting .389 during that stretch. He hasn’t been hitting for over-the-fence power but he’s hitting some doubles, stealing bases (six in the last eight games) and also showing a solid eye with a BB-K of 7-10. Give him another couple of weeks and he should get a shot at The Show.

5. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: July)

You can almost hear Kieboom screaming, “Put me in the game, coach!” The Nationals are 1.5 games out of a wild card spot and the young shortstop looks ready for another shot in the spotlight. He’s hitting .425 over the past 10 games. During that span, he has 17 hits and nine walks. For the mathematically-challenged readers, that means he’s been on base at least 26 times over that span.

6. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: July)

Keller continues to roll at the Triple-A level since his demotion. He threw five innings of one-run ball on June 29 and now has allowed just two runs in his last two starts spanning 12.1 innings. He’ll bide his time until an injury (or trade) provides an opportunity and he doesn’t have a lot left to prove in the minors.

7. Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, Rays (AAA) (ETA: July)

Like a lot of sluggers, Lowe continues to have issues with strikeouts (13 in the last 10 games). But he’s also been an on-base machine with 49 walks in 66 games. Add in the 28 extra base hits and you have a MLB-ready bat just waiting for the opportunity to prove itself.

8. Jordan Romano, RHP, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: July)

Romano’s next opportunity likely hinges on the mid-to-late July trades that should be coming in Toronto with Ken Giles, Joe Biagini, and Daniel Hudson all possessing some level of trade value to a contender. Romano has 18 strikeouts and just two walks over his past 10 Triple-A games (12.1 innings). His one nemesis continues to be the long ball - between Triple-A and the Majors, he’s allowed nine this year (38.1 innings).   

9. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (AA) (ETA: July)

Another week, another glowing report for Adell. The young outfielder is up to a .421 average over his past 10 games. He’s now played 20 games at the Double-A level since returning from injury and has a BB-K of 7-13 and a 1.093 OPS. He’s also hitting for power and has played good defense in both center and right field. He could be a great spark plug for the Angels in the second half as the club is just 4.5 games out of a wild-card spot.

10. Will Smith, C, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: July)

Smith is the first of three prospects in the Dodgers system that could be just as valuable as any acquisition made via a trade. He’s already been up with the big league club twice and perhaps the third recall will be the one that sticks. With three home runs in nine MLB games, we know the power will play and it could be a dangerous weapon off the bench in the playoffs (with his versatility also a major asset). As a result, it would make sense to get Smith comfortable playing at the MLB level for as long as possible before the games start to matter all that much more.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Isan Diaz, IF, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: July)

Diaz continues to push for a big league promotion and is now hitting .387 over his past 10 games with a BB-K of 10-4. And that great approach hasn’t diminished his power - he has four home runs over that stretch. He has outstanding power for a second base prospect with 18 in 78 Triple-A games.

12. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AA) (ETA: July) 

Robert is on another hot streak despite all his strikeouts (14 in the last 10 games). The toolsy outfielder has hits in nine of his past 10 games and is hitting .372 with three homers and six steals over that stretch. He’s hitting .356 with 15 homers and 24 steals on the year.

13. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: July)

Wright is back in Triple-A again after a brief MLB visit (without an appearance). He’s starting to iron things out at the minor league level and over his past three starts has allowed four earned runs in 19.1 innings - as well as five walks and 24 strikeouts. People will underrate him because of his overall numbers which suffer from his struggles in April and May.

14. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (AA) (ETA: August)

Puk continues to move along more methodically than Luzardo. He’s up to Double-A now but continues to struggle with his command. He allowed three hits, one walk and one run in 1.1 innings. The encouraging news is that all four outs came on strikeouts.

15. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: August)

Dunn continues to make a push for a promotion to either Triple-A or the Majors. He’s allowed three earned runs over his past two starts and features a nifty K-BB of 18-3 over 11.1 innings. Overall, he now has 90 strikeouts in 70.1 innings.

16. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Lux earned a bump up to Triple-A on the weekend and went 8-for-13 to celebrate the promotion. Five of his eight hits also went for extra bases. The big league club doesn’t have a lot of holes but it looks like Lux will be ready to help out in the event of an injury.

17. Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Like Lux, May earned a recent promotion from Double-A to Triple-A. The right-handed hurler had a nice start at his new level on June 30 when he allowed just two runs in five innings. The Dodgers’ starting rotation is pretty damn solid but all five pitchers have had issues staying healthy so May could get a solid opportunity in the second half. It might even make sense to give him innings to keep the vets healthy for the playoffs.

18. Jorge Mateo, SS, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: August)

Mateo is in a funk and hitting just .196 with 14 strikeouts over the past 10 games. Still, he has tantalizing speed, some power, and defensive versatility. The A’s offense could use some help and, barring any major trades, Mateo might be their best hope - and it wouldn’t surprise me if he were the type of player that performs better in the spotlight then the near-obscurity that is minor league baseball.

19. Anthony Kay, LHP, Mets (AAA) (ETA: August)

The transition from Double-A to Triple-A has not been easy on Kay. The southpaw has struggled with both his command and control while issuing seven walks and 21 hits in 14 innings. He’s also been taken deep four times. Still, he has time to turn things around and still fill a rotation spot once pitchers start moving at the trade deadline.

20. Willi Castro, SS, Tigers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Castro is in a funk so he slides down the list and looks like more of an August-add now. He’s hitting just .182 over the past 10 games, which has dropped his average down below .300 for the first time since early April. On the plus side, he’s showing more patience in June than any other time this year with 17 walks in 27 games.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/3B, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: August)

Let’s celebrate Mountcastle for a moment. The young hitter took his first walk in 16 games, which was one of just three that he took in June - against 33 strikeouts. Even with that repugnant plate approach, Mountcastle hit .297 with three homers over his past 10 games. Perhaps the Orioles’ big league coaches can succeed where the Triple-A coaches have failed and work some magic on his approach at the plate. There is obvious talent here and the Orioles could use some help (although they’re likely very happy with a shot at the first overall draft pick for two years in a row).

22. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AA) (ETA: August)

He stands just 5-9 and is 20 years old. But Garcia also has a 2.68 ERA in nine Double-A starts. He’s allowed just 29 hits in 47 innings. He’s struck out an eye-catching 76 batters. On the downside, he’s allowed 22 walks. The immensely-talented hurler is a long-shot to pitch meaningful innings for the Yankees this year but stranger things have happened.

23. Matt Manning, RHP, Tigers (AA) (ETA: August)

Manning has allowed more than three runs in a game just once this season and it came way back on April 30. His ERA sits at 2.60 and he has a K-BB of 102-28 through 86.2 innings. If Matthew Boyd is sent packing during the trade deadline it would be fun to see Manning get the call to start building a solid foundation for the 2020 season since the Tigers would still control him for at least six seasons after this year.

24. Jake Fraley, OF, Mariners (AAA) (ETA: August)

Fraley’s mini-slump is a distant memory and the speedy outfielder is hitting .317 in nine Triple-A games. He has 13 hits, which includes three doubles and three triples. He’s also stolen three bases in four tries. The Rays rarely make mistakes but letting Fraley go in last year’s deal with Seattle may end up being one move that they regret.

25. Monte Harrison, OF, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Harrison has a hit in every game he’s played in since returning from injury and he’s actually done a better job of making consistent contact in that small sample size. The 23-year-old outfielder has a lot of raw power but he also has some intriguing speed and is 20-for-21 in attempts on the year.

26. Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Gordon seems to be pulling out of a mini-slump and might be ready to get hot. He’s 6-for-19 with three steaks over his past four games. That’s a big improvement over the full 10-game stretch that saw him post a BB-K of 1-18.

27. Kean Wong, 2B/OF, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Wong continues to toil away in Triple-A and is hitting .356 over his past 10 games. His batting average on the year sits at .347 through 66 Triple-A games. His on-base average is at .410. And he has played at least one game at every position except catcher and first base.

28. Brandon Bielak, RHP, Astros (AAA) (ETA: August)

Jose Urquidy will get the first opportunity to start for the Astros but Bielak may not be far behind, depending on how the trade deadline plays out. He’s allowed just four earned runs over his past three Triple-A starts spanning 19 innings. He also produces above-average ground-ball rates.

29. Nick Madrigal, 2B, White Sox (AA) (ETA: August)

Yolmer Sanchez’s offense has really dried up which could create an opportunity for Madrigal in the second half - especially if the White Sox remain in the playoff hunt. He’s actually been hitting better in Double-A than he did in High-A and has a BB-K of 7-2 in 20 games. The challenge for Madrigal will be driving the ball against big league pitching - he has just 19 extra base hits in 69 games in the minors this season.

30. Michel Baez, RHP, Padres (AA) (ETA: August)

Baez is one of two relievers on the list. Converted to relief after coming back from an injury, the hulking right-hander has 29 strikeouts in 18.1 innings. He could be an interesting arm for the Padres down the stretch with his ability to pitch multiple innings and rack up the strikeouts.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 13)

July is almost here and the Wild Card races are looking muddled in both the American and especially the National League, where almost every club has a reasonable shot at the playoffs. The impending (and now single) trade deadline could make things interesting especially with only six or seven teams looking like guaranteed sellers - which could quickly turn this into a seller’s market. Of course, a number of teams could also choose to stand pat and dip down into their minor league systems for reinforcements.

Three players earned MLB promotions last week and immediately made their presences known. Zac Gallen finally earned his much-deserved promotion with the Marlins and had an excellent start. He allowed just one earned run in five innings and struck out six batters. Cubs pitcher Adbert Alzolay also had a solid debut with four innings of one-run relief. He struck out five batters but issued two free passes. Infielder Brendan Rodgers is back with the Rockies after an injury to shortstop Trevor Story. Hopefully, the Rockies will eventually learn how to handle young players after falling on their faces while managing Garrett Hampson’s and Rodgers’ first tastes of The Show.

The Indians announced on Sunday that they were recalling slugging first baseman Bobby Bradley just as I was beginning work on this week’s list. Dodgers catcher Will Smith was also recalled to the Majors but has been coming off the bench in recent days for the big league club. A tired bullpen forced Toronto to promote Sean Reid-Foley to the Majors despite modest-at-best numbers. Kyle Wright is also back up in Atlanta to provide insurance but it remains to be seen how long his stay will last. It might be over by the time I’m done writing this… Nope, not yet… sentence.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: July)

With Zac Gallen now in the Majors, Tucker takes over the top spot on the list. But will he still be in the Houston organization when August rolls around? The trade deadline is only about a month away and the Astros have been struggling recently. The club needs controllable pitching and has an abundance of offensive prospects so Tucker could be the odd man out - although it would likely take a really good player (or package of players) to get him. So San Francisco is not getting him for Madison Bumgarner and Toronto isn’t getting him for Marcus Stroman alone. Tucker is continuing to swing the bat really well. He’s hitting .400 over his past 10 games. He’s also hitting for power and running; overall he has 23 home runs and 17 steals.

2. Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers (AAA) (ETA: July)

Hiura continues to hit well in Triple-A since returning from his brief stay in the Majors. He’s batting .293 with three home runs over the past 10 games. He also has six walks but those come with 13 strikeouts; his strikeout rate is now 28% at the Triple-A level and it was 33% in the Majors so it’s something to keep an eye on.

3. Luis Urias, 2B, Padres (AAA) (ETA: July)

Urias still has a shiny triple-slash line on the season in Triple-A but June is the first month that he hasn’t produced an OPS over 1.000 at .868. After a stellar BB-K of 19-20 in May, it’s dropped to 7-20 in June. Nonetheless, he appears to be MLB ready and the Padres could probably use his bat in the lineup before the club sinks too far out of the playoff race.

4. Brendan McKay, LHP/1B (AAA) (ETA: July)

McKay continues to dominate at Triple-A and hasn’t allowed an earned run over his past two starts. In his five Triple-A appearances, he’s allowed just four runs. His ERA for the year is now at 1.22 and his K-BB is 88-15. After throwing 78.1 innings last year, you have to figure McKay’s cap is around 120-130 so he’s about halfway there.

5. Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: July)

Bichette is definitely heating up now that he’s found his footing after returning from the hand injury that cost him about seven weeks. He’s hitting .357 over his past 10 games and is 8-for-13 over the past three games. He’s also showing more patience over the past week and also has three stolen bases. Bichette knows he’s close and could finally reach The Show once Toronto starts dabbling in the trade deadline activity and perhaps finds a new home for veteran shortstop Freddy Galvis, who’s been one of Toronto’s better players.

6. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: July)

Luzardo had two solid rehab appearances in A-ball but found the competition in Triple-A a little more challenging. He allowed two runs on five hits and two walks in just 3.1 innings. On the plus side, he struck out five batters and induced a lot of ground-ball outs. He’ll likely need a few more starts before Oakland is ready to trust him at the MLB level.

7. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: July)

Keller is back at Triple-A after having real issues finding a groove in the Majors. His MiLB ERA of 2.98 has not translated to success at the MLB level where it’s at 10.50 through three starts. He’s really struggled with his fastball command and has allowed 21 hits and six walks in 12 innings. If we’re looking for encouraging signs from his MLB appearances, it’s the 15 strikeouts and just one homer allowed.

8. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: July)

Kieboom is on fire again. He has hits in nine of his last 10 games, including 13 hits over his last five games. Just as impressive, his BB-K over that 10-game stretch is 9-3 with just one strikeout over his past five games. Washington is in a pretty heated race for a Wild Card spot and could use Kieboom’s bat in the lineup. The club’s veterans are mostly hitting well but surely there is a way to rotate him into the mix?

9. Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, Rays (AAA) (ETA: July)

Lowe has really warmed up with the weather in June and is hitting .303 over his past 10 games. During that stretch, he also has a promising BB-K of 10-10. He’s still not hitting home runs with any consistency, though, and has just seven in 60 Triple-A games.

10. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (AA) (ETA: July)

The long layoff while recuperating from an injury certainly did not hurt Adell. He’s now hitting .403 in 17 Double-A games. He’s also hitting for power, running, and showing a solid eye at the plate. Sure, it’s a small sample size but the young outfielder certainly appears ready for the Triple-A challenge.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Jordan Romano, RHP, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: July)

I don’t normally include relievers on the list because their contributions are often modest at best but Romano is an exception. He’s only back in the minors right now because the club’s bullpen was overworked and he was one of few pitchers that had an available minor league option. Closer Ken Giles could be on the move at the trade deadline and Romano is the best in-house option to replace him in high-leverage situations after seeing a velocity spike with the permanent move from starter to reliever.

12. Corbin Martin, RHP, Astros (AAA) (ETA: August)

Martin has now made three Triple-A starts since returning from a shot at the Majors but he’s been inconsistent. In 12 combined innings over those three appearances, he’s given up 19 hits and nine earned runs. The strikeouts are still there with 16 but he needs to limit the baserunners if he’s going to get another shot with the now-struggling Astros.

13. Isan Diaz, IF, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: July)

Diaz’s OPS is up to .919 after a solid 10-game stretch that saw him hit .314 with a BB-K of 6-9. He also hit a couple of home runs recently. The Marlins will be hard pressed to find a trade partner for veteran second baseman Starlin Castro (.589 OPS) but Diaz deserves an opportunity.

14. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AA) (ETA: August) 

Robert continues to have a fascinating season with 15 home runs, 22 stolen bases and a .356 batting average. But he also has a BB-K of 14-65 in 65 games and has extremely wild hot-and-cold stretches. Chicago finds itself surprisingly in the hunt for a playoff spot and the club could be tempted to see if Robert can be a difference-maker.

15. Willi Castro, SS, Tigers (AAA) (ETA: July)

June has not been kind to Castro, who is hitting just .244 in the month and has seen his overall batting average dip down to a season-low of .308. However, even though he’s not hitting for average right now, he’s still doing little things to help his team win, including four steals and seven walks in the past 10 games.

16. Dylan Cease, RHP, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: August)

Cease continues to be his own worst enemy and is no longer looking like a shoo-in for a promotion in June or July. He’s allowed 13 earned runs over his past three starts which has caused his ERA to balloon to 4.69. He’s not allowing home runs - with just four allowed in 63.1 innings - but his fastball command has deserted him and he’s given up 70 hits. On the plus side, after striking out just one batter over two starts on June 9 and 14, he whiffed seven batters in his most recent outing.

17. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (A+) (ETA: August)

Oakland is continuing to take it slowly with Puk, who has now made three two-inning appearances in his return from Tommy John surgery. He struggled with his command in his last appearance and allowed two earned runs on three hits and two walks.

18. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: August)

I’m surprised Dunn is still in Double-A but he did hit a rough patch in early-to-mid June. His last start was much better and he struck out nine batters in six innings. He remains an interesting option for the Mariners in the second half of the year.

19. Matt Manning, RHP, Tigers (AA) (ETA: August)

Manning appears to be in a bit of a mid-season funk. He hasn’t been terrible but he also has been as dominant as he was in the early going. He’s allowed three earned runs in three of his last four starts. The young hurler has been struggling with his control and has walked 12 batters in his last four appearances - which represents almost half of the free passes given up this season over 14 starts.

20. Jorge Mateo, SS, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: August)

Mateo continues to be frustrating. He’s hit .300 each month during the 2019 season but his walk totals during that span have gone from seven to five to three. His steals have followed suit from seven to six to three. If he can quit chasing the long ball so much (He has 11 in 72 games) and gets back to doing what makes him special, he can help the A’s in the second half.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/3B, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: August)

Like Jorge Mateo head of him on this list, Mountcastle needs to try to do a little less (swinging) to do a little more. The Orioles corner infield prospect has a BB-K of 0-11 over the past 10 games and 9-71 overall despite hitting for a .300 average. He’ll find it easier to tap into his raw power potential if he starts getting more selective with the pitches he’s swinging at.

22. Anthony Kay, LHP, Mets (AAA) (ETA: August)

It’s been a rough transition from Double-A to Triple-A for Kay, who features an 11.00 ERA through three starts at the higher level. He’s given up 15 hits during that stretch but also features a respectable K-BB of 10-4. The lefty went just four innings in his last start but also allowed just two earned runs so hopefully he’s now headed in the right direction to help the Mets later this year.

23. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AA) (ETA: August):

There’s been talk that New York could be in the market for starting pitching but perhaps they’ll save their prospect capital and just dip down into the minors instead. Garcia has been on fire over his past two starts with 24 strikeouts and just three walks in 11 shutout innings. Oh, and he’s allowed just one hit during that stretch, too.

24. Jake Fraley, OF, Mariners (AAA) (ETA: August)

Fraley earned a promotion to Triple-A over the weekend but has struggled to find his footing at the new level so far. He hit a home run in his first game but is now in a modest stretch of 2-for-13. The Mariners’ outfielders (other than Domingo Santana) are hitting pretty poorly so a solid stretch of two or three good weeks at the Triple-A level could earn Fraley a shot at The Show.

25. Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Gordon hasn’t really done much over the past 10 games to get excited about. He hit just .250 over that stretch with a BB-K of 3-12. As a result, his Triple-A teammate Luis Arraez earned another promotion to the Majors and doesn’t look eager to return to the minors with hits in each of his five appearances for the Twins.

26. Kean Wong, 2B/OF, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Wong just can’t catch a break. He’s one of the top hitters in the International League with a .354 average — and hit .400 over the past 10 games — but it was teammate Michael Brosseau that earned the big league promotion.

27. Bryse Wilson, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: July)

Wilson’s season can be best described as “solid” and he hasn’t really dominated Triple-A but he remains in line for some second-half starts because no one else has really stepped up either. He’s really improved up his strikeout game in June and has whiffed 28 batters (with just four walks) in 21 innings - as well as exactly seven batters in each of his past four starts.

28. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (AA) (ETA: August)

The Dodgers have given rookie catcher Will Smith an opportunity to show his worth at the MLB level this year so why not Lux, too? The middle infielder is hitting well again after a mini-slump and is batting .361 over his past 10 games. His BB-K is also a solid 7-10 during that stretch. He’s even running a little bit with three steals.

29. Brandon Bielak, RHP, Astros (AAA) (ETA: August):

It’s been a rough year for many of the Astros’ more highly-regarded pitching prospects so perhaps Bielak deserves a chance? The righty had a rough introduction to Triple-A with 14 earned runs allowed in his first two appearances but the last two have gone much better. During that stretch, he’s allowed just one earned run and struck out 14 batters in 13 innings. He also has a history of producing good ground-ball rates and keeping the ball in the park.

30. Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers (AA) (ETA: August)

May jumps back on the list after a solid two-start stretch that saw him strike out 19 batters without issuing a walk in 14 innings. May has been durable while throwing lots of strikes and showing the ability to keep the ball in the yard (five home runs in 79.1 innings). He looks ready for the Triple-A challenge and shouldn’t be far off from a taste of big league action.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Hot Prospects To Watch - Jo Adell, Deivi Garcia, Alec Bohm And More

We're almost halfway through the 2019 MLB season. Can you believe it? With the dog days of summer coming up and fantasy owners looking to make moves in their leagues heading into the second half, it's more important now than ever to keep tabs on hot prospects that could be making their way up to the big leagues soon.

The second half of the season is typically when we see a greater influx of minor league talent to major league rosters, especially when rosters expand in the final month of the season in September. Some will get the call for a little taste of the Show, while others might have a good chance to make an impact in fantasy leagues.

MLB.com recently updated their top-100 list of prospects in 2019. In the top spot is Rays shortstop Wander Franco, who is unlikely to see a promotion this year. Rounding out the top five are Tigers starter Casey Mize (injured at Double-A), Padres lefty MacKenzie Gore (dealing with High-A), Angels outfielder Jo Adell (Double-A) and White Sox outfielder Luis Robert (Double-A).

 

Adell Making Up For Lost Time

Jo Adell - OF, Los Angeles Angels

Baseball's top outfield prospect and the Angels' No. 1 prospect missed the first two months of the minor league season with lower-body injuries. But since he returned ahead of schedule on June 2, Adell has a slash line of .403/.471/.694 with nine doubles, three homers, 10 RBI and four stolen bases in 70 plate appearances. It's even more impressive since the Southern League favors pitchers.

Overall for Double-A Mobile and High-A Inland Empire this year, Adell is hitting .368/.433/.655 with five home runs, 15 RBI, 19 runs and four stolen bases in 23 games. The former 10th overall pick in 2017 just turned 20 years old in April, but we wouldn't be surprised to see him starting games in Anaheim before the year is up.

His plate approach needs to be refined as he matures, but Adell's combination of power and speed as a potential 20-20 guy at the next level will make him fantasy relevant immediately. The drawback for the 20-year-old is that he has some swing-and-miss in his game, but the positives far outweigh the negatives with him. The Halos will have a scary good outfield with Adell next to Mike Trout in the years to come.

 

Deivi Dominating In Minors

Deivi Garcia - SP, New York Yankees

The 20-year-old Dominican right-hander might only be listed as the team's third-best pitching prospect, but he could end up being the best in the long run, and he's certainly showing why on the farm. Garcia had a 3.06 ERA in four starts at High-A Tampa to begin the year but has been much better in his nine starts for Double-A Trenton, going 4-2 with a 2.68 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 76 K's and 22 walks in 47 innings (14.6 K/9).

His 15.2 K/9 combined is the best strikeout-per-nine rate in the minor leagues. In his last two starts, Garcia has allowed just one hit while walking three and striking out 24 hitters over 11 innings. Opponents are hitting .028 against him. That's domination, folks. In his last five starts (23 2/3 innings), Garcia has a 1.52 ERA with 12 walks and 40 strikeouts. You get the picture.

Garcia is flying under the radar because his stuff doesn't stand out in particular, but he's very polished as as a pitcher. He gets very good spin on his curveball and fastball, which he can throw in the 91-96 mph range. A changeup could become a solid third offering for him when he reaches the next level, which may come at some point in 2020. At 5-foot-9, 163 pounds, there are obvious concerns about his longevity as a starter, but this is certainly a player to have on your radar in dynasty/keeper leagues right now.

 

Here Comes The Boom

Alec Bohm - 3B, Philadelphia Phillies

After being selected third overall out of Wichita State last year, Bohm started the year with Single-A Lakewood, was promoted to High-A Clearwater and just this week has made the jump to Double-A Reading. He's impressed so far, hitting a combined .332/.405/.530 with 20 doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 39 RBI and four stolen bases in 66 games. His 32:41 walk-to-strikeout ratio also stands out.

The 22-year-old is Philly's top prospect, the No. 38 prospect in all of baseball and is ranked as the third-best third base prospect. He was touted as one of the best overall hitters of his draft class and has the strength and bat speed to hit for power and average in the majors. What is particularly exciting is his mix of raw power and the ability to limit his strikeouts and draw plenty of walks because of his knowledge of the strike zone.

It might be a stretch to expect him to play at the highest level in his first full year of professional baseball, but Bohm no doubt is a quick learner and a fast riser as a top-five draft pick. It's unknown if he'll have the glove to stick at the hot corner in the long term, but the Phils might need him there sooner than later with Maikel Franco currently struggling after a hot start.

 

Only A Matter Of Time

Luis Urias - 2B/SS, San Diego Padres

Urias has a career .167 average (12-for-72) with just two homers, five RBI and a steal in 23 games with the Padres the last two years. That includes an .083 average (2-for-24) with 11 strikeouts in 11 games in 2019 earlier this year. It's disappointing for the team's No. 2 prospect, but Urias has proven he no longer belongs in the minors, slashing .331/.417/.640 with 15 doubles, four triples, a career-high 17 home runs, 42 RBI, 54 runs scored and seven steals in 59 games for Triple-A El Paso.

The 22-year-old may not hit for a ton of power in the big leagues, but his contact-oriented approach, gap-to-gap skills, excellent on-base percentage and advanced plate discipline will make him a useful middle infielder regular once he solidifies a starting role for the Friars. It'd be a mistake not to stash him right now in deep mixed and NL-only leagues just because of his numbers in a small sample size in San Diego the last two years.

The Mexico native could be back up with the Padres before the All-Star break and could easily start seeing more playing time over Ian Kinsler at the keystone in the second half of the season. After all, the veteran Kinsler is hitting just .220/.277/.383 in 214 at-bats. Urias and fellow prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. should form a potent middle infield combination in sunny San Diego for years to come.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball & MLB Prospects and Rookies 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 12)

Believe it or not, the midpoint of the minor league baseball season is here. We’re starting to see short-season leagues get underway, 2019 amateur draft picks are signing their first pro contracts, minor league all-star breaks are happening, and prospect promotions are also picking up steam.

Major league teams are also continuing to dip into the minor leagues for reinforcements and pitchers Mitch Keller (Pittsburgh) and Logan Allen (San Diego) are the most recent beneficiaries of an opportunity. Allen’s promotion is the most surprising given his recent struggles in Triple (seven runs and 14 hits in his last 11.1 innings) but all of San Diego’s starting pitchers are struggling at that level.

On the injury side of thing, Detroit’s Casey Mize has been removed from the list. Had he stayed healthy for the whole year there was a decent chance that he could have tasted big league action in August or September. The Mets, Mariners, and Angels have new players on this week’s list.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Zac Gallen, RHP, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: June)

Gallen has been at or near the top of this list for a while but he no longer belongs. The club had continually passed over the more-than-MLB-ready Gallen for lesser arms such as Elieser Hernandez and Jordan Yamamoto. But now the team is set to call him up to start on Thursday. Gallen gave up three earned runs in 5.1 innings during his most recent start but he posted an excellent K-BB of 8-1. His season K-BB is up to 112-17 through 91.1 innings. He leads the Pacific Coast League in ERA, innings, K/9, BB/9, K-BB%, opponents batting average, and is third in HR/9 (minimum 60 IP). After Gallen’s 1.77 ERA, the next closest pitcher is at 2.86 (32-year-old veteran hurler Hector Noesi). He is a must-add wherever pitching help is needed.

2. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: July)

Yordan Alvarez is punishing big league pitching (assuming you can qualify Toronto’s pitching as MLB quality) and Tucker is on another tear at Triple-A. The Astros just continue to find ways to churn out impact players and this young outfielder would have likely opened up the year in the Majors on 29 other MLB teams. He’s hitting .385 with five home runs and three stolen bases over his past 10 games. Of his 70 hits this year, 42 have gone for extra bases. He’s tied (with Alvarez) for first in the Pacific Coast League with 23 home runs and tied for fourth in steals with 15. Tucker’s power-speed combo is electric and the only real hole in his game is the strikeout rate, which sits at 22%.

3. Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers (AAA) (ETA: July)

Good teams have depth and that’s where Hiura finds himself right now: As a depth piece at Triple-A. He’s not letting the recent demotion slow him down, though, and is hitting .326 over his past 10 games. He’s also hit five home runs over that stretch. The BB-K has room for improvement (18048 in AAA, 3-23 in the MLB) to ensure sustained offensive success so it gives him something to work on until he receives the next call to The Show.

4. Luis Urias, 2B, Padres (AAA) (ETA: July)

Veteran Ian Kinsler is heating up and hitting .351 in June, which could be bad news for those waiting for Urias to hit the Majors. However, rumor has it that San Diego — sitting in fourth place in the NL West — is willing to start dealing players and Kinsler could help a contender off the bench and with his veteran leadership. So that likely puts Urias’ ETA to return to the Majors in July. The young second baseman is in a cold stretch and is hitting just .214 with 12 strikeouts over his past 10 games but still has an OPS of 1.085 for the year.

5. Brendan McKay, LHP/1B (AAA) (ETA: July)

So, what is the best way for a minor league pitcher to show he’s almost MLB ready? Well, striking out rehabbing Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton (twice) is a solid choice. McKay did that and more on June 15 against a very good Yankees Triple-A team (even before adding those veterans). He held the club to just one hit and one walk over five innings. And he struck out seven batters. If the Rays can successfully manage his innings, he could be a valuable weapon in the playoffs.

6. Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: July)

Bichette is back and healthy at Triple-A. He’s been managing quite a few hits in his return but he’s also been very aggressive and has yet to take a walk. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him press a bit in an effort to make up for lost time and join his friends Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio in Toronto. But once he settles in, there is a good chance that he’ll take off.

7. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies (AAA) (ETA: July)

Rodgers, like Garrett Hampson before him, wasn’t given as much consistent playing time as you would like to see and he too finds himself back in Triple-A. But he also didn’t perform when given the opportunity (.577 OPS, four walks in 21 games).

8. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: July)

Kieboom continues to plug along while waiting for another opportunity in Washington. The club’s playoff hopes aren’t looking good so the young shortstop could very well earn some solid playing in the second half of the year especially if the club can find deadline takers for veterans Brian Dozier and Howie Kendrick. Kieboom isn’t doing anything spectacular at Triple-A right now but he’s been good for his age and has an impressive BB-K of 10-7 over his past 10 games. He has a .958 OPS on the year, which is within the Top 10 in the Pacific Coast League among true prospects (ie. not including Triple-A veterans).

9. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: July)

Luzardo’s second outing in his return from a serious shoulder injury went very well. He struck out nine batters without issuing a walk over four innings of one-run work. He’s on his way back to Triple-A.

10. Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, Rays (AAA) (ETA: July)

Lowe is finally in a groove over his past 10 games. The hulking first baseman is hitting .300 over that stretch with two home runs and a BB-K of 10-10. His OPS is at 1.079 in June. Part of his success is coming from hitting well against both right-handed and left-handed pitching. Like Keston Hiura and the Brewers, Lowe is another example of good teams that have good depth.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians (AAA) (ETA: August)

It looked like the Indians might finally be tiring of Jake Bauers’ consistently-under-performing ways and then he went out and hit for the cycle, no doubt buying himself some additional rope. And Bradley just keeps mashing in Triple-A — but also swinging and missing a lot. He has four home runs over his past 10 games but his BB-K is also at an alarming 2-14. He now has 86 strikeouts in just 62 games. But 37 of Bradley’s 67 hits have also gone for extra bases, including 20 clearing the fences.

12. Dylan Cease, RHP, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: July)

Just when it looked like Cease was getting close to the Majors, he’s hit a rough stretch at Triple-A. The young right-hander has a K-BB of just 1-6 over his past two outings spanning 5.2 innings. His sudden inability to consistently find the strike zone and miss bats is worrisome. He hasn’t been overworked and has thrown just 57.2 innings over 12 starts (averaging less than five innings per start). On the plus side, he’s still inducing ground balls at an above-average rate and has allowed just four home runs in a year where Triple-A homers are way up.

13. Will Smith, C, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Smith handled his brief MLB trial extremely well with a .967 OPS in six games, including two home runs. But the playoff-hungry Dodgers will continue to go with the more proven, veteran backstops barring another injury. The young catcher isn’t letting his return to Triple-A slow him down and he’s hitting .300 with five home runs and a BB-K of 5-5 in the last nine games.

14. Corbin Martin, RHP, Astros (AAA) (ETA: August)

Back in Triple-A after a modest five-game showing in the Majors, Martin’s second Triple-A start in June was better than his first with just two runs allowed in five innings with eight strikeouts. But his command hasn’t been strong and he’s given up 13 hits and five walks over those two recent appearances. His next shot at the Majors could hinge on what happens at the trade deadline.

15. Willi Castro, SS, Tigers (AAA) (ETA: July)

The Tigers continue to receive underwhelming results from their second basemen (and third base) but Castro remains at Triple-A. Interestingly, the Tigers haven’t given the young shortstop much time at all at those other positions despite his modest results (and mixed future projections) at shortstop. His bat has cooled off a bit lately, but he’s still hitting .316 overall and is showing more patience at the plate (six walks in his last 10 games).   

16.  A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (A+) (ETA: July)

Puk is being moved along a little more cautiously then the A’s are moving Jesus Luzardo. The tall southpaw allowed one run over two innings while allowing one hit and one walk. He struck out three batters. He has an impressive seven strikeouts in four innings but has allowed two home runs in A-ball, which suggests his command still has a ways to go.

17. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: July)

Well, Wright really needed that. He had his best start (by far) of the year on June 14. He threw 7.2 shutout innings and allowed just two hits and two walks. He struck out 10 batters. After his struggles, while being yo-yoed between Triple-A and the Majors, the Braves will likely give him a solid stretch of starts in the minors before he receives another shot at The Show.

18. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: August)

The Mariners jettisoned another veteran recently in Edwin Encarnacion so the sell-off should continue well into July for trader (GM) Jerry DiPoto, which could leak into the starting rotation and open up opportunities for the likes of Dunn. The right-hander hasn’t been overly sharp over his last two starts (seven earned runs) but he’s battled well and still has 11 strikeouts over his past 10.2 innings. Overall, he has a 72-18 K-BB in 59 innings.

19. Isan Diaz, IF, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: July)

Diaz continues to hit well and is batting .351 over his past 10 games. He also went deep two times during that stretch and now has 14 home runs on the season. Diaz is still hitting a lot of balls on the ground so there is room to get even more balls into the air. He now has a solid .376 on-base average on the year. The Marlins’ infielders are providing very little offense so it shouldn’t be too long before Diaz earns an opportunity.

20. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (AA) (ETA: August)

Injuries kept Adell off the field for much of the year but he’s making up for lost time at Double-A. Through his first 12 games, the athletic outfielder had 15 hits with more than half of those going for extra bases (including an eye-popping seven doubles). He’s also showing good speed and is a perfect 4-for-4. His BB-K of 4-6 is also impressive given the long layoff.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AA) (ETA: August) 

Robert continues to be one of the most fascinating prospects to watch in the minors because of his wild hot and cold swings. After a stretch of going 6-for-11 over three games, he’s now gone 0-for-19 over four games. Even with that hot spell, he’s hitting .158 with a BB-K of 2-13 over the last 10 games. Overall, though, he’s hitting .353 with a 1.033 over 60 games split between A-ball and Double-A.

22. Matt Manning, RHP, Tigers (AA) (ETA: August)

Manning has been a little less consistent lately and has allowed three runs in 5.1 innings in two of his last three games. And he struck out just three batters in his most recent outing. Still, he’s inducing ground balls at a high rate and has a K-BB of 91-22 in 76.2 innings. With Casey Mize now on the sidelines with a shoulder issue, Manning is the best bet to give Tigers’ fans a little excitement in the second half of the year.

23. Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: July)

With veteran Edwin Jackson absolutely getting rocked in Toronto, the Jays will have to make a change soon. Reid-Foley will be in competition with other Triple-A starters Jacoby Waguespack and David Paulino but neither of those arms has been particularly impressive and both have struggled with injury issues. Reid-Foley, meanwhile, has been very inconsistent with poor control but he’s at least avoided the IL to date. And the Jays are at that point in their rebuilding season where a healthy, warm body that can allow fewer than five runs in five innings is a bonus.

24. Jorge Mateo, SS, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: August)

Mateo is almost at 100 hits through 64 games thanks to his .325 batting average but there are still significant holes in his game, which are holding him back. He has well-above-average speed but still has yet to figure out when the attempt a stolen base (15-for-22) and hasn’t realized that walks are a great way to get on base. His BB-K of 12-70 is ugly. With shortstop Marcus Semien being the A’s most consistent hitter and second baseman Jurickson Profar now heating up, Mateo’s best hope for impacting the MLB roster could be a move back to the outfield or a utility role.

25. Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: August)

Mountcastle has significantly cooled off since his hot stretch at the beginning of June. He’s hitting .220 with a BB-K of 2-13 over his past 10 appearances. And he’s gone deep just once in that stretch. Mountcastle is still hitting .310 on the year but his BB-K is an ugly 9-60 in 58 games. Rio Ruiz has been very inconsistent at the MLB level so there’s an opportunity here if the Triple-A third baseman can make some improvements and find some consistency of his own.

26. Anthony Kay, LHP, Mets (AAA) (ETA: August)

Kay finally sneaks onto the list after a recent promotion from Double-A to Triple-A. He had a solid performance in Double-A with 70 strikeouts and just 38 hits allowed in 66.1 innings. He had a rough first game in Triple-A when he allowed five earned runs on six hits in four innings. However, his K-BB of 6.1 was encouraging. Kay isn’t overpowering but he could eventually make a solid backend rotation piece for the Mets.

27. Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (AAA) (ETA: August)

This is the third example of a good team benefiting from strong depth. The Twins have received good performances from middle infielders Jorge Polanco and Jonathan Schoop. Triple-A infielder Luis Arraez is hitting .342 and showed well in a 10-MLB-game sampling but Gordon has the higher ceiling and is now warming up after missing the first month of the season due to injury. After posting a BB-K of 3-15 in May, he’s improved to 4-9 in June. He has athleticism, versatility, and more pop than Arraez. Gordon just needs to hit more balls in the air and on the line.

28. Adbert Alzolay, RHP, Cubs (AAA) (ETA: August)

Alzolay has now struck out at least eight batters in each of his last four starts. And he’s allowed just five hits and three walks during that stretch which helps to explain why the Cubs have been considering promoting him to the Majors. His K-BB of 46-6 in 32 innings is impressive.

29. Jake Fraley, OF, Mariners (AA) (ETA: August)

As mentioned, the Mariners are in full purge mode and a couple more trades could open up playing time for the hot-hitting Fraley. And with the Triple-A cupboard bare of impact outfielders, it wouldn’t be a stretch for the club to reach down to Double-A for the speedy prospect. Fraley’s actually hitting just .156 over his last 10 games but he still has a .922 OPS for the year with 11 homers and 16 steals in 21 tries.

30. Kean Wong, 2B/OF, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Wong continues to fly under the radar despite a .352 batting average in 55 Triple-A games, which is good for third in the International League. Tampa Bay has a ton of depth up the middle and even left Wong unprotected in last winter’s Rule 5 draft but he’s still just 24 and has pedigree as the brother of Kolten Wong. There are a number of teams out there that could use an offensive-minded player like this so he could be used at the trade deadline to help bring in some veteran roster reinforcements for the playoffs.

More MLB Prospects Analysis