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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 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Atlanta Braves: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Atlanta Braves will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff, meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We will also see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We’re looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Braves system doesn’t necessarily feature a sure-fire superstar-in-the-making but it has some depth to it and the Top 10 list has potentially-impactful players both in the field and on the mound.

1. Cristian Pache, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 26
2020 Prospect Rank: 34
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Pache is interesting. He has a ton of real-world value with his plus defensive skills but his hitting is just starting to catch up. Consistently one of the youngest players in every league he’s played in, the 21-year-old spent 2019 mostly in Double-A but also reached Triple-A for 26 games later in the year. He’s produced excellent line-drive numbers each of the past two years which hints at the power to come but — even with a jump in homers year-over-year from zero to nine to 12) — he hits too many balls on the ground. Outside of a 29-game stretch in A-ball in 2018, Pache has never hit for an average below .274 at any minor league stop. I expected a big breakout from this young player in 2020 but it’s impossible to know how the 2020 shortened season will impact him.

2. Ian Anderson, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 29
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

The 22-year-old Anderson is another player that’s been consistently challenged in this organization. The young pitcher has a chance to reach the Majors with three above-average offerings, including a fastball that works in the mid-90s. Playing in both Double-A and Triple-A in 2019, Anderson struck out 172 batters in just 135.2 innings, which is impressive considering both his command and control are still very much inconsistent. He has a shot at developing into a No. 2 starter but a mid-rotation projection is much more attainable at this point.

3. Drew Waters, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 31
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Waters has the raw tools to eventually surpass Cristian Pache as the better hitter. But as it stands right now, this 21-year-old outfielder has a very rudimentary approach at the plate, which led to an ugly BB-K rate of 39-164 in 134 games split between Double-A and Triple-A in 2019. He’s a player that probably would have benefitted from a more patient approach rather than rushing him through the minors. Although he hit just seven homers last year, Waters’ raw power is evident by his 40 doubles and line-drive rate, which was north of 25%. He also has the speed to nab 20 bases or more in a full season.

4. Kyle Wright, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 49
2020 Prospect Rank: 28
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

I’m a huge fan of Wright and Braves fans didn’t get to see the young hurler’s full potential in 2019. The constant movement between Triple-A and the Majors — often without a consistent pitching schedule — played havoc with the right-hander in the first half of the year. He was excellent in the second half of the season when he was kept on a regular schedule. Like Ian Anderson above, Wright has the skill to be a mid-rotation starter — possibly more — but he needs to show improved command and control. In his final nine starts in Triple-A, he posted a K-BB rate of 62-17 in 54.1 innings. If the command controls, he could have four above-average pitches.

5. Kyle Muller, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 117
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Muller is a hard-throwing left-hander that can reach the 95-97 mph range with his heater. He backs it up with a strong curveball but lacks a reliable third offering. Big and strong, this young pitcher stands 6-foot-7 and weighs in at 250 pounds so he’s built to provide tons of innings if he has a deep enough repertoire — and consistent enough control — to stick in the starting rotation. If not, Muller’s top two offerings could make him an intriguing option as a high-leverage reliever.

6. Bryse Wilson, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 158
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Wilson is an advanced arm despite being 22-year-olds. He has excellent control and walked just 26 batters in 121 innings at Triple-A in 2019 but he lacks a reliable strikeout offering. His fastball can hit the mid-90s and his best secondary offering is his changeup. And while he doesn’t rack up a ton of strikeouts, Wilson can induce an above-average number of ground balls. If he sticks in the starting rotation, his ceiling is likely a No. 4 starter.

7. Tucker Davidson, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 161
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Davidson is a lefty that can dial his heater up into the 96-97 mph range. His secondary stuff can be inconsistent but the curveball flashes above-average and his changeup has a chance to be an average offering. Davidson misses enough bats and induces enough ground balls to project as a possible No. 4 starter. If he can find a little more consistency with his command/control and with his secondary offerings, he has a chance to be even better.

8. Braden Shewmake, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  224
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Shewmake was selected in the second round of the 2019 draft out of college and performed very well in A-ball before being bumped up to Double-A for 14 games at the end of the year. A tall player at 6-foot-4, Shewmake nonetheless makes consistent contact. He has room to add additional muscle to his frame, which could help him hit more home runs as he matures. The young infielder stole 11 bases in his pro debut but he’s more of a smart base runner than a speedster.

9. Shea Langeliers, C

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Langeliers would be rated higher if we were talking about real-world prospects rather than fantasy players. He’s an exceptionally talented defensive catcher which of course has little to no value in fantasy baseball. On the offensive side of things, Langeliers has the raw power to perhaps hit 15-20 home runs down the line.

10. William Contreras, C

2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Contreras has shown flashes of developing into a solid offensive-minded catcher but he lacks consistency. The young backstop is also too aggressive at the plate and swings at too many pitcher’s pitches rather than waiting back for a good pitch to drive. He’s shown respectable raw power and has 15+ home run potential but still hits too many balls on the ground.



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Miami Marlins: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Miami Marlins will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We will also see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Marlins system has some very intriguing prospects but it also has one of the largest collections of boom-or-bust prospects around — with both the pitchers and the hitters.

 

1. Sixto Sanchez, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 24
2020 Prospect Rank: 31
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Sanchez shows three above-average offerings, including a heater that can tickle triple digits. He’s also shown above-average control and the ability to induce a high number of ground ball outs. The downside to Sanchez is that he’s a short right-handed pitcher who has surpassed 100 innings just once in his career and has a history of elbow issues. The durability concerns are real and I’m not sure Sanchez will consistently throw enough innings to be a true top-shelf starter but the skill is there.

2. J.J. Bleday, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 32
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Bleday was a very good hitting college outfielder whose power exploded in his final season and led to an almost $7 million dollar payday as the fourth overall pick in the 2019 draft. The young hitter has sacrificed some of his contact skill to produce the extra power and has some increased swing-and-miss to his game. It will be interesting to see if the Marlins, a modest development system, can help Bleday balance the two abilities and find a little more of his hitting ability while maintaining the 20-30 home run power potential.

3. Jazz Chisholm, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 70
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2021

The Marlins made a curious decision in sending promising young MLB pitcher Zac Gallen (with six years of control) to Arizona for the toolsy Chisholm. This young shortstop has power to spare and could one day hit 30 home runs in the Majors but he also has significant swing-and-miss to his game and a high bust rate. If the Marlins can convince Chisholm to stop swinging from his heels and employ a more patient approach, they could have a 20-20 (HR-SB) or better player with strong defensive skills at shortstop.

4. Edward Cabrera, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  85
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

A big, strong pitcher, Cabrera has the makings of three average-or-better offerings including a fastball that can hit triple digits. He’s also shown the ability to induce a healthy number of ground balls which helps him keep the ball in the park. Cabrera’s control is currently ahead of his command but there is no reason why it can’t develop into an average or better skill. Although he has a big, strong frame, he has only thrown 100 innings once so he has yet to prove his durability.

5. Braxton Garrett, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  95
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

The seventh-overall selection in the 2016 draft, Garrett had thrown just 15.1 pro innings prior to 2019 thanks to Tommy John surgery. Back on the fast track, the 22-year-old hurler flashes three above-average offerings and the ability to induce a high number of ground-ball outs. Garrett’s command and control were understandably inconsistent in his return so that’s something to watch. It’s also curious that the Marlins let Garrett throw more than 100 innings after the long layoff.

6. Trevor Rogers, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 108
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Rogers had a promising 2019 season that saw the young hurler reach Double-A at the age of 21. He has a solid fastball-changeup combo and his recently-added cutter shows potential as a third offering. Rogers is big and strong but his fastball works more in the 93-94 mph range so he’s not a fireballer. He shows above-average control for his age. Rogers looks like a reliable No. 4 starter who can chew up innings.

7. Jesus Sanchez, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 118
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

The Marlins bought low on Sanchez during a 2019 trade with the Rays. The 22-year-old outfielder spent most of 2019 in Double-A but reached Triple-A towards the end of the year. He’s a natural hitter with the ability to barrel the ball with ease and has hit more than .300 on multiple occasions but he’s also too aggressive at times. He hits too many balls on the ground and needs to make tweaks to his swing to induce more fly balls as he has just average speed but lots of raw power looking to be unlocked.

8. Monte Harrison, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 164
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

As we’ve seen with Jazz Chisholm above, the Marlins love their toolsy offensive prospects. Harrison is another player with 20-20 (HR-SB) potential but he’s also shown a rudimentary approach at the plate which leads to massive swing-and-miss numbers. Harrison was less aggressive in 2019 and showed some improvements as a hitter but then he got hurt. If those changes are here to stay then Harrison may have a future as a big-league regular.

9. Lewin Diaz, 1B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 183
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

A top international target from back in 2013, Diaz struggled to get on track as a professional until 2019. Last year, he was in the midst of a breakout season when the Marlins acquired him for Sergio Romo. The Marlins are clearly buying high on Diaz and believe in the breakout — and the Twins will no doubt hope they don’t have another David Ortiz situation on their hands. Diaz slugged 27 home runs in 2019 over three levels and two organizations, and the power is legit. He’s struggled with his focus in the past and gets too aggressive. If he has truly mastered those issues, he has everyday potential as a slugging first baseman.

10. Kameron Misner, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  205
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Misner is another boom-or-bust player in the Marlins system that’s loaded with tools. But he just hasn’t been able to consistently tap into his potential — in college or during his brief pro career. He has some of the best raw power in the system but it has yet to show consistently in games. He’s also struck out quite a bit in his junior year of college although it was a respectable 22% in A-ball. He also has surprising speed for his size and could steal 15+ bases before slowing down.

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New York Yankees: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The New York Yankees will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We will also see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Yankees system is all about the arms. The team has a knack for finding hard-throwing arms on the international market. Oh, and they have that offensive beast Jasson Dominguez, too. In total, seven of the club’s Top 10 prospects were found on the international market.

 

1. Jasson Dominguez, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  37
2020 LEVEL: SS-A
MLB ETA: 2024

He hasn’t even played a professional game yet but the hype train is already working overtime on Dominguez so keep that in mind when investing in him. He has the potential to be a five-tool player with some tossing around Mike Trout comparisons for Dominguez’ potential to be a 30-30 player. Or he could top out in A-ball. The wiped out minor league season will likely hurt many of these lower-level prospects.

2. Deivi Garcia, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 78
2020 Prospect Rank: 29
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

After playing at three levels in 2019, Garcia is nearly ready for the Majors at the age of 21. He has a chance to have three above-average offerings, including a heater that tickles 96-97 mph. The things to watch with Garcia are his inconsistent control as well as his lack of size, which could impact his durability as a starter. MLB history is lacking in power-pitchers with 5-foot-9, 165 pound frames.

3. Clarke Schmidt, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  97
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Schmidt was snagged by the Yankees 15th overall in the 2017 draft out of college but required patience as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. The wait was worth it, though, and he came back showing three above-average offerings and a fastball that was back up touching 95-97 mph. He produced an impressive K-BB of 102-28 in 90.2 innings while inducing a ton of ground-ball outs. The biggest concern with Schmidt is the durability. He’s on the smallish side for a pitcher, has Tommy John in his past, and missed time last year with elbow soreness.

4. Luis Gil, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 120
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

A young, power arm, Gil was stolen from the Twins system in a relatively minor trade a couple of years ago. Gil can tickle triple digits with his heater and backs it up with a high-spin-rate slider. The downside on this young arm is that he lacks a reliable third offering and struggles with both his command and control. Gil needs to learn to take a little bit off his stuff at times and focus more on changing speeds while developing a change-of-pace offering to stick as a starter.

5. Albert Abreu, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 160
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Abreu has the makings of a frontline starter with three pitches that flash above-average potential. He can work in the upper 90s with his fastball. But he also really struggles to find the plate on a consistent basis, which leads to high walk totals and more hits than you like to see. Because he has a chance for three above-average offerings, the Yankees will likely stick with him as a starter for a while longer but he could also thrive in shorter stints as a high-leverage reliever.

6. Roansy Contreras, RHP

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

I like Contreras more than the consensus because he has a nice delivery, good control and shows the makings of at least three average offerings. He has less risk than some of the arms ahead of him but also a lower ceiling. He could develop into a reliable No. 4 starter. He can hit the mid-90s with his heater and shows a very good changeup but he needs to improve his breaking ball and sharpen his command. It would also be nice if Contreras could find a way to induce more ground balls which would be the real trick to reaching his ceiling. He has a lot of intangibles that young pitchers lack and is also in a system that’s very good at developing young players.

7. Alexander Vizcaino, RHP

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Vizcaino has the potential to develop into a mid-rotation starter given his raw stuff but I think we’ll see him end up as a high-leverage arm out of the bullpen. He can hit triple digits on the radar gun and backs it up with a plus splitter-like changeup. His slider is OK but it more of a “different look” offering than a swing-and-miss weapon. When he’s on, Vizcaino can induce a lot of ground balls.

8. Anthony Volpe, SS

2020 LEVEL: SS-A
MLB ETA: 2023

I was a big fan of Volpe heading into the 2019 draft although most draft analysts had him ranked as more of a second or third round talent. The Yankees agreed with my assessment and nabbed him near the back of the first round and ponied up almost $3 million to keep him away from Vanderbilt University. He doesn’t have a ton of present power, but Volpe shows an advanced bat for his age and backs it up with above-average speed. The instincts and feel for the game are there so if he has the maturity to handle the professional environment, he could really move quickly for a teenaged prospect.

9. Oswald Peraza, SS

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2022

As with a lot of the Yankees’ prospects, you have to dream a little bit with Peraza. He shows an advanced feel for the bat for his age (19) and he also has above-average speed which could lead to 20+ stolen bases at the MLB level. But this young shortstop also needs to get stronger so he can better impact the ball as he moves up to face stronger pitching. If he can sting the ball more consistently, he could develop into an everyday player with above-average defense at shortstop.

10. Josh Smith, SS/2B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 242
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

The Yankees’ second-round pick in 2019, Smith showed a strong all-around game in his pro debut with a strong on-base presence (.450 on-base percentage in 33 games) and good speed (17 steals). Smith isn’t the most toolsy player but he’s a smart player with good instincts who looks like a future offensive-minded second baseman with the ability to hit 15+ home runs and steal 20 bases while showing well in on-base leagues.

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New York Mets: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The New York Mets will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We will also see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Mets system lacks overall depth but it has a solid Top 10 list with lots of raw potential.

1. Ronny Mauricio, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 36
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Mauricio’s results have to be taken with a grain of salt given how young he was (18) while playing in a league with an average age of 21. He’s too aggressive for his own good but he has the makings of a good hitter and his frame hints at future 20+ power once he makes adjustments to hit more fly balls. He has the skill to be a long-term shortstop.

2. Matthew Allan, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 91
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

I was a huge fan of Allan in the 2019 draft and considered him the best prep arm available. The Mets did a great job freeing up money to nab him for $2.5 million in the third round. He’s an advanced arm despite his age, with size, power, and a promising breaking ball. There is No. 2/3 starter potential here, possibly more.

3. Francisco Alvarez, C

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  124
2020 LEVEL: SS-A
MLB ETA: 2023

Alvarez is advanced with the bat for his age and was one of the better hitters in Rookie ball last year despite being just 17 years old. He shows an ability to hit for average while also flashing plus raw power. Defensively, he has the skill to be an above-average defender but — listed at 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds — Alvarez is already starting to thicken up and will need to watch his conditioning as he moves forward. Losing athleticism could hurt both his defense and his offense.

4. Brett Baty, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 126
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

Baty has promise as a power-hitting third baseman. The Mets’ 2019 first-round pick, he was one of the oldest high school picks at 19, which comes with a little risk, but he had a respectable pro debut while being pushed aggressively through three levels. Baty showed off his power potential by going deep seven times in 51 games but he also struck out 65 times. He offset the strikeouts with a healthy dose of walks.

5. Thomas Szapucki, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 173
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Szapucki has the stuff to be a big league fourth starter but injuries have plagued him throughout his career. The 61.2 innings in 2019 were a career-high in a five-year pro career. He can fire his heater up into the mid-90s and he has a plus curveball but the lost development time has hurt his development of a third offering. If Szapucki cannot stay healthy and/or develop a third reliable offering, he could end up as a multi-inning reliever.

6. Andres Gimenez, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  208
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2021

The Mets love to aggressively push their top prospects through the minors so their statistics can often be misleading. Gimenez, for example, spent all of 2019 in Double-A at the age of 20 — four years below the league average. He had a modest offensive season but improved as the year went on. He was then the batting leader in the Arizona Fall League. Gimenez likely won’t develop into a power hitter but he uses the whole field and showed increased pop in 2019 with nine home runs. He could eventually get up into the 15+ homer range with 20+ stolen bases. He’s a plus defender at shortstop.

7. Mark Vientos, 3B

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

I was a big fan of Vientos in his draft season but his approach fell apart in his first taste of full-season ball after two seasons in Rookie ball. Vientos is a streaky hitter but he also just turned 20 in December and has a larger frame with long arms so he’ll need patience with his development. There will always be swing-and-miss to his game but he has some of the best raw power in the system with 30-homer potential if he can iron out the wrinkles to his game and learn to be more patient.

8. David Peterson, LHP

2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

The 20th overall selection in the 2017 draft, Peterson was more of a high-floor, lower-ceiling college arm. He has above-average control but he’s too hittable at times because his command is inconsistent and he lacks a true wipeout offering although the slider shows flashes of potential. Peterson is more of a No. 4 starter with the ability to provide innings and force a lot of weak contact on the ground when he’s on.

9. Josh Wolf, RHP

2020 LEVEL: SS-A
MLB ETA: 2023

A prospect who didn’t really see his draft value spike until his senior year of high school, Wolf has a slight frame but he can now dial his heater up in the 95-97 mph range. He backs it up with a potentially-plus curveball and modest changeup. Wolf’s ranking is cautious for now given the lack of a third reliable offering, modest track record, and concerns about his durability.

10. Kevin Smith, LHP

2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Smith won’t wow anyone with his stuff — including fringy velocity — but he has impressive size, above-average control, deception, and a chance for three average-ish offerings that could play up for the previously mentioned reasons. His ceiling is a No. 4/5 starter but he could provide some innings back there.

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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 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Tampa Bay Rays: Top 12 Dynasty Prospects

The Tampa Bay Rays will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We will also see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

It’s no secret that the Rays have one of the best systems in Major League Baseball and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Wander Franco make an appearance in the Majors in 2020 if the club is in the playoff hunt.

1. Wander Franco, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 1
2020 Prospect Rank: 41
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2020

Franco has a chance to be better than Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Fernando Tatis Jr. The young Rays prospect has a great feel for the bat and rarely abandons his game plan. Just 18-years-old last season, he had no issues with either A-ball levels and would have opened 2020 in Double-A at the age of 19. Last season, he posted a BB-K of 56-35 with 18 stolen bases. His raw power hasn’t yet developed into in-game pop but he has the bat speed and skill to eventually top 20 home runs while hitting well above .300 with excellent on-base rates.

2. Brendan McKay, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 7
2020 Prospect Rank: 3
2020 LEVEL: MLB
MLB ETA: 2020

McKay is still getting better as a pitcher after having a split focus as a two-way player throughout college and into the early stages of his pro career. He may still occasionally pick up the bat but his future if clearly on the mound as a potential No. 2 starter. McKay has four average-or-better offerings and his strong command/control helps them play up. With additional pitching focus and a strong development system aiding him, I expect his secondary stuff to get even better.

3. Vidal Brujan, 2B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 47
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2020

Brujan made easy work of the lower minors but hit a bit of a wall during the second half of the 2019 season when he was promoted to Double-A. A gifted hitter with the ability to make consistent contact, Brujan also has blazing speed but he needs to get stronger as he zeroes in on the Majors. He’s stolen more than 100 bases over the past two seasons and could be a really valuable fantasy contributor if he reaches his ceiling as a player that can hit .300 and steal 40 bases.

4. Shane McClanahan, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 50
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2020

I’ve been a fan of McClanahan since his junior year in college and saw him as a mid-first-round talent. The Rays got him with the 31st pick of the draft and things really started to click for him in 2019 when he played at three levels and topped out in Double-A. The lefty has a blazing fastball and good slider but his lack of consistent control has held him back at times. He walked 31 batters in 53 innings in Low-A ball in 2019 but then found a groove and issued just 14 free passes in the next 67.2 innings. In total, he ended up with a K-BB of 154-45 in 120.2 innings.

5. Shane Baz, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 68
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Like McClanahan above, Baz has an excellent fastball-slider mix but he too can struggle with inconsistent command/control. The right-hander also has yet to prove his durability by passing the 100-inning mark in pro ball. In his third pro season in 2019, he pitched a career-high 81.1 innings. If Baz can iron out a third offering and throw strikes consistently, he has a chance to be a No. 2/3 starter.

6. Xavier Edwards, 2B/SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  88
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2021

Edwards is a similar prospect to Vidal Brujan as a speedy player who’s shown the ability to hit for a strong average. Acquired from the Padres during the offseason, he hasn’t been quite the prolific base runner that Brujan has been but Edwards is a little more physically mature. If he keeps developing on this same trajectory, he has a chance to hit .300 with gap pop and 30+ steals.

7. Joshua Lowe, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 90
2020 Prospect Rank: 44
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

I’m a big fan of Lowe, a former first-round pick who’s taken longer than expected to develop. Things started clicking in 2019 and now looks like Kyle Tucker-lite (for a much lower price). Lowe will likely always have swing-and-miss to his game but finally tapped into his raw power and could eventually develop into a 20-20 (HR-SB) player with strong center-field defense. He also walked 59 times in 121 games and could see a value boost in on-base leagues if this trend continues.

8. Joe Ryan, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 122
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

A 2018 seventh-round draft pick, Ryan burst onto the scene during his first taste of full-season ball in 2019 by pitching at three levels and finishing the year with a combined 1.96 ERA and a K-BB of 183-27 in 123.2 innings. The young hurler has outstanding control and an excellent fastball but he’s mostly a one-pitch pitcher right now that needs to round out his repertoire to truly realize his full potential as a starter.

9. Ronaldo Hernandez, C

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 140
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Hernandez had a string of three strong offensive seasons — including hitting 21 home runs in 2018 — before hitting a wall in High-A ball in 2019. I think he may have been playing hurt so I have hope that he’ll rebound although his aggressive nature could prevent him from reaching his full potential.

10. Randy Arozarena, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 165
2020 Prospect Rank: 50
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

The jury is out on Arozarena’s ceiling — Is he a really good fourth outfield or an average regular? — but he had an intriguing 2019 season with improved pop while hitting .344. He’s a player that doesn’t have one major standout tool but he does a little bit of everything well.

11. Greg Jones, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 172
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Jones was selected 22nd overall on the strength of his raw athleticism and game-changing speed. The downside to Jones is that his bat is not as advanced as you’d like to see from a college product. With that said, he did hit .335 in 48 games during his pro debut (albeit with a 22-56 BB-K) so perhaps the Rays' development magic is already working on him.

12. Brent Honeywell Jr., RHP

2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Honeywell just can’t stay healthy and news came down in May that he once again went under the knife, which further clouds his future. After a strong showing at Triple-A in 2017, the right-hander has now had Tommy John surgery, a fractured elbow, and nerve decompression surgery. It's hard to know if he'll ever be able to come back and pitch again.

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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 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Philadelphia Phillies: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Philadelphia Phillies will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff, meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We will also see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We’re looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Phillies system has some star talent at the top of the chart, but things fall off quickly from there.

1. Alec Bohm, 3B/1B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 15
2020 Prospect Rank: 20
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2020

Bohm exploded in his first full pro season and played at three levels, topping out in Double-A. He slugged 21 home runs in total over 125 games and could eventually show 30-homer pop in the Majors. Bohm also makes surprisingly-consistent contact for such a tall, power-hitting player. His willingness to take a walk adds value in on-base leagues.

2. Spencer Howard, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  40
2020 Prospect Rank: 40
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Howard has a chance to be a frontline starter — if he can prove to be durable enough. The hard-throwing right-hander missed time in 2019 with a shoulder issue — a year after throwing more than 100 innings for the first time. Howard’s stuff is nasty with a mid-to-upper-90s fastball and three above-average secondaries.

3. Adonis Medina, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  114
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

This is where the system drops off. Medina is a fine prospect, but he might have more value in the bullpen than the starting rotation. He has mid-90s heat, but the fastball is not overly effective as a swing-and-miss offering. But he does generate a lot of ground-ball outs. He backs up the heater with a very good changeup and a slider that flashes average. If he sticks in the starting rotation, he’s more of a No. 4 guy with a chance to inch up a bit if he can develop a consistent weapon that elicits more empty swings.

4. Bryson Stott, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 199
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

I personally saw Stott as more of a back-of-the-first-round talent in the 2019 draft, but the Phillies weren’t listening, and they nabbed him 14th overall. Credit where credit’s due, he had a nice debut in short-season ball by hitting .295 with a 24-39 BB-K rate in 48 games. He’s a little bit stiff with his actions, and I see a player who’s going to plateau in the upper levels of the minors and be more of an average-ish regular than a star. He’s probably not going to stick at shortstop, and a move to third base will put real pressure on his ability to hit for significant power.

5. Francisco Morales, RHP

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Morales is the biggest sleeper in the system. He has a chance to develop into an absolute beast. His fastball can touch 97-98 mph, and Morales backs it up with a wipeout slider. To realize his full potential, he’ll need to improve his changeup, and sharpen his command/control. If things don’t pan out as a starter, Morales has high-leverage potential as a reliever.

6. Rafael Marchan, C

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Known more for his defensive prowess, Marchan’s bat started to show additional promise in 2019. He makes excellent contact and produced a BB-K of 30-39 in 85 games. Along with that, the 5-foot-9 hitter (who has never hit a pro home run) started to show some extra-base pop with 20 of his 82 hits going for two-baggers. Offensive expectations are low for catchers, and Marchan should get a chance to play every day due to his defensive abilities. If he can keep the strikeouts low, grab some walks and continue to get stronger and hit a bunch of doubles, there is some intrigue here.

7. Luis Garcia, SS

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2021

Not to be confused with the Washington Nationals’ middle infielder prospect of the same name, Garcia was given $2.5 million to sign and had an outstanding pro debut in 2018 in Rookie ball. The Phillies then pushed him too aggressively with an assignment to full-season ball in 2019, where he fell on his face and hit just .186 with a BB-K of 44-132 in 127 games. An extra three months in extended spring training facing breaking balls would have done wonders for his development, and the pandemic layoff likely did him no favors. Garcia has the raw tools and intriguing athleticism to rebound, but it will be a steep hill to climb.

8. Erik Miller, LHP

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

I liked Miller in the 2019 draft and would have considered him in the supplemental first or second round, so getting him in the fourth was excellent value for the Phillies. Big and strong, this lefty has a chance to be a No. 3/4 starter if everything clicks just right (improved command/control, fastball velocity bounces back). If not, he could see his fastball/slider mix play up as a high-leverage reliever. Miller can touch 96-97 mph with his heater, but it loses clicks quickly as a starter.

9. Simon Muzziotti, OF

2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Muzziotti is a speedy player who needs to find a way to get on base more consistently. He doesn’t walk as much as you’d like to see from someone whose best offensive weapon is his legs. Along with being too aggressive, Muzziotti doesn’t have much pop in his bat, so big-league pitchers likely won’t be afraid to challenge him, which could lead to weak contact early in the count unless he gets stronger. Still, there is 20+ stolen base potential here if he plays every day due to his strong defense in center field.

10. Mickey Moniak, OF

2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

A former first-overall draft selection, Moniak will never live up to the original hype and, more likely than not, will end up as a big-league fourth outfielder or fringe-regular — kind of a Kevin Pillar type without the highlight catches. Moniak doesn’t appear to have much of a game plan at the plate and hacks at less-than-ideal offerings too much. On the plus side, he’s added some pop so he could perhaps hit 15 home runs with 15-20 steals at maturity.

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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 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Baltimore Orioles: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Baltimore Orioles will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We will also see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Orioles system has a couple of impact prospects at the top but falls off quickly after that and lacks overall depth. The club hasn't done enough in the last two drafts to maximize its standing at the top of the draft. Years of ignoring the international market have also had a noticeable, negative impact.

 

1. Adley Rutschman, C

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  35
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

The first overall selection of the 2019 draft, Rutschman easily became the best prospect in a very weak system — as well as one of the top prospects in the game. However, developing a plus-hitting catcher is no easy task as Orioles fans know from watching Matt Wieters — once considered a generational talent — develop into good MLB player who was hardly the superstar many were expecting. Rutschman has shown the talent to hit for both power and average while playing excellent defense behind the dish. His leadership skills and reportedly strong makeup should help him succeed as he moves up the ladder.

2. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 39
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, the 20-year-old Rodriguez is a beast on the mound. He can dial his heater up into the 95-97 mph range while backing it up with two pitches that possess above-average potential. He’s also shown solid command/control for his size and age. He has top-of-the-rotation potential and is vastly underrated.

3. DL Hall, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 71
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Hall has mid-90s heat from the left side and backs it up with two pitches that both have a chance to be better-than-average. His control, though, is currently below average — he actually allowed more free passes than hits in 2019. After showing the ability to induce ground balls at an above-average rate in his first two pro seasons, Hall developed into an extreme fly-ball pitcher in 2019. I’m worried about how the long layoff in 2020 will impact this prospect.

4. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 110
2020 Prospect Rank: 13
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 202

I’m not the biggest fan of Mountcastle. He has 20+ home run potential and has shown flashes of putting it all together but he has a very aggressive approach at the plate that might not work against big league pitchers. His walk rate at just above 4% at Triple-A in 2019 was well below average and he doesn’t work himself into favorable hitting counts consistently enough. Still, his 29% line-drive rate last year is intriguing.

5. Austin Hays, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 139
2020 Prospect Rank: 26
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Hays has shown flashes of potential over the past two years but has yet to put it all together. He’s shown 20+ home run pop but injuries have kept him from playing full seasons over the past two years. Hays has some swing-and-miss to his game, which could impact his overall ceiling, and the missed development time has not helped. He needs a healthy season to show what he’s fully capable of.

6. Yusniel Diaz, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 169
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Diaz has intriguing raw skill but he’s struggled to reach his full potential on the baseball diamond. The move from an outstanding development system (Dodgers) to a modest one (Orioles) also hasn’t helped. A likely corner outfielder in the Majors, Diaz hasn’t shown the in-game power necessary to develop into an impact, everyday player.

7. Gunnar Henderson, SS

2020 LEVEL: SS-A
MLB ETA: 2023

Henderson is an intriguing young player who was an excellent get with the 42nd overall pick in the 2019 draft (I saw him as a late first or supplemental-first round talent). He has good size and plus-power potential as he continues to mature. He may not stick at shortstop long term and could move to third base.

8. Michael Baumann, RHP

2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Baumann is a prospect who’s on the rise after a solid 2019 season that saw him split the year between High-A and Double-A. He has good size and two above-average offerings, including a fastball that can hit the upper-90s. If he can find more consistency with his command and polish the third offering, he has No. 4 starter potential.

9. Zac Lowther, LHP

2020 LEVEL:  AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Lowther is a big-bodied hurler with the potential to develop into an innings-eating No. 4/5 starter. His modest fastball plays up because he has some deception to his delivery and he backs it up with a solid curveball. Lowther also needs to improve his third offering to help keep big league hitters on their toes.

10. Dean Kremer, RHP

2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

I’ve been a fan of Kremer for a couple of years now but he’ll likely have more of an impact as a reliever than as a starter. He has two pitches with above-average potential as well as above-average control.

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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 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Washington Nationals: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Washington Nationals will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We will also see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Nationals system clearly favors quality over quantity as it continues to hit on high-ceiling prospects like Juan Soto despite very limited depth.

 

1. Carter Kieboom, 3B/2B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 17
2020 Prospect Rank: 4
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Kieboom is an MLB-ready prospect with a high ceiling. Now the Nationals just have to find a spot for him to play. The young hitter has shown the ability to hit for average, power, and he will also take a walk, which gives him additional value in on-base leagues. He didn’t show overly well in his first taste of the Majors when he spent too much time swinging for the fences but he should settle in as an above-average regular for the Nationals as early as this season.

2. Jackson Rutledge, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  119
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Rutledge is a huge pitcher with upper-90s heat and a potentially-plus slider. But he needs to further develop his other secondary offerings. And, like a lot of tall pitchers, he needs time to get his delivery under control, which will improve his command/control. Rutledge has the makings of a frontline starter who can miss bats and induce a high number of ground balls.

3. Luis Garcia, 2B/SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 153
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2021

Like many of the club’s top prospects, Garcia has been moved along quite aggressively and he played in Double-A as a teenager in 2019. He produced modest results, although he improved significantly in the second half of the year. Garcia has a chance to develop into a strong hitter with 15+ home run pop and the potential for double-digit steals. He’s better than his numbers suggest because he’s consistently been one of the youngest hitters in the league.

4. Mason Denaburg, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  167
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2023

The Nationals’ first-round selection in 2018, injuries have kept him to just 20 innings in pro ball to date. When he’s healthy, Denaburg shows two potentially-plus offerings in his fastball and curveball but he needs to get back on the mound to polish his third offering. He has the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter.

5. Wil Crowe, RHP

2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

A strong college pitcher who battled injuries as an amateur, Crowe has seen some success in pro ball but has a modest ceiling as a potential No. 4/5 starter. He has a chance to develop into an innings-eater but he lacks a true swing-and-miss offering and needs to find a more reliable breaking ball.

6. Andry Lara, RHP

2020 LEVEL: Rookie
MLB ETA: 2024

One of the better arms available on the 2019 international free agent market, Lara has an excellent pitcher’s frame and a fastball that can already sit in the low-90s. He’s just 17 years old and has a long road ahead of him.

7. Eddy Yean, RHP

2020 LEVEL: SS-A
MLB ETA: 2023

Yean isn’t the biggest pitcher but he has shown explosive stuff with a fastball that can hit 95-97 mph. He backs that up with a good slider and developing changeup. Like most hard-throwing, teenaged prospects, Yean needs to improve his command/control.

8. Tim Cate, LHP

2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Cate is a smallish left-hander with a big-time curveball. Unfortunately, the rest of his repertoire is average-to-fringe-average. Despite his lack of premium height, Cate also induces a well-above-average number of ground-ball outs. If he can continue to do that against better hitters, Cate could stick as a No. 4/5 starter. More likely, he’ll end up as more of a middle reliever.

9. Drew Mendoza, 1B

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

A solid college player, Mendoza has lots of raw power but he doesn’t tap into it consistently. He also has significant swing-and-miss to his game. But he takes a significant number of walks almost to a detriment as he can become too passive and find himself in too many pitcher's counts.

10. Yasel Antuna, 3B/SS

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2021

Given almost $4 million to sign, Antuna has struggled with consistency as a pro perhaps because he’s been pushed too aggressively. He also missed most of 2019 due to injuries. The untapped, raw talent nonetheless remains intriguing.

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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 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Boston Red Sox: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Boston Red Sox will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We will certainly see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

This is a weak system and the short draft in 2020 did the club no favors. Since scoring Xavier Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, the Sox also haven’t had much luck with the international market.

1. Jeter Downs, SS/2B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 84
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

I’m a big fan of Downs and the Dodgers’ fantastic development system had a year to sprinkle some of its magic on him before he headed to the Red Sox in last winter’s blockbuster Mookie Betts deal. Likely more of a second baseman, he should hit for a solid average and provide at least 15 home runs. Downs has stolen more than 60 bases over the past two seasons but he’s more of a smart base runner than a true speedster so the MLB stolen base totals will likely be more 12-15 per year before he slows down. His willingness to take a walk gives him a boost in on-base leagues.

2. Triston Casas, 1B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 154
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Casas has a chance to be a special player if he continues to develop on his current trajectory. The hulking, young athlete has plus raw power and a solid approach at the plate for such a young slugger. He has significant opposite-field power and isn’t afraid to go the other way. Like Jeter Downs above, Casas is another Red Sox prospect that will take a healthy number of free passes. The Red Sox organization has dabbled with trying to get more value out of him on the defensive side of his game by having him play some third base but he’s a long-term first baseman due to his size and lack of quickness.

3. Gilberto Jimenez, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  162
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

I knocked Boston above for not doing very well on the international market in recent years but Jimenez could be a good news story in a few years — and they paid him just $10,000 to sign. He’ll likely never develop into a power-hitting prospect but he’s a strong athlete with blazing speed. Jimenez could steal 30-40 bases on his prime, hit .280, and score a whack of runs while playing premium defense. But he also needs to get stronger to realize his full potential.

4. Bryan Mata, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 174
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

I’m not the biggest Mata fan around but he has a chance to play a key role in Boston in the future. The right-hander will need to watch his weight and conditioning if he has any hope of sticking as a starter and reaching his ceiling as a mid-rotation starter. He has a blazing fastball and a promising slider but his command and control are both inconsistent. For me, he has the makings of an excellent closer if he can tighten up the command/control but the Sox will likely continue to deploy him as a starter for the foreseeable future.

5. Bobby Dalbec, 3B/1B

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  187
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Dalbec isn’t much of a hitter (future .220-.240 MLB batting average) but he is loaded with power and will take a walk so he fits in perfectly to this era of baseball. With that said, he did show some signs of improvement in making contact in 2019 by striking out *just* 25% of the time in Double-A so there is hope that he’s learning that he doesn’t have to let it rip from his heels to send the ball over the fence. Dalbec has a very strong arm and, f he shows the ability to play third base in the Majors, he has additional fantasy value.

6. Jay Groome, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 191
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2023

A 2016 first-round pick, Groome has pitched just 66 innings as a pro due to a litany of injuries. At this point, I’d look to maximize my investment by moving him to the bullpen and letting him focus on his two plus offerings in his fastball and curveball, while keeping the innings numbers down in an effort to avoid further injuries.

7. Jarren Duran, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 207
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

A former seventh-round selection, Duran had an excellent first year-and-a-half in pro ball but hit a bit of a wall when he reached the more age-appropriate Double-A ball. He has plus speed but needs to make consistent contact to take full advantage of it — something he didn’t do well in High-A ball when his strikeout rate jumped to 24%. Duran will never be a big home run hitter but he can sting the ball and could eventually produce solid extra-base power with 20-30 steals.

8. Tanner Houck, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 236
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Houck is another Boston pitcher that potentially profiles better in the bullpen than in the starting rotation. He performed both roles in the minors in 2019 and found more luck as a reliever. He has two good solid pitches as well as the ability to induce above-average ground-ball rates. This former first-round pick’s ceiling may be that of a high-leverage set-up man.

9. Thad Ward, RHP

2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

A former fifth-round pick, Ward has a chance to outperform a number of the organization’s first-round pitching selections. He’s not flashy but he overpowered A-ball hitters with two above-average offerings and solid (but inconsistent) command/control. If Ward’s secondary offerings continue to develop and he further sharpens his command/control then there is No. 4 starter potential here.

10. Matthew Lugo, SS

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

Lugo has a lot of potential as a toolsy, quick-twitch athlete and he was excellent value as a late-second-round selection in 2019. Lugo has a fair bit of untapped value in his bat and shows a solid approach despite his inexperience. He also has 15-20 home run potential and the ability to compile double-digit steal totals.

*Noah Song omitted due to his military commitment.

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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 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

San Francisco Giants: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The San Francisco Giants will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Giants system has slowly been building up depth over the past few years and now has many more intriguing prospects than it did three to five years ago. It features some promising, high-ceiling talent sprinkled throughout the system with Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos leading the way as the likely first wave to arrive in 2020/21.

1. Marco Luciano, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 27
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

Luciano’s immense potential was evident in 2019. At the age of 17, he slugged 10 home runs in just 47 games while hitting well above .300. He showed a mature approach for his age with a solid BB-K of 32-45 and the ample number of walks suggests he’ll have additional value in on-base leagues. Luciano has plus raw power and looks like a future middle-of-the-order hitter.

2. Joey Bart, C

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 34
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2020

A gifted hitter, Bart reached Double-A in his first full pro season despite missing significant time with an injury. His power was also on display and he slugged 16 home runs in 79 games. The biggest concern with Bart’s offence is that he has an aggressive approach at times and had a modest BB-K of 21-71, which could lead to issues against better pitching. Still, it’s not common to find catchers with 20+ home run potential.

3. Heliot Ramos, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 51
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

The 19th overall selection of the 2017 draft, Ramos entered pro ball as a very talented but very raw player. He started to figure things out in 2019 and saw his patience improve noticeably — with a walk rate that jumped up by three percent and close double-digits. Unfortunately, his strikeout rate remains very high at more than 28%. He also hits too many balls on the ground for such a strong hitter but he still managed to go deep 16 times.

4. Hunter Bishop, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 54
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

I don’t tend to favor raw college players, which is exactly what the ultra-powerful, ultra-athletic Bishop was when he was drafted. The Giants had no qualms about selecting him 10th overall in 2019 in hopes of receiving a five-tool player. Bishop is a big guy with long arms so his swing gets long and leads to high strikeout rates. But he also has at least 20-20 (HR-SB) potential if he can make enough contact. He also took a ton of walks in his debut, suggesting future on-base-league value. 

5. Mauricio Dubon, 2B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 100
2020 Prospect Rank: 35
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

If given an opportunity to play every day — a big question given the modest veteran second base depth the Giants brought in this spring — Dubon has a chance to surprise some people. He has 20 stolen base potential and showed surprising pop by hitting 24 home runs with the juiced balls in Triple-A and the Majors. He’s also consistently shown the ability to hit for a high average.

6. Sean Hjelle, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  137
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Tall pitchers usually take much longer to develop — especially with their control — but Hjelle is a bit of an anomaly. He posted an impressive K-BB of 139-37 in 143.2 innings over three levels. He could develop into more than a No. 4 if he can improve his secondary offerings and develop a more reliable swing-and-miss offering.

7. Seth Corry, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 138
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Corry had an outstanding season but somewhat questionably spent the entire year in Low-A ball. He’s difficult to hit but he also struggles to find the plate — although he significantly improved in this area during the season. He held batters to a .171 batting average and struck out 172 in 122.2 innings. In time, Corry could have three better-than-average offerings.

8. Luis Toribio, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 156
2020 LEVEL: Short-season
MLB ETA: 2023

Toribio opened some eyes during his 2018 debut in the Dominican Summer League when he slugged 10 home runs in 64 games. He didn’t show the same over-the-fence pop when he reached North American in 2019 but he still racked up the doubles and hit close to .300. Toribio has swing and miss to his game but he also takes a ton of walks as witnessed by his BB-K of 45-54 in 51 Rookie ball games. He could be a strong contributor in on-base leagues given his willingness to walk and plus raw power.

9. Will Wilson, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 216
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2022

The 15th overall selection in the 2019 draft, I felt Wilson was a massive overdraft by the Angels, who then traded him to the Giants in the winter. He showed some power with metal bats in college but it remains to be seen how well his offense will play in pro ball with an aggressive approach. I see a future .260-.270 hitter with 15-20 home runs if he reaches his ceiling. He’s also a modest defender and will likely spend more time at second base by the time he reaches the Majors.

10. Alexander Canario, OF

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

Canario has some of the best raw power in the Giants system but he struggles to get to it consistently due to his swing-and-miss tendencies. He hit .300 in 2019 but he did it with a .419 BABIP and 32% strikeout rate suggesting he’s in for significant regression without improving in his approach (BB-K of 18-71 in 49 games). He has 30-homer raw power but will struggle to hit .200 with this kind of aggressive approach.

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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 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Seattle Mariners: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Seattle Mariners will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Mariners system has a nice combination of impact prospects and depth. The system also has intriguing prospects littered throughout from top to bottom.

1. Jarred Kelenic, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 5
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Kelenic has quickly developed into one of the best prospects in the game and reached Double-A in 2019 as a 20-year-old. He should be a multi-tool player in the Majors with the ability to hit for average, power, and steal bases. He’s also shown a willingness to take a walk and could eventually become a beast in on-base leagues, too.

2. Julio Rodriguez, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 11
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Early last year, I pointed to Rodriguez as a potential breakout prospect for 2019 and he was on the way to doing just that when he was slowed by injury. Just 19, he reached High-A ball while showing an advanced hitting ability. At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, he should eventually tap into his raw power and produce 20-30 home runs. He's still only scratching the surface of his potential.

3. Logan Gilbert, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 55
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

A top 2018 pick, Gilbert had an excellent first full pro season in 2019 by pitching at three levels and reaching Double-A. Overall, he struck out 165 batters in 135 innings. He has above-average control and a chance for four above-average offerings. There is at least No. 3 starter potential here.

4. Noelvi Marte, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 69
2020 LEVEL: Rookie
MLB ETA: 2023

Marte dominated the Dominican Summer League as a 17-year-old last year. He should eventually hit for above-average power and has a chance to hit for average, too, although he has some swing-and-miss to his game that could improve with further experience.

5. George Kirby, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 72
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Like Logan Gilbert in 2018, I felt the Mariners got a steal in 2019 with an underrated college arm in Kirby. This right-hander has plus-plus control (25-0 K-BB rate in 23 innings during his pro debut) which helps his low-to-mid-90s fastball play up. He has four pitches and a chance for three of those to develop into above-average offerings.

6. Justin Dunn, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 92
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

I’m perhaps a bit lower on Dunn than some. He has two above-average offerings and solid control but his below-average command keeps him from dominating as much as he should. A long layoff like this won’t help him improve in that area. For now, he looks like more of a No. 4 starter but there is further ceiling here if he can make the adjustments.

7. Kyle Lewis, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 94
2020 Prospect Rank: 22
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Considered one of the top college hitters in the 2016 draft, Lewis has been slow to develop due to injury issues and massive swing-and-miss concerns. Those latter concerns remain but his power output exploded once he reached the juiced ball in the Majors with six home runs in 18 games (He skipped over Triple-A). If he can continue to show 30-40 home run pop in this environment, the 180+ strikeouts won’t matter.

8. Evan White, 1B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 103
2020 Prospect Rank: 27
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

The Mariners went all-in on White in 2019 by providing him a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract even though he has yet to play more than four games above Double-A. A former top college hitter, he’s continued to be an above-average hitter in pro ball despite an overly-aggressive approach at times. He did a better job of hitting for power in 2019 after tweaking his approach and swing to hit more fly balls.

9. Justus Sheffield, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 111
2020 Prospect Rank: 46
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Like Justin Dunn above, Sheffield doesn’t dominate as much as he should considering his stuff because he lacks consistent command. He also has less control than his fellow pitcher. He shows three pitches with the potential to be average or better so there is hope he can start but Sheffield might be better off in the bullpen where his lack of consistent command and control could have less of an impact.

10. Jake Fraley, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 197
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Fraley doesn’t have a huge ceiling but he could hit well enough to be an everyday outfielder on a good baseball club. He could stand to be a little more patient but he’s shown the ability to threaten for a 20-20 (HR-SB) season if he continues to have the benefit of the juiced balls.

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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 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Los Angeles Dodgers: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Los Angeles Dodgers will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Dodgers’ stacked system continues to be one of the strongest in the game even with consistent prospect graduations. The system has a lot of upper-level depth ready to impact the Majors — if the club can find room for them.

1. Gavin Lux, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 4
2020 Prospect Rank: 2
2020 LEVEL: MLB
MLB ETA: 2020

Lux tapped into his raw power in 2019 which allowed him to hit 28 home runs without sacrificing his ability to hit for a high average. He also has the ability to provide double-digit steals and play more than one position, further increasing his value.

2. Dustin May, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 25
2020 Prospect Rank: 15
2020 LEVEL: MLB
MLB ETA: 2020

May isn’t a flame-throwing beast but he can still get his heater up into the mid-to-upper 90s at times and it plays up further because of his ability to command it. May shows at least three above-average offerings and has plus control, too. This package could make him an eventual No. 2/3 starter and he could rack up lots of wins pitching for the Dodgers.

3. Brusdar Graterol, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 61
2020 Prospect Rank: 36
2020 LEVEL: MLB
MLB ETA: 2020

A bit of a divisive prospect, Graterol produced excellent numbers in 2019 while battling health issues. He has the stuff to start but his body continues to let him down, which will likely force him into a full-time relief role. His plus-plus sinking fastball and slider could make him a dominant closer once he takes over for Kenley Jansen. Until then, he’ll likely be a set-up man getting holds and the occasional save.

4. Kody Hoese, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 87
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

One of my favorite college hitters from the 2019 draft, Hoese is currently underrated by most. He had an excellent pro debut and showed the ability to hit while also providing solid pop. Hoese has the ceiling of an average-or-better third baseman with 20+ home run pop and his development will be aided by playing in an excellent player development system.

5. Keibert Ruiz, C

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 101
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

What a difference a year makes. Coming into the 2019 season Ruiz was seen as one of the best catching prospects in baseball and definitely the future catcher in LA. But then he was surpassed by fellow catching prospect Will Smith. Ruiz has spent the past two years in Double-A where he’s become somewhat stagnant. A move up to Triple-A and the juiced balls could finally help him tap into his raw power but there is also a good chance that he'll eventually move on to another organization.

6. Josiah Gray, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 104
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2020

A former two-way player, Gray is still making up for lost time as a pitcher but his excellent athleticism should eventually allow him to exceed expectations and develop into a possible No. 3 starter. He has an excellent fastball and just needs time to hone his slider and flesh out a third reliable offering.

7. Tony Gonsolin, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 123
2020 Prospect Rank: 10
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

I’m one of the biggest Gonsolin fans around and he would be much higher on most teams’ Top 10 list but the Dodgers organization is stacked as is the big league club which could keep him in a relief role. Gonsolin has the makings of four above-average pitches. He generates high spin rates and is incredibly difficult to hit as seen by the .178 batting average that he held big league hitters to during his debut in 2019. He deserves a chance to start but may be stuck in the bullpen for now.

8. Michael Busch, 1B/2B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 186
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Busch hasn’t proven much yet as a pro but he was a very good college hitter who has a chance to hit for average and power as a pro. He’s not a great defensive player but the Dodgers are trying to improve his value by playing him at second base; he’s likely a long-term first baseman or left fielder.

9. Diego Cartaya, C

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 202
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

The Dodgers’ system is rich in catching prospects with Cartaya being the furthest from realizing his full potential. In his first taste of pro-action as a 17-year-old in 2019, he hit .296 in 36 games in North America showing an approach beyond his years. He also has a chance to develop above-average pop.

10. Luis Rodriguez, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 247
2020 LEVEL: Rookie
MLB ETA: 2024

Rodriguez is extremely raw — having yet to play a pro game but he comes with an immense upside. He’s shown an advanced bat and should eventually hit for power while providing double-digit steals.

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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 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Oakland Athletics: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Oakland Athletics will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Oakland Athletics club is the only team in Major League Baseball that can challenge the Chicago White Sox for the most MLB-ready, impact prospects.

1. Jesus Luzardo, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 8
2020 Prospect Rank: 5
2020 LEVEL: MLB
MLB ETA: 2020

Luzardo has the makings of a staff ace for the A’s thanks to the potential for better-than-average command/control and four above-average pitches. The big concern with this young lefty is the checkered injury history; he had a serious shoulder injury that went through rehab rather than surgery.

2. A.J. Puk, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 21
2020 Prospect Rank: 16
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Puk is in a similar boat as Jesus Luzardo above, as the hard-throwing right-hander comes back from a serious elbow injury. With Tommy John surgery now in the rearview mirror, he should be able to focus on building his durability and stamina back up. Puk is another player that has the potential to develop into a top-of-the-rotation arm with an upper-90s fastball and three above-average offerings.

3. Sean Murphy, C

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 23
2020 Prospect Rank: 11
2020 LEVEL: MLB
MLB ETA: 2020

If not for an injury, Murphy may have hit 30 home runs in 2019. As it was, split between the Majors and minors, he slugged 15 home runs in 61 games. And he’s not just a slugger. Murphy has shown some all-around skill as a hitter, too. He’ll take a walk while keeping the strikeouts to a minimum. He should have no real challengers to the everyday gig in Oakland once baseball starts up again.

4. Sheldon Neuse, 3B/2B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 99
2020 Prospect Rank: 23
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Neuse has been stuck in Triple-A for the past two years and, despite strong offensive numbers, is still not guaranteed a regular gig in Oakland when the pandemic delay is over. He’s a powerful player -- as witnessed by his 27 home runs in 126 Triple-A games last year -- but he struggles with consistency. He racks up the strikeouts and that could eventually lead to a lower-than-ideal batting average. Fortunately, he’s been known to take a walk which helps offset the swing-and-miss. He’s not a great fielder but his versatility could be a significant benefit in fantasy baseball.

5. Jorge Mateo, SS/OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 170
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Mateo looked poised for a big 2019 but he remained relatively stalled with putrid plate discipline (29-145 BB-K rate). There are serious questions about his ability to ever develop into an everyday player because good pitching will eat him alive. Still, his plus speed and raw power remain incredibly intriguing. He’s also shown the ability to play both shortstop and in the outfield, which could be very handy even if he ends up as a part-time or platoon player.

6. Robert Puason, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 192
2020 LEVEL: Rookie
MLB ETA: 2024

Puason has one of the highest ceilings in the system but he’s also the farthest away — and the lost development time in 2019 did him no favors. Given more than $5 million to sign, he has a chance to develop into a power-hitting shortstop with 20+ stolen base potential.

7. Logan Davidson, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 226
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

I wasn’t a huge fan of Davidson coming out of college but the A’s took him with a late first-round selection in 2019. He struggles with making consistent contact and there should be a significant amount of swing-and-miss to his game. His value will likely be tied to how much of his raw power he can develop in game situations. On a plus side, he also showed a willingness to take a walk in his pro debut (31 in 54 games), which gives him additional intrigue in on-base leagues.

8. Daulton Jefferies, RHP

2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Jefferies is another A's prospect that's been repeatedly bitten by the injury bug. The 37th overall selection in the 2016 draft, he threw just 20 innings in his first three pro seasons. The loss development time has kept him from working on his breaking ball, which remains below average. Jefferies posted a promising K-BB of 72-7 in 64 Double-A innings. He has the ceiling of a No. 4 starter or a middle reliever.

9. Nick Allen, 2B-SS

2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Allen is a player that has much more real-life value than fantasy value because his great skill comes from the defensive side of his game. At 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, power will never be a big part of his game. But he’s also a fleet-of-foot athlete who could eventually steal 20+ bases if he develops into an everyday player.

10. Austin Beck, OF

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

I wasn’t a huge fan of Beck in his draft season but the A’s took him sixth overall because of tantalizing raw power and electric bat speed. He’s struggled with consistency and is not a natural hitter. It looked like things were perhaps beginning to click in 2018 but he took a step back in 2019 with a BB-K of 24-126 (a strikeout rate above 30%) in just 85 games. And Beck managed just eight home runs.  If he ever taps into his in-game power, he has 30+ home run potential and he’s still just 21.

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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 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Arizona Diamondbacks: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Arizona Diamondbacks will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Diamondbacks system features some of the most impressive depth among high-ceiling, young hitters in the game. The pitching is another story…

 

1. Daulton Varsho, C/OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 44
2020 Prospect Rank: 45
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Varsho has a chance to have immense fantasy value if he ends up playing both behind the plate and in the outfield when he reaches the Majors. He’s an incredibly athletic catcher and he could end up with a few 20-20 seasons. He’s almost MLB ready.

2. Corbin Carroll, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 48
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2022

The 16th overall selection from the 2019 draft, Carroll is an advanced bat who could move quickly through the minors assuming the lost 2020 season doesn’t impact him too much. He can impact the game with his ability to hit for average and also wreak havoc on the base paths (with strong defensive instincts in center field). The power is of the gap (doubles/triples) variety.

3. Kristian Robinson, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 52
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2022

An impressive athletic specimen at the age of 19, Robinson has a chance to hit for power while providing speed on the base paths. He could eventually develop into a 20-20 player. His hit tool is a little bit behind as he swings and misses too much but he comes from the Bahamas where the pitching talent is modest. He has a good eye at the plate so he may just need additional reps in that area before he takes a step forward.

4. Geraldo Perdomo, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 58
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Perdomo’s development allowed the organization to trade fellow shortstop prospect (with more holes in his game) Jazz Chisholm in the Zac Gallen steal-of-a-deal. Perdomo doesn’t have the plus power potential but he’s a much stronger hitter, better base runner, and better fielder. He’s just 20 and may soon be ready for Double-A

5. Alek Thomas, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 66
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

The Diamondbacks organization’s top five young hitters as quite likely the envy of the league. Thomas is an advanced hitter for his age and has easily hit more than .300 over his two-year career. He also has a strong eye and should have added value in on-base leagues. The biggest knock on Thomas is that his line-drive swing isn’t geared for over-the-fence power but he could still hit 15-20 home runs at maturation.

6. Seth Beer, OF/1B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 102
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Beer has impressive power and could one day hit 30 home runs. To date, he’s shown the ability to hit for a solid average but he has some holes in his approach, which could eventually lead to a lower batting average unless he continues to make adjustments. He’s a fringe fielder in left so he could end up stuck at first base or DH.

7. Levi Kelly, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 148
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Kelly had a breakout season in 2019 and has now held pro hitters to a .196 batting average over two seasons. The right-hander has an impressive fastball-slider combo but needs a reliable third offering to help him stick in the starting rotation. His command and control are hurt by his delivery so he may never be more than average in that area, which puts additional importance on rounding out the repertoire.

8. Corbin Martin, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 147
2020 LEVEL: Injured
MLB ETA: 2021

Martin looked like he could be a key contributor for the Astors in 2019 but Tommy John surgery derailed those hopes. The fact that Arizona still wanted him while hurt goes to show how talented he could be when back at full strength. He has a chance at three above-average offerings.

9. Jon Duplantier, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 151
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Duplantier has bounced around a bit between starting and relieving while also battling persistent health issues. He might be better suited to relieving where he can really focus on getting swings-and-misses with his two above-average breaking balls.

10. J.B. Bukauskas, RHP

2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Bukauskas is another former top college pitcher that could be better suited to relieving. The short right-hander is a spin-rate poster child with above-average velocity but his lack of physicality and below-average command/control really undermines his effectiveness as a starter.

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Los Angeles Angels: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Los Angeles Angels will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

This system is loaded with outfield talent -- including a potential star in Jo Adell. The downside to the system is that there is very little impact pitching.

 

1. Jo Adell, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 9
2020 Prospect Rank: 7
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Adell is one of those players that can really do a little bit of everything with both power and speed. He had a shot at reaching the Majors in 2019 but an injury issue slowed him down and he didn’t look at full strength when he returned to action. He has plus raw power but needs to get the ball in the air more consistently to really tap into his home run pop. His biggest need is to cut down on the swing-and-miss tendency as the strikeout rate has been hovering around 30% since he reached Double-A.

2. Brandon Marsh, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 53
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

An impressive athlete, Marsh is a stick of dynamite waiting to explode. He has all the raw potential to be a 20-20 player but he has shown only glimpses of the total package. A former high school football player, Marsh has needed some time to polish his approach at the plate with some pretty high strikeout rates but he did a  nice job improving in that area in 2019 while continuing to take a ton of walks. He’s a swing-adjustment waiting to happen as a 6-foot-4, 215-pound athlete who hits a ton of balls on the ground and has never slugged more than 10 home runs.

3. Jordyn Adams, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 65
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Yet another toolsy-but-raw outfield prospect in the Angels system, Adams possesses top-of-the-scale speed even though he stole just 12 bases in 97 A-ball games in 2019. He has the pure speed and willingness to take a walk (50 walks last season) to steal at least 40 bases. His power is developing but he could eventually hit 15-20 home runs.

4. D’Shawn Knowles, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 179
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

The fourth outfield in a row, Knowles is the rawest but also has one of the highest ceilings. Signed out of the Bahamas, this toolsy outfielder just needs reps against better pitching to continue to hone his approach at the plate while also learning the nuances of baserunning to take advantage of his raw, plus speed. Once he better understands what pitchers are trying to do, he has a low-maintenance, effective swing which should allow him to hit for a solid batting average.

5. Jeremiah Jackson, 3B/SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 185
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

I was a huge fan of Jackson prior to the 2018 draft and suggested him as a potential first-round pick. He ended up lasting until the middle of the second round where the Angels nabbed him. He’s gotten a little carried away with trying to hit for power as a pro, though. He slugged 23 home runs in 65 games last year but it came with a 33% strikeout rate. Jackson has athleticism to spare — a common trait among Angels draft picks — so I still have some faith that he’ll figure things out once he matures and stops trying to yank everything out of the park.

6. Kyren Paris, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 241
2020 LEVEL: SS-A
MLB ETA: 2024

Like Jeremiah Jackson above, I had Paris highlighted as a potential first-round talent in 2019 but he slid to the Angels in the second round (where he was given first-round money to sign). Paris is young and raw — he was just 17 at the time of the amateur draft — but he has an intriguing combination of bat speed and foot speed. He may not hit for a ton of power but he could eventually hit for average, steal 20+ bases and play premium defense.

7. Trent Devereaux, OF

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

Hey, another outfielder! Devereaux was signed out of the Bahamas at the same time as D’Shawn Knowles. He actually got more money to sign but has been slower to develop. Devereaux has a chance to hit for power as he matures and adds muscle but he also needs a lot of experience facing good pitching and polishing his pitch recognition and approach.

8. Jared Walsh, 1B/OF/P

2020 Prospect Rank: 34
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

I’d really like to see Walsh get a legitimate chance to play at the MLB level but he may need a trade away from the Angels for that to happen given the depth ahead of him. He’s always hit for a solid average but he started taking more walks in 2018 and then added more power in 2019 when he met the juiced ball. He slugged 36 home runs in just 98 games. Adding more intrigue, Walsh can also pitch.

9. Patrick Sandoval, LHP

2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

As you’ve probably figured out by now, outfield prospects are the system’s strength while pitching is… not. Sandoval is the best in the system but he projects as more of a No. 4 starter. If he can improve his command, he has a chance to have three better-than-average offerings from the left side.

10. Chris Rodriguez, RHP

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

If Rodriguez can stay healthy, he has the stuff to zoom up this list. He has mid-to-upper-90s heat and the potential for two above-average secondary offerings but he battled through back issues and eventually had surgery. The delay in the 2020 season due to the pandemic likely bought him some extra time to ensure he’s back up to full strength. 

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San Diego Padres: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The San Diego Padres will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

This system has an enviable mix of high-ceiling talent and depth. The Padres system also has a nice mix of both hitting and pitching prospects — including two of the top pitching prospects in the game.

 

1. MacKenzie Gore, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 2
2020 Prospect Rank: 42
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2020

Gore is the best pitching prospect in baseball and the Padres have done a great job developing him. They’ve allowed his talent to dictate his progression through the system while preventing him from being overworked. He’s a left-handed pitcher with four potentially-plus offerings to go with plus command and control. Gore reminds me of a young Zack Greinke although the Padres’ prospect is a little more advanced than Greinke was at 21.

2. Luis Patino, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 18
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Patino is younger than Mackenzie Gore but he has held his own while playing with the best pitching prospect in baseball in both A-ball and Double-A last year. This smallish right-hander can dial his heater up into the upper-90s and he also flashes an outstanding slider. His repertoire is not as deep as Gore’s but he could have four average-or-better offerings when all is said and done. I do have some concerns over the lack of a downward plane on his fastball and heavy fly-ball approach.

3. CJ Abrams, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 33
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2022

I was all over Abrams prior to the 2019 draft due to his undeniable athleticism and simple swing. But his quick acclimation to pro ball — and offensive pop — surprised even me. There were scenarios where I would have easily considered having him drafted third overall so the Padres got a real steal at six. We’ll get a much better read on Abrams’ MLB ETA once he reaches full-season ball and we see how well his aggressive approach works against more advanced pitching. I think he’ll be a stud and he’ll quickly rise up from being the 33rd best dynasty prospect in baseball to within the Top 10-20 range once he gets to play again.

4. Taylor Trammell, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 99
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2021

Trammell, like Abrams, is a very athletic player. Unfortunately, he’s not a natural hitter like the Padres’ impressive shortstop prospect and has significant swing-and-miss to his game. He’s also still trying to tap into his raw power after four pro seasons. The Padres made changes to his swing which could result in more power going forward. Trammell has the speed to steal 30 bases and the eye to take a significant number of walks to give him additional value in on-base leagues.

5. Luis Campusano, C

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 135
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Campusano has quietly become one of the better offensive catching prospects in baseball after hitting .325 with a ton of extra base hits in 2019. He also tamed his aggressive approach at the plate and posted a BB-K rate of 52-57 in 110 games. Campusano’s power is for real. He’s always generated outstanding line-drive rates but he became much more of a fly-ball hitter in 2019 and that helped his home-run output jump from three in 2018 to 15 in ’19.

6. Ryan Weathers, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 136
2020 LEVEL:
MLB ETA: 2022

Selected seventh overall by the Padres in 2018, I thought the pick at the time was overly aggressive and had him pegged as more in the 31-50 range. His performance in pro ball has been up-and-down and he looks like more of a future No. 4 starter than true impact hurler. He continues to battle his conditioning and he has yet to develop a reliable breaking ball. Weathers does have a solid fastball and very good changeup. He could chew up a lot of innings while throwing a good number of strikes.

7. Ronald Bolanos, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 148
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

It wasn’t long after I wrote about Bolanos as a potential sleeper that the Padres surprisingly promoted the hurler from Double-A to the Majors. His command and control both need continued work but this young hurler has shown the ability to miss bats and generate a healthy number of ground-ball outs. I believe Bolanos is being underrated by many as he features a 92-96 mph fastball and two high-spin breaking balls.

8. Edward Olivares, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 213
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Olivares is another player that I believe is being underrated by a lot of people — and has been back to his days as a Blue Jays prospect in A-ball. The athletic outfielder has the speed to steal more than 20 bases and he nabbed 35 bases last season — his third straight year with 20 or more steals. Olivares has hit double-digit home runs in three straight seasons and slugged 18 home runs in Double-A in 2019. He could end up having more success than Taylor Trammell when all is said and done despite the latter prospects getting more love due to pedigree.

9. Adrian Morejon, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 234
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

It’s hard to peg Morejon’s potential. On one hand, he's shown flashes of having three plus pitches and is just 21 years old. On the other hand, he’s struggled with injuries and has never thrown more than 65.1 innings in three seasons. He also has inconsistent command and control. Some see reliever, some see future mid-rotation starter. The pandemic layoff could hurt a player like this as he needs to face live hitting to learn to throw more quality strikes. Morejon will be a big leaguer, but he could end up in the bullpen.

10. Hudson Head, OF

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

A high-risk, high-reward player, this 19-year-old prospect has 20-20 potential thanks to excellent bat and foot speed. But he also has a lot of moving part to his swing so it remains to be seen how well he’ll perform against more advanced pitching. I think he’ll figure it out, though, and his patient approach could provide a good number of walks to help offset the swing-and-miss.

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Texas Rangers: Top 12 Dynasty Prospects

The Texas Rangers will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Rangers system lacks a surefire superstar in the system but we’ve increased the Top 10 list to 12 to help represent the solid depth that the organization possesses. The club’s top prospect is an underrated fantasy targeted. The system’s weakness is pitching.

 

1. Nick Solak, 3B/OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 46
2020 Prospect Rank: 17
2020 LEVEL: MLB
MLB ETA: 2020

Solak hit a relatively quiet 32 home runs between Triple-A and the Majors in 2019. The home run spike, although aided by the juiced ball, was not out of character as he went deep 19 times at Double-A in 2018. Along with power, Solak also offers good on-base numbers, could steal 10-12 bases. Also, he has never hit below .282 in the minors. On the defensive side, he could end up eligible at second base, third base and in the outfield which further helps to make Solak a potential fantasy stud.

2. Josh Jung, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 73
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

I liked Jung a lot as a draft prospect back in 2019 and advocated for a high selection in the amateur draft. The Rangers agreed and selected him eighth overall despite some concern about his ability to fully tap into his raw power as well as questions about his future defensive home. The young third baseman had no issues hitting for average in pro ball despite playing 40 games in full-season A-ball as much more established professionals. If he can make some tweaks to his swing to produce more over-the-fence pop then he obviously becomes even more intriguing. A move from third base to first would hurt his value a bit -- unless he becomes dual-eligible -- but I think the bat will play there just fine.

3. Hans Crouse, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 121
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Crouse is still learning to command his four-pitch repertoire but, once his command catches up to his control, he could have at least three above-average offerings. The 6-foot-4 hurler already has above-average control and posted a K-BB of 76-19 in 87.2 innings in Low-A ball in 2019. There are some concerns about durability (and reliever risk) due to the effort in his delivery as well as the recent elbow surgery (bone chips) that he had during the offseason.

4. Leody Taveras, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 127
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Taveras made strides in translating his raw athleticism into true baseball skills. He reached Double-A at the age of 21 and showed signs of getting stronger. He’ll never be a big home run hitter but he has the bat speed and the wheels to rack up doubles and triples if he gets a little stronger. He broke the 30-steal barrier in 2019 and still has room to improve his baserunning to become even more efficient.

5. Cole Winn, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 142
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

I wasn’t as high on Winn as some leading up to the 2018 draft and had him as more of a supplemental-first-round or second-round talent but the Rangers nabbed him 15th overall. He’s been moved through the system cautiously and wasn’t allowed to enter the affiliated ranks until May last year. He jumped right to Low-A ball, though, and held his own in 68.2 innings. His pure stuff is evident and, if he can keep his delivery in sync and throw strikes, he has a chance for four average-or-better offerings.

6. Sam Huff, C

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 157
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2021

The Rangers system always seems to have the highest number of grip-it-and-rip-it prospects per capita around and Huff is no exception. He slugged 28 home runs split between two A-ball levels in 2019 but also posted a frightening BB-K rate of 33-154. Huff has the raw power to scale back the massive swings and still clear the fences on a regular basis, which is something he’ll need to do to play every day in the Majors.

7. Joe Palumbo, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 204
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Palumbo reached the Majors in 2019 and showed flashes of what makes him an intriguing prospect. He has two above-average offerings thanks to high spin rates in both his fastball and curveball. If he can develop a reliable changeup as a third weapon, he could develop into a solid No. 4 starter. In seven seasons, injuries have kept the lefty from ever hitting the 100-inning mark so durability is a concern.

8. Sherten Apostel, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 235
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Apostel fits right in with the Rangers’ attraction to raw, toolsy players loaded with power. In his first taste of full-season ball, this young third baseman slugged 19 home runs while spending time at two A-ball levels. Apostel struck out 120 times in 121 games but also took 51 walks, which suggests he could become valuable in on-base leagues.

9. Maximo Acosta, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 249
2020 LEVEL: Rookie
MLB ETA: 2024

Although just 17 years old with no pro at-bats under his belt, Acosta is regarded as one of the top signings from the 2019 international free agent crop. The has an advanced approach for his age, as well as promising bat speed and foot speed. There is 20-20 potential here if Acosta develops as hoped.

10. Heriberto Hernandez, OF/C

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

Signed as an overaged international prospect for less than $50,000, Hernandez is already looking like a steal after just two pro seasons. He slugged 12 home runs in the Dominican Summer League in 2018 and then followed that up with another 11 in Rookie ball last year while also hitting .345. He produces outstanding exit velocities but will need to curb his aggressiveness as he moves up the ladder. He’ll likely never catch regularly but he might see enough time back there to qualify in some fantasy leagues, which gives him additional fantasy intrigue.

11. Davis Wendzel, 3B

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2022

Wendzel is another player I thought was underrated in the 2019 amateur draft and reminds me of a young Justin Turner. The Rangers prospect doesn’t currently seek out the home run and instead prefers to pepper balls all over the diamond. He could hit for a high average with a healthy number of walks and 30-40 doubles with his current approach. Wendzel could also end up hitting for more power down the line, not unlike Turner, if he makes adjustments to his swing path. He’s athletic enough to handle multiple defensive positions which could increase his fantasy value.

12. Brock Burke, LHP

2020 LEVEL: Injured
MLB ETA: 2022

On the cusp of establishing himself in the Majors, Burke’s ascent came to a screeching halt after news that he required surgery for a damaged shoulder. Labrum surgery is far more serious than Tommy John surgery so this is a career-threatening injury. As a result, he’s fallen from off the Top 250 dynasty prospects list after opening the season firmly on it.

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Colorado Rockies: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Colorado Rockies will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

More so than any other team in baseball, the Rockies need to develop quality pitching from within but they have yet to figure out how to do that. The Top 10 list features just one arm among a flood of infield prospects.

 

1. Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 20
2020 Prospect Rank: 18
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

The delay of the 2020 season actually does Rodgers a favor as he recovers from a nasty shoulder injury and the subsequent surgery. His bat was MLB-ready before he got hurt but the Rockies have struggled to properly integrate young hitters into their lineup. Rodgers has 20-30 home run upside if he bounces back from the surgery.

2. Grant Lavigne, 1B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 113
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Lavigne had a rough first full season in pro ball but I remain a fan. He was likely pushed to full-season ball a little sooner than he should have been and he needs a fair bit of work against same-side pitching. For a big, strong hitter, Lavigne hits far too many balls on the ground and needs to work on embracing more of a fly-ball heavy approach to unlock his above-average raw power, which should play really well in Colorado.

3. Sam Hilliard, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 143
2020 Prospect Rank: 28
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

As mentioned, the Rockies seem borderline clueless when it comes to properly handling rookies but if Hilliard can find consistent playing time then he could be a real steal. His plus power should play extremely well in Colorado. Add in his ability to steal some bases and it’s easy to overlook his modest hit tool. Hilliard has stolen at least 22 bases in four straight seasons with a career-high of 37 in 2017.

4. Michael Toglia, 1B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 184
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Toglia is a beast in the batter’s box with a 6-foot-5, 225 pound frame. And he has the developing raw power to match. He did a nice job hitting for his power in his pro debut with nine home runs in just 41 games but it came with a high number of strikeouts. Fortunately, Toglia has shown a willingness to offset those with a healthy dose of walks, which could give him increased value in on-base leagues.

5. Ryan Vilade, SS/3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 188
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Vilade has a strong offensive season while playing in a very good hitter’s league. He hit more than .300 for the second time in his three-year career, he took lots of walks and he also stole 24 bases. If he can duplicate this success at Double-A — and continue to show increased power output — then he will start really moving up this list. Vilade’s defensive home is up in the air as he won’t stick at shortstop for much longer and could end up at third base or in the outfield, which would put more pressure on his power development.

6. Terrin Vavra, SS/2B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 196
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

With two straight .300 seasons, Vavra is on a similar path to Colton Welker (below) but he might possess a little more usable pop than the more advanced prospect ahead of him on the depth chart. He also has a better approach at the plate and posted a BB-K of 62-62 in 2019. Defensively, he’s most likely to wind up at second base.

7. Ryan Rolison, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 239
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Rolison would be ranked higher as a prospect if he wasn’t expected to pitch half his games in Coors Field. He has a chance for three above-average offerings but his fastball velocity is just average. It plays up because of its movement. Rolison’s best pitch is his curveball and it remains to be seen if it will play as well in the higher altitude. He also needs to see his command improve after allowing too many hits (129 in 116.1 innings in High-A) in 2019.   

8. Colton Welker, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 243
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2021

Welker had a down year in 2019 so he needs a strong bounce-back season in 2020. After hitting .300 or better in his first three pro seasons, he hit .252 with a disappointing .271 OPS in 98 games. Welker missed time in the second half of the year with a shoulder issue so the hope is that the injury played a big role in his struggles and the additional downtime due to the pandemic will help him bounce back to full strength.

9. Aaron Schunk, 3B

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Schunk is the newest kid on the block to join the Rockies’ impressive minor league infield depth. He didn’t do much in college, though, until his junior year when he really took off. That success continued into his first taste of pro ball where he showed a solid hitting approach (14-25 BB-K in 46 games) and improving power (20 extra-base hits).

10. Brenton Doyle, OF

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2022

Doyle played at a smaller college but still managed to catch the Rockies’ eye and was nabbed in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. He mashed in his pro debut — albeit thanks in part due to a .484 BABIP. He’s going to have some swing-and-miss to his game but he’s shown the willingness to take lots of walks to go with his above-average power. He appears to be a younger version of Sam Hilliard, with less speed.

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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 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Houston Astros: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Houston Astros will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Astros system has thinned out noticeably in the past couple of years — especially on the hitting side — but the system has quite a few intriguing hard-throwing arms. This is very much a boom-or-bust system right now.

 

1. Forrest Whitley, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 42
2020 Prospect Rank: 38
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2020

Whitely had perhaps the largest fall from grace of any prospect in 2019. He entered the year on the cusp of reaching the Majors but had a complete meltdown with his command and control, and then got hurt. Whitley redeemed himself, to a degree, with a solid showing in the Arizona Fall League but there were also whispers that his makeup isn’t that strong so that could be an ongoing concern.

2. Jose Urquidy, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 81
2020 Prospect Rank: 9
2020 LEVEL: MLB
MLB ETA: 2020

Urquidy pitches better than his profile would suggest. His fastball has average velocity and he lacks a reliable breaking ball but he’s more difficult to hit than one might expect. The right-hander can reach back for 95-96 mph when needed and then throw his plus changeup to throw hitters off-balance. His above-average control helps his stuff play up and there is hope he’ll eventually improve his slider. Urquidy has No. 3/4 starter potential and will pitch with a high-powered offense behind him in 2020.

3. Bryan Abreu, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 115
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Abreu has dominant stuff. His fastball works into the upper-90s and he has two breaking balls with plus potential. But the downside to the right-hander is that both his command and control are below average. With his stuff good enough to succeed in a big-league bullpen, the Astros face an interesting decision: Keep him in the minors to work on starting, or allow him to be an impact arm now in the big league bullpen. This ranking is based on the hope he'll continue to start.

4. Abraham Toro-Hernandez, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 129
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Born in Canada, Toro-Hernandez was a scouting find out of a junior college in Oklahoma. He’s developed rather quickly and really started to take off in 2018 before reaching the Majors in 2019. He’s not flashy but he’s a good hitter that has a chance to hit .270-.280 with 20 home runs — if he can find a defensive home. With a willingness to take a walk, Toro-Hernandez also has additional value in on-base leagues.

5. Freudis Nova, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 211
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Nova is a raw but promising middle infield prospect. He’s far too aggressive for his own good but he has the potential to develop into a 20-20 player if he can mature at the plate. He slugged 20 doubles in just 75 games in Low-A ball in 2019 but also posted a BB-K of 15-68.

6. Cristian Javier, RHP

2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Javier doesn’t look impressive as a smallish right-hander with average fastball velocity, but he generates well-above-average strikeout rates because of excellent spin on the heater and two above-average breaking balls. On the downside, his control is below average and he’s prone to the home run ball due to his his fly-ball heavy approach. He’ll likely settle in as more of a No. 4 starter.

7. Jairo Solis, RHP

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2021

Solis is an intriguing wildcard who hasn’t pitched since mid-2018 due to Tommy John surgery. He was an advanced pitcher for his age when he got hurt so there is hope he’ll come back without a ton of rust. Solis can hit 95-97 mph with his heater and has shown a curveball with plus potential. He rounds out his repertoire with a slider and a changeup — both of which showed average potential before the injury.

8. Enoli Paredes, RHP

2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Similar in many ways to Cristian Javier, Paredes is another smallish right-hander with lots of spin, which can be very difficult to hit. This right-hander has more electric stuff than the more advanced arm ahead of him, though, and he can hit 96-98 mph with two power breaking balls. A lack of command/control, as well as a high-effort delivery, could land him in the bullpen.

9. Jeremy Pena, SS/2B

2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Pena is a better real-world player because of his above-average defense but he’s gotten stronger as a pro and looks like he might be able to hold down a regular gig up the middle. He has a chance to hit .270 with 10-12 home runs and 12-15 stolen base, which is a useful player.

10. Korey Lee, C

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2022

The Astros took a lot of people by surprise by nabbing Lee in the first round of the 2019 draft after he was projected to go somewhere in the second to the fourth round due to his lack of experience behind the plate. He possesses above-average raw power and took a healthy number of walks in his pro debut.

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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 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

St. Louis Cardinals: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The St. Louis Cardinals will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Cardinals’ system isn’t overly deep but there are some intriguing bats. The pitching depth is relatively weak although the trade acquisition of Matthew Liberatore helps in that regard.

 

1. Dylan Carlson, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 22
2020 Prospect Rank: 12
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Carlson’s results have been hinting at a breakout for a couple of years now and he made good on that potential in 2019. He slugged 26 home runs and stole 20 bases but he likely won’t be a big base stealer in the Majors nor does he have a huge track record of hitting for a high average. Carlson should be a good big-league player but expect more of a modest batting average, excellent on-base numbers, and lots of power with some stolen bases sprinkled in.

 

2. Matthew Liberatore, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 56
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Liberatore is one of the more underrated pitching prospects in the minors but that could change with his trade from Tampa Bay to St. Louis. The left-hander with an excellent pitcher’s frame has a chance for three or four above-average or plus offerings when all is said and done. His fastball is just in the low-to-mid-90s but there is room for added velocity on his tall frame. Even if he doesn’t see an additional spike in velo, his control helps his stuff play up.

 

3. Nolan Gorman, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 67
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Gorman is well known for his massive power potential and he possesses legit 30-homer potential. However, the swing-and-miss tendencies are also a concern and his approach was exposed with a mid-season promotion to High-A ball with 73 strikeouts in just 58 games. He needed the aid of a .365 BABIP to hit .256. Just 20, Gorman has time to figure things out. He’s strong enough to hit the ball out of the park without taking huge hacks all the time.

 

4. Zack Thompson, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 152
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2021

Selected 19th overall in 2019, Thompson likely would have gone even higher if not for significant injury concerns that have haunted him since his prep days. I would be shocked if he doesn’t end up having Tommy John surgery within the next few years. When healthy, he’s a left-hander that possesses above-average fastball velocity with a chance for three above-average offerings.

 

5. Lane Thomas, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 178
2020 LEVEL: MLB
MLB ETA: 2020

I’ve been a fan of Thomas since his A-ball days in the Blue Jays’ system. He has an intriguing mix of power and speed but the swing-and-miss tendencies limit his overall ceiling. The outfield depth in the Cardinals’ system also doesn’t do Thomas any favors. There is 20-20 potential here if he can make enough contact to play every day.

 

6. Johan Oviedo, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 229
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Oviedo is a beast on the mound at 6-foot-6 with a fastball that hits 97-98 mph. He also has a potentially-plus slider. The downside here is a lack of a third reliable pitch and below-average command/control. Those two negatives could push Oviedo to the bullpen unless he starts to show improvement in the near future.

 

7. Elehuris Montero, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 230
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Montero had a brutal 2019 season. His strikeout rate jumped 10% to more than 30% and the gains he made with his in-game power dried up. He also played in just 63 games due to injury so there is hope that he’ll bounce back in 2020 if he’s fully healthy.

 

8. Junior Fernandez, RHP

2020 LEVEL: MLB
MLB ETA: 2020

Fernandez would be ranked much higher if he had a better track record with his health and had more of a chance of sticking in the starting rotation. He did a solid job of getting strikeouts as a reliever in 2019 but he’s struggled in that area as a starter because he lacks a plus secondary offering — although the changeup shows potential. He’s mostly a one-pitch pitcher with a heavy fastball that sits 95-96 mph.

9. Andrew Knizner, C

2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Knizner is a very good hitter — especially for a catcher — but he’s stuck behind Yadier Molina so his potential value is diminished unless the veteran gets hurt. Durability is also a concern as he’s never played in more than 95 games in any of his four pro seasons.

 

10. Ivan Herrera, C

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Herrera is yet another good hitting catcher in the Cardinals’ system. He’s maybe not quite the pure hitter that Andrew Knizner (above) is but there may be more raw power here. Herrera is still just 19 years old and not far off reaching Double-A.

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Minnesota Twins: Top 12 Dynasty Prospects

The Minnesota Twins will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

 

Quick Synopsis

The Twins feature one of the better systems in baseball with high-ceiling players, near-MLB prospects, and solid depth. The system features three outfielders with above-average offensive potentials that could reach the Majors within the next calendar year. The system is so impressive that we've increased the list of players from 10 to 12.

 

1. Alex Kirilloff, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 14
2020 Prospect Rank: 6
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

After dealing with injuries the past two years, Kirilloff really needed to take advantage of a full season in 2020 to help shake off some of the rust. That won’t happen now but he remains close to MLB ready. He has the makings of a .300 hitter with 20-30 home run potential. He’s an average defender in the outfield but could also end up being moved to first base.

2. Trevor Larnach, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 45
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Larnach isn’t quite the natural hitter that Alex Kirilloff (above) is but he’s no slouch with the bat and is a .307 career hitter through 169 pro games. He also reached Double-A in just his first full season. Larnach has yet to top 13 home runs as a professional but he has the raw power to develop into a 20-30 home run hitter, albeit it with a healthy amount of swing-and-miss.

3. Jordan Balazovic, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 80
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

One of the fastest rising prospects in 2019, Balazovic was drafted out of Canada as a teenaged lottery ticket back in 2016 and it took him three years to shake off the snow and ice. Once he gained additional experience on the mound and his body matured into a 6-foot-5, 220 pound beast, Balazovic saw both his fastball and slider improve dramatically. Between two A-ball levels in 2019, the right-hander struck out 129 batters in 93.2 innings.

4. Royce Lewis, SS/OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 83
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Selected first overall in the 2017 draft, Lewis hasn’t seen the offensive success that the Twins were likely hoping for with such a big investment. But he’s also still just 20 years old and reached Double-A in 2019. If he continues to make adjustments and gets stronger, Lewis has 20-20 (HR-SB) potential and could play multiple premium positions (CF and SS). But he’s also a career .266 hitter who hasn’t had an OPS above .800 since Low-A ball so there is risk here.

5. Brent Rooker, 1B/OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 109
2020 Prospect Rank: 43
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

I might be one of the biggest Rooker fans around. He’s a one-dimensional player who doesn’t offer much (if anything) on defense but he’s a very underrated hitter. He has a career .861 OPS in three pro seasons despite being promoted very aggressively. He spent an injury-plagued season in Triple-A but was on pace to hit close to 30 home runs. He won’t hit for a high average because he has a ton of swing-and-miss but Rooker could burst onto the scene in similar unheralded fashion as Twins catcher Mitch Garver.

6. Jhoan Duran, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 128
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2020

Duran is very intriguing. He has size, power stuff, gets a ton of ground-ball outs, and has a chance to develop above-average control. But he’s also struggled to find a reliable third offering, which leads to some reliever risk. I think he’ll figure it out and stick as a big-league starter long term so this ranking could end being too low when all is said and done.

7. Lewis Thorpe, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 168
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Thorpe has been a solid performer throughout his career, although he projects as more of an innings-eating No. 3/4 starter than a true star. The lefty has deception to his delivery as well as good control but he struggles with his command, which led to a .336 batting average during his first taste of big-league action in 2019.

8. Nick Gordon, 2B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 180
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Like Lewis Thorpe above, Gordon will likely develop into a solid contributor but lacks the tools to develop into a star. He has average-across-the-board tools but I’ve ranked him higher than some because he can really sting the ball and generates above-average line-drive rates. He’s never hit more than nine home runs in a season but if a hitting coach can help Gordon adjust his swing from a very heavy ground-ball approach then we could see a huge spike in extra-base power.

9. Keoni Cavaco, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 219
2020 LEVEL: SS-A
MLB ETA: 2023

I felt Cavaco was being overhyped as a draft prospect but the Twins saw things differently and selected him 13th overall in the 2019 draft. He struggled out of the gate with a .172 batting average and BB-K of 4-35 in 87 at-bats in Rookie ball. As ugly as those numbers are, the Twins have one of the better player development systems in the game so I have faith in their ability to help Cavaco turn things around.

10. Wander Javier, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 231
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2022

Javier appeared to be on the verge of a breakout in 2019 but, instead, fell flat on his face. An already-high strikeout rate skyrocketed to 34% and his line-drive rate dropped below 10%. The line-drive rate was so bad that it’s hard not to think that an injury was to blame. It’s not time to give up on Javier just yet but he needs to have a huge bounce-back and the lost time due to the pandemic is not going to help his cause.

11. Chris Vallimont, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 245
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Vallimont is another player that I’m much higher on than the consensus and the Twins pulled off a real steal in getting him as part of the Sergio Romo trade with the Marlins. He has a solid fastball-slider combination and could eventually end up with three or four average-or-better offerings. He also has an excellent pitcher’s frame, should be durable and held A-ball hitters to a .204 batting average with 150 strikeouts in 127.2 innings.

12. Misael Urbina, OF

2020 LEVEL: R
MLB ETA: 2024

Urbina is a high-ceiling lottery ticket that was given almost $3 million dollars as an amateur free agent. He showed very well during his first taste of pro action — although it was way down in the Dominican Summer League. He’s expected to hit for a solid average, run well and possibly grow into some over-the-fence power.

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Week 7 Deeper Sleepers: Time to Take Stefon Diggs Seriously

Welcome to our season-long segment at RotoBaller where we will be targeting players owned in 25% or less of Fleaflicker leagues.

Last week resulted in mixed success for those that followed along. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ben Watson, and Minnesota D/ST were excellent plays, while Willie Snead had a mediocre game and DeVante Parker was invisible (again).

Same as last week, I'll include a player from every position (including D/ST) each week - as long as the options are worthy of discussion. This week includes a few WR options while we have to dig a bit deeper for owners needing bye-week replacements at QB/TE. Let's get to it.

 

Digging Deeper - Potential Week 7 Waiver Wire Sleepers

Stefon Diggs (WR, MIN)

8% Owned in Fleaflicker

I'll take responsibility here - I bleeped up not including Diggs in the Week 6 edition. Diggs followed up his six-catch, 87-yard debut at Denver with seven catches and 129 yards on Sunday. His 19 targets in those performances have paced the Vikings receiving corps the last two weeks. On a per game basis, his 9.5 targets/game would rank 18th, ahead of the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, A.J. Green, and Jeremy Maclin.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer had a "no comment" response in regards to whether Diggs had replaced Charles Johnson in the starting lineup. That's code for "yes". Diggs, 6'0/191, was a high profile talent coming out of high school but an average career at the University of Maryland led to a 5th round selection. Mike Wallace offered up the comparison to Antonio Brown after watching Diggs in training camp, which is a mighty praise. For perspective, Brown was a 6th round pick out of Central Michigan. Kudos to Vikings GM Rick Spielman here.

The Vikings get a date with the Lions on Sunday, which should be a feast for Diggs. The Lions are 24th in passing yards allowed (1,598) and last in NY/A (Net Yards gained per pass attempt) at 8.0. You're going to have a pay for Diggs' services but in deeper leagues he's worth the investment.

FAAB: $25

Cecil Shorts III (WR, HOU)

15% Owned in Fleaflicker

Life must be tough as DeAndre Hopkins' partner in crime. Cecil Shorts III is a real-life incarnation of Robin, doing all the dirty work while Batman takes the glory. It's time we give Robin some limelight, and perhaps a place on deep fantasy rosters.

Shorts returned from a one-week absence with a dislocated shoulder to grab four catches with 63 yard at Jacksonville. He had 3-60 in the first half, but then the DeAndre Hopkins Show started which limited him to one catch. This isn't to say Shorts isn't getting opportunities. His 45 targets rank 25th overall, ahead of Amari Cooper, Vincent Jackson, and Donte Moncrief.

The Texans are going to be losing most games which will only promote the passing game more. There's no way teams can continue single-teaming DeAndre Hopkins, whose 87 targets are not only the best in the NFL but are 14 ahead of #2 (Demaryius Thomas). Shorts has a WR4 floor and WR2 ceiling and makes for a good add this week.

FAAB: $10

James Starks (RB, GB)

20% Owned in Fleaflicker

Welp, can't say you weren't warned to handcuff Eddie Lacy. Lacy was limited on Sunday versus the Chargers leading to James Starks seeing the majority of playing time, and he sure took advantage of it. Starks rushed 10 times for 112 yards, including a 65-yard scamper to make it 14-3. To top it off, he added a five-yard score from Aaron Rodgers in the passing game.

For the game Starks out-carried Lacy 10-3, and when Lacy was on the field he looked slow and lethargic. Starks on the other hand was explosive. Starks has been the better back so far in 2015, and the Packers may indeed let him get the lead-back duties when they return from their bye in Week 8. The only factor going against Starks is that bye week, as Lacy now has 14 days to recover. If you own Lacy, you should be willing to spend as much as it takes to retain Starks' services. Just remember you have no one to blame but yourself.

FAAB: $50 - Lacy Owners; $25 - RB Needy Teams

Landry Jones (QB, PIT)

0% Owned in Fleaflicker

You read that correctly. As of this writing Jones is owned in 0% of Fleaficker Leagues. That's going to change pretty fast if you need bye-week replacement (hello, Aaron Rodgers owner).

Jones was excellent filling in for Mike Vick (hamstring) versus the Cardinals, completing 8-of-12 passes for 168 yards and two scores. His 88-yard score to Martavis Bryant was more thanks to Bryant's legs, but the ability to take the top of the defense wasn't there with Vick at the helm.

Ben Roethlisberger isn't expected back for the Steelers Week 7 game at Kansas City, so Jones should get to make his NFL debut as a starter. The Chiefs have allowed 14 TD passing (2nd worst) and 277 passing yards per game (6th worst). Jones has a great chance to shine in this matchup.

FAAB: $3

Jacob Tamme (TE, ATL)

14% Owned in Fleaflicker

Since Ben Watson treated us so well last week, we'll stay in the NFC South for our Week 7 pick. Tamme wasn't able to replicate his solid Week 5 performance (shocker), but did see five targets, good for fourth on the team. Not exactly reassuring news, but keep in mind Tamme has secured a larger percentage of his targets than Leonard Hankerson. Hankerson had a couple key miscues on Thursday Night which could be just what Tamme needs to gain Matt Ryan's eye. The Titans have been a top 10 defensive unit overall, but they rank last against TE according to Football Outsiders. I like Tamme in Week 7 for TE-needy lineups.

FAAB: $4

Miami Dolphins Defense

24% Owned in Fleaflicker

The Dolphins looked like a completely different team on Sunday, routing the Titans 38-10 in Tennessee. Some of the credit goes to new head coach Dan Campbell, sure, but it needs to be noted how dominant a D/ST unit can be with Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh in your front four. The Dolphins paced all D/ST units in Week 6, totaling six sacks and two picks, one going for six. This week they get Brian Hoyer and the Houston Texans in a home outing. Hoyer has actually been a solid QB the past few weeks, which is exactly why I like the Dolphins here. Hoyer's issue has always been consistency, and a rejuvenated front seven may be just what Hoyer needs to come back to Earth.

FAAB: $2

 

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Week 5 Roundup: Waiver Wire, Rankings, & Start/Sit Analysis

We're a quarter of the way through the season! Week 5 is here and as such, here is our Week 5 Roundup which is loaded with tips and rankings to help you all put your best lineups out there.

Below you can find links to all the excellent articles written by RotoBaller staff in Week 5. Matchup analysis, rankings, last minute waiver wire ads, boom / bust candidates, it's all here for your reading pleasure.

Good luck everyone!

 

Week 5 Matchups and Sit/Start Analysis

Zach Wilkens and Vladimir De Wet use the divide and conquer strategy to bring you in-depth matchup analysis and sit/start advice for all of Week 2's action.

 

Week 5 Rankings

 

Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups and Sleepers

For those of you who waited until the last minute to check the wire for help, fear not! Jake Bogardus has a few names for you to help beat the others in your league to the punch.

 

Week 5 Boom and Bust Players

  • Jose Ortiz talks about which players will blow up, or fizzle out in the early games. Boom players including: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Jamaal Charles, T.J. Yeldon, Justin Forsett, Jeremy Maclin, Leonard Hankerson, Charles Clay, Bills D/ST. Cheifs D/ST. Busts include: Andy Dalton, Blake Bortles, Jeremy Hill, Mark Ingram, Pierre Garcon, A.J. Green, Jimmy Graham, Rams D/ST
  • Clem then brings us home with the booms and busts for the late games. Boom players include: Philip Rivers, Dion Lewis, Owen Daniels, Giants D/ST . Busts include: Derek Carr, Joseph Randle, Michael Floyd.
  • For those in Survivor leagues check out NFL Survivor League Picks – Survivor Pool Targets & Avoids (Week 5) by Seth I. Finklestein.

 

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Minor Leagues Spotlight: Top Fantasy Prospects for Week 3

This week has seen several pitchers go down with either season-ending or potential season-ending injuries already. Adam Wainwright tore his Achilles tendon and will be out for a whole year; Brandon McCarthy tore his UCL and will be headed for Tommy John surgery; and it appears that Homer Bailey may have to undergo Tommy John surgery with a right-elbow strain.

As the season goes by, injuries such as those will have major impacts on not only an MLB team, but also your fantasy roster. With a season-ending injury, Major League teams turn to two options: trade for a new starter or call up a pitcher from the minor leagues. Fantasy owners of injured starters have to constantly keep an eye out for their fallen star's replacement because that called up player could contribute worthily to a fantasy lineup.

Here are six players who have started off the season very well in the minors and could have a potential fantasy impact later on this season.

 

Mike Wright (SP, BAL, Triple-A)

Stats: 19.2 IP, 2.29 ERA, 2.19 FIP, 10.07 K/9, 1.37 BB/9, .46 HR/9
A pitcher hidden by the extensive starting depth in Baltimore, Mike Wright has started the season off really strong and could soon find his way into the Orioles rotation. The Orioles rotation this year has seen Bud Norris and Chris Tillman get off to slow starts and other pitchers like Ubaldo Jimenez who have a history of struggling. Kevin Gausman is currently the sixth man who would jump into the rotation if any starter loses their spot, but Mike Wright is right behind him in the depth chart and could see a lot of time if a starter is injured or has an extensive period of struggle. From a fantasy perspective, Wright doesn’t seem to be a compelling addition to a team because he doesn’t typically strike out a lot of batters, but he knows how to get outs while avoiding home runs and walks. Wright’s strong start to the Triple-A season could have him in the rotation soon and he could be a very nice addition to a fantasy roster in need of starting pitching.

 

Zach Lee (SP, LAD, Triple-A)

Stats: 19.0 IP, 0.95 ERA, 2.51 FIP, 8.53 K/9, 1.89 BB/9, 0 HR/9
Zach Lee was once considered one of the best pitching prospects in the Majors and was seen by many as a guy with top of the rotation potential. Unfortunately, his velocity has gone down over the past couple of years and he struggled in his first trip to Triple-A in 2014. Now 2015, Lee has started off the season looking very sharp and has started to show flashes of why the Dodgers took him 28th overall in the first round. Outside of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, the Dodgers rotation is filled with question marks including the health of Hyun-Jin Ryu and the empty spot left with Brandon McCarthy undergoing Tommy John surgery which could leave Zach Lee in a position to be called up and take one of the backend jobs. Lee is a better strikeout pitcher than the previously discussed Mike Wright and he too limits walks and home runs leaving him with a higher potential to be a good fantasy starter, but Lee will need to prove that he can develop one of his pitches into a true out pitch for him. Still, if called up, Lee could be a great pickup on the waiver wire with his potential to be a middle of the rotation starter.

 

Justin Nicolino (SP, MIA, Triple-A)

Stats: 22.2 IP, 0.79 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 5.96 K/9, 1.99 BB/9, 0 HR/9
One of the best left handed pitching prospects in baseball, Nicolino has started off this Triple-A season quite well. In 2014, he threw 170 innings with a 2.85 ERA and a 3.44 FIP. There can be no questions about his ability to be a true starting pitcher. In his brief minor league career, he has thrown over 120 innings in three of four seasons. So, his future is definitely as a starter. Questions can be asked about his ability to strike out batters. But, he has great command as he limits walks and keeps the ball in the ballpark. It is very possible that Nicolino could see time this season in the Marlins rotation if the backend of the rotation has any struggles and they find themselves in contention.

 

Peter O’Brien (C, ARI, Triple-A)

Stats: .377/.419/.739, 6 HR, 0 SB, 4.1% BB rate, 16.2% K rate
In terms of offensive production, the Arizona Dbacks catchers have been terrible this season. They have hit for a combined .192 BA with no extra base hits and a strikeout rate of 20.3%. Sitting in Triple-A Reno is Peter O’Brien. All that O’Brien has done since the Diamondbacks drafted him in 2012 is rake. O’Brien has shown power in each season that he has played and could see Major League action this season if the catchers for the Diamondbacks struggle. O’Brien’s only visible weakness is his defensive ability that leaves much to be desired. Though his defensive struggles have no effect on his fantasy stats, it could keep him from being a regular in the big league lineup for a little while.

 

Nolan Fontana (SS, HOU, Triple-A)

Stats: .267/.431/.422, 1 HR, 0 SB, 22.0% BB rate, 20.3% K rate
When shortstop prospects are mentioned, immediately everyone thinks of Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor. And while Correa is more likely to have a lasting impact on the Houston Astros in the long haul, Fontana is the most likely of the two to be called up this season. Fontana does not have any one tool that blows scouts away, but he is a solid all-around shortstop who will go under the radar for a lot of people because of Correa. Fontana has excellent plate discipline and above average speed which could allow him to steal 20 stolen bases if given a full season. Fantasy owners ought to expect Fontana to be called up if Jed Lowrie is hurt, traded, or struggles.

 

Matt Olson (1B, OAK, Double-A)

Stats: .275/.448/.647, 5 HR, 0 SB, 23.9% BB rate, 26.9% K rate
The biggest surprise to start off the 2015 season for the Oakland Athletics has been the success of Ike Davis. Davis has a slash line of .345/.409/.483 with a home run and eight RBI. But Davis’ BABIP is at .380, which is unlikely to last and will eventually lead to a regression in batting average. If Davis sees any regression, there is a possibility that Matt Olson will be called up to play first or take an outfield spot. Olson has tremendous power as evidenced by the 41 home runs that he hit in 2014. Many scouts have compared him to Joey Gallo with a little bit less power, but a higher potential for batting average. Olson is one of the most underrated prospects in baseball and definitely has the potential to be a thirty home run guy with the Athletics. He is a must own in dynasty leagues and could be a great source of home run production if called up to the Majors this season.

 

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Mark Trumbo (1B/OF, ARI) - 2015 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

BALLER MOVE: Target late in all leagues

ANALYSIS: Mark Trumbo is a guy you'll want to keep your eye on this year in your fantasy drafts. Prodigious power that sometimes seems effortless is what you'll get out of Trumbo. His ADP of 113 shows that league managers are sleeping on this elite power source.

Trumbo was placed on the disabled list for most of last year but totaled 66 HR and 195 RBI the previous two. For comparison's sake, Miguel Cabrera totaled 69 HR and 246 RBI his past two years and Cabrera is a unanimous first round fantasy selection and arguably the most feared hitter in baseball. Trumbo has also put up similar numbers to Albert Pujols the past few years in HR and RBI, yet is being drafted about seven rounds later.

The aforementioned health issue for Trumbo was the first major DL stint of his career so don't be discouraged by that. The 1B/OF flexibility is also noteworthy, especially since he plays in the seventh best ballpark for home runs. His first full season in Arizona should help reestablish him as one of the league's better power hitters.

He won't swipe many bases and won't hit for an elite average, but if your team is in need of a superior HR and RBI generator, Trumbo is your guy. Pitching is deep this year anyway, so you can wait a few rounds and grab Trumbo instead earlier than 116. He could easily surpass his ADP and sneak into early round value.

 


Check out RotoBaller's entire fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!

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NBA DFS Lineup Picks & Sleepers – FanDuel Advice for 2/22

All throughout the 2014-15 NBA campaign, RotoBaller will be analyzing the top NBA DFS lineup picks and providing our expert advice for the best sleepers at the guard, forward and center positions. Below are our favorite FanDuel DFS picks for February 22nd, 2015.

Keep in mind, fantasy basketball is a fickle game when it comes to injured players, so be sure to check all lineups prior to tip-off. If you want to chat about your roster picks, check out the DFS chat room at the bottom of this post.

Editors Note: If you have not tried out FanDuel 1-day fantasy basketball leagues, RotoBaller offers the best bonuses around. Signup and make a deposit for a new FanDuel account, and receive a 100% bonus on your deposit up to $200.

 

Top DFS Picks

Kyrie Irving (CLE, PG) - $8,600

After the hectic trade deadline and a myriad of injury reports emerging at the conclusion of this eventful All Star Break, there are fewer certain investments in fantasy. However, we still know that Irving is a stud, and we also still know that the New York Knicks cannot defend anything.

Irving’s teammate Lebron James will likely pile up his fair share of stats too on Sunday, but there should be enough possessions in the offense for the Cavaliers that production distribution should not be a problem at all. The Knicks are even more depleted than they were heading into the All Star Break, and the complete lack of continuity means Irving should thrive off turnovers and really pad his stats well with steals, assists and fast break points.

In fact, just on Friday, the Knicks gave up a whopping eight steals to Mario Chalmers alone, a number that Irving should salivate at. Heading into the break, Irving averaged 22.8 points, 7.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds in his last five games. Look for him to stay hot on Sunday.

 

Wilson Chandler (DEN, SF) - $5,900

Chandler already provided steady value prior to Arron Afflalo’s departure. However, with Afflalo gone, Chandler should benefit the most from the extra shots in this Denver lineup. Ty Lawson might be the best player on this team, but Lawson is not going to look to shoot threes.

With one less target to contribute in that category, look for Chandler to receive an uptick in scoring from this point forward. Heading into the All Star Break, Chandler averaged 18.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in his last three games.

What is most telling is that in these three games, Chandler averaged 16 shot attempts per game. This number should probably increase to around 20 attempts per game with Afflalo gone. Unless Chandler goes cold from the field, he has every opportunity to score in the twenties.

 

Tyler Zeller (BOS, C) - $4,800

A few months ago, the Boston frontcourt was so crowded that it was really impossible to recommend rostering any of the big men for use in a daily fantasy league. However, one by one they have either been traded or gone down to injury.

The big news at the end of the break was that Jared Sullinger would be out for a significant amount of time after suffering a stress reaction in his foot. This leaves the door open for Zeller to pick up the scoring load as well as his share of rebounds.

With Kelly Olynyk and Sullinger out on Friday, Zeller scored 22 points to go with six assists, four rebounds and a block. The rebounding numbers should only pick up as he gets more used to his role as the primary big man in Boston. The Celtics are also playing the Lakers on Sunday, and Zeller should have his way inside.

 

Sleeper

Reggie Jackson (DET, PG) - $4,400

Jackson finally got what he wanted. He got out of Oklahoma City and the backup role to one of the best point guards in the league. He can now lead his own team, as the Pistons traded D.J. Augustin to nab Jackson.

In his first game with the Pistons, look for Jackson to come out firing. He will look to prove that he does deserve to lead his own team and be a star in this league. Whether he will actually be effective or not is still to be seen. However, we know that he will be putting up a ton of shot attempts.

 

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NBA DFS Lineup Picks & Sleepers – FanDuel Advice for 1/20

All throughout the 2014-15 campaign, RotoBaller will be giving you the top NBA DFS lineup picks at the guard, forward and center positions as well as top sleepers for the day. Below are our favorite picks for January 20th, 2015.

Keep in mind, fantasy basketball is a fickle game when it comes to injured players, so be sure to check all lineups prior to tip-off. If you want to chat about your roster picks, check out the DFS chat room at the bottom of this post.

Editors Note: If you have not tried out FanDuel 1-day fantasy basketball leagues, RotoBaller offers the best bonuses around. Signup and make a deposit for a new FanDuel account, and receive a 100% bonus on your deposit up to $200.

 

Worth the Investment

Ty Lawson (DEN, PG) - $9000

With only two games on Tuesday, Lawson is by far the safest investment of any point guard. After a rough start to the year with injuries and inconsistent contributions, he has provided steady production virtually every time out.

Lawson's fantasy production does not typically get influenced by minute reductions, which have affected the play of some of the other point-guard options for Tuesday night. Denver has placed many of their players on the trading block, but will continue to rely on Lawson regardless.

Honorable Mention: Tony Parker (SA, PG)

 

Chris Bosh (MIA, PF) - $8600

This should be a relatively easy pick. With the exception of a terrible game (eight points, 4-17 FG) against the Lakers exactly one week ago, Bosh has been on an absolute tear as of late.

On a day where only four teams are playing, Bosh is almost impossible to pass up at the power forward position. In his last six games, Bosh has averaged 24 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

Also note that Dwyane Wade is listed as probable for Tuesday’s game. If Wade is indeed held out or placed on a minutes restriction, the Heat will need Bosh to force more field goal attempts, no matter how stifling the Oklahoma City defense may be.

Honorable Mention: Serge Ibaka (OKC, PF)

 

Tiago Splitter (SA, C) - $4400

Splitter was inserted back into the starting lineup on Sunday and immediately went on to put up 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal. As he becomes more adjusted to his role, the blocks should come along as well.

What is most surprising about Splitter's last game is that he was able take 12 field-goal attempts. This is telling of a possible increased role in the offense for the veteran center, who is a good value pick at the center position.

 

Top Sleeper

Hassan Whiteside (MIA, C) - $5500

Despite his struggles against Sacramento on January 16, Whiteside was still able to block two shots. Hopefully that game was just a hiccup in his breakout season.

Prior to that game, Whiteside had averaged 13.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.5 blocks since January 1, and has pretty much replaced Chris Andersen as the primary center for the Miami Heat. Look no further for your wild-card pick.

Honorable Mentions: J.J. Hickson (DEN, PF), Jameer Nelson (DEN, PG)

 

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Dynasty Leagues Sleeper Wide Receiver: UDFA Jeremy Butler

Fantasy Football Draft season is right around the corner and we're helping you prepare with all types of high end draft analysis. Today we're bringing you analysis of a dynasty league sleeper wide receiver, UDFA Jeremy Butler of the Baltimore Ravens.

 

Jeremy Butler, Baltimore Ravens UDFA WR

Age: 23, Height: 6-2, Weight: 224 40, Time: 4.60 (Pro Day)

Listening to the broadcast of Jeremy Butler’s Tennessee-Martin going up against Boise State, the announcers made some remarks about how Jeremy Butler had been heavily scouted by NFL scouts in his final year at UTM. As it would later be revealed, one of those scouts was Ravens Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Engram. Butler later mentioned how Engram had been coaching him over the phone during his final season at UTM. After going undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft, Butler ended up having to make a decision between trying out for the Green Bay Packers (a highly efficient Wide Receiver factory) or the Baltimore Ravens. Due to his many engagements with WR Coach Bobby Engram, he chose to join the Ravens, an easy decision according to him. At the end of OTAs, Butler was one of the players singled out as having a great camp.

Pros: Lower Body Strength; Strong Hands; Consistently Beats Zone Coverage; Runs through Arm Tackles; Makes Difficult Catches; Catches the Ball Through Contact; Places Body Between Ball and Defender; Gets Open When Play Breaks Down

Cons: Weak Breaks on Routes; Weak Open Field Movements; Outside Routes Too Close to the Sideline; Weak Lateral Movements

Butler was moved around often in UTMs offense, playing a majority of his snaps either at the L-Slot or R-Outside. His size and natural ability to catch with his hands allowed for him to make a lot of use of routes that involved boxing out his opponents. Hitches, Curls, Ins, anything where he could put the corner behind him, was on all but one occasion a clean catch and then some. His ability to break arm tackles and fight contact would give him many opportunities for more yards after the catch. His most productive routes were hitch routes, and he was most consistent catching balls that travelled under 20 yards. Of all the throws charted, he caught 100% of the balls thrown at his chest.

One NFL scout said, in regards to Mike Evans, that one of those abilities you can’t teach a WR is getting open when the play breaks down. Being able to recognize when everything’s going wrong and you have to get open is something that’s just ingrained in you, as he put it. Butler is very able to get open, consistently. Of the small sample size I looked at, on any route where Butler was asked to run against zone coverage he would always find the soft spaces, and that same skill translated to him being able to find the open spaces when everything went wrong.

 

Play by Play Analysis

This is a play that easily stands out, asked to run what should be a hitch route from the L-Slot (a few steps up and a quick turn back to the QB), he immediately sees himself covered and at the same time recognizes that his QB is about to get pressured. Instead of waiting to see the result of that pressure, he bolts out of position and into the middle of the field where he is found wide open, high points the ball, and then begins running down the field. With a little more confidence in his movements and vision, this could have been an even bigger play but unfortunately one of the caveats of Butlers game is that he is consistently a little late on making open field moves and setting defenders up.

 

Similar to the last one, Butler is in a situation where he’s asked to run a post. When he recognizes the soft space, he takes a seat, and calls for the ball. Here he shows off some of his athletic abilities too. He’s hard to take down, doesn’t give opposing players easy angles to hit him at and he’s not afraid to run across the field instead of just north and south. Unfortunately, he lacks the lateral agility to make an even better play than this one and almost gets tackled by the first player. It’s entirely possible a better defender would have taken him down on first contact.

 

Butler also has great concentration. On these two difficult catches, he makes it look routine. He dives to catch an underthrown goal-line ball, adjusting on the fly and when asked to go up and make a catch underneath a defender, he gets one arm out and holds onto it throughout contact. Butler, in general, seems very comfortable dealing with contact.

 

In case you forget though, Butler is still a work in progress. That slant in the below play shows clearly why he still needs work. Lazy routes, tipping off where he would be going and weak breaks weren’t entirely rare occurrences for him.

 

So far, Butler has a lot going for him as a potential NFL wide receiver. A major factor is him being on a team with a coach that specifically asked for him. With proper coaching on his route running, there’s a strong chance that Butler makes the case for playing time as soon as 2014. Especially since the Ravens main Wide Receivers outside of Torrey Smith are fellow UDFA Marlon Brown and the aging Steve Smith. Butler can slow down the game, see coverage, and adjust on the fly- and with more direction he could use those same skills to help him gain more open field ability and confidence in his moves. Bobby Engram was adamant that he could make Butler into a great receiver. If he’s right, there’s a lot of value to be mined out of this sleeper in dynasty leagues.

 




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Sophomore Wide Receivers: 2014 Fantasy Football Outlook Part 1

A few weeks back I took a look at sophomore quarterbacks (QBs) and how they might fare in 2014. This this around we'll look at sophomore wide receivers, players who were rookies in 2013, and check out their fantasy football potential and outlooks for 2014. These wide receivers may range from fantasy football stars to sleepers or busts, but all should be considered and accounted for as part of your 2014 draft strategy.

 

Five Sophomore Wide Receivers

Jeffrey Beall - Own workKeenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers: Keenan Allen was, without a doubt, the leading rookie wide receiver in 2013. He finished the season with 71 receptions and 8 touchdowns, and his 1,046 yards were good enough for 22nd in the league amongst wide receivers. His chemistry during his first season with Philip Rivers was that of a seasoned veteran.

As he enters 2014, he’ll be the leading receiver for the Chargers and should be able to showcase his size and athletic talent in an even more impressive way with a full NFL season of experience under his belt. Few rookie WRs have played as well as Allen did in his first year, which bodes very well for what is to come. One concern for Allen is that he’ll no longer be a surprise to opposing teams. I expect him to see a lot more coverage this season, which means he’ll have to work harder to post the same numbers he saw last season. Still, Allen should go very early in fantasy drafts this year and post solid numbers that could push him into top ten fantasy wide receivers in 2014.

 

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings – Despite somewhat limited involvement last season, resulting in just 45 receptions, 469 yards, and 4 touchdowns, Patterson is poised for a big year in 2014. Last year, the Vikings didn’t utilize Patterson much in their overall offense initially, showcasing his speed on kickoff returns but otherwise including him in the offense only sporadically. Once the Vikings began incorporating him more as the season went on, his athletic talent was undeniable. His speed is his greatest asset and I see 2014 as a season of huge upside for the sophomore receiver. The arrival of Norv Turner as Offensive Coordinator will only help get Patterson more involved. He should see more targets and find more consistency from week to week. He has potential as someone who can be drafted in the middle rounds but still turn into a solid WR2.

 

rotoballer-fantasy-football-advice-tavon-austinTavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin made things hard on his fantasy owners in 2014 as he was difficult to predict and even harder to watch at times. He finished the year with just 40 receptions, 418 yards, and 4 touchdowns despite being one of the most highly touted rookie receivers at the start of the season.

As is the case so often with rookie wide receivers, the Ram's struggled with how to use Austin and take advantage of his talents. He did snag an 81-yard touchdown, showing off his big-play abilities, but it was hard to count on him as a reliable fantasy contributor. Consistency is key in fantasy and he just didn’t have it. When evaluating his overall performance in 2014, it should be noted that he spent several weeks injured and lost his starting quarterback early in the year.

It will be interesting to see how he performs if he can stay healthy with Sam Bradford back under center. If Bradford can find chemistry with Austin and utilize his speed and breakaway skills, he could have the kind of year that makes his rookie performance a distant memory. His potential is undeniable and he’s worth a late-round snag to find out if he can maximize his upside.

 

Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee Titans: Hunter certainly didn’t have a banner year as a rookie but he showed off enough talent to snag 4 touchdowns and 354 yards. Next season he should be able to improve those numbers, as he has the potential to become the top target for Jake Locker over Kendall Wright and aging veteran Nate Washington. He’s worth keeping an eye on at the end of your draft in a deep league.

 

Markus Wheaton, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: After a disappointing hand injury early in the year, we didn’t get to see much of what Markus Wheaton is capable of. Despite being unable to do much on the field, he used his time to learn the offense, making the season a productive one nonetheless. Now that his hand is healthy and Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery have departed, 2014 will be Wheaton's year to prove what he can do. With all the opposing defenses focused on Antonio Brown, Wheaton should be set up nicely to capitalize on his opportunity. Whether or not he will be able to shine is hard to guess, making him a wildcard, even in the late rounds.

 




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Mike Moustakas: Fantasy Baseball Draft Sleeper

Who is Mike Moustakas?

Mike Moustakas Kansas City Royals MLB News.pgThe career of Mike Moustakas hasn’t exactly gone the way that he would have liked. The third baseman burst onto the scene in 2011 and was supposed to be the Kansas City Royals’ future at the position. After two full seasons that weren’t great, Moustakas came into spring training this season looking to make a statement. He has come in with a much better approach at the plate and has been hitting the ball all over the place in Arizona. That leads to his chances for fantasy baseball this season, and makes him is a sleeper candidate for owners out there.

 

2014 Season Outlook

He has been hitting around .500 during the opening weeks of spring training and while he won’t be able to do that on a regular basis when the regular season begins, he just needs to improve on his batting average from where he has been. He hit just .233 in 2013 after hitting .242 in 2012. He is hitting the ball for power this spring and isn’t striking out as much as he has in the past. This could lead to Moustakas actually having a season that helps fantasy owners instead of irritating them on a daily basis. There are owners that have taken Moustakas as their starting third baseman over the last two years thinking that it would finally be the year Moustakas would take the next step. It simply hasn’t happened.

 

Where To Draft Him

Moustakas is a player that shouldn’t be taken too early in the draft obviously since there are so many great third basemen to select from, but he is someone that owners must be considering with one of their later picks. This could finally be the season where he makes a move towards top ten status at third base. Moustakas is being drafted as the No. 26 third basemen right now in mock drafts as he is being picked between pick 241 and 283. In a very deep league, he can be held late in the draft but there is some thought that he could be better than some of players being picked around him late Matt Dominguez, Chris Johnson and Anthony Rendon.

He should hit in a good place in a loaded Kansas City lineup as well, likely seventh behind Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez. This will be RBI opportunities there with the players ahead of him in the order. He has been projected to hit 14 home runs and knock 54 runs. I have to believe that those projections are lower than what he could actually do this year. A more solid prediction would be 20 home runs and 75 RBIs. Those would both be career-highs but if Moustakas continues to hit the ball when the regular season begins like he has in spring training, there is no reason to believe that he can’t reach those lofty numbers. He is someone that fantasy owners need to be watching very carefully over the next week or so as their drafts come up. It may be worth taking a chance on the Moose in 2014. He could finally surprise everyone with a great season.