2017 Prospects: Top 30 Impact Rookies for Fantasy Leagues (Week 12)

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Hello everyone, and welcome to my weekly Top-30 Fantasy Rankings for Impact Rookies! In this series, I will be going over the top prospects in baseball and discussing which ones figure to have an impact for the rest of this fantasy baseball season.

We begin today’s weekly update with disappointing news regarding one of the top prospects on this list. Yankees infield prospect Gleyber Torres will be shut down for the remainder of 2017 with Tommy John surgery on his left elbow after tearing his UCL.

His dynasty value is not going to be really hurt by this, but this obviously wrecks any 2017 value he may have had. And that is a shame because he was just starting to hit at Triple-A and it looked like a MLB debut was going to be coming soon for him. There are still plenty of other guys to own for those of you who had Torres stashed, so be sure to monitor this weekly list to see what prospects can help your team out for the remainder of the season.

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Top MLB Prospects - Fantasy Baseball Power Rankings

To be clear, this list is not the top 30 prospects in baseball. This is a list of the top 30 prospects who are likely going to rise to the major leagues and provide fantasy baseball value this season. The qualifications are simple: a player must not be on an active roster, they must have a clear path to the majors, and while they may have played in seasons prior to 2016, they must still have rookie eligibility. If a player is moved to the active roster of their team, they will be removed from this power rankings list and replaced.

 

1. Derek Fisher (OF, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 275 PA, .335/.401/.608, 16 HR, 13 SB, 9.1% BB rate, 19.3% K rate
ETA: Early August
Fisher was called up and likely exceeded expectations in his first taste of MLB action. In five games, he slashed .278/.381/.611 with a 14.3 percent walk rate, 23.8 percent strikeout rate, a pair of homers and a stolen base. He warranted a longer look at the big-league level, but the return of Josh Reddick sent Fisher packing his bags for Fresno. Still, it is clear Fisher is ready for the majors and should be counted on to make an impact later this season. Whether by trade, or simply by promotion in an effort to replace Nori Aoki in left field, Fisher should be expected to be a starter in the majors by the beginning of August at the latest. And with his power/speed combination, he should be owned in most leagues with his next promotion.

2. Yoan Moncada (2B/3B, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 270 PA, .285/.385/.439, 8 HR, 13 SB, 14.4% BB rate, 27.8% K rate
ETA: Early July
Ice cold after his return from injury, Moncada has started to get things going at the plate as of late. Over the past week, Moncada is slashing .385/.500/.538 with a home run and seven walks to only six strikeouts. He might be starting to get on another hot streak which he could ride to a promotion to the majors in early July. He has made a strong case that he should be promoted, especially with Tyler Saladino struggling this season (and injured now) and Yolmer Sanchez only treading water at the position.

3. Franklin Barreto (2B/SS, OAK, AAA)
Stats: 291 PA, .270/.311/.426, 8 HR, 3 SB, 4.8% BB rate, 30.6% K rate
ETA: Late July
Like Moncada, Barreto went through a period where he was really struggling to produce at the dish during late May/early June. But now he is starting to hit again, slashing .303/.361/.394 slash line and a homer over his last eight games. That slash line is nothing super special, and the strikeouts have continued to come in bunches for him, but he is at least starting to show life at the plate after scuffling for a time. If he can build on his recent hot streak all the way until the trade deadline, he could put himself back on track to be the Athletics’ starting second baseman if they trade Jed Lowrie.

4. Amed Rosario (SS, NYM, AAA)
Stats: 310 PA, .325/.368/.479, 7 HR, 12 SB, 5.5% BB rate, 15.8% K rate
ETA: Mid-July
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said last Thursday that Rosario will not be called up by the team just yet, but right now the team has no real second baseman (Neil Walker injury) and both Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes have been worth negative WAR this season. And as of my writing this, the Mets are in fourth place in the NL East and are 10.5 games behind the Nationals. They need a spark and Rosario could provide them with that. And while I don’t believe he’s going to be the best fantasy prospect out there (those seven homers are largely a product of a really hitter friendly environment in Las Vegas and the rest of the Pacific Coast League), he should be able to hit for a high enough average and steal enough bases to be a solid fantasy own.

5. Austin Meadows (OF, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 275 PA, .246/.313/.359, 4 HR, 9 SB, 8.4% BB rate, 17.1% K rate
ETA: Mid-July
Meadows has continued his up-and-down season, now struggling again in the month of June with a .214/.318/.339 slash line and just one homer and one stolen base. He has continued to show strong plate discipline numbers at the dish (12.1 percent walk and 18.2 percent strikeout rates in June), but he will need to start to hit a bit more if he is going to be called on to see the majors before September this season. He could have a clear path to playing time if Andrew McCutchen is traded at the deadline, but there’s not even a guarantee that will happen at this point. At this point, he is probably not worth a stash until he can start to turn his season around at the plate.

6. Rafael Devers (3B, BOS, AAA)
Stats: 254 PA, .302/.358/.573, 14 HR, 0 SB, 8.3% BB rate, 18.9% K rate
ETA: Late July/Early August
The only reason Devers is not No. 1 on this list is because there is still no semblance of a guarantee that he will be promoted to the majors. He still has not even reached Triple-A. However, neither Andrew Benintendi nor Yoan Moncada had reached Triple-A when they were promoted by the Red Sox, and Devers has arguably been better at Double-A than either of the aforementioned players at the same level despite being the youngest of the three while playing in Portland. Devers is considered one of the best prospects in baseball, and could be a potentially elite source of power and batting average if he is called up by Boston. I can’t advise stashing him yet because the Sox have given no indication that he will be called up to man the hot corner, but the trade market is not great for third base and Boston needs someone at the position desperately.

7. Rhys Hoskins (1B, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 283 PA, .292/.385, .600, 17 HR, 2 SB, 13.1% BB rate, 14.8% K rate
ETA: Late July
Hoskins and Tommy Joseph are trending in opposite directions in June. And unfortunately for Hoskins, it has not been in his favor. While Joseph has a .299/.338/.448 slash line in June, Hoskins has mustered only a .222/.311/.492 slash line with four homers (though he does have nine walks to only eight strikeouts). However, Hoskins has done enough to earn a promotion this season, and could find himself starting in Philadelphia if the Phillies trade Tommy Joseph to an AL team looking for a DH (or NL team looking for a first baseman). But at this point, it looks like Hoskins’ best path to PT is either through an injury or trade of Joseph.

8. Reynaldo Lopez (SP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 71.1 IP, 3.91 ERA, 4.54 FIP, 20.7% K rate, 9.7% BB rate, 10.2% HR/FB, .230 AVG
ETA: Early July
There are a lot of words that could be used to describe the White Sox rotation this season. Good is not one of those words. They currently rank 25th in all of baseball in rotation WAR and they have the third-highest FIP in the game, leaving little room for optimism. Fortunately for them, help could be on the way soon in the form of Reynaldo Lopez. Over his past 11 starts, he has a 3.57 ERA and 4.18 FIP (2.59 ERA and 3.72 FIP excluding a clunker of a start on May 26). Should Lopez be called upon in the near future to serve as a reinforcement for the team’s rotation, he could be a fine source of strikeouts and a reasonable ERA for fantasy owners, and help teams lock down the backend of their rotation.

9. Miguel Andujar (3B, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 276 PA, .311/.341/.490, 7 HR, 2 SB, 4.3% BB rate, 13.8% K rate
ETA: Late July
The aforementioned injury to Torres has put the Yankees in a tough spot, but fortunately they have one of the best third base prospects in the game. As soon as Torres was injured, Andujar was promoted to Triple-A, putting him in a fine position to take over for Chase Headley if he can hit enough at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Andujar is far from an elite bat like Torres, but he could provide owners with a respectable average and some pop if he does take over for Headley.

10. Dominic Smith (1B, NYM, AAA)
Stats: 308 PA, .318/.370/.463, 7 HR, 0 SB, 7.5% BB rate, 16.9% K rate
ETA: Early August
Smith’s value is entirely contingent on a trade or injury to Lucas Duda. But with Duda’s contract expiring at the end of this season and his previously expressed intention to test the free agent market, Duda stands a reasonable chance of being dealt this season. As his successor, Smith has done everything asked of him at Triple-A, showing not only decent pop and batting average, but stellar plate discipline for someone his age (22). If he gets a chance to start this season

11. Steven Brault (SP, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 74.1 IP, 2.18 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 22.9% K rate, 8.9% BB rate, 6.3% HR/FB, .214 AVG
ETA: Mid-July
The Pittsburgh Pirates have struggled as a whole this season, but the rotation has not been a major source of their woes. However, despite its success, the rotation could still be further upgraded. Trevor Williams has not been great out of the starting five (5.09 ERA and 4.43 FIP) and neither has Chad Kuhl (5.61 ERA and 4.22 FIP). Plus, though it sounds like the Pirates won’t trade Gerrit Cole, minds can certainly be changed between now and the trade deadline. Brault, however, has been a star in the minors this season and help the Pirates get a new look arm, adding their first southpaw to the rotation. He offers plenty of strikeout upside, and has done a better job locating his pitches this season than last. If called up, he provides a ton of strikeout potential for fantasy owners, as well as a respectable ERA that should be somewhere between 3.50 and 4.25.

12. Jeimer Candelario (3B, CHC, AAA)
Stats: 239 PA, .268/.356/.512, 8 HR, 0 SB, 11.3% BB rate, 23.4% K rate
ETA: Early August
As is the case with many players on this list, Candelario’s value hinges on a trade. Unlike some on this list, he is the guy who has to be traded. He is not going to bypass Kris Bryant at third base anytime soon, and probably would not even start at third if Bryant were to get hurt. But with the Cubs certainly looking to buy at the deadline, Candelario stands out as their top trade piece and could start with several different teams. But because he requires a trade to have value, he is not a recommended stash just yet.

13. Jae-Gyun Hwang (3B, SF, AAA)
Stats: 257 PA, .282/.319/.462, 6 HR, 5 SB, 5.4% BB rate, 20.6% K rate
ETA: Early August
Who would have ever figured that the Giants would be likely sellers heading into this season? It almost doesn’t even feel right, but they have been called a seller by many out in the baseball world. If they do head down that road, Eduardo Nunez could be one of the first players to be dealt. And given Christian Arroyo’s earlier struggles at the MLB level, Hwang seems the most likely player to replace him in the Giants’ lineup. And though Hwang is not the most exciting fantasy player out there, he should be able to post a respectable slash line with a handful of home runs and stolen bases, making himself valuable enough to own in at least 14+ team leagues. He is by no means a must-own player, but he could be a solid depth piece for teams looking for corner-infielders down the stretch.

14. Ronald Guzman (1B, TEX, AAA)
Stats: 277 PA, .315/.379/.450, 6 HR, 1 SB, 8.3% BB rate, 15.9% K rate
ETA: Mid-July
This season, Guzman and current Rangers first baseman Mike Napoli have really been polar opposites. Napoli has hit for power, but not average, while Guzman has hit for average with little power. But Guzman would bring the Rangers a few more things to the table: upside, youth and a guy who can hit righties. Though Napoli is unlikely to be traded, the Rangers could run a platoon of Guzman on the strong-side and Napoli on the weak-side of a platoon that could steadily help them creep back into the playoff chase. Guzman’s lack of power does not make him the most exciting fantasy prospect, but he would have value in deeper/AL-only leagues.

15. Luke Weaver (SP, STL, AAA)
Stats: 46.1 IP, 2.33 ERA, 2.93 FIP, 28.5% K rate, 5.0% BB rate, 7.1% HR/FB, .218 AVG
ETA: Early August
The severity of Weaver’s injury remains a mystery, and as a result, so does his fantasy value. If the injury is minor, he remains one of the top pitching prospects for 2017 redraft leagues. If severe, however, it could wreck any value he had. Stay tuned for updates and monitor his situation until we have more clarity on the nature of his injury.

16. A.J. Reed (1B, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 289 PA, .246/.336/.448, 12 HR, 0 SB, 11.8% BB rate, 28.0% K rate
ETA: Early August
During the month of June, Reed’s production has changed around a bit from where it was earlier in the season. He began the season hitting for a better average without power, but June has been a different story as he has bashed five homers thus far while batting just .191. But with that strikeout rate remaining high and that batting average going lower and lower, it is clear he is not going to be usurping the first base gig from Yulieski Gurriel anytime soon. If he wants to produce in the majors this season, he will have to be traded to another team. That is certainly a realistic possibility as the Astros need starting pitching help, but who knows if that other team will bring him up to the majors or leave him in the minors to improve further. His power upside makes him an intriguing prospect, but several things need to happen for him to be worthy of consideration in 2017 redraft leagues.

17. Chance Adams (SP, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 75.2 IP, 1.78 ERA, 3.46 FIP, 25.5% K rate, 10.1% BB rate, 6.5% HR/FB, .174 AVG
ETA: Early August
The Yankees’ rotation has been solid this season, and even though Masahiro Tanaka has struggled, Adams does not seem likely to start for the Yankees much this season beyond just a handful of spot starts (unless someone gets hurt). However, his strong performance at both Double- and Triple-A has helped his name stand out, and thus he could be a potential trade candidate if the Yankees are going to be buyers at the deadline, and he could start for many rebuilding teams at the moment. However, since he requires a trade/injury to provide him with fantasy value, he is not yet worth a stash in redraft leagues.

18. Tyler Wade (2B/SS, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 299 PA, .322/.386/.462, 5 HR, 20 SB, 9.0% BB rate, 16.7% K rate
ETA: Early August
Andujar is probably the leading candidate to replace Headley at third since it is his natural position, but Wade could be a darkhorse candidate if he starts seeing some reps at the hot corner. More speed than power, Wade could be a different look for the Yankees that are more power than speed up-and-down their lineup this season. He is a decent defender, but he would need to spend some time at third if he is going to fill the position. Another potential avenue for playing time is that he could be seen as one of the Bronx Bombers’ top trade chips, and could be a super-utility man/starter with a rebuilding ball club. Though he is no super star, Wade could be a solid depth piece for fantasy owners if he gets the promotion.

19. Clay Holmes (SP, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 55.0 IP, 4.09 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 22.8% K rate, 12.4% BB rate, 7.4% HR/FB, .276 AVG
ETA: Early August
As discussed earlier with Steven Brault, the Pirates have a few potential areas of renovation in their rotation. And like with Brault, Holmes has made a strong case that he deserves a look in one of those rotation spots. His control has been much worse than Brault’s this season, but he has done an excellent job producing a 62.7 percent groundball and 22.8 percent strikeout rates. He is probably the riskier of the two arms, but he could prove to be a valuable arm for both fantasy owners and the Pirates if he receives a promotion.

20. Carson Kelly (C, STL, AAA)
Stats: 199 PA, .295/.387/.474, 7 HR, 0 SB, 12.1% BB rate, 12.6% K rate
ETA: Early August (or if Yadier Molina gets injured)
It’s always valuable in this day and age when catchers aren’t hitting well to follow the best minor-league catcher out there, and Kelly just so happens to be that guy. Though he is unlikely to either be traded or pass Yadier Molina on the team’s depth chart this season, he is the next starter if something were to happen to Yadi. Owners should never count on something happening, but Molina is getting up there in age and Kelly could be an incredibly valuable fantasy piece if something crazy were to happen. Do not stash him, but keep him in the watch list if you’re desperate for catching help.

21. Brent Honeywell (SP, TB, AAA)
Stats: 75.1 IP, 4.42 ERA, 3.00 FIP, 29.4% K rate, 5.6% BB rate, 11.8% HR/FB, .267 AVG
ETA: Late August/Early September

22. Patrick Weigel (SP, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 78.1 IP, 4.14 ERA, 3.99 FIP, 20.5% K rate, 8.4% BB rate, 8.0% HR/FB, .248 AVG
ETA:

23. Ozzie Albies (2B, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 281 PA, .272/.320/.424, 4 HR, 18 SB, 6.0% BB rate, 19.9% K rate
ETA: Early August/Early September

24. Zack Burdi (RP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 27.0 IP, 5.00 ERA, 3.09 FIP, 33.3% K rate, 11.1% BB rate, 10.0% HR/FB, .239 AVG
ETA: Early August

25. Yandy Diaz (3B, CLE, AAA)
Stats: 163 PA, .318/.438/.439, 3 HR, 0 SB, 17.2% BB rate, 13.5% K rate
ETA: Early August

26. Tom Eshelman (SP, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 88.0 IP, 2.15 ERA, 3.50 FIP, 18.3% K rate, 3.2% BB rate, 8.1% HR/FB, .220 AVG
ETA: Early August

27. Lucas Sims (SP, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 74.0 IP, 3.89 ERA, 4.73 FIP, 25.4% K rate, 8.6% BB rate, 14.6% HR/FB, .219 AVG
ETA: Early August

28. Charlie Tilson (OF, CWS, NA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Mid-July

29. Nick Gordon (SS, MIN, AA)
Stats: 298 PA, .315/.376/.504, 6 HR, 6 SB, 8.7% BB rate, 21.8% K rate
ETA: Early September

30. Lucas Giolito (SP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 67.2 IP, 4.92 ERA, 4.78 FIP, 22.6% K rate, 11.8% BB rate, 14.1% HR/FB, .256 AVG
ETA: Mid-August

 

MLB Rookie Rankings

1. Aaron Judge (OF, NYY)

2. Cody Bellinger (1B/OF, LAD)

3. Andrew Benintendi (OF, BOS)

4. Mitch Haniger (OF, SEA)

5. Trey Mancini (1B, BAL)

6. Bradley Zimmer (OF, CLE)

7. Manuel Margot (OF, SD)

8. Jordan Montgomery (SP, NYY)

9. Jeff Hoffman (SP, COL)

10. German Marquez (SP, COL)

11. Matt Davidson (3B, CWS)

12. Ian Happ (2B/OF, CHC)

13. Koda Glover (RP, WAS)

14. Hunter Renfroe (OF, SD)

15. Josh Bell (1B/OF, PIT)

16. Jorge Bonifacio (OF, KC)

17. Lewis Brinson (OF, MIL)

18. Antonio Senzatela (SP, COL)

19. Jacob Faria (SP, TB)

20. Ben Gamel (OF, SEA)

 

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