2017 Prospects: Top 30 Impact Rookies for Fantasy Leagues (Week 13)

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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.

With the All-Star Break nearing, the prospect scene should start to heat up a little bit more. The reason for this is because teams are now starting to understand if they are going to be buyers or sellers at the deadline, and some teams may already be preparing to make some moves.

It is also important because now service time becomes less of an issue now that we are well beyond the Super Two deadlines for most prospects. We have already seen guys like Franklin Barreto promoted to the majors, something that even the injury of Marcus Semien didn’t force earlier in the season. Once we get past the All-Star Break, expect to see even more prospects called up.

Editor's Note: Our friends at Fantrax have even more fantasy baseball advice columns and videos to help improve your teams. Be sure to also check them out!

 

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: 295 PA, .316/.381/.574, 16 HR, 13 SB, 8.8% BB rate, 20.0% K rate
ETA: Post-All-Star Break
Retaining the top spot for the second consecutive week, Fisher has struggled a bit in the five games since his demotion to Triple-A, mustering only one hit in 20 plate appearances. But as long as Nori Aoki remains the starting left fielder and the Astros stay in contention, Fisher will likely keep a hold on this spot. If Fisher isn’t used as trade bait at the deadline for a starting pitcher, he should figure to see starting playing time in left field this season for the Houston Astros. And with one of the most dominant power/speed combinations in Triple-A this season and an already successful — albeit brief — stint in the majors, Fisher should be expected to produce at a high level once he returns to Houston.

2. Yoan Moncada (2B/3B, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 293 PA, .282/.382/.448, 9 HR, 15 SB, 14.3% BB rate, 28.0% K rate
ETA: Post-All-Star Break
Don’t look now, but Moncada is starting to get things going again at the plate. After a miserable start to the month of June where he slashed just .133/.259/.222 over his first 12 games, Moncada is on a run at the plate now, slashing .326/.439/.543 with a pair of homers and stolen bases over his past 11 games. Most importantly, he is only striking out a 22.8 percent clip and has been taking a ton of walks, receiving a free pass 17.5 percent of the time. And though Yolmer Sanchez has done a solid job with the playing time he has received this season, he is more of a bench/utility player and is not a tremendous obstacle for Moncada to hurdle if the Chicago White Sox believe Moncada is ready. Owners who have stashed him this season have no doubt been patient, but after the All-Star Break, their patience could be rewarded.

3. Amed Rosario (SS, NYM, AAA)
Stats: 331 PA, .315/.356/.466, 7 HR, 13 SB, 5.4% BB rate, 16.6% K rate
ETA: Post-All-Star Break
Did you see that interview where Asdrubal Cabrera asked to be traded? Ouch. If you’re the New York Mets, that hurts. At this point, that kind of statement is really just piling onto what has been a miserable season for the Mets. They currently sit 10.5 games outside of first place and are 34-41 on the season. Even if New York does not end up trading Cabrera, he has not been near the player they needed and neither has Jose Reyes — who currently has a -0.6 fWAR at the plate and has less value as a hitter than literally everyone who has taken an at-bat for New York this season.

At this point, though it is far from a guarantee, a Rosario promotion could at least be a way to generate some excitement around this team. He would provide excellent defense and shortstop and give the Mets a potential spark plug atop their lineup. And though his numbers are somewhat inflated by hitter-friendly Las Vegas and the Pacific Coast League, he still brings enough to the shortstop position to warrant owning in 12+ team leagues and some 10-team leagues.

4. Rhys Hoskins (1B, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 315 PA, .301/.397/.586, 17 HR, 2 SB, 13.3% BB rate, 14.6% K rate
ETA: Late July
Like Moncada, Hoskins got off to a slow start in the month of June. Through his first 17 games, he was slashing just .200/.286/.383 with only two home runs. However, since June 19, he is slashing an absurd .414/.528/.690 with a 16.7 percent walk rate, 11.1 percent strikeout rate and a pair of homers in just eight games. And with current Philadelphia Phillies’ first baseman Tommy Joseph owning a -0.3 fWAR, Hoskins does not have a ton of competition to push aside for playing time. The Phillies may try to move Joseph to an AL team where he can focus just on the bat and less on the glove, but even if they don’t, Hoskins could still push Joseph to the bench as Philadelphia tries to move in a younger direction. And with his combination of plate discipline and power, he could be a strong fantasy performer in most leagues, even at a demanding position like first base.

5. Miguel Andujar (3B, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 301 PA, .312/.346/.491, 8 HR, 2 SB, 5.0% BB rate, 14.0% K rate
ETA: Mid-July
The New York Yankees promoted Tyler Wade yesterday, but don’t be too worried about it drastically affecting Andujar’s stock. Wade will likely fill in for the injured Starlin Castro and then take on a role as a super-utility player. Meanwhile Andujar — now seen by some as Chase Headley’s eventual successor now that Gleyber Torres is out — has made the most of his recent call-up to Triple-A as he is slashing .308/.379/.462 with a home run over his first seven games. Most importantly, he is posting eye-popping plate discipline numbers, walking 10.3 percent of the time while only striking out 13.8 percent of the time. He may not be an elite source of power, but Andujar could help owners in the batting average/on-base percentage categories while also occasionally sending out a home run.

6. Dominic Smith (1B, NYM, AAA)
Stats: 333 PA, .324/.375/.474, 8 HR, 0 SB, 7.2% BB rate, 16.8% K rate
ETA: Late July
As discussed earlier, it has been a rough season for the Mets. So rough, that general manager Sandy Alderson said recently that his team is considering selling at the deadline. If they do, Lucas Duda seems like one of their top trade chips as he has already expressed interest about testing the free agent market this winter and has continued to enjoy a solid campaign at the plate. If Duda is traded, Smith is his likely successor and could be a valuable add in many fantasy leagues with his ability to reach base at a high rate and his budding power upside

7. Rafael Devers (3B, BOS, AA)
Stats: 277 PA, .291/.354/.550, 14 HR, 0 SB, 9.0% BB rate, 18.8% K rate
ETA: Late July
There are a couple reasons to be a little nervous about Devers. A) he is going to spend this week recovering from a knee injury (though the injury sounds minor). B) he is also only batting .189/.268/.486 over his past nine games. And c) the Red Sox signed Jhonny Peralta who is expected to work at third base at Triple-A before being called up to Boston. The good news? Devers has put together an outstanding season at this point in Double-A and remains ahead of other third base prospect Michael Chavis. And also, Peralta was only hitting .204/.259/.204 before he was released by St. Louis. He was also a poor defender at the hot corner. If Peralta doesn’t cut it at third base, Devers could still be promoted and help the team out at third base this season.

8. Luke Weaver (SP, STL, AAA)
Stats: 50.0 IP, 2.16 ERA, 2.99 FIP, 28.0% K rate, 5.7% BB rate, 6.4% HR/FB, .209 AVG
ETA: Early August
For a while, it seemed Weaver’s only chance to playing time was an injury to the big-league team. But it now appears there is another way he can receive some starts in the big leagues. Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the St. Louis Cardinals ought to be sellers at the deadline, and if they do go down that route, free agent to-be Lance Lynn should be on the block. If Lynn is dealt away, a now-healthy Weaver stands out as the top prospect who could be in line for a promotion. Weaver has truly dominated Triple-A this season, and is starting to look like a future frontline starting pitcher. If the Redbirds head down the seller’s path and deal Lynn, Weaver immediately becomes a must-own pitching prospect in all leagues.

9. Steven Brault (SP, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 80.1 IP, 2.24 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 22.5% K rate, 9.1% BB rate, 5.6% HR/FB, .220 AVG
ETA: Early July
The Pittsburgh Pirates’ rotation has certainly not been bad this season — both Ivan Nova and Jameson Taillon have been standouts on the mound — but it certainly has been far from great. Tyler Glasnow was really bad when he was in the majors, and Trevor Williams and Chad Kuhl both currently have ERAs over 5.00. Even Gerrit Cole — a potential trade candidate — has been only mediocre this season. This isn’t to say that Brault is a lock to replace anyone in the rotation, but if Cole is traded or Kuhl or Williams keep struggling as they have so far this season, Brault could be the top choice for the call up, especially as Glasnow is still walking 14.1 percent of batters at Triple-A. And with his strikeout upside, Brault could be a solid add in 12+ team leagues if promoted.

10. Reynaldo Lopez (SP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 74.1 IP, 4.48 ERA, 4.74 FIP, 20.8% K rate, 10.4% BB rate, 10.9% HR/FB, .234 AVG
ETA: Mid-July
Lopez had been cruising through the minors for a long stretch of time, but it has been a real struggle for him over his past five starts. Since May 26, he has a 7.46 ERA and 5.61 FIP over 25.1 innings. The real problem for him has been his inability to miss bats over that stretch as his strikeout rate dipped down to 15.3 percent and opponents started batting .271 off of him. It also doesn’t help that he’s given up five home runs over that stretch of time. He has the talent to rectify his issues and does not have a challenging path to playing time, but he needs to find more consistency on the bump and start missing bats again before he will be promoted to Chicago.

11. Jae-Gyun Hwang (3B, SF, AAA)
Stats: 279 PA, .287/.333/.476, 7 HR, 5 SB, 6.8% BB rate, 20.1% K rate
ETA: This Week
This appears likely to be the last week Hwang will be on this list. He has an opt-out in his contract if he is not in the majors by July 1, and has expressed interest in using it. He has been a decent bat at Triple-A this season, though nothing to write home about. Hwang has a little bit of pop and could post a decent average. If the San Francisco Giants promote him, he could begin as a bench bat and later see more playing time if the team trades Eduardo Nunez at the deadline. But if he opts out of his contract, all his value will be gone.

12. Jeimer Candelario (3B, CHC, AAA)
Stats: 257 PA, .274/.366/.520, 9 HR, 0 SB, 12.1% BB rate, 23.0% K rate
ETA: Early August
You’ve heard it all before. Candelario is the top trade chip for the Chicago Cubs and seems as sure a bet as any to be dealt at the deadline. He has the power to be an impact bat at the hot corner in fantasy leagues, and could be a starter with several potential sellers at the deadline. He is worth an own in 12+ team leagues if he gets traded and appears to be a starter, but don’t stash him until a deal looks really close.

13. Austin Meadows (OF, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 281 PA, .248/.313/.358, 4 HR, 10 SB, 8.2% BB rate, 16.7% K rate
ETA: September
The biggest dropper on the list this week, Meadows plummeted after it was revealed he had a torn hamstring. There has been no indication how much time he will miss, but he wasn’t tearing up Triple-A to begin with and there is still no guarantee Andrew McCutchen will be traded. This isn’t to say he won’t be promoted. If the Pirates do trade Cutch, Meadows seems as likely as anybody to be his replacement in the outfield. But a call up before September looks murkier than ever after this latest development.

14. Ronald Guzman (1B, TEX, AAA)
Stats: 298 PA, .320/.379/.482, 9 HR, 2 SB, 7.7% BB rate, 15.8% K rate
ETA: Mid-August
Guzman has been on an absolute tear as of right now. Since June 5, he has a strong .422/.464/.688 slash line with four home runs. For a guy who has been criticized for his apparent lack of power, he has certainly found some pop lately, currently on a three-game homer streak. And with guys like Mike Napoli continuing to struggle in the majors, Guzman could see some playing time in the majors at some point this season should the Texas Rangers decide to head in a more youthful direction. And if he can keep hitting for this power and prove his home run thump is for real, Guzman could be a solid own in 14+ team leagues, and even some shallower leagues.

15. Chance Adams (SP, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 81.2 IP, 1.65 ERA, 3.34 FIP, 26.3% K rate, 10.0% BB rate, 6.1% HR/FB, .166 AVG
ETA: Early August
The Yankees’ starting rotation has been exceptional, especially compared to last season. However, there is one piece who has continued to struggle greatly. Masahiro Tanaka. Though he looked the part of the ace his last time out against Texas (8.0 IP, 0 R, 9 K, 2 BB), he had had a 7.71 ERA and 6.62 FIP over his nine prior starts, and has a 5.74 ERA and 5.28 FIP overall. This is not to say that Adams — who has carried over his success from Double-A to Triple-A — should replace him in the rotation, but the Bronx Bombers may opt at some point to rest Tanaka on the DL to give him a chance to breathe. If they do, Adams could be the guy called up to start in his place. And while it is no guarantee the Yankees will call up Adams or keep him up for a while, it is worth at least keeping him on your radar as he could be a solid fantasy contributor if he gets promoted.

16. Carson Kelly (C, STL, AAA)
Stats: 221 PA, .285/.376/.446, 7 HR, 0 SB, 11.8% BB rate, 14.5% K rate
ETA: Mid-August
As the top catching prospect with a chance to debut this season, Kelly is a guy fantasy owners need to monitor. Especially when the guy he is playing behind is about to turn 35 years old. If anything happens to Molina, Kelly becomes the immediate starter in St. Louis. There is also the possibility — slim though it may be — that Kelly is traded away at the deadline. There is really no reason to stash him in standard mixed leagues, but both he and the catching situation in St. Louis should be monitored as he could be an extremely valuable fantasy contributor if he gets a chance to start.

17. Zack Granite (OF, MIN, AAA)
Stats: 238 PA, .366/.419/.514, 3 HR, 17 SB, 8.0% BB rate, 10.1% K rate
ETA: Early August
Granite has quietly been enjoying one of the best Triple-A seasons in baseball this season. He has been reaching base at an extremely high rate and making the most of his well above-average speed. And while the Minnesota Twins’ outfield is currently somewhat set with Byron Buxton, Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario, Rosario could find himself on the trade block and Granite could take his place out in left field. If he does get the call up and starts to see some regular playing time, expect Granite to contribute both a high batting average and a sizable amount of stolen bases.

18. Destin Hood (OF, MIA, AAA)
Stats: 254 PA, .260/.349/.498, 14 HR, 5 SB, 12.2% BB rate, 26.0% K rate
ETA: Late July/Early August
Following the trade of Adeiny Hechavarria, it appears the Miami Marlins are preparing to go into seller mode. If they continue down this road, names like Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna could be tossed around (in fact, they already have in some cases), potentially opening up holes in Miami’s outfield. And though Hood is no top prospect, he has put together a solid season at the plate and has continued to prove that his 15-homer season a year ago was no fluke. He has some legit power and could be a decent source of home runs if he finds himself in the starting lineup at some point, though his strikeouts and low batting average will keep his upside a bit capped to 14-team leagues.

19. Sal Romano (SP, CIN, AAA)
Stats: 39.0 IP, 3.23 ERA, 3.39 FIP, 16.0% K rate, 7.7% BB rate, 2.7% HR/FB, .265 AVG
ETA: Early July
The Cincinnati Reds just cannot keep their rotation healthy and effective. Both Homer Bailey and Brandon Finnegan returned from injury on Saturday and Monday, respectively. Bailey was shelled against the Washington Nationals and Finnegan was kicked around before leaving the game with an injury. Looking at the other arms, only Scott Feldman has a WAR above 1.0 and only two other pitchers have WARs above 0.0 (one of them is Finnegan).

But Romano could be the pitcher they need to start helping easing the workload off their bullpen. He has a hard sinker that helps him generate above-league average groundball rates (important if he’s going to call Great American Ballpark home) and has done an effective job keeping his walk rate low over the past several seasons. From a fantasy perspective, he has also shown an ability in the past to get batters to whiff at his pitchers as he struck out 22 percent of batters at Double-A last season (though that number is down to 16 percent this year). At this point, the Reds are searching for answers in their rotation, and Romano could be one of them.

20. Jake Bauers (1B/OF, TB, AAA)
Stats: 301 PA, .278/.382/.431, 7 HR, 11 SB, 14.0% BB rate, 19.6% K rate
ETA: Early August
The Tampa Bay Rays are in a strange place where they’re essentially contenders, but could still end up selling at the deadline with names like Chris Archer and Logan Morrison already being tossed around in trade rumors. That makes a guy like Bauers interesting because if the Rays decide to buy, he could be dealt to another team and could see himself immediately inserted into a starting lineup. And if the Rays decide to sell, a piece like Morrison or Corey Dickerson could be moved and open up a spot for him in Tampa. Scouts have already started to call Bauers one of the more advanced bats in the minors right now, so he should at least be fairly close to a debut. And with his batting average and moderate power/speed combination, he could be a solid contributor in 12+ team leagues.

21. Tyler Mahle (SP, CIN, AAA)
Stats: 91.0 IP, 1.48 ERA, 2.43 FIP, 27.7% K rate, 5.2% BB rate, 5.6% HR/FB, .187 AVG
ETA: Mid-August

22. A.J. Reed (1B, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 308 PA, .239/.331/.433, 12 HR, 0 SB, 11.7% BB rate, 27.9% K rate
ETA: September

23. Ozzie Albies (2B, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 309 PA, .277/.327/.433, 5 HR, 18 SB, 6.5% BB rate, 19.7% K rate
ETA: September

24. Zack Burdi (RP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 29.0 IP, 4.68 ERA, 2.88 FIP, 35.1% K rate, 11.2% BB rate, 10.0% HR/FB, .241 AVG
ETA: Mid-July

25. Yandy Diaz (3B, CLE, AAA)
Stats: 167 PA, .316/.434/.434, 3 HR, 0 SB, 16.8% BB rate, 13.8% K rate
ETA: Mid-August

26. Tom Eshelman (SP, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 94.0 IP, 2.39 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 17.3% K rate, 3.3% BB rate, 8.1% HR/FB, .230 AVG
ETA: Early August

27. Lucas Sims (SP, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 86.0 IP, 3.98 ERA, 4.80 FIP, 26.0% K rate, 8.5% BB rate, 16.2% HR/FB, .227 AVG
ETA: Early August

28. Andrew Moore (SP, SEA, AAA)
Stats: 82.2 IP, 2.72 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 23.6% K rate, 5.2% BB rate, 8.6% HR/FB, .214 AVG
ETA: September

29. Nick Gordon (SS, MIN, AA)
Stats: 315 PA, .312/.375/.491, 6 HR, 6 SB, 8.9% BB rate, 22.2% K rate
ETA: September

30. Nicky Delmonico (OF, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 319 PA, .262/.354/.441, 10 HR, 3 SB, 11.6% BB rate, 16.0% K rate
ETA: Mid-August

 

MLB Rookie Rankings

1. Aaron Judge (OF, NYY)

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

3. Andrew Benintendi (OF, BOS)

4. Bradley Zimmer (OF, CLE)

5. Mitch Haniger (OF, SEA)

6. Trey Mancini (1B, BAL)

7. Jordan Montgomery (SP, NYY)

8. Matt Davidson (3B, CWS)

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

10. Ben Gamel (OF, SEA)

11. German Marquez (SP, COL)

12. Jacob Faria (SP, TB)

13. Jeff Hoffman (SP, COL)

14. Jorge Bonifacio (OF, KC)

15. Manuel Margot (OF, SD)

16. Hunter Renfroe (OF, SD)

17. Koda Glover (RP, WAS)

18. Franklin Barreto (2B/SS, OAK)

19. Paul DeJong (2B/SS, STL)

20. Brian Goodwin (OF, WAS)