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2017 Prospects: Top 30 Impact Rookies for Fantasy Leagues (Week 15)


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.

I hope you all enjoyed All-Star weekend. I don’t know about you, but while I thoroughly enjoyed the Home Run Derby, there was nothing quite like the All-Star Futures Game. Watching Michael Kopech versus Yoan Moncada, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. lining balls all over the field and seeing the screwball of Brent Honeywell was just so much fun.

But we are now passed All-Star weekend and headed into trading season. We are going to see a bunch of major leaguers and prospects traded away to different teams, which will inevitably shake up MLB lineups and fantasy lineups alike. So be ready fantasy fans. Trade season is coming.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

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: 336 PA, .306/.370/.575, 19 HR, 14 SB, 8.6% BB rate, 19.6% K rate
ETA: Early August
Beyond Scott Kingery with the Philadelphia Phillies, no one has put up more eye-popping numbers at Triple-A than Fisher. He has truly dazzled in the minors thus far and should be in the majors. The Houston Astros still aren’t willing to put Fisher ahead of the struggling Nori Aoki on their depth chart. But come August, that decision may change if they don’t replace Aoki in a trade or send Fisher off in another trade. Regardless, Fisher seems as likely as anybody to own a starting spot in a lineup at some point after July 31.

2. Yoan Moncada (2B/3B, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 331 PA, .278/.378/.448, 11 HR, 16 SB, 14.2% BB rate, 28.1% K rate
ETA: Early August
Moncada has been heating up just at the right time. Over his past 18 games, he is slashing .296/.393/.521 with four home runs and three stolen bases. Though he struck out against Kopech in the Futures Game, overall he has cut down his strikeout rate over that time span as it is now only 26.2 percent. Though I know fans would like to see Moncada reach the majors after the All-Star Break, I’ve heard rumors that the Chicago White Sox are targeting an August ETA for their top prospect. Regardless, he deserves to be stashed in all leagues at this point and will be a mighty valuable asset to fantasy owners making the playoff push.

3. Amed Rosario (SS, NYM, AAA)
Stats: 375 PA, .327/.365/.474, 7 HR, 16 SB, 5.3% BB rate, 15.5% K rate
ETA: Early August
New York Mets’ fans are getting anxious over the absence of their top prospect from the lineup and the continued presence of Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera. And while Sandy Alderson will certainly not make any decisions based on what the fans want, it would not be too surprising to see the fans get their wish at some point after the trade deadline. If the Mets start selling, they could move some of their veteran middle-infielders, freeing up a spot for Rosario in their lineup. And while fantasy owners should not count on much power at first out of the young shortstop, Rosario should be a solid batting average, runs scored and stolen base contributor out of the top of the Mets’ lineup.

4. Rhys Hoskins (1B, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 358 PA, .289/.385/.576, 20 HR, 2 SB, 13.1% BB rate, 14.8% K rate
ETA: Early August
Trade rumors are starting to circulate around Tommy Joseph. And though he is not exactly the most exciting trade target a team can pursue, there should be a suitor out there for him. If he does happen to get moved, the rising star Hoskins should get his chance to star in the majors. And with his stellar power and incredible plate discipline, he could be a valuable fantasy player, even at the demanding position of first base.

5. Scott Kingery (2B, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 371 PA, .312/.371/.606, 22 HR, 23 SB, 8.1% BB rate, 17.3% K rate
ETA: Early August
The Phillies have started working Kingery out at third base, providing him another position he could take at the next level. And with trade rumors surrounding both Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez, a plausible path for playing time starts to become more visible. He is still the least likely of the top five to reach the majors this season, but the offensive upside is too great to pass up on should he prove his minor league numbers so far are no joke.

6. Franklin Barreto (SS, OAK, AAA)
Stats: 309 PA, .281/.326/.428, 8 HR, 4 SB, 5.5% BB rate, 29.8% K rate
ETA: Early August
Barreto had a brief taste of the majors before Marcus Semien was activated off the DL. The Oakland Athletics’ top prospect wasn’t particularly good, as he only slashed .190/.261/.381 with a 39.1 percent strikeout rate. He did, however, tally two homers and stolen bases apiece in only 11 games. And that should somewhat sum up expectations for Barreto this season. He is only 21 years old, so he will have his growing pains. But he has thump and enough speed on the basepaths to make him a potentially exciting prospect to own. And if the Athletics move Jed Lowrie, we could see Barreto again later this year.

7. Rafael Devers (3B, BOS, AA)
Stats: 320 PA, .300/.369/.575, 18 HR, 0 SB, 9.7% BB rate, 17.2% K rate
ETA: Early August
Let’s just check in on how well the Boston Red Sox next third baseman Jhonny Peralta is doing at Triple aaaaaand he’s slashing .200/.195/.375 over 10 games. Yes, you read that right. His on-base percentage is actually below his batting average right now. It genuinely seems like everything the Red Sox try at the hot corner does not work. And while Tzu-Wei Lin has not been bad, he is not the answer. It is becoming increasingly clear that unless the Sox trade for another third baseman, Devers is just going to have to become their next third baseman. And for those wondering why he’s still in Double-A, though it is a bit of a mystery why he’s still there, the Red Sox are not shy of promoting prospects from there as they did it with both Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi a season ago. Devers has a special bat, and if he gets his chance to make an impact this season, he should be owned in nearly all leagues.

8. Lewis Brinson (OF, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 262 PA, .339/.412/.573, 10 HR, 10 SB, 9.9% BB rate, 19.5% K rate
ETA: Mid-August
Brinson was demoted to the minors after slashing .097/.200/.161 over 14 games, and since then he has decided to take his anger out on minor league pitching. Since his return to Colorado Springs, he owns a .426/.466/.796 slash line with four home runs and three stolen bases. Finding playing time for the Milwaukee Brewers’ top prospect is tough, but should get another shot at the big leagues, expect him to make the most of it.

9. Dominic Smith (1B, NYM, AAA)
Stats: 384 PA, .329/.380/.501, 12 HR, 0 SB, 7.3% BB rate, 16.4% K rate
ETA: Early August
Among current Mets’ players, the two names that have come up the most in trade rumors have been Lucas Duda and Jay Bruce — two free agents who have stated their intentions to test the market this offseason. For those hoping to see Smith in the majors at some point, seeing Duda’s name mentioned so frequently in rumors has to be refreshing. Smith is not yet a big-time slugger, and while those 12 homers aren’t bad, he plays in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League and really hitter-friendly Las Vegas home ballpark. But Smith is a near lock to post a high on-base percentage, and still has enough raw pop to run into one every now and again. I would expect to see him later this year at some point, and if he does reach the majors, he is a low-risk first baseman owners in 14+ team leagues could pick up off the waivers.

10. Reynaldo Lopez (SP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 93.0 IP, 3.97 ERA, 4.41 FIP, 22.0% K rate, 9.1% BB rate, 10.8% HR/FB, .236 AVG
ETA: Early August
The White Sox rotation is still doing poorly, but it looks like they may wait to start plugging in their younger arms until after the trade deadline. Lopez — who has a 1.93 ERA and 3.14 FIP over his last three starts (18.2 IP) — will almost certainly be one of the first names called up. He got off to a rough start in 2017, but has really turned things around as of late and is starting to look the prospect the White Sox wanted they when they acquired him in the Adam Eaton deal (too bad Lucas Giolito hasn’t panned out quite the same way). Lopez brings plenty of strikeout upside to fantasy rosters and would be a worthy sleeper add in 12+ team leagues if he is promoted.

11. Austin Meadows (OF, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 281 PA, .248/.313/.358, 4 HR, 10 SB, 8.2% BB rate, 16.7% K rate
ETA: Mid-August
Meadows’ fantasy value hinges on a couple of things. Most importantly: a trade of Andrew McCutchen. Without that, Meadows will not get much of any meaningful playing time this season. The second-most important thing is that Meadows need to get healthy. That should be obvious. Lastly, he needs to have a successful-enough stint in the minors upon his healthy return to prove that he is truly ready for the majors. If the Pirates trade McCutchen, they will clearly be cashing out for this year and may not be super aggressive in promoting their top prospect if he doesn’t appear ready. But he has the tools to be a special fantasy player and could really help fantasy owners if he channels that power/speed combination scouts have raved about.

12. Ronald Guzman (1B, TEX, AAA)
Stats: 339 PA, .319/.383/.479, 9 HR, 2 SB, 8.3% BB rate, 16.2% K rate
ETA: Early August
The Texas Rangers continue to hang around, but it is still unknown if there will be any roster shakeups in Arlington before the end of July. The question really is whether they will stay put or be sellers as they could really go either way. If they are sellers, that would probably be good news for Guzman as he could force his way into the majors with Mike Napoli heading out. But if the team decides to be stay put, Guzman may not get his chance until next season. He is a solid first baseman much like Dominic Smith who is more on-base than power at this point, but he too could run into one every now and again to help fantasy owners out. He is by no means a must-own if he gets the promotion, but those looking for help at first base could do worse.

13. Destin Hood (OF, MIA, AAA)
Stats: 254 PA, .260/.349/.498, 14 HR, 5 SB, 12.2% BB rate, 26.0% K rate
ETA: Early August
Somedays all three Miami Marlins’ outfielders are in play. Some days, none of the three are. It’s been interesting to follow. If they are in play and any are dealt, Hood is the most likely candidate to replace one of them in the outfield as he has had a real promising season so far and is one of their top prospects (which isn’t really saying much). Of course if none of the trio are dealt away, Hood will face an impenetrable wall for playing time and will be worthless in fantasy leagues. He could be worth an add upon his promotion, but not any time before that.

14. Chris Shaw (1B/OF, SF, AAA)
Stats: 316 PA, .304/.361/.538, 15 HR, 0 SB, 7.9% BB rate, 21.8% K rate
ETA: Early August
Another guy who hinges on a trade, Shaw will probably need Brandon Belt to be traded. Some might scoff at the notion of a Belt trade, but San Francisco has insisted that he is very much in play at the deadline. Shaw has probably the second-most pop of any first baseman on this list, which would make him an enticing fantasy pickup if he is called up, but I’m still not entirely sold on the Giants dealing away Belt. If they do though, Shaw could be a real nice add for owners looking for first base depth.

15. Sal Romano (SP, CIN, AAA)
Stats: 47.0 IP, 3.06 ERA, 3.40 FIP, 14.0% K rate, 7.0% BB rate, 2.3% HR/FB, .254 AVG
ETA: Post-All-Star Break
Romano will return to the Reds’ rotation after the break, and if he pitches like he did against Colorado before his temporary demotion, he will be worth owning in a lot of leagues. He allowed just two runs over five innings while giving up six hits and one walk with six strikeouts. His fastball was consistently hitting the upper-90s and his slider looked like a lethal weapon for him. He has not been much of a strikeout artist in the minors this season, but he should occasionally rack up a few Ks with his stuff and should be able to eat innings. For now, I would say he’s a worthy own in 14+ team leagues as long as he owns a rotation spot.

16. Jeimer Candelario (3B, CHC, AAA)
Stats: 274 PA, .266/.361/.515, 10 HR, 0 SB, 12.4% BB rate, 22.3% K rate
ETA: Early August
I mentioned trade talks earlier, and no prospect seems more likely to be traded than Candelario. He has no where to play in Chicago as long as Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are on the North Side. If the Cubs are looking for upgrades at the deadline (which they most certainly will be), Canderlario stands out as one of their best trade chips. He has a steady approach at the plate and should be a high OBP guy with some solid pop if he gets his shot at regular playing time.

17. Steven Brault (SP, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 94.1 IP, 2.00 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 23.1% K rate, 8.7% BB rate, 4.9% HR/FB, .210 AVG
ETA: Early August
As trade rumors continue to surround Gerrit Cole, the odds we see Brault later this season in the rotation grow better and better. Without a trade of Cole, Brault probably won’t see the majors this season unless another starter is traded (or if Brault is traded). He has throughout his pro career been a strikeout artist and has continued that into 2017, so owners in need of some strikeouts from a sleeper candidate are probably hoping to see Cole dealt away so Pittsburgh will add the young southpaw to their rotation.

18. Jake Bauers (1B/OF, TB, AAA)
Stats: 348 PA, .268/.365/.419, 8 HR, 11 SB, 12.9% BB rate, 20.1% K rate
ETA: Early August
Bauers has two potential paths for playing time: to be traded to another team or for another of the Tampa Bay Rays’ outfielders to be traded. Bauers has been impressive in the minors this season, and probably deserves to be promoted. He has shown both his promising plate discipline, and a little bit of both power and speed. But the Rays have plenty of options at outfield, first base and designated hitter. There will certainly need to be a roster shakeup for Bauers to see playing time, but if the stars align just right, he has the combination of tools to be worth adding in 14+ team leagues.

19. Miguel Andujar (3B, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 335 PA, .302/.337/.482, 9 HR, 2 SB, 5.1% BB rate, 14.3% K rate
ETA: Early August
Andujar made it up to the bigs for a brief cup of coffee. He appeared in one game, making five plate appearances (four at-bats) and registering a hit in three of them before being sent back down to the minors. With Chase Headley struggling overall on the year, the Bronx Bombers may turn again to their youngster at the hot corner, but he does not have much power, and therefore is not the most exciting fantasy prospect. He could still be worth an add in deeper leagues, but owners in leagues shallower than 14 teams could ignore him even if he receives that promotion.

20. Magneuris Sierra (OF, STL, AA)
Stats: 265 PA, .287/.326/.413, 1 HR, 12 SB, 4.9% BB rate, 15.8% K rate
ETA: September
The St. Louis Cardinals have already shown interest in their young outfielder this season, giving him a pair of separate stints in the majors. Sierra has held his own in the majors, slashing .375/.429/.375 with a stolen base in eight games. The Cardinals’ outfield is currently fairly set, but there is always volatility out there, and at any minute Randal Grichuk could go into another extended slump. He is not an immediate guy to add, but he should at least be on fantasy radars as his speed and top-of-the-lineup profile could be very valuable to fantasy owners in the playoff run.

21. Tyler Mahle (SP, CIN, AAA)
Stats: 99.1 IP, 2.08 ERA, 2.60 FIP, 26.6% K rate, 5.4% BB rate, 6.5% HR/FB, .208 AVG
ETA: Mid-August

22. Carson Kelly (C, STL, AAA)
Stats: 259 PA, .278/.367/.441, 8 HR, 0 SB, 11.2% BB rate, 14.3% K rate
ETA: September

23. Chance Adams (SP, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 92.2. IP, 1.94 ERA, 3.38 FIP, 26.2% K rate, 10.1% BB rate, 6.5% HR/FB, .171 AVG
ETA: September

24. A.J. Reed (1B, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 346 PA, .242/.332/.447, 15 HR, 0 SB, 11.6% BB rate, 26.9% K rate
ETA: Early August

25. Ozzie Albies (2B, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 364 PA, .290/.335/.449, 7 HR, 21 SB, 6.0% BB rate, 19.8% K rate
ETA: September

26. Brent Honeywell (SP, TB, AAA)
Stats: 92.1 IP, 4.19 ERA, 2.79 FIP, 30.3% K rate, 6.6% BB rate, 10.0% HR/FB, .263 AVG
ETA: September

27. Yandy Diaz (3B, CLE, AAA)
Stats: 205 PA, .329/.433/.459, 4 HR, 0 SB, 15.1% BB rate, 15.1% K rate
ETA: Mid-July

28. Tom Eshelman (SP, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 107.0 IP, 2.27 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 18.0% K rate, 3.4% BB rate, 8.8% HR/FB, .229 AVG
ETA: Early August

29. Nick Gordon (SS, MIN, AA)
Stats: 359 PA, .302/.370/.464, 6 HR, 9 SB, 9.7% BB rate, 22.3% K rate
ETA: September

30. Lucas Sims (SP, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 97.1 IP, 3.98 ERA, 4.64 FIP, 26.1% K rate, 7.5% BB rate, 16.8% HR/FB, .230 AVG
ETA: Early 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. Ian Happ (2B/OF, CHC)

8. Raimel Tapia (OF, COL)

9. Jordan Montgomery (SP, NYY)

10. Matt Davidson (3B, CWS)

11. Ben Gamel (OF, SEA)

12. Jacob Faria (SP, TB)

13. German Marquez (SP, COL)

14. Manuel Margot (OF, SD)

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

16. Jeff Hoffman (SP, COL)

17. Clint Frazier (OF, NYY)

18. Jorge Bonifacio (OF, KC)

19. Koda Glover (RP, WAS)

20. Josh Bell (1B, PIT)

 

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