2017 Prospects: Top 30 Impact Rookies for Fantasy Leagues (Week 16)

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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 are still about two weeks away from the trade deadline, and already we have seen a handful of impactful moves. The Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox made a swap of Jose Quintana for a Cubs package headlined by Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease. The Washington Nationals acquired both Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle in a trade with the Oakland Athletics for Sheldon Neuse, Jesus Luzardo and Blake Treinen. Then the White Sox were back at it, this time striking a deal with the New York Yankees to send Todd Frazier, Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson to the Bronx in exchange for Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin, Tyler Clippard and Tito Polo.

That is just the beginning. Many more trades will be made before Aug. 1 rolls around, and those trades will bear with them many fantasy implications. Prospects will see paths to playing time open up, while others will see their paths close down. The next couple days are bound to be quite the wild ride!

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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. Yoan Moncada (2B/3B, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 351 PA, .287/.382/.457, 12 HR, 17 SB, 13.7% BB rate, 28.5% K rate
ETA: July 19
Following the conclusion of the Todd Frazier deal, the White Sox announced they would be promoting their top prospect, Yoan Moncada. He will not be on the list next week, but he is worth discussing here. His power/speed combination is matched by few in baseball, as he has the potential to be a 30/30 hitter in his prime playing as a second baseman. Though strikeouts remain a concern, he has managed to overcome the whiffs throughout his MiLB career and has always posted a respectable batting average in spite of his troubles. There will be some ups and downs with the youngster over his first real taste of being a regular, but there is too much upside to pass up on. He is a must add in all leagues and should be picked up ASAP, if he hasn't been stashed already.

2. Derek Fisher (OF, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 355 PA, .302/.367/.572, 20 HR, 14 SB, 8.7% BB rate, 19.2% K rate
ETA: August 1
Fisher just continues to swing a hot stick, and it’s really only a matter of time until he reaches the majors. Nori Aoki still continues to be little more than a singles-hitting left fielder, and the Houston Astros are still likely to make several moves at the deadline that could cause the team to move Fisher. So whether he returns to Houston, or starts with another team following a potential trade at the deadline, Fisher should be a major impact bat from August until the rest of the season.

3. Amed Rosario (SS, NYM, AAA)
Stats: 389 PA, .329/.368/.474, 7 HR, 17 SB, 5.4% BB rate, 14.9% K rate
ETA: August 1
The New York Mets have gone from saying Rosario is clearly not ready for the majors to now saying that he is a very likely post-deadline promotion. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post has speculated that after the Mets deal away some veterans like Asdrubal Cabrera, the team will make the call to promote Rosario on Aug. 1. This news most likely comes as amazing news to both fantasy owners and Mets’ fans alike. And while Rosario is not going to have the same kind of impact that Moncada or Fisher might have (his seven home runs are likely the product of an extremely hitter-friendly environment in Las Vegas and the PCL), he should still be a solid everyday starting shortstop with batting average and speed upside. With his promotion likely coming soon, it may be time to start stashing him.

4. Rhys Hoskins (1B, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 374 PA, .288/.382/.564, 20 HR, 3 SB, 12.6% BB rate, 15.2% K rate
ETA: August 1
This season, there are several teams that seem to have interest in first basemen. This is a great sign for someone like Hoskins, who is currently blocked by a first baseman on a rebuilding team. Tommy Joseph is not the most exciting trade candidate, but he is a solid power bat teams could have for a relatively low price. It awaits to be seen whether or not Joseph will be moved, but one thing is for certain: if he is dealt away, Hoskins will be his replacement. Owners don’t always get super excited about a first baseman because of the depth of the position, but Hoskins is a special talent. He could provide owners with a high batting average and tons of power. He would be worth an add in all 12+ team leagues, and probably even some shallower leagues.

5. Franklin Barreto (2B/SS, OAK, AAA)
Stats: 333 PA, .274/.320/.423, 9 HR, 4 SB, 5.7% BB rate, 29.7% K rate
ETA: August 1
Barreto was not great in his brief stint in the majors, but he could get another shot at the big leagues after the trade deadline. If the Athletics move Jed Lowrie, Barreto seems the most likely candidate to replace him on the big league roster. He still possesses an exciting power/speed combination, and though the strikeouts could limit his batting average upside, he offers enough of everything else while qualifying at a pair of shallow fantasy positions to be worth an add in most leagues.

6. Rafael Devers (3B, BOS, AAA)
Stats: 329 PA, .305/.374/.586, 19 HR, 0 SB, 9.7% BB rate, 16.7% K rate
ETA: August 1/September
The ETA warrants a brief explanation. So there are two ways Devers can reach the majors. Either the Boston Red Sox don’t trade for a third baseman at the deadline and Devers is their starting third baseman on Aug. 1, or they acquire someone and Devers remains at Triple-A until September. Devers has a ton of offensive upside, but it seems very likely the Red Sox will swing a deal with someone like the White Sox for Todd Frazier or the Oakland Athletics for Jed Lowrie. His bat is super exciting, but he should not be added unless it looks like a certainty he will be their starting third baseman in the second half.

7. Lewis Brinson (OF, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 269 PA, .338/.409/.573, 10 HR, 10 SB, 9.7% BB rate, 19.3% K rate
ETA: Early August
Brinson just continues to make mincemeat out of the minors since his demotion from the majors. Optioned on June 25, he has a .426/.458/.750 slash line with four homers, three stolen bases and four walks to only eight strikeouts over his 16 games back. Finding playing time without any injuries to Keon Broxton, Domingo Santana and Ryan Braun will continue to remain an issue for Brinson, but they may soon need to find a way if he keeps hitting like this. The lack of a clear path to PT makes Brinson an unattractive stash candidate, but his extreme fantasy upside at least warrants attention in all leagues.

8. Reynaldo Lopez (SP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 100.0 IP, 3.78 ERA, 4.16 FIP, 23.5% K rate, 9.1% BB rate, 10.5% HR/FB, .227 AVG
ETA: Late July
Now that Jose Quintana is gone, there is a true, actual rotation spot opening for Lopez. This isn’t just saying Lopez should replace one of the mediocre starters at the backend. This is an actual hole that needs filling. And Lopez has been hot of late, registering a 1.75 ERA and 2.52 FIP over his last four starts (25.2 IP). Most impressively, he has a ridiculous 6.60 K/BB ratio over that time frame. He has really come on strong after a rough start to the season, and could be headed up to the South Side soon.

9. Chance Adams (SP, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 97.1 IP, 1.94 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 25.6% K rate, 10.6% BB rate, 6.3% HR/FB, .169 AVG
ETA: Late July
Adams has been no stranger to this list, but there was never an opening for him. Now that Michael Pineda is out for the remainder of the season with Tommy John surgery, Adams has a clear path to playing time. The New York Yankees have several needs, mostly first base, but they could also look for an upgrade at third base and have been linked to several bullpen arms, making it seem less likely they will make a move for a starter. So either Adams could be used as the in-house replacement for Pineda, or he could be a trade chip for another need. Either way, Adams is looking like he could potentially have a fantasy impact in 2017.

10. Dominic Smith (1B, NYM, AAA)
Stats: 404 PA, .332/.386/.503, 12 HR, 0 SB, 7.7% BB rate, 16.1% K rate
ETA: August 1
With trade rumors heating up that Lucas Duda is being shopped around, the value for Smith only increases. Smith has put together a solid season at Triple-A in only his age-22 campaign. Though he does not have the power many would like to see out of a first baseman (those 12 homers have certainly been aided by his hitter-friendly confines), Smith is a relatively low-risk bat in that he has proven himself to have great plate discipline and the ability to post a high batting average. And with raw power that scouts see eventually translating to game power, the home run upside is at least present in his bat. He doesn’t quite warrant a stash, but he could be a solid own should he be promoted.

11. Scott Kingery (2B, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 387 PA, .310/.368/.594, 22 HR, 23, 8.0% BB rate, 17.6% K rate
ETA: August 1/NA
Kingery’s stock dropped recently, and it is because while nothing has been said to indicate he won’t be promoted, there is still nothing said that indicates he will be promoted. He is not on the 40-man roster, and does not have to be added this season as he will not be eligible for the Rule-5 draft until after the 2018 season. The Phillies may trade Cesar Hernandez, but that doesn’t mean Kingery would become his immediate replacement, no matter how well he has hit. If Kingery does receive that promotion, he could be a major asset to a lot of teams for his power/speed ability at a weak fantasy position. But still, don’t count on a promotion to happen. Be happy if it does, but don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t.

12. 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: August 1
The Pittsburgh Pirates are not too far off from the NL Central division lead, only six games behind the Milwaukee Brewers. They could opt to be buyers. But nearly every rumor that has circulated around Pittsburgh has them pegged as sellers. If they choose to take that route, Gerrit Cole and Ivan Nova could both theoretically be on the move. It seems the most likely of the two to be moved is Cole, whose name has been tossed around in several rumors. If either/both of the starters are moved, Brault would probably be the next guy up, as he has had the most success of any of the pitchers at Triple-A. Though Tyler Glasnow has the upside, Brault has really pitched well for Indianapolis, and is not regarded as a slouch himself. With the strikeout upside, he would be a solid own in 12+ team leagues.

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: Mid-August
Andrew McCutchen is enjoying his best season since 2015, making a full rebound and already having accumulated more than three times the fWAR this season (2.6) than all of last season (0.7). And now that Starling Marte is back, the Pirates could opt to hold Cutch and attempt a playoff run. But rumors continue to persist about McCutchen and Cole, among others, and it appears the Buccos are going to try and sell high while they can on Cutch. If that happens, Meadows could be in line as the replacement for the lost playing time once he is fully healthy again. He has the upside to be a major fantasy contributor with his power/speed combination and elite plate discipline. He just needs to stay healthy.

14. Destin Hood (OF, MIA, AAA)
Stats: 254 PA, .260/.349/.498, 14 HR, 5 SB, 12.2% BB rate, 26.0% K rate
ETA: August 1
The Miami Marlins have valuable pieces to trade and a farm system in desperate need of rebuilding. This is not to say that they are going to be sellers, but it certainly would not be a surprise to see them start trading off some pieces. If they begin to deal some of their outfielders, Hood seems the most likely replacement candidate to fill in for any of the outfield spots. Hood has plenty of power upside, and though the strikeouts are concerning, he is certainly a potential home run sleeper and warrants attention in some leagues.

15. Chris Shaw (1B/OF, SF, AAA)
Stats: 339 PA, .302/.363/.525, 15 HR, 0 SB, 8.6% BB rate, 23.0% K rate
ETA: August 1
There are several potential paths to playing time for Shaw. He could either take over at first base following a Brandon Belt trade, or he could even take over the widely available left field position. Shaw has been in the midst of a career year, and deserves a shot at the majors. He may get what he deserves after San Francisco starts selling off some pieces. And with his power, he could be a valuable add to a lot of fantasy rosters.

16. Jeimer Candelario (1B/3B, CHC, AAA)
Stats: 281 PA, .258/.352/.500, 10 HR, 0 SB, 12.1% BB rate, 22.4% K rate
ETA: August 1
The Cubs have made one trade already, but any further moves would require essentially the only prospect they have remaining, Jeimer Candelario. Candelario has not had a great season at the plate, but scouts are high on his offensive upside. One potential reason for his struggles might just be the inconsistency of a home as he has been shifted back and forth between the majors and the minors. He still has above-average power and a plus bat, so if he is dealt away to a team and finds himself in a starting lineup, he could be a solid add. He would only be worth owning in 14+ team leagues, but if he hits enough, he could be worth in some shallower leagues.

17. Ryan McMahon (1B/2B/3B, COL, AAA)
Stats: 372 PA, .354/.401/.598, 15 HR, 11 SB, 7.8% BB rate, 17.5% K rate
ETA: Mid-August
The Colorado Rockies have become the subject of several trade rumors, looking into several possible rotation upgrades as well as bullpen upgrades. With those rumors circulating, it is worth throwing McMahon’s name out as a possible trade chip the Rockies could wave around, especially with him having such a promising season at Triple-A. Not only is he hitting well, but he has added the second base position to his defensive repertoire. With his power and improved plate discipline, he could be a valuable add in several leagues. If his position is second base, his value will go up exponentially.

18. Ozzie Albies (2B, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 384 PA, .289/.333/.445, 7 HR, 21 SB, 6.0% BB rate, 20.1% K rate
ETA: August 1
With the Atlanta Braves reportedly waving around Brandon Phillips in trade talks, there is a chance a spot gets opened up on the big-league roster for Albies. One of the youngest players at Triple-A, Albies has enjoyed a solid season and could be a step in the right direction for a team that can see the end of its rebuild. Atlanta has been a surprise contender this season, currently sitting in second in the National League East and just six games out of the second Wild Card spot. This is not to say that I am a full believer in them just yet, but there is no doubt they’ve impressed this season, and aside from Washington, there’s not a ton of tough competition in that division. Albies has the speed and hit tool to be a valuable add in fantasy teams, so if it appears Phillips is on his way out, Albies could be a nice waiver pickup.

19. Erick Fedde (SP, WAS, AAA)
Stats: 72.1 IP, 3.73 ERA, 3.43 FIP, 22.3% K rate, 7.1% BB rate, 11.1% HR/FB, .234 AVG
ETA: Late July
Fedde has spent parts of this season as a starter, and parts as a reliever, but the Nationals would undoubtedly want to use him as a starter in the majors if promoted. Following the loss of Joe Ross, the Nationals are missing an arm in that rotation, opting temporarily to use guys like Edwin Jackson and Jacob Turner as stopgaps. The Nats could go out and buy a starting pitcher, but with one of the worst bullpens’ in baseball and a potential need at shortstop, their biggest needs fall outside of the rotation. If they opt to go with an internal solution, Fedde makes sense to at least get a few trips through the starting five.

20. Ronald Guzman (1B, TEX, AAA)
Stats: 357 PA, .313/.378/.467, 9 HR, 2 SB, 8.4% BB rate, 16.0% K rate
ETA: August 1/September
Like so many others on this list, Guzman’s value hinges on a trade. If the Texas Rangers are willing to consider moving Mike Napoli and Shin-Soo Choo, Guzman could be on his way up to Arlington to man first base or DH. Theoretically, he could still find his way up to Texas even without a trade if the Rangers decide to go with a platoon of Guzman and Napoli at first base. But with Joey Gallo, there is already that left-handed bat, so it really would require a pair of spots to open up for Guzman. Guzman could also be used as a trade chip, which at this point seems to be his only likely path to playing time before September. His power is starting to emerge, and he’s already proven he can hit for power, so there is value here. But he needs starting time first.

21. Miguel Andujar (3B, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 356 PA, .309/.343/.491, 10 HR, 2 SB, 5.1% BB rate, 13.8% K rate
ETA: August 1

22. Tyler Mahle (SP, CIN, AAA)
Stats: 105.1 IP, 1.97 ERA, 2.57 FIP, 26.7% K rate, 5.8% BB rate, 6.1% HR/FB, .200 AVG
ETA: Mid-August

23. Yandy Diaz (3B, CLE, AAA)
Stats: 221 PA, .335/.434/.459, 4 HR, 0 SB, 14.5% BB rate, 15.8% K rate
ETA: Late July

24. Chance Sisco (C, BAL, AAA)
Stats: 272 PA, .279/.353/.388, 3 HR, 2 SB, 9.2% BB rate, 27.2% K rate
ETA: Mid-August

25. Carson Kelly (C, STL, AAA)
Stats: 268 PA, .284/.381/.457, 9 HR, 0 SB, 12.3% BB rate, 13.8% K rate
ETA: September

26. Jake Bauers (1B/OF, TB, AAA)
Stats: 371 PA, .276/.377/.425, 8 HR, 11 SB, 13.7% BB rate, 19.1% K rate
ETA: Mid-August

27. 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: Mid-August

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: August 1

29. Nick Gordon (SS, MIN, AA)
Stats: 379 PA, .301/.369/.454, 6 HR, 10 SB, 9.5% BB rate, 22.2% 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: August 1

 

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. Ian Happ (2B/OF, CHC)

6. Mitch Haniger (OF, SEA)

7. Raimel Tapia (OF, COL)

8. Trey Mancini (1B, BAL)

9. Matt Davidson (3B, CWS)

10. Jordan Montgomery (SP, NYY)

11. Ben Gamel (OF, SEA)

12. Jacob Faria (SP, TB)

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

14. Manuel Margot (OF, SD)

15. German Marquez (SP, COL)

16. Clint Frazier (OF, CWS)

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

18. Jorge Bonifacio (OF, KC)

19. Jeff Hoffman (SP, COL)

20. Austin Barnes (C/2B, LAD)

 

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