2017 Prospects: Top 30 Impact Rookies for Fantasy Leagues (Week 19)

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

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.

You may find that this list has been pretty thoroughly cleared out. There are only a handful of impactful prospects who figure to reach the majors before September at this point, especially considering that there are only roughly four more weeks until rosters expand.

It is hard to believe how quickly the season has flown by. It’s hard to believe that it was several months ago I was wondering how in the world the Los Angeles Dodgers would find playing time for Cody Bellinger and whether or not Aaron Judge would make enough contact to be a valuable player this season.

Editor's note: Get MLB Premium for free through October when you buy an NFL Premium Pass (including Draft Kit + DFS). Whoa. Check out our MLB and NFL Premium tools, and crush your leagues. 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. Rhys Hoskins (1B, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 455 PA, .282/.385/.574, 27 HR, 3 SB, 13.6% BB rate, 15.8% K rate
ETA: This Week/Next Week
It sounds like Hoskins’ imminent promotion to the majors could come at some point this week. According to Matt Breen of philly.com, Hoskins is probable to at least reach the majors in August, and stated he could even be up once Philadelphia wrapped up their West Coast road trip (already concluded). Hoskins has proven last season was no fluke with another extraordinary campaign, and his plate discipline and power should help give him a high floor. It is time to go ahead and stash him in 12+ team leagues, and any others where you need first base help.

2. Reynaldo Lopez (SP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 121.0 IP, 3.79 ERA, 4.18 FIP, 25.4% K rate, 9.5% BB rate, 11.7% HR/FB, .218 AVG
ETA: Friday
Chicago White Sox GM Rick Hahn basically spilled the beans on Saturday that Lopez will be called up. In fact, he almost point-blank said that Lopez will be up on Friday against Kansas City. In an article by Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune, Hahn was quoted as saying, “I said he might want to look into the Kansas City series … (Lopez) is certainly forcing the issue and seems to be ready for the next step. Right now, our plan is for him to start for Charlotte (Sunday), and then you can ask me on Tuesday.” Though that start on Sunday did not go so well, Lopez had been on a really long string of success, posting a 2.16 ERA and 2.54 FIP over his past seven starts. And with a 32.5 percent strikeout rate over that time span, the fantasy upside is there. Expect him to be recalled this week. He has plenty of upside and would absolutely be worth an add in 12+ team leagues.

3. Dominic Smith (1B, NYM, AAA)
Stats: 486 PA, .332/.389/.524, 16 HR, 1 SB, 8.0% BB rate, 16.9% K rate
ETA: This Week
It seems that Las Vegas may be sending another one of its top players to the majors. Shortly after shortstop prospect Amed Rosario was called up, it appears we are nearing the point where Smith may be joining his former teammate in the bigs. MLB.com New York Mets’ beat writer Anthony DiComo tweeted that GM Sandy Alderson had said Smith will be up before September and that he is not far behind Rosario. Smith is not quite the uber-prospect that Rosario is, but Smith is still a low-risk first baseman who should provide a nice batting average and some decent power numbers. He is certainly not a starter in shallow leagues, but he could be a nice depth piece and a starter in some deeper leagues.

4. Franklin Barreto (2B/SS, OAK, AAA)
Stats: 411 PA, .285/.333/.454, 13 HR, 8 SB, 5.4% BB rate, 28.0% K rate
ETA: September
Many expected Jed Lowrie to be traded. He seemed one of the most likely players available to be dealt at the deadline. Yet, here we are, and here Lowrie is, still manning second base in Oakland. This certainly was not a great development for Barreto, but just because Lowrie wasn’t traded on July 31 does not mean he will not be dealt. After all, Yonder Alonso has already been traded to clear the way for Matt Olson at first base. However, Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area reported Oakland Athletics’ general manager Billy Beane said the plan is to “decide on (his option) in the offseason.” Certainly not a great sign for owners.

But Oakland is always difficult to predict, and they could still find the right offer for Barreto. And Barreto is certainly forcing the issue lately, slashing .357/.379/.571 with a pair of homers and stolen bases over his past 13 games. He has the fantasy upside to be extremely valuable and could be a big contributor if he gets some playing time in September.

5. Lewis Brinson (OF, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 317 PA, .339/.410/.556, 10 HR, 11 SB, 9.8% BB rate, 18.9% K rate
ETA: September
Brinson was briefly in the majors for a second stint, totaling 20 plate appearances over seven games. And though he had been crushing Triple-A pitching, he recorded only two hits — both homers — and posted a .125/.300/.500 slash line. The fantasy appeal is pretty clear. In just 21 MLB games, he has a pair of homers and a stolen base. But the risk is also clearly there, as he has not spent an extended period of time in the majors and still has clear issues swinging-and-missing (30.9 percent strikeout rate). The Brewers’ outfield is crowded right now with Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton and Hernan Perez, so playing time could be tough to find for him. But if Brinson should find himself in a starting role at some point in September, the upside is too high to pass up.

6. Luke Weaver (SP, STL, AAA)
Stats: 66.0 IP, 1.91 ERA, 2.94 FIP, 27.3% K rate, 5.5% BB rate, 4.5% HR/FB, .202 AVG
ETA: September
Weaver made a pair of starts with the St. Louis Cardinals, posting only a mediocre start against Arizona on July 27 and dazzling against the Milwaukee Brewers on August 2, allowing just two runs on five hits and two walks over 6.1 innings of work with eight punch outs. Weaver has dominated hitters at Triple-A and certainly warrants a more extended look in the majors. Though he was only up as a replacement to Adam Wainwright, he should see another look in the majors at some point. And he certainly has the upside to be a worthy starter in all 12+ team leagues should he see more time in the Cardinals’ rotation.

7. Tyler Glasnow (SP, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 61.2 IP, 1.61 ERA, 2.62 FIP, 38.0% K rate, 10.3% BB rate, 11.4% HR/FB, .171 AVG
ETA: September
Remember Glasnow? He was that Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitcher who was once considered a top prospect and a future ace? Once, as in, earlier this year. Glasnow’s stock has taken a nosedive this season thanks to “inconsistent” control (to put it kindly) in the majors. While in the majors, he struck out only 18.9 percent of opposing batters while walking an abhorrent 10.9 percent. And while Triple-A has not fixed the control issues, he has regained his ability to generate swings and misses (38 percent) and has contained the home run ball much more than he had in the majors (11.4 percent at AAA compared to 18.5 percent in the majors). He will likely be recalled in September and could see a few starts with the big-league club. The upside is still there for him to be a high strikeout No. 2 or 3 starting pitcher in the majors, and owners should take advantage of his low present value to add him for September.

8. Brent Honeywell (SP, TB, AAA)
Stats: 113.1 IP, 3.73 ERA, 2.84 FIP, 31.3% K rate, 6.5% BB rate, 11.3% HR/FB, .258 AVG
ETA: September
Speaking of once great pitching prospects whose command failed them in the majors, Blake Snell was sent back down to Triple-A. Jake Odorizzi will fill the vacancy as he is due back on Aug. 9, though Odorizzi has been largely ineffective this season, and may need to put together a streak of solid starts. Honeywell, meanwhile has been cruising in the minors, particularly since July 4 as he has registered a 1.33 ERA and 2.67 FIP over those five starts (27 IP). The Rays’ top pitching prospect has exceptional command and control which should help him maintain a relatively high floor in the majors. And now that he has the strikeouts piling up in the minors, he is starting to look like a solid add in 12+ team mixed leagues if he is added to the rotation in September.

9. Ryan McMahon (1B/2B/3B, COL, AAA)
Stats: 456 PA, .355/.399/.587, 18 HR, 11 SB, 7.5% BB rate, 17.8% K rate
ETA: September
Mark Reynolds began the season on a tear, causing many to believe he was back. And though his overall season numbers are still fine, he has been mired in an extended slump since June 30 (spanning 30 games), slashing only .239/.325/.422 with four homers and a scary 35.8 percent strikeout rate. McMahon meanwhile has been mashing Triple-A pitchers after putting on a similar show at Double-A. The chief difference being that he has actually improved since arriving in Alburquerque, now slashing .379/.412/.630 in 56 games compared to .326/.390/.536 over 49 games at Hartford. McMahon has a ton of power, which should play very well in Colorado. It will play especially well in the middle of that lineup. Should McMahon find himself starting at any point in the bigs at first base, he would immediately become a must-own in all 12+ team leagues.

10. Mitch Garver (C, MIN, AAA)
Stats: 335 PA, .278/.376/.524, 16 HR, 1 SB, 13.4% BB rate, 23.3% K rate
ETA: September
This probably should not come as much of a surprise to anyone, but Jason Castro has not done a great job behind the dish in Minneapolis this season. The 30-year-old veteran is slashing only .224/.313/.369 and has caught only 24 percent of would-be base stealers. He has been in a steady decline since 2013, and the rebuilding Minnesota Twins are likely going to start looking more towards the future soon. And while Garver is no top prospect, he certainly is more of the future than Castro. Garver has posted a strong season at Triple-A and has earned a chance to prove he is the next starting catcher for Minnesota. At only 26 years old, Garver still has the best years of his career ahead of him, and could be a valuable catcher as a guy who can provide both some pop and a nice batting average in mixed leagues if he receives any starting time in September.

11. Harrison Bader (OF, STL, AAA)
Stats: 391 PA, .297/.353/.513, 19 HR, 9 SB, 6.1% BB rate, 23.3% K rate
ETA: September
Bader put together a very disappointing season in 2016 at Triple-A, but he has really turned it around this year. The key to his turnaround has been better contact. He has reduced his groundball and fly ball rates by 5 and 2 percent respectively while increasing his line drive rate by 7 percent. It has resulted in a little more power and a better batting average. The stolen bases are not quite where they used to be last season (nine this year compared to 13 between AA and AAA last season), but his speed remains at least an above-average tool for him. And with outfielders like Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty struggling to hit this season, Bader could force his way into some playing time once September rolls around.

12. Dietrich Enns (SP, MIN, AAA)
Stats: 51.1 IP, 2.10 ERA, 2.70 FIP, 25.1% K rate, 5.9% BB rate, 4.2% HR/FB, .206 AVG
ETA: September
It is no secret that the Twins’ rotation has been disappointing this season. It currently sits 24th overall among MLB rotations with a 3.8 fWAR and has posted a 4.89 ERA and 5.06 FIP on the year. Both Jose Berrios and Ervin Santana have been bright spots, but everyone has been somewhat of a disappointment. Enns is no top prospect or anything, but he is a young, 26-year-old starting pitcher having a solid season at Triple-A with a low innings total. He has been effective at generating swings and misses while displaying improvements in his control from past seasons. If he is called upon to take a turn or two through Minnesota’s rotation, Enns should not be expected to carry any fantasy team’s rotation, but he could be a solid streamer or deep league add.

13. Tom Eshelman (SP, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 117.0 IP, 2.92 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 17.9% K rate, 3.5% BB rate, 9.2% HR/FB, .240 AVG
ETA: September
Much like the Twins, the Philadelphia Phillies have not found a ton of success in their rotation. Though they sit at 19th with a 5.7 fWAR, that total is almost entirely composed of just two pitchers: Aaron Nola (3.0) and Jerad Eickhoff (1.5). They have struggled to find consistent arms who will round out that rotation. And like with Enns, while Eshelman is no top prospect or future ace, he is a solid arm who could help provide some stability in Philadelphia. His control is impeccable and he does a great job keeping runs off the board, particularly this season. The 23-year-old should eventually receive a look in the majors at some point this season, and could be a nice high floor add for owners in deep leagues.

14. Brett Phillips (OF, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 349 PA, .307/.378/.583, 17 HR, 6 SB, 10.3% BB rate, 29.2% K rate
ETA: September
Brinson is not the only Brewers’ prospect to see starting time in the majors this season. He is not the only one who has failed to do anything productive with that time. Phillips had 39 PA over 15 games in the majors, but posted a meager .229/.289/.429 slash line with a pair of homers, a stolen base, a 7.7 percent walk rate and an obscene 41 percent strikeout rate. Brinson has swing and miss issues, but Phillips takes that to a whole new level. He is really quite the strikeout king. However, his power/speed upside is difficult to ignore as he could be a 20/10 player in the majors if he saw a full starting role in the big leagues. If he gets a chance in September to have any playing team, owners willing to swallow the abhorrent batting average could be content with the home run totals and occasional stolen bases.

15. Boog Powell (OF, OAK, AAA)
Stats: 239 PA, .340/.416/.490, 6 HR, 11 SB, 11.7% BB rate, 11.3% K rate
ETA: September
The near-polar opposite player of Phillips, Powell is a contact-first outfielder who has more speed than power, but is really not great at either of those two areas. He is very similar to his former teammate in Seattle Ben Gamel. And unlike Phillips, Powell does not have four-plus outfielders ahead of him on the depth chart. He is expected to be promoted in September and is exactly the type of player Oakland will likely try and start on a semi-regular basis as he is a young outfielder who fits into their future plans. He is more of a low-risk depth piece who could be a decent add in deeper leagues.

16. Tyler Mahle (SP, CIN, AAA)
Stats: 127.1 IP, 1.98 ERA, 2.54 FIP, 25.2% K rate, 5.5% BB rate, 4.8% HR/FB, .194 AVG
ETA: September
I’ve talked a lot today about struggling MLB rotations. Well there is none worse than that of the Cincinnati Reds. They are in danger of posting back-to-back seasons of negative fWARs as they currently sit at -0.1 on the year. There are a few young arms like Luis Castillo and Sal Romano who have been solid, but others like Amir Garrett, Cody Reed, Robert Stephenson and Rookie Davis have disappointed.

Mahle has certainly not disappointed in the minors this season and has driven his stock up from a near no-name in the Reds’ system to MLB Pipeline’s No. 87 prospect on their Top 100 list. Mahle’s stuff is not as electric as Castillo’s or even that of some of the failed Cincinnati prospects, but he knows how to control it with near pinpoint accuracy and could keep the ball in the yard — an issue that has plagued many of the team’s young arms. And though he is not known for having strikeout stuff, he has missed plenty of bats this season and should at least do an effective job striking hitters out in the big leagues. Don’t be scared off by the track record of Cincinnati on the younger arms. Mahle could be a solid 14+ team league add if he sees extended time in the Reds’ rotation.

17. Steven Brault (SP, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 106.1 IP, 2.20 ERA, 3.27 FIP, 23.8% K rate, 9.1% BB rate, 5.5% HR/FB, .208 AVG
ETA: September
Brault was briefly promoted to make a pair of relief appearances. During his time in the bigs this season, he gave up a pair of runs on four hits and two walks with two strikeouts in four innings. Not great, but not terrible. Brault has always been something of a strikeout machine in the minors, so it was a bit surprising not to see him rack up better totals in the majors. But during his MLB stint last season, he struck out batters at a 17.5 percent clip, a rate that still may wind up being a bit low. Though the Pirates also have Glasnow, they may want to give Brault a few looks through the rotation in September. And with his strikeout upside, he could be a solid add to owners in deeper leagues.

18. Willie Calhoun (2B/OF, TEX, AAA)
Stats: 430 PA, .293/.351/.573, 25 HR, 3 SB, 8.4% BB rate, 11.6% K rate
ETA: September
This is one of those rare cases where a player’s glove impacts his bat. If Calhoun was even remotely decent at fielding at second base, he could challenge Rougned Odor for playing time right now. He certainly can hit extremely well, boasting both incredible power and an ability to make tons of contact. However, because he can’t field at second base and is probably not mobile enough for anywhere other than left field, it is tough to find playing time for him. After all, he will not unseat Nomar Mazara in left field at any point soon, and the Texas Rangers already have several first base/DH options. Calhoun is on the list because his bat is just that potent, but finding a defensive home — and thus playing time — is a real challenge.

19. Yandy Diaz (3B, CLE, AAA)
Stats: 307 PA, .349/.459/.472, 5 HR, 0 SB, 16.6% BB rate, 15.3% K rate
ETA: September
Another guy who stands out more for his floor than his ceiling, Diaz has put together by far the best season of his Minor League career, walking at an incredibly high rate and keeping the strikeouts low. Though the power still has not shown up as much as some might like to see, his ability to reach base at a high clip would prove valuable to owners in need of some corner infield depth. Diaz is not a must-add really in most formats unless he carves out some regular playing time, but he could be a solid depth piece for owners looking for help at third base.

20. Dansby Swanson (SS, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 35 PA, .200/.314/.200, 0 HR, 0 SB, 11.4% BB rate, 20.0% K rate
ETA: September
Swanson is the second prospect to show up on this list who will not be rookie eligible next season, but qualifies as one for this season, the first being Glasnow. It may be safe to say that as was the case with Glasnow, Swanson’s club rushed him up to the majors before he was truly ready and he will now need to spend some time building up confidence and proving he can hit. He mustered only a .213/.287/.312 slash line with six homers and two stolen bases. Though he did walk at a solid 9.7 percent clip, the 23.2 percent strikeout rate was a bit alarming. Swanson still has plenty of potential and may just need some time to tighten up a few areas of his game, but his struggles in the big leagues can’t be ignored even if he hits at Triple-A. At this point, even if he does regain his starting spot alongside Ozzie Albies in the infield, he is a deep league add at best.

21. Walker Buehler (SP, LAD, AAA)
Stats: 76.2 IP, 3.40 ERA, 2.81 FIP, 35.2% K rate, 8.8% BB rate, 12.5% HR/FB, .201 AVG
ETA: September

22. Miguel Andujar (3B, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 410 PA, .318/.351/.511, 13 HR, 2 SB, 4.9% BB rate, 13.7% K rate
ETA: September

23. Jake Bauers (1B/OF, TB, AAA)
Stats: 452 PA, .275/.374/.429, 10 HR, 13 SB, 13.1% BB rate, 19.2% K rate
ETA: September

24. Chance Sisco (C, BAL, AAA)
Stats: 324 PA, .276/.343/.390, 4 HR, 2 SB, 8.3% BB rate, 26.5% K rate
ETA: September

25. A.J. Reed (1B, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 427 PA, .251/.349/.481, 22 HR, 0 SB, 12.9% BB rate, 26.0% K rate
ETA: September

26. Nick Gordon (SS, MIN, AA)
Stats: 460 PA, .281/.357/.435, 8 HR, 13 SB, 10.0% BB rate, 21.7% K rate
ETA: September

27. Shawn Morimando (SP, CLE, AAA)
Stats: 140.2 IP, 4.09 ERA, 4.60 FIP, 18.8% K rate, 7.3% BB rate, 12.0% HR/FB, .272 AVG
ETA: September

28. Yohander Mendez (SP, TEX, AA)
Stats: 121.1 IP, 3.86 ERA, 4.97 FIP, 21.5% K rate, 8.1% BB rate, 17.4% HR/FB, .228 AVG
ETA: September

29. Ronald Guzman (1B, TEX, AAA)
Stats: 429 PA, .313/.385/.470, 12 HR, 4 SB, 9.1% BB rate, 15.9% K rate
ETA: September

30. Chance Adams (SP, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 122.1 IP, 1.99 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 23.4% K rate, 10.1% BB rate, 6.3% HR/FB, .175 AVG
ETA: September

 

MLB Rookie Rankings

1. Aaron Judge (OF, NYY)

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

3. Yoan Moncada (2B/3B, CWS)

4. Bradley Zimmer (OF, CLE)

5. Derek Fisher (OF, HOU)

6. Andrew Benintendi (OF, BOS)

7. Rafael Devers (3B, BOS)

8. Ozzie Albies (2B/SS, ATL)

9. Clint Frazier (OF, NYY)

10. Amed Rosario (SS, NYM)

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

12. Trey Mancini (1B, BAL)

13. Paul DeJong (SS, STL)

14. Mitch Haniger (OF, SEA)

15. Matt Davidson (3B, CWS)

16. Jacob Faria (SP, TB)

17. German Marquez (SP, COL)

18. Manuel Margot (OF, SD)

19. Hunter Renfroe (OF, SD)

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