2017 Prospects: Top 30 Impact Rookies for Fantasy Leagues (Week 1)

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.

We are officially underway in the 2017 Major League Baseball season! Who will come away with the World Series at the end of it all? Which rookie will establish himself as the next superstar in the majors? Will the Reds win a game? We will have to just watch the rest of this season and get to see what is to become of it all!

This is the first regular season Top 30 Impact Rookies article of the season. It probably looks a lot different than the last preseason article. That is because 14 names on last week’s list were promoted to the majors, as were a few prospects not named on this list. When will the next big wave of prospect promotions come along? You will just have to wait and find out.

Editor's note: Get a free one-week MLB Premium Pass including our famous Lineup Optimizer/Generator, Premium Matchup Ratings, DFS Lineups, Cheat Sheets, and 10 other 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. Yoan Moncada (2B/3B, CWS, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Early June
Current White Sox second baseman Tyler Saladino opened up Opening Day for the Sox batting leadoff, and delivering a 2-4 day. Pretty solid, right? Sure, he had a good day and that was coming on the heels of a solid 2016 campaign, but he is not going to be enough to keep Moncada down in the minors for long. Once Moncada demonstrates his plate discipline is good and ready (coincidentally, that may not be until after the Super Two deadline), he will be up in the majors producing for fantasy owners. And with his power/speed capability from the second base position, he will be a must-own prospect in all leagues.

2. Tom Murphy (C, COL, DL)
Stats: NA
ETA: Early May
Murphy was sidelined for the start of the season with a hairline fracture in his right forearm, immediately limiting his fantasy value. But as of right now, it appears he will be all ready to go by late April, and could begin his rehab assignment around then to try and get healthy. Tony Wolters is a solid catcher, but Murphy should force Wolters into a platoon role before eventually taking over the role full-time. Murphy’s power combined Coors Field will be a fun thing to watch and a must-own player in fantasy leagues, especially with his catcher eligibility in a very weak year for catchers.

3. Austin Meadows (OF, PIT, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Late June/Early July
Meadows has the potential to be among the game’s elite outfielders, he just needs a chance to see starting time. It looked like it would be early when Andrew McCutchen’s name was tossed around this offseason in trade rumors, but now it looks like he will have to wait for an injury or a Cutch trade. Given that both scenarios are within the realm of possibility (the latter being far more likely than the former), Meadows and his elite power/speed combination and plate discipline at the very least need to be on the radar of all fantasy owners while already warranting a stash in some of the deeper leagues.

4. Bradley Zimmer (OF, CLE, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Early June
Zimmer has the fortune of playing behind a list of players that will likely not keep him down for long. Whether it be injuries, strikeouts, awful platoon splits or just a general lack of offensive upside, the Indians’ outfield is not near deep enough to keep Zimmer down for long. Zimmer has some strikeout issues of his own, but he also is a Gold Glove-caliber defender and possesses one of the most explosive power/speed combinations in the minors. If his recent swing change can reduce the swings-and-misses, he could see plenty of time in the majors and prove to be a potent bat for fantasy owners.

5. Cody Bellinger (1B/OF, LAD, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Mid-July (earlier if any major injuries to OF or 1B)
Bellinger is in the exact same boat as Meadows: all it takes is an injury to an outfielder or a trade/injury to Adrian Gonzalez and he will be promoted. Bellinger is the second-slowest of the prospects in the top-five, but he has the most power potential and sits among the top-two for most advanced bat among the five. The young first baseman will easily hit enough to warrant ownership in most leagues and, like Meadows, needs to be on the radar for owners in almost all leagues in the event any of those aforementioned circumstances should take place. His bat could be game-changing for fantasy owners looking to make a playoff push.

6. Reynaldo Lopez (SP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Mid-May
As of right now, Dylan Covey is set to the fill the void in the White Sox rotation left open by the injury to Carlos Rodon. Covey has never posted a FIP below 3.49 in his career and typically has an ERA over 4.00 in the minors. It is clear that he is just a placeholder until Reynaldo Lopez or Lucas Giolito is ready. Last season, Lopez appeared to be the more major-league ready of the two and could be the first to receive the call-up. His strikeout potential makes him an appealing fantasy player to own in redraft leagues, even if his long-term outlook is still a bit in question as to whether his future is in the rotation or bullpen.

7. Lucas Giolito (SP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Late May
If it’s not Lopez who gets the inevitable call-up, it will be Giolito. The top pitching prospect in the White Sox system, Giolito lost some luster last season after a rough MLB debut, but that could be the result of some hectic travel that saw him consistently get called up and sent back down. Travel like that can certainly harm the consistency in a player’s production, so it will be interesting to see how he does in Chicago where a call-up would likely mean a permanent move. Giolito still has near elite upside and could be a frontline starting pitcher. If he gets the promotion, he is worth at least a speculative add in most leagues as he could very easily put everything together in 2017 and be the stud most saw him being a year ago.

8. Roman Quinn (OF, PHI, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Mid-June
If Quinn could ever stay healthy, he could easily be a 60+ stolen base threat annually. He typically steals around 30 bases per every 70 games played, so 60 steals in 162 games is well within reach for the speedy Philly outfielder. Ironically, his clearest path to the majors lies simply in the fact that he is playing behind other injury-prone outfielders like Michael Saunders and Aaron Altherr. Quinn is the next guy up should any Philadelphia outfielder head to the DL for an extended period of time, and his stolen base ability makes him a valuable commodity to own.

9. Raimel Tapia (OF, COL, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Late July
Speaking of injuries, it seems Rockies’ hitters are dropping like flies, including injuries to Ian Desmond, David Dahl and the aforementioned Tom Murphy. The Rockies are loaded with outfield depth, so for now they can absorb the injury losses. But if the Rockies disappoint in 2017 and trade away someone like Charlie Blackmon or Carlos Gonzalez, or if the injuries keep piling up, Tapia will be expected to fill a starting role for the team. He already has the speed and the consistent contact-making ability to succeed as a fantasy outfielder, but the Coors Field factor could add a little bit of pop and make him a real exciting fantasy outfielder.

10. Dan Vogelbach (1B, SEA, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Late May
In a stunning move, the Mariners opted to demote Vogelbach to Triple-A to begin the 2017 season and roll out Danny Valencia out as their full-time first baseman. How long that will last is anyone’s guess, but for right now, Vogelbach and his offensive potential will have to wait. Should he receive a promotion to the majors, his presence in a potent lineup combined with his power-hitting capability should allow him to produce enough to be owned as a first baseman in most redraft leagues.

11. Lewis Brinson (OF, MIL, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Early August
You wouldn’t ordinarily think of Milwaukee as being particularly deep at anything, but their outfield is actually pretty dang solid. Ryan Braun, Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana keep Brinson pretty well at bay for right now as all of them have high upside (and most fantasy websites have targeted Broxton and Santana as sleepers for their ability to make hard contact). Nonetheless, should any of the outfielders suffer an injury, find themselves dealt away or underperform in 2017, Brinson will be the immediate guy called up by the Brewers. His elite power/speed combination will absolutely warrant ownership, even if his poor plate discipline costs him a bit in the batting average category.

12. Derek Fisher (OF, HOU, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Late July/Early August
Fisher has always produced excellent power/speed numbers and generally posts solid, if uninspiring plate discipline numbers that typically include a strikeout rate around 22 percent and walk rate from 10-16 percent. Fisher is currently stuck behind Nori Aoki and Carlos Beltran in left field, a pair of players he could easily leapfrog given the chance they struggle and chance he continues to rake at Triple-A. His batting average does not figure to be super great, but he has too much power/speed potential to pass up in most leagues if he gets the promotion.

13. Josh Hader (SP, MIL, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Late July
The Brewers’ arms are quickly disappearing after Junior Guerra and Matt Garza have both begun the season on the 10-day DL. This is a major problem for a team that was already limited in rotation depth. Hader, who has struggled with command in the past, could be a potential solution if Guerra’s injury proves to be serious and would be worth owning in most leagues as he possesses much more strikeout potential than most pitching young pitching prospects out there. Think of him as similar to Blake Snell from last year in terms of what value he might be able to provide fantasy owners.

14. Chance Sisco (C, BAL, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Early July
As far as catchers go, Sisco is not terribly exciting. He does not hit for a lot of power and he does not have the speed of a J.T. Realmuto. But what he does have is a reasonable shot to playing time later in the season and the ability to post high batting averages. He will not light up fantasy scoresheets by any means, but it’s a down year for catchers and owners should be happy to take one who might be a starting catcher and can hit .290+.

15. Luke Weaver (SP, STL, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Early July (earlier if an injury to a STL pitcher occurs)
No one benefited more from Alex Reyes’ injury than Luke Weaver. The 23-year-old starting pitcher went from being the seventh man in the Cardinals’ rotation to the next-man-up should anyone in the rotation suffer an injury. And unfortunately for St. Louis, it seems that every year there is always a slew of injuries as the season goes on. Weaver is not near as dominating as some of the other pitchers on this list, but he doesn’t walk anyone and has enough strikeout upside to hold his own. If he gets a chance to pitch at any point this season, he is a low-risk arm who should produce enough to warrant ownership in 12+ team leagues.

16. Joe Jimenez (RP, DET, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Early May
It was a little bit surprising to see Jimenez sent down to the minors after Spring Training, but just know it won’t be long until he is back up. The Tigers have had issues for as long as I can remember in their bullpen and Jimenez could potentially be the answer to a lot of their problems. He has all the makings of a future closer, and could find himself in that role at some point later in the year. With his ridiculous strikeout upside, even if he does not close too many games for Detroit, he could be a comparable own to a guy like Dellin Betances, though admittedly not quite as nasty.

17. Jae-Gyun Hwang (3B, SF, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Mid-May
Hwang had the option if he wanted to become a free agent, but he is going to take his lumps and head down to Triple-A for San Francisco and wait until they need him. Hwang is almost certainly their next guy up should Eduardo Nunez fail to deliver at the hot corner this season. Last season in the KBO, he hit 27 bombs and posted a .335 average. Now it is not uncommon for batters from the KBO to struggle in the majors, but his upside is worth a shot in most leagues.

18. Yohander Mendez (SP, TEX, AA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Early July
Mendez has all the stuff scouts look for in a future No. 3 except durability. Mendez has had some elbow issues in the past and as a result, has never even touched 120 innings of work in a single season. But the Rangers may opt to test his innings limit a bit more this season and try to stretch him out as much as possible to allow him to pitch in the majors where they desperately need some rotation help. If he does reach the big leagues, he has the strikeout potential to warrant ownership in 12+ team leagues.

19. Casey Gillaspie (1B, TB, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Mid-June
If you want a first baseman with power, look no further than Gillaspie. This is a guy who possesses a ton of raw power and the ability to become a future 25-30-home run hitter in the majors. He just needs a chance to start in the big leagues. Logan Morrison is currently manning first for the Rays right now, but Gillaspie could force a promotion if he hits like most believe he is capable of to start 2017. Playing at first base would limit his value a tad though, and he would probably only warrant ownership in 14+ team leagues until he truly demonstrates his power will fully translate to the majors.

20. Charlie Tilson (OF, CWS, DL)
Stats: NA
ETA: Late May
Tilson may be one of the most vanilla names on this list, but playing time = something, which is greater than the guys who will be promoted in August can provide. Tilson could be a solid .280+ hitter with around 15 stolen bases for fantasy owners once he is reactivated from the disabled list in late May. Plus he figures to be the full-time center fielder for the ChiSox once promoted which should give him more than enough time to provide owners with some value.

21. Ronald Guzman (1B, TEX, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Mid-June

22. Clint Frazier (OF, NYY, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Late July

23. Jeimer Candelario (3B, CHC, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Late July/Early August

24. Mitch Garver (C, MIN, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Late July

25. Anthony Banda (SP, ARI, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Early June

26. Nick Williams (OF, PHI, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Late July

27. Christian Arroyo (2B/3B, SF, AA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Early June

28. Francis Martes (SP, HOU, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Early August

29. Tyler O’Neill (OF, SEA, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Early August

30. Jesse Winker (OF, CIN, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Early July

 

MLB Rookie Rankings

1. Andrew Benintendi (OF, BOS)

2. Dansby Swanson (SS, ATL)

3. Manuel Margot (OF, SD)

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

5. Hunter Renfroe (OF, SD)

6. Jharel Cotton (SP, OAK)

7. Robert Gsellman (SP, NYM)

8. Aaron Judge (OF, NYY)

9. Mitch Haniger (OF, SEA)

10. Tyler Glasnow (SP, PIT)

11. Amir Garrett (SP, CIN)

12. Koda Glover (RP, WAS)

13. Cody Reed (SP/RP, CIN)

14. Frankie Montas (SP/RP, OAK)

15. Yandy Diaz (3B, CLE)

16. Albert Almora (OF, CHC)

17. German Marquez (SP/RP, COL)

18. Antonio Senzatela (SP, COL)

19. Trey Mancini (1B, BAL)

20. Ty Blach (SP/RP, SF)

 

More Top MLB Prospects & Rookies