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2017 Prospects: Top 30 Impact Rookies for Fantasy Leagues (Week 6)

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.

Based on a combination of different reasons, including the fact it is a relatively weak prospect year compared to past seasons, we will be including players in the minors who may not qualify as rookies, but are still young and not established. So yes, A.J. Reed and Jose Berrios will be included on this list.

With that said, there’s still a lot of prospects who could have impacts on fantasy baseball rosters this season. To be honest, unless there are any injuries or trades, it could be a little time until some of these players reach the majors. But as we approach June, players will start to receive promotions as the Super Two deadline passes. It’s never too early to keep an eye on prospects with potential impacts down the road. After all, just look at Cody Bellinger and his happy fantasy owners. He’s looking pretty sharp so far.

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 not have an established role with a team and not be over the age of 26. 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 (3B, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 129 PA, .345/.419/.549, 6 HR, 8 SB, 11.6% BB rate, 26.4% K rate
ETA: Late June
White Sox GM Rick Hahn recently spoke about Moncada, saying that he was “by no means complete at the minor league level, but he certainly is making a great deal of progress and we’re thrilled with where he’s at.” A cryptic, vague message no doubt, but most are speculating at this point that Moncada’s promotion will wait until late June when the Super Two deadline on him will likely pass. Those 31 days in Boston last year probably hurt his chances of a call up in the long run, but he is hitting quite well and will certainly take a starting role in Chicago once he is promoted.

2. Lewis Brinson (OF, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 102 PA, .326/.382/.528, 4 HR, 4 SB, 7.8% BB rate, 23.5% K rate
ETA: Mid-June
The Brewers are in no position to rush a top prospect up to the majors given the fact they’re in a rebuilding state, but they will give Brinson a shot this season. Keon Broxton won’t hold down the fort for long with his struggles, and Brinson should receive a promotion once his Super Two deadline passes. He will not have to wait as long as Moncada, given that he has seen no time in the majors to this point, but a wait is a wait. But with his combination of power and speed, he will be a force to be reckoned with once promoted.

3. Austin Meadows (OF, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 113 PA, .194/.257/.262, 1 HR, 3 SB, 7.1% BB rate, 19.5% K rate
ETA: Mid-June
Meadows could easily join Brinson and Moncada in reaching the majors after his own Super Two deadline, but unlike the other two, he has to earn it. He has not exactly been tearing it up in the minors, which has reduced the likelihood of him forcing his way to the majors. But if the Pirates fall out of contention and deal Andrew McCutchen, Meadows could have a starting role from June until the end of the season. That could be an incredibly valuable asset to fantasy owners.

4. Amir Garrett (SP, CIN, AAA)
Stats: 36.0 IP, 4.25 ERA, 4.94 FIP, 18.9% K rate, 9.5% BB rate, 15.8% HR/FB, .220 AVG
ETA: Mid-May
In a surprising move, the Reds optioned Garrett to the minors after a largely successful start to the majors. The team does not need a fifth start over the coming days, and it appears they demoted him to add a bullpen arm for the days ahead.The ERA and home run numbers are not great, but he allowed 10 runs (nine earned) and three home runs against Milwaukee on April 24 over 3.1 innings. Outside of that start, he has allowed eight total runs and three home runs over five other starts. That is a 2.20 ERA. It may be safe to chalk that up as an outlier. He will be back up in the majors before long and has shown the ability to succeed. He is worth owning in nearly all leagues.

5. Jose Berrios (SP, MIN, AAA)
Stats: 39.2 IP, 1.13 ERA, 2.54 FIP, 25.7% K rate, 5.3% BB rate, 4.7% HR/FB, .167 AVG
ETA: Late May
Berrios has finally made the list. He has been added here, and immediately stands out as the second best pitching prospect in the minors. Why? Because it is clear he will play a role with the 2017 Twins. There have only been three rotations in Major League Baseball worse than the Twins. Ervin Santana and Hector Santiago have been great, but all other starters have been terrible for Minnesota. Meanwhile, Berrios’ command has improved after walking 12.5 percent of opposing hitters in last season’s 58.1-inning debut in the majors. If his command is truly improved, his stuff is still electric and he could still become an ace for Minnesota, and fantasy owners who snag him before it’s too late.

6. Bradley Zimmer (OF, CLE, AAA)
To be blunt, Cleveland’s outfield beyond Michael Brantley have been pretty bad this season. Lonnie Chisenhall, Austin Jackson, Abraham Almonte and Brandon Guyer all have either 0.0 WAR or negative WAR to this point. Now Zimmer has not been tearing it up at the minors, but his defense is elite and his power/speed combination is explosive. He is a dynamic player and could provide a spark to Cleveland’s offense, even with his swing-and-miss issues. He is far from perfect, but if owners will own Joey Gallo who strikes out far more and only has power, owners will certainly be happy owning a guy with fewer strikeouts, a higher average and more stolen bases.

7. Tom Murphy (C, COL, AAA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Mid-June
Murphy is still a ways off, and who knows how long it will be before he starts again. I’ve still got him stashed in my league because I love the power upside out of a catcher in Coors Field, but there’s no doubt that stash is burning a little bit right now. He has so much fantasy appeal, but fantasy owners have to be really patient with him.

8. A.J. Reed (1B, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 128 PA, .283/.406/.462, 4 HR, 0 SB, 17.2% BB rate, 25.8% K rate
ETA: Mid-July
Marwin Gonzalez and Yulieski Gurriel have been holding down the fort at first base for Houston, but Reed still has that explosive talent that both of them lack. Though Gonzalez has been sharp this season at the dish, he is more of a super-utility guy longterm than a true first baseman. Reed was terrible last season in the majors, but his walk rate is way up from his previous Triple-A number and he is reaching base at a much higher rate. His strikeout rate needs to come down before he’s ready again for the majors, but the potential is still there for a well above-average first baseman with tons of power.

9. Brandon Woodruff (SP, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 34.1 IP, 1.83 ERA, 3.57 FIP, 22.2% K rate, 5.2% BB rate, 5.1% HR/FB, .208 AVG
ETA: Mid-June
The Brewers are another rotation in need of some help. Tommy Milone is gone, but Jimmy Nelson, Zach Davies and Wily Peralta have all been awful. Woodruff, on the other hand, has been outstanding thus far in the minors and is clearly cruising to a spot in the Milwaukee rotation. Woodruff does not have dominating stuff, but he can get batters out and eat innings in Milwaukee. He’s no future ace like Berrios, but an innings-eater like Mike Leake. Owners in some 10+ and 12+ team leagues could benefit from a guy like that.

10. Tyler Beede (SP, SF, AAA)
Stats: 32.0 IP, 3.38 ERA, 4.40 FIP, 15.9% K rate, 9.9% BB rate, 8.7% HR/FB, .227 AVG
ETA: Late May
It is not easy replacing an ace, and that is the challenge faced by the Giants since Madison Bumgarner’s injury. Even falling behind every other starter in the rotation by two full starts, Madison Bumgarner still has the highest WAR in San Francisco’s rotation by 0.3. Ty Blach has been terrible for the Giants, recently being shellacked by Cincinnati. He is probably not their long term answer, but Beede is. Beede has been solid to this point in the season, and though he is no strikeout artist, he will provide solid innings like Woodruff. Once he gets a chance at the rotation, expect him to hold onto it for a while, providing owners with a reliable innings-eating starting pitcher.

11. Yandy Diaz (3B, CLE, AAA)
Stats: 55 PA, .395/.509/.558, 1 HR, 0 SB, 20.0% BB rate, 7.3% K rate
ETA: Early June
Diaz continues to rake since his demotion to Triple-A, and at this point, there is little to no doubt he will be promoted again in the near future. He neither possesses a ton of power nor a ton of speed, but hits can be valuable in fantasy leagues. He has the makings of a regular third baseman in the majors, similar to Martin Prado, and could be valuable to some fantasy owners. Expect his time in the minors to be brief, and owners in 12+ teams should be ready to snag him again as a solid depth piece at the corner infield positions.

12. Franklin Barreto (SS, OAK, AAA)
Stats: 130 PA, .353/.403/.534, 4 HR, 3 SB, 6.9% BB rate, 28.5% K rate
ETA: Mid-June
Barreto is really in the same boat as Moncada where there is really no one to keep him down in the minors, but he is down just because of service time. Once that Super Two clock passes for Barreto, he will be promoted. He has been crushing minor league pitching thus far and has demonstrated he is capable of hitting at the higher levels despite his youth (21). His power and speed combination has always been solid, and it would be especially valuable coming from a middle-infielder.

13. Dan Vogelbach (1B, SEA, AAA)
Stats: 89 PA, .288/.404/.425, 2 HR, 1 SB, 15.7% BB rate, 20.2% K rate
ETA: Early June
Vogelbach’s time in the majors was brief, and largely unsuccessful again. He hit only .143 with no home runs in six games, but the potential is still there for a well-round first baseman who can hit for both average and power. His plate discipline has always been great, as has his power potential. If he gets another shot at the majors and begins to find some consistency at the plate, then owners could be rewarded with a valuable first baseman in the majors.

14. Reynaldo Lopez (SP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 32.0 IP, 3.94 ERA, 5.06 FIP, 24.8% K rate, 13.5% BB rate, 13.5% HR/FB, .208 AVG
ETA: Late June
Lopez got off to a brutal start this season, but appeared to make some progress. However, he walked five batters in his last start. Even with seven strikeouts, that’s not good. He needs to reign in his control in order to reach the majors. Dylan Covey may be on the way out of the rotation, but there are still several slots due for an upgrade. Lopez has probably leapfrogged Lucas Giolito who has really struggled this season, and brings to the table strikeout upside. Again though, he needs to prove his command issues are behind him before he will be promoted.

15. Derek Fisher (OF, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 137 PA, .325/.382/.569, 7 HR, 3 SB, 8.0% BB rate, 25.5% K rate
ETA: Mid-July
Houston’s outfield continues to perform admirably, but Fisher is trailing only Ian Happ on this list for most home runs, while also batting over .300 right now. His power/speed combination is exciting, and though he struggles with the common dilemma of strikeouts, he has hit for a nice average in spite of it. All it takes now is an injury or a cold streak from one of the starters, and Fisher should be able to reach the majors.

16. Jeimer Candelario (3B, CHC, AAA)
Stats: 115 PA, .340/.443/.649, 4 HR, 0 SB, 13.9% BB rate, 22.6% K rate
ETA: Late July/Early August
As per usual, Candelario’s trade value hinges on a trade to another team. If the deadline passes and he is not traded, his value is essentially zero. But he is hitting for power now, and has continued to display promising discipline, making him a potentially exciting option for fantasy owners. He just needs a chance outside of Chicago.

17. Amed Rosario (SS, NYM, AAA)
Stats: 132 PA, .373/.417/.517, 2 HR, 7 SB, 6.8% BB rate, 12.9% K rate
ETA: Late July
Since April 26, Jose Reyes is slashing .311/.385/.622 with three home runs and a pair of stolen bases. Not good for a prospect like Rosario who needs everything to fall his way to find playing time. Rosario is hitting well, but he will need full starting time to have any sort of fantasy value given his already limited fantasy skillset. If Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera continue to hit, Rosario will be essentially put on the list of players to only be promoted if there is an injury.

18. Tyler O’Neill (OF, SEA, AAA)
Stats: 122 PA, .183/.254/.330, 3 HR, 4 SB, 9.0% BB rate, 28.7% K rate
ETA: Late July
O’Neill has struggled a fair amount in the minors this season, but the opening after Mitch Haniger’s injury is still there for the taking. Like with Austin Meadows, he needs to find his bat in order to warrant his promotion. The potential is there for a true middle-of-the-order slugger that a team like Seattle could use. But for O’Neill to have enough time to have a fantasy impact, that bat needs to get going soon. Once Haniger returns, it will be tougher for him to crack that 25-man roster.

19. Ian Happ (2B/OF, CHC, AAA)
Stats: 103 PA, .264/.340/.604, 9 HR, 1 SB, 10.7% BB rate, 22.3% K rate
ETA: Late July
Happ is currently on the list of players who requires an injury to reach the majors. He is hitting for enough pop and knows how to hit, but he plays for arguably the most loaded roster in baseball. If a guy like Ben Zobrist or Javier Baez winds up on the disabled list, Happ could be on the next bus to Chicago and provide owners with a great source of thunder. But he needs injuries to happen, and because of that, he is not a recommended stash.

20. Luke Weaver (SP, STL, AAA)
Stats: 15.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2.35 FIP, 20.8% K rate, 0.0% BB rate, 0.0% HR/FB, .167 AVG
ETA: Late June
The Cardinals rotation has actually been very reliable this season, with all but one pitcher owning an ERA above 4.00 (Adam Wainwright) and one starter with a FIP above 4.00 (Lance Lynn). But injury always strikes, it always seems to strike St. Louis. Weaver is the sixth man in that rotation and has been extraordinary through three starts. He has gone 15 innings without a run allowed, and only eight hits allowed. He is a very solid starter with a relative amount of upside, and would be worth owning in all leagues if promoted.

21. Ronald Guzman (1B, TEX, AAA)
Stats: 134 PA, .352/.410/.492, 3 HR, 0 SB, 7.5% BB rate, 17.2% K rate
ETA: Early July

22. Zack Burdi (RP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 11.2 IP, 2.31 ERA, 1.79 FIP, 35.9% K rate, 7.6% BB rate, 0.0% HR/FB, .174 AVG
ETA: Early July

23. Lucas Giolito (SP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 28.1 IP, 7.31 ERA, 6.03 FIP, 23.1% K rate, 13.4% BB rate, 24.0% HR/FB, .283 AVG
ETA: Early July

24. Rhys Hoskins (1B, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 115 PA, .343/.426/.657, 8 HR, 12.2% BB rate, 15.7% K rate
ETA: Early August

25. Jesse Winker (OF, CIN, AAA)
Stats: 108 PA, .290/.370/.333, 0 HR, 0 SB, 12.0% BB rate, 11.1% K rate
ETA: Early August

26. Casey Gillaspie (1B, TB, AAA)
Stats: 119 PA, .224/.294/.383, 4 HR, 1 SB, 9.2% BB rate, 22.7% K rate
ETA: Late July

27. Josh Hader (SP, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 35.2 IP, 4.54 ERA, 6.66 FIP, 21.5% K rate, 14.8% BB rate, 19.0% HR/FB, .205 AVG
ETA: Early August

28. Jae-Gyun Hwang (3B, SF, AAA)
Stats: 117 PA, .306/.333/.396, 0 HR, 2 SB, 4.3% BB rate, 20.5% K rate
ETA: Mid-July

29. Yohander Mendez (SP, TEX, AA)
Stats: 36.1 IP, 3.72 ERA, 5.95 FIP, 21.3% K rate, 10.7% BB rate, 23.5% HR/FB, .197 AVG
ETA: Early August

30. Clint Frazier (OF, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 120 PA, .258/.358/.495, 4 HR, 2 SB, 12.5% BB rate, 21.7% K rate
ETA: Mid-August


MLB Rookie Rankings

1. Aaron Judge (OF, NYY)

2. Andrew Benintendi (OF, BOS)

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

4. Manuel Margot (OF, SD)

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

6. Hunter Renfroe (OF, SD)

7. Trey Mancin (1B, BAL)

8. Dansby Swanson (SS, ATL)

9. Robert Gsellman (SP, NYM)

10. Christian Arroyo (SS, SF)

11. Mitch Haniger (OF, SEA)

12. Matt Davidson (3B, CWS)

13. Jharel Cotton (SP, OAK)

14. Jorge Bonifacio (OF, KC)

15. Antonio Senzatela (SP, COL)

16. Albert Almora (OF, CHC)

17. Koda Glover (RP, WAS)

18. Manny Pina (C, MIL)

19. Andrew Toles (OF, LAD)

20. Kyle Freeland (SP, COL)


More MLB Prospects & Rookies