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2018 Prospects: Top 30 Impact Rookies for Fantasy Leagues (Week 13)

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.

The injury bug continues to bite this year. It wasn’t enough that Shohei Ohtani, Ronald Acuna, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Alex Reyes and Victor Robles had to be dealt with injuries that have kept them out for a while, but now Nick Senzel is out for the year with a torn ligament in his thumb.

There is hope. Ohtani could return this year and Acuna should be back soon. There are also still plenty of rookies who could have a big impact this year even with the season over halfway done. Who knows, we might get a Vladdy sighting yet. I won’t hold my breath for it, but we’ll see . . .

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 2018, 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. Kyle Tucker (OF, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 328 PA, .318//.387/.521, 11 HR, 13 SB, 10.4% BB%, 19.2% K%
ETA: Mid-July
The numbers Tucker has put up over his past 15 games are truly mind-boggling. He has at least one hit in every game and at least two in all but five of them. He has three home runs, six walks, 10 strikeouts and a ridiculous .508/.545/.763 slash line. It’s tough to find playing time for him at the moment just because of how well Tony Kemp has played in left field, but at some point, the Astros will have to find a way to fit Tucker’s bat into the lineup. He has just done too much to be kept in Triple-A. If he is promoted and is given regular starting time, Tucker would be worth owning in just about all leagues.

2. Austin Riley (3B, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 222 PA, .308/.369/.552, 10 HR, 1 SB, 8.1% BB%, 29.7% K%
ETA: Mid-July
The knee injury to Riley has potentially delayed his arrival to the majors and it could be a little bit of time before he gets back to full health. But once he does — especially now that the Super Two deadline has passed — he should be on the fast track to the majors. Riley gives Atlanta the right-handed power bat it needs at a position it has received little major offensive production from this season. His recovery will be important to monitor, but he stands to be a potential major boost to fantasy owners if he gets a chance to shine in the middle of that talented lineup.

3. Christin Stewart (OF, DET, AAA)
Stats: 306 PA, .271/.353/.508, 15 HR, 0 SB, 11.1% BB%, 19.9% K%
ETA: Early July
There is still no reason to keep Stewart in the minors and it is surprising at this point that he remains in Toledo. Stewart has greatly reduced his strikeouts, continued to walk and hit for power. Plus as the rebuilding team that Detroit is, it makes sense to give the 24-year-old outfielder his first taste of the majors to see if he is ready for a starting role or if he still needs more development time. Stewart has not been considered a top prospect for long, but his power would make him worth owning in plenty of leagues, especially if he is truly able to put his strikeout woes behind him.

4. Alex Verdugo (OF, LAD, AAA)
Stats: 216 PA, .340/.384/.505, 6 HR, 4 SB, 6.9% BB%, 12.0% K%
ETA: Early August
As has been well established, Verdugo is major-league ready. But right now, there’s not much of a place for him on the big-league roster. It would make sense for the Los Angeles Dodgers to consider moving him in a deal — and his name has been thrown out as one asked about in almost all trade talks. The Dodgers haven’t made any indication yet they are willing to move him, but if they do, he figures to start with just about any other team he is sent to. He offers a little bit of everything, but stands out for his high floor. His name will be one to watch as the deadline approaches.

5. Tyler O’Neill (OF, STL, AAA)
Stats: 187 PA, .307/.364/.627, 15 HR, 3 SB, 8.0% BB%, 24.1% K%
ETA: Early August
O’Neill continues to plod along at Triple-A, doing everything in his power to show he belongs in the majors while biding his time in the minors. He has raised his walk rate up immensely since being sent down and has continued to hit for power. O’Neill has been the injury replacement outfielder for the Cardinals this season, but could be a potential trade chip at the deadline should St. Louis decide to make some moves. The playing time is not currently there for O’Neill, but monitor him carefully because his power would make him a valuable add in plenty of redraft leagues should he find regular at-bats.

6. Peter Alonso (1B, NYM, AAA)
Stats: 313 PA, .307/.431/.571, 18 HR, 0 SB, 15.7% BB%, 20.4% K%
ETA: Early August
After Adrian Gonzalez was released, Dominic Smith was moved up from Triple-A to the majors and Alonso from Double-A to Triple-A. As expected, Smith has struggled at the big-league level, slashing only .250/.286/.450 with a 31 percent strikeout rate. While Alonso has been striking out at a 35 percent clip so far at Triple-A, he has overall seen much more positive results, slashing .265/.375/.559 with three home runs, a total higher than Smith had in 56 games at hitter-friendly Las Vegas this season. Alonso has surpassed Smith as the player most view as the franchise first baseman given his explosive bat that has just continued to rake at every level. If he can trim the strikeouts and Smith continues to struggle in the majors, it would not be surprising to see Alonso pass Smith on the depth chart as well.

7. Willie Calhoun (OF, TEX, AAA)
Stats: 312 PA, .277/.324/.408, 6 HR, 1 SB, 5.8% BB%, 11.5% K%
ETA: Mid-July
The beat goes on for Calhoun. After struggling for the first two months of the season, Calhoun has found his groove at Round Rock, slashing .343/.378/.529 with two homers, four walks and five strikeouts over his past 16 games. He has started to heat up at the dish, which should help him make a strong case for a mid-summer promotion. It seemed earlier this year the only thing the Rangers were waiting on was for him to start hitting. Now that he is, he should be ready to head to Arlington and re-establish himself as one of the next middle-of-the-order bats for the Rangers.

8. Jalen Beeks (SP, BOS, AAA)
Stats: 75.0 IP, 2.40 ERA, 2.88 FIP, 33.9% K%, 6.7% BB%, 12.7% HR/FB
ETA: Mid-July
Beeks has really been exceptional at Triple-A all season, but his start last Sunday was the best of the season so far. He delivered seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts while allowing just two hits and two walks. He hasn’t blown past hitters with the stuff of a future ace, but he has done well in part by locating well and making the most out of his pitches. The Boston Red Sox’s rotation is starting to look pretty full now that Steven Wright is pitching well, but Beeks could be one of the few attractive trade chips the team possesses at the deadline and still could return to Boston in the event of an injury. He is worth keeping an eye on given his newfound ability to miss bats.

9. Nick Kingham (SP, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 54.1 IP, 2.65 ERA, 2.59 FIP, 25.7% K%, 6.5% BB%, 3.8% HR/FB
ETA: Early July
It’s pretty clear that Kingham belongs in the majors at this point. It’s just a matter of who he pitches in place of. The Pittsburgh Pirates have received solid production from their starting pitchers and right now, everyone is healthy. Kingham produced solid results in the majors to accompany the promising numbers posted at Triple-A. He is no ace, but he has shown he can generate strikeouts at the big-league level and keep runs off the board. He should be back up to Pittsburgh at some point this season and offers fantasy owners enough to make him worth rostering in 12-plus-team leagues.

10. Kolby Allard (SP, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 81.0 IP, 2.44 ERA, 3.54 FIP, 18.3% K%, 6.8% BB%, 5.8% HR/FB
ETA: Late July
Not since April 28 has Allard not made it through the sixth inning. He has been rolling right along through Triple-A, showing off his ability to locate his pitches well and go deep into outings by being efficient. His stuff is not electrifying and he might not be a high strikeout guy in the majors. But given the issues of Luiz Gohara who has an overpowering repertoire, it is clear that sometimes pitchability works most effectively. Allard could find himself in Atlanta later this summer if Mike Soroka continues to struggle with injuries and Gohara continues to just struggle in general. Allard is a high floor, low ceiling prospect who would be worth using in 12-plus-team leagues for his ability to eat innings and avoid major blowups.

11. Matt Thaiss (1B, LAA, AAA)
Stats: 310 PA, .293/.348/.509, 12 HR, 3 SB, 7.4% BB%, 17.4% K%
ETA: Early August
Thaiss has begun to buy into the fly-ball revolution, which has helped him tap into some of his raw power. He has never been much of a slugger in the pros, but this season, he is hitting for enough power to start to show up on fantasy radars. It is a good time for him to start producing like this given the absence of Shohei Ohtani from the lineup and the need in Anaheim for some left-handed power. Owners are advised to be cautious with Thaiss since there is no telling if he will be able to keep the power going in the majors. Still, if he does get the promotion, he offers a high floor with a reliable bat that should hit for a decent average. The added power could just be a bonus for owners.

12. Cedric Mullins (OF, BAL, AAA)
Stats: 321 PA, .288/.345/.473, 8 HR, 13 SB, 7.2% BB%, 12.8% K%
ETA: Early August
Since arriving at Triple-A Norfolk, Mullins has been a little bit unlucky. Though he has two home runs and four stolen bases, Mullins has just a .231 batting average mostly in part to a .250 BABIP, nearly 80 points lower than what he had at Double-A. Still, Mullins is right now the outfield prospect of Baltimore’s performing the best given Austin Hays’ injury and struggles, meaning that Mullins is probably the next guy up if Adam Jones is traded or the Orioles just get tired of trotting Colby Rasmus out there. Mullins has a little bit of speed and some pop to offer fantasy owners, profiling as a future top-of-the-order hitter. He should get his chance this season and would be worth owning in plenty of 12-plus-team leagues.

13. Danny Jansen (C, TOR, AAA)
Stats: 236 PA, .299/.413/.474, 5 HR, 4 SB, 12.3% BB%, 12.7% K%
ETA: Early August
Jansen continues to put up strong numbers at Triple-A, walking nearly as much as he is striking out and hitting close to .300. While the defense still leaves something to be desired, at this point, he could be most benefitted by being promoted to the majors and learning from Russell Martin, who despite struggling to swing the bat is still an above-average defensive catcher. Jansen’s bat is not as potent as the next name on this list, but he would still be worth owning in all 12-plus-team leagues and any two-catcher league given the lack of offensive depth at catcher this season.

14. Francisco Mejia (C/3B/OF, CLE, AAA)
Stats: 265 PA, .261/.310/.402, 6 HR, 0 SB, 5.3% BB%, 19.6% K%
ETA: Early August
Mejia’s name has been tossed around in trade rumors if Cleveland decides to go after a top bullpen arm, but it could be tough for the Indians to part with their top prospect if he keeps hitting the way he has of late. In his past 18 games, Mejia is slashing .425/.440/.616 with a pair of long balls. Though Yan Gomes is starting to find his power again, Mejia still looks plenty capable of becoming the team’s franchise catcher. His defense will need to improve behind the plate if he is going to avoid a move to the outfield, but he could be a boon for fantasy owners regardless of the position just because of the upside he brings to the plate.

15. Dakota Hudson (SP, STL, AAA)
Stats: 88.1 IP, 2.04 ERA, 3.75 FIP, 17.8% K%, 8.5% BB%, 1.6% HR/FB
ETA: Early August
The peripherals for Hudson aren’t great despite a sparkling 2.04 ERA in Triple-A this season. Despite an electric fastball/slider combination, Hudson has not been able to miss many bats and still walks more batters than owners would like to see. However, he has still been able to keep runs off the board at Memphis, which should count for something, and he could be rewarded with a promotion later this season. St. Louis’ rotation is crowded, which could mean that Hudson is a likely trade candidate at the deadline or even a bullpen arm. A move to the pen would not be super helpful for owners even if scouts believe he could produce stellar results, but he could have value in deeper formats if he is given a chance to start at the big league level.

16. Forrest Whitley (SP, HOU, AA)
Stats: 16.1 IP, 3.86 ERA, 2.77 FIP, 35.3% K%, 8.8% BB%, 6.7% HR/FB
ETA: September
Since returning from his suspension, Whitley had been on quite a roll until a clunker on Sunday in which he allowed seven earned runs over 4.1 innings with five hits and three walks. He still struck out six batters, continuing to show that he has dominant stuff. Whitley has the makings of a future ace and had it not been for his suspension, he could already be pushing for innings in Houston even with the crowded rotation. As it is, Whitley could be a September call-up candidate and could help eat up some innings at the end of the season to preserve some of the arms in Houston’s rotation. Even for a brief call up, Whitley’s exceptional stuff with his solid control would make him a pitcher worth owning in plenty of leagues in need of some support for the stretch playoff run.

17. Michael Kopech (SP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 73.1 IP, 4.66 ERA, 3.88 FIP, 29.8% K%, 14.7% BB%, 7.8% HR/FB
ETA: September
Kopech’s walk rate is now the highest it has ever been in a level with over 50 innings pitched. There aren’t many who would doubt that Kopech is the most talented arm in the Chicago White Sox organization — including at the big-league level — but until he gets his walks in check, he is probably not likely to see the majors. The payoff if he makes it to the majors this season would be huge given the strikeout upside he possesses. But right now, there’s no reason for the White Sox to call him up the way he has struggled.

18. Enyel De Los Santos (SP, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 83.1 IP, 1.73 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 25.5% K%, 8.4% BB%, 9.6% HR/FB
ETA: Early August
De Los Santos is not considered among the top prospects in baseball, but he has quietly put together a strong campaign at Triple-A. He has only allowed three runs in a start twice this season — never more than three runs — and on only two other occasions did two earned runs cross the plate in a total of 14 starts. There is bullpen risk with De Los Santos given that most scouts believe he has a great two-pitch mix with his fastball and changeup, but he could earn some starts in Philadelphia in the event of an injury or could start for another team if he is traded away at the deadline. He does have some strikeout upside, which could help owners in some deeper leagues if promoted.

19. Eloy Jimenez (OF, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 248 PA, .311/.367/.545, 11 HR, 0 SB, 8.5% BB%, 16.9% K%
ETA: September
Jimenez was promoted to Triple-A after tearing up Double-A in 53 games. While this does not guarantee a big-league promotion by any stretch of the imagination, it at least means Jimenez is one level closer to the majors. If he continues to make a mockery of Triple-A pitching the same way he did to Double-A arms, he could earn a cup of coffee in September, which could be plenty valuable to owners in the playoff stretch given his explosive bat. He is not worth stashing just because there is still plenty of risk he does not see the big leagues, but he would be worth owning in all leagues if given the chance to play in Chicago.

20. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B/OF, TOR, AA)
Stats: 235 PA, .407/.457/.667, 11 HR, 3 SB, 8.5% BB%, 8.9% K%
ETA: September
Unlike Senzel, Guerrero’s injury will not keep him out for the rest of the season. However, it could keep him off Toronto’s big league roster for the year. He might not return to Double-A until August, and if that is the case, he could be kept in the minors until 2019. It is important to follow his progress given his immense talent and the fantasy upside he brings, but he no longer is someone worth stashing.

21. Luis Urias (2B/SS, SD, AAA)
Stats: 312 PA, .264/.372/.404, 6 HR, 1 SB, 13.1% BB%, 19.6% K%
ETA: September

22. Griffin Canning (SP, LAA, AA)
Stats: 58.1 IP, 1.54 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 29.1% K%, 10.9% BB%, 4.3% HR/FB
ETA: September

23. Nick Gordon (2B/SS, MIN, AAA)
Stats: 315 PA, .299/.337/.450, 5 HR, 8 SB, 4.8% BB%, 16.8% K%
ETA: September

24. Sandy Alcantara (SP, MIA, AAA)
Stats: 85.0 IP, 3.71 ERA, 4.58 FIP, 18.0% K%, 9.6% BB%, 7.4% HR/FB
ETA: Early August

25. Victor Robles (OF, WAS, AAA)
Stats: 15 PA, .385/.467/.385, 0 HR, 2 SB, 13.3% BB%, 6.7% K%
ETA: September

26. Myles Straw (OF, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 23 PA, 336 PA, .329/.413/.394, 1 HR, 41 SB, 11.6% BB%, 14.3% K%
ETA: Mid-August

27. Carson Kelly (C, STL, AAA)
Stats: 147 PA, .254/.347/.405, 3 HR, 0 SB, 12.2% BB%, 11.6% K%
ETA: Early August

28. Steven Duggar (OF, SF, AAA)
Stats: 311 PA, .279/.360/.420, 3 HR, 11 SB, 10.9% BB%, 29.3% K%
ETA: Early August

29. Greg Allen (OF, CLE, AAA)
Stats: 123 PA, .273/.392/.354, 0 HR, 6 SB, 9.8% BB%, 19.5% K%
ETA: Early August

30. Ryan Mountcastle (3B/OF, BAL, AA)
Stats: 179 PA, .313/.363/.506, 7 HR, 0 SB, 6.7% BB%, 16.8% K%
ETA: September


MLB Rookie Rankings

1. Gleyber Torres (2B/SS/3B, NYY)

2. Ronald Acuna (OF, ATL)

3. Juan Soto (OF, WAS)

4. Walker Buehler (SP, LAD)

5. Austin Meadows (OF, PIT)

6. Jack Flaherty (SP, STL)

7. Miguel Andujar (3B, NYY)

8. Josh Hader (RP, MIL)

9. Colin Moran (1B/3B, PIT)

10. Fernando Romero (SP, MIN)

11. Dustin Fowler (OF, OAK)

12. Jake Bauers (OF, TB)

13. Willy Adames (SS, TB)

14. Caleb Smith (SP, MIA)

15. Jesse Winker (OF, CIN)

16. Mike Soroka (SP, ATL)

17. Christian Villanueva (3B, SD)

18. Joe Jimenez (RP, DET)

19. Shane Bieber (SP, CLE)

20. Scott Kingery (2B/3B/SS/OF, PHI)

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