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2018 Prospects: Top 30 Impact Rookies for Fantasy Leagues (Week 19)

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 season is really starting to wind down. There are only going to be three more of these lists coming out before the rosters expand to 40 players.
But until then, there is still plenty of important prospect names to follow. Though most of the players will be promoted in September, a fair amount could still be promoted earlier, which could make a difference in fantasy playoff races. It will be important for readers in search of that little edge in the playoff race to follow this list to see who might be getting the earlier promotion.


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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 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. Eloy Jimenez (OF, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 348 PA, .338/.388/.599, 18 HR, 0 SB, 7.5% BB%, 15.2% K%
ETA: September
As long as there are rumors of Jimenez being promoted in September or before, he will be at the top of this list (unless Vladdy is confirmed to be coming up). Jimenez is an incredibly talented prospect with the chance to be one of the best young hitters in the game. He has a plus hit tool and plus-plus power, leaving many to believe he will be a future middle-of-the-order hitter. If Jimenez does indeed receive the promotion in 2018, his bat could be a huge boost for fantasy owners in plenty of leagues.

2. Austin Meadows (OF, TB, AAA)
Stats: 191 PA, .278/.319/.392, 2 HR, 11 SB, 5.2% BB%, 13.6% K%
ETA: Mid-August
The trade to Tampa Bay hasn’t helped right away, but Meadows is in a better situation here than in Pittsburgh. With the Pirates, he was not likely to crack the outfield with Corey Dickerson not being traded. In Tampa, however, he should be able to pass Carlos Gomez in the starting lineup at some point. Though Meadows is not the future superstar Jimenez will likely be, Meadows can provide owners with a promising hit tool, some power and speed. He’s already shown he can be an exciting player in the majors and should get a chance to prove that further in the big leagues.

3. Peter Alonso (1B, NYM, AAA)
Stats: 463 PA, .278/.397/.543, 26 HR, 0 SB, 14.0% BB%, 22.7% K%
ETA: Late August
It was easy to understand keeping Alonso in the minors when he was struggling initially against Triple-A pitching. He’s not struggling anymore. Since July 19, Alonso has launched five home runs and posted a .328/.405/.672 slash line. Though in a hitter-friendly environment, Alonso is recording impressive numbers and certainly would bring excitement to the majors. With a team like the New York Mets who have labored for much of this season, Alonso would be a boost to many home fans who haven’t had much to cheer for. For fantasy owners, he would be a first base prospect who could provide owners with a huge power boost down the stretch of the season.

4. Austin Riley (3B, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 340 PA, .294/.371/.498, 11 HR, 1 SB, 9.7% BB%, 26.5% K%
ETA: September
Riley is going to need to turn his numbers around soon. Though eight games is still a relatively small sample size, a .138/.278/.207 slash line is not good and time is running out. Riley should be a September call up and could force his way into the lineup, but his bat could be ready to help out the Braves right now if he starts hitting a little bit more in Triple-A. He has the potential to give a huge power boost to fantasy owners if he can force his way to the majors.

5. Christin Stewart (OF, DET, AAA)
Stats: 420 PA, .255/.343/.477, 20 HR, 0 SB, 11.2% BB%, 20.7% K%
ETA: Late August
The fact Stewart hasn’t been promoted yet is fairly surprising. The Detroit Tigers don’t really have many options better than Stewart in the outfield and could certainly benefit by giving the youngster some at-bats in the big leagues to get acclimated before he is starting next year. He has a hit in all but one game since July 26 and has proven with his solid overall numbers he’s about ready for the show. If given the call, his power would make him worth owning in plenty of leagues.

6. Alex Verdugo (OF, LAD, AAA)
Stats: 306 PA, .345/.395/.491, 8 HR, 6 SB, 7.8% BB%, 12.7% K%
ETA: September
Verdugo remains in an unfortunate situation for him. Like Meadows, he could have benefitted from a trade given the clustered Los Angeles outfield. For now, Verdugo will have to hold back and wait for an injury to happen. He should be able to see the field plenty in September, but it doesn’t seem as likely that he will get much before then. He’s still a promising fantasy prospect if he gets the playing time, but it is now a major question where he will find that time.

7. Cedric Mullins (OF, BAL, AAA)
Stats: 485 PA, .288/.346/.465, 11 HR, 21 SB, 7.6% BB%, 13.6% K%
ETA: Late August
Adam Jones has remained with the Baltimore Orioles, but that should not be an issue for Mullins. Though center field is Mullins’ natural position, he could fit in either of the corners and could fill in at right field where Baltimore has had no quality options this season. Mullins has posted impressive numbers between Double- and Triple-A and looks ready for the majors. He is almost certainly one of the 25 best players in the Orioles’ organization and could provide owners with some power and speed if given a chance to play before the end of the year.

8. Taylor Ward (3B, LAA, AAA)
Stats: 423 PA, .351/.447/.534, 14 HR, 17 SB, 14.4% BB%, 21.3% K%
ETA: Late August
Few players have recorded more impressive numbers in the minors this season than Ward. The former catcher has found his bat since shifting to third base and looks ready for the big leagues. The Los Angeles Angels certainly hoped this season would have been better, but turning to a young slugger like Ward for some playing time down the stretch could help them gauge if he can contribute to another team that will feature Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in 2019. He should see some playing time before the year is up and if so, he should be able to help contribute to fantasy owners in 12-plus-team leagues.

9. Francisco Mejia (C/3B, SD, AAA)
Stats: 380 PA, .289/.343/.436, 8 HR, 0 SB, 6.1% BB%, 16.6% K%
ETA: September
The trade to San Diego helped Mejia’s value immensely — both short and long term. It was unclear if he would ever crack the starting catcher role for the Cleveland Indians, but now he’s only doing battle with Austin Hedges for the future of the role. Mejia is not the defender Hedges is, but the bat is much better and could make a difference in the battle. Mejia should get a chance to split time with Hedges down the stretch of the season, and even a little bit of playing time could provide real value to fantasy owners in two-catcher leagues.

10. Kolby Allard (SP, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 109.1 IP, 2.80 ERA, 3.40 FIP, 19.6% K%, 7.4% BB%, 4.8% HR/FB
ETA: Late August
Allard’s MLB debut did not quite go as planned, but at times he looked solid. His stuff is not going to miss a lot of bats in the majors, which does not give him much room for error. However, he keeps the walks down and generates a lot of weak contact. Allard doesn’t get himself into trouble and even if he’s not a future ace, he is someone who should be valuable to fantasy owners if he gets another chance in the majors. If Allard can force himself back to the majors, he should be able to produce enough value to be worth owning in some leagues.

11. Matt Thaiss (1B, LAA, AAA)
Stats: 466 PA, .283/.337/.489, 15 HR, 7 SB, 7.3% BB%, 18.0% K%
ETA: September
Like with Ward, Thaiss is someone who has done everything he’s needed to do in 2018 to prove he’s worthy of consideration for future playing time. It doesn’t help that Thaiss is limited to first base or designated hitter — occupied by Albert Pujols and Ohtani — but he should still be given at least a chance to make a case down the stretch. He has the hit tool which would give him a high floor and the power could give him legit value if it carries to the big leagues.

12. Enyel De Los Santos (SP, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 104.0 IP, 2.51 ERA, 4.04 FIP, 22.7% K%, 8.4% BB%, 9.7% HR/FB
ETA: Late August
De Los Santos has not made a start since July 29, and it’s unclear what the reason might be. There has been no injury reported on him to this point, so it could just be to save some innings. He has been spectacular at Triple-A and warrants another look at the majors at some point before the year is over. Assuming he’s healthy, he should get it. He has been able to miss plenty of bats this season and would be a solid depth starting piece if he’s able to grab a couple starts.

13. Kevin Newman (2B/SS, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 446 PA, .298/.345/.390, 3 HR, 27 SB, 6.3% BB%, 10.5% K%
ETA: Late August
The fact Pittsburgh did not engage in a fire sale is not a great sign for Newman who stood to benefit from a trade of Jordy Mercer or Josh Harrison. However, his defensive versatility and solid bat this season at Triple-A could help lead him to the majors for a utility role at some point before the year ends. He has a top-of-the-order approach, hitting for a high average and offering plenty of speed. Newman might not be an immediate starter, but his speed could help owners in search of a couple stolen bases down the stretch.

14. Danny Jansen (C, TOR, AAA)
Stats: 345 PA, .273/.387/.472, 12 HR, 5 SB, 12.2% BB%, 13.6% K%
ETA: September
Jansen endured a bit of a rough stretch in the beginning of July, but he has started to turn that around. Over his past 10 games, he has a pair of home runs and a .333/.351/.556 slash line while maintaining a strikeout rate below 15 percent. Jansen has emerged as one of the best offensive catchers in the minors even if the glove work still leaves a bit to be desired. He probably belongs in the majors now, but it is unclear what Toronto has for his immediate future. Should he reach the majors, his bat would be worth owning in plenty of leagues given the lack of depth at catcher.

15. Michael Kopech (SP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 113.1 IP, 4.05 ERA, 3.55 FIP, 30.9% K%, 12.2% BB%, 8.6% HR/FB
ETA: September
Another great start turned in by Kopech. On Sunday, he lasted seven innings, striking out nine while giving up just two runs on eight hits. Most impressive? Zero walks. He’s only done that once all season, and that came three starts ago. Over his past four starts, he has recorded a 2.32 ERA over 31 innings of work with just four walks. He is starting to put it together, and if he can keep this streak going, he could in line for a September promotion. The White Sox will likely monitor his innings, but his strikeout upside would play well even if he was limited to some bullpen work and a spot start.

16. Luiz Gohara (SP, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 48.2 IP, 5.36 ERA, 4.80 FIP, 23.9% K%, 7.5% BB%, 16.1% HR/FB
ETA: Late August
One talented starter who has not turned things around of late? Gohara. He has allowed at least three runs in each of his past three starts and has made it into the sixth twice. The walks aren’t an issue for him, surprisingly, with only two issued across the 16 total innings. Control has been an issue for him in the past, but this season, it has been the long ball that has given him fits. His stuff plays well enough that he should be able to correct that and get back to the majors where his strikeouts would help fantasy owners, but he needs to start turning around his Triple-A performances first.

17. Ryan Mountcastle (3B/OF, BAL, AA)
Stats: 321 PA, .301/.352/.486, 11 HR, 1 SB, 6.9% BB%, 16.8% K%
ETA: September
Last year, the impressive batting stats from Austin Hays forced the Baltimore Orioles to promote Austin Hays from Double-A to the majors in September. Now it could be Mountcastle who forces the move. After missing some time earlier in the year, Mountcastle has posted impressive numbers, keeping the strikeout rate down while still hitting for some power. Scouts are uncertain if he’ll stay on the left side of the infield, though Baltimore’s complete lack of depth could make it easier. If he gets the chance to play in the majors, his bat would be worth owning in plenty of leagues.

18. Luis Urias (2B/SS, SD, AAA)
Stats: 457 PA, .275/.388/.418, 8 HR, 2 SB, 13.6% BB%, 21.2% K%
ETA: September
All Urias does is hit. He has one of the best hit tools in the minors and it seems rare that he goes a game without a hit. In fact, in 23 games since July 4, he’s had only four games without a hit and has recorded a .292/.406/.483 slash line. His bat would play exceptionally well in the majors where contact hitters can become power hitters much easier. Even if the power doesn’t come along as some think it might, he should be able to consistently post high batting averages. He’s a special young talent and could have an impact on owners in September if given the chance to reach the majors.

19. Victor Robles (OF, WAS, AAA)
Stats: 108 PA, .270/.393/.326, 1 HR, 12 SB, 13.9% BB%, 13.9% K%
ETA: September
The Washington Nationals kept Bryce Harper and still have a loaded outfield. However, with Adam Eaton’s injury issues and Michael A. Taylor’s poor bat, it seems possible Robles could have a chance to see the field at some point this season. Even if it’s just in September, Robles could still make an impact on fantasy leagues with playing time. He should not have much issue hitting for a decent average and has the wheels to make things happen when he reaches base. Robles is a high risk piece because playing time is a major question, but he could be invaluable to fantasy owners if he’s able to play regularly at some point before the year is over.

20. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B/OF, TOR, AAA)
Stats: 303 PA, .395/.454/.651, 14 HR, 3 SB, 9.9% BB%, 9.9% K%
ETA: September
Though six games at Triple-A, Guerrero has been unable to put up the same impressive numbers he did at Double-A. He’s only hitting .286 with a .357 slugging percentage. Of course, he’s walking 34.8 percent of the time with just an 8.7 percent strikeout rate so that OBP still sits at .522. Could be worse. Guerrero has torched every level of the minors he’s faced and that should not change at Triple-A. He’s still lower on this list because it’s unclear if he will be promoted in September. But if he is, he would be the top name on this list.

21. Forrest Whitley (SP, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 21.0 IP, 4.29 ERA, 3.21 FIP, 34.1% K%, 9.1% BB%, 10.0% HR/FB
ETA: September

22. Griffin Canning (SP, LAA, AA)
Stats: 90.0 IP, 3.60 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 25.9% K%, 10.6% BB%, 8.1% HR/FB
ETA: September

23. Drew Dosch (3B, BAL, AAA)
Stats: 314 PA, .276/.338/.424, 6 HR, 1 SB, 8.0% BB%, 27.4% K%
ETA: Mid-August

24. Nick Gordon (2B/SS, MIN, AAA)
Stats: 470 PA, .256/.294/.379, 7 HR, 15 SB, 4.5% BB%, 17.2% K%
ETA: September

25. Justus Sheffield (SP, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 102.0 IP, 2.29 ERA, 2.89 FIP, 26.3% K%, 10.6% BB%, 3.6% HR/FB
ETA: September

26. Carson Kelly (C, STL, AAA)
Stats: 267 PA, .294/.390/.443, 6 HR, 0 SB, 13.1% BB%, 12.0% K%
ETA: September

27. Myles Straw (OF, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 492 PA, .302/.388/.363, 1 HR, 56 SB, 11.6% BB%, 17.1% K%
ETA: September

28. Spencer Adams (SP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 120.2 IP, 4.03 ERA, 5.04 FIP, 14.9% K%, 8.3% BB%, 11.3% HR/FB
ETA: Mid-August

29. Jake Robson (OF, DET, AAA)
Stats: 448 PA, .298/.385/.462, 10 HR, 14 SB, 12.1% BB%, 24.3% K%
ETA: Mid-August

30. Sean Murphy (C, OAK, AAA)
Stats: 277 PA, .291/.359/.506, 8 HR, 3 SB, 7.6% BB%, 16.2% K%
ETA: September


MLB Rookie Rankings

1. Juan Soto (OF, WAS)

2. Ronald Acuna (OF, ATL)

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

4. Shohei Ohtani (DH, LAA)

5. Jack Flaherty (SP, STL)

6. Walker Buehler (SP, LAD)

7. Miguel Andujar (3B, NYY)

8. Lourdes Gurriel (SS, TOR)

9. Jake Bauers (OF, TB)

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

11. Willy Adames (SS, TB)

12. Josh Hader (RP, MIL)

13. Willie Calhoun (OF, TEX)

14. Dereck Rodriguez (SP, SF)

15. Seranthony Dominguez (RP, PHI)

16. Freddy Peralta (SP, MIL)

17. Brian Anderson (3B/OF, MIA)

18. Harrison Bader (OF, STL)

19. Dustin Fowler (OF, OAK)

20. Fernando Romero (SP, MIN)

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