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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 prospect promotions continue to roll in. First it was Gleyber Torres and Walker Buehler. Then it was Ronald Acuna. Then it was Alex Verdugo. And now, Mike Soroka and Fernando Romero were both given the call up to the big leagues Tuesday. It’s like the Avengers of prospects are all being called up to the majors.

There’s probably still another wave remaining with other top prospects like Nick Senzel, Willie Calhoun and Kyle Tucker all waiting in the minors for their chance to shine. That wave might not start right away, but all seem to at least stand a good chance of receiving promotions in the month of May.

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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. Walker Buehler (SP, LAD, A+)
Stats: 13.0 IP, 2.08 ERA, 2.58 FIP, 29.6% K%, 7.4% BB%, 0.0% HR/FB
ETA: This Weekend
It’s not easy to predict player ETAs. But Buehler’s is expected to be this weekend against the San Diego Padres. He was sent down to Advanced Class-A for likely no other reason other than to manipulate his service time just a little bit before the Los Angeles Dodgers are ready for him again. He made a pair of starts in the majors already this season, going 10 innings with a 1.80 ERA and 2.20 FIP. Buehler looked very impressive and is clearly big-league ready. Buehler will have had his week off. Now it’s time for him to grab a rotation spot for the rest of the season and provide owners in all leagues with one of the best rookie arms to own this season.

2. Willie Calhoun (OF, TEX, AAA)
Stats: 107 PA, .229/.308/.365, 3 HR, 0 SB, 9.3% BB%, 16.8% K%
ETA: Late May
It’s always basically been just a waiting game with Calhoun with the Texas Rangers playing the service time game with him. But that game now appears to be a bit further away. General manager Jon Daniels said the team is not expecting to promote him in the near future. Calhoun, known as a bat-first left fielder, has not put up great numbers to begin the 2018 season and his bat really has to get going to make up for the abysmal defense. He is such a gifted hitter that it should not take him long to start putting up impressive numbers and take over the starting left field job again, but for now, owners will have to wait patiently for him to get it together. He does warrant stashing, however, given his track record of success.

3. Nick Senzel (3B, CIN, AAA)
Stats: 86 PA, .267/.360/.467, 3 HR, 3 SB, 11.6% BB%, 22.1% K%
ETA: Early June
A series of unfortunate events have struck Senzel. He was injured in a game, Eugenio Suarez returned from his injury incredibly fast and somehow someway, Jose Peraza has started to hit — since April 23, he owns a .395/.400/.553 slash line. Senzel’s injury was very minor and he has returned to action, but a clear path to playing time no longer appears as visible. However, Senzel is a special talent and bats like his can often just force their way to the majors. The Cincinnati Reds are in no position to want to rush him, but he could force the issue and be called up after the Super Two deadline if Scooter Gennett struggles (or is traded), if Jose Peraza struggles again or if there is an injury. He is not yet a must-stash, but he would be a must-own in all leagues if promoted.

4. Luiz Gohara (SP, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 11.1 IP, 4.76 ERA, 6.35 FIP, 21.8% K%, 10.9% BB%, 21.4% HR/FB
ETA: Mid-May
It appeared Gohara would be the first Atlanta Braves’ prospect to reach the majors this season. Even with Soroka dominating Triple-A, Gohara had been there before and only had an injury slow him down this season. However, Gohara struggled in his three minor-league starts and appears to need a little bit more time before reaching the majors. Don’t expect Soroka to struggle in the majors, but instead count on Gohara to push someone like Matt Wisler or Anibal Sanchez out of a spot once he’s back to owning minor-league batters. His strikeout potential makes him one of the most appealing fantasy pitching prospects in the minors.

5. Kyle Tucker (OF, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 107 PA, .293/.371/.457, 2 HR, 2 SB, 11.2% BB%, 20.6% K%
ETA: Mid-June
Houston has a problem. It’s just one singular, somewhat minor problem. But it is a hole in the otherwise juggernaut of a team. Left field. Neither Derek Fisher nor Jake Marisnick have made great auditions for the spot. At first, it looked like Tucker wasn’t really doing much to push them for it either. But over his last eight games, he is slashing .389/.410/.639 with a home run and a steal. His .520 BABIP and 28.2 percent strikeout rate suggest that streak is not going to last, which is why this spurt won’t push him to the majors just yet. Plus, the Astros seem to want to be patient with the once top-prospect Fisher. But if he doesn’t start to get it going, Tucker will take his spot. It might not come until after the Super Two deadline, but Tucker could make it very difficult to leave Fisher in the lineup.

6. Michael Kopech (SP, CWS, AAA)
Stats: 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, 2.10 FIP, 34.1% K%, 8.2% BB%, 0.0% HR/FB
ETA: Early June
The Chicago White Sox are almost certainly waiting until after the Super Two deadline before promoting Kopech. But he is making it really tough on them. The only Sox pitcher not looking like complete garbage is Reynaldo Lopez, and even he has a 4.51 FIP. There are currently three starters who are consistently taking the bump that have an ERA over 6.00. Six. You read that correctly. Even with his need for a more well-defined changeup and improved control, Kopech would easily be better than most of the starters just using his fastball and slider alone. His past issues could make him an inconsistent starting pitcher from a runs standpoint, but the strikeouts will almost certainly be with Kopech in full force. It’s going to be fun to watch him in the majors. We just need to wait for that Super Two deadline to pass.

7. Jack Flaherty (SP, STL, AAA)
Stats: 20.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 2.43 FIP, 29.0% K%, 4.0% BB%, 0.0% HR/FB
ETA: Late May
As crazy as this might sound, Flaherty did not have a great start in his spot start last Saturday. He walked four, gave up four hits and allowed three runs to cross the plate in five innings of work with only two strikeouts. This comes after he has pretty much dominated every time he takes the mound this season. He was really on the majors to replace Adam Wainwright with the veteran right-hander on the DL, but the St. Louis Cardinals won’t need another starter until Wainwright returns. However, speculation persists that even when Wainwright returns, he might eventually head to the bullpen where his stuff will play up and allow Flaherty to occupy a full-time rotation spot where he belongs. The Cardinals are making it tricky on when to expect Flaherty to be in the majors for good, but there’s only so many dominant outings he can have at Triple-A before he really needs to be in the big leagues.

8. Dustin Fowler (OF, OAK, AAA)
Stats: 102 PA, .309/.333/.464, 2 HR, 6 SB, 3.9% BB%, 11.8% K%
ETA: Late May
Fowler really should already be donning a Green and Gold jersey and patrolling center field for the Oakland Athletics right now. Boog Powell was awful before his injury and Mark Canha is no quality center fielder. He can hit, but he’s best served playing in a corner or at first base. Fowler didn’t break camp with the team because he looked slow in Spring Training, but he appears to have re-found his groove in the minors. It should not be long until he is promoted. His combination of a bit of power, plenty of speed and a contact-oriented approach should prove valuable to fantasy owners even in shallow leagues.

9. Austin Hays (OF, BAL, AA)
Stats: 95 PA, .221/.284/.360, 3 HR, 1 SB, 8.4% BB%, 24.2% K%
ETA: Early July
The Baltimore Orioles have a similar issue to the Astros, except with Baltimore, it’s every position except shortstop and left field. No one at really any position is hitting, an odd problem for a Baltimore team that has always seemed to hit incredibly well. Hays would probably already be in the majors if not for the fact he too has gotten off to an uncharacteristically slow start. He has had very short spurts, but nothing has really seemed to stick for him. It really won’t take much at all for him to force his way to the big leagues. In fact, even though he’s at Double-A, a nice run for a couple weeks would probably help him skip Triple-A altogether. The slow start should not scare people off just yet. Hays is still an incredibly talented hitter who should put it together at some point. It’s just a matter of when.

10. Alex Reyes (SP, STL, NA)
Stats: NA
ETA: Early June
If you think it’s tricky to find innings for Flaherty, try Reyes. The injured right-hander has yet to throw an inning this season. And while no one will deny his talent, St. Louis’ rotation is not exactly struggling at the moment. It’s easy to see Wainwright being replaced, but not really anyone else right now. However, these sort of things always seem to find a way of playing themselves out. Reyes might return to the majors in the bullpen and grab some spot starts from guys like Michael Wacha, Luke Weaver and Flaherty late in the season. But Reyes is such a gifted arm that even pitching out of the bullpen, he would have value. That wouldn’t be enough to have him ninth, but as written, it does seem more than likely that he will make several starts in the majors if his recovery goes as planned.

11. Franklin Barreto (2B/SS, OAK, AAA)
Stats: 54 PA, .311/.407/.600, 3 HR, 1 SB, 13.0% BB%, 24.1% K%
ETA: Mid-June
Just as it’s tough to find innings for Reyes, it is a challenge to find at-bats for Barreto in the majors. Though the highly rated prospect has started to hit at Triple-A with a .387/.472/.677 slash line over his past eight games, Jed Lowrie is on an absolute tear and Marcus Semien is producing more than enough to keep Barreto at bay. The obvious answer to the issue seems to be that the veteran Lowrie could be traded around the deadline away from the “rebuilding” A’s, but as long as Oakland remains in the hunt, it might opt to keep him around. If Oakland falls back to Earth, Barreto’s playing time becomes easier to spot. If not, he could see his 2018 fantasy value start to drop.

12. Austin Meadows (OF, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 72 PA, .313/.380/.453, 1 HR, 3 SB, 8.3% BB%, 12.5% K%
ETA: Early July
Similarly, Meadows needs the Pittsburgh Pirates to stop being so darn good. He has started to do what he needs to do and is hitting down at Triple-A, but as long as the Pirates are in the chase for first place, Corey Dickerson remains steady and certainly not tradeable. The moment they start to drop off, he becomes a trade candidate and his spot could open up a promotion for Meadows. There is also the chance that the team moves him to first base if Josh Bell continues to struggle and promotes Meadows, but that seems far less likely and would require significant, prolonged issues from Bell. For now, Meadows is doing all he can do to prove he deserves a promotion. Owners will just have to wait and see what comes of his situation.

13. Tyler O’Neill (OF, STL, AAA)
Stats: 56 PA, .358/.357/.774, 6 HR, 0 SB, 1.8% BB%, 19.6% K%
ETA: Mid-June
O’Neill is admittedly not in a great position at the moment. He is the fifth outfielder on a team with four very talented outfielders ahead of him. Though Harrison Bader is no All-Star, O’Neill is not going to pass Dexter Fowler, Marcell Ozuna or Tommy Pham for playing time any time soon. But it has already been seen that O’Neill is a clear option for the Cardinals if they need an extra bat or if an outfielder is injured, not to mention the depth of outfielders could make O’Neill expendable at the deadline where he could start for any number of other teams in the league. He has little left to prove in the minors — his plate discipline is probably the only area that needs improving — so expect him to somehow find a way to the majors for meaningful playing time at some point this season. His situation makes him a strong add if in the majors, but not someone worth stashing.

14. Willy Adames (SS, TB, AAA)
Stats: 90 PA, .315/.411/.507, 2 HR, 2 SB, 14.4% BB%, 21.1% K%
ETA: Mid-July
Basically the infield equivalent of O’Neill, Adames has shown that he has little left to prove in the minors with a booming start to his season, but the infield depth in Tampa Bay is keeping him in the minors. Though Daniel Robertson, Adeiny Hechavarria, Joey Wendle and Matt Duffy are not the most intimidating names in the world, none have given the Rays a reason to replace them with Adames. However, it seems unlikely that they will all be able to hold Adames off for too long given Adames’ pedigree and MLB-ready bat. It also helps that fellow infielder Christian Arroyo is missing some time due to injury. Adames has likely passed Arroyo on the depth chart. How long it takes for him to pass the others awaits to be seen. His bat would be a major boost to most fantasy teams in need of middle infielders.

15. Victor Robles (OF, WAS, AAA)
Stats: 15 PA, .385/.467/.385, 0 HR, 2 SB, 13.3% BB%, 6.7% K%
ETA: Early August
The recovery time for Robles remains murky and will likely stay this way for a while. The spot is there for him to take in the majors once he returns to full health. Right now, it is unclear when that will be. He remains important to keep an eye on, but don’t bother stashing him until a timetable is released.

16. Mauricio Dubon (2B/SS, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 92 PA, .322/.322/.529, 3 HR, 3 SB, 1.1% BB%, 17.4% K%
ETA: Early June
At this point, the Milwaukee Brewers just need anyone to hit. They went into the year feeling confident that Jonathan Villar and Orlando Arcia could both hit for them in the two middle-infield spots, but so far neither has done nearly what was expected with Villar striking out 30 percent of the time with no power or walks and Arcia doing literally nothing expect play sound defense. Dubon has hit in the minors. And while his walk rate leaves a lot to be desired, his hit tool and speed would be expected to translate well to the majors given his track record of success. The Brewers will probably remain patient with Arcia given that he is the franchise shortstop, but Dubon could still be a great option for them to promote to rest Arcia from time to time and possibly step up at second if Villar’s average starts to drop too. Dubon would be a solid depth add for most owners and could be a fantasy starter if he takes over at second base for Milwaukee.

17. Chance Adams (SP, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 24.2 IP, 5.11 ERA, 4.90 FIP, 24.8% K%, 10.5% BB%, 13.8% HR/FB
ETA: Early August
Adams has not done himself any favors. He has really struggled to begin this season and is going to need to start turning things around fast if he hopes to have any shot at the big leagues. The New York Yankees are already stacked enough with starting pitching depth in the majors — even with Sonny Gray’s issues, he’s certainly not going to lose his job. Adams’ best bet for playing time is looking more and more like a trade at the deadline. Even if that happens, he still needs to pitch better to prove he can start in the big leagues. That should happen at some point, but the deeper into the season we get, the more of a concern it becomes.

18. Nick Gordon (SS, MIN, AA)
Stats: 91 PA, .345/.363/.536, 2 HR, 3 SB, 3.3% BB%, 13.2% K%
ETA: Early August
How much does Gordon need to do to show he doesn’t belong in Double-A anymore? This is not to say he should hop on the next flight to Minneapolis, but at the very least he should be at Triple-A. He has absolutely knocked the cover off the ball down in Chattanooga, and probably should not have even been there to begin with. As far as his big-league playing-time prospects go, Eduardo Escobar has started to hit as of late, but his best use for the Twins remains as a super-utility player. Jorge Polanco’s return could complicate things for Gordon, but if Gordon carries this success into Triple-A, it could be tough to choose the suspended player over the up-and-coming prospect for a young Twins team. Gordon is trying to force a debate this summer. It will be intriguing to see how his hot start impacts the shortstop position in Minnesota.

19. Luis Urias (2B/SS, SD, AAA)
Stats: 89 PA, .307/.416/.440, 2 HR, 0 SB, 14.6% BB%, 16.9% K%
ETA: Early August
Like Gordon, Urias is doing all he can do to prove himself at Triple-A. He has done what he has always done and just flat-out hit at the minor league’s highest level. However, he will really need a trade with Christian Villanueva, Freddy Galvis and Jose Pirela blocking his path to all the infield positions. It seems very possible that the bottom-dwelling Padres would try to ship off Galvis or Villanueva, but that is too far out to be able to really project. He remains an intriguing name to follow heading into the summer.

20. Jake Bauers (OF, TB, AAA)
Stats: 84 PA, .250/.321/.421, 2 HR, 5 SB, 8.3% BB%, 25.0% K%
ETA: Early August
If Bauers starts to hit like many expect him to, the playing time is there for the taking. The Rays aren’t exactly setting the world on fire this season and veterans Denard Span and Carlos Gomez are not really the left and right fielders of the future. But Bauers has not done himself any favors by striking out a quarter of the time and not driving the ball as much. He should start to get it going at some point in his second taste of Triple-A action, but when that is remains a mystery. Expect him to reach Tampa Bay at some point this summer though and provide fantasy owners with both a solid batting average and some power.

21. Anthony Alford (OF, TOR, AAA)
Stats: 52 PA, .222/.327/.267, 0 HR, 0 SB, 7.7% BB%, 34.6% K%
ETA: Mid-August

22. Francisco Mejia (C/3B/OF, CLE, AAA)
Stats: 96 PA, .187/.229/.286, 2 HR, 0 SB, 5.2% BB%, 22.9% K%
ETA: Mid-August

23. Christian Arroyo (2B/3B/SS, TB, AAA)
Stats: 27 PA, .200/.259/.240, 0 HR, 0 SB, 7.4% BB%, 18.5% K%
ETA: Early June

24. Eloy Jimenez (OF, CWS, AA)
Stats: 52 PA, .234/.269/.532, 4 HR, 0 SB, 5.8% BB%, 13.5% K%
ETA: Mid-August

25. Steven Duggar (OF, SF, AAA)
Stats: 94 PA, .296/.394/.432, 2 HR, 4 SB, 13.8% BB%, 25.5% K%
ETA: Late May

26. Kolby Allard (SP, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 21.0 IP, 2.57 ERA, 3.34 FIP, 21.2% K%, 8.2% BB%, 4.0% HR/FB
ETA: Mid-July

27. Carson Kelly (C, STL, AAA)
Stats: 77 PA, .215/.338/.354, 2 HR, 0 SB, 14.3% BB%, 14.3% K%
ETA: Early August

28. Jorge Mateo (2B/SS/OF, OAK, AAA)
Stats: 93 PA, .172/.215/.241, 0 HR, 4 SB, 5.4% BB%, 28.0% K%
ETA: Mid-August

29. Magneuris Sierra (OF, MIA, AAA)
Stats: 90 PA, .235/.270/.294, 0 HR, 4 SB, 4.4% BB%, 26.7% K%
ETA: Late July

30. Zack Granite (OF, MIN, AAA)
Stats: 40 PA, .161/.333/.161, 0 HR, 1 SB, 20.0% BB%, 7.5% K%
ETA: Early July

 

MLB Rookie Rankings

1. Ronald Acuna (OF, ATL)

2. Shohei Ohtani (SP/OF, LAA)

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

4. Miguel Andujar (3B, NYY)

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

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

7. Jesse Winker (OF, CIN)

8. Lewis Brinson (OF, MIA)

9. Brian Anderson (3B, MIA)

10. Mike Soroka (SP, ATL)

11. Alex Verdugo (OF, LAD)

12. Joey Lucchesi (SP, SD)

13. Tyler Mahle (SP, CIN)

14. Josh Hader (RP, MIL)

15. Christian Villanueva (3B, SD)

16. Nick Kingham (SP, PIT)

17. Jorge Alfaro (C, PHI)

18. Chance Sisco (C, BAL)

19. J.P. Crawford (SS, PHI)

20. Tyler Austin (1B, NYY)





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