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Top 30 Impact Prospects for 2019 Redraft Leagues (Week 2)


Can you believe the baseball season is already flying by?! Some teams already have a dozen games in hand at the MLB level, while the minor league season has been underway since last Thursday.

With minor league games now underway, it’s time for another update of the ‘Impact Prospects for 2019.’ Since last we visited the list, Arizona Diamondbacks hurler Jon Duplantier, whose presence on the list was questioned by some, has already been summoned to The Show. He showed a heavy, heavy fastball while mixing and matching four pitches to hold the Padres scoreless over three innings of relief. The Yankees’ Jonathan Loaisiga was also recalled to the Majors, as expected. He did OK against the Tigers but struggled with his command in less-than-ideal weather.

Back down in the minors, we have a whole lot of exciting action happening but not enough data to make any major changes to the list. Some top prospects are off to hot starts, while others have come out of the gate colder than the weather. But hey, we can always find things to talk about when it comes to prospects

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The Top 10 - Fantasy Baseball Prospect 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 in redraft leagues. 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 2019, 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. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays (A+) (ETA: May)

Guerrero Jr. is taking it easy while returning from a minor injury. He’s already back in game action but it was down in the Florida State League (A+ ball) where the Jays have their rehab and training facility — plus the weather in Dunedin is much nicer than in Buffalo right now. He appears on track to return to the Triple-A level soon. The struggling Jays offense can definitely use his pop.

2. Nick Senzel, 2B/OF, Reds (INJ) (ETA: May)

Like Guerrero Jr., Senzel is still dealing with a pre-season injury but he has yet to return to game action. Like the Jays, the Reds offense has really been struggling so a quick return from the young prospect (and once his free agency is delayed for an extra year) might jumpstart the team. The outfielders on the Reds have been extra putrid to date.

3. Luis Urias, 2B, Padres (AAA) (ETA: early April)

Fernando Tatis Jr. has already made his presence felt in the Majors with a couple of bombs and with Ian Kinsler, 36, looking stretched as the everyday second baseman, Urias is getting his shot. The young hitter has a .956 OPS through his first six games. The National League West remains wide open but the Padres won’t want to let the Dodgers get too far ahead before fielding the best team available. Urias will now get to show that he can pair with Tatis to make the Padres' middle infield of the future happen now.

4. Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: June)

News trickled down late on Friday that Bichette would begin getting reps at second base during the coming week. This could be a sign that the Jays are seriously considering the young middle infielder for a big league debut later this month or perhaps in May. As mentioned above, the current cast of hitting misfits has been struggling badly. The likes of Alen Hanson and Richard Urena can by no means be considered roadblocks at second base but Freddy Galvis has been the Jays' best hitter at shortstop. Bichette has pressed a bit at the plate early on and is hitting .133 through the first four games of the year.

5. Justus Sheffield, RHP, Mariners (AAA) (ETA: June)

The Mariners are off to an outstanding start to the year and both the hitters and pitchers are doing well. That means, barring injury, there is no rush to get Sheffield up to the Majors. But we also know that injuries are a part of baseball so his time will come sooner rather than later especially with all the starting pitchers in the Majors having varying degrees of question marks. Sheffield struggled with his control in the first start of the year with five walks and just one strikeout in 4.2 innings pitched.

6. Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, Rays (AAA) (ETA: June)

Speaking of hot teams, the Rays are also off to a hot start and, unfortunately for Lowe, both Ji-Man Choi and Yandy Diaz are off to scorching starts (Brandon Lowe probably has a longer leash because of the financial commitment). The slugging first base prospect hasn’t let that news dampen the start to his season in Triple-A and he’s already showing off his above-average power with four of his five hits going for extra bases.

7. Cal Quantrill, RHP, Padres (AAA) (ETA: May)

The Padres’ starting rotation is off to a strong start and Quantrill entered 2019 with just six appearances above Double-A. He came in just shy of 150 innings last year between Double-A and Triple-A so he’s in line to provide at least 175 innings this year and a healthy amount of those innings should still come at the big league level. Quantrill was roughed up in his first start of the year with nine hits allowed in three innings.

8. Mike Soroka, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: May)

Soroka was slowed by injury in the spring but he threw five innings of no-run ball. He struck out seven and walked none. The Braves' pitching has been mostly good and Kevin Gausman is back from his injury, which sent young hurler Bryse Wilson back to Triple-A. Pitching prospect Kyle Wright remains in The Show despite a rough start to the year.

9. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros (AAA) (ETA: July)

Injuries kept Whitley’s innings down last year so the Astros are going to watch his workload carefully. They’re a smart organization and they know his overpowering stuff could be valuable down the stretch and into the playoffs so he’ll likely slowly ramp things up.

10. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies (AAA) (ETA: June)

The Rockies have some of the best young middle infield depth of any Major League organization but Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson are off to slow starts with the bat. Injuries have also begun to mount in Colorado. Rodgers, meanwhile, started hitting right away at Triple-A.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Touki Toussaint, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: May)

Toussaint is healthy but is still up against some decent pitching depth - especially as pitchers like Kevin Gausman get healthy. His command may never be a strong suit and the early cold weather likely won’t help him. In his first start of the year, Toussaint walked four batters and struck out just one over three innings.

12. Harold Ramirez, OF, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: June)

Ramirez will likely battle fellow prospect Monte Harrison for the first big league recall when the next outfielder is needed. Harrison is ultra-toolsy but also has massive swing-and-miss tendencies so Ramirez is the safer pick and closer to MLB-ready status. With that said, he's off to a slow start with a .650 OPS during his first five games.

13. Alex Kirilloff, OF, Twins (INJ) (ETA: July)

My ultra-aggressive ranking of Kirilloff is off to a rocky start as he’s opened the year on the Injured List. But it’s considered a minor injury and I still really believe in the hit tool.

14. Zac Gallen, RHP, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: May)

As I stated last week, I’m one of the bigger Gallen fans around — although I do think his best role might be as a multi-inning reliever. He doesn’t appear to agree with me as he came out firing bullets with 11 strikeouts and no walks or hits over seven innings. And that Round Rock team featured a lot of good hitting prospects and strong Triple-A hitters.

15. Luiz Gohara, LHP, Braves (INJ) (ETA: June)

Gohara is another top prospect that’s dealing with an early-season injury and is currently on the Injured List in Triple-A.

16. Logan Allen, LHP, Padres (AAA) (ETA: June)

Allen was bombed in this first start of the minor league season as he struggled with both his control against the A’s Triple-A club. The Padres pitching depth should afford Allen more than enough time to work out the early kinks.

17. Anthony Alford, OF, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: July)

Alford has already experienced a whirlwind season. He was up in Toronto before Opening Day when the Jays were working on a trade. Nothing happened, so down he went to Buffalo. Then, a couple of days later, a Kevin Pillar trade came to fruition and Alford was once again recalled until Socrates Brito (acquired in another trade) made his way north from San Diego. All these moves haven’t put him any closer to a permanent big league job but a month or two of strong results could change things quickly.

18. Daz Cameron, OF, Tigers (AAA) (ETA: June)

The Georgia native probably isn’t enjoying the cool baseball weather in Ohio and the first two games of the season were a perfect example of the inconsistency that Cameron continues to display. His first game resulted in a hit and two walks. The second game was an 0-for-6 result with three strikeouts.

19. Austin Hays, OF, Orioles (INJ) (ETA: July): The big league product in Baltimore is doing surprisingly well so far during the early season. Hays, meanwhile, opened the year on the Injured List but it’s not considered a long-term issue.

20. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: July): The Astros big league offense is off to a solid start so Tucker will continue to lie in wait. He has nothing left to prove in the minors, although his first 10 at-bats of the year have not gone as hoped. Tucker has struck out six times with just one hit.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: June)

Keller had a solid first start in Triple-A this year. He forced opposing hitters to pound the ball into the ground while also producing six strikeouts. Inconsistent control resulted in five walks, which in turn held him to just 4.2 innings.

22. Griffin Canning, RHP, Angels (AAA) (ETA: June)

The Angels bullpen has been very good but the starting rotation… has not. Canning’s stay in Triple-A may very well be a short one unless the likes of Felix Pena, Matt Harvey, and Chris Stratton pick things up. He allowed just one unearned run over five innings in his 2019 debut.

23. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: August)

Kieboom opened the year on my list of impact prospects for 2020 but things are already going awry in Washington. The club is off to an inconsistent start in the wake of Bryce Harper’s departure and starting shortstop Trea Turner is out indefinitely with a finger fracture. Adrian Sanchez has been recalled to fill the roster void for now but he’s a stretch as a big league utility player.

24. Yordan Alvarez, 1B/OF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: July)

Alvarez, like teammate Kyle Tucker, will continue to plug away at Triple-A until an opportunity presents itself at the big league level. He's not going to make it easy on the Astros to ignore him, though. He smashed four home runs over the weekend and has a 1.214 OPS through his first four games of 2019.

25. Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: July)

Like Alford, Reid-Foley has already been up and back down in Toronto. But it wasn’t due to a trade. Veteran hurler Clayton Richard suffered a knee injury which resulted in the spot start. A poor result saw the young pitcher head right back to Triple-A while Thomas Pannone, who opened the year in the bullpen, will now shift into the starting rotation for now. Reid-Foley made his first Triple-A start of the year over the weekend and struggled badly with both his command and control.

26. Will Smith, C, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: July)

The great news to the NL-West-leading Dodgers is that both Austin Barnes and Russell Martin are off to strong starts to 2019. But that’s bad news for catching prospects Keibert Ruiz and Smith. I’ve flip-flopped the two prospects based on the Opening Day assignments with Smith at Triple-A and (the arguably more talented) Ruiz at Double-A. Smith’s raw pop was on early display with his first two hits of the season going for extra base hits.

27. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (INJ) (ETA: August)

Puk continues to work on his return from Tommy John surgery, which he had last year. He could be a weapon for the A’s in the second half of the year.

28. Sean Murphy, C, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: July)

Murphy is off to a quick start with the bat while the big league tandem of Josh Phegley and Nick Hundley are not. Still, there is much more to catching than offense (in real life baseball, anyway) and the A’s pitchers are collectively off to a strong start.

29. Yu-Cheng Chang, SS, Indians (AAA) (ETA: June)

Chang’s start to the year is exactly what should be expected - some pop, some walks, but a modest batting average. Every year there is one team that falls prey to the injury bug more so than any other club. The Indians and Yankees appear to be neck-and-neck in the race for this dubious title in 2019 so Chang could very well get a chance sooner rather than later.

30. Cole Tucker, SS, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: July)

The Pirates have a couple of near-ready prospects on the left side of the Triple-A infield. I was already leaning towards Tucker prior to the season and his hot start helped to seal the deal. The young shortstop’s potential was on display early on with four hits in the first two games (including a homer) while third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes began the year with no hits in his first 11 plate appearances.

More MLB Prospects Analysis