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Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 6)


Another week, another rash of promotions for the top MLB-ready prospects around baseball.

Three of the most recent top-five prospects received the call, including infielder-outfielder Nick Senzel who needed just eight minor league games to prove to the Reds that he was good to go. Yankees pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga may finally get an extended look in New York after veteran James Paxton’s knee injury. Other pitchers recently recalled include the Padres’ Cal Quantrill, and the Braves’ Touki Toussaint (who was then sent back down).

Players falling off the list included the Tigers' Daz Cameron (performance) and the Dodgers' Will Smith (performance, Travis D'Arnaud trade). But that upward movement has also shifted new prospects onto the list from Pittsburgh, Houston, Atlanta, and Oakland.

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Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (The Top 10)

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

There is no hitter in minor league baseball that’s been hotter than Alvarez so far this season. He has 12 home runs in 27 Triple-A games and has hit .500 over the past 10 games, including a run of 13-for-20 that was snapped after an 0-for on Sunday. At some point, the Astros will have to find a way to get the young slugger onto the 25-man roster and the weakest links appear to be Tony Kemp and Tyler White but neither player has options remaining so they would likely be lost to other organizations.

2. Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers (AAA) (ETA: June)

Hiura is really putting some pressure on the Brewers to call him up. His BB-K was a real underlying issue early in the season but it’s improved significantly and was 6-7 over the past 10 games. Over that same stretch, he’s also hitting .471 with five home runs. Overall, 23 of his 37 hits have gone for extra bases. With Travis Shaw and Jesus Aguilar continuing to struggling, there should be a way to shuffle the infield to accommodate the hot-hitting rookie.

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

Urias’ unexpected power streak is over but he’s still had at least one hit in eight straight games. His average sits at .338 through 16 games but he also has 10 strikeouts in the last six games. Urias blew through the lower levels of the minors due to uncanny contact ability, which disappeared at the Double-A and Triple-A levels. And he’s just 21 so the Padres likely need to be patient with him and not rush him back to The Show.

4. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies (AAA) (ETA: July)

Rodgers’ multi-hit game streak is over but he’s still performing well and has a .415 batting average through the past 10 games. He’s not showing quite as much patience at the plate now but he’s still making contact and has struck out just six times over the last 41 at-bats. With Ryan McMahon still struggling to produce (and his numbers looking a lot like his lackluster 2018 season), it could be just a matter of time before the Rockies pull the plug and give Rodgers a shot.

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

Whitley, who continues to see limited action in an effort to manage his innings, has really struggled over the past two games while coming out of the bullpen. In the last two games, he's given up nine earned runs in 3.2 innings of work. He's also now given up four home runs in 14.2 total innings. The organization is trying to get him comfortable with relieving so he can help the big league club later in the year but it seems like Whitley is overthinking things a bit.

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

Another week, another outstanding start by Gallen, who went seven innings and struck out 10 batters. He allowed two earned runs but only gave up three hits — and no walks. With the Marlins absolutely stinking up the National League East, it’s hard to believe the organization hasn’t given Gallen a shot. He’s not going to suddenly make the Marlins good again but he could help solidify the back-end of the rotation.

7. Jon Duplantier, RHP, Diamondbacks (AAA) (ETA: May)

Like Jonathan Loaisiga with the Yankees, Duplantier has been a valuable up-and-down arm for the Diamondbacks. He’s handled the situation well and has produced solid numbers at both Triple-A (as a starter) and the Majors (as a reliever). The only real concern here is that the lack of a consistent role or regular appearances could increase his risk of injury.

8. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: July)

Tucker zoomed back over .200 with an outstanding Friday/Saturday that saw him go 7-for-10 with two home runs. Overall, he’s hitting with a lot more power recently and has gone deep six times in the past 10 games. He’s also running a bit again and turning back into the power-speed threat we all saw last year when he was a 20-20 (HR-SB) player at Triple-A. He remains blocked from the Major League level by a strong Astros outfield and by the hottest hitter in the minors (Yordan Alvarez). If he can build back his value by the summer, he could be trade bait to help the Astros acquire some pitching with multiple controllable years.

9. Cavan Biggio, 2B, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: June)

Biggio has been a little more streaky late in April and into May. Even when he’s not hitting, though, he’s getting on base. He’s hit just .233 over his last 10 games but he’s walked 10 times (with just eight strikeouts). Overall, he has 24 walks in 28 games to go with his .341 batting average. With the versatile Alen Hanson now cut from the Jays, the club will soon need some additional versatility on the big league roster and Biggio could be the right man for the job.

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

Keller continues to miss bats — He’s struck out five or more batters in five of his six starts — but he’s also still allowing too many hits with 34 in 31 innings. The problem for the young pitcher has been the quality of the Pirates’ starting pitching in the Majors - there really hasn’t been a crack in the armor yet and it looks like Chris Archer’s thumb injury won’t be a long-term concern.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Dylan Cease, RHP, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: June)

Cease rebounded from a couple of poor starts to strike out 11 batters (with just one walk) on the last day of April. He now has 30 strikeouts in 24.1 innings and has been inducing a ton of ground-ball outs. Another 3-4 average or better starts at Triple-A could convince the Sox front office to give him a shot at The Show.

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

Toussaint had an up-and-down weekend when he was recalled and threw four innings of one-run ball and recorded the win out of the bullpen. Still, his control was off and he allowed three walks so there is work to be done. Toussaint was returned to the minors at the end of the weekend where he'll look to iron out the wrinkles in his game and likely continue to serve as the Braves' sixth starter.

13. Casey Mize, RHP, Tigers (AA) (ETA: July)

The Detroit front office recently went on record saying that they wouldn’t rush any of their young pitching prospects but Mize could challenge those plans. His second start was modest by his standards with only five innings pitched with four strikeouts. But he allowed just two hits. All told, Mize has given up just nine base knocks in 40 innings. Oh and he’s hit as many batters as he’s walked — two.

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

Like Zac Gallen, Ramirez has produced well at the Triple-A level but has so far been ignored by the big league club while the likes of Jon Berti and Isaac Galloway have been given shots — and Peter O’Brien even earned a second opportunity after modest results in Triple-A. Ramirez is still hitting too many balls on the ground but he’s also batting .356 with gap pop. He lifted a few balls over the weekend and hit two home runs, doubling his total for the year.

15. Logan Allen, LHP, Padres (AAA) (ETA: July)

Allen is showing signs of life. His last start resulted in six innings pitched with just one earned run allowed. He struck out seven batters. And perhaps most importantly for this pitch-to-contact hurler, he hasn’t walked a batter in his last three starts. After allowing 11 earned runs in his first two starts, he’s given up just six in his last four starts.

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

The A’s big league performance has not been good lately so a shakeup could be coming sooner rather than later. But Murphy also hit a bit of a rough patch and was on a stretch of 1-for-16 when he landed on the IL. His BB-K is also just 9-19 through 19 games.

17. Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Bichette remains sidelined with a broken hand but should be back for the second half of the season.

18. Austin Riley, 3B, Braves (AAA) (ETA: August)

Riley jumps up the list for a couple of reasons. Firstly, he’s on a massive hot streak with the bat and has gone 18-for-38 with eight homers (!) over the past 10 games. But even more importantly (and worrisome if you’re a Braves fan), Josh Donaldson’s troublesome calves have once again kept him out of the starting lineup. And they cost him a lot of playing time with the Jays in 2017-18. The Braves are publicly stating that they’re not worried and think this is a minor hiccup but I wouldn’t be so sure as this has become a chronic thing. And while this could eventually open up time for someone at third base for the Braves, Johan Camargo also stands in Riley’s way.

19. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AA) (ETA: August)

Robert has found Double-A to be more challenging and went 0-for-10 during his first three starts at that level. He figured things out over the weekend, though, and went 7-for-10 with four doubles over those two games. Rookie stud Eloy Jimenez is due back from the disabled list soon so there really is no reason to rush Robert.

20. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (INJ) (ETA: July)

Puk remains sidelined while working his way back from Tommy John surgery.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: July)

Touki Toussaint appears to have gained the upper hand on Wright in terms of settling in as the club's No. 6 starter. On the plus side, the latter prospect had his best start of the year on May 3 when he threw seven innings and allowed just three earned runs.

22. Corbin Martin, RHP, Astros (AAA) (ETA: July)

Like Forrest Whitely, the Astros continue to manager Martin’s innings. He’s thrown just 19.1 innings and made just four appearances. He’s handling the workload OK, though, with 24 strikeouts and an opposing hitters’ batting average of just .161.

23. Oscar Mercado, OF, Indians (AAA) (ETA: June)

Just when it looked like he might earn a big league shot, Mercado hit a cold patch. He recently went 1-for-25 although his BB-K of 4-7 wasn’t terrible. Even if he’s not hitting, though, Mercado can positively impact a game with his speed and defensive skills.

24. Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: June)

Reid-Foley’s start on Saturday contained both good news and bad news. He went a season-high six innings and allowed just two runs but he still had to labor the game and walked five batters - which he’s now done in each of the last three games. Still, the Jays’ upper-level pitching hasn’t performed well as a group so Reid-Foley remains in the mix for potential big league innings.

25. Willi Castro, SS, Tigers (AAA) (ETA: July)

Castro has cooled down a bit over the past week but he’s still hitting .306 overall with a .402 on-base percentage. The Tigers haven’t gotten much offense from their infielders this year but have ignored the better prospects at Triple-A to give opportunities to the likes of Brandon Dixon and Harold Castro.

26. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics (INJ) (ETA: July)

Luzardo remains sidelined while working back from a serious shoulder injury.

27. Josh Naylor, 1B, Padres (AAA) (ETA: July)

Naylor has hits in nine of his last 10 games. During that span, he also has a BB-K of 4-2, which is pretty impressive for someone with the power potential that he possesses. Still, he’s not much of an outfielder and the depth ahead of him is pretty solid. I expect him to be moved at the trade deadline to a team that can give him a fair shot.

28. Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: August)

Hayes is hitting OK at Triple-A but he’s not doing enough yet to earn a shot at The Show. He’s still hitting more balls in the air, which is good, but the power has yet to show up in game situations. And he’s also striking out 24% of the time, which is up 7% from his mark at Double-A last year.

29. Jorge Mateo, OF, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: August)

Mateo’s first shot at Triple-A didn’t go so well last year with 139 strikeouts and just 29 walks in 131 games. That’s not good, especially for someone who makes a living off putting the ball in play and using his wheels. He’s hitting .338 this year — up from .230 last year — and his strikeout rate is down from 27% to 17%. Mateo is also stinging the ball and hitting a ton of line drives. He already has eight triples to go with eight doubles.

30. Alex Kirilloff, OF, Twins (AA) (ETA: August)

With Daz Cameron hitting .125 over his past 10 games and .194 overall, Kirilloff pushes the Tigers prospect off the list. The Twins outfielder is back from injury after missing all of April and hasn’t missed a beat. He has a .885 OPS through his first four games of the year. Other than Brent Rooker, there isn't much outfield depth ahead of Kirilloff in the Twins system.

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