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Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 8)

The top prospect exodus continued last week with Keston Hiura, Austin Riley and Brendan Rodgers all receiving the call to The Show. Riley immediately made his presence known to the Braves with a number of strong performances. Touki Toussaint also continued his up-and-down relationship with the Braves.

Even with all the promotions this season already, there are still some players at the top of the list that could have major impacts on their big league teams, including Houston’s hot-hitting Cuban and an underrated arm in Florida.

The list received an infusion of new prospect names in the bottom third of the list. Teams benefitting from the new representation include the Dodgers, Mets, Reds, Rays, and Marlins.

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Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (The Top 10)

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

Alvarez’s season is officially out of control. Six multi-hit games over the last eight contests have raised his season average to .411. During that stretch, he slugged balls over the outfield walls four times to give him 18 home runs in 39 total games. Oh, and his on-base percentage is only a hair off of .500 at .494. Perhaps a lingering injury to George Springer (coupled with the ongoing disablement of Jose Altuve) could be enough to convince Houston to pull the plug on the Tyler White era.

2. Zac Gallen, RHP, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: June)

Free Zac Gallen. Free Zac Gallen. The only thing holding Gallen down at this point could be the Marlins hope for a better 2020 draft slot. OK, maybe I’m being a little cynical. The Marlins starting staff has not been terrible. They’ve actually been quite durable. And it’s pretty impressive that the team has only used five starters all year; the Blue Jays, for example, have already used 10 different starters. But back to Gallen. The right-hander continues to be one of the best pitchers in Triple-A although he was touched up for five earned runs in his last start. That was the first time this year that he’s allowed more than two earned runs in a start. However, he still went six innings and struck out 10 batters (with one walk).

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

The Triple-A Padres have been on the road for over a week and Urias has apparently missed the home cooking. After going 3-for-4 in his first road game, the firecracker second baseman has slid into a 4-for-21 stretch. On the plus side, he’s still doing a decent job of controlling the strike zone with a BB-K of 5-6 over that same period of games. The big league club is really struggling to hit so it may not be long before Urias gets another shot.

4. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: July)

Kieboom wants another shot at The Show. He had a bit of a lull upon his return to the minors but he’s kicked it into high gear as of late with a stretch of five games that’s seen him go 8-for-20 with a couple of home runs. However, the return of Trea Turner from the IL, as well as the strong play of veteran Howie Kendrick, could keep Kieboom down until another injury presents an opportunity.

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

Tucker has officially put his poor start to the 2019 season behind him. Over the past nine games, he’s gone 12-for-35 with three home runs. The BB-K hasn’t been ideal at 5-13 but you can’t argue with the recent results and the overall tantalizing power-speed combination that the 22-year-old outfielder possesses. The biggest concern with Tucker right now is the lack of a clear path to a big league job with Yordan Alvarez ahead of him.

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

Toronto’s offense has been so putrid that you almost hate to subject another rookie to the experience. Even Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was not immune to the effects and it took him a couple of weeks to shake off the bad mojo. But Biggio looks about ready for a kick at the can, although Toronto has pretty much run into a wall in terms of trying to manage the 40-man roster with all the injuries and ineffective players. His OPS is down below 1.000 due to the recent lack of major pop but he’s still getting his hits (.315 batting average overall) and driving in runs.

7. Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, Rays (AAA) (ETA: July)

Lowe’s bat has gone ice cold in Triple-A. The slugging first baseman is hitting .118 over his past 10 games with nary a home run during that stretch. On the plus side, he’s not expanding the strike zone and his BB-K is 5-3 over the past six games with all three of the whiffs coming in one game. It’s not great timing with the big league club collectively scuffling with the bat right now, too.

8. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: July)

Keller zooms up the rankings with so many bodies ahead of him being promoted to the Majors but he’s also been one of the most steady and reliable Triple-A starters around. He boasts a K-BB ratio of 50-19 through eight starts (40 innings). He’s also inducing ground-ball outs at an above-average rate. The National League Central race is wide open and the Pirates haven’t received much of anything from their fifth start this year so there is both a clear path and a need to get Keller to The Show.   

9. Dylan Cease, RHP, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: July)

Cease continues to hold his own at the Triple-A level but he’s not exactly pushing for a promotion any time soon. He had a promising K-BB of 8-1 in his last start (six innings) but he also gave up nine hits and three earned runs. The White Sox starting rotation has been a bit of a hot mess outside of Lucas Giolito but you’d like to see a little more dominance before throwing Cease into the big league fire.

10. Jon Duplantier, RHP, Diamondbacks (AAA) (ETA: June)

There’s not much new to report with Duplantier. He’s back at Triple-A for now but seems to receive a brief call up to the Majors on a weekly basis to act as a long man in the bullpen. He’s compiled just 24.2 innings on the year despite making five Triple-A starts because he’s been unable to build up any type of stamina with all the traveling and inconsistent appearances.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

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

After receiving a scare in his May 11 start when he was hit by a batted ball, Allen returned to the mound eight days later and pitched quite well. He allowed just one earned runs in five innings of work while posting a K-BB of 5-3. Obviously, the control is still not where you’d like it to be — especially with a pitcher that relies on command/control to be effective but things are headed in the right direction for a summer call-up.

12. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: June)

Like Jon Duplantier, Wright has been on the MLB-Triple-A yoyo. He hasn’t fared as well, though, so the Braves may look to get him some more consistent innings at Triple-A. In his most recent start, he allowed four runs on six hits through 3.2 innings. The Braves will need to more heavily lean on Touki Toussaint to be the up-and-down man.

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

Mize allowed runs again. The right-hander is finding Double-A a bit more of a challenge than High-A ball was earlier in the year. He was touched up for four earned runs on six hits and two walks in his most recent appearance. Still, he struck out eight batters with just two walks issued in the 5.2 innings. It will be fun to watch and see which stud pitching prospect reaches the Majors first for Detroit: Mize or Matt Manning (who’s looking to jump onto the Top 30 list).

14. Justus Sheffield, RHP, Mariners (AAA) (ETA: July)

The fourth and fifth start slots have been downright terrible for the Mariners but Sheffield’s lack of dominance in Triple-A hasn’t helped his cause when petitioning for an opportunity at the big league level. The southpaw has a K-BB of 32-28 through 37 innings — including 14 free passes in his last 18.2 innings (four starts).

15. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (Injured) (ETA: July)

Puk is now throwing simulated games in extended spring training, which is an encouraging step in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Short-season ball will begin shortly after the draft so the big lefty should get into an official game at that point as he starts his climb towards the Majors.

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

The worrisome results from Whitley continue. After a dud of a game on May 17, Whitley has now allowed four earned runs or more in four straight appearances. He produced a K-BB of 15-7 during that stretch of 11.1 innings so he obviously still has dominating stuff but he’s just not finding the strike zone on a consistent basis.

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

There was good news for the injured Bichette, too. The young shortstop has ramped up his workouts and the injury has been healing well. He also started hitting in recent days and looks on track to return in the four-to-five-week time frame.

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

Castro continues to chug along and is one of the better hitters at the Triple-A level right now. He’s hitting .314 overall with an on-base percentage nearing .400. The downside has been the 36 strikeouts in 35 games, which is high for someone with limited power. Castro has yet to receive a shot in the Majors because the Tigers big league club has received solid performances from a collection of low-ceiling middle infielders including Brandon Dixon, Ronny Rodriguez, and Gordon Beckham. He was also recently passed over for a big league promotion with the opportunity going to the more experienced Dawel Lugo.

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

Luzardo threw a bullpen for the first time since being injured in the spring. He’s a couple of steps behind fellow injured A.J. Puk but he could be ready for game action not long after the short-season games begin in mid-June.

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

Smith hit a rough patch in late April/early May but he appears to have shaken off the struggles and is back to hitting well. He has hits in five of his last six starts and has gone 14-for-38 in his last 10 games with a BB-K of 6-6. Smith is still struggling to control the running game, which is something he’ll likely need to sort out before the Dodgers entrust him with regular playing time in The Show.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

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

Naylor is struggling through the second half of May with modest results. He has just 10 hits in his last 10 games and six have those have come in two of those games. He also failed to hit a home run during that stretch and walked just once. As previously mentioned, Naylor doesn’t really fit into the make-up of the Padres 25-man roster (barring an injury to Eric Hosmer) so he’s likely playing to build up his trade value.

22. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Pirates big league club continues to get disappointing results from the third base position but Hayes has yet to hit a prolonged hot streak in 2019. Overall, he has a modest .740 OPS with 37 strikeouts in as many games. He’s showing gap pop with 16 doubles but just one ball has cleared the outfield fence.

23. Jorge Mateo, SS, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: August)

Mateo continues to be stuck in between hitting for power and using his speed effectively. After nabbing 52 bases as recently as 2017, he hasn’t stolen a base successfully in more than 10 games. But he hit four home runs during that stretch - albeit with an ugly 3-16 BB-K. Mateo had a very impressive April by focusing less on power and more on getting on base and using his speed. He needs to get back to that approach.

24. Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians (AAA) (ETA: August)

Bradley’s hit a bit of a wall in the latter half of May. He’s struck out 15 times in the last 10 games, although he’s offset that to a degree with eight walks. He has just two hits in his last seven games and is stuck in a 2-for-21 hole. Cleveland’s offense hasn’t been very impressive so there should be an opportunity for Bradley once he finds some consistency to his game at the Triple-A level.

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

Robert continues to run hot and cold. He began last week by going 7-for-16 before ending the week 1-for-7 and getting a day off on Sunday (although he came in to pinch run).

26. Monte Harrison, OF, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: August)

There are just two hitters on the Marlins big league roster that have managed an OPS above .700 so there is a clear need for some fireworks. The club recently gave a shot to outfield prospect Harold Ramirez and Harrison could be next in line for a shot. He has massive swing-and-miss issues in his game but huge whiff rates have become more acceptable at the big league level. Harrison has an .835 OPS through 37 Triple-A games despite the BB-K of 18-51.

27. Tony Santillan, RHP, Reds (AA) (ETA: August)

Santillan needs to find a little more consistency before reaching The Show but he misses bats even when he’s not at his best. He has 46 strikeouts in 41 innings. His control has been off — with 21 walks overall and nine in the last three starts — but he’s done a nice job of keeping the ball in the yard with just three homers allowed. With Cincinnati in rebuilding mode, Santillan should get an opportunity in the second half of the year if he can find the strike zone a little more consistently.

28. Kean Wong, 2B, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Rays have a few players that could probably be playing in The Show for other teams and both Nick Solak and Wong look like future big league contributors. Wong, now in his third season in Triple-A, has been a little more consistent with the bat and a little more versatile in the field. He’s seen time at second base, third base and left field while hitting .364. He’s hitting well recently, too, and has multi-hit games in six of his last 10 appearances.

29. Justin Dunn, LHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: August)

Dunn could be in line for big league starts in the second half of the year — especially if/when the Mariners fully fall out of contention for a playoff spot or the lower half of the rotation continues to struggle. Dunn has 45 strikeouts in 33.1 innings. He’s also issued just nine walks, which is very encouraging. He might have a higher ceiling over any of the Mariners upper-level arms, including Sheffield.

30. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (AA) (ETA: August)

Lux’s strong season is continuing. He’s recently added more patience to his game and has six walks in his last 10 games. On the year, he’s hitting .302 with eight home runs in 34 games. The Dodgers have received disappointing results from their middle infielders this year so perhaps Lux can catch lightning in a bottle in the second half of the year.

More MLB Prospects Analysis




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