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Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 9)


The Top 30 list continues to leak prospects. This past week, hitters Cavan Biggio and Josh Naylor, as well as pitcher Mitch Keller were beckoned to The Show. And both hitters had immediate impacts on their teams over the weekend, while Biggio taking the cake on Sunday with a three-hit performance, which included a home run.

On the other side of the coin, struggling Ke’Bryan Hayes of the Pirates has fallen off the list as he looks to find some consistency at Triple-A. The good news is that it’s still early in the year so Hayes has lots of time to find his footing and help boost the dismal performance from the Pirates’ third base core.

Getting back to the Top 30 list, we have new prospects joining from four teams: Toronto, Baltimore, Detroit and, Tampa Bay. One other player was headed for the list this week in Cleveland's Zach Plesac before he was preemptively promoted to the Majors. Let's get to it and see who the next impact rookies will be.

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Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

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

It looked like Alvarez might have just gotten the break he needed to join the big league club when George Spring went on the IL will a hamstring injury. But the Astros instead chose to go with Derek Fisher, who was already on the 40-man roster and hitting well in Triple-A. Alvarez is actually in a bit of a slump (for him) with a .302 average over the past 10 games and a recent stretch of 3-for-24. The power has still been on display and he now has 19 in 44 Triple-A games.

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

After allowing a season-high five earned runs on May 19, Gallen responded with a one-run, seven-inning outing on May 24. He allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out six. He’s now allowed one earned run or fewer in seven of his 10 starts this year. The overall ERA is at 1.74 with 80 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 67.1 innings.

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

The home runs have quieted down and Urias is back to doing what Urias should do. He has a .342 batting average over the past 10 games and a BB-K of 7-7. That’s excellent on-base numbers for someone who is ideally suited to the No. 1 or 2 hole in a lineup. The Padres are hanging onto second place in the NL West with little-to-no offense from the second base position. There has to be temptation here to give Urias another shot.

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

Things didn’t do so well for Kieboom during his first MLB stint when he got homer-happy but he probably deserves another shot before the Nationals sink too far down in the NL East standings. Brian Dozier has been of little value at second base and neither Adrian Sanchez nor Wilmer Difo offers much upside with the bat. Kieboom has a less-than-ideal BB-K of 3-10 over the past 10 games but he’s also hitting .342 during that span.

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

Whatever was ailing Tucker early in the year (nagging injury, the disappointment of not making the MLB roster) is a distant memory now. He’s scorching the ball and over the past 10 games has a .368 batting average with five home runs and a BB-K of 6-7. Overall, he’s 8-for-8 in stolen bases with 15 home runs in 44 games at the Triple-A level. The downside, of course, is the lack of opportunity with both Derek Fisher and Yordan Alvarez ahead of him on the depth chart. Plus the Astros’ veteran guys are also playing well.

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

Cease continues to have inconsistent results at Triple-A, although his overall numbers aren’t bad with a 3.38 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 40 innings. His last start at Triple-A resulted in four walks in six innings but he struck out seven batters and allowed just one earned run. I think he’ll get a shot in the Majors this year given how bad the White Sox’s starting pitching has been (Lucas Giolito excluded) but I’m just not convinced he’s ready to make a consistent, average-or-better effort.

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

Yandy Diaz landed on the disabled list but a very cold stretch at Triple-A probably kept Lowe out of consideration for another shot at The Show. He’s hitting just .194 with no home runs in the past 10 games. Still, the BB-K is encouraging at 8-6 so it’s probably just a matter of time before he turns things around.

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

Duplantier has been busy riding the AAA-MLB shuttle all year but he finally got a chance to make two straight starts for the first time since April. He allowed four earned runs in 4.1 innings but the K-BB of 6-1 was encouraging. He’s been much more effective at the MLB level with a 2.25 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.

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

Allen’s slow start to the year is well behind him now and he should be the next starter recalled from the minors. He had his best start of the year on May 24 when he allowed just one earned run and struck out 10 batters in seven innings. He allowed three hits and just one walk. Overall, he has 50 strikeouts and 19 walks in 42.2 innings.

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

Mize was human on May 15 but did not allow an earned run in his subsequent two starts. The latest start on May 26 was the best as he went eight innings with just four hits allowed while striking out six. The only quibble on Mize’s line to date is the 60 strikeouts in 64.2 innings, which is good but not dominant. But that’s mostly just nitpicking. The Tigers likely aren’t going to the playoffs this season but the club could receive a real talent jolt with a promotion of both Mize and Matt Manning to the starting rotation.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

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

Sheffield struck out just two batters in his last start but it was arguably his best of the season. He allowed just one earned run in seven innings. The southpaw has the ability to induce ground balls at an above-average rate so he doesn’t need to chase the strikeout as much as some pitchers who don’t have the ability to consistently generate a double-play opportunity.

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

It looks like Touki Toussaint is going to stick with the Braves for a bit out of the bullpen but his fellow MLB-AAA yoyo is back Triple-A after yet another quick insurance recall to The Show which resulted in zero appearances. Wright hasn’t pitched since May 19 and all this up-and-down madness is not going to help him discover the command that’s so far deserted him in 2019.

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

Puk threw another simulated game this week and I expected him to get into a real game no later than the start of the short-season leagues shortly after the draft. It’s possible he’ll be ready before that and be assigned to an A-ball team to get his feet wet.

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

Bichette continues to make strides in his recovery from his broken hand but the Jays have yet to say when they expect him to return to game action. With Cavan Biggio now in the Majors, and the club struggling badly, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Bichette join his friends in Toronto once he shows he’s healthy and swinging the bat well.

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

Luzardo was expected to face live hitters last weekend for the first time since getting hurt. It’s a great step and he should soon be pitching in simulated games, and then perhaps live games once the short-season leagues start in a few weeks.

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

Smith continues to rake and is now hitting .385 over his past 10 games at Triple-A. He also has four home runs, doubling his total for the year, and a BB-K of 5-8. Once he reaches The Show, Smith will offer good pop and on-base numbers from the catching slot. His defensive work remains a work-in-progress, though, so the Dodgers may be hesitant to give him too much time behind the plate right now.

(Will Smith was promoted after the time of writing, and he is slated to start behind the dish Tuesday night.)

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

I just acquired Whitley in my experts' Ottoneu dynasty league (along with Kyle Tucker and Max Fried for Justin Verlander and Tyler O’Neill), which seemed unfathomable at the beginning of the year. He’s been terrible but I’m leaning towards this being a mental issue rather than a health issue. Still, a 12.21 ERA in 24.1 innings is alarming as are the nine home runs allowed. If we’re looking for a positive, it would be the 29 strikeouts, which shows he still has swing-and-miss stuff when he can occasionally command the ball.

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

Castro is now up to a .904 OPS on the year with a .329 batting average. He’s also 8-for-9 in stolen base attempts. Over his last 10 games, he’s hitting .359 but has a BB-K of 2-11. Recently-promoted Dawel Lugo has perked up with the bat lately but I’m not overly optimistic for his long-term value. But it’s probably the solid play of Brandon Dixon that’s keeping Castro having a shot.

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

There aren’t many minor league hitters that have been hotter than Lux lately, although he recently went 0-for-6 after a lengthy hit streak that was capped by back-to-back games where he went 8-for-10 with two home runs. The Dodgers are an organization that’s not shy about promoting right from Double-A but I expect Lux may soon get some taste of Triple-A before making the jump. The Dodgers could use some help in the middle infield.

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

Just when I began beating the Bradley drum, he hit a cold stretch. He’s hitting just .211 with 17 strikeouts over his past 10 games but he also has four homers and six walks. Carlos Santana has been the Indians best hitter so he’s not going anywhere but Bradley could see time at DH while backing up the veteran first baseman.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: August)

The two walks Dunn allowed on May 26 is the most free passes he’s allowed in a game since April 26 when he coughed up three. The right-hander will give up his fair share of hits (40 in 43.1 innings) but he doesn’t walk anyone and he has to stuff to reach back and get a strikeout in key situations. He may soon join Justus Sheffield in Triple-A.

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

Santillan didn’t have his best start of the year on May 26 when he allowed eight hits in six innings but he battled and allowed just two earned runs. He showed good control with just one walk allowed and struck out six batters. Santillan has shown his inconsistent nature by experiencing a bad game after each of his good games dating back to April but this potentially breaks the string.

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

Mateo continues to hit well and is at .300 over the past 10 games but the plate issues continue to plague him. His BB-K over that stretch is just 2-14, which is ugly for anyone but especially so for someone that needs to be on base to use his best tool (His speed). He has some versatility and could help out either backing up the infield or playing in the outfield.

24. Kean Wong, 2B/OF, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Wong is one of the better hitters in at the Triple-A level and is fourth in batting average in the International League at .347. He also has just 26 strikeouts in 39 games. With defensive versatility, Wong deserves a shot to show what he can do at the MLB level but he may also be a trade piece available at the trade deadline given that he was left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft last winter and the Rays have lots of infield depth.

25.  Brendan McKay, LHP/1B (AAA) (ETA: August)

An outstanding start to the year at Double-A recently pushed McKay up to Triple-A. At the lower level, he struck out 62 batters and allowed just 25 hits to go with nine walks in 41.2 innings. A two-way player, he posted a .448 OPS so it’s pretty clear he’ll mostly hit in National League parks.

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

Harrison continues to swing and miss a lot with 12 strikeouts in his last 10 games. But he also walked eight times and stole bases so he’s shown other ways to impact a game when pitchers aren’t making mistakes in his wheelhouse.

27. Matt Manning, RHP, Tigers (AA) (ETA: August)

Manning hasn’t pitched since May 21 but that outing was a doozy. He struck out 10 batters en route to 6.2 shutout innings. The hard-thrower has also shown consistently-good control all year and has allowed more than two walks in just two of his nine starts. Manning has also given up just one home run all year. He looks ready for the Triple-A challenge.

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

Reid-Foley jumps back on the list for a couple of reasons, including the Jays’ desperation for pitching help at the MLB level. He’s also been more consistent and allowed more than three runs in a game just once in his last five starts. He took a little bit off his fastball in his last start and went a season-high eight innings with two walks (a season-low) and eight strikeouts (a season high).

29. Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: August)

I don’t love Mountcastle’s overly-aggressive approach but you can’t complete argue with his results. He’s hitting .326 at the Triple-A level and showing solid pop. Still, the BB-K of 7-39 is not encouraging and suggests he might have some struggles at the big league level. Plus the Orioles are rebuilding so they can afford the hiccups and neither Rio Ruiz nor Renato Nunez has been lighting the world on fire lately at the big league level.

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

Robert continues to look good at times, and bad at others. He has a BB-K of 1-12 over the last 10 games is also hitting over .300 thanks to a recent stretch where he went 6-for-19. Overall, he has an .821 OPS in 21 games.

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