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Hot Prospects To Watch - Robert Rising, Mountcastle Hitting, Gore Impressing


If you needed proof that top prospects can make an immediate impact for fantasy owners at the major league level, look no further than Nick Senzel. He made his debut on Friday night against the Giants, homered in his second career game on Saturday and went deep twice in six at-bats on Monday night.

The same can't be said about Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is still looking for his first home run with Toronto. He has only six hits (one extra-base hit) in 41 plate appearances (.162) and only one RBI. He's also fanned 11 times and walked four times, but the top prospect in baseball will eventually make noise. Stay patient.

On the injury front, A's catching prospect Sean Murphy will miss four to six weeks after tearing the meniscus in his left knee in the minors. The team's No. 3 prospect will have to wait longer, but he's certainly a candidate to make his major league debut later on in 2019.

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Robert Could Force White Sox's Hand

Luis Robert - OF, Chicago White Sox

If the 21-year-old keeps making minor league pitchers look like Little Leaguers, the White Sox may have to make room for him on the major league roster soon.

He was named the Carolina League Player of the Month for April with High-A Winston-Salem by leading the league in average (.453), home runs (eight), RBI (24), triples (three), extra-base hits (16), total bases (69), on-base percentage (.512), slugging percentage (.920) and OPS (1.432).

The native of Havana, Cuba, had 12 multi-hit games in April and was recently promoted to Double-A Birmingham. In six games there, he's hit .292/.346/.458 with three RBI and a steal in 26 plate appearances. He's up to eight homers already this year and needs to be owned in all dynasty/keeper leagues.

An outfield with Robert and Eloy Jimenez would be a sight to see. Ryan Cordell, Nick Delmonico, and Charlie Tilson won't exactly be reasons to keep Robert down in the minors if he has nothing left to prove there. Robert's electric bat speed and above-average raw power and speed give him as high a ceiling as any prospect in the minors.

He's the team's No. 4 prospect and No. 36 overall, per MLB Pipeline.

 

Mounting Momentum To Majors

Ryan Mountcastle - 3B/1B, Baltimore Orioles

If you're a prospect trying to make it to the Show, there might be no better organization to play for than the lowly Orioles. MLB Pipeline lists Mountcastle as baseball's No. 2 first base prospect in baseball behind the Mets' Peter Alonso, but his best path to a big league call-up might be at the hot corner, where he's blocked only by Rio Ruiz at the moment.

Going into Tuesday's games, the 22-year-old was hitting .345/.370/.546 with five home runs and 22 RBI in 29 games for Triple-A Norfolk. He's the team's No. 2 prospect and No. 66 overall as Baltimore's second first-round pick back in 2015.

He represented the team at the Futures Game last July and has hit at every stop on the farm, helping him rise quickly through the ranks. His defense is much more suspect than his lumber, which is why he profiles better at first base long term, but the O's might not have much of a choice but to play him at third.

Mountcastle creates backspin on the baseball to give him power to all fields. He has a chance to be an above-average hitter all around at the next level if he can polish off his game a little bit more. Don't be surprised at all if Baltimore calls his name before the All-Star break.

 

Padres Own Best Lefty Prospect?

MacKenzie Gore - SP, San Diego Padres

This 6-foot-3, 195-pounder is just 20 years of age, but he might already be the best left-handed pitching prospect in the game. He's listed as SD's No. 2 prospect and No. 14 in all of baseball. He was the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2017 and he's shown why so far in 2019 with High-A Lake Elsinore.

Gore is already 3-0 with a 1.15 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 45 strikeouts and six walks in six starts over 31 1/3 innings. He already possesses four above-average pitches (fastball, curve, slider, changeup) that should make him a front-of-the-rotation arm down the road. The No. 3 overall pick in 2017 dealt with blister issues last season, but as long as he's healthy he should move quickly through the Padres system.

Based on what he's already doing in Single-A, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the southpaw promoted to Double-A in the near future. He only threw 60 2/3 frames in 2018, too, so the Friars may not want to overwork their prized arm too quickly.

In an organization with a lot of excellent pitching prospects, Gore has the highest ceiling of them all, but he won't be pitching at Petco Park in 2019, so don't get your hopes up. This is just a friendly reminder that he's probably already worth owning in deep dynasty/keeper leagues.

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