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Hot Fantasy Prospects To Watch For Week 24

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It's been a great year of baseball and it's been especially great seeing minor league games being played again. And while there's still a few weeks left in the fantasy season, this week's column will end up being the final "Hot Fantasy Prospects to Watch" of 2021.

At this point in time there just isn't enough time left for guys to get called up and make much of an impact in fantasy. Obviously there can be some exceptions, and there are a couple of guys in this week's column who could still make a small impact, but for the most part if a player hasn't been called up by this week, there likely won't be an opportunity this year for him to have any fantasy value in redraft formats.

Going forward to close out the season, keep an eye out for some one-off articles focusing on dynasty formats and where to find help in the fantasy playoffs. But until then, for the last time in 2021 let's check out this week's hot prospects to watch.

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Dalton Kelly - 1B, Tampa Bay Rays

Level: Triple-A
2021 stats: 90 G, .253/.362/.545, 25 HR, 12 SB, 59 RBI, 62 R

Kelly has been showing off a nice power-speed combo for a first baseman at Triple-A this year, slugging 25 homers while swiping 12 bags in 90 games. He's more than doubled his career-high in homers in almost 140 fewer plate appearances, while posting a career-high .545 slugging percentage and .907 OPS. Kelly has been riding a nice hot streak over his last 15 games, where he's slashing .291/.333/.709 with seven homers, one steal, 19 RBI and 11 runs scored. While he's had a great year at the plate, there is some concern as he's also seen a jump in his strikeout rate from 23.5 percent in 2019 to 28.8 percent this season.

Kelly could be a nice bat in the Rays' lineup next season, and there's a chance he could get called up later this month for a boost in the playoff run. It's entirely possible that Kelly could end up providing similar value to what Paul Goldschmidt had when he was with Arizona — and having a first baseman that can provide double-digit homers and steals is always nice to have in fantasy. Keep an eye out for a potential promotion this month, and at the very least he should be a prospect to keep a close watch on in Spring Training 2022.

Tyson Miller - SP/RP, Texas Rangers

Level: Triple-A
2021 stats: 20 G, 7 GS, 3-2, 3.35 ERA, 1.179 WHIP, 22.8 K%, 48.1 IP

Miller made his major league debut last season and did not look particularly great in his brief stint with three runs allowed on two hits and three walks with zero strikeouts over five innings of work with the Cubs. He got off to another rough start at Triple-A Iowa this season before being claimed off waivers by the Rangers. It seems that a change of scenery has done Miller well, as he has gone 3-2 with a 3.14 ERA, 1.163 WHIP and 22.3 percent strikeout rate over 43 innings at Triple-A Round Rock. He's gotten the start in each of his last three appearances, where he's gone 3-0 and allowed four runs over 16 innings of work with 14 strikeouts.

It's hard to say where exactly he'll end up once he returns to the majors. He's spent the majority of his career in the minors as a starter and has shown some promise, but this season he's been used primarily out of the bullpen. And that being said, he has looked good out on the mound over his last three starts. The Rangers have struggled with their rotation this year between injuries and poor performances, so it wouldn't be too surprising to see Miller get the opportunity to pitch. And given the fact Texas is dead last in the AL West, Miller could get called up sometime this month to give the Rangers the opportunity to see what he has to offer. If that happens, he could be a possible streaming option in deeper formats.

Romy Gonzalez - SS, Chicago White Sox

Level: MLB
2021 MiLB stats: 87 G, .275/.357/.525, 23 HR, 22 SB, 57 RBI, 58 R

Talk about an explosion at the plate. Gonzalez has made a huge splash this season splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A. He only had one year of full-season ball under his belt with Single-A Kannapolis in 2019, and after the year off in 2020 he has shattered just about every mark he set in 2019. He's burst onto the scene as a potential 20-20 threat moving forward, and he's hit well enough to warrant a promotion to the majors this month. He had only recently been promoted from Double-A prior to his call-up, and over nine games at Triple-A he slashed .344/.382/.750 with three homers, one steal, 10 RBI and six runs scored.

So far he's appeared in two games with Chicago where he has gone 0-for-7 with one RBI and four strikeouts. Obviously not the greatest start to a career, but there's still plenty of time for improvement. As far as his value this season, Gonzalez will likely be limited to being a very low-cost DFS play when he's in the lineup. But he likely won't be around too much longer, as he'll almost certainly go back down to Charlotte after Tim Anderson is activated from the injured list. But looking forward to 2022, there's a lot to like about his potential, and we could see him back up in Chicago early on next season.

Spencer Torkelson - 3B, Detroit Tigers

Level: Triple-A
2021 stats: 100 G, .265/.380/.550, 25 HR, 4 SB, 77 RBI, 72 R

I know. Real bold of me to say the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft is a prospect to watch. Jokes aside though, Torkelson has managed to work his way from High-A all the way up to Triple-A in just 100 games of professional baseball. He has spent the bulk of the season at Double-A Erie, where he slashed .263/.373/.560 with 14 homers, 36 RBI and 33 runs scored over 50 games. Torkelson got off to a bit of a slow start upon his promotion to Triple-A, but he's picked up the pace over his last 13 games now where he's slashing .265/.393/.714 with seven homers, 12 RBI and 15 runs scored. And despite the initial struggles, Torkelson is looking more disciplined at the plate as he's lowered his strikeout rate from 23.6 percent at Double-A to 19.6 percent at Triple-A.

Look, managers should have been keeping an eye on Torkelson to begin with. But especially with the initial struggles at Triple-A, it's worth highlighting his recent hot streak as well as point out just how quickly he's risen through the minors in his first season of pro ball. At this point it looks like there's a very good chance that he could find a spot on the roster in Detroit early next year, and if that's the case he'll be worth consideration in the later rounds come draft day.

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