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Hot MLB Prospects To Know For Fantasy Baseball - Week 9

fantasy baseball prospects MLB prospects rookies call-ups

Welcome back, RotoBallers! The regular season is in full gear. We're heading into Week 9 of the fantasy baseball season, and while there has already been plenty of action in the majors, we can't ignore some of the top prospect performances that took place in the minor leagues during Week 8.

It's imperative to monitor the top fantasy baseball prospects who have turned heads thus far. The players listed here are not only coming off dominant weeks but have also impressed over the entire season. Don't be surprised when these exact names are painting corners, mashing homers, and swiping bags at the big-league level soon.

Fantasy managers should certainly keep an eye on these players over the long haul as they may prove to be excellent adds in no time.

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Colt Keith - 3B, Detroit Tigers

Level: Double-A
2023 stats
: 36 G, .309/.379/.577, 9 HR, 31 RBI, 25 R, 8.9 BB%, 23.7 K%, 156 wRC+, .422 wOBA, .363 BABIP

Keith is a fast-rising prospect in the Tigers' system who has continued to turn heads throughout various levels of affiliated ball. The 21-year-old impresses from the left side of the plate with a swing that is fast yet under control. As a result, he is capable of putting the ball in play at a high rate, and he has also reduced his strikeout rate following a tough 2021 campaign.

Keith lacks range but has a very strong and effective throwing arm, suggesting his long-term home will be third base despite spending time at second base in the minors. His glovework is currently average at best, but it's an area that he should be able to develop before he reaches the majors.

This past week was unforgettable for Keith. The infielder went 13-for-25 with four homers, 10 RBI, four walks, and five strikeouts. Although he had multiple strong outings during this six-game stretch, his best came on May 16 when he went 6-for-6, slugged two home runs, and hit for the cycle.


Julio Robaina - SP, Houston Astros

Level: Double-A
2023 stats
: 7 G, 4 GS, 2-3, 31.1 IP, 3.47 FIP, .299 BABIP, 7.47 K/9, 2.59 BB/9, 40.0 GB%

Robaina, 22, was signed by the Astros out of Cuba in 2017. The southpaw throws a low-90s fastball, and although he does a fine job locating the pitch, it lacks the spin or velocity needed to be a truly lethal offering. From time to time, he also throws a changeup that has flashed potential with impressive fade. However, he struggles to command this off-speed offering and therefore doesn't use it a whole lot.

Robaina rounds out his three-pitch mix with a curveball, which is undoubtedly his best offering. It has nasty vertical break, and the lefty is able to command it quite well. As a result, it is more than just a putaway pitch and can work off the fastball in various counts.

During his start last Wednesday, Robaina tossed 6.1 shutout innings, allowing just one hit and zero walks. He struck out a whopping 10 batters and was credited with the win in what was arguably the best outing of his career. Perhaps this big game is a sign of things to come for Robaina as he looks to demonstrate increased consistency on the mound.


Gavin Cross - OF, Kansas City Royals

Level: High-A
2023 stats:
37 G, .212/.299/.452, 7 HR, 24 RBI, 23 R, 9 SB, 9.6 BB%, 32.9 K%, 109 wRC+, .339 wOBA, .279 BABIP

Cross, a 2022 first-round pick, is widely regarded as the top prospect in the Royals' farm system. The Virginia Tech product played so well through just 26 games at Single-A last season that he started 2023 in High-A. The quick promotion has resulted in an underwhelming stat line through the first month-plus of action, but there's still a whole lot to love about Cross' makeup.

A lefty, Cross demonstrated improved bat control in his latter college years and even into pro baseball. There were also some indications that he had been able to cut down on strikeouts, but his 32.9 K% in 2023 suggests we may need to be a little more patient on that front. Defensively, he has the range needed to play in center field long-term but could probably handle a shift to right field if necessary.

This past week was a big one for Cross as he went 9-for-24 with five home runs, 11 RBI, six walks, and 10 strikeouts. He also swiped two bags. Despite a strikeout rate that continues to be elevated, Cross' latest outings suggest that his offensive dominance is returning after a slow start to the season.


Connor McCullough - SP, Chicago White Sox

Level: Single-A
2023 stats:
6 G, 6 GS, 3-2, 32.1 IP, 1.67 ERA, 2.44 FIP, 10.86 K/9, 1.67 BB/9, .247 BABIP, 51.4 GB%

McCullough, 23, was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Kansas State in 2022. A low-risk addition at the time, the right-hander has developed into a very promising arm within Chicago's system. Despite a limited sample size, one could argue that the White Sox found a true diamond in the rough.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound hurler has a standard four-pitch mix with a fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup. The fastball and curveball appear to be his best two offerings; they complement each other nicely and both have proven to be effective at striking batters out. He has also done a great job locating the strike zone, minimizing walks and home runs, and inducing plenty of weak contact.

This past week, McCullough delivered an impressive seven-inning no-hitter. He allowed just one walk and struck out eight batters along the way. Furthermore, he has not allowed a single run through three starts in the month of May. Keep an eye on McCullough because it appears the White Sox might have uncovered a rising star.


Jackson Holliday - SS, Baltimore Orioles

Level: High-A
2023 stats:
21 G, .286/.322/.595, 7 HR, 24 RBI, 15 R, 1 SB, 5.6 BB%, 21.1 K%, 141 wRC+, .402 wOBA, .288 BABIP

Making his second appearance of the season on this list is Holliday. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft has been hitting the ball quite well in the minors. He has a rare ability to do it all at the plate, whether it be pushing the ball to the opposite field, working counts and drawing walks, or driving in runs.

Viewed as a five-tool player, Holliday is equally talented on defense and should have no trouble sticking at shortstop long-term with his advanced glovework, strong arm, and fantastic range. Additionally, his baseball IQ is quite impressive for a 19-year-old. Barring any hiccups, he should have a quick ascension to the majors.

This past week, less than one month after his promotion to High-A, Holliday went 13-for-21 with two homers, 14 RBI, three walks, one strikeout, and two stolen bases. These are impressive numbers across the board, from his exceptionally strong ability to drive in runs to his rare knack for avoiding strikeouts.

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