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Hot MLB Prospects to Watch for Fantasy Baseball - Week 5

Matthew Lugo - Fantasy Baseball Prospects, Draft Sleepers, MLB Rookies

Welcome back, RotoBallers! We're heading into Week 5 of the fantasy baseball season. The minor league baseball season is off to a hot start, providing us with plenty of big plays and impressive prospect performances.

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.

Savvy fantasy managers looking for an edge in their leagues should certainly keep an eye on these players over the long haul as they may prove to be excellent adds in no time.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Matthew Lugo - LF, Boston Red Sox

Level: Double-A
2024 stats: 
Nine G, .357/.471/.857, Three HR, 12 RBI, Five R, Zero SB, 17.6% BB%, 23.5% K%, .412 BABIP, .564 wOBA, 252 wRC+

Lugo endured a subpar 2023 campaign at the Double-A level, showing a tendency to commit errors on the left side of the infield, as well as a below-average hit tool. The organization has experimented with his positional versatility and seems to have found a better home for him in left field, where he made a Gold Glove-caliber catch last week. Meanwhile, his bat has played very well so far this year as he has demonstrated an ability to put the ball in play, work walks, and even deliver a hint of power.

Over five games last week, Lugo went 8-for-21 with two home runs, 11 RBI, five walks, and five strikeouts. He currently owns a seven-game hitting streak and could be pushing for his first-ever promotion to Triple-A sooner rather than later.

 

Aaron Brown - SP, Houston Astros

Level: Double-A
2024 stats: 
Three G, One GS, 1-0, 13.2 IP, 3.95 ERA, 1.95 xFIP, 15.15 K/9, 3.29 BB/9, 1.32 HR/9, 55.2% GB%, .333 BABIP

Brown is a former ninth-round pick who joined the Astros organization following the 2021 draft. He spent all of last season at Double-A and has consistently shuttled between a bullpen and rotation role. He boasts high strikeout rates and has managed to keep his walk rate down for the most part.

Brown made his first start of 2024 last Thursday. He tossed five scoreless innings, allowing one hit and zero walks. Best of all, he managed to record 10 strikeouts along the way, good for a rate of two per inning. Brown's high strikeout rate could make him an appealing multi-inning bullpen arm for Houston next season.

 

Nathan Church - OF, St. Louis Cardinals

Level: Double-A
2024 stats:
14 G, .355/.408/.516, Three HR, 15 RBI, 13 R, Four SB, 9.9% BB%, 5.6% K%, .333 BABIP, .421 wOBA, 152 wRC+

The Cardinals have to like what they've seen from Church, their 11th-round pick in the 2022 draft. The UC Irvine product has terrific bat-to-ball skills and should continue to showcase both contact and power throughout all levels of the minor leagues. He's also swiped some bags. However, he does have some limitations defensively and could be bound to left field long-term.

Nevertheless, Church continued to make a name for himself last week, going 9-for-25 with two homers, eight RBI, six walks, and a stolen base. As he has done for his entire career, Church showed terrific plate discipline, adding just two strikeouts to his ledger over last week's six-game span.

 

Winston Santos - SP, Texas Rangers

Level: High-A
2024 stats:
Three G, Three GS, 2-1, 15.2 IP, 0.57 ERA, 1.13 FIP, 13.79 K/9, 2.30 BB/9, 0.00 HR/9, 36.7% GB%, .281 BABIP

Santos is a 22-year-old who signed with the Rangers out of the Dominican Republic in 2019. He gets good velocity behind his mid-90s fastball and has also shown the ability to harness his changeup for strikes and induce weak contact. However, he needs to focus on significant development for his slider. The offering is not an established pitch, and he would benefit drastically from rounding out his repertoire with a reliable third offering that generates movement.

Last week, Santos made his third start of the season and showcased pure excellence. He tossed five shutout innings, allowing one hit and a pair of walks along the way. However, what stood out most were his 12 strikeouts, a clear reflection of his ability to get control of his top offerings and miss bats. If he can continue to pitch at a high level, he'll be knocking on the door of the majors early next year.

 

Gregory Barrios - SS, Milwaukee Brewers

Level: High-A
2024 stats: 
13 G, .404/.453/.574, Zero HR, 12 RBI, Eight R, Two SB, 5.7% BB%, 17.0% K%, .487 BABIP, .470 wOBA, 185 wRC+

The Brewers signed Barrios out of Venezuela in early 2021. He has proven himself as a reliable hitter and defender, possessing the qualities needed to ascend through the minors. He's not a power hitter -- he has just one home run over 198 pro games -- but shows a decent understanding of the strike zone, puts the ball in play, runs the bases well, and demonstrates the glovework needed to carve out a significant career at shortstop.

Last week, Barrios logged multiple hits in all five of his games. He ultimately went 13-for-18 during his big week, adding six extra-base hits, seven RBI, two walks, one strikeout, and one stolen base. The 20-year-old will need to spend a little more time at High-A before he's ready for a promotion, but Barrios is certainly a name to monitor.



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