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Hot Prospects To Watch - Jo Adell, Deivi Garcia, Alec Bohm And More


We're almost halfway through the 2019 MLB season. Can you believe it? With the dog days of summer coming up and fantasy owners looking to make moves in their leagues heading into the second half, it's more important now than ever to keep tabs on hot prospects that could be making their way up to the big leagues soon.

The second half of the season is typically when we see a greater influx of minor league talent to major league rosters, especially when rosters expand in the final month of the season in September. Some will get the call for a little taste of the Show, while others might have a good chance to make an impact in fantasy leagues.

MLB.com recently updated their top-100 list of prospects in 2019. In the top spot is Rays shortstop Wander Franco, who is unlikely to see a promotion this year. Rounding out the top five are Tigers starter Casey Mize (injured at Double-A), Padres lefty MacKenzie Gore (dealing with High-A), Angels outfielder Jo Adell (Double-A) and White Sox outfielder Luis Robert (Double-A).

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Adell Making Up For Lost Time

Jo Adell - OF, Los Angeles Angels

Baseball's top outfield prospect and the Angels' No. 1 prospect missed the first two months of the minor league season with lower-body injuries. But since he returned ahead of schedule on June 2, Adell has a slash line of .403/.471/.694 with nine doubles, three homers, 10 RBI and four stolen bases in 70 plate appearances. It's even more impressive since the Southern League favors pitchers.

Overall for Double-A Mobile and High-A Inland Empire this year, Adell is hitting .368/.433/.655 with five home runs, 15 RBI, 19 runs and four stolen bases in 23 games. The former 10th overall pick in 2017 just turned 20 years old in April, but we wouldn't be surprised to see him starting games in Anaheim before the year is up.

His plate approach needs to be refined as he matures, but Adell's combination of power and speed as a potential 20-20 guy at the next level will make him fantasy relevant immediately. The drawback for the 20-year-old is that he has some swing-and-miss in his game, but the positives far outweigh the negatives with him. The Halos will have a scary good outfield with Adell next to Mike Trout in the years to come.

 

Deivi Dominating In Minors

Deivi Garcia - SP, New York Yankees

The 20-year-old Dominican right-hander might only be listed as the team's third-best pitching prospect, but he could end up being the best in the long run, and he's certainly showing why on the farm. Garcia had a 3.06 ERA in four starts at High-A Tampa to begin the year but has been much better in his nine starts for Double-A Trenton, going 4-2 with a 2.68 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 76 K's and 22 walks in 47 innings (14.6 K/9).

His 15.2 K/9 combined is the best strikeout-per-nine rate in the minor leagues. In his last two starts, Garcia has allowed just one hit while walking three and striking out 24 hitters over 11 innings. Opponents are hitting .028 against him. That's domination, folks. In his last five starts (23 2/3 innings), Garcia has a 1.52 ERA with 12 walks and 40 strikeouts. You get the picture.

Garcia is flying under the radar because his stuff doesn't stand out in particular, but he's very polished as as a pitcher. He gets very good spin on his curveball and fastball, which he can throw in the 91-96 mph range. A changeup could become a solid third offering for him when he reaches the next level, which may come at some point in 2020. At 5-foot-9, 163 pounds, there are obvious concerns about his longevity as a starter, but this is certainly a player to have on your radar in dynasty/keeper leagues right now.

 

Here Comes The Boom

Alec Bohm - 3B, Philadelphia Phillies

After being selected third overall out of Wichita State last year, Bohm started the year with Single-A Lakewood, was promoted to High-A Clearwater and just this week has made the jump to Double-A Reading. He's impressed so far, hitting a combined .332/.405/.530 with 20 doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 39 RBI and four stolen bases in 66 games. His 32:41 walk-to-strikeout ratio also stands out.

The 22-year-old is Philly's top prospect, the No. 38 prospect in all of baseball and is ranked as the third-best third base prospect. He was touted as one of the best overall hitters of his draft class and has the strength and bat speed to hit for power and average in the majors. What is particularly exciting is his mix of raw power and the ability to limit his strikeouts and draw plenty of walks because of his knowledge of the strike zone.

It might be a stretch to expect him to play at the highest level in his first full year of professional baseball, but Bohm no doubt is a quick learner and a fast riser as a top-five draft pick. It's unknown if he'll have the glove to stick at the hot corner in the long term, but the Phils might need him there sooner than later with Maikel Franco currently struggling after a hot start.

 

Only A Matter Of Time

Luis Urias - 2B/SS, San Diego Padres

Urias has a career .167 average (12-for-72) with just two homers, five RBI and a steal in 23 games with the Padres the last two years. That includes an .083 average (2-for-24) with 11 strikeouts in 11 games in 2019 earlier this year. It's disappointing for the team's No. 2 prospect, but Urias has proven he no longer belongs in the minors, slashing .331/.417/.640 with 15 doubles, four triples, a career-high 17 home runs, 42 RBI, 54 runs scored and seven steals in 59 games for Triple-A El Paso.

The 22-year-old may not hit for a ton of power in the big leagues, but his contact-oriented approach, gap-to-gap skills, excellent on-base percentage and advanced plate discipline will make him a useful middle infielder regular once he solidifies a starting role for the Friars. It'd be a mistake not to stash him right now in deep mixed and NL-only leagues just because of his numbers in a small sample size in San Diego the last two years.

The Mexico native could be back up with the Padres before the All-Star break and could easily start seeing more playing time over Ian Kinsler at the keystone in the second half of the season. After all, the veteran Kinsler is hitting just .220/.277/.383 in 214 at-bats. Urias and fellow prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. should form a potent middle infield combination in sunny San Diego for years to come.

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