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Hot Prospects to Watch Week 20: Guerrero, Chavis, Kopech

Over the past few weeks on this column, we have been taking a look at hot prospects that were either not as well known or were still some ways away from reaching the majors. This week however, we're looking at some of the big name prospects out there that have been on fire over the last week.

In this week's list, we're going to revisit two of the top prospects in baseball who previously made it on this column earlier in the season. Even after missing a month due to injury, Vladimir Guerrero Jr is still putting up monster numbers, and Michael Kopech summed up his season succinctly on Instagram this week with a post reading, "nothing left to say." There's no doubt that Guerrero and Kopech will be superstars once they reach the majors, and Michael Chavis also has the chance to be a solid fantasy star for years to come.

We've got superstars in the making on this week's list, so let's look at what they have to offer.

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Hasta Chavis-ta, baby

SP Michael Kopech —  Charlotte Knights (Triple-A: Chicago White Sox)

Projected starts: vs Louisville 8/16, at Norfolk 8/22

Without a doubt, Kopech is the most exciting pitching prospect out there right now. He has recorded eight or more strikeouts in 13 of his 23 starts, and his International League-leading 161 strikeouts are 26 more than the next closest pitcher. This past week, Kopech posted back-to-back starts of seven innings pitched and nine strikeouts, and in five of his last six starts he has thrown at least eight strikeouts over six innings. Like Kopech said, there's nothing left to prove regarding his abilities. Fantasy owners should expect Kopech to potentially get a start or two in Chicago this September, and when he gets called up he should be added in 12-team mixed-leagues and potentially even 10-team mixed leagues. The stuff looks good here, and he could win a spot in the starting rotation out of Spring Training next year.


3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.Buffalo Bisons (Triple-A: Toronto Blue Jays)

Upcoming games: at Charlotte 8/14-15, at Gwinnett 8/16-19

Is there a way to get Guerrero out? If so, minor league pitching doesn't seem to have figured out how to do that yet. Over 77 games this season, Guerrero has just 11 games where he has gone hitless, and only four of them have come since returning from the disabled list on July 13. Over his last 10 games, Guerrero is hitting .412 with four home runs, 1.311 OPS and a 2:5 K:BB ratio. Like Kopech, Guerrero's call up is not a matter of if but when. Toronto is out of the playoff hunt, but we will still likely see Guerrero get a brief stint in the majors once rosters expand in September. Looking forward to next year though, the third base job in Toronto seems to be Guerrero's to lose with Josh Donaldson's contract up at the end of this season. Guerrero's fantasy value for the rest of this season, while still very good, isn't quite as high as Kopech's in terms of providing a sizable push in a playoff run. But his value for next season is right up there among top young players like Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna. Assuming he wins the starting job at third base in Spring Training, Guerrero should be drafted within the first 15 rounds in redraft leagues if not the first 10 rounds.


3B Michael Chavis — Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A: Boston Red Sox)

Upcoming games: vs Trenton 8/14-16, vs Altoona 8/17-19

Despite missing the first half of the season due to suspension, Chavis has not seemed to let it slow him down playing in the Eastern League. Over his last 10 games, Chavis is hitting .514 with three home runs, two steals and a 1.442 OPS as he has raised his season average to .309 and his OPS to 1.005. Even with the lost time Chavis is still producing at a rate that, over the course of a full year, would have given him back-to-back 30 home run seasons. While Kopech and Guerrero are candidates for September call-ups and have good chances of making the major league teams out of Spring Training, Chavis is likely still a year away from reaching Boston. The Red Sox currently have 21-year-old Rafael Devers manning the hot corner, so they're in no rush to promote Chavis. But once Chavis does join Boston, he'll be one of the top third basemen in fantasy with the potential to put up numbers similar to Josh Donaldson in his prime.


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