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Hot Prospects to Watch Week 8: Peters, Ruiz, Reyes, Melendez

Another week goes by and yet another big name prospect gets called up. This time it's Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto who receives the call, and he wasted no time in making a splash by hitting his first career home run in his first career at bat.

Soto was already a hot commodity in dynasty leagues, and a flashy MLB debut like that only increases the premium that would need to be paid in order to acquire him. Unlike Soto though, most of the players on this week's list are trending upwards in terms of their potential value, and they can still be acquired for a relatively low cost.

So if you were lucky enough to own Soto, congratulations. For everyone else who doesn't have him though, take a look at acquiring these players before their value skyrockets as well.

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Keibert and the Sunshine Band

C Keibert Ruiz - Tulsa Drillers (Double-A: Los Angeles Dodgers)

Upcoming games: at San Antonio 5/22-24, at Corpus Christi 5/25-27

In just a few short years, Ruiz has gone from a relatively unknown teenager signed out of Venezuela to being one of the top catcher prospects in all of baseball. Over four years in the minors, Ruiz has a career .325 average and .829 OPS, and on top of that he's starting to display a lot of power in his bat. After hitting a career-high eight home runs last season, Ruiz already has six homers in the Texas League this season in over 200 fewer plate appearances. Over his last 10 games Ruiz has been especially hot, hitting .375 with four doubles, three home runs and eight RBI. When Ruiz gets the call to the show, he could be one of the top catchers in fantasy almost immediately with the potential to hit 15 home runs with a batting average of around .290 to .300. As long as he is still relatively under the radar in fantasy circles, now is the time to try and trade for him while you are able to get him cheap.


SP Alex Reyes - Springfield Cardinals (Double-A: St. Louis Cardinals)

Projected starts: TBD

It looks like Reyes is definitely back. Coming off of Tommy John surgery, Reyes has made three starts in his rehab assignment this month, compiling a ridiculous 17.4 K/9 and 0.75 WHIP over 16 scoreless innings. In his most recent start with the Springfield Cardinals, Reyes allowed one hit and three walks over 7 2/3 innings while striking out 13. His 13 strikeout performance came just five days after striking out 12 over five innings at Single-A Peoria. There's no word just yet as to when his next start will be, but all signs are pointing to Reyes being activated from the disabled list next week, where he will then join the Cardinals rotation. There aren't many pitching prospects out there who have as exciting potential as Reyes and also have a spot in the rotation already locked up. Reyes is almost certainly going to be facing an innings limit this year, but those innings should be top tier in terms of fantasy value. He might be one of the few prospects that's worth acquiring this year not only in dynasty leagues but also in redraft leagues.


OF DJ Peters - Tulsa Drillers (Double-A: Los Angeles Dodgers)

Upcoming games: at San Antonio 5/22-24, at Corpus Christi 5/25-27

The third Tulsa Driller in the last two weeks to appear on this list, Peters is looking like one of the next big outfield prospects in fantasy. Over 41 games this season, Peters is hitting .277 with nine home runs — tied for third-most in the Texas League — and his 10.7 percent walk rate over 196 plate appearances has him ranked 21st in the league. He is on pace for another 25 home run season this year, and he could even hit 30 with the increase in fly balls and line drives he is hitting this year. Realistically Peters is still about a year away from being called up, and while he might not have the high prospect status of players like Soto or Eloy Jimenez of the White Sox, he has the potential to provide comparable value to those players at a fraction of the cost to acquire.


C MJ Melendez - Lexington Legends (Single-A: Kansas City Royals)

Upcoming games: vs Rome 5/22-24, at Asheville 5/25-28

Melendez is yet another 19-year-old catcher making the list this week after a monster performance over the last week and a half. Over his last 10 games, Melendez hit .333 with three doubles, a triple and five home runs with 14 RBI. In just his second season in the minors and first year of full-season ball, Melendez has already surpassed most of his stats from last year in 50 fewer at bats. With eight home runs, Melendez is tied for fourth-most in the South Atlantic League and is second on the Legends only behind Seuly Matias who leads the league with 12 home runs. He has also showed some speed on the basepaths with five triples this year — tied for second-most in the league. Melendez still has a ways to go before he will reach the majors, between Salvador Perez's continued presence behind the plate in Kansas City as well as Melendez's 31.8 percent strikeout rate over two seasons in the minors. But if Ruiz is the next big catching prospect, Melendez might just be the next Ruiz and could be acquired in dynasty leagues with relative ease.


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