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MLB Ready Prospects: Top 30 Fantasy Rankings for Impact Rookies (Week 13)

For the second consecutive week, a couple of prospects made headlines with promotions to the big leagues. First baseman A.J. Reed debuted for the Houston Astros on Saturday. The New York Mets promoted outfielder Brandon Nimmo in the wake of Michael Conforto’s demotion to Triple-A. And lastly the Pirates promoted two prospects: pitcher Chad Kuhl and shortstop Adam Frazier.

The next couple of weeks may be a bit slower, but there are still going to be a few prospects who could find themselves promoted before the All-Star Break and subsequent trade deadline. The one quick disclaimer I will add to this piece is that the further down this list you get, the less likely the prospects are to have any major impact. With several top prospects already in the big leagues, there will not be too many more impact players for leagues with fewer than 10 teams.

Editor's Note: RotoBaller has the best Premium MLB Subscription for only $1.99 per week. We have all the tools to help win your seasonal and daily leagues: Hitter & Pitcher Streamers, Matchup Ratings for every player, Sleeper Surgers for AVG, HR, Ks, PLUS Daily DFS Cheat Sheets, Lineup Picks, Expert Lineups, Stacks and Avoids. 

 

Top MLB Prospects - Fantasy Baseball Power Rankings

To be clear, this list is not the top 30 prospects in baseball. This is a list of the top 30 prospects who are likely going to rise to the major leagues and provide fantasy baseball value this season. The qualifications are simple: a player must not be on an active roster, they must have a clear path to the majors, and while they may have played in seasons prior to 2016, they must still have rookie eligibility. If a player is moved to the active roster of their team, they will be removed from this power rankings list and replaced.

1. Lucas Giolito (SP, WAS, AA)
Stats: 71.0 IP, 3.17 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 9.13 K/9, 4.31 BB/9, 0.25 HR/9, 1.42 WHIP
ETA: Late June
With the placement of Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day DL, the Nationals have decided to promote Lucas Giolito to the big leagues. While it is far from a sure thing that he will stay in the big leagues when Strasburg returns, he has the capability to pitch well enough and force a spot for himself in the rotation. Plus, Strasburg's injuries have a tendency to start off bad and end up worse. My guess is that Giolito will be in the big leagues for the remainder of the season. And with his talent pitching in the relatively light-hitting NL East, he is an absolute must-own in all leagues. Grab him quickly while you still can!

2. Trea Turner (2B, WAS, AAA)
Stats: 307 PA, .290/.363/.441, 4 HR, 22 SB, 19.2% K rate, 10.4% BB rate
ETA: Post-All-Star Break
Danny Espinosa is starting to come back down to Earth after a promising showing in late May/early June. In his past 11 games, he is slashing only .235/.395/.441 with two home runs and a stolen base. And while that is an improvement over his current season line of .222/.319/.415, it is still far from great. And just as Espinosa is starting to perform to his usual standards, so too is Turner who is now slashing .273/.400/.455 in his past nine games. And while that does not sound overly exciting, the 17.5% walk rate and 15.0% strikeout rate (1.17 BB/K ratio) should ease the worried minds of fantasy owners. Turner should be up again after the All-Star Break and take over at short. Especially qualifying as a second baseman, Turner has so much value for fantasy owners and really should be owned in all leagues once promoted.

3. Alex Bregman (SS, HOU, AA)
Stats: 274 PA, .296/.407/.561, 14 HR, 4 SB, 9.5% K rate, 13.5% BB rate
ETA: Post-All-Star Break
As mentioned earlier, A.J. Reed was finally promoted to provide some help to the surging Houston Astros. Though the Astros still could use some assistance at third base, it is unlikely that the other talented Houston bat will be promoted. Bregman has been off his game for a while, slashing a paltry .214/.389/.405 in his past 11 starts. Promising, however, is his still stellar plate discipline that his him walking 18.5% of the time and striking out only 11.1% during that time span. The Astros GM has made several vague statements regarding the progress of Bregman that likely mean he won’t see the big leagues until after the All-Star Break, especially with a hot-hitting Luis Valbuena at third.

4. Tyler Glasnow (SP, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 84.0 IP, 1.61 ERA, 2.91 FIP, 10.71 K/9, 5.04 BB/9, 0.32 HR/9, 1.14 WHIP
ETA: Post-All-Star Break
Two of the three Pirates’ pitching prospects have now been called up from the talented Triple-A Indianapolis Indians’ rotation and neither of those two are Tyler Glasnow. The talented right-hander has shown unhittable stuff in his past five outings. Since June 1, Glasnow has a 0.32 ERA in 28.0 innings with a solid 9.96 K/9. In three of those five outings Glasnow has not allowed a hit. His most recent start was seven no-hit innings. The bad news - he has 22 walks in those 28 innings, a stat Clint Hurdle referenced recently as the reason why the 22-year-old is not in the big leagues. In his five most recent starts, he has walked fewer than four batters in just one of them. I still believe they will make the move, but it will probably not be until after the All-Star Break.

5. Orlando Arcia (SS, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 301 PA, .276/.320/.409, 6 HR, 10 SB, 15.9% K rate, 6.0% BB rate
ETA: Post-All-Star Break
A cold(ish) June has slowed down the progress of Arcia in his quest of reaching the big leagues this season, but it should really just be considered a mere bump in the road. The talented shortstop is slashing a rather pedestrian .247/.314/.409 in the month of June with a 0.38 BB/K ratio (7.8% BB rate, 20.4% K rate). Arcia’s chances of a promotion rest on whether or not the Brewers trade Aaron Hill and Jonathan Villar. I still adamantly believe they will make the moves and that Arcia will be promoted. He is not nearly as exciting as many of the other shortstops on this list, but he gets the job done and should be batting leadoff for the Brewers. He'll probably hit .280+ once promoted. With his solid speed and average power, he has more to offer than most other league average shortstops and would be worth an add in all leagues once promoted.

6. Jose De Leon (SP, LAD, AAA)
Stats: 15.0 IP, 2.40 ERA, 2.39 FIP, 14.40 K/9, 3.00 BB/9, 0.60 HR/9, 0.73 WHIP
ETA: Early July
In a couple days, Julio Urias will make what will in all likelihood be his final start of the season.  He'll either be sent down to the minors to make a couple of shortened starts or switch to the Dodger bullpen. However, when one door closes, another one typically opens. De Leon has been absolutely dominant in his four starts. Since he has only surpassed five innings in one start to this point in his MiLB season, he will probably spend a couple more starts down in Triple-A trying to stretch out and go deeper into games. But once he appears to be ready for the majors, expect to see the Dodgers promote their talented 23-year-old.

7. Alex Reyes (SP, STL, AAA)
Stats: 31.0 IP, 4.35 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 13.94 K/9, 4.94 BB/9, 0.87 HR/9, 1.42 WHIP
ETA: Mid-July
Reyes had, by far, his worst outing of the season in his last time out for Triple-A Memphis. He lasted five innings and gave up a season-high five runs on five hits while walking four batters and only striking out three. And even worse for Reyes is the fact that the Cardinals rotation is starting to turn itself around with four starters now owning a sub-4.00 FIP. There could be a use for Reyes in the bullpen with Trevor Rosenthal now ousted from the closer’s role or he could serve as a way of reducing the innings workload for a pair of Cardinals’ starters. Still, it is starting to look less and less likely that he will see a bulk of time in the big league rotation. Owners should keep an eye on him and stash him if a Cardinal pitcher suffers an injury, but at the moment he should not be stashed.

8. Robert Stephenson (SP, CIN, AAA)
Stats: 69.2 IP, 3.88 ERA, 5.02 FIP, 6.72 K/9, 4.78 BB/9, 1.16 HR/9
ETA: Mid-July
“Edward, why on Earth is a guy with a FIP above 5.00 in seventh on your list?” is the question I can already hear everyone asking me. It is simply that if I had to stake my money on anyone reaching the big leagues on this list as almost a guarantee, it would be this guy. Stephenson has been solid--not great--but solid for Triple-A Louisville this season while the Reds have had some significant pitching issues. One of their starters, Brandon Finnegan, has already thrown 94.0 innings with his career-high being 105.1 last season. He will likely be shut down or at least relegated to the bullpen to keep his inning count down and John Lamb could be sent to the bullpen to try and regain his form. Homer Bailey will come back and take a rotation spot, but at this point it seems like almost a guarantee Stephenson will enter the rotation. Bob Steve is no ace, but he has electric stuff. It really is only a matter of time before he puts his command together with his flashy stuff and turns into a front of the rotation starter. That could happen this season. Once promoted, he should be owned in 12+ team leagues.

9. Gary Sanchez (C, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 199 PA, .274/.317/.500, 8 HR, 3 SB, 14.1% K rate, 4.5% BB rate
ETA: Early August
With Mark Teixeira returning to the Yankee lineup soon, it no longer looks like Sanchez will be taking his spot at first base. But the Yankees are 37-36, six games behind the Orioles for the division crown and 2.5 behind in the Wild Card race. Rumor has it the Yankees intend to sell at the deadline. If this is true, there could possibly be a deal to send Brian McCann away. Even if the Yankees intend to buy at the deadline, trading away the struggling McCann and plugging in Sanchez is likely an upgrade behind the dish with the way these two players are currently hitting. Because his value at this point stems from a trade, it would be unwise to stash him unless in a deep, two-catcher league. But if rumors start swirling around McCann and it looks likely that he will be dealt, owners should start scrambling to add Sanchez as he could have an impact behind the plate similar to Willson Contreras now for the Cubs.

10. Josh Hader (SP, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 72.0 IP, 2.00 ERA, 2.51 FIP, 11.38 K/9, 3.50 BB/9, 0.25 HR/9, 1.14 WHIP
ETA: Late July
With the Brewers far out of playoff contention, a promotion of a guy like Hader would be more of a move to say that he has earned it and to reward the fans for their patience in this time of rebuilding. Hader’s numbers at Triple-A so far are not great (6.00 ERA, 4.19 FIP), but that is largely the result of a poor outing his last time out when he lasted only three innings and gave up six runs on eight hits. He struck out three and walked two. That may have only been one clunker, but Hader cannot have too many of those if he hopes to reach the big leagues before September. He has the potential and ability to be a special starter for the Brewers as early as this season and if he straightens things out, he could be a big time upgrade over a lot of pitchers. If promoted, Hader would be worth owning in 10+ team leagues.

11. Jake Thompson (SP, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 84.1 IP, 3.09 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 6.30 K/9, 2.67 BB/9, 0.96 HR/9, 1.17 WHIP
ETA: Early August
Thompson has been a near elite starter in his past four outings. On May 31, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs right-hander lasted only 3.2 innings and gave up eight runs (six earned) on nine hits while walking three and striking out five. Since then, he has delivered 29 innings in four starts in which he owns a 0.93 ERA, 3.47 FIP and .212 opp. BA. The FIP seems a bit high, but it is largely the result of a low strikeout rate (4.34 K/9) and not for his command (1.86 BB/9 and 0.31 HR/9 in that span). The Phillies have one of the youngest rotations in baseball and will need some innings relief down the road. And while the 22-year-old is no grizzled, innings-eating veteran, many scouts view him as a true bulldog capable of eating 200 innings even at such a young age. He will undoubtedly be the next guy promoted for the Phillies when they need some help in the rotation.

12. Jesse Winker (OF, CIN, AAA)
Stats: 236 PA, .286/.381/.367, 2 HR, 0 SB, 13.6% K rate, 14.0% BB rate
ETA: Early August
Jay Bruce is currently in the middle of a career-year at just the right time for Walt Jocketty and the Cincinnati Reds. He is currently slashing .280/.329/.575 with 16 home runs. If there any questions about whether or not the Reds would be able to deal away their right-fielder, those questions have now been answered emphatically and it looks like he is almost guaranteed to be gone by the deadline. If and when Bruce is traded, it is probable that the Reds will promote Jesse Winker to take his place in the outfield. Whether he plays right or left field is still undecided, but for fantasy owners, it is the bat that will be worth owning. I know that it is scary to see a slugging percentage below an on-base percentage, but scouts believe that he will hit for power and that all he needs is some time to mature and spend time in a favorable ball park. He should be able to hit for enough pop this season in the Great American Smallpark to be worth owning in 12+ team leagues.

13. Jose Berrios (SP, MIN, AAA)
Stats: 61.2 IP, 2.92 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 9.79 K/9, 3.65 BB/9, 0.73 HR/9, 1.10 WHIP
ETA: Late July
The Twins have used nine starting pitchers already this season and as of right now, Berrios is still last on their team leaderboard in fWAR. That is not to say that their starters have been good (because they certainly have been awful this season), but it is to say that Berrios was sorely beaten in the big leagues. But lately in Triple-A, Berrios is starting to show some serious signs of life. In his last four outings, the talented 22-year-old has thrown 28.2 innings with a stellar 2.51 ERA and 3.12 FIP. And really most of the damage was done in only outing in which he gave up five runs in 6.2 innings of work on June 11. The Twins are in no hurry to get him back to the big leagues and he may not be up again until August, but if they trade Ricky Nolasco, they could promote Berrios. He may not be worth stashing, but if promoted Berrios should be owned in 12+ teams at least and all leagues if he looks like he is really ready to face big league batters.

14. Hunter Renfroe (OF, SD, AAA)
Stats: 310 PA, .318/.339/.592, 17 HR, 3 SB, 18.1% K rate, 2.9% BB rate
ETA: Early August
Just like with Jesse Winker, Renfroe’s 2016 value depends on outfielders in front of him in the depth chart being dealt away at the deadline. At this point, I do believe that the Padres will trade away two outfielders (probably Melvin Upton and Matt Kemp) and promote both Renfroe and Alex Dickerson. Renfroe undoubtedly has the higher fantasy upside because of his power. He has 25+ home run power even in Petco Park. How well he does in the big leagues will depend on how disciplined he can be at the plate. He may be a batting average liability in his first taste of big league action, but he will provide power that Dickerson can’t. He should be owned in 12+ team leagues once promoted.

15. Alex Dickerson (OF, SD, AAA)
Stats: 233 PA, .386/.429/.633, 10 HR, 0 SB, 11.2% K rate, 6.0% BB rate
ETA: Early August
Dickerson is also a pretty solid player in his own right and should get a chance to see big league time in the event those two Padre outfielders are dealt away at the deadline. He will almost definitely hit for a higher average than Renfroe as his discipline at the dish is better and he has always shown himself to be a .280+ hitter in the minors. He has plenty of raw power that scouts believe could be a factor later in his career and he could even start tapping into this season at the big league level. Playing in Petco doesn’t help a guy who is considered a 15-20 home run threat, but his ability to hit at the top of the order for the Padres and maintain a high average should give him enough value to warrant owning in most leagues.

16. Guillermo Heredia (OF, SEA, AAA)
Stats: 265 PA, .295/.405/.381, 2 HR, 2 SB, 12.1% K rate, 13.6% BB rate
ETA: Late July
Heredia doesn’t wow anybody with his skills, but he is a very solid all-around player with a chance to have an impact as early as this season.The Mariners have really only had two legit threats in the outfield this season (Leonys Martin and Nelson Cruz) as most of the other guys have just been platoon starters providing average at best value. Scouts aren’t in love with his home run hitting ability which is alright for fantasy owners because Safeco is not exactly a power-hitter’s paradise, but they do love his quick bat which could help him hit for a solid average at the big league level. He is not worth stashing as he only just reached Triple-A and still has to prove himself, but he could be a very solid outfield option for 14+ team leagues if he is promoted.

17. Aaron Judge (OF, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 310 PA, .259/.345/.467, 14 HR, 5 SB, 23.9% K rate, 10.3% BB rate
ETA: Early August
It is a lot less likely that Aaron Judge reaches the big leagues this season. If the Yankees do in fact go on a full-fledged fire sale, an outfielder is almost certainly going to go. Judge has done what he does all the time: Hit for extraordinary power, strike out a lot, walk a lot, and hit for a mediocre average. If given full starting time in the outfield for the Yankees, Judge could easily reach double-digit home run totals in the big leagues. Fantasy owners should wait to add him, however, and make sure that a) the Yankees are going to make a trade and send away an outfielder as he has no use as a pinch-hitter and b) that he can hit for enough average to have value. He does not have Joey Gallo-type power so owners will have a lot less patience with a sub-.220 average with him than Gallo.

18. Gavin Cecchini (SS, NYM, AAA)
Stats: 232 PA, .325/.394/.447, 4 HR, 2 SB, 10.8% K rate, 10.3% BB rate
ETA: Post-All-Star Break
Since David Wright was injured, the Mets have been unable to find a solid replacement for him at third base. Kelly Johnson has filled in fine, but he is more of a utility guy than an everyday starter at this point in his career. As for the rest of the guys, there is no one with a legitimate claim to the third base spot. Enter Gavin Cecchini. The 22-year-old infield utility player is having a career year at Triple-A, demonstrating his plus plate discipline and his bat, which many scouts believe could allow him to eventually become a big league regular. His power and speed are both limited, but he will occasionally run into a pitch or swipe a bag. If the Mets decide he is their answer at third base, he would be worth owning in 14+ team leagues as a solid batting average booster.

19. Carlos Asuaje (2B, SD, AAA)
Stats: 309 PA, .324/.386/.471, 4 HR, 5 SB, 12.3% K rate, 8.7% BB rate
ETA: Post-All-Star Break
Asuaje is not a future All-Star, but he could still provide some solid fantasy value to owners in the event of his promotion this season. The Padres still have Yangervis Solarte and Adam Rosales manning second base for them, but if they start selling, Solarte could be gone and Rosales is simply not good enough to keep the hot-hitting Asuaje down in the minors. Asuaje is not a slugger and he won’t steal many bases, but he will rarely strike out and should be a solid bet to hit for a .275+ average at the generally weak offensive position of second base. His lack of explosive tools limits his fantasy upside, but owners in 12+ teams could find some value in a solid average-boosting second baseman. Think D.J. LeMahieu levels of production with a slightly lower batting average.

20. Joey Gallo (3B/OF, TEX, AAA)
Stats: 203 PA, .256/.394/.579, 14 HR, 1 SB, 28.6% K rate, 18.2% BB rate
ETA: Early August
Like many players on this list, Gallo’s 2016 value hinges on an injury or a trade. In his case, he would be the player traded. It is highly unlikely the Rangers trade Jurickson Profar, Prince Fielder or Mitch Moreland and it is more unlikely any team would take Shin-Soo Choo. So if the Rangers went out buying, Gallo would hopefully be their main buying chip. Unless he is traded, it will be improbable that he gets any starting time this season unless a player at first, third, designated hitter or the outfield is hurt.

21. Dansby Swanson (SS, ATL, AA)
Stats: 302 PA, .273/.364/.436, 6 HR, 10 SB, 16.9% K rate, 10.9% BB rate
ETA: Mid-August

22. Ozzie Albies (SS, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 324 PA, .279/.343/.397, 3 HR, 10 SB, 15.1% K rate, 8.3% BB rate
ETA: Mid-August

23. Josh Bell (1B/OF, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 313 PA, .316/.403/.529, 11 HR, 1 SB, 11 HR, 1 SB, 16.3% K rate, 11.5% BB rate
ETA: Early August

24. Jorge Lopez (SP, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 61.0 IP, 6.05 ERA, 5.53 FIP, 7.08 K/9, 6.49 BB/9, 0.74 HR/9, 1.90 WHIP
ETA: Early August

25. Tom Murphy (C, COL, AAA)
Stats: 141 PA, .221/.241/.493, 7 HR, 0 SB, 32.6% K rate, 2.8% BB rate
ETA: Mid-August

26. Nick Williams (OF, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 274 PA, .288/.333/.468, 7 HR, 5 SB, 25.2% K rate, 6.2% BB rate
ETA: Early August

27. J.P. Crawford (SS, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 310 PA, .244/.356/.332, 3 HR, 9 SB, 14.5% K rate, 14.5% BB rate
ETA: Mid-August

28. Yandy Diaz (3B, CLE, AAA)
Stats: 276 PA, .286/.396/.432, 6 HR, 8 SB, 15.9% K rate, 15.6% BB rate
ETA: Post-All-Star Break

29. Andrew Benintendi (OF, BOS, AA)
Stats: 298 PA, .301/.362/.489, 4 HR, 12 SB, 10.1% K rate, 8.4% BB rate
ETA: Late August

30. Anthony Banda (SP, ARI, AAA)
Stats: 76.1 IP, 2.12 ERA, 2.87 FIP, 9.90 K/9, 3.30 BB/9, 0.47 HR/9, 1.28 WHIP
ETA: Early August

 

MLB Rookie Rankings

1. Corey Seager (SS, LAD)

2. Nomar Mazara (OF, TEX)

3. Trevor Story (SS, COL)

4. Willson Contreras (C, CHC)

5. Aledmys Diaz (SS, STL)

6. Kenta Maeda (SP, LAD)

7. Michael Fulmer (SP, DET)

8. Steven Matz (SP, NYM)

9. Trayce Thompson (OF, LAD)

10. Jon Gray (SP, COL)

11. Jameson Taillon (SP, PIT)

12. Trea Turner (2B, WAS)

13. Alex Bregman (SS, HOU)

14. Blake Snell (SP, TB)

15. A.J. Reed (1B, HOU)

16. Tyler Glasnow (SP, PIT)

17. Orlando Arcia (SS, MIL)

18. Jose De Leon (SP, LAD)

19. Alex Reyes (SP, STL)

20. Robert Stephenson (SP, CIN)

 

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Nets Two Goals As Tampa Bay Ends Slide
Andrei Vasilevskiy3 days ago

Bounces Back In Style On Monday
Nikolaj Ehlers3 days ago

Takes Down Hurricanes
Beneil Dariush3 days ago

Suffers First-Round Knockout Loss At UFC Austin
Beneil Dariush4 days ago

Arman Tsarukyan Knocks Out Beneil Dariush In 64 Seconds
Jalin Turner4 days ago

Gets Back In The Win Column
Bobby Green4 days ago

Gets Knocked Out In The First Round
Punahele Soriano4 days ago

Dustin Stoltzfus Submits Punahele Soriano
Punahele Soriano4 days ago

Loses Back-To-Back Fights
Nathan MacKinnon4 days ago

Pushes Point Streak To Eight Games
Quinton Byfield4 days ago

Pots Two Goals Against Colorado
Alex Tuch4 days ago

Exits With Injury
Clay Guida4 days ago

Falls To .500 In The UFC
Joaquim Silva4 days ago

Gets Decision Win At UFC Austin
Kelvin Gastelum4 days ago

Submitted In Welterweight Return
Sean Brady4 days ago

Returns To Win Column
Rob Font4 days ago

1-4 In Last Five Fights After Loss At UFC Austin
Deiveson Figueiredo4 days ago

Wins Bantamweight Debut

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