Wow what a bunch of big time promotions. Alex Bregman, David Dahl, Tyler Glasnow (and then to the DL). Talk about some star power! But the big headlines obviously are going to circle around the Indians who acquired ace reliever Andrew Miller, but failed to complete a deal for Jonathan Lucroy after he used his no-trade clause.
Of course, many more moves will follow and today might be quite the busy day for trades. It will be very interesting to follow. For now, let's take a look at the top MLB prospects remaining who should be called up and make a fantasy impact this year.
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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. Yulieski Gourriel (3B, HOU, NA)
Yes, I know the last two Houston Astros’ prospects haven’t done so well at the big league level, but there is a good chance Gourriel is going to be different. He has done nothing but smack the baseball around throughout his career in Cuba and should be able to translate that to the majors. I know too that Hector Olivera hasn’t panned out, but scouts think Gourriel is too talented to fail. He should be owned in all leagues once he is made available.
2. Andrew Benintendi (OF, BOS, AA)
Stats: 413 PA, .305/.373/.507, 7 HR, 16 SB, 9.4% K rate, 9.4% BB rate
You never like to bet on a guy at Double-A this late in the season, but from everything I’ve heard the Red Sox are inclined just to promote Benintendi straight from there. He has shown an exorbitant amount of promise there and looks like the solution in left field for what could make the Red Sox the most explosive offense since last season’s Blue Jays. For fantasy owners, Benintendi will steal his fair share of bases, should have no problem spraying some balls over the monster even as a lefty and should be able to hit for a high average. He is an extremely talented outfielder and looks like a sure bet to produce at the majors. He should be owned in all leagues at this point.
3. Jose De Leon (SP, LAD, AAA)
Stats: 51.2 IP, 3.83 ERA, 3.84 FIP, 11.50 K/9, 3.14 BB/9, 1.05 HR/9, 1.14 WHIP
De Leon was kicked around in his previous outing, but that should be considered an outlier more than a starting trend. He has been outstanding all season long and should continue to show those improvements as the season goes on. However, don’t expect his season to go on at Triple-A much longer. The 24-year-old righty has absolutely warranted a promotion at this point and unless the Dodgers acquire an arm, they will need him to help bolster their rotation. I imagine he will probably reach the big leagues around the middle of August and I would already consider him worth stashing for owners in need of pitching help. He will be worth owning in all leagues once promoted.
4. Josh Bell (1B/OF, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 409 PA, .314/.403/.507, 13 HR, 1 SB, 14.9% K rate, 12.2% BB rate
ETA: Early August
The Pirates appear to be stuck in the middle between staying put and selling off their players, though leaning more towards sellers at this point. They dealt away reliever Mark Melancon and haven’t appeared to show any real need to make any additional moves at this point. One thing that's for certain is that if they have any hopes of competing in the near future, they will certainly call up their talented first baseman. He has continued to improve defensively at first and obviously has the big league-ready bat to help the club out. If he isn’t already stashed in your league, you may want to get on that as he may be only a week or two away from his second promotion.
5. Jake Thompson (SP, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 122.2 IP, 2.57 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 6.24 K/9, 2.71 BB/9, 0.73 HR/9, 1.13 WHIP
ETA: This week
With the likelihood that Jeremy Hellickson will be dealt away, fantasy owners should expect to see Jake Thompson starting in rotation very soon. Thompson is the clear guy to start in the rotation and obviously would provide stellar pitching for owners willing to snag him. Will he strike out ten batters per game? Absolutely not, but he will keep runs off the scoreboard. If I had to guess, I would say this is his last time on the list as he seems likely to start in Hellickson’s next scheduled outing. He is worth owing in 10+ team leagues right now.
6. Robert Stephenson (SP, CIN, AAA)
Stats: 103.2 IP, 4.17 ERA, 4.75 FIP, 7.81 K/9, 4.95 BB/9, 1.13 HR/9, 1.31 WHIP
ETA: Next week
Homer Bailey is back and my oh my was he special against the Padres. But then again, it was just the Padres. But just because Bailey’s back should not discourage fantasy owners from chasing Stephenson. Bob Steve should get a shot after a couple more starts of Brandon Finnegan (or a couple more rough outings of Cody Reed) and should be ready to start to show fantasy owners he is ready. He is a bit of a high risk/high reward play as dominating stuff could lead to high strikeout totals but lackluster command could lead to clunkers. At the very least, he will be worth owning in all 12+ team leagues and owners in 10+ team leagues could look to give him a shot if he starts to perform well.
7. Gary Sanchez (C, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 305 PA, .287/.338/.477, 10 HR, 7 SB, 14.1% K rate, 5.9% BB rate
ETA: Early August/September
Sanchez is only worth owning if Brian McCann is traded. As of right now, he has not been, but the Yankees have been selling off players and McCann could be the next on the block to go. If he is dealt away, Sanchez almost certainly slides up to the majors and will see consistent time behind the plate. If McCann stays, it limits Sanchez’s 2016 value a bit, but he is still liable to see some time in September when rosters expand and owners should be happy with any production out of a catcher in this dismal season for backstops. He is worth stashing in two-catcher leagues and 12+ team leagues, but would be worth owning in all leagues assuming McCann is dealt away.
8. Dan Vogelbach (1B, SEA, AAA)
Stats: 405 PA, .310/.417/.537, 18 HR, 0 SB, 18.3% K rate, 15.1% BB rate
ETA: Early August
The Mariners appear to be in the same position as the Pirates where they are selling away some of their pieces, but also trying to keep the majority of their framework together in an effort to stay competitive this season. If they want to continue to give a run at the AL Wild Card, they will almost certainly give Vogelbach a shot at the big leagues. He has continued his torrid destruction of Triple-A pitching since moving to Seattle’s team and should be given a shot to tear up the majors very soon. Once promoted, his upside is worth owning in 10+ team leagues.
9. Scott Schebler (OF, CIN, AAA)
Stats: 315 PA, .316/.375/.572, 13 HR, 2 SB, 18.1% K rate, 6.0% BB rate
ETA: This week
Schebler has been absolutely demolishing Triple-A pitching as of late, registering a cycle last week and continuing to flash some promising power. It looks like in the event of a Jay Bruce trade, the Reds are likely to give Schebler a shot at redeeming himself. His strikeouts and lack of 30+ home run power certainly limit his upside, but owners in 12+ team leagues can take comfort in the fact that he will get a chance to prove that his Triple-A performance will be rewarded with big league playing time which is more than can be said for most of the players on this list.
10. Lucas Giolito (SP, WAS, AAA)
Stats: 84.2 IP, 3.08 ERA, 3.42 FIP, 8.82 K/9, 3.83 BB/9, 0.43 HR/9, 1.37 WHIP
One of two talented pitching prospects used by the Nationals as a spot starter, Giolito is obviously the premier talent and the guy worth owning should any Nats’ starter get hurt. He is an elite strikeout pitcher and most figure he will be an ace once he receives more playing time. If he does get another shot at the rotation, he certainly should start to provide better results than what he has shown so far. I don’t know if I would stash him at this point, but upon any promotion to the big leagues, owners in all leagues should be ready to pick up the next Nationals’ ace.
11. Alex Reyes (SP, STL, AAA)
Stats: 55.0 IP, 5.07 ERA, 4.02 FIP, 12.93 K/9, 4.42 BB/9, 0.98 HR/9, 1.42 WHIP
Reyes was recently passed up for a spot start which should be considered a mixed blessing for fantasy owners. It means that though he was not picked, his name was in the running all the way until the end. If any Cardinal starter is injured (and we know all about Jaime Garcia’s troubled past), Reyes will be the guy next in line to join the rotation. As is, he seems very likely to receive a promotion to help their bullpen shortly after the deadline. He is worth owning in 14+ team leagues for now and would be worth owning in 10+ team leagues if he is called up as a starter.
12. Orlando Arcia (SS, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 434 PA, .269/.322/.407, 8 HR, 15 SB, 17.5% K rate, 6.7% BB rate
Another guy whose value depends on his team’s plans following the deadline, Arcia could be used as early as next week as a starting shortstop if the Brewers trade Braun and shift Villar to the outfield or he could stay in the minors until September. I should have a much clearer picture of what his role will be with the Brew Crew by next week. In the mean time, he should only be owned in dynasty leagues for the time being.
13. Jesse Winker (OF, CIN, AAA)
Stats: 317 PA, .298/.385/.397, 4 HR, 0 SB, 13.2% K rate, 12.3% BB rate
This may be Winker’s last time in the Top-15, though obviously a lot depends on what the Reds plans are once Jay Bruce is traded. Winker has performed well at Triple-A in most categories, but has not hit for any power at Louisville. For fantasy owners, he would be a virtual lock to hit for a high average and to get on base very frequently, but who knows about his power production. At this point, he should not be stashed in any leagues.
14. J.P. Crawford (SS, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 439 PA, .263/.360/.361, 6 HR, 11 SB, 13.9% K rate, 13.0% BB rate
It looks very probable that Crawford will reach the majors if not in August at least in September and that is definitely a good thing for fantasy owners. He looks like a very low risk player to produce. He has excellent plate discipline, a quick bat and looks like a sure fire bet to hit for a high average. Now he won’t hit for much power and he will not steal too many bases, but owners should be satisfied enough with his production considering the lack of outstanding options at shortstop. Once promoted, he will be worth owning in all leagues.
15. Hunter Renfroe (OF, SD, AAA)
Stats: 443 PA, .322/.350/.585, 25 HR, 4 SB, 19.6% K rate, 3.8% BB rate
ETA: This week
So Renfroe appears to be the next in line for a promotion now that Matt Kemp has been dealt away. He could very possibly have a huge impact in fantasy leagues as he has the type of power that could even stand to produce big time home run totals in a ballpark like Petco. He won’t provide any stolen bases and his batting average could suffer because of his lack of plate discipline, but Margot should hit enough dingers to warrant owning in 12+ team leagues once promoted to the big leagues.
16. A.J. Reed (1B, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 286 PA, .281/.357/.538, 14 HR, 0 SB, 22.7% K rate, 10.5% BB rate
I really don’t know what to make of Reed. He has the bat to be a real superstar first baseman at the big league level, but right now he just isn’t putting it together after an explosive 2015 season. Give him some time to get some confidence back and he might receive another shot at the big leagues, but with Alex Bregman already at the majors and Gourriel close to the level as well, he may have to knock the cover off the ball to receive another shot. He should not be owned in any leagues until we know more about Houston’s plans for the remainder of the season.
17. Manuel Margot (OF, SD, AAA)
Stats: 437 PA, .305/.356/.428, 4 HR, 24 SB, 9.2% K rate, 6.6% BB rate
The Padres opted not to promote Margot contrary to everything I have been hearing and instead opted to stick with Travis Jankowski and Alex Dickerson in the outfield. It is likely that he will get the next chance at a big league spot, especially if Renfroe struggles to hit for average. But at this point, I cannot advise stashing him in many leagues as there is now no telling whether or not he will be promoted before September.
18. Yoan Moncada (2B, BOS, AA)
Stats: 423 PA, .295/.402/.509, 12 HR, 44 SB, 24.6% K rate, 13.7% BB rate
It is somewhat of a long shot that Moncada sees time before September, but that time in September could be just what fantasy owners in the playoffs need. He qualifies at second base, a position lacking in explosive talent and he would be an upgrade over just about anyone at the position with a few notable exceptions. With some power and some speed, Moncada has a serious chance to impact fantasy baseball playoff races. Once September comes around, he should be owned in all leagues.
19. Anthony Banda (SP, ARI, AAA)
Stats: 111.2 IP, 2.82 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 8.79 K/9, 2.90 BB/9, 0.64 HR/9, 1.33 WHIP
The Diamondbacks have had a really rough year and a large part of that is a result of their pitching. Obviously Shelby Miller has been the biggest disappointment, but even Zack Greinke is having a down year by his standards, Robbie Ray has been hittable and Patrick Corbin has been very streaky. So it seems very likely Banda will get a shot at the rotation at some point. His most dominant stretch of games came earlier this season at Double-A, but the southpaw still should offer enough to fantasy owners to warrant owning in 12+ team leagues. He has some solid strikeout upside and though he may have a clunker every now and again, Banda could be helpful to teams in need of starting pitching help.
20. Yandy Diaz (3B, CLE, AAA)
Stats: 406 PA, .325/.423/.459, 7 HR, 10 SB, 15.3% K rate, 14.5% BB rate
ETA: This week
The trade deadline season has provided mixed results to the Cleveland Indians. They acquired ace reliever Andrew Miller from the Yankees, but gave up talented prospect Clint Frazier to get him. They ‘acquired’ Jonathan Lucroy, but he used his no-trade clause and vetoed the deal. And as of my writing this, the Tribe has done nothing to add to their lineup. So that is why it seems likely they will upgrade internally and promote Diaz. The third baseman has been crushing Triple-A and though he is neither a lethal power threat nor a speed threat, he will provide owners with a very respectable batting average. His one-sided fantasy contributions limit his upside, but he should be worth owning in 14+ team leagues.
21. Aaron Wilkerson (SP, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 110.2 IP, 2.85 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 9.92 K/9, 2.36 BB/9, 0.73 HR/9, 1.08 WHIP
22. Josh Hader (SP, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 95.2 IP, 3.01 ERA, 2.97 FIP, 11.48 K/9, 3.95 BB/9, 0.38 HR/9, 1.24 WHIP
23. Willy Adames (SS, TB, AA)
Stats: 419 PA, .280/.380/.457, 9 HR, 11 SB, 20.0% K rate, 13.4% BB rate
24. Jordan Patterson (OF, COL, AAA)
Stats: 351 PA, .319/.407/.500, 8 HR, 8 SB, 20.8% K rate, 11.1% BB rate
ETA: Late August
25. Nick Williams (OF, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 403 PA, .286/.318/.464, 10 HR, 5 SB, 22.6% K rate, 4.5% BB rate
26. Renato Nunez (3B, OAK, AAA)
Stats: 412 PA, .228/.277/.414, 17 HR, 2 SB, 19.2% K rate, 5.3% BB rate
27. Harrison Bader (OF, STL, AAA)
Stats: 391 PA, .283/.348/.473, 14 HR, 9 SB, 24.3% K rate, 6.4% BB rate
28. Jeff Hoffman (SP, COL, AAA)
Stats: 107.0 IP, 3.95 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 9.25 K/9, 3.11 BB/9, 0.84 HR/9, 1.34 WHIP
29. Clint Frazier (OF, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 412 PA, .273/.350/.461, 13 HR, 13 SB, 22.3% K rate, 10.0% BB rate
30. Ozzie Albies (SS, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 470 PA, .300/.370/.418, 4 HR, 19 SB, 14.3% K rate, 8.9% BB rate
MLB Rookie Rankings
1. Corey Seager (SS, LAD)
2. Nomar Mazara (OF, TEX)
3. Trevor Story (SS, COL)
4. Willson Contreras (C, CHC)
5. David Dahl (OF, COL)
6. Alex Bregman (SS, HOU)
7. Kenta Maeda (SP, LAD)
8. Steven Matz (SP, NYM)
9. Aledmys Diaz (SS, STL)
10. Seung Oh (RP, STL)
11. Michael Fulmer (SP, DET)
12. Blake Snell (SP, TB)
13. Tyler Naquin (OF, CLE)
14. Jon Gray (SP, COL)
15. Trea Turner (2B, WAS)
16. Dae-Ho Lee (1B, SEA)
17. Jameson Taillon (SP, PIT)
18. Yulieski Gourriel (3B, HOU)
19. Andrew Benintendi (OF, BOS)
20. Jose De Leon (SP, LAD)
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