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Looking Ahead - Prospects to Add for Dynasty Rebuilds


In the world of fantasy baseball, the All-Star break should be a time for reflection. A time for reflection and a time for honesty, as you sit in judgment on what is the best direction that your fake team should take. For those in redraft leagues, these decisions are all about the now. What, if anything, can be done to help win this year; as there is no next? And if there is no realistic path to victory, then the season becomes simply a grind to the finish.

But for dynasty players, the season never ends because there's always another year. This means there are always plans to make and moves to be made because it is the wise fantasy player who constantly keeps their roster stocked with fresh faces that they hope will someday pan out to prospect gold. Because few things are as valuable an asset as the much-hyped prospect on the verge of a call-up. And few things as hard to acquire.

So who are the minor leaguers that you can stash away now, in hope that they turn into that prospect gold by this time next year? Not the guys who sit atop all the prospect lists now, the ones who are already golden. While it'd be lovely, it is not very likely that you can stroll to the waiver wire and pick up the likes of a Jo Adell or Bo Bichette, or a Jesus Luzardo or Casey Mize. So if you don't want to pay through the nose in a trade, the only way to get young talent like that is to pounce on them before the hype train has left the station.

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Hitters

Vidal Brujan (2B, Tampa Bay Rays)

Age: 21.4     ETA: 2020     Level: AA

Forgotten behind Tampa Bay's bevy of uber-prospects, analysis of Brujan usually comes with the disclaimer, "but he's only 5' 9".  However, it's doubtful that Tampa Bay puts that disclaimer on him as they probably only care about how much he can rake. And that's all Brujan and his elite hit-tool do;  his 15 games since being promoted to Double-A, Brujan is slashing .328/.400/.428 with a .392 wOBA and 151 wRC+, while also swiping ten bases in only 66 plate appearances, while holding an impressive 7.3% SwStr%.

Jarred Kelenic (OF, Seattle Mariners)

Age: 20.0     ETA: 2020     Level: A+

The big prize that Seattle landed when they traded Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to the Mets, Kelenic has not disappointed, tearing up two levels so far this year. In his 338 plate appearances in 2019, Kelenic is slashing .287/.370/.534 with 15 home runs, 13 stolen bases, and a 154 wRC+. He may not see true playing time with the big club until 2021 but Kelenic has the tools and advanced approach to rise quickly rise through the Mariners system and reach his All-Star upside.

Alec Bohm (3B, Philadelphia Phillies)

Age: 22.9     ETA: 2020     Level: AA

Now at his third stop of the year at double-A Reading, Alec Bohm just keeps hitting, posting a 156 wRC+ and .560 SLG through his first 82 plate-appearances at the higher level. He doesn't have the raw power of his third base peers in the minor leagues but his approach is much more advanced, with less than a 15% K-rate across all levels, a 10.2% walk-rate, as well as a .934 OPS. Blocked only by Maikel Franco at the major league level, expect Bohm to continue to rise quickly if he continues to mash.

Nolan Jones (3B, Cleveland Indians)

Age: 21.2     ETA: 2020     Level: AA

At six-foot-four and 220 pounds, there are doubts about Jone's ability to stick at third base. But there are no doubts about the massive power that the 21-year-old possesses, as Jones carries 60-grades for both in-game and raw power.  Jones also has a great eye, never posting a walk-rate under 16% and carrying one over 20% this year. Having only recently been promoted to Double-A after posting a 157 wRC+ and .409 wOBA in his first stop of the year at High-A, Jones could advance quickly through Cleveland's system with continued performance.

 

Pitchers

Deivi Garcia (New York Yankees)

Age: 20.2     ETA: 2020     Level: AAA

With a live arm, but only standing five-foot-nine and 163 pounds, Garcia's hype has been held in check with worries about him being able to stick as a starter. But at some point, his numbers become so fantastic that you just have to assume he can be a starter until it's proven he cannot. And Garcia's numbers are at that point, after striking 114 batters over 69 innings in 2019, with the last 51 innings being pitched at Double-A. And after starting the Futures Game, the 20-year old has been promoted for the second time this year, getting the call to Triple-A and now on the fast-track to the Big Apple.

Luis Patino (San Diego Padres)

Age: 19.7     ETA: 2021     Level: A+

The embarrassment of prospect-riches continues for San Diego, as Patino is the latest Padre to have sky-high upside, with the teenager sitting 94-97 mph, with two breaking pitches that flash plus. Over 67 innings so far this year, Patino has struck out 89 in dominant fashion and was subsequently selected to represent the Padres at this year's Futures Game.  Patino announced himself to the world right away by setting down the five batters he faced in order, with three of them via strikeout. Previously lesser-known behind fellow Padre prospect MacKenzie Gore and former prospect Chris Paddack, Patino won't stay available for long.

Brusdar Graterol (Minnesota Twins)

Age: 20.9     ETA: 2020     Level: AA

It was reported recently that the Twins had listed Graterol as one of their "untouchables" in any trade discussions. It's easy to see why, as the 20-year old sits 96 -99 mph, touching triple-digits frequently, with a slider that flashes plus, and a changeup that could be above-average as well. While not dominant in his 48 innings after getting an aggressive assignment to Double-A to begin 2019, Graterol has still more than held his own, with a 1.89 ERA, 1.10 ERA, and a 24.3% K-rate.

Spencer Howard (Philadelphia Phillies)

Age: 23.0     ETA: 2020     Level: A+

Howard wasn't on many radars entering his first full season as a member of the rotation in 2018, but that quickly changed after he struck out 147 batters in just 112 innings and finished his year by throwing a no-hitter in the Sally League playoffs. Shut down briefly this year with shoulder fatigue, Howard has come back strong, striking out 22 in his first 14 innings back. At only 29 innings on the year, he's unlikely to see the big club this year; but with a fastball that sits 95 - 97 mph, a changeup that projects as plus-plus, as well as a slider and curve that both project as plus pitches, Howard could move quickly through Philadelphia's system.

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