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Welcome back to our updated list of the Top 20 impact prospects for 2020. Most minor league teams have now completed a dozen games or so (depending on weather cancellations), so we're starting to see some trends with players off to hot or cold starts.

I expect a lot of movement on this list as the year progresses and a few names have already snuck onto the back-end this week, including the Tigers' Casey Mize, and Dodgers' Gavin Lux.

This list is compiled using a blend of the prospect's skill level and future playing time projections, considering both the prospect's current development path as well as the player they might be replacing. As always, I'm open to feedback and willing to answer questions, either through Twitter (@MarcHulet) or on Reddit.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Top MLB Prospects to Watch

1. Dylan Cease, RHP, White Sox (AAA):

Cease has been solid in three Triple-A starts so he may soon transition from this 2020 dynasty list to the 2019 impact prospect list if he continues to get results. A deeper look at his second outing suggests he’s not quite MLB ready yet, though. He only threw slightly higher than 50% of his pitches for strikes. And Cease was also pulled after throwing just 60 pitches so he’ll need to build up his arm strength and durability before he’s trusted with a starting role in the The Show.

2. Christian Pache, OF, Braves (AA):

The Double-A Braves are a little behind the eightball with days off and weather cancellations so Pache has only appeared in nine games. Even so, he’s produced a .915 OPS and is showing the power we’ve been waiting for with six of his 12 hits going for extra bases. The negative side of his game is the BB-K of 2-11. Just 20, he’s on a six-game hit streak.

3. Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers (AAA):

I get a lot of questions about my ETA for Hiura given that he’s a former top college draft pick now at the Triple-A level. A quick glance at his triple-slash line suggests he’s about ready (.304/.319/.652). But if you dig deeper, there are some warning signs: .478 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play), a line-drive rate of just 14%, and, most importantly, a BB-K of 1-20. All of those things combine to suggest there is a lot of smoke-and-mirrors to his success.

4. Austin Riley, 3B, Braves (AAA):

The powerful third baseman is struggling right now at the Triple-A level. Through 11 games, he’s struck out 13 times and has a .182 batting average. He’s struck out twice or more in five of his first nine games. With Josh Donaldson manning the hot corner in Atlanta, there is plenty of time for Riley to find his footing.

5. Taylor Trammell, OF, Reds (AA):

It’s been an ugly year for the big league Reds so far. Top prospect Nick Senzel is still dealing with an injury issue. Trammell, though, is having a nice start to his season as he perhaps looks to leapfrog over Senzel. At the Double-A level, the athletic outfielder is hitting .344 through nine games. He’s striking out at a high rate (12 Ks in 32 at-bats) but he’s offsetting that with solid on-base numbers thanks to eight walks.

6. Nick Madrigal, 2B, White Sox (A+):

It was a slow start to the year for Madrigal, who had just one hit through the first series of the year but he’s waking up now. He recently had a stretch of three games where he fired off eight hits. He’s also boasting a 26% line-drive rate and it will be important for the diminutive second baseman to prove that he can hit for authority against good pitching.

7. Ian Anderson, RHP, Braves (AA):

Anderson’s second start of the year at the Double-A level wasn’t as successful as his first but he still gutted through and allowed just two runs in 4.1 innings. The command/control just isn’t where it needs to be and, overall, he’s walked five batters in 8.1 innings.

8. Jordon Adell, OF, Angels (INJ):

Adell remains on the sidelines with a leg injury but is making progress. Even so, he’s not expected back in game action until June.

9. Jesus Sanchez, OF, Rays (AA):

After a scorching start to the year, Sanchez has hit a rough patch, which included a three-game stretch without a hit. Overall, he’s hitting .325 after getting six hits in his last three games but his BB-K is 2-10 and just two of nine hits have gone for extra bases.

10. Corbin Martin, RHP, Astros (AAA):

Through two starts on the year, Martin has allowed just three hits in 10 innings. Unfortunately, his control is not yet MLB-ready as he’s walked six batters and hit one. It’s early so some struggles can be expected, and the Astros’ starting rotation has been mostly lights-out with Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock up to the challenge of solidifying the back-end of the rotation.

11. Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Rays (AA):

The Rays currently sit in first place in the American League East and the minor league depth suggests the success could be sustainable for quite some time. McKay has been hitting and pitching well. Were he focusing on just one skill, he might actually reach the Majors in 2019.

12. Matt Manning, RHP, Tigers (AA):

Word is starting to get out that the Tigers have a gem in Manning so don’t wait too long to add him to your dynasty roster. Thought his first two starts of the year, the hard-throwing right-hander has allowed just two hits with 15 strikeouts in 12 innings. In his last game against Altoona, a Pirates Double-A team void of any true hitting prospects, he went seven innings with one hit, no walks, and 10 strikeouts.

13. Tony Santillan, RHP, Reds (AA):

Santillan’s overpowering stuff has been on display early on through two starts but he has yet to solve the control issues that have plagued him throughout his career. He’s now walked seven batters through nine innings.

14. Royce Lewis, SS, Twins (A+):

Lewis spent 45 games in High-A ball in 2018 and has returned to that level to open 2019. Despite the experience at the level, it’s been a slow start. He might be starting to heat up, though, after banging out seven hits in his last two games, which has pushed his batting average up to .263 through 11 games. The BB-K rate is encouraging at 13-8 but being overly passive can be a detriment, too.

15. Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers (AA):

May has now thrown one good game, and one not-so-great game early on in 2019. He’s still inducing a ton of ground-ball outs and showing good control, but his command was off in his last start and he threw too many hittable pitches.

16. Michael Kopech, RHP, White Sox (INJ):

Kopech remains sidelined while recovering from Tommy John surgery,

17. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (AA):

I’ve been skeptical of Lux for some time now but eventually, you have to start believing in the results. Lux is hitting a scorching .390 through his first nine games in Double-A and five of his 16 hits have gone for extra bases. He’s also controlling the strike zone well with a BB-K of 4-8.

18. Casey Mize, RHP, Tigers (A+):

Mize was a top draft pick in 2018 who didn’t make his pro debut until 2019 but he’s not showing any rust. Through two starts, the right-handed hurler has an 0.82 ERA with just one run allowed through 11 innings. He has yet to issue a walk and has struck out 15 batters.

19. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Marlins (Not Assigned):

Sanchez remains in extended spring training while the Marlins manage his innings after he threw just 46.2 innings last year.

20. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics (INJ): 

I honestly don’t know what the ETA is for Luzardo. Based on his skill level and results in spring training, he looked ready to impact the Majors in 2019. But then his shoulder gave out and the prognosis sounded bleak (and the track record for returning from significant shoulder injuries is bleak) But the injury has been downplayed a bit in recent weeks. Still, I’m taking the cautious road until we see him throwing in competitive games.

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