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Top 25 Fantasy Baseball Prospects for Week 17

It’s hard to believe but the second half of the season is officially here. With the diminished schedule ahead, the Top 50 list has transitioned to ranking the Top 25 redraft prospects for the remainder of 2021.

Last week’s list lost some key names as a number of clubs called up top prospects for a second-half push towards the playoffs. Players promoted to the majors included the top two players on last week’s list: outfielders Jarred Kelenic (Mariners) and Jarren Duran (Red Sox). Other prospects recalled included pitcher Tanner Houck (Red Sox) and catcher Cal Raleigh (Mariners).

Although the list has eliminated 25 players, you’ll find some additional value this week. I’ve added two new sections: “Sleepers” and “Names to Know for 2022” list.

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Top Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues

This prospects list is a ranking for 2021 redraft leagues only and is not a dynasty ranking. It also does not include any prospects on MLB rosters.

Ranking Player Pos Team Age ETA
1 Kyle Muller SP ATL 23 JULY
2 Josh Lowe OF TB 23 JULY
3 Brandon Marsh OF LAA 23 JULY
4 Seth Beer 1B ARZ 24 JULY
5 Keibert Ruiz C LAD 22 JULY
6 Luis Patino SP TB 21 JULY
7 Joey Bart C SF 24 JULY
8 Edward Cabrera SP MIA 23 AUGUST
9 Jo Adell OF LAA 21 AUGUST
10 Jose Miranda 1B MIN 23 AUGUST
11 Josh Jung 3B TEX 23 AUGUST
12 Hunter Greene SP CIN 21 AUGUST
13 Jahmai Jones 2B BAL 23 AUGUST
14 Edward Olivares OF KC 25 AUGUST
15 Josiah Gray SP LAD 23 AUGUST
16 Brent Rooker OF MIN 26 AUGUST
17 Cody Thomas OF OAK 26 AUGUST
18 Kevin Smith 3B/SS TOR 24 AUGUST
19 Lewin Diaz 1B MIA 25 AUGUST
20 Drew Waters OF ATL 22 AUGUST
21 Nick Lodolo SP CIN 23 AUGUST
22 Shane Baz SP TB 21 AUGUST
23 Jose Barrero SS CIN 23 AUGUST
24 Joe Ryan SP TB 24 AUGUST
25 Cade Cavalli SP WAS 22 AUGUST


Top 5 Prospects for 2021

1. Kyle Muller, SP: Returned back to the minors during the All-Star break, Muller has thrown well in two starts at Triple-A. He threw four innings of one-hit ball on July 14 in what was likely his last tune-up before getting recalled. Muller has looked like a new pitcher this year with a deeper repertoire and improved command.

2. Josh Lowe, OF: The Rays have already promoted Wander Franco and Vidal Brujan but Lowe is also deserving of an opportunity in The Show. He’s been a little streaky lately but has three home runs and a stolen base over the past week. The Rays are one club that doesn’t need the trade deadline. No other organization in baseball can be as self-sufficient as Tampa Bay.   

3, Brandon Marsh, OF: Marsh entered the weekend riding a 12-game hit streak and finally looks truly healthy for the first time this season. He’s still striking out quite a bit (26%), but he’s also showing outstanding on-base numbers with a healthy walk rate (14.5%). EDIT: Marsh was promoted to the majors right before the Angels game on Sunday. 

4. Seth Beer, OF/1B: Beer’s July output has been down from his excellent June, but overall he’s had a very promising season in Triple-A. His power and on-base skills could be of benefit to the Diamondbacks in the second half of the year — although he’d be better suited with an American League team due to his poor defensive skills.

5. Keibert Ruiz, C: If the Dodgers make a big splash at the trade deadline, Ruiz could be the player that helps them make that move. He’s MLB-ready and has had an excellent month of July and has shown sustained power – something that had previously eluded him.


Prospects 6-15

6. Luis Patino, SP: It’s hard to believe that Patino is still just 21 years old. He has an excellent K-BB ratio of 41-11 in 29 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level and a solid K-BB ratio of 24-5 in 20 1/3 innings in the majors this season. On most MLB clubs, he’d be an indispensable member of the starting rotation. On the Rays, he's an extra arm for now.

7. Joey Bart, C: Bart got a little taste of MLB action before the All-Atar break, but the Giants appear content to go with Curt Casali and Chadwick Tromp while Buster Posey is sidelined. However, the rookie catcher offers the most offensive upside.

8. Edward Cabrera, SP: Cabrera was recently promoted to Triple-A and is now a stone’s throw away from the major leagues. He has an upside that can rival or surpass that of Trevor Rogers, who has been outstanding in the majors this year.

9. Jo Adell, OF: Adell has seen a hot streak flare-up in conjunction with the return of Brandon Marsh. The former entered the weekend on a 12-game hit streak. He has just two home runs in that stretch, but he’s been a much better hitter and has also cut down on the strikeouts, which is great to see.

10. Jose Miranda, 1B: Miranda had a massive breakout at the Double-A level in 2021 to earn a promotion to Triple-A where he’s been even better. Through 16 games, he has five home runs, a BB-K ratio of 10-12, and a 194 wRC+.

11. Josh Jung, 3B: The Rangers don’t have a ton of incentive to promote Jung this year, but he’s been solid in his return from an injury that has held him to just 23 games so far this season. He already has five home runs and a 135 wRC+.

12. Hunter Greene, SP: Greene has struggled with his command since moving from Double-A to Triple-A, but he’s been much better in his last two starts. On Saturday, he struck out nine batters, allowed just one walk, and gave up two hits in five innings of work. He could be a beast for the Reds as a one- or two-inning man throwing 100-104 mph bullets.

13. Jahmai Jones, 2B: Jones continues to perform well in near obscurity. The 23-year-old infielder has a 140 wRC+. He doesn’t have one major standout tool, but he hits for a decent average, gets on base a lot, has some gap pop, and steals the odd base.

14. Edward Olivares, OF: Olivares may need to cover himself in velcro if he’s going to stick in the majors. He’s been consistently great at Triple-A with a 164 wRC+, but he’s already had four stints with the Royals this season. He has an intriguing power/speed mix.

15. Josiah Gray, SP: It looked like Gray was going to be a significant contributor at the MLB level this season, but a shoulder injury derailed those early-season hopes. He’s back pitching at Triple-A now and has looked good in four appearances as he slowly builds up arm strength and stamina.

Prospects 16-25

16. Brent Rooker, OF: The streaky Rooker has four home runs over the past week. He probably deserves another shot in MLB, but he’s stuck behind some pretty good depth in Minnesota. The power and on-base skills could help a number of clubs.

17. Cody Thomas, OF: Thomas continues to have a nice season at the Triple-A level. He could add some additional pop to the A’s lineup as the club chases a playoff spot. He’s probably as good or better than Seth Brown, who has played in 71 games for Oakland.

18. Kevin Smith, 3B/SS: Smith has been a little streaky lately, but he’s picked things up over the past week or so. He’s making better contact again and has six hits with two home runs over his past three games. Smith could be a trade chip at the upcoming deadline.

19. Lewin Diaz, 1B: Diaz entered the weekend on fire with five hits — including three home runs — over his past two games. Incumbent first baseman Jesus Aguilar has an outside shot at being dealt at the trade deadline, which would open up playing time for Diaz.

20. Drew Waters, OF: The addition of Joc Pederson significantly reduces the likelihood that Atlanta will hand regular playing time over to Waters or Cristian Pache in the second half of the season. Still, Waters and his plus speed could help at some point along the way if he continues to show more with the bat.

21. Nick Lodolo, SP: When healthy, Lodolo has pitched very well. Unfortunately, he’s also been battling blister issues. He’s thrown just twice since June 12 but looked good on Saturday when he allowed just three hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in four innings of work. He could be a helpful arm for the Reds in the second half as the Reds battle for a playoff spot.

22. Shane Baz, SP: Baz will lose development time while at the Summer Olympics, but he could still make an impact in the latter half of August and beyond. He has 82 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A this season.

23. Jose Barrero, SS: Barrero’s bat has perked up since moving from Double-A to Triple-A. He’s shown improved patience at the plate and also has four home runs in 14 games.

24. Joe Ryan, SP: Like his teammate Shane Baz, Ryan will play for Team USA in the Summer Olympics. He’s been very good at Triple-A as a starter but is more likely to help out of the bullpen later this year.

25. Cade Cavalli, SP: The Nationals are in a funny spot. They’re quite a ways out in the wildcard race, but they’re not that far off from first place in the NL East. If the club thinks they have a shot at the playoffs, Cavalli could get the call to help out either in the starting rotation or the bullpen.

 

2021 Redraft Sleepers

Yariel Gonzalez, 3B/2B: Gonzalez has consistently been one of the better players at the Triple-A level in 2021. A late-bloomer at 27, he has a .303 battering average with 15 home runs in 56 games this season.

Jake Meyers, OF: The Astros continue to roll along just fine, but Meyers could help at some point in the second half of the year. He has a .329 batting average, 15 homers, and eight steals in 57 games. Overall, he has a 140 wRC+.

 

Names to Know for 2022

Julio Rodriguez, OF: Just 20, Rodriguez had a 165 wRC+ at High-A ball before moving up to Double-A where he has a 146 wRC+ through 14 games. If the Mariners are close to a playoff spot later this year, it’s possible that he comes up in 2021.

Bobby Witt Jr., SS: With the playoffs not in the cards for Kansas City this year, it’s incredibly unlikely that we see Witt Jr. in the majors in 2021. Next year could be a different story as he’s looked outstanding in Double-A despite the missing year and skipping over both A-ball leagues. He has a 147 wRC+ at Double-A and has made adjustments.

Adley Rutschman, C: One of my concerns with drafting Rutschman first overall as a catcher is that the position can really wear a player down. I think we’re seeing that with Rutschman during his first full pro season. Let’s look at his triple-slash lines by month: May: .293/.465/.573; June: .290/.395/.480; July: .205/.286/.341.

Nick Pratto, 1B: After an ugly 2019 season and a lost year in 2020, Pratto is now looking more like the player Kansas City thought they were getting when they selected him in the first round out of high school in 2017.

Grayson Rodriguez, SP: Between High-A and Double-A this season, the hard-throwing Rodriguez has 85 strikeouts in 58 innings of work. He could become the player we thought we were getting with Nate Pearson.

Riley Greene, OF: Greene doesn’t get as much love as he should, but he’s basically been in the same situation as Bobby Witt Jr. as a 20-year-old prospect playing in Double-A for the entire season after skipping over A-ball (although Greene spent 24 games at Low-A in 2019).

Spencer Torkelson, 1B: The first-overall pick in the 2020 amateur draft really mashed at the A-ball level, but he’s been a little less effective at Double-A. In reality, it’s really a small-sample size issue with some bad luck involved. His BABIP in A-ball was .363 and it’s well-below-average at .228 at Double-A.

CJ Abrams, SS: Abrams had an outside shot at reaching the majors in 2021 with the ultra-aggressive Padres (his speed could have been ultra-valuable in the playoffs), but a broken leg ended that hope.

Nolan Gorman, 3B: Gorman looked really good while playing at Double-A during the first two months of the season but his approach has taken a step back over the past month. Oddly, he earned a promotion to Triple-A during that time and he’s struggled so far at the new level.

MacKenzie Gore, SP: Yes, the 2021 season has been a lost year for Gore, but his struggles over three months should not erase the promise he’s shown over the past few years. Blister problems have caused issues for a pitcher that normally shows above-average control.



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Kev Mahserejian (@RotoSurgeon) is joined by FTN Fantasy's Vlad Sedler (@RotoGut) to discuss 10 Bold Predictions for the 2022 fantasy football season. Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel SiriusXM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, Saturdays from 3-5 PM, and Sundays from 3-5 PM. You can also find new... Read More


matthew stafford fantasy football rankings NFL injury news DFS lineup picks

Is Matthew Stafford Injured for Fantasy Football? Will He Play In NFL Week 1?

It was a remarkable debut season for Matthew Stafford in 2021 with the Los Angeles Rams. After being traded to the Rams from the Detroit Lions, Stafford would lead Los Angeles to their first Super Bowl victory since the 1999 season. Entering the 2022 campaign, there are lofty expectations for the reigning champions and the... Read More


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Is Kenny Pickett Going to Start for the Steelers? Where Should I Draft Kenny Pickett?

Pittsburgh product Kenny Pickett was the only quarterback selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, finding his way to the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 20 overall. The team certainly wasted no time finding someone it hopes can be its new franchise quarterback following veteran Ben Roethlisberger's retirement at the end of the... Read More


Alec Pierce - NFL Rookies Fantasy Football Rankings Draft Sleepers

Is Alec Pierce The Colts WR2? Where Should I Draft Alec Pierce?

Wide receiver Alec Pierce saw his stock grow significantly in the days leading up to the NFL Draft. Fans and analysts alike took greater notice of the Cincinnati prospect's aggressiveness, physicality, and strong playmaking skills. On Day 2 of the draft, the Indianapolis Colts pulled the trigger, making Pierce their second-round pick. Heading into 2022,... Read More


Treylon Burks - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Rookies, Draft Sleepers

NFL Rookies Most Likely to Make Fantasy Football Impacts (And Those Who Won't)

With the popularity of dynasty leagues growing and the fantasy impact of the last few rookie classes, fantasy managers seem to be flocking to NFL newbies at far higher rates than before. Our expectations increased, oftentimes to unrealistic levels. Guys like Ja’Marr Chase and Najee Harris have spoiled us. They were also drafted into picture-perfect... Read More


Allen Lazard - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Is Allen Lazard The Packers WR1? Where Should I Draft Lazard for Fantasy Football?

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard jumped to the top of the team's chart after losing Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling this offseason. The 26-year-old signed his second-round tender in June and is expected to be Aaron Rodgers' top target in 2022. He finished with career highs in receptions (40), receiving yards (513), and... Read More


Travis Etienne Jr. fantasy football rankings draft sleepers running backs

Will James Robinson or Travis Etienne Be The RB1 For The Jaguars?

With James Robinson suffering a torn Achilles deep into last season, it quickly became the expectation that a healthy Travis Etienne would be the Jaguars' RB1 this year. Miraculously, Robinson avoided entering training camp on the PUP list and is already taking some reps with the first-team offense. If he continues to progress and sees... Read More


Is James Washington Out for the Season? Fantasy Football Injury Update

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver James Washington earned his fair share of hype during the offseason. After leaving the Steelers and joining Dallas' high-powered offense, his stock started to grow. Then, with Amari Cooper traded to the Browns and Michael Gallup recovering from a torn ACL, it looked like Washington had a chance to carve out... Read More


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