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Top 25 Fantasy Baseball Prospects: Week 18

We’re less than a week away from the 2021 MLB trade deadline so it could be a busy week for rookies and prospects. The impending moves could also have significant impacts on the potential playing times ahead for many near-MLB-ready players.

However, keep in mind that trading top prospects has become far less common than in the past. Most teams will hold onto their top talent unless acquiring star players or promising players with multiple years of cheap control. As a result, we’ll likely see mostly B-level and C-level prospects dealt at the trade deadline as teams acquire quantity over quality.

That’s not to say B-level prospects can’t have fantasy value in redraft leagues. They absolutely can and we’ve already seen one intriguing name in Joe Ryan change hands in the Nelson Cruz deal between the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays. Let’s see where he lands on the list this week.

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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.

Player Pos Team Age ETA
Josh Lowe OF TB 23 JULY
Keibert Ruiz C LAD 22 AUGUST
Seth Beer 1B ARZ 24 AUGUST
Vidal Brujan IF/OF TB 23 AUGUST
Jose Miranda 1B MIN 23 AUGUST
Hunter Greene SP CIN 21 AUGUST
Joey Bart C SF 24 AUGUST
Edward Cabrera SP MIA 23 AUGUST
Kevin Smith 3B/SS TOR 24 AUGUST
Jahmai Jones 2B BAL 23 AUGUST
Drew Waters OF ATL 22 AUGUST
Josh Jung 3B TEX 23 AUGUST
Edward Olivares OF KC 25 AUGUST
Joe Ryan SP TB 24 AUGUST
Jackson Kowar SP KC 24 AUGUST
Cody Thomas OF OAK 26 AUGUST
Lewin Diaz 1B MIA 25 AUGUST
Reid Detmers SP LAA 22 AUGUST
Shane Baz SP TB 21 AUGUST
Jose Barrero SS CIN 23 AUGUST
Jake Meyers OF HOU 25 AUGUST
Yariel Gonzalez IF DET 27 AUGUST
Nick Lodolo SP CIN 23 AUGUST
Nolan Jones 3B CLE 23 AUGUST

Top 5 Prospects

Graduated From Last Week: Kyle Muller, Brandon Marsh, Luis Patino, Josiah Gray, Brent Rooker

1. Josh Lowe, OF: Lowe has had an uneven July. He’s hitting just .246 with 21 strikeouts but he’s also walking a lot, has five home runs, and has stolen six bases in six attempts. With Vidal Brujan back in the minors, this young outfielder with an intriguing power/speed mix could be next in line for a promotion.

2. Keibert Ruiz, C: To say Ruiz has been on fire is an understatement. He entered the weekend on a seven-game hit streak and slugged three home runs on Friday night. Over his last four games, he’s 10-for-18 (.556) with just one strikeout.

3. Seth Beer, 1B/LF: Beer has impressive raw power and, although he has just five homers, more than a third of his hits have been doubles this season. He’s been consistently good all season long.

4. Vidal Brujan, IF/OF: Brujan was promoted to the majors during a cold stretch at Triple-A and it carried over to the majors where he managed just two hits in 10 games and got away from what makes him successful (getting on base and using his speed). Still, he should be back before too long if he can get things sorted out at the plate.

5. Jose Miranda, 1B: I don’t think anyone expected 20 home runs and a .340 average from Miranda this year — and it’s only July. With the Twins in sell-off mode, he could be up sooner rather than later.

Prospects 6-15

6. Jo Adell, OF: The Angels sent a very clear message to Adell when Brandon Marsh — who spent most of the year injured — received a promotion to the majors in 2021 before him. Adell seems to be listening and his contact rate has been better in July. He’s also hitting .321 this month and has stolen four bases.

7. Hunter Greene, SP: The hard-throwing Greene had a rough start to his Triple-A career in July, but he’s gotten things on track over his last two appearances. During that stretch, he had a K-BB ratio of 18-3 with six hits allowed in 10 innings of work.

8. Joey Bart, C: There have been some rumors that Bart is available to be had in the right deal, so we’ll see how the next few days play out as we approach the trade deadline. It’s certainly curious that the Giants preferred to use Curt Casali and Chadwick Tromp when Buster Posey was hurt. Bart has a 128 wRC+ at Triple-A.

9. Edward Cabrera, SP: Cabrera’s first start at Triple-A didn’t go very well, but he still has some of the best overall stuff in the Marlins system and isn’t far off joining Trevor Rogers in the young rotation.

10. Kevin Smith, SS/3B: Smith was on fire in June and then went through a rough stretch at the beginning of July. He’s back to hitting extremely well as the month comes to an end and is likely close to MLB ready —he just needs an opportunity.

11. Jahmai Jones, 2B: With the 28-year-old Chris Valaika and his sub-.200 batting average hardly the answer in Baltimore, Jones’ arrival should be imminent. The former second-round pick has a 127 wRC+ at the triple-A level.

12. Drew Waters, OF: Waters has rebounded nicely from an ugly month of June. So far this month, he’s hitting .320 with four home runs and four steals. Unfortunately, he’s still striking out a lot and very reliant on a high BABIP. The speed and defense could help the Braves, but it won’t help fantasy managers.

13. Josh Jung, 3B: The Rangers have been terrible this year, but Jung has been excellent since returning from a lengthy stay on the injured list. He has a 135 wRC+ through 23 games. He’s shown good power with six homers in 23 games.

14. Edward Olivares, OF: Olivares hasn’t been overly good at the Triple-A level in July, but he’s also been up-and-down between the minors and majors multiple times this year. He was very good earlier in the year and deserves an extend shot at the MLB level.

15. Joe Ryan, SP: Ryan was Minnesota’s reward for flipping veteran DH Nelson Cruz to the Tampa Bay Rays. The young hurler would be higher on the list, but he’s currently over in Japan participating in the Olympics.


Prospects 16-25

16. Jackson Kowar, SP: Kowar slipped off the list for a bit with an extended period of poor pitching, but he’s found his groove again. He has allowed just three runs in his last three starts and has a K-BB ratio of 20-3 during that stretch of 14 2/3 innings.

17. Cody Thomas, OF: Thomas has been outstanding in both June and July and should get an opportunity before too long. He strikes out too much, but 41 of his 62 hits have gone for extra bases.

18. Lewin Diaz, 1B: Diaz has received a couple of looks at the MLB level so far this year but Jesus Aguilar is a fairly formidable roadblock. The first base prospect is hitting just .213 in July, but he’s struck out just 10 times (with six homers) and has been the victim of some bad luck.

19. Reid Detmers, SP: If the Angels are going to make the playoffs, they need to start playing better ASAP. Brandon Marsh has already been recalled and Detmers could be next. He was recently promoted to Triple-A and made his first start on Saturday. He struck out nine batters in six shutout innings.

20. Shane Baz, SP: The trade of Joe Ryan (and Drew Strotman who just missed the list), makes it more likely that Baz could appear in the majors this season — once he returns from the Olympics. He has 88 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings of work.

21. Jose Barrero, SS: Barrero has been striking out more since moving up from Double-A to Triple-A, but he’s also seen eight of his 14 hits go for extra bases (including five homers). Like Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo, he could join the Reds club in August to help make a playoff push.

22. Jake Meyers, OF: There’s no room at the inn for Meyers right now, but he continues to be a dominant hitter in Triple-A for the Astros. He’s hitting .367 this month and has a 143 wRC+ this season.

23. Yariel Gonzalez, IF: The 27-year-old late-bloomer has a 127 wRC+ at Triple-A this year and has been good all season long. He’s hitting .302 in July and has some defensive versatility. A smart organization like the Dodgers should consider scooping him up at the trade deadline in a minor deal if the rebuilding Tigers won’t give him a shot. He'd be good insurance for the playoffs.

24. Nick Lodolo, SP: The Reds have an outside shot at a wild card slot and Lodolo could be called up to help make that late push — if he can stay healthy. He’s been battling blister issues at Double-A but has a K-BB ratio of 16-1 over his last two appearances (spanning eight innings).

25. Nolan Jones, 3B: If Jones keeps hitting like he has recently, he could be up with Cleveland in short order. Over his last five games, he’s been attacking early in the count more often and has just two strikeouts. He’s also getting to his raw power better and has three homers during that stretch.

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