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Top 25 Fantasy Baseball Prospects: Week 20

The weeks have flown by and we're already entering Week 20 of the baseball season. The fantasy baseball playoffs will be here before you know it.

Generally speaking, it's been a down year for rookies. We've seen some impressive performances – especially on the pitching side with the likes of Trevor Rogers and Luis Garcia – but the depth of impactful, first-year players just hasn't been there. A lot of hitters have arrived at the MLB level and struggled. Is it because the quality of pitching has really thinned out in the minors? Is the ball different at Triple-A and giving us a false sense of what the hitters can do? Or is it just an off-year for no discernable reason?

There may be no easy answer for the above questions but we do know that there are a number of prospects that could still have positive impacts on your fantasy squads in the coming weeks. The list lost a couple of players from last week due to graduations and one player fell off the backend. Three clubs added prospects this week: the Mets, the Astros, and the Rockies.

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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 Josh Lowe OF TB 23 AUGUST
2 Keibert Ruiz C WAS 22 AUGUST
3 Jose Miranda 1B MIN 23 AUGUST
4 Hunter Greene SP CIN 21 AUGUST
5 Seth Beer 1B ARZ 24 AUGUST
6 Vidal Brujan IF/OF TB 23 AUGUST
7 Kevin Smith 3B/SS TOR 24 AUGUST
8 Jose Barrero SS CIN 23 AUGUST
9 Jahmai Jones 2B BAL 23 AUGUST
10 Joey Bart C SF 24 AUGUST
11 Cody Thomas OF OAK 26 AUGUST
12 Josh Jung 3B TEX 23 AUGUST
13 Drew Strotman SP MIN 24 AUGUST
14 Edward Cabrera SP MIA 23 AUGUST
15 Estevan Florial OF NYY 23 AUGUST
16 Nolan Jones 3B CLE 23 AUGUST
17 Khalil Lee OF NYM 23 AUGUST
18 Joe Ryan SP MIN 24 AUGUST
19 Shane Baz SP TB 21 AUGUST
20 Jackson Kowar SP KC 24 AUGUST
21 Drew Waters OF ATL 22
22 Hunter Brown SP HOU 22
23 Nick Lodolo SP CIN 23
24 Matthew Liberatore SP STL 21
25 Ryan Vilade OF COL 22


Top 5 Prospects

Graduates From Last Week: Jo Adell, Josiah Gray

1. Josh Lowe, OF: Giving Jordan Luplow a shot before Lowe is… a choice. The 27-year-old outfielder has shown flashes of brilliance in the past but he’s also been given multiple opportunities in five years and has a limited upside in the long run. Enter Lowe, who has similar power but also offers above-average speed and more feel for hitting.

2. Keibert Ruiz, C: After Ruiz produced a triple-slash line of .360/.415/.631 in July, I thought it would be a no-brainer for the Nationals to add the rookie catcher to the big-league roster once they acquired him. He has nothing left to prove at Triple-A or in the minors and should develop into an impact bat for Washington.

3. Jose Miranda, 1B: So far in August, Miranda has five hits in four games and has an OPS over 1.000 for the season. If he keeps hitting for power and average, replacing the inconsistent Brent Rooker is an easy decision to make.

4. Hunter Greene, SP: It took a few games to settle in at Triple-A but Greene is feeling it now. Over his last four starts, he has no fewer than seven strikeouts and reached 10 Ks in his last outing on August 5. He could be a difference-maker for the big-league club out of the bullpen (or possibly the rotation).

5. Seth Beer, OF/1B: Arizona is going nowhere. Christian Walker isn’t hitting well and Beer isn’t the type of uber-prospect that you need to play service-time games with. He entered the weekend with seven hits over his last four games.


Prospects 6-15

6. Vidal Brujan, IF/OF: The Rays have so many good players on the big league roster and at Triple-A that it becomes a challenge to find playing time for everyone. Still, his speed and versatility would play well on the Rays’ 26-man roster and be a major asset in the playoffs.

7. Kevin Smith, 3B/SS: Like the Brujan conundrum above, finding playing time for Smith would be a bit of a challenge. The Jays don’t have much depth at third base though, especially with Cavan Biggio on the injured list. The club might also be hesitant to toss a rookie into the mix during a playoff hunt, but he’s been one of the better hitters all year in Triple-A while showing power and good base running.

8. Jose Barrero, SS: There’s some swing-and-miss as well as some streakiness to his game but Barrero has shown some real progress with the development of his power. He can also make an impact on the base paths with his speed. And unlike a lot of young players, he already has a MLB-ready glove.

9. Jahmai Jones, 2B: Jones has had a solid season to date but he’s been scuffling in recent weeks. Still, he probably offers up more potential than those currently seeing time at second base in Baltimore. However, the club may be more interested in securing a favorable draft slot for 2022 than winning games.

10. Joey Bart, C: This young catcher has hit consistently well all season long at the Triple-A level. It makes sense to give Buster Posey some rest down the stretch in hopes of a long playoff run, but the Giants also have the Dodgers and Padres breathing down their necks.

11. Cody Thomas, OF: With Ramon Laureano being struck down by a positive drug test at the worst possible time, it could possibly open up an opportunity for Thomas, who has been showing big-time power in Triple-A — albeit with a ton of Ks.

12. Josh Jung, 3B: The young third baseman continues to swing a hot bat through 23 games at Double-A after opening the year on the injured list. Jung has a 145 wRC+ and 10 home runs during that stretch. Texas has graduated players from Double-A to the majors before. Why not do it again?

13. Drew Strotman, SP: Teams love to play service-time games with young players, but Strotman is one of those prospects that should fall below that cutoff line. He’s a good prospect, but he’s not likely a future star so there is no reason why the club shouldn’t give him a shot with little left to cheer for in Minnesota this season.

14. Edward Cabrera, SP: The Marlins are going nowhere fast so it might be a stretch to see Cabrera in Miami this season, but he deserves the opportunity. In his last Triple-A start, he struck out 12 batters in 4 2/3 innings.

15. Estevan Florial, OF: Things finally seem to be clicking in New York and the big-league club doesn’t currently have any clear openings for Florial right now. However, he could become a solid asset if an ill-timed injury strikes the outfield. He’s looked significantly better at the plate in the majors than he has at Triple-A.


Prospects 16-25

16. Nolan Jones, 3B: The ever-streaky Jones is feeling it right now and has six hits — including a homer — over his last three games. Cleveland likely isn’t going to be enjoying playoff baseball so it might be time to give some prospects like Jones a taste of big-league action with an eye towards a better 2022.

17. Khalil Lee, OF: To say Lee did not fare well during an earlier promotion to the majors would be an understatement (13 Ks in 18 ABs), but he has a strong on-base presence as well as an intriguing (raw) power/speed mix. He just needs to get more balls in the air on a consistent basis.

18. Joe Ryan, SP: When Ryan comes home from the Olympics, he’ll officially join his new organization for the first time since being flipped from the Rays to the Twins at the trade deadline. He’ll likely start out at Triple-A, but could get a shot at the majors before too long.

19. Shane Baz, SP: When Baz returns from the Olympics, he’ll no doubt head to Triple-A for at least a short stay. With a 1.96 ERA and 33-8 K-BB in 23 innings at the Triple-A level, he could be an impact arm for the Rays in the starting rotation or the bullpen.

20. Jackson Kowar, SP: With nine walks in his last two appearances, Kowar is battling control issues right now. If he can get back in sync, he could earn some valuable big-league experience with an eye to securing a spot in the big-league starting rotation at the start of the 2022 season.

21. Drew Waters, OF: With eight strikeouts in his last three games, Waters is not going to impress any of the decision-makers within the Atlanta front office. However, he’s a very streaky player who can hit very well when things are clicking.

22. Hunter Brown, SP: In his first full pro season, Brown threw well at the Double-A level and earned a recent promotion to Triple-A. In his first start, he struck out seven batters and allowed just three hits in six innings of work. The Astros are a juggernaut club, but the pitching depth is not deep so Brown could be an option.

23. Nick Lodolo, SP: Lodolo recently earned a promotion to Triple-A after posting a 1.84 ERA and 68-9 K-BB ratio in 44 innings at Double-A. He might already be in the majors if not for injury issues earlier in the year.

24. Matthew Liberatore, SP: The Cardinals didn’t do much to upgrade the pitching at the trade deadline, which could bode well for Liberatore. He hasn’t exactly set the world on fire at Triple-A, but he’s held his own after making a big jump from A-ball to begin the year. He could be a useful arm out of the bullpen while providing multiple innings of support.

25. Ryan Vilade, OF: Vilade has held his own at the Triple-A level in 2021 and the Rockies may want to get a look at him at the MLB level in 2021 to help them decide where he fits into the 2022 equation. He has some speed and playing in Colorado — with some big-league coaching — could help him tap into more of his raw power.

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