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Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 16)


We’ve hit an interesting point in the season where a lot of the top prospects that are going to play every day at the MLB level in 2019 are already holding down a spot. The remaining prospects, for the most part, will now have to wait for an injury to provide them with an opportunity - although moves at the trade deadline could also open up some playing time.

With that said, there are still plenty of minor league prospects that could impact their clubs (or other clubs, if traded) over the next two to three months. Players to keep an especially close eye on include: Isan Diaz (Marlins), Kyle Wright (Braves), and Junior Fernandez (Cardinals), as their futures will likely hinge heavily on what happens with their organizations as the trade deadline inches closer and closer.

Reliever Andres Munoz (Padres) was promoted off the list over the past week while the Rangers and Blue Jays saw players added to the list. Brendan McKay is at Triple-A for the Rays but is expected to be recalled before throwing an inning at the level so he remains off the list.

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Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

1. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (AAA) (ETA: August)

News that Tucker is now taking reps at first base is welcomed because it gives him added versatility from a fantasy roster perspective but also increases his chances of replacing Tyler White on the big roster. At the plate, Tucker isn’t enjoying July as much as the first half of the year. He has a .718 OPS so far this month after posting 1.000+ months in May and June. Still, he’s doing the little things with a solid BB-K of 8-9 and two steals, which helped him secure three straight 20-20 (HR-SB) seasons.

2. Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Bichette started off the month extremely well but has slowed down a little bit over the past six games (4-for-23) since returning from the Triple-A break for the All-Star and Futures games. Overall, he’s still posting an .886 OPS and BB-K of 21-39 in 48 Triple-A games. He’s also showing good gap power and is 15-for-19 in steals. Toronto likely won’t promote him until the impending trade deadline roster shuffle quiets down.

3. Will Smith, C, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Smith is just 2-for-17 since returning from the Futures Game break but both of those hits went for home runs. He’s now up to 16 home runs in 55 Triple-A games and has another three in nine MLB games meaning he’s just one away from 20 in less than half a season’s worth of games. That kind of power — even in the juiced ball era — is rare from a catcher so Smith could play a role with the Dodgers in the second half and into the playoffs.

4. Isan Diaz, 2B, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Rumors insist that teams are (for some reason) interested in Starlin Castro. And the tight-fisted Marlines would likely jump at the chance to rid themselves of the remainder of his contract. Diaz is doing his part from Triple-A to push Castro out the door. The young middle infielder has been on fire over the past four games and is 9-for-17 with a home run. Overall, he has a .967 OPS and 21 home runs through 87 games.

5. Luis Urias, 2B, Padres (AAA) (ETA: August)

Ian Kinsler is still not hitting, and now Greg Garcia is hitting a little more like the Greg Garcia of old, so Urias’ return to the Majors is likely getting closer. San Diego hasn’t been playing very good ball lately but the club is still only 2.5 games out of a wild card slot. Perhaps Urias can help get the team going without the organization paying prospect capital to bring in an outside veteran. His BB-K over the past 10 games is 3-4 so he’s putting lots of balls in play and has a batting average of .316 on the season.

6. Zach Plesac, RHP, Indians (AAA) (ETA: August)

Plesac is just five innings away from losing his rookie status but he remains eligible for this list for now. The Indians are likely trying to find some veteran help for the rotation but Plesac should still assist in the second half of the year after a respectable first shot at The Show. He struck out nine batters while allowing three runs in 6.1 Triple-A innings on July 11.

7. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Braves have been rumored to be in the market for starting pitching (but then who isn’t?) but a resurgent Wright could perhaps allow the club to focus more on the relief market. The young right-hander has now had some prolonged success at Triple-A after being jerked around for the first half of the year with constant promotions and demotions to and from the Majors. Over his past five starts, Wright has allowed seven earned runs in 31.2 innings with 37 strikeouts.

8. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA) (ETA: August)

Washington finds itself in the No. 1 wild card spot in the National League and has been playing good ball as of late. Second baseman Brian Dozier is producing occasional power and shortstop Trea Turner has his OPS above .800. In other words, the incumbents are doing enough to keep Kieboom stuck in Triple-A unless something drastically changes.The young infielder looks ready for another shot whenever that comes — if he can keep the strikeouts in check.

9. Junior Fernandez, Cardinals (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Cardinals have been putting Fernandez through his paces recently with three appearances in five games at the Triple-A level. That could mean that the club is trying to see if he can help them in the second half or they’re showcasing him for a potential deal. Either way, he should help someone at the MLB level this year. He’s allowed just five hits and three walks in 11.1 Triple-A innings. He’s also struck out 15 batters and allowed just one run. He has yet to allow a home run this season in a combined 52 innings.

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (AAA) (ETA: August)

Keller has allowed more than three runs just once in his last 10 Triple-A starts and that came on July 4 when he coughed up six runs in 5.2 innings. He rebounded very well on July 11 with six shutout innings, which came with eight strikeouts. With the starting rotation producing underwhelming results, Keller’s next shot should come soon if he can continue to throw the ball over the plate.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Lux has found Triple-A very much to his liking. The young middle infielder is hitting .469 through 12 games since his promotion. Twelve of his 23 hits have gone for extra bases, including three home runs. The Dodgers definitely don’t need to chase offense prior to the trade deadline with the likes of Will Smith and Lux waiting in the wings at Triple-A. The injury to Chris Taylor increases Lux’s chances of reaching The Show sooner rather than later.

12. Bryse Wilson, RHP, Braves (AAA) (ETA: August)

Wilson had an ugly outing on July 11 but remains in the mix for innings at the MLB level in the second half of the year. He allowed nine runs in just 2.2 innings but was also making his return to Triple-A after two MLB starts. Both he and Kyle Wright could see significant innings in the second half unless Atlanta brings in a veteran arm.

13. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (AA) (ETA: August)

Adell is 6-for-15 with a BB-K of 2-3 over his past four games. He’s hitting .361 with an OPS of 1.073 through 29 games at the Double-A level. He’s providing an enticing mix of power and speed - as well as good outfield defense. The Angels are surging after a very tough stretch and remain just 4.5 games out of a playoff spot. If they can find a spot in the lineup for his bat, Adell could be a spark plug.

14. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: August) 

The White Sox are effectively out of the playoff race for 2019 but do they want to get a taste of what Robert can do now before he starts for them next year (and give the fans something to be excited about in the dog days of summer). Or do they play the service time game? Sadly, it’s more likely to be the latter than the former but he’s also hitting .429 through his first five Triple-A games and has a combined .354 batting average and 1.038 OPS through three minor league levels.

15. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AAA) (ETA: August)

The youngest pitcher in Triple-A held his own in his first start at the level. He allowed three runs over five innings and was bit by the juiced ball by allowing just his third home run this season. But he also posted an encouraging K-BB of 6-1. Garcia should be an interesting player to watch. He’s a tantalizing trade piece but one that New York may be very hesitant to part with unless the return is a big one. If he sticks with the Yankees, though, he could also be a secret weapon out of the ‘pen in the latter half of the season. With that said, he’s a third-of-an-inning away from reaching a career-high in innings pitched so he likely only has about 40 innings left in the tank this year.

16. Willi Castro, SS, Tigers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Castro has perked up again over the past five games. He’s gone 8-for-25 over that stretch and is now close to hitting .300 again for the year. He’s not flashy, but with the club getting absolutely no offense from the middle infield, the 22-year-old second baseman deserves a look.

17. Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: August)

May’s control has deserted him since his promotion to Triple-A. In 10 innings over two starts, he’s allowed five walks and also hit five batters. That’s after walking just 20 batters in 79.1 Double-A innings. With a veteran-heavy rotation in the Majors, the Dodgers can afford to be patient with May but, if he gets hot, it would be nice for him take some of the load off down the stretch.

18. Adbert Alzolay, RHP, Cubs (AAA) (ETA: August)

Alzolay hasn’t been very good since returning to Triple-A after his first taste of big-league action. In two games, he’s given up eight earned runs in eight innings. He’s allowed a ton of base runners thanks to nine hits and nine walks. Those types of results are not going to earn a young player a return engagement to the Majors from a club in the heart of a playoff race. Alzolay is talented enough to turn it around.

19. Jordan Romano, RHP, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Romano is currently on the Triple-A disabled list with an undisclosed injury putting a cloudy forecast on his return trip to the Majors. As well, the elbow injury to Jays closer Ken Giles (which likely has less to do with a massage of his elbow as publicly stated and more to do with pitching three games in a row) makes it much less likely that he’s going anywhere before the trade deadline. Still, if the pitching prospect gets healthy, he could still take a bullpen spot from another traded reliever (perhaps Daniel Hudson) and see some high-leverage innings.

20. Jake Fraley, OF, Mariners (AAA) (ETA: August)

Playing with the juiced ball in Triple-A has agreed with Fraley. He now has five home runs in 18 Triple-A games (including four in the last eight) after hitting 11 in 61 Double-A games. He’s also impacting the game on the base paths and recently stole his 20th of the season, giving him a strong shot at a 20-20 (HR-SB) season. If the wheeling-and-dealing Mariners shed more players at the trade deadline, it could open up a spot for Fraley.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (AA) (ETA: August)

Puk found his control in his last appearance and did not allow a walk over two innings. He also struck out four batters but did allow a run. The A’s no doubt would love to have his help out of the bullpen down the stretch so hopefully, this is the start of him really getting comfortable.

22. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: August)

Dunn rebounded from a poor outing at the beginning of July with a strong start on July 12. He allowed just one earned run in six innings while posting a K-BB of 6-1. His K-BB on the season is now 102-24 through 81.1 innings. With Anthony Kay struggling in Triple-A, Dunn could earn a bump up to the Majors if the Mets sell pitching at the deadline.

23. Nick Solak, 2B/OF, Rangers (AAA) (ETA: August)

Solak received a much-needed trade out of the Tampa Bay organization where he was stuck behind a number of players with similar skill sets. He’s at Triple-A for now but should get a shot with the Rangers before too long. He had 17 home runs in 85 games before the trade and should be a solid offensive player for his new club when he reaches the Majors.

24. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/3B, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Orioles are another team that could be willing to flip as many players as possible for future assets at the trade deadline. That could open up an opportunity for Mountcastle, although he’s not playing like he wants the shot. He’s hitting just .209 with a BB-K of 1-14 over his past 10 games. He’s struck out nine times in the last four games (18 at-bats).

25. Jorge Mateo, SS, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: August)

Mateo has gone from bad to worse over the past 10 games. He’s now struck out 12 times in his past 28 at-bats, stretching over six games. His BB-K is now an ugly 2-16 over the past 10 games, which is a terrible stat for someone who needs to get on base to use his wheels. Oakland is playing good ball right now and is in the thick of the wild card race. The club could probably really use someone like Mateo…

26. Michel Baez, RHP, Padres (AA) (ETA: August)

The Padres have already promoted one hard-throwing reliever to the Majors (Andres Munoz) and Baez may not be far behind — especially if the club trades Kirby Yates. Baez is a little bit of a different animal than Munoz, though. As a former starter, he’s capable of throwing a couple of innings and could turn into a nice bridge pitcher, covering the seventh and eighth innings for the Padres.

27. Kean Wong, 2B/OF, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

It seemed like Wong was the most likely Triple-A player to be on the move at the trade deadline but the organization found more interest in Nick Solak (showing that the power tool is far more desired in today’s game than the hit tool). Unfazed, Wong continues to play all over the diamond and hit .300. His season average is at .341 through 76 games, and he can clearly help a big league club - if given the opportunity.

28. Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Really good clubs have depth and that’s what we’re seeing from the likes of the Dodgers and the Twins. Gordon is really in the zone now with hits in nine of his last 10 games. He also has an impressive BB-K of 4-6 over that stretch. There’s no spot for him in Minnesota right now but injuries have a way of popping up at inopportune times.

29. Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: August)

Reid-Foley continues to be painfully inconsistent at the Triple-A level but the Jays pitching staff is a hot mess and could get even worse if the club can find takers for a few of its veteran arms at the trade deadline. Reid-Foley has a K-BB of 88-60 in 76 Triple-A innings but he’s been better in The Show at 12-6 through 12.2 innings.

30. Monte Harrison, OF, Marlins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Harrison is dealing with a wrist injury but the severity has not been made public so his return date remains up in the air. If he gets back soon, he has a solid chance of seeing action as the summer winds down. His power-speed combination would definitely be of interest to fantasy managers.

More MLB Prospects Analysis