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Top 30 Impact Prospects for Redraft Leagues (Week 19)


The trade deadline came and went with a flurry of moves but there were few big deals as many playoff contenders refused to part with top prospects and most sellers refused to give away players for limited value in return.

Still, the trade deadline impacted a few prospects. Infielder Willi Castro fell off the list this week because the Tigers acquired another second baseman in Travis Demeritte. Dustin May was promoted by the Dodgers when the club was unable to acquire outside help. We also saw Isan Diaz — who was the second-ranked prospect on last week’s list — get the call in Miami even through The Fish were unable to offload veteran second baseman Starlin Castro. And the Angels recalled first base/pitcher Jared Walsh.

This week’s list sees a new No. 1 prospect while the back third of the list saw a number of players fall off due to poor performances such as Ke’Bryan Hayes, Austin Hays, and Bobby Bradley (who was also hurt by Cleveland’s three-team deal with San Diego and Cincinnati).

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Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (1-10)

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

Like a number of top clubs, the Dodgers were very quiet at the deadline. Instead, Los Angeles will rely on its impressive minor league depth. Catcher Will Smith and pitcher Dustin May have earned promotions… so when will Lux get the call? He’s not hitting quite as well as he was but that means his batting average is down to "only" .390 over his past 10 games. In 30 Triple-A game, he’s produced 57 hits and has a 1.378 OPS.

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

The Astros dealt quite a few prospects at the deadline but Tucker remained with the organization. The good news from his perspective is that the club has now lost a fair bit of upper-level depth with the trades of Tyler White, Tony Kemp, and Derek Fisher. As a result, Tucker should be the next outfielder recalled in the event of an injury, although the more versatile Myles Straw is also in the equation. Tucker is hitting just .244 through his last 10 games but he’s also curbed the strikeouts (BB-K of 4-6) while still hitting for power (three homers) and stealing bases (three steals).

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

Kieboom’s up-and-down results from July have carried into August where he’s posted a .756 OPS through the first five games. He’s not hitting as well as he was but it’s not uncommon for prospects to hit the wall in the summer given how easy it is to wear down in the heat. A promotion to the Majors could help rejuvenate him while given the veterans some rest, too. With Washington currently in a wild card position, it might behoove the team to rest the likes if Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon — especially given their respective injury histories. Current back-up Adrian Sanchez has little-to-no upside.

4. Nate Lowe, 1B, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Rays were one of the few truly busy teams at the deadline and appear poised to beat Boston to the playoffs — although they’ll face stiff competition from the AL East-leading Yankees. New York has been ravaged by injuries and, while Tampa Bay has dealt with players hitting the IL, the club has much more enviable (healthy) depth. That’s not such good news for Lowe, though, as he was recently demoted when the club acquired veteran first baseman Jesus Aguilar.  The young hitter showed well in 30 big league games with an OPS of .875 so he’ll be back the moment an injury makes room.

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

With the Braves focusing on improving the bullpen at the deadline, the club will move forward with young pitchers acting as depth options. Wright has now gone five straight games with six or more innings pitched. In his last outing, he threw seven innings of four-hit ball with eight strikeouts. Wright finished July with a 2.49 ERA and a K-BB of 27-5 in 25.1 innings.

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

It was a quiet trade deadline for the Cardinals. The team has very good pitching, including the bullpen, but injuries and ineffectiveness are due to hit the staff at some point. If that happens, Fernandez looks ready to step in and help. The hard-throwing reliever has played at three levels this year and, oddly, he’s done better the higher he’s gone: His batting-average-against has gone down and his ground-ball rate has increased at each stop. He has 23 strikeouts and just 11 hits allowed in 20.2 Triple-A innings.

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

With some minor trades at the deadline, the Pirates thinned out the pitching depth in the organization, which should help Keller. And he seems to have taken notice. He allowed four earned runs in his last game but struck out 12 batters (with just one walk) in six innings. Keller now has a K-BB of 123-35 in 103.2 innings and deserves another shot at lowering his 10.50 MLB ERA.

8. A.J. Puk, LHP, Athletics (AAA) (ETA: August)

Puk’s command wavered a bit recently and he allowed three runs over his past three outings but Triple-A hitters are still batting just .160 against him. The club was only able to acquire Jake Diekman during the lead-up to the trade deadline so Puk could very well become a valuable piece in the coming months.

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

Like Kyle Wright above, Wilson benefited from the lack of trades to improve the club’s starting pitching depth. He’s on a strong run at Triple-A where he’s allowed just one run over his past three starts, spanning 20 innings. During that stretch, he has a K-BB of 16-4.

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

Solak is hitting well at Triple-A over the past 10 games with a .343 batting average and a BB-K of 4-6. He’s also gone deep six times in the 18 games since his trade and now has 23 home runs on the season in just 103 games. A recent five-game winning streak has the Rangers back within striking distance of a wild card spot and Solak’s versatility could come in handy.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (11-20)

11. Jon Duplantier, RHP, Diamondbacks (AAA) (ETA: August)

The club subtracted Zack Greinke at the trade deadline but then also added Zac Gallen (in one heck of a steal) and Mike Leake. The club may very well prefer to have Duplantier in Triple-A to serve as starting pitching insurance but there is also a clear opportunity to improve the bullpen. Whatever the plan, he needs to pitch better. He’s allowed 12 earned runs over his last two outings spanning 6.2 innings.

12. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AAA) (ETA: September) 

The likelihood of Robert getting a promotion to the Majors is getting less and less as we get closer and closer to the end of the season — but the young outfielder is not going down without a fight. He’s hitting .386 over his past 10 games. His BB-K of 6-18 in 21 Triple-A games is much improved over his results in the lower levels of the system. Overall, he has 23 home runs, 34 steals, and a .349 batting average.

13. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/3B, Orioles (AAA) (ETA: September)

Trey Mancini (and Renato Nunez) remained with the Orioles at the trade deadline so that hurts Mountcastle’s chances of reaching the Majors this year but he seems motivated to nonetheless get the call. The young infielder is hitting .386 over his past 10 games despite an ugly BB-K of 1-9. Overall, he has a .314 average at Triple-A and his next home run will be his 20th on the season.

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

Alzolay is back off the disabled list and made an abbreviated start on Aug. 3. He went 2.1 shutout innings and allowed just one hit. He didn’t have his best control and walked two batters. If all is well, he should build his stamina back up and be available to serve as depth for the Cubs’ starting rotation throughout the remainder of the season.

15. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (AAA) (ETA: September)

Adell earned a recent promotion to Triple-A after posting a .944 in 43 Double-A games. He’s taken to Triple-A well and is hitting .368 with a BB-K of 4-5 in five games. After a five-game losing streak, the Angels are now nine games out of a wild card spot so it’s getting less and less likely that Adell can earn a promotion to try and help push the club back into playoff contention.

16. Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP, Yankees (Injured) (ETA: September)

Loaisiga was recently sent out on an injury rehab session and he could end up being a valuable pitching piece later this month and down the stretch to the playoffs. He’s struggled to stay healthy in his career but has an impact arm and the Yankees certainly need help on the mound after coming up empty at the trade deadline

17. Joshua Rojas, IF, Diamondbacks (AAA) (ETA: August)

Rojas made the move from the Astros to the Diamondbacks at the trade deadline (in the Zack Greinke deal). That change works out well for the versatile player who moves to an organization with less upper-level depth. He has a .329 batting average, 21 home runs and 33 steals on the season — and is also hitting .600 in his first four games with his new organization.

18. Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Twins (AAA) (ETA: August)

Thorpe has been up and down with the Twins as both a starter and reliever so he’s shown versatility as a pitcher. The club made some moves at the trade deadline to shore up its bullpen but the help for the starting rotation never came. That means that Thorpe could become a valuable arm in the final few months. He hasn’t worked a lot lately (His last minor league appearance was July 17) but Thorpe threw 1.2 innings of one-run ball in the Majors on Aug. 2.

19. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros (AA) (ETA: September)

It might be too little too late for 2019 but Whitley is finally throwing the ball better. Over his last three appearances, he’s thrown 12.1 innings and allowed just six hits and three walks. He’s getting the ball down more consistently and is also missing more bats with 16 strikeouts during that stretch. Whitely still has the raw skill to overpower hitters.

20. Jordan Romano, RHP, Blue Jays (Injured) (ETA: September)

As expected, Toronto mostly gutted the bullpen leading up to the trade deadline but closer Ken Giles stayed put due to a lingering elbow issue. Romano was supposed to be back throwing in games last week after dealing with a minor injury of his own but that return was delayed and no update has been given. If he can get back soon, he has a chance at seeing some high leverage innings in Toronto this year.

 

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings (21-30)

21. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Yankees’ lack of moves at the deadline improved Garcia’s chances of seeing the Majors in the final two months of the season. But first, he’s got to figure out how to have success throwing the Triple-A baseball, which is the same as the ball used in the Majors but different than the one used at all the other levels of the minors. The young hurler has allowed 10 earned runs over his past two starts spanning 11 innings.

22. Jake Fraley, OF, Mariners (AAA) (ETA: September)

Fraley’s power has dried up recently and he has just one home run in his past 10 games. But he’s still hitting OK and has a .294 batting average over that same stretch. The Mariners were mostly quiet at the trade deadline but the recently-announced suspension to Tim Beckham could cause the club to move players around which could open up some playing time for Fraley, who has to be added to the 40-man roster this fall anyway.

23 Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (AAA) (ETA: September)

Gordon continues to push for an opportunity to make an impact at the big league level this year. He’s hitting .357 over his past 10 games. Overall, he’s up to a .298 batting average and .801 OPS through 70 games. He’ll face obstacles, though, with Jonathan Schoop (.758 OPS) and Luis Arraez (.356 batting average).

24. Keibert Ruiz, C, Dodgers (AAA) (ETA: September)

Well, the trade deadline came and went… Ruiz almost became a Pittsburgh Pirate… but he remained with the Dodgers after a trade could not be consummated between the two organizations. It would be difficult for the Dodgers to find consistent playing time for him right now but it could happen. Ruiz is hitting .316 with a BB-K of 2-1 through nine Triple-A games.

25. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners (AA) (ETA: September)

After throwing 89.2 innings in Double-A last year, Dunn is now up to another 105.2 innings at the same level in 2019 so it’s fair to wonder: What’s up? After seeing quite a few pitchers struggle with the jump from Double-A to Triple-A with the Major League baseball in play, it’s possible the organization may want to jump Dunn right to The Show and help ease him along under their collective watchful eye. He hasn’t thrown overly well lately, though, and has given up nine earned runs in his past 10.1 innings.

26. Peter Fairbanks, RHP, Rays (AAA) (ETA: August)

The Rays brought in some pitching depth at the trade deadline, which hurt Fairbanks’ chances of pitching meaningful innings at the MLB level this year. And he also had a pretty poor outing on Aug. 3 when his control left him and he walked three batters while allowing two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning. Still, if the can get back on track, he has the power repertoire to be helpful.

27. Tanner Houck, RHP, Red Sox (AAA) (ETA: September)

Boston was quiet at the trade deadline which could work out well for Houck. After a rough outing in late July, the starter-turned-reliever has had two shutout appearances spanning three innings. The biggest obstacle he needs to overcome is the control issue he’s had as a reliever; he’s walked eight batters in nine innings at the Triple-A level.

28. Abraham Toro, 3B, Astros (AAA) (ETA: September)

Toro was recently promoted from Double-A to Triple-A after producing 12 hits in his final four Double-A games. He has an .864 OPS with an impressive BB-K of 4-2 through his first four Triple-A games. Toro will need to be added to the 40-man roster this fall and he has the ability to play first base, second base, and third base so he could be called upon if an injury strikes the Astros’ infield in the final few months of the season.

29. Anthony Alford, OF, Blue Jays (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Jays have little to play for this year and will spend the remainder of 2019 looking at potential contributors for the 2020 season. Alford was beginning to hit well at Triple-A before getting hurt but he played well in a recent rehab assignment in rookie ball and could be recalled soon to rotate into the big league outfield that also has recently-acquired Derek Fisher looking for playing time.

30. Jose Urquidy, RHP, Astros (AAA) (ETA: September)

The Astros greatly improved the pitching depth at the trade deadline with the likes of Zack Greinke, Aaron Sanchez, and Joe Biagini but injuries have a habit of occurring at the worst possible times. As a result, we could still see Urquidy at some point this year. His ERA of 5.87 at the big league level is not the most encouraging but he struck out 24 batters in 23 innings and actually had a couple of really strong starts for the Astros.

More MLB Prospects Analysis