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Top 30 Prospects for 2020 Dynasty Leagues (Week 9 Update)


The Top 30 overall dynasty players ranking is back. June should be an interesting month for prospects. We’re going to have the 2019 MLB Amateur Draft in a few days which is always exciting because it’s going to infuse the minor leagues with more than 1,000 new players, although many won’t fall under the true “prospect” banner.

Shortly after the draft, the 2019 short-season leagues will get underway. Those leagues are filled by 2019 draftees, as well as less developed players who have been plying their trade in extended spring training which has been running for the past two months to help those players gain additional skills or polish existing ones. But don’t be fooled, there are a lot of interesting prospects in that situation, including a lot of last year’s top international signees and 2018 draftees out of the prep ranks, so a strong start could help them zoom up the prospect rankings by the end of the year.

And with all that movement at the bottom of the farm systems, it should start a chain reaction throughout the upper levels of the system; we’ve already seen some notable prospect promotions but we should begin to see a lot more throughout June and into July now that those players have good, solid two months under their belts. Let’s see where things stand right now.

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Top MLB Prospects to Watch (1-10)

1. Wander Franco, 3B, Rays (A)

Franco is the next closest thing to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr. He’s just 18, playing in Low-A ball and has a crazy-good grasp of the strike zone for his age. His BB-K sits at 20-16 through 43 games and he’s hitting .311 with an .871 OPS. The Rays are often conservative with prospect promotions but if he keeps hitting like this, Franco will be up in High-A before you know it. And the power will come.

2. Casey Mize, RHP, Tigers (AA)

The first overall pick of the 2018 draft didn’t officially dip his toe into the pro ranks until April but he dominated the moment he stepped on the mound. High-A ball hitters batted just .085 against him in four starts. Double-A hitters have almost doubled that but they’re still managing a paltry .165 average and Mize also doesn’t walk anyone so it’s been pretty easy for him to post a 0.97 ERA through 10 pro starts. Those are video game numbers, not real life.

3. MacKenzie Gore, RHP, Padres (A+)

Gore has produced similarly-impressive numbers to Mize as a 20-year-old hurler in High-A ball. He’s shown a little bit more swing-and-miss ability with 64 strikeouts in 47 innings. But the control has also been good with just 10 walks allowed. And hitters are managing a batting average against of just .152. There is ace material here if he can stay healthy.

4. Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays (AA)

Speaking of ace material, Pearson has been dominating hitters in both High-A and Double-A with a 1.32 ERA and a K-BB of 52-6 in 34 innings. He’s being babied a bit by the Jays to preserve innings after barely pitching last year due to injury but he’s mostly been unhittable and can dial his heater up over 100 mph when he wants to.

5. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (AAA)

Tucker had a rough start to the year perhaps thanks to the mental fatigue of being sent back to Triple-A after dominating the level last year. But there’s just nowhere to play in a very deep Astros roster. He has a 1.290 OPS in May, including 11 home runs and 16 walks in just 25 games. He’s a power-speed threat with defensive skills, and he’s only 22 years old.

6. Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays (Injured)

Just 21, Bichette may already be in Toronto next to Guerrero Jr. had he not sustained a broken hand in late April. It’s too bad because he was really starting to heat up at the time at the Triple-A level. Toronto won’t rush him back but with Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio already with the Jays, it makes sense that Bichette will visit The Show before the year is out.

7. Yordan Alvarez, 1B/LF, Astros (AAA)

Alvarez is one of the best hitting prospects in the minors but he gets knocked down a couple of pegs because he lacks defensive value as well base running skills. They’re lesser skills in fantasy baseball but still relevant. He’s not really a left fielder due to the lack of foot speed but the Astros have to look for some way to get his bat in the lineup. He has .280-.300 average and 30+ homer potential in The Show.

8. Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (AAA)

Kieboom received a brief taste of the Majors earlier this year before getting homer-happy and being sent down. Still, he has a lot of impressive skills and should be the Nationals long-term shortstop or second baseman of the future.

9. Joey Bart, C, Giants (Injured)

Bart has played just 10 games this year due to injury but he should take over the bulk of catching for the Giants within two years. And he’s easily the top catching prospect in the game.

10. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros (Injured)

Yeah, it’s been ugly for Whitley but not from a lack of overall skill. His command has been horribly and it’s likely partially mental although he was just sent to extended spring training to rest and rehab a tired shoulder. He’s still got the swing-and-miss stuff as witnessed by the 29 strikeouts in 24.1 innings. If he’s still struggling in another month or two, then he starts to slide down the rankings.

 

Top MLB Prospects to Watch (11-20)

11. Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Rays (A)

This talented lefty opened the year in extended spring training but was recently let loose in Low-A ball. The hurler has an excellent pitcher’s frame and should become a workhorse with the potential to develop into a top-of-the-rotation arm.

12. Luis Urias, 2B, Padres (AAA)

Urias’ slow start in the Majors is a distant memory. He’s been consistently good at Triple-A and he’s been especially strong of late with a .457 average and BB-K of 9-4 in the last 10. He’s shown some pop with 13 homers but Urias is at his best when he’s getting on base consistently and peppering the field with line drives.

13. Alex Kirilloff, OF, Twins (AA)

Kirilloff missed the first month of the year while recovering from an injury and he’s had a slow start to the 2019 season while he looks to rediscover his timing. But this is the same player that zoomed through the lower levels of the Twins system and has a .326 career average and lots of raw pop.

14. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, A’s (Injured)

Luzardo is pitching to live hitters now as he works his way back from a serious shoulder injury. Look for him to be assigned to a short-season team once those leagues get underway in mid-June. He has a high ceiling but any shoulder issue impacting the labrum is a big concern.

15. Matt Manning, RHP, Tigers (AA)

The Tigers are going to have quite the duo within a year with Casey Mize and Manning. The latter pitcher has a massive frame that should be capable of providing lots of innings as he matures and he possesses excellent swing-and-miss stuff with 75 strikeouts and just 14 walks in 60 innings. Impressively, he’s also allowed just one home run. He’s probably about ready for the Triple-A test.

16. Taylor Trammell, OF, Reds (AA)

Trammell hasn’t really turned things on quite yet in 2019 but he’s also just 21 in Double-A. Loaded with tools, he still has a lot of swing-and-miss to his game. He’s struck out 51 times in 50 games but he also has 38 walks. Trammel hasn’t tapped into the raw power consistently but he also has excellent speed and is 12-for-15 in stolen base attempts.

17. A.J. Puk, LHP, A’s (Injured)

Like Luzardo, Puk also has a high ceiling and is recovering from injury. He should be a step ahead of his fellow lefty as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Puk is almost ready for game action and the potential for three plus offerings if his stuff fully bounces back.

18. Christian Pache, OF, Braves (AA)

Pache forms a pretty exciting outfield prospect duo with Drew Waters in Double-A. His task for 2019 was to get to more of his raw power and so far so good with a career-high slugging percentage of .480. Most of the pop still comes from line drives rather than homers but it’s heading in the right direction. Pache is also showing more patience and is only five walks off his total 20 in 122 games in 2018.

19. Jarred Kelenic, OF, Mariners (A)

Kelenic has been a huge surprise. The 2018 first rounder was clearly talented but his bat was expected to take longer to become this relevant. He’s hitting for average and running well. Kelenic has also really tapped into his power as of late and four of his 10 homers have come in the past eight games. He’s also controlling the strike zone better in May and his BB-K is 6-6 over the past 10 games.

20. Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Rays (AAA)

McKay opened the year in Double-A but quickly proved to the Rays that he was deserving of a promotion to Triple-A. His first start at that level was five shutout innings, which was his fourth start in a row without allowing an earned run. Overall on the year, he has 66 strikeouts and just nine walks in 46.2 innings. His days of being a hitter and pitcher are probably over but his offensive skills could come in handy from time to time.

 

Top MLB Prospects to Watch (21-30)

21. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (AA)

Robert shows massive potential but he’s also very inconsistent and tends to get hits in bunches… and strikeouts in bunches. He’s on a seven-game hit streak in which he has gone 13-for-33. But his BB-K is also 1-11 during that same stretch. Robert has the talent to easily become a 20-20 (HR-SB) stolen base player in the Majors.

22. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (A+)

Adell missed almost the entire first two months of the season but he’s back from injury now and has looked good early with six hits, including two home runs, in his first four games at High-A ball. He’s just scraping the surface of his potential.

23. Jesus Sanchez, OF, Rays (AA)

Sanchez is another young, talented outfielder who’s looking to tap into his raw power. But the hit tool is nearly MLB ready and he has a career average of .305 over five pro seasons.

24. Royce Lewis, SS, Twins (A+)

The ultra-toolsy Lewis made things look easy early on in his career but he’s hit a bit of an offensive roadblock at the High-A ball level. He returned to the level in 2019 after spending 46 games there last year but he hasn’t hit for much average, hasn’t really hit for much power and hasn’t run the bases nearly as well as he did early on. He’s still just 19, though, so there is a lot of time for him to turn things around.

25. Dylan Cease, RHP, White Sox (AAA)

Cease has shown flashes of brilliance in Triple-A in 2019 but he’s also been fairly inconsistent and has yet to truly dominate at the level. Still, he’s just 23 and has shown the ability to miss bats with 48 strikeouts in 40 innings. Even better, he produces ground-ball outs at an above-average rate, which helps him get out of jams when his command slips and he allows too many base runners.

26. Michael Kopech, RHP, White Sox (Injured)

Kopech can hit triple digits when healthy but he’ll spend the 2019 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

27. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (AAA)

Keller struggled in his one MLB outing in 2019 but he’s been fairly good for Triple-A despite having some issues with the long ball. Keller has solid stuff and typically also has good control. He gets into trouble when his fastball command deserts him.

28. Ian Anderson, RHP, Braves (AA)

Anderson has been solid in Double-A so far this year for the Braves. He has 61 strikeouts in just 48 innings despite struggling with his control. Once the control clicks, he should really take off.

29. Brent Honeywell Jr., RHP, Rays (Injured)

Honeywell Jr. is working his way back from Tommy John surgery.

30. Luis Patino, RHP, Padres (A+)

I’m already on the Patino bandwagon. He’s an ultra-athletic right-hander with the potential for three above-average offerings. He’s just 19 years old and has had no issues with the potent California League (High-A ball).

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