Top AL West Prospects for 2017 Dynasty Leagues: Midseason Update

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Welcome to the first of RotoBaller’s six-part midseason dynasty league prospect update! Today I am looking at the American League West Division, analyzing which prospects are going to be the best long-term assets for fantasy owners in dynasty leagues.

Just to be clear, this is an overview of the entire division, meaning prospects from all five teams will be discussed here. I am not going to delve into the value of each prospect in the teams’ respective Top 10 lists and only focusing on the elites of the elite, but we’ll do a more advanced look into each of the teams’ prospects during the offseason. And of course, if at any point you have any prospect related questions, you can hit me up @EdwardSutelan on Twitter.

By the way, if you are interested in more MLB prospects columns, head on over to our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings dashboard. Throughout the offseason, you will find the rest of our team prospect breakdowns, fantasy baseball prospect rankings, tiered positional rankings, keeper values articles, and more - all in one easy place.

Editor's note: Purchase an NFL Premium Pass (including Draft Kit + DFS), and get MLB Premium for free! Whoa. Check out our NFL and MLB Premium tools, and crush your leagues. Sign Up Now!

 

AL West Top Prospects for Dynasty Leagues

Today I am beginning my list of prospect systems in the AL divisions. Later, I will delve into the AL Central, AL West and all three divisions in the National League. To read more about my prospect coverage, click here.

Top Overall Talent: Kyle Tucker (OF, HOU)

Top Prospect who won’t debut in 2017: Kyle Tucker (OF, HOU)
I’ve always been high on Tucker, and it’s clear that he is living up to all the hype. Still only 20 years old, Tucker has already reached Double-A this season and has started tearing it up. Between Class-A Advanced and Double-A, Tucker has 17 home runs, 19 stolen bases and a .288 batting average. The strikeouts have gotten a bit high as he faces advanced pitching, but scouts believe that with his approach, he will tone down on the swings and misses as he grows more accustomed to the level of opposition.

He has a promising power/speed combination and could be a 25/15 outfielder who competes for batting crowns on an annual basis. And with a 2018 debut looking all but certain at this point, owners don’t even have to wait all too long to reap the rewards of owning Tucker.

Top Prospect to Debut in 2017: Franklin Barreto (2B/SS, OAK)
If you like guys with a power/speed combination (and come on, who doesn’t) but prefer them to play one of the two middle-infield positions, Barreto is the guy for you. A season ago, Barreto stole 30 bases and launched 10 home runs in 119 games. This season, he has slowed down on the basepaths, but increased the home run output as he has posted so far 10/6 HR/SB between the majors and Triple-A.

There is some swing and miss in his game, but like with Tucker, scouts believe Barreto will start to make more contact as he matures (he’s still only 21 years old). The biggest concern is that he might have to move to the outfield, but enough believe in his ability to play second base or shortstop, which would help make him one of the game’s elite prospects.

Biggest Boom or Bust: David Paulino (SP, HOU)
Hit with another drug suspension, Paulino will be out until late September. He had looked promising out of the Astros’ rotation for a few turns, but this suspension will really put him back a few steps. Beyond just the suspension, Paulino has labored through injury after injury throughout his professional career.

Scouts have long said that Paulino has the stuff and the command to be a front-of-the-rotation option for Houston, but that the injuries have really held him back. If he can stay healthy and avoid another suspension, owners could have a potential No. 2 starter with loads of strikeout upside. But he could also be a reliever if he can’t handle a starter’s workload — or end out of baseball if he is hit with another suspension.

Biggest Sleeper: Troy Montgomery (OF, LAA)
One of my favorite sleepers in the game, Montgomery receives little notoriety, but he has hit everywhere he has played. Though undersized at only 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, Montgomery packs a big punch in his bat. He spent 15 games at Class-A this season, and though the .256 batting average wasn’t impressive, he walked a whopping 21.4 percent of the time compared to only a 7.1 percent strikeout rate (3.00 BB/K).

And he hasn’t slowed down since reaching Class-A Advanced, posting a .283/.350/.456 slash line with six home runs and seven stolen bases in 60 games. Scouts grade him as a plus defender and plus speedster with standout plate discipline. And with few standout prospects in the Los Angeles Angels’ system to slow him down, he could be a quick riser through the minors if he keeps hitting the way he has so far.

 

Top Prospect Hitters

Best Power Hitter: Matt Chapman (3B, OAK)
Chapman is one of those prospects who stands out more as a real life prospect than a fantasy prospect. He is a truly elite defender with the chance to fight Manny Machado for the Gold Glove at third base on an annual basis. But for those of you who own him in fantasy leagues, there is one tool of his that certainly stands out: his power.

A season ago, Chapman launched 36 home runs in 135 games between Double-A (117 games) and Triple-A (18 games). The year before the number was 23 dingers in 80 games at High-A. As is the case with plenty of young sluggers, Chapman strikes out a ton — roughly 30 percent of the time every year. But as long as he is launching 30 long balls a year, fantasy owners can live with the lower batting average.

Most Likely to Hit over .300: Kyle Tucker (OF, HOU)
As discussed earlier, Tucker is one of the most advanced bats in the minors. Thus it should not be too surprising to see him as the most likely to hit over .300 in the AL West. He has a lightning fast bat, a promising approach to the plate and consistently makes hard contact. This is a guy whose standout tool for fantasy owners will always be his high batting average. Owners should not be too surprised to see him battle with his future teammate Jose Altuve for highest batting average on the club.

Best Burner on the Bases: Eric Jenkins (OF, TEX)
Jenkins has never been regarded as a top prospect, but that’s not for a lack of speed. In his first taste of pro action back in 2015, he swiped 28 bases in 56 games. The next season, he stole 51 bases in 127 games. Scouts across the board grade his speed as a true 70-grade tool, citing an ability to get great reads on the basepaths and simply outrun the baseball at times.

The problem with Jenkins — as with many great basestealers in today’s game — is that he doesn’t reach base enough to make the most of his speed. He has struck out above 27 percent in every full season of his pro career, and has actually only seen it go up this year compared to a season ago. If he can ever learn to make consistent contact, he could be another Roman Quinn. But for right now, he’s just a speedster without the bat to reach the majors.

 

Top Prospect Pitchers

Strikeout Machine: A.J. Puk (SP, OAK)
When the Athletics drafted Puk, the question was never whether or not he would miss enough bats to succeed in the pros. It was always about his control, which so far has been decent, if unspectacular. What has been spectacular has been his ability to miss bats. Though he’s off to a slow start right now at Double-A, Puk whiffed 29.2 percent of opposing hitters at Low Class-A after he was drafted in 2016, and followed that up with a 38.6 percent rate at Class-A Advanced this season.

Puk can get his fastball up in the upper-90s and his slider in the high-80s, low-90s, so it should not be much of a surprise that he Ks up as many batters as he does. Though his control may dictate whether or not he is a future ace or backend of the rotation pitcher, owners can at least feel confident in knowing that he will always miss enough bats to have at least some value.

Best Command: Andrew Moore (SP, SEA)
Moore reached the majors this season, and if you needed an example of that sharp control I am referring to, it took him 18 innings before he walked a single batter in the big leagues. That is not easy for a youngster to do, no matter how good their control is. But that is really just the tale of the tape for Moore. His walk rate typically sits around 5-6 percent in the minors, and scouts almost all agree that he has 60-grade control. His stuff is sharp enough too that he should be able to slot into the No. 3 spot in the Seattle Mariners’ rotation at some point. So for those looking for a Mike Leake-esque pitcher, look no further. Moore is probably going to be your guy.

 

Top 10 Overall Dynasty Prospects for the AL West

1. Kyle Tucker (OF, HOU)
ETA: 2018

2. Franklin Barreto (2B/SS, OAK)
ETA: 2017

3. Derek Fisher (OF, HOU)
ETA: 2017

4. Francis Martes (SP, HOU)
ETA: 2017

5. Kyle Lewis (OF, SEA)
ETA: 2019

6. Matt Chapman (3B, OAK)
ETA: 2017

7. Leody Taveras (OF, TEX)
ETA: 2019

8. Tyler O'Neill (OF, SEA)
ETA: 2018

9. Franklin Perez (SP, A+)
ETA: 2019

10. Ronald Guzman (1B, TEX)
ETA: 2017

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the Houston Astros

1. Kyle Tucker (OF, AA)
ETA: 2018

2. Derek Fisher (OF, AAA)
ETA: 2017

3. Francis Martes (SP, MLB)
ETA: 2017

4. Franklin Perez (SP, A+)
ETA: 2019

5. David Paulino (SP, SUSP)
ETA: 2017

6. Forrest Whitley (SP, A+)
ETA: 2019

7. J.B. Bukauskas (SP, NA)
ETA: 2020

8. Colin Moran (3B, AAA)
ETA: 2018

9. Teoscar Hernandez (OF, AAA)
ETA: 2018

10. J.D. Davis (3B, AA)
ETA: 2018

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the Los Angeles Angels

1. Jahmai Jones (OF, A)
ETA: 2019

2. Jo Adell (OF, ROK)
ETA: 2021

3. Matt Thaiss (1B, A+)
ETA: 2019

4. Brandon Marsh (OF, ROK)
ETA: 2020

5. Griffin Canning (SP, NA)
ETA: 2019

6. Jacob Pearson (OF, ROK)
ETA: 2021

7. Troy Montgomery (OF, A+)
ETA: 2019

8. David Fletcher (SS, AA)
ETA: 2019

9. Taylor Ward (C, A+)
ETA: 2019

10. Grayson Long (SP, AA)
ETA: 2018

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the Oakland Athletics

1. Franklin Barreto (2B/SS, AAA)
ETA: 2017

2. Matt Chapman (3B, MLB)
ETA: 2017

3. A.J. Puk (SP, AA)
ETA: 2018

4. Lazaro Armenteros (OF, ROK)
ETA: 2021

5. Austin Beck (OF, ROK)
ETA: 2022

6. Grant Holmes (SP, AA)
ETA: 2018

7. Sean Murphy (C, AA)
ETA: 2019

8. Matt Olson (1B/OF, AAA)
ETA: 2017

9. Greg Deichmann (OF, NA)
ETA: 2019

10. Logan Shore (SP, A+)
ETA: 2019

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the Seattle Mariners

1. Kyle Lewis (OF, A+)
ETA: 2019

2. Tyler O’Neill (OF, AAA)
ETA: 2018

3. Evan White (1B/OF, A-)
ETA: 2019

4. Dan Vogelbach (1B, AAA)
ETA: 2017

5. Andrew Moore (SP, MLB)
ETA: 2017

6. Nick Neidert (SP, A+)
ETA: 2019

7. Sam Carlson (SP, NA)
ETA: 2021

8. Joe Rizzo (3B, A)
ETA: 2020

9. D.J. Peterson (1B, AAA)
ETA: 2018

10. Oliver Jaskie (SP, A-)
ETA: 2020

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the Texas Rangers

1. Leody Taveras (OF, A)
ETA: 2019

2. Ronald Guzman (1B, AAA)
ETA: 2017

3. Yohander Mendez (SP, AA)
ETA: 2018

4. Bubba Thompson (OF, ROK)
ETA: 2021

5. Christopher Seise (SS, NA)
ETA: 2022

6. Jose Trevino (C, AA)
ETA: 2018

7. Andy Ibanez (2B/3B, AA)
ETA: 2018

8. Michael Matuela (SP, A)
ETA: 2019

9. Yanio Perez (3B/OF, A+)
ETA: 2019

10. Ariel Jurado (SP, AA)
ETA: 2018