Top MLB Prospects to Claim Off the Waiver Wire in Week 23

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Well guys. We’ve made it to September. The MLB Ready Top 30 Prospects list is over because rosters have officially expanded. Now, it is time to tell you who is in the big leagues that needs to be added. In another article, I will cover 10 other names who have yet to be promoted who could potentially have value. In today’s issue, we're covering the top prospects currently in the big leagues. To be clear, these are guys who have been promoted recently (August 28 is the cut-off), and it must have been their first opportunity this season (sorry Byron Buxton). And no, if a player has not been promoted yet, they cannot be on the list. My apologies to all you Dan Vogelbach fans out there.

But before I get to that, time for my predictions (just like I did last year) for Rookie of the Year. This year, unlike the last, does not feature a lot of close contests. In fact, I bet the National League will be unanimous the the American League will be pretty dang close to unanimous. Dodgers’ rookie phenom Corey Seager will win the NL Rookie of the Year and it won’t even be remotely close. In the American League, Tigers’ young starter Michael Fulmer has been outstanding this season and will run away with the award.

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Top MLB Prospects to Add Right Now off the Waiver Wire

1. Yoan Moncada (2B, BOS)

Double-A Stats: 207 PA, .277/.379/.531, 11 HR, 9 SB, 30.9% K rate, 13.0% BB rate

If he is not already owned in your league, stop what you’re doing right now and add him. This guy is poised to take over at third base for the Boston Red Sox, at least against right-handed pitching (spoiler alert: that’s most pitchers), and he has been absolutely electric in the minors. He has power, he has speed, and he should hit for a great average. There is no player in the minors more electric than Moncada and now, he has a chance to take his talents to the big stage. He is a must-own in all leagues.

2. Tom Murphy (C, COL)

Triple-A Stats: 321 PA, .327/.361/.647, 19 HR, 1 SB, 24.3% K rate, 5.0% BB rate

Do you like catchers who hit home runs? You do? Good, then Murphy is the guy for you. Sure he strikes out a ton, and he does not seem likely a reliable bet to hit for a good average. However, he plays in a park that breeds dingers, and he has already hit 19 home runs in 80 games at Triple-A. Murphy is not going to be the next Gary Sanchez, but he will receive a lot of playing time and should have no problem posting some impressive power numbers.

3. Hunter Dozier (3B, KC)

Triple-A Stats: 434 PA, .294/.357/.506, 15 HR, 3 SB, 23.0% K rate, 9.2% BB rate

Dozier has not always been the most highly touted guy in the minors, but he truly exploded onto the scene in 2016. Between Double-A and Triple-A, he has mashed 23 home runs with a .296 average. He is not going to get much playing time in at first, third, or designated hitter with Eric Hosmer, Cheslor Cuthbert and Kendrys Morales manning those three spots respectively. But Dozier will see some time in the outfield and could get a spot start at one of those three spots. He has a potentially explosive bat, and the Royals recognize this fact. Expect him to start on a semi-regular basis from now until the end of the season.

4. Raimel Tapia (OF, COL)

Triple-A Stats: 110 PA, .346/.355/.490, 0 HR, 6 SB, 10.9% K rate, 1.8% BB rate

Another member of the Rockies, Tapia is a very exciting prospect simply because of where he plays. He has not displayed much power this season (only eight home runs between Double-A and Triple-A), but he has plenty of speed (23 SB), never strikes out and has shown an ability to hit for a decent average. Playing time could be a bit of an issue for him moving forward as the Rockies also have David Dahl, Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez in their outfield, but if Tapia plays, he could put up some impressive numbers.

5. Jharel Cotton (SP, OAK)

Triple-A Stats: 135.2 IP, 4.31 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 10.28 K/9, 2.59 BB/9, 1.33 HR/9

If you have read my Top 30 prospect rankings articles, you have probably noticed that Cotton has been near the top of the list for the past couple of weeks. That has been because of two things: his dominance since arriving at Triple-A Nashville and the likelihood that he becomes a starter for Oakland once he was promoted. Well, Athletics manager Bob Melvin recently confirmed that Cotton would be in the A's rotation for the remainder of the season, solidifying his fantasy value for the rest of the year. Since arriving over from Los Angeles, Cotton has posted a 2.82 ERA and 3.41 FIP thanks in large part to a rock solid 8.45 K/9 and 1.64 BB/9. He looks like he could be a very productive arm for playoff fantasy rotations and he should be a guy most teams want to own.

6. Lucas Giolito (SP, WAS)

Triple-A Stats: 37.1 IP, 2.17 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 9.64 K/9, 2.41 BB/9, 0.72 HR/9

It is unknown at this time whether or not Giolito will be starting for the Nationals, but I bet they give him at least one or two trips through the rotation. He has been sensational at Triple-A, particularly in his last outing when he delivered eight shutout innings with only three base\runners (two hits and one walk). He has not been sharp in the big leagues, but he warrants another look (especially with the Nationals way ahead in the division race). He could potentially be a very solid stream option if he is given starts.

7. Jose De Leon (SP, LAD)

Triple-A Stats: 86.1 IP, 2.61 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 11.57 K/9, 2.08 BB/9, 0.94 HR/9

De Leon looked really sharp in his big league debut. He picked up the win, struck out nine batters. and only gave up six hits over six innings. Now the four earned runs could have been a lot better, but if nothing else he showed a lot of promise moving forward. The Dodgers have had a lot of issues in their rotation this season and though Clayton Kershaw could come back, the smart money is on De Leon staying in the rotation. He is worth a speculative own just for the upside if he sticks in the rotation.

8. Joey Wendle (2B, OAK)

Triple-A Stats: 526 PA, .279/.324/.452, 12 HR, 14 SB, 21.3% K rate, 4.9% BB rate

Wendle has not been a prospect people go crazy over, but he has put together a very solid offensive season for a middle infielder. With 12 home runs and 14 stolen bases, his promising power/speed combination has many viewing him as a possible sleeper if he can get some regular playing time. And though he will likely only receive semi-regular starts, Wendle could eventually see more opportunities down the road as the Athletics wind up their dreadful season and try to get the youngsters some playing time.

9. JaCoby Jones (SS, DET)

Triple-A Stats: 324 PA, .243/.309/.356, 3 HR, 11 SB, 29.9% K rate, 7.7% BB rate

Since a ridiculous 2014 season at Pittsburgh’s Class-A team in which he blasted 23 home runs and stole 17 bases, Jones has trended downward. He hit 18 home runs in 2015 with 26 stolen bases between Rookie ball, High-A and Double-A, but experienced more problems with strikeouts. That issue has continued into this season where he has too many strikeouts while also seeing some notable decreases in both power numbers (seven home runs) and  speed (13 steals). But there is still a fair amount of hype for Jones as scouts still like his power/speed upside, leaving him as an intriguing add off the waiver wire. He won’t play too much time at short, but he could be an interesting streaming option in some leagues.

10. Raul Alcantara (SP, OAK)

Triple-A Stats: 45.2 IP, 1.18 ERA, 2.80 FIP, 6.31 K/9, 0.59 BB/9, 0.20 HR/9

The second Athletics pitching prospect to make it on this list, Alcantara too has been given assurance that he will be in the rotation for Oakland for the remainder of this season. Alcantara has not quite produced the strikeouts that I'm sure fantasy owners would love to see, but he has still been outstanding for Nashville this season, posting a 1.18 ERA and 2.80 FIP. To top those two numbers, he posted a ridiculously low 0.59 BB/9 rate in his 45.2 innings of work. Alcantara is not the greatest prospect in the world, but he has a locked up rotation spot, something that owners in deeper leagues could certainly take advantage of if they need some pitching depth.

 

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