Here’s where the frontispiece would go, if I didn’t think that word was kinda nasty.
Here’s a link to the Top 25.
Here’s a link to the Top 50.
For all the talk about Eury Perez being huge and young with good command, you don’t hear much about 6’7” 215 lb Andrew Painter, but Painter has been every bit as dominant as Perez, racking up 109 strikeouts through 68.1 innings across two levels and posting a 1.32 ERA along the way. He threw seven shutout innings against the High-A Yankees his last time out, allowing two hits and one walk while recording eleven punchouts. Makes me wonder if they’ll send him to Double-A for September.
Evan Carter has 22 extra base hits and 13 stolen bases over his last 39 games, slashing .333/.415/.605 over that stretch. He’s controlling the zone, too: 11.1% BB and 15.8% K-rates. He’ll turn 20 on August 29 and might be in Double-A before then.
Gotta hand it to Jasson Dominguez for evolving his game to make plate skills his calling card. Or one of his calling cards, anyway. He’s already stolen eight bases in 19 High-A games, where he’s posting a .410 on base percentage and 16.9-to-22.9 walk-to-strikeout rate. The power is coming, too. He’s got 39 extra base hits in 94 games across two levels this season.
Takes a lot of restraint for me to keep Tink Hence back here in the fifties. Hence, I ranked some earlier guys wrong!? Lemme tink about it a minute. Hence has a 0.79 WHIP and a 38.8 percent K-BB rate across 38 innings thrown mostly as a 19-year-old. It’s phenomenal stuff. Some risk of arm issues given how skinny he is versus how hard he’s throwing, but who doesn’t have some risk of arm issues?
Bo Naylor should probably be catching in Cleveland right now, but they love their defense behind the plate almost as much as they love their profits. Both come into play here, as does a little hot streak from Luke Maile, but Naylor is a skilled enough defender to get his bat into the lineup.
Got a little messy between Jesse Roche and Keith Law the other day in a tiff over Tanner Bibee, but Bibee himself keeps his innings tidy. We can all get together and toast to a 0.82 WHIP across six Double-A starts and the fact that here we are in one of the best places to find great fantasy starters, looking at a starter who’s poised to give us some great fantasy starts.
Cleveland has a lot of middle infield prospects who’d like to play shortstop, but it’s Angel Martinez who’s always out there for whatever team he’s on, and I think that will continue in the majors. (Partly because Cleveland’s ownership really Guards that bank account.)
Eli’s coming! Helps him that Kris Bryant can’t stay on the field. (Is he okay off the field?) Helps him that he plays in Coors. Hurts him that he plays for the Rockies. Catch 22. The Rockies and the military industrial complex. So much in common. Gotta spend the budget just enough to keep your job and some fans.
I’d have Colson Montgomery higher on a non-fantasy list or an OBP list. Right now you have to pay the premium for a big shortstop prospect who’s thriving ahead of the age-to-level curve. He could wind up a third baseman without enough speed or power to stand out at the corner. Then again, third base is shallower than short, so now I’m just talking myself in circles. Bottom line is I think he’s got a good approach without leaning on passivity to get there.
The Red Sox are catching a little fire for their own Catch 22 of a trade deadline. I think I like the old sell-and-buy approach in a general sense. Best to remain flexible. Specifics got a little wonky here, but I suppose you’ll have that. I like that they brought in Enmanuel Valdez (along with Wilyer Abreu) at the expense of Christian Vasquez. I think he’s a perfect fit for their park.
DDLS isn’t taking his walks or limiting his strikeouts, but he’s mashing pitchers several years his senior anyway. Double arrows up on Deyvison De Los Santos until further notice.
Most players on my lists earn their spot via outcomes on the field, and you could certainly make that argument for Anthony Gutierrez given his age-to-level, slugging .418 in 18 games on the complex. The more compelling arguments for Gutierrez include things we might not see in the statline for a minute as he’s constantly punching up against older players. That’s fine. He won’t always be the youngest kid on the block.
Michael Brantley is out for the year, and Pedro Leon has a .423 OBP and 18.3 percent strikeout rate since July 1. He’s also hit three home runs and stolen ten bases over that 26-game stretch. They did add Trey Mancini at the deadline, but then Dusty said he’s only played outfield a dozen times. Leon hasn’t played since August 6 due to facial fractures from getting hit in the face with a fastball. (Thanks to C-MAN in the comments for the update.)
Emmanuel Rodriguez has earned this and more on the field but hasn’t been on the field since early June.
Yes, Zach Neto has leaped Elijah Green on my rankings. No, I don’t know if the Angels know what they’re doing, but yes, it does matter that they’ve already jumped him to Double-A, where he’s slashed .429/.467/.500 in three games. Do three games matter as a sample size? Of course not. Does Zach Neto have a shot to open 2023 with the Major League Angels? Yeah I think he does. Would that be neato? Sorry, one too many questions.
Were it not for a back injury, Brennen Davis would be off this list and playing every day in Chicago.
Grant McCray has everything you’d want in a fantasy outfielder, except for the strikeout rate. In the last month, he’s hitting .330/.430/.550 with six home runs and 11 stolen bases but striking out 29.8 percent of the time even during the hot stretch.
Endy Rodriguez is a pretty useful check for how heavily your list is leaning toward catchers. He’s just as good as most of these guys, but when you start running up the list, you realize, nah I’d rather not wait on a catcher, let alone a Pirates catcher. Yarrr.
2022 has been a good season for Kevin Alcantara even though he’s slugging .327 since July 1. He’s recorded 34 extra base hits (12 HR) and a 25.8 percent strikeout rate across 93 games. Not bad for a 19-year-old in Low-A. Would be nice to see him rediscover some thump before the season runs out, but fatigue has to be setting in during a grueling first full-season stateside.
Lazaro Montes is a cart-before-the-horse ranking like the Gutierrez one. He’s striking out too much (33.2 percent) but slugging .632 with a .434 OBP anyway. It’s the DSL, so it doesn’t matter much except that it buoys his dynasty value a little.
Alec Burleson just hits and hits and hits and rarely strikes out. This tends to work. His 6.2 percent walk rate is just on the borderline of an approach that doesn’t tend to work. St. Louis has a rep for letting good outfielders walk, but the catch-22 of that issue is their player development group can’t stop drafting and developing too many major league outfielders to fit onto one major league roster. I’ll take that problem any day of the week.
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