We don’t spend much time with the stragglers around Prospect World, but a lot of highly ranked guys have struggled this season. That sentence reads like a timeless nothing-statement when I see it on the page, but it’s a pretty accurate description of my thoughts as I scoured the landscape to find the best 100 minor league players for the fantasy game.
If you think of a name that you figured would be here, there’s a good chance they’ve scuffled to start this season. The Nicks, Yorke, Gonzales and Pratto, missed the list in surprising fashion. Perhaps I was more demanding of them because my human-person-walking-around name is also Nick, and I am subconsciously more disappointed with them than I would be with a non-Nick player. Seems unlikely, but you never know.
Also a pretty good chance the player(s) you’re looking for were covered:
either here in the Top 25,
or here in the Top 50,
or here in the Top 75.
I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index.
Anyway, the buns are in the oven. No changing the recipe now. Smells pretty good already, now that the prep’s done and the kitchen’s clean. Ish. Clean as it’s gonna get anyway. Let’s dig in.
76. SS Luisangel Acuña | Rangers | 20 | A+ | 2024
77. OF Zac Veen | Rockies | 20 | A+ | 2024
78. LHP Ricky Tiedeman | Blue Jays | 19 | A+ | 2023
Luisangel Acuña isn’t as big as his older brother, but he rakes like Ronald, slashing .321/.415/.585 with 7 HR and 13 SB in 28 games. I think he’s fairly available via trade in most dynasty leagues, as the scouting cards have long been muted in comparison to the outcomes and the upside.
A recent power burst has the 2022 statline looking pretty good for Zac Veen right now, and the best news is his process metrics seem to be improving as well. He has reduced his strikeout rate by 3.5 percent down to 22.8 and has increased his walk rate 1.1 percent up to 14.5. He’s also 24-for-25 stealing bases after going 36-for-53 on the basepaths last season. Probably a little too low on this ranking.
Ricky Tiedemann is 4.2 years younger than the average player age in his High-A league but has a 0.38 ERA in 23.2 innings across five starts. He has struck out 35 and walked five hitters over that stretch, posting a 0.718 WHIP. Probably the loudest pitching line we’ve seen this season, and Tiedemann is a 6’4” 220 lb lefty who sits in the mid 90’s. Nothing about his outcomes is fluky.
79. LHP DL Hall | Orioles | 23 | AAA | 2022
80. RHP Andrew Painter | Phillies | A+ | 2024
81. RHP Gavin Williams | Guardians | 22 | AA | 2022
DL Hall remains a little wild to be a major league starter, but he’s struck out 40 AAA hitters over his last 21 innings (45.5%), good for a 1.19 WHIP and 2.57 ERA during his hottest stretch of season. It’s probably time to bring him up so he can learn to deal with better contact hitters while he’s feeling good.
Andrew Painter stands a picturesque 6’7” 215 lbs but maintains his mechanics like a much shorter pitcher, not all that unlike Eury Perez. His High-A debut on June 12 didn’t go great (3 IP, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 H), but I’ll bet he settles in and starts dominating in a hurry and finds himself on a very fast path to Philadelphia.
Gavin Williams ripped right through his 2022 assignment to High-A and allowed just one hit through 5.2 innings of his AA debut on June 12. Cleveland college pitcher first-round draft pick dominating minor leagues. Check, check, check. Just get me the bill.
82. OF Jarren Duran | Red Sox | 25 | MLB | 2021
83. OF Alex Ramirez | Mets | 19 | A | 2025
84. 2B Jonathan Aranda | Rays | 24 | AAA | 2022
If this works out, we’re going to see so many Duran Duran puns. We really only need one of Jhoan, Ezequiel or Jarren to make it happen, but it would be best to have all three in play.
Following his two-homer game on June 14, Alex Ramirez has gone 0-for-13 with five strikeouts and zero walks. Pretty typical for a talented young hitter to get big eyed for the home-run ball after a night like that. He remains a top-tier outfield prospect, but I’m not thrilled to see he’s 9-for-17 stealing bases in Low-A with the three-throws-over rule. Probably nothing, but it suggests he’s struggling to see the game from that angle, which makes sense for a kid who hasn’t played many games.
Oh look, it’s a well-rounded, ready-now Rays prospect with loud outcomes. I almost listed him as first baseman because that’s where he’s been more often than not this season.
85. OF Andy Pages | Dodgers | 21 | AA | 2023
86. OF Evan Carter | Rangers | 19 | A+ | 2024
87. 2B Michael Massey | Royals | 24 | AAA | 2023
Andy Pages has been reading the pitchers in Double-A, slashing .301/.414/.644 with 11.5% BB and 13.8% K rates with six home runs in 21 games since May 25.
Plate skills are the carrying tool for the 6’4” 190 lb Evan Carter, which makes him something of a rarity for a 19-year-old with plus tools across the board. In 225 plate appearances across 48 games at High-A, Carter posted a 12.4% walk rate and 16.9 % strikeout rate, slashing .257/.353/.403 with 4 HR and 10 stolen bases in 17 attempts. He reminds me a little of Brandon Nimmo in the sense that he’ll likely be a better baseball player than he is a fantasy asset. Still, he feels like a high-probability major leaguer at 19 against much older players, which gives him a lot of upside the statlines can’t capture.
Can argue for Michael Massey higher than this, especially if you’re seeking short-term help. He’s been a successful hitter his whole baseball life: something I always like to see. It’s rarer than you might think.
88. SS Liover Peguero | Pirates | 21 | MLB | 2022
89. C Tyler Soderstrom | Athletics | 20 | A+ | 2023
90. RHP Jackson Jobe | Tigers | 19 | A | 2025
Intriguing tier here of three guys with a lot riding on them from an organizational perspective.
Liover Peguero finds himself in the major league lineup this weekend, and good for him. Whisper mill suggests it had as much to do with geography as it did with game-readiness, given the Covid-forced immediacy of the team’s need before Friday’s game. We’ve all learned to have a little more grace with each other during the pandemic, I hope, but this feels particularly Pittsburgh in a That’s So Raven kinda way.
Tyler Soderstrom has bounced back from a skimpy start, and while he’s still striking out more than we’d like, his outcomes are on the uptick at a level well beyond his age.
The trouble with drafting high school pitchers in dynasty leagues is being demonstrated well by Jackson Jobe, who hasn’t been particularly bad by any means for a 19-year-old in a full-season league, but treading water isn’t moving the needle for anyone on the trade market, leaving Jobe a long way away from mattering to your place in the standings. Plus there’s the double underbelly of injury and underperformance, either of which can sink any pitcher’s stock.
91. OF Nelson Velazquez | Cubs | 23 | MLB | 2022
92. OF Joey Wiemer | Brewers | 23 | AA | 2023
93. SS Orelvis Martinez | Blue Jays | 20 | AA | 2024
94. OF Everson Pereira | Yankees | A+ | 20 | 2023
95. OF Jose Ramos | Dodgers | 21 | A+ | 2024
96. SS Kahlil Watson | Marlins | 19 | A | 2024
97. OF Lazaro Montes | Mariners | 17 | DSL | 2025
98. 3B Mark Vientos | Mets | 22 | AAA | 2022
Big group of flawed power bats here. Loud outcomes. Breezy whiffs.
Nelson Velazquez should get an extended opportunity sooner than later in Wrigley, where the Cubs are missing some chances to shower talented youngsters with experience. Suspect I’m a bit higher than the field on my ranking here, but I like collecting power/speed players who’ve demonstrated all-fields hitting skills in the high-minors. Velazquez has 15 HR and 12 SB in 57 games this season, creating some roto-room for error in terms of contact frequency.
Joey Wiemer’s outlook gets slightly brighter with the Brewers sending Lorenzo Cain to the waiver wire. He’s a speed and power play who’s likely to hurt your batting average but could break even there OBP leagues.
Power is not a problem for Orelvis Martinez, who is four years younger than the average league age but among the league leaders in home runs regardless, with 15. His .295 on base percentage might keep him at the level through this season and into next year, but that’s just fine. Still plenty of time to harness his hellacious bat speed.
Everson Pereira, Jose Ramos and Kahlil Watson are streaky, swing-and-miss, topside players for dynasty leagues. Pereira is running a lot more but hitting a lot less this season, Ramos seems safest of this group, and Watson is getting better outcomes over the last week but still refusing to take his walks.
Kind of calling an eye-test, money-talks shot on Lazaro Montes, who hasn’t earned this spot on the field yet but looks like he’ll be a Top 50 type sooner than later, and he’s slugging .760 with three home runs through eight games in the Dominican Summer League.
Since May 1, Mark Vientos has struck out in 34.2 percent of his plate appearances. He’s also slashing .316/.396/.663 with 10 home runs over that 25-game stretch. He’s young enough for the level that you allow some grace for the swing-and-miss, but it’s fair to wonder if he’ll sink or swim when he’s dropped in the deep end.
99. C Brian Serven | Rockies | 27 | MLB | 2022
100. SS Jacob Amaya | Dodgers | AA | 23 | 2023
If I had to bet on one prospect that might bother people from this set, it’d be Brian Serven. Heck, it kinda bothers me, but as I go looking for names to take his place, I can’t ignore what he’s done so far and what he could do the rest of the way. In 41 games between AAA and MLB this season, Serven has eight home runs, 26 strikeouts and 21 walks. Is he ever going to make a Top 50? Probably not. Should he be rostered right now in just about every fantasy league as the starting catcher for the Colorado Rockies? Yeah I think he should. We’re headed into the warmer months when the ball really flies in Coors, and he’s a tough out with a track record of success. The age is perfect for a catcher coming into his own on offense.
I discussed Jacob Amaya in this Wednesday’s article Prospect News: Amaya’s Alive or Jonah Bride of Frankenstein.
Here’s what I said then:
“Dodgers SS Jacob Amaya (23) earned a promotion to AAA this week despite a tough slump at the AA level, where he slashed .136/.250/.152 over his final 17 games. Strikeout (15.8%) and walk (13.2%) rates were still plus over that stretch, so it’s kind of fun to see him get promoted due to process rather than results. I like it.”
In his first two games at AAA, Amaya went 0-for-6. In his next and most recent two games, he went 5-for-9 with two home runs and nine RBI. Plenty of players on this list with better upside than Amaya, but he’s well situated to bring near-term value to our fantasy squads, be that this season or next.
Thanks for reading!
I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.
Hey Itch, great stuff! I have a prospect draft at the all star break, and I do well leaning on your rankings. I’m curious if you would recommend any international prospects or elite players likely to be posted from Japan? We only draft 3 each year, so I’m not looking to slow-play a 17 year old.
Any word on Heriberto Hernandez???
I can drop him for Jackson Chourio….. yes or no?
I still like Heriberto, but he’s striking out a lot, and Tampa’s gonna Tampa that timeline.
Hey Itch! I’m excited to see Carroll at #1, as I kept him as one of my few prospect keepers based on your advice.
I just read an article saying that there should be some skepticism based on his home/road splits, since his home park has one of the highest elevations in MiLB. What are your thoughts on that?
and Meh, is basically my home-road splits feeling.
Carroll has been top ten for me across several ballparks at this point.
I sort of talked myself out of Alek Thomas due to Arizona’s developmental park structure and wouldn’t want to repeat the mistake with an even more talented player.
Serven or Cal Raleigh rest of season (std 12 team weekly roto)?
Feels like a coin toss given Raleigh’s power burst, but I’ll take Coors.
Thanks Itch….. who do you like better long term, Carroll or Chourio? Thanks
Great series! Wondering what you think of Jordan Groshans-has his star faded a bit?
Groshans has been trading power for contact in extreme but interesting ways the past few seasons. It might be a reflection of what Toronto prizes as an organization. I’ve never liked his swing, for what it’s worth. It’s not that hard for him to hit a lot of different pitch types at different velocities, which is good, but he has this late hitch that makes him defensive and right-field focused.
It’s always been this weird double-trigger that works differently for his hands and his base. Struggles to lineup the leg kick with an explosive torque mechanism. Has never really developed an explosive torque mechanism.
Super 100 prospect series.
Question…a while back you told us in dynasty leagues to grab Bryan Ramos if we were able, and I love what I see from him, didn’t make the 100 though.
Safe to assume then that you like Luisangel Acuña over Ramos?
Is it close?
Thanks for all your knowledge!
P.S. I also grabbed Enmanuel Valdez…amazing call!
Hey Steamin Beamin,
Yes on Acuña v Ramos. Yes it’s close.
PS: Nice! Feels like he’s already about a half-step away for his first MLB opportunity.
Oh and on Ramos . . . he was right there for the final cut. Could swap him in for Montes if you’re not feeling especially patient and don’t make many trades. He’s racing his way up. Doesn’t figure to help in steals, but always nice to have a young-for-level hit+power bat.
Great work, always looking forward to your articles. I need to drop one, Vaughn Grissom or Alex Ramirez. I know Grissom is higher but considering Ramirez has been a fast riser it Hines me pause to drop him.
Which way would you go?
Also, what are your thoughts on Adael Amador. He is available on my league.
And thanks for the kind words!
I’ll take Grissom by quite a ways. I think he’s mid-leap right now, slashing .333/.398/.559 with 5 HR and 8 SB over his last 22 games, learning to pull-and-smash while maintaining his incredible plate skills.
I’m surprised he’s not in AA right now, but Atlanta has an incredible track record of developing hitters.
Happy Father’s Day, Itch, and anyone who’s reading this and is daddy!
U 2 Gray!
mfer said “is daddy” lol
I is daddy! Thanks, Grey!!
Wow Kirby over Baz? I’m surprised.
Also who makes the bigger bang in a 6×6 (OBP- 2b/3b), in 2023 between Carrol or walker ?
How many AB’s do you think for each next year
At the time of that Top 25, we hadn’t seen Baz get back to where he once belonged quite yet. I’d probably switch em today.
Carroll. About 500 at bats for him. Fewer for Walker. Maybe 250.
Hey Itch, top drawer read as usual Itch, your depth and detail is the best in the biz!
In a 6 player keeper, weekly, 12 team (ESPN roto) with 6 player benches, I often find myself with an open roster spot at the end of my bench. My philosophy has always been rather than roster a dude who makes me yawn, I look for an exciting, potentially difference making prospect. If I have to drop said prospect for need later I do, but this philosophy has netted me keepers over the years such as Acuna, Witt Jr, Tatis, Tucker, Robert etc. … some decent guys;)
Currently, I’m rostering Corbin Carroll (stash … potentially my Bobby Witt next year!!) and MJ (starting catcher). I’m looking for a name or two of who you think has the most upside to contribute in the second half of the year. I’m looking for a potential difference maker. If they bust (or don’t get the call) no big deal. The following players from your top 75 are already rostered: Carroll, Cruz, Abrams, Greene, Kirby, Baz, MJ, Adley, Pasquantino, Morel, Alek Thomas, Nolan Gorman, Hunter Greene, Michael Harris, Camilo Doval, Gabriel Moreno, Juan Yepez.
Any ‘difference making’ names popping in your head? Thanks as always for the great content!
Thanks, Dr Sauce!
Totally agree with your approach in that format.
Did Luis Garcia get added when he got the shortstop job in Washington?
Gavin Stone is a priority add for me wherever I need pitching.
Gunnar Henderson could be a surprise call-up. He just got promoted to AAA and has played well through eight games there . . . as a 20-year-old. He’s the add in OBP leagues for sure. Could be a top 5 type next year if he doesn’t get promoted down the stretch. I’m guessing he won’t bc Baltimore, but a .480 OBP in AAA much longer could force that issue.
Suprisingly, Luis Garcia was just dropped. Zeke Duran just dropped as well. Currently have Rodgers at 2b, you taking Garcia or Duran over Rodgers rest of season?
How about E. Ruiz? Or Vargas?
Happy Father’s Day!!!!.., the Red Sox should say ” No Mas” to the Jacky Bradley Experience and give Duran the CF job till the end of season.., Team is going nowhere with that pitching staff……
Happy Father’s Day to you too!!
I agree that Duran has earned some time. Wouldn’t even have to be JBJ. Verdugo has a .283 OBP.
On the bright side, pitching-wise, they could have Bello, Winckowski and Sale helping out pretty soon.
Pratto falls out of the top 100? Where would you see him land? Thanks!
Hmm, good question.
150 range or so.
Happy Father’s day!
Thanks joe shmoe!
Happy Father’s Day to you and yours as well!!
Solid piece, as always. Thanks Itch and have a great Sunday.
a. Love this list, so awesome!
b. Tiedeman has me really intrigued. Who’s the drop for him in this 4×4, dynasty keep forever league?
Walsh, Arozarena, CJoe, SMarte, Arcia
Bench – Tellez, Brujan, Lane Thomas, Yastrzemski
IL – Schwindel, Evan White, Betts, Olivares
MiLB – Harris, ERuiz, Walker, Acuna, Arias, Tovar, Butler, Cowser, JLowe, Wiemer
SP – Manoah, Cease, Contreras, Cueto, Gonsolin, Kopech, Ryan, Winckowski, KutterCrawford
RP – Houck, Doval, Iglesias, Jax, Montero, Robertson, Schreiber, JLopez
IL – Lodolo, Musgrove, Paxton, Giles, Hendriks, Whitlock
MiLB – WFlores, Hoffmann, EuryP, Walston, LoganTAllen
I’m leaning Kutter, then I can move Tiedeman to the MiLB in a corresponding move as soon as someone gets called up. It would be awesome if that someone was Cowser, my eyes would water like a proud father watching their child go to MLB, even for 1 day. Would you drop anyone from the MiLB roster (15/15) to add Tiedeman there?
c. George Carlin quote of the day for June 19, 2022
‘He – and if there is a God, I am convinced he is a he, because no woman could or would ever fuck things up this badly.’
b. Yeah he’s grabbing mind-share by the fistful at the moment.
I’d cut Kutter for Tiedemann.
c. Quite the choice for Father’s Day : )
It was random, but being the emancipated man I am…
Thanks for the tip, Tiedemann added over Kutter.
Happy father’s Day to you.
I love reading your stuff! Thank you! What are your thoughts on Max Castillo? His numbers this year are great, now he was called up! Does Pegurero stick?
Impressive K-rate jump this season from Castillo. I’ll have to dig in to see where that’s coming from. Toronto also brought up Casey Lawrence this weekend, but there’s opportunity here with Ryu out for the season. While I think Lawrence gets the first chance, there’s enough innings here for both of them throughout the season.
Gosh I wish I knew the answer RE Peguero. My first guess is No, but Pittsburgh has been unpredictable with prospects for a few seasons now.
You ranked Chourio on his own island. Everyone wants that next stud or top overall prospect. I am no different as I own him in one league. Do you have any favorites who you strongly feel can make that kind of ascent? Thanks
Tiedemann is climbing as fast as anyone we’ve seen in recent years on the pitching side.
I like Alex Ramirez and Lazaro Montes for fastest/highest potential risers on this list.
Hey Itch, I have a question after reviewing your updated rankings. I am in one league that isn’t quite a full dynasty and I can only keep a handful of prospects (5). Matos and Marte fell in your rankings. Would you hold the course with them or would you replace one of them with Crow? Matos got off to a slow start and then got hurt. Marte just really hasn’t taken the next step. These guys were all ranked much higher a few months ago. I don’t want to bail too early and regret it. I also don’t want to miss out on a potential upgrade or player that is more likely to hit his ceiling. Thanks
Totally get the reticence to make the move. A lot of people who rank these guys provide a huge margin for errors for names they already know, creating more grace period for a guy like Marte, but Crow-Armstrong has similar name value and looks like the better prospect right now. I would replace Marte with Crow-Armstrong but would hold Matos.