Juan Soto & Austin Meadows: Two of the league’s highest touted minor leaguers, Juan Soto and Austin Meadows, were called up within days of each other this past week. Soto obviously was the biggest shocker as he is only 19 years old and had only played eight games in Double-A. Austin Meadows, however, was a bit more of a realistic call up as he is 23 and has been on the call-up radar for over a year now. Prospect lovers are going to freak out that I don’t have them ranked (yet!) in this column. Well the problem is they’re just a bit unknown. There are already reports that Meadows is going to go go back down as soon as Starling Marte is healthy again, despite Meadows crushing the ball in his first 29 ABs (6 runs, 13 hits, 3 HR, 2 SB, .448 AVG.) And Soto also has minor league options left on his contract so with Bryce Harper, Matt Adams and Michael Taylor still on the big league roster and Adam Eaton so slowly, but surely coming back soon — Soto might not be a Nat for long. Where would they rank if they were both given starting jobs for the rest of the season? Well despite the Soto surprise and hype — I like Meadows more. He was looking like a bat that might develop into a 20/20 hitter. His star has definitely dimmed since he was ranked as the #6 prospect before the 2017 season — but the potential is still there. Soto would only be ranked lower because of his age. It’s rare for a 19 year old with barely over 500 plate appearances to make the majors and positively contribute to their team. That’s why the minors exist in general. “Enough jibber and jabber — where Kerry, where?!” Due to their uncertainties I’d start them in the 70 to 80 range with a lot of upward mobility.
Eugenio Suarez: A wise man in the pre-season wrote that he’d rather draft Eugenio Suarez at his ADP (206) over Miguel Sano’s (100.) It was me Austin! It was me all along, Austin! Suarez right now is the 8th third basemen on the ESPN Player Rater and is actually 2nd only to Manny Machado among third basemen in RBI (40.) And that’s with 70 fewer ABs than Machado. Maybe the dizzying whispers of Nick Senzel have motivated Suarez to kick his performance into high gear.
Travis Shaw: I’ll admit I was a little skeptical of Travis Shaw going into this season. 31 HRs after only hitting 29 in the previous two seasons combined? Side eye alert! But so far Shaw is on pace with 13 HRs on the year. Shaw is actually 5th on the ESPN Player Rater among hot cornermen behind only Jose Ramirez, Machado, Nolan Arenado and Kris Bryant. He’s also 3rd in runs scored, 3rd in HRs and 4th in RBI among third basemen. I also expect as the weather warms up for the Brewers lineup to really heat up. Domingo Santana and Ryan Braun can’t stay this ice cold forever right?
Josh Donaldson: Get yourself down to Donaldson’s now! You know who’s not ranked among third basemen at any statistical category? Except in overall disappointment. Donaldson was nursing a shoulder injury during spring training and I think it’s still there. Not to mention there’s a certain minor leaguer lurking (and CRUSHING) in the minor leagues, just waiting for his turn to get the call. I’d look to trade Donaldson now to someone who still sees the name Donaldson and thinks he’s a great fantasy performer.
Anthony Rendon: Another third basemen who was has been struggling through injury. After a phenomenal 2017 people were predicting even more growth from the Nationals 28 year old star. Before Rendon went on the DL with a bruised/broken toe it looked like he was doing okay. He only had 1 HR through 14 games but was still hitting .286. Since his return he’s hit 3 more HRs, but has struggled with a .246 average. I think right now is a good time to buy low on Rendon if you can. He’s in the midst of a small, 4 game hitting streak including a three hit night on Friday.
GREEN: Rising | BLUE: New Additions | RED: Falling
Top 100 Hitters