For your viewing and thinking pleasure, I have arranged a list of top 25 prospects for fantasy baseball. It’s just a snapshot, subject to change after the hustle and bustle of Fall, but I had a lot of fun working through the scenarios. Would I trade Gavin Lux for Jo Adell? I’m not sure. Would depend on that build in that moment. But I am sure I’d lose some sleep over it because I already have.
Franco is an impossible player. He shouldn’t exist. Scares me to think he’s about to turn it up a level: add some loft and increase his success rate on stolen base attempts, which will make him want to run more. Only a mythical creature like Wander Franco could keep a five-category Cthulhu like Luis Robert from taking the number one spot.
3. Vidal Brujan | 2B | Rays
4. Gavin Lux | SS | Dodgers
5. Jarred Kelenic | OF | Mariners
6. Jo Adell | OF | Angels
7. Kristian Robinson | OF | Diamondbacks
8. Marco Luciano | SS | Giants
9. C.J. Abrams | SS | Padres
One check point for me in the top group is speed. Don’t have it, you’re out. Another is whether I think the player would be a likely number one pick in his age-appropriate draft year(s) if said draft were run (or rerun) today. It’s kind of a silly mechanism but also one I hope (and think) is fairly easy (and fun) to get a feel for (or try to anyway). These all feel like foundation pieces to a dynasty build.
10. Julio Rodriguez | OF | Mariners
11. MacKenzie Gore | LHP | Padres
12. Dylan Carlson | OF | Cardinals
13. Royce Lewis | OF | Twins
14. Xavier Edwards | 2B | Padres
15. Andrew Vaughn | 1B | White Sox
16. Oneil Cruz | SS | Pirates
17. Brennen Davis | OF | Cubs
Julio Rodriguez is here because he hits so much it sets him apart whether he steals or not. Even so, he’s always been so young for his level that he might run a little when that evens out, a la Dylan Carlson.
I’m going to like Gore late in 2020 draft champions leagues because I think he’ll get 80 plus MLB innings.
I moved Lewis around more than anyone on this list. Was in the mid-20s at one point, but I decided it’s probably just the leg kick messing with his timing. Not the easiest adjustment but certainly something he could tweak to his advantage sooner than later. I like this Baldelli group in Minnesota. Still on team patience equals cash money.
Edwards is unlikely to add power. Maybe you’ve heard. But what if? Or how much? And when do they change the ball? And does it even matter if he steals 40 bases and hits 300 with a 400 OBP? I don’t think it does and almost put Weapon X in the top ten.
Vaughn brings shine to a 1B landscape seeking sluggers. Cruz might have highest topside in the minors and brings the exit velocities to prove it.
Fans have been critical of Theo Epstein, but he should get full marks for the 2018 draft haul, and especially for how the club developed Nico Hoerner and Brennen Davis, with whom they’ve been perfectly aggressive.
18. Alex Kirilloff | OF | Twins
19. Sean Murphy | C | Athletics
20. Carter Kieboom | SS | Nationals
21. Adley Rutschman | C | Orioles
22. Dustin May | RHP | Dodgers
23. Jesus Luzardo | LHP | Athletics
24. Jazz Chisholm | SS | Marlins
25. Jasson Dominguez | OF | Yankees
Kiriloff didn’t transcend the sport this season like some expected but still looks more can’t-miss than missed-the-bus.
Murphy is either scary hot or just plain scary. Probably a combination. Playoff heat could boost sticker price such that Murph gets traded a lot over the cold winter of dynasty baseball. Rutschman might be the better long-term asset, but I’ll take the near-term bounce potential and now-production of Murphy, at least until Adley gets a chance. I feel like catchers have to prove it at the MLB level before anyone cares a whole lot, and even then, people might not care a whole lot. I get it, but I think this is a zag moment in most two-catcher leagues: there’s profit to be made at catcher.
Kieboom won’t dislodge Trea Turner from shortstop but could wind up a good big league second baseman. Trouble with that is second base is now a catcher in the rye for mashers with just enough hand-eye to fake it ‘til they make the plays, now that range is mitigated by analytics. Kieboom may never be above average in a fantasy world where Muncies, Hiuras, and McMahons are popping up on the regular. Unless, that is, he finds some stolen bases in his game. Wouldn’t take much. 10-15 can make all the difference these days.
May pitches for the Dodgers and throws a 98 mile-per-hour heater from hell that means to go back home even if it has to dig through half the planet. May is Thor throwing sinkers. Not Mets Thor. Not Hemsworth Thor. Actual. Bleeping. Thor.
Not really. That would be ludicrous. May does limit home runs though.
BECAUSE HE THROWS ACTUAL LIGHTNING!!
Luzardo might be better than May on a per-inning basis, especially in strike-outs, but his shoulder issues complicate the valuation. A hot playoff stretch would impact how the masses perceive Jesus.
Feels like a Buy window for Jazz popped open when the Marlins got him. He’s hit well enough with their AA affiliate that he might’ve already closed it.
Dominguez is a top-tier upside play, worthy of the shot on five-tool upside and confidence in the market getting him to 5 million–a big figure on the international front.