I know, you thought it was going to be 100 prospects right? Well, it’s a good news/bad news thing. The good news is I will be ranking the Top 100 Prospects and beyond, however I will be doing them in increments of 50. So the bad news is you only get 4,000+ words and 50 prospects to read. Lets be honest, we are amongst friends here right? Even 4,000 words is at least two, if not three bathroom sessions. I know that’s when you read these, and I’m cool with it. Now that we’ve made assumptions about your bathroom reading habits, lets move along. As always, I’ve tried to balance the right now value of “close to the majors” prospects vs the high end talent. While also trying to be somewhat objective, and conscientious of the general consensus, which is important to trade value. That’s not to say I don’t go rouge and aggressively rank some players I like. Ahhh, who am I kidding it’s all personal bias. So here you go, dig in. The next 50 will drop on Wednesday at the stroke of midnight.
1. Ronald Acuna, OF Braves | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .325/.374/.522, 21 HR, 82 RBI, 44 Steals
The undisputed top prospect, unified heavyweight champion of the world!!!! The breaker of chains, the unburned, the bringer of power and speed, father of dragons, and all the other titles you can dream up. I’m in the midst of Justin Mason’s 2Early Mock Draft, and I snagged Acuna in the tenth. The prospectors loved it, and the redrafters called me names. I’m the 50 Cent of fantasy baseball, beefing with all comers, and making hit records. As for Acuna what else is there to say? His production has been historic, jumping from A+ all the way to AAA, never slowing down, always the best player at the level. Few minor leaguers have ever been as good as Acuna was in 2017. There’s a real chance Acuna is up by May 1st, but there’s an equal chance he’s in AAA for more than half the season. My rose colored glasses see his ETA on the early side. Currently playing in the Arizona Fall League. ETA: 2018
2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B Blue Jays | 2017 Level: A+ | 2017 Stats: .323/.425/.485, 13 HR, 76 RBI, 8 SB
Unquestionably one of the top 5 prospects in all of baseball, Vlad Jr.’s hype is about to reach mania type levels over the next 6 months. At just 18, the spawn of Vlad started flashing very real game power over the last few months. Advanced approach, more power to come, and the bloodlines, Vlad Jr. looks like a middle of the order masher in the making. The only real negative is the questions surrounding Guerrero’s future position. Will he stick at 3rd or settle in across the diamond at first? Some foresee a future in a corner outfield spot. Ultimately time will tell, doesn’t change his value much. ETA: 2020
3. Eloy Jimenez, OF White Sox | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .312/.379/.568, 19 HR, 65 RBI, 1 SB
The second superstar prospect traded by the Cubs in the last year, Jimenez went on a tear post trade hitting 11 homers in 34 games. We more than likely won’t see Eloy in the South Side until September of next year, but much of that depends upon what he does in the first half of 2018. We’ve seen what Devers has done his first month + in the bigs, and I imagine Eloy’s debut won’t be much different. He’s an elite power + contact hitter, and those are rare. ETA: 2019
4. Victor Robles, OF Nationals | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .300/.382/.493, 10 HR, 47 RBI, 27 SB
A late season callup totaled about 25 at bats, and not much to show for the 20 year old. Not a huge shock, as it was a bit of surprise that Robles even got the call in the first place. I’ve likened Robles to Starling Marte, and I think that’s a likely outcome, though there’s always the possibility Robles actually meets his ceiling of 30/30 stud. He’ll be patrolling the outfield for the Mesa Solar Sox in Arizona. ETA: 2018
5. Kyle Tucker, OF Astros | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .274/.346/.528, 25 HR, 83 RBI, 21 SB
Another power/speed talent playing at an advanced level at a very young age. Tucker was 20 for all of 2017, and after destroying the Carolina League saw promotion at the end of May to AA. He’s had his struggles there, but through it all has hit for power, driven in runs, and displayed dynamic offensive ability. He wore down a bit in August but that shouldn’t come as a surprise for a player so young. There’s more questions about the hit tool now than there were coming into the draft, but the power has already exceeded my expectations. Should see promotion at some time next summer. At peak I foresee a line of .280/.360/.520 with 30 homers, and 15-20 steals. ETA: 2019
6. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS Padres | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .278/.379/.498 22 HR, 75 RBI, 32 SB
Not since his father was a pretend Microsoft Paint artist have I been this jacked about a Tatis. He ranked 55th in my Mid-season prospect list, but has done nothing but hit for power, steal bases, and shown ability far beyond his years. To me he’s the top offensive shortstop prospect in the minors hands down. The James Shields trade will be the Padres Herschel Walker. ETA: 2019
7. Gleyber Torres, SS Yankees | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .287/.383/.480 7 HR, 34 RBI, 7 SB
We’ve all forgotten about Gleyber haven’t we? The man was on a rocket ship to the Bronx before a freak injury sliding into home plate ended his season. With TJ on his non-throwing elbow, it’s fair to question just how much this impacts Torres’ future offensive ability, particularly in the short term. I believe in the all around offensive skillset, and still think Torres has the upside of a superstar, even if he doesn’t have a standout category. ETA: 2018
8. Michael Kopech, RHP White Sox | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: 9-8, 134.1 IP, 2.88 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 172 K, 65 Bb
The flamethrowing righty acquired in the Chris Sale deal has taken a major step forward with the command of his secondaries (slider and change), and the results have reached elite levels. He was solid in his AAA debut late in the season, and looks to be on the radar for a summer 2018 callup to the Southside. My biggest concern with Kopech is health, but that’s mostly based on his insane triple digit velocity. Great competitor, elite stuff, inning eater’s build. ETA: 2018
9. Nick Senzel, 3B Reds | 2017 Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .321/.391/.514, 14 HR, 65 RBI, 14 SB
While Senzel’s ceiling is far lower than Vlad Jr’s, his floor is as high as anyone. The former 2nd overall pick is as ready made for an everyday role in the majors as any prospect. He’s shown the ability to hit for average, get on base, and provide moderate power, that might play up in Great American Ballpark. My expectations for production are very similar to that of Alex Bregman. Very good across the board player, but his greatest strengths lie within his hit tool. He was shut down for the remainder of the season with a bout of vertigo. I could see how that might limit one’s ability to hit a baseball. Cust Kayin. ETA: 2018
10. Willie Calhoun, OF Rangers | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .300/.355/.572, 31 HR, 93 RBI, 4 SB
On the heels of his major league debut this September, Willie C cracks the top 10. Elite power and contact, not to mention, one of the more fun-loving personalities in baseball, it’s hard not to fall for the Rangers outfielder. Acquired for Yu Darvish, so there’s big expectations on Calhoun’s bat. I do think he has the ability to hit for 25+ homers while rarely striking out. ETA: 2018
11. Lewis Brinson, OF Brewers | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .331/.400/.562, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 11 SB
Despite phenomenal results in his two stints with AAA Colorado Springs, Brinson struggled mightily in each of his MLB callups. The elite contact, power, and speed skills are still there, so it’s too early to write him off, but a poor 2018 could drastically tank his prospect status. ETA: 2018
12. Brendan Rodgers, SS Rockies | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .336/.373/.567, 18 HR, 64 RBI, 2 SB
When it comes to natural hitting ability few are more blessed than Rodgers. Unfortunately, an overly aggressive plate approach limits some of this long term upside. If he can develop more patience in 2018 he might touch Colorado by the end of the season. ETA: 2019
13. Bo Bichette, SS Blue Jays | Level: A+ | 2017 Stats: .362/.423/.565, 14 HR, 74 RBI, 22 SB
One of the biggest risers since last year’s draft, Bichette in a year has gone to second round upside pick, to a legit top 20 prospect. There’s some questions around his swing mechanics, but elite bat speed masks much of that at the moment. ETA: 2019
14. Ryan McMahon, 3B Rockies | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .355/.403/.583, 20 HR, 88 RBI, 11 SB
The biggest helium rebound of 2017, Mcmahon wet from Top 50 prospect entering 2016, to well outside the top 50 on every list entering this season. An improved approach, versatility in the field, and plus power make McMahon a redraft sleeper in 2018. That’s if the Rockies play him. ETA: 2018
15. Brent Honeywell, RHP Rays | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: 13-9 , 136.2 IP, 3.49 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 172 K, 35 Bb
“Honey Bear”, is the classic pitching prospect that rankers fawn over for 5 sentences before calling him a “future number 3 starter”. BTW, that’s just them sitting on the fence. Honeywell’s upside is as high as any pitching prospect in recent memory. His arsenal is deep with 6 offerings, velocity, movement, control, clean mechanics, and feel to pitch. He’s exceeded 120 innings in each of his three full minor league seasons too. So there’s a track record of health. Future number three starter is the floor, the ceiling is wizard. ETA: 2018
16. Taylor Trammell, OF Reds | Level: A | 2017 Stats: .281/.368/.450, 13 HR, 77 RBI, 41 SB
Let’s say I’m the type of prospector that always has a new young honey on my arm. I’m kind of like the guy that actresses date before they become uber-famous. Wilmer Valderrama? Ralpmer Shitzerrama? Well either way, if Acuna, Rhys, and Bellinger were last year’s Lohan, Demi Lovato, and Mandy Moore, then Trammell is 2018’s version. Elite athleticism, power, advanced approach, and plus plus speed make Trammell a 5 category superstar in the making. ETA: 2020
17. Francisco Mejia, C Indians | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .297/.346/.490, 14 HR, 52 RBI, 7 SB
The only catching prospect worth going out of your way for. In fact he’s the best catching prospect since Gary Sanchez, and in all fairness, he’s way more hyped than Sanchez was. Might see Cleveland next year, but is likely a year or more away from a true impact. Contact first switch hitter, developing real power. ETA: 2018
18. Alex Reyes, RHP Cardinals | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: Injured Missed Season
What we get from Reyes is one of the more interesting question marks of the 2018 pre-season. He was on the edge of must own in redraft before an unfortunate Tommy John surgery. Reyes might take some time to rebound, but a difference maker in the second half seems very likely. ETA: 2018
19. Luis Robert, OF White Sox | Level: Rk | 2017 Stats: .310/.491/.536, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 12 SB
He was the last of the 8 figure international signees, and he offers one of the more intriguing profiles in fantasy. In many ways a classic 5 tool Cuban bat, with power, speed, approach, and some question marks. ETA: 2020
20. Austin Hays, OF Orioles | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .329/.365/.593, 32 HR, 95 RBI, 5 SB
No member of the Top 100 was less on the radar entering 2017, but those days are long gone. Following a late season callup, Hays showed the power and contact profile that might make him a fixture in the Orioles lineup for most of the next decade. His skillset plays perfectly to Camden, and Baltimore’s power over everything approach. ETA: 2018
21. Royce Lewis, SS Twins | Level: A | 2017 Stats: .279/.381/.407, 4 HR, 27 RBI, 18 SB
Never have I been more upset about a prospects height, Royce is 6’2, and that does not roll off the tongue the same as if he was 5’9. Then again “Royce the 6’2” is still worlds better than any nickname a player with the last name Rodriguez has. The top overall pick in the 2017 draft brings 5 tools to the table at a premium position. ETA: 2020
22. Scott Kingery 2B, Phillies | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .304/.359/.503, 26 HR, 65 RBI, 29 SB
The latest in a bumper crop for the Reading darlings over the past few years. The flyballs jumped in Reading, and then those transformed to line drives in Lehigh Valley. Kingery offers 20/20 upside with stable batting average. No split issues, hits for more power vs. lefties. ETA: 2018
23. Anthony Alford, OF Blue Jays | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .299/.390/.406, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 19 SB
If only Alford could stay healthy for a full season. There’s few prospects with a higher upside, though for a player ranked this highly he comes with a fair amount of risk. There’s no question Alford can hit, get on base, and steal 25+ bags. The question is; how much power is there? ETA: 2018
24. Juan Soto, OF Nationals | Level: A+ | 2017 Stats: .351/.415/.505, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 1 SB
Power hitting lefty bat with middle of the order upside. It was a lost year for Soto, who missed time with an ankle fracture that kept him on the shelf until July, before returning, and sustaining a hamate injury. Soto returned the last week of the season playing in a handful of games. ETA: 2020
25. Forrest Whitley, RHP Astros | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: 5-4, 92.1 IP, 2.83 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 143 K, 34 Bb
A five pitch arsenal, whiff inducing ability, above average control, and big tilt on his fastball, make Whitley one of the most sought after arms in dynasty leagues. A big jumper from the beginning of the season, Whitley is on track to be the top pitching prospect in the game by August of 2018. ETA: 2019
26. Walker Buehler, RHP Dodgers | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: 3-3 , 88.2 IP, 3.35 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 125 K, 31 Bb
Don’t read too much into the struggles in his late season callup, Buehler has the ability to pair four above average or better offerings with above average control. The upside is top of the rotation starter if he can stay healthy. ETA: 2018
27. Austin Meadows, OF Pirates | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .261/.323/.384, 5 HR, 46 RBI, 11 SB
It was a lost year for the Pirates top prospect, what seemed like a can’t miss fantasy star is now a little murkier. I’m not ready to write off Meadows, but he no longer deserves a spot in the top 25. If he can get back on track he offers true five category impact. ETA: 2018
28. Triston McKenzie, RHP Indians | Level: A+ | 2017 Stats: 12-6, 143 IP, 3.46 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 186 K, 45 Bb
One of my absolute favorite pitching prospects in the game, and an arm I want to own everywhere. What McKenzie lacks in frame he makes up for with length and athleticism. Wait, did I just describe every small forward that can’t shoot? Oops, wrong sport! “Sticks” misses bats, limits hard contact, and eats innings. Oh, and he’s only 20. ETA: 2019
29. Harrison Bader, OF Cardinals | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .283/.347/.469, 20 HR, 55 RBI, 15 SB
More than likely Bader will surpass his rookie limits in the first half of next year. My hope is the Cardinals do Bader a solid and trade him to a place he can start opening day. Because, make no mistake, he is ready. Bader’s fatal flaw is his lack of power vs righthanders, which could see him on the weak side of the platoon early in his career. ETA: 2018
30. Michel Baez, RHP Padres | Level: A | 2017 Stats: 7-2, 63.2 IP, 2.54 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 89 K, 10 Bb
The 6’8 Cuban burst onto the scene this season firing a high 90’s heater with tilt, a plus plus changeup, and an above average curveball (some call it a slider). He misses bats in bunches, and could jump two to three levels over the course of 2018. Another up and coming arm I need to own. ETA: 2019
31. Mackenzie Gore, LHP Padres | Level: Rk | 2017 Stats: 0-1, 21.1 IP, 1.27 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 34 K, 7 Bb
The third overall pick in the draft might arguably be the better prospect between he and fellow superstar hurler Hunter Greene. A lefty with an arsenal of four above average or better pitches, a prototype frame, and great athleticism that allows him to repeat his off the wall mechanics. Gore dominated rookie ball, and could be one of the more hyped pitching prospects of all time when he finally reaches the bigs. Elite talent. ETA: 2020
32. Hunter Greene, RHP Reds | Level: RK | 2017 Stats: 0-1, 4.1 IP, 12.46 ERA, 2.08 WHIP, 6 K, 1 Bb
The most discussed player from last June’s draft, Greene played mostly as a position player in his pro debut, but has pitched more in fall instructs. So far the results haven’t been good. He mixes a fastball that can touch 100, with two breaking balls that look more average to fringe at the moment. ETA: 2020
33. Alex Verdugo, OF Dodgers | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .314/.389/.436, 6 HR, 62 RBI, 9 SB
There’s just some players that the best way to describe their skillset is “they’re just good at baseball”. I know, deep analysis, but really there’s few players that bring a better understanding of hitting, running, and defense. He looks like a future batting title contender as currently constituted, but could tap into more of his raw power as he matures. A part of the Dodgers future top of the order with Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager. His splits are identical vs. righties and lefties. ETA: 2018
34. Kyle Lewis, OF Mariners | Level: A+ | 2017 Stats: .257/.329/.412, 7 HR, 31 RBI, 3 SB
Currently teaming with Ronald Acuna in the Peoria Javelinas outfield of the Arizona Fall League, Lewis has endured a trying start to his pro career. Limited to just 77 games due to a catastrophic knee injury in his pro debut. The 2016 first rounder, battled through rust, as well as aches and pains throughout 2017. His season ended on a high note however, as he slashed .393/.414/.607 in 6 playoffs games to lead Modesto to the Cal League crown. When healthy Lewis shows middle of the order upside. ETA: 2019
35. Christin Stewart, OF Tigers | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .256/.335/.501, 28 HR, 86 RBI, 3 SB
The king of the three outcome bats on this list, Stewart has 30 home run hitter written all over him, but that might be his penchant for redundant tattoos. He’s hit 58 homers over the last two seasons, and looks like the first of the Tigers up and coming core to reach the show. ETA: 2018
36. Sixto Sanchez, RHP Phillies | Level: A+ | 2017 Stats: 5-7, 95 IP, 3.03 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 84 K, 18 Bb
One of the buzziest prospects over the last year, Sixto’s got so much helium he makes dogs bark when he talks. Blessed with a plus plus fastball that touches 100, Sanchez mixes a slider, curve, and changeup, with plus control and command. He struggled upon promotion to Clearwater of the Florida State League, but he was quite young for the level. Future superstar upside. Some compare him to Pedro, but I came up in the game in Boston in the late 90’s. We don’t throw those comps out. ETA: 2020
37. Estevan Florial, OF Yankees | Level: A+ | 2017 Stats: .298/.372/.479, 13 HR, 57 RBI, 23 SB
The Prince of Port Au, Florial is the best thing to come out of Haiti since Toussaint Louverture. He mixes an elite power/speed mix with an above average hit tool. Florial has the upside of a 25/25 fantasy superstar, and could see his prospect status explode over the next year. He strikes out too much, which will likely limit his upside, but Florial has consistently put up double digit walk rates. ETA: 2020
38. Jahmai Jones, OF Angels | Level: A+ | 2017 Stats: .282/.348/.446, 14 HR, 47 RBI, 27 SB
A talented former Georgia prep star, Jones combines plus power and speed with a polished hit tool. One of the first pieces of an Angels system that’s slowly built itself into respectable territory over the last few years. Jones has the ability to develop into a 20/20 talent with a good batting average. ETA: 2019
39. Jo Adell, OF Angels | Level: Rk | 2017 Stats: .325/.376/.532, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 8 SB
Quite possibly my favorite bat in the 2017 draft, Adell came into pro ball with lots of hit tool question marks, but quickly silenced critics with sub 25% k rates and solid walk rates across two levels of rookie ball. When was the last time the Angels had two specs in the top 50? ETA: 2020
40. J.P. Crawford, SS Phillies | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .243/.351/.403, 15 HR, 63 RBI, 5 SB
It was a tale of two halves for Crawford as he slashed .203/321/.276 in the first half. However, a one week sabbatical in late June proved to be just what the doctor ordered. As Crawford slashed .280/.381/.522, hitting 13 of his 15 homers over that period. J.P. pairs elite on base ability with average power, and an above average contact hitting. Once Freddy Galvis is traded to chase his ironman streak elsewhere, Crawford should be the Phillies everyday shortstop for a decade. ETA: 2018
41. Kolby Allard, LHP Braves | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: 8-11, 150 IP, 3.18 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 129 K, 45 Bb
I love the curveball okay! This is certainly a rank that will get some debate, but I’ve been encouraged by Allard’s performance following an aggressive assignment, and his ability to eat innings following injury concerns as an amateur. ETA: 2019
42. Kevin Maitan, SS Braves | Level: Rk | 2017 Stats: .241/.290/.340, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 2 SB
Let’s try and keep in mind how young Maitan is, before getting too worked up over his numbers. As I’ve been saying for a few months, if Maitan was American he’d be a senior in high school. The profile should be well known, an elite power prospect that draws comparisons to hall of fame talents. My biggest question about Maitan’s future is does he remain a Brave following the John Coppolella story. ETA: 2021
43. Leody Taveras, OF Rangers | Level: A | 2017 Stats: .249/.312/.360, 8 HR, 50 RBI, 20 SB
Another ignore the production, focus on the talent type. Leody has 20/20 upside, and the ability to be a superstar on both sides of the ball. Handled an aggressive full season assignment well this year for an 18 year old (he turned 19 in September). ETA: 2020
44. Tyler O’Neill, OF Cardinals | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .246/.321/.499, 31 HR, 95 RBI, 14 SB
Outside of my wife, children, and Halp, Tyler O’Neill is one of the few true loves in my life. I was extremely aggressive in ranking O’Neill coming into the season. Despite a poor start to the year, and mid-season trade, O’Neill still finished with respectable totals of 31 homers, 95 RBI, and a .499 slugging. There’s serious swing and miss to his game but also 70 grade raw power. ETA: 2018
45. Michael Chavis, 3B Red Sox | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .282/.347/.563, 31 HR, 94 RBI, 2 SB
A big breakout year for Chavis, saw the 3rd baseman tap into more of his raw power, while maintaining respectable walks rates and strikeout rates across a few levels. He’s been working at first base in the Arizona Fall League, signaling he may factor into the Red Sox long term plans. ETA: 2019
46. Luiz Gohara, LHP Braves | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: 7-4, 123.2 IP, 2.62 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 147 K, 44 Bb
The big lefty acquired from the Mariners for Mallex Smith and Shae Simmons. No, that’s a real trade. Just another example of Jerry DiPoto making great trades. Never should have complemented that guy. I’d totally boot him from Razz30. He mixes an upper-90’s fastball, with a nasty slider, as well as a solid changeup. He made his major league debut this year, and was far better than his numbers indicate. ETA: 2018
47. A.J. Puk, LHP Athletics | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: 6-10 , 125 IP, 4.03 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 184 K, 48 Bb
I bet the Phillies wish they could get this one back, Puk has shown his elite stuff throughout his first full year of professional ball. Despite struggling with his control at times, Puk was effective to both sides of the plate, compiling a 13.2 K/9, and a .227 BAA across high A and AA. ETA: 2019
48. Bobby Bradley, 1B Indians | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .251/.331/.466 23 HR, 89 RBI, 3 SB
Despite contact issues coming into 2017, Bradley did well to drop his strikeout rate to an acceptable 22%, while maintaining a 10% Bb%. Rather impressive for a player who was 20 coming into the season, and spent the whole year at the AA level. It’s not his OBP that puts him in the top 50, it’s his light tower power, and potential 40 homer ceiling. ETA: 2019
49. Yordan Alvarez, 1B/OF Astros | Level: A+ | 2017 Stats: .304/.379/.481 12 HR, 69 RBI, 8 SB
The talented 20 year old, with the powerful lefthanded swing, burst onto the scene putting up monster numbers in the Midwest League with the Astros affiliate Quad Cities. He hit upon promotion to high A Buies Creek, but struggled for stretches following. His K% improved at high A, but he walked less, and didn’t get to his power with the same frequency. I’m willing to dismiss it, as he was young for the level. Make no mistake about it, Alvarez is one of the top power bats in the minors. ETA: 2019
50. Mike Soroka, RHP Braves | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: 11-8, 154 IP, 2.75 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 125 K, 34 Bb
The classic unexciting, but polished pitching prospect, Soroka often gets overlooked for some of the flashier arms in the Braves system, but he might be the best pitcher. Clean mechanics, excellent command, control, and feel, Soroka has it all. He features a low 90’s fastball, plus slider, above average changeup, and average curveball. Soroka mixes speeds very well, and keeps hitters off balance by working the entire zone with all of his offerings. Ready made number three starter at 20. The question is how high is the upside? ETA: 2019
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I just checked the Dominican League roster to see if any of my players was playing over there and found only one, SS/3B Christian Arroyo of the Giants, but I found three of the top guys on this list are playing there and one is of to a hot start, OF Eloy Jimenez is 5 for 9 with a HR and 5 RBIs in his first two games, also playing is OF Vlad Guerrero Jr. and SS Fernando Tatis Jr. I may have missed others because I don’t follow the AL too much.
One other player caught my eyes, 3B Jung Ho Kang the Pirates 3B who missed the whole year with legal problems on his country.
Vlad Jr. is a 3B, his father was the OF.
@Jose: Yeah I saw that pretty funny on Kang.
Did you see Vlad Jr’s celebration on his triple the other night?
@Ralph Lifshitz: No I just checked their stats list, separated by teams.
I also have Matz and I definitely am NOT keeping him, I am either trading him or dropping him, he is too injury prone and I have had it with him.
I am fortunate that I am deep on pitching now, but earlier this year I lost Matz, Miller (TJ), Reyes (TJ) and Urias (shoulder surgery). I am going to Keep Kersha, Scherzer, Gio, T. Walker and Lamet, with Reyes, Buehler and Urias coming on later between late April and June.
I know he is not a prospect anymore, but what is you opinion of Dinelso Lamet? He is going to hold the fort until Reyes is ready, hopefully.
@Jose: Love his fastball/slider combo + home park factor. I like Lamet, but you need to expect some hiccups.
Love your lists and your work through the year. Thank you!
I am in points league where high end SP is worth a premium. Was offered Luis Castillo for Brendan Rodgers.
Crazy to pull the trgger?
@Jamie: Can you keep Castillo? I’m in a league like that, and if I could keep Castillo for two years, without having to keep a similarly valued player I would.
Yes we have 13 keepers… i’d be trading a minor league keeper in rodgers, for a major league keeper in Castillo (castillo would take Jordan Montgomery’s spot)
I would have Castillo for 5 more years….
@Jamie: Yeah, I’d take that chance if I felt it put me in position for next year. I’d want a late pick or something to make me a little more comfortable trading away a top talent.
I’m currently holding onto Anderson Espinoza, SP SD, Adrian Morejon, SP SD, Yadier Alavarez, SP LAD, Reynaldo Lopez, SP CWS and Sal Romano, SP CIN in the pitching department, and have Corey Ray, OF MI, Derek Fisher, LF HOU as batters.
Who should I drop to acquire Trammell and Baez, as both are available? Are there any that should be dropped regardless as their profiles have dipped?
I also have Matz, Vince Velasquez, Zack Wheeler, and Erick Fedde on my DL. Should I be looking to carry any of them into 2018?
@Mavvy: If 2018 value means zero, I’d drop Romano and Lopez.
I’d hold on V2 and Matz, I don’t care for Wheeler, I certainly wouldn’t care to if talents like Baez and Trammell are available
No love for Chance Adams?
@Hawk: I have love, he’s in the next 50. I have him ranked 87 at the moment. He needed to add some polish to his pitchability and sequencing this year and I think he did. But I see him more as a good mid-rotation guy then a front of the rotation stud. All the guys ahead of him have more ceiling and miss more bats which is part of it.
He also gets a slight ding for pitching in the AL East and his home games at Yankee Stadium. I do like him though, just others more.
16 team dynasty league. we’re in the middle of our prospect draft. My current prospects are touki, kaprielian, tatis, yordan alvarez, and yusniel. Some of the best prospects still on the board are Hansen, pache, delvin perez, keibert ruiz, mitch white, wander javier, albertos, carter kieboom, monte harrison, adonis medina, austin beck, corbin burnes, alzolay, marsh, baz, erceg, pearson, bubba thompson, rooker, burger, seranthony, seuly matias, starling heredia, jhailyn ortiz
Big list, I know. I’m competing right now so odds are i’ll use any of these guys for trade bait so looking for helium and high upside. I’ve got 3 of the next 11 picks so i’d appreciate it if you could rank the top 5 or place some of the guys into tiers. Thanks!
@Brian: Alec Hansen, Ruiz, Heredia, Ortiz, Javier. Is how I would rank them.
Out of curiosity, where would someone like Seth Beer fall on this list? I understand he’s still in college, but I’m trying to decide if I want to get the jump on him before he is drafted and the hype gets too crazy.
@Claw dawg: He’s outside the top 100. The most recent Baseball America mock draft didn’t even have him in the first round. There’s better college bats, I like Greyson Jenista, Griffin Conine and Tristen Pompey better. He’s going to be underrated in real life lists due to the first base only tag. His value was higher a year ago.
Can I throw a few other college names at you …. Singer, McClanahan and Madrigal. Where do you think they would fall inside your top 100?
@RIP Dutch #10: One caveat: This is all if things go according to plan for all of them.
Singer looks like an elite college arm, so anywhere from 30-75 depending how good he is. The only knock I’ve heard is some mechanical stuff.
McClanahan is going to the Mets at 6, they drafted him out of high school. He’s had a TJ already too, so how Mets! He’d end up 70-100 conservatively.
Madrigal is a really good real life prospect yada, yada, yada, but Madrigal is going to have some of that Dansby Swanson stank. Meaning some people will buy the name, others won’t see a star. He’s got some speed, and gap to gap power, so much of his professional success, and fantasy value for that matter will be tied to his hit tool. That means, unless there’s a big jump in homers, he’s outside the top 100, but is a nice get in a deeper dynasty format (200 or more prospects owned).
Resident Gator fan here. Singer is legit. Should be top 5 pick & maybe number one overall. Great frame, fiery competitor, easy gas & everything he throws has wiffle ball type movement. He’s gonna have a big year this season…
@Manny: Let’s hope, I’ve seen very good talents from Florida ranked at the top of mock drafts for a couple years, and neither went #1. So many other factors. He looks like he might be the best of the bunch.
Hey Ralph! Nice list!
You seem to have JP Crawford in a decent position among your top 50 still? Does he have something in his bat that profiles as a fantasy baseball difference maker SS? Or is he rated there simply because he seems likely to be an everyday MLB player (which is hard to achieve in of itself and is quite an achievement, but he’s a better real-life every day regular, than fantasy producer)? Obviously there are many on this list (and maybe in the next 50?) that will not end up as MLB regulars, but have bigger fantasy upside if they do make it….at least that’s how I read it…
I guess I’d like to know if there is much hope that JP can be a much better fantasy producer than just a league average SS?
@Goldirocks: I think he can, and if you play in OBP leagues or OPS leagues he’s going to have top 5 SS years. He’s got a really elite approach in terms of K/BB, gets on base a ton, and due to those factors should also consistently maintain a strong batting average. I see him also getting a boost due to the counting stats at the top of an improving Phillies lineup. The big difference year over year, is he tapped into his power stroke in the second half slugging .500+. That part of his game is what will boost him from “well regarded, over-rated real life prospect” to “fantasy relevant bat”.
@Ralph Lifshitz: Also top 25 should be stars, top 50 all very good, and the last 50 should be good MLB players, I think the real boarderline guys are in my 101-200+
@Ralph Lifshitz: Thanks for the info!
Ralph! Good stuff as always.
@Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: Noise! Favorite type of apple? I had something called a Crimson Crisp yesterday, phenomenal.
@Ralph Lifshitz: Haha. Hmmm, I’m a basic apple kind of guy. I’m cool with a golden delicious or a Fuji.
@Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: Same here, but these Crimson Crisps were insane good.
Love the list!
I’m rebuilding my team in a dynasty league. Looking to sell Chris Archer and have received multiple offers, but 3 are standing out.
1. McMahon, Yadier Alvarez, Barreto
2. Trammel, Pache, Chisholm
3. Keibert Ruiz, Luis Urias, Dustin May
I’m leaning #1 but I absolutely love Trammel. I’m not concerned about position return right now, just best value. Which stands out to you?
@Steve Steverson: I think 1 is the best deal. Best mix of three, I sneaky like three too. My one hesitation on three is the top two pieces are a hit tool catcher and hit tool no power second baseman. I love both Ruiz and Urias, but it’s a tough call.
Love the site and all the prospect stuff!!
18 team dynasty league-hopefully not a boring/ambiguous question.
Ive put together a pretty good offense-with a mix of prospects and vets-Cespedes, Moose, Senzel, A Russell, Bird, D Travis, B Zimmer, K Tucker, Tatis, Conforto, McMahon, Verdugo, Soto. My pitching is a disaster-with only Keller, Sheffield, Neris and Soroka to speak of-and a bunch of crap. Knowing this would you take a Jack Flaherty or Austin Hays in our 1 round draft next week? Trying to compete in 2019 and pitching is incredibly difficult to acquire but Hays looks awesome.
@Johnny D: Thanks for reading, appreciate the kind words. Based on what you’ve described it sounds like Flaherty is the pick.
@Ralph Lifshitz: My brain turned on again…happens from time to time. Jack Flaherty or Luiz Gohara dynasty league 5×5.
@Johnny D: Look above! Lol, I love Gohara!
What is your opinion on Jessy Winker? He barely survived rookie status on my league and put up better numbers in the Majors than he did in AAA.
@Jose Hernandez: I don’t love him, I think the homers were lucky, but I guess you never know with a guy who’s so polished as a hitter. He’s outside my Top 100
@Ralph Lifshitz: In Scoresheet OBP is very desirable and he seems like a Votto light. Maybe I will try to put him on a package to get a high pick to go after J.D. Martinez. I could use a middle of the order power bat.
@Jose Hernandez: Yeah he’s boosted in OBP for sure.
Great write-up! And i thought i loved trammell :)
@Halp: Hyper- aggressive is my name! ENDORPHIN!
@Ralph Lifshitz: almost as aggressive as MPGA. Didn’t he have Trammell top 10?
@Miketron: I think he had him 9.
@Ralph Lifshitz: Wow our 2018 draft could get cray
@The Curly W’s: I saw Trammell hit a bomb at dayton that was 15ft from leaving the park. Those are shots joey votto hit there. Not to mention he isnt even close to filling out his frame, could be a legitimate 25-35 hr guy on top of speed
@Raider: Supremely talented athlete, all the tools are there. I’m (obviously) really excited about him in 2018.
@The Curly W’s: I’m sure it will. We have some really good players across the board in that league.
Great list Ralph!
Looking forward to your next 50 and so on.
I just added McKenzie Gore|& Taylor Trammel to my team.
Thanks for all the heard work & sound advice!
@Malicious Phenoms: Anytime MP!
Awesome list Ralph. We see eye to eye on guys like Calhoun, Hays and McMahon.
I am already keeping Calhoun, Tucker and Mejia. But have to choose between Hays and MCMahon. If McMahon has a job next season then I go with him, but I don’t think that will be the case. What do you see Colorado doing?
@James T Kirk: Signing some vet or playing Desmond or Parra. They can’t just love McMahon damn it!
Prolly would keep Hays, but wait as long as possible.
Where would Otani be on this list? Thanks
@Joe: Numero Uno
What is your opinion of LAD – C – Keibert Ruiz ? I love that kid, I think he is the next Ted Simmons. What do you think?
The Acuna salad on whole wheat
@J-FOH: I’ll take the fan-seared Acuna on a bed of kale and Albies.
@Ralph Lifshitz: Acuna and seared Albies spicy hand roll
@J-FOH: Acuna casserole and with a Swanson-Freeman Chutney.
@Ralph Lifshitz: to quote the fight for your right video we’d like a pizza with Acuna fish and meatballs!
@J-FOH: No pizza, but how about an open faced Acuna melt?
@Ralph Lifshitz: only if it’s on rye….an
@J-FOH: When are you going to start trading me stuff in DG?
@Ralph Lifshitz: text me
@J-FOH: Whatever he offers, I’ll up it
Love the work, as always Ralph…got a way too early keeper question for you, 12 team H2H keep 8. There are some on brainers on this list, but who do you see as keepers #7 and 8?
Carlos Martinez – ?
Bregman – ?
Alex Reyes – ?
Acuna – ?
Brendan Rodgers – ?
@A.A. Ron Rodgers: Machado, Bellinger, Encarnacion, Benintendi, Carlos Carrasco, Carlos Martinez, Bregman, and Acuna.
Beautiful keeper group. Is it categories or points? Wouldn’t change my answer honestly. Just wondered.
@Ralph Lifshitz: It’s categories…but it’s 21 total categories across hitting and pitching (yes..21) . I came into this league after it had been established, so…yeah.
Thinking about moving on from Edwin soon, what’s the right level of talent to target for a return?
@A.A. Ron Rodgers: I’d want a top 20 prospect and a pick. Or a young up and comer and a back end of the top 100 guy. 8 keepers, there has to be a fair amount of turnover.
@Ralph Lifshitz: Thanks, I’m happy with how I’ve rebuilt this team so far. It’s categories…but it’s 21 total categories across hitting and pitching (yes..21) . I came into this league after it had been established, so…yeah.
Thinking about moving on from Edwin soon, what’s the right level of talent to target for a return?
All three do have that boring, but safe feel to them… seems like some in my dynasty leagues like Keller a lot more than I do, I’m about where you are on him. He and Soroka lack the devil magic Flaherty has coming, so there is that. Baez is my new crush. Could see him as the top pitching prospect next year. Gore seems really interesting too. Hearing some crazy comps on him.
@Rich: A lot of it is proximity on that rank. He’s just as talented as Soroka, but he’s about a year behind, and is 16 months older.
LOL on the Devil Magic! But that goes both ways, he won’t get it until he’s 26 and has been optioned down a dozen times. Haha
I love Baez, he could’ve been higher for me even, but I wanted to factor in age, level, risk, and the chance he struggles with his perchant for throwing high some strikes. He has a great one-two punch with the fastball-change though.
@Ralph Lifshitz: Haha I’m a Cards fan, so hope you’re wrong on him being optioned down a dozen times… looking forward to some more screaming and cursing each time Bader is optioned down in favor of Randall f’n Grichuk. Drives me nuts.
@Rich: I hope O’Neill and Bader are traded to Toronto for Josh Donaldson.
@Ralph Lifshitz: Eh, Donaldson only has one year left right? You got me on Trammell, just traded for him in two leagues lol.
@Rich: Trammell is awesome.
One year for Donaldson, but you might be able to work out a short term extension.
Nice list, it made for some quality bathroom reading. I was a little surprised to see Soroka on the list, but no Flaherty. Seems like they have similar floors, with Flaherty having more upside and proximity, no?
@Rich: I think Soroka has more upside personally, they are close. Flaherty is 52 and Keller is 55. All of those guys are very similar in my eyes.
Soroka’s fastball and breaking ball are better, equal if not better control, he was phenomenal at AA at 19-20, has eaten tons of innings.
The ETA in terms of when each has a rotation spot might be a few months ultimately. Soroka is special.
The Rangers should work Calhoun in at 2B to replace Odor. Somebody with an OBP above .260 would really help.
@Texas Flood: Willie is all bat, probably a 20 defender at 2b. Odor’s OBP is brutal though, an absolute killer in OBP leagues.
@Texas Flood: No way, he’s a LF now, and has looked very good there IMO.
Don’t give up on Odor, he’ll get better.
On Gohara, “upper 90’s fastball” might be selling him short. He averaged the 6th-fastest fourseamer of the last decade at 97.6. Fastest for a lefty in that span too.
I love that big boy.
@The JoGarza: Oh yeah it’s nasty, I use more general terms when trying to summarize. Good info though his fastball – slider combo is devastating.
Should I keep yonder Alvarez SP LAD. He really bombed and could not find the plate this year.
Instead I can pick up any other incoming or A league prospect not taken.
not yonder. Is it YADIER ??
@Paul: Haven’t we all Yonder’d a Yadier?
@Paul Roses: If anyone on this list is available I’d go there first. He’s outside my top 100 until he shows more control.
I can only keep one out of Faria, Stephenson or Buehler in a dynasty league. Who should that be?
@Packers: Buehler for me.
Thanks for all the work. How high are we going, 200? 500?
@Miketron: 200 on the site, plan on going deeper for a BA style handbook w/ a top 100 FYPD list too.
@Ralph Lifshitz: the Ralph Annual bound with hemp and filled with nuggets. Bringing your prospects knowledge to a higher plane and smoking the competition.
@Miketron: Hahahaha well played…bud
You, sir, are a legend. One of my favourite posts of the year is going to be extended into multiple posts. How could my life get better ? (No need to answer that, because if you were honest with me it may shatter my delusions of adequacy).
Your posts and advice over the last couple of years means that I currently own 10 of your top 40 in my 12 team H2H.
Thanks for your efforts,
@Another Dan: Hahaha! Our lives would all be better if we were Justin Verlander.
Yeah going to do 4 of these posts, go up to 200, update the top 50 for the first year player draft.