For your viewing and thinking pleasure, I have played a game of Would You Rather using the entire prospect universe.
Or wait, am I thinking of the right game? Not that F, marry, kill game but the one where you have to decide on either/or propositions . . . there’s not sex stuff in that one, too, is there?
Sorry, I’ve been thinking about these young men a long time.
Hope you get some fun out of considering the sequence, reading some words, and playing your own (sex) games!
Here’s the Top 25 if you want to run the loop.
These three were all top 25 at some point in my process, and each should get an fantasy-friendly big-league look in 2020.
Might all be available this off-season in dynasty leagues, too. A guy could do worse with his time than deciding whether he likes Tucker (or McKay or Whitley) enough to make a strong opening offer.
This whole group will be higher on most lists.
It’s not that I don’t like them.
Witt Jr. will be in the top ten this time next year.
Waters, Mize, Manning and Pearson will be in the majors.
The Larnach monster will be a lakeside legend in Scotland.
You will be in first place in your favorite fantasy league.
Ronald Acuña Jr. will be in the White House.
Hey! No politics!
I mean the fantasy baseball White House!
That’s what she said.
Hmm, maybe I didn’t hear her right.
35. Corbin Carroll | OF | Diamondbacks
36. AJ Puk | LHP | Athletics
37. Luis Patiño | RHP | Padres
38. Jeter Downs | SS | Dodgers
39. George Valera | OF | Indians
40. Luis Matos | OF | Giants
41. Gilberto Jimenez | OF | Red Sox
Corbin Carroll has 70-grade speed with a 60-grade hit tool and could easily be top ten here by midseason.
Puk and Patiño are dominant arms their clubs might want to use in relief in the early going. They’re good enough to be great starters or hyper-elite firemen.
Jeter Downs got the L.A. swing treatment this Spring, popped 24 homers, stole 24 bags, and is looking like the kind power/speed dynamo that elicits itch drool. That said, these Dodgers haven’t been big on stealing. They have the money to buy whatever they want. It’s just good morals, really.
Valera is everyone’s favorite young baseball George. I’m not counting Jorges. Seriously though, this guy is going to be atop these lists until he graduates. He was here long before he played and might be here long after.
Luis Matos is perhaps the least publicized star-level talent in the minors. I think I’m in love.
If not Matos, it’s Gilberto Jimenez, whose 80-grade speed combines with elite hand-eye to create something truly rare. The NY Penn League batting champion at age 19, Jimenez was 2.9 years younger than league average. That’s a college league. This is a special player.
42. Sam Hilliard | OF | Rockies
43. Shed Long | 2B | Mariners
44. Monte Harrison | OF | Marlins
45. Austin Hays | OF | Orioles
46. Nick Solak | 2B | Rangers
47. Kyle Lewis | OF | Mariners
48. Brailyn Marquez | LHP | Cubs
49. Nico Hoerner | SS | Cubs
50. Cristian Pache | OF | Braves
Rich tier here where my taste for near-term, big-league upside wafts up the list.
Where would Sam Hilliard rank if not a Rocky? His path to playing time might be paved, but Coors covers his only fantasy weakness: batting average.
Okay how bout where would he rank if we knew he’d be starting in Coors?
I know the Coors speculation game is fruitless and frustrating, but damn if this guy ain’t built for Coors Field and fantasy baseball in 2020.
Hilliard, the banquet beer.
Trivia this week: how did Shed get to Seattle?
Cut to Alex. Cut to Beck.
Where it’s at!?
If you said James Paxton three-way, you’re not far off.
If you said Sonny Gray three-way, you win the big prize! It’s the Shades of Gray book series signed by Grey!!
Solak, Lewis and Hays bring the wood to everyday opportunities in 2020. Hays and Solak get an edge because they’ll run some.
Marquez might not crack the top 100 on most lists, which makes plenty of sense because I fade pitching at every turn, but it also feels weird: how humdrum can we be about a 20-year-old lefty dominating high-A with a hundred mile-an-hour heater? I can’t even remember the last lefty who threw this hard. (Marquez has been clocked at 102 mph). Randy Johnson, maybe? Aroldis Chapman I guess, and heck, if that’s what you get from Marquez, you’ll take it, but I don’t think that’s the outcome. His arm speed and age-to-level opens the door to immense off-speed development.
Hoerner and Pache (coming this Fall on MLB) might lack the category juice to move the needle, but they’ve got a window toward regular MLB at bats in 2020.
Thanks for reading!
51-75 coming up around the bend!