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TO RETURN TO TOP 25 PROSPECTS FOR 2024 FANTASY BASEBALL

26. Padres C Ethan Salas | 17 | AA | 2025

I’ll never have Salas on a roster. Nothing against him, really, just a matter of public-facing, real-baseball lists running him so high up the rankings that there’s no road back to dynasty baseball value. He’s already a top ten prospect in most places, and he’s just nowhere near that for our purposes. He’s in Double-A at 17, but he hit just .200 for nine games in High-A, so that’s an artificial placement to say the least. He’ll likely open back in High-A and should have to hit his way out. There’s absolutely no rush. At 6’2” 185 lbs, Salas moves smoothly behind the dish and receives and frames with a deft touch that’s a decade beyond his years. With a bat in his hands, he’s a dangerous lefty power hitter with a discerning eye. An elite prospect to be sure. Just not an ideal building block for our game.  

27. Orioles 3B Coby Mayo | 22 | AAA | 2024 

The first time I saw Coby Mayo, he reminded me of Ryan Braun. I was watching him grab some gummies out of his gummy fridge . . . wait, no that’s not what happened. It was the hip snap, which is immediate and drool-inducing for a baseball junkie. The left field fence is a long way away in Baltimore, but the 6’5” 230 lb officer and a gentleman will be able to clear it on the regular. Across two levels last year, Mayo hit 29 home runs and stole five bases with wRC+ outcomes of 178 in 78 games at Double-A and 127 in 62 games at Triple-A. He’s ready to compete at the major league level and should get that chance in spring training. With Holliday and Gunnar Henderson handling the infield’s left side, Mayo may have to scoop up his glove and walk away from third base early in Triple-A to find his path to playing time. 

28. White Sox SS Colson Montgomery | 22 | AA | 2024

A left handed hitter with patience and power at 6’3” 205 lbs, Montgomery gives the club its best chance at a star since Jason Benetti. In 37 Double-A games, Montgomery reached base at a 40 percent clip and hit four home runs. He stole zero bases after stealing zero bases in High-A despite being on base all the time. There’s a little more dynasty risk here than you’ll find in most name brand middle infielders because if the power doesn’t play, you’ll be falling behind in multiple standard rotisserie categories.

29. Rockies SS Adael Amador | 20 | AA | 2025

A plus hit tool combines with above average power and excellent plate skills to make Amador the easy number one in this organization. A switch-hitter at 6’0” 200 lbs, he slashed .302/.391/.514 with nine home runs, 12 stolen bases, 26 strikeouts and 31 walks in 54 games at High-A Stockton. His ten games in Double-A didn’t go as smoothly, but it’d be premature to care. More useful to note that he earned that promotion as a cherry on top of a good season than to parse the small sample. I have 2025 as the ETA here, but that’s partly because the Rockies figure to be out of contention by the time Amador might be ready to graduate Triple-A if he has another strong season.

30. Brewers RHP Jacob Misiorowski | 21 | AA | 2024

At 6’7” 190 lbs with a whippy, three-quarter delivery, Misiorowski walks a line trading balance for deception, which lands him in a reliever bucket for some. If that’s his path, he’ll dominate. I think the Brewers will give him every chance to remain a starter. When he is repeating his delivery, he’s just about untouchable. He recorded 36 strikeouts in 21 Double-A innings but allowed 16 walks and a 5.57 ERA, so even though the ETA says 2024 here, we’re likely looking at the very late part of the season.

31. Blue Jays LHP Ricky Tiedemann | 21 | AAA | 2024

A low three-quarters release and blistering fastball make Tiedemann a tough look for batters from either side of the plate. He hasn’t pitched much, and he posted a 5.06 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 32 Double-A in 2023, but his FIP was 2.12, which suggests he was better than his outcomes and also that FIP is pretty dumb. You can’t really post a 1.50 WHIP across 32 innings and chalk that up to fielding issues. Anywho, the 6’4” 220 lb twirler dealt with injuries throughout the year and picked up some extra innings in the Arizona Fall League, picking up 23 strikeouts in 18 innings with a 1.11 WHIP. If healthy, he’ll be part of the rotation picture early in 2024.

32. Cardinals SS Masyn Winn | 22 | MLB | 2023

The outcomes were awful in Winn’s first big league stretch. It was just 37 games, but you can’t slash .172/.230/.328 across any stretch without creating some question marks. They wear caps and sleeves at this level. The son of big leaguer Randy Winn, Masyn is certainly aware that he’ll have to hit to hold his spot in 2024, and I’m betting he will. He’s as physically gifted as anyone on the team and has typically figured a level out after a brief adjustment period. Feels like a pretty easy buy at his current NFBC ADP of 449. A .250 average with 15+ homers and 25+ steals is well within his range of outcomes.

33. Pirates 2B Termarr Johnson | 19 | A+ | 2025

The 4th overall pick in 2022, Johnson is cruising through the minors and figures to open the season as a 19-year-old in Double-A. He doesn’t turn 20 until June 11. At 5’8” 175 lbs, he doesn’t look the part of a dominant offensive player . . . until he steps in the box and starts ripping liners and bombs all over the field. He hit 18 homers and stole 10 bases in 105 games across two levels against players much older than him, posting star-level wRC+ scores of 141 and 142 and on base percentages of .419 and .427.

34. Orioles OF Heston Kjerstad | 25 | MLB | 2023

Heart complications are not an ideal way to begin a professional baseball career, but Kjerstad seems to have overcome the issues that cost him almost two years on the field after the Orioles selected him 2nd overall in 2020. He hit pretty well upon his return, dominating in Low-A and then scuffling in High-A in 2022 and then thriving in both Double and Triple-A in 2023. He wasn’t great in the majors but managed a 104 wRC+ and two homers in 13 games and found himself in the lineup a lot during the playoffs. Stands to reason the big lefty power bat will have something close to an everyday gig in 2024 between left field and designated hitter. 

35. Tigers OF Max Clark | 19 | A | 2028

Here’s what I wrote about Clark in Prospect News: Top 15 For Dynasty First-Year-Player Drafts: “Hit just .154 in 11 games at Low-A, but who cares. There’s a lot to love about Clark, but we’d be wise to ignore the Corbin Carroll comps. That’s a generational talent.”

The Carroll comparisons might prove prescient, but it feels too much like a schema-based, white lefty runs fast recency bias type logical fallacy for me to put any real stock in it. Makes sense to comp it for the broadcast audience, I guess. Clark’s quite a bit bigger than Carroll, who is listed at 5’10” 165 lbs to Clark’s 6’1” 205, so there goes that. But I like Max Clark a lot as a prospect. How could you not? He’s fast and strong and left-handed and plays good defense in centerfield. The baseball world is his oyster. Or, Clark bar. Those’re underrated. 

36. Red Sox OF Ceddanne Rafaela | 23 | MLB | 2023

Rafaela’s most recent Rotowire blurb includes a quote from new chief baseball officer Craig Breslow suggesting that he expects the ninja turtle to play a significant role in 2024. Breslow didn’t call him the ninja turtle, but that’s a better title than chief baseball officer. What’s he here to do? Arrest somebody? Harass certain employees just going about their day in the facility? Anywho, back to Rafaela, who I like a lot for our game. He’s listed at 5’9” 165 lbs, and he might be a little bigger than that next time we see him, but probably not by much. He hit 22 home runs and stole 39 bases across three levels last year and feels extremely underrated for redraft leagues with an ADP of 495.57. Seems like little chance he’d actually be on the board for that pick in a competitive league, but you probably don’t have to run him up much further at the moment. He’s outfield eligible at the moment but could add shortstop and/or second base if the ooze spills just right. And oh dang he’s actually moving backward on ADP. I jumped to November 1 as the first draft recorded, and it’s 530.88 in those 105 drafts. But then I sorted for just Draft Champions formats, and it’s all the way up to 363.65. Makes sense. Should’ve sorted from there first, but I’m leaving all these words here now because it’s a useful enough little journey and decent reminder if my future self ever looks back at this. Jarren Duran would play center if the season opened today, but he’s not a good defender, and he ended the season with a toe injury. Enmanuel Valdez is at second base per roster resource. He played well as a rookie but isn’t Orlando Pace, as far as blockers are concerned. Tyler O’Neill and Masataka Yoshida are in left field. Wilyer Abreu is in right. I like Abreu, but the outfield would be best on defense with Rafaela in center most days (especially for fly ball pitchers in tough parks) while Duran, Yoshida, Abreu and O’Neill share the corners and the DH spot.  

37. Phillies RHP Andrew Painter | 20 | AA | 2025

Underwent Tommy John surgery in late July, so 2024 is mostly washed out. Can’t really put a clock on the value of elite pitching, so if he comes back at full strength, we’ll chart this blip up as a positive in the sense that it buys him a little safety window on the ticking time bomb that is a high-velocity elbow.

38. Padres LHP Robby Snelling | 20 | AA | 2024

I know the Juan Soto trade had more to do with money than anything else, but Snelling is the main reason I didn’t understand why they were so focused on flipping Soto for pitching prospects. You want a Michael King? But it’s just rare to see a team send out a superstar and get so little positional talent in return, no offense to Kyle Higashioka. With Snelling, Lesko and Iriarte, San Diego already had some promising arms in the high minors. A plus athlete at 6’3” 210 lbs, Snelling was a highly touted quarterback and linebacker out of high school and brings that combination of toughness and aptitude to the mound. In 22 games across three levels, he pitched 103.2 innings with 118 strikeouts, 34 walks and a 1.82 ERA. 

39. Giants SS Marco Luciano | 22 | MLB | 2023

Luciano was rushed to the majors despite struggling at most stops along the way, and Farhan Zaidi has said he’ll have a chance to open 2024 as the starting shortstop despite hitting .209 with a 35.9 percent strikeout rate in 18 Triple-A games and .231 with a 37.8 percent strikeout rate in his 14-game September stint. If he does get that job, he’s going to have some rough patches. Like a lot of players who signed just before 2020, he hasn’t really played all that much and retains some hidden topside as he settles in at the highest level.

40. Guardians 1B Kyle Manzardo | 23 | AAA | 2024

Manzardo looks likely to open the season as Cleveland’s starting first baseman and could make a run at Rookie of the Year. The offensively challenged Guardians need him to hit early and often. He played well after coming over from Tampa in exchange for Aaron Civale, slashing .256/.348/.590 with six home runs in 21 games. Had gotten caught in between a bit early in the season as he sought to maximize his power as a 6’0” 205 lb left handed hitter with no defensive versatility, but he found himself along the way and kept hitting in the Arizona Fall League.

41. Cubs SS Matt Shaw | 22 | AA | 2024 

Now they just need a guy named Hobbs. Even without one, Shaw looks like a first-round hit as a steady college bat who can play around the infield. He hit eight home runs and stole 15 bases in 38 games across three levels, slashing .357/.400/.618 with just 25 strikeouts. That’s loud, but it’s pretty much the same sound he made for 62 games at Maryland (.341/.445/.697) and for 36 games in the Cape Cod League (.360/.432/.574). Water is still finding its level here. 

42. Nationals 3B Brady House | 20 | AA | 2024

The 11th overall pick in 2021, House hotwired his prospect stock in 2023 by hitting well at three levels, culminating in a slash line of .324/.358/.475 across 36 Double-A games. He’d played hurt in 2022 and retains a lot of untapped potential in his 6’4” 215 lb frame.

43. Padres RHP Drew Thorpe | 23 | AA | 2024

The 61st overall pick in 2022, Thorpe broke out in 2023, posting an elite 24.6 percent strikeout-minus-walk rate in 109 innings at High-A then a preposterous 35.5 percent (and 0.60 WHIP) in 30 innings at Double-A. Thorpe explained his development in a story on mlb.com: “They don’t chase much out of the zone, so you’ve got to pitch in the zone more,” Thorpe said. “Going in, I was just seeing what I could get miss-wise inside the zone versus out of the zone. Trying to compete with myself a little bit more. Obviously they’re better hitters; they’re not going to chase as much as they normally would in High-A.”

44. Red Sox SS Marcelo Mayer | 21 | AA | 2025

Mayer slashed just .189/.254/.355 in 43 games at Double-A, and most true superstar prospects don’t get overmatched like that on their way up the ladder. In his defense, it’s not a huge sample, and he was 3.7 years younger than the league average age. More importantly, he was playing through a shoulder injury you can read about via Justin Leger and NBC Sports Boston here.  So we’re left to either totally write off the awful stretch due to injury or develop some long-term concerns about a player’s shoulder or ability to adapt. Maybe some sort of blend. As with a lot of things in our game, I’d prefer to just wait and see how it plays out, but that’s just not an option, so he winds up ranked third here for now. 

45. Rangers 1B Abimelec Ortiz | 22 | A+ | 2025

Here’s what I wrote about Ortiz in Prospect News: 2023 Dynasty Crush Team or Grab An Ale Man: “Paul Goldschmidt. Matt Olson. Pete Alonso. Most of the great fantasy first basemen are never ranked real high on public-facing prospect lists. They must mash to live. Ortiz has 33 homers in 109 games across two levels this year. The strikeout rate isn’t great (27 percent in 80 High-A games), but he’s young enough (21) to look past that for now because the power comes easily for Abimelec, who has a preternatural ability to identify pitches he can lift to the pull side.”

Not much to add here except that Ortiz is a bit like Alonso in that he’s more athletic in the batter’s box than he appears to be at first glance. Feels like a waterfall of fantasy hype is just around the corner here. 

46. Tigers OF Parker Meadows | 24 | MLB | 2023

RosterResource has Meadows in centerfield and leading off, and while we could quibble about his place in the batting order, it’s pretty clear that the club sees Meadows as a big part of its plan in 2024. Watch them sign Cody Bellinger tomorrow and blow that sentence back where it came from. In 150 games between Triple-A and the majors, Meadows hit 22 home runs and stole 27 bases. His wRC+ outcomes of 99 and 94 won’t knock your socks off, but they’d be enough to keep the 6’5” lefty in the lineup most nights because he’s a solid defender in center field.

47. Yankees OF Spencer Jones | 22 | AA | 2025

A lowercase Shrek type at 6’6” 235 lbs, Jones should buddy up to Aaron Judge early and often throughout his Yankee career. He even plays centerfield like Judge has been doing lately. He does not, however, lift the ball like Aaron Judge. The 25th overall pick in the 2022 draft, Jones hit 16 home runs in 117 games last year across two levels while striking out almost 30 percent of the time in both High-A and Double-A. He also swiped 43 bases in 55 attempts. It’s a unique look where the power should surpass the speed at some point, but if he finds the perfect spot in the Venn diagram of his outcomes, he’d be a rotisserie star.

48. Marlins RHP Max Meyer | 25 | MLB | 2022

Meyer’s an interesting sleeper pick for redraft leagues heading into 2024. The third overall pick in 2020, his arrival in 2022 was cut short by Tommy John surgery. If he can come back with his dynamite slider and plus changeup, he might make an improbable run at rookie of the year. Feels like the kind of guy who’ll be an afterthought at the draft table until he pops up in the preseason and sends people scrambling to move him up their boards.

49. Angels 1B Nolan Schanuel | 22 | MLB | 2023

The 11th overall pick, Schanuel dominated his competition at Florida Atlantic, especially in a preposterous junior season that saw him slash .447/.615/.868 with 19 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 59 games. The team sent him to the complex for three games then to Low-A for two games. What he showed at those levels with a smattering of singles and walks is probably what he’d shown before they drafted him. Bit of travel for puzzling reasons, is all I’m saying. Then he went to Double-A for 17 games and slashed .333/.474/.467 with twice as many walks as strikeouts. Th at’ll probably be that for his minor league career: 22 games across three levels. There’s just not much argument for him to spend any time in Triple-A this season after he posted a 112 wRC+ and .402 OBP in 29 major league games. Sure, he didn’t get to his extra base power, and he might benefit from some low-stakes opportunities to focus on that, but spring training should offer that. In a loaded first-year dynasty class, Schanuel is a steal in the middle of the first.

50. Giants LHP Kyle Harrison | 22 | MLB | 2023

A sturdy 6’2” lefty, Harrison features explosive stuff and dynamite precision, by which I mean he struggles to throw strikes. Part of the issue might just be Harrison having enough reps to harness his juice. His four-seamer gets 13.1 inches of horizontal movement, according to statcast. The off-speed mix is changeup and slurve, with about three times as many slurves as changes in his 37 big league innings. That should probably even out, and it would help if he can uncover a cutter of some kind. But these are long-term goals. For now, it might be enough to repeat his delivery and start really commanding his fastball. 

Thanks for reading!

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luvdarooks
1 month ago

I have 3rd pick in NL MiLB draft this year can keep for at least 4-5 years

Playing for next year — available players are Skeens Crews Horton Salas Misiorowski Painter Shaw I was going for Shaw because pitchers get UCL injuries and Salas is years away… WOULD YOU DO THE SAME??

I could trade away my third pick and a $7 Braxton Garrett and another non keeper for Jordan Walker on StL Cards…

Will any off these non Skeens. Crews picks measure up to Walker in 2 to three years in a traditional 5×5 deep NL Roto league?

Chhhhh
Chhhhh
Reply to  luvdarooks
1 month ago

Skenes. Even with UCL scare, he’s on the level that you have to take him. He’s just that good. Mis is a close second. Shaw is safe, but he wont win you anything.

tyler
tyler
1 month ago

We have an unlimited minors roster, but only get two a year….I seem to have chased a ton of losers…. here is the current state of my minor league players (20 team league)

Any of them in your top 100 if you were to make one? Any at all promising?

Heriberto Hernandez C -TB
Seth Beer 1B -PIT
Nick Gonzales 2B -PIT
Cam Collier 3B -CIN
Lazaro Armenteros LF -OAK
Hedbert Perez LF,CF -MIL
Jay Allen CF -CIN
Miguel Bleis CF -BOS
Erick Pena CF -KC

Luvdarooks
1 month ago

10 Keeper NL 260 league 5×5 (B.A.)
Once on a major league roster five dollar raise per year… Which seven should I drop?

11 Tatis
10 Elly DELacruz
5 Winn, M.
5 N. Marte
12 Busch
9 Senzel
14 Bell
7 Schmitt SF

6 Strider
10 Eury P
18 Alex Diaz

6 Buehler

10 J Merrill
5 Termar J.
2 Alcantera, K
2 DePaula
2 max Meyer
?THESE SALARIES STAY TILL on MLB

Sos
Sos
1 month ago

Hey Itch,

I can keep up to 8 of these minor league players in a 6×6 H2H league.
I’m not solely concerned in who gets to MLB this year, looking for best overall talent/impactful players within 2 years or so.

Ty Black
Yanquiel Fernandez
Adael Amador
Kevin Alcantara
Jackson Merrill
Connor Phillips
Jacob Misiorowski
Kyle Harrison
Edwin Arroyo
Sebastian Walcott
Mason Miller
Ben Joyce

Are any of these guys future studs?
Thanks for the insight!

Moon Shots
Moon Shots
1 month ago

Heya Itch! Are you doing FYPD rankings this year? We started ours for our 30 teamer today and im missing having your ranks in my back pocket.

Moon Shots
Moon Shots
Reply to  Moon Shots
1 month ago

Nevermind i found em!

leon
leon
1 month ago

Rayner Arias or jakob marse?

leon
leon
Reply to  leon
1 month ago

or dyan jorge

T K
T K
1 month ago

Curious after the Ceddanne blurb, do you think Vaughn Grissom ends up at 2b or Enmanuel Valdez?

T K
T K
Reply to  T K
1 month ago

Also, to go with the others here, your lists are my prospect bible. Love your work man, it’s all I use for my dynasty leagues. Thank you for your efforts.

T K
T K
Reply to  The Itch
1 month ago

Ah, no worries, just had me rethinking my Grissom trade offers. lol

Jake from State Farm
Jake from State Farm
1 month ago

It’s that time of year!! I wait for your lists before I make any moves thanks for all your work.

Chud
Chud
1 month ago

Love the List! Will help me out immensely with my dynasty league.

I’ve been offered his CJ Abrams for my Matt McLain in a NL only dynasty 5×5.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

jimmy
jimmy
1 month ago

Thanks for the great info! Thoughts on this trade I send Drew Thorpe and Oswald Peraza for Ben Brown and Vaughn Grissom
Thank you!! 18 team dynasty 6×6

junior56
junior56
1 month ago

Thanks for the List Itch! Whats your opinion of a couple of Twinkie arms
David Festa and Darren Bowen? Any chance of being rotation arms?

TarmanGotHim
TarmanGotHim
1 month ago

We’re almost back!!

Yeah, as a Marlins fan, I don’t get why Max Meyer is written off (I know why, he’s a Marlins). I mean Emmett Sheehan is getting more love than him. Imagine if he were a Dodger, pshh.

Max Meyer is going to be an upper echelon rotational starter, although I do with he had an add pitch or 2, but he’s young and worst case scenario he’s a lights out Closer.

Thanks for all you do and can’t wait for more content !!