At some point in the process of curating these Top Prospects lists, I went to talk to Hampson.
I was allowed to see him but learned he’s fresh out of prospect eligibility and busy showrunning for a Winter pilot on CBS called “Everybody Hates Hampson.”
I suggested he tweak the name to “Everybody Loves Garrett . . . Except His Boss.”
In the meantime, keep your TV Guides at the ready and enjoy these next few tiers of talent!
Madrigal has been something of a blind spot for me and should probably be higher on the list. His 2019 was amazing, he’ll probably take a lot of MLB at bats in 2020, and his carrying tools (hit, run) are what plays best in fantasy today.
Wong was the hottest man on the planet after being promoted to AA then even hotter in the AA playoffs. Something has again clicked in Dodgerland. Plus he’s not just a catcher. They play him all over the diamond. Might wind up with the dream scenario here of a near-everyday player who retains catcher eligibility while infrequently donning the tools of ignorance.
What a phrase, right?
What are the tools of ignorance these days? Nobody uses it on catchers anymore, so I’d say it’s fair game.
Howard is cruising through the Arizona Fall League and setting himself up for MLB starts early in 2020.
I’ve written a novella about my Bart ranking in the comments of the top 50. He’ll get grouped with Rutschman during list season, but he’s not as good with the hit tool, and his path to playing time is murky.
Bohm has all but silenced the critics lined up around his block on draft night. Love to see it.
56. Erick Peña | OF | Royals
57. Robert Puasson | SS | Athletics
58. Jordyn Adams | OF | Angels
59. Heliot Ramos | OF | Giants
60. J.J. Bleday | OF | Marlins
61. Alek Thomas | OF | Diamondbacks
62. Jordan Groshans | 3B | Blue Jays
Peña has the fastest hands I’ve seen since Wander. Catch him while you can. I won’t be at all surprised if he’s the best bat from the 2019 international class, especially notable given the expectations for Dominguez and Puasson, whose value is a little more tied to defense.
Adams has no ceiling. He’s just a dream of an athlete coming into his own on the diamond.
I kinda love this group.
Heliot has perhaps the game’s coolest name and just had a great season as a 19-year-old in High A, even ended with a month at AA and could reach AAA at age 20.
J.J. Bleday sounds like a Dr. Seuss character (shoutout to Harley Earl) and just lit the SEC on fire (.347/.465.701) with 27 HR in 71 games. Miami jumped him straight to A+ after picking him 4th overall in June.
Thomas was a draft-year favorite of Prospect Jesus and has more than lived up to the billing.
His hands might be Grosh, but Jordan can swing the stick! Will be interesting to see where Toronto sends him in 2020 after something of a lost season. He was great at 19 in the Midwest League, but it was only 23 games.
63. Jose Urquidy | RHP | Astros
64. DL Hall | LHP | Orioles
65. Jake Fraley | OF | Mariners
66. Aaron Bracho | SS | Cleveland
67. Sixto Sanchez | RHP | Marlins
68. Brent Honeywell | RHP | Rays
69. Michael Kopech | RHP | White Sox
Urquidy had a 1.10 WHIP in 41 MLB innings. If this surprises you, it’s likely because he had 0.72 WHIP in September, and while a few outings against the eliminated Angels and Mariners are not predictive, he also threw five dominant innings against the Athletics (10 K, 1 H). These are the teams he’ll face most in 2020. Might be a buy-window open now, but that’s in danger of slamming shut if Urquidy shows well in October.
DL Hall is IL Hall with a lat strain but impressed when healthy this year. Baltimore pitchers could soon be profit centers with that Houston brain trust in place.
Fraley is an ideal piece in these steal-starved times. He’s a plus defender with a decent hit tool and a path to playing time on a team that runs.
There’s a few Julia Roberts jokes in Aaron Bracho’s future. A few water/lawyer jokes too. Get ready, Cleveland! Someone’s coming to save the Cuyahoga River!!
I grew up near a place colloquially known as Six-Toe Valley. It was an inbreeding joke before inbreeding was cool. (Thanks, Game of Thrones!!) Anywho, Sixto Sanchez is on his way to a great pitchers’ park in an organization on a roll developing arms.
The Honeywell Kopech contingent will be off the lists next year, I hope. Both could hit the ground running (er, throwing) if their rehab goes well.
Garcia is helium play as an elite athlete at a premium position who ended the season hot and has every tool in the hardware store.
Kind of an underrated/overrated duo next. Dubon has long been hurt or blocked, which I think kept his stock lower than the talent. Gorman hit the scene with a loud, young-for-level smash in his draft year and will ride that wave for a long time even as his hit tool stays on the slow road toward in-game functionality.
Gray shows shades of being a Fantasy Master Lothario. Cuddle up with him in dynasty for his ability to suppress home runs and pile up strikeouts, but keep him away from your women.
Rodriguez is a rare arm who might not really be challenged until he’s fingering the juicy balls.
Mateo needs to be owned in every size dynasty league. He’s lower today than he was for me two years ago, but that feels odd coming off a .289/.330/.504 triple slash with 19 home runs and 24 steals.
That’s an outstanding fantasy season, right!?
Trouble is it was only good for a 96 wRC+ in AAA, slightly below league-average production but much better than the 62 wRC+ he’d posted in 131 AAA games the year prior.
And 24 steals in 35 attempts is not awesome after going 25 for 35 last year. He was still 2.3 years younger than the average player, so maybe his efficiency will improve with time. It better. Teams don’t run anymore in part because dingers are everywhere, and they especially hate losing a base runner when he’s already in dong-scoring position from first base.
Thanks for reading! Hope to see you in the comments!