When mapping out this year’s Top 100, I kept getting lost in the layout. I’ve tried a few different ways to skin this cat, and I think my favorite so far was my first: Top 25 Prospects for 2020 Fantasy Baseball.
It was simple, sleek, easy to see, easy to scroll, and it was built in tiers, which feels like a realistic lens through which to view these players. You can argue that Nolan Gorman is definitively a better prospect than George Valera if you want to, or vice versa, but if you get offered one for the other in a trade, you might freeze up like me pondering the layout of this article. The differences are real, certainly, but they’re more aesthetic and subjective than anything like objective truth. It’s a difference in type or style more than a difference of quality.
I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index.
Drumroll please and away we go!
I’m gonna say I love this tier, and you’re gonna think something like “Yeah you must really love them to rank ’em outside the Top 50.” That’s fair, but I am trying to trade for Johan Rojas everywhere I can. Barrero is gettable too, I think, despite being on the cusp of some sort of opportunity in Cincinnati. I’d like to think he’ll play everyday between shortstop, outfield and DH, but that might be a pipe dream at this point, which is why you could still trade for him.
55. SS Jordan Lawlar | Diamondbacks | 19 | CPX | 2025
In this tier, we find three players I wouldn’t trade for and one player I’d be happy to have for a reasonable price.
Valera is tricky. If I had him, he’d be tough to trade, but I would put him on the block and see what materialized. Cleveland slow-rolls their roster spots, and I’m impatient enough to at least peek behind door number three.
Hassell III got moved for Seiya Suzuki in the Razz30 this year, and he’s a definite sell for me if that’s the kind of return you can expect. I’m not sure it is now that Suzuki is in Chicago. At the time, he represented a significant risk, as the team trading for him might’ve just lost Hassell for nothing if Suzuki hadn’t signed. Anyhow, the point stands he commands significant trade value despite struggling in High-A and being several years away from helping your stats.
Mayo is a go for me. He’s still available in the 15-team Ditka Dynasty. That draft is scheduled for April 1, and even though I’m trying to defend a title, I’ll probably end up scooping some Mayo into the shopping cart. He’s a little unorthodox, but he strikes me as the smooth-swinging sort of elite who might just never struggle. Reminds me a little of Ryan Braun in the bat whip and exit velocity.
59. RHP Jack Leiter | Rangers | 21 | NCAA | 2023
62. OF Jay Allen II | Reds | 19 | CPX | 2025
Peguero tends to raise some eyebrows on my lists, so I cut out a sample size that exemplifies my optimism for him. Over his final 36 games, Peguero slashed .305/.363/.523 with 8 HR and 13 SB. He’s not going to be a 25/50 type player, but his topside is the kind of cross-category contributor that never makes it out of the third round or redraft leagues during his prime.
Gorman’s been cutting the strikeout and justifying some of his early career hype. He’s still more of a sell than a buy for me, but now that he’s got a chance at 2B eligibility, I have to re-evaluate that on the regular.
I had no idea what to do with Jack Leiter. It’s tough to get a solid read on his perceived value around the dynasty game. He’s probably best used as a trade piece at the moment.
Here’s a third trade piece in a row with Jasson Dominguez, unless he’s already lost most of the sheen in your league. If so, just wait it out. He’ll catch another spotlight soon.
These last two are buys. In 19 games on the complex, Allen II slashed .328/.440/.557 with 3 HR and 14 SB. He was caught stealing once. This is what future roto studs look like at the lower levels.
I’m hoping to get Montero where I can. He’s made little tweaks to shorten up his swing and sharpen up his approach, and he doesn’t have to be particularly great to be a fantasy stud in Colorado. As an added plus, they kind of have to get him on the field. Garrett Hampson, he’s not, is what I’m saying. He’s the primary return for Nolan Arenado, so I’m hoping he gets treated more like a prospect than a bench-extender in his early career.
65. C Henry Davis | Pirates | 22 | A+ | 2023
I can see some scenarios where I don’t trade Davis or Cartaya for Camilo Doval, like a SV+H league with 40-some starting catchers, but I’m typically contending, and as such, a guy like Doval carries immense upside in saves-only formats. Maybe he splits the job with Jake McGee. Maybe he loses the gig entirely. Either way, it’s hard to get elite relievers. If you think saves are tough to come by in 15-team redraft, wait til they get scarce in your dynasty league.
Cartaya ended last season with back issues, or he might be a little higher. That plus the catcher piece was enough to waterlog his elite power.
I like all these guys. Green lights all the way at these prices, which I think are a fair representation of where they’d land in most dynasty leagues. Baty would be higher for builders. Roansy, Ashby and Ryan would be higher for tenders. I’m a little worried about the role for Ashby, but Milwaukee’s track record is incredible over the past few years.
72. SS Wilman Diaz | Dodgers | 18 | DSL | 2025
If you’re looking long term, you could swing for the fences on Hernandez and Diaz. If you need help now, pivot to Kwan.
Lowe features incredible power-speed upside but doesn’t make consistent enough contact for us to be confident about banking those stats.
Detmers was hittable partly because his pitches move pretty close to the average offering in his velocity band. He can overcome this with command and further reliance on his slider along with stealing more strikes early in counts with his curveball, but the early returns against major league hitters were a little scary.
Thanks for reading!
I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.