Eddy, Matt and Ralph each submitted their lists, combined them, and out came this beauty. These rankings include J2 signings and 2019 MLB draftees. If you skipped the headline for some weird reason, these are fantasy rankings. As such, we value batters over pitchers and don’t give much weight to elite defenders just because their glove is good.
If you want to see each ranker’s individual breakdown, head to our Interactive Prospects List where you can also find each player’s updated ETA.
Enjoy, we’ll see you in the comments!
Wander Franco, SS (TB)- About three hours before writing this someone texted me and asked, “when’s the last time Wander Franco struck out?”. The answer is June 23 in Low-A. Franco is the top prospect in the world and there’s no debate. Previous Rank: 5.
Yordan Alvarez, OF (HOU) - Alvarez has entirely lived up to the lofty expectations he set when he obliterated Triple-A to begin the year. The power is borderline elite, the bat control is superb, he uses all fields, he walks and he’s doing a good job of keeping the strikeouts in check as he continues adjusting to major league pitching. He’s the real deal. Condolences to other publications that left him off their top 100 in the preseason. Previous Rank: 21.
Jo Adell, OF (LAA)- The term “five-tool player” is too often thrown around, but it’s appropriate for Adell. With the ability to contribute in all five categories, Adell has first-round upside in fantasy. Previous Rank: 6.
Kyle Tucker, OF (HOU)- Over 181 Triple-A games dating back to last season Tucker has hit .308/.378/.590 with 48 home runs and 39 stolen bases. His 2018 major league debut did not go as planned, but at just 22, he’s not as old as you think. Previous Rank: 11.
Keston Hiura, 2B (MIL)- Coming into the season many viewed Hiura as possessing one of the best hit tools in the minors, but it’s his power gains that have been the story in 2019. Likely up in Milwaukee for good, Hiura has made loads of hard contact but has also been aggressive at the plate. Previous Rank: 9.
Luis Robert, OF (CHW)- There’s a case to be made that Robert is a top two fantasy prospect based on his performance this season. Over his first 650 professional plate appearances Robert has hit .317/.395/.522 with 19 home runs, and 56 steals. Damn. Previous Rank: 51.
Bo Bichette, SS (TOR)- It’s been an injury-riddled first half for Bichette as his comrades Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio made their way to Toronto. While the injury may have delayed his debut, Bichette should see some time late this season. Bichette is another elite player that can translate his tools to five-category production in fantasy. Over his last 161 games Bichette has hit .296/.357/.478 with 16 home runs and 40 stolen bases. Previous Rank: 13.
Carter Kieboom, SS (WAS)- One of the best hitters in the minors, Kieboom made an unexpected debut in Washington earlier this season. Few players pair contact, on-base ability, and power the way Kieboom does. The youngest player in Triple-A, Kieboom has produced the eighth-highest wRC+. Previous Rank: 15.
Andrew Vaughn, 1B (CHW)- One of college baseball’s greatest hitters, Vaughn combines contact, on-base, and power. He projects to be a middle of the order bat for the next decade with the ability to ascend quickly. Previous Rank: N/A.
Royce Lewis, SS (MIN)- It’s been a terrible first half for Lewis, plain and simple. He hit .221/.281/.325 with two home runs over his first 62 games in his second taste of High-A. He’s turned it on some over his last 16 games hitting .258/.271/.455 connecting for four home runs over that time. We’re not budging on Lewis despite the struggles -- elite tools are not to be written off. Previous Rank: 8.
MacKenzie Gore, LHP (SD)- The only knock against Gore is that he’s still in A-ball, but if you look at the numbers that’s no fault of his own. The lefty with a trio of plus offerings with the command and athleticism to match is must watch every time out, and soon that will be in Double-A. Previous Rank: 37.
Alex Kirilloff, OF (MIN)- Another Twins prospect who’s had a less than productive year. Injuries have robbed Kirilloff of what many expected to be a season in which he ascended to the majors. He dealt with a wrist injury that robbed him of April, and it took some time for him to get into gear. He was on fire from May 19 to June 1 slashing .341/.431/.591 before hitting the IL again. He returned in late June and has hit well over the last two weeks. Arguably the best hit tool in the minors with more power coming. Previous Rank: 12.
Gavin Lux, 2B/SS (LAD)- Lux recently got the call-up to Triple-A after hitting .313/.375/.521 with 13 homers and seven steals for Double-A Tulsa and has put himself in position to be a significant contributor in 2020 at just 22 years old. Not bad for a cold weather kid from Wisconsin. Previous Rank: 32.
Luis Urias, SS (SD)- Urias was sent down after a struggle filled cameo earlier in the season with the Padres, but he went down and worked on his game. He’s regained his elite contact skill while adding to his power by hitting more pull side flyballs. There’s a need at the keystone with Kinsler and Garcia splitting time. We should see Urias soon. Previous Rank: 18.
Jarred Kelenic, OF (SEA)- The only thing that’s slowed Kelenic down during his first full pro season is a wrist injury that put him on the shelf for a bit, but so far he’s hitting a strong .296/.371/.558 with 15 homers and 11 steals across two different levels of A-ball. Sorry Mets fans, he’s the real deal. Previous Rank: 45.
Matt Manning, RHP (DET)- Manning has been dominant this year in Double-A with a .194 batting average against and striking out over a batter per inning in Erie. The changeup, while still inconsistent, has flashed plus and the overall command has improved. There’s some work to do but his athleticism and mechanics earn plus grades also. Previous Rank: 63.
Vidal Brujan, 2B (TB)- As the official Vidal Brujan Prospect website, we are pleased about the recent promotion to Double-A for our prospect muse. There might be some truth to the rumor that the promotion wasn’t so much performance based (it was) as it was just to get Brujan away from Eddy in Florida. Previous Rank: 20.
Forrest Whitley, RHP (HOU)- Well, we finally have a reason for the rough 2019 as Whitley was recently placed on the injured list with shoulder fatigue. The results have been poor with a 12.21 ERA and nine homers allowed in just 24.1 innings of work. The stuff still looks crisp however and because of that I don’t think we can drop him that much further. Previous Rank: 10.
Casey Mize, RHP (DET)- Mize was surging through the minors until he hit the injured list due to a bout of shoulder inflammation. It may surprise some to see fellow Tigers righty Matt Manning ahead of him here, but Mize doesn’t have the strikeout upside Manning does. However he does have the frame to chew up innings and make it up in sheer volume. Number two starter upside here, and he’s armed with perhaps the best pitch in the minors, his split. Previous Rank: 52.
Marco Luciano, SS (SF)- The 17-year-old is currently hitting .383/.479/.833 over his first 15 professional games. The power here is the real deal and he has the body and footwork of a player with a future up the middle. Needs to polish that hit tool a bit, but he’s got nothing but time on his side. Previous Rank: 60.
Julio Rodriguez, OF (SEA)- J-Rod started out hot after an aggressive assignment to full season ball to start the year, but missed about two months after fracturing his hand. His upside is a future middle of the order bat and his production has been as loud as the tools to this point. Previous Rank: 82.
Nate Lowe, 1B (TB) - Lowe hasn’t had a chance to establish himself at the major league level, but if you pay close attention to some underlying numbers, you’ll see that his .280/.400/.480 potential is laying dormant. Tweaking the minimum PA qualifications, he’s second best in baseball in Zone Contact%, but pitchers are scared of throwing it anywhere near the zone, where he’s 15th lowest in Zone%. In other words, they know the damage he can do. He’s semi-blocked and some of the shine has worn off. Consider this somewhat of a buy low window. Previous Rank: 33.
Jesus Luzardo, LHP (OAK) - In a perfect world, we’d already be enjoying some @PitchingNinja gifs of Luzardo at the major league level. But multiple injuries are putting a 2019 debut in danger. His latest setback is a grade 2 left lat strain that’ll knock him out until August. He’s been limited to 19.1 innings this year but even in that short span he’s flashed a better fastball (sat 95-96 and touched 99), which is a heck of a development if it sticks. It could also be him airing it out in shorter stints. With his plus breakers and command, we’re not worried about his ultimate performance at the highest level. Previous Rank: 16.
Brendan McKay, LHP (TB) - The Rays have thankfully shown that if you force the issue, you’re going to buck their organizational trend of taking it slow. McKay’s 1.22 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 66.2 innings between Double-A and Triple-A combined with Tyler Glasnow’s latest setback opened the door for a promotion for the two-way player. We’re waiting to see if his strikeout numbers translate. He has good command of his FB/CT/CB combo which’ll help with your WHIP but they’re not inducing whiffs at the rate his minor league numbers indicate, at least in the (very) early going. He’s a little more valuable in leagues where he’s one entity. We feel confident in predicting SP3 upside, but we’re skeptical of going further for now. Previous Rank: 90.
Trevor Larnach, OF (MIN) - When Eddy saw Larnach in a series against Tampa, he was impressed at his ability to make adjustments in the same at-bats and how hard he barrelled his batted balls. We’re chalking his lack of power right now to the pitcher friendly FSL, though we’re also keeping an eye on an increased GB%. Don’t be discouraged by his pedestrian numbers, Larnach is going to be a good one with a high floor. Previous Rank: 23.
Kristian Robinson, OF (ARI) - We were disappointed when the Diamondbacks didn’t assign the Bahamian sensation to full-season ball, instead sending him to the Northwest League. The kid gloves are understandable though, as the 18-year-old has rare elite prospect upside if it all clicks and they don’t want to rush him. And in fairness, he’s still the sixth youngest player in the league. We’re looking at a potential 30 HR/20 SB monster but we’ve got a long way to go. His biggest task at the plate is harnessing the swing and miss that’s currently plaguing him, but it’s to be expected at this stage in his development. Previous Rank: 28.
Drew Waters, OF (ATL) - For my money, there’s no more divisive prospect in the minor leagues than Drew Waters. It’s really hard to reconcile a 20-year-old in Double-A and a .880 OPS with his .463 BABIP (second highest min.150 PA) and mediocre approach. We always defer to the performance relative to age, so for now he has the benefit of the doubt. BABIP is far from a meaningful stat in the minors for a multitude of reasons, but it’s still OK to acknowledge that he’s been getting pretty darn lucky. At the same time, he barrels the ball and while not a lot of baseballs are leaving the yard, he’s got a whopping 27 doubles and nine triples. His overall numbers mask that his right-handed swing is rife with holes and his production vs. LHP is lacking. There’s a little division on his ultimate ceiling within Prospects Live but, there’s no denying the ultimate above-average profile that’s forming. Previous Rank: 49.
AJ Puk, LHP (OAK) - Puk continues to slowly build strength as he recovers from Tommy John. The A’s are deploying him in one and two-inning increments. His fastball is still 95-97 and the strikeouts continue to pour in but the command is reportedly - and expectedly - a bit behind. The fervor over Puk, who you might remember challenged for a rotation spot in spring 2018, has died down a bit. He’s a good buy in leagues. His 2019 major league contributions might be nil, but he should be a force in the rotation early next year where he’ll post elite strikeouts and average walk numbers. Previous Rank: 22.
Cristian Pache, OF (ATL) - I’ve (Eddy) accepted that I’m going to be the low man of the site when it comes to Pache’s fantasy value (don’t worry, he’s inside my top 15 in our real life T100). He’s not the runner we envisioned, clocking run times in the 60 range now rather than the plus plus grades we saw. But the power is flourishing and he has 11 home runs now, or two more than his entire career pre-2019. A large part of that is learning to hit same-handed pitchers significantly better than before, learning to lay off the breaking balls on the outside of the plate, and tapping into pullside power more. If this trajectory continues, we’re looking at a 30 HR/10 SB player at peak who’s friendlier in AVG leagues than he is in OBP leagues. Previous Rank: 66.
Adley Rutschman, C (BAL) - Probably the first player since Bryce Harper to begin and end the year as the consensus number one draft prospect, Rutschman is the highest touted catcher since his franchise drafted Matt Wieters fifth overall in 2007. He can be a .275, 25 HR catcher with good plate discipline making him top five catcher material. That may not sound like much, but since 2008 only three catchers have reached both those benchmarks. His strong defense and leadership behind the plate will keep him at the position long after he debuts, but that’ll cap him at roughly 140 games a year limiting his fantasy contribution at a position where many owners can get by with waiver adds. Previous Rank: N/A.
George Valera, OF (CLE) - Like Robinson, Valera is another helium teenager that’s a coveted dynasty asset. He doesn’t have Robinson’s frame or explosiveness, but we’d bet on Valera having the better hit tool. His sweet lefty swing, while pretty damn noisy, is getting the job done in short season. There are some early signs of platoon issues, but the sample size is still small to worry about it. Look for him to be a 25-30 home run bat at peak with above-average walks. Previous Rank: 53.
Brendan Rodgers, 2B (COL)- The third overall pick in the 2015 draft made his MLB debut this spring but did little to force the Rockies hand. The approach issues that have hidden beneath the surface reared their ugly head. The combination of contact and power is still in elite company, Rodgers just needs more seasoning. Previous Rank: 25.
JJ Bleday, OF (MIA) - Coming off one of the best power seasons in the BBCOR era, Bleday went fourth overall to the Marlins. The Vandy slugger is still unsigned, but that should get done. An elite combination of approach, contact, and power. Previous Rank: N/A.
Nolan Gorman, 3B (STL)- We know about Gorman’s power, but swing and miss issues have plagued him in 2019. A 28.4 K% needs to be cut for Gorman to reach his full potential. If it all goes well Gorman could develop into one of the most prolific power bats in the game. Previous Rank: 36.
Jasson Dominguez, OF (NYY)- The top prospect in this year’s international class, Dominguez has gotten all the hype you’d expect from the top signee. The reports from MLB and Baseball America rate him as one of the top signers of the last decade, all praising his potential plus hit and power tools from both sides of the plate. Previous Rank: N/A.
Ronny Mauricio, SS (NYM)- The youngest player to earn a full season assignment out of camp. Mauricio turned 18 after the season started and has produced a 115 wRC+ since May 18. The approach is still very raw, but his bat to ball skills are otherworldly, and there’s a ton of projectable power. Previous Rank: 67.
Taylor Trammell, OF (CIN)- Few players are more maddening to dynasty owners than Trammell. The speedy and athletic lefty bat walks at an elite rate, but he’s yet to tap into in game power. The speed, approach, and athleticism are too much to ignore. Previous Rank: 14.
Bobby Witt Jr, SS (KC)- The top prep player in this year’s draft class pairs plus power and speed at a premium position. Expect some swing and miss issues as he moves through the upper-levels of the minors. A great talent with a sky-high upside. Previous Rank: N/A.
Heliot Ramos, OF (SF)- It’s tough to tell if Ramos is an opportunist in a friendly Cal League hitting environment or a player who took a step forward. He’s hitting the ball in the air at a higher rate and walking more, but he’s still inefficient as a base stealer. It’s hard to ignore the raw tools, but maybe he’s more power bat than power+speed. Previous Rank: 106.
Jorge Mateo, OF (OAK)- Mateo is back after a wretched 2018. Approach changes geared toward more pull-power have paid off, though the Triple-A balls haven’t hurt. A true combination of average power and elite speed, but playing time issues in Oakland and a poor approach continue to dim Mateo’s upside. Previous Rank: 89.
Michael Kopech, RHP (CHW)- A thunderous arm that would likely be a part of the White Sox rotation if not for Tommy John surgery. A healthy and focused Kopech can be a thing of beauty. Previous Rank: 38.
Dylan Carlson, OF (STL)- The 20-year-old Cardinals farmhand was given an aggressive assignment to Double-A after posting a 115 wRC+ across two levels of A-ball and has passed with flying colors with a .282/.366/.510 line. Every tool is above-average here and when combined with his plus baseball IQ you have a potential star. Previous Rank: 254.
Tyler Freeman, SS (CLE)- Freeman has a knack for making contact and finding the barrel. This is the type of profile that finds another gear in this new offensive environment, and you don’t have to look past this organization to find a few prime examples. Previous Rank: 70.
Jonathan India, 3B (CIN)- India hasn’t hit the ground running out of pro ball as expected, but you can see flashes of what made him one of our top players in FYPD this year. He’s a versatile player without a glaring weakness, and the power is coming. Previous Rank: 24.
Jordan Groshans, 3B (TOR)- A foot injury has limited Groshans to just 23 games this year at Low-A, but the plus power/plus hit combination has shown through. He’s been playing shortstop but projects as a third baseman in the bigs. Previous Rank: 74.
Dustin May, RHP (LAD)- May was promoted to Triple-A at the end of June and has one of the best arms in the upper minors. The 21-year-old has missed bats while showing off his plus command and heavy groundball tilt. The lean right-hander has a plus fastball-slider combination and just needs more consistency from the change now. Previous Rank: 102.
Jesus Sanchez, OF (TB)- The 21-year-old corner outfielder has an above-average hit tool at present with plus raw power that hasn’t shown through yet in Double-A. The 6-foot-3 lefty hits line drives all over the field, and most of his homers will be of that variety. He feasts on high fastballs. Previous Rank: 35.
Jazz Chisholm, SS (ARI)- The over 30 percent strikeout rate is worrisome for Jazz, but he will take his walks, steal double digit bases, and has a chance to hit 30 homers at peak. The power is real but you’ll have to be willing to ride the roller coaster with him at times. Eddy included him in a buy low dynasty post not long ago. Previous Rank: 30.
Hunter Bishop, OF (SF)- The power is very real, but so are the swing and miss concerns for the 10th overall pick this June. Bishop added power by shortening his setup and getting to the ball more efficiently, but he did play in one of the best offensive parks in college baseball. Previous Rank: N/A.
Jake Fraley, OF (SEA)- Fraley has finally been able to stay healthy after his offseason trade to the Mariners and has broken out in 2019 with a .311/.380/.564 line. He was recently promoted to Triple-A Tacoma and will see Seattle sometime in the second half. Previous Rank: 186.
Nico Hoerner, SS (CHC)- He’s shed some elements of the Stanford swing since joining the Cubs organization, and the hit tool has proven to be as advanced as we thought. A wrist injury could be mostly to blame here, but he’s only left the yard once in Double-A so far in his 22 games there. Previous Rank: 41.
Ian Anderson, RHP (ATL) - An abundance of strong pitching prospects sometimes inadvertently masks some of the Braves’ standouts. Couple that with their org philosophy of aggressive promotions and you can see why a 21-year-old Anderson in Double-A with a 31 K% might not be getting the proper amount of love. Armed with a running fastball and a 12-6 curve that have flashed plus, Anderson has the foundation for turning over a lineup. However he becomes a little over reliant on the curve and needs to flesh out the change, another pitch that’s flashed above average. We’re not worried about the walks because his stuff is good enough to induce swings and misses. Look for SP3 upside with flashes of SP2 in his better years. Previous Rank: 54.
Dylan Cease, RHP (CHW) - Cease’s big league debut, while not impressive on the surface, showed how much promise the 23-year-old has. We were impressed with how he used his non-fastball offerings almost equally. The year as a whole has been a bit of a downer but he’s suffered from some serious bad luck (bottom 7% in BABIP min.50 IP). As Lance mentioned in his big league debut piece for Cease, the right-hander’s stuff is good enough to miss in the zone, but there’s still work to be done on his control. Expect inconsistency early in his career with flashes of dominance. Previous Rank: 57.
Nate Pearson, RHP (TOR) - Despite the sterling numbers, we haven’t gotten a good look at Pearson this year. Or rather, a look at how he turns over a lineup and what his stuff looks like 80-90 pitches in. The Blue Jays have babied him, alternating 5 IP/2 IP starts. He’s never faced the same team twice for more than two innings, either. Don’t mistake this for doubt, though. Pearson has flashed an 80 fastball with a wipeout slider, both that play drastically up in relief (e.g. Refer to Futures Game). The command is coming along and his control has improved a lot as well. With his massive frame and stuff, we’re not in the reliever camp on him yet. The stuff is frontline material and though tantalizing as it is to make him go the Jordan Hicks route, we expect him to remain a starter through his debut. Previous Rank: 50.
Riley Greene, OF (DET) - Greene, who received a promotion to the NY Penn League, a few days before this published, is one of the most exciting prep bats to come out of the draft. In a best-case scenario we’re looking at a .300 hitter with 30-35 HR power. As with most prep bats, the biggest obstacle is recognizing spin and laying off it to lower the strikeouts . He should be a top 5-6 pick in FYPD. Previous Rank: N/A.
Alec Bohm, 3B (PHI) - Bohm is quietly showing the Phillies that it was a waste to start him in Lakewood. The 22-year-old has climbed all the way to Double-A this year putting him on track for a mid-to-late 2020 debut. The big 6-foot-5 righty has been dominant all year compiling a .325/.397/.532 line in 77 games through three levels. When John Calvagno saw him in late April he noted that his swing path was more linear which could cap his home runs. In Double-A he’s been hitting more flyballs and hitting them further, so we think he’s making the change toward a more flyball approach to maximize his plus plus raw. Expect Bohm to climb higher. Previous Rank: 73.
Corbin Carroll, OF (ARI) - A hit-over-power bat with 30-steal speed, Carroll’s got a quick bat through the zone and spoils plenty of pitches. He’s a strong makeup player with high energy and strong instincts both on the field and on the basepaths. He’s a better real life player thanks to his defense, but his contributions at the plate shouldn’t be underrated. He’ll need to change his swing to unlock more power, but we’re not sure if the Diamondbacks will want to trade contact for power at this stage. Previous Rank: N/A.
Brennen Davis, OF (CHC) - One of the biggest risers in the last few months, Davis underwent a massive physical transformation over the offseason packing on good muscle. He also took on proper instructions from the Cubs and began utilizing his back leg more and placing more weight which helped with his power. He’s been fantastic in the Midwest League where he’s just one of six teenagers to hit above .300. We think the frame is ripe for more growth and while it’ll likely hinder his speed, there’ll be a small window where he can be a 25HR/15SB player and see his power continue to grow from there. Previous Rank: 170.
CJ Abrams, SS (SD) - Here at Prospects Live we goofed by letting Abrams drop to 12 in our FYPD fantasy mock. Now, we don’t want to put too much stock into a 15-game sample size as of this writing, but starting your pro career 30-for-75 with two home runs and eight steals is one way to silence your doubters. He’s only struck out five times, too. Before his debut some PL members were just a little hesitant at how much projection there was as opposed to present tools. But he’s showcasing that he’s able to be a dynamic table setter with plenty of speed. Just keep in mind that SS and 3B are locked up in SD for a long time, so expect a shift to the OF unless he’s traded to another team. Previous Rank: N/A.
Deivi Garcia, RHP (NYY) - We don’t want to say it’s been a breakout year for Deivi because if you were paying attention he was doing this last year in Charleston and Tampa. But this year he’s doing it from the get go and against tougher competition. The 20-year-old -- who’s also the youngest pitcher in the Eastern League by over a year -- has been decimating Double-A hitters with a 37 K% thanks to his deadly curveball, strong command of his fastball and a changeup that’s flashed above-average. He’s a spin-rate darling who can hit all four quadrants of the zone. His finish is one of the easiest I’ve ever seen on a pitcher as well. He’ll now get a chance to dominate Triple-A and maybe even debut later this summer. We don’t think his size portends to a relief role, but we’d be surprised if he ever crosses 170 innings in a season. Previous Rank: 96.
DL Hall, LHP (BAL) - Hall has either walked or struck out 51 percent of the 237 batters he’s faced this year. It’s been a mixed bag for the youngest pitcher in the Carolina League. The 20-year-old paces the league with 80 strikeouts (13.4 K/9) but also has the second-most walks at 42 (7 BB/9). He’s gotten progressively worse with the walks as the season has progressed, which is a little alarming. Our own Jason Kamlowsky, who’s seen Hall multiple times, says the command is simply not there yet. He says he trusts the athleticism and the arsenal but Hall can be maddeningly inconsistent. If you own him, he’s a hold for now. Previous Rank: 113.
Brayan Rocchio, SS (CLE)- The seventh youngest player in the New York-Penn League has produced the fifth-lowest swinging strike rate and the eighth-highest flyball rate. Ignore the slashline and look at the true skills of the player. Jason Pennini highlights Rocchio here. Previous Rank: 77.
Nolan Jones, 3B (CLE)- Recently promoted to Double-A Akron, Jones leaves Lynchburg with a 20 BB% and the highest wRC+ (148) in the Carolina League. His approach is overly passive, as a 26 K% isn’t supported by his 7.2% swinging strike rate. The strikeout issues and lack of in game power hurt the profile for fantasy. Previous Rank: 34.
Xavier Edwards, SS (SD)- One of the elite speedsters in the minors, Edwards was getting caught at a high rate early in the season. He began sliding head first and has unlocked the stolen base ability. It’s a contact and speed profile, with very little to no power projection. Could be a two category stud a la Dee Gordon. Previous Rank: 46.
Jordyn Adams, OF (LAA)- We knew Adams was raw heading into the season and so far that has held true through his first taste of full season ball. An 80 grade runner with five category upside, be patient. Previous Rank: 56.
Alek Thomas, OF (ARI)- The Diamondbacks 2018 second rounder has exceeded the expectations of even the most rosy of power grades coming into the season. He’s providing five category production at the moment with a .305/.389/.495 line with eight homers and eight stolen bases. Previous Rank: 153.
Grayson Rodriguez, RHP (BAL)- A big right-hander with a four-pitch mix that features three plus to above average pitches. A 14.4 SwStr% over 62 innings, to go with a 2.31 FIP, 34.7 K%, and 6.6 BB%. Previous Rank: 210.
Sixto Sanchez, RHP (MIA)- The injury woes of 2018 are behind Sixto, as he’s made 10 Double-A starts and produced the best numbers of his professional career. You’d still like to see more strikeouts with his stuff, but Sanchez has shown the ability to throw strikes and get outs. Previous Rank: 55.
Sherten Apostel, 3B (TEX)- Some of the biggest raw power in minors, Apostel has consistently hit the ball hard with a 41.9% hard hit rate according to Rotowire. Our own Eddy Almaguer wrote a sleeper post about Sherten in January. Previous Rank: 85.
Monte Harrison, OF (MIA)- One of the many outfielders the Marlins acquired over their nuclear winter of 2017-2018, Harrison has finally made enough contact to let his tools shine. Plus power and speed, with some on base skills and elite centerfield defense. Previous Rank: 114.
Luis Patiño, RHP (SD)- One of the most athletic pitchers in the minor leagues, Patiño has not let the hitter’s environment of the Cal League stop him. He’s the youngest pitcher at the High-A level and has produced a 3.36 FIP and a 31% K rate over 13 starts. He’s still walking too many batters, but all things considered it’s been another strong showing. If you watched the Futures Game, you got to see his shutdown performance that included his crazy high-spin fastball that consistently touched 98. Previous Rank: 71.
Ryan Mountcastle, 1B (BAL)- The 2015 first round pick has slid down the defensive spectrum since entering pro ball but still finds himself on the cusp of the big leagues. It’s an aggressive approach but Mountcastle will do some damage attacking the short porch in Camden Yards. He should be up soon. Previous Rank: 98.
Estevan Florial, OF (NYY)- The results haven’t been there this year for Florial, but this is a case of the tools being too strong to write off. The power and speed combination is appealing, but Florial has missed time due to injury once again. He needs to stay on the field to develop that hit tool to tap into the rest of his skills. Previous Rank: 59.
Leody Taveras, OF (TEX)- The 20-year-old Taveras was just promoted to Double-A as the Rangers continue to push him aggressively through their system. This time the production warrants the promotion and it’s yet another example of why it’s important to factor in age when evaluating player performance. Previous Rank: 157.
Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B (PIT)- Well we don’t get them all correct here at Prospects Live. We had Hayes primed for a breakout after strong underlying skills growth in 2018, but Hayes hasn’t thrived in the new offensive environment in the International League. The defense and plate skills are still here though, and I’m not giving up on the power coming soon. Previous Rank: 48.
Logan Gilbert, RHP (SEA)- Gilbert is yet another Mariners farmhand that’s had a strong 2019. Gilbert has torched hitters in two levels of A-ball with 101 strikeouts in 78 innings while limiting opponents to a .206 average. The Stetson alum is following in the footsteps of former hatters Corey Kluber and Jacob deGrom. Previous Rank: 144.
Greg Jones, SS (TB)- A true 80-grade runner with 55 raw power from both sides of the plate, Jones was one of the more exciting first round picks this past June. There’s a better than 50 percent chance he moves to center, but he’s a potential game changing fantasy asset. Previous Rank: N/A.
Joey Bart, C (SF)- Bart is as advanced defensively as advertised with the 70-grade raw power to match. He’s the rare catching prospect worthy of a strong investment in fantasy. Previous Rank: 118.
Nick Solak, 2B (TB)- Since getting drafted in the second round by the Yankees in 2016, all Nick Solak has done is hit. He will take a walk, strikes out at a below average clip and will even chip in a handful of steals. He’s been adding some versatility over the last year and a half, and although he won’t be a star he’s a contributor. Previous Rank: 154.
Oneil Cruz, SS (PIT)- Cruz has been on the shelf for most of 2019 due to a foot injury but has recently returned to the lineup for the Pirates High-A affiliate. There’s massive raw power here but the rest of his game remains unrefined. Previous Rank: 64.
Keoni Cavaco, 3B (MIN)- The pop-up prospect of the 2019 draft, Cavaco was famously not invited to some of the showcase events last fall. He’s a potential five-tool talent at the hot corner with a projectable frame. A player to target in your upcoming FYPDs. Previous Rank: N/A.
Robert Puason, SS (OAK) - The second best J2 prospect from the most recent class (and before Jasson Dominguez appeared, Puason was the early darling of the class), the switch-hitting Puason flashes above-average hit and power tools with good barrel control. His fielding is good enough that he should stick at shortstop. He’s got speed to impact the basepaths (think 15 steals) and has one of the most projectable frames of the entire class. His ranking will be pretty fluid in the next few months. Previous Rank: N/A.
Shane Baz, RHP (TB) - Boy, that Chris Archer swap is looking worse and worse. Baz, who spent a year in extended spring training so the Rays could limit his innings, has been fantastic as sixth-youngest pitcher in the Midwest League. A 7 ER outing before the All-Star Break inflated his ratios a bit, but he’s got the strikeouts (28 K%) and walks (8 BB%) working for him. Of note is that he's become a dramatic flyball pitcher under the Rays and we wonder if that’s small sample noise or a concerted effort to perhaps become a more North-South pitcher. Previous Rank: 183.
Nick Madrigal, 2B (CHW) - Despite the jokes about his lack of power and his ultimate fantasy profile, what Madrigal has done in his career -- and more recently in Double-A -- has been impressive. He has just eight strikeouts in 288 at-bats this year (⅔ of that in High-A). He has 28 steals in 38 attempts and is hitting .392 in 25 games for Birmingham. Madrigal should excel in points league formats above all else and be a hindrance in any OPS/SLG/XBH leagues. Ultimately we’re looking at early career Chone Figgins/Luis Castillo for statistical output comparisons. Previous Rank: 76.
Khalil Lee, OF (KC) - Quick, where does Lee rank among stolen bases this year? He’s second with 35 steals in 41 attempts. Bit more than you thought, right? Despite the gaudy totals, remember that Lee tops out as a plus runner and has been graded below that. Even in Double-A you have to take steals with a grain of salt because of the quality of catchers. But it’s still good to see him hone his instincts for an organization that runs wild at the major league level. We sense a little bit of prospect fatigue around him, maybe because there’s no real standout tool. Continue trudging along remembering he’s 21 in the Texas League and a potential 10HR/25SB profile with a strong AVG and OBP. Previous Rank: 79.
Isan Diaz, 2B (MIA) - Diaz splashed back onto the prospect scene after falling off it a couple of years ago. You can’t deny that the PCL and new ball have aided this resurgence, but he hasn’t shown any platoon splits, has cut the strikeouts, maintained a double-digit walk rate and is a breath away from being the Marlins’ new everyday second baseman. Essentially, the proximity and power are why he’s here. If you’re a Marlins fan that’s been waiting for the next Dan Uggla-like player to show up, here he is. Previous Rank: 155.
Yusniel Diaz, OF (BAL) - If it feels like Diaz has been in Double-A purgatory for a while, it’s because he has. He first began there in 2017 with the Dodgers and has 734 career plate appearances at the level. It’s been a disappointing year for Diaz who’s mustered just a .240/.325/.469 line. The Orioles have tweaked his stance, returning the leg lift instead of a toe tap and moved him closer to the plate to help with outer half pitches. One big change has been his flyball data. He’s jumped 20 percentage points at the expense of line drives all while pulling the ball more than ever. Truthfully, we’re not sure what to make of that. He has a good approach at the plate so I’m not worried at the jump in flyballs, but I wonder how that’s affecting his overall profile. Previous Rank: 44.
Trent Grisham, OF (MIL) - One of 2019’s biggest popup prospects, Grisham is back on the prospect map after his tremendous success in Double-A and now Triple-A. The 22-year-old is hitting .259/.370/.517 on the year and if you remove a very slow April, he’s up to .271/.393/.568. Since May 1 he’s walked more than he’s struck out and has shown great power (.296 ISO and top 10% in AAA flyball distance). If you want to knock him it’s that he’s slightly pull heavy so he’ll have to fight against the shift. But we’re drooling about the thought of a power lefty bat in Miller Park. Go and grab him if he’s available. Previous Rank: None.
Luis Garcia, SS (WAS) - Similar to Drew Waters’ age relative to level, how much do you knock Garcia for being a 19-year-old (and 18 until mid-May) at Double-A where he’s the youngest player in the entire level? His .614 OPS is a sign of the struggles he’s had all season, though the silver lining is he’s hitting above .270 and striking out just 15 percent of the time. We’re not a fan of his fantasy appeal -- regardless of his current performance -- but it’s important to recognize that we haven’t come close to seeing peak performance. Previous Rank: 47.
Will Smith, C (LAD) - Do you want a catcher who can hit 30 home runs and be average to above-average across his slash line? Smith checks that box. Taking advantage of the new ball, Smith’s power has flourished this year. He’s an even stronger asset in OBP leagues. Though his major league data shows otherwise, I like that he’s become significantly less pull heavy in his approach. It’s just a matter of adopting that in the majors. He could easily put up a top three fantasy catcher season in his first full year. Previous Rank: None.
Josh Jung, 3B (TEX)- Jung (pronounced “young”) has one of the smoothest swings for a right-handed bat, spraying the ball to all fields with his hit-over-power approach. He’s got a good approach at the plate and should maintain a decently high average. We’re not sure how much power he’ll flash, however. Unless he changes the swing, he might be a tweener. Previous Rank: N/A.
Andres Gimenez, SS (NYM)- This is our biggest dropper and for good reason. Gimenez has done little to back our pre-season hype. There’s still too much talent to write him off after a bad half a season, but the expectations are in check. Previous Rank: 29.
Zac Gallen, RHP (MIA)- “When are the Marlins promoting Zac Gallen?” Is the question that most represents the first half of 2019. It finally happened last month, and through three starts the results have been mixed. The righthander dominated the PCL, and significantly improved his stock year over year. Previous Rank: None.
Spencer Howard, RHP (PHI)- The smoke! The man with the velo is the man with the bag these days. A shoulder injury put him on the shelf for most of May and June, but he made his first rehab start recently and is working his way back. Big swing and miss stuff here. Previous Rank: 110.
Jordan Balazovic, RHP (MIN) - Balazovic is another pop up name this year that’s checked all the boxes you want for a starter. He’s got plus velocity on his fastball with late life, a slider that flashes plus, good control, improving command and a projectable 6-foot-4 frame that’s ripe for some more muscle. Say hello to the top Twins pitching prospect. Previous Rank: None.
Seth Beer, 1B (HOU) - Beer keeps on mashing wherever he goes this year as he’s tearing up Double-A after doing the same in High-A to begin the year. His allure is that of a 30-35 HR bat with strong OBP that’s limited to 1B/DH. Presently there are struggles against left-handed pitchers and the hope is he can conquer them to avoid become a platoon bat in that crowded Astros lineup. Previous Rank: 172.
Daulton Varsho (ARI)- The sweet swinging lefty has continued to hit as he climbs the professional ladder. He’s adequate enough behind the plate to stick there, but he likely won’t ever be an asset back there. The bat is good enough to play in an outfield corner if necessary. Previous Rank: 83.
Mark Vientos, 3B (NYM)- The power is growing here for the 2017 second rounder, but the swing and miss issues will need to be ironed out to reach his full potential. 30+ homer bat upside though. Previous Rank: 68.
Brett Baty, 3B (NYM) - Baty draws comparisons to Nolan Gorman due to the power, handedness, position and frame. The 19-year-old has already been promoted to the Appy League from the GCL after a handful of games. Guess who else did that? Previous Rank: N/A.
Will Benson, OF (CLE) - A statistical monster in the minors this year, at the time of this publishing Benson is the first player to reach the 20/20 mark, beating out Kyle Tucker who’s at 24 HR and 19 SB. It’s an impressive feat for a 6-foot-5, 225-pound dude. But there’s cause for concern given his extreme pull rate and struggles to pick up spin, which we fear might make him an easy out to more advanced pitchers and defenders. Previous Rank: None.