Fantasy Prospects Rankings
Fantasy Prospects Rankings
Prospect rankings usually take into account aspects that don’t matter much in fantasy baseball – defense, throwing arm, proximity to majors. Our rankings are mostly a reflection of ceiling, although we will reward a little for ETA in the majors since we owners would rather win this season than three years from now. We favor power over speed, since power spills over into so many fantasy categories while raw speed doesn’t always equate to stolen bases and tends to go away with age as players fill out. The ages we list here are as of April 1.
1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays, age 19: Possessing a super-rare 80 hit tool, the big-bodied slugger doesn’t have the speed of his dad but is a masher in the mold of Miguel Cabrera, complete with the eventual move to first base.
2. Ronald Acuna, OF, Braves, 20: This five-tool talent will also be a five-category fantasy star, possibly a more powerful Mookie Betts.
3. Nick Senzel, 3B, Reds, 22: The 70 hit tool to go with 60 power and 55 speed should play well in Great American Ballpark.
4. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies, 21: Bringing above-average tools across the board to shortstop at Coors Field will be a boon to fantasy owners.
5. Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox, 21: Possessor of true light-tower power (as evidenced by last year’s Carolina League home run derby) that grades as a 70 but is borderline 80, this 6-foot-4 beast can hit for average too.
6. Victor Robles, OF, Nationals, 20: Basically Acuna Light, this five-tool talent has all the speed and hitting ability of the Braves wonderkind without quite the power.
7. Shohei Ohtani, SP/DH, Angels, 23: We will find out if the Japanese Babe Ruth will hit enough to matter there, but he could be an elite MLB ace as soon as this season.
8. Bo Bichette, 2B/SS, Blue Jays, 20: Blessed with a blistering bat like his dad Dante, his lack of defensive prowess doesn’t bother us much in fantasy, although it will likely lead to him moving off shortstop to second base.
9. Gleyber Torres, 2B/3B, Yankees, 21: The natural shortstop has above-average tools like Rodgers, but is looking for a home on defense since he’s blocked by Didi Gregorius in New York, where he should flourish in a monster lineup and a hitter’s park.
10. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, Padres, 19: A future 20-20 standout with upside beyond that, as he fills out he likely will move over to third base and may finally give San Diego a homegrown offensive star.
11. Walker Buehler, SP, Dodgers, 23: Possessing a wipeout slider, plus curve and a 100-mph fastball, he should take advantage of pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium and join Clayton Kershaw at the top of the rotation.
12. Alex Reyes, SP, Cardinals, 23: Coming back from Tommy John surgery, his fastball grades as a rare 80 to go with a 70 curve and 60 changeup to go with his sturdy 6-foot-3 frame.
13. Forrest Whitley, SP, Astros, 20: The 6-foot-7 flame-thrower vaulted through three levels last year to finish in Double-A and now he’s poised to reach Houston this year with his arsenal of four plus pitches.
14. Mitch Keller, SP, Pirates, 21: Honing a changeup to go with his tremendous fastball-curve combo, Pittsburgh has it’s future ace likely starting this season in Double-A where he finished 2017.
15. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros, 21: With above-average tools across the board, the 6-foot-4 masher already has four homers this spring training and could be bringing his powerful bat to Houston by the end of this summer.
16. Austin Hays, OF, Orioles, 22: Another across-the-board talent, the quick-rising outfielder should be up in Baltimore by July and could be a rookie of the year candidate if he gets a chance before then.
17. Lewis Brinson, OF, Marlins, 23: Getting traded to Miami should help the power-speed outfielder make his MLB splash this season, using his newfound patience to become a an offensive force.
18. Willie Calhoun, OF, Rangers, 23: Graded down as a prospect because of a below-average defensive profile, the short and sturdy masher should get his opportunity in the Texas lineup this season as an outfielder-DH and could win AL rookie of the year.
19. Scott Kingery, 2B, Phillies, 23: The do-it-all second baseman in the mold of Chase Utley could start racking up 20-20 seasons in Philadelphia as early as this year.
20. Ryan McMahon, 1B, Rockies, 23: Here’s somebody that ranks way higher on this fantasy list than he does on prospect rankings as we’re moving the presumptive Rockies starting first baseman in 2018 up since Coors Field should work wonders on his short stroke that sprays the ball to all fields.
21. Michael Kopech, SP, White Sox, 21: The 100-mph righty has an 80 fastball and 60 slider but just 45 control, which will likely land him in Triple-A to start the season to get more refinement before arriving in Chicago later this summer.
22. J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies, 23: Philadelphia’s shortstop of the future added power to his patient approach, which he should be using as a run-scoring table-setter in the majors this season.
23. Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers, 21: The most polished college bat from the 2016 draft, the UC Irvine product is graded down for his defense, but it will be his 60 hit tool that could see a quick trip through the minors.
24. Taylor Trammell, OF, Reds, 20: The former record-breaking high school running back struggles on defense, but he has a great mix of power, speed and patience at the plate that will play well at Great American Ballpark.
25. Luiz Gohara, SP, Braves, 21: The flame-throwing lefty has an 80 fastball and 70 slider, but could use some work on his control – and he should get a chance to work on it on the MLB level this season in Atlanta.
26. Francisco Mejia, C, Indians, 22: Unfortunately his best tool is an 80 arm, but he can hit for average with some power so it could translate to a first-tier catcher before long.
27. A.J. Puk, SP, Athletics, 22: The 6-foot-7 lefty put up huge strikeout rates in the minors last year (14.5 K/9 in High-A, 12.1 in Double-A) with his 70 fastball and 60 slider and we should get a chance to see how that will translate to pitching in Oakland and its specious home park.
28. Kyle Wright, SP, Braves, 22: The polished Vanderbilt product has a deep arsenal featuring a 70 fastball, 60 curve, 60 slider and 55 changeup that could power him from Double-A up to Atlanta this season.
29. Sixto Sanchez, SP, Phillies, 19: The sturdy righty has been compared to Luis Severino with his 70 fastball, 60 change and 60 control and could move quickly to reach Philadelphia in 2019.
30. Willy Adames, SS, Rays, 22: The well-rounded shortstop should take over the Tampa Bay starting job by midseason but none of his tools are loud except his patience, a similar profile to J.P. Crawford.
31. Royce Lewis, SS, Twins, 18: The ceiling is high for last year’s No. 1 overall pick with a five-tool package, but the earliest arrival in Minnesota would seem to be September of 2019.
32. MacKenzie Gore, SP, Padres, 19: The 6-foot-3 lefty has drawn comparisons to Cole Hamels, which fits with his balanced arsenal of 60 grades on his fastball, curve, change and control, but he likely won’t arrive in San Diego until 2020.
33. Jesse Winker, OF, Reds, 24: The much-anticipated power finally came last season after a late-season call-up to Cincinnati, where his 60 hit tool should play up thanks in part to his patient approach – maybe Joey Votto can rub off on him!
34. Jorge Mateo, SS, Athletics, 22: There’s actually some pop in his bat to go with 80 speed, so if he can stick at shortstop we could really be onto something here.
35. Franklin Barreto, 2B/SS, Athletics, 22: Whether Mateo winds up at short partially depends on whether Barreto is moved to second base, where he is likely destined due to having less of a throwing arm, but his balanced set of tools including 60 hit, 50 power and 55 speed could lead to a valuable middle infielder.
36. Alex Verdugo, OF, Dodgers, 21: Playing for a franchise that regularly cranks out rookies of the year, the main question is whether his balanced set of tools can break into the L.A. outfield or if he winds up being trade bait – either way, he has a chance at being an impact bat.
37. Jo Adell, OF, Angels, 18: The teenager may be a ways off, but his extremely loud set of tools (60 hit, 70 power, 70 speed) gives him a chance to eventually move to the top of prospect rankings.
38. Colton Welker, 3B, Rockies, 20: If Colorado somehow lets Nolan Arenado get away when he becomes a free agent after the 2019 season, this bat-first prospect could become a fantasy beast.
39. Triston McKenzie, SP, Indians, 20: A developing change gives the Cleveland right-hander a chance at three plus pitches along with his 60 fastball and 60 curve.
40. Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians, 21: Power and patience are the Cleveland first baseman’s game, reminiscent of a prospect like Rhys Hoskins.
41. Hunter Greene, SP, Reds, 18: Still five months away from turning 19, the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft features an 80 fastball that touches 102 mph to go with developing slider and change that could both wind up plus pitches – elite ace potential.
42. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox, 20: Chicago forked out $26 million for the Cuban outfielder last May and his loud tools (55 hit, 60 power, 70 speed) portend of an impact fantasy asset.
43. Michael Chavis, 3B, Red Sox, 22: Power is the name of his game, clubbing 31 homers between High-A and Double-A last season, so we could see him in Boston by the end of the summer.
44. Keibert Ruiz, C, Dodgers, 19: A switch-hitting bat-first prospect at the incredibly thin catcher position, Ruiz has a huge ceiling as a teenager who has already flourished at High-A.
45. Estevan Florial, OF, Yankees, 20: A rare Haitian prospect, the five-tool outfielder has some tantalizing skills like 50 hit, 55 power and 70 speed grades.
46. Justus Sheffield, SP, Yankees, 21: The diminutive (5-foot-10) lefty has a 70 fastball that touches 98 to go with a slider and changeup that could become plus pitches as well.
47. Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates, 22: Pittsburgh’s trade of Andrew McCutchen opens up a spot in the outfield for Meadows, but he may need some more time in Triple-A first to allow his balanced set of tools to start producing more than last year when hit hit .250 with 4 homers in half a season with Indianapolis.
48. Tyler O’Neill, OF, Cardinals, 22: We love boppers and St. Louis acquired the 70-power outfielder from Seattle last season and he should arrive in the majors this season.
49. Michel Baez, SP, Padres, 21: At 6-foor-8 and with an extraordinary arsenal featuring a 70 fastball, 60 change and 60 control, this could be a future ace in San Diego.
50. Juan Soto, OF, Nationals, 19: Here’s the toolsy outfielder with a chance to be this year’s Acuna, likely starting in High-A and with a chance to reach Washington by the end of the summer as a teenager.
51. Brendan McKay, SP/1B, Rays, 22: Another prospect joining Ohtani trying to make it as a two-way player, McKay has a power bat that could impact as a first baseman and a balanced arsenal as a lefty pitcher, but we’ll see if he can arrive in Tampa Bay doing both.
52. Jake Bauers, 1B/OF, Rays, 22: With a blend of power, patience and speed, Bauers should get a chance to establish himself in Tampa Bay as this season goes along.
53. Anthony Alford, OF, Blue Jays, 23: The tremendous athlete was a college quarterback at Southern Miss and a defensive back at Ole Miss, now he’s a power-speed outfielder who could be the table-setter in Toronto as early as this season.
54. Austin Riley, 3B, Braves, 20: The future Atlanta third baseman turns 21 on April 2 and his 60 power looming possibly in Triple-A already is what has kept the team from signing a veteran to man the hot corner.
55. Miguel Andujar, 3B, Yankees, 23: Having a hot spring and potentially breaking camp as the starting third baseman in New York has this power-hitting Dominican shooting up the ranks.
56. Ian Anderson, SP, Braves, 19: Another in Atlanta’s treasure trove of pitching prospects, Anderson has solid skills across the board with a 60 fastball, 60 curve, 55 change and 50 control.
57. Kolby Allard, SP, Braves, 20: Pitching in Double-A as a 19-year-old last season, Allard posted a solid 3.18 ERA and should be arriving in Atlanta soon with a balanced arsenal.
58. Mike Soroka, SP, Braves, 20: Lacking the raw stuff of other hurlers in Atlanta’s stacked organization, his pitchability should lead to being a solid mid-rotation starter.
59. Leody Taveras, OF, Rangers, 19: The scouts have long loved the tools of this teenage outfielder more than the results (.249, 8 HR in Low-A last season), so patience may be needed for this future five-tool weapon.
60. Julio Pablo Martinez, 21, OF, Rangers: Texas just signed the Cuban center fielder for $2.8 million and his power-speed combo that could start him in as high as Double-A vaults him into the rankings.