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2019 Top 15 Left Handed Pitching Prospects

SP rankings artworkLeft-handed pitching continues to be sought after by all Major League teams and the signing and development are critical to the success of any team. While Clayton Kershaw has established the standard for excellence for lefties, his performance should be viewed as an outlier. In other words, if you’re a fantasy owner and looking for the next Kershaw, just stop, reset your expectations and hope to get 80% of him.

The best lefty in the minor leagues is still at least two years away in MacKenzie Gore. While it wasn’t a dominating year for the 19-year-old pitcher, he still has the stuff and athleticism to give him the ceiling of an Ace. Jesus Lazardo should see time next season with the A’s but his inconsistent curveball pushes his ceiling to a strong number three or number two starter in the big leagues.

Further down the list are two of my favorite pitchers from last year’s draft in Ryan Weathers and Daniel Lynch. Both have solid mid-rotation ceilings, if not more with Lynch closer to contributing to the big leagues than Weathers. Finally, there is Jay Groome. If he can stay healthy, I think there is something special there. To-date, that hasn’t happened. But I’m not willing to give up and therefore, he makes our list.

Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player.

1. MacKenzie Gore (SD)

A 4.47 ERA last season does not show the true potential of MacKenzie Gore. He’s a great athlete with premium stuff and is one of the few pitchers in the minor leagues with ace potential.

2. Jesus Luzardo (Oak)

The A’s won with over-the-hill pitchers last year. It’s time for some young blood for their rotation and Jesus Luzardo should provide that sometime during 2019. I still wish his curveball was better, but otherwise, he should be solid.

3. Justus Sheffield (Sea)

Justus Sheffield should get his chance for extended playing time at the Major League level in 2019. He doesn’t have the size or premium stuff of an ace, but he should be a solid mid-rotation starter for many years in the Major Leagues.

4. Brendan McKay (TB)

I didn’t list Brendan McKay as a first baseman because I think the Rays will have him focus exclusively on pitching going forward. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking on my part because I think he has a chance to be a Top 15 lefty in the game.

5. Yusei Kikuchi (Sea)

Yusei Kikuchi doesn’t excite me like Yu Darvish and Shohei Otani did. However, he’s a lefty and should be able to be an effective mid-rotation starter.

6. A.J. Puk (Oak)

Another TJS survivor…or we hope. I’ve been wrong about him to-date as the control has progressed faster than I predicted. But the A’s will likely bring him back slowly. So, if you’re hoping for production in 2019, I think resetting your expectations are in order.

7. Adrian Morejon (SD)

Adrian Morejon struggled with arm trouble last season but still managed to pitch to a 3.30 ERA. He’s not a physically imposing guy (6-feet tall), but the stuff is solid, and he throws strikes.

8. Logan Allen (SD)

If Logan Allen’s breaking pitch develops, the upside is a front-of-the-rotation pitcher. His fastball-changeup are both plus pitches and they are good enough to get major league hitters out. Look for him in San Diego in 2019.

9. D.L Hall (Bal)

Sleeper alert. DL Hall can really pitch and with a teardown of the Orioles organization from top to bottom, I’m encouraged that Hall and others will get the coaching that has been missing for a while.

10. Matthew Liberatore (TB)

Matthew Liberatore will be handled with kid gloves, but the upside is extremely high. If you have the patience, he’s a kid to get behind.

11. Ryan Weathers (SD)

The Padres system is so deep that one of the best left-handers in last year’s draft did not make the Top 100 list. Ryan Weathers already has an advanced arsenal and should move quickly through the system.

12. Luiz Gohara (Atl)

Luiz Gohara has a big arm and has already seen time in the Major Leagues. His lack of command of his pitches is causing him to be homer-prone and the result is an unsightly ERA. However, once he can better paint his pitches, watch out.

13. JoJo Romero (Phi)

Sandwiched between a bad start to the season and an injury that cut his season short, JoJo Romero pitched effectively. He’s a lefty with solid stuff and continues to have a mid-rotation ceiling.

14. Daniel Lynch (KC)

Daniel Lynch was one of the plethoras of college arms taken by the Royals last June. While I’m not a huge fan of Brady Singer, I do like Lynch and think he could be a sleeper.

15. Jason Groome (Bos)

I’m not going to reiterate the struggles of Jay Groome, but just know that the arm is special. I’m just hoping he successfully recovers from TJ surgery and can show the kind of stuff that had everyone excited when he was in high school.

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2019 Top 30 Outfield Prospects

OF rankings artworkWe have expanded on our list of 15 players per position and have doubled the number for outfielders. The reason is simple – there are just more players at that position.

The list is stacked with players likely to see significant playing time in the Major Leagues in 2019 including Victor Robles, Eloy Jimenez and possible Kyle Tucker. It also has a plethora of younger, high upside players that are several years away in Jarred Kelenic, George Valera, and Kristian Robinson. It’s just a stacked position at all levels of the minor leagues.

The one player I struggle in ranking was Victor Victor Mesa. From a fantasy standpoint, he could be a monster with the potential to steal bases in bunches but there is clear 4th outfielder risk. I had reports on his ceiling as wide-ranging as a potential star to solid major leaguer to fourth outfielder. Since we have very little to go on, he’s just hard to get your arms around. Plus, let’s face it, the Marlins have struggled recently in evaluating young talent. Gone are the days of drafting and developing stars like Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich, Mike Stanton, and JT Realmuto. Recently, it’s been Tyler Kolek, Josh Naylor, Braxton Garrett, and the acquired Lewis Brinson.

Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player.

1. Victor Robles (Was)

Once healthy, Robles gave a glimpse last year of the type of impact he can have on the game. He’s a double-plus runner who can hit. I don’t think the power will ever be plus, but a 15-40-.300 stat line would not surprise me.

2. Eloy Jimenez (CHW)

Big and strong with 30 plus home run power should make Eloy Jimenez an impact performer in the Major Leagues for years to comes. That timeline should begin in late April.

3. Jo Adell (LAA)

Jo Adell needs to work on his contact rate, but he has true five-tool potential. With Trout looking for help in LA, expect the Angels to move him hard for a possible arrival in early 2020.

4. Kyle Tucker (Hou)

While I still worry about the hitch in his swing, Kyle Tucker has all the tools to be an impact performer in the Major Leagues. The real question is will that be in Houston?

5. Taylor Trammell (Cin)

Taylor Trammell continues to be one of my favorite prospects in the game. He’s tooled up with a nice approach with big-time makeup. The combination should result in many All-Star game appearances.

6. Alex Kirilloff (Min)

Alex Kirilloff doesn’t get the love that many other top prospects do, but after slashing .348/.392/.578 across Low and High-A last year, that is changing.

7. Alex Verdugo (LAD)

Alex Verdugo can really hit, and I still believe there is 20 home run potential. However, there are whispers of “want” issues. Perhaps he’s just bored and needs the challenge of the highest level. Let’s hope, as the talent is very real.

8. Jarred Kelenic (Sea)

The trade that sent him to Seattle gives a hint to the type of upside Jarred Kelenic has. There’s a big bat in there and with this approach, he could move quickly.

9. Cristian Pache (Atl)

Cristian Pache is a double-plus defender with serious tools. The combination will give him plenty of opportunities in the Majors with a chance to be an impact performer.

10. Victor Victor Mesa (Mia)

The Marlins won the Victor Victor Mesa sweepstakes over the winter and he immediately went to the top of their prospect rankings. It might take a while for him to knock off the rust, but his double-plus speed should be a real benefit to fantasy owners.

11. Yusniel Diaz (Bal)

The Orioles have a Top 50 prospect…and he’s legitimate. The ball explodes Yusniel Diaz bat.

12. Drew Waters (Atl)

I thought I was the only one bullish on Drew Waters but after publishing the Atlanta list, I got many comments inquiring why he was so low. Hopefully, this ranking is satisfactory.

13. Jesus Sanchez (TB)

While I’m a fan of Jesus Sanchez, the approach needs work in order for his big-time secondary tools to play.

14. Luis Robert (CHW)

He’s athletic with plus bat speed. The question is the same we had with Yoan Moncada. Will, he hit enough to be an impact bat at the highest level.

15. Austin Hays (Bal)

We have an Austin Hays spotting. I could be dead wrong on the young Orioles outfielder, but I’m inclined to believe that his poor 2018 was due to injuries. The best thing is he’ll have plenty of opportunities to play in 2019.

16. Travis Swaggerty (Pit)

It wasn’t a great start to his professional career, but Travis Swaggerty has some pop and is a plus runner who could develop into a top of the order impact performer.

17. Brandon Marsh (LAA)

It’s still more tools over performance, but if it all comes together, the impact is going to be significant.

18. Heliot Ramos (SF)

In 2017, it was debatable on who was the better prospect – Heliot Ramos or Jo Adell. At least for now, Adell has jumped ahead. Despite just an average season, there’s still a lot to like with Ramos.

19. Everson Pereira (NYY)

While he just turned 18 and could be on this list for years, Everson Pereira has plus power and speed in combination with a swing that will work. It’s time to jump on the train.

20. Estevan Florial (NYY)

I love the tools that Estevan Florial brings to the table, I just worry that he’ll hit enough to get to them. If he does, he could be a star.

21. Corey Ray (Mil)

I saw Corey Ray in the Fall League in 2017 and his swing looked terrible. While his 2018 season was BABIP-led, the swing mechanics have improved. If he continues to improve, there is speed-power with plus defensive ability.

22. Monte Harrison (Mia)

Monte Harrison has plus speed and power but his contactability turned from bad-to-worse last season, posting a 37% strikeout rate. You can question why he’s still on this list, but if you’ve seen him play, you know why. The kid is a tremendous athlete. Let’s hope he figures it out at the plate.

23. Khalil Lee (KC)

The lower end of this list is full of power-speed players who struggle with contact. Khalil Lee is another such player. Ray, Harrison, Lee, Florial…who is your choice?

24. Leody Taveras (Tex)

Leody Taveras has been pushed very hard and consequently, things have not gone well. I think the Rangers need to slow it down with him so he can achieve some success at a level. The talent is there.

25. Julio Pablo Martinez (Tex)

You can argue that Julio Pablo Martinez should be higher on this list. He’s got plus speed and some semblance of an approach at the plate. The problem is he also looks physically maxed out, so there is a question on how much power he will have. Therefore, there is fourth-outfielder risk.

26. George Valera (CLE)

I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about George Valera. Sure, he just turned 18 and only has 18 at-bats to his name, but he can really hit with some exciting tools.

27. Kristian Robinson (Ari)

Kristian Robinson was the big International sign for the Diamondbacks in 2017 and is already starting to pay dividends. He looks the part with plus bat speed that should translate into double-plus power down the road.

28. Daz Cameron (Det)

Daz Cameron is starting to make real progress and while he’ll likely never duplicate the career of his father, he has a chance to be a solid major league regular.

29. Calvin Mitchell (Pit)

Calvin Mitchell took a major step forward in 2018 by reducing his strikeouts while not losing much power. It’s not yet over-the-fence power, but that is coming. Invest.

30. Xavier Edwards (SD)

Xavier Edwards has 80-grade speed and knows how to steal bases. If you’re a fantasy player, he’s a must own in Dynasty Leagues. Now, will he have enough power to be more than a fourth outfielder? Maybe not, but at this stage of the game, you must invest.

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2019 Top 15 Shortstop Prospects

SS rankings artworkThe premium position on the field is shortstop. Usually, your best players man the position from Little League until they grow out of the position or run into someone who is better. You can find former shortstops in the outfield, second, third or even first base.

The crop of shortstops working through the minor leagues is deep with Fernando Tatis Jr. and Wander Franco at the top. While Tatis Jr. is likely to stay at the position for a long time, there is debate whether Franco will be. In Franco’s case, it might not matter as he has a chance to have a 70-grade hit tool with plus power and above-average speed early in his career.

Further down the list are two intriguing Latin players in Marcos Luciano and Ronny Mauricio. Luciano, one of the big International signees in 2018 who has yet to play an inning in the US or the DSL. While I don’t think he’s close to Wander Franco, he has interesting potential and is, therefore, a player to know. Mauricio is one of my favorite young players in the minor leagues with great defensive chops with a chance for power and some speed.

1. Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD)

It’s hard to believe that Fernando Tatis Jr. was traded for James Shields. He might still need one more full year in the minors to work on his approach, but he’s nearly ready.

2. Wander Franco (TB)

If you look up the players ahead of Wander Franco on this list, he could be the number one prospect in the game by the end of the season. He’s only 18 and will have to fight against the Rays “slow roasting” process, but the tools and advanced approach should make him a star.

3. Bo Bichette (Tor)

While he might always play second fiddle to Vlad Jr., Bo Bichette’s tools could make him a star as well. In fact, his speed and power could make him a 20-20-100-100-.300 performer and candidly, that’s hardly second fiddle in any book.

4. Royce Lewis (Min)

The number one overall pick in 2016 is far from a finished product, but the speed-power combination point to a 20-20 performer who can stay at shortstop.

5. Brendan Rodgers (Col)

There is clearly some prospect fatigue setting in with Brendon Rodgers. He’s been on this list for the last three years and Rockies fans and fantasy owners want to see what he can do in the Major Leagues. That should happen in 2019.

6. Jazz Chisholm (Ari)

One of the lesser know tooled up kids in the minor leagues is 19-year-old Jazz Chisholm. There’s still a ton of swing and miss in his game, but the bat speed is real and he’s a plus runner. There’s 20-20 potential provided he learns to control the strike zone.

7. Andres Gimenez (NYM)

In keeping with my lack of fear of ranking young players highly on this list, Andres Gimenez is a Top 40 prospect. Higher than Alonso? Yeah, but in a different way. He’s going to be a great defender with plus speed and enough power to hit 5 to 8 home runs annually.

8. Gavin Lux (LAD)

With shortstop taken in Los Angeles for the next several years, Gavin Lux should slide over to second with a chance to see Los Angeles in 2020. He can hit with 20 home run potential.

9. Carter Kieboom (Was)

Carter Kieboom has a lot of 50s on his scouting report but doesn’t have a true carrying tool. That shouldn’t matter as he can really play. With a move to second base likely, he has the upside of a Top 15-second baseman in the game.

10. Anderson Tejeda (Tex)

Anderson Tejeda showed significant pop last season but also struck out too much. If he can cut down those strikeouts, he has star potential.

11. Luis Garcia (Was)

When Juan Soto and Luis Garcia were in the minor leagues together, there were discussions on who would have the better hit-tool. While Soto might have an insurmountable lead, Garcia can really hit. As he fills out, he should add more pop, but his speed will regress. In fact, it already has.

12. ONeil Cruz (Pit)

At 6-foot-6, ONeil Cruz will always have holes in his swing, but it could also come with 30 home runs. He’s a player in which I’m investing.

13. Marcos Luciano (SF)

Arguably the number one international prospect after Victor Victor last season, Marcos Luciano is already getting helium. In fact, he has yet to even play in the DSL and is already on our “Just Missed” list. You can call it FOMO (fear of missing out) based on the success of Vlad Jr. and Wander Franco. I don’t care, the tools are exciting and Giants fans and fantasy owners need to get excited.

14. Ronny Mauricio (NYM)

I love Amed Rosario, but Ronny Mauricio might be better. He’s a great defender with a chance for plus power with some speed. He’s a long way off as he doesn’t turn 18 until April.

15. Nico Hoerner (CHC)

Nico Hoerner was an afterthought for me until I saw him in the Fall League. I was impressed as he showed a real feel for the game. Unfortunately, by then, the Cubs list was already out, otherwise, he would have been higher on my list. I’m making up for that oversight by highlighting him on this list. The kid can really play.

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2019 Outfield Fantasy Rankings

OF rankings artworkAs we’ve been hinting during the rollout of our infield rankings, the outfield is shallow.  This is particularly true if you play in 15-team formats with five outfielders.  Sure, you can argue that the two best fantasy options play the position and Ronald Acuna could become the third best player in fantasy, but if you need five, getem early.

 

The entire list of 150 players can be found here.

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2019 Top 15 Third Base Prospects

3B rankings artworkAs we look at third base, it’s no surprise that Vlad Jr. is atop the list. However, as we’ve written about previously, he is likely to outgrow the position with a move to first base seemingly inevitable. Nick Senzel is also likely not to stay at third. In fact, he’s already spent time at second in the minor leagues and there are reports of the Reds wanting him to spend time in centerfield. Now, Ke’Bryan Hayes will likely stay at the hot corner but doesn’t have nearly the upside of Vlad Jr. and Senzel.

Included in the list are a trio of recently drafted players in Jonathan India, Alec Bohm, and Nolan Gorman. Gorman is the most intriguing of the three but also the hardest to evaluate. The strikeouts will be substantial but the home runs could be as well. He’ll need to learn to plate patience in order to reach his upside.

Further down are some other interesting players including Ryan Mountcastle and Tyler Nevin. Mountcastle has huge offensive upside that fantasy owners crave, but is a below-average defender at third, the outfield, and even at first. Nevin really opened eyes at the Fall League in October and could be the sleeper in the list.

Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player.

1. Vlad Guerrero Jr. (Tor)

With his 80-grade hit tool and double-plus raw power, the future is extremely bright for the best prospect in the game. It’s hit before power currently, but 30-100-.300 is in the cards.

2. Nick Senzel (Cin)

He might play third, second or even the outfield, but the bat will play anywhere. The only problem is the Reds have decided to go “old”. It shouldn’t matter, as Senzel could be the best player on the team by the end of the year.

3. Ke’Bryan Hayes (Pit)

While there are questions about how much power Ke’Bryan Hayes will develop, one thing is for sure…he can hit. Unfortunately, that coupled with a growing trend of the Pirate’s inability to develop hitters has me concerned for the long-term upside.

4. Jonathan India (Cin)

After a big junior season at Florida, Jonathan India was drafted as the fourth overall player in the 2018 MLB Draft. He’s always been able to hit, but if the power he showed as a junior continues, he has impact potential.

5. Alec Bohm (Phi)

Drafted third overall, Alec Bohm had a tough start to his professional career. We still like the swing and the power potential and are blaming “fatigue” on his poor professional debut. I hope we are right.

6. Nolan Gorman (Stl)

As mentioned in my detailed write-up, I struggle with players like Nolan Gorman. He has double-plus raw power, but the swing and miss are going to be prodigious. Joey Gallo has had some success but also walks a ton. Gorman might not. Hmm….

7. Colton Welker (Col)

Colton Welker has crushed the ball in three levels. The problem is Grand Junction, Asheville, and Lancaster are extreme hitter’s park. If he can continue to mash in Hartford, he’s moving up…and quickly.

8. Austin Riley (Atl)

The timetable for Austin Riley is delayed for at least a year with the arrival of Josh Donaldson. I actually think it’s a good thing because he’s not ready. One more year in Triple-A should help him refine his hit-tool.

9. Elehuris Montero (STL)

I fought hard to get Elehuris Montero on this list. He can really hit with a chance for plus future power. He’s also a quality third baseman that might eventually push Gorman to first base.

10. Nolan Jones (CLE)

Nolan Jones will be a solid major leaguer performer. He doesn’t have that true double-plus tool but instead does it with a nice approach and plus power.

11. Mark Vientos (NYM)

While it was only the Appy League, Mark Vientos walked nearly as much as he struckout showing nice pop along with way with 11 home runs and a .489 SLG.

12. Ryan Mountcastle (Bal)

Ryan Mountcastle can really hit with a potential to hit for 20 to 25 home runs, but questions around his defensive position is causing pause with a lot of evaluators. I doubt he stays at third but for now, he makes our list.

13. Tyler Nevin (Col)

Tyler Nevin has the bloodlines and showed everyone what he is capable of in the Fall League. While everyone is talking about Brendan Rodgers or Colten Welker as the Heir Apparent to Arrenado, don’t forget about Nevin.

14. Hudson Potts (SD)

It’s just been ok for Hudson Potts since the Padres drafted him in the first round in 2016. While he’s a great athlete with plus bat speed he has struggled to pick up spin which is holding him back. I still think he gets there and that should be enough to give him regular at-bats at the highest level.

15. Michael Chavis (Bos)

Michale Chavis missed time last season serving a suspension for a ban substance, but came back strong. He’s got plus bat speed which could translate into 20 plus home runs in the Major Leagues. Will, that come in Boston? I’m betting the under.

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2019 Top 15 Second Base Prospects

2B rankings artworkThere is a lot of strength in second base in the minor leagues and a plus hit tool seems to be the popular tool. Keston Hiura and Nick Madrigal lead the list and both have double-plus hit tools with the ceiling of a .300 hitter and a .400 OBP. Garrett Hampson isn’t far behind and both Hampson and Madrigal have plus speed and could also steal 30 plus bases annually.

Luis Urias will be a fine player but from a fantasy standpoint, he lacks both above-average speed and power which will limit his appeal to owners.

Two Tampa Bay second baseman make the list in Brandon Lowe and Nick Solak. While Lowe might get a lot of time at the keystone in 2019, watch out for Solak. He had a very nice season last year with an intriguing speed-power combination.

Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player.

1. Keston Hiura (Mil)

Keston Hiura is a hitting machine that should hit his way to the Major Leagues sometime in 2019. While he’ll have speed early in his career, as he fills out, the speed will regress. That shouldn’t matter as he could hit .300 with 20 home runs annually.

2. Nick Madrigal (CHW)

You can argue that Nick Madrigal should be higher on this list. He’s a plus runner and plus hitter, but for the moment, doesn’t have much power. Sources have told me that the White Sox want to add some loft to his swing. Regardless, he could be a Top 10 fantasy second baseman, perhaps more.

3. Garrett Hampson (Col)

Garrett Hampson is a sneaky good player. He can hit with plus speed that should allow him to steal 30 plus stolen bases in the Majors. He’s projected to be in an odd share at second base with Ryan McMahon but long-term, I think he secures the job or moves to center field.

4. Luis Urias (SD)

I still don’t know how good of a fantasy player Luis Urias is going to be. He’s a plus hitter a good defender but only has average power and speed. Bid accordingly.

5. Jahmai Jones (LAA)

I’m a Jahmai Jones apologist but do understand last year looked bad. I can argue that it wasn’t and encourage you to read my detailed write-up. Even if you’re shaking your head, don’t give up, there is just too much talent here.

6. Vidal Brujan (TB)

Vidal Brujan stole 55 bases, hit nine home runs with an OBP of .403 last season. Yeah, he’s pretty good.

7. Luis Rengifo (LAA)

Many people who read this site are fantasy owners. Luis Rengifo is a great name for those players. He can really hit and stole 41 bases across three levels last year. Better yet, he’s nearly ready to contribute at the highest level.

8. Brandon Lowe (TB)

Brandon Lowe had a breakout season in 2018 and ended the year getting significant playing time in Tampa Bay. While he strikes out too much, he does have a little pop and speed with the ability to work a count.

9. Kevin Smith (Tor)

Kevin Smith had a nice breakout season in 2018 showing more pop than originally thought. In fact, across Low and High-A, he was one of the few 25-25 performers in the minor leagues (25 HRs and 29 SBs)

10. Jeter Downs (LAD)

Jeter Downs was moved to the Dodgers as part of the Matt Kemp trade during the off-season. There will always be questions with this hit tool, but if it all comes together, he could be an impact performer with 20-20 upside.

11. Nick Solak (TB)

All Nick Solak did last year was post a .834 OPS with 19 home runs and 21 stolen bases in Double-A. Don’t be surprised if you see him in Tampa Bay sometime during the second half of 2019.

12. Shed Long (Sea)

Signed originally by the Reds, Shed Long is now the property of the Mariners. As with a lot of prospects, he’s tooled up with questions around his ability to make consistent contact.

13. Isan Diaz (Mia)

Isan Diaz is getting close to the big leagues with a little bit of pop and speed. I see his upside as a second division starter and given he plays for the Marlins, that fits.

14. Tucupita Marcano (SD)

He’s only 19-years-old, but Tucupita Marcano is already showing a feel to hit with plus speed. Plus, he’s a Padre so that immediately makes him interesting.

15. Cavan Biggio (Tor)

I’m not a believer but he’s got the bloodlines and should get a chance at some point in Toronto.

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2019 Top 15 First Base Prospects

1B rankings artworkWhen putting the first base list together, our Top 100 only had two players listed at the position and one of them, Yordan Alvarez is being moved to the outfield. It’s not that the minor leagues are void of first baseman, instead, it’s more a product of players who can hit, but need to move off their drafted position. Albert Pujols came up as a third baseman as did Miguel Cabrera. There are even whispers of Jake Lamb moving over to first.

Consequently, the list is uneven. It starts off strong with Peter Alonso, Alveraz, and Nate Lowe, but quickly falls off. There are several players who can hit with suspect future power potential as well as the opposite. Guys who have prodigious raw power but might not ever hit enough to get to it.

Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player.

1. Peter Alonso (NYM)

The Mets fans are clamoring for Peter Alonso and for good reason. He’s got plus power and has enough bat control to get to his power. His ceiling is Rhys Hoskins, but I liked Hoskins swing better. Plus, Alonso is a poor defender that might eventually force him to the American League.

2. Yordan Alvarez (Hou)

It’s a shame when you can hit and hit with power but find yourself blocked with no end in sight. Yordan Alvarez becomes the latest conundrum in Houston. There is 25 to 30 home run potential with a solid .270/.350 average. When, and in what city he plays, I don’t know.

3. Nate Lowe (TB)

Few players in the minor league had a better growth season in 2018 than Nate Lowe. He’s showing a solid hit tool walking nearly as much as he struck out with growing power. After spending six weeks in Triple-A, he might even see Tampa Bay in the second half of 2019.

4. Nick Pratto (KC)

Nick Pratto will likely never equal what Eric Hosmer did in Kansas City, but he’s a talented kid that should grow into power.

5. Brent Rooker (Min)

Brent Rooker started off in the outfield but the Twins have decided to move him to first base where he could become put up big power number. The raw power is real but so are the strikeouts.

6. Grant Lavigne (Col)

Grant Lavigne was selected in the supplemental first round last June. He has huge raw power but will need to work on his contact rate. In his first exposure to professional ball, things went quite well.

7. Bobby Bradley (Cle)

Bobby Bradley has huge raw power to go with huge contact problems. He’s likely no more than a second division talent, but he can hit home runs a long way.

8. Josh Naylor (SD)

While others are high on Josh Naylor, I have never been. I don’t see him moving Hosmer off first base so expect a trade at some point.

9. Evan White (Sea)

Evan White can hit but the amount of power he will eventually have has always been the concern.

10. Chris Shaw (SF)

The Giants have tried Chris Shaw in the outfield, but his best position remains first base. He could get full time at bats on a second division team and let’s face it, that’s the Giants.

11. Matt Thaiss (LAA)

Matt Thaiss improved his slugging last season but it’s still not enough as he’s likely a first base only prospect. He can hit a little and if he can add some loft to his swing, who knows, there might be something there.

12. Josh Ockimey (Bos)

Josh Ockimey is yet another strong, big bodied first baseman with huge raw power. While he’s shown the ability to work a walk, he could also strikeout 30% of the time.

13. Kevin Cron (Ari)

The Diamondbacks are looking for their replacement for Paul Goldschmdit. Kevin Cron, brother of C.J. Cron has huge raw power and might compete with for playing time in 2019.

14. Pavin Smith (Ari)

Drafted in the first round in 2017, Pavin Smith showed little power in his first full professional season. Unfortunately, his swing lacks loft so projecting him for more than average power at this point is not warranted.

15. Jake Gatewood (Mil)

Jake Gatewood is a physical player with plus raw power but his 30% strikeout rate will not play at the highest level.

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2019 Top 15 Catcher Prospects

C rankings artworkCatchers have historically been a weak position throughout baseball and particularly in fantasy baseball. Based on what is coming through the minor leagues, that could be changing. Most notably, there are catchers moving through the system with advanced hit tools. At the top of the list is Francisco Mejia. While in the end, Mejia might be an average at best defensive catcher, he can really hit with 15 to 20 future home run pop. It moves on from there with Keiburt Ruiz, Joey Bart, and Carson Kelly.

Daulton Varsho is the most intriguing of all the players on this list, particularly from a fantasy standpoint as he not only can hit but is a good runner. Imagine a catcher with 20 plus stolen bases that will get additional at-bats playing other positions.

Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player.

1. Francisco Mejia (SD)

Great natural bat-to-ball skills have always led to a high BABIP led batting average for Francisco Mejia. He does need to learn more plate patience, but a .270/.330 average with 18 to 20 home runs should be where he lands. If that happens, he’s a Top 5 catcher in the game.

2. Keibert Ruiz (LAD)

19-year-old catchers are not supposed to be that good in Double-A. Yet, Keibert Ruiz walked nearly as much as struck out and hit 14 home runs along the way. He’s not a great defender but should fill the void left by Yasmani Grandal, possible in the second half.

3. Joey Bart (SF)

As much as San Francisco fans want Joey Bart to be Buster Posey 2.0, he’s not. He’s a plus defender with power but his hit-tool is average-at-best. For the record, in his prime, Posey had a plus, if not plus-plus hit tool with power and good defense.

4. Carson Kelly (Ari)

Finally traded, Carson Kelly should have a chance to get playing time in the desert. While he’s not a plus defender, he has enough offensive weapons to project as a solid Top 15 catcher in the game.

5. Sean Murphy (Oak)

Sean Murphy’s defensive game has always been ahead of his offensive game. However, in 2018, the bat started to emerge. If it all comes together, he has Top 10 catcher potential. He’ll start the year in Triple-A with a chance to see Oakland in the second half.

6. Danny Jansen (Tor)

With the trade of Russell Martin, Danny Jansen is climbing the draft boards. While he has an advanced approach at the plate, he’s never shown a ton of power. Defensively, he lacks the arm strength to ever be a plus defender. Translation – an everyday catcher but not a star.

7. Daulton Varsho (Ari)

Daulton Varsho is in line to be the modern-day positional player – a super utility performer that just so happens to get position eligibility at catcher. That has me intrigued.

8. Ronaldo Hernandez (TB)

Ronaldo Hernandez might be a new name to many, but after a year where he showed some real pop and the ability to control the strike zone, he’s a kid that you should get to know.

9. Bo Naylor (CLE)

Bo Naylor is the younger brother Josh Naylor and while he doesn’t have the double-plus power of his brother, he’s a better athlete with a better hit tool.

10. MJ Melendez (KC)

MJ Melendez was the 2019 second-round pick of the Royals and got off to a fast start showing excellent defensive chops with some pop. He’ll need to work on his contact as he struck out over 30% of the time, but there’s a lot to like.

11. Miguel Amaya (CHC)

Miguel Amaya is not a sexy name in prospect circles, but projects to be a solid backstop with some offensive upside.

12. Will Smith (LAD)

Will Smith is a plus defender who can also play in the field. If it all comes together, he could be the Austin Barnes to Keiburt Ruiz.

13. Tyler Stephenson (Cin)

Tyler Stephenson has been making slow and steady progress through the Reds organization but his 11 home runs in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League was encouraging.

14. Andrew Knizner (Stl)

The Cardinals liked Andrew Knizner so much that they felt comfortable moving Carson Kelly in the offseason. Of course, he’s blocked by Yadier, but Yadier won’t play forever.

15. Cal Raleigh (Sea)

Cal Raleigh has improved his defense enough to stay at catcher long-term and with above-average power and a chance to hit, he’s becoming an interesting player for the Mariners. Which means, of course, they will trade him or are they acquiring players now…I forget…

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2019 Just Missed Prospects

HOT PROSPECTS 1The list of players I wanted to include in the Top 100 hit 118, so I decided to produce a list of 10 players who just missed the list.  These players are NOT in any order but are simply names of deserving players for inclusion.

Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player.

Josh James (Hou, RHP)

Yes, I’m aware of the sleep apnea correction that Josh James had and that apparently has gone a long way to his current success. I’m truly happy for him. But, the delivery still points to a reliever and not a starter for me.

Bo Naylor (CLE, C)

Bo Naylor is the younger brother Josh Naylor and while he doesn’t have the double-plus power of his brother, he’s a better athlete with a better hit tool.

Marco Luciano (SF, SS/OF)

Arguably the number one international prospect after Victor Victor last season, Marco Luciano is already getting helium. In fact, he has yet to even play in the DSL and is already on our “Just Missed” list. You can call it FOMO (fear of missing out) based on the success of Vlad Jr. and Wander Franco. I don’t care, the tools are exciting and Giants fans and fantasy owners need to get excited.

George Valera (CLE, OF)

I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about George Valera. Sure, he just turned 18 and only has 18 at-bats to his name, but he can really hit with some exciting tools.

Shane Baz (TB, RHP)

While the stat line for Shane Baz was not stellar last season, the kid can really pitch. Stick with the scouting report on this one as the results will eventually be there.

Nolan Jones (CLE, 3B)

Nolan Jones will be a solid major leaguer performer. He doesn’t have that true double-plus tool but instead does it with a nice approach and plus power.

Kristian Robinson (Ari, OF)

Kristian Robinson was the big International sign for the Diamondbacks in 2017 and is already starting to pay dividends. He looks the part with plus bat speed that should translate into double-plus power down the road.

Ronny Mauricio (NYM, SS)

I love Amed Rosario, but Ronny Mauricio might be better. He’s a great defender with a chance for plus power with some speed. He’s a long way off as he doesn’t turn 18 until April.

Ryan Weathers (SD, LHP)

The Padres system is so deep that one of the best left-handers in last year’s draft did not make the Top 100 list. Ryan Weathers already has an advanced arsenal and should move quickly through the system.

Daz Cameron (Det, OF)

Daz Cameron is starting to make real progress and while he’ll likely never duplicate the career of his father, he has a chance to be a solid major league regular.

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2019 Third Base Fantasy Rankings

3B rankings artworkAs we move from shortstop to third base, the same theme carries through.  The position is deep.  There are viable full-time regulars at the top and all the way down through the mid to late teens.  You can argue that Josh Donaldson has a chance to be a Top 5 third baseman if he can stay healthy.

Vlad Guerrero Jr. is on the list but not near the top.  In fact, he’s at 15 which is significantly lower than where he is going in drafts.  So, I guess we are saying…pass.  If you disagree, by all means, draft him in the third round, but when he doesn’t return third round value, well…we told you.

The list can be found here.