Our mid-season Top 50 has been expanded to a Top 100. While there have been many promotions, the kids keep on coming. The list is stacked with high-end prospects that are nearly ready for the show to 16-year-old kids that will be ready before you know it. Let’s face it, the game has gotten younger and players are just not staying in the minor leagues very long.
To make the list, players MUST have less than 50 IP or 130 at-bats in the Major Leagues at the time the list was published.
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1. Wander Franco (TB, SS, High-A)
While Wander Franco’s hit-tool might be his greatest asset, he’s got plus power and well above-average speed. While he’s only 18, he’s moving quickly and could see the Majors in 2021.
2. Bo Bichette (Tor, SS, Triple-A)
Bo Bichette has a double-plus hit tool with plus speed and growing power. It’s a recipe for a 20-20 performer at the highest level. I think we see him in the second half.
3. Jo Adell (LAA, OF, Double-A)
He spent the first two months on the IL, but that didn’t matter as he hit the ground running when he returned. There’s plus power, plus speed but with more strikeouts than you will like. I don’t think that will matter much as the total package screams multiple All-Star appearances.
4. MacKenzie Gore (SD, LHP, Double-A)
MacKenzie Gore has great stuff with an athletic delivery that should allow him to move quickly through the minors. In fact, his next start will be in Double-A. The ceiling is a #1 starter.
5. Casey Mize (Det, RHP, Double-A)
If you say that Casey Mize is the best pitcher in the minor leagues, I won’t fight you. Before his shoulder injury, he was shoving it and looks just about ready.
6. Luis Robert (CHW, OF, Triple-A)
Luis Robert might be the most explosive athlete in the minor leagues. He’s destroyed the Carolina League, excelled in Double-A and should make quick work of Triple-A. There will be swing and miss in his game, but if all comes together, he could be a monster performer at the highest level.
7. Keston Hiura (Mil, 2B, Majors)
With only 101 at-bats in the Majors, Keston Hiura still qualifies for our list. He’s a plus hitter with power and speed. You’ve seen what he can already do. I expect more of the same with more power and less speed as his career goes forward.
8. Yordan Alvarez (Hou, DH, Majors)
While Yordan Alvarez is likely a DH long-term, the power and hit-tool suggest an offensive force somewhere between Khris Davis and JD Martinez. Eight does feel a little high for a DH with no speed, but he’s doing it in the Majors and looks good doing it.
9. Brendan McKay (TB, LHP, Majors)
In the end, I think Brendan McKay will be used strictly as a starter, but it should’nt matter as the upside is a number two-starter, perhaps a little more.
10. Kyle Tucker (Hou, OF, Triple-A)
The Astros appear to have lost some confidence in Kyle Tucker, and while I’ve never liked the hitch in his swing, there is plus power and speed in the profile. I think he gets moved at the deadline or over the winter and then we will get a chance to see how good he can be.
11. Gavin Lux (LAD, SS, Triple-A)
Gavin Lux is another Dodger who will compete for Rookie of the year honors. This kid can really play.
12. Forrest Whitley (Hou, RHP, Triple-A)
I saw what I saw in the Fall League with Forrest Whitley – four plus pitches with control. I didn’t love the short delivery, but he has the size and stuff to pitch at the front of the rotation. I am worried about the shoulder issues and even more worried that the Astros are very quiet about it. But, assuming health, he could develop into one of the best pitchers in the league.
13. Alex Kirilloff (Min, OF, Double-A)
It’s just been ok for Alex Kirilloff in Double-A this year. I’m not too worried as he can hit with plus raw power that has yet to show-up in-games. He’s blocked in Minnesota but I think that sorts itself out.
14. Brendan Rodgers (Col, SS, Majors)
I’m beginning to wonder if the Rockies know what to do with Brendan Rodgers? I think there’s a plus hit-tool to go along with plus power in the bat but with Trevor Story and Nolan Arrenado blocking him, that leaves second base for his taking. The problem, Garrett Hampson and Ryan McMahon are both laying claim. In the end, I think he grabs second, McMahon moves to first and Hampson is the super utility player.
15. Dustin May (LAD, RHP, Triple-A)
I continue to be extremely high on Dustin May. His primary pitch is a hard two-seamer that should make him a ground ball machine and also break a ton of bats in the process. Plus, his secondary pitches will miss plenty of bats. If you believe in spin-rate, which I do, he’s got one of the best fastball spin-rates in all of baseball. It’s one of the reasons his sinker is so nasty. He’ll be the number two to Walker Buehler as soon as 2020.
16. Adley Rutschman (Bal, C, NA)
This past June’s draft was not great, but Adley Rutschman was the best of the class and has a chance to be the best catcher in the Majors one day. He’s got plus power with the ability to hit and the defensive chops to stay behind the plate.
17. Jarred Kelenic (Sea, OF, High-A)
The Mets made a mistake. Trading Jarred Kelenic for Cano and Edwin Diaz is already starting to come back to haunt them. He’s can hit with plus power and a little speed and the makeup to make it all work.
18. Matt Manning (Det, RHP, Double-A)
Casey Mize is the top pitcher in the Detroit system but Matt Manning is not far behind. He’s got the size, stuff and extreme athleticism to make it all work. It’s a number two starter profile with a chance to be more.
19. Joey Bart (SF, C, High-A)
Joey Bart showed off his arm in Sunday’s Futures Game and has the offensive chops to provide plus power. There will be swing and miss in the profile, but the upside is Top five catcher in the game.
20. Bobby Witt Jr. (KC, SS, Rookie)
While Bobby Witt Jr. is already 19, he’s got big-time tools and the makeup and the obvious pedigree to move quickly through the Royals system.
21. Taylor Trammell (Cin, OF, Double-A)
Taylor Trammell is one of my favorite prospects in the game. Not only does he have plus speed, growing power and the ability to get on base, but he’s also just a fun and entertaining player. He will be the future center fielder for the Reds, perhaps as soon as 2020. This should push Nick Senzel back to the dirt.
22. Jesus Luzardo (Oak, LHP, Triple-A)
If you think I’m starting to get worried about Jesus Luzardo’s health track record, you would be right. He’s clearly ready to show his stuff at the highest level, but let’s face, he has yet to show he can stay healthy.
23. Mitch Keller (Pit, RHP, Triple-A)
Mitch Keller has gotten a couple of shots at the apple but has had inconsistent results. While his mechanics are solid, the walks have been too high. I think he solves this problem and becomes a mainstay in the Pirates rotation very soon.
24. Nate Pearson (Tor, RHP, Double-A)
The more I see Nate Pearson, the more I like him. He has a legitimate 80-grade fastball that he can run up to triple-digits. The secondary pitches are still on the come, but it’s a number two starter ceiling.
25. Sixto Sanchez (Mia, RHP, Double-A)
All six-foot pitchers with huge upside get compared to Pedro Martinez. I don’t think Sixto Sanchez is that guy, but it’s premium stuff and he fills up the strike zone. After several bad trades, the Marlins got it right and finally landed their big fish.
26. Carter Kieboom (Was, 2B, Triple-A)
Carter Kieboom can really hit with plus power. There isn’t a ton of speed but as the future third baseman for the Nationals, it should work just fine. I know there is talk that they might re-sign Anthony Rendon, but I don’t see it. Get younger and cheaper and then spend the extra money on pitching.
27. Nick Madrigal (CHW, 2B, Double-A)
I have no idea if this is the right spot for Nick Madrigal. I do know in fantasy, he’s a three-category performer (Runs, SB, and BA); and they just happen to be the toughest categories. But, he has 20-grade power. He’s an intriguing player, to say the least.
28. Cristian Pache (Atl, OF, Double-A)
Cristian Pache is a true five-tool player with his defensive ability leading the way. While that won’t necessarily impress fantasy players, look no further than Jackie Bradley Jr’s ability to stay in the lineup despite hitting .160 in May. There are speed and power in the quiver and I think he could develop into a Top 30 outfielder in fantasy.
29. A.J. Puk (Oak, LHP, Double-A)
A.J. Puk is now a year removed from Tommy John Surgery and while there are some inconsistent outings, the stuff appears fully back. I was too light on him after Oakland drafted him number six overall in 2016, but the stuff and size point to a number two starter ceiling.
30. Michael Kopech (CHW, RHP, Majors)
I’ve yet to hear if Michael Kopech has started throwing yet, but it should be soon. I would guess we’d see him back in Chicago sometime in the second half of next season. Assuming health, the upside is a number one starter.
31. Ian Anderson (Atl, RHP, Double-A)
Ian Anderson received the honor to start the Futures Game for the National League and looked great. He’s athletic with great stuff and pitchabiliy. While the Braves have elite pitching prospects seemingly everywhere, Anderson could emerge as the best of the crop.
32. Royce Lewis (Min, SS, High-A)
Royce Lewis is an engaging and fun player with tremendous skills. Unfortunately, the swing has gotten noisy and needs some work. In fact, he’s regressed since being taken 1:1 in 2017 and consequently has dropped in our rankings. Assuming he can fix the swing, the upside is significant.
33. Jordan Groshans (Tor, SS, Low-A)
Jordan Groshans is one of my big risers on our list. He’s was showing the ability to hit with big power before getting hurt in the Midwest League. Once he’s back, I think he continues to mash and should take over for Vlad Jr. at third in 2021 when it will be time to move Vlad to first.
34. Dylan Cease (CHW, RHP, Majors)
Dylan Cease throws very hard but has yet to show consistent control of his arsenal. I think that will come in time, and when it does, he has a chance to be a solid mid-rotation starter if not more.
35. Alec Bohm (Phi, 3B, Double-A)
After a slow start to his professional career last year, Alec Bohm has had little trouble in 2019. He had one of the better hit tools come out of the draft last June and as he develops power, he should be the answer at third for the Phillies by next season.
36. Andrew Vaughn (CHW, 1B, Low-A)
The White Sox picked high again in the draft and selected Andrew Vaughn as their potential backfill for Jose Abreu at first. Even if they resign Abreu, Vaughn should play first with Abreu moving to DH. It’s big power with an above-average hit tool.
37. Nico Hoerner (CHC, SS, Double-A)
The Cubs are moving Nico Hoerner hard and he’s responding. In fact, if it weren’t for an injury that caused him to miss all of May, he might be in Triple-A by now. The hit-tool is very advanced with average power and speed to complement.
38. Jonathan India (Cin, 3B, High-A)
Jonathan India was taken with the fifth overall pick last June and has played ok in the Florida State League this season, slashing .253/.345./.418. I think there is more in the tank for him and in the end, I still believe he has a chance to be a top 10 fantasy third baseman.
39. DL Hall (Bal, LHP, High-A)
The Orioles might have done a lousy job in developing their pitchers, they were actually quite good at drafting good arms. Fortunately for DL Hall, the changes the Orioles have made to their coaching staff should help him reach his potential. It’s a mid-rotation profile, but from the left side, he could be pitching until his mid-30s.
40. Daniel Lynch (KC, LHP, High-A)
The Royals went heavy with college pitchers in the 2018 and the best of the bunch is Daniel Lynch. The stuff is premium from the left side and he’s moving quickly. Don’t be surprised if you see him in a Royals uniform in the second half of 2020.
41. Matthew Liberatore (TB, LHP, Low-A)
While the journey to the Major is likely to be lengthy for Matthew Liberatore, the stuff from the left side is going to play for a long time. We might not see him until 2022, but the stuff and athleticism give him a ceiling of a number two starter.
42. Luis Urias (SD, 2B, Triple-A)
I think the 17 home runs that Luis Urias has hit so far in Triple-A is unsustainable. I do believe the hit tool is for real. Throw-in 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases annually, and it’s a solid middle infielder profile in fantasy.
43. CJ Abrams (SD, SS, Rookie)
It’s not like the Padres needed more athleticism in their system. But, in the 2019 MLB Draft, they drafted one of the fastest players in CJ Abrams. In 15 games in Rookie ball, he’s already stolen eight bases with a .429 batting average.
44. Dylan Carlson (STL, OF, Double-A)
Dylan Carlson has opened eyes in fantasy circles this year by posting a .875 OPS in Double-A. There is an intriguing blend of power and speed that should play nicely in the outfield for the Cardinals sometime in 2020.
45. Vidal Brujan (TB, 2B, Double-A)
Vidal Brujan carrying tool is the double-plus speed that he showed off quite nicely in 44 games in the Florida State League by stealing 24 bases in 29 chances. He also controls the strike zone very well and should be able to hit for average. The amount of power is the open question but assuming he can add 5 to 10 home runs, he could be Top 10 fantasy second baseman.
46. Evan White (Sea, 1B, Double-A)
Taken in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft, we all knew that Evan White could hit, we were just waiting on the power to develop. In 2019, it has. In 57 games in Double-A, he’s slugging .496 with 11 home runs. Throw in the ability to hit and post a high on-base percentage, there’s a lot to like.
47. Marco Luciano (SF, SS, Rookie)
Perhaps I’ve gone off the deep end by ranking Marco Luciano in the Top 50, but he was arguably the top International bat last year and has raked in the early going of his career. There’s plus raw power, good speed and if he finds a semblance of a quality hit-tool, he could be a monster fantasy performer.
48. Justin Dunn (Sea, RHP, Double-A)
Justin Dunn has great stuff but is still learning to put together everything. I think he does and should start to show his stuff in Seattle next season. The ceiling is a number three starter, or perhaps a little more.
49. Keibert Ruiz (LAD, C, Double-A)
While Keibert Ruiz has only hit .260 in 67 games in Double-A this year, he has more walks than strikeouts and is being hampered by a low BABIP. He’s a bat-first catcher with a chance to hit for a high average with 20 plus home runs.
50. Spencer Howard (Phi, RHP, High-A)
Spencer Howard has one of the best arms in the minor leagues but has spent most of the season on the Injured List. He’s now pitching again and assuming health, has the stuff to be a number two starter.