I was able to put together a proper Hot Prospect of the Week list. With the DSL and Complex Leagues done for the season, most of the players listed are famous guys. Well, a few are under-the-radar.
By the way, we only have two more weeks of games for Low, High, and Double-A guys. Things are winding down.
Colt Keith (3B, Det, Triple-A, 22) – 10 for 22, 2 HR, 1 HR, 0 SB. For the season: .316./.384/.568, 24 HR, 3 SB, 21% K-Rate, 10% BB-Rate.
I thought Colt Keith would get a promotion to Detroit in September, but he didn’t. Likely at the root of the problem is Detroit wanting to keep his service time down and that he is not on the 40-man roster. He’s showing Detroit that he’s ready. His fantasy scouting report is below.
- Highest Level: Triple-A ETA: 2023-24 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 3B
- Tools Summary: A feel to hit with 20+ home run power. A move to second or first base may be in the cards long-term.
If Colt Keith can stay healthy, we might start to see the kind of upside he has in his bat; and it could be substantial. He has a feel to hit with a slightly below strikeout rate but with 20+ home run power. There’s not much speed in his game, but I think the bat will play with a chance to be a full-time regular in the mold of Josh Jung. The Tigers continue to play him at third, but seeing him in the Fall League in 2022, I’m not sure the footwork is there for the position, so a move to second or first might be in the cards long-term.
Curtis Mead (3B/2B, TB, Triple-A, 22) – 8 for 21, 3 HR, 2 2B, 1 SB. For the season: 263 PA, .291/.380/.6 HR, 4 SB, 15.5% K-Rate, 12.2% BB-Rate.
Curtis Mead was quietly sent back to Triple-A last week. I didn’t see a path for playing time in Tampa this season, and hopefully, you didn’t overbid for him during FAAB. I still think he’ll hit with solid power, it’s just not going to be in 2023. His updated fantasy scouting report is below.
- Highest Level: Majors ETA: 2023 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 3B/2B
- Tools Summary: Plus hit tool with hard contact could give him 20+ future home run pop with a high batting average and OBP.
Curtis Mead missed two months of the season after getting hit on the wrist by a pitch. When healthy, he’s a hit-first player with solid exit velocities that will develop 20+ home run pop over time. Early in his career, he could be a 12 to 18 home run player with 10 stolen bases a high batting average, and OBP. From a fantasy standpoint, that might disappoint some, but with his bat speed and bat-to-ball skills, I would be investing as the upside could be considerably more once he fills out and gets acclimated to the Major Leagues.
Eguy Rosario (3B, SD, Triple-A, 24) – 9 for 22, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 0 SB. For the season: .284/.366/.469, 6 HR, 4 SB, 21.8% K-Rate, 11% BB-Rate.
- Highest Level: Triple-A ETA: 2022 Fantasy Ceiling: Middle Infielder
- Tools Summary: He doesn’t have any true carrying tool but can hit a little with solid speed.
Eguy Rosario missed most of the 2023 regular season after suffering a broken ankle over the off-season. Once he was back, he played well, posting league-average strikeout and walk rates with speed and a little power. I don’t think the power will more than doubles-power as there is little launch, but I think he’ll hit with enough speed to steal 15 to 20 bases annually.
He can play all over the field, and that could get his 400 AB at the highest level with a fantasy ceiling of a middle infielder.
Jackson Chourio (OF, Mil, Double-A, 19) – 8 for 25, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 SB. For the season: .382/.336/.471, 19% K-Rate, 7.1% BB-Rate.
In looking at his gaudy season stat line, it’s easy to forget that he got off to a slow start. Maybe he doesn’t have two 80-grade tools like Elly does, but you can throw a 70 on both the power and speed; and, he’s a better hitter. Just sayin…
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling: First-Round Draft Pick
- Tools Summary: The raw tools are special, but his hit tool is lagging behind (not by much by the way). All he needs is time to develop, and once he does, he has superstar upside.
It’s easy to be disappointed in Jackson Chourio’s progress this season. He’s a Top 5 ranked player and should be putting up eye-popping numbers like Jackson Holliday and Elly De La Cruz are doing. When you consider that he just turned 19 and is the youngest player in the Southern League by 18 months, maybe cutting him a break is in order. Plus, slashing .259/.310/.424 is just fine in Double-A.
The tools are impressive, with 70-grade raw power and 70-grade speed. Because of his athleticism, he’ll likely also develop into one of the best center fielders in the game. His hit tool is lagging behind. However, the swing is sound, and the impact with the ball is extremely hard. his knowledge of the strike zone, which should improve over time, is currently holding him back. It’s a Tatis Jr. starter kit that has a chance to see the Major Leagues in 2024.
Alan Roden (OF, Tor, Double-A, 23) – 9 for 22, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 SB. For the season: .326/.439/.478, 10 HR, 22 SB, 11.5% K-Rate, 13% BB-Rate.
Roden has been a hitting machine in 2023 hitting .326 with .439 OBP. There’s plus speed and solid doubles-power and a kid that is rising in the rankings. His fantasy scouting report is below.
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 60 OF with upside
- Tools Summary: He’s an intriguing prospect who controls the strike zone extremely well. With some tweaks to his swing, he could unlock more power with a chance to be a 15-15 type player.
Alan Roden, the Blue Jays third-round pick in 2022, had a terrific 2023 season across Low and High-A. He walked more than he struck out, resulting in a .320 batting average and a .430 OBP. You can argue that at 23, he was one of the older players in the league, but the swing looks great, and his zone contact is exceptionally high. He needs to add loft to his swing to unlock power, and if he does, there is enough speed for him to be a 15-15 type performer.
He’s way under the radar in fantasy baseball, and while I don’t see a star, he could be a nice number-four outfielder.
Deyvison De Los Santos (1B/DH, AZ, Double-A, 20) – 13 for 25, 3 HR, 3 2B. For the season: .360/.305/.437, 18 HR, 3 SB, 25.4% K-Rate, 5.4% BB-Rate.
Things might be looking up for De Los Santos. Perhaps the swing change is working. He still never walks…dunno about this one.
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2024-25 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 60 OF with contact risk
- Tools Summary: He has 70-grade power but concerns still exist if he’ll hit enough to be an effective Major Leaguer.
It was a tale of two seasons for Deyvison De Los Santos. He started the season in Double-A and hit .206 over the first three months. On July 1st, the Diamondbacks sent him back to the Salt River Complex to break down his swing to get him shorter to the ball. After he returned two weeks later, he made better contact and hit .309 for the remainder of the season – 100 points better than he did prior to the swing change. He’s going to strike out, and the approach is aggressive, but the swing change appears to have helped.
De Los Santos has 70-grade raw, so it’s important that he makes enough contact. If he doesn’t, he won’t make it, as there is no speed and limited defensive skills. I’ll put his ceiling as a Top 60 OF, but if I’m being honest, I think there’s less than a 50% chance he makes it.
Jared Serna (2B, NYY, High-A, 21) – 8 for 27, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 SB. For the season: .283/.346/.463, 19 HR, 26 SB, 15.6% K-Rate, 8.3% BB-Rate.
Low-A was pretty easy for Jared Serna, but High-A has proven a bit more challenging. He’s making great contact, but so far, there’s only been doubles-power. Kind of hard to hit home runs when you are producing nearly a 50% ground ball rate. I still like the player and believe there is potentially an impact player lurking. His fantasy scouting report is below.
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2025-26 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 2B
- Tools Summary: He’s showing an excellent understanding of the strike zone with bat speed and above-average speed.
Jared Serna was a much-talked-about prospect in 2022 but was hurt most of the season, and when he finally got into game time, he struggled. 2023 has been different, as he’s walking more than he’s striking out, hitting the ball with authority, and stealing bases. The Yankees have been playing him all over the infield, but he’ll likely land at second or third. The upside could be a full-time regular with speed and power (15-15 player with upside.)
Finally, he’s your guy if you like players that play with swag!
Roman Anthony (OF, Bos, High-A, 19) – 6 for 16, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 SB. For the season: .265/.396/.459, 13 HR, 13 SB, 25.2% K-Rate, 17.4% BB-Rate.
In 42 games in Low-A, it was a big ho-hum for Roman Anthony. High-A has been different. He’s showing power (.569 SLG) with a .412 OBP. It appears the Red Sox have hit on a potential impact outfield bat. His updated fantasy scouting report is below.
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2026+ Fantasy Ceiling: Top 40 OF with risk
- Tools Summary: He’s athletic with better strike zone control than his draft book indicated.
When Roman Anthony was taken in the supplemental second round in 2022 by the Red Sox, the early book on him was athletic with excellent bat speed and a chance for future power but with some concern about how much he would hit. In 2023, he showed those tools, although his power is more doubles than over-the-fence. However, he also demonstrated a better understanding of the strike zone than initially thought. He does chase too much, but over time, that should improve. There’s a lot to like about Anthony, with all the arrows pointing to a potential impact player.
Grant McCray (OF, SF, High-A, 22) – 8 for 20, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 SB. For the season: .258/.359/.419, 13 HR, 47 SB, 29.7% K-Rate, 11.7% BB-Rate.
I didn’t realize that Grant McCray is on the cusp of stealing 50 bases. The 70-grade power hasn’t even shown up yet, but the strikeouts have. He’s fanned 170 times, or 30% of the time. I’ll remind you that the success rate of players with a strikeout rate of 30% in the lower minor leagues is not good. But he’s a guy to dream on.
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2025-26 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 45 OF with extreme risk
- Tools Summary: He has loud tools but significant swing-and-miss in his game.
Grant McCray has some of the loudest tools in the minor leagues, but the strikeout rate is a problem. There is 70 raw power and speed, but there is length to his swing where it looks like he’s trying to hit each pitch close to the strike zone 500 feet. In “roster portfolio theory”, he’ll be on the high-risk, high-reward side. As long as you keep this side to less than 20%, given the ceiling, he’s a player I would be investing in.
Cameron Cauley (SS, Tex, High-A, 20) – 7 for 24, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 SB. For the season: .249/.335/.417, 12 HR, 36 SB, 31.7% K-Rate, 11.2% BB-Rate.
The strikeout rate for Cameron Cauley is on the scary side, but he’s a plus runner with decent exit velos. I’ve seen him play and like the potential, but he struck out 32% of the time in Low-A and is repeating that in High-A. That won’t work going forward, and only seeing him play one game didn’t give me enough to evaluate whether it’s correctable. His fantasy scouting report is below.
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2026 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 SS with contact risk
- Tools Summary: He’s tremendously athletic but hasn’t proven he can make enough contact to project as a “true prospect.” If he does, watch out!
Cameron Cauley was drafted in the third round of the 2021 Draft and might be the best athlete in a stacked Texas Rangers system.
He’s an 80 runner and can pick it at short with serious bat speed and exit velocities. You know what’s coming next – there are concerns about how much he’ll hit. The Rangers had him repeat Low-A, and his strikeout rate regressed (27.5% to 32.4%). Consequently, he hit .209, but the Rangers still promoted him to High-A after the draft to keep him moving through the process.
This one is going to be about development. There’s a ton of upside with power and speed to spare. I won’t even give you a projection; I’m sure you can fill those in yourself. But he’s got to make better contact. If he does, there could be something here. Keep an eye on this one.
Stiven Acevedo (OF, Bal, Low-A, 21) – 5 for 17, 3 HR, 7 RBI. For the season: .241/.307/.415, 13 HR, 31 SB, 30.2% K-Rate, 8.1% BB-Rate.
Stiven Acevedo last made our Hot Prospects of the Week on April 18. He’s back again after a strong week. There’s speed and power, but the approach leaves much to be desired, with a strikeout rate of 30% and a walk rate of 8%. Can he fix it? Maybe, but there’s a lot of chase in his swing, and unfortunately, that might be the most challenging flaw to reign in. Things will not get easier as he moves through the system. His updated fantasy scouting report is below.
- Highest Level: Low-A ETA: 2026 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 60 OF
- Tools Summary: He’s a physical player with plus raw power and current above-average speed. However, given his 6-foot-4 stature, there is likely to be swing-and-miss in his game.
He’s a big kid at 6-foot-4, athletic with potential plus future power. The Orioles love the tools and the makeup, but he has a big swing who also expands the strike zone. He has above-average speed and should be able to steal bases early in his career. It will come down to how much he hits, and his length and propensity to expand the strike zone are marks against him. However, the Orioles are good at this, and I would not rule out a Major League hitter with extremely fantasy-friendly skills. High-A should tell us a lot next season.
Walker Jenkins (OF, Min, Low-A, 18) – 9 for 17, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 SB. .372/.413/.581, 3 HR, 5 SB, 9.7% K-Rate, 6.5% BB-Rate.
It’s been a great debut for my neighbor – Mr. Jenkins. While I root for all prospects, I have a special rooting interest in him. Unfortunately, and this is a humble brag, I will not be in a position to grab him in any of my Dynasty Leagues. Then again, I will be starting up some new leagues, so I should get a chance there. Of course, now that you know that, I’m sure one of you will try to block me…just because.
- Highest Level: Low-A ETA: 2026-27 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 40 OF
- Tools Summary: Athletic with a lefty swing built for 30+ home run future pop.
I saw Walker Jenkins multiple times in high school, and he’s a plus athlete with a beautiful lefty swing that should be built for power.
He’s a plus runner, but as he fills out his 6-foot-3 body, I think he will emerge into a power-hitting corner outfielder with a handful of stolen bases. It will come down to how much he hits, and the early returns look encouraging.
Druw Jones (OF, AZ, Low-A, 19) – 7 for 21, 1 HR, 1 2B, 1 SB. For the season: 150 PA, .212/.307/.295, 2 HR, 6 SB, 28% K-Rate, 12% BB-Rate.
- Highest Level: Low-A ETA: 2026 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 30 OF
- Tools Summary: He was another challenging season, mostly due to injuries. I know fantasy managers are anxious, but you need patience as the tools are still there.
How about that? We have a Druw Jones sighting! I know it’s been a tough year with injuries and a .203 batting average (gulp), but the tools are still excellent, and perhaps it will take him longer to develop than Jackson Holliday. I probably shouldn’t have said that if you took Jones before Holliday. Anyway, don’t give up hope.
Druw Jones was the second overall pick in 2022, and it was another challenging season for the uber-talented outfielder. First, injuries limited him to 160 plate apperances, and second, he posted a .203 batting average. Could the poor production result from him being rusty and/or still recovering from his injuries? Indeed, and perhaps I should add…hopefully. But, at 6-foot-4, he will have a length in his swing, and strikeouts will be a problem.
Now that we’ve gotten all the negativity out of the way let’s focus on the positive. He’s got crazy tools. He’s a gifted athlete with plus bat speed that points to future power. And we know about his excellent defense.
Could he be a flop? Sure. Is it likely? I don’t think so.
Everyone I spoke to was high on the kid coming into the draft, and we need another season to see what we have. If I’m an owner, I forget about him for now. Let time be your friend. Whatever you do, don’t sell low on him. If he’s a flop, well, you’ll recover. Keep reading my stuff, and I’ll tell you about players that are up and coming.
Will Warren (RHP, NYY, Triple-A, 24) – 6 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 6K/2BB. For the season: 106.1 IP, 3.89 ERA, 10 K/9, 4.3 BB/9.
With all the excitement in the Yankees system about Drew Thorpe, it’s easy to forget that Will Warren has had a nice season across Double and Triple-A. While he only taps out at 95 MPH on his four-seamer, it’s a great pitch because of the spin, and he misses plenty of bats with it. On Friday, his sweeper was unhittable, with a spin averaging 3129 and a whiff rate of 40%. His change-up is still only average but still should work. His updated fantasy scouting report is below.
- Highest Level: Triple-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 45 SP
- Tools Summary: Some of the best spin rates in the minor leagues with a fastball that sits 94 to 95 MPH. He doesn’t always throw strikes, but that arsenal will play at the next level.
Will Warren started the season in Double-A and had no trouble. He pitched to a 2.45 ERA in six starts, striking out nearly 12 per nine and walking 3.7 per nine. The effort got him a late promotion to Triple-A. He’s got some of the best spin rates in all of baseball, with his fastball clocking in at 2606 and his sweeper and curveball both well over 2900 RPM. His fastball has plenty of gitty-up – sitting 94 to 95 and scraping 97. There is some effort in his delivery which might point to a bullpen role. He doesn’t always throw strikes, and the location can be spotty. However, he’s a statcast Darling, and if you trust data, he should be able to perform in either role effectively at the next level.
Chad Dallas (RHP, Tor, Double-A, 23) – 7 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 11K/0BB. For the season: 113 IP, 3.66 ERA, 10.6 K/9, 3.4 BB/9.
He’s not always consistent, but when he’s on, he can be dominant. His updated fantasy scouting report is below.
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2024-25 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 60 SP or Reliever
- Tools Summary: He’s athletic with a broad arsenal but an average fastball.
Chad Dallas was the Blue Jays fourth-round pick in 2022 and had an excellent 2023 season. He split his time between High and Double-A, keeping his walks in check and posting a solid 3.66 ERA. He has a broad arsenal with a fastball that sits 92 to 93 MPH (T 94) with good spin and a variety of secondary pitches that have missed plenty of bats this season. I caught one of his starts over the summer, and he pitched backward for most of the game. Clearly, he’s trying to minimize his average fastball.
Will it work? Maybe, but you can consider he’s only 5-foot-11, there’s a lot going against him. At this point, I will throw a number four starter or reliever on his ceiling.
Julian Aguiar (RHP, Cin, Double-A, 22) – 7 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 12K/0BB. For the season: 117.0 IP, 2.54 ERA, 9.9 K/9, 2.8 BB/9.
Aguiar hit his high-water mark in strikeouts for the year when he fanned 12 in his outing last Thursday. Don’t sleep on him in Dynasty Leagues. Once he gets to Triple-A, we can get a better read on the characteristics of his pitches and get a better sense of whether he’s a number four, three, or maybe higher ceiling. For now, he’s a must-own in Dynasty Leagues. His updated fantasy scouting report is below.
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 45 SP with upside
- Tools Summary: He’s athletic with some physical projection remaining. If he can add another grade to his fastball, which seems likely, he could become very interesting.
Julien Aguiar was the Reds’ 11th-round pick in 2021 out of El Camino Junior College. He’s tall and lanky with plenty of physical projection remaining, which has become the type of profile the Reds like to acquire. The delivery isn’t great, but he gets good extension and spin on his 92 to 94 MPH fastball. He’s starting to repeat his delivery, and the results are that he’s throwing more strikes. His command needs improvements, as does his secondary pitches, but there is a nice base from which to work, particularly if he adds velocity, which I think he will.
Dylan Lesko (RHP, SD, High-A, 19) – 5 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 9K/3BB. For the season: 29.0 IP, 5.90 ERA, 14.6 K/9, 5.0 BB/9.
There was a reason he went in the first round despite recovering from TJS. I watched his game on Friday night, and he was dominant. There’s some recoil in his delivery, but he’s athletic and should be able to throw consistent strikes as he gets further removed from his surgery. It’s everything you’re looking for in a top-of-the-rotation starter. His updated scouting report is below.
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2025-26 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 30 SP with risk
- Tools Summary: He’s back from TJS, and while the control is still spotty, the stuff looks back to pre-surgery form.
Dylan Lesko, the Padres’ 2022 first-round draft pick, spent most of the 2023 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. He finally got back on the field in mid-June, and while he didn’t always throw strikes, the stuff looked back to form. His fastball was sitting 93 to 96, touching 97 with a high spin rate. His change-up, which is his best secondary pitch, was as good as it was before the injury. It’s an exciting package with a ceiling of a number two starter.
Jackson Jobe (RHP, Det, High-A, 20) – 6 IP, 6 hits, 1 ER, 9K/0BB. For the season: 48 IP, 3.19 ERA, 12.2 K/9, 1.1 BBB/9.
He’s striking out 12 per nine and rarely walking anyone. It’s big stuff, and he’s turning into a top-of-the-rotation GUY. He should blow up over the winter as traditional baseball writers start to figure out how good he is. My fantasy ceiling and ETA says it all.
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2024-25 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 30 SP with upside
- Tools Summary: He started the season on the IL with a back issue, but when he returned, he showed the kind of stuff that made him the number three overall player selected in the 2021 Draft.
The Tigers’ 2021 first-round Jackson Jobe started the season on the IL with a back issue. In June, he returned to game action, and statcast showed some encouraging data. His fastball averaged 97 MPH, topping out at 98 with a spin rate of 2548. His breaking pitches all had crazy spin rates of 2800+, with his curveball tapping out at 3108. Even his change-up had nice fade. That’s ace-level stuff and what the Tigers were hoping for when they dropped nearly $7 million to sign him out of high school. He’s got a long way to go, and Dynasty League managers need to be patient, but the ceiling is a number two starter, maybe more.
Yordanny Monegro (RHP, Bos, High-A, 21) – 5 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 8K/1BB. For the season: 60.2 IP, 1.93 ERA, 13 K/9, 3.3 BB/9.
I know it can get boring writing about the same player over and over. So, you might be getting sick of reading about Yordanny Monegro. But here’s my logic. Repetition can be the best teacher, and if I’m writing about a dude all the time, there must be something there. Sure, newsflash, Jackson Holliday is good, and he’s rostered in absolutely every Dynasty League (if not, there’s something dreadfully wrong). However, Monegro is a new player that has blown up this year, and I want you to know about him so you can grab em. He got promoted to High-A and shoved it on Friday. His updated scouting report is below.
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2026 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 45 SP or Closer
- Tools Summary: He’s a lanky 6-foot-4 with a fastball that can already touch 97. The delivery is not great, but arms like this don’t grow on trees.
The Red Sox signed Yordanny Monegro to a modest $35,000 bonus in 2019. He started the 2023 season in the Complex League but was quickly promoted to Low-A, where he debuted on June 25. After pitching well, he spent the last couple of weeks of the season in High-A.
He’s primarily a two-pitch pitcher, with his fastball topping out at 97 with a plus curveball with great shape and depth. He’ll spot a change-up, but it’s a work in progress. He’s starting to fill out his 6-foot-4 frame, but plenty of projection remains, so it’s reasonable to project an increase in velo as he matures. There is violence in his delivery, which, coupled with his lack of a third pitch, could eventually move him to the bullpen, but it’s a special arm, and the Red Sox will continue to develop him as a starter.
Hunter Barco (LHP, Pit, Low-A, 19) – 4.0 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 7K/1BB. For the season: 17.2 IP, 3.06 ERA, 14.3 K/9, 2.6 BB/9.
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2026 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 60 SP with upside
- Tools Summary: He’s got a 70-grade change-up that Low-A hitters struggled with. There could be more velo in the tank as there is still some physical projection remaining.
Hunter Barco was the Pirates’ second-round pick in 2022. He split his season between the Complex League and Low-A and put up a 3.06 ERA, striking out over 14 per nine and walking 2.6 per nine. He’s a sinker/change-up pitcher, with his change-up having a nice run but topping out at 93 MPH. The change-up is his money pitch with a 35% whiff rate and great fade and tumble. The slider needs work, but it also keeps above-average whiffs. I do worry about pitchers with a great change-up in the lower levels of the minor having continued success as they move through the system. However, if Barco can add velocity, and at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, he should as he fills out, he could become very interesting.