We continue the rollout of our 2019 Top 100 prospects with numbers 1 through 25. There’s some guy named Vlad Jr. at the top and we can’t remember a prospect with his level of hype coming into the season in a long time. He’s got the talent to bring the goods, but if he stumbles, the criticism could brutal. Victor Robles is next and is a completely different player. He’s a plus defender with double-plus speed that can also really hit. There are questions on his ultimate power potential, but the comparison for us continues to be Carl Crawford who in his prime was a 15-40 player. In fact, in 2009 his hit .305 with 15 home runs and 60 stolen bases. Let that settle in for a moment.
We continue the rollout of our 2019 Top 100 prospects with numbers 26 through 50. There are some big names in this section of the list including Mets first baseman Peter Alonso and Tampa Bay right-hander Brent Honeywell. Alonso has double-plus power and makes enough contact that he should be able to get to that power. Defensively, he’s not going to be a star, but if he can hit 30 plus bombs with a .270 batting average, the Mets will take it. Honeywell should return from Tommy John Surgery in 2019 and while there will likely be some inconsistency, he should get at least a dozen starts in the big leagues before getting shut down.
When ranking our prospects, shortstops always gets extra credit given the premium defensive position they play and in general, because of the lack of depth in the Major Leagues at the position. However, in the fantasy game, the lack of MLB shortstop depth is no longer an issue. In fact, four or as many as five shortstops are going in the first round – Lindor, Turner, Bregman, and Machado and depending on your league, Javier Baez.
As we have shared in nearly every fantasy post, as well as our weekly podcast, you can wait on shortstop in your draft. In fact, very productive players like Amed Rosario and Elvis Andrus can all be acquired after the 10th round. Sure, you would love to have Manny Machado over either player, but look at the outfielder you can acquire at the end of the first round vs. the outfielder you can get in the 10th round. It’s quite the difference.
We continue the rollout of our 2019 Top 100 prospects with numbers 51 through 75. This section of the list has some of our personal favorite prospects including Minnesota Twins right-hander Brusdar Graterol and Atlanta Braves righty, Bryse Wilson. While Wilson has already seen time in the big leagues, we believe he’s just starting to tap into his potential. Graterol started to emerge in 2017 but really put things together last year by showing a much-improved arsenal. While there is reliever risk in the profile, if he can stay a starter, the upside could be very high.
We start releasing our 2019 Top 100 Prospects with number 76 through 100. We went with a lot of high upside prospects instead of playing it safe. In fact, some of the names might be new to you. Many of them are still a few years away from sniffing the Major Leagues, but that’s the fun of following prospects.
Second basemen are rarely born but instead are converted shortstops or even outfielders. Perhaps their arm was not strong enough to play short or as in many cases, they were blocked and needed to find an alternative place to play. Regardless, the position over the past few years has developed into a strength in fantasy baseball.
If you want to go early with players who can stuff all categories, you’ve got Javier Baez, Jose Altuve, and Whit Merrifield. All three players are going in the first two rounds of drafts. If you want to fill other positions early and wait on second base, then there are still solid options in the middle rounds. In fact, if you get caught out and miss all the top players, you can still grab Jonathan Schoop, DJ. LeMahieu or Cesar Hernandez late in your draft.
Our review of the 2019 Texas Rangers Top 15 prospects is now available.
First Base has long been considered critical for success in the fantasy game. Grab a power-hitting first baseman earlier, perhaps two, and ride the power, RBI and RUNs scored to a Championship. However, the game has changed and first base is no longer where fantasy owners are focusing. Sure, there is still Freddie, Goldy, and Rizzo, but look at the guys in the 11 to 15 range…hardly pillars for your fantasy team. Which begs the question. Is first base now a scarce position in fantasy baseball?
While not deep, we don’t believe it’s at the same scarcity level as catchers or outfielders. You see, first base is still a power position, but power is so plentiful in the league, that the focus in drafts, particularly early, should be on speed and you are just not going to find that at first. That’s not to say I still don’t want Freddie Freeman or Paul Goldschmidt on my team. However, I’d much rather draft a guy early that is going to give me both speed and power because, by the mid-rounds, the speed is gone. Therefore, one argument at the draft table is to wait on first base a bit and hunt for more well-rounded players in the early rounds.
Food for thought.
Our review of the 2019 Seattle Mariners Top 15 prospects is now available.
Our review of the 2019 Oakland Athletics Top 15 prospects is now available.