We 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.
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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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