The list of the top 100 minor league prospects for 2019 is not only strong at the top with Vlad Jr. leading the way, but is extremely deep. In fact, the list is so jammed that we will be coming out with 10 prospects that just missed later in February.
We tried to stay true to our team rankings but since some of them were done a couple of months ago, you might see some small variations. None of them are significant.
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1. Vlad Guerrero Jr. (Tor, 3B)
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. Victor Robles (Was, OF)
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.
3. Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD, SS)
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.
4. Eloy Jimenez (CHW, OF)
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.
5. Nick Senzel (Cin, 3B)
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.
6. Forrest Whitley (Hou, RHP)
Forrest Whitley’s innings will be a problem in 2019 as he’s only pitched 137.1 innings in three years in the minor leagues. But his size and stuff give him a ceiling of a #1.
7. Wander Franco (TB, SS)
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.
8. Bo Bichette (Tor, SS)
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.
9. Jo Adell (LAA, OF)
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.
10. Royce Lewis (Min, SS)
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.
11. Keston Hiura (Mil, 2B)
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.
12. MacKenzie Gore (SD, LHP)
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.
13. Kyle Tucker (Hou, OF)
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?
14. Taylor Trammell (Cin, OF)
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.
15. Brendan Rodgers (Col, SS/2B/3B)
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.
16. Casey Mize (Det, RHP)
Casey Mize was the easy number one overall pick in last year’s MLB Draft and for good reason. He has command of a three-pitch arsenal and should move very quickly through the system.
17. Francisco Mejia (SD, C)
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.
18. Alex Kirilloff (Min, OF)
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.
19. Alex Verdugo (LAD, OF)
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.
20. Alex Reyes (Stl, RHP)
Alex Reyes had ace potential before Tommy John Surgery and arguably looked better after returning. There is still number one upside, but he needs to stay healthy. If he does, he could develop into one of the best pitchers in the league.
21. Jesus Luzardo (Oak, LHP)
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.
22. Mitch Keller (Pit, RHP)
Mitch Keller struggled in his first few games at Triple-A but ended strong. The Pirates will take that opportunity to start him back in Triple-A and hold his service time down. He should be up on June 20th…give or take a few days.
23. Mike Soroka (Atl, RHP)
Mike Soroka started off strong last season and then got hurt. However, all reports point to him being healthy. If so, he has strong number 3/2 starter upside.
24. Keibert Ruiz (LAD, C)
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.
25. Justus Sheffield (Sea, LHP)
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.
26. Touki Toussaint (Atl, RHP)
Touki Toussaint might seem like a reach this high on the list, but the stuff and athleticism say otherwise. I think Braves fans and fantasy owners will start to see that in 2019.
27. Dustin May (LAD, RHP)
Who is Dustin May and what is he doing in the Top 50? He got stronger last season and his stuff improved from a fastball that sat in the low-90s to touching the upper 90s. At 6-foot-6 with a heavy fastball and curve, he’s going to be nasty.
28. Nick Madrigal (CHW, 2B)
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.
29. Jazz Chisholm (Ari, SS)
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.
30. Michael Kopech (CHW, RHP)
TJS. Man, how I hate those three letters. We all saw it before he got hurt. He’s got #1 potential if he can come back healthy. Stay patient and DON’T sell low.
31. Joey Bart (SF, C)
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.
32. Ian Anderson (Atl, RHP)
Ian Anderson is yet another high-end pitcher in the Braves system. While he’s down on their list, he could easily be the Top pitcher in many other organizations.
33. Sixto Sanchez (Phi, RHP)
Arm trouble dropped Sixto Sanchez on our list. The stuff is premium with an 80-grade fastball. The size though does bother me, and I would not be surprised if he eventually moves to the pen. Then again, I said that about Luis Severino and have been dead wrong about that.
34. Jarred Kelenic (Sea, OF)
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.
35. Cristian Pache (Atl, OF)
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.
36. Victor Victor Mesa (Mia, OF)
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.
37. Andres Gimenez (NYM, SS)
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.
38. Brent Honeywell (TB, RHP)
Assuming he’s healthy after having Tommy John Surgery, Brent Honeywell should see plenty of time in Tampa Bay in 2019.
39. Dylan Cease (CHW, RHP)
While there is reliever risk with Dylan Cease, the arsenal is premium and for now, the White Sox want to continue to develop him as a starter. I’m good with that as the backup plan because the ceiling is a potential elite closer.
40. Gavin Lux (LAD, SS/2B)
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.
41. Peter Alonso (NYM, 1B)
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.
42. Carter Kieboom (Was, SS/2B)
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.
43. Triston McKenzie (CLE, RHP)
Triston Mckenzie is still listed at 6-foot-5 and 165 pounds. To say he’s tall and lanky is an understatement. But if he can put on weight, and add some physical projection, his ceiling is that of a number two starter.
44. Brendan McKay (TB, LHP)
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.
45. Justin Dunn (Sea, RHP)
Justin Dunn has athleticism and a big arm that gives him a mid-rotation projection.
46. Yusniel Diaz (Bal, OF)
The Orioles have a Top 50 prospect…and he’s legitimate. The ball explodes off Yusniel Diaz’s bat with a chance for plus power as a classic major league right fielder.
47. Yusei Kikuchi (Sea, LHP)
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.
48. Garrett Hampson (Col, 2B/OF)
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.
49. Yordan Alvarez (Hou, 1B/OF)
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.
50. Chris Paddack (SD, RHP)
Last season, Chris Paddack looked as good as he did before he was diagnosed with a torn UCL in 2016. He only has 37.2 innings above High-A, but I think we see him in San Diego next season.
51. Carson Kelly (Ari, C)
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.
52. A.J. Puk (Oak, LHP)
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.
53. Adrian Morejon (SD, LHP)
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.
54. Logan Allen (SD, LHP)
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.
55. Ke’Bryan Hayes (Pit, 3B)
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.
56. Hunter Greene (Cin, RHP)
We all saw Hunter Greene hit 101 at last year’s Futures Game. Sure, it was a little straight, but he’s got a golden arm and tremendous makeup. However, he also might be hurt. He’s still got a long way to go, but the upside remains a #1, but with significant risk.
57. Sean Murphy (Oak, C)
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.
58. Danny Jansen (Tor, C)
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.
59. Jonathan India (Cin, 3B)
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.
60. Alec Bohm (Phi, 3B)
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.
61. Kyle Wright (Atl, RHP)
Kyle Wright seems to be forgotten in the stacked pitching depth of the Braves. While he doesn’t have the upside of Toussant, he’s more polished with a quality arsenal. I’m buying.
62. Brusdar Graterol (Min, RHP)
I saw Brusdar Graterol this year and fell in love. He hit 100 a couple of times on my gun with impressive secondary pitches. There is some reliever risk, but the arm is real.
63. Bryse Wilson (Atl, RHP)
I bet in five years when we review this list, Bryse Wilson will have out-earned his ranking.
64. Drew Waters (Atl, OF)
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.
65. Jesus Sanchez (TB, OF)
While I’m a fan of Jesus Sanchez, the approach needs work in order for his big-time secondary tools to play.
66. Nolan Gorman (Stl, 3B)
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 is going to be prodigious. Joey Gallo has had some success but also walks a ton. Gorman might not. Hmm….
67. Matt Manning (Det, RHP)
I continue to be very bullish on Matt Manning despite some struggles. Repeat after me, “Do Not give up on athletic pitchers who throw hard”.
68. Hans Crouse (Tex, RHP)
While there is some reliever risk with Hans Crouse, the arm could be special with a chance to be a number three pitcher.
69. D.L Hall (Bal, LHP)
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.
70. Luis Robert (CHW, OF)
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.
71. Austin Hays (Bal, OF)
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.
72. Matthew Liberatore (TB, LHP)
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.
73. Colton Welker (Col, 3B)
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.
74. Travis Swaggerty (Pit, OF)
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.
75. Daulton Varsho (Ari, C)
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.
76. Michel Baez (SD, RHP)
At 6-foot-8, Michel Baez is still growing into his body with many believing he could be bullpen bound. Regardless, if it all comes together, the upside is very high.
77. Brandon Marsh (LAA, OF)
It’s still more tools over performance, but if it all comes together, the impact is going to be significant.
78. Luis Urias (SD, 2B)
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.
79. Heliot Ramos (SF, OF)
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.
80. Corbin Martin (Hou, RHP)
Corbin Martin continues to fly under the radar, but after a standout season that saw his fastball tick up a grade, that’s changing. He’s rising in the rankings, and fast.
81. Jahmai Jones (LAA, 2B)
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.
82. Jonathan Loaisiga (NYY, RHP)
I like Jonathan Loaisiga, but he should not be the top prospect for a team. While he has a starter arsenal, on the Yankees, he’ll likely be in the bullpen. That is, of course, if he can stay healthy.
83. Ronaldo Hernandez (TB, C)
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.
84. Anderson Tejeda (Tex, SS)
Anderson Tejeda showed significant pop last season but also struck out too much. If he can cut down those strikeouts, he has star potential.
85. Vidal Brujan (TB, 2B)
Vidal Brujan stole 55 bases, hit nine home runs with an OBP of .403 last season. Yeah, he’s pretty good.
86. Everson Pereira (NYY, OF)
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.
87. Jon Duplantier (Ari, RHP)
Health has been a problem for Jon Duplantier to-date. Is it related to his long arm swing? When he’s on the mound, the stuff plays with a chance to be a mid-rotation starter.
88. Estevan Florial (NYY, OF)
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.
89. Corey Ray (Mil, OF)
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.
90. Luis Rengifo (LAA, 2B)
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.
91. Griffin Canning (LAA, RHP)
Drafted in the second round in 2017, Griffin Canning has already made it to Triple-A and looks ready to contribute in the Major Leagues. He has a plus fastball but struggles to find the plate consistently.
92. Monte Harrison (Mia, OF)
Monte Harrison? Really?? I know the 37% strikeout rate he posted in Double-A last year was awful, but he might have the best tools on this list. He’s a premium athlete with plus speed and power and big-time makeup. However, if you can’t make contact, it doesn’t matter. I did see him in the Fall League and he has quieted down his swing in hopes of making better contact. Will it help? I don’t know, but I did like the changes as well as the recogonition that he needed to do something. If he can just hit .250/.320, he could be a star. I know, I can feel you rolling your eyes.
93. Austin Riley (Atl, 3B)
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.
94. Khalil Lee (KC, OF)
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?
95. Luis Garcia (Was, SS)
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.
96. Leody Taveras (Tex, OF)
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.
97. Elehuris Montero (STL, 3B)
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.
98. ONeil Cruz (Pit, SS)
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.
99. Luis Patino (SD, RHP)
Despite being 6-feet tall, Luis Patino has a big-league arm and is one of the more exciting your arms in the minor leagues. He just turned 19 but is already slated to begin 2019 in High-A.
100. Julio Pablo Martinez (Tex, OF)
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.
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