In this new take outside of your normal mainline apps and websites, I give you 10 not-so-obvious prospects that you need now. These are fantasy baseball prospects that have flatlined rankings-wise or players you may have never heard of before.
10 Not-So-Obvious Prospects You Need Now!
Spencer Steer, Cincinnati Reds
While barely considered a prospect getting almost 100 at-bats last season for the Reds, Steer hit a pedestrian .211 at the major league level which obviously makes him a not-so-obvious prospect you need. Emerging power should come this season as well. Why would anyone be interested in a player that has backup written all over him? With veteran Mike Moustakas released this off-season Steer is poised to win the job at third for the Reds this coming season.
Drew Waters, Kansas City Royals
Drew Waters was once a consensus top-30 prospect for the Atlanta Braves. Some consistency issues along with a lack of projected playing time forced the Braves’ hand and he was moved to the Royals. There are no projected issues with playing time as he will compete in the spring for a starting spot in the Royals outfield.
Justyn-Henry Malloy, Detroit Tigers
In what was a stunning move for me, the Tigers were able to swing in and get a prospect I would consider the next big thing in Justyn-Henry Malloy. He advanced three levels last year in the minors and could get the call very early for a Tigers team that is tired of rebuilding. The bat is there enough for him to make an impact now.
Johan Rojas, Philadelphia Phillies
This is a player that could work his way into a platoon role in CF in the City of Brotherly Love. Speed is the name of his game, but he has proven he can hit well enough to be a threat at the major league level. It’s unlikely he would beat Brandon Marsh out, but he could easily be one of the first bats up from the Philly farm if he isn’t moved first for a win-now piece.
Canaan Smith-Njigba, Pittsburgh Pirates
Never a sexy name in conversations often overshadowed by his brother at Ohio St. the hard work paid off. A solid approach to the plate along with checking all the boxes CSN as I affectionately call him was sidelined quickly by an injury. He should be able to bounce back as I project him as a late spring call up with impact being made quickly.
Jhonny Brito, New York Yankees
Anyone on the Yankees farm always has a chance. The number of injuries that occur in New York for some reason is massive. Already at Triple-A with almost 400 innings pitched in the minors and a sub-4.00 ERA, there isn’t much more to prove. Solid control anchors an above-average fastball to round out the young man. Look for him to be one of the first pitchers to be called up from the Yankees’ farm in 2023.
Logan Allen, Cleveland Guardians
The Guardians, Braves, and Rays seem to be the class of the minor league farm systems churning out stud after stud. Logan Allen (not the one that is on the Rockies now) was hit around a bit in Triple-A but he maintained his control, posting around a 3:1 K/BB number. Left-handed starting pitching isn’t always easy to find. I think he will be up before some of the bigger names like Espino or Willams.
Jayden Murray, Houston Astros
In a somewhat baffling move, the Rays traded Murray to the Astros in the deal that brought them Jose Siri. All Jayden Murray ever did for the Rays farm was pitch well. So, it’s surprising that he is still a prospect. He does profile a bit as a relief pitcher with not much coming after an above-average fastball and slider. He has great control and a career WHIP under 1.00 in 244 innings pitched in the minors. Look for Murray to come up this summer and be in the race for holds for the Astros Bullpen.
TJ Sikkema, Kansas City Royals
Coming over from the Yankees last summer, Sikkema oozes Yankee relief pitcher. The crazy arm angles scream lefty specialist. Stats-wise think Aaron Loup. 15-20 holds aren’t out of reach if the Royals can play well enough this season.
Jake Eder, Miami Marlins
Much like other unheralded pitchers in the Marlins system, Eder moved fast through the farm and was likely on his way to a spot with the big club when, like many young pitchers, his arm gave out and Tommy John was required. Most have forgotten about Eder, but I haven’t. A 1.77 ERA in 71 innings pitched at Double-A Pensacola is still fresh in my mind. He could win a roster spot if his time isn’t manipulated by the Marlins.
Are you buying in on any of these of-the-radar prospects? For more great analysis check out the 2023 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit!