Over the last couple of months, I’ve been digging through each MLB team’s farm system to provide the top dynasty fantasy baseball prospects that should be on your radar. Today, we’ll break down the top-25 Seattle Mariners prospects.
I would like to start by giving a big shout out to Seattle General Manager, Jerry Dipoto. When I started these top-25’s, I originally had Seattle scheduled for mid-November and was dreading it. At the time, this farm system was not very good and lacked high-end talent outside of a select few. Now, several trades later, this system has vastly improved on both sides of the ball. Thanks Jerry, appreciate that.
- Traded Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to the New York Mets for Jarred Kelenic (OF), Justin Dunn (RHP), and Gerson Bautista (RHP) (And also Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak).
- Traded James Paxton to the New York Yankees for Justus Sheffield (LHP), Erik Swanson (RHP), and Dom Thompson-Williams.
- Traded Mike Zunino, Guillermo Heredia , and 2018 4th-round pick Michael Plassmeyer (RHP) to Tampa Bay for Mallex Smith and Jake Fraley (OF).
He made about 96 other trades this offseason, but those were the three moves that positively impacted this list in a big way.
Overall System Grade: C
Minor League Affiliates
Triple-A: Tacoma – Pacific Coast League
Double-A: Arkansas – Texas League
Single-A (Advanced): Modesto – California League
Single-A (Full): West Virginia – South Atlantic League
Short-season Single-A: Everett – Northwest League
Rookie: One team each in the Arizona League and Dominican Summer League
All other team top-25 prospect rankings can be found here.
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New Top-25 Seattle Mariners Prospects
1. Jarred Kelenic, OF, Bats: L, DOB: 7/16/99, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (RK): .286/.371/.468/.839, 10 2B, 6 3B, 6 HR, 15 SB, 10.4 BB%, 19.9 K%, 220 AB
“Man, that’s a good looking swing.”
That phrase was the first thing that came to mind the first time I saw Jared Kelenic take batting practice back in his senior season of high school. Clean and compact from the left side, Kelenic generates plenty of bat speed and hard contact to all fields with a line drive approach. Hands start head high, coil down and back, then explode through the zone with a direct path to the ball. Rear leg load is moderate and Kelenic is able to generate plenty of torque from his quick and strong hips. For a prep bat, Kelenic shows an advanced plate approach and a very good feel for hitting. Everything is fluid.
With the 6th pick in the #MLBDraft, the New York Mets select OF Jarred Kelenic (Waukesha West HS) https://t.co/FiViX151Dp #LGM pic.twitter.com/xctmE2mWvI
— Prep Baseball Report (@prepbaseball) June 4, 2018
While this swing is more geared for line drives at the moment, I can certainly envision Kelenic hitting for more power down the road as he adds strength and develops. As it stands now, I’d project him for 15-20 homers, with the potential to get into the low to mid-20s in time. In addition to the intriguing offensive tools, Kelenic also has plus speed which has already been apparent both on the bases and in his plus range in center field. He has the range and strong arm to remain in center long-term.
All signs point to a top of the order hitter that can maintain a high AVG/OBP, steal 30-plus bases, and hit for some power too. The only player from this 2018 FYPD crop that I would definitively rank ahead of Kelenic for future value is Nolan Gorman. Kelenic and Jonathan India are right behind the Cardinals slugger. When it’s all said and done, Kelenic could have grades of 55 or higher on all of his tools. A future star outfielder in the making.
2. Justus Sheffield, LHP, DOB: 5/13/96, ETA Debuted in 2018
2018 Stats (AA/AAA): 116.0 IP, 2.48 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 9.5 K/9, .195 AVG
2018 Stats (MLB): 2.2 IP, 10.13 ERA, 2.63 WHIP, 10.1 BB/9, 0.0 K/9, .364 AVG
After an impressive season in the upper minors, Sheffield got a cup of coffee with the Yankees in September out of the bullpen. More like a shot of coffee actually as it was just 2.2 innings. Overall, Sheffield is a good mix of ceiling, floor, and projectability. He works in the 92-94 range consistently with his fastball and can get as high as 96-97 with it. Though there is a little bit of effort involved, Sheffield has improved the consistency of his delivery and has been able to maintain his velocity deep into his starts. His offspeed pitches consist of a tight mid-80’s slider with big two-plant tilt and a developing changeup. His command, while never great, hasn’t been a hindrance to him either.
Now with the Mariners by way of the James Paxton deal, Sheffield’s dynasty value gets a nice little boost. He no longer had to pitch roughly half his games in a hitter-friendly home park and also has a much clearer path to playing time in 2019. Sheffield projects of a mid-rotation starter at the very least and has a ceiling of a No. 2 starter.
3. Julio Rodriguez, OF, Bats: R, DOB: 12/29/00, ETA 2023
2018 Stats (RK): .315/.404/.525/.929, 13 2B, 9 3B, 5 HR, 10 SB, 11.8 BB%, 15.7 K%, 219 AB
The more I watch Julio Rodriguez, the more impressed I am. For a player that just turned 18 and has yet to come stateside, Rodriguez displays an advanced approach and a solid feel for the strike zone. Rodriguez signed in the 2017 J2 period for $1.75 million and excelled across the board in the Dominican Summer League this season, flashing his tantalizing all-around skill set. That skill set got him plenty of buzz as a 15-year-old.
OF Julio Rodriguez, 15, has a home run and a double in today's Dominican Prospect League game. Sweet swing, big power for 2017 prospect. pic.twitter.com/0O6s88sMQN
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) October 25, 2016
The first thing you notice about Rodriguez at the plate is his quick wrists and phenomenal bat speed. He never really comes set pre-pitch but that’s something that can be ironed out over time. The swing itself is relatively clean with moderate load/hand coil and good use of his lower half. Rodriguez already has above-average raw power to all fields and projects to add more power as he develops and fills out his slight 6’3 frame.
From what I’ve seen so far from Rodriguez, the next few years are going to be fun to watch his development. This is a highly-skilled outfielder that can hit for average and power while playing above-average defense in a corner outfield slot. As it stands now, Rodriguez has above-average or better speed, but will likely lose a step as he adds strength to his frame. Still, there’s a ton to be excited about here in dynasty formats. Grab some stock now while you can. By this time next year, J-Rod very well might be well inside my top-100 overall prospects.
4. Justin Dunn, RHP, DOB: 9/22/95, ETA 2019
2018 Stats (A+/AA): 135.1 IP, 3.59 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, 10.4 K/9, .253 AVG
After taking a step back in 2017, Dunn roared back with a vengeance in 2018, turning in the best season of his young career. Dunn improved across the board, most importantly, dropping his walk rate from 4.5 to 3.5 per nine. Control and command have been Dunn’s weakness and it was very encouraging to see him take steps forward in those areas. Dunn repeats his delivery well out of a 3/4 arm slot, so command shouldn’t be a major issue for him going forward.
99 seconds of Justin Dunn nastiness. 95 FB. SL looks like a frisbee. Kid has some serious stuff. Put in work today. #Mets #MiLB pic.twitter.com/ezhCYAkmQL
— Peace, love, and dirty feet (@mufuhkajones) May 16, 2018
As for the arsenal, it’s impressive. Dunn sits in the low to mid-90’s with his fastball and will mix in three offspeed pitches, headlined by his plus slider with two-plane break. Both the curveball and changeup aren’t as advanced but he has enough feel for them to make them both serviceable offerings. The 2018 season was a positive step forward for Dunn, and with continued development of his command, Dunn should make for a nice No. 2 or 3 starter with around a strikeout per inning.
5. Evan White, 1B, Bats: R, DOB: 4/26/96, ETA 2019/2020
2018 Stats (A+/AAA): .300/.371/.453/.824, 29 2B, 11 HR, 4 SB, 9.4 BB%, 19.4 K%, 494 AB
The 17th overall pick in the 2017 amateur draft, White has quickly ascended the Mariners farm system, even vaulting Double-A for a brief Triple-A sting. An injury and Dan Vogelbach promotion to Seattle was the root cause of the skipped level, but White didn’t look too overmatched during his four-game stint, collecting four hits and two doubles.
White possesses plus contact skills but his swing and approach currently limit his power potential. He has a tendency to get out on his front foot too early and drop his lower half during his swing. This has led to a higher ground ball rate and pull rate. It’s not something that I’m overly concerned with given White’s bat to ball skills and overall feel for hitting, but it does make it hard to project more than 15 home runs or so. Luckily, White can also move quite well for a first baseman and might even be able to chip in double-digit steals in his early years in the Majors.
One thing is for certain, White is a Major League first baseman in the making and one that could win a gold glove or two while hitting for a high AVG/OBP and recording HR/SB totals in the teens.
6. Shed Long, 2B, Bats: L, DOB: 8/22/95, ETA 2019/2020
2018 Stats (AA): .261/.353/.412/.765, 22 2B, 12 HR, 19 SB, 10.9 BB%, 23.6 K%, 452 AB
A prep bat from the 2013 draft class, Long has been a slow riser through the Cincinnati farm system. The 2019 season will mark his seventh in the system and likely his first at the Triple-A level. Long made a name for himself with a .293/15/21 season in 2016 and has continued to blossom into one of the top offensive second base prospects in the game. Long has a quick left-handed stroke and gets natural loft from his swing due to the slight uppercut swing path.
He’s a little on the small side at 5’8, but don’t let that fool you into thinking there isn’t some additional power upside here. Long packs a punch and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see him get into the 20-25 home run range. On the other hand, what we’ve seen from him in the minors is likely as good as it’s going to get. He’s not an overly quick runner or defender for that matter. The lack of range and average throwing arm will limit him to second base moving forward, but Long has the skill set to become an above-average offensive performer at the position.
7. Noelvi Marte, SS, Bats: R, DOB: 10/16/01, ETA 2023
2018 Stats: Did Not Play
The Mariners weren’t overly active during the 2018 J2 period but made one big splash, signing Marte for $1.55 million out of the Dominican Republic. Marte didn’t even turn 17 until after the 2018 season ended, but already shows off plus offensive tools, most notably, his raw power. There’s a little noise in his pre-pitch setup, but the swing itself is sound and explosive. I urge you to crank the sound on the video below to hear the gunshot-like sound the ball makes coming off his bat.
The @Mariners agreed to terms with SS Noelvi Marte. The No. 4 overall prospect will receive a $1.55 million signing bonus, according to @BenBadler https://t.co/742YZwkVtZ pic.twitter.com/VzfIRwdxdv
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) July 2, 2018
Marte uses a big leg kick to time pitches and uses his strong lower half, quick hips, and plus bat speed to generate hard contact with natural loft due to the slight uppercut nature of his swing. He’s yet to face minor league pitching, but you can’t help but get excited as the power potential here. And with no major flaws in swing, it wouldn’t shock me if Marte hits for a solid batting average as well. While he’s currently a shortstop, Marte isn’t overly quick and will likely have to slide over to third before too long, but regardless of position, he has the change to become an offensive force.
8. Logan Gilbert, RHP, DOB: 5/5/97, ETA 2020/2021
2018 Stats: Did Not Pitch
After a dominant career at Stetson, the Mariners selected Gilbert with the 14th overall pick this past June and assigned him to the short-season Northwest League where he threw exactly zero pitches. Unfortunately, Gilbert came down with mononucleosis and wasn’t able to get into any minor league game action in 2018. When he finally gets back on the mound in 2019, expect Gilbert to move fairly quickly. With a big 6’6 frame, Gilbert gets good extension in his delivery and repeats it well without much effort. He’ll sit consistently in the low to mid-90’s with arm side run and mixes in three offspeed pitches, with both the slider and changeup flashing plus. He’ll also mix in a curveball that is serviceable, but well behind the rest of the arsenal. Assuming Gilbert can keep his command in check, there’s No. 2 starter upside here with high strikeout potential.
9. Sam Carlson, RHP, DOB: 12/3/98, ETA 2021
2018 Stats: Did Not Pitch
We now have back to back pitchers who have combined to make two starts in their professional careers. Carlson made those two starts in the rookie-level Arizona League before being shut down and undergoing Tommy John surgery. A 2nd round pick, Carlson works with a dynamic three-pitch mix, with his mid-90’s fastball, sharp slider, and fading changeup all potentially being plus offerings down the road. Command is no issue here either, giving Carlson a high floor to go along with his No. 2 starter upside. The Mariners will likely bring him back slowly once he’s back sometime this summer and can afford to do so. Carlson makes for a great dynasty league target now while his value is low due to the injury.
10. Kyle Lewis, OF, Bats: R, DOB: 7/13/95, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (A+/AA): .244/.306/.405/.711, 26 2B, 9 HR, 1 SB, 7.7 BB%, 24.0 K%, 328 AB
Over the last 12 months, few prospects have seen their stock fall as much as Lewis’ has. From a borderline top-50 prospect in some rankings to barely inside the top-10 of a farm system that I graded as a C. He even fell way down in our From the Field Prospect Mock draft we conducted back in October/November, sliding all the way down to me at pick No. 345 overall as the fifth Mariner prospect off the board (eighth if you include Kelenic/Sheffield/Dunn who were not in this system yet at the time).
The raw power and double-digit speed remain, but Lewis’ contact skills and plate approach have not developed as planned after the Mariners took him 11th overall back in 2016. Lewis has solid bat speed, but he has a tendency to drop his backside during his swing. Despite the struggles, I’m still on board with Lewis developing into a starting-caliber corner outfielder that hits for power and an average in the .260 range. It couldn’t hurt to throw a buy-low offer for him in dynasty leagues.
11. Jake Fraley, OF, Bats: L, DOB: 5/25/95, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (A+): .347/.415/.547/.962, 19 2B, 4 HR, 11 SB, 10.0 BB%, 16.9 K%, 225 AB
Acquired along with Mallex Smith in November from Tampa Bay, Fraley is coming off a strong performance in Florida State League where his .347 average would’ve led the league by a mile if he had enough at-bats to qualify. This after dominating in the Australian Baseball League during the offseason.
Fraley is a simple prospect to explain. Three of his tools are above-average or better, while the other two are below average. Plus speed has been his biggest asset during his professional career, displaying exceptional range in the outfield and stealing 48 bases in 151 games. He’ll need to improve his reads on the bases a little as his success rate stealing bases is only 69.6%, but the raw speed alone should continue to keep him in the 25-30 SB range with the potential for a little more.
Offensively, Fraley is contact over power with an advanced plate approach and above-average contact skills. That approach has led to a 9.8% walk rate and 16.9% strikeout rate in his career. There’s not much loft to his swing due to his linear swing path, but Fraley makes consistent contact, can use the entire field, and get on base at a high clip. His stock has improved mightily over the last 12 months and it will be interesting to see if he can continue this momentum in the high minors.
12. Braden Bishop, OF, Bats: R, DOB: 8/22/93, ETA 2019/2020
2018 Stats (AA): .284/.361/.412/.773, 20 2B, 8 HR, 5 SB, 9.4 BB%, 17.3 K%, 345 AB
A 2015 3rd round pick out of the University of Washington, Bishop was in the middle of another strong season when he got hit with a pitch in July, breaking his forearm and ending his season. All Bishop has done since being drafted is hit, hit, and hit some more. Outside of a 41-game stint in the California League (A+) back in 2016, Bishop has kept his batting average hovering around .300 and currently sits at .294 for his minor league career.
📹 of Braden Bishop's MVP performance in the California League All-Star Game on Tuesday night. Read more at https://t.co/beqHs70b3f https://t.co/uvjX4CefYW
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) June 21, 2017
At the plate, Bishop has a quick and clean right-handed stroke. He starts with his hands a little lower than most and uses minimal leg load and hand coil. The swing is fluid with plenty of bat speed. Due to the linear bat path and below average raw power, Bishop doesn’t project to hit for much power, but should be able to hit for average with a strong OBP to go along with it. Add in plus speed and strong defense and you have a solid all-around profile that could land Bishop a spot near the top of the order. He often gets overlooked, but there’s solid upside here with the potential to put up .280/10/25 type seasons at his best.
13. Joey Curletta, 1B, Bats: R, DOB: 3/8/94, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (AA): .282/.383/.482/.865, 24 2B, 23 HR, 1 SB, 14.6 BB%, 23.4 K%, 465 AB
A hulking 6’4 first baseman, Curletta has finally begun hitting for the type of power many envisioned he would when the Dodgers drafted him in the 6th round back in 2012. After modest production in his first few seasons, the last two seasons have been big steps forward for Curletta. Not just with his plus raw power either. Curletta has improved his plate approach, raising his walk rate and cutting down the strikeouts in each of the last two seasons. His pre-pitch setup is quiet and balanced. The swing itself can get a little long at time, but overall is fairly sound, generating plenty of hard contact and natural loft. Curletta will likely open the season in Triple-A and very well could be manning first base in Seattle by season’s end.
14. Cal Raleigh, C, Bats: S, DOB: 11/26/96, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (A-): .288/.367/.534/.901, 10 2B, 8 HR, 1 SB, 10.8 BB%, 17.4 K%, 146 AB
Finding catchers that can hit for both average and power can be as difficult as trying to find Waldo with a blindfold on. Heck, trying to find catchers that hit for a solid average can often be difficult. A switch-hitter, Raleigh has displayed plus bat speed and an advanced plate approach from both sides of the plate. His defense behind the plate needs some work and Raleigh doesn’t have a strong throwing arm. However, the Mariners will likely give him plenty of time to develop behind the plate. If he can develop his defensive skills enough to remain behind the plate long-term, his offensive upside will give him sneaky good value in dynasty leagues.
15. Dom Thompson-Williams, OF, Bats: L, DOB: 4/21/95, ETA 2019
2018 Stats (A/A+): .299/.363/.546/.909, 17 2B, 22 HR, 20 SB, 8.0 BB%, 24.6 K%, 368 AB
DTW was another piece to come over in the Paxton deal and barely-missed cracking my top-25 Yankees prospects due to the depth in that system. But here in a down, but improving Mariners system, he gets a nod in the top-20. Thompson-Williams just finished up a 20/20 season with most of that damage coming in the Advanced Single-A Florida State League. He has an intriguing power/speed profile with his power a tad more prominent and plays solid outfield defense, but I want to see how he fares against more advanced pitching before moving him up.
16. Erik Swanson, RHP, DOB: 9/4/93, ETA 2019
2018 Stats (A-/AA/AAA): 121.2 IP, 2.66 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9, 10.3 K/9, .210 AVG
Swanson is a big right-hander with a low-90’s riding fastball and two average or better offspeed pitches with his low to mid-80s slider being more advanced than the changeup. Those pitches, along with a deceptive delivery, have gotten him by so far with impressive results, but his upside is more of a #4-type starter. His frame and command give him a solid floor and a good chance to reach that upside.
17. Wyatt Mills, RHP, DOB: 1/25/95, ETA 2019
2018 Stats (A+/AA): 53.0 IP, 3.57 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9, 10.0 K/9, .236 AVG
The Mariners have a few relievers on this list, with Mills potentially being the best of the bunch. After a successful collegiate career in Gonzaga’s bullpen, the Mariners took Mills in the 3rd round of the 2017 draft and pushed him up to Double-A later on in the 2018 season. Mills has your prototypical fastball/slider combination and made solid strides with his control last season. If he can continue to limit the walks, Mills could work his way into 8th or 9th inning duties for Seattle down the road.
18. Keegan McGovern, OF, Bats: L, DOB: 9/13/95, ETA 2020/2021
2018 Stats (A-/A): .271/.351/.518/.869, 14 2B, 15 HR, 1 SB, 9.7 BB%, 24.0 K%, 255 AB
A 9th round pick in the 2018 draft, McGovern started his professional career off with a bang, hitting 15 homers in his first 69 games, mostly in Single-A. McGovern has a strong 6’3 frame and incorporates his strong lower half well in his swing. A deeper hand coil can make his swing a tad longer at times, but once he gets moving forward, McGovern has solid bat speed with a swing built for power. He might not ever hit higher than the .260-.270 range or so, but there’s 30-homer upside in this bat with the potential for a strong OBP thanks to his patience at the dish.
Dawgs like Keegan McGovern swinging wood today in front of more than two dozen scouts. https://t.co/vgh9RdxEFy
— Georgia Baseball (@BaseballUGA) October 11, 2017
19. Anthony Jimenez, OF, Bats: R, DOB: 10/21/95, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (A+): .262/.314/.377/.691, 20 2B, 6 HR, 13 SB, 5.3 BB%, 24.8 K%, 385 AB
The Mariners have been incredibly slow bringing Jimenez along. They signed him back in the 2013 J2 period and he’s still yet to advance past the high Class-A California League. Jimenez is a plus-athlete with good speed and defensive range in the outfield. That plus speed has also translated well on the bases where he’s averaged 49.4 steals per 600 at-bats. Granted, a lot of that damage was done in rookie ball, but the speed upside is enticing. At the plate, Jimenez displayed plus bat speed from the right side and enough raw power for double-digit pop. However, the one area trending in the wrong direction is his plate approach with his walk and strikeout rates regressing over the last couple of seasons.
20. Ricardo Sanchez, LHP, DOB: 4/20/97, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (RK/AA): 73.2 IP, 3.79 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 3.4 BB/9, 7.0 K/9, .272 AVG
Acquired from the Braves earlier in the offseason, Sanchez has the potential for three above-average to plus pitches if he can hone in his command. His fastball sits in the low-90s with arm side run and he’s shown a good feel for a curveball as well. The changeup is behind the other two pitches, but should at least be a serviceable third pitch for Sanchez.
21. Matthew Festa, RHP, DOB: 3/11/93, ETA 2019 (Debuted in 2018)
2018 Stats (AA): 49.0 IP, 2.76 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9, 12.3 K/9, .263 AVG
2018 Stats (MLB): 8.1 IP, 2.16 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9, 4.3 K/9, .351 AVG
After splitting time between starting and relieving in the Northwest League in 2016, Festa transitioned to the bullpen full-time in 2017 and has really flourished. His fastball has gained a tick in velocity since joining the pen, now sitting in the 93-96 range with arm side life. Festa will offset that mostly with an above-average slider, but also will mix in a fringe curve and changeup at times. I’m not sold he has closer upside, but Festa has the stuff and command to succeed in a 7th/8th inning role.
22. Juan Querecuto, SS, Bats: R, DOB: 9/21/00, ETA 2023
2018 Stats (RK): .243/.331/.329/.660, 8 2B, 3 HR, 3 SB, 8.9 BB%, 19.3 K%, 243 AB
In addition to Julio Rodriguez, the Mariners made another fairly big splash in the 2017 J2 period, signing Juan Querecuto for $1.225 million out of Venezuela. His strong throwing arm and defensive abilities at shortstop are Querecuto’s carrying tools, but there is some hope he can be more than just a glove-only shortstop moving forward. He’s already shown a solid plate approach and the ability to work the count when needed, but the jury is still out if he’ll make enough contact. Both his power and speed projections are limited, though, Querecuto could grow into double-digit pop in time.
23. Joey Gerber, RHP, DOB: 5/3/97, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (A-/A): 25.2 IP, 2.10 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 15.1 K/9, .202 AVG
An 8th rounder out Illinois, Gerber is an electric bullpen arm with a mid-90’s fastball and plus slider. He’s had a hard time commanding those pitches at times, but when he’s on, Gerber is tough to hit. Moving forward I’d love to see him tone down his high-effort delivery. There’s back-end bullpen arm upside here if he can tone down the delivery and develop better command. Gerber should move quickly.
Joey Gerber RHP @IlliniBaseball vs Alfonso Rivas @ArizonaBaseball . Advantage Gerber. 1 out in 9th. 4-3 Illini. pic.twitter.com/8URj7wy1MP
— D1Baseball (@d1baseball) March 4, 2018
24. Gerson Bautista, RHP, DOB: 5/31/95, ETA 2019 (Debuted in 2018)
2018 Stats (AA/AAA): 49.0 IP, 5.14 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, 3.3 BB/9, 12.7 K/9, .314 AVG
You could take out this hard-throwing right-hander and insert another like Art Warren if you want, but I’m a little more confident with Bautista going forward after he dropped his walk rate from 4.7 to 3.3 per nine in 2018. Granted, the overall command still stinks and causes Bautista to get hit hard at times, but you have to be intrigued by a high-90s heater and plus slider combination. If he can harness his command, there’s a back-end bullpen role with his name on it.
25. Joe Rizzo, 3B, Bats: L, DOB: 3/31/98, ETA 2021
2018 Stats(A+): .241/.303/.321/.624, 21 2B, 4 HR, 6 SB, 7.9 BB%, 21.3 K%, 461 AB
I’m probably one of the lowest around on Joe Rizzo, but I just can’t see him turning into a Major League starter. None of his tools are above-average and he’s a sub-par defender at the hot corner. Rizzo has shown the ability to work the count and doesn’t strike out a whole ton, so there’s some hope here, but the ceiling is likely a backip infielder at this point.
Keep An Eye On
Eric Filia, OF – Phenemonal plate discipline with average to above-average contact skills, but very limited power and speed. Also not a good defender.
Ian Miller, OF – Miller is a speedster that plays solid defense, but I don’t see him hitting enough to be a Major League regular.
Art Warren, RHP – Big velocity with a plus slider, but surprise, sub par control. Not sure he has the package to close, but could be a solid middle reliever.
Donnie Walton, MIF – Doesn’t stand out in any facet, but does enough to maybe be a utility guy down the road that can hit for a decent average and run a little.
Up – Keegan McGovern (OF), Jake Fraley (OF), Cal Raleigh (C), Joey Curletta (1B).
Down – Kyle Lewis (OF), Joe Rizzo (3B).
Other Team Prospect Reports
All other team top-25 prospect rankings can be found here.
Photo/Video Credit: Jory Dyvig (Main Article Image), Jason Woodell, Prep Baseball Report, Ben Badler, Baseball America, Georgia Baseball, D1 Baseball.
Eric Cross is the lead MLB/Fantasy Baseball writer and MiLB prospect analyst for FantraxHQ and has been with the site since March 2017. In the past, he wrote for FantasyPros and FanSided. He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). For more from Eric, check out his author page and follow him on Twitter @EricCross04.
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