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2024 Fantasy Baseball: 10 Breakout Prospects from the AL West

The last division we will go over in our Breakout Prospects Series is the American League West. There are three heavyweights in this division, the defending champions Texas Rangers to go with Houston Astros and Seatle Mariners.

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Breakout Prospects from the AL West

Jack Leiter, TEX

(20 GP, 85 IP, 114 K, 1.46 WHIP, 5.19 ERA)

The former number two pick overall so far has been a complete bust in his minor league career. Throwing 177 innings in his two minor league seasons, Leiter has an ERA of 5.37 and a WHIP of 1.51. The stuff is there as his fastball tops at 98 MPH to go along with a plus slider, the biggest issue has been his control. Leiter started to put it all together in his last four starts at Double-A, going 16.1 innings with 25 strikeouts to four walks and only giving up six runs. He was promoted to Triple-A and started one game. Pay attention to his starts early in the season and if the control is there, run and pick him up if he is available on waivers.

Abimelec Ortiz, TEX

(109 GP, .294/.371/.619, 33 HR, 78 R, 101 RBI, 1 SB)

Signed by the Rangers for $20,000 after being undrafted in 2021, Ortiz who trained at the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico, took off in 2023. Ortiz smashed seven home runs in twenty-nine games at Single-A and another twenty-six in eighty games at high Single-A.  Averaging 90 MPH for his exit velocity, the power continues to grow. He needs to work on his bat to ball skills as he struggled with fastballs over 95 MPH and striking out 126 times on the season. Below average speed and fielder, Ortiz will most likely land at first base or DH.

Sebastian Walcott, TEX

(48 GP, .246/.335/.471, 7 HR, 32 R, 24 RBI, 12 SB)

Walcott was signed out of the Bahamas as a sixteen-year-old for 3.2 million by the Texas Rangers.  Already considered one of the best players to come out of his island, the tools are extreme and many scouts dream about what he can turn into. At such a young age he already shows plus bat speed, hitting 24 extra base hits in 187 at bats through three levels last season. He struggled with off-speed and breaking balls but that is not uncommon with someone so young. Look for the star to rise high with this prospect.

Lazaro Montes, SEA

(70 GP, .303/.440/.560, 13 HR, 58 R, 61 RBI, 2 SB)

The Seatle Mariners are stacked at starting pitching at the major league level and they are just as loaded for positional players in the minor league level. One player who can skyrocket this season is Montes, only 19 years old, he is 6’3 /210 and crushes baseballs. He played in two levels and slugged .555 in the ACL and .565 in Low-A while just striking out 25% of the time. Montes shows he has good plate discipline walking 89 times last season. He may never be a high batting average player as he is mostly a pull hitter, doing that close to 50% of the time.

Colt Emerson, SEA

(24 GP, .374/.496/.549, 2 HR, 27 R, 13 RBI, 8 SB)

Having three first round picks in the 2023 draft, the Mariners selected Emerson first, and already looks to be an incredible pick. Coming into the draft last year Emerson was a highly touted prospect that could do it all. His hit tool is what truly stands out. He has a simple compact swing and he showed it in his brief stint in the minor leagues having a 1.045 OPS through two levels. If everything clicks, you are looking at a middle infielder who will have a high batting average to go along with 20 home runs and stolen base potential.

Felnin Celesten, SEA

(No Stats)

Considered to be the best 2023 international prospect coming out of the Dominican Republic, Celesten signed the second-largest bonus in his class behind Ethan Salas for $4.7 million. This shortstop has tons of tools. A switch-hitter who has plus power and speed. A hamstring injury kept him out for most of last season but his showing in the instructional league during the fall has upper management for the Mariners very excited. Look for his prospect rankings to rise this upcoming season as Celesten shows off his talents.

Luis Baez, HOU

(58 GP, .248/.357/.481, 11 HR, 30 R, 38 RBI, 1 SB)

Baez continues to show big-time power as he crushes fastballs and puts up big-time exit velocity numbers. He smashed seven home runs and walked 16 times to 14 strikeouts in just 17 games during his time in the FCL. After his promotion to Single-A, Baez struggled against breaking balls, striking out 48 times in 41 games but did hit 18 extra-base hits. I don’t see him to be a high batting average player, but he could be a 30-HR player. Kyle Tucker is a free agent after the 2025 season and if not resigned, Baez may be his replacement.

Zach Dezenzo, HOU

(94 GP, .304/.383/.531, 18 HR, 80 R, 61 RBI, 22 SB)

Another big-time power hitter in the Astros farm system. Dezenzo destroyed pitching at High-A slashing .407/.474/.628 in 31 games. He then was promoted to Double-A and held his own with a .825 OPS. His power is what will get him called up to the major leagues with an average exit velocity of 92 mph and a max of 108 mph. Combined at both levels Dezenzo had 43 extra-base hits. He is a good athlete for his size and shows solid speed. As a below-average fielder, he may be forced to move from the hot corner to first base.

Caden Dana, LAA

(14 GS, 68.1 IP, 11.39 K/9, 89 K, 1.19 WHIP, 3.56 ERA)

A franchise that seems to be always searching for pitching might have found one who they drafted in the 11th round of the 2022 draft. The 6 foot-4 righthander throws his fastball that sits around 94 mph and touches 97. He also has a plus slider and curveball to go along with good control. During his time at Low-A, he dominated his competition, starting three games, he struck out 18 with a batting average against of .120. He put up solid numbers at High-A striking out 71 to 24 walks in 53 innings of work. Dana has the potential to be a mid-rotation starter.

Luis Morales, OAK

(14 GP, 44 IP, 53 K, 1.09 WHIP, 2.86 ERA)

Currently, there is not much good news coming from the Oakland Athletics, they still don’t know where they will be playing in the future, but one positive will be Morales. Signed for $ 3 million last January, has the potential to be a number two starter. A fastball that already touches 97 mph and two breaking balls with spin rates near 3000 rpm. Playing in four levels and finishing at High-A he had more strikeouts than innings pitched at each level. Watch for this big-time arm to be on the fast track to the majors.

For more of the great fantasy baseball rankings and analysis you’ve come to expect from FantraxHQ, check out our full 2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit! We’re here for you all the way up until Opening Day and then on into your championship run.

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