Dynasty Dugout: Top 100 Dynasty Prospects (60-41)
Things are really starting to heat up in these rankings. We’re now into the top 50, and the upside is getting higher than Snoop Dogg backstage at a rap concert. Granted, not every prospect possesses crazy high upside. That’s where guys like Jack Flaherty and Alex Verdugo come in. Those high-upside guys are wonderful to own in dynasty formats, but don’t sleep on the safer options that can still help you plenty.
Below you’ll find prospects ranked 60 through 41. Included is yet another Braves arm, the only two Red Sox farmhands on the list, and as Snoop would say, “A shiz ton” of power hitters. Everyone ready? Alright, let’s do this.
60. Miguel Andujar, 3B, New York Yankees, ETA 2018
2017 (AA/AAA): 480 AB, 36 2B, 16 HR, 5 SB, 82 RBI, 66 R, .315/.352/.498/.850
2017 (MLB): 7 AB, 2 2B, 0 HR, 0 SB, 4 RBI, 0 R, .571/.625/.857/1.482
After a solid, yet unspectacular minor league career to date, Andujar finally showed why the Yankees were so enamored with him back in the 2011 international signing period. Andujar racked up 54 extra base hits in 2017, with 16 of those clearing the outfield fence. That’s always been the narrative with Andujar; he has plus raw power, but it wasn’t showing up in games consistently. Those 36 doubles he hit in 2017 should start clearing the fence more often as he matures. Add in a solid hit tool a touch of speed and we have a .280/30/10 third baseman that could open the season starting at the hot corner in the Bronx.
59. Bobby Bradley, 1B, Cleveland Indians, ETA 2018
2017 (AA): 467 AB, 25 2B, 23 HR, 3 SB, 89 RBI, 66 R, .251/.331/.465/.796
We head across the diamond from third to first base for another slugging prospect. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Bradley is some phenomenal talent because he’s not. But he does do one thing well, and that’s hit bombs. Bradley has combined for 79 home runs and 63 doubles over his last three minor league campaigns and has 35+ homer upside in that bat. His hit tool needs some work and he strikes out too much to ever hit for a high average, but Bradley las legit plus power with 35+ HR upside from the left side and has future middle-of-the-order slugger written all over him.
58. Christin Stewart, OF, Detroit Tigers, ETA 2018
2017 (AA): 485 AB, 29 2B, 28 HR, 3 SB, 86 RBI, 67 R, .256/.335/.501/.836
Might as well stick with this power theme. Stewart has “right-handed Jay Bruce” written in permanent Sharpie across his forehead. He has a so-so hit tool, plus power, and barely any speed. Over his last two minor league seasons, Stewart has averaged a home run per every 16 at-bats, which projects out to 35 over 550 at-bats. With J.D Martinez out of the picture and Miguel Cabrera on the decline, Detroit could use a power hitter in their lineup, and Stewart isn’t that far off from filling that void.
57. Dylan Cease, SP, Chicago White Sox, ETA 2019
2017 (A): 93.1 IP, 3.28 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 4.2 BB/9, 12.2 K/9
There are several pitchers on this list whose control and development of a third pitch will determine their true future upside. Dylan Cease fits that mold like a glove. He’s the owner of a mid to upper-90s heater, nasty slider, and that’s about it. Those two pitches have been enough for him to rack up gaudy strikeout numbers so far. However, the development of his change-up and control will determine if Cease is destined for the bullpen or the top of a rotation.
56. Franklin Barreto, 2B/SS, Oakland Athletics, ETA 2018
2017 (AAA): 469 AB, 19 2B, 7 3B, 15 HR, 15 SB, 54 RBI, 63 R, .290/.339/.456/.796
2017 (MLB): 71 AB, 1 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 2 SB, 6 RBI, 10 R, .197/.250/.352/.602
Neither of the two batting averages you see above is indicative of the type of hitter Barreto should be. His hit tool is as average as average can be, and below average plate discipline should keep him in the .260-.275 range at the dish. But the reason you’re going to want Barreto is his power/speed combination. Barreto sprays more line drives than anything else, but he has flashed enough power that 20+ home runs are attainable for him at the big-league level to go along with 25-30 steals. All he needs is one injury or slump from Marcus Semien or Jed Lowrie to get regular playing time with the Athletics.
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55. Michael Chavis, 3B, Boston Red Sox, ETA 2019
2017 (A+/AA): 471 AB, 35 2B, 31 HR, 2 SB, 94 RBI, 89 R, .282/.347/.563/.910
Leave it to Dave Dombrowski to deplete a farm system. And with Rafael Devers entrenched at the hot corner in Beantown, a change of scenery might be in store for Chavis, too. But for now, he’s another high-profile bat climbing the ladder in Boston’s farm system. That “high-profile” tag didn’t get attached to him until 2017, as 2014-2016 was a massive struggle. But that’s water under the bridge now. Chavis profiles as a .275, 35 home run hitting, middle-of-the-order bat, assuming he can continue to improve his discipline and overall approach at the plate.
54. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF, Philadelphia Phillies, ETA 2021
2017 (A-): 159 AB, 15 2B, 8 HR, 5 SB, 30 RBI, 27 R, .302/.401/.560/.961
It seems that power is going to be the name of the game in this article. And 19-year-old Jhailyn Ortiz sure has plenty of it. Ortiz has massive raw power that should translate into 35-40+ home runs if he can refine his approach at the plate. There’s plenty of swing and miss to his game, but he makes enough good contact to keep his average above the Joey Gallo levels. The power is what you want here, obviously, and although he’s a few years away, Ortiz is a desirable prospect to own in dynasty for his .260 40/10 upside.
Jhailyn Ortiz lines a three-run homer out to left off the top of the wall, his 8th of the year is one behind the league leader, 7-2 Cutters pic.twitter.com/grosfT6tZN
— Mitch Rupert (@Mitch_Rupert) August 30, 2017
53. Akil Baddoo, OF, Minnesota Twins, ETA 2020
2017 (RK): 201 AB, 19 2B, 5 3B, 4 HR, 9 SB, 29 RBI, 57 R, .323/.436/.527/.964
Is this an aggressive ranking? Yes. Is it warranted? Also yes. Baddoo has yet to progress past rookie ball, but the results and overall profile have me giddy. The Twins selected Baddoo in the second round of the 2016 amateur draft, and it’s easy to see why. Any discussion involving Baddoo has to start with his blazing speed. In 308 career minor league at-bats, he’s swiped 17 bags with a 77% success rate. His hit tool and plate discipline also grade as plus and should land him atop a lineup one day.
The power is currently below average, but he did hit 19 doubles and four home runs in just 201 at-bats last year, flashing future 20 home run upside. You’re going to want to get as much stock in Baddoo as you can in a hurry. This kid is a future fantasy star. Plus, his name sounds like the name of a witch doctor or something.
52. Leody Taveras, OF, Texas Rangers, ETA 2020
2017 (A): 522 AB, 20 2B, 7 3B, 8 HR, 20 SB, 50 RBI, 73 R, .249/.312/.360/.672
My feelings on Taveras change every time I have to buy a new pack of socks, which is quite often, unfortunately. The plus hit tool he allegedly possesses gets harder and harder to defend each season. Outside of a 39 at-bat sample in rookie ball where he hit .385, Taveras has never hit above .271 at any level. He’s still only 18, I get it. Hopefully, he continues to develop his enticing set of tools, but he’s still very far away from the majors. That 2020 ETA above might be a bit aggressive, too. The upside of .300/15/40 is intriguing, but the potential for a pretty low floor makes him risky to pay top dollar for in dynasty formats.
51. Jahmai Jones, OF, Los Angeles Angels, ETA 2020
2017 (A/A+): 518 AB, 29 2B, 7 3B, 14 HR, 27 SB, 47 RBI, 86 R, .284/.348/.446/.794
“Toolsy” might not be a real word, but you’re going to hear me use it quite a bit as we get closer to the top of these rankings. Jahmai Jones is definitely a player that fits the “toolsy” mold. He possesses a plus hit tool, plus speed, and tremendous raw power that is starting to peak its head out more frequently in games. The Angels might not have had much of a farm system when the drafted Jones in the second round back in 2015, but they sure do now. Jones has a chance to be the best of the bunch, too, thanks to his .300/20/30 upside.
50. Jack Flaherty, SP, St. Louis Cardinals, ETA 2018
2017 (AA/AAA): 148.2 IP, 2.18 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9, 8.9 K/9
2017 (MLB): 21.1 IP, 6.33 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 4.2 BB/9, 8.4 K/9
He might lack an elite arsenal or have the upside of an ace, but Flaherty also can be considered one of the safest players on this list. Control is the name of the game with Flaherty. Over 400.1 minor league innings, he’s registered a 2.6 BB/9 and that dropped to 2.1 last season. He pounds the strike zone with four above-average offerings, though none grade out as plus at the moment. Flaherty’s upside is that of a #2 or #3 starter and looks like a solid bet to reach that level.
49. Jay Groome, SP, Boston Red Sox, ETA 2020
2017 (A-/A): 55.1 IP, 5.69 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 4.9 BB/9, 11.7 K/9
Meet the crown jewel left in a Dave Dombrowski murdered farm system. Of course, I’d do the Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel trades again in a heartbeat, but it’s just odd that a 19-year-old with a near 6.00 ERA is the top prospect left in the Red Sox system. Granted, Groome is a lot better than his 2017 numbers let on and has ace potential. He combines a plus mid-90s heater with an even better curveball with sharp two-plane break. His change-up lags behind a tad, but it should be at least an average offering for him and has flashed plus potential at times. How good Groome becomes hinges on his questionable control and overall makeup on the mound.
48. Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, Baltimore, ETA 2019
2017 (A+/AA): 513 AB, 48 2B, 18 HR, 8 SB, 62 RBI, 81 R, .287/.312/.489/.802
Another power hitter that makes good contact and doesn’t know how to draw a walk. Sounds like 12 other hitters on the Baltimore Orioles. The move from short to third is a bummer, but .280/30/15 upside plays well at any position. Mountcastle did struggle a bit after the promotion to Double-A, and please don’t look at his K/BB ration at that level if you just ate, but the stats in Single-A made his final stat line look pretty damn good. Some of those whopping 48 doubles are going to start clearing fences as he matures and adds more power.
47. Harrison Bader, OF, St. Louis Cardinals, ETA 2018
2017 (AAA): 431 AB, 18 2B, 20 HR, 15 SB, 55 RBI, 74 R, .283/.347/.469/.816
2017 (MLB): 85 AB, 3 2B, 3 HR, 2 SB, 10 RBI, 10 R, .235/.283/.376/.659
Meet the Jack Flaherty of hitters. Bader often gets overlooked because, like his organizational brother, he lacks any one standout tool. What Bader does bring to the table his across-the-board talent and a relatively high floor. His approach needs a little work, but he has shown poise and patience at the plate, which should help him keep his average in the .270 to .300 range. On top of that, he has enough pop and speed to record some 25/20 seasons. Bader might never become a fantasy stud, but he’s got the skills to become a top-50 type of player.
46. Kolby Allard, SP, Atlanta Braves, ETA 2019
2017 (AA): 150.0 IP, 3.18 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 7.7 K/9
Another solid Atlanta Braves pitching prospect? I’m having déjà vu. There’s still more to come, too. Every time I watch video on Allard, I can’t help but be reminded of Cole Hamels. He features a low 90s fastball, paired with an above average change-up and plus curveball. The strikeouts dropped once he reached Double-A in 2017, but his overall arsenal and strong command will help keep him near 9.0 K/9. Allard might lack ace upside, but he’s a very safe bet to become a strong #2 or #3 Major League hurler.
45. Tyler O’Neill, OF, St. Louis Cardinals, ETA 2018
2017 (AAA): 495 AB, 26 2B, 31 HR, 14 SB, 95 RBI, 77 R, .246/.321/.499/.820
You can question his hit tool all you want, but one area that cannot be questioned is O’Neill’s immense raw power. Over the last three seasons, O’Neill has averaged 29 doubles, 34 home runs, 112 RBI, and 17 steals per 550 at-bats. The raw power was evident from the get-go and will place O’Neill in the middle of a Major League lineup at some point in the near future. He has too much swing and miss to his game, so the average will never be high, but O’Neill is one of the safest power bats in these rankings. An added bonus is his 15-20 SB upside. The wheels aren’t overly great, but O’Neill is a smart baserunner with a 79% success rate in the minors. Take a look at Wil Myers 2017 season if you want a good comparison for O’Neill.
For your viewing pleasure, an absolute bomb from O’Neill in spring training last season off some dude named Clayton Kershaw.
— Mariners (@Mariners) March 18, 2017
44. Alex Verdugo, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers, ETA 2018
2017 (AAA): 433 AB, 27 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 9 SB, 62 RBI, 67 R, .314/.389/.436/.825
2017 (MLB): 23 AB, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, .174/.240/.304/.544
I’m not fully convinced that Michael Brantley hasn’t been making cameos as Alex Verdugo. Their skillsets are eerily similar. Verdugo has leadoff hitter tattooed on his forehead thanks to a plus hit tool and a veteran-like approach at the dish. He rarely strikeouts and can get on base at a very high clip. Unfortunately, that’s where the plus offensive tools end. Verdugo’s power and speed are merely average and seem destined for totals in the teens as opposed to the twenties. To keep this recent theme going, Verdugo is a talented and safe option, but one that lacks high upside.
43. Keston Hiura, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers, ETA 2020
2017 (RK/A): 167 AB, 14 2B, 7 3B, 4 HR, 2 SB, 33 RBI, 32 R, .371/.422/.611/1.033
Meet the Verdugo of the infield. The Brewers selected Hiura ninth overall in last June’s amateur draft, and it’s easy to see why. Hiura already owns arguably the best hit tool in the minors and appears destined for many .300+ seasons with some batting titles sprinkled in. The rest of his offensive profile is merely average for now, but Hiura has decent raw power and could turn that into 20 home run upside in time.
42. Jesus Sanchez, OF, Tampa Bay Rays, ETA 2019
2017 (A): 475 AB, 29 2B, 4 3B, 15 HR, 7 SB, 82 RBI, 81 R, .305/.348/.478/.826
Must resist the urge to put Sanchez higher… The struggle is real. If it looks and acts like a future middle-of-the-order slugger, it’s a middle-of-the-order slugger. In his first season above rookie ball, Sanchez raked to the tune of a .305 average and 15 home runs in 475 at-bats. There’s plenty more power in this bat, too. Once he matures as a hitter, 30+ home runs seem like a very distinct possibility with around 15-20 steals to go with it. Sanchez makes solid contact and doesn’t strikeout much either, which bodes well for his batting average. This is a name you could easily see in the top-20 of my mid-season update.
41. Brendan McKay, 1B/SP, Tampa Bay Rays, ETA 2019
2017 (A-): 125 AB, 4 2B, 4 HR, 2 SB, 22 RBI, 16 R, .232/.349/.376/.725
2017 (A-): 20.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, 9.5 K/9
A two-way player, huh? Who are you trying to be? Shohei Ohtani? Technically, McKay was playing professional ball in the U.S. first, so Ohtani is the one copying him. McKay has high upside both in the batter’s box and on the hill, and it’s yet to be determined if he’ll keep doing both or settle in at one position. On the mound, McKay features a plus low to mid-90s fastball with a plus curveball and above average cutter. He rarely uses a change-up, but when he has used it, it’s proven to be at least an average offering for him. McKay controls all of those pitches well and has the upside of a No. 2 starter. At the plate, he offers a statistical upside similar to former AL MVP, Justin Morneau. McKay has .300+ upside with 20-25 homer pop and an advanced approach at the plate.
Check back next Tuesday for Prospects 40-21
Thank you for reading another edition of Dynasty Dugout here on Fantrax. I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members. Got a question that I didn’t cover here? Follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask there.