Dynasty Dugout: Mid-Season Dynasty Prospect Rankings Update (25-1)
Well, here we are. We’ve counted down dynasty prospects from No. 100 (Oneil Cruz) all the way down to No.26 (Tyler O’Neil). Now it’s time for the big boys to come out and play. The Top-3 below shouldn’t shock anyone in the slightest. These three men are all first-round fantasy talents and that’s likely to happen sooner rather than later. In fact, if one particular 19-year-old continues to destroy the National League, you could very likely see his name in the first or second round of fantasy drafts next season.
Now, how often can you say that? Dynasty prospects like these don’t come around very often, which is why I drove two hours to see Vladimir Guerrero Jr. play and three and a half hours to see Ronald Acuña play.
Putting this particular Top 100 list together was a freaking blast, especially this Top 25. There are so many elite dynasty prospects right now, it’s basically impossible to not get excited. So, let’s just get right to it. Ladies and gentlemen, your Top 25 mid-season dynasty prospects.
A player exceeds prospect status when they have surpassed 130 AB, 50 IP, or 45 days on the active MLB roster.
Just missed the cut (In no particular order)
2B- Shed Long (CIN).
3B- Nolan Jones (CLE).
OF- Anthony Alford (TOR), Oscar Mercado (STL), Brent Rooker (MIN), Adam Haseley (PHI), Khalil Lee (KC), D.J. Peters (LAD), Buddy Reed (SD), Cristian Pache (ATL), Trevor Larnach (MIN), Seth Beer (HOU).
Graduated from Rankings (14)
Shohei Ohtani (6), Gleyber Torres (15), Lewis Brinson (17), Walker Buehler (23), Ryan McMahon (25), Scott Kingery (29), Harrison Bader (47), Jack Flaherty (50), Miguel Andujar (60), Dustin Fowler (75), Jorge Alfaro (78), Tyler Mahle (97), J.P. Crawford (99), Jesse Winker (100).
Dropped From Rankings (16)
Anthony Alford (40), Jhailyn Ortiz (54), Bobby Bradley (59), Chance Adams (61), Jake Burger (67), Starling Heredia (69), Brett Phillips (74), Joey Wentz (76), Mickey Moniak (79), Pavin Smith (80), Stephen Gonsalves (83), J.B. Bukauskas (87), Lewin Diaz (88), Jake Bauers (89), Anderson Espinoza (90), Jeren Kendall (95).
Top 25 Dynasty Prospects
25. A.J. Puk, LHP, OAK (Previous – 30)
Stats (AA): HAS NOT PITCHED – TOMMY JOHN SURGERY
If Puk hadn’t needed to go under the knife, there’s a strong possibility he’s in the Athletics rotation by now or at least knocking on the door. The lanky southpaw has an elite fastball/slider combination and has kept his control in check thus far as a pro. We should see Puk back in action next summer.
24. Mitch Keller, RHP, PIT (Previous – 36)
Stats (AA/AAA): 88.2 IP, 3.45 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, 8.0 K/9
Ouch. Well, giving up 8 ER isn’t a great way to announce your arrival to Triple-A, but that was Keller’s worst start in an otherwise great season so far. Keller is one of the safer pitchers in the Top 50 due to his diverse arsenal and above-average control. He should be up with the Pirates later this season.
23. Peter Alonso, 1B, NYM (Previous – NR)
Stats (AA/AAA): .294/.424/.544/.968, 14 2B, 0 3B, 18 HR, 15.7 BB%, 19.9 K%, 272 AB
Going from not being ranked to one of the Top 25 dynasty prospects overall in just a few short months is no easy feat. All you need to do is destroy minor league pitching for three months like Alonso has done. Alonso now has 734 minor league at-bats under his belt and has racked up 53 doubles and 41 home runs while vastly improving his walk rate along the way. If you’re looking for the next masher at first base, here he is.
For more on Alonso, check out my live scouting report on him from May.
22. Yordan Alvarez, OF/1B, HOU (Previous – 66)
Stats (AA): .320/.373/.614/.987, 12 2B, 0 3B, 11 HR, 5 SB, 8.3 BB%, 23.1 K%, 153 AB
Alvarez is quietly turning into one of the best all-around hitters in the minor leagues. His average now sits at .312 for his minor league career and the plus power is starting to show up more frequently as well. and for a big man, Alvarez can run a little bit too with 10-15 SB upside. It shouldn’t be long before the 21-year-old Cuban is an All-Star at the highest level.
21. Hunter Greene, RHP, CIN (Previous – 20)
Stats (A): 53.1 IP, 4.73 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 11.3 K/9
After a rocky start to the season, Greene is really hitting his stride of late. You knew it was going to happen sooner or later with the stuff he possesses. That triple-digit heater alone will get him to the Majors in some capacity. Now, whether that’s as a top of the rotation starter or elite bullpen arm is dependent on his control and the development of his secondary offerings. Greene’s slider has flashed plus potential, but the changeup is well behind. So far so good for the 18-year-old flamethrower.
20. Jesus Sanchez, OF, TB (Previous – 42)
Stats (A+): .303/.319/476/.794, 17 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 3 SB, 2.2 BB%, 17.4 K%, 267 AB
That 2.2% walk rate is probably the number that stands out the most when looking at Sanchez’s stat line above, and rightfully so. On the plus side, his strikeout rate has dropped some and his plus raw power is beginning to peak out more in games. However, Sanchez is going to need to be more patient at the plate if he wants to reach his potential as a middle of the order, All-Star caliber hitter.
19. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, OAK (Previous – 68)
Stats (A+/AA): 67.1 IP, 2.67 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 11.4 K/9
While Puk is resting up, Jesus Luzardo has emerged as the new future ace of the Oakland Athletics. Okay, maybe they can be co-aces. Luzardo is an old school type of pitcher. He doesn’t have a nasty breaking ball, rather a nasty changeup to go along with his mid-90’s cheese. What makes Luzardo even more special is the fact that he can control and command all of his pitches and use that changeup as an out pitch against righties and lefties.
18. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, PHI (Previous – 32)
Stats (A+): 46.2 IP, 2.51 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9, 8.7 K/9
Alright, Tommy John, listen up. You already took Honeywell and Puk from us. I swear, if you take Sixto we’re gonna duke it out in the parking lot after school. 3:00 pm by the flagpole, be there. Sanchez has everything you look for in an ace; A plus fastball, two potentially plus off-speed pitches, and strong control over his entire arsenal. The strikeout numbers haven’t been jaw-dropping yet, but you just wait. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this elbow inflammation is just inflammation and nothing more serious.
— Jason Woodell (@JasonAtTheGame) May 6, 2018
17. Alex Reyes, RHP, STL (Previous – 12)
Stats (4 Levels): 23.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 17.2 K/9
Stats (MLB): 4.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 4.5 BB/9, 4.5 K/9
It’s starting to look like Alex Reyes is going to be on the dynasty prospects list forever. Every time he gets close to exhausting his prospect status, he gets injured. All he needed was one more out to exit the magical world of prospect land but he got hurt riding the roller coaster and will be forced to come back to get that final out in 2019. A torn lat tendon is the latest injury for the studly right-hander and will keep him out for the remainder of the 2018 season.
16. Royce Lewis, SS, MIN (Previous – 11)
Stats (A): .321/.369/.498/.867, 20 2B, 0 3B, 8 HR, 19 SB, 6.9 BB%, 14.9 K%, 249 AB
Lewis just continues to make the Twins look smart for taking him first overall in the 2017 amateur draft. His OPS has jumped nearly 100 points in 2018 as he’s hitting for more power and really driving the ball to all fields. He currently ranks fourth in the Midwest League in batting average, tied for sixth in steals, and is tied for third in doubles. As he continues to mature, some of those doubles are going to turn into dingers, with the potential for 20-25 home runs annually in the Majors. Lewis doesn’t quite get as much attention as guys like Brendan Rodgers or Bo Bichette, but his overall upside is just as high.
15. Michael Kopech, RHP, CHW (Previous – 9)
Stats (AAA): 79.1 IP, 4.42 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 5.9 BB/9, 11.9 K/9
Wild thing! You make my heart sing. Can someone get Mr. Kopech some of those killer glasses Charlie Sheen wore in the first Major League movie? It’d be very fitting with how wild Kopech has been lately. After it looked like he had made some improvements with his control to start the season, Kopech all of a sudden forgot what the strike zone looked like. Over his last 11 starts, Kopech’s BB/9 sits at a disgusting 7.4. The velocity and strikeouts are sexy as usual, but Kopech needs to harness that control to fulfill his upside as a Cy Young caliber arm.
14. Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS, COL (Previous – 14)
Stats (AA): .280/.336/.514/.850, 21 2B, 2 3B, 14 HR, 9 SB, 6.3 BB%, 19.7 K%, 286 AB
The batting average might be down over 50 points from 2017, but Rodgers is still having a very good season. He currently ranks second in the Eastern League with 21 doubles and tops the league with 37 extra-base hits. Yes, this is the same league that Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. play in. The additional speed Rodgers is showing this season completes his sky-high offensive profile. Whether it’s at second base or shortstop, Rodgers has the upside to be a Top-5 option at either position.
13. Taylor Trammell, OF, CIN (Previous – 21)
Stats (A+): .315/.414/.457/.871, 9 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 12 SB, 13.6 BB%, 18.7 K%, 232 AB
In a day and age where most hitters’ walk and strikeout rates are heading in the wrong direction, Trammell is bucking that trend. His rates have gotten better each season as a professional and he currently sits at fourth in OBP in the high Class-A Florida State League. That plate approach, coupled with his power and speed upside, makes Trammell a fairly safe bet to become a fantasy star down the road and a dynamic leadoff hitter for the Reds.
12. Bo Bichette, SS, TOR (Previous – 13)
Stats (AA): .282/.345/.458/.803, 21 2B, 5 3B, 8 HR, 24 SB, 8.6 BB%, 16.1 K%, 312 AB
Speaking of Bo Bichette…
The second-generation star is having himself one heck of a season. Bichette currently ranks second in the Eastern League in runs scored and is on a 15/46 HR/SB pace over 600 at-bats. There’s plenty of additional average and power upside in that potent bat of his, too. Get ready to see Bichette’s name mentioned among the elite at the shortstop position within the next few seasons.
11. Luis Robert, OF, CHW (Previous – 5)
Stats (A/A+): .293/.372.373/.745, 4 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 5 SB, 9.2 BB%, 25.3 K%, 75 AB
There’s a strong chance I love Luis Robert more than you love your cat or dog. It’s just a fact. In the past, I’ve compared Robert to Yoan Moncada with more plate discipline. So to clear up any confusion, yes, I like Robert more than Moncada long-term in dynasty leagues. Through his first 159 minor league at-bats, Robert has a stellar .440 OBP and 17 steals in 22 attempts. The power hasn’t shown up much yet, but there’s 20-HR pop in there somewhere. Unfortunately, Robert will be spending the next month or so on the shelf after injuring the same thumb that caused him to not make his 2018 debut until June 5.
10. Forrest Whitley, RHP, HOU (Previous – 16)
Stats (AA): 20.1 IP, 4.43 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, 12.8 K/9
We have a changing of the guard for the top pitching prospect in all of baseball. Kopech is out and Whitley is the new pitching kingpin. The tall right-hander was suspended for the first 50 games of the season but has wasted no time reminding everyone of his massive upside. Whitley is up to 198 strikeouts through just 131/1 career minor league innings and has never been below 10.3 K/9 at any level. That’s what happens when you have four pitches that grade out as above-average to plus and can control and command all four.
It's time for a #ThrowbackThursday from the 2017 season!
— Corpus Christi Hooks (@cchooks) December 7, 2017
9. Jo Adell, OF, LAA (Previous – 22)
Stats (A/A+): .325/.372/.614/.986, 17 2B, 3 3B, 16 HR, 11 SB, 6.4 BB%, 25.9 K%, 246 AB
It’s hard to look at what Jo Adell is doing this season and not get as excited as a golden retriever with a tennis ball. Those 16 home runs and 11 steals get your tail wagging, while the slash line makes you slobber a little bit. The slash line is what has impressed me the most this season. We all knew the power and speed upside was there, it was just a matter of how much his hit tool would progress. Yeah, it’s progressed pretty damn well. With most of the dynasty prospects ranked ahead of him expected to exhaust their prospect status by season’s end, don’t be surprised to see Adell in the Top 5 next spring. He even has a chance at the top spot.
8. Kyle Tucker, OF, HOU (Previous – 10)
Stats (AAA): .313/.379/.524/.904, 24 2B, 1 3B, 13 HR, 14 SB, 10.0 BB%, 19.2 K%, 307 AB
Kyle Tucker isn’t just knocking on the door to the Major Leagues, he’s about to break the damn door down. Fresh off an 18-game hitting streak, the star outfield prospect now has an OPS over .900 and is on pace to hit over .300 for the first time in his minor league career. The power and speed have remained at around a 25/25 pace, but what’s been even more impressive is Tucker’s improvements in his plate discipline. Though minor, the improved discipline will go a long way for his batting average if he continues to trend in the right direction.
7. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, SD (Previous – 8)
Stats (AA): .285/.359/.511/.871, 20 2B, 4 3B, 14 HR, 13 SB, 9.2 BB%, 27.9 K%, 309 AB
While some 19-year-olds, that will remain nameless, are tearing up the National League, other normal ones, like Tatis, are tearing up Double-A. Tatis is on a near 30/30 pace and leads the minor leagues with 70 runs scored in 77 games. In a world where there are so many elite shortstop prospects with oodles of upside, Tatis is the top dog.
6. Victor Robles, OF, WAS (Previous – 4)
Stats (AAA): .385/.467/.385/.871, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 2 SB, 15.4 BB%, 7.7 K%, 13 AB
Just 13 at-bats into his 2018 season, Victor Robles dove for a sinking liner and nearly tore his arm off. Okay, slight exaggeration there, but that’s what it looked like at first. The diagnosis was a hyperextended left elbow which will continue to sideline Robles until likely some time in late-July or early-August. With so much time lost, Robles will likely spend most, if not all, of the rest of the season with Triple-A Syracuse.
5. Nick Senzel, 2B/3B, CIN (Previous – 7)
Stats (AAA): .310/.378/.509/.887, 12 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 8 SB, 9.8 BB%, 20.2 K%, 171 AB
Just when we thought we might actually get a Senzel callup, he had to go and tear a tendon in his finger. He had just started to really hit his stride too, hitting .400 with three homers in his last 10 games. Senzel is never going to be the guy that socks 40 dingers or swipes 40 bags, but his plus hit tool and 20/20 upside still make him one of the top dynasty prospects in the game, and one with a relatively high floor as well.
4. Eloy Jimenez, OF, CHW (Previous – 2)
Stats (AA/AAA): .311/.370/.541/.911, 16 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 0 SB, 8.4 BB%, 16.1 K%, 244 AB
Stop teasing us Eloy. Every season, Jimenez shows us glimpses of his immense raw power, but never has the gaudy home run totals at the end of the season. Even this year he’s only on pace for the mid-20’s. There’s nothing wrong with mid-20’s, but we all know Jimenez is capable of 40-plus with ease. Now, he’s still having a fine season, hitting .311 and lowering his walk rate for the second straight season, but that power is playing hard to get.
3. Ronald Acuña, OF, ATL (Previous – 1)
Stats (AAA): .211/.297/.267/.564, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 5 SB, 10.9 BB%, 24.8 K%, 90 AB
Stats (MLB): .270/.331/.476/.807, 8 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 2 SB, 7.9 BB%, 28.1 K%, 126 AB
Well, it’s not his 2017 numbers, but hey, anyone would have a hard time following up on the performance Acuña had last season. At least he’s in the Majors now, producing at a fairly high level. His .807 OPS thus far is impressive for a 20-year-old rookie and we all know there’s greener pastures in his future with the potential for some .300 30/30 seasons. The only reason he’s still not number one is due to the two men below him going absolutely bonkers.
2. Juan Soto, OF, WAS (Previous – 28)
Stats (A/A+/AA): .362/.462/.757/1.218, 10 2B, 4 3B, 14 HR, 3 SB, 15.9 BB%, 15.4 K%, 152 AB
Stats (MLB): .325/.434/.600/1.034, 9 2B, 0 3B, 8 HR, 1 SB, 16.1 BB%, 19.6 K%, 120 AB
We all need to stop and appreciate the greatness Juan Soto is showing us this season. Coming into 2018, Soto had accrued only 301 at-bats in the minors with just 107 of those coming above rookie ball. Now he’s one of the most feared hitters in the National League at the age of 19. Yes, I said 19. When most players his age are in Single-A, Soto is batting in the heart of the order for Washington regularly with an OPS well over 1.000.
— #VoteTrea (@Nationals) June 30, 2018
Soto just keeps getting better at every level. Even his walk rate has improved since being promoted to the Majors. I mean, what 19-year-old does that? Only the most special of talents. We’re basically splitting hairs here with Soto and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Get ready to see Soto as a Top-25 fantasy selection as early as next season.
1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, TOR (Previous – 3)
Stats (AA): .407/.457/.667/1.124, 18 2B, 1 3B, 11 HR, 3 SB, 8.5 BB%, 8.9 K%, 204 AB
I very easily could’ve put Juan Soto in this spot, but how can I not have a 19-year-old with a .407 batting average and 8.9% strikeout rate at the top of the dynasty prospects list? Vladdy has been on the shelf for the last few weeks with a knee injury but should return to action sometime around the All-Star break. Guerrero back in the New Hampshire lineup means this little vacation Eastern League pitchers have been on is over and the nightmare of pitching to Vlad begins once again. It’s not often in one prospect list that I can say with a high level of confidence that you’re looking at two (and maybe three with Acuña) first-round fantasy talents.
Thank you for reading another edition of Dynasty Dugout here on FantraxHQ. Got a question about a prospect that Eric didn’t cover here? Ask below or follow him on Twitter. Also, make sure to check out his archive
Does all this talk of dynasty prospects have you in the mood for a Dynasty Fantasy Baseball League? Why not start your own Dynasty/Keeper League over at Fantrax where you can draft a team 364 days a year?