Did you think we were done with prospectapalooza? Think again! The past week gave us another round of intriguing call ups, although, you’ll really have to be selective when considering any of these prospect for redraft leagues. Many have glaring weaknesses to their game and likely won’t offer an immediate impact for your fantasy squad. Even a elite prospect like Gavin Lux isn’t a surefire bet as he’s going to hit low in the Dodgers lineup and doesn’t have much time left in the season to gain any momentum. Still, these prospects need to be on everyone’s radar at least and most offer enticing longterm appeal for dynasty formats.
Originally, I was going to add a section about all the prospects traded at the deadline, but I’ve decided to make that a separate article altogether. Be on the lookout for that in the upcoming few days.
If you aren’t playing your dynasty leagues on Fantrax, you’re missing out on the deepest player pool and most customization around. New to the dynasty format or just love rankings? Then check out Eric Cross’ recently updated, Top-500 Dynasty League Rankings (Updated 8/13!), Top-250 Dynasty Prospects, and Top-100 FYPD Rankings.
Also, make sure to check out the Five Tool Fantasy Baseball Podcast Weekly for more dynasty talk.
Gavin Lux & Other Prospect Callups
Gavin Lux (2B – LAD)
Back in draft season’s 1.0 and 2.0, Gavin Lux was the #3 rookie off the board in most leagues, behind Luis Robert and Jesus Luzardo. I even went on record as saying that he was the safest bet for high-level production out of all rookies, even if Robert’s ceiling was higher. That’s a claim I still stand by, but it didn’t help that Lux came into summer camp not ready for game action. The Dodgers left him at their alternate site and have mostly been starting Chris Taylor or Kiké Hernandez at second base until Los Angeles recalled Lux a few days ago.
Lux is coming off a dominant 2019 where he slashed .347/.421/.607 with 59 extra-base hits, 26 home runs, and 10 steals in 113 games between Double-A and Triple-A. For redraft leagues, I’d look to pick him up if he was dropped in your league, although, with only a month left in the season, that’s not a lot of time for Lux to gain momentum and showcase his tools. Longterm, this is a bonafide top-50 dynasty asset thanks to his plus (or better) hit tool, plus power, and above-average speed.
Ian Anderson (RHP – ATL)
Coming into the season, the starting rotation was supposed to be a strength for this Atlanta Braves team looking to return to the playoffs once again. However, injuries, opt outs, and poor play have opened up opportunities for several youngsters to get a shot, with the latest being top pitching prospect Ian Anderson who moonlights as the lead singer for Jethro Tull. Anderson, the #3 overall pick in the 2016 MLB draft, put up impressive numbers throughout his minor league career with a 2.91 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 10.7 K/9 across 80 starts.
The upside with Anderson has always been very obvious when watching him pitch. Anderson will attack hitters with a mid-90’s fastball, curveball, and changeup, all of which are above-average to plus offerings. All three of those offerings were on full display in his Major League debut last week against the New York Yankees, posting a CSW above 30% on each offering. His final line was even more impressive allowing just one hit, one earned run, and two walks while striking out six in six innings of work. Not a bad Major League debut.
Anderson followed that up with another strong outing against Boston on Tuesday, allowing two earned runs over six inning with eight strikeouts. As long as Anderson can keep his command and control in check, he has the stuff to develop into a #2 starter longterm for the Braves, forming a formidable 1-2-3 with Mike Soroka and Max Fried. However, command and control inconsistencies have limited Anderson at times as a professional, even if his surface numbers don’t indicate so. Anderson posted a 6.6 BB/9 in Triple-A last season and a 4.0 mark for his career. That might cause the WHIP to be a tad higher than most #2 starters. However, Anderson is a solid pickup for redraft leagues and one of the top-20 best pitching prospects in the game.
Jazz Chisholm (SS – MIA)
A little over one year after acquiring him for Zac Gallen at the deadline, the Miami Marlins called up smooth Jazz Chisholm from their alternate site earlier this week. If we’re talking strictly upside and ceiling, Chisholm would be a borderline top-25 prospect for me. But we have to weigh the negatives as well, and for Chisholm, that’s hit hit tool and plate approach. There’s plus raw power here to pair with above-average speed and athleticism, but Chisholm has struggled with his pitch recognition and that has been exploited over the last two seasons with a 29.7% strikout rate in 2018 and 32.1% last season in the Double-A Southern League.
It’s all going to be up to how his hit tool develops. If Chisholm can cut down on how much he chases and make enough contact to hit around .250, that should allow him to get to his plus power and put together some 20+ HR, 15+ steal seasons, maybe even as high as 25/20. That upside makes him an intriguing longterm investment in dynasty leagues, but I’m not going anywhere near Chisholm in redraft leagues for 2020. And yes, that includes deeper leagues as well.
Jose Garcia (SS – CIN)
Chisholm wasn’t the only intriguing shortstop to get the call over the last week as Cincinnati summoned Jose Garcia from their alternate site last last week and have been giving him plenty of run so far. While Garcia’s upside isn’t quite as high as Chisholm’s, you could certainly argue that the floor is safer here. Garcia is a plus defender with a strong arm at shortstop and has really blossomed as a hitter over the last year or two as he’s gotten more accustomed to facing professional pitching in the United States. His stats certainly won’t wow you, but the hit tool has improved to around 50-grade and the power has slowly been trending up as well.
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) October 10, 2019
Once thought of as a defense-first shortstop, Garcia is proving that he’s got some potency in his bat as well and could blossom into a .270/15/20 type down the road with the upside for a tad more. But as is the case with Chisholm, I’m not really targeting him in redraft leagues this season.
Bobby Dalbec (1B/3B – BOS)
As a Red Sox fan, this promotion excites me. Following the Mitch Moreland trade at the deadline, Boston immediately called up slugging corner infield prospect Bobby Dalbec and started him right away after he had to haul up I-95 to make it in time for the game on Monday. He immediately made his presence felt in that game, clocking an oppo-taco in his 2nd at-bat that was hit approximately 6.3 miles into the air. Literally, it was hit so high that nobody could find the ball until it came down in the right field bleachers.
While it was a peculiar homer, that power upside is what makes Dalbec so damn intriguing for fantasy purposes. There’s easy 70-grade raw power here and Dalbec has no issues consistently getting to that power in games. Not only that, but Fenway is a great home park for Dalbec as he elevates consistently to his pull side which usually means goods things in Fenway. The contact skills are below average presently with plenty of swing and miss as well which will limit his AVG to around .250, but Dalbec makes up for that with a 10+% walk rate that has salvaged his OBP throughout his professional career.
Boston appears ready to give him regular at-bats down the stretch, so those of you starving for a power boost should give Dalbec a look. Longterm, this could be a borderline top-10 first fantasy first baseman or third baseman at peak.
Ke’Bryan Hayes (3B – PIT)
We go from one corner infield prospect I’m excited about to one that I’ve been the low man on for quite some time now in Ke’Bryan Hayes. You know that old saying, “He’s a better real-life prospect than fantasy prospect?” Yeah, I’m pretty sure that saying was created to describe Hayes. As a real-life prospect, Hayes possesses a high-floor and his combination of offensive and defensive skills will likely allow him to have a long Major League career. However, his fantasy outlook isn’t quite as exciting.
Hayes just doesn’t stand out in any one offensive tool. The hit tool is slightly above average and Hayes will walk a fair amount, but he’s yet to showcase much in-game power and I’d even say his raw power is barely above-average. Could say the same about his speed as well. As of now, this looks like a .280/15/15 player to me. That will get you drafted in fantasy leagues, but I don’t see Hayes developing into a star-caliber fantasy player.
Deivi Garcia (RHP – NYY)
Speaking of players I’m lower on than most. I was able to attend a Deivi Garcia start early last season and it was quite the mixed bag. Garcia displayed a plus curveball with plenty of depth that caused hitters to chase it out of the zone, but his fastball velocity dipped as the outing wore on and the command was spotty throughout. This wasn’t the only time I had noticed those two issues either. There’s no denying Garcia has great stuff which he showcased in his debut on Sunday, but I have questions about his ability to pitch at a high-level as a starter longterm due to his diminutive size and command woes. It’s sounding like Garcia will receive another start against Baltimore tomorrow and is worth streaming in that game. Just don’t be surprised if he gets optioned right back to the alternate site after the game.
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) July 6, 2019
Estevan Florial (OF – NYY)
Also getting the call for the Yankees this week was the talented, yet maddening Estevan Florial. Once a top-100 prospect, Florial has plummeted down rankings due to a well below-average hit tool. It’s really too bad as Florial has the power/speed profile to make a serious impact in fantasy leagues with his speed and raw power both grading as plus. However, due to his 40-grade (at best) hit tool and higher strikeout rate, Florial hasn’t been able to get to that raw power consistently in games, maxing out at 13 homers back in 2017. His plate approach is trending in the wrong way too with a falling walk rate and rising strikeout rate.
Until his promotion to the Yankees a few days back, Florial had never played above High-A ball despite being in the Yankees organization for five years already. I’d love to see that lefty power at Yankee Stadium with the short porch, but at this point, I question if his hit tool ever allows him to become a Major League starter.
Prospect News & Notes
Matt Manning & Alex Faedo Shut Down
Well, this is a bummer. Out of all the pitching talent in this Detroit farm system, many, myself included, consider Matt Manning to be the best of the bunch, especially when it comes to fantasy. Manning has posted a 3.04 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 11.1 K/9 through his first 70 professional starts including 2.56 ERA and 0.98 WHIP last season. The upside has always been very apparent with Manning he finally ascended to the elite ranks of pitching prospects last season with improved fastball command and the development of his changeup. With a plus heater in the mid-90;s, plus or better hammer curveball, and a changeup that flashes plus at times, Manning has the upside to develop into a frontline starter at the Major League level. We’ll just have to wait until 2021 for his debut after this “slight” forearm strain.
As for Alex Faedo, the upside isn’t nearly as high, but his fastball-slider combination could allow him to develop into a nice bullpen piece for Detroit down the road. He’s still being groomed as a starter for now, but his fringe changeup will need to improve moving forward to remain in the rotation plans longterm.
Buy-Low on Jo Adell in Dynasty?
You’ve probably heard me lately discussing the best times to sell-high on a top prospect. Well, there are a few ideal times to buy-low as well, and Jo Adell is firmly in one of those windows. That window being when a top prospect gets called up to the Majors and struggles mightily as Adell has this far, slashing .173/.225/.280 thus far with a 43.8% strikeout rate and statcast data that will make your eyes bleed. Adell has the worst xwOBA in baseball and is in the 1st or 2nd percentile in xBA, K%, and whiff rate. At least Adell has a 96th percentile sprint speed and 77th percentile exit velocity right? Well, he only has two home runs and zero steals to show for it.
There’s a reason why Adell was a universal top-10 prospect and top-5 dynasty prospect entering the 2020 season. When it comes to power, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many prospects with greater raw power than Adell. That raw power was flexed on Saturday with a 437-foot blast to left and an opposite-field missile in his two-homer effort. There are legit 40-homer aspirations here and Adell displayed above-average contact skills and speed in the minors as well. The approach still needs to be improved upon, but with Adell’s high Baseball IQ, I have confidence those improvements will happen. If you can buy-low on Adell in dynasty leagues, I’d highly recommend doing so.
Carter Kieboom Optioned…. And Overrated?
Coming into the 2020 season, Carter Kieboom was given a chance to run with the starting third base gig. But instead of locking down the spot, Kieboom fell flat on his face, struggling mightily once again right into a demotion to the alternate site last week. If you combine all of Kieboom’s Major League stints thus far, he’s slashing just .169/.299/.236 with two home runs in 107 plate appearances. The only real positive has been Kieboom’s 14.0% walk rate, a strength that carried over from the minors.
Obviously, Kieboom isn’t going to be an option this season in redraft. Even if he gets recalled, his recent performance isn’t going to make many rush to pick him up. However, there’s still plenty of longterm dynasty upside here, but we need to keep our expectations in check. Call me Captain Hindsight over here, but is it possible we overrated Kieboom a bit when he was coming up through the Washington organization? I’m not shying away or changing my mind on the tools I’ve seen from Kieboom, with both his hit tool and raw power grading as above average, but does that warrant ranking him as a top-25 prospect as a lot of us did. Kieboom peaked at #18 for me personally and I’m beginning to believe that was a mistake.
Moving forward, I’m still a believer in Kieboom and believe he can develop into a .275-plus hitter capable of hitting 20-plus homers annually with a handful of steals. But I’m not sure, there’s the upside here for much more than that.
Top Redraft Prospect Stashes
The weekly prospect stash lists factor in proximity to MLB playing time and potential 2020 impact.
- Andrew Vaughn (1B – CHW)
- Carter Kieboom (3B – WAS)
- Drew Waters (OF – ATL)
- Jarred Kelenic (OF – SEA)
- Jarren Duran (OF – BOS)
- Brandon Marsh (OF – LAA)
- Jared Oliva (OF – PIT)
- Alex Kirilloff (OF/1B – MIN)
- Royce Lewis (SS – MIN)
- Oneil Cruz (SS – PIT)
HM: JJ Bleday (OF – MIA), Trevor Larnach (OF – MIN)
- MacKenzie Gore (LHP – SDP)
- Deivi Garcia (RHP – NYY)
- Clarke Schmidt (RHP – NYY)
- Kyle Wright (RHP – ATL)
- Tucker Davidson (LHP – ATL)
- Logan Gilbert (RHP – SEA)
- Edward Cabrera (RHP – MIA)
- Jackson Kowar (RHP – KC)
- Daniel Lynch (LHP – KC)
- Bryan Mata (RHP – BOS)
Media Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire, Baseball Savant
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