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MLB Prospects Analysis: The Missing Link – Power

With the introduction of analytics to the mainstream in recent years, even a casual player can dig deeper into the nuances of a particular player more than ever before. While all of this is fantastic for those who have a firm grasp of this, it can quickly become overwhelming for those not prepared to organize it. To simplify the process, I will be looking at the scouting grades for the various prospects and lumping them into types of players. The goal is to identify prospects with an above-average hit tool, plus speed, but lacking the in-game home run power needed to be considered a five-category producer at this stage. Some have already begun showing the signs of more power coming, but none of them have reached 20 home runs in a season yet.

As most roto players know, top-end stolen base threats with a high batting average will always have some level of appeal in fantasy leagues. But the players who can add power while maintaining the other skills often become the top prospects and eventual early-round picks in redraft. So that being said, this particular profile holds a special place in my heart when looking for the next big riser in the prospect world. I will end up loading up on several of these types because the profit potential is so appealing if even just one of them clicks. Simply put, a hit tool and speed are building blocks for a difference-maker in fantasy. Power is a tool that is easier to develop than the other skills, and even if it never fully blossoms, the profile still carries value.

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24 MLB Prospects Missing One Tool – Power

Top-25 prospects with #1 overall upside

CJ Abrams, SS, SD (21/AA)
Noelvi Marte, SS, SEA (20/A+)
Corbin Carroll, OF, ARI (21/A+)
Robert Hassell III, OF, SD (20/A+)
Luis Matos, OF, SF (20/A)
Zac Veen, OF, COL (20/A)

This tier is packed full of some of the best prospects in baseball. Most of them are already considered top-25 prospects on various lists. But there is still another level for each player if they can continue progressing in the power department. Each player could evolve into the top dynasty prospect in baseball a year from now. There’s a significant difference between a top-25 prospect and the #1 overall, particularly in trade value. Even if their skill sets remained stagnant, these players should still be considered premium prospects. Early signs of added home run power for any of these players would cause a stir in the prospect community. Each of these prospects is a wise investment in dynasty startups. If you are still in the midst of a rebuild, these are highly recommended targets.

Top-100 prospects with another level

Vidal Bruján, 2B, TB (23/AAA)
Alek Thomas, OF, ARI (21/AAA)
Oswald Peraza, SS, NYY (21/AAA)
Brayan Rocchio, SS, CLE (21/AA)
Michael Harris II, OF, ATL (20/A+)
Liover Peguero, SS, PIT (21/A+)

You will find these prospects on a vast majority of top-100 lists. A case could be made for a few of them to be in the top tier, but there is enough variance in their rankings that an opportunity for profit exists. Each of these players is a fantastic target who could take a step into the upper echelon. The appeal of this tier is the price reduction relative to the higher-ranked players. If you aren’t in the position to pay the cost for a more popular player, each of these prospects offers serious upside without a massive price tag attached. Some managers who are already deep into a “win-now” mindset could find the proximity of some of these players makes up for the tantalizing upside of players who have yet to reach the upper levels of the minors.

Deeper prospects with intrigue

Jose Salas, SS, MIA (18/A)
Luisangel Acuna, 2B, TEX (19/A)
Jose Rodriguez, 2B, CHW (20/AA)
Felix Valerio, 2B, MIL (21/A+)
Johan Rojas, OF, PHI (21/A+)
Ezequiel Tovar, SS, COL (20/A+)

This group consists of players you will find sprinkled deeper on prospect lists. A couple have made a top-100 appearance, while others are lingering quite a bit deeper. Once we get past the most notable prospects in baseball, the consensus on players tends to become less stable. There are opportunities in this range to land intriguing types who may be underrated even without any additional power. Investing in players with this combination of tools that aren’t considered premium talents is an essential aspect of long-term dynasty success. The price tag for this group relative to the players above makes this a nice place to look for cheaper speed options. A couple of these players could explode up lists if everything comes together in 2022.

Rookie ball stashes

Victor Acosta, SS, SD (17/DSL)
Carlos Jorge, 2B, CIN (18/DSL)
Eddy Beltre, OF, SD (17/DSL)
Jonatan Clase, OF, SEA (19/CPX)
Alexander Vargas, SS, NYY (19/CPX)
Luis Durango, OF, CLE (18/CPX)

In the final tier, we have a group that has yet to debut in full-season ball. These names are recognizable to prospect hounds but are probably too far away to be valued a ton in shallow leagues. Stashing young prospects before they gain massive mainstream appeal is always a solid strategy to implement in deep, competitive dynasty leagues. There is still a wide range of outcomes because of the number of hurdles left to clear. But each player shows the kind of skill set that catches my attention. Some managers prefer players closer to making their debut, but taking calculated gambles on relatively unknown players can pay big dividends in the trade market. Including one of them may be the cherry on top to get you over the line on a deal to help you win.

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