Just a few short days ago, we counted down prospects 100-51 in this mid-season rankings update. Sorry for the prospect overload, but I’m giving you another big helping of MLB prospects before you can even digest the first 50. Actually, I take that back. I’m not sorry. Is there such a thing as too many prospect articles in one week? Don’t answer that, it’s a trick question.
Today, we’re going over the MLB prospects ranked 50th down to 26th. Why not the Top-25 you ask? Because I’m a tease and am going to make you wait just a tad longer for those. Don’t worry, it will be well worth the wait.
Now, without further ado, I give you prospects 50-26. Enjoy.
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)
C- Zack Collins (CHW), Daulton Varsho (ARI), Danny Jensen (TOR).
1B- Jake Bauers (TB), Bobby Bradley (CLE), Chad Spanberger (COL).
2B- Shed Long (CIN).
3B- Nolan Jones (CLE).
SS- Jorge Mateo (OAK), Gavin Lux (LAD), Jordan Groshans (TOR).
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).
SP- Griffin Canning (LAA), Albert Abreu (NYY), Freddy Peralta (MIL), Brady Singer (KC), Peter Lambert (COL), Matthew Liberatore (TB).
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).
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MLB Prospects 50-26
50. Alex Faedo, RHP, DET (Previous – NR)
Stats (A+/AA): 67.0 IP, 3.09 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 7.8 K/9
The 2017 first round pick has been moving quickly through the minors just as was expected when he got drafted last June. Faedo needed only 12 starts in high Class-A to be promoted to Double-A Erie where he allowed just two earned in six innings while striking out seven in his first start at the level. The strikeout rate is a tad low, but Faedo showed more strikeout upside at Florida University and has the arsenal to back it up, headlined by a plus slider.
49. Heliot Ramos, OF, SF (Previous – 65)
Stats (A): .246/.323/.383/.706, 16 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 5 SB, 8.0 BB%, 26.6 K%, 256 AB
Ramos might have taken a step back with his counting stats this season, but it’s very encouraging that he’s made strides in his plate approach. Both his walk and strikeout rates have improved during his first taste of the Sally League. Not every 19-year-old can dominate like Juan Soto.
48. Leody Taveras, OF, TEX (Previous – 52)
Stats (A+): .253/.324/.349/.672, 10 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 12 SB, 9.5 BB%, 18.0 K%, 281 AB
Again, not every 19-year-old dominates. That’s very important to keep in mind with guys like Ramos above and Leody Taveras here. Taveras has also raised his walk rate this season and is on pace for more extra-base hits and steals. The upside here is still very high, but patience will be key.
47. Francisco Mejia, C, CLE (Previous – 37)
Stats (AAA): .265/.313/.408/.721, 15 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 0 SB, 5.2 BB%, 19,7 K%, 245 AB
The top catching prospect in the game has taken steps back across the board this season. Power, average, and walk rate are all down, while his strikeout rate has risen to nearly 20 percent. Now, that strikeout rate is nothing to worry about, but Mejia’s struggles this season, coupled with Cleveland having adequate catchers, means Mejia will have to wait a little longer to get his shot.
46. Austin Hays, OF, BAL (Previous – 26)
Stats (AA): .224/.259/.374/.633, 4 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 5 SB, 4.9 BB%, 23.2 K%, 174 AB
The 2018 season has been a rough one for Austin Hays, to say the least. After dealing with a shoulder strain in the spring, Hays has now been on the DL for over a month with an ankle injury and doesn’t appear to be nearing a return to Bowie’s lineup. In between the two injuries has been a whole lot of bad play. Just look at his 2017 numbers if you need a reminder about Hays’ upside.
45. Jonathan India, 3B, CIN (Previous – NR)
Stats (TBD): HAS NOT PLAYED YET
India enters his professional career with arguably the most immediate fantasy upside of any hitter in the 2018 draft class. His combination of a plus-hit tool, above average power and speed, and advanced approach should make his stay in the minors a quick one.
For more on India, check out my breakdown of the infielders taken in the first round of the MLB draft.
44. Alex Verdugo, OF, LAD (Previous – 44)
Stats (AAA): .333/.377/.495/.872, 15 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 4 SB, 6.8 BB%, 12.3 K%, 204 AB
Stats (MLB): .265/.306/.382/.688, 4 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 SB, 5.4 BB%, 16.2 K%, 34 AB
There’s really nothing left for Verdugo to prove at Triple-A. Since the start of 2017, Verdugo has hit .320 with 12 home runs, 13 steals, 92 RBI, and 96 runs in 637 at-bats at the level. He’s been hitting for a little more power this season which is an encouraging sign. All he needs is a full-time gig with the Dodgers.
43. Kyle Lewis, OF, SEA (Previous – 34)
Stats (A+): .265/.306/.456/.762, 11 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 0 SB, 4.8 BB%, 23.8 K%
Lingering knee issues have cost Lewis plenty of developmental time and all but sapped his speed this season. It’s not like he profiled as a 20-plus stolen base threat or anything, but if his speed is all but gone, his value isn’t going to be quite as high. Hopefully, all these knee issues are now behind him so he can finally put together a prolonged stretch of action.
42. Carter Kieboom, SS, WAS (Previous – NR)
Stats (A+/AA): .300/.382/.495/.877, 17 2B, 0 3B, 12 HR, 6 SB, 11.8 BB%, 17.8 K%, 273 AB
If you’re not a good hitter with the word “boom” in your last name then I don’t know what anything means anymore. Luckily, for my sake, Carter Kieboom is indeed a very good hitter and now gets to tee off on Double-A pitching after his recent promotion to the Eastern League. Kieboom profiles as a .300/25 HR middle of the order presence that we should be seeing in our Nation’s capital sometime in 2019.
41. Alex Kiriloff, OF, MIN (Previous – NR)
STATS (A/A+): .333/.389/.598/.987, 21 2B, 5 3B, 14 HR, 1 SB, 7.8 BB%, 17.0 K%. 276AB
Not many prospects, if any, have seen their stock rise more than Alex Kirilloff has this season. Before the season, no major industry list included Kirilloff in their Top-100, and neither did mine. Alex seems to have taken offense to that with the assault he’s been putting on pitchers this season. The average was already there, but Kirilloff has made great strides with his power and already has racked up 40 extra base hits. Don’t be surprised to see him in the Top-25 next spring if he keeps this up.
— Peace, love, and dirty feet (@mufuhkajones) June 26, 2018
40. Nick Madrigal, SS/2B, CHW (Previous – NR)
Stats (TBD): HAS NOT PLAYED YET
And the winner of the best hit tool in the 2018 MLB draft class goes to… Nick Madrigal (INSERT CROWD CHEER HERE). That’s right, Madrigal is a born hitter that is going to wreak havoc all the way to the Major Leagues. It’s not often that I say a hitter has a chance to win multiple batting titles, but that’s no doubt the case here.
For more on Madrigal, check out my breakdown of the infielders taken in the first round of the MLB draft.
39. Estevan Florial, OF, NYY (Previous – 31)
Stats (A+): .246/.353/.343/.696, 6 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 13.5 BB%, 30.1 K%, 134 AB
Hand surgery effectively put an end to a lackluster 2018 showing for Florial. However, even though his counting stats were all down, Florial did make minor strides in both his walk and strikeout rates. Even with the improvement, his strikeout rate still sits above 30 percent which will need to be worked on before he can fulfill his upside as a dynamic top-of-the-order hitter.
38. Brent Honeywell, RHP, TB (Previous – 27)
Stats (AAA): OUT FOR SEASON – TOMMY JOHN SURGERY
Honeywell’s voicemail message currently says, “Gone to see Dr. Andrew’s, be back in 2019.” It’s a shame, too, as Honeywell would almost certainly be entrenched in the Rays rotation by now. The upside here remains very high so swooping in with a buy-low offer would be highly recommended.
37. Michel Baez, RHP, SD (Previous – 35)
Stats (A+): 48.1 IP, 2.79 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 9.1 K/9
Take a good look at Baez’s stats above. Pretty good, right? Well, those numbers are all down from 2017. That just shows how good Baez can be when he’s on. While his walk rate has risen, Baez has only allowed two home runs so far this season, which is certainly an encouraging sign. There’s ace potential here if he can keep his control in check.
36. Willie Calhoun, OF, TEX (Previous – 19)
Stats (AAA): .277/.323/.409/.732, 21 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 1 SB, 5.7 BB%, 11.4 K%, 296 AB
Many, myself included, were upset when the Rangers sent Willie Calhoun down to AAA to start the season.
“At least he won’t be down for long!” Wrong. Here we are about to enter July and Calhoun is still at Triple-A. He’s not doing himself any favors with his play either. The average is up to a respectable .277 after flirting with the Mendoza line to start the season, but Calhoun has only managed six home runs through nearly 300 at-bats.
35. Casey Mize, RHP, DET (Previous – NR)
Stats (TBD): HAS NOT PITCHED YET
The Detroit Tigers have so many high upside arms in their system with several of them cracking these Top-100 rankings. Well, sorry Alex, Franklin, Beau, and Matt, but Casey is the new head pitching honcho in this system. The No. 1 overall pick from this draft possesses three plus to plus-plus offerings, headlined by a splitter that is just pure filth and makes Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling jealous. Ace upside just oozes out of Mize’s right arm.
For more on Mize, check out my breakdown of the pitchers taken in the first round of the MLB draft.
34. Austin Meadows, OF, PIT (Previous – 33)
Stats (AAA): .294/.336/.397/.733, 10 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 8 SB, 5.1 BB%, 15.4 K%, 126 AB
Stats (MLB): .316/.352/.535/.888, 6 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 4 SB, 4.9 BB%, 17.2 K%, 114 AB
This is the last time you’ll see Meadows on this list as he’ll exhaust his prospect eligibility by the end of the weekend. After suffering various injuries and inconsistent performance over the last couple seasons, Meadows has settled in as one of the best hitters in the Pirates lineup, showcasing his .300/20/20 upside. The talent has never been questioned. It’s all about the health.
33. Triston McKenzie, RHP, CLE (Previous – 38)
Stats (AA): 19.0 IP, 4.26 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 9.0 K/9
A forearm injury caused McKenzie to miss the first two months of the season. He’s wasted no time getting back into the swing of things and looks to have no lingering effects from the injury. Three plus pitches and solid control make McKenzie a good blend of high upside and high floor.
32. Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, TB (Previous – 41)
Stats (A/A+): 48.0 IP, 2.81 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 1.1 BB/9, 12.9 K/9
Stats (A/A+): .230/.428/.319/.746, 4 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 0 SB, 23.7 BB%, 17.8 K%, 113 AB
That has to be the weirdest slash line I’ve ever seen. An OBP around 200 points above the batting average and a little more than 100 points above the slugging. Well, that’s what happens when you walk 36 times in 113 at-bats with only six extra-base hits. That plate discipline is great and all, but on the mound is where McKay provides the most value. His control has gone from good to great and hitters have a really hard time making contact off McKay’s four-pitch arsenal. He might not be as much of a two-way threat as Shohei Ohtani, but McKay has a legit chance of being a two-way player in the Majors.
31. Mike Soroka, RHP, ATL (Previous – 62)
Stats (A/AAA): 30.2 IP, 1.76 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 10.0 K/9
Stats (MLB): 25.2 IP, 3.51 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 7.4 K/9
Well, so much for Mike Soroka’s rookie season. Shoulder inflammation has the young right-hander on the 60-day DL with the best-case scenario for a return being late-August. Even then, the Braves aren’t likely to rush their future ace back and might just shut him down to get him ready for 2019.
30. Austin Riley, 3B, ATL (Previous – 93)
Stats (AA/AAA): .308/.369/.552/.922, 13 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 1 SB, 8.1 BB%, 29.7 K%, 201 AB
All the Acuna hype earlier this season caused Austin Riley to keep a low profile while destroying Double-A pitching. At the time of his promotion to Triple-A, Riley had a 1.071 OPS and was on a 30/100 pace. Triple-A has been a bit of a struggle, especially in the strikeout department (33.6 K%), but Riley was still holding his own with a .777 OPS before landing on the DL. Third base in Atlanta long-term has Riley’s name all over it. Expect to see him in the Majors later on this season.
29. Luiz Gohara, LHP, ATL (Previous – 24)
Stats (AA/AAA): 21.2 IP, 6.23 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, 5.0 BB/9, 10.0 K/9
Stats (MLB): 15.2 IP, 6.89 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 4.6 BB/9, 7.5 K/9
Location, location, location. It’s all about locating your pitches kid and Luiz Gohara apparently never got the memo. He was locating his pitches when I saw him in Pawtucket in late-April (see link below), but besides that, it’s been a crap shoot for Gohara in 2018. Even when he’s throwing strikes, hitters are squaring him up with regularity. Gohara has allowed 43 hits, including seven home runs, in just 37.1 combined innings this season and now finds himself back in Triple-A to work out the kinks.
For more on Gohara, check out my live scouting report of him (and Ronald Acuñ) from late-April.
28. Keston Hiura, 2B, MIL (Previous – 43)
Stats (A+/AA): .330/.388/.536/.924, 27 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 10 SB, 5.6 BB%, 20.3 K%, 291 AB
Finally, some power and speed to go with that stellar batting average. Hiura hit .371 after being drafted last June, but that came with only four homers and two steals in 167 at-bats. Granted, that did come with 14 doubles and seven triples. Well, now some of those doubles and triples are clearing the fence. Hiura is currently on a 20/20 pace to go along with another stellar slash line. He might not have elite fantasy upside, but Hiura has a strong chance to be one of the top offensive second basemen in the Majors within the next few seasons.
🎥 “WALK IT OFF, KESTON HIURA!” pic.twitter.com/McsInhYUWr
— Biloxi Shuckers (@BiloxiShuckers) June 14, 2018
27. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, SD (Previous – 18)
Stats (A): 16.0 IP, 6.75 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 1.7 BB/9, 11.8 K/9
The ratios might not be easy on the eyes, but it’s worth noting that we’re now 13 starts into MacKenzie Gore’s career and he has a 2.4 BB/9 and 13.3 K/9. He’s still just a 19-year-old experiencing Class-A for the first time, so some growing pains are to be expected.
26. Tyler O’Neill, OF, STL (Previous – 45)
Stats (AAA): .312/.370/.647/1.017, 7 2B, 1 3B, 16 HR, 3 SB, 8.3 BB%, 23.4 K%, 170 AB
Stats (MLB): .237/.268/.500/.768, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 0 SB, 2.4 BB%, 43.9 K%, 38 AB
After demolishing Triple-A pitching to start the season, O’Neill looked like he was going to do the same in the Majors. After being recalled on 5/18, O’Neill hit home runs in each of his first three starts and had fantasy owners around the world hauling ass to their waiver wire. Unfortunately, his next 19 at-bats resulted in two hits, zero dingers, and 13 strikeouts. The power upside here is enormous, but it’s obvious that O’Neill needs a tad more minor league seasoning before he’s ready to contribute full-time for the Cardinals. There’s also not a starting spot available for him either.
Thank you for reading another edition of Dynasty Dugout here on Fantrax. 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.
While you’re waiting for Eric’s Top 25 MLB prospects watch this video with some names soon to join a prospect list near you. With just a few days until the 2018 July 2nd International Free Agent Signing Day, Andy Singleton and Ralph Lifshitz talked with Baseball America’s Ben Badler about some of the top names on the international market.