Projecting The Top Fantasy Baseball Prospects in 2024: 30-16
In the world of Fantasy Baseball prospects and dynasty leagues, we’re always looking for the next breakout. The next rising star. The next top dog. After all, part of being a successful dynasty manager is assembling the best farm system you can, regardless if you plan on holding onto them for your own team or trade them away for win-now pieces. Identifying those types of prospects that could rise up rankings into the top tiers isn’t always the easiest to do, but that’s what I’m going to try and tackle today. Now, these aren’t unknowns or prospects off the radar. In fact, some are already inside my top-20 overall. But these are the prospects I’m projecting to be inside my top-30 two years from now as we enter the 2024 season.
This will be a two-part series starting with prospects 30 through 16 today.
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Projecting The Top Fantasy Baseball Prospects in 2024: 30-16
Honorable Mentions (In No Order)
Wilman Diaz (SS – LAD), Carlos Colmenarez (SS – TBR), Pete Crow-Armstrong (OF – CHC), Harry Ford (C – SEA), Kevin Alcantara (OF – CHC), Blake Walston (LHP – ARI), Victor Acosta (SS – SDP), Jose Salas (SS – MIA), Elly De La Cruz (SS – CIN), Gabriel Gonzalez (OF – SEA), Andrew Painter (RHP – PHI), James Triantos (SS/3B – CHC), Jace Jung (2B – Texas Tech), Brooks Lee (SS – Cal Poly), Brock Jones (OF – Stanford)
30. James Wood (OF – SDP)
I’ll start with one of my favorite players from the 2021 draft class. James Wood is the definition of a beast, standing in at a strong and athletic 6’7 and 240 pounds. You’d think he was an NBA power forward when seeing him as he’s damn near as big as LeBron James. With 70-grade raw power and this frame, projecting Woods as a 30-plus homer bat isn’t a stretch and he’s also an above-average runner to boot. Even if he loses speed as he ages and winds up as an average runner, adding double-digit steals annually is still a possibility. It’s all going to be up to the hit tool development and if Woods can keep his strikeouts in check, an issue common for players this size.
I present, James Wood, destroyer of baseballs.
— Ian Smith (@FlaSmitty) February 26, 2021
29. Lonnie White Jr (OF – PIT)
As with Benny Montgomery above, Lonnie White is all about projection and if the hit tool develops. White is a plus to double-plus runner with above-average to plus power with room for more, but is still rather raw at the plate in general. The Pirates have been known to give their prospects plenty of time at each level, so don’t expect White to be past A+ or just getting to AA at the most when 2024 comes around. With a potential 60-power, 60+ speed profile, White could rank much higher in a couple of years if he improves at the plate.
28. Matt Allan (RHP – NYM)
If it wasn’t for Tommy John surgery earlier in 2021, Matt Allan likely would exhaust prospect eligibility by the beginning of the 2024 season. But I guess the silver lining in that injury is that I’m now able to include Allan in an article like this. Allan was dominating hitters in 2020 and spring 2021 with a mid to upper 90’s fastball, big plus curveball, and an above-average changeup with above-average command of his entire arsenal. Allan is one of my favorite arms in the minor leagues and I’m anticipating his ascension to the top tier of pitching prospects to resume once he’s back on the mound sometime in 2022.
I could watch Matthew Allan pitch all damn day.
FB and CB are both easily plus
CH is behind but flashes above-average.
Solid command & control
Clean and repeatable delivery
#2 SP upside
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) January 25, 2021
27. Jay Allen (OF – CIN)
The 2021 draft class was jam-packed with high upside prep outfielders and Jay Allen was one of the names leading the way in that group. A two-sport star in high school, Allen is a phenomenal athlete with plus or better speed and developing raw power. With his raw strength and projection on his frame, plus raw power isn’t out of the question to pair with that speed. But as with several on this list, the hit tool will be the X-Factor. Hopefully, now that Allen will be able to focus solely on baseball, he’ll be able to improve his hitting abilities to maximize his impressive skillset.
26. Dylan Lesko (RHP – Buford HS)
The 2022 draft class doesn’t currently project to have a bunch of arms go in the top-10, but one that does is Dylan Lesko. At this current point in time, Lesko is my #1 arm in the 2022 class, showing a lot of similarities to 2021 draftee Jackson Jobe and 2020 draftee Mick Abel. Lesko sits in the mid-90’s with his fastball, touching the upper registers at times with a plus changeup and two breaking pitches that already flash above average. He commands his entire arsenal fairly well and could really blossom in the right organization. Don’t be surprised if he’s a top-5 pitching prospect by 2024.
25. Jackson Jobe (RHP – DET)
While Jack Leiter was the top pitcher in the 2021 draft class, Jackson Jobe might end up as the best arm longterm. Jobe isn’t an imposing force on the mound at 6’2/190 but the arm speed here is electric allowing him to pump mid to upper 90’s fastballs with a high-spin slider that could be considered double-plus. That slider might already be a top-3 slider in the minors. It’s that good. Add in an above-average changeup and advanced feel for his age, and you have a potential #2 starter in the making with elite bat missing potential. Now, here’s some NSFW video of Jobe’s filthy slider.
Jackson Jobe came out and absolutely dominated… again.
Fastball was 95-96 with ride. Changeup showed progress, flashed 55 once. Slider was still absolute hell on righties. Made Brady House look silly and Rene Lastres here… 3100 RPMs. Insane. pic.twitter.com/bOQar8dk9m
24. Benny Montgomery (OF – COL)
Benny Montgomery was one of the biggest boom or bust picks in the first round of the 2021 drafts and one of the biggest boom or bust prospects on this list. With his plus to double-plus power and speed, Montgomery has the upside to be in the top-5 of this list by 2024. However, the questions surrounding his hit tool are legit and could limit his upside in the long run. That’s the real X-factor. If Montgomery can make strides at the dish and approach a 50-grade hit tool, he could be a dynamic fantasy player some day. Or, the hit tool never develops and all that power and speed get limited. I’m hoping for the former.
23. Eury Perez (RHP – MIA)
In a year where breakout prospects were more common than usual, the biggest breakout arm in the minor leagues was 18-year-old Eury Perez. The 6’8 right-hander dominated both Lo-A and Hi-A hitters to the tune of a 1.96 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and 35.4% strikeout rate. A plus fastball/curveball combination with an improving changeup that flashes above-average allowed Perez to consistently miss bats at a high clip and his improving command and control (both around 50) is quite promising. The fact that Perez dominated full-season ball at just 18-year-old just shows how special of a talent he is.
22. Roderick Arias (SS – NYY)
After nabbing the top prospect in the 2019 international class, the Evil Empire is projected to scoop up the top prospect in this upcoming international class as well with Roderick Arias. The switch-hitting Dominican shortstop is rumored to be signing with the Yankees, adding another talented middle infielder to their farm system. Arias might not carry quite the same buzz as Jasson Dominguez, but the power/speed blend here is potentially plus and many scouts believe he can hit for a good average as well. That’s so hard to predict before seeing him in game action in the minors, but there are a lot of qualities here that you usually see in a future top-25 prospect. Plus, the Yankees tag always seems to boost a prospect’s value a bit.
21. Jasson Dominguez (OF – NYY)
I’m sure many will be displeased at Jasson Dominguez’s exclusion from the top-15, but I’m just not sure he ever reaches that level. By the beginning of 2024, Dominguez will likely be in the vicinity of Double-A and we should have a much better idea of just how good he’s going to be. The raw tools are there, especially with his plus or better raw power, but where the hit tool and speed ultimately end up is the real question. He could easily be top-5 on this list if everything clicks, but the jury is still out. In his first 56 professional games, Dominguez hit five home runs with nine steals and a .252/.353/.379 slash line between the FCL and Lo-A.
Jasson Dominguez with his first career homer!
99 mph off the bat; 344 ft. pic.twitter.com/42FnnuwzQa
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) July 16, 2021
20. Mick Abel (RHP – PHI)
The #2 pitcher in this countdown (Any guesses on who is #1?), Mick Abel has all the makings of a future frontline starting pitcher. A late-season injury put a damper on his first professional season, but Abel was highly-impressive throughout the season, despite having pedestrian surface stats. Abel’s arsenal contains four offerings that all project as above-average to plus and he’s shown a solid feel and ability to miss bats with all four. Overall, Abel posted a 34.9% strikeout rate in his 14 starts this season, but did have a higher than expected 14.3% walk rate. If Abel can limit the walks moving forward, the sky is the limit.
Mick Abel was unhittable today for the @Threshers.
▫️ 5 IP
▫️ 0 H
▫️ 0 R
▫️ 4 BB
▫️ 8 K pic.twitter.com/gXztrFadan
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 9, 2021
19. Brady House (SS/3B – WAS)
The #11 overall pick in the 2021 draft, Brady House was one of the more intriguing bats in the entire class. It didn’t take long for him to make his presence felt either, slashing .322/.394/.576 with three doubles and four home runs in his first 66 plate appearances as a professional. Leading up to the draft, evaluators lauded House’s raw power, but the hit tool lagged behind a bit. I’m not sure 66 PA is enough of a sample size to put those concerns to bed, but several I’ve talked to that have seen House live over the last year don’t seem to be overly concerned about it. Even if he’s 50-hit and 50-speed, House’s double-plus raw power could allow him to develop into one of the better power bats in the game.
18. Tyler Soderstrom (C/1B – OAK)
One of my favorite bats from the 2020 draft class was Tyler Soderstrom. The lefty-swinging high school backstop went 26th overall to the Oakland Athletics and debuted in Lo-A this past season. His performance exceed all of my expectations and made me even higher on him than I already was. Soderstrom slashed .306/.390/.568 with 20 doubles, 12 home runs, and a 10.6% walk rate in 254 plate appearances while catching and playing some first base as well. The latter is where I believe he’ll end up as Oakland has Sean Murphy behind the plate for the next several years. And I’m sure losing that catcher eligibility will sting, but this is a potent bat capable of .280+/25+ annually as a middle-of-the-order run producer.
17. Dylan Crews (OF – Louisiana State)
After withdrawing from the 2020 draft to attend LSU, Dylan Crews wasted zero time establishing himself as one of the most feared hitters in collegiate baseball. The 6’1 outfielder slashed .352/.463/.653 with 16 doubles, 18 home runs, and 12 steals in 287 appearances. This is the type of bat that could go 1.1 in the 2023 draft thanks to his blend of contact skills, massive raw power, approach, and speed. And it shouldn’t take long before he’s considered one of the top prospects in all of baseball.
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 13, 2021
16. Kahlil Watson (SS – MIA)
While unintentional, Kahlil Watson ranking 16th feels fitting after the projected top-5 pick fell to the Miami Marlins at pick 16. Chalk it up as a win for Kim Ng and Derek Jeter. Watson might only be listed at 5’9 and 180 pounds, but that’s 180 pounds of strength, athleticism, and pure hitting ability. This wasn’t a projected top-5 pick with 1.1 consideration for nothing folks.
Watson has a real chance to excel across the board offensively with around plus speed, plus raw power, and a hit tool that could settle in as above-average or maybe even plus as well. He’s shown advanced pitch recognition for his age and can drive the ball with authority to all fields. It remains to be seen if he sticks at short or moves over to second with Jazz Chisholm staying at short, but regardless of where Watson ends up, the fantasy upside is considerable.
Kahlil Watson (2021 NC) stays hot as he scorches this 93 mph fastball to the oppo gap. Exciting player, changes the game in a myriad of ways, homered yesterday. #WWBAWorlds #Pack9 commit @PG_Coastal #PGDraft pic.twitter.com/F3NwVgf41i
— Perfect Game Scout (@PG_Scouting) October 11, 2020
Be on the lookout for the top-15 soon!
Media Credit: Ian Smith (@FlaSmitty), Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyleMiLB), Minor League Baseball (@MiLB), MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline), NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS), Perfect Game Scouting (@PG_Scouting), Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire
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