Projecting the Top Fantasy Baseball Prospects in 2024: The Top-15
After discussing 15 incredibly exciting prospects in part one of this two-part series (30-16), we now get to the 15 prospects I anticipate being the top-15 fantasy baseball prospects two years from now. We only have one pitcher in this top-15, but we have plenty of offensive upside and four players that haven’t even been drafted yet. Make sure to check out part one before diving into part two below. Kicking things off is the son of a former five-time all-star and 10-time gold glove center fielder that was one of my favorite players growing up.
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Top-15 Fantasy Baseball Prospects in 2024
Recapping Part 1 (30-16)
30. James Wood (OF – SDP) | 29. Lonnie White Jr (OF – PIT) | 28. Matt Allan (RHP – NYM) | 27. Jay Allen (OF – CIN) | 26. Dylan Lesko (RHP – Buford HS) | 25. Jackson Jobe (RHP – DET) | 24. Benny Montgomery (OF – COL) | 23. Eury Perez (RHP – MIA) | 22. Roderick Arias (SS – NYY) | 21. Jasson Dominguez (OF – NYY) | 20. Mick Abel (RHP – PHI) | 19. Brady House (SS – WAS) | 18. Tyler Soderstrom (C/1B – OAK) | 17. Dylan Crews (OF – Lousiana State) | 16. Kahlil Watson (SS – MIA)
15. Druw Jones (OF – Wesleyan HS)
Son of former MLB all-star center fielder Andruw Jones, Druw Jones is one of the most exciting prospects in the 2022 draft class. Let’s just say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Jones is a 70-grade runner that has shown exceptional bat speed and contact skills with developing power as well. And with his frame, there’s projection for more bulk and power over the next few years. He’s going to be a dynamic player even without any additional power. But if that power does come, Jones could develop into a star.
Druw Jones (‘22 GA) gets the game started with an opposite field solo shot. Barreled this one right into the wind to sail it out; big tools & offensive upside for Jones. #VandyBoys commit. #UBC @ftbteams pic.twitter.com/XuW9yxg4ue
— Perfect Game Scout (@PG_Scouting) June 22, 2021
14. Daniel Espino (RHP – CLE)
The only pitcher to make this top-15, Daniel Espino has all the makings of a future frontline starting pitcher. After posting a 34.7% strikeout rate in 23.2 innings back in 2019, Espino bumped that already stellar rate up to 40.5% in 2021, although, his walk rate remained a hair above 10%. Consistently commanding his arsenal and limiting the free passes are the one thing holding Espino back right now.
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 20, 2021
The arsenal is elite with three plus pitches (FF, SL, CB) and a changeup that could be average to above-average as well. All of which he can miss bats with at an incredibly high clip. If the walk rate comes down, Espino could take a Baz-like leap in the next year or two and become a top-3 pitching prospect in the game. His being in the Cleveland Guardians organization gives me confidence in that happening.
13. Cristian Hernandez (SS – CHC)
One of the top-3 shortstops in last year’s international class, Cristian Hernandez has already given us a small glimpse of the offensive force he has the potential of being. In 191 games in the DSL this season, Hernandez slashed .285/.398/.424 with five home runs, 21 steals, and a 15.7% walk rate. You always have to take stolen base numbers with a sizeable grain of salt in the lower levels, but Hernandez is considered an above-average to plus runner with similar raw power with projection for more. The hit tool is still to be determined, but there aren’t really any concerns in that department as of now. Once he finishes developing, Hernandez could be a 60+ power, 55-speed shortstop that posts a solid AVG/OBP as well. The Cubs track record in developing hitting prospects plays in his favor too.
12. Jordan Lawlar (SS – ARI)
A labrum tear prematurely ended his professional debut after just two games, but I’m still considerably high on Jordan Lawlar. This was my #1 overall player for 2021 FYPDs before his injury and he still ranks as a top-40 overall prospect currently. Some have questioned the bat speed, which is a slight concern at the time, but the raw tools that Lawlar possesses are intriguing. Lawlar is a plus runner that has shown above-average or better contact skills and at least average raw power. That power figures to increase a bit as he fills out his 6’2/190 frame, giving him 20/25 potential down the road. If you can get him for even the slightest discount in dynasty leagues right now, I’d highly recommend doing so.
11. Reginald Preciado (SS – CHC)
Cristian Hernandez wasn’t the only Cubs shortstop prospect impressing in rookie ball. Reginald Preciado was as well. Preciado was acquired from the San Diego Padres in the Yu Darvish deal last year and has one of the highest offensive upsides in the minor leagues. While the speed is around average now and likely will tick below-average as he fills out his 6’4 frame, the probably increase to his already solid raw power should more than offset that.
Preciado has been praised for his contact skills already from both sides of the plate and showed well in his professional debut, hitting .333 in 34 games this past season. With additional bulk and strength, Preciado projects as a future plus or better power bat that can hit for a high average as well. He’s going to have to excel at the plate to make this ranking work, but I believe he has the ability to do so. Go get Preciado now in dynasty leagues before the price skyrockets to elite levels.
10. Chase DeLauter (OF – James Madison)
After Elijah Green, you can make a strong case that Chase DeLauter has the highest offensive upside in the 2022 draft class. The 6’4, 250-pound outfielder has an intriguing power/speed blend that has helped him rack up 22 extra-base hits and 14 steals in 42 games over two seasons at James Madison University. DeLauter has also displayed exceptional plate discipline as well with more walks than strikeouts so far in college. He reminds me of Colton Cowser with a higher power/speed blend. A potential 55-hit, 60-power, 55/60-speed outfielder, DeLauter is an easy top-5 2022 FYPD pick and potential future top-10 dynasty prospect.
9. Termarr Johnson (2B – Mays HS)
Although he’s a bit on the smaller side, Termarr Johnson packs a punch at plate. His contact skills are already above-average and he’s shown top-notch bat speed and deceptive raw power that can also be considered plus already. The ability to drive the ball to all fields has already become apparent here with Johnson and he could wind up as a plus hit, plus power middle infielder that also is at least an average runner on the bases, possibly above-average. He might not have the same upside as Elijah Green, but this is one of the best hitters in the 2022 class and one that could easily be a top-10 prospect before long.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) October 26, 2021
8. Hedbert Perez (OF – MIL)
While the numbers don’t jump off the page at you, Hedbert Perez has impressed as a professional. He received rave reviews out of Brewers camp last year and excelled in the ACL before struggling a bit following his promotion to Lo-A late in the season. As an 18-year-old, Perez has already displayed solid contact skills with above-average to plus speed and raw power as well. He’s only listed at 5’10, but there’s some decent projection left on his frame and I’m not anticipating Perez losing much speed as he fills out either due to his athleticism. He might never stand out in any one area, but Perez could be above-average to plus across the board with 20/20 potential.
7. Marcelo Mayer (SS – BOS)
Marcelo Mayer falling to my Red Sox at pick #4 was an absolute blessing. This was the #1 pick on many mock drafts and it’s not hard to see why. Even as a prep shortstop, Mayer is in the discussion for the best pure hitter in the entire draft class with above-average to plus raw power already. He doesn’t have the speed to match Lawlar in that department, but Mayer’s smooth swing from the left side, plus bat speed, exceptional bat to ball skills, and developing raw power give him the potential to develop into a plus-hit, plus power shortstop that can also add double-digit steals annually. His ceiling is somewhere in the vicinity of Corey Seager with a touch of speed. That profile in the middle of Boston’s always potent lineup has me salivating.
Mayer ranked No. 2 on our BA 500 big board.
Find his full scouting report here: https://t.co/18ugc09Hdj
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) July 11, 2021
6. Luis Matos (OF – SFG)
Part of me thinks that Luis Matos will be a better fantasy player than Marco Luciano long-term. Luciano has the power edge, but Matos’ developing power stroke to pair with a plus hit tool and plus speed makes him more of a well-rounded hitter for fantasy and one that could be a top-10 dynasty prospect by mid-2022. The 19-year-old Venezuelan outfielder excelled across the board this season in Lo-A.
Matos accumulated 50 extra-base hits, 15 home runs, and 21 steals in 109 games to pair with a .313/.358/.494 slash line. He’s now up to 42 steals with an 84% success rate in 169 games and has seen his power consistently tick up. This is a potential early-round fantasy player if everything clicks, capable of hitting for a high average with 20 homers and 25 steals. And as a matter of fact, I just bumped him slightly ahead of Luciano in my prospect rankings.
5. Corbin Carroll (OF – ARI)
If it wasn’t for the shoulder injury that cost him 95% of the 2021 season, Corbin Carroll likely would’ve graduated by the end of the 2021 season. Now, he’ll likely be on the cusp of making the majors as a dynamic leadoff hitter with plus contact skills, double-plus speed, and an exceptional approach at the plate. Carroll’s bat to ball skills are elite and he’s shown that he can spray liners all over the field with plus bat speed and a smooth swing from the left side.
If he can continue to show gains in the power department, as he was before having shoulder surgery, Carroll could develop into an early-round fantasy star with .290+/15+/30+ upside. So far in his 49 professional games, Carroll has slashed a stellar .316/.428/.542 with 23 extra-base hits (4 HR), 21 steals (2 CS), and a 16.3% walk rate.
4. Zac Veen (OF – COL)
Zac Veen has already ascended to top-10 status for me and I’m anticipating him being a top-5 dynasty prospect by 2024 on the cusp of his Major League debut. His professional career started slowly with only two home runs combined in May and June, but Veen really took off after that. From June 30th through the end of the season, Veen hit .328 with 14 doubles and 14 home runs in 284 plate appearances with a 12.0% walk rate. He’ll need to trim the strikeouts a bit, but Veen has demonstrated above-average contact skills, average speed, and plus power with the potential to develop into double-plus. That type of profile at Coors Field is fantasy gold waiting to happen.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 25, 2021
3. Robert Hassell III (OF – SDP)
If Noelvi Marte graduates, Robert Hassell would be on my extremely short list of prospects to be the new #1. In fact, it would be just him and the other below him on this list. Hassell has quickly turned into one of my favorite prospects in the minors and checks off a lot of the boxes I look for in a future fantasy star. As a 19-year-old in full-season ball, Hassell slashed .302/.393/.470 with 48 extra-base hits and 34 steals in 516 plate appearances. He immediately displayed his plus contact skills and mature approach at the plate which resulted in a 12.8% walk rate and 19.2% strikeout rate.
— PadresFarm® (@Padres_Farm) September 2, 2021
The hit tool, plate approach, and speed are all there, all we need now is further power development. I’d slap a 50-grade on Hassell’s power at the moment, but his bat speed, swing path, and the remaining projection on his frame hint at more power to come. Hassell projects as a 60-hit, 55-power, 60-speed outfielder in my eyes with .290+/20/25 potential and a high floor as well.
2. Noelvi Marte (SS – SEA)
My #1 from the 2023 version of this article would’ve retained his title in 2024 if it wasn’t for the monster below him. And while there’s a chance he’s graduated by opening day 2024, I’ll include Noelvi Marte here. The stud shortstop prospect has done nothing but impress during his time in the minors. After a .309/.371/.511 slash line in 2019, Marte posted a .273/.366/.459 line in 2021 that was watered down by a rough July where he hit .219 in 122 PA. Outside of that, Marte never hit below .269 in any month and had a .385+ OBP in three months this season while continuously showcasing his enticing power/speed blend.
No doubt about this one from Mariners No. 6 prospect Noelvi Marte. pic.twitter.com/NoOPQag6hC
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 12, 2021
Overall, Marte has racked up 46 doubles, 25 home runs, and 41 steals in 172 games as a pro. His borderline double-plus raw power has slowly peaked out more frequently in games, and Marte has shown the will to steal bases consistently. As he continues to fill out his frame, Marte might settle in more as a 55-grade runner than plus, but a 55-hit, 60+ power, 55-speed profile could make him a fantasy monster in time, regardless if he sticks at shortstop. Basically, his profile isn’t too far off from Bobby Witt Jr’s.
1. Elijah Green (OF – IMG Academy)
There’s a strong chance that Elijah Green could be the #1 prospect in baseball by this time. I’d even say that he possesses the highest upside of any prospect on this list. Green is one of the favorites to go #1 in the 2022 MLB draft and it’s easy to see why. Green’s tools are off the charts. In fact, his tools broke the damn charts. Across the board, you’ll see 60 or 70 grades with 70’s on both his power and speed. If that isn’t enough to make your mouth water, some scouts envision a plus hit tool in time too if some improvements are made with his pitch recognition.
— Perfect Game Scout (@PG_Scouting) July 3, 2021
I’m not sure I can remember a prospect this tooled up since Bryce Harper and Green’s tools likely exceed Harper’s when he was drafted. Green’s upside/ceiling isn’t just a fantasy first-round pick. He has #1 overall fantasy player upside if everything clicks. That’s a long way off, but it’s hard not to dream on this skillset.
Media Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire, Perfect Game Scouting (@PG_Scouting), Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja), Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica), MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline), Padres Farm (@PadresFarm),
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