Dynasty Dugout: Top-10 Prospects – NL Teams
Man, I just can’t get enough prospects. Like I said last week, I’m, a prospectaholic. Feel free to join me for weekly meetings every Tuesday as I feed my addiction with this weekly Dynasty Dugout column. Last week, I ranked the top-10 prospects for every American League team. That was so much fun, I decided to do it again this week. And I kind of have to. I mean, who just ranks American League prospects and neglects the National League? Not this guy, that’s for sure.
The National League is a little more top-heavy than the American League when it comes to prospect distribution. Wow, that sounds like a really fun college course. In the American League, only one team (Kansas City) didn’t have a prospect in my overall top-100 dynasty prospect rankings, while the National league has two, including the 2016 World Series Champions. On the flip side, a half dozen organizations have four or more prospects from my top-100, led by the Braves with an astonishing eight.
|1||Jon Duplantier (63)||RHP||23||2019|
|2||Pavin Smith (80)||1B||22||2020|
This organization might lack star power at the top, but there are plenty of fantasy relevant options in this top-10. Just take a look at the four men below. The first three are outfielders and Varsho a backstop. All had an average above .295, an OPS above .825, and displayed some combination of decent power and/or speed.
Another one to keep a close eye on is 17-year-old Kristian Robinson out of the Bahamas. Robinson was the #15 international prospect last signing period according to MLB Pipeline and it’s easy to see why. Like most his age, there are some holes to his swing but no player in this farm system can match Robinson’s power/speed potential or overall upside. He’s still many years away, but you’re going to want to buy some Robinson dynasty stock before his price begins to rise.
|1||Ronald Acuna (1)||OF||20||2018|
|2||Luiz Gohara (24)||LHP||21||2018|
|3||Kolby Allard (46)||LHP||20||2018|
|4||Mike Soroka (62)||RHP||20||2018|
|5||Kyle Wright (72)||RHP||22||2019|
|6||Joey Wentz (76)||LHP||20||2020|
|7||Ian Anderson (86)||RHP||19||2020|
|8||Austin Riley (93)||3B||21||2018|
If you read my AL version last week, you’d know I gave a little praise to the pitching depth Detroit has in their farm system. And as good as those pitchers are, they don’t stack up to the depth and overall talent that the Braves have. Leading the way is personal favorite of mine, Luiz Gohara. He’s one of a handful of pitchers in the minors that has true ace upside thanks to his 80-grade heater and wipeout plus-plus slider. His control and change-up development will determine if Gohara ultimately reaches that ace potential. Behind him are five more hurlers with decent upside and a few of them could join Gohara in Atlanta this season.
Yeah, those pitchers are just about all the upside this Atlanta system has to offer. Oh wait, there’s that Ronald Acuna guy. He’s just the #1 overall prospect in the minors and one of the five best prospects of the last decade. No big deal. Putting a Mike Trout comparison on Acuna might not be totally fair, but it sure is warranted. Make sure to keep an eye on Austin Riley and Cristian Pache as well. Riley is a 30-homer, middle of the order bat that could be up next season while Pache can be a difference maker with his legs.
|5||Oscar De La Cruz||RHP||23||2019|
I’ll keep this simple as we have plenty more intriguing farm systems to get to. This Cubs system might be the worst in baseball. At least with the Royals and Mets, they had some guys sniffing my top-100. Not only do the Cubs not have any prospect sniffing the top-100, they don’t have any in the same zip-code. The only thing this system is sniffing is a dog’s rear end. One that intrigues me is Alex Lange, owner of one of the minors best curveballs. If he can develop his control, Lange could work his way up the ladder quickly and settle in as a mid-rotation starter.
Outside of him, this system is littered with a bunch of back-end rotation options (at best) and bench hitters. I don’t mean for your fantasy squad either. Aramis Ademan is really the only hitting prospect here that has decent fantasy upside, and even that’s not very high. He has a solid hit tool but only average power and speed. A best-case scenario for him is Javier Baez with a higher average and less power.
|1||Nick Senzel (7)||3B||22||2018|
|2||Hunter Greene (20)||RHP||18||2021|
|3||Taylor Trammell (21)||OF||20||2019|
|4||Tyler Mahle (97)||RHP||23||2018|
|5||Jesse Winker (100)||OF||24||2018|
The Reds might be in for a long season, but they won’t be down for long with all the talent they have coming up over the next couple seasons. The first to get the call will be my #7 fantasy prospect, Nick Senzel. The Reds want Senzel’s advanced bat in the lineup so badly, they’re trying him out at short and second since Eugenio Suarez is entrenched at the hot corner for the foreseeable future. Senzel has one of the best hit tools in the minors and compares favorably to Alex Bregman, albeit, with a tad more power and batting average potential. We should be seeing him up with Cincinnati for good by June.
Senzel isn’t the only one with high fantasy potential. Both Hunter Greene and Taylor Trammell cracked the top-25 in my preseason top-100 prospect rankings and I had plenty of temptation to put them even higher than 20th and 21st respectively. Greene possesses a triple-digit heater and developing secondary offerings. The development of those said offerings will determine if he’s just a flame-thrower, or a long-term ace in this league.
With Trammell, I can’t help but see a young Carl Crawford, at least offensively. Trammell has elite speed, an above average hit tool, and blossoming 20 homer pop. The same can be said for Jose Siri’s statistical upside, although, Siri’s approach at the plate is a lot less refined than Trammell’s which makes him a heck of a lot riskier in dynasty formats. However, the ceiling is still very high. On the other end, the upside of Jesse Winker and Tyler Mahle might not be overly high, but their floors certainly are. There’s a good chance they both turn into safe, serviceable fantasy options.
|1||Brendan Rodgers (14)||SS/2B||21||2018|
|2||Ryan McMahon (25)||1B/2B||23||2018|
|3||Colton Welker (91)||3B||20||2020|
Hey, what do you know. It’s a typical Colorado farm system, full of high-upside hitters and pitchers that look like they won’t amount to anything. Rodgers and McMahon have separated themselves from the rest of the pack as both possess .300/25 upside with fairly high floors as well. Behind them are another trio of infielders with strong offensive profiles, including Garrett Hampson and his 70-grade wheels. Hampson doesn’t have a lot of pop to speak of but makes a lot of solid contact to go along with that elite speed. He could turn into a fantasy difference maker at second base if he can force his way into regular at-bats in Colorado. However, that may prove difficult with all the talented infielders in this organization.
The Rockies just can’t seem to draft and develop good pitching. Outside of Jon Gray, it’s been a total crap shoot over the last decade plus. That doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon either. They drafted Riley Pint 4th overall in 2016, but unless he harnesses his control (5.7 BB/9 in 2017), he’ll just be another failed pitching prospect in this system. Pint throws in the mid to upper 90’s with three off-speed offerings that should be at least average for him, but all that doesn’t mean jack squat unless you can control them.
One more to monitor is Tom Murphy. Already 26, he’s failed at capitalizing on seizing the starting catcher role thus far, but has the upside of a top-10 fantasy catcher thanks to his plus-power.
Los Angeles Dodgers
|1||Walker Buehler (23)||RHP||23||2018|
|2||Alex Verdugo (44)||OF||21||2018|
|3||Starling Heredia (69)||OF||19||2021|
|4||Jeren Kendall (95)||OF||22||2020|
|5||Yusniel Diaz (98)||OF||21||2019|
The Dodgers were one of 11 Major League teams that had five or more prospects in my top-100, and frankly, they had a few more that came close. Buehler is one of the top 10 pitching prospects in the minors thanks to his three plus pitchers and solid control. It shouldn’t be long before he’s pitching right behind Clayton Kershaw in the Dodger’s rotation.
Alex Verdugo and Starling Heredia are the two best hitting prospects in this system, but are very different when it comes to their statistical contributions and overall upside. There could be a batting title or two in Verdugo’s future, but unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of power of speed to speak of here. However, he should settle in nicely as a .300/15/15 type of player. On the other hand, Heredia has the looks of a fantasy beast with 30/25 upside, but is still very raw and has plenty of questions about his bat to ball skills.
There aren’t many catching prospects to get excited about these days, but Keibert Ruiz is certainly one of them. The 19-year-old Venezualen native makes consistent hard contact and can spray use the whole field from each side of the plate. He has the looks of Yadier Molina offensively with .300/10 upside. Alvarez is an intriguing pitching prospect due to his electric fastball and plus slider, but lack of a third consistent offering and horrible control will likely cause a move to the bullpen.
|1||Lewis Brinson (17)||OF||23||2018|
|2||Monte Harrison (64)||OF||22||2019|
Say what you want about the trades that Derek Jeter has made, but this farm system is better now than when he took over the reins. Yes, the Major League team is hot garbage, but we don’t care about that here. Both Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison cracked my top-100 and possess a tantalizing blend of power and speed. You can question their hit tools, but both should frequent members of the 20/20 club throughout their careers and won’t kill you in the batting average department.
Outside of them, there’s not really much to get excited about. Alcantara and Guzman both have some, but Alcantara has no idea how to control his while Guzman lacks a third consistent offering. One that could end up becoming a valuable fantasy asset due to his speed potential is Magneuris Sierra. His power is non-existent, but Sierra has the hit tool and speed needed to be an impact top of the order hitter at the Major League level.
|1||Keston Hiura (43)||2B||21||2019|
|2||Brett Phillips (74)||OF||23||2018|
Even without Brinson and Harrison, the Brewers still have a solid all-around farm system. They drafted Keston Hiura 9th overall last June and it’s already becoming apparent that he’s going to be one of the best pure hitters in this league in the not so distant future. His power and speed is merely average at best, but Hiura should end up posting fantasy numbers very similar to prime Dustin Pedroia. He’s basically the exact opposite of Brett Phillips, who has decent power and speed but lacks the hit tool needed to become a fantasy star.
On the pitching side of things, Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff are the two names to watch. Neither have huge upside but have high floors and should develop into reliable fantasy SP3/4 options in time.
New York Mets
If any organization could challenge the Cubs for the worst system in baseball, it’s the Mets. There are only three hitters in this system that I see having any type of fantasy relevance and one of them wasn’t even born until 2001. Feel old yet? That high-upside youngster is Adrian Hernandez. The Met’s signed him last summer to a contract worth $1.5 million and it’s easy to see why they coveted him. Hernandez is small but is built like a truck. He’s quicker than his frame suggests and even has some 25+ homer potential in that bat. However, there are some holes in his swing that will need to be corrected for him to develop into a fantasy asset.
The safest fantasy option in this system is Peter Alonso, who just missed my top-100 rankings. Alonso has an above-average hit tool and plus raw power but is currently blocked by Adrian Gonzalez and Dominic Smith at first base. It’s hard to see him making a significant fantasy impact any time soon. David Peterson and Thomas Szapucki are two pitchers I’m keeping an eye on in dynasty format with Peterson being the more intriguing option. Not only does he have three plus pitches (fastball, slider, changeup), he can control and command those pitches incredibly well.
|1||Scott Kingery (29)||2B||23||2018|
|2||Sixto Sanchez (32)||RHP||19||2019|
|3||Jhailyn Ortiz (54)||OF||19||2021|
|4||Jorge Alfaro (78)||C||24||2018|
|5||Mickey Moniak (79)||OF||19||2020|
|6||J.P Crawford (99)||SS||23||2018|
The Phillies are the kings of drafting the “better in real life than fantasy” players. Most of the offensive players in this top-10 outside of Scott Kingery and Jhailyn Ortiz fit that mold, too. Yes, I’m looking at you J.P Crawford, Adam Halesey, and Mickey Moniak. Don’t get me wrong, they’re fine players, but not ones that inspire a whole lot of confidence.
Kingery and Sixto Sanchez are the two crown jewels of this system. The Phillies love Kingery so much, they bought out his arbitration years and kept him on the every day roster to start the season. Take his 2017 power output with a grain of salt as 18 of those homers game at hitter-friendly Reading, but Kingery should still be in the vicinity of 20 homers annually and the speed and hit tools are legit.
He might only be 19, but Sanchez isn’t that far off from helping at the Major League level. I don’t throw around fantasy ace upside compliments often, but it’s 100% deserving here. When you can control a mid-90’s heater and two plus off-speed pitches, it’s hard not to be excited about that player’s fantasy potential.
|1||Austin Meadows (33)||OF||22||2018|
|2||Mitch Keller (36)||SP||21||2018|
|3||Shane Baz (96)||SP||18||2021|
I’m sorry, I just can’t quit Austin Meadows. He was the first person I ever wrote about here at Fantrax and i still believe his future is bright. Even if he can’t stay healthy and was putrid last season. He’ll never likely be a superstar, but if he can stay healthy, he could very easily settle in with numbers similar to Christian Yelich. Cole Tucker is an Elvis Andrus clone if I ever saw one. Not in looks or anything, but his statistical upside mirrors Andrus’ with plus speed, a decent hit tool, and not much power. If you’re familiar with my stuff, you’ll know I love Akil Baddoo quite a bit. Well, Lolo Sanchez has a similar skill set, but is just a little behind in all facets. Still, he should turn into an all-star caliber lead off man with plus speed and a solid approach at the plate.
I’m much lower on Ke’Bryan Hayes than most. He’s got some speed but an average hit tool and not much power to speak of. He just doesn’t fit as a fantasy third baseman. He’s basically a slower version of Chone Figgins. Wow, never thought I’d break that name out of the memory bank.
The two best pitchers in this entire organization, including the Majors, are Mitch Keller and Shane Baz. Mark my words, these two will be sitting atop this rotation within the next few seasons. Overall, Baz has the better arsenal, but doesn’t quite have as much control as Keller does. Both have top-25 fantasy SP upside and safe floors to go along with that high upside.
St. Louis Cardinals
|1||Alex Reyes (12)||SP||23||2018|
|2||Tyler O'Neill (45)||OF||22||2018|
|3||Harrison Bader (47)||OF||23||2018|
|4||Jack Flaherty (50)||SP||22||2018|
Once again, St. Louis has a talented and deep minor league system with a bunch of solid, yet unspectacular prospects. They have several players that should turn into solid fantasy players, but the only one with star upside is Alex Reyes. Unfortunately, Reyes is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery and is likely to have his innings monitored closely this season. But make no mistake about it, Reyes has a downright filthy arsenal that can dominate any lineup in the Majors when he can control it. There’s top-10 fantasy SP upside here, or at the very least, he’s a dominant closer with Craig Kimbrel type upside.
Out of all the hitters in this organization, Tyler O’Neill is the most appealing. The former Mariners prospect just mashes every where he goes and just needs a spot to open in the Cardinals outfield to put his plus power on full display. The average won’t ever be that appealing, but O’Neill could settle in as a Khris Davis type with a .250-ish average and 35+ home runs. Max Schrock is another intriguing prospect, mainly due to the fact that he has a plus hit tool and plays at the usual offensively deprived second base position. To put it simply, he’s D.J. LeMahieu 2.0.
San Diego Padres
|1||Fernando Tatis Jr. (8)||SS||19||2019|
|2||MacKenzie Gore (18)||SP||19||2020|
|3||Michael Baez (35)||SP||22||2019|
|4||Anderson Espinoza (90)||SP||20||2020|
|5||Luis Urias (92)||SS/2B||20||2018|
|6||Adrian Morejon (94)||SP||19||2019|
Man, do I love the talent in this organization. Everyone should be well aware of Fernando Tatis Jr at this point. The teenage phenom performed so well in spring training that rumored started swirling that he would make the Padres opening day roster. Not quite, but the upside here is endless with a plus hit tool, plus power, and plus speed. Very few minor leaguers have legit .300/30/30 upside, but Tatis is one of them. With Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot now with the big club, Tatis is really the only hitting prospect with considerable fantasy upside. Luis Urias has a plus hit tool but merely average speed and barely any power.
While they lack hitting depth, the Padres have an endless supply of pitching prospects that all have the potential to become fantasy relevant or better. A top four of Mackenzie Gore, Michel Baez, Anderson Espinoza, and Adrian Morejon looks pretty damn good and much better than the garbage they’ve been throwing out there in recent years. Don’t sleep on Joey Luccesi either. The big 6’5 southpaw has yet to show up on any top-100 prospect lists but has top-40 fantasy SP upside thanks to three plus offerings and above-average control. Cal Quantrill is one I’m not overly high on. He has a good change-up but hasn’t yet developed an above-average breaking ball and his low to mid-90’s heater gets hit too often.
San Francisco Giants
|1||Heliot Ramos (65)||OF||18||2021|
This farm system is fairly easy to break down. There’s one prospect I love, one I like but am keeping in the friend zone, and two that have the potential to work their way into my heart down the road. Let’s start with the one skyrocketing up everyone’s prospect lists. Heliot Ramos is a man amongst boys in this system. There were some questions about his hit tool when the Giants drafted him 19th overall last June, but Ramos has already began making strides there. He still has a ways to go with his hit tool development, as he still strikes out way too often, but there’s a fantasy star waiting to happen here thanks to his 25/35 upside.
Beyond him, the next man up if Chris Shaw. The power is nice, but his shaky contact skills and non-existent speed make him a fringe fantasy player long-term. If you want a few high-upside guys whose price tags have yet to catch up, then take a long look at Alexander Canario and Jacob Gonzalez. Canario has electric bat speed and plus wheels to go along with it. The power lags behind, but he should frow into more power as he develops. Don’t forget, he’s only 18. If Gonzalez can find a nice balance between his plus power and above-average hit tool, he could turn into a top-10 fantasy third baseman in time.
|1||Victor Robles (4)||OF||20||2018|
|2||Juan Soto (28)||OF||19||2020|
At this point, everyone and their mother know about Victor Robles and Juan Soto. Both have a plus-hit tool to go along with a exciting power/speed combination. Robles with more speed and Soto with more power. Both have top-10 fantasy outfielder potential. They aren’t the only intriguing hitters in this system either. Carter Kieboom is basically a poor man’s Alex Bregman while Daniel Johnson quietly put together a 20/20 season in 2017 and has that type of offensive upside moving forward if he can refine his approach at the plate.
The Nationals are going to have to make some tough decisions over the next few seasons. They already have Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon on the left side of the infield and have Kieboom and Yasel Antuna on the rise. Who the heck is Yasel Antuna? Great question. Antuna is only 18 but has an approach at the plate well beyond his years. He barrels up pitches with ease and makes consistently hard contact to all fields. Only one of his hits left the yard last season but there should be more power as he fills out. Oh yeah, he’s pretty quick on the bases too.
Thank you for reading another edition of Dynasty Dugout here on Fantrax. I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members. Got a question that I didn’t cover here? Follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask there.