Los Angeles Dodgers 2020 Top-25 Prospects
When it comes to winning and success, the Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the model MLB franchises. The 2019 season marked their 7th straight NL West division title and 18th winning season this century. Unfortunately for them, there have been no World Series championships during this run. They made it to the World Series in both 2017 and 2018, but fell short to the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox respectively. Fast-forward to 2020 and they’ve lost one of their top arms in Hyun-jin Ryu, but have no fear, the next wave of Dodger greats are already here ready to shine. The top-2 Los Angeles Dodgers prospects below both debuted in 2019 and should play big roles for the team in 2020.
And it doesn’t stop there. A lot of the top prospects in this system are in the upper minors and should be ready to contribute in Hollywood by the end of 2021. This is one of the best and deepest systems in baseball, led by a top-10 overall dynasty prospect.
Overall System Grade: B+
Minor League Affiliates
Triple-A: Oklahoma City – Pacific Coast League
Double-A: Tulsa – Texas League
Advanced Single-A: Rancho Cucamonga – California League
Low Single-A: Great Lakes – Midwest League
Short Single-A: None
Rookie: Ogden – Pioneer League, Arizona League (2), Dominican Summer League (2).
All other team top-25 prospect rankings can be found here.
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Top-25 Los Angeles Dodgers Prospects – 2020
1. Gavin Lux, 2B/SS
While already a very good prospect entering 2019, a phenomenal season vaulted Gavin Lux from a top-50 prospect to a bonafide top-10 dynasty prospect. After starting strong in the Double-A Texas League, Lux assaulted the Pacific Coast League for around two months, slashing .392/.478/.719/1.197 with 35 extra-base hits and 13 home runs in just 49 games. The speed dipped to only three steals in that span, but there arguably wasn’t a better minor league hitter in July and August after Yordan Alvarez was called up to Houston.
While all of his offensive tools are intriguing, Lux’s hit tool and sound plate approach are most prominent in my eyes. That .313 average I mentioned above is actually his lowest at any level since 2017. Lux has a very balanced and quiet setup at the plate without a lot of moving parts. Everything is fluid through load before exploding through the zone with electric bat speed and a direct swing path. It’s a pure, beautiful left-handed swing that generates hard contact to all fields. Although, he’s been more of a line drive hitter than one that generates a ton of loft.
Not once at any level has Lux reached the 40% FB mark, topping out at 36.8% at high-A back in 2018. With the bat speed and torque in Lux’s swing along with his pure raw power, 25-30 home runs annually are very attainable in the Majors if he starts driving the ball in the air a little more.
Gavin Lux went yard in his first postseason AB. Doesn’t get sweeter than that. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/57NSRwB08i
— Bleacher Report MLB (@BR_MLB) October 4, 2019
While his offensive contributions should provide plenty of value, I’m not sure Lux runs enough to be a 20-plus steal threat. He has the speed for it, no doubt about it. But Lux hasn’t run much over the last couple of seasons and the Dodgers have never been a team that runs a lot. Even with former speedster Dave Robert at the helm. With that said, I still see Lux running enough to remain in the teens annually for steals, with some seasons pushing 20. It’s a strong all-around offensive profile that should make Lux one of the top offensive second baseman in fantasy in short order. While not a defensive stalwart, Lux was okay at short, but will play second for now with Corey Seager in town.
2. Jeter Downs, SS
Every time I look at my overall prospect rankings, Jeter Downs is a little higher. Am I doing it? Is it magic? One will never know, but the point is, Downs has been trending up for a while now and now finds himself firmly within my top-100 overall. But despite his upward trend, Downs still doesn’t get as much love as he should. Sure, he doesn’t have one standout tool, but offensively, Downs is rock-solid across the board with the chance to become a 55-hit, 55-power, 55-speed shortstop with .280/25/25 upside. Those don’t just grow on trees you know. There’s a reason why the Dodgers acquired him along with Josiah Gray and Homer Bailey in the Yasiel Puig trade. He’s a damn good prospect.
From the right side, Downs starts with his hands above his shoulder pre-pitch, then comes set with them in front of his shoulder. Load is quick, directly back, and not too deep before driving forward with plus bat speed through the zone. While he possesses above-average raw power, that power didn’t really come out consistently in games until 2019. He’s always hit plenty of fly balls, but Downs really began driving the ball further in the air this season, increasing his estimate fly ball distance over 10 feet according to Prospects Live.
In addition, Down’s ISO jumped from .147 to .254 in 2019. So it’s not surprising that he hit a career-best 24 dingers this past season. That 20-25 range should be where Downs settles in with the speed to match it. With his contact skills, advanced approach, power, and speed, Downs has the tools to become an above-average offensive middle infielder at the highest level. Where his defensive home winds up is the real question. Downs is okay, but not great defensively at shortstop and has been decent at second base too. But with Corey Seager and Gavin Lux manning those spots, Downs might have to move to a different spot to start his career, perhaps in the outfield.
3. Dustin May, RHP
If hair was a fantasy category, Dustin May would be an early-round selection. May’s curly red locks and overpowering arsenal coined the nickname “Gingergaard”, and if you watch him pitch, the nickname is fitting. Like Thor, May can dominate hitters with a blazing fastball and dynamic secondary offerings. His primary fastball is a 2-seamer out of a slightly lower 3/4 arm slot that will sit in the mid-90’s consistently and can get up into the upper-90’s at times with strong armside run and sink. May will also turn it over into a low-90’s cutter with late bite. Both pitches grade as plus due to the velocity, movement, and command May has shown with them.
— Lance Brozdowski (@LanceBroz) August 3, 2019
At times, May will rely heavily on those two pitches, tossing them over 80% of the time in any given start. I mean, can you blame him? But May is truly at his best when he’s mixing in his low to mid-80’s slurvy breaking ball. Depending on where you look, some call it a curveball, others a slider. Regardless of name, it’s a plus pitch with hard two-plane break. Another plus pitch for Mr. May. Rounding out the repertoire is a seldom-used changeup that May threw only 1.2% of the time during his stint with the Dodgers.
While the 2-seamer, cutter, and breaking ball form a dynamic trio, I’d really love to see a little development and more confidence in May’s changeup. There’s #2 starter upside here, which May flashed during his time with the Dodgers and throughout his minor league career. And with Hyun-jin Ryu out of town, there’s a good chance May begins 2020 in the rotation and is one of the top rookie pitchers of 2020.
4. Kody Hoese, 3B
There were three third basemen taken in the first round of the 2019 draft. Kody Hoese was the third of three taken, but might just have the highest upside of them all. After a decent showing at Tulane in 2018 and in the NECBL that summer, the Royals drafted Hoese in the 38th round of the 2018 draft. He decided against signing and returned for his Junior season at Tulane. Great decision Kody. Hoese hit .391 with 23 home runs in 2019 for Tulane, vaulting him all the way to the 25th overall selection this past June. While Hoese plays an adequate third base, his bat is what is going to carry him all the way to Hollywood.
— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) July 29, 2019
For a guy with Hoese’s raw power, his swing and approach are actually quite simplistic. He uses a smaller leg kick to time pitches and lets his strong lower half and quick hands generate his plus power. Hoese has also displayed a great feel for the barrel and controls the strike zone very well, walking more than he struck out during his final season at Tulane. There’s not much speed here, but Hoese projects as a 55-hit, 60-power third baseman that should move through the Dodgers system quickly. Current Dodgers third baseman, Justin Turner, is a free agent after the 2020 season and it shouldn’t be long after that before Hoese takes over at the hot corner.
5. Josiah Gray, RHP
Getting two top-100 caliber prospects for the walking headache that is Yasiel Puig is a damn good haul in my opinion. Josiah Gray came over with Jeter Downs in that trade, and like Downs, Gray has been steadily climbing prospect rankings over the last year or two. After being used solely in relief at Le Moyne College during his first two years there, Gray moved to the rotation in his final collegiate season and dominated his way all the way into the second round of the 2018 MLB draft where the Reds took him with the 72nd overall pick.
That domination hasn’t stopped in the minors either. Gray posted a 2.58 ERA in the Appalachian League (RK) in 2018 and followed that up with a 2.28 ERA across three levels in 2018, ending in the Double-A Texas League. More than a strikeout per inning and a low walk rate have accompanied his low ERAs at every level as well.
Although Gray isn’t the biggest pitcher around at 6’1/190, he can crank up his fastball into the mid-90’s at times thanks to great arm speed and will sit in the 92-94 mph range consistently with arm side run. His delivery is athletic and fluid without a ton of effort. Out of his two secondaries, a mid-80’s slider is the better of the duo with late break, flashing plus at times. The changeup is well behind. Gray will overthrow it often, causing it to become firmer than one would like.
Without a reliable third pitch, I’m still a little hesitant to rank Gray too highly. If he can get a better feel for his changeup and create more velocity separation from his fastball, I’d be more confident in projecting him as a high-strikeout #3 starter. He does have plus control and above-average command on his side, so I’m still remaining hopeful. The 2020 season will be very telling for Gray and his future value.
6. Luis Rodriguez, OF
While the quartet of Jasson Dominguez, Robert Puason, Erick Pena, and Bayron Lora are widely considered the first tier of 2019 J2 prospects, Luis Rodriguez isn’t that far behind them. Signed for $2.67m out of Venezuela, Rodriguez doesn’t get as much publicity as the aforementioned four mainly due to the fact that he doesn’t have one standout tool. He doesn’t have the mammoth power to match Pena or Lora, or the sexy power/speed blend of Dominguez. However, Rodriguez has the tools to develop into a well-rounded player that is above-average across the board.
The @Dodgers signed OF Luis Rodriguez today, who several scouts consider the top prospect out of Venezuela.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) July 2, 2019
In addition to his strong defensive skills and throwing arm, Rodriguez has shown a good feel for hitting with an all-fields approach. His setup is simple and quiet with good weight transfer. Hands start above his shoulder, load down and back in one fluid motion, before exploding to the ball with plus bat speed. There’s already some natural loft to his swing, so once he bulks up some and adds some loft, we could be looking at a 25-homer bat. And although Rodriguez isn’t a burner, he’s displayed above-average foot speed on the bases and solid range in the outfield. Honestly, he could end up very similar to Downs, with maybe even a tad more power upside. Added bulk could cost him a step though, but even a .280/25/15 profile would look damn good in center field.
7. Michael Busch, 2B
You’ve probably heard the saying “bat-first prospect”? Well, Michael Busch is about as good of an example of that as you’ll find in this system. Busch has played both positions on the right side of the infield, but hasn’t looked good at either one. But regardless of where his defensive home ends up being, Busch has the bat necessary to make a big impact. He hit for both power and a high average during his final two seasons at North Carolina and shouldn’t have a problem carrying that success over to the minors in 2020. Busch appeared in only 10 minor leagues games in 2019 due to being hit on the hand by a pitch, but got a little extra work in out at the Arizona Fall League.
From the left side, Busch has a quiet setup and uses a toe tap to time pitches. His quick hands and strong lower half create a ton of bat speed and torque while his swing generates plenty of natural loft. With above-average contact skills and plus raw power, Busch has the upside to hit north of .270 with 25-plus home runs annually. He also has an incredibly advanced plate approach that led to 116 walks compared to just 69 strikeouts over his final two collegiate seasons. That all would look a heck of a lot better from the keystone, but Busch has the offensive upside to fit in anywhere.
8. Alex De Jesus, SS
Consider Alex De Jesus a less-polished Michael Busch with more power and lesser plate discipline. Although the numbers don’t fully support this, De Jesus impressed this season in the Arizona League, flashing off plus or better raw power. His swing is quick from the right side with a slight uppercut swing path generating plenty of loft. With added bulk, De Jesus could push for 30-homers annually which is sexy from the shortstop position. However, his defensive skills are a work in progress which could force a move over to the hot corner. But hey, the power would fit in there too.
While the power isn’t questioned, how much average De Jesus hits for is. The contact skills are fine, but De Jesus is overly aggressive and chases a lot of pitches outside the zone. More advanced pitchers will pick up on that and just toss him junk. If De Jesus can improve his discipline and cut down his swing and miss ways, he has the contact skills to hit around .270 or so to pair with all that power. This is a prospect to keep a close eye on in 2020.
9. Andy Pages, OF
I’ve always said to take rookie ball numbers with a grain of salt, but when a player’s OPS has a one before the decimal point over 63 games, you pay attention. After a nice power/speed season in 2018, Pages advanced up to the Pioneer league in 2019 and really put on a power display, hitting 19 home runs and 22 doubles in 63 games while hitting .298. That plus raw power is Pages calling card and one he doesn’t sell out for, rather letting his strong frame and quick hands whip the bat head through the zone and drive the ball. His stance is more upright with a bigger leg kick. And although he doesn’t sell out for power, I have noticed Pages will get off balance with his swing at times. A minor quibble though.
With his bat speed, natural loft, and plus raw power, Pages has the potential to hit 25-plus homers annually at the highest level. But how much average will he hit for? I’d say the contact skills are above-average but Pages does have some swing and miss tendencies that need to be ironed out. The end result could be a 55-hit, 60-power, 50-speed outfielder. It’s time to show him some love in dynasty leagues.
10. Diego Cartaya, C
Sticking with the 2018 J2 class, let’s talk about the best catching prospect in this system. That’s no slight to Keibert Ruiz at all, but if I could only have one of these two in dynasty leagues, give me Cartaya. Signed in the 2018 J2 period for $2.5m out of Venezuela, Cartaya is a strong backstop with the tools to hit for plenty of power and a solid average as well. He’s also an above-average defender with a strong throwing arm, giving him a great chance to stick behind the plate longterm.
Still just 18, Cartaya has a very strong frame with easy plus raw power. From the right side, his swing generates plenty of loft, even if his swing can get a tad long at times. The contact skills are 50 or 55-grade and Cartaya doesn’t have major swing and miss tendencies like De Jesus does. The overall package is an above-average catcher on both sides of the ball with .275/20 upside.
11. Miguel Vargas, 3B
To be honest, Miguel Vargas is one of my favorite prospects in this Dodgers system. All the guy has done since being signed out of Cuba in 2017 is rake. Through his first 177 games, the now 20-year-old Vargas is slashing .314/.387/.447/.834 in 691 at-bats. He makes a ton of contact, draws plenty of walks, and doesn’t chase too many pitches out of the zone. So why is he only 10th? It’s his lack of power.
— Prospects Live (@ProspectsLive) May 7, 2019
While I do think there’s more raw power lurking in Vargas’ bat, he’s going to need to add loft if he’s going to tap into it. Vargas has a smooth right-handed swing with a wide base and balanced setup. His hands start neck high and load back and up before darting down into the zone. He’s able to control the barrel incredibly well, but his swing, in general, is more geared for line drives than over the fence shots right now. With added loft, we could see Vargas in the 15-20 homer range to pair with a high average and OBP. There’s also a little SB upside here too. Vargas is far from a burner, but has shown good instincts on the bases and can swipe a bag here and there despite average at best foot speed.
12. Tony Gonsolin, RHP
One of the underrated aspects of this Dodgers system is the hair. From Dustin May to Kody Hoese and now Tony Gonsolin. A 6’3/205 right-hander, Gonsolin looks like a throw-back to the 1970s with his mustache and long flowing locks. He’s a pretty damn good pitcher too. After 13 starts in the PCL, Gonsolin was summoned up to Los Angeles where he pitched 40 innings with a sub-3 ERA, making six starts and five relief appearances.
Gonsolin works with a 4-pitch mix out of a 3/4 arm slot with a leg kick that brings back memories of Bronson Arroyo. He’ll work primarily with his low to mid-90’s fastball and mid-80’s splitter, a duo he threw 73% of the time in the Majors. Both are plus offerings. Gonsolin will also mix in two different breaking balls, an upper-80’s slider and low-80’s curveball, both of which have good shape and flash above-average.
While the arsenal is impressive, what holds Gonsolin back from being a #1/#2 starter is his command. His control is fine, but Gonsolin will struggle to his spots at times, lessening the effectiveness of his dynamic arsenal. Still, the upside here is a solid mid-rotation arm that should push for a permanent rotation spot with the Dodgers in 2020.
13. Edwin Rios, 3B/1B/OF
Edwin Rios shares a lot of offensive similarities to DJ Peters, the next man up on this top-25. A big 6’3/220 left-hander, Rios has shown easy plus raw power with better contact skills than Peters, but at the same time, the plate approach is arguably worse as walks less often. His aggressive approach has worked so far in the minor, but it’s hard to project a .300 average in the Majors with this type of plate discipline. Still, the contact skills should keep his average fairly high, likely in the .270 range.
While the average should be solid, it’s Rios’ raw power that is going to put him on the fantasy map. Rios has a fairly clean left-handed swing with a toe tap to time pitches. He doesn’t sell out for his power, rather using his strong hips and lower half to create torque and quick hands to generate plus bat speed. Add in a swing that produces natural loft and backspin thanks to a slight uppercut swing path, and Rios projects for 25-plus homers annually.
Where Rios’ defensive home ends up is still in question. He’s slow and lacks range wherever he’s been placed. For 2020, he probably plays both corners and some outfield with the chance of taking over at the hot corner once Turner is a free agent.
14. Jimmy Lewis, RHP
Teammates with Mets first-rounder Brett Baty in high school, Jimmy Lewis was wooed away from his LSU commitment when the Dodgers drafted him 78th overall and signed him to an above-slot value $1.1m. To start, I love Lewis’ delivery. It’s smooth, athletic, and repeatable with good extension towards home plate. His frame is also very projectable at 6’6/200. Already sitting in the low-90’s with heavy life, Lewis will likely add a tick or two if he adds bulk, putting him up into the mid-90’s.
That type of velocity with the movement and command Lewis has would make his fastball a borderline double-plus pitch. The secondaries aren’t quite as dynamic, but both his curveball and changeup project as average or better offerings with the curve potentially grading as plus due to the break. After being held out of minor league action following a spring lat strain, 2020 will mark Lewis’ debut. Get ready to see him climb prospect rankings in the next year or two. There’s #3 starter upside here.
15. Keibert Ruiz, C
Alright, the Keibert Ruiz slide is over. And before you call me crazy or shout profanities at me, let me explain why I have him so low. While I’m obviously not the highest on Ruiz for fantasy, this ranking has just as much to do with the talent at the top of this Dodgers system. The main reason for this lower-than-expected ranking for Ruiz is his inability to consistently impact the ball. At the surface, Ruiz’s contact skills are above-average and his strike zone awareness is phenomenal. Many talk about Nick Madrigal’s low strikeout rate, but Ruiz wasn’t too far behind him, striking out only 22 times in 350 plate appearances for a 6.3% K rate.
That’s nothing new for Ruiz either as his career strikeout rate in the minors sits at 9.5%. But while he’s good at making contact, it’s the quality of his contact that has me a little lower on him as a prospect. What power he does have is mostly from the left side of the plate, and even that is around 45-grade in my eyes. And to top it all off, his power, in general, is regressing. Ruiz’s ISO, OPS, SLG, and FB% are all in a three-year decline, and his estimated FB rate was as well until a 9-game PCL stint boosted it a tad.
I’m not trying to be negative here, but facts are facts. With his contact skills, I can see Ruiz settling into the .270-.280 range longterm, but at the same time, I can’t see him exceeding 10-12 homers right now, even if he adds loft to his mostly linear swing.
16. DJ Peters, OF
Another Dodgers prospect with nice hair. D.J. Peters as a prospect can be summed up in five words: Go big or go home. And by home, I mean back to the dugout. With a big 6’6/225 frame and double-plus raw power, Peters is a home run machine. But with that big power and frame comes big swing and miss issues. Peters contact skills, while not great, aren’t too bad, grading at 45, but his strikeout woes have caused wild inconsistency throughout his minor league career and suppressed his batting average. To date, Peters’ strikeout rate stands at 30.9% in 1,990 plate appearances.
As you can expect with someone his size with longer levers, Peters’ swing gets long at times with a deeper load adding to that, Once he gets moving forward, there’s some nice bat speed, but I don’t see him dropping his strikeout rate without shortening his swing. Cutting back on the junk he swings at outside the zone would also help. At present, Peters projects as a .240-.250 hitter with 30-plus homers annually. Get him for the power and hope the average doesn’t totally crater. Although, his strong walk rate gives Peters a little added value boost in OBP leagues.
17. Zach McKinstry, 2B
Zach McKinstry was by far the hardest player on this list to rank. Before 2018, he didn’t really show anything to warrant being on a top-25. But after two straight seasons with an OPS north of .850, it’s time to give him his due. Especially this year after McKinstry started hitting for more power and adding a little speed as well. Without his strong showing in 2018 and 2019, McKinstry likely wouldn’t have been added to the 40-man roster this offseason, protecting him from the Rule-5 draft.
While I’m still not fully sold on his power, it’s certainly encouraging to see McKinstry drive the ball more now than he did earlier in his minor league career. From the left side, McKinstry starts with his hands lower and out away from his body. Load is quick and directly back before driving forward with plus bat speed and a swing path that generates natural loft. I wouldn’t go crazy on him in dynasty leagues, but McKinstry has the tools to his for a decent average and 15-20 home runs with enough speed to add in 8-10 steals annually if he can improve his efficiency. Where he fits in the Dodgers plans with all their higher-upside middle infielders though is a big question mark.
18. Omar Estevez, 2B/SS
If your favorite tool is the hit tool, you’re going to like Omar Estevez. Just don’t look past that tool though. Since being signed out of Cuba in 2015, Estevez has quietly improved at the plate, both with his contact skills and plate approach. His walk rate has slowly been trending up while the strikeout rate has been trending in the opposite direction. But with all that being said, I’m not a big fan of his swing, mostly in his pre-pitch movements. The swing itself produces plus bat speed, but it’s herky-jerk with a big leg kick and awkward hand load. His hand come down, pause, then go back before beginning his swing. It’s worked for him so far, but I wonder if he’s going to get beat with higher velocity up in the zone with this type of swing.
Assuming the contact skills remain solid, Estevez has the upside to hit .280, but the power and speed are minimal. He’s also a poor defender and doesn’t really fit into the Dodgers future plans, at least in my eyes. But with what they paid for him ($6m), I’m sure they’ll try to find a way to utilize him if he continues hitting well.
19. Jacob Amaya, 2B/SS
I’m beginning to sense a trend in the second half of these rankings with good hit tools and not much else. Jacob Amaya fits that mold perfectly. The 2017 11th round pick has displayed above-average contact skills with an advanced plate approach, but the rest of his offensive profile comes up lacking. From the right-side, Amaya’s swing is quick and compact with electric hands and bat speed. The swing path is pretty linear, lacking much loft, and more line-drive oriented. There’s enough power and speed here for Amaya to have some 10/15 seasons, but I wouldn’t expect much more than that. Another decent, yet unspectacular prospect that adds to the middle infield logjam.
20. Devin Mann, 2B/3B
I’ve been lower than most on Devin Mann, but I’m slowly coming around. The 2018 5th round pick had a highly-productive final collegiate season at Louisville, hitting .303 with seven home runs, 15 steals, and more walks than strikeouts. That walk rate has carried over into the minors, sitting well above 10% in each season, and now Mann is adding a little bit of power to his game as well.
He always had more power lurking in his 6’3 frame and when he added loft and driving the ball more frequently in the air, that power poked out more regularly. His 19 home runs for 2019 is likely Mann’s power ceiling, but add in average contacts and speed, and you have a .270/15/15 type of profile. That is, if Mann ever gets regular playing time. He projects as a borderline regular and one that will likely need a trade to reach that level.
21. Connor Wong, C/2B
I’ve always had a hard time ranking Connor Wong. On one hand, Wong has shown average contact skills, above-average raw power, and double-digit steal potential. But on the other hand, he’s not a standout defender, has subpar plate discipline, and is behind 5.7 million people on the depth chart at both catcher and second base. If anyone could benefit from a change of scenery, it’s Wong. If he gets into a system where he has a clearer path to playing time, his all-around offensive profile would give him sneaky-good fantasy upside. But for now, he’s not a dynasty target unless your league rosters 500-plus prospects.
22. Michael Grove, RHP
Another trend later in this top-25 outside of the hit-tool only trend is the older pitching prospect that is teetering on that rotation arm/bullpen arm fence. With Grove, I lean bullpen arm for a couple of reasons. First, he features two plus pitches in his low to mid-90’s fastball and sharp slider with two-plane break. This duo could allow Grove to thrive in a late-inning bullpen role. The reason I think he ends up there is his below-average command and fringy changeup. Grove has also already had Tommy John surgery which cost him his final collegiate season. He was just drafted in 2018, so there’s still plenty of time, but this looks like a bullpen profile to me. After struggling in the California League following his year off, Grove will likely return to the level to start 2020.
23. Hyun-il Choi, RHP
Signed out of South Korea in the summer of 2018, Hyun-il Choi is an intriguing right-hander with the upside of a #4 starter. Still only 19, he’ll sit in the low-90’s with plenty of run on his fastball due to a lower-3/4 arm slot. Both of his secondaries, a slider and changeup, flash above-average potential with the changeup bordering on plus due to the velocity separation and movement. Choi has also mixed in slower curveballs occasionally, but they don’t project as weapons for him. After a strong start in the Arizona League on 2019, Choi will likely get bumped to Single-A in 2020. The upside isn’t super high here with Choi, but he’s an arm to monitor in deeper dynasty leagues. Maybe, just maybe, there’s mid-rotation upside here.
24. Dennis Santana, RHP
Dennis Santana is still a prospect? Jeez. To be honest, I almost didn’t include him. And not because he got lit up in Triple-A this season either. Santana has a nice three-pitch mix, headlined by a 92-94mph fastball and plus low-80’s slider, but his below-average command and control have limited the effectiveness of his arsenal at times throughout his minor league career. In addition, Santana doesn’t get a ton of movement on his fastball and will go away from his changeup at times, even with it being a Major league average pitch. At this point, I’m projecting Santana as a reliever, which limits his fantasy value.
25. Gerardo Carrillo, RHP
Like the stuff, so-so on the command, hate the size. Gerardo Carrillo features a nice four-pitch mix with all four projecting as average to plus, headlined by a mid-90’s fastball with heavy run and sink. He’ll even get up into the upper-90’s at times, topping out around 98-99. Out of his three secondaries, his power slider is the best of the bunch in my opinion, thrown in the upper-80’s with late break. Carrillo has also shown a good feel for his curveball and changeup as well. But the problem is, he’s very small, listed at 5’10/155. I’m just not sure he has the frame to start long-term. If he does move to the bullpen at some point, Carrillo has the arsenal to be highly effective in a setup role.
Others to Monitor
Cristian Santana, 1B/3B: I probably could’ve put Santana in the top-25 as he’s shown average contact skills and above-average power, but the plate approach is so disgusting, I’m not sure he’s a starter long-term.
Carlos Rincon, OF: Mammoth raw power but below-average contact skills and approach limit his upside.
Leonel Valera, SS: Has some intriguing tools, but is very raw and more of a project.
Mitchell White, RHP: In a weaker system, Mitchell White would’ve been in the top-25. But he’s now 25, hasn’t shown he can sustain prolonged success, and is limited by below-average command.
Edwin Uceta, RHP: Smaller right-hander with three average to above-average pitches and decent command and control. Back-end starter profile.
Ryan Pepiot, RHP: 2019 3rd rounder with a plus changeup but below-average control. Back-end starter/swingman profile.
Braydon Fisher, RHP: Intriguing arsenal and projectable 6’4 frame, but will be sidelined into 2020 due to Tommy John surgery.
Media Credit: Robert Robinson, Lance Brozdowski, Minors Graphs by Prospects Live, Emily Waldon, Baseball America, Matt Thompson, Bleacher Report MLB.
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