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Top Fantasy Baseball Prospects Set to Begin the Season in Triple-A

The last stop on our tour of the top fantasy baseball prospects to watch in 2024 is Triple-A. Less than a year removed from the 2023 MLB draft, this can be a tough ask as we have seen one bypass Triple-A altogether. So we will be diving into prospects in Triple-A from the 2022 & 2023 MLB Draft. Let’s dive in.

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Prospects To Watch In Triple-A

Paul Skenes, RHP PIT

Arguably the most talked about prospects in College Baseball in 2023 were Paul Skenes and Dylan Crews. Skenes, a 6’6” right-hander out of LSU, absolutely dominated the SEC as well as College Baseball as a whole. In his lone season at LSU, Skenes went on to start in 19 games while striking out 209 batters in just 122.2 innings, good for a 15.3 K/9, while walking just 1.5 per nine and finishing the season with a stellar 2.05 ERA. As a result, it was little surprise to anyone to see the Pittsburgh Pirates select Skenes first overall in the 2023 MLB draft out of LSU over teammate Dylan Crews.

Once in the Pirates organization Pittsburgh moved fast with Skenes moving him three levels before ultimately shutting the pitching phenom down in Double-A Altoona. Skenes features a four-seam fastball that sits in the upper 90s and mostly comes in around 100 mph with above-average spin rates. The second go-to pitch for Skenes is a late-80 slider that gets solid whiffs thanks to the sharp movement. There is a low-90s change-up and mid to low-80s curveball that Skenes will pepper in during his starts but is not heavily thrown like the fastball and slider.

Now just a call away from the major leagues at Triple-A Indianapolis Skenes just needs to dominate like he did in his first outing. For dynasty managers, Skenes has the Gerrit Cole upside to be a key dynasty asset for your teams with the dominating pitch mix.

Hurston Waldrep, RHP ATL

The first of the top pitching prospects to reach Triple-A was Hurston Waldrep. The Braves selected Waldrep 24th overall in the 2023 MLB Draft out of the University of Florida. Waldrep features a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and tops out at 99 mph, but it’s the 88 mph splitter that gets rave reviews as his premiere pitch. His slider sits 87-89 with excellent movement thanks to Waldrep’s above-average spin rates on all his pitches. The Braves aggressively pushed Waldrep after the draft sending him to four levels in 2023.

Across four levels, Waldrep pitched in eight games, striking out 41 batters in 29.1 innings pitched, good for a 12.6 K/9, and finished the season with a 1.53 ERA. The key for Waldrep to get his call to the majors is working on the command and control of his offerings as they can be elite if can locate them properly. The Braves are starting Hurston Waldrep back in Triple-A Gwinnett and it’s reasonable to potentially expect a debut at some point this summer.

Drew Gilbert, OF NYM

One of the most exciting prospects in the Mets organization came over in the Justin Verlander trade in 2023. Drew Gilbert was drafted 28th overall by the Astros out of the University of Tennessee. Known for playing with a strong intensity for the game, Gilbert moved quickly up the Astros organizational ladder prior to the trade making it to Double-A Corpus Christi. With a new organization, Gilbert went off to slash .325/.423/.561 with six home runs, 22 runs scored, 21 RBIs, and stole two bases in just 35 games played in Double-A Binghampton.

The defense is sound with Drew Gilbert and the raw power and bat-to-ball skills are solid. With the Mets in a “transition year,” the club promoted Gilbert to Triple-A Syracuse. The current outfield is lacking a spark at the major league level and the Mets are hoping Gilbert will provide that excitement at some point this summer.

Jordan Beck, OF COL

The Colorado Rockies really picked a winner in the compensation round of the 2022 MLB draft. Selected 38th overall out of a stacked University of Tennessee Jordan Beck did nothing but hit as soon as he got on the field. Standing 6’2” and 225 pounds Beck is built for power and has quickly quieted the concerns about his hit tool being below average. In his first full season of professional ball, Beck started the season in High-A Spokane where he went on to slash .292/.378/.566 with 20 home runs, 72 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases in 76 games. The plate discipline was solid for Beck who walked 12.6% while only striking out 20.8% of his 341 plate appearances.

Once promoted to Double-A Hartford Beck worked through early struggles and finished the season with a .240/.342/.406 slash line with five home runs, 22 runs scored and nine stolen bases in 50 games played. The Rockies saw everything they needed to see out of Beck in Double-A Hartford and assigned him to Triple-A Albuquerque to start the 2024 season. In the early result, they look good as Beck has slashed .333/.464/.810 with two home runs, and eight RBIs in just 28 plate appearances. For dynasty managers, it’s only a matter of time before a potential 25-30 home runs bat locks down one of the corner outfield spots in a hitter-friendly environment. Sign me up.

Carson Whisenhunt, LHP SFG

Selected out of ECU in the second round of the 2022 MLB draft Carson Whisenhunt came in with the best change-up in the draft class. The pitch mix is a Sinker that sits in the low 90s but peaked in his most recent start at 95 mph with above-league-average spin rates. When it comes to the elite change-up it usually sits in the low-80s topping out at just 83 mph but has 2210 RPMs helping to contribute to the late-tumble action giving batters fits. The slider is a pitch Whisenhunt peppers into batters between 80-83 mph with above-average spin. To be fair the Giants were taking a big risk as Whisenhunt did not pitch in his Junior season due to a PED suspension by the NCAA. So far the risk has paid off as Whisenhunt has ascended to the Giants organization and started the 2024 season in Triple-A Sacramento.

In 16 starts across three levels in 2023 Whisenhunt stuck out 83 batters in 58.2 innings pitched good for a 12.7 K/9 and finished the season with a 3.07 ERA. Without overpowering velocity, Whisenhunt finds success with his high spin rates something we are seeing more frequently in the lower levels of the Minor Leagues.

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