M-Rod’s 2018 Midseason Top 100 Dynasty Prospects

Written by: Marc Rodriguez (@MRodProspects)

Follow us on Twitter! @Prospects365

Quick disclaimer – these rankings are geared specifically toward dynasty fantasy baseball leagues, with a bit of an emphasis toward points/OBP leagues. This time around, I’ve decided to mix in a few blurbs where I felt an explanation was necessary or where I differ from industry consensus. I excluded players like Juan Soto who are already entrenched as MLB regulars. I would never brag about having Soto higher than anyone else in my preseason rankings and that’s a promise. Feel free to tweet your boy @MRodProspects and congratulate me on my humility.

Be sure to check out Ray’s recently completely rankings here as well as the latest Ramblings. The guy is a content machine and churns out fantastic updates on any and every fantasy relevant prospect.

1. Vlad Guerrero Jr. – 3B, TOR

2. Eloy Jimenez – OF, CWS

3. Fernando Tatis Jr. – SS, SD

4. Nick Senzel – 3B/2B, CIN

5. Forrest Whitley – SP, HOU

Fresh off a 50-game drug suspension (rumored to be for something as trivial as caffeine); baseball’s best pitching prospect is back and striking out 34% of batters as a 20 year-old in AA. Whitley’s ability to command four potential plus pitches while hitting 97-98mph with the heater makes him easily the most likely prospect to become a future ace, and soon. Early reports seem optimistic that the right-hander won’t miss too much time after recently suffering an oblique injury.

6. Victor Robles – OF, WSH

7. Kyle Tucker – OF, HOU

Tucker is the second of two elite, MLB-ready prospects that my defending champion Astros have at their disposal right now. He is really coming into his lanky frame, allowing him to generate the same whippy power we’re accustomed to seeing from Cody Bellinger. Tucker has made quick work of his final obstacle this year – hitting for more average, identical power, and increasing the walk-rate by 3% as a 21 year-old in AAA. Please, stop proposing your team’s relief pitcher for Tucker+ on Twitter.

8. Michael Kopech – SP, CWS

Be prepared to see Baby Thor take a hit in the industry rankings. It’s easy to fear Kopech going the way of Glasnow or Hader or countless other flamethrowers that lacked the necessary control to start. But I am sticking to my guns on Kopech for two reasons: the athleticism and the delivery. The BB% is gross and he absolutely needs to develop the slider and changeup more. Getting tossed into the MLB fire before he’s ready could be exactly what he needs. I’ve tempered my expectations for an immediate impact upon promotion, but I imagine Kopech following a similar path to that of Blake Snell or Mike Foltynewicz. Embrace the volatility, expect inefficiency, and be rewarded for your patience down the road.

9. Keston Hiura – 2B, MIL

It’s a little off-brand for me to fall in love with a guy who doesn’t walk much. However, when the hit/power combo is this good, exceptions need to be made. Hiura is pairing a sub 20 K% with a slew of doubles and home runs across two levels this year while mostly erasing health concerns by playing the field every day. Second base is a definite position of scarcity in fantasy leagues right now, more so than shortstop in my opinion, and Hiura is nearly ready to showcase his impact bat at the MLB level.

10. Bo Bichette – SS/2B, TOR

11. Taylor Trammell – OF, CIN

12. Jo Adell – OF, LAA

Adell entered the year with hit tool questions and responded by destroying Midwest League pitching. He quickly advanced to High-A, where he sits at .313/.345/.607 with 11 HRs in 171 plate appearances at the time of this writing. The K% is hovering around 25%, so at some point in his development, Adell will likely be challenged to take more walks in order to sustain production. That might happen next week or it may not happen until he makes it to the show, which is why he’s a bit of a conundrum to me. The athleticism is special, making those type of adjustments his only hurdle to reaching superstar level. For now, he’s doing so much damage when he swings the bat that it doesn’t matter.

13. Sixto Sanchez – SP, PHI

14. Carter Kieboom – SS/2B, WSH

Kieboom is an absolute dude. I don’t think he sticks at shortstop but I do think he has Top 5 fantasy potential at any infield position. I might regret not putting him even higher on this list. With Robles, Soto and Kieboom, my Nats are set up to continue blowing it in the playoffs just fine without Bryce Harper.

15. Brendan Rodgers – SS/2B, COL

16. Mitch Keller – SP, PIT

17. Royce Lewis – SS/OF, MIN

18. Willy Adames – SS, TB

19. Francisco Mejia – C, CLE

20. MacKenzie Gore – SP, SD

Check out Lance Brozdowski’s feed for a firsthand account of Gore’s recent outing for Fort Wayne. The beauty of that leg kick cannot be understated. He has the upside of a Top 5 pitcher in baseball.

21. Ian Anderson – SP, ATL

Still somewhat hidden in the plethora of Braves pitching prospects, Anderson has the prettiest mechanics outside of maybe Greene or Gore. If he can find a few MPH, I think there’s a #2 starter in there.

22. Hunter Greene – SP, CIN

23. Jesus Luzardo – SP, OAK

24. Justus Sheffield – SP, NYY

25. Jesus Sanchez – OF, TB

Another free-swinger with special bat speed, Sanchez seems to have an aggressive but still somewhat controlled approach. You can see some pitch recognition but a 2.4 BB% is just way too low to ignore.

26. Luis Robert – OF, CWS

27. Kyle Wright – SP, ATL

Stubbornly still believe that Wright will be an innings eating #2-3 starter.

28. Yordan Alvarez – 1B, HOU

29. AJ Puk – SP, OAK

30. Triston McKenzie – SP, CLE

31. Mike Soroka – SP, ATL

32. Brent Honeywell – SP, TB

33. Michel Baez – SP, SD

34. Adrian Morejon – SP, SD

Durability is beginning to become a real concern for Morejon, who has been one of my guys since signing with San Diego. He still has a super advanced arsenal for a 19 year-old including two potential plus off-speed pitches and has reportedly touched 98 with his fastball this year. It makes plenty of sense for the Padres to baby him at this point in his development.

35. Luis Urias – SS/2B, SD

At the risk of being Albies’d, I am probably going to come in slightly lower on Urias than most because I do question the power. The juiced ball era seems to add at least 5 HR’s to a typical prospect projection, but that requires hitting the ball in the air. From 2016-2018, Ozzie Albies’ FB% went from 29.3%, to 37.9%, to 40.7%. This suggests a clear swing change and partially explains how he surprised us all with 18 dongs on the year so far. Urias is consistently around 25% fly balls annually. However, Urias walks more than twice as much as Ozzie, so he’s going to produce with or without the long ball.

36. Alex Verdugo – OF, LAD

Dodgers found a way to turn Max Muncy in a star but Verdugo is still buried. Thanks a lot, Matt Kemp.

37. Corbin Burnes – SP, MIL

38. Jonathan Loaisiga – SP, NYY

39. Alex Kiriloff – OF, MIN

Kiriloff has been a breakout prospect this year after sitting out 2017 with TJ surgery. He showcases an exciting hit/power combo from the left side while only striking out around ~16% of the time. The Kernels decided to rest Kiriloff and have Royce Lewis DH during my chance to get a look at the most exciting A-ball team in the minors and I’m still salty about it.

40. Brendan McKay – 1B/SP, TB

41. Jake Bauers – 1B, TB

42. Peter Alonso – 1B, NYM

Count me in on Alonso. The BB% is great, the power is obvious, and first base is suddenly shallow in fantasy baseball.

43. Casey Mize – SP, DET

44. Chris Paddack – SP, SD

45. Griffin Canning – SP, LAA

Canning’s 1.97 ERA in Double-A has seemingly earned him a spot on the fast track to Anaheim. That proximity to the majors along with #3 starter upside is what fuels this semi-aggressive ranking.

46. Austin Riley – 3B, ATL

The 33.6 K% in AAA is concerning. Riley has big time pull power from the right side of the plate, with a decent enough BB% to envision a fantasy stud. I do, however, think the contact issues invite more risk than I’d be comfortable with to rank him any higher.

47. Shane Bieber – SP, CLE

48. Adonis Medina – SP, PHI

49. Carter Stewart – SP, ATL

50. Leody Taveras – OF, TEX

51. Shane Baz – SP, PIT

Baz is still in rookie ball but he boasts command of an outrageous arsenal for such a young pitcher. This might be too much stock to put into an inherently risky position at such an early stage, but I’m in love with his upside.

52. Nick Madrigal – SS/2B, CWS

53. Alec Bohm – 3B, PHI

54. Bryse Wilson – SP, ATL

55. Willie Calhoun – OF, TEX

56. Keibert Ruiz – C, LAD

57. Khalil Lee – OF, KC

Ray is even higher on Khalil Lee and I love it. Everything you need on Lee is in that hyperlink. Lee has a really exciting prospect profile in a system starving for an elite player.

58. Justin Dunn – SP, NYM

Absolutely sleep on the Mets as an organization, but do not sleep on this farm system. Justin Dunn wasn’t as advanced as a normal college arm, which explains his slower development timeline. As usual, I am buying the athleticism. Dunn is adjusting nicely to Double-A and still has #2 starter potential.

59. Tyler O’Neill – OF, STL

60. Dane Dunning – SP, CWS

61. Alec Hansen – SP, CWS

62. Franklin Perez – SP, DET

63. Luiz Gohara – SP, ATL

The big fella isn’t looking like he’ll ever be able to hold up long enough to make 20+ starts a year. He still might, but it’s becoming a lower and lower probability outcome.

64. Esteury Ruiz – 2B, SD

I mentioned Ruiz a few months ago in the “More Mining” section here. He is now up to 8 HRs and 30 SB on the year, proving his upside as an elite power/speed infielder is for real. Huge for my Padres.

65. Brandon Marsh – OF, LAA

66. Anthony Alford – OF, TOR

67. Andres Gimenez – SS, NYM

68. Tirso Ornelas – OF, SD

Read my in-depth post about Tirso here. I’m already all-in so I midas whale rank him accordingly.

69. Nick Gordon – SS, MIN

70. Kolby Allard – SP, ATL

71. Jorge Mateo – SS, OAK

72. Nate Pearson – SP, TOR

73. Dylan Cease – SP, CWS

74. Seuly Matias – OF, KC

Seuly is sure to be a heavily discussed and possibly polarizing prospect as he makes his way through the minors. The 24(!) HRs Matias has smashed already this season cannot be ignored, but neither can the 37(!)% K-rate. There is probably a place for another extreme three true outcome player in today’s MLB, but Seuly might need his cannon arm to help him stay on the field as a regular. Joey Gallo has blazed a trail for Matias’ fantasy relevance while also showing this archetype has limited upside.

75. Jose Suarez – SP, LAA

76. Cal Quantrill – SP, SD

77. Jonathan India – 3B, CIN

78. Estevan Florial – OF, NYY

Florial’s toolbox matches or exceeds any prospect in the minor leagues, so I understand the excitement around his future. However, there are real pitch recognition questions when it comes to breaking balls, and the 60/60 power/speed specimen only had 1 HR to show for his K-rate north of 30% before going down with a hamate injury. That injury is a perfectly logical explanation for the lack of power this year, but I want to see what his healthy production looks like above Low-A before getting too cozy with a high variance profile like Florial’s.

79. Luis Medina – SP, NYY

80. Tyler Stephenson – C, CIN

81. Joey Bart – C, SFG

82. Zack Collins – C/1B, CWS

83. Ryan Mountcastle – 3B, BAL

84. Enyel de los Santos – SP, PHI

85. Jahmai Jones – 2B, LAA

Jones is an interesting prospect and one I might be a little low on here. The presence of Brandon Marsh necessitated a move from center field to second base where the Six Man Roto guys are hearing he’s been fine defensively. On the offensive side of the ball, Jones has racked up 8 long balls to go with 13 stolen bags while somehow managing a miniscule .386 SLG. He’s taking walks and not striking out a ton, so I do some upside as a multi-category fantasy two bagger.

86. Anderson Espinoza – SP, SD

87. Jon Duplantier – SP, ARI

88. Matthew Liberatore – SP, TB

89. Albert Abreu – SP, NYY

90. Jeisson Rosario – OF, SD

My man has a BB-rate approaching 15% with some speed mixed in. He probably ends up a better real-life prospect than fantasy but he’s another fun one for the fathers.

91. Sean Reid-Foley – SP, TOR

92. Dillon Tate – SP, NYY

93. Brusdar Graterol – SP, MIN

I did get to see a Brusdar start when I caught the Cedar Rapids Kernels and the fastball was as explosive as advertised. Graterol reaches triple digits and appears to be built for innings. I’m certainly no scout but Graterol did get squared up a lot more often than I expected in my one look sample. Jazz Chisholm, someone who just missed this list, took him deep on one of many hard hit balls that day. He’s a bit of a short strider, which invites some reliever risk if he can’t clean it up, but the upside is still considerable.

94. Matt Manning – SP, DET

95. Shed Long – 2B, CIN

96. Micker Adolfo – OF, CWS

97. Ryan McKenna – OF, BAL

98. Luis Alexander Basabe – OF, CWS

99. Jared Kelenic – OF, NYM

Keith Law hinted in a recent post that he’ll have Kelenic just behind Alonso on his personal Mets rankings. That’s saying something in a system that has Dunn, Gimenez, and Peterson. I’ll take more of a wait and see approach but he’s an easy pick for someone likely to rise through the ranks.

100. Cristian Pache – OF, ATL

Follow us on Twitter! @Prospects365

Featured image courtesy of sportsnet.ca

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