Top 10 prospects for 2019 – Week 3, April 15, 2019
This is a top 10 prospect list which will have the 10 best players who will contribute in 2019, but do not yet play in the MLB. It is not a list on the top 10 best prospects in baseball, because other factors play in such as what team he plays for, the depth chart of that team and if the team is a contender. The list is also from a fantasy point of view, which can differ from the real life in many aspects.
Minor league baseball is now a couple of weeks into the season and the next wave of major leaguers are preparing for the next step. Since the last list Touki Toussaint has been recalled by the Atlanta Braves and Luis Urias got the call from the San Diego Padres. Toussaint has secured a spot in the rotation after an excellent appearance, but Urias has struggled offensively.
To only rank 10 players is tough, and value can definitely be found outside this list. Keep your eyes and ears open for injuries, because those are so important to give the young players a chance. At this point in the season, opportunities are often connected to injuries.
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr – Toronto Blue Jays – 3B – Age 20 (Previous week: +/- 0)
2019: (A Adv, AAA) 6 GP, 4 R, 6 Hits, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB, BA .300, OBP .417, SLG .550, OPS 0.967
Vladimir Guerrero Jr is now only one step away from the Toronto Blue Jays, as he plays for Buffalo in Triple-A. He has of course started the year great, and the question right now when he gets the call. He will hit for power and average when he arrives, and what more can you ask for? He is the clear-cut number one on this list.
- Nick Senzel – Cincinnati Reds – 2B/OF – Age 23 (Previous week: +/- 0)
2019: has not played yet
Nick Senzel is now close to start playing baseball this season, and when he does the Reds will try to give him more experience at CF. The infield is too crowded at the moment, but in the OF is where Senzel will get his chance in 2019. Many platforms already have him as a 2B, and with the added OF eligibility he is even more valuable. He has been second on this list three straight weeks because he can hit for average, has speed and even some decent power.
- Kyle Tucker – Houston Astros – OF – Age 22 (Previous week: +/- 0)
2019: (AAA) 9 GP, 3 R, 4 Hits, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SB, BA .121, OBP .194, SLG .242, OPS 0.437
The talent level is great, the potential fantasy production is great, but Kyle Tucker plays for the Houston Astros. The team has great depth at the outfield position and right now it is not clear when Tucker can find regular playing time. He will need to be as good as in 2018, and he probably needs an injury to get the opportunity. Tucker has the tools to contribute with power, batting average and stolen bases. What more can you ask for? His slow start to the season could delay his arrival. It is not impossible to imagine a situation where Tucker is traded at the deadline. If so, he will have instant higher fantasy baseball value.
- Mike Soroka – Atlanta Braves – SP – Age 21 (Previous week: + 2)
2019: (AAA) 2 G, 9.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3.86 ERA, 0.643 WHIP, 1.0 BB9, 9.6 SO
The Braves system has great depth at the pitching position, and Mike Soroka is one of the best. He had injury problems in 2018, but is now back healthy and need some time in Triple-A before he gets the call. When he arrives in Atlanta, he is probably there to stay and his potential will take him to fourth spot on this list.
- Forrest Whitley – Houston Astros – SP – Age 21 (Previous week: + 2)
2019: (AAA) 1 G, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3.60 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 1.8 BB9, 12.6 SO
The Houston Astros have great depth at every position, and for now Forrest Whitley will stay at Triple-A. However, he is considered the best pitching prospect in baseball. He will get the chance in 2019, but the question is when? If he would have a clear path to playing time, he would have been on second place on this list. He has electric stuff, and will give you strikeouts, low ERA, WHIP and a great chance to get a lot of wins.
- Jesus Luzardo – Oakland Atheltics – SP – Age 21 (Previous week: + 3)
2019: has not played yet
Oakland Athletics will have to give Jesus Luzardo some time in the minors before he is ready for the big stage. He was injured in spring training but is getting closer to pitch. If he can perform close to 2018, he will be a great fantasy player. The Athletics are also a good team, which will increase Luzardo’s chances for wins. Also expect a healthy number of strikeouts in a great pitcher’s ballpark.
- Brendan Rodgers – Colorado Rockies – 2B/SS – Age 22 (Previous week: +1)
2019: (AAA) 9 GP, 9 R, 12 Hits, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB, BA .324, OBP .405, SLG .541, OPS 0.945
The Colorado Rockies have started the season poor, and have multiple injuries. Brendan Rodgers is one of the best SS prospects in baseball. He is an above average hitter, with power and speed. He will not give you a .300 batting average but a player with power and speed at Colorado is great for fantasy baseball. Trevor Story is the SS in Colorado, so Rodgers probably will have to play 2B for more regular playing time.
- Michael Chavis – Boston Red Sox – 3B – Age 23 (Previous week: New)
2019: (AAA) 8 GP, 4 R, 6 Hits, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB, BA .222, OBP .333, SLG .481, OPS 0.815
If you search for a prospect with some power potential, Michael Chavis is your guy. He is a 3B, but has also been tried at 1B and 2B. He could get the call from Boston later in the season, and if you find regular playing time for the Boston Red Sox you will have fantasy value. Chavis will not give you speed or a high batting average, but he will give you RBI and HR.
- Bo Bichette – Toronto Blue Jays – SS – Age 21 (Previous week: New)
2019: (AAA) 9 GP, 4 R, 8 Hits, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB, BA .222, OBP .263, SLG .361, OPS 0.624
The youth movement in Toronto has begun, and one of their better prospects is SS Bo Bichette. He will probably get the chance in 2019, and with Vladimir Guerrero Jr he will be the face of the franchise. Bichette has speed and good hitting tools. In time he can develop some more power, which will make him more complete as a fantasy player.
- Nate Lowe – Tampa Bay Rays – 1B – Age 23 (Previous week: +/- 0)
2019: (AAA) 8 GP, 8 R, 6 Hits, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0 SB, BA .207, OBP .361, SLG .483, OPS 0.844
Tampa Bay Rays have started the season as one of the best in baseball. Surprisingly they have got solid production from the corner infield positions. Nate Lowe is ready for the next step, but he also needs to have a spot. Right now, there is no clear path to regular playing time, but Lowe should make his debut for the Rays in 2019.
Other notables: Mitch Keller (Pittsburgh Pirates), Yordan Alvarez (Houston Astros), Cavan Biggio (Toronto Blue Jays), Justus Sheffield (Seattle Mariners), Dylan Cease (Chicago White Sox), Austin Riley (Atlanta Braves), Keston Hiura (Milwaukee Brewers), Kyle Wright (Atlanta Braves)