Top 10 prospects for 2019 – Week 9, May 27, 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.
Since last week two of the prospects have been promoted to the MLB. Mitch Keller will make his debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates today against the Cincinnati Reds, and Cavan Biggio now plays for the Toronto Blue Jays. Even if many prospects already have got the call, you can still find plenty of talent in the minors. Also remember talent level is important but a clear path to playing time is equally important. One big problem for both Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker is playing time. Right now the Houston Astros have a crowded outfield, but if they need another bat they have two great in Triple-A.
- Yordan Alvarez – Houston Astros – Age 21 (Previous week: +/- 0)
2019: (AAA) 45 GP, 41 R, 62 Hits, 19 HR, 59 RBI, 0 SB, BA .365, OBP .449, SLG .788, OPS 1.283
At the moment Yordan Alvarez is in the middle of a cold streak, going 2 for 25. But you can relax he is still the most interesting prospect for 2019. He has hit for average and power, but he might still be some weeks away a promotion. He only needs an opportunity to shine. Due to arbitration rights the Astros probably kept him down in Triple-A when George Springer was down with back problems.
- Kyle Tucker – Houston Astros – OF – Age 22 (Previous week: +1)
2019: (AAA) 45 GP, 34 R, 44 Hits, 16 HR, 35 RBI, 8 SB, BA .265, OBP .348, SLG .633, OPS 0.980
It is not ideal to have two outfielders for the same team, with good depth at the position. Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez is however both very interesting prospects for fantasy. Tucker might not have the power Alvarez has, but he can steal bases and that might be even more important. Both will not get regular playing time this season, unless one or both gets traded. Tucker has been great since his bad start in April, and the last week he hit 5 HR (!).
- Luis Urias – San Diego Padres – 2B – Age 21 (Previous week: +4)
2019: (AAA) 33 GP, 34 R, 47 Hits, 12 HR, 27 RBI, 2 SB, BA .351, OBP .442, SLG .731, OPS 1.174
Luis Urias has played with the Padres both in 2018 and he got a couple of games this season, but he has not taken advantage of the opportunity. He will get more chances, and when he does he needs to play better. Urias is not a great source of power, and do not expect the same HR numbers as we have seen in Triple-A. However, he will have a solid average and will get on base.
- Dylan Cease – Chicago White Sox – SP – Age 23 (Previous week: +/- 0)
2019: (AAA) 8 G, 40.0 IP, 40 H, 15 ER, 3.38 ERA, 1.375 WHIP, 3.4 BB9, 10.8 SO
Dylan Cease is perhaps the most interesting pitching prospect in the minors for 2019, with Jesus Luzardo injured and Forrest Whitley out of sync. The question mark for Cease is when he gets the call? If he would have a clearer path to Chicago, he would be higher on this list. His playing profile is a great fastball, with an above average strikeout rate.
- Carter Kieboom – Washington Nationals – 2B/SS – Age 21 (Previous week: +3)
2019: (AAA) 32 GP, 28 R, 40 Hits, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 3 SB, BA .345, OBP .462, SLG .655, OPS 1.117
Since he got demoted Carter Kieboom has been great in Triple-A. With the Nationals struggling they might give him a new chance to get experience at the highest level. Kieboom is a middle infielder with good power, which is always nice in fantasy baseball.
- Zac Gallen – Miami Marlins – SP – Age 23 (Previous week: new)
2019: (AAA) 10 G, 67.1 IP, 33 H, 13 ER, 1.74 ERA, 0.653 WHIP, 1.5 BB9, 10.7 SO
Zac Gallen has been great this season for Miami Marlins Triple-A team and he should get his opportunity in a starting role soon. However, he might not get the call at all if the Marlins feel they need to protect his service time, but it has nothing to do with what Gallen has done so far in 2019. Miami Marlins have a great pitchers park, but we worry about the chances to get wins.
- Jesus Luzardo – Oakland Athletics – SP – Age 21 (Previous week: -2)
2019: has not played yet
Jesus Luzardo has not been cleared to play yet, and he falls a couple of spots on this list. He might be one of the most promising young pitchers in the game, but he also needs to perform in 2019 if he wants to be high on this particular list. Luzardo will get the opportunity later, with a good team behind him.
- Ryan Mountcastle – Baltimore Orioles – 1B/3B – Age 22 (Previous week: +2)
2019: (AAA) 43 GP, 29 R, 58 Hits, 7 HR, 33 RBI, 1 SB, BA .326, OBP .351, SLG .528, OPS 0.879
The Baltimore Orioles are in a rebuilding phase and Ryan Mountcastle is ready for the MLB. He will have every opportunity to be the 1B of the future, but he also needs an opportunity. It is not clear how the Orioles will approach this season with their prospects.
- Brendan McKay – Tampa Bay Rays – SP – Age 23 (Previous week: new)
2019: (AA) 8 G, 41.2 IP, 25 H, 6 ER, 1.30 ERA, 0.816 WHIP, 1.9 BB9, 13.4 SO
2019: (AA) 23 GP, 8 R, 13 Hits, 0 HR, 8 RBI, 0 SB, BA .167, OBP .256, SLG .192, OPS 0.448
Tampa Bay Rays recently promoted Brendan McKay to Triple-A and he is now closer than ever to make his MLB debut. McKay is a two-way player but it is clear he has more promise as a starting pitcher compared to a 1B. If he gets the call from the Rays it will be as a pitcher. With the Rays high in the standings expect him to get an opportunity later in the season if he can keep up his great start to the 2019 season. McKay has several strikeout pitches, and is projected as a starter.
- Forrest Whitley – Houston Astros – SP – Age 21 (Previous week: -1)
2019: (AAA) 8 G, 24.1 IP, 35 H, 33 ER, 12.21 ERA, 2.055 WHIP, 5.5 BB9, 10.7 SO
Okay, we admit Forrest Whitley is only on this list because of his underlying talent level. His 2019 season has been awful and if you only look at the stats you do not understand how this can be one of the highest ranked pitching prospects in baseball. We will keep him on this list for one more week, but he soon has to get his act together. He also needs to be given a starting role to have any fantasy value in 2019. His long-term value is however still very high and in dynasty leagues he should be rostered.
Other notables: Jorge Mateo, Justus Sheffield, Logan Allen, Luis Robert, Nate Lowe