2019 MLB Top Prospects (Top 500 Fantasy Baseball)
I’ve been playing dynasty fantasy baseball since I was 8 years old. No, really. My dad slyly brought me to his roto draft as a seven-year-old, knowing someone would forget about it and the league would be desperate for a fill-in. Rather than having the commissioner draft two teams, they caved in against their instincts and let me draft his team. You might think I was in over my head, but when most kids were outside playing with lame children’s toys, I was reading through fantasy baseball magazines and eventually every Bill James Baseball Abstract I could get my hands on. This was a dream for me, but unfortunately, the dunce who missed the draft was still willing to manage my team. The next season a spot in the league opened up and my dad was now the commissioner. He made an agreement with me that I’d manually enter the boxscores into his dinosaur computer every week in exchange for a team. That was the easiest decision I ever made, “It’s a deal!”
Now that he was in charge, we were doing an auction draft and a dynasty league. I had my work cut out for me, but by the time we flew across the country for the draft, I was fully prepared. Ivan Rodriguez and Andruw Jones headed my squad and everyone heaped praises on me even though I cried when someone outbid me for Shawn Green. You know the rest of the story: I ended up working in fantasy sports for a living and the excitement of that first dynasty draft never changed. What did change, however, was how we do our prospect research. Back then, information on prospects was near impossible to come by. Now, we’ve got dozens of lists from excellent sources all at our fingertips in seconds. It still hasn’t come far enough in my mind, though.
Most of these sites have groups of writers who see most of the prospects play. They talk to the front office about the players, research their spin rates, exit velocities and genealogy for all I know. In fact, this is their only job. They aren’t writing about re-draft fantasy baseball leagues or providing football analysis. There is no doubt that they do a phenomenal job assessing the future of young baseball players. That is only half the battle, however. It is just as important to craft the information specifically for the consumer. While it makes plenty of sense to grade Sean Murphy as a top 100 future real-life player, that doesn’t exactly translate to your fantasy leagues. What we do best at FantasyPros is take in consensus information from around the industry and package it individually for the fantasy manager. That is the philosophy I use when I build my prospect lists. Here are a few ways my prospect rankings differ from the rest of the industry.
Defense Barely Matters
The vast majority of fantasy leagues have nothing to do with defense. A prospect’s defense does matter just a bit, but only because it helps secure playing time and positional eligibility. You won’t see a future gold glover with no future hit tool or power to his name very high on this list. On the flip side, you’ll see youngsters similar to Matt Holliday, Josh Willingham and Jason Bay getting a lot more love despite limited defensive skill. Fantasy owners want homers, RBIs, runs, steals and batting average so that’s what we’ll give them.
Circumstance is King
Ok, maybe talent is king, but circumstance is a close second place. It doesn’t matter how talented Dellin Betances was, the Yankees weren’t about to move CC Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettite or Phil Hughes out of their rotation for him. Likewise, Charlie Blackmon was never highly regarded in prospect circles, but with Michael Cuddyer and Dexter Fowler both leaving, he had a spot in Coors Field. Information like this is detrimental in determining a player’s fantasy value so it must not be ignored.
Upside Trumps Reliability
Around 1,000 players play in the Majors every season. Fantasy baseball sees about 400 of them on a roster at one point or another. Depth is substantially more important to the Milwaukee Brewers than for the Piscotty and Meatballs. An MLB team may be stoked about a high-floor low ceiling starting pitcher, but a fantasy team would never think twice about rostering them. Value above replacement is substantially different in fantasy baseball than real life so our prospect rankings must reflect it.
Prospects Extend Outside The Minors
Many fantasy leagues require you to wait until a player is officially part of an MLB organization before you draft them, but there are just as many that give you the freedom to take whoever you want. When Bryce Harper was a 15-year-old super prospect, he would have been regarded as a top 10 prospect if he were eligible for the lists. Shohei Ohtani was the best young player in the world for a few years too. Our list ranks college kids, high school kids, July 2nd prospects and international stars right alongside 23-year-olds on the Durham Bulls. If they have a future in fantasy baseball, they belong in our rankings.
Deep Leagues Are Better
You may play in a dynasty league with five minor league prospects allowed for each team, but the majority of fantasy leagues roster twice that, if not ten times that figure. This list goes 500 players deep to make sure no one runs out of options in the 60th round of their start-up dynasty draft. If you need more names or have any prospect related questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter @BobbyFantasyPro.
The full prospect list is a premium feature on our site that will update throughout the season. For those of you who aren’t premium members, my organizational farm rankings are listed below with every team’s top prospect’s ranking.
I’ll be releasing a series of prospect articles over the next few weeks as well.
- Top 10 Prospects for each MLB Team
- Top International and Amateur Prospects
- Prospects Who Will Breakout in 2019
- If 2018’s Rookies Were Still Prospects
2019 Organizational Farm Rankings
*The #1 prospect is worth 100 “score” with every rank below being worth 98% the previous rank. (Ex: #2 is worth 98, #3 is worth 96.04, #10 is worth 83.37, #100 is worth 13.53 and so forth.
|Top 500||Top Prospect|
|1||SD||486.8||2||8||13||17||22||#5 Fernando Tatis Jr. (OF)|
|2||CWS||370.5||3||6||7||9||16||#2 Eloy Jimenez (OF)|
|3||TB||341.2||2||6||9||14||19||#9 Wander Franco (SS)|
|4||HOU||318.1||2||5||6||6||11||#3 Forrest Whitley (SP)|
|5||ATL||274.6||1||5||9||13||15||#18 Ian Anderson (SP)|
|6||CIN||231.1||2||3||4||5||12||#10 Nick Senzel (3B)|
|7||TOR||219.3||2||2||6||9||16||#1 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B)|
|8||MIN||174.4||2||2||4||9||12||#14 Royce Lewis (SS)|
|9||SEA||167.2||0||3||6||8||15||#28 Yusei Kikuchi (SP)|
|10||OAK||156.1||1||2||3||6||15||#8 Jesus Luzardo (SP)|
|11||STL||142.3||1||2||4||8||22||#12 Alex Reyes (STL)|
|12||DET||138.7||1||2||2||7||11||#22 Casey Mize (SP)|
|13||LAA||132.2||1||1||3||7||11||#4 Jo Adell (OF)|
|14||WSH||131.1||1||2||3||5||12||#7 Victor Robles (OF)|
|15||CLE||128.6||0||3||5||6||15||#41 Triston McKenzie (SP)|
|16||LAD||120.9||1||1||4||6||20||#21 Alex Verdugo (OF)|
|17||COL||116.1||1||1||3||7||12||#11 Brendan Rodgers (SS)|
|18||ARI||105.9||0||2||5||9||15||#65 Jazz Chisholm (SS)|
|19||NYM||102.0||0||2||3||4||12||#29 Peter Alonso (1B)|
|20||SF||100.7||1||1||2||3||10||#13 Joey Bart (C)|
|21||MIA||92.4||1||1||3||5||13||#19 Victor Victor Mesa (OF)|
|22||KC||89.2||0||1||5||6||12||#50 Brady Singer (SP)|
|23||PIT||88.8||0||1||5||6||12||#35 Mitch Keller (SP)|
|24||NYY||79.4||0||1||3||6||17||#38 Estevan Florial (OF)|
|25||TEX||77.8||0||1||4||6||15||#74 Cole Winn (SP)|
|26||PHI||77.3||0||1||3||6||13||#36 Sixto Sanchez (SP)|
|27||MIL||67.6||0||1||3||5||12||#45 Keston Hiura (2B)|
|28||BOS||62.8||0||2||4||5||12||#70 Tristan Casas (1B)|
|29||BAL||40.1||0||1||2||5||12||#68 Yusniel Diaz (OF)|
|30||CHC||3.1||0||0||0||3||10||#227 Alex Lange (SP)|
|–||INT||87.8||0||2||3||10||28||#57 Tetsuto Yamada (2B)|
|–||HS||156.0||0||3||6||13||23||#46 Bobby Witt Jr. (SS)|
|–||NCAA||119.8||0||1||8||16||28||#44 Adley Rutschman (C)|