Top 5 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Per Position

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jan 9, 2019

Forrest Whitley’s tremendous upside makes him worth holding onto past 2019 if need be

Finding prospect lists for baseball is easy. A lot of them, however, are geared toward real-life baseball instead of fantasy. There are a lot of places where you can find great prospects list geared toward fantasy, though, as there are many top 100 overall lists, as well as team-by-team breakdowns.

One thing that is harder to find is a positional breakdown of the top fantasy prospects. We’ve gone ahead and done the work for you, with little nuggets about each player.

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Catcher

Francisco Mejia (SD) 
Mejia struggled to start 2018 while still in the Cleveland organization, and while he hit three homers in his first taste of the big leagues with San Diego, he failed to break the Mendoza Line in a limited sample. Mejia should make an impact this year, and instantly becomes a top 10 fantasy catcher given the position.

Keibert Ruiz (LAD)
Just 20 years old, Ruiz should spend most of this season at Double-A, where he impressed with his pitch selection last year. He had an 8 K/9 and hit .268 with 12 homers. Expect 15 homers with a .280 average in the future.

Joey Bart (SF)
The Giants drafted their replacement to Buster Posey in Bart. Bart should be a quick mover in the organization, and he packs a ton of power. With that power, though, comes a ton of strikeouts.

Zack Collins (CWS)
Collins has the eligibility now, but the three-true outcomes player may not stick behind the plate. We should see him on the South Side this summer.

Andrew Knizner (STL)
Carson Kelly was expendable thanks to the performance of Knizner. While Kelly excelled defensively, Knizner needs some work behind the plate. He’s a bat-first catcher, who will hit around 12 homers and .290 once Yadier Molina decides to hang up his cleats.

First Base

Peter Alonso (NYM)
Power, power, power. That’s what you’re getting with Alonso, and it’s pretty damn impressive. Alonso will bring that power to fantasy owners and Mets fans early 2019.

Nathaniel Lowe (TB)
As much as I do love Alonso, I prefer the value with Lowe more. While his power is likely in the 30 range and not the 35-40 range that Alonso’s is, Lowe offers a better floor with batting average.

Brent Rooker (MIN)
Like Alonso, Rooker’s calling card is his power. His 26.4 K/9 is high for Double-A, and I’m worried it’s only going to get higher. His position is undetermined at this point, as he projects as an outfielder or first baseman for the Twins. Despite the swing-and-miss flaws, Rooker’s power makes him a must-own in dynasty leagues.

Brendan McKay (TB)
While deciding if Rooker will be a first baseman or outfielder is challenging in and of itself, the real interesting projection will be whether McKay will be a first baseman, a pitcher or a Shohei Ohtani-type hybrid. Right now, his calling card is his arm, but the Rays are still banking on him becoming a two-way player.

Nick Pratto (KC)
It’s usually wise to shy away from prep bats, but Pratto was a player worth targeting last year in first-year drafts. He’s a 20-20 player, with a good OBP in his future.

Second Base

Keston Hiura (MIL)
Outside of Vladimir Guerrero and Nick Senzel, no minor leaguer has a better hit tool than Hiura. Think prime Dustin Pedroia with more pop. Hiura should get a taste of the big leagues at some point this year. He’s a player you can build your dynasty team around.

Luis Urias (SD)
Urias had a rough showing in his debut last year, but his bat plays at the big-league level. He should pick up shortstop eligibility this year, which is a plus. He’ll grow into his power, too.

Vidal Brujan (TB)
Brujan is going to rise up the prospect ranks this year. He, like Urias, is a small player, but has plus-bat skills and elite speed. Don’t expect much in the way of power, as 10-12 homers seems to be his ceiling there. He’s a roto and categories darling.

Nick Madrigal (CWS)
Madrigal should be a top 10 pick in this year’s first-year player drafts. He has even less pop than Brujan, but he’s a .295-.300 hitter with 25-30 stolen base potential.

Garrett Hampson (COL)
We’ll see how the signing of Daniel Murphy impacts Hampson, as the Rockies have notoriously blocked their young players. Hampson is another young second baseman with plus-speed, and he should be helped by the spacious Coors Field.

Third Base

Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. (TOR)
What else is there to say? Besides Mike Trout, you can argue that Guerrero is the top player to own in dynasty leagues. An 80-hit tool doesn’t come around every day. Even the relatively conservative Steamer projects him to hit .306, which would net him the batting title in his rookie year.

Nick Senzel (CIN)
Senzel battled vertigo last season, as well as shoulder surgery. This year, he’s battling a lineup clog after the Reds traded for Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig. One way or another, he’ll find his way into the Cincinnati lineup this year, be it a trade of Kemp, Puig, or Scooter Gennett. He has Alex Bregman upside with very little downside outside of his vertigo issue.

Austin Riley (ATL)
Riley will have another year at Triple-A after the Braves signed Josh Donaldson this offseason. That should help his price if you’re looking to buy a 30-homer stud.

Nolan Gorman (STL)
Gorman should go 1.1 in all first-year drafts. He has Joey Gallo-type power, but also struck out 34 percent of the time last year. That obviously needs to come down, but he’ll have the next few years in the minors to work that out.

Jonathan India (CIN)
India reminds me of Senzel, but without the elite hit tool that Senzel has. India is an all-around contributor, but will also face the same problem that Senzel has with a lineup clog. He’s the safest pick in your first-year drafts.

Shortstop

Fernando Tatis, Jr. (SD)
Tatis will get the Guerrero treatment this year, as the Padres will come up with a reason why he isn’t ready. He will stick at either short or third, but he brings you across-the-board production in power, steals, and average.

Royce Lewis (MIN)
Lewis is flying through the Twins system, but remember, he’s only 19 still. There’s an outside shot he could get a cup of coffee this year, but 2020 seems more likely. He reminds me of Carlos Correa before he was called up. You’re looking at a high average and a 20-20 producer. Yes, please.

Wander Franco (TB)
It was rookie ball, but the 17-year-old Franco shot up the prospect ranks higher than anyone. You can argue he’s a top-five overall prospect. He’s going to get the Guerrero hype by the end of this year. You’re looking at a .300-plus average, 25-plus homers, and 15-plus steals. If you can still acquire him, you need to do so now.

Bo Bichette (TOR)
If we learned anything from Toronto from last year, we know that Bichette won’t see the field this year. He’s a safe option at shortstop, but with a high ceiling. You’re looking at .280 with 15-20 home runs and steals. His doubles power should translate into home run power.

Brendan Rodgers (COL)
It feels like an eternity that we’ve been waiting for Rodgers, and we may have to wait one more year for regular playing time for him. Rodgers could be the answer at third base if Nolan Arenado opts for free agency, but whichever position he plays, he has an enormous ceiling at Coors Field

Outfield

Eloy Jimenez (CWS)
The clear No. 2 overall prospect is Jimenez. How is that Jose Quintana deal looking for you now, Cubs? He has the most power in the minors, to go along with an excellent hit tool. You’re looking at .290 with 35-plus home runs annually.

Victor Robles (WSH)
Lost in the Juan Soto hype — and deservingly so — of 2018 is Robles. He’s going to be the everyday centerfielder for the Nationals, and he offers across-the-board production with a high average, plus-power, and plus-speed. He’s a great post-hype option this year.

Kyle Tucker (HOU)
The signing of Michael Brantley blocks Tucker in Houston, but he could be the long-rumored piece to get the J.T. Realmuto deal done. No matter where he plays, and despite his lack of production in his limited sample in 2018, Tucker is an All-Star in the making. He offers all-around production.

Jo Adell (LAA)
Adell was a quick mover in the Halos’ system last year as the youngest player in Double-A. He’s an elite athlete with 30-homer and 20-steal potential.

Alex Kirilloff (MIN)
Kirilloff missed all of 2017 after recovering from Tommy John surgery. He didn’t miss a beat, though, as he annihilated A-ball last year. He reminds me of a Christian Yelich-type player. He’s going to give you a .300 batting average with 25-30 home runs.

Starting Pitchers

Jesus Luzardo (OAK)
Luzardo has three-plus pitches and is as MLB-ready as any pitching prospect. He’s going to contribute at some point in 2019, and he’s one of the few pitching prospects worth buying before they debut.

Forrest Whitley (HOU)
Whitley had a tumultuous 2018 after a 50-game suspension and an oblique injury. If he hadn’t had the season he had, he’d be primed for a rotation spot this year in Houston. Instead, the Astros will bring him along slowly, optioning for Josh James, Framber Valdez, and Collin McHugh instead. He has as much upside as, if not more than, Luzardo, but less of an immediate impact.

Mackenzie Gore (SD)
This is about the point where it’s hard to bet on an arm in the minors. The 19-year-old Gore has ace upside, but will he stay healthy?

Sixto Sanchez (PHI)
Sanchez was shut down after elbow inflammation in June, so expect the Phillies to bring him along slowly this year, too. He has a plus-fastball, but the potential for a plus-change and curveball, too.

Alex Reyes (STL)
Reyes would be No. 1 here if he could just stay healthy. Again, don’t bet on a minor league arm. He could be the ace of your rotation or a lights-out closer. The jury is out.

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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