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Top Rookies to Target (2019 Fantasy Baseball)

Feb 23, 2019
Kyle Tucker

Each fantasy baseball draft season, owners are overcome by shiny new toy syndrome. While the condition can sometimes be fatal (for your fake squad), the game’s youth can also lead teams to fantasy glory.

This year, there are several shiny objects garnering the attention of fantasy owners, including uber prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Eloy Jimenez. Beyond those two obvious targets, our writers provide owners other rookies to get excited about this fantasy draft season.

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Brandon Lowe (2B – TB)
“Second base is a thin position, so when there’s someone who offers the combination of power and approach at the plate that Lowe does, your interest should be piqued. The one thing holding Lowe back is an assured role with the Rays, as he’ll likely be competing with Joey Wendle for reps at second base. However, first base is an option for Lowe, whose bat will play just fine there and even better than Ji-Man Choi’s will. He had a very Alex Bregman-like start to his career (0-19) but straightened it out the rest of the way to the tune of an .884 OPS. He’s a rookie sleeper with little helium around him who could be top 12 at his position.”
– Michael Waterloo (@michaelwaterloo)

Victor Robles (OF – WAS)
“I think everyone has heard the hype with both Guerrero Jr. and Eloy Jimenez, however people are forgetting about the fourth-ranked prospect from MLB Pipeline and that’s Victor Robles. Assuming Bryce Harper isn’t coming back to Washington in 2019 that’ll set the stage for Robles to take over a spot in the outfield with Juan Soto and Adam Eaton. Robles ended up just playing 21 games for the Nats last year due to hyperextending his left elbow, but he slashed .288/.348/.525 with three homers in those games. He has great potential to be a major power hitter and has great speed. I see him as the top NL rookie to own.”
– Kamran Hoda (@Kamran_H7)

Nick Senzel (3B – CIN)
“Senzel may not be my favorite prospect with the likes of Vlad Jr. and Eloy on the board, but Senzel is the only one of the group that can be had after pick 200 in most leagues. The Reds rookie has yet to see an MLB at-bat. Last season was an injury-plagued year in Triple-A, but working his numbers out to 600 plate appearances would have seen Senzel total 16 HRs and 25 SBs. Now take into account the way the ball is jumping out of MLB parks and Senzel could easily be a 20-HR and 25-SB threat who owns a career .314 average in the minors. Sign me up.”
– Tyler Watts (@tylerpwatts)

Jesus Luzardo (SP – OAK)
“Vlad Jr. and Eloy are the obvious answers, plus I’m expecting Robles and Senzel to break camp with the big league team, so let’s turn to a lesser-known name to stash in Luzardo. Besides Forrest Whitley, who won’t be up until mid-summer, Luzardo is the top pitching prospect in baseball. What’s more, is that there isn’t much in the way of competition blocking him and the A’s window to win is now, so you can bet he will be up as soon as the A’s deem him ready. In fact, don’t be surprised if he earns a rotation spot out of Spring Training. From the get-go, he should perform like the A’s ace, likely striking out 10 per nine innings with sparkling ratios.”
– Bobby Sylvester (@bobbyfantasypros)

Kyle Tucker (OF – HOU)
“Tucker is a little off the radar with his subpar cup of coffee in 2018, but he destroyed Triple-A pitching last year — how does a .332/.400/.590 slash line sound? The entire Astros’ outfield has had various injuries throughout their career, no more than Michael Brantley. Tucker figures to be the first-man-up when one of them goes down, and he could be a source of double-digit homers and steals while posting a batting average in the .280-.290 range. Other guys I’m willing to stash (outside of Eloy and Vlad) are Brendan RodgersGarrett Hampson and Tucker’s teammate, Forrest Whitley.”
– Carmen Maiorano (@cmaiorano3)

Nathaniel Lowe (1B – TB)
“Since the Rays traded away Jake Bauers this offseason, they are left with Ji-Man Choi as their starting first baseman. Enter Nate Lowe. I’m a sucker for young players with great plate discipline and a solid hit tool. Lowe managed double-digit walk rates at every level of the minors except his 28 game sample at Triple-A. At 6-foot-4, Lowe finally tapped into his power in 2018 mashing 27 home runs across three levels where he slashed .330/.416/.568. His raw power has been graded out at a 65 out of a possible 80. Lowe likely won’t start out on the Major League roster but should be up no later than June. He has the ability to hit for a solid average with power and gets a boost in OBP leagues.”
– Max Freeze (@FreezeStats)

Peter Alonso (1B – NYM)
“Alonso is one of the best power-hitting prospects in baseball and could very well be the top prospect at first base, a position in fantasy that is not currently as strong as it once was. While Alonso SHOULD start the year with the New York Mets, chances are that he will spend a few weeks in the minors for team control concerns (here’s looking at you, 2022 CBA). While that is a bummer in general, it is good news for fantasy owners who can take advantage of his lowered ADP (currently at 257) and stash him. I don’t generally like to stash pitchers because of inning limits and uncertain roles, but I do like to stash hitters who can immediately step in and add power or speed. Alonso is a 30+ home run machine in the making, and I anticipate grabbing and stashing him in a ton of drafts this year.”
– Mike Maher (@mikemaher)

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