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2020 MLB Top Prospects (Top 400 Fantasy Baseball)

by Bobby Sylvester | @bobbyfantasypro | Featured Writer
Feb 20, 2020

Jesus Luzardo may already be Oakland’s top pitcher

There is nothing quite like dynasty fantasy baseball, is there? We all play fantasy sports because deep down, we want to simulate the best parts about being a sports general manager. Fantasy football is great, but comes nowhere close to the level of strategy and intimate dominion a real-life GM has with their team. Dynasty baseball, however, if is a different animal. In rare cases, you can possess a player from age 16 to 40. For many people, that’s a third of their lifetime that they have a tie to one player. I’ve had Albert Pujols on my favorite dynasty team since he was a teenager 20 years ago. As you can imagine, he has become my favorite player in all of sports history. If you are reading this and have never tried dynasty baseball, there is no better time to start than now.

If you have already played dynasty, then I imagine you are here for the cold hard data. Your rookie drafts are coming up or you are looking to swing some pre-season trade agreements and want to know just how value the prospects are in the trade you’ve been offered. Back when I started playing dynasty in the 90s, 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 Luis Garcia 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 non-toolsy youngsters similar to Matt Holliday, Nelson Cruz and Ryan Howard getting a lot more love despite limited defensive skills. 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-only sees about 400 of them on a roster at one point or another. Depth is substantially more important to the Milwaukee Brewers in the MLB than for the ‘Piscotty and Meatballs’ in your fantasy league. An MLB team may be stoked about a high-floor, low-ceiling starting pitcher, but a fantasy team should 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 430 players deep to make sure no one runs out of options in the 50th 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.

Check out the full top 400 worldwide prospect rankings here (premium)>>

If you want more premium prospect information, check out a few of my other articles:

2020 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.

Rank Org Score Top 25 Top 75 Top 150 Top 400 Top Prospect
1 TB 371.5 2 4 11 15 #1 Wander Franco (SS)
2 SEA 308.4 2 4 8 13 #5 Jarred Kelenic (OF)
3 SD 307.6 2 4 8 18 #3 Mackenzie Gore (LHP)
4 DET 267.6 2 4 6 14 #8 Casey Mize (RHP)
5 CWS 263.6 2 4 5 13 #2 Luis Robert (OF)
6 ATL 218.9 1 3 5 8 #17 Ian Anderson (RHP)
7 OAK 213.6 1 4 4 13 #13 Jesus Luzardo (LHP)
8 LAD 209.4 1 4 5 13 #7 Gavin Lux (SS)
9 SF 188.1 2 2 5 12 #12 Marco Luciano (SS)
10 MIN 181.8 1 3 6 14 #16 Royce Lewis (SS)
11 MIA 173.3 0 4 7 13 #38 JJ Bleday (OF)
12 KC 152.6 1 2 6 12 #6 Bobby Witt Jr. (SS)
13 ARI 150.9 0 3 5 16 #27 Kristian Robinson (OF)
14 STL 149.5 1 3 3 13 #20 Dylan Carlson (OF)
15 BAL 149.4 1 2 4 8 #14 Adley Rutschman (C)
16 NYY 144.3 1 2 4 13 #21 Jasson Dominguez (OF)
17 TOR 141.8 1 1 5 12 #9 Nate Pearson (RHP)
18 PHI 121.3 0 2 4 10 #29 Spencer Howard (RHP)
19 PIT 114.8 0 2 3 13 #42 Mitch Keller (RHP)
20 LAA 114.7 1 1 2 7 #4 Jo Adell (OF)
21 CLE 112.4 0 1 6 17 #55 Triston McKenzie (RHP)
22 COL 111.6 1 1 4 8 #10 Brendan Rodgers (SS)
23 TEX 95.1 0 1 5 18 #66 Sam Huff (C)
24 CIN 91.8 0 2 4 8 #40 Hunter Greene (RHP)
25 NYM 83.9 0 1 5 13 #71 Matthew Allan (RHP)
26 WSH 77.1 0 1 3 9 #28 Carter Kieboom (SS)
27 HOU 76.0 1 1 1 9 #19 Forrest Whitley (RHP)
28 BOS 38.0 0 1 1 9 #65 Triston Casas (1B)
29 CHC 34.5 0 0 4 8 #111 Nico Hoerner (SS)
30 MIL 12.9 0 0 1 9 #108 Brice Turang (SS)
NCAA 174.6 0 5 5 17 #44 Emerson Hancock (RHP)
INT 121.7 1 2 4 13 #25 Oscar Colas (OF)
HS 25.7 0 0 1 12 #109 Brady House (3B)

 

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Bobby Sylvester is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Bobby, check out his archive and follow him @BobbyFantasyPro.

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