AL West: Nine Rising Prospect Values

The Prospect Stock Watch has been taking a tour around the minor leagues while reviewing rising prospects. These are prospects that likely won’t be on Top 100 lists or on your fantasy rosters just yet but they could become targets in dynasty leagues over the next year or two. We finish up the series today with a look at the American League West.

Previous Articles:
NL East
NL Central
NL West
AL East
AL Central

Seattle Mariners

Jake Fraley, OF (AAA): Fraley was an astute pick-up by the Marines in a trade last year with the Rays. Injuries kept the 2016 draft pick to 96 games combined between 2017 and 2018 so he didn’t get a full opportunity to show what was capable of with consistent playing time. Fraley’s breakout began in Double-A ball this year and he was recently promoted to Triple-A. Between the two levels, he has 16 home runs and 20 steals, making him a legit threat to become a 20-20 (HR-SB) player. He’s a left-handed pitcher who hangs in well against southpaws and can play all three outfield positions; he looks like a future regular at the big league level. ETA: 2020

Texas Rangers

Brock Burke, LHP (AA): Burke, like Jake Fraley above, is another former Rays prospects and another example of the wide-ranging impact that a strong minor league system can have. He’s a lefty with the potential to have three average-or-better offerings, including a low-to-mid-90s fastball. Burke has a great pitcher’s frame and is athletic so he likely has yet to hit his ceiling. He shows the potential for above-average control as he distances himself from the blister issues he had earlier this year. There is mid-rotation upside here. ETA: 2020

Demarcus Evans, RHP (AA): A former 25th-round pick, Evans has really taken to the transition from starter to reliever. He has a whopping 77 strikeouts in 44.2 innings this season between High-A and Double-A (which is good for 15 Ks per nine innings). He’s also done a great job keeping the ball in the park despite a fly-ball-heavy approach and has allowed just one home run. Like a lot of hard-throwers, Evans struggles with his control and has issued 30 free passes. If he can find the strike zone on a more consistent basis, he has high-leverage potential with his fastball-curveball mix. ETA: 2020

Oakland Athletics

Daulton Jefferies, RHP (AA): Selected 37th overall in the 2016 draft, Jefferies threw just 20.1 innings in his first three seasons due to injuries, including Tommy John surgery. The long layoff did not hurt his control and he’s walked just seven batters in 67 innings this season. The A’s have aggressively promoted the young hurler to Double-A after just five A-ball appearances. Jefferies’ fastball can get up into the mid-90s now that he’s healthy and he also shows a potentially-plus changeup. His breaking ball continues to need polish. ETA: 2020

Luis Barrera, OF (AA): Barrera isn’t a big-time base stealer but he has excellent speed as witnessed by his 11 triples in each of his past two seasons. He’s a natural hitter and can handle both right- and left-handed pitchers with ease. He isn’t afraid to use the whole field but hits a fair number of grounds balls and his swing is not geared for over-the-fence pop. Barrera can also play all three outfield positions. He may end up as more of a fourth outfielder — especially in an era where everyone seemingly has to hit for power — but he might surprise some people and develop into a solid top-of-the-order hitter. ETA: 2020

Houston Astros

Tyler Ivey, RHP (AA): The Astros can seemingly pull pitching prospects out of thin air at times. Ivey was a third-round pick out of junior college in 2017. He’s thrown a total of just 33.1 innings this year between three levels and has spent two stints on the injured list. In this 33.1 innings, he’s allowed just 13 hits and struck out 49 batters. He has good spin rates with a 91-94 mph fastball and two breaking balls. Ivey has trouble throwing strikes at times and also has noticeable effort in his less-than-smooth delivery suggesting a future in the bullpen may be in the cards. ETA: 2020

Cristian Javier, RHP (AA): Like Ivey above, Javier is another pitcher with good spin rates but control issues. He’s struck out 123 batters in 86.2 innings over two levels but he’s also walked 46 batters. He doesn’t possess premium power and his fastball is mostly 91-93 mph but he’s difficult to hit and backs the heater up with two breaking balls with above-average potential. Javier has the ceiling of a No. 4 starter. ETA: 2020

Jeremy Pena, SS (A+): A 2018 third-rounder, Pena has quietly, but effectively, moved up the ladder in the Astros system. He’s a strong hitter who will use the whole field and also has good speed and is a smart base runner. He doesn’t have a lot of power but he has the potential to develop into a decent regular middle infielder with excellent defensive skills. Pena could develop into a regular middle infielder capable of eight to 10 home runs, 15-20 steals and a .280 average while playing above-average defense.

Los Angeles Angels

Kyle Bradish, RHP (A+): A 2018 fourth-round pick, Bradish’s prospect value is increasing in his first full season. He has an excellent pitcher’s frame and throws with good deception, which makes his low-to-mid-90s heater play up. He also flashes two average-or-better breaking balls. Bradish has used his repertoire to flummox batters in a league that favors hitters. The right-hander has 92 strikeouts in 72 innings. On the downside, he struggles to repeat his delivery at times and has walked 35 batters. He could settle in as a No. 3 or 4 starter if he continues along this current development path. ETA: 2021

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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Would have loved to see Ljay Newsome for the M’s as well.