We are nearing the halfway point of the season, and this time of year is often peak prospect season. Top prospects are getting called up (or are about to be) now that the Super Two “deadline” has passed, fantasy teams are quickly shifting into rebuilding mode, and a new crop of draftees is being added to ottoneu. Let’s once again take a look at the top prospect performances (using the tool I put together that pulls from MLBfarm.com) year to date and over the past thirty days.
Please note that only players currently in the minors (and not previously called up this season) and in the top fifteen prospects of their organization are listed.
Ryan McMahon just wants us all to pretend 2016 never happened, as he’s not only bounced back from a disappointing season, but is now showing more plate discipline and power than he ever has before. The icing on the cake? Second base eligibility for this season and next in Ottoneu, by virtue of his 20 games at the keystone. He is likely the next call up as soon as any Rockies infielder hits the DL, so I consider him a must own.
Scott Kingery may not have a ton of prospect pedigree, and he does play in the bandbox in Reading, but he’s actually been just as good on the road as he’s been at home. I’m not completely sold that this version of Kingery is for real, but sometimes prospects evolve into a new talent level, and that could be what’s happening to the Phillies farmhand.
There is a son of a former major leaguer in the Blue Jays system that has been raking this season, and appears above. No, not Vlad Guerrero Jr, but Bo Bichette. Bichette may not be as highly regarded as his teammate with the Lansing Lugnuts, but he’s been the better hitter this year. He’s probably too far out to really be worth rostering right now, but he’s worth adding to your watchlist if you’re a rebuilding squad.
One reason I relaxed my filter from top ten organization prospect to top fifteen for this month’s prospect report was to highlight players like Kingery and fellow Phillies minor leaguer Rhys Hoskins. Hoskins raked last year (along with Dylan Cozens), but his performance was discounted due to the Reading park factors. He’s proving that last year was no fluke, and has been even better this year in AAA Lehigh Valley, cutting down on his strikeouts (15.3% from 21.2% last year) and showing just as much power (.302 ISO vs .285 ISO). Hoskins may need a trade or an injury to Tommy Joseph to see time in the majors any time soon, but he has the highest Steamer rest of season projection (.350 wOBA) of any current prospect. He’s another must own.
Brendan Rodgers missed most of the first month of the season with an injury, which makes his appearance here even more impressive. Rodgers was just recently called up to AA, and will probably reach the majors by next summer. He’s an elite prospect, and is owned in almost every ottoneu league, but if he happens to be available he needs to be picked up.
Many of the same names from the year to date list appear here, but I will highlight a couple of interesting ones that don’t.
First, Francisco Mejia has been red hot as of late. The Indians catching prospect continues to flash quality plate discipline and an elite hit tool, but has been showing more game power than he has in the past (seven of his eight homeruns on the season have come in the last thirty days, including back to back two homer games two weeks ago). There aren’t many catcher prospects worth owning in ottoneu, but Mejia is the best of the bunch in my opinion.
Alex Verdugo started slowly in AAA Oklahoma City, but has also been on a recent tear. Verdugo doesn’t offer much in the way of power, but has elite contact and plate discipline. Given his lack of speed that profile doesn’t play well in 5×5, but it does in the points formats and to a lesser extent 4×4.
One last note, make sure to keep an eye on the recent June MLB draftees that are being added to the ottoneu player universe. For me personally, I prefer to focus on adding college players drafted in the first round, as they offer the best combo of prospect status and ETA to make the investment in them worth it.
Justin is a life long Cubs fan who has been playing fantasy baseball for 20+ years, and an ottoneu addict since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @justinvibber.