As I mentioned in last month’s version of this article, I’m no scout, but I do love looking at prospect performances as a key indicator for future call ups and prospects on the rise. I’m once again using the tool I put together that pulls from MLBfarm.com to show the top prospect hitting performances so far this season, and I’m also going to show the top pitching performances as well. Please note that only players currently in the minors and in the top ten prospects of their organization are listed.
I’m going to limit my commentary to only the prospects that are currently owned in at least 5% of ottoneu leagues, though the other players could potentially be names to file away for the future.
Kyle Tucker is just 20 years old and still in single A, but his performance and draft pedigree (5th overall pick in 2015) mean he could climb the minor league ladder quickly. Tucker offers a well above average hit tool and very good plate discipline, so if his recent power spike is real then he could turn into a perennial $25-$30 outfielder. He’s owned in nearly two thirds of ottoneu leagues already, and should probably be owned in even more despite not yet reaching AA.
Ronald Acuna is even younger than Tucker, but has already earned a promotion to AA and hasn’t looked over-matched at all (.543 wOBA in 44 PA, though he does have an unsustainable .519 BABIP). The Braves are likely to take their time with Acuna, despite the aggressive promotion to AA, but the talent is real and the market value of Acuna makes him worth owning.
Christin Stewart appeared in last month’s article as well, but still is owned in less than 20% of ottoneu leagues. If he’s available in your league, and you have the roster space, pick him up now! Stewart is already 23, has excellent pop and a good eye at the plate, and is very likely to be called up at some point this summer. The fact that his ownership percentage is so low means you can probably win him for just a buck or two, which is just the icing on this slugger sundae.
There is already quite a bit of chatter regarding a potential call up to the Mets of Amed Rosario, and his hitting in AAA might force the issue sooner than the team had planned. I have a feeling he will struggle in his first taste of big league action, but he’s a top ten prospect at a premium position.
All Derek Fisher has done is hit since the Astros drafted him 37th overall in the 2014 draft, but his defense in the outfield leaves something to be desired. Fisher doesn’t have the upside of Tucker, but his ETA is much sooner and the bat should transition well if he’s promoted.
Luis Urias may have been overlooked by scouts due to his stature (5’9″, 160 lbs) and lack of power (11 career HR in 1,181 PA in his minor league career), but he’s a high contact line drive hitter that is young for his level and hasn’t stopped hitting now that he’s in AA. I think his upside is limited, but the high floor makes him intriguing (especially with 2B/SS eligibility), and the lack of HR won’t kill him in ottoneu points leagues as long as he’s lacing line drives for doubles.
Unfortunately Yoan Moncada just went on the minor league DL with a bruised thumb. That injury will delay his return to MLB, but he’s still one of the most exciting prospects in baseball and one that ottoneu owners covet ($11.93 average salary). I think Moncada will be a stud eventually, but in the short term he’s probably best used as a trade asset given his average salary.
Tyler Mahle and Jack Flaherty are two relatively unheralded pitching prospects that have been excellent so far in AA, and both could find themselves pitching for their big league squads in short order. I like Flaherty more than Mahle long term, but both are worth a flyer, especially with the attrition rate for pitchers right now.
Triston McKenzie is one of the better pitching prospects in baseball, but he’s probably too far away to own unless your team is in a total rebuild. If he is called up to AA soon and continues to dominate, I would definitely target him with gusto.
Brent Honeywell probably would have already been called up to the majors in any other organization, but he’s at a disadvantage given how many other quality pitchers the Rays have in the minors (De Leon, Snell, Faria) and the fact that Honeywell is not currently on the 40 man roster. He should still be owned in every ottoneu league despite those barriers, as I believe in the talent and it’s just a matter of time before he’s unleashing that screwball in Tampa.
Kolby Allard is just one of a slew of promising pitching prospects in Atlanta, but he’s been the best of the bunch so far this season. It’s hard to get a good handle on his ETA with the system so loaded with SP, but he is already in AA. I think Allard is much more of a long term play than a short term one in ottoneu, so I’m a bit surprised that he’s owned in so many leagues, especially given Triston McKenzie is owned in half as many leagues.
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.