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Positional Prospect Ranks For Points Leagues: Outfield(1-30)
Zac Beck's Prospect Positional Rankings for Dynasty Points Leagues
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Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks, 22, - 5’10, 165 lbs
‘22: 442 PA, .307/.425/.611/1.036, 24 HR, 31 SB, 24.2% K, 15.2% BB (AA, AAA)
Upon joining the big league club in late August, Carroll posted a .260/.330/.500 triple-slash (130 WRC+) and generated 1.4 fWAR in just 32 games.
Speed is the elite tool in Carroll’s profile and is typically why he’s intimately acquainted with the #1 overall spot in most rotisserie-focused lists. The speed is game-breaking but the lack of emphasis on stolen bases in points formats reduces his appeal a smidge. Just tapping out that sentence made me feel like a curmudgeon.
What doesn’t get talked about much is his power. When it is mentioned it’s usually in the form of a demerit – that couldn’t be further from the truth. His max exit velo at the big league level was a rather pedestrian 107.5 mph, but his max in the minors was 111.0 mph paired with a 90th percentile exit velo of 106.2 mph.
Corbin Carroll is an elite fantasy prospect whose skill set plays well in any format.
Jordan Walker, St. Louis Cardinals, 20 - 6’5, 220 lbs
‘22: 536 PA, .306/.388/.510/.898, 19 HR, 22 SB, 21.6% K, 10.8% BB (AA)
I kept notes while getting live looks in the Arizona Fall League. The note for Jordan Walker was concise – he’s different. He’s physically astonishing, capable of moving much quicker than a man of his size should be, and uses all of that physicality to punish baseballs. As a Brewers’ fan, I’m preparing myself for a decade plus of Jordan Walker-related high blood pressure.
Walker’s raw power and approach are the ingredients for a classic corner masher. He gets to his power without selling out for it (21.6%/10.8% K/BB at AA). Should the approach hold, he’ll be a middle-of-the-order monster for a long, long time.
Walker profiles best as a corner infielder where he’s played the majority of his games. The Cardinals played him in right field in the Fall League, where his arm should play well but the routes and reads are still an adventure, in order to open opportunities for the bat and avoid burying him behind Arenado and Goldschmidt.
James Wood, Washington Nationals, 20 - 6’7, 240 lbs
‘22: 348 PA, .313/.420/.536/.956, 12 HR, 20 SB, 21.6% K, 14.4% BB (Rk, A)
Wood was a two-sport star before transferring to IMG Academy for his senior year to focus on baseball and forego the hardcourt. That decision paid off handsomely for both him and the Padres, who drafted him one spot ahead of Kyle Manzardo in 2021, as he got off to a spectacular start to his pro career in San Diego. He slashed .337/.453/.601 in 50 games at A ball while maintaining a 16% BB rate and a 17% K-rate. Wood, you may recall, was the centerpiece of the Josh Bell – err, Juan Soto – trade at this year’s deadline. He may one day make Nats fans forgive Mike Rizzo.
And he hasn’t slowed down with the Nationals. That is, his line regressed slightly in a small sample, but he literally hasn’t slowed down – he was clocked at a top sprint speed of 29.8 ft/s in Spring Training, a figure that would have put him in the 98th percentile among big leaguers. Guys that size shouldn’t move that quick. I think he’s likely to be the #1 overall fantasy prospect by midseason.
Jackson Chourio, Milwaukee Brewers, 18 - 6’1, 165 lbs
‘22: 439 PA, .288/.342/.438/.879, 20 HR, 16 SB, 26.9% K, 7.3% BB (A, A+, AA)
Chourio’s meteoric ascent in 2022 changed the way we talk about prospect trajectories. It’s extraordinarily rare for players to skip the complex and rookie ball entirely but the Brewers pushed him aggressively and it paid off in tremendous fashion.
He is incredibly toolsy. Impressive bat speed generates hard contact and double-plus wheels have been put to good use in center field. His reported max exit velocity of 110 mph is good enough for a 70 grade on the raw power.
Pitch recognition and swing-and-miss will determine his future. He demonstrated some weakness against spin, particularly low and away, which led to a 26% K% in 93 games across A and A+. His chase rate in 2022 was 33% which is something to keep an eye on.
He is one of the youngest and one of the most exciting prospects in all of the minor leagues. He is also extremely risky. Maybe it’s the Corey Ray of it all – and I realize I’m projecting some of my Brewers fandom insecurity – but it must be noted his value could be at peak today. If you are risk averse or contending, I don’t think it’s ridiculous to consider offloading. Just know that it could make you look very silly in 2 years’ time.
Druw Jones, Arizona Diamondbacks, 19 - 6’4, 180 lbs
‘22: Did Not Play
Druw will be the #1 pick in the majority of FYPDs in categories leagues and it should be no different in points formats. He’s a unicorn with potential to be plus across the board.
He has a projectable 6’4 frame with muscle (and room for more). He has elite bat speed and the opportunity to expand on his burgeoning raw power. On film he displays a quiet, composed swing meant to prioritize contact and gap-to-gap line drives.
Did I mention who his dad is?
Evan Carter, Texas Rangers, 20 - 6’4, 190 lbs
‘22: 475 PA, .295/.397/.489/.885, 12 HR, 28 SB, 17.1% K, 13.5% BB (A+, AA)
Time for a game! Guess this player: He’s 6'4 (like Carter), bats left, throws right, has 30 home run pop and 20+ stolen base potential…
That player is Kyle Tucker. Not only is the physical resemblance uncanny but the game is too. Carter is a contact / speed prospect right now, similar to a young Tucker, with potential to develop 25+ home run power. He walked at a tremendous clip this year, maintained a healthy spray chart, and it’s evident he’s not selling out to get to power.
To be clear – there’s some serious squinting necessary to see a Kyle Tucker outcome at this stage in Evan Carter’s development. But the possibility is there and that should get your blood pumping.
Jasson Dominguez, New York Yankees, 20 - 5’10, 190 lbs
‘22: 530 PA, .273/.376/.461/.837, 16 HR, 37 SB, 24.2% K, 13.6% BB (A, A+, AA)
The comparisons to Mike Trout and Mickey Mantle were a little much. Dominguez is very good, potentially great, but he was dealt 7-2 off-suit when the baseball world crowned him before he ever took a swing stateside.
He’s held his own against much older competition for the duration of two seasons now. He was a futures game participant in both ‘21 and ‘22 (warranted or not). He has a technically sound swing from both sides and generates phenomenal exit velocities for his age. The ingredients of a good player are there and they started to come to life very visibly in the second half of last season.
Once the calendar turned to June, Dominguez slashed .273/.389/.464 with 11 home runs. He made marked improvement on swing decisions, which the Yankees believed was holding him back from impacting the baseball with regularity.
The pendulum has swung too far and Dominguez is underrated in most circles.
Sal Frelick, Milwaukee Brewers, 22 - 5’10, 182 lbs
‘22: 562 PA, .331/.403/.480/.883, 11 HR, 24 SB, 11.2% K, 9.3% BB (A+, AA, AAA)
Sal’s been one of the biggest risers for me as I’ve spent more time digesting 2022 results and scouring for video. He’s a fantastic bet to return value in points formats a la Steven Kwan, who is one of the most underrated assets in the format.
Frelick is an exceptional athlete which is often overlooked because of his stature. He’s a 70 runner, which bodes well for the likelihood he’ll run above average BABIPs throughout his career. Combined with his line drive approach and bat-to-ball ability, he’s going to rack up points quickly and often without fanfare.
His K% on the year is already elite, but it was an even more miniscule 7% at AAA. He could be a 15-20 HR bat with near .300 batting averages and solid OBPs. The stolen bases are icing on the cake. He’ll play way up in leagues that penalize K’s. He’s among the biggest buys of all minor league players.
Pete Crow-Armstrong, Chicago Cubs, 20 - 6’0, 184 lbs
‘22: 471 PA, .312/.376/.520/.896, 16 HR, 32 SB, 21.7% K, 7.6% BB (A, A+)
Much to my chagrin, it appears the Cubs have done well dealing their stars on expiring contracts and accelerating their rebuild. Crow-Armstrong was the return for Javier Baez and Trevor Williams. So far it looks like a handsome yield.
Baez, as I’m sure you’re aware, was terrible last year for the Tigers. PCA on the other hand catapulted himself to the top of the prospect world with a tremendous bounce-back campaign in 2022. The Cubs encouraged him to make swing changes to improve launch angle and generate pull-side power. The results of which were evident, propelling him to a .312/.376/.520 triple slash across A and High-A.
Colton Cowser, Baltimore Orioles, 22 - 6’3, 220 lbs
‘22: 626 PA, .278/.406/.469/.874, 19 HR, 18 SB, 27.8% K, 15.0% BB (A+, AA, AAA)
Cowser was among my favorite college bats taken early in the 2021 draft. He got an unfair amount of skepticism because he didn’t play in a traditional baseball power conference, but it’s clear the skills he exhibited at Sam Houston State translated favorably to professional ball.
He did his best to disprove naysayers in his debut, putting up a gaudy .375/.490/.492 line primarily in full-season competition. He followed that up by progressing all the way to Triple-A in 2022. Cowser’s standout skills are the approach (he walked more than he struck out in college and in his professional debut season) and a preternatural instinct for contact. Orioles’ brass and fantasy owners are hoping for plus power in the future, and the contact quality this year (31.3% hard hit rate in 627 plate appearances) lends credence to the idea that he’s not far off already.
The K-rate is a bit of a flag. It’ll be the piece I’m watching the closest as he inevitably makes his debut. It spiked in a small sample at AAA (30.6% over 124 PAs), but he moved quickly through the system and adjustments can take time.
Emmanuel Rodriguez, Minnesota Twins, 20 - 5’10, 210 lbs
‘22: 199 PA, .272/.492/.552/1.044, 9 HR, 11 SB, 26.1% K, 28.6% BB (A)
Aptly dubbed ‘Baby Bonds’ by Michael Halpern of Imaginary Brick Wall (check out his work – he’s one of the best), Rodriguez boasts double-plus raw power and exceptional on-base skills.
Rodriguez led all players aged 25 or younger this year who recorded at least 50 plate appearances in walk rate (28.6%) and OBP (.492), and was third in hard hit rate. His chase rate was elite.
A torn meniscus in his right knee ended his 2022 season early. Between two seasons of professional ball we’ve only seen Rodriguez play 84 games which means we’re evaluating him on a relatively small sample. Rodriguez is still young and the range of outcomes is wide, but I love the foundational skills in his profile.
Elijah Green, Washington Nationals, 19 - 6’3, 225 lbs
‘22: 52 PA, .302/.404/.535/.939, 2 HR, 1 SB, 40.4% K, 11.5% BB (Rk)
In my opinion (and this is my piece, so you’re going to get my opinion), Green represents the riskiest of the top 4 prep options (Jones, Holliday, Johnson, and Green). He originally slid down MLB draft boards because of growing concerns about his contact rates and penchant for swing-and-miss against both spin and high velocity. It’s rather evident on video, too.
With that out of the way… Wow. The bat speed, strength, and quickness are top of the scale. His absolute ceiling rivals that of Wood and Chourio.
Oscar Colas, Chicago White Sox, 24 - 6’1, 220 lbs
‘22: 526 PA, .314/.371/.524/.895, 23 HR, 3 SB, 22.8% K, 7.2% BB (A+, AA, AAA)
What the White Sox think they may have in Colas is a left-handed slugger who throws lightning bolts from right field. He had a tremendous season spanning 3 levels, including a 7-game vignette in Triple-A. I’m rather concerned about the strikeouts given that he tallied 120 Ks in 117 games, including 12 in 7 games in Charlotte. He could be a huge riser if he secures a starting outfield job with the big league club or returns to Triple-A and demonstrates better contact ability (just a 73.8% contact rate at Double-A and 61.3% at Triple-A this year).
Spencer Jones, New York Yankees, 21 - 6’7, 225 lbs
‘22: 106 PA, .344/.425/.538/.962, 4 HR, 12 SB, 21.5% K, 11.8% BB (Rk, A)
We’ve really only got 3 things to go off with Jones: the size, what he accomplished with the Commodores, and the small sample in professional ball this year.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room, both literally (if you’re in the same room as Jones) and figuratively – he’s massive. Standing 6’7”, 225 lbs, Jones towers over most of his competition. The super-sized frame helps him generate tremendous power, but also drives some concerns that he’ll have an Aaron Judge/Oneil Cruz-like strike zone to contend with.
He started his collegiate career with Vanderbilt as a two way player and was shelved for a significant amount of time after undergoing TJS in 2020. He didn’t become an everyday player until 2022, but the year he had was scintillating. He slashed .370/.460/.644 for an 1.104 OPS. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.
He lost no steam in his full-season debut. The line speaks for itself, but what really grabs my attention was his ability to limit strikeouts. Given the zone concerns as a result of his extreme frame and the K figures in his final collegiate campaign, it was very encouraging to see him K just 18.9% of the time in Single-A.
He’s starting to draw some chatter from fans and industry folks alike. Consider making an offer to the Jones owner in your league before he’s full steam ahead.
Zac Veen, Colorado Rockies, 21 - 6’4, 190 lbs
‘22: 541 PA, .245/.340/.384/.724, 12 HR, 55 SB, 24.4% K, 11.8% BB (A+, AA)
Veen stands out on a baseball field. He’s tall, long-levered, and looks like a future star. He was one of the hottest names in the prospect world after lighting the world on fire in his professional debut.
The shine has worn off a bit after a disappointing 2022 season, but he still managed to produce some eye-popping numbers. 55 stolen bases jump off the page, but they aren’t the primary justification for this aggressive rank. He’s here because he has the tools and pedigree to be a perpetual top-50 fantasy pick.
We have to see it actualize, though. A slow start to 2023 could send him plummeting down ranks. The underlying metrics were not necessarily outstanding this season – his hard hit rate was below average, he K’d more than I’m comfortable with, and the frame hasn’t developed in the way we once hoped it would.
There have been some encouraging signs this spring – he pummeled a ball 115.3 mph after working to put on good weight this offseason and has generally looked like a more explosive hitter thus far.
Robert Hassell III, Washington Nationals, 21 - 6’2, 195 lbs
‘22: 513 PA, .273/.357/.407/.763, 11 HR, 24 SB, 22.0% K, 11.1% BB (A+, AA)
Hassell was the top prep bat selected in the 2020 draft after leading the U.S. national team in hitting at the U18 Olympics in South Korea. He continued that trajectory in his professional debut in 2021, belting 11 homers, 33 doubles, and 4 triples on his way to an .864 OPS.
He took a bit of a step back in the Nats system post-trade. I’m giving him some grace for two reasons: (1) moving across the country as a 20-year-old is hard and (2) he was facing better competition and adjusting to a new level to end the year.
One of the flags in his profile is the hard hit rate – he didn’t impact the ball very well this year. His trajectory is similar to that of a less extreme Zac Veen. His ranking is very volatile and will probably adjust considerably after the first month or two of play this year.
Kevin Alcantara, Chicago Cubs, 20 - 6’6, 188 lbs
‘22: 495 PA, .273/.360/.451/.811, 15 HR, 14 SB, 24.8% K, 11.1% BB (A)
Acquired by the Cubs in exchange for Anthony Rizzo in 2021, Alcantara has since bloomed in Chicago. He had accumulated just 280 plate appearances from 2019 - 2021 with limited opportunity to advertise his ceiling. In a small sample in the Arizona Complex League after being dealt, Alcantara slashed .337/.415/.609 for a 159 WRC+.
He has the physical traits to dream on, standing 6’6 and 188 lbs with plenty of speed and athleticism. His long levers allow him to produce above-average exit velocities. The raw power could be double-plus when he’s fully matured and his extreme frame fills out.
Those same long levers create challenges with swing-and-miss. The plate discipline isn’t entirely there either and could be what holds him back from reaching a 100th percentile outcome. Should everything click, you’ll be hearing Kevin Alcantara’s name for a very long time.
Miguel Bleis, Boston Red Sox, 18 - 6’3, 170 lbs
‘22: 167 PA, .301/.353/.543/.896, 5 HR, 18 SB, 26.9% K, 6.0% BB (Rk)
I had an industry writer tell me he viewed Bleis as a top-30 prospect in all of baseball already. By the time I’d finished scoffing at the idea, Eric Longenhagen had placed him 20th on his FanGraphs top 100. Really smart people like him a lot.
I like to trust smart people, especially those who have seen more of a player than I have. They tend to be right! Bleis has demonstrated strong exit velocities, a quality approach, and above average contact ability.
If your league hasn’t caught up to the Bleis fervor yet, do your best to get a share. His stock is about to take off especially if he can repeat his 2022.
Gavin Cross, Kansas City Royals, 22 - 6’3, 210 lbs
‘22: 135 PA, .312/.437/.633/1.070, 8 HR, 4 SB, 24.4% K, 17.8% BB (Rk, A)
It’s a little funny how similar Cross’ pro debut was to his 2022 season at Virginia Tech. If you prorate the statline above for another 135 at-bats, the numbers are nearly identical.
Cross was an unspectacular draft prospect as a high schooler. Folks started to take notice when he posted a .369 batting average (albeit over a very small sample – just 71 plate appearances) in the shortened 2020 season. Their ears perked further in 2021, wherein he swatted 11 homers and slugged his way to a .345/.415/.621 line. They frothed at the mouth last spring – he not only repeated his performance from the year prior, but improved on it.
He has shown a tendency to swing at stuff outside of the zone and some scouts are concerned about his long-term contact ability. To his credit, he’s improved in that department every year. He’s moved up since I authored my FYPD ranks in mid-January and I don’t think the fantasy community has caught up quite yet.
Alex Ramirez, New York Mets, 20 - 6’3, 196 lbs
‘22: 552 PA, .281/.346/.436/.782, 11 HR, 21 SB, 22.1% K, 8.0% BB (A, A+)
Ramirez is a major breakout candidate in 2023. A lot of this rank is based on potential – let’s talk about the ingredients that make the profile appetizing:
We’ll start with the frame. Ramirez stands 6’3, 170LBs, with a lot of room for healthy weight. He’s relatively slight today as a 19 year old. As he matures, the hope is that he’ll add muscle, particularly in the lower half. That could translate to tremendous power in the profile.
He’s shown periods of significant improvement in the approach, walking 15% of the time in June without much movement in strikeout rate. Plate discipline and approach have been yellow flags in the past, and this year he flashed positive signs that they may not bedevil him long-term after all.
He outperformed Jasson Dominguez and Kevin Alcantara in the same league and is currently a level above Alcantara following his promotion to Brooklyn.
Brennen Davis, Chicago Cubs, 23 - 6’4, 210 lbs
‘22: 214 PA, .180/.299/.298/.597, 5 HR, 0 SB, 29.8% K, 11.7% BB (Rk, A+, AAA)
Brennen Davis was extraordinarily hot in the streets (and prospect ranking sheets) after a mostly healthy and extremely impressive 2021 season. He reached Triple-A as a 21-year-old that year, putting up a .268/.397/.536 line in 15 games, and many evaluators had him as a near-top-10 dynasty prospect. I would have been right there with them.
I still like the tools, physicality, and makeup. I’m worried about the track record of health as he’s now missed parts of 3 seasons (not including the lost 2020 year). The first few months of 2023 will provide clarity on which direction he’s moving on this list.
Chase DeLauter, Cleveland Guardians, 21 - 6’4, 235 lbs
‘22: Did Not Play
DeLauter was once DeLauded as a potential top 5 pick. A broken foot that ended his collegiate season in 2022 paired with a poor showing in the first collegiate series of the year against premium pitching at Florida State deflated some of his draft stock. He was ultimately selected 16th by Cleveland.
A large left-handed outfielder, DeLauter demonstrates a lot of desirable traits as a hitter. He has the potential to hit for both average and power while maintaining strong K and BB rates. Ceiling looks like a middle-of-the-order masher with limited stolen base potential.
He’s shown some struggle with high velocity and spin down and away largely driven by his unique bat path, but I believe the approach and swing decisions will help mitigate any ill effects of those holes. He could rise quickly once he’s made his debut. We’ll have to wait a little while as he suffered a toe injury that’s expected to keep him out for 4-5 months.
Dustin Harris, Texas Rangers, 23 - 6’2, 185 lbs
‘22: 382 PA, .257/.346/.471/.817, 17 HR, 19 SB, 19.4% K, 11.0% BB (AA)
Harris was a big time pop-up prospect in 2021. An 11th round selection in 2019, he’d have to wait a few years to truly showcase his abilities and he finished the first post-pandemic minor league season with a .327/.401/.542/.943 line, 20 home runs, and 25 stolen bases.
This year represented a step back as he faced better competition at Double-A. I think the gap between High-A and Double-A is the largest in minor league baseball. I believe in the hit tool he showcased in ‘21 and in the approach. His spot here reflects those considerations.
Drew Gilbert, Houston Astros, 22 - 5’9, 185 lbs
‘22: 39 PA, .313/.405/.531/.937, 2 HR, 6 SB, 5.1% K, 10.3% BB (Rk, A)
He’s the owner of perhaps my favorite Twitter handle of any prospect in baseball (@gillygoobear) and an enticing set of tools for points formats.
Once considered a top pitching prospect, Gilbert flourished with the bat and found himself manning centerfield for the Vols. He’s relatively undersized (he stands 5’9”, 185 lbs), but he uses every bit of his frame to unlock power. During his 2022 season with Tennessee he walked more than he struck out, belted 11 homers, and maintained a .455 OBP.
The placement here is not a result of helium from the tear he went on in the college baseball playoffs. He landed in an excellent development org in Houston and he’s one of the safest profiles (remember – safety is relative) in the 2022 draft class.
Masataka Yoshida, Boston Red Sox, 29 - 5’8, 176 lbs
‘22: Did Not Play
Yoshida’s calling card is a sterling hit tool. Combine that with his slight frame and you’re looking at a Steven Kwan-esque player. He’s not the most exciting option, but the profile is pretty attractive in points formats where you’re punished for strikeouts and rewarded for putting the ball in play. Yoshida has walked nearly twice as many times as he’s punched out over the last two seasons with the Orix Buffaloes.
He should play way up in points formats if the profile translates well. That’s a big question to try to tackle – MLB pitching is substantively different from NPB hurlers – but projection systems are bullish on the transition going well. Given where he’s consistently ranked for rotisserie leagues, it’s very possible you can acquire him at a bargain.
George Valera, Cleveland Guardians, 22 - 6’0, 195 lbs
‘22: 566 PA, .250/.353/.463/.816, 24 HR, 2 SB, 25.6% K, 13.1% BB (AA, AAA)
The market on George Valera is more volatile than the price of bitcoin. We’re in! We’re out! We’re in!
The reasons to be in are compelling: He’s discerning at the plate, doesn’t show a lot of chase, and has plus raw power. Usually that’s a pretty good chunk of clay to mold with and I know a few folks who consider themselves zealous sculptors.
On the other hand, he doesn’t have tremendous contact ability. It’s an issue that has plagued him for the entirety of his minor league tenure and it has led to inconsistent contact quality. He’s a career .248 hitter and not many get better upon promotion to the big league level. His stock is tepid for the moment as he’s not participating in Spring Training competition after being removed from a game after injuring his wrist on a swing.
You may be best served selling Valera if he shows signs of improved contact ability when he’s back to baseball activities.
Aaron Zavala, Texas Rangers, 22 - 6’0, 193 lbs
‘22: 514 PA, .277/.420/.453/.873, 16 HR, 14 SB, 21.0% K, 17.3% BB (A+, AA)
A bit of a late bloomer in the baseball world, Zavala flew up draft boards after a phenomenal spring in 2021 at Oregon wherein he slashed .392/.526/.628. It looked like he had grown into his man strength and that power surge continued into his professional resume.
Last season saw a continuation of his tremendous on-base abilities as he drew a staggering 89 walks in 514 plate appearances. He’s been able to limit strikeouts to a reasonable degree, too, which makes him an attractive option in points formats.
He can also be a bit too selective at times. He may benefit from a change in approach that emphasizes aggression and ambushing pitches he should do damage on. His L/R splits are a big concern that could lead to him finding playing time as the strong side of an outfield platoon, which limits his fantasy ceiling. It’s a double-edged profile in that I can see a scenario where he’s a points league monster but I can more clearly envision a future where he’s limited to 400 PAs annually as a part-time player.
Josue De Paula, Los Angeles Dodgers, 17 - 6’3, 185 lbs
‘22: 223 PA, .350/.448/.522/.970, 5 HR, 16 SB, 13.9% K, 14.3% BB (DSL)
Josue De Paula was born in 2005, which is a reality I’m not quite ready to grapple with, so we’ll just talk about the fantasy profile (for now).
He’s coming off a dominant DSL campaign – where he was age-appropriate unlike other DSL standouts in Keiner Delgado and Sandro Gaston – and wherein he demonstrated incredible underlying contact and plate discipline skills.
At just 17 years old, De Paula is still growing into his 6-foot-3 frame. He’s already a so-so runner and defender which makes it likely he’ll find a home at one of the corner outfield spots, and he’ll have to hit his way into a role with the Dodgers. He’s a long way off but has the potential to be a significant riser in 2023.
Gabriel Gonzalez, Seattle Mariners, 19 - 5’10, 165 lbs
‘22: 290 PA, .321/.410/.468/.879, 7 HR, 9 SB, 14.5% K, 7.2% BB (Rk, A)
It seems the prospect world goes in cycles and there will always be an organization folks have their eye on to produce prospect talent. The explosion of Julio Rodriguez and George Kirby have catapulted the Mariners into a system everyone wants a part of and Gonzalez is the newest toy on the market.
It’s not totally misplaced fascination, though. Gonzalez clearly has a tantalizing ceiling evidenced by his max exit velocities north of 116 mph. He’s not whiffing at the rate you’d expect either, which is extremely encouraging for a 19 year old.
What he’ll do beyond hitting for power is a bit of a question mark. He chases at a rate I’m not a huge fan of and he’ll almost certainly be relegated to a corner outfield spot which places a lot of pressure on the bat.
Heston Kjerstad, Baltimore Orioles, 24 - 6’3, 205 lbs
‘22: 284 PA, .309/.394/.457/.851, 5 HR, 1 SB, 22.5% K, 10.2% BB (A, A+)
It was awesome to see Kjerstad back on the diamond after dealing with a very scary case of myocarditis. He’s a tremendous athlete and he showcased plus, bordering on double-plus raw power in the AFL HR Derby where he placed second behind Robert Perez of the Mariners.
His biggest wart is chase. I’m not convinced he’ll K less than 25% of the time in the upper minors, but that concern could resolve itself as he gets back into game action for a full season for the first time since 2020. I like him a lot as a speculative add for a relatively cheap asking price.