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Zac Beck's OF Prospect Ranks for Dynasty Points(1-60) w/Spreadsheet
Zac Beck's Prospect Positional Rankings for Dynasty Points Leagues
Zac Beck did amazing work on these. Over 10k words on outfield prospects! I am so pumped for his overall points rankings for dynasty and prospects. His work is tremendous, and I’m really proud of his growth. I made this post specifically as I could not include all 60 writeups in the SubStack emails. So this post you can access a google sheet with the rankings 1-60 and still read all the writeups below.
A reminder that all of Beck’s positional rankings are free, and you can see them on the main SubStack page. If you want to gain access to Beck’s overall dynasty points rankings when they release plus all of this click the subscribe button below:
Top-500 Dynasty Rankings (Avg, OBP, Win-now, Rebuild)
Top-500 Prospect Rankings
Top-125 FYPD Rankings
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Writeups on all 60 players:
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.
Joey Wiemer, Milwaukee Brewers, 24 - 6’4, 220 lbs
‘22: 548 PA, .256/.336/.465/.801, 21 HR, 31 SB, 26.8% K, 10.0% BB (AA, AAA)
Wiemer is a big ol’ weirdo, from the stance, to the hair, to the statistical profile.
He has an unconventional set-up at the dish, holding his hands away from his body a la Matt Olson and contorting his lower half to generate torque. The Brewers have worked with him to implement a toe tap that replaces a big leg kick in an effort to turn down the noise in his loading mechanism. Still, his mechanics lead to a lot of variability, making Wiemer one of the streakier prospects here.
Wiemer’s month-by-month OPS in 2022: .892 in April, .961 in May, .687 in June, .442 in July, .871 in August, and .901 in September. Maybe he’s not a fan of the warm weather?
He hits the ball hard and is susceptible to swing and miss. He’ll likely always be an inconsistent contributor, but riding his highs could take you a long way.
Ceddanne Rafaela, Boston Red Sox, 22 - 5’8, 152 lbs
‘22: 522 PA, .299/.342/.539/.880, 21 HR, 28 SB, 21.6% K, 5.0% BB (A+, AA)
Ceddanne Chipper Nicasio Marte Rafaela. I’m not just making things up, that’s his full legal name.
We’re not here for the defense, I know that, but Rafaela was the best defensive CF in MiLB this year (even if Pete Crow-Armstrong took home gold glove hardware). His build and defensive ability have led to Mookie Betts comparisons among Red Sox fans. I don’t have to tell you this – as knowledgeable and keen as you are – but CCNMR is not Mookie Betts.
Hidden behind an encouraging surface-level performance is a real problem with plate discipline. He chased at a rate greater than 40%, which is entirely untenable at the big league level. His power played up in hitter friendly environments too, so while he may debut this year and flash the leather, his stock is potentially as high as it’ll ever be offensively.
Luis Matos, San Francisco Giants, 21 - 5’11, 160 lbs
‘22: 415 PA, .215/.280/.356/.636, 12 HR, 11 SB, 15.9% K, 6.7% BB (Rk, A+)
Matos had a weird year. He suffered a quad injury early on and then struggled to find his footing at High-A Eugene.
He puts the ball in the air a lot (roughly 50% in 2022) and over half the time it’s to his pull side. He rarely strikes out – just 15.9% of the time this year – and makes a healthy amount of contact (82.4% contact rate). He’s young and has time to refine the approach. He had a tremendous debut in full season ball two years ago. I’m giving him a pass on an abbreviated campaign marred by injury.
James Outman, Los Angeles Dodgers, 25 - 6’3, 215 lbs
‘22: 559 PA, .294/.393/.586/.978, 31 HR, 13 SB, 27.2% K, 12.5% BB (AA, AAA)
Here’s a case of a hitter making a tangible swing change and it working out for the better. Outman reduced his leg kick and changed his hand position in an attempt to make more contact on the inner third in 2022, which propelled him to a near .300/.400/.500 line accompanied by 31 homers.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to cure all of his swing ailments. The .294 average won’t hold up at the bigs (almost no batters maintain their minor league efficiency upon promotion, but I’m forecasting more precipitous declines for Outman than average) and his platoon splits are questionable at best.
Samuel Zavala, San Diego Padres, 18 - 6’1, 175 lbs
‘22: 176 PA, .272/.366/.530/.896, 8 HR, 5 SB, 27.2% K, 13.1% BB (Rk, A)
The Padres have never been afraid of pushing their youngsters. They certainly weren’t shy about moving Zavala quickly – he started the year stateside and moved levels after just 10 games in the ACL.
As a hitter, Zavala demonstrates patience and plate discipline with flourishing power. He’s still very young and raw, but the Padres see him as someone who could advance quickly because of his understanding of the game and coachability. He’s one of my favorite low-level prospects to invest in.
A hamate injury ended his 2022 season early but he’ll be good to go for the start of competition this year.
Alec Burleson, St. Louis Cardinals, 24 - 6’2, 212 lbs
‘22: 470 PA, .331/.372/.532/.905, 20 HR, 4 SB, 14.3% K, 6.2% BB (AAA)
A tough start at the big league level threw some cold water on Burleson, who had been considered a bat-first prospect for the entirety of his minor league career. He’s been billed as a hit and power guy, which makes him an attractive, cheap option in points formats.
There aren’t a lot of openings for Burleson in the St. Louis outfield. It’s possible they deal him from a position of depth at some point and he becomes an average regular. It’s also possible he moves off of the position to something like first base, but his power doesn’t play quite as well there.
Everson Pereira, New York Yankees, 21 - 6’0, 191 lbs
‘22: 448 PA, .277/.350/.469/.819, 14 HR, 21 SB, 27.7% K, 9.6% BB (A+, AA)
There’s a surprisingly short track record for Pereira despite his original signing occurring in 2017, partially due to injury and partially because of the lost pandemic season. He made a lot of noise by slugging 20 home runs in 49 games to end the year in 2021 but lost some ground last year due to chase and whiff issues that may trouble him throughout his career.
Boy can he mash though. I would put a 60 on his raw power, perhaps even a 70, but there are questions as to whether the hit tool is good enough to capitalize on it.
Alexander Canario, Chicago Cubs, 22 - 6’1, 212 lbs
‘22: 534 PA, .252/.343/.556/.899, 37 HR, 23 SB, 27.5% K, 11.0% BB (A+, AA, AAA)
Canario hits bombs. Canario walks a lot. The canary in the coalmine is the whiff.
I really wanted to end the blurb there because I think it’s a really tidy way to sum up his profile, but I am so grateful for anybody reading at this point that I’ll pepper in a few extra notes. He struggles specifically with staying off pitches out of the zone, and the bigger issue is that it’s not limited to a specific pitch type. High velocity and breaking balls alike give him fits. His profile plays pretty poorly in points formats that penalize K’s (and batting average leagues for that matter).
That said, he will tally home runs with the best of them. It comes down to whether he’ll slug his way to fantasy viability and make the strikeout problems an afterthought. I don’t think he will.
Dylan Beavers, Baltimore Orioles, 21 - 6’4, 206 lbs
‘22: 105 PA, .322/.438/.460/.898, 0 HR, 6 SB, 17.1% K, 15.2% BB (Rk, A, A+)
Sometimes as an evaluator you do everything right. You’ve watched all the film, you’ve crunched all the numbers, and you land on one take that you think is brilliant. For me, that was the undeniable and uncanny resemblance between Dylan Beavers and Christian Yelich.
At the eleventh hour, you revisit your notes and brush up on the prevailing industry narratives. I rewatched the 2022 Draft broadcast. Beavers states pretty plainly that he models his game after Yelich. Bingo! I was right. And thousands of others already knew this because Beavers himself had told the world.
Beavers is a ceiling play. He’s an extremely athletic outfielder with a big frame. He has some K in the profile and the swing mechanics could use a little cleaning up. There’s potential for streakiness. Baltimore’s development team has been among the best in the league in recent years and I can’t wait to see what they do with a profile like his.
Anthony Gutierrez, Texas Rangers, 18 - 6’3, 180 lbs
‘22: 190 PA, .308/.358/.477/.835, 4 HR, 11 SB, 17.9% K, 5.8% BB (DSL, Rk)
Big Gute (maybe it’ll stick, I’m just experimenting) showed up to camp this spring reportedly larger, having added 15 lbs or so of muscle. At the time of signing he was long and wiry with obvious remaining projection. It’s encouraging to see that come to fruition so early.
The Rangers aggressively promoted Gutierrez to stateside ball in his first professional season, signaling how confident they are in his abilities. He struggled but didn’t cave, nor did he let his K-rate balloon, which was doubly encouraging.
Beyond the frame and track record, Gutierrez displayed a strong zone-contact rate (88%). There was a little chase and he has holes to cover in the zone, but he’s a really promising bet if you’re looking to take a swing on barely-legal prospects.
Yanquiel Fernandez, Colorado Rockies, 20 - 6’2, 198 lbs
‘22: 523 PA, .284/.340/.507/.848, 21 HR, 5 SB, 21.8% K, 7.5% BB (A)
I love when players only compete at one level for an entire year because it makes for very aesthetically pleasing Baseball Reference pages. Fernandez played his age 18 season in the DSL and tore it up to the tune of a .937 OPS and returned in 2022 at more age-appropriate A-ball for his age 19 season.
He has huge power and above-average contact skills that make him attractive in points formats. His approach could use some work – he’s rather swing-happy at the moment – but I’d rather that than issues with zone contact.
Will Brennan, Cleveland Guardians, 25 - 6’0, 200 lbs
‘22: 590 PA, .314/.371/.479/.850, 13 HR, 20 SB, 11.7% K, 8.5% BB (AA, AAA)
After going largely unnoticed for several years, Brennan broke out last year and had his most productive year to date by leading the minors in hits. Only Masataka Yoshida, Justin Dirden, and James Outman saved him from being the eldest outfielder in my top 60, so it’s fair to Brennan made his presence known later than the traditional prospect.
He’s a really solid hitter with above average bat to ball ability, but his platoon splits leave something to be desired. His .909 OPS against right-handed pitching last year is stellar, though, and could lead him to a strong-side platoon role in the future. He won’t be a detraction when he is on the field. He gets a solid bump in value in daily leagues.
Gabriel Martinez, Toronto Blue Jays, 21 - 6’0, 186 lbs
‘22: 389 PA, .293/.355/.477/.832, 14 HR, 4 SB, 16.5% K, 8.2% BB (Rk, A, A+)
Martinez made his professional debut in earnest in 2019. It wasn’t pretty. Much rosier was his 2021, when he broke out to the tune of .330/.442/.411 over 138 plate appearances and introduced himself to the prospect world.
2022 saw him move three levels and largely hold his own. An impressive hitter, Martinez makes plenty of contact and projects for average power as he progresses. He chases a little (who doesn’t, am I right?) but his ability to put the barrel on the baseball has limited the K-rate from ballooning.
A repeat of last year against better competition could send his stock up even further. Now is a good time to invest.
Mason Auer, Tampa Bay Rays, 22 - 6’1, 210 lbs
‘22: 529 PA, .290/.372/.487/.859, 15 HR, 48 SB, 20.8% K, 10.3% BB (A, A+)
Auer is a very athletic and unpolished product of the JUCO circuit. His raw power has been reported as double-plus, he has tremendous speed, and he has a rifle attached to his right shoulder where an arm normally would be.
He could be a big riser with a few improvements. He lost no steam at A+ where he spent half of the season, which was an encouraging sign, but he’ll have to prove that his raw skills will translate against better competition and/or that he’s managed to corral some of the underlying chase issues in the profile.
The Rays have worked with him to make some of those adjustments already. He started his professional career with a much more pronounced leg kick that was replaced with quieter lower half actions. The arrow is tentatively pointing up and investing while his price is low could prove prudent.
Benny Montgomery, Colorado Rockies, 20 - 6’4, 200 lbs
‘22: 286 PA, .310/.385/.494/.879, 6 HR, 9 SB, 26.9% K, 7.3% BB (Rk, A)
He’s a freak athlete. Double-plus speed and plus raw power are the headliners. It’s easy to see why Colorado gave him $5 million to sign.
The results have been there, too. If I were just scouting statlines he’d likely bump up several spots. The hangup is that none of it makes sense visually – his pre-pitch set up is busy, his hands are inconsistent, the leg kick is big, and the swing is violent. There’s a lot to clean up and I’m not certain the Rockies are the best equipped to reconfigure… everything. Some players are able to athlete their way out of bad mechanics, but more often than not it falls apart as they progress.
Esteury Ruiz, Oakland Athletics, 24 - 6’0, 169 lbs
‘22: 541 PA, .332/.447/.526/.974, 16 HR, 85 SB, 17.4% K, 11.6% BB (AA, AAA)
Ruiz is my favorite player on the A’s. That has more to do with the fact that Matt Arnold was able to swindle a deal returning William Contreras in exchange for Ruiz this offseason than it does with Ruiz himself.
Ruiz would rank a lot higher if we were taking his line from 2022 at face value. I’m baking in a lot of regression based on his debut (which is admittedly a small sample, but not a positive one) and his batted ball profile.
Tyler Gentry, Kansas City Royals, 24 - 6’2, 210 lbs
‘22: 483 PA, .326/.422/.542/.965, 21 HR, 10 SB, 21.7% K, 12.4% BB (A+, AA)
Before you point and laugh at Gentry’s age (which greatly offends all of us older than him), allow for some context. He was part of the 2020 draft class and lost a full year of developmental experience before making his debut in 2021. Last year he made a massive leap forward, even improving as he climbed levels, and he’s poised to begin 2023 at AAA.
There isn’t a whole lot stopping him from eventually becoming a regular at one of the corner outfield spots either. What really grabbed my eye was that Gentry managed to decrease his K% at every level and saw a 50 point jump in ISO once he arrived at AA. He’s a sneaky add in deep points formats.
Andy Pages, Los Angeles Dodgers, 22 - 6’1, 212 lbs
‘22: 571 PA, .236/.336/.468/.805, 26 HR, 6 SB, 24.5% K, 10.9% BB (AA)
Pages dropped considerably since my December iteration. I’ve learned a lot (better every day is the motto) and what I’ve learned about Pages has really cooled me on him.
He’s got tremendous pull-side power and a healthy dose of swing and miss. I don’t think he’ll ever make average contact because of his uppercut swing path that leaves him exposed to high heat, which happens to be all the rage these days. If the hit tool were even a half grade better he would be ranked much higher but it’s a real concern as is. He’s on the 40-man roster and we should see him in 2023.
Owen Caissie, Chicago Cubs, 20 - 6’4, 190 lbs
‘22: 433 PA, .254/.349/.402/.751, 11 HR, 11 SB, 28.6% K, 11.5% BB (A+)
Caissie made his way to Chicago from San Diego as part of the Yu Darvish trade wherein AJ Preller sent five prospects north.
I love Caissie’s ceiling. He’s extremely projectable, boasts impressive power numbers already, and makes enough contact to get by. He started 2022 pretty slowly but rebounded over the second half.
I’m keeping an eye on the K%. Anything over 27% starts to get a little iffy, and it’s not as though the pitching you see every day at A+ is dominant.
Cristhian Vaquero, Washington Nationals, 18 - 6’3, 180 lbs
‘22: 216 PA, .256/.379/.341/.719, 1 HR, 17 SB, 17.6% K, 15.3% BB (DSL)
The Nationals and I agreed on something last year – that Vaquero was the best international talent available in the 2022 signing period. They put their money where their proverbial mouth is by shelling out nearly $5 million to sign him.
His stint in the DSL was just OK. There’s opportunity for much more, particularly in the power department. His notoriety as an aggressive hitter in the Cuban junior leagues didn’t translate, which is a positive, and he’s yet another prospect who could see his stock soar with a strong start in stateside rookie ball.
Roman Anthony, Boston Red Sox, 18 - 6’3, 200 lbs
‘22: 83 PA, .306/.374/.361/.735, 0 HR, 1 SB, 9.6% K, 10.8% BB (Rk, A)
Just about every time you hear Roman Anthony’s name come up in discussion, you’re going to hear about the 450 foot tape measure job he launched in the High School All Star game in Denver. He’s a freak athlete that passes the eye test on film.
Among his Perfect Game peers, Anthony registered a 96th percentile max exit velo and a 99th percentile sprint speed. His lefty swing is visually pleasing. The 6’3, 200 lb frame at 18 years old leaves a lot of room for projection.
Yasser Mercedes, Minnesota Twins, 18 - 6’2, 175 lbs
‘22: 176 PA, .355/.421/.555/.975, 4 HR, 30 SB, 19.9% K, 10.2% BB (DSL)
Mercedes is fresh off a very, very impressive DSL stint that saw him finish in the top-5 in batting average and stolen bases and top-10 in slugging. His average exit velocities were well above average, too.
As with most young athletes attempting to become professional hitters Mercedes suffers from chase issues. It’s almost not notable because he makes more than enough contact to get by, but it’ll be interesting to see how the Twins mold him into a more polished product nonetheless. He’ll start 2023 stateside in the FCL.
Garrett Mitchell, Milwaukee Brewers, 24 - 6’3, 224 lbs
‘22: 289 PA, .287/.377/.426/.804, 5 HR, 17 SB, 25.6% K, 10.4% BB (Rk, AA, AAA)
Selected 20th overall in the truncated 2021 draft, Mitchell hasn’t had a lot of opportunity to get acclimated to professional ball. A series of nagging injuries have limited him to just 557 plate appearances over the last two years, but he ascended through the system and debuted in Milwaukee nonetheless.
I feel like I’ve written this a number of times about a number of players, but Mitchell is a phenomenal athlete who may never get to his best outcomes because of flaws in his swing and approach. He has always run K-rates in the danger zone. His short stint at the MLB level showed us how those problems can compound as he K’d north of 40% of the time over 68 plate appearances.
He might be a good buy for rotisserie formats where his speed will be redeeming. Points leagues are a different story – the K’s will likely never get to a place where he’s immensely valuable.
Brandon Mayea, New York Yankees, 17 - 5’11, 175 lbs
‘22: Did Not Play
Evaluating international prospects, many of which are just 16 or 17 years old, is an astoundingly difficult task. My investigation into Brandon “Brando” Mayea led me to his Instagram for sizzle reels and highlight tapes. That’s about the best footage you can unearth unless you’re a scout affiliated with a team evaluating these players in their home countries.
On top of that, almost all international signees feature ETAs in the distant future. We won’t see them in real competition until the DSL starts several months into the minor league season.
Mayea is my favorite of the 2023 international crop. He reportedly has the best bat-to-ball ability in the class and the potential for plus game power. His swing is quick, direct, and mechanically sound, at least from what we can glean from the scant video out there. He’ll get a bump in public perception for commanding a very high signing bonus (third among all intl. signees this cycle) and because he’s a New York Yankee.
Jordan Beck, Colorado Rockies, 21 - 6’3, 225 lbs
‘22: 109 PA, .296/.431/.477/.909, 3 HR, 0 SB, 18.3% K, 19.2% BB (Rk, A)
Beck’s profile is pretty easy to break down: there is power in spades and the hit tool is a genuine concern. It’s usually something that’s passable, and you’d think Coors might give him a reasonable bump, but the Rockies haven’t successfully developed a hitter in a substantial amount of time.
He could be a power-over-hit corner outfielder with a spectacular arm assuming he’s able to improve his pitch recognition and plate discipline, but he could also be the kind of player that never makes enough contact to unlock the power. His debut was an encouraging sign for the former outcome.
It’s important to note that there are some character concerns with Beck (the professional baseball player, not the prospect analyst or musician). He was caught using an illegal bat and had a few unsavory on field incidents.
Nolan Jones, Colorado Rockies, 24 - 6’4, 195 lbs
‘22: 248 PA, .276/.368/.463/.831, 9 HR, 14 SB, 25.8% K, 12.5% BB (AAA)
It’s been a bit of a winding road for Jones, who was traded to the Rockies in November in exchange for Juan Brito ahead of the 40-man deadline. He was originally signed in 2016 after being selected in the 2nd round as a prep prospect and had been considered the top prospect in the Guardians system for a short while.
He struggled in his initial stint at AAA, logging a .787 OPS and a 30% K-rate. Last year he corrected some of the strikeout problems but still hit the ball on the ground far too often to capitalize on his plus raw power. He’s an OK flier to take but I wouldn’t expect much unless he retools his swing to put the ball in the air more often. Playing half of his games in Coors could ostensibly give his overall output a bump.
Justin Dirden, Houston Astros, 25 - 6’3, 209 lbs
‘22: 549 PA, .302/.384/.558/.942, 24 HR, 12 SB, 24.4% K, 9.3% BB (AA, AAA)
Dirden is one of the few prospects that begin their career as undrafted free agents and rise to fantasy relevance. He’s done so by hitting the baseball hard and in the air a lot (50.8% FB% at A+ in 2021, 42.6% at AA in 2022).
As he progressed to AAA his K-rate spiked to 28.2% and his FB% diminished substantially, both signaling that he’ll need a little more seasoning before contributing at the big league level. When he does, it’s reasonable to think he could be an average regular.
Jose Ramos, Los Angeles Dodgers, 22 - 6’1, 200 lbs
‘22: 545 PA, .249/.339/.479/.818, 25 HR, 4 SB, 31.0% K, 10.5% BB (A)
Ramos certainly looks the part of a ballplayer. He had a huge 2021 campaign after competing in the DSL the year prior, planting him firmly in the fantasy prospect discourse.
2022 brought with it some challenges. As he advanced so did the pitching, primarily the quality of breaking stuff. It ate him up as he was unable to identify or contact secondaries of any type with regularity.
Jonatan Clase, Seattle Mariners, 20 - 5’8, 150 lbs
‘22: 499 PA, .267/.374/.463/.837, 13 HR, 55 SB, 26.7% K, 13.0% BB (A)
Clase is a true top of the scale runner. He’s certainly more appealing in rotisserie than points, but it’s not hollow speed by any means. In addition to his quickness there’s plenty of thump.
On the other hand, he’s very much a free swinger. He struggles to identify and contact breaking pitches. Swinging outside of the zone is a regular occurrence and it makes him a solidly below average hitter.
Pedro Leon, Houston Astros, 24 - 5’10, 170 lbs
‘22: 504 PA, .228/.365/.431/.796, 17 HR, 38 SB, 28.8% K, 14.1% BB (AAA)
It’s really hard to be a productive hitter when you’re striking out 29% of the time. Leon logged over 500 plate appearances in the PCL, one of the most hitter-friendly environments at any level of professional baseball, and failed to produce a batting average north of .230. I’ve never been a huge Leon fan and came away from seeing him in the AFL in 2021 shrugging my shoulders. It’s not a great profile for points formats, but he’s a tremendous athlete and could be interesting if he finds a way to put it together.