Top-75 Fantasy Hitting Prospects w/ Potts, Chang, & Santana

I’ve updated my hitter prospect rankings (any name ideas?) based on age, level, position, and production with some regression baked in to handle small samples (link to last pitcher rankings). Besides the top-75 list, I’ve included some additional information on three lesser-known players.

Top-75 Hitting Prospects
Rank Name Position PA Age 100-Scale
1 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B 762 19 79
2 Fernando Tatis Jr. SS 909 19 69
3 Bo Bichette SS 829 20 68
4 Ronald Acuna Jr. LF 705 20 65
5 Alex Verdugo CF 711 22 61
6 Juan Soto RF 305 19 58
7 Brendan Rodgers SS 695 21 58
8 Kyle Tucker RF 852 21 58
9 Willy Adames SS 811 22 57
10 Franchy Cordero CF 450 23 57
11 Luis Urias 2B 838 21 55
12 Eloy Jimenez LF 617 21 52
13 Victor Caratini C 432 24 52
14 Franklin Barreto 2B 698 22 51
15 Keibert Ruiz C 634 19 51
16 Danny Jansen C 660 23 50
17 Carter Kieboom SS 563 20 50
18 Ryan Mcmahon 1B 633 23 49
19 Gleyber Torres 3B 291 21 49
20 Austin Riley 3B 764 21 48
21 Tyler O’Neill LF 744 23 47
22 Lewis Brinson CF 340 23 47
23 Franmil Reyes RF 739 22 46
24 Tyler Wade SS 644 23 45
25 Jake Bauers 1B 797 22 45
26 Taylor Trammell CF 836 20 44
27 Jason Martin CF 796 22 44
28 Michael Chavis 3B 524 21 44
29 Nick Senzel 2B 700 23 44
30 Nick Gordon SS 893 22 44
31 Colton Welker 3B 570 20 43
32 Dustin Fowler CF 445 23 43
33 Carson Kelly C 427 23 43
34 Ryan Mountcastle 3B 717 21 42
35 J.P. Crawford SS 577 23 42
36 Miguel Andujar 3B 522 22 42
37 Hudson Sanchez 3B 818 19 41
38 Isaac Paredes SS 780 19 41
39 Josh Naylor LF 824 21 41
40 Yu Chang SS 784 22 41
41 Brett Phillips RF 666 24 41
42 Yordan Alvarez LF 549 21 41
43 Luis Santana 2B 318 18 40
44 Estevan Florial CF 632 20 40
45 Scott Kingery 2B 603 23 39
46 Yusniel Diaz RF 694 21 39
47 Yairo Munoz SS 579 23 39
48 Nolan Jones 3B 526 20 39
49 Oneil Cruz SS 730 19 39
50 Ronald Guzman 1B 548 23 39
51 Gavin Lux SS 766 20 39
52 DJ Peters CF 898 22 39
53 Jahmai Jones 2B 875 20 39
54 Justin Williams RF 680 22 38
55 Andres Gimenez SS 667 19 38
56 Chance Sisco C 404 23 38
57 Renato Nunez 3B 718 24 38
58 Khalil Lee CF 829 20 38
59 Alex Kirilloff RF 301 20 38
60 Cole Tucker SS 800 21 37
61 Jesus Sanchez RF 771 20 36
62 Shed Long 2B 718 22 36
63 Michael Hermosillo CF 731 23 36
64 Akil Baddoo CF 505 19 35
65 Harrison Bader CF 479 23 35
66 Eguy Rosario 2B 707 18 35
67 Chris Shaw LF 742 24 35
68 Luis Rengifo SS 867 21 35
69 Oscar Mercado CF 827 23 35
70 Kean Wong 2B 717 23 35
71 Willi Castro SS 812 21 35
72 Zack Collins C 759 23 35
73 Shervyen Newton SS 341 19 35
74 Abraham Toro-Hernandez 3B 589 21 34
75 Lucius Fox SS 755 20 34

Hudson Potts (Sanchez) – Padres

The Padres 2016 first-round pick doesn’t have that one carrying trait which makes him stick out. All his traits are average or a bit better. If one trait does stand out above the others it is his third base defense. The good defense will help to create a nice playing time floor.

Most pre-season prospect grades have his power and hit tool around 50-grade. My computer ranking likes his hitting a bit more as he’s made some improvements this season. He’s doubled his 2017 walk rate from 4% to 9% while cutting his strikeouts from 27% to 24%. Additionally, his home run per flyball rate is at 18%, up from 14%. He’s making these improvements as a 19-year-old in High-A.

While his first-round status will have on the radar in deeper dynasty leagues, owners in shallower leagues may need to track his progress as he gets closer to the majors.

Yu Chang – Indians

The 22-year-old shortstop in the Indians system will be a likely trade candidate in next couple of months. There is just no way for the 80th overall prospect to replace Francisco Lindor as the Indians shortstop.

One issue with Chang is that his power is down significantly in Triple-A (.142 ISO) compared to last season in Double-A (.241). Additionally, his walk rate has dropped from over 10% to 6.5%. His overall 2018 stats could look worse but they’re being supported by a .339 BABIP.

His skill set, like many hitters I profile, grades out as major league average. Average shortstop defense with an average bat will end up being around a 3 WAR player. He has the potential to be a productive major leaguer.

His situation and talent scream for a team to offer the Indians a reliever or two for him. His value could jump if he moves immediately to a starting role.

Luis Santana – Mets

There is nothing on him, mainly because the 18-year-old second baseman has played all but six of his games in the Dominican Republic. Here’s what I’ve found on him.

  • Signed for $200K in 2016.
  • He’s vertically challenged at 5’8 with a stocky build (looking at images).
  • In the DSL, he was 16 for 20 in stolen base attempts so get ready for the Jose Altuve comps.
  • He’s shown a great eye at the plate with a walk rate over 10% and strikeout rate under 10% over the last two seasons.
  • He might have some power with 23 of his 54 hits last season going for extra bases.

The last similar prospect my system picked up so high was Andres Gimenez, also of the Mets. In dynasty formats, I diving in now and wait on the scouting reports. If their bad, I’ll move on quickly to someone else.

Speaking of scouting reports, I’ve asked around and I expect some information on him as prospectors seeing him.



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Jeff writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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NickGerli
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NickGerli

Some of these rankings are curious. How is Verdugo #5? Above Juan Soto no less. Eloy at #12 is curious too. Gleyber all the way at #22?

Can you delve more into how the inputs and how this was put together?

jarjets89
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jarjets89

These rankings hold the same problems as Katoh…we are left with no explanations as to why certain guys rank highly, e.g., Zach Granite’s 8th overall spot in pre-season katoh.

Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil
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Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

Prospect people just can’t seem to quit Verdugo, constantly citing his age vs. level as an excuse for a basically non-elite anything except K rate.

I don’t get it myself, especially if it results in valuing a guy higher than someone who is actually in the majors and dominating (Soto) w/ sustainable skills.

slappy jack
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slappy jack

I agree, seems like a good amount of xWTF going on here

p00gs
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p00gs

True, but have you ever seen a prospect list and the comments all say “fine job sir, I agree totally”?

dodgerbleu
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dodgerbleu

My new favorite stat