Christopher Crawford

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Top 10 Prospects: August 14

Monday, August 14, 2017


Here’s a look at the updated top 10 prospects for the 2017 season.

1. Brent Honeywell, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
2017 stats: 23 G, 3.54 ERA, 125.0 IP, 122 H, 11 HR, 32 BB, 160 K at Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.

Welcome to the number one spot, Brent. Honeywell had two strong starts this week, throwing just under 12 innings without allowing a run. He also struck out 11, and only walked one. With all due respect to some of the other members of the Rays’ rotation, there’s just no way Honeywell isn’t one of their best five pitchers. If they have any chance of winning that second wild-card spot, Honeywell should occupy a spot in the rotation.

2. Lewis Brinson, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
2017 stats: 75 G, .334/.404/.568, 66 R, 22 2B, 4 3B, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 32 BB, 62 SO, 11 SB at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

It was a monster week for Brinson, as the outfielder homered three times in the only four games he appeared in. There isn’t much more to say. Yes, Brinson’s .105 average at the big-league level is ugly, but you can’t judge him on that small of a sample size. He’s ready to help the Brewers. It’s up to the Brewers to decide if they want Brinson on their big-league roster before roster expansion.

3. Ronald Acuna, OF, Atlanta Braves
2017 stats: 116 G, .317/.372/.521, 73 R, 27 2B, 8 3B, 17 HR, 64 RBI, 40 BB, 124 SO, 37 SB at High-A Florida, Double-A Mississippi, and Triple-A Gwinnett.

Acuna has gone from intriguing talent in the Florida State League in April to the third-best fantasy prospect in baseball in August. That’s amazing. It’s far from a lock that you’ll see him play in Atlanta this year, but based on what we’ve seen in 2017, it would be nuts to expect him to do anything but succeed. He can hit for average, he can hit for power and he can steal bases. It sure would be fun to see them show him off before the end of the season.

4. Scott Kingery, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies
2017 stats: 111 G, .308/.361/.562, 23 2B, 8 3B, 24 HR, 60 RBI, 35 BB, 91 SO, 27 SB at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Kingery is the first newcomer, but with six of our top 10 being called up last week, he won’t be the last. A second-round pick out of Arizona, Kingery can spray the ball to all parts of the field, but he’s also added some strength and projects to have at least average power, possibly more. He’s also a plus runner who gets good jumps on the bases, so Kingery could be a 20/20 player. Add in his great defense at second, and you have yourself a heck of a fantasy prospect.

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5. Willie Calhoun, OF, Texas Rangers
2017 stats: 109 G, .296/.352/.600, 71 R, 27 2B, 6 3B,27 HR, 76 RBI, 37 BB, 53 K, 3 SB at Triple-A Oklahoma City and Triple-A Round Rock.

Since Calhoun came over to the Rangers, he’s slugged .600 with a .282 batting average. That’s good. The “big” news, however, is that he’s played all but one game with Round Rock in left field. Second base is his natural position, but he’s not particularly good there, and Rougned Odor has him blocked. He’s not going to be a great defender in left, but it doesn’t matter for fantasy. Calhoun can hit for average and power, and you should see evidence of that before the end of the year.

6. Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Detroit Tigers
2017 stats: 92 G, .260/.346/.449, 45 R, 30 2B, 4 3B, 14 HR, 57 RBI, 43 BB, 84 SO, 1 SB at Triple-A Iowa and Triple-A Toledo.

Like Calhoun, Candelario switched teams at the deadline. Unlike Calhoun, he hasn’t found quite the same level of success with Toledo that he had in Round Rock. The good news is he does have six extra base hits in 49 at-bats, so he is making hard contact. Expect Candelario to get the call before the end of next week, and for him to be a serviceable fantasy option for the rest of the year. His upside going forward suggest he could be an above-average regular.

7. Walker Buehler, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
2017 stats: 19 G, 3.24 ERA, 80.2 IP, 57 H, 29 BB, 114 SO at High-A Rancho Cucamonga, Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Buehler picked up his first professional save on Sunday, and while he won’t be getting any of those with the Dodgers (that Kenley guy has that locked up), Buehler has shown excellent stuff as a reliever with Oklahoma City. The one issue for him has been throwing strikes, which happens with young pitchers put in this kind of role as they adjust to giving “maximum” effort. Buehler can get swing and misses with the best of them, and he could be a key cog for the Los Angeles bullpen down the stretch. He should give you plenty of strikeouts and a solid WHIP in the process.

 

8. Chance Adams, RHP, New York Yankees
2017 stats: 23 G, 128.1 IP, 80 H, 50 BB, 120 SO at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre.

Adams was removed from the list after the Yankees traded for Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia. He reenters the list because of the injury to Masahiro Tanaka. New York still has some depth in the rotation, but they don’t have many arms who miss bats while throwing strikes to both sides of the plate. Not many teams do. He’s certainly worth a stash in re-draft leagues, and if he’s available in your dynasty league, all eight to twenty of you have made a mistake.

 

9. Ronald Guzman, 1B, Texas Rangers
2017 stats: 106 G, .317/.386/.474, 70 R, 21 2B, 3 3B, 12 HR, 59 RBI, 40 BB, 70 SO, 4 SB at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

No, Ronald Guzman is not an elite fantasy prospect. He’s not going to hit for a ton of power, and he provides almost no value with his (lack of) speed. He can hit for average, however, and his approach at the plate should lead to early success if or when he gets the call, at least in that regard. He’s not going to win you games singlehandedly, but he’s a solid corner-infield option for those who are looking for an offensive upgrade there. When we’re this late in the season, you can do a heck of a lot worse than that.

 

10. Franklin Barreto, SS, Oakland Athletics
2017 stats: 97 G, .278/.326/.440, 55 R, 17 2B, 5 3B, 13 HR, 22 BB, 125 SO, 10 SB at Triple-A Nashville.

This was a toss-up between Barreto and Wily Adames, and Barreto only gets the spot because he’s the more likely call-up, as Oakland has no chance of making the playoffs. Barreto has had an up and down year, but he does have enough speed to steal bases, and he’s not bereft of power. The strikeouts and lack of walks may drive you insane, but he should hit just enough to be relevant when the A’s bring him up for the rest of the year.


Also considered: Austin Meadows, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates; Lucas Giolito, RHP, Chicago White Sox; Willy Adames, SS, Tampa Bay Rays; Alex Verdugo, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers; Jack Flaherty, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals



Christopher Crawford is a prospect writer for Rotoworld. He's scouted and covered prospects since 2009 and resides in Coronado, Calif. Follow him on Twitter @Crawford_MILB.
Email :Christopher Crawford



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