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Jo Adell
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Prospect Roundup

Future Category Winners: Homers

by Christopher Crawford
Updated On: March 9, 2020, 2:57 pm ET

If you play fantasy baseball -- and you know you do -- you know that there are players who are going to help you in certain categories more than others. We like to call these players "category winners."

As a prospect person, I thought it'd be prudent to give you some players who can help you win those various categories in the short and long-term.

Next up, the homer category. Here's a look at some prospects who have a chance to pile up the homers once they're in the majors. 

2020 Helpers

Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox -- Robert is a legitimate five-tool player, and outside of his speed -- we'll get to that in another article -- the power might be the tool that profiles the best. He offers plenty of bat speed, and his swing's natural loft allows him to take the ball out to all parts of the field. he hit 32 homers in the minor leagues last year, and while you shouldn't expect Robert to hit that many in 2020 for the White Sox, 20-plus roundtrippers are well within reason for the 22-year-old. 

Jo Adell, OF, Los Angeles Angels -- Adell has as much raw power as any outfield prospect in baseball, and while it hasn't shown up in games just yet, there's plenty of reason to believe it'll show up in 2020. He's strong, he looks to lift the baseball, and the bat speed is unquestioned. There's a question as to when we'll see Adell playing for the Angels in 2020, but there's very little doubt in my mind that once he's up, he's going to succeed; particularly in the power category.

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Dylan Carlson, OF, St. Louis Cardinals -- Carlson is crushing the ball in the Grapefruit League right now, and while you are right to be dismissive of stats in exhibition leagues for the most part, this is not smoke-and-mirrors. The outfielder has plus power from the left side; the type you see in players who hit 25-to-30 homers a year on a regular basis. Even if he begins the year in the minors, it shouldn't shock anyone if Carlson has that kind of power production for the Cardinals in 2020. 

Ryan Mountcastle, 1B, Baltimore Orioles -- Mountcastle's power would have been even more impressive if he would have been able to stay at shortstop or third base, but even at the not-so-hot corner, he has a chance to provide production in the fantasy world with the pop. Don't expect Pete Alonso-type numbers, but his bat speed and ability to drive the ball to all parts of the field make him likely to hit 20-plus homers on a consistent basis, and there's a chance that it's considerably higher if he keeps putting on strength. There are defensive issues and his patience at the plate is lacking, but the power should always be there for Mountcastle. 

Gavin Lux, INF, Los Angeles Dodgers -- Lux would have made this list regardless, but the fact that he can hit for power while playing up the middle is obviously an added benefit. He's really added strength since he was drafted in 2016, and the 22-year-old has enough bat speed and wrist strength to take the ball out to pretty much every part of the park; although you probably shouldn't expect a ton of oppo-tacos. Lux is very likely to begin the year with the Dodgers, and it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone if he provided 20-to-25 homers for them in his "rookie" campaign. 

Others: Brendan Rodgers, INF, Colorado Rockies; Nick Solak, INF/OF, Texas Rangers; Carter Kieboom, INF, Washington Nationals; Sean Murphy, C, Oakland Athletics; Kyle Lewis, OF, Seattle Mariners

Future Helpers

Wander Franco, SS, Tampa Bay Rays -- Yep, there's nothing this kid can't do. Potentially, anyway. Franco is the top prospect in baseball, and he has a chance to hit for power from both sides of the plate. Add that to a top-of-the-scale hit tool and above-average speed, and yeah, this is a special fantasy talent. We should see him hitting dingers in Tampa Bay before the end of 2021. 

Joey Bart, C, San Francisco Giants -- Bart's positional value helps him as a fantasy player, but this is not a case of Bart having power "for a catcher." The second-overall pick in the 2018 draft has easy plus-plus power from the right side, and he's already tapping into it at the minor-league level. It may be another year or two before we see it, but when Bart gets the promotion to San Francisco, he's going to help you in the homer category. 

Andrew Vaughn, 1B, Chicago White Sox -- We profiled Vaughn in the average category last week, but the 2019 third-overall selection offers plenty of power potential as well. He can take the ball out to any part of the park, and the six homers he hit in his 55 games after signing with Chicago are not indicative of his potential whatsoever. Vaughn should be hitting in the middle of the Chicago lineup before the end of 2022, if not sooner. Even at first base, his power/average combination makes him extremely fantasy-relevant. 

Oneil Cruz, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates -- Cruz is listed as a shortstop right now because that's the position he's playing, but it's not very likely to be his landing spot when he joins the Pirates. That being said, it doesn't really matter where Cruz plays, because he's going to hit for power wherever he lines up. The 6-foot-7 infielder (for now) has tremendous power potential from the left side, and he generates as much extension as you'll see from a prospect. There's an outside chance Cruz sees time with Pittsburgh in 2020, but he's more likely to be helping fantasy teams at some position in 2021 and beyond. 

Julio Rodriguez, OF, Seattle Mariners -- I'm actually lower on Rodriguez than some -- there are a few who believe Rodriguez is a Top 10 overall prospect right now, and I'm not close to that in my Top 100 rankings -- but there's no denying his talent, and one of his best tools is his power. It's more projection than reality right now  after hitting 12 homers in 84 games, but his frame, bat speed and lift all suggest that there'll be plenty of power by the time he's ready to help Seattle. Keep in mind he'll be 19-years-old throughout the 2020 season, but there's a real chance we see Rodriguez hitting homers in T-Mobile Park before 2021 comes to an end. 

Others: Jarred Kelenic, OF, Seattle Mariners; Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Kansas City Royals; Kristian Robinson, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks; Nolan Gorman, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals 

Christopher Crawford
Christopher Crawford is a baseball and college football writer for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter @Crawford_MILB.