One of the tough things about having a Top 100 prospect list is that you are literally limited to just 100 prospects. While comfortable with the names that were included in that list, there are certainly a lot more than 100 players that currently qualify as potential impact MLB players.
So, we thought we’d share a few of the names that just missed the list, and tell you why they have a chance to be top 100 prospects before the end of the season.
If you’d like to see the list, you can and should purchase the 2018 Rotoworld Draft Guide, which not only features my top 100 prospects, but my top ten for each team. It also has basically anything else you need to get ready for your 2018 fantasy season, no matter what type of league you can play in.
Without further ado, here are the hitters and pitchers that just missed the top 100 prospect list.
Miguel Andujar, 3B, New York Yankees -- These are in alphabetical order, but Andujar was prospect 101, if you were curious. The 22-year-old third baseman had a breakout season in stops at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and even performed well in a stop with the Yankees. He makes hard contact to all parts of the field, and the power has a chance to be plus. The only reason he’s not on the top 100 is because of some concerns about his defensive position, but Andujar is certainly a talented prospect who could help in 2018.
Monte Harrison, OF, Florida Marlins -- Harrison came over to the Marlins in the Christian Yelich trade in January, and while Lewis Brinson is the “big name,” there are some who believe Harrison could be the best player in the deal. He’s a former four-star recruit as a wide receiver, and his athleticism is shown in speed that could make him a 30-plus base stealer at the highest level. He also has plus power in his right-handed bat, but he strikes out a ton, so he won’t hit for much average. Still, because of his speed and pop, he’s a high-ceiling player that could make a big rise in 2018.
Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, Baltimore Orioles -- Had Mountcastle been able to stick at shortstop, he would be a no-brainer for the top 100. Even with the move to the hot corner, he’s still a quality prospect. He’s still tapping into his power but it should be plus by the time he’s done, and despite his lack of patience at the plate, he still should hit for a high average because of his ability to make hard contact all over the park. He also can give you a handful of steals, making Mountcastle one of the better third base prospects right now.
Keibert Ruiz, C, Los Angeles Dodgers -- If there was one position prospect that wasn’t on the list this year that I could guarantee will make next year’s version, it’s Ruiz. The 19-year-old backstop sprays line drives all over the park, and his excellent hand-eye coordination means there’s very little here in terms of contact issues. The only question mark is the power, but he’s getting stronger, and double-digit homer seasons are certainly possible. He’s also an excellent defender behind the plate, so everything plays up because he plays a premium position.
Albert Abreu, RHP, New York Yankees -- Abreu was only able to pitch in nine games last year because of a shoulder strain, but the 22-year-old right-hander pitched well in those outings, and he dominated the Arizona Fall League. He has three pitches that can miss bats, starting with a fastball that’s clocked in the high 90s, and a curveball that flashes plus. His change might be his best swing-and-miss pitch right now, and in general, he throws all three pitches for strikes. If the command takes a small step up and he shows that he can stay healthy, Abreu will be in the top 100 for sure by the end of the season.
Michel Baez, RHP, San Diego Padres -- Baez was given a $3 million bonus in December of 2016, and while that’s not a small chunk of change for the international market, some teams should be kicking themselves for not offering more. The 6-foot-8 hurler has touched 99 mph with his heater, and it plays up because of his extension. He also shows a plus slider and solid change, and he’ll mix in a curveball. He pounds the strike zone, but the command is well behind the control at this point. If he performs the way he did at the lower levels in Double-A and up this summer, he’ll shoot up the rankings.
Jose De Leon, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays -- De Leon certainly belongs on this list based on talent, but his consistent health issues drop him from the first iteration of the list. When he’s healthy, the 25-year-old will show a 92-95 mph fastball with quality life, and one of the best change ups of any pitching prospect in baseball. The slider is only average, but it plays up because he can throw it for strikes. Time is running out for De Leon, but his upside still makes him an intriguing fantasy pitching prospect.
Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Oakland Athletics -- Even if it was only 12 appearances, you’d be hard pressed to have a better professional debut than Luzardo did with a 1.66 ERA and 48 strikeouts with just 5 walks in his 43 ⅓ innings. The 20-year-old southpaw can touch 98 mph with his heater, and he has the same arm speed on his plus change. Add in the fact that he throws nothing but strikes with those pitches and an average curveball, and you have the makings of an upper-echelon pitching prospect. He just has to show he can stay healthy.