A reminder that this is strictly a list for 2019. Several of these prospects are among the best in baseball, but for the purpose of this series, it’s just measuring potential impact for this season. Also, a reminder that prospects who are on MLB rosters are not eligible for this list, nor is any player that has exhausted his prospect eligibility. You can view my top 100 prospects for 2019 and my top prospects by position in our Rotoworld MLB Season Pass.
Without further ado, here’s the top 10 fantasy prospects that can help you in the 2019 season.
2019 stats: 102 G, .305/.395/.578, 26 HR, 5 SB, 49 BB, 96 SO at Triple-A New Orleans.
For the first time in my life, I owe the Miami Marlins a thank you. You see, I was very torn as to who belonged at the top of this list after the promotions of Brendan McKay and Bo Bichette last week, but then news broke Sunday that Diaz was getting promoted this week. That made it easy. As you can see from his stats, the 23-year-old has been exceptional in the PCL in 2019, and he has a swing that suggests he can hit for power and average while staying up the middle. One caveat here: Diaz has a history of struggling at a new level. That being said, there's a reason he's a Top 100 prospect, and he absolutely has the talent to be a fantasy contributor over the last two months.
2. Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox
2019 stats: 96 G, .349/.403/.638, 23 HR, 34 SB, 23 BB, 92 SO at High-A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham, and Triple-A Charlotte.
Robert would have been given the top spot if not for the Diaz news, which would have been a pretty impressive jump considering he wasn't on my radar for this list to begin the year. Most players in High-A aren't. He's hitting .386 over his last 10 games, and he homered on Wednesday and Friday for the Knights. He is not a lock to receive time with the White Sox this year, but outside of Diaz, there aren't many locks left. Robert is a five-tool talent that offers huge fantasy upside.
3. Gavin Lux, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
2019 stats: 92 G, .358/.427/.626, 22 HR, 8 SB, 48 BB, 84 SO at Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Lux drew a walk just before this article finished -- his stats are through Saturday, just for the record -- and he's now reached base in 42 straight minor league games. Ridiculous. Or if you wanna make the bad pun, Ridicu-Lux. Lux has clearly proven he's ready to play at the highest level -- at least offensively -- but because of the Dodgers loaded roster, he may not get the chance. That'd be a shame, but those are the breaks. If the Dodgers give him a shot, you should add him as quickly as possible.
4. Jo Adell, OF, Los Angeles Angels
2019 stats: 53 G, .303/.388/.540, 10 HR, 6 SB, 24 BB, 55 SO at High-A Inland Empire, Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Salt Lake.
Adell gets a big jump on this list, and it comes in large part due to the fact that the 20-year-old outfielder received a promotion to Triple-A to begin the month. He's held his own so far at that level with a .286 average and .444 on-base percentage while hitting at the top of the Bees' lineup. The Angels are falling out of playoff contention, but that could be all the more reason to give their top prospect a look in 2019 without pressure. He's as good of prospect as there is in the upper levels, and you'd be a fool to leave him on the waiver wire if he does get that final promotion, and he's probably worth a stash right now. It's hard for me to imagine many more impact players you could keep on your bench right now.
5. Nate Lowe, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays
2019 stats: 70 G, .290/.420/.520, 12 HR, 1 SB, 52 BB, 65 SO at Triple-A Durham; 30 G, .294/.365/.510, 5 HR, 0 SB, 10 BB, 29 SO at Tampa Bay.
Outside of Keston Hiura, we haven't seen a more undeserved demotion than the one Lowe had on Thursday. It had nothing to do with how he was playing, bur rather the fact that Ji-Man Choi was out of options and they weren't going to risk losing Choi when they could send Lowe down to Durham without ramifications. Well, there's one ramification: they made their baseball team worse. Is it a lock that Lowe gets another call-up? No, but we'd be shocked if he didn't get another chance considering those numbers above. The only reason he doesn't rank higher is that he's limited to first base, but there's value there, without question.
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6. Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros
2019 stats: 102 G, .262/.346/.559, 28 HR, 24 SB, 45 BB, 101 SO at Triple-A Round Rock.
Tucker is starting to swing the bat better as of late, and he ended the week with two multi-hit games while picking up his 28th homer of the season on Saturday. Call me stubborn or whatever, but I've stuck with Tucker in this portion of the list for the majority of the year, and I'm not giving up on him at this point, it'd be foolish to. It may take an injury or something unforeseen to make him an everyday player, but the power/seed combination is special. I can't guarantee anything because I'm not the GM of the Astros, but I still think he makes an impact before the 2019 season ends.
7. Mitch Keller, RHP Pittsburgh Pirates
2019 stats: 19 G, 103.2 IP, 3.56 ERA, 94 H, 3B BB, 123 SO at Triple-A Indianapolis; 3 G, 12 IP, 10.50 ERA, 21 H, 6 BB, 15 SO at Pittsburgh.
Keller ended up giving up four runs in his start on Friday against Triple-A Columbus, but they don't really tell the story of how well he pitched in that effort. He struck out 12 -- 10 in the first four innings -- and he walked just one. Keller is one of the most likely players on this list to make more appearances before this season ends, but the Pirates' brass made some weird comments that suggest that a promotion isn't necessarily coming soon. That being said, the openings are there, and despite his disappointing MLB numbers, he absolutely has the stuff/command to be successful when he does get the call.
8. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B, Baltimore Orioles
2019 stats: 102 G, .314/.338/.514, 19 HR, 2 SB, 15 BB, 105 SO at Triple-A Norfolk.
The power numbers have dropped a bit as of late for Mountcastle, as he hasn't hit a home run in his last nine appearances. He's hitting .386 in that time frame, however, and the 46 extra-base hits show that he's more than capable of putting the ball into the gaps and providing a fair share of homers. Mountcastle should be a September call-up, at worst, but the awful Orioles could give him a look sooner than that to see if he can be a contributor in 2019.
9. Carter Kieboom, INF, Washington Nationals
2019 stats: 88 G, .307/.412/.524, 15 HR, 3 SB, 53 BB, 71 80 at Triple-A Fresno; 11 G, .128/.209/.282, 2 HR, 4 BB, 16 SO at Washington.
Kieboom is going through some offensive struggles right now, and he's just 8-for-37 with a homer and 10 strikeouts since July 24. The good news is that he's walked five times in those games, and the best news is that sample size is awfully small. Kieboom's real reason for ranking this "low" is because the Nationals are right in the thick of the playoff race and have gotten decent production out of the second base position. If Brian Dozier or Howie Kendrick struggle/pick up an injury, Kieboom needs to be added posthaste.
10. Nick Solak, 2B, Texas Rangers
2019 stats: 102 G, .270/.351/.510, 23 HR, 5 SB, 43 BB, 93 SO at Triple-A Durham and Nashville.
We've got a new name, folks. Welcome him. Solak was acquired by the Rangers in the deal that sent Peter Fairbanks to the Rays, and it's a trade that could pay big dividends for Texas down the road. A former second-round pick by the Yankees, Solak has the ability to hit for average and power from the right side, and he isn't immune to drawing walks. He played both the outfield and second base for the Durham Bulls before the move, but he's been only at the latter since moving to the Sounds. It would be a shock if he didn't get a chance to play everyday for the Rangers before 2019 came to an end, and the talent suggests he can be a fantasy relevant player from the get.
Also considered: Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Oakland Athletics; Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates; Justus Sheffield, LHP, Seattle Mariners; Jesus Sanchez, OF, Miami Marlins; Deivi Garcia, RHP, New York Yankees; Mauricio Dubon, INF, San Francisco Giants; Forrest Whitley, RHP, Houston Astros