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 the coming season. Also, a reminder that prospects who are on MLB rosters are not eligible for this list. 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 for the 2019 season.
1. Yordan Alvarez, OF, Houston Astros
2019 stats: 45 G, .365/.449/.788, 19 HR, 0 SB, 26 BB, 36 SO at Triple-A Round Rock.
Alvarez had his first struggles of the season last week, and he's currently under a 2-for-25 funk over his last six games. There's no reason to be concerned, you simply cannot hit at the level the 21-year-old has over this season forever; the math doesn't allow it. Alvarez still has the most offensive upside of any prospect at the Triple-A level, and he's still worth stashing in leagues. Do not panic. On the contrary.
2. Luis Urias, INF, San Diego Padres
2019 stats: 33 G,.351/.442/.731, 12 HR, 2 SB, 19 BB, 29 SO at Triple-A El Paso; 11 G, .083/.241/.125, 0 HR, 0 SB, 4 BB, 11 SO at San Diego.
The power numbers for Urias have gone down as of late -- he's hit just one homer in his last 10 games -- but that's not a big surprise. The trade off is that Urias has hit .342 in that time frame, and he's also drawn seven walks to raise the average and on-base percentage. Urias can flat-out hit, and it's a bit of a waste for him to be in El Paso right now. The Padres should rectify this situation shortly.
3. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
2019 stats: 9 G, 3.45 ERA, 47 IP, 47 H, 20 BB, 56 SO at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Keller makes a big move up in this week's list, but there's a chance we won't see him in next week's version at all. That's because Keller is being called up on Monday to pitch against the Reds in their doubleheader in the second contest. The right-hander has quality stuff and has shown improved command in 2019, and the development of his slider/cutter should help him keep left-handed hitters at bay. We don't know if Keep in mind that Keller isn't scheduled to make another start, but the Pirates haven't scheduled anyone for Saturday's contest. If Keller pitches well -- and he certainly has the stuff to do it -- there's a good chance he sticks in the rotation. If I were you and needed pitching help, I'd take the chance.
4. Carter Kieboom, INF, Washington Nationals
2019 stats: 32 G, .345/.462/.655, 8 HR, 3 SB, 24 BB, 32 SO at Triple-A Fresno; 11 G, .128/.209/.282, 2 HR, 4 BB, 16 SO at Washington.
Kieboom has slowed down slightly over the last week or so, but he's still hitting .342 with four homers over his last 10 games, so calling it a "slump" would be inaccurate. The 21-year-old's bat is ready to go despite those ugly -- and small sampled -- numbers with the Nationals in his brief call-up. The Nats may need to make some roster moves to allow it, but Kieboom should see another chance with Washington relatively soon.
5. Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros
2019 stats: 45 G, .265/.348/.633, 16 HR, 8 SB, 19 BB, 41 SO at Triple-A Round Rock.
What a difference a month makes. Tucker is absolutely scorching hot, and he has now homered in four straight games while seeing his OPS for the month improve to 1.303 with 11 homers and four steals in that time frame. Tucker would rank higher if there was an obvious place for him to play, but he's just too good to not have in the top five right now. Not at this point in the year, anyway.
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6. Dylan Cease, RHP, Chicago White Sox
2019 stats: 8 G, 3.38 ERA, 40 IP, 40 H, 15 BB, 48 SO at Triple-A Charlotte.
Cease dealt with some command issues on Thursday with four walks and allowing five hits, but he was able to strike out seven and allowed just one run against the Stripers. Control is still the biggest issue regarding the 23-year-old, but the stuff is good enough for him to overcome the free passes. The White Sox will want to see Cease show a little more consistency before he gets the call -- and there's that pesky service-time stuff -- but he'll be a must-add when the White Sox deem him ready.
7. Ryan Mountcastle, INF, Baltimore Orioles
2019 stats: 43 G, .326/.351/.528, 7 HR, 1 SB, 7 BB, 39 SO at Triple-A Norfolk.
Some good news and some bad news regarding Mountcastle's promotion chances came this week. The good being that he continues to make loads of hard contact, and he has four multi-hit games in his last six appearances. The bad news is that Orioles general manager Mike Elias made it pretty clear that Mountcastle needs more time in Triple-A for a variety of reasons. It's disappointing since Mountcastle looks ready to go -- at least offensively -- and that's why he stays on this list. It just might be a bit before we get to remove him.
8. Logan Allen, LHP, San Diego Padres
2019 stats: 10 G, 4.01 ERA, 42.2 IP, 41 H, 19 BB, 50 SO at Triple-A El Paso.
The first of two new names on this list, and both are southpaw hurlers. Sorry for the spoiler. Allen's numbers are solid, but they're even better as of late, as the left-hander has allowed no more than a run in his last five starts, and he has a 30/9 K/BB ratio that improves to 28/6 if you take away a one inning appearance on May 11. This is a long way of saying that Allen is pitching well, and the 22-year-old has one of the best changeups of any pitcher in minor league baseball to go along with a 91-94 mph fastball and useable slider. He looks like he's ready for the next level, and the Padres should give him a chance sooner than later.
9. Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Tampa Bay Rays
2019 (pitching) stats: 8 G, 1.30 ERA, 41.2 IP, 25 H, 9 BB, 62 SO at Double-A Montgomery.
You might notice that I included the pitching parenthetical in McKay's stats. That's because McKay is a two-way prospect, but he's making his debut on the list for one reason and one reason only: he can really pitch. You probably can tell that from the numbers, but the 23-year-old shows four pitches that can miss bats, and he throws all of his arsenal for strikes. He'll make his Triple-A debut this week, and if things go well, he should be up with the Rays at some point in the coming months.
10. Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox
2019 stats: 41 G, .358/.420/.692, 10 HR, 14 SB, 10 BB, 42 SO at High-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham.
A quick note about a player that isn't here: Jesus Luzardo was on last week's version, but it turns out we won't see him pitching in games until the end of June. He'll be back on this list when he does, and you can certainly stash worse pitchers in deeper leagues. Enough about players not here. Robert is a five-tool player who has crushed minor-league pitching, and after an adjustment period, the 21-year-old has been solid since getting the call to Birmingham. He gets a spot on this list even if he is far from a lock to get a promotion to Chicago because he can do everything, and help you in every category. He's just too good to ignore at this point in 2019.