Dynasty Performance Report: Minor League Outfielders 1.0

Martin takes an early look at MiLB outfielders in his Dynasty Report.

The Inaugural Minor League report for the 2024 season will set the foundation for this monthly series. Each month, I will provide a brief recap of the players outlined in the previous edition of the article, followed by players who identified as current risers and fallers. If you’re MLB dynasty-focused, a Major League edition of this report will also run monthly.




Jonny Farmelo, SEA (Level: A)


The Mariners grabbed Farmelo, a 6’2″ prep outfielder, with the 29th overall pick in the 2023 Draft. He was among a handful of draftees who did not debut last year, instead opting to work towards his 2024 season. Farmelo was assigned to Class A Modesto to open his professional career ahead of 2024.

The 19-year-old Farmelo has a nice blend of developing power and above-average speed, which benefits him offensively and in the outfield. His hit tool is solid overall, and he can spray the ball to all fields. Once he finds a gap, his 65-grade speed puts enormous pressure on the defense, creating significant extra-base upside. As with most prep bats, the biggest question surrounding Farmelo is how he adapts to advanced pitching, especially off-speed. Overall, he has the upside to reach 15 to 20 homers and 25 to 35 steals while providing a decent batting average. Farmelo is also a plus-defender, giving him ample opportunities to achieve his offensive potential as defense always finds a way into regular playing time.

Jonny Farmelo sits at #172 in my prospect rankings entering 2024, and I’m confident he will land inside the Top 150, or higher, by year’s end. With the recent track record of success for the Mariners’ player development program, especially their work on rising prospects Harry Ford and Lazaro Montes, Farmelo could be highly impactful very soon.



Spencer Jones, NYY (Level: AA)


I’ll bite on the low-hanging fruit. Spencer Jones is a rocket ship and will blast off in 2024. The Yankees grabbed Jones with the 25th pick in the 2022 Draft after his collegiate career finished at Vanderbilt. As a Commodore, Jones was an All-American and finished his Junior season with 12 homers and 14 steals with a .370 average. As a first-year professional, Jones climbed two levels last season. Playing mainly for High-A Hudson Valley before finishing at Double-A Somerset, he slashed .267/.336/.444 with 16 homers, 49 extra-base hits, and 43 steals.

Let’s start by debunking the comparisons to Aaron Judge. Yes, both players are 6’7″, play outfield in the Yankees organization, and have immense raw power. But that’s where it stops for me. Spencer Jones hits from the left side of the plate and features an elongated, upper-cut swing. Despite his large frame, Jones is a freakish athlete. In my opinion, Jones is much more athletic than Judge and can provide more impact on the bases. Jones’ in-game power likely settles into the 25-30 homer range at his peak, although he may push higher. Even still, with his athleticism and outstanding instincts, Jones has the potential to reach 20 steals.

My main concern with Jones is his strikeout rate. The combination of a long swing path and enlarged zone, produced a 29% K-rate last season for him. As we’ve seen with taller prospects (Elly De La Cruz and Oneil Cruz), the adjustment period can be painful. Jones will likely continue to produce higher-than-normal strikeout rates, even if he tweaks his swing. It will be interesting to see how Jones handles left-handed pitching as well. In a limited sample last season, Jones hit .297 against LHP with a .804 OPS.

Currently, Jones is at No. 23 overall, but I feel he’s undervalued on most boards, including mine. As I work through my prospect rankings, I’m aggressively ranking Jones. Not only do I think Jones is a Top-20 prospect right now, but I’ve also considered moving him ahead of James Wood of the Nationals. Assuming he does not graduate this season (I don’t think he will), Jones will likely enter 2025 inside the Top 10.



Honorable Mention


Nelson Rada, LAA (Level: AA): Rada is a hot name in prospect circles and figures to gain even more steam this season. The 18-year-old posted a .395 on-base percentage and stole 55 bases last season in Single-A. If he can reach double-digit home runs, Rada has legitimate dynasty value.

Druw Jones, ARI (Level: Low-A): The former No. 2 overall pick has disappointed in his first two partial seasons. A combination of ineffectiveness and injury has plummeted Jones’ dynasty value. I’m still in on Jones, as his athleticism and pedigree seem too great for him to be mediocre. A healthy season in 2024 should restore Jones’ value and bring him back inside the 25 where he belongs.

Joey Loperfido, HOU (Level: AAA): The Astros’ farm system is middle-of-the-road overall, but Loperfido has ascended to the top of their rankings. His red-hot start to 2024 is unmatched in the Minors as the versatile 24-year-old has belted 10 homers in his first 64 at-bats entering play on April 18. It will be no surprise when he’s promoted to the Majors in the next few weeks.




Zac Veen, COL (Level: AA)


Entering 2023, Veen was one of the hottest prospects in fantasy. He was coming off a stellar performance in the Arizona Fall League, where he posted a .333 batting average, a .444 OBP, and 16 steals in 21 games. The Rockies’ outfielder was the No. 22 prospect in baseball (peaking as No. 7 in 2020), and his propensity for stolen bases had nerds like me clamoring for his debut in the Big Leagues. Veen never made it after he surprisingly underwent surgery on his left hand to repair ligament damage. Veen played 46 games at Double-A last season, hitting .209 with two homers and 22 steals. During his absence, he was surpassed in the organization’s prospect rankings by upstarts Jordan Beck, Yanquiel Fernández, and Cole Carrigg.

Ahead of the 2024 season, Veen will look to regain his perceived value as a high-end prospect. Notice that I said perceived. Veen is a good player with a high motor. His instincts and speed have impactful stolen base potential, but his offensive upside is limited. His track record in the Minors has shown middling power. Since his power profile isn’t present, even playing in hitter-friendly Coors Field wouldn’t give him much of a boost. And while Veen could reach 40 steals in the big leagues, in a best-case scenario, it would come with an average of around .250 and maybe 10 to 12 homers. That profile provides average value in fantasy, but it’s not a Top-100 dynasty asset.

In full transparency, I’m rooting for Veen. I like him as a player and found him incredibly fun to watch when he was healthy. Veen could absolutely reach the big leagues for the Rockies, but his skills are not worthy of his inclusion among the elite outfield prospects. Even with the upside on the bases, Veen profiles as a fourth outfielder who could luck into the strong side of a platoon.


George Valera, CLE (Level: AAA)


I’ve never understood the hype on George Valera, the now 23-year-old Guardians prospect. A one-time Top-50 prospect, Valera had bad luck early in his career. A broken hamate bone cost him most of 2018, and he played in just 59 games in 2019 due to various ailments. 2020 was a lost season for everyone. Valera rebounded to post respectable numbers in 2021 and 2022, finishing with at least a .250 average, .350 OBP, and 15+ homers each season. Those two seasons were responsible for Valera’s peak on MLB Pipeline, where he reached No. 47 overall ahead of the 2022 season. 

I have several concerns about Valera and his profile. First of all, his inability to make consistent contact. Throughout his career, Valera has struck out at a 30% clip, a problem that has limited his potential. When he does make contact, Valera consistently hits the ball hard, but with a sub-70% contact rate, it’s hard to bank on. Valera also has a propensity to chase outside the zone, a trait that will not help his strikeout woes. The second factor is his inability to stay healthy. I hate to penalize a player for injuries, but at some point, reliability is just as important as productivity.

Writer’s Note: In numerous looks at Valera in Triple-A last season, I was uninspired. Valera looked overmatched by velocity, made poor swing decisions, and his overall effort was lackluster. His body language didn’t reflect a player trying to re-establish himself, but rather someone completely uninterested. 

In any event, Valera is not a Top-50 or even Top-100 talent. Valera had plenty to prove entering 2024, but a hamstring injury already has him on the IL. I’ve got Valera outside my Top 200 prospects, and cannot foresee a path to Valera making an impact at the Major League level based on his current trajectory.


Honorable Mention


Robert Hassell III, WSH (Level: AA): As one of the centerpieces in the Juan Soto trade, Hassell was a hot commodity in the prospect ranks. Unfortunately, the wheels fell off following his move to DC. Since joining the Nationals organization, Hassell is hitting .218 with a 33.8% strikeout rate in 161 games. His stock has plummeted from a one-time Top-30 prospect down to the depths of prospect purgatory.


Martin Sekulski

Martin is a Dynasty writer for PitcherList. He is a lifelong member of Red Sox Nation and attributes his love of baseball to his father, Marty. As a father and a husband, Martin now loves sharing his love of America's pastime with his family. You can find his work on Twitter and SubStack

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