Minor League Hitter Projections: 8/24 Update

Alex Isherwood updates projections and discusses some of the highest performing minor league hitters.

Top 100 Projected Hitting Prospects


The Astros gave Abraham Toro (No. 16) the call over Kyle Tucker (No. 20) in Carlos Correa’s absence, just as Toro nudges ahead of Tucker in this week’s update. Tucker should still be treated as a top hitting prospect, though he’s trending down a little in the rankings this year since he’s repeating AAA with worse results. There’s plenty of other movements in the rankings, especially towards the bottom of the list where the tiers are grouped tightly enough that recent performance can shake up the order. The methodology of the system for projecting peak WAR can be found here, analysis of the system’s accuracy can be found here, and more detailed projections with percentile outcomes beyond the top 100 can be found in the link here.


Player Notes


  • Wander Franco continues to prove why he’s been deserving of the No. 1 overall spot of these projections in every update so far. He’s walking almost twice as much as he’s striking out since being promoted to A+ and he’s still just 18.
  • Not too far behind is Dylan Carlson, who got sent up to AAA just over a week ago and has performed even better than his impressive AA stats. The .529/.579/.941 slash line probably won’t hold, but he’s making his way into elite prospect status as one of the youngest players in AAA.
  • Daulton Varsho has been on a torrid streak over the last month and makes his way up to No. 7 overall. In that time span, he’s batting .371 with 7 HR and 16 XBH overallgood for a 228 wRC+. Carson Kelly’s emergence blocks off the catcher role for now, but the Diamondbacks could find other ways of getting Varsho’s bat into the lineup at some point next year.
  • He’s been mentioned already, but it’s worth noting Abraham Toro’s performance in AAA in light of his callup. With just a 6.3% strikeout rate and 12.7% walk rate, he looks like a polished hitter who could make an immediate impact. It’s likely he gets sent back down when Carlos Correa is healthy, but he’s also played a little at 1B and 2B in the minors this year and could carve out a utility role.
  • In the same vein of impressive plate discipline, Nick Madrigal has just 16 strikeouts in 492 PA across three minor league levels this year. He’s knocking at the door of the major leagues in AAA now and should hit for average and steal bases whenever he gets the call.
  • Jeter Downs was moved up to AA after posting a 134 wRC+ in A-ball with 19 HR and 23 SB. He’ll ascend prospect lists if he can keep up the performance at a higher level.
  • He’s not Jo Adell, but Brandon Marsh is no slouch. He’s cut his strikeout rate down to 22.4% in AA this season after striking out 27.3% of the time between A+/A in 2018. The in-game power hasn’t shown up much yet, but Marsh has still showcased a well-rounded profile.
  • Ty France is receiving a second chance in the major leagues. There’s a huge discrepancy between his MLB and AAA stats this year (56 wRC+ vs. 194 wRC+), but he’s dominated minor league pitching so much that it’s hard to imagine him remaining this bad in the majors.
  • Oneil Cruz is raw, but his performance still reflects the immense upside of his tools. At just 20, he’s put up a 148 wRC+ with 7 HR and 9 SB in 235 PA between A+/A. There are some red flags in his approach (25.2% strikeout rate vs. 6.9% walk rate), but there are few minor league players with his potential.
  • After being sent to the Giants at the trade deadline, Jaylin Davis has done nothing but hit. In just 79 PA, he’s got 10 HR to go along with a .403 average. Though he’s never been a well-regarded prospect, Davis is worth keeping an eye on in case the Giants give him a shot in the majors this year.

(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

Alex Isherwood

Creator of @ProspectBot and former FantasyPros writer. Studying computer science and mathematics at William & Mary.

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