Welcome to the newest list to debut on the PitcherList site. The dynasty team is continuing to grow here as we have great content coming out weekly with everything from performance reports to a consistently awesome prospect podcast. Adding to the already great lineup, I now have the honor of bringing you a top prospect list for dynasty leagues. Before diving in, make sure to read through the ProspectList rules below.
- All players must have prospect eligibility.
- This list is only for prospects in the Minor Leagues, no Major League players are included.
- Maximum of 2 positions listed per player
- Primarily weighted for standard 5×5 leagues, but all league types are considered.
Prospect List Graduates:
This part of the ProspectList is reserved for players who appeared in the previous version but have since been promoted to the Major Leagues.
Top 50 Prospect Notes
Right now, it seems like Baltimore has an endless farm of prospects that it could call up at any given moment. Gunnar Henderson, Grayson Rodriguez, DL Hall, and Joey Ortiz have all spent time in the Majors at points this season. Everybody knows about Jordan Westburg and Colton Cowser. Not as much attention is being given to Coby Mayo who was the Orioles’ fourth-round pick back in 2020. Standing at 6’5″ and 230 pounds, Mayo’s raw power is obvious. He only hit nine home runs in his debut season back in 2021, but followed that up with 19 home runs last year. Still, 19 home runs is not headline news.
Now in 2023, Mayo has already hit 14 home runs, good enough for a 28/600 pace. His .599 slugging percentage is the highest of his professional career. Mayo’s size combined with his incredible bat speed makes it easy to envision a player with 30+ home run potential.
Daily Coby Mayo mashing tweet.
His 14th of the year. pic.twitter.com/VRw9kWNte7
— The Verge- An Orioles MiLB Podcast (@BSLOnTheVerge) June 24, 2023
The part of Mayo’s 2023 season pushing him into the Top-20 is the improvements to his hit tool. Mayo is batting over .300 for the first time since Low-A thanks to a career-high line drive rate. Mayo has the ability to drive the ball into the gaps with a high frequency while pulling the ball enough to launch plenty of balls out of the park. At his ceiling, Mayo has a chance to be Paul Goldschmidt. At his floor, Mayo is Eugenio Suarez. Either way, a productive MLB player that will have an impact for fantasy purposes.
Is Trey Sweeney the best prospect nobody is paying attention to? The Yankees have had a plethora of infield prospects come up in the last year. First, it was Oswaldo Cabrera, then Oswald Peraza (who is still playing well in Triple-A), and most notably Anthony Volpe is now the Yankees’ everyday shortstop. Well, turns out the Yankees are not finished yet. Sweeney is the latest infielder to make a push through New York’s system and might be the best of the bunch.
Entering 2023, Sweeney had never hit more than 16 home runs in a season while never posting an average of over .261. Strong plate discipline helped to fuel strong walk rates resulting in a solid wRC+ during his first two seasons, but nothing was ever too notable from a fantasy baseball perspective. Getting a chance to watch Sweeney live at Double-A Somerset last year, his swing was smooth, his hands were quick, and I struggled to understand exactly why Sweeney was struggling to find consistent success. Sometimes, Minor League statistics are not indicative of a player’s true talent level and that is exactly what Sweeney is proving in 2023.
This year did not get off to the best start for Sweeney, but he is quickly putting those early struggles behind him. Since the start of June, Sweeney is slashing .286/.369/.592 with seven of his ten home runs. The power is showing up in a big way as of late. His impressive plate discipline provides even more value for OBP leagues. He has a hit tool and swing path that should lead to strong batting averages, average to slightly above-average speed, and power that is showing signs of taking the next step. Sweeney is in my opinion one of the most underrated prospects and is already in my Top-20.
Back-Half Top 100 Prospect Notes
During this past off-season, Orelvis Martinez was one of my biggest prospect crushes. Sure, there were plenty of red flags, but his profile screamed value. The view of him in dynasty communities had grown stale. Many prospect rankers even had Martinez outside of their Top-200. Ranking a player who just hit 30 home runs at 20 years old in Double-A that low felt like a mistake. Despite getting into debates on Twitter about the value of Martinez, I still dropped the ball in the previous Prospect List. I decided to move him just outside of the Top-100 instead of sticking with my gut.
Martinez is quickly proving the doubters wrong and I am wasting no time moving him well within the Top-100. 67 is where he comes in on this update, but I considered going higher. Over the past month and a half, Martinez has looked like a hitter taking 70-grade raw power and putting everything else together. Since May 10th, he is slashing .291/.401/.642 with a 1.043 OPS. Although he remains primarily a fly ball hitter, his swing path has leveled to hit more line drives which has allowed his BABIP to come up to league-average levels. On top of that improvement, he is walking almost 15% of the time while bringing his strikeout rate under 20%.
Martinez’s raw power is special. Improvements to his plate discipline, contact rates, and swing path make Martinez one of the most exciting prospects in the Minor Leagues. If he can sustain these improvements for another month, he might move to the Top-30 come July. Buy Martinez now before it is too late.
Houston with another big-bodied corner outfielder? We have seen this story before. While Luis Baez is not quite as big as Yordan Alvarez, the raw power in his game is just as impressive. Baez crushed nine home runs across 58 games last year and has not slowed down one bit in 2023. Facing tougher competition at the Complex Level, Baez has already hit six home runs in 2023 and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Baez’s power is fully unleashed thanks to an innate ability to pull the ball. His game is centered around the long ball as he gets the ball in the air with incredible consistency and pulls it over 50% of the time. After 2022, scouts came away with all the typical red flags you find with young power sluggers. They tend to chase a lot, make questionable contact, and strike out a decent amount. Now in 2023, although the contact rate remains a concern (24% swinging strike rate), Baez’s approach at the plate has clearly adjusted. After walking just 6.3% of the time in 2022, Baez is sporting a walk rate north of 16% this year. Increased patience is an excellent sign that points to the potential for more development in the future.
Baez has as much upside as any player on this list. He is still extremely raw with plenty of red flags, but the tools are too loud to ignore. Maybe comparing Baez to Alvarez is an oversimplification of their true talent levels, but it is impossible to ignore. The upside alone is enough to carry Baez into fringe Top-100 consideration. Combining that with his early-season production lands him at 72 this month.
Prospect List Part 2
Prospects That Just Missed
If you are looking for prospects with upside, Sebastian Walcott is certainly a name you need to have on your radar. Walcott signed with the Rangers back in January out of the Bahamas. Standing at 6’4″, his frame screams projectability. The likelihood of Walcott continuing to put on muscle and weight (he is just 17 years old) makes it easy to dream about his power potential. I mean, he is already hitting the ball at 109 mph.
Sebastian Walcott, who turned 17 years old in March, hitting a 109 mph tank ?
— Chris Clegg (@RotoClegg) June 25, 2023
The Rangers are already being aggressive with Walcott as he is the youngest player playing at the Complex Level. If everything works out, he has the potential for 30+ home runs with 15-20 stolen bases. That being said, his entire profile is based on upside. At just 17 years old, I am waiting to see how Walcott fairs against tougher pitching in professional baseball. He sits outside the Top-100 now, but could move quickly if he performs well.
Dyan Jorge, Colorado Rockies
Looking at stat lines from the DSL can only provide so much information. In the case of Dyan Jorge, it is easy to see he has a rare maturity beyond his years. Last season at just 19 years old, Jorge was one of just eight hitters in the DSL with at least three home runs, five steals, a strikeout rate under 15%, and a walk rate north of 10%. This year, he is showing even more growth at the plate with a walk rate north of 20% and a strikeout rate below 12%. On top of maturity beyond his age, Jorge has loud raw skills and a 6’3″ frame with tons of projectability. Get Jorge on your radars now before he becomes more well-known.
Deep Prospects to Note
Here is yet another Giants’ middle infield prospect I am finding myself falling in love with. Diego Velasquez is another player with plus plate discipline and strike zone understanding for his age. At just 19, he is killing it at Low-A with a 130 wRC+, putting an excellent hit tool on full display. Although he has just five home runs, he is lean and projects to add power as he grows into his 6’1″ frame. My favorite part of Velasquez’s game is the adjustments he has already made. This year, he has reduced his GB% from 58% in 2022 to 43% in 2023. His swing path has become more consistent which is helping to fuel his high BABIP. Velasquez already has the hit tool and speed to be fantasy relevant. If he adds power, he could skyrocket up rankings. He is certainly a name worth keeping an eye on.
The Cardinals prioritized signing Leonardo Bernal and have been aggressively pushing him through their system. After performing well in the DSL, Bernal skipped the Complex League and has been playing at Low-A since. Just 19 years old, Bernal is already showing growth in his maturity and approach at the plate. So far this season, Bernal has struck out 37 times while walking 34 times. Bernal also presents an extremely smooth swing bath from both sides of the plate. His line drive percentage has increased from 20.3% in the DSL, to 24.8% during his 2022 stint at Low-A, and it now sits at 28%. Despite his impressive line drive rates, his BABIPs and batting averages have been mediocre pulling down his dynasty value. Now is the time to buy into a player who has all the tools to have a breakout season.
Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter)