Five Prospects To Watch From The Complex League In 2024

Five Prospects To Watch From The Complex League In 2024

Building a well-stocked farm system is the key to a sustainable dynasty team. In deeper dynasty leagues keeping your finger on the pulse of the lower minor leagues is essential. In this article, I will dive into five prospects to watch in 2024 that had success in the complex league the previous year. Typically players will come in and out of the complex league throughout the season while recovering from injuries or getting a prospect back on track before returning to the level at which came from. In recent years we have seen players from the Dominican Summer League (DSL) use the complex as a launching board for the following season in Low-A. Let’s dive in and break down five prospects for you to watch from the complex going into 2024. 

Head over to the Pitcher List dynasty page to check out the rest of the content released by the team this off-season.


Complex Level Prospects To Watch


Juan Baez, 3B/SS MIL

48 GP | .370 AVG | .395 OBP | .557 SLG | 4 HR | 39 R | 42 RBI | 17 SB


Milwaukee continues to impress with their international scouting and development year in and out. Juan Baez stood out in his first taste of professional ball back in the DSL in 2022 showing advanced bat-to-ball skills with intriguing speed and some pop from the right side of the plate. Baez might be a bit undersized compared to some prospects standing just 5’9” and 175 pounds but the raw power in his bat, eye at the plate, and speed on the basepaths could carry him up the organizational ladder. 

Once state-side, Baez slashed .370/.395/.557 with four home runs, 39 runs scored, 42 RBIs, and stole 17 bases in 19 attempts. Despite the low walk rate of 3.9%, Baez limited the strikeout rate to just 11.2%, down from the 14% he had in six more games in the DSL. The above-average pop for Baez was on full display in the complex league as not only did he hit four home runs but also had 16 doubles and four triples, making 24 of Baez’s 71 hits the extra base variety. The Brewers then promoted Baez to Low-A with the Carolina Mudcats to finish the season. In nine games played Baez slashed .233/.265/.333 while maintaining an 11.8% strikeout rate in 34 plate appearances. 

Baez is a prospect to stash in deeper dynasty formats. On top of his excellent base-stealing abilities, Baez generates above-average pop from his smaller frame. The small sample size in Low-A to end the 2023 season should not be a concern. He will get a chance to prove himself at that level again in 2024. Dynasty managers should expect the low .250 BABIP to bounce back next season. The low strikeout rate is a huge plus for dynasty managers. He profiles to be a solid leadoff hitter thanks to his strong on-base skills.


Ricardo Cabrera, SS CIN

39 GP | .350 AVG | .469 OBP | .559 SLG | 5 HR | 41 R | 21 RBI | 21 SB


With the future of the Reds starting to cement themselves into the major league lineup now is the time to ask ourselves who is next? Ricardo Cabrera could be the next prospect to climb to the Reds’ top spot. Standing at 5’11” and 178 pounds at just 19 years old, Cabrera has an advanced bat-to-ball approach that he displayed in the DSL back in 2022. Along with a solid bat, Cabrera displayed some pop and speed last season in the Florida Complex League. 

During the 39 games played at the complex league, Cabrera slashed .350/.469/.559 with five home runs, 41 runs scored, 21 RBIs, and stole 21 bases in 23 attempts. It was impressive to see Cabrera raise his batting average and OBP over .100 points from his DSL numbers in 2022. What also stood out was the advanced plate approach for Cabrera as he walked 12% while only striking out 20% of his 175 plate appearances once again an improvement over his previous season. The Reds did end up promoting Cabrera to Low-A Daytona where he continued to hit slashing .316/.519/.316 in five games played with the Tortugas. 

Cabrera’s dynasty value is on the rise. Although he was a top international signee in 2022 he still seems to be a prospect not talked about enough. The advanced plate approach we saw this season in complex ball and the small sample size in Low-A are encouraging. There could be 20 home runs pop in the bat as he continues to develop and with the future home of Great American Ball Park, anything is possible. More than likely Cabrera will start the season back in Low-A Daytona but I would not be surprised to see him promoted to High-A Dayton by the All-Star Break. 


Ruben Santana, 3B ARI

52 GP | .316 AVG | .389 OBP | .487 SLG | 4 HR | 33 R | 35 RBI | 7 SB


Arizona has done a solid job bolstering the farm system via the MLB draft as well as scouting and developing talent from other countries. Ruben Santana has been a prospect on my radar now for the last two seasons and this past season he came state-side to play in the Arizona Complex League. Standing at 6’0” and 190 pounds at just 18 years old, Santana has displayed plus raw power and speed with potential for more power as he adds more muscle. 

Back in 2022, Santana put together a solid season in the DSL slashing .316/.436/.436 with one home run, 35 runs scored, and swiped 15 bases across 43 games played. This would set expectations leading to the 2023 season where the Diamondbacks played him in the complex league. Santana slashed .316/.389/.487 with four home runs, 33 runs scored, 35 RBIs, and stole seven bases in eight attempts. The boost of power was a welcomed sight for Santana while he did not attempt as many stolen bases while in the complex league. An encouraging sight was the 8.1% walk percentage paired with the 23.7% strikeout rate across 211 plate appearances for Santana. 

For dynasty managers, Santana is a solid upside target in deeper dynasty formats. So far the hit tool has been solid despite scouting grades profiling Santana as below below-average contact skills. This paired with the steady power up-tick is something to look forward to in a third-base prospect long term. His dip in stolen base attempts is not a concern. He is selective and effective on the bases only being caught two times in 24 attempts. Next season could be a big year for Santana.


Fernando Perez, RHP TOR

11 GP | 10 GS  49.2 IP | 57 K | 10.33 K/9 | 2.72 ERA


The Toronto Blue Jays have an intriguing pitching prospect who had a solid season in the Florida Complex League in 2023. Standing at 6’3”, Fernando Perez has a starter build and at just 19 years old, Perez has more room to fill into his frame. The young right-hander features a four-seam fastball, change-up, and an above-average breaking ball that has shown solid break and has the potential to be a plus pitch. 

The Blue Jays brought Perez state-side in 2023. In 11 appearances (10 starts), Perez struck out 57 batters in 49.2 innings pitched, good for 10.33 strikeouts per nine innings. The solid strikeout rate did not come at the expense of high walks as Perez finished the season with a solid 2.17 walks per nine innings. Apposing batters hit just .198 off of Perez who managed to keep the ball on the ground 45.6% of the time. As a result of the limited base hits and the ability to keep the ball on the ground, Perez finished the season only allowing one home run (0.18 HR/9). 

For the savvy dynasty manager looking to pick up a pitching prospect in the lower minor leagues, I implore you to consider Perez. The solid strikeout upside paired with the low walks as well as home run rate makes Perez an easy target in deeper dynasty formats. At this stage, it’s still too early to determine if this is a starting pitcher long-term but with the build and the solid three-pitch mix the tools are there to be a back-end rotational pitcher. 


Gabriel Rodriguez, RHP CHW

14 GP | 9 GS | 47.2 IP | 61 K | 11.52 K/9 | 3.78 ERA | 1 SV


In his first season in the United States, Gabriel Rodriguez strung together an impressive 14 appearances in the Arizona Complex League. The 19-year-old Rodriguez showed a knack for the strikeout racking up 61 in 47.2 innings pitched good for 11.52 strikeouts per nine innings. Nine of Rodriguez’s 14 appearances were as a starter though he was utilized as a multi-inning reliever late last season. The season-long 4.53 walks per nine innings was inflated in June and July. During that time Rodriguez walked 22 batters in 35.2 innings pitched while only walking two batters across 12 innings pitched in during August. 

When Rodriguez was not striking batters out he would induce weak contact finishing the season with a 48.4% ground-ball rate. What Rodriguez has done a great job of is limiting the home run. During the 2023 season in the complex league, he gave up just one home run in 47.2 innings pitched and only seven home runs in his 188 innings pitched as a professional. 

For dynasty purposes, Rodriguez looks to be a prospect the White Sox could deploy as a starter in the lower minor leagues but move to the bullpen long term. So far the strikeout rate is fine for Rodriguez and as stated earlier the walks were starting to come down as the season went on. Also, there is little doubt Rodriguez will start the season in Low-A Kannapolis in 2024.  This will allow dynasty managers to see if he continues to be utilized as a starter or not. 

Logos courtesy of MiLB | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on X)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login