The Prospect Watchlist: Week 19 (August 27 – September 2)

4 Hidden Gems to Know Before the Rest of Your League

With 120 teams and 5,000+ players spread through four levels (not to mention the Dominican Summer League and the Rookie Complex leagues in Arizona and Florida), identifying the next prospect breakout can be difficult. If you wait until end-of-season wrap-ups, a prospect may get too much coverage and no longer be available.

You can scout stat lines all year, but that can be tedious, and it’s difficult to keep an eye on every tweet and post. We may have renamed this column but fear not, intrepid dynasty league manager, this is still THE place to find your potential prospect diamonds in the rough.

For those unfamiliar, this is a weekly column where I’ll select four prospects (typically 2 hitters and 2 pitchers) who performed outstandingly in the prior week. Not only will you get a name, but also we’ll dive into what powered their results and where their future value stands.

“But,” you may think to yourself, “what makes this column so different than any of the countless other blurbs, rundowns, and general prospect lists that are published?” Glad you asked!

First and foremost, this column is dedicated to the deep dynasty manager. If you’re in an 18-team league, or rostering 30+ minor leaguers, then this is your spot.

Secondly, and I don’t want to honk my horn (toot toot) but in year 1, we had a pretty solid track record of recognizing some names that have risen in value entering this season including: Kyle Manzardo, Yainer Diaz, Evan Carter, Justin Dirden, and Will Benson.

With that said, let’s get to this week’s prospects…


Player of the Week: 3B Justyn-Henry Malloy, DET, AAA

Stats: (6 games) 8-21, 3 HR, 3 doubles, 4 RBI, 9 runs, 0 SBs


It’s not completely clear what the Tigers plan to do with Malloy which has made rostering him this season incredibly frustrating. After making a name for himself in the lower levels of Atlanta’s farm system in 2022, JHM was dealt to Detroit in exchange for Joe Jiménez.

It seemed like Detroit was making a traditional vet reliever for high floor prospect type of swap, building toward their future. Malloy had shown plus plate discipline if only average power with Atlanta but seemed like he would continue excelling at AAA to make his case as a major leaguer.

While Malloy did have a rough May 2023 and there have been several reports about his less-than-credible defense at 3B (Atlanta had already begun playing him in LF by the time he had reached AA in ’22), it’s head-scratching to see him at AAA this late in the season.

In spite of that May (.205 avg, but still produced a .364 OBP), he’s now sitting at .293/.431/.510 with a career-high 23 HRs and 24 doubles. His brief career tells the story of a talent that’s ready for the majors: A K rate that’s never exceeded 25%, a walk rate that’s consistently been above 16%, a SwStr below 10%, and wRC+ that’s never been lower than 125! Malloy is walking Yandy Díaz’s footsteps as far as his player profile: above-average plate skills and hit tool coupled with serviceable power.

This season does point to Malloy being a pure fastball hitter, with sub-75 % contact rates vs. breaking & off-speed pitches. But at this point, there’s little that more PAs in Toledo are going to change. Here’s hoping the Tigers put JHM in the mix for 2024 so we can finally see what he can do against major league pitching.


Honorable Mention: 3B Trevor Werner, KCR, Low A

Stats: (6 games) 10-21, 4 HR, 3 doubles, 12 RBI, 11 runs, 2 SBs


Here’s a really interesting 2022 draft pick that wasn’t on my radar until this week. At first glance, many will probably look at Werner’s age (23) & level and dismiss him as a raker against young pitching with little upside. Don’t make that mistake.

Looking at Werner’s collegiate history, his freshman season at Texas A&M was 2020 and his 2021 season was truncated due to a hamate injury. In between, Werner developed good power and plate skills both at college and in summer wood bat leagues. 

Now as a pro, Werner is building a compelling profile: in his first 101 ABs of Low A, Werner has hit 8 HRs & 10 doubles, along with a 1.173 OPS. There’s a fair amount of BABIP luck built into Werner’s .347 batting average (.422) but his batted ball types point in a positive direction. He’s hitting 39% FB this season overall and 29% of those flyballs have left the yard.

Werner’s 6’3 frame presents with some lengthy levers but not to an extreme, it helps that he has a simple set-up and execution in his swing mechanics. Circle Werner’s name as someone to watch going into 2024.


Pitcher of the Week: SP Chad Dallas, TOR, AA

Stats: (1 start) 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, 0 BB, 11 Ks


You’d be excused for thinking there’s only one pitching prospect of note in the Great White North as Ricky Tiedemann has rightly taken up all of the ink over the past two seasons in Toronto. But this season Dallas has seen improvements in pretty much every category between his time at High A and Double A.

Consistency is the main obstacle for Dallas to overcome on his way to significant prospect value in fantasy as well as real-life opportunity with the Blue Jays. Since a 30-day span from April ’23 – May ’23, Dallas had yet to piece together more than 2 consecutive starts with less than 3 ER. That was the case until August, as 5 of his last 6 starts have limited the offense to 3 ER or less. Overall the last month has looked like this: 32% K rate, 28.5% K-BB, and a 2.77 FIP in 34.2IP.

Dallas’ mix of low-mid 90s four-seamer, high-spin slider, and mid-80s curveball is basic but has played well so far in the minors. Signs point to a back-end starter for Dallas but if he can hold his added velo and/or improve his change-up offering, there’s a narrow path to an SP3-type ceiling.


Honorable Mention: SP Jairo Iriarte, SDP, AA

Stats: (1 start) 4 IP, 1 ER, 5 hits, 1 BB, 6 Ks


Iriarte jumped on radars towards the end of ’22 with a fastball/slider/change mix that mirrors well out of hand. With his combination of youth (21 years old) and developmental curve (he’s only thrown 90 innings once in his career so far), there’s something for fantasy managers to dream of. 

If there is one yellow flag (not totally red), it’s the decreasing SwStr (13.6% at ’22 Low A to 12% at ’23 AA). While Iriarte is still pretty consistent in throwing strikes (49% strikes vs. 38% balls this season), his value is almost exclusively tied to his ability to generate swings and misses. It’s an area to watch for Iriarte’s 2024 season. 

LaMar Gibson

A lifelong Baltimore Orioles fan that still hasn't forgiven Jeffrey Maier, Tony Fernandez, the 2014 Royals, or Edwin Encarnacion...and has no interest in doing so in the foreseeable future. You can read more of LaMar's thoughts by subscribing to his free monthly newsletter, Inside Fastball, for all things prospects.

One response to “The Prospect Watchlist: Week 19 (August 27 – September 2)”

  1. N says:

    Werner was drafted in 23 not 22.

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