The Prospect Watchlist: Week 9 (June 3 – June 10)

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 a 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: OF Jordan Beck, COL, High A

Stats: (6 games) 11-23, 3 HR, 4 doubles, 7 RBI, 7 runs, 1 SB


Another week, another Rockies OF making the Watchlist. Beck was probably the second most talented bat from Tennessee selected in this past MLB draft behind Houston 1st rounder Drew Gilbert but he’s making a great case for being just as a good a prospect.

Beck’s swing is optimized for loft; he rarely gets long in his swing and his pre-load to load movements are pretty concise. He shows some good bat control; the homer above is opposite field on a pitch on the outer half. Beck’s running a 74% contact rate and good K/BB numbers, powering his impressive OBP.

Even more impressive? Beck has a BABIP under .300 on the year, that’s beginning to tick up since mid-May. Assuming that it stabilizes, there’s potential for even better statistical performance. At this point, like Fernandez, Beck needs to be moved to AA to really be challenged.

Now is probably your last chance to make a relatively cheap offer on Beck before his manager tells you to kick rocks.


Honorable Mention: 3B Jack Brannigan, PIT, Low A

Stats: (6 games) 8-22, 5 HR, 1 double, 11 RBI, 7 runs, 3 SBs


The”other” two-way prospect in the Pittsburgh system (the initial being Bubba Chandler), Brannigan has fully committed to hitting and being a position player, mostly at 3B but with some starts at 2B as well. He’s had a pretty successful start to his pro career, with this past week being his most successful period yet.

Chandler’s foot speed may be the most underrated part of his game, I saw Florida Prospect Report make note of several times he’s beaten out throws on slow grounders or taken extra bases on lackadaisical outfielders not getting a ball into the infield quickly. That’s in addition to his 10/10 in stolen base attempts.

There’s still the question of his hit tool being good enough to survive at the next couple of levels (let alone in the majors), he’s only sporting a 64% contact rate, along with 28% K rate. On the positive side, his SwStr is only 10% and he has a walk rate of 19%, that would put him with the likes of Termarr Johnson and Jett Williams in the Florida State League if he were a qualifying hitter. His swing puts a charge into the ball when there is contact, but I wonder if he has the bat speed to hit elite velocity as he climbs ranks.


Pitcher of the Week: SP David Sandlin, KCR, Low A

Stats: (1 start) 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 hits, 1 BB, 9 Ks


We’ve discussed the Royals pitching in this space previously, so I won’t regurgitate, but suffice to say that I’m cautiously positive about Kansas City’s newest crop of arms, Sandlin included.

The fastball is beyond what Low A hitters expect, it’ll be telling to see if Sandlin generates similar whiffs with the pitch versus more advanced hitters. His two breaking balls are well-differentiated in speeds and shape with his curve moving somewhat diagonally, while his slider has more hard, vertical break.

Sandlin may get a late season promotion to High A, but given his lack of innings logged in college (his draft eligible season was his career high in IP at 95), it’s understandable that the Royals may want to take things slowly. If you already missed out on Noah Cameron but still want in on a Royals pitching prospect, Sandlin’s your guy. But like the best Kansas City BBQ, be prepared to let Sandlin cook slow and low, for a couple of seasons.


Honorable Mention: SP Richard Fitts, NYY, AA

Stats: (2 starts) 14 IP, 3 ER, 8 hits, 3 BB, 16 Ks


Fitts was someone that garnered some attention at the start of the season based on his output and the Yankees’ need for pitching at the major league level. While his hype as cooled in the face of other Yankee farmhands’ rising in estimation, Fitts still looks like a major league caliber pitcher. His command and control seem to be closer to the 60FV assigned by Fangraphs than the 35 present grade he was given and he doesn’t give up many home runs. 

The Yankees have shown an interest in having their prospects, especially pitchers, get some AAA experience before promotion, as such I wonder if Fitts is more of a ’24 name to follow than this season. In any event, he’s a perfect fit for 16 teamers or greater, if you’re looking for a high floor prospect to fill an open minor league slot.

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.

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