Farm Futures: AL East: 146 Prospects You Need To Know

Farm Futures: AL East: 146 Prospects You Need To Know

This article is part of our Farm Futures series.

For the fourth year in a row, I will be going division by division, providing analysis on every fantasy-relevant prospect in baseball while also ranking those prospects in their respective systems. This means there will be 30-plus prospects ranked in certain systems and less than 15 prospects ranked in others. There is no point in listing an irrelevant prospect just to reach an arbitrary total of 10, 20 or 30. Similarly, it is unfortunate to not include information on highly relevant prospects just because that prospect was not one of his team's 10 or 20 best.

The fourth installment takes us to the 146 prospects you need to know in the American League East.

I wrote the outlooks for most of the guys in the top 250 or so of the top 400 prospect rankings, so if you want more in-depth analysis on someone, check out their player profile. The order of the players on the back half of the top 400 will be evolving throughout this process, so the 400 may not be up to date with the team rankings in this article. Listed ages are as of 4/1/20. Feel free to ask me any prospect-related questions in the comments section or on Twitter.


1. Adley Rutschman, C, 22, High-A

Rutschman is so fun to watch on both sides of the ball  — he's just such a natural baseball player, it's difficult to envision him not excelling at every aspect of the game. Maybe he will

For the fourth year in a row, I will be going division by division, providing analysis on every fantasy-relevant prospect in baseball while also ranking those prospects in their respective systems. This means there will be 30-plus prospects ranked in certain systems and less than 15 prospects ranked in others. There is no point in listing an irrelevant prospect just to reach an arbitrary total of 10, 20 or 30. Similarly, it is unfortunate to not include information on highly relevant prospects just because that prospect was not one of his team's 10 or 20 best.

The fourth installment takes us to the 146 prospects you need to know in the American League East.

I wrote the outlooks for most of the guys in the top 250 or so of the top 400 prospect rankings, so if you want more in-depth analysis on someone, check out their player profile. The order of the players on the back half of the top 400 will be evolving throughout this process, so the 400 may not be up to date with the team rankings in this article. Listed ages are as of 4/1/20. Feel free to ask me any prospect-related questions in the comments section or on Twitter.


1. Adley Rutschman, C, 22, High-A

Rutschman is so fun to watch on both sides of the ball  — he's just such a natural baseball player, it's difficult to envision him not excelling at every aspect of the game. Maybe he will be more of a 25-homer guy than a 35-homer guy, but I think he'll hit around .300 with a .400 OBP, so there's not much to complain about.

2. Austin Hays, OF, 24, MLB

Hays had an excellent run with the big-league club to close 2019 that unfortunately washed away his sleeper status for 2020. I've liked him for a few years, and think he might still be underrated in AVG dynasty leagues, but the redraft price might be more than I'm willing to pay.

3. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, 20, High-A

Obviously pitching prospects are risky, especially those that are a couple years away from the majors. However, barring a career-altering injury, Rodriguez seems like a good bet on paper to be at least a No. 2 starter. His changeup could be above-average and that's the worst of his four pitches.

4. DL Hall, LHP, 21, Double-A

Man, I love Hall's stuff so much. He's young and athletic enough to still improve his command/control and he will need to in order to reach his frontline ceiling. All pitching prospects are risky, and he is as risky as they come above A-ball, but he also has a ceiling few can touch.

5. Ryan Mountcastle, OF/DH/1B, 23, Triple-A

I just can't bring myself to get excited about a player with Mountcastle's flaws, even if he is about to make his big-league debut. The best-case scenario is a .300 hitter who hits 25 HR and doesn't walk or run. Given his horrible defensive tools, he could be cast aside as soon as the Orioles put together a real big-league roster.

6. Yusniel Diaz, OF, 23, Triple-A

Diaz's 2019 was about as disappointing as a year can be when a guy posts a 135 wRC+ at Double-A. He will finally head to Triple-A, but he will do so with a new power-over-hit approach that saps some of his upside if he sticks with it. 

7. Adam Hall, SS/2B, 20, High-A

Hall will probably get to the big leagues before any other noteworthy Orioles shortstops, so he could debut at that position. At the very least, he should have some years as a starter at second base. His plus speed with the hope of playing time is the big draw.

8. Gunnar Henderson, SS, 18, Low-A

I'm not a huge fan of Henderson, but the O's were probably going with an up-the-middle hitter with that 42nd pick no matter what, and there weren't many better options available at that point. He is young for his class, but lacks a clear standout tool.

9. Luis A. Ortiz, LHP, 17, Dominican Summer League

He doesn't actually go by Luis A., but I'm using his middle initial to distinguish him from the older, right-handed Luis Ortiz who has been cast off Baltimore's 40-man roster. This young southpaw received $400K on July 2 and should dominate in the DSL if he throws strikes thanks to a plus 93-mph fastball and potentially plus curveball.

10. Elio Prado, OF, 18, Gulf Coast League

The headliner in the return from Boston in the Andrew Cashner trade, Prado has a well-proportioned 6-foot, 160-pound frame for his age and showed a good handle of the strike zone in the DSL. He could develop above-average power to go with above-average speed and a good hit tool.

11. Michael Baumann, RHP, 24, Double-A

Unlike a lot of the Orioles' secondary pitching prospects with good recent numbers in the minors, Baumann actually has a plus mid-90s fastball. He also has a chance for three secondaries that are average or better. It's a No. 3/4 starter profile that plays down due to team context.

12. Dean Kremer, RHP, 24, Triple-A

A lot of the shine has come off Kremer since he led the minors in strikeouts in 2018. He has a good body (6-foot-3, 180 pounds), above-average fastball and plus curveball. He may be the first pitching prospect of note to join the big-league rotation but profiles as more of a No. 4 starter.

13. Darell Hernaiz, SS, 18, Low-A

A quick-twitch shortstop with plus bat speed, Hernaiz made for a fine tools/athleticism gamble in the fifth round ($400K bonus). He could stand to dial back his flyball-heavy approach somewhat, but it's encouraging that he walked a lot in his pro debut.

14. Kyle Stowers, OF, 22, Low-A

The Orioles gave Stowers almost $900K after selecting him with the 71st pick. He is a big (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) left-handed slugger who will need to keep the strikeouts in check against more advanced pitching. An average runner, there's a chance he can stick in center field, but his arm would fit fine in right.

15. Luis Gonzalez, OF, 17, Dominican Summer League

The recipient of a $475K bonus in July, Gonzalez is the top position player from the Orioles' massive, albeit light on impact, international class. He has a well-proportioned 6-foot-4, 185-pound frame and has plus power potential from the left side.

16. Drew Rom, LHP, 20, High-A

Despite putting up great numbers at Low-A, Rom is still more of a projection dream than a pitcher with currently exciting stuff. At 6-foot-2, 170 pounds, he has great size for a southpaw and has a chance to end up with above-average command. If his low-90s fastball and secondaries improve, he could break out.

17. Rylan Bannon, 2B/3B, 23, Triple-A

Bannon was pretty solid at Double-A and Triple-A last year, but if he were in a different organization, I might not mention him. He could debut in Baltimore this summer, however, and with the versatility to play second or third, he could become a regular in the short term. There's 20/10 upside over a full season if it all comes together. 

18. Hunter Harvey, RHP, 25, MLB

Harvey could lead the Orioles in saves this year, but does that even matter? As a team, they logged 27 saves last year, and Mychal Givens led the way with 11. They should be even worse this year, so Harvey is AL-only reserve fodder despite an intriguing power arsenal.

19. Ryan McKenna, OF, 23, Double-A

McKenna is a plus runner and a good enough defender to stick in center field. He is also already on the 40-man roster. However, I would bet against him ever hitting enough to be more than a reserve, even with Baltimore.

20. Zac Lowther, LHP, 23, Triple-A

Lowther's fastball has below-average velocity, but it is a very deceptive pitch, which has allowed it to work as a plus offering against minor-league hitters. He lacks a plus secondary, so if he is to continue having success, his deception, command and pitchability will have to be elite.

21. Leonardo Rodriguez, RHP, 22, Low-A

He's on the older side, but at 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, it's understandable that he hasn't been a fast mover through the system. Rodriguez has a plus mid-90s fastball and will work to improve his secondary offerings and command in his full-season debut.


1. Triston Casas, 1B, 20, High-A

Casas made much more contact in his full-season debut than I was expecting, and is now one of the best first base prospects in the minors. He has some work to do against lefties, and may need a platoon partner, but other than that, it's a pretty straightforward power/OBP profile for the position.

2. Thad Ward, RHP, 23, Double-A

I don't understand why this guy is still under the radar. He has a five-pitch mix with a chance for three of his pitches (sinker, slider, cutter) to be plus or better and an easy delivery. He also has good size (6-foot-3, 182 pounds) and should debut in 2021.

3. Bobby Dalbec, 3B/1B, 24, Triple-A

Dalbec would be much more straightforward if his walk rate didn't plummet at Triple-A. I'm guessing he'll make the necessary adjustments and return to profiling as a three-true-outcomes corner guy with 30-homer power. He is much more valuable in OBP leagues, even after his struggles at Triple-A.

4. Gilberto Jimenez, OF, 19, Low-A

With Jimenez it's pretty simple: he needs to cut his groundball rate and improve his success rate as a base stealer. The physical tools (70-grade speed) and contact skills are there for him to be a Lorenzo Cain type of offensive player someday, but work is needed.

5. Brusdar Graterol, RHP, 21, Triple-A

The writing had been on the wall for a while that Graterol wasn't going to make it as a traditional big-league starter, and the Twins obviously concurred with that assumption. Thanks to a double-plus sinker and plus slider, he could be extremely effective in any role that preserves his health. For our purposes, he would be most valuable as a closer.

6. Brainer Bonaci, SS, 17, Gulf Coast League

If Bonaci were 6-foot-1 instead of 5-foot-10, his tools would make a lot more sense. He has more than enough arm for shortstop and is starting to tap into average or better power as a switch hitter. He also has at least above-average speed and won't turn 18 until July.

7. Jay Groome, LHP, 21, Low-A

Groome had Tommy John surgery in May of 2018, so he will be pretty fresh for the start of this season, and could climb multiple levels. Plus fastball/plus slider is where it all starts, but even before the surgery, his command was below average. There is still a ton of risk here to go with the lofty ceiling.

8. Bryan Mata, RHP, 20, Double-A

Mata's age should be noted before all of his deficiencies, as he still has time to fix his flaws and he already has pretty electric stuff. He has a mid-90s fastball and quality breaking ball. He needs to improve his changeup and command, but there's mid-rotation upside if he does.

9. Brayan Bello, RHP, 20, High-A

Bello really isn't far behind Mata in terms of stuff, and he could catch him this year. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound righty has a mid-90s fastball and a chance for a plus slider and plus changeup. His command and delivery still need some work.

10. Eduardo Lopez, OF, 17, Gulf Coast League

Boston's top J-2 signing in 2018 ($1.15 million bonus), Lopez didn't create buzz with his pro debut, but he walked as many times as he struck out (15 percent rates) while showing off speed and quality defense in center field. He is a switch hitter and at 6-foot, 170 pounds, he could steadily improve at the plate as he matures.

11. Kelvin Diaz, OF, 17, Dominican Summer League

He only received $300K on July 2, but Diaz is the best fantasy target from their international signing class due to elite athleticism. A 6-foot-1, 165-pound center fielder, Diaz is a plus runner who could get faster — any weight he adds will be good weight. The hit tool is TBD, but he has the physical tools we care about.

12. Juan Chacon, OF, 17, Dominican Summer League

A right-handed Venezuelan with a good 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame, Chacon projects to grow into impact power and could make contact at a good clip as well. He is an above-average runner but is expected to get bigger and end up in right field.

13. Luis Perales, RHP, 16, Dominican Summer League

A 6-foot-1, 160-pound Venezuelan, Perales isn't overly projectable for his age — his midsection is already pretty sturdy — but it doesn't matter since he already touches 95 mph and has a curveball that projects as a plus pitch. As is, it's a mid-rotation starter kit, but if his changeup comes along, he could surpass that.

14. Nick Decker, OF, 20, Low-A

Decker has plus power from the left side and the defensive chops to profile well in right field. However, there are concerns about the hit tool. His batted-ball profile was excellent in short-season ball, but his 29.9 percent strikeout rate is obviously concerning.

15. Bryan Gonzalez, OF, 18, Gulf Coast League

While Lopez has defense, speed and projection on his side, Gonzalez came to the DSL ready to do damage, tying for third on the circuit with nine home runs. He is already over 200 pounds, so he needs to hit enough to profile in a corner, but he is off to a good start.

16. Wilkelman Gonzalez, RHP, 18, Gulf Coast League

A 6-foot-3 Venezuelan righty, Gonzalez didn't log amazing strikeout or walk rates in the DSL, but he touched 95 mph with his fastball and could continue to add velocity as he fills out his frame. He needs to improve his command and secondaries, but he's definitely an arm to watch.

17. C.J. Chatham, 2B/SS, 25, Triple-A

The Red Sox added Chatham to the 40-man roster and he is only a couple good months at Triple-A away from figuring into the second-base mix at the big-league level. He has hit .300 or better at almost every stop, but does not walk much and has minimal power and average speed.

18. Matthew Lugo, SS/2B, 18, Low-A

More of a sum-of-the-parts player than one with any plus tools, Lugo, who received $1.1 million in the second round, could develop above-average power, but his approach needs some work. He has above-average speed now, but may only be an average runner by the time he reaches the big leagues.

19. Cameron Cannon, 2B/SS, 22, Low-A

Cannon was supposed to be a bat-first middle infielder when the Red Sox gave him $1.3 million in the second round, so it is obviously concerning that he was below league average in the New York-Penn League. It's possible he was just gassed after the college season. We don't need to be very patient with him if he doesn't hit this year.

20. Chris Murphy, LHP, 21, Low-A

Murphy popped in the New York-Penn League after the Red Sox gave him $200K in the sixth round. He missed a ton of bats in college but also walked too many, so we need to see him carry over his short-season success. He has a low-90s fastball, a quality changeup and a breaking ball that needs refinement.

21. Lyonell James, 3B, 17, Dominican Summer League

James, who received $440K out of the D.R., has an excellent body (6-foot-3, 160 pounds) to grow into. He has long levers but still has a quick bat and could develop above-average power soon. He is athletic, but probably won't be a huge source of steals. It will be his bat that carries him.

22. Chih-Jung Liu, RHP, 20, New York-Penn League

Liu signed with the Red Sox out of Taiwan for $750K in October, and has a chance to really open some eyes in his stateside debut. His fastball has recently touched 98 mph, sitting 93-96. He has a starter's pitch mix, but at 6-foot, 180 pounds, it is unclear if he will hold up under a starter's workload.

23. Jarren Duran, OF, 23, Double-A

Probably the most overrated prospect (close between him and Ian Anderson) before he got to the Arizona Fall League, Duran's stock took a massive dive with evaluators universally panning every aspect of his game that doesn't involve stealing bases. Trade him now if you still can.

24. Brandon Howlett, 3B, 20, Low-A

He has some of the best raw power in the system and is willing to take his walks, but Howlett struck out at a 31 percent clip as a 19-year-old at Low-A. It would not be surprising if he excels in a return to that level, but he will really need to improve as a hitter given his middling defense at third base.

25. Ceddanne Rafaela, 2B/3B/SS, 19, New York-Penn League

Despite a 5-foot-8, 145-pound frame, Rafaela logged a .176 ISO in the GCL last year while playing all over the infield. In addition to his surprising pop, he is an above-average runner, so there are some fantasy-relevant tools here.

26. Marcus Wilson, OF, 23, Double-A

Wilson had a good showing in the Arizona Fall League, but it was a small sample, and what he did at Double-A was much less impressive. His strikeout rates have ballooned against better pitching and he is no longer a true burner on the bases. He projects to be a short-side platoon bat who plays left field and center field.

27. Darel Belen, OF/1B, 19, New York-Penn League

Belen is a big-bodied (6-foot-4, 194 pounds) slugger who had success in the DSL, but he was old for the level. He split time between first base and right field, and as a R/R guy, it would be best if he keeps his body in check to the point he can make it work in the outfield.

28. Noah Song, RHP, 22, fulfilling two-year commitment to the Naval Academy

Oh what could have been. Song would have been a top-10 pitcher for fantasy purposes from the 2019 signing class, but his request for a waiver to forgo his two-year commitment to the Navy was denied. His arm will certainly be fresh when he returns to pro ball, but that's a long time to wait for a pitcher who is not pitching.

29. Tanner Houck, RHP, 23, Triple-A

While he has the size, fastball and breaking ball, Houck's command, delivery and shaky changeup should confine him to the bullpen long term. It's possible he will get some chances in the rotation following the David Price trade, but he should be avoided in all formats if that happens.

30. Aldo Ramirez, RHP, 18, Low-A

Ramirez has the stuff to make it as a starter (low-to-mid-90s fastball, quality curveball and changeup), but at 6-foot, 180 pounds, there are concerns about how well he will hold up. This should serve as a good test, as he should spend the whole year in the rotation at Low-A.

31. Antoni Flores, 2B/3B/SS, 19, New York-Penn League

I get aggressive when ranking international prospects with upside, but I also get aggressive in the opposite direction when those aforementioned prospects show major flaws in the lower levels. The ones who are destined for big things typically don't struggle much at all until they get to at least Low-A, and Flores was dreadful last year against short-season pitching.


1. Jasson Dominguez, OF, 17, Appalachian League

This is weird to say about a player who has not played in an official pro game, but my only concern with Dominguez is that he could outgrow his plus speed. At the plate, there is nothing to be concerned about. He might have the fastest bat in pro ball — it's either him or Wander Franco — and like Franco, he is a switch hitter. 

2. Clarke Schmidt, RHP, 24, Double-A

I love Schmidt and still think he can be had for a reasonable price in dynasty leagues this offseason. That will probably change after this year if he stays healthy. He doesn't have prototypical height for a righty, but he's got the size to handle a starter's workload and the repertoire of a No. 2 starter. I wouldn't be shocked if he started the year at Triple-A, despite only having three Double-A starts under his belt.

3. Luis Medina, RHP, 20, High-A

Medina gave us a lot to dream on late last season, as he was going deep into starts while limiting the walks and showing off his pornographic arsenal. If the command gains are real, he's going to be very, very special.

4. Deivi Garcia, RHP, 20, Triple-A

I'd love to have Garcia on my favorite baseball team, but for fantasy, I could see him being a bit of a headache to roster in the coming years. I'm skeptical about him making it in the rotation, and also wouldn't be surprised if the Yankees traded him or just sent him to the bullpen to be a multi-inning guy.

5. Canaan Smith, OF/DH, 20, High-A

If the only point of my top-400 rankings was to rank pure hitters, Smith would be in the top-100 pretty easily. I have no real concerns about the bat. The problem is that he's probably a left fielder or designated hitter at the end of the day, so there's no margin for error offensively.

6. Luis Gil, RHP, 21, High-A

Gil has an 80-grade fastball, but his current command and secondaries point to a future in the bullpen. He is obviously young enough to improve those areas, and the Yankees won't pull the plug on him as a starter anytime soon. Even in relief, he could offer fantasy value.

7. Oswald Peraza, SS, 19, Low-A

The Yankees love to hype their prospects to public prospect rankers, probably more so than any other team, and they seem intent on hyping up Peraza. He reportedly has shown above-average power in batting practice (he definitely has the size to get to more power) to go with plus speed and good bat-to-ball skills. Even with good defensive tools at shortstop, that power needs to show up at some point.

8. Josh Smith, 2B, 22, High-A

Smith received just shy of $1 million in the second round and had an elite statistical debut, albeit as a 21/22-year-old in the NYPL. His hit tool might end up being plus, and he will get on base at a high clip. He will probably need to develop 20-homer pop to be an everyday second baseman, but that's in play.

9. Alexander Vizcaino, RHP, 22, High-A

Vizcaino flies a little under the radar among these arms, but he has the most consistent of the plus changeups in this system (Medina's is the best when it's on and Schmidt's got a great one too). He also has a plus fastball, so if his slider and command improve, he could be at least a No. 3 starter.

10. Ezequiel Duran, 2B, 20, Low-A

I don't love Duran's hit tool, but I could envision him doing what he did in the NYPL (.256/.329/.496) some day in the majors, and that's basically a Mike Moustakas season. He will have to stay on top of his conditioning, as he has already lost some explosiveness since signing.

11. Roansy Contreras, RHP, 20, High-A

Contreras is a better bet than Medina or Gil to make it as a starter, but he lacks the high-end ceiling we crave in pitchers who are several years away from the majors. Even so, a mid-rotation starter on the Yankees is a valuable pitcher in fantasy, and that's what he could end up being.

12. Kevin Alcantara, OF, 17, Gulf Coast League

Alcantara is a lottery ticket in every sense — extreme upside, very long odds. I harp on about Oneil Cruz's height as a massive outlier, but Cruz has at least had success. Alcantara, a high-pedigree 6-foot-6 center fielder with plus speed and plus power projection, is still just a shot in the dark.

13. Maikol Escotto, SS/2B, 17, Gulf Coast League

The Yankees love to stress test international prospects, which makes it tough to evaluate their guys. Is it better to crush it in the DSL, or get sent straight to the GCL and struggle? Escotto falls into the first bin. He showed above-average power and speed to go with a patient approach. He needs to cut down on the swing and miss.

14. Alexander Vargas, SS, 18, Appalachian League

Vargas gives me Lucius Fox vibes — an athletic switch-hitting speedster who may not do enough damage at the plate to make it as a regular. His defense will buy his bat more chances and his 70-grade speed will buy him more time on the top 400.

15. Raimfer Salinas, OF, 19, Appalachian League

Still extremely raw, Salinas was 14 percent better than the average hitter in the GCL despite a 45:7 K:BB in 42 games. He has plus-plus speed and the frame and bat speed to grow into above-average power. The approach really needs to improve, but he's still young and his tools are hard to ignore.

16. Anthony Volpe, SS, 18, Low-A

While the Yankees publicly comped Volpe to Alex Bregman, I don't personally expect Volpe to end up as one of the best players in the game some day. Call me crazy. Offensively, he is the prep version of Josh Smith (so a couple years behind him) — the big difference is Volpe projects to be a quality defensive shortstop.

17. Yoendrys Gomez, RHP, 20, Low-A

With most of the arms in this loaded system, we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Gomez is the exception, as he is still extremely projectable at 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, and shows the makings of a plus fastball, plus curveball and average or better command. He should only continue to get better.

18. Antonio Gomez, C, 18, Appalachian League

Gomez missed most of his debut year with injuries, but he impressed when he was out there. He is an excellent defensive catcher, which is important, and he made contact at an excellent clip as a 17-year-old in the GCL. At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, he should grow into at least average power.

19. Marcos Cabrera, 3B, 18, Gulf Coast League

An offensive-minded third baseman who was part of the Yankees' 2018 J-2 class, Cabrera showcased an all-fields approach and a good command of the strike zone in the DSL. He needs to improve his defense, but it's a potentially exciting offensive profile.

20. Enger Castellano, 3B, 17, Dominican Summer League

Castellano received just under $400K as a late signee during the 2019 international signing period. A physically mature 6-foot, 190 pounds, he already has huge power and a quick bat. He is not a lock to stick at third base from an agility perspective, so his offense will have to carry him.

21. Estevan Florial, OF, 22, Double-A

Florial is not ready to have success at Double-A, but he will be sent there nonetheless now that he is occupying a 40-man roster spot. The Florida State League and injuries are partly to blame for his struggles. His tools are great, but there are enough super tooled-up outfielders with bad hit tools that he isn't special. 

22. Miguel Yajure, RHP, 21, Double-A

Despite having just two starts under his belt at Double-A, the Yankees added Yajure to a crowded 40-man roster this offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. He had TJS in 2017, but built up to 138.2 IP last year. At 6-foot-1 and with a low-90s fastball, he probably needs either his curveball or cutter to join his changeup as plus offerings for him to be a No. 3 starter.

23. Michael King, RHP, 24, Triple-A

King will probably be called on at some point when the Yankees need to dip into their rotation depth. Unlike most of the notable arms in this system, the bullpen is not a great fallback for him, as he gets by on excellent command and pitchability rather than electric stuff. He's not a total throwaway, but his ceiling is that of a No. 4 starter.

24. Ryder Green, OF, 19, Low-A

Green has some of the best raw power in this system and showed improvements last year over a disappointing pro debut in 2018. He will need to continue to improve his command of the strike zone while also improving against righties to avoid ending up on the short side of a platoon.

25. Jacob Sanford, OF, 22, Low-A

Sanford was given just under $600K out of Western Kentucky in the third round. He has not faced much high-level competition (he's from Nova Scotia) and his rawness showed in his pro debut. However, he has big-time tools (easy plus power to all fields, good speed), so if something clicks, he would be a guy to grab in deeper leagues.

26. Thairo Estrada, 2B, 24, Triple-A

Estrada doesn't seem to fit into the Yankees' long-term plans, so they will probably use his final option year as a chance to showcase him at Triple-A in hopes of unloading him to a rebuilding club at the deadline. He has a solid hit tool and could steal double-digit bases with a regular role.

27. Antonio Cabello, OF, 19, Appalachian League

Even when things were going great for Cabello in 2018, I thought he was more aggressive in terms of pitch recognition than his K:BB showed. He also had a shorter, compact (5-foot-10 and at least 170 pounds) frame that made his plus speed tough to count on down the road. Unfortunately, both worst-case scenarios were on display last year. He's still someone to monitor, but no longer a hold in dynasty leagues.

28. Osiel Rodriguez, RHP, 18, Gulf Coast League

He was hampered by shoulder issues in his pro debut. Rodriguez has a very high ceiling and got seven figures out of Cuba on July 2, 2018. Now healthy and with another year of pro instruction under his belt, it's possible he could make some noise in the GCL.

29. Everson Pereira, OF, 18, Appalachian League

It hasn't been pretty so far in pro ball for Pereira, one of the most prominent J-2 "busts" (so far) in recent years. His 2019 was cut short due to an ankle injury, but another year with a horrible K:BB will get him off this list. Above-average speed and power remain.

30. Anthony Seigler, C, 20, Low-A

Both of Seigler's seasons have been marred by injuries, but while he clearly has a good handle on the strike zone, there is no evidence that he will impact the baseball consistently. I want Seigler to happen, but he probably won't happen.

31. Anthony Garcia, OF/DH, 19, Appalachian League

He is coming off a mostly lost year due to injury. Garcia has 80-grade raw power but will probably struggle to make enough contact to get to it regularly, especially if/when he gets to Double-A and Triple-A. If he starts to cut down on the strikeouts though, he's worth an add.

32. Albert Abreu, RHP, 24, Triple-A

I guess I'll give Abreu one more year on this list out of respect for his electric stuff, but I'm hard-pressed to see a case for him making it as a starter at this point. If his command and curveball show signs of improvement, perhaps he can break in as a starter. This is not a good organization for reliever fallback plans, given how loaded the bullpen always is.

33. Chris Gittens, 1B/DH, 26, Triple-A

Gittens has monster raw power to all fields and made strides with his command of the strike zone last year. He's too old and too limited defensively to generate much interest, but I think there could be something here if he found his way to another organization.


1. Wander Franco, 2B/SS, 19, Double-A

I really have no clue when Franco will be up. Anywhere from June 2020-April 2021 would not surprise me. I think he will hit around .320 with a .410 OBP, 30-plus homers and 10-20 steals in his peak years.

2. Vidal Brujan, 2B/SS/OF, 22, Triple-A

It would be awesome if Brujan was on a bad team, or even just an OK team. On the Rays, he needs to get close to his offensive ceiling to be more than a part-time player, given their insane organizational depth. If he plays 130-plus games, he should steal 30-plus bases, and that's the dream.

3. Brendan McKay, LHP, 24, Triple-A

McKay was incredibly dominant in the minors, but the move from the International League to the AL East got the better of him. I'd like to see him mix in his cutter and changeup more to help generate weak contact and keep hitters off his fastball. There is still No. 2 starter upside, but the Rays may prevent him from fully reaching that from an innings perspective.

4. Josh Lowe, OF, 22, Triple-A

Based on his batted-ball profile, it seems like Lowe should actually hit for a pretty good average as long as he keeps his K% in the 20-25% range, but there is no evidence to back this up yet. That said, he could get on base at a good clip while going 25/25 even if he only hits .250, and his center field defense is good enough for him to be an everyday guy in 2021.

5. Xavier Edwards, 2B/SS/OF, 20, High-A

Edwards has the upside to steal 40-plus bases while being a major contributor in AVG, OBP and runs, but if he falls short of having a plus hit tool with a high walk rate, he could end up in a bench role. He won't hit for power. The trade does not greatly affect his value as he was going to be pretty blocked in either spot.

6. Shane McClanahan, LHP, 22, Double-A

McClanahan has a very high ceiling as a starter, but the Rays have such a unique approach to pitching that there's plenty of risk he may never be given a chance to become a traditional starter. If his command gains hold, he should at least get a brief audition in that role.

7. Greg Jones, SS/OF, 22, Low-A

Jones has a chance to be the dream leadoff hitter for fantasy purposes (high OBP, high AVG, 30-50 steals), but he will need to improve as a contact hitter to eventually earn that role. Despite standing 6-foot-2, there may not ever be much power to speak of. Sound familiar? The Rays clearly have a type.

8. Shane Baz, RHP, 20, High-A

Baz's fastball/slider combo is intoxicating, but there are enough flaws in his profile that it wouldn't be at all surprising for the Rays to eventually settle on using him in a multi-inning relief role. If he really improves his command, he has frontline upside.

9. Kevin Padlo, 3B/1B, 23, Triple-A

Padlo won't hit for a crazy high batting average, but he is basically big-league ready and could be a major contributor in OBP and power. The one knock is that the Rays have so much quality depth that it's unclear when he will get a prominent role.

10. Brent Honeywell, RHP, 25, Triple-A

Guys with the type of injury run Honeywell is on are really tough to evaluate. If he returns to pre-injury form, he's an easy top-75 guy, but nobody should be assuming that will happen. He has a lot of rust to knock off, so the early returns this year may not be pretty.

11. Joe Ryan, RHP, 23, Double-A

Ryan is a statistical darling, but is also an excellent example of why scouting minor-league pitching statistics can lead to massive overvaluations. He commands one of the best fastballs in the minors, but that's where the compliments end.

12. Taj Bradley, RHP, 19, Low-A

Bradley was an over-slot prep signing in 2018 and turns 19 in March. He doesn't have the most projectable frame (a sturdy 6-foot-2, 190 pounds), but he is projectable in the sense that he is very new to pitching (barely pitched until late in his high school career). He already has a low-90s fastball and potentially plus breaking ball.

13. Seth Johnson, RHP, 21, Low-A

Johnson, a former shortstop, has been pitching for less than two years, yet earned himself $1.72 million at pick No. 40. He has a sturdy 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame (same measurements as Clarke Schmidt) that is built to eat innings. He also has a mid-90s fastball and potentially plus slider. The most impressive aspect of his rise has been how quickly he picked up a changeup and how quickly he developed solid control.

14. Jhon Diaz, OF, 17, Gulf Coast League

Despite standing just 5-foot-8, 160 pounds, Diaz was one of the more coveted players in last year's J-2 class, eventually signing with the Rays for $1.5 million after initially agreeing to sign with the Yankees. He could be a plus hitter with average power and above-average speed, traits that would allow him to hit at the top of a lineup.

15. Jose Pena, OF, 17, Dominican Summer League

Athletic and strong, Pena is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound center fielder bursting with tools and flair. He should have no trouble growing into plus power and his above-average speed has a chance to tick up. It's unclear how much he will hit, but he has shown an ability to use the whole field.

16. Randy Arozarena, OF, 25, Triple-A

The Rays are on a mission to enter the season with literally zero weaknesses, and acquiring Arozarena and Jose Martinez was a huge part of that. They will use the extra roster spot better than any other team and the platoons to everyone other than Austin Meadows and Willy Adames will be extremely frustrating! Arozarena will probably only play against lefties once he's up.

17. JJ Goss, RHP, 19, Appalachian League

A high-pedigree 6-foot-3 righty, Goss got a hair over $2 million after the Rays selected him with the 36th pick. He should have a plus mid-90s fastball, plus slider and quality changeup. He also showed an ability to pound the zone in his debut. It's a mid-rotation starter kit.

18. Taylor Walls, SS/2B/3B, 23, Triple-A

Walls is a jack of all trades and master of none, which will make it difficult for him to break through in this organization. He is a switch hitter with 15-homer pop, 15-steal speed, solid plate skills and the ability to handle any position on the dirt. That should eventually get him a look with some team.

19. Curtis Mead, 3B/2B, 19, Low-A

A 6-foot-2, 171-pound Australian infielder, Mead was sent from Philly to Tampa Bay in a fun challenge trade where the Rays sent back the hard-throwing Cristopher Sanchez, who probably ends up in relief. Mead showed an advanced command of the strike zone in the GCL, and given his frame, he could grow into plus power.

20. Nick Schnell, OF, 20, Low-A

Schnell has fantasy-relevant tools (plus speed, potential for plus power), but injuries and strikeouts have limited him. He bats left-handed, which is huge in this organization, and he will be worth an add if he shows a significantly better approach this year.

21. Ronaldo Hernandez, C, 22, Double-A

I'm honestly a little surprised the Rays protected Hernandez from the Rule 5 draft. He is a bad framer who doesn't walk and is roughly two years away from being a viable option in the majors. When you roster catchers with upside and a long lead time (like Hernandez entering 2019), you need to be willing to cut bait when they have a down year (in one-catcher leagues where 200-300 prospects are rostered).

22. Alejandro Pie, OF, 18, Gulf Coast League

Pie is uber-toolsy and received $1.4 million on July 2, 2018. He's 6-foot-4 and is at least a plus runner. That size leads to some length in his swing, and his hit tool was pretty raw in the DSL. There should be average or better game power eventually, but he isn't close to tapping into that.

23. Riley O'Brien, RHP, 25, Double-A

O'Brien was 22 when he was drafted, so despite his age, he has not been languishing in the minors for four or five years. He is 6-foot-4, 170 pounds and has a plus fastball and plus slider, but his changeup and command have been slower to develop. This will probably be his last season to prove he should remain on a starter's track.

24. Abiezel Ramirez, SS/2B, 20, Low-A

Ramirez is a switch hitter with plus speed and a chance to stick at shortstop. He struck out too much in a brief taste of the Appy League, so it's possible he returns there, but he's Rule 5 eligible after this season, so the Rays will probably want to stress test the bat.

25. Garrett Whitley, OF, 23, High-A

Whitley still has some of the best tools in this system (plus speed, plus power), but a torn labrum erased his 2018 season and he came back last year with a 37.1 percent strikeout rate at High-A (he still managed a 126 wRC+). Maybe he can rebound now that he is two years removed from shoulder surgery, but it's fine to watch from afar until he shows signs of improvement.

26. Lucius Fox, SS/2B/3B/OF, 22, Triple-A

Fox's 70-grade speed and placement on the Rays' 40-man roster are the only things keeping him on this list. He has not shown any signs of life with the bat — he drew more walks last year, but remains a near zero in the power department. He is a good defensive shortstop and is capable of playing all over the field.

27. Niko Hulsizer, OF/DH, 23, High-A

Hulsizer is a minor-league home run derby hero type who probably won't hit enough to make much noise at the highest level. The Rays took a flier on his massive raw power, acquiring him from the Dodgers for Adam Kolarek. Hulsizer isn't a great defender in the outfield, which puts all the more pressure on his bat.

28. Angel Guaiquirian, RHP, 17, Dominican Summer League

Guaiquirian was one of the top Venezuelan pitchers in last year's J-2 class. He has a prototypical 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame and already throws in the low-90s with a quality breaking ball. He needs to add some strength, but his fastball could be a monster pitch in a couple years.

29. Peter Fairbanks, RHP, 26, Triple-A

Fairbanks, who is one of my favorite relief prospects in the minors, was acquired from Texas for Nick Solak. With an upper-90s fastball and a slider that is at least a plus pitch, he has the stuff to get saves some day for the Rays, but they will likely take advantage of his minor-league options in 2020, shuttling him back and forth from the majors to Triple-A.

30. Cal Stevenson, OF, 23, Double-A

Already on his third organization, Stevenson was traded from Houston to Tampa Bay in the Austin Pruitt trade this offseason. Teams seem to fall in love with his sky-high walk rates and then fall out of favor when they see what else he brings to the table. He has double-digit steal upside, but would benefit from being traded to a fourth organization where he would be more likely to break through.

31. Willmer De La Cruz, SS/2B, 16, Dominican Summer League

De La Cruz is just 5-foot-8, but he received $675K due to his bat speed as a switch hitter and ability to play both middle-infield spots. He is also an above-average runner, so there is some power/speed upside here if he hits enough.

32. Moises Gomez, OF, 21, High-A

Gomez has some pedigree as a top international signee in 2015, but his 2018 season in the Midwest League is looking like a pretty big outlier. He has plus raw power and runs well for his size (5-foot-11, 200 pounds), but his below-average hit tool is what held him back in 2019.

33. John Doxakis, LHP, 21, Low-A

A big 6-foot-4 southpaw with a low-90s fastball and quality slider, Doxakis ($1.13 million bonus) looks like a future back-end starter. However, he added velocity last year and could possibly add another tick. He has good command/control, and will be looking to improve his changeup.


1. Jordan Groshans, 3B, 20, High-A

Groshans has been out of sight, out of mind for eight months because of a significant foot injury that ended what would have been a big breakout year. I still buy at least a plus hit tool with plus power and enough speed to steal 8-10 bases.

2. Nate Pearson, RHP, 23, Triple-A

Pearson's changeup and command need work, his body probably won't age well, he will pitch in the AL East and he's a prime candidate for Tommy John surgery. Other than that, he's perfect. Fortunately, he's close to the majors, so let's live in the moment.

3. Orelvis Martinez, 3B, 18, Low-A

Martinez looks like a future middle-of-the-order third baseman. He has at least plus power and could develop a plus hit tool. The one flaw is that he was way too pull-heavy in his debut, but there's plenty of time to fix that. If he rakes at Low-A, his stock will explode.

4. Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP, 19, High-A

He is really exciting from a scouting and a statistical standpoint. It's hard to see him being worse than a No. 3 starter with normal health, and I could see him being a No. 2 if his stuff improves just slightly, which is should, considering he is still just 19 years old.

5. Alek Manoah, RHP, 22, High-A

If I wanted to be very generous, I could put a right-handed CC Sabathia comp on Manoah's ceiling, but I'd like to see him demonstrate average command/control over a full season in pro ball before I go there. We will learn a lot about how risky he is this year.

6. Adam Kloffenstein, RHP, 19, Low-A

I love Kloffenstein as a pitching prospect who should continue to top expectations in the coming years. It would be nice if all four of his pitches improved slightly in the coming years, but they won't have to for him to be a No. 3 starter.

7. Estiven Machado, SS/2B, 17, Dominican Summer League

Machado is a flashy middle infielder with plus bat speed who is the best fantasy prospect from Toronto's 2019 J-2 class. A 5-foot-10 switch hitter, Machado could develop a plus hit tool with above-average power and could also be a threat on the bases, although he is not a burner.

8. Kendall Williams, RHP, 19, Northwest League

A big 6-foot-6 prep righty, Williams got $1.55 million in the second round and impressed in his pro debut. He doesn't throw as hard (low-90s fastball) as one would expect, but he has a four-pitch mix and the expectation is that all of his pitches will get better over the next couple years.

9. Gabriel Moreno, C, 20, High-A

The Blue Jays view Moreno as their catcher of the future due to his makeup and quality blend of offensive potential and above-average defense. He is coming off a good year at Low-A, but neither the hit tool or power project to be plus, so his ceiling doesn't warrant a stash unless it's a deep dynasty league or a two-catcher league.

10. Alejandro Kirk, C, 21, Double-A

If Luis Arraez was a catcher, he would be a pretty prized commodity. That's the dream with Kirk, who measures in at 5-foot-9, 220 pounds. He won't hit for much power and is a 20-grade runner, but he has made strides defensively. He should beat Moreno to the majors, so there could be a year or two of a high batting average and catcher eligibility.

11. Miguel Hiraldo, 3B/2B, 19, Low-A

They don't have the exact same offensive profile, but Hiraldo reminds me a lot of Isaac Paredes — a middle infielder whose stocky body doesn't really fit in the middle of the field, and who will therefore probably end up at third base. Hiraldo has more power than Paredes and less OBP potential.

12. Otto Lopez, 2B/SS/OF, 21, High-A

Lopez put up excellent numbers at Low-A, showcasing a jack-of-all-trades profile. Even though he stole 20 bases, he only has average speed, but he may have a plus hit tool when all is said and done. He fits best at second base, but could also handle a super-utility role.

13. Cristian Feliz, OF, 17, Dominican Summer League

A lefty-hitting 6-foot-5, 200-pound corner outfielder, Feliz's calling card will need to be massive raw power. He has a longer-than-ideal wingspan, so the hope is that he can just get his hit tool to average so that he can actualize his ceiling as a middle-of-the-order masher.

14. Rikelvin De Castro, SS, 17, Dominican Summer League

He received the largest bonus ($1.2 million) of the Jays' 2019 international signees, but De Castro is a glove-first shortstop prospect, so he is not the top fantasy prospect from the class. He could develop a plus hit tool with fringe-average power, but he is just an average runner.

15. Anthony Kay, LHP, 25, MLB

A pretty classic No. 4/5 starter, Kay should eat innings with a four-pitch mix and won't lose his rotation spot anytime soon. He is a streamer at best in 15-team mixed leagues.

16. Eric Pardinho, RHP, 19, Low-A

Pardinho's stuff backed up in a big way last year, but he dealt with elbow issues early in the year, so it's possible it was just a lost year. Already a high-risk prospect due to his 5-foot-10 frame as a righty, Pardinho had good, not great stuff even when he was at his best in 2018.

17. Griffin Conine, OF, 22, High-A

Conine hits the ball really hard and really far. He also strikes out way too much. This is the type of slugger who mashes in the lower levels and then hits a big wall against Double-A pitching. Big adjustments/improvements are needed.

18. Jhon Solarte, OF, 19, Northwest League

Part of the Jays' 2017 J-2 class, Solarte had a strong campaign in the GCL as an 18-year-old, showcasing patience at the plate and some speed on the bases. He also showed an ability to use the whole field as a switch hitter.

19. Sem Robberse, RHP, 18, Northwest League

While Robberse, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound righty from the Netherlands, was part of the Blue Jays' 2019 international signing class ($125K bonus), he was old enough to report to an affiliate right away, and impressed in the GCL. He has a low-90s fastball that is still ticking up and a quality breaking ball. He also might have above-average command.

20. Reese McGuire, C, 25, MLB

Barely prospect eligible, McGuire is someone I'm fine with if I wait until the final rounds to take my second catcher in a 15-team NFBC league, but someone I would not roster in a normal dynasty league. He ranked second among big-league catchers with 100 PA in line drive rate last year but that was likely a small-sample mirage. 

21. Ryan Noda, 1B/OF/DH, 24, Double-A

A tantalizing player to watch on waivers in OBP dynasty leagues, Noda has 70-grade raw power and has logged elite walk rates as an old-for-the-level hitter at every stop. He also has a knack for stealing bases with his fringe-average speed.

22. Peniel Brito, 3B/OF, 17, Dominican Summer League

Brito's swing mechanics and setup are as funky as Hunter Pence's, but he makes it work. Already a physical specimen at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, the Jays' gave him $600K due to his offensive upside. He could develop plus power with an above-average hit tool.

23. Dasan Brown, OF, 18, Appalachian League

Brown got $800K in the third round out of Canada. He is the fastest player in this system, with true 80-grade speed, but he probably won't hit enough for it to matter. 

24. Alberto Rodriguez, OF, 19 Northwest League

Rodriguez has some pedigree and made strides as a hitter last year in the GCL. However, the tools aren't very loud — he stole 13 bases but is not a plus runner. His hit tool from the left side will have to carry him and he will need to tap into double-digit homer power.

25. Endri Garcia, OF, 17, Dominican Summer League

Garcia, a switch-hitting outfielder, is built like Nyjer Morgan, but at 17, the hope is that he can add a little more muscle so that he can use his plus bat speed to impact the baseball. He is an above-average runner who could be a plus runner this year or next.

26. Victor Mesia, C, 17, Dominican Summer League

One of the best catching prospects from the 2019 J-2 class for fantasy purposes, Mesia has plus bat speed that should eventually lead to above-average or better power. He also has a chance to develop an above-average hit tool and he should stick behind the plate.

27. Dahian Santos, RHP, 17, Dominican Summer League

Despite standing just 5-foot-11 (that's still taller than Pardinho), Santos can already touch 94 mph with his fastball. Perhaps just as impressive is the fact that he shows feel for a changeup already. He will need to tighten up his breaking ball, but it is a very advanced pitch mix for a player his age.

28. Anthony Alford, OF, 25, MLB

I think the Jays would be wise to designate Alford for assignment in favor of Derek Fisher this spring (they are both out of options), but it's unclear if they will go that route. Either way, he isn't going to hit big-league pitching anytime soon.

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James Anderson
James Anderson is RotoWire's Lead Prospect Analyst, Assistant Baseball Editor, and co-host of Farm Fridays on Sirius/XM radio and the RotoWire Prospect Podcast.
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