Farm Futures: NL East: 112 Prospects You Need To Know

Farm Futures: NL East: 112 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 first installment takes us to the 112 prospects you need to know in the National 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. Drew Waters, OF, 21, Triple-A

He is still a prime player to target in a trade, since the counting stats don't accurately portend his power/speed upside. The strikeouts are an issue now, but it would be weird if they weren't, given

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 first installment takes us to the 112 prospects you need to know in the National 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. Drew Waters, OF, 21, Triple-A

He is still a prime player to target in a trade, since the counting stats don't accurately portend his power/speed upside. The strikeouts are an issue now, but it would be weird if they weren't, given his tools and how aggressively he has been promoted. I think he'll make some noise in the majors this year, but it will be a year of adjustments. His true breakout will come in 2021.

2. Cristian Pache, OF, 21, Triple-A

Pache is a much better real-life prospect than a fantasy one, but his elite defense gives him a nice dynasty floor, as he will have no trouble playing every day even if he only reaches a lower-end outcome offensively. He could hit .250 with 25-plus HR and 8-10 SB.

3. Kyle Wright, RHP, 24, MLB

Wright is the logical pick to win the fifth starter's spot in camp as long as he pitches fairly well. He has a bevy of above-average pitches and was dominant over his final 13 starts at Triple-A last year. He could be a mid-rotation starter who records between eight and nine strikeouts per nine innings.

4. Braden Shewmake, SS/2B, 22, Double-A

Other than the fact he hits left-handed, Shewmake reminds me a lot of DJ LeMahieu, at least in terms of what I think his ceiling is. A bigger infielder who is hit-over-power and just looks like a baseball player, he could hit for a high average with double-digit steals.

5. Ian Anderson, RHP, 21, Triple-A

Anderson might be the most overrated prospect in the game, and I was too slow to move him down to an appropriate spot in my rankings. It's easy to get sucked into how young he is, but it's clear he has a long way to go before the collection of tools equates to a No. 3 starter in the majors.

6. Bryse Wilson, RHP, 22, Triple-A

Wilson is a delight to watch when he is locating his fastball, but he really needs to improve his command and third-pitch slider to make the whole package work. The Braves can't afford to let him fail in the big-league rotation, so he will head to Triple-A to get to work on making the necessary fixes.

7. Michael Harris, OF, 19, Low-A

A tooled-up switch-hitting outfielder, Harris has a promising blend of power and speed in an athletic 6-foot, 195-pound frame that should age well. There are concerns about whether he will hit enough, but he was a good bargain at $547,500 in the third round.

8. Bryce Ball, 1B, 21, High-A

A hulking 6-foot-6, 235-pound slugger the Braves gave an over-slot deal to in the 24th round last year (bonus was almost $200K), Ball is so big that he probably won't make enough contact in the upper levels for his 70-grade power to play. The early returns are pretty intriguing, however.

9. Kyle Muller, LHP, 22, Triple-A

He has excelled at preventing runs in the minors, but I don't think he has the command/control to start (14.5 BB% at Triple-A), especially on a team that is going to be contending for the foreseeable future. 

10. Tucker Davidson, LHP, 24, Triple-A

The Braves protected Davidson from the Rule 5 draft, but I'd bet on a future in the bullpen with him. His fastball/curveball combo could be devastating in such a role, but I don't think he has the command or a good enough third pitch to clear the high bar of entry to this rotation.

11. Vaughn Grissom, SS/3B, 19, Low-A

At 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, Grissom looks like someone who grew a lot in a short period of time and is still learning how to use his athleticism. He got almost $350K in the 11th round and is a bit of a project, but showed good contact skills in his debut. 

12. Justin Dean, OF, 23, High-A

He stole 47 bases in 109 games at Low-A as a 22-year-old. Realistically, he is unlikely to replicate his success at the plate in the upper levels, given his age, but the speed and success to date keeps him relevant for now.

13. Trey Harris, OF, 24, Double-A

Harris has a great work ethic and great makeup, but there's no getting around the fact that he doesn't have much power or speed. He is also 5-foot-8, 215 pounds. He beat the odds to get this far as a prospect (32nd-round pick in 2018), so I don't want to count him out, but it will continue to be an uphill climb.

14. Mahki Backstrom, 1B, 18, Appalachian League

Another mammoth first base prospect from Atlanta's 2019 draft, Backstrom excelled as one of the youngest players in the Gulf Coast League, but his .463 BABIP and 32.9 percent strikeout rate suggest that production was not sustainable. If the Braves send him to the Sally League, that would signal they are pretty bullish on his potential.

15. William Contreras, C, 22, Double-A

If he was not Willson Contreras' younger brother, I don't think anyone would really care about Contreras at this point in dynasty leagues. He is a solid real-life prospect, but his offense projects to be C2 fodder in deeper leagues at best.

16. Shea Langeliers, C, 22, High-A

Don't take Langeliers in your first-year-player drafts unless you get rewarded for catcher defense/playing time. I know he was the ninth overall pick, but that was 85% due to his defense. He is my sixth-ranked player for fantasy from the Braves' 2019 draft class alone.

17. Yoansy Moreno, OF, 17, Dominican Summer League

The best prospect the Braves could sign for $10,000 as part of the 2019 J-2 class (they still have penalties that prevent them from going over $10K), Moreno has the tools to be a big, power-hitting right fielder. He is already 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, so it's quite possible he gets too big and the swing-and-miss holds him back.

18. Victor Vodnik, RHP, 20, High-A

A 14th-round pick in 2018, Vodnik has a good fastball/curveball combo, but has yet to be fully turned loose as a starter. He will be a pop-up guy if his changeup and command improve.

19. Jasseel De La Cruz, RHP, 22, Double-A

Another likely reliever that the Braves protected from the Rule 5 draft, Cruz's fastball/slider combo would play up in short bursts. He currently lacks the command or third pitch to start. There is also a bit of a logjam in the Triple-A rotation, so it would make sense to fast-track De La Cruz in the bullpen.

20. Huascar Ynoa, RHP, 21, Double-A

Another likely reliever already on the 40-man roster and without a clear spot in the Triple-A rotation, Ynoa has good size (6-foot-3, 175 pounds) and athleticism, but command and third-pitch troubles are present. 

21. Patrick Weigel, RHP, 25, Triple-A

The Braves could form an entire Triple-A rotation with guys who are still starters but are good bets to end up as relievers, and they would have a couple guys to spare. Weigel had a relatively successful return from Tommy John surgery, but I just don't think the command is there for him to start.

22. Tyler Owens, RHP, 19, Low-A

Owens, who received $547,500 in the 13th round, has a power fastball but is listed at just 5-foot-10, 185 pounds. He missed bats in his debut, but needs to improve his command and both offspeed pitches to project as a possible starter.


1. Jazz Chisholm, SS, 22, Triple-A

It's a good offseason to try to buy low on Chisholm. He had a horrible first seven weeks at Double-A, but settled in after that and peaked after his trade to Miami. As long as he can maintain his line-drive stroke, I have faith in him being a power/speed force who won't kill your batting average. 

2. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, 21, Triple-A

Sanchez is in that bin of hard-throwing, high-upside pitching prospects who I'm wary of because I just assume Tommy John surgery is happening at some point. His fastball/changeup/command combo is the kind of stuff that makes folks wax hyperbolic. We just have to hope he can stay relatively healthy.

3. Edward Cabrera, RHP, 21, Double-A

Cabrera has the arsenal of a No. 2 starter, and he could achieve that status if his command continues to improve. He will probably spend most, if not all, of 2020 mastering Double-A and Triple-A, but should spend almost all of 2021 in the big-league rotation.

4. JJ Bleday, OF, 22, Double-A

I know it was an aggressive assignment and it's a pitcher-friendly league, but Bleday's lukewarm debut in the Florida State League has to knock him down FYPD boards. He needs to rake and he needs to start raking as a 22-year-old at Double-A for the Marlins to justify that pick, given the players who went after him.

5. Monte Harrison, OF, 24, Triple-A

Harrison's had some peaks and valleys over the past few years and the same strengths and weaknesses remain. We just don't know whether he will hit big-league pitching, and I mean hit at all — I was more confident in Lewis Brinson's hit tool, for instance, at the time of his debut. There's 30/30 upside if he can just be a .245 hitter with a 10.0 BB%.

6. Kameron Misner, OF, 22, High-A

Misner is on the short list of 2019 draftees who helped their stock the most after signing. He currently has 70-grade raw and 60-grade speed, but should slow down in the coming years. Still, it's a classic right field profile and he should still chip in around 10 steals.

7. Jesus Sanchez, OF, 22, Triple-A

Sanchez doesn't do anything that would separate him from a generic outfield prospect. He won't steal many bases, and he probably won't have plus contributions in power, AVG or OBP. Still just 22, he will get plenty of opportunities with Miami, but there's nothing to get excited about.

8. Lewin Diaz, 1B, 23, Triple-A

Diaz isn't a flashy prospect, but he could get a chance to take the everyday first base job and run with it sometime this summer. I think a realistic peak season would be a .275 average with 30 home runs, but he's hardly a lock to reach those heights. 

9. Braxton Garrett, LHP, 22, Double-A

A lefty with good size and a hammer curveball, Garrett will probably need to add a tick of velocity (certainly possible) or really improve his average changeup to beat a mid-rotation projection. However, I feel really good about him being a No. 3 starter with normal health.

10. Peyton Burdick, OF, 23, High-A

Burdick reminds me a lot of Tyler O'Neill. The problem is, he has not played above Low-A yet and is only 20 months younger than O'Neill, so he really needs to rake on his way to the majors to sustain his current dynasty-league hype.

11. Jose Salas, SS/2B, 16, Dominican Summer League

Salas got $2.8 million as the headliner from the Marlins' J-2 class. He has a chance to be a five-category contributor. Right now, he is hit-over-power, but that could change as he fills out his 6-foot-2, 178-pound frame. Without a clear plus tool that will stay plus into his 20s, I'm taking a wait-and-see approach.

12. Jose Devers, SS, 20, Double-A

Devers is pretty good at everything that doesn't involve hitting for power. He has one of those 6-foot, 155-pound frames that is very difficult to add weight to, so I'm not projecting significant power gains. The hope is that he can be an everyday shortstop who hits eighth and steals 20-plus bases.

13. Victor Mesa Jr., OF, 18, New York-Penn League

Mesa Jr. passed big brother on the rankings with a surprisingly advanced pro debut in the GCL. His hit tool projects to be his best tool, with a chance for average power and average speed. He is not as fast as one would expect, given his bloodlines and seven steals in 47 games.

14. Connor Scott, OF, 20, High-A

Scott has never been a league-average hitter and he has just six career home runs. At 6-foot-4, he should theoretically grow into 20-homer pop, but I just don't see the type of offensive ceiling some evaluators see. His plus speed and ability to play all three outfield spots are his strengths.

15. Sterling Sharp, RHP, 24, MLB

About as obvious of a Rule 5 pick as I can remember, Sharp's low-90s sinker gives him a high floor in the bullpen, and I still think he has a chance to develop into a No. 4 starter eventually. From a dynasty-league standpoint, we'd rather him be stretched out and honing his craft in the Triple-A rotation.

16. Trevor Rogers, LHP, 22, Double-A

The No. 13 overall pick in 2017, Rogers has been fine, but I don't think it's a coincidence that his best run came in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. He doesn't have a plus pitch, but could still make it as a back-end starter.

17. Humberto Mejia, RHP, 23, High-A

Huge credit to the Marlins for paying Wei-Yin Chen $22 million to go away just to free up a 40-man roster spot for Mejia before the Rule 5 draft. His top tool is plus control, and at 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, there is still a small chance his above-average fastball gains another tick. His changeup would have to really improve for him to be a quality starter.

18. Nasim Nunez, SS, 19, Low-A

The only good fantasy-relevant tool Nunez has is plus speed. He also has a chance to be a plus defender at shortstop, so he is essentially a less proven version of Devers. He may not hit enough to be a big leaguer and won't be much of a power hitter.

19. Javier Sanoja, SS, 17, Dominican Summer League

Another smaller shortstop prospect, Sanoja didn't receive a huge signing bonus as part of the Marlins' J-2 class, but he is good at everything and could stick at short. Without plus power or plus speed (55-grade for now), he probably needs to develop a plus hit tool, but that's in play.

20. Evan Fitterer, RHP, 19, Low-A

The Marlins gave Fitterer, an older prep arm, $1.5 million (almost 4x slot value) after selecting him in the fifth round. At 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, he is a candidate to add velocity, and he will need to if he is to be more than a back-end starter.

21. Jerar Encarnacion, OF, 22, High-A

A pretty classic corner outfielder who can't really field but projects for big raw power — these guys almost never work out, and even when they sort of do in a Domingo Santana kind of way, big-league teams are never satisfied with that type of player as a regular.

22. Diowill Burgos, OF, 19, Gulf Coast League

Burgos, who was just traded from the Cardinals for Austin Dean, has a chance to develop a good hit tool with above-average power. He was a little old for the level and it was his second go-round in the DSL when he had a 213 wRC+, and he struggled in the GCL, so don't get carried away.

23. Osiris Johnson, SS/2B, 19, Low-A

He missed the 2019 season with a broken leg, but flashed excellent athleticism and a below-average hit tool in 2018. Johnson is a toolsy middle infielder who probably won't hit enough, so we can just watch from afar for now.

24. Junior Sanchez, 2B/SS, 17, Dominican Summer League

Sanchez got the second-biggest bonus ($1.15 million) in the Marlins' J-2 class. He struggles to get his hands fully extended, but there is a chance for an above-average hit tool with above-average speed and average power.

25. Ian Lewis, SS/2B, 17, Dominican Summer League

A speedy Bahamian middle infielder, Lewis shares qualities with guys like Devers, Nunez and Johnson. We don't know how much he will hit or how much power he will grow into, but he has a chance to be a shortstop who steals 20-plus bases.

26. Victor Victor Mesa, OF, 23, Double-A

Well, things can't possibly go worse for Mesa in Year 2 than they did in his pro debut, right? There is no reason at all to think power is coming. He showed really poor body language in the AFL, and just looked generally disinterested — that's a horrible look for a player with no stateside success to point to.

27. Jorge Guzman, RHP, 24, Triple-A

At this point, Guzman is a reliever all the way for me, but he's as good a bet as anyone to be the Marlins' closer at some point in 2021 or 2022. His fastball could sit around 100 mph in short bursts and his slider could be a plus secondary pitch.


1. Ronny Mauricio, SS, 18, High-A

If Mauricio were a 55- or 60-grade runner I'd be more willing to be extremely patient with him, but given his perceived value in many dynasty leagues, he has to come close to maxing out offensively to be worth the wait. I'd gauge his value this offseason — not a must trade, but he could be overrated by some.

2. Francisco Alvarez, C, 18, Low-A

It's impossible to poke holes in Alvarez's debut campaign. He was irrefutably amazing relative to age and level. So how high should we rank an 18-year-old catching prospect coming off that season? I'd still be fine with cashing him out for a top-100 prospect at another position unless it's a league where you have to start two catchers.

3. Brett Baty, 3B/1B, 20, Low-A

Baty might not hit for a high average, but he should have no trouble getting on base at a solid clip while also getting to his plus-plus raw power in games. He isn't a great fit in the National League, but the Mets drafted him with the expectation he would be their third baseman of the future.

4. Matthew Allan, RHP, 18, Low-A

Allan was the surprise faller in the 2019 draft, and while he still got paid like a late first rounder, his perceived value would be higher if he had gone as high as he was mocked. He has a No. 2 starter ceiling thanks to a couple plus pitches (fastball, curveball) that could end up being 70-grade offerings.

5. Andres Gimenez, 2B/SS, 21, Triple-A

Gimenez is starting to remind me a lot of Orlando Arcia offensively, with perhaps a slightly better approach. He could log a 20-steal season as the No. 8 hitter, but he is unlikely to ever be a league-average hitter in the majors.

6. Alexander Ramirez, OF, 17, Dominican Summer League

The recipient of a $2.05 million bonus on July 2, Ramirez is a 6-foot-3, 170-pound outfielder oozing with tools. He could be a plus runner with plus power as long as he doesn't get too big. With his height and wingspan, the hit tool is the big question mark, but the upside is worth gambling on.

7. Mark Vientos, 3B, 20, High-A

Vientos hasn't flopped, especially considering his age, but he also hasn't given us a lot of confidence that he will hit enough to be an everyday corner infielder. It's power over hit and AVG over OBP.

8. Robert Dominguez, RHP, 18, Gulf Coast League

Ben Badler of Baseball America was kind enough to give us Dominguez's DOB in his writeup, which is the only public trace of his DOB on the internet. He is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound Venezuelan righty who touched 99 mph in fall instructs and has flashed a plus curveball. Unlike the typical J-2 signee, Dominguez is already 18 and may not be too far from full-season ball.

9. Josh Wolf, RHP, 19, Low-A

A skinny, 6-foot-3, 170-pound righty, Wolf received $2.15 million after the Mets picked him in the second round. He is a prep projection arm all the way, and his fastball has jumped at least a full grade already since 2018 (sat 94 mph in his debut). His curveball could also be plus, so it will come down to his changeup, command and health.

10. Thomas Szapucki, LHP, 23, Double-A

Ominously scratched from the AFL at the end of his first season back from Tommy John surgery, Szapucki has long dealt with durability concerns while also flashing a high ceiling. His fastball and breaking ball both project as plus, and now that he is on the 40-man roster, the Mets may not be patient with his development as a starter.

11. David Peterson, LHP, 24, Triple-A

A better real-life pitcher than a fantasy one, Peterson's got a deep enough arsenal and is good enough at generating weak contact that he should be able to eat innings at the back of a rotation. His strikeout rate has trended up slightly dating back to the second half of 2018.

12. Freddy Valdez, OF, 18, Appalachian League

Valdez got almost $1.5 million as part of the 2018 J-2 class, but he's already 6-foot-3, 212 pounds, so he will really need to rake to profile in an outfield corner. The early returns on his patience at the plate are encouraging.

13. Shervyen Newton, 3B, 20, Low-A

Newton was bad enough in his first season at Low-A that he went undrafted in the Rule 5 draft despite significant hype heading into the season. A switch-hitting third baseman with mammoth raw power is still his ceiling, but he did nothing last year to shed the swing-and-miss concerns.

14. Franklyn Kilome, RHP, 24, Double-A

Just when Kilome had regained some appeal after pitching well in seven starts for the Mets' Double-A affiliate following a trade from the Phillies for Asdrubal Cabrera in 2018, it was revealed that he would need Tommy John surgery that October. He will be fully recovered in time for spring training, but as a member of the 40-man roster, he is running out of time to make it as a starter.

15. Eric Santana, OF, 17, Dominican Summer League

Santana received $350K out of the D.R. as part of the Mets' J-2 class. He could stick in center field but may not steal more than 10-15 bases at peak. It's his hit tool that could carry him, as he already has an advanced approach that should lead to solid numbers in the DSL.

16. Junior Tilien, SS/2B/OF, 17, Dominican Summer League

Tilien received $185K on July 2, and has a chance to be an across-the-board contributor in fantasy. He has above-average speed and should grow into above-average power. His defensive home is very much up in the air.

17. Jaylen Palmer, 3B/SS, 19, New York-Penn League

Palmer has been above league average at every stop, but I still expect it to go GCL (2018), Appy League (2019), NYPL (2020), with his full-season debut not coming until 2021. Such is life for a cold-weather prospect (from NYC) with 135 strikeouts in 87 games. If he can really trim the whiffs, he could be a monster power hitter. He's basically a year or two away from being what Newton is now. 

18. Adrian Hernandez, OF, 19, Gulf Coast League

Hernandez missed almost all of 2019 with a torn hamstring. Already a risk to go from a plus runner to an average one, due to his 5-foot-9, 210-pound build, Hernandez likely peaked as a runner as a 16- or 17-year-old. I don't like teenagers with this body type. A lot can go wrong. But a five-category ceiling remains if you squint.

19. Endy Rodriguez, C, 19, Appalachian League

A 6-foot, 170-pound switch-hitting catcher from the D.R., Rodriguez has the makings of a plus hit tool with excellent on-base skills. Over-the-fence power is probably never going to be a big part of his game, but he is athletic and should stick at the position.

20. Kevin Smith, LHP, 22, Double-A

A seventh-round pick in 2018, Smith has a 6-foot-5, 200-pound frame and a plus slider. His fastball and changeup are average offerings at best, however, so there is not a lot of fantasy upside here, despite his dominant numbers at High-A.

21. Carlos Cortes, 2B/OF, 22, Double-A

Cortes has a little Willie Calhoun in his game, in both the good and the bad ways (he's 5-foot-7, 197 pounds), so it's hard to see him breaking through on an NL team that already has a lot of quality position players with defensive limitations. He makes contact at an excellent clip and has plus power.

22. Junior Santos, RHP, 18, Gulf Coast League

I've seen Santos' 6-foot-8 frame be listed as a strength, but I think that's too big. At least, the risks associated with such a big pitcher are extreme. He won't turn 19 until August, so he still has plenty of time to right the ship after a shaky 2019.

23. Branden Fryman, SS/2B, 22, Low-A

It was probably just small-sample success against younger competition, but Fryman (son of Travis Fryman) was excellent in his short-season debut after getting $90,000 in the 21st round (well over slot). Bloodlines, contact, line drives... just something to keep an eye on.


1. Spencer Howard, RHP, 23, Triple-A

Howard has a complete repertoire with a chance for three of his four pitches to get to 70-grade status. That's an ace-caliber tool set, so he just needs to stay healthy while maintaining average or better command. He's pretty high risk from a durability standpoint, but I could see him breaking camp in the big-league rotation with a good spring.

2. Alec Bohm, 3B/1B, 23, Triple-A

Bohm has a lot of hitter traits I value (all-fields, high-contact, high-walk), but I wasn't overly impressed when I saw him in person. He might be kind of a throwback prospect who hits for a high average but only 25 home runs, but I also want to see this approach translate to the majors before I fully believe it.

3. Bryson Stott, SS, 22, High-A

Stott could be pretty good at everything and great at nothing, but I thought it was a little telling that the Phillies didn't send him to Low-A at all, while a guy like Braden Shewmake not only went to Low-A but had success there. Stott could provide Andrew Benintendi-esque production at shortstop if he maxes out.

4. Francisco Morales, RHP, 20, High-A

I'm in love with Morales' body, athleticism and fastball/slider combo. If he can add a quality third pitch and gain consistency with his mechanics and command, he could be a star. If not, he could still be a lights-out closer.

5. Mickey Moniak, OF, 21, Triple-A

It's not good when the No. 1 overall pick has a Kevin Kiermaier type of ceiling just three years later. That said, of the handful of players who could have conceivably gone 1-1 in 2016, Riley Pint and Corey Ray have been even worse than Moniak in pro ball, so this wasn't the worst-case scenario.

6. Adonis Medina, RHP, 23, Triple-A

It's a testament to how shallow this system is that Medina slots in this high after his 2019 season. He could still salvage something, but his changeup hasn't taken the step forward most evaluators assumed it would, so lefties crush him and he had a 6.14 ERA in Reading (3.92 ERA on the road).

7. Johan Rojas, OF, 19, New York-Penn League

A lot of the shine has come off Rojas since he was riding high in the GCL early last summer. All of the risks are hit-tool related, as he should develop power to go with his plus speed and he can provide value in the outfield.

8. Kendall Simmons, 3B/2B, 19, Low-A

I know Simmons' power explosion in the NYPL has some excited, but it came with a lot of strikeouts and terrible infield defense. His swing is geared for loft, so power should be there at every stop, but I wouldn't be surprised if he flops in his full-season debut from an AVG/OBP standpoint.

9. Simon Muzziotti, OF, 21, Double-A

Muzziotti won't ever be much of a power hitter, although he's heading to hitter-friendly Reading this year so who knows. What he may be able to do is hit for a high average while using his plus speed on the bases and in the field. He's basically an off-brand version of Moniak.

10. Nick Maton, SS/2B, 23, Double-A

I don't really buy Maton as more than a utility infielder in the majors, but he will probably put up huge numbers this year at Reading. Despite a 6-foot-1 frame, there is limited power projection and he is only an average runner, so he needs to really hit.

11. Jamari Baylor, SS/2B, 19, New York-Penn League

Baylor only played four games due to undisclosed injuries after getting $675K in the third round. He is raw but toolsy, which is still more than most position players in this system can say.

12. Andrick Nava, C, 18, New York-Penn League

Nava was so impressive after signing for $400K on July 2, 2018 that he was sent directly to the GCL as a 17-year-old. He has a chance to have a plus hit tool with 10-15 homer power, which is a really good fantasy catcher, although his defense is a work in progress.

13. Jehisbert Sevilla, 2B/SS, 17, Dominican Summer League

The top offensive prospect the Phillies signed on July 2, Sevilla has quick-twitch actions in the infield and a quick bat at the plate. A lean, 6-foot frame should serve him well as he fills out in the coming years. He is an above-average runner.

14. Alexeis Azuaje, 2B, 17, Gulf Coast League

A 70-grade runner with a very aggressive approach, Azuaje hit .281/.313/.470 with five home runs, 13 steals (on 16 attempts), a 20.7 percent strikeout rate and a 2.0 percent walk rate in the DSL. His swing is long and his approach needs a lot of work, but he has pedigree, impact speed and showed surprising pop in his debut.

15. Randy Vasquez, SS/3B, 17, Dominican Summer League

Vasquez received the biggest bonus ($350K) in the Phillies' J-2 class. He is 6-foot, 170 pounds, and could end up outgrowing shortstop. An average runner, his fantasy contributions would come from power and batting average.

16. Jean Hernandez, RHP, 17, Dominican Summer League

A 6-foot-1, 185-pound righty whom the Phillies gave $300K to as part of their J-2 class, Hernandez already sits in the low-90s with his fastball and knows how to pitch. It's a starter's delivery, and his curveball shows potential.

17. Josh Gessner, RHP, 19, New York-Penn League

A 6-foot-1, 205-pound Australian who received $850K from the Phillies in June and immediately had success in the GCL, Gessner is an intriguing sleeper. He doesn't have a very projectable frame, but he has a low-90s fastball and a promising slider. He will get to work on developing a third pitch and improving his control.

18. Erik Miller, LHP, 22, High-A

Miller got a little over $400K when the Phillies selected him out of Stanford in the fourth round. He has a big 6-foot-5, 240-pound frame and missed a lot of bats in his debut, albeit against younger competition. It's most likely a No. 4/5 starter profile, but the early whiff rates are intriguing.

19. Deivy Grullon, C, 24, Triple-A

In 2018, Grullon utilized the ballpark at Reading to hit 21 HR and last year he utilized the juiced ball at Triple-A to hit another 21 out of the park. He is on the 40-man and got a tiny taste of the majors in 2019. His defense isn't good, but he could provide cheap power in two-catcher NL-only leagues.

20. Damon Jones, LHP, 25, Triple-A

A big 6-foot-5 lefty who excels at generating weak contact, Jones was putting up video game numbers until he got to Triple-A, where his walk rate doubled. I'd bet against him amounting to anything noteworthy, but he's got proximity on his side and throws a plus slider.

21. Luis Garcia, SS, 19, Low-A

Now the third-best Luis Garcia in the minors, this Garcia fell completely flat at Low-A. He is overly pull-heavy but doesn't have any thump in his bat, which is an awful combination. 

22. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF, 21, High-A

A cautionary tale (for myself as much as anyone) regarding the risks of investing in a bad-body DH-type with a questionable hit tool, Ortiz's 2017 season in the NYPL will live on as one of the great con jobs by a prospect. He still has massive raw power and was playing last year as a 20-year-old in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, but he probably won't hit enough to make up for his complete lack of defensive value.


1. Carter Kieboom, 3B/2B, 22, Triple-A

I don't think Kieboom will be a .300 hitter or a 40-homer guy, but if we set the appropriate expectations, he shouldn't disappoint. Maybe he hits around .270 with 25 home runs in a normal year. He can handle third base, shortstop and second base, so there should be somewhere for him to play sooner rather than later.

2. Luis Garcia, 2B/SS/3B, 19, Double-A

I'm still buying Garcia's ceiling as a 20/10 guy who contends for batting titles (less valuable in OBP leagues), but I understand that people won't pay for that upside right now in dynasty leagues. He needs to adjust his swing, but his strong finish and 80-grade makeup gives me hope.

3. Jackson Rutledge, RHP, 21, High-A

At 6-foot-8, Rutledge is taller than 99.9% of starting pitchers, so there is a chance he might not throw enough strikes, but the rest of the package screams starting pitcher. He has a great four-pitch mix and is very difficult to hit, which mitigates the damage of his free passes.

4. Andry Lara, RHP, 17, Gulf Coast League

The best pitcher in the entire 2019 J-2 class, Lara's biggest weakness is the fact that he is already 6-foot-4, 217 pounds and just looks like a big boy who will always be big. If he is pushing 260 pounds in a few years (completely possible), that would be worrisome.

5. Jeremy De La Rosa, OF, 18, New York-Penn League

While he only received $300K on July 2, 2018, the Nationals thought De La Rosa was advanced enough for an assignment straight to the GCL. He was above-average there (108 wRC+), but struck out at a 29.3 percent clip and had a horrible 9.3 LD%. He finished strong and has above-average speed, making him a nice buy low in deeper leagues.

6. Drew Mendoza, 1B, 22, High-A

Mendoza was a well-known amateur prospect for years, but never quite lived up to the hype at Florida State. The Nationals took him in the third round and gave him an over-slot $800K bonus. He has big raw power from the left side. This will probably be a three-true outcomes profile if it works.

7. Yasel Antuna, SS/3B, 20, Low-A

Antuna got almost $4 million on July 2, 2016, and I had him ranked over Garcia prior to 2018. He needed Tommy John surgery in August of 2018 and also dealt with leg injuries last year. Antuna is a breakout candidate in his first year back — he could be a 30-homer guy when it's all said and done.

8. Juan Garcia, SS, 17, Dominican Summer League

The best hitting prospect for fantasy purposes from the Nationals' J-2 class, Garcia has at least plus speed and at 6-foot, 170 pounds with a quick bat, he should grow into notable pop. He only received $300K, so he is a little under the radar.

9. Seth Romero, RHP, 23, High-A

Romero had Tommy John surgery in August of 2018, so he should be a full go in spring training. Stuff and upside are not an issue with Romero, but makeup, command, and now durability are all concerns. Perhaps he can be a Carlos Zambrano type.

10. Tim Cate, LHP, 22, Double-A

A 6-foot southpaw with one of the best curveballs in the minors, Cate pounds the strike zone, and hasn't needed much more than those two skills to have success in the lower levels. He has below-average fastball velocity, which makes it difficult to work in a changeup. It's probably a back-end profile in the end.

11. Viandel Pena, 2B/SS, 19, Low-A

Pena put up a super impressive slash line in the GCL (.359/.455/.481), but he did not hit a home run and at 5-foot-8, 148 pounds, he will always have below-average power. He also lacks plus speed, so he would probably need a 70-grade hit tool (Luis Arraez) to be a regular.

12. Roismar Quintana, OF, 17, Dominican Summer League

A big, 6-foot, 205-pound Venezuelan outfielder, Quintana looks like a future right fielder, but he may not have the arm to profile there. A year ago, he had power projection and above-average speed, but he's filled out and now he looks like a potential power-hitting left fielder.

13. Franklin Marquez, LHP, 17, Gulf Coast League

A 6-foot, 165-pound lefty who is already armed with a low-90s fastball, Marquez is an extreme projection lottery ticket. His fastball could become a monster pitch and he is ahead of schedule with his slider and changeup.

14. Mason Denaburg, RHP, 20, Low-A

A high-pedigree, high-upside first-round pick in 2018, Denaburg has not had a smooth transition to pro ball. He has dealt with injuries, needing "minor" shoulder surgery after the 2019 season. He also hasn't been very effective, as the injuries have led to his stuff ticking down. If he can get right physically, perhaps he can emerge as a post-hype sleeper.

15. Wil Crowe, RHP, 25, Triple-A

Crowe has the stuff (four average or better pitches) to be a No. 4 or No. 5 starter, but he's already 25 and had terrible results at Triple-A. If he has more success this year, he could be one of the first guys called upon if the Nats' rotation needs reinforcements.

16. Dawry Martinez, 2B/SS, 17, Dominican Summer League

A flashy switch-hitting middle infielder, Martinez received a bigger bonus ($600K) than the non-Lara J-2 guys listed ahead of him, but he is pretty raw and may not provide much offensive impact. His 70-grade speed is what makes him relevant.

17. Steven Fuentes, RHP, 22, Restricted List (serving 50-game suspension for stimulant)

An under-the-radar Panamanian righty, Fuentes won't be eligible to return until May 4, likely back at Double-A. He has a heavy low-90s fastball that generates a ton of groundballs, solid control and a potentially above-average slider. He probably won't amount to more than a back-end starter, but I'm mildly intrigued.

18. Pablo Aldonis, LHP, 18, Gulf Coast League

While he is young and received $1 million in July, Aldonis lacks the ceiling of Lara and Marquez. He has the best changeup of the bunch, however, so he's worth keeping an eye on.

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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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