Farm Futures: Rookie Hitter Rankings 1.0

Farm Futures: Rookie Hitter Rankings 1.0

This article is part of our Farm Futures series.

  • Rankings and tiers are for 2024 fantasy value only
  • Only hitters with fewer than 130 at-bats and fewer than 45 days on the active roster were considered
  • ADP is from NFBC 15-team Draft Champions (16 drafts worth of data)
  • I've included my player shares through four Draft Champions
  • Listed positions are the positions they are eligible at in the NFBC, not necessarily their long-term positions
  • Rookie Pitcher Rankings 1.0 next week

Upside Targets in the Top 150

1. Noelvi Marte, 3B, CIN, ADP: 149

Marte is a top-10 prospect with loud tools and a clear playing time outlook. He is part of a growing crop of third basemen who are realistic threats to steal 20-plus bases, and he also boasts plus raw power and an excellent home park. Marte is a fantastic value in NFBC leagues relative to his teammates who played more in the big leagues. Elly De La Cruz is in a class of his own, but I have Marte in the same tier as teammates Matt McLain, Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Marte has the lowest ADP of the group. McLain will presumably start the year hitting higher than Marte and he is 2B/SS eligibile while Marte is just eligible at 3B, but I like Marte at least as much as McLain as a context-neutral fantasy hitter.

2. Wyatt Langford, OF, TEX, ADP: 135 (Shares: 2/4)

Langford is extremely new to pro ball and there are no guarantees with regards to his MLB

  • Rankings and tiers are for 2024 fantasy value only
  • Only hitters with fewer than 130 at-bats and fewer than 45 days on the active roster were considered
  • ADP is from NFBC 15-team Draft Champions (16 drafts worth of data)
  • I've included my player shares through four Draft Champions
  • Listed positions are the positions they are eligible at in the NFBC, not necessarily their long-term positions
  • Rookie Pitcher Rankings 1.0 next week

Upside Targets in the Top 150

1. Noelvi Marte, 3B, CIN, ADP: 149

Marte is a top-10 prospect with loud tools and a clear playing time outlook. He is part of a growing crop of third basemen who are realistic threats to steal 20-plus bases, and he also boasts plus raw power and an excellent home park. Marte is a fantastic value in NFBC leagues relative to his teammates who played more in the big leagues. Elly De La Cruz is in a class of his own, but I have Marte in the same tier as teammates Matt McLain, Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Marte has the lowest ADP of the group. McLain will presumably start the year hitting higher than Marte and he is 2B/SS eligibile while Marte is just eligible at 3B, but I like Marte at least as much as McLain as a context-neutral fantasy hitter.

2. Wyatt Langford, OF, TEX, ADP: 135 (Shares: 2/4)

Langford is extremely new to pro ball and there are no guarantees with regards to his MLB role, but he's ready to produce significantly in all five categories. Given that Langford would be the favorite to win AL Rookie of the Year if he gets full-time at-bats all year, it seems obvious that the Rangers would go that route in an attempt to get a Prospect Promotion Incentive draft pick in 2025. But we have to trust the Rangers to do the logical thing -- there might not be any public guarantees that Langford will be on the Opening Day roster until late March. In that respect and in the potential statistical output, Langford is similar to Julio Rodriguez prior to the 2022 season. If Texas signs a player who needs time at designated hitter (bringing back Mitch Garver, for instance), then that'd be a sign they plan to start Langford in the minors. Otherwise, there should be enough at-bats for Adolis Garcia, Leody Taveras, Evan Carter and Langford.

Floor + Ceiling

3. Evan Carter, OF, Rangers, ADP: 143

He doesn't hit the ball very hard and he doesn't hit lefties, but Carter excels in every other aspect of the game. We know he's going to play at minimum against all righties, and that gives him a 15-steal floor. It's realistic 20/20 upside with a good enough approach that he he could push for 80-plus runs even while sitting against a decent amount of lefties.

4. Parker Meadows, OF, Tigers, ADP: 306 (Shares: 1/4)

Meadows doesn't have the same platoon issues as Carter, but he also projects to hit in a significantly worse lineup and home park. What gives Meadows such a high floor is his defense. He's got a plus arm and plus speed and is the team's best center fielder, so he'd have to be notably worse than his offensive projections to lose playing time. Meadows is a safe bet to go 15/15 with the upside to go 20/30.

More Ceiling than Floor

5. Jordan Lawlar, SS, Diamondbacks, ADP: 245 (Shares: 1/4)

It's a little annoying that the market is this hip to Lawlar despite his ugly small-sample MLB stats. But I can't say I'm surprised. Seemingly everyone's sharp these days, which makes fantasy baseball so much fun every offseason. Unlike Junior Caminero, Jackson Holliday, and Jackson Chourio, Lawlar has the right combination of realistic upside, ETA and draft price -- at least for me. Arizona's got the luxury of having Geraldo Perdomo to keep the shortstop spot warm if Lawlar isn't ready in the spring, but they won't block Lawlar from that spot if they think he is ready on Opening Day. Lawlar could completely bust this year, but so could any of the guys in this tier. A 20/30 season is a legitimate possibility, but he would likely do that from the bottom third of the lineup.  

6. Junior Caminero, 3B, Rays, ADP: 190

Caminero will go to camp with a path to being an everyday player this season. I think he'll earn that opportunity and play well enough to not give up the job. The question is, what does 135 games or so of rookie Caminero look like? Steamer says .266 AVG, .317 OBP, .455 SLG, 114 wRC+, .189 ISO, 22.2 K%, and if we prorate his HR projection to 135 games, it would be 23 home runs. That would be both a promising rookie season for Caminero but also an underwhelming one if you take him with a top-200 pick and have to sweat out his role in the spring. Unlike a lot of these guys, Caminero won't steal bases, so he has four avenues to help us, not five. If his 2024 season plays out as I expect, I'll be buying in on Caminero for 2025, which is when I think we'd see the jump to 30-homer production.

7. Jackson Holliday, SS, Orioles, ADP: 192

If the Orioles are playing Holliday regularly early in the season, that likely means he's up to the challenge and providing a solid return on investment. On the flip side, if the Orioles were not playing Holliday in April, May and June, it would be completely understandable, given their current organizational depth chart and the fact it's his age-20 season. The team is open to any outcome with Holliday, who could legitimately show up to big-league camp with 15 more pounds of muscle and louder tools across the board. I'm punting on Holliday at his price, but I could be singing a different tune in late March.

8. Jackson Chourio, OF, Brewers, ADP: 213

The Brewers have gone out of their way to dissuade people of the notion that Chourio could win an Opening Day spot in 2024. That doesn't mean he definitely won't break camp, but we should be assuming Chourio spends the first 9-10 weeks at Triple-A. He could go 20/20 in two-thirds of a season, but nothing is guaranteed from a playing time standpoint. There's also a slight chance he strikes out too much initially against big-league pitching. Remember, he doesn't turn 20 until March.

9. Jasson Dominguez, OF, Yankees, ADP: 395 (Shares: 4/4)

I really didn't set out to draft Dominguez on a bunch of redraft teams, but I obviously disagree with the way the market is valuing him in draft-and-hold leagues. He'll be ready to hit in games roughly by Opening Day, and he'll be ready to play center field roughly by July. I'm not expecting him to play in MLB games before July, but it's in play. When healthy and in the big-league lineup, I'd value Dominguez as a borderline top-100 fantasy player, so what is three-plus months of that worth? I think he could go 15/10 while hitting in the top four of the Yankees lineup over that stretch. You never know how a player this young (turns 21 in February) will approach rehabbing a serious injury, but the player we saw over Dominguez's final 50 games of 2023 looked like a superstar.

10. Everson Pereira, OF, Yankees, ADP: 501 (Shares: 2/4)

I was high on Pereira long term when he debuted last year but I also expected him to struggle mightily in his first exposure to big-league pitching, so nothing about his MLB debut was alarming to me. He takes big cuts and will run lower contact rates, but when he connects he can hit the ball very hard and Pereira can also chip in on the bases. If Pereira is just as good as Steamer thinks, he'd push for 20 homers and 15 steals with a .234 AVG if the Yankees let him play out his age-23 season at the bottom of the big-league lineup. If he's just a little better than that, he'll end up being a massive steal in drafts. My guess is that we'll get a sense in spring training or in April whether Pereira is going to have a decent 2024 showing in the majors. If he is bad in the spring and/or bad in April after making the team, he could head to Triple-A for months. 

11. Tyler Black, 3B, Brewers, ADP: 415

Black's defense is reportedly pretty bad everywhere, so the question is whether the Brewers will play him anyway, at least against righties. He rightfully has the highest ADP of any 3B-eligible Brewer, as even a subpar real-life season could equate to a strong fantasy campaign for the lefty-hitting Black. He could provide similar counting stats to Tommy Edman, just with a lower AVG, higher OBP and fewer starts against same-handed pitchers. I'd expect him to add first base eligibility in season if he's getting extended run. I prefer several players below him long term, but Black's potential to steal 25 bases with 3B eligibility makes him a more appealing short-term flyer.

12. Colt Keith, 3B, Tigers, ADP: 331 (Shares: 1/4)

Unlike Langford, Keith isn't enough of an AL ROY front-runner that he should be penciled into the Opening Day lineup. Keith is reportedly a bad defender everywhere and the Mark Canha pickup likely means it's Keith, Matt Vierling and Zach McKinstry for two spots in the lineup, and I'd give the advantage to the incumbents. These things always work themselves out eventually, but the Tigers aren't incentivized to force Keith into the lineup if his defense will make him a net-neutral or negative player. If Keith were to play most of the season with the big club, he could hit 20-plus home runs with a .265 average and could add second-base and/or first-base eligibility in season.

13. Coby Mayo, 3B, Orioles, ADP: 455

Mayo is pretty similar to Caminero and Keith from a potential production standpoint (no speed, but strong long-term four-category upside), but his situation is extremely crowded. If one or two of Ryan Mountcastle, Ramon Urias or Ryan O'Hearn were traded in a consolidation trade, it would give Mayo a realistic avenue to playing time and his 2024 demand would increase. His bat is big-league ready, but unfortunately his home park will suppress his righty power more than most big-league venues. Mayo could add first-base eligibility once he's up.

14. Ronny Mauricio, 2B, Mets, ADP: 253

I was surprised when I first started doing drafts how high the redraft crowd was on Mauricio. You've either got to think Mauricio is a Jordan Lawlar-caliber prospect or that he's locked into playing time early in the season to be taking him at cost, and I don't believe either to be true. He hits the ball really, really hard and was surprisingly successful on the basepaths last season, so I see how this pick could pay off, I just don't believe in the hit tool enough to consider him where he's going. The lack of exciting power/speed second basemen in his range is inflating his cost, but I'd rather take Brandon Lowe, Jorge Polanco, Jordan Westburg, Luis Rengifo and Miguel Vargas, who are all going later than Mauricio on average.

15. Ceddanne Rafaela, OF, Red Sox, ADP: 346

He's arguably the best athlete covered in this article, and he's capable of playing any position on the field. It's just not clear when and how the Red Sox will make the pieces fit. I believe we're a couple years away from Rafaela's fantasy prime and that there will be growing pains between now and when we get there. However, he's toolsy enough that he could start paying off in fantasy ahead of schedule, and he'll at least contribute speed if he's playing regularly. Look for him to potentially add shortstop eligibility.

16. Colton Cowser, OF, Orioles, ADP: 472 (Shares: 1/4)

Cowser will need to earn his playing time, but he's too talented on both sides of the ball to go another full season without carving out a role at some point. That said, he probably opens back at Triple-A. Two big things working in his favor over the course of the season are his defensive chops (better in the outfield than Connor Norby and Heston Kjerstad) and his handedness -- Baltimore's home park is much better for lefty power than righty power. 

17. Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Cubs, ADP: 320

I don't think he's ready to hit for a decent average in the majors. I'm expecting him to hit around .220 with good speed and some power to go with Gold Glove caliber defense in center field. He may be back and forth a couple times between Triple-A and the majors. There's always a chance he's better than what I'm projecting for 2024, and he doesn't have to be great offensively to play every day.

More Floor than Ceiling I

18. Kyle Manzardo, 1B, Guardians, ADP: 323

First basemen need to be really good to be worth the final years of arbitration anyway, so there's not a major drawback to Cleveland starting Manzardo on the Opening Day roster and giving themselves an outside shot at the Prospect Promotion Incentive draft pick. Barring some out-of-nowhere signing of a J.D. Martinez or C.J. Cron type, it would be odd for Manzardo to be left out of the fray when they break camp. I'd be anticipating a similar arrangement to what they had with Josh Bell and Josh Naylor last season, where they split the 1B/DH duties. The big question is whether Manzardo sits against lefties. He had a .595 OPS and 25.2 K% in 131 plate appearances against lefties in 2023 and had an .819 OPS and 23.1 K% in 79 PA vs. LHP in 2022. He could pay off his current price, but I think the realistic upside as a rookie is something like a .280 AVG with 20 HR and no speed and that's not sexy enough to make up for the uncertainty.

19. Curtis Mead, 3B, Rays, ADP: 418

After digging in on Mead's 2023 season, I think he's potentially underrated in dynasty leagues, but I'm still not sure exactly how his playing time will shake out in 2024. His overall Triple-A numbers from last season are OK, but he was dominant after returning midseason from an injury, so that offensive impact potential is still in there. Mead should add second-base eligibility at some point (playing there against LHP) and he could win everyday playing time right out of the gate, but a return to Triple-A is also possible. He's a potential .300 hitter with 20-30 homer power at peak, but he'll probably just show flashes of that upside in his age-23 season.

20. Austin Wells, C, Yankees, ADP: 306

It looks like Wells has a clear path to the strong side of a platoon at catcher, just because we know how mediocre the incumbents are. However, Wells is the worst defender of the bunch, so there could be some push and pull between what the front office, manager and pitching staff want happening behind the dish. Even if he sits against all lefties and some righties, Wells should push for 15-plus home runs as a rookie thanks to the dimensions of Yankee Stadium, but he's not going to hit for a very high average or steal more than a few bases.

21. Wilyer Abreu, OF, Red Sox, ADP: 383

Abreu looks like a better big-league player than I was expecting him to be, but he's still likely to be platooned. Whenever there's a period where the Red Sox have mostly righties on the schedule and they are playing at home or in another favorable park, Abreu will be a really solid fourth or fifth outfielder to plug in, but you won't want to be using him without those contextual advantages. Even as a platoon bat he could flirt with a 20/10 season, but the runs and RBI won't be great.

22. Masyn Winn, SS, Cardinals, ADP: 351

Winn has a decently high long-term ceiling, but a pretty low realistic ceiling in 2024. I believe the Cardinals will play him every day at shortstop and bat him ninth all season. It's not always a true meritocracy when we're talking about shortstops of the future, and Winn isn't going to improve as a hitter with a return to Triple-A. Long term, I think he can be a 15-homer/30-steal shortstop who hits above .250. I'd just be hoping for 10 homers and 15 steals this year, however.

23. Heston Kjerstad, UT, Orioles, ADP: 390

Kjerstad's left-handed power will get him playing time this season, but he's likely not going to play much against lefties and he could open the year back at Triple-A, depending on how active the Orioles are this offseason with consolidation trades. He's UT-only to start the year, and there's no guarantee he gets outfield or first base eligibility anytime soon. Still, Kjerstad should hit for power at a 25-homer pace when he's in the majors.

24. Nolan Schanuel, 1B, Angels, ADP: 419

All Schanuel is going to do is play and not tank your batting average, but there's no counting stat upside to dream on. I don't think that's a worthwhile use of a top-450 pick because the ceiling is so low. There is value in having a 1B-eligible player on the bench that you feel confident you'll be able to use as an injury replacement, but from a skills standpoint, he's basically Spencer Horwitz.

25. Darell Hernaiz, SS, Athletics, ADP: 641

I really wish Hernaiz's context was better, because he's an underrated talent. His lack of impact speed, terrible home park and sub-standard teammates cap his ceiling, but he's a strong draft-and-hold target (I keep getting scooped on him in my drafts) due to his floor and path to playing time. Hernaiz only hit nine home runs last year while stealing 13 bases, but he hit .321 with a 13.4 K%, 105.4 mph 90th percentile EV and a 112 mph maxEV (very good data for a 22-year-old shortstop). It wouldn't be surprising to see him hit .275 with 10 homers and 15 steals if he were in the big-league lineup for 135 games or so. 

26. Michael Busch, 3B, Dodgers, ADP: 441

I'm sure the Dodgers will be dangling Busch in trade proposals all winter, and a trade to a team that wants to give him steady playing time would be best for his long-term outlook. Even on some rebuilding teams, however, Busch has flaws that could cost him playing time, most notably poor defense and subpar production against left-handed pitching (.795 OPS as a 25-year-old in the minors). Without a trade, he'll probably be up and down all season as an injury replacement.

27. Hunter Goodman, OF, Rockies, ADP: 549

Goodman doesn't really fit in any of these tiers. He has upside in home games when he's a regular in the lineup, he's usable in a pinch when he's a regular in the lineup for road games, and there's a decent chance he's not a regular in the lineup for any significant length of time in 2024. The fact he bats right-handed and isn't a good defender anywhere hurts his chances, but he could hit 25-plus homers if they gave him regular run. 

28. Brayan Rocchio, SS, Guardians, ADP: 507

Rocchio appears to have hit a bit of a wall as a power hitter against Triple-A and MLB pitching. He had an ISO over .160 at High-A and Double-A, but he has just 12 homers in 172 total games at Triple-A and the majors. His hard-hit data suggests he's deserved that mediocre output. He is still capable of playing anywhere on the infield and has a decent hit tool and good enough speed and instincts to steal 15-20 bases over a full season. I doubt you'll ever be excited about plugging Rocchio into a DC lineup, and he's not assured of regular playing time at any point in 2024.

29. Marco Luciano, SS, Giants, ADP: 461

The selling point with Luciano is that the Giants have essentially said he's going to be their shortstop next season. Steamer very fairly projects a .220/.297/.370 slash line for Luciano, so even if he is the Opening Day shortstop, there is no guarantee he holds that job for long. He'll steal more than zero bases next season but fewer than 10 and his hit tool is below average. His top tool is his power but his home park will suppress that output. The floor is that he tanks your batting average and becomes unusable and the ceiling isn't very high.

Summer Stashes

30. Chase DeLauter, OF, Guardians, ADP: 599 (Shares: 1/4)

DeLauter just looks like a big leaguer. He's been the best player in most of the games he's played in as a professional, and the contrast between his physicality and raw tools compared to Cleveland's other outfielders is so stark, I think it's a worthwhile gamble in rounds 30-40 of a DC. He was a .402 hitter in college, was a .355 hitter in the minors and hit .299 with a .914 OPS in the Arizona Fall League. DeLauter's 6-foot-4, 235-pound frame is notable as he has missed a lot of time with lower-body injuries.

31. Jackson Merrill, SS, Padres, ADP: 650

It wouldn't be nefarious to keep Merrill in the upper levels of the minors for most of 2024, but the big-league depth chart is so top-heavy, that he will likely look like a viable alternative sooner than later. Merrill could probably play anywhere in the infield and could masquerade in left field when needed, and once he's up, he'll be in the lineup every day. He could go 15/15 as a rookie but isn't a burner and probably won't start regularly getting to his considerable raw power in games until 2025 or 2026.

32. Dylan Crews, OF, Nationals, ADP: 504

Crews has an extensive track record of performance, except for his 20-game showing at Double-A to close last season. I'd bet against Crews being up before late-August and I'd bet against him being a strong fantasy contributor if/when he is up in 2024, but if things click for him quickly in the upper levels, there's no denying the Nationals will bring him up and play him every day. Nobody will remember any of that if he's mediocre, but I'm sure someone in the Crews mafia will show me receipts if he's awesome this year.

33. Orelvis Martinez, SS, Blue Jays, ADP: 636 (Shares: 3/4)

I don't even believe Martinez will be good in the majors this year, I just think he was way too cheap in draft and holds back when I was drafting him in the endgame a month ago. He's on the 40-man roster, has monster raw power that he's always gotten to in games, and the Blue Jays have an opening at third base, his long-term position. Martinez's hit tool used to be so bad I didn't think he'd make it in the majors, but his .340 OBP and 23.8 K% as a 22-year-old at Double-A and Triple-A were strong enough marks that I'm cautiously optimistic about him making it as a .235 AVG/30-HR type of corner bat.

34. Thomas Saggese, 2B, Cardinals, ADP: 627 (Shares: 1/4)

Who knows which players the Cardinals will trade and which players they'll keep this offseason, but Saggese is a few good months at Triple-A away from taking over as the everyday second baseman, if that spot is up for grabs. A career .298/.369/.508 hitter in the minors, Saggese does a little bit of everything and is also capable of playing third base or shortstop in a pinch. Unfortunately, he lacks plus speed and probably won't steal more than a half dozen bases in a full season.

35. Matt Shaw, SS, Cubs, ADP: 655 (Shares: 1/4)

Shaw had the best debut from the 2023 college crop outside of Wyatt Langford, climbing all the way to Double-A. The trouble is that none of Dansby Swanson, Nico Hoerner or Shaw are natural third basemen. Hoerner could move to the left side of the infield to accommodate Shaw, or Shaw could come up if Hoerner gets injured. He could produce at a 20/20 clip once he's up.

36. Connor Norby, 2B, Orioles ADP: 582

A man without a clear home in Baltimore, but a man who could slot in at second base or left field for any rebuilding club that might acquire him. He's just a natural hitter who can do a bit of everything.

37. Drew Gilbert, OF, Mets, ADP: 748

Unlike Jett Williams and Luisangel Acuna, I think Gilbert gets the call whenever the Mets think he's ready. They're more likely to need an outfielder than a middle infielder, and Gilbert is already 23. He got off to a slow start at Double-A for Houston before the trade but hit .312/.388/.537 with 10 home runs, five steals and an 18.8 K% over his final 58 games.

38. James Wood, OF, Nationals, ADP: 546

A high-upside play I'd bet against, at least in 2024. Wood needs to improve his hit tool, but if he does, he's toolsy enough to pay off this cost over the final 2-to-3 months.

39. Colson Montgomery, SS, White Sox, ADP: 550

The White Sox are telegraphing that Montgomery will be up for a good chunk of the year, but his lack of speed limits my interest for his rookie season, especially if they rush him up. 

40. Brooks Lee, SS, Twins, ADP: 640

A power-hitting shortstop with no speed, Lee could be a four-category shortstop at peak, but he's firmly blocked right now. He already played 38 games at Triple-A, so he's basically just waiting his turn.

41. Bryan Ramos, 3B, White Sox, ADP: 704

Ramos is very good on both sides of the ball and not far from being big-league ready. He hasn't played at Triple-A yet, but he is on the 40-man roster, so a Yoan Moncada trade or injury could expedite his ascent.

42. Victor Scott, OF, Cardinals, ADP: 664

A pre-AFL sleeper, now Scott's game is well known. The Cardinals need to organize the roster, but Scott could be a stolen-base monster if he gets regular run in center field at some point in the second half.

43. Johnathan Rodriguez, OF, Guardians, ADP: 741

Obviously Rodriguez, who hit 29 homers in the upper levels of the minors last year, brings a power element that the Guardians' big-league outfielders lack, but he is also a couple grades worse with the hit and speed tools. Rodriguez is on the 40-man roster and has a prototypical right-field profile, however, so if he cuts the strikeouts at Triple-A, he'll get his shot.

44. Austin Shenton, 3B, Rays, ADP: 743

Shenton could be this year's Luke Raley (minus the stolen bases) if the Rays felt inclined to give him that much run. He bats left-handed and has plus power with a three-true outcomes type of offensive skill set. Shelton could gain first base eligibility once he's up.

45. Juan Brito, 2B, Guardians, ADP: 743

Unlike most Guardians middle infielders of recent vintage, Brito is a bat-first prospect with a good command of the zone, kind of in the Isaac Paredes mold. He is already on the 40-man roster, it's just a matter of when Cleveland wants to jump him over the Brayan Rocchio, Tyler Freeman types.

46. Rece Hinds, OF, Reds, ADP: 743

Hinds, like Jackson Chourio and Owen Caissie, went on a red-hot heater after the pre-tacked balls were removed from the Southern League. It's already getting a little crowded in Cincinnati, but Hinds, who is on the 40-man roster, has monster raw power and could play an outfield corner for the Reds in the second half. His 20 steals at Double-A oversell his potential in that category.

47. Addison Barger, OF, Blue Jays, ADP: 689

The lefty-hitting Barger saw time at right field, shortstop, third base and second base while at Triple-A. He was just OK last year, with some hot stretches and some cold stretches surrounding a first-half elbow injury. Toronto will be active in free agency, but there are multiple spots up for grabs as things stand.

48. Justin Foscue, 2B, Rangers, ADP: 695 (Shares: 1/4)

Foscue has nothing left to prove at Triple-A. But he's also proven that he doesn't fit anywhere on the Rangers' full-strength roster. Foscue is a high-OBP, high-AVG, 20-homer type who will be a defensive negative, and most teams already have a guy like that hanging around the upper levels.

49. Luisangel Acuna, SS, Mets, ADP: 621

Acuna is on the 40-man roster, but it doesn't strike me as a David Stearns maneuver to quickly turn to Acuna in his age-22 season when he's entering the year with zero experience at Triple-A. Anything is possible if injuries strike or he's running hot at Triple-A, but I'm expecting Acuna to debut in late-August.

50. Kyle Teel, C, Red Sox, ADP: 709

A perfect pairing in last year's draft, Teel is obviously Boston's catcher of the future, we just don't know when they'll start that era. He's probably going to look like one of their two best catchers in spring training, so it could be early if they care about just having the right guy back there, but if they play service-time games, we might not see him until late-August.

51. Ben Rice, C, Yankees, ADP: 709

Rice is a low-probability upside flyer at the catcher spot. He had a 182 wRC+ at Double-A, has never played at Triple-A and turns 25 in February.

52. Blake Dunn, OF, Reds, ADP: 743

I know he's already 25, but I think the Reds will take their time with Dunn since he's not on the 40-man roster yet. He played 77 games at Double-A and zero games at Triple-A last year, but had a .433 OBP, 15 homers and 35 steals in those 77 games. 

53. Jeferson Quero, C, Brewers ADP: 712

I think we'll see Quero up at some point this year, but I think it's unlikely we'll want to use him in fantasy as a rookie. He's fine if you just want a super cheap emergency catcher for the final couple months, but that's not how I'd want to use a roster spot.

More Floor than Ceiling II

54. Spencer Horwitz, 1B, Blue Jays, ADP: 712 (Shares: 1/4)

If the season started today, Horwitz might be in Toronto's lineup against right-handed pitching. Obviously they will be working to make sure that doesn't happen, but he'll still probably be one injury away. He's 26 and had a 144 wRC+ with more walks than strikeouts at Triple-A. Horwitz just doesn't hit for typical power for the bottom of the defensive spectrum.

55. Nick Loftin, 1B, Royals, ADP: 577

I like Loftin as a real-life bench player, but he's not going to provide much counting-stat juice, even if he falls into regular playing time. He's got the potential to add positional eligibility in season, but it's a bad park and a bad lineup and Loftin has fringe-average raw power and average speed.

56. Joey Ortiz, 2B, Orioles, ADP: 705 (Shares: 1/4)

Unfortunately for Ortiz, he has minor-league options remaining and very good teammates. However, he could easily get traded into everyday playing time this offseason -- he's an elite defensive middle infielder -- and his bat is big-league ready. It's not a high ceiling, but he won't embarrass himself if given an opportunity.

57. Kyren Paris, SS, Angels, ADP: 737

Very toolsy yet overmatched in his big-league cup of coffee, Paris probably isn't someone you'll want to have in your lineup, but he might be getting playing time for the Angels this summer. He's just 22 and stole 44 bases at Double-A last year.

58. Matt Mervis, 1B, Cubs, ADP: 438

I was too high on him a year ago (I took him in at least one NFBC Gladiator draft!), but he's a Quad-A guy until further notice. There's nobody ahead of him on the depth chart, but that was also the case a year ago, and we don't want to fall into that trap again. Even if they surprisingly gave Mervis the job, I'd be expecting something like a .240 AVG and 20-HR output over a full season, so you're not leaving much upside on the table by looking elsewhere in this range.

59. Alexander Canario, OF, Cubs, ADP: 651

Canario looks like a short-side platoon slugger who could use a trade -- the exact thing we would have said about Nelson Velazquez a year ago, and now he might be an everyday player for the Royals. Canario is UT-only to start the year and he is out of minor-league options.

60. Eguy Rosario, 3B, Padres, ADP: 732

Rosario seems like a big-league bench player all the way, but the Padres' current roster is shallow enough that he could find his way into playing time for stretches of the season. There's at least a little speed, which is nice.

61. Dominic Fletcher, OF, Diamondbacks, ADP: 749

He's a solid defender and he keeps hitting, so maybe one of these years he breaks through. Fletcher's fringe-average power keeps him in a reserve role when Arizona is at full strength.

Maybe in Late-August:

Roman Anthony (BOS), Walker Jenkins (MIN), Jett Williams (NYM), Adael Amador (COL), Brady House (WAS), Owen Caissie (CHC), Sterlin Thompson (COL), Marcelo Mayer (BOS), Spencer Jones (NYY), Xavier Isaac (TB), Ethan Salas (SD), Jonatan Clase (SEA), Zac Veen (COL), Samuel Basallo (BAL), Jakob Marsee (SD), James Triantos (CHC)

I'm sure someone from this tier will force the issue before late-August, and roughly half this tier won't be up this year at all. There's premium talent in this tier, but it's very unlikely any of them are up in time to exhaust their rookie eligibility for 2025. Instead of waiting until the third week of April to call up the Kris Bryant's and Ronald Acuna's, teams like the Red Sox and Nationals are now incentivized to wait until there are about 10 days left in August to promote the Roman Anthony's and Brady House's to the majors.

Honorable mention: 

Dustin Harris (TEX), Joey Loperfido (HOU), Jorge Barrosa (ARI), Haydn McGeary (CHC), Jose Rodriguez (CHW), Nick Yorke (BOS), Justyn-Henry Malloy (DET), Alan Roden (TOR), Andy Pages (LAD), Wade Meckler (SF), Pedro Leon (HOU), Jhonkensy Noel (CLE), Luis Vazquez (CHC), George Valera (CLE), Blaze Alexander (ARI), Jacob Wilson (OAK), Kenedy Corona (HOU), Jorbit Vivas (LAD), Damiano Palmegiani (TOR), Jace Jung (DET), Denzel Clarke (OAK), Drew Romo (COL), Yohandy Morales (WAS), Justice Bigbie (DET), Ryan Bliss (SEA)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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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