There hasn't been much change since last week's installment of the Top 10 fantasy prospects for 2018, save for the addition of a few rising hitters in the wake of Walker Buehler and Dustin Fowler both dropping off the list.:: Complete prospect coverage ::Buehler quickly has established himself as a
There hasn't been much change since last week's installment of the Top 10 fantasy prospects for 2018, save for the addition of a few rising hitters in the wake of Walker Buehler and Dustin Fowler both dropping off the list.
:: Complete prospect coverage ::
Buehler quickly has established himself as a force in an injury-plagued Dodgers rotation by going 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA across four starts, one of which saw the right-hander fire six no-hit frames as part of a combined Dodgers no-no on May 4. Meanwhile, Buehler's also piled up 27 strikeouts against seven walks in 22 innings, all while holding opposing hitters to a .190 average and zero home runs, further highlighting his overall fantasy value.
Fowler also stands to offer plenty of value now that he's back in the big leagues, fully recovered from a gruesome, season-ending knee injury suffered last year in June during his Major League debut. The 23-year-old outfielder had enjoyed a hot start in Triple-A prior to his promotion, hitting .310/.333/.484 with 13 extra-base hits and eight steals in 30 games. If given regular playing time, Fowler should reward his fantasy owners with multi-category potential, especially in terms of average, runs scored and stolen bases.
As for the players who are presently in the Minor Leagues, below is our updated rankings of the top 10 for fantasy purposes. As always, these evaluations are based solely on expected 2018 fantasy production in the big leagues, while our Top 100 reflects long-term value in all phases of the game.
1. Nick Senzel, 3B, Reds' No. 1 prospect/No. 7 overall (Previous rank: 1)
Senzel landed on the disabled list with vertigo on Thursday, marking the second time in the 2016 first-rounder's career that he's been sidelined by such an ailment. The good news is that Senzel is expected to return to the field "in fairly short order," giving him a chance to serve as a multi-category contributor for your fantasy team. Meanwhile, that Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett are both swinging the bat well for the Reds can allow the organization to be patient with Senzel's recovery.
2. Michael Kopech, RHP,White Sox No. 2 prospect, No. 10 overall (Previous rank: 3)
Kopech continues to bide his time in Triple-A, working on a throwing a more consistent changeup while refining his fastball/slider command. The 22-year-old right-hander's 3.9 BB/9 this season is an improvement over his 2017 mark (4.4), and he's continuing to pile up strikeouts with ease, with 38 in 30 innings (11.4 K/9) through six starts, while keeping the ball in the park. Fantasy owners can expect similar results from Kopech when he arrives on the South Side.
3. Jack Flaherty, RHP, Cardinals' No. 2 prospect, No. 35 overall (Previous rank: 4)
Bouncing between Triple-A Memphis and the Majors this season, Flaherty has been impressive at both stops. In his latest start for the Redbirds, the 22-year-old righty posted a career-best 13 strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings as he improved to 4-1 in five starts. He's pitched to a 2.27 ERA and .190 BAA in that span, and he appears poised to soon make a permanent jump into the Cardinals' rotation.
4. Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox No. 1 prospect, No. 4 overall (Previous rank: NR)
Few hitters have been hotter lately than Jimenez, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games on Thursday by doubling in a 1-for-4 performance for Double-A Birmingham. He's slashing .410/.429/.803 with five home runs, nine doubles and 19 RBIs during his streak, which includes 10 multihit performances. The 21-year-old outfield is still making up for lost time after a season-opening DL stint, but it's increasingly clear Jimenez has little left to prove offensively in the Minors.
5. Willie Calhoun, OF, Rangers' No. 2 prospect, No. 51 overall (Previous rank: 5)
After a solid if unspectacular start to his season, Calhoun's potent bat has begun to heat up at Triple-A Round Rock, where he's compiled a .345 average while notching 10 hits during his seven-game hitting streak. The 23-year-old masher hasn't yet tapped into the power that helped him to produce a career-high 32 homers last season, though he's sure to jump the yard more consistently.
6. Vladimir Guerrero Jr, 3B, Blue Jays' No. 1 prospect, No. 3 overall (Previous rank: 9)
It's time to buy into the idea that we'll see Vlad Jr. in the big leagues this season. Sure, he needs to work on his defense and refine his game in general, but his bat is the best in the Minor Leagues, and it could make him an impact hitter at the highest level if he was promoted today. The 19-year-old phenom extended his hitting streak on Thursday with a 3-for-5, two-double performance that pushed his Double-A batting line to .396/.446/.667 -- with 19 extra-base hits, 36 RBIs and as many walks as strikeouts (12) -- in 28 Eastern League contests.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Guerrero Jr. launches homer off hotel - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2018766283
7. Ryan McMahon, 1B/2B/3B, Rockies' No. 2 prospect, No. 40 overall (Previous rank: 7)
McMahon struggled to produce during his season-opening stint in the big leagues and was subsequently demoted to Triple-A Albuquerque on May 1 after hitting .180 with 22 strikeouts in 28 games. While he's begun to find himself offensively of late, registering three two-hit performances in his past five games, it's still unclear when he'll get his next shot. In general, McMahon's defensive versatility will continue to make him an intriguing fantasy asset so long as he's producing.
8. Tyler O'Neill, OF, Cardinals' No. 3 prospect, No. 81 overall (Previous rank: NR)
After an 0-for-7 showing in his first big league exposure in St. Louis, the 22-year-old outfielder has resumed laying waste to Triple-A pitching, hitting three home runs in his past nine games. He's up to nine homers with the Redbirds in just 23 games, during which he's compiled a solid .330/.333/.670 batting line and 24 RBIs (albeit with 22 strikeouts and just two walks).
9. Willy Adames, SS, Rays' No. 2 prospect, No. 23 overall (Previous rank: 6)
Adames, 22, is once again putting up solid across-the-board numbers, with a .299/.391/.458 batting line through 30 games at Triple-A Durham. He's seen all of his time at shortstop this season, but he could play either middle-infield spot in the Majors, especially with the club's current double play combo of second baseman Joey Wendle (.739 OPS) and Adeiny Hechavarria (.626 OPS) offering middling-at-best production.
10. Austin Riley, 3B, Braves' No. 8 prospect, No. 80 overall (Previous rank: NR)
Riley certainly has done his part to force his way onto this list. Just this week, the 21-year-old third baseman received a promotion up to Triple-A Gwinnett, a well-deserved reward after he posted a slash line of .333/.394/.677 with six homers and 20 RBIs in 27 games for Double-A Mississippi. He's making more consistent hard contact and striking out less this season without sacrificing any of his plus power, and it's that progress that could make Riley a hot-corner option for the Braves sooner than initially thought.
Dropped out: Buehler, RHP, Dodgers' No. 1, No. 11 overall (Previous rank: 2); Fowler, OF, A's No. 5, No. 99 overall (Previous rank: 8); Austin Hays, OF, Orioles' No. 1, No. 37 overall (Previous rank: 10)
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.