Top power prospects for dynasty leagues

April 30th, 2020

Several weeks ago, MLB Pipeline put out its first-ever dynasty league prospect rankings in which we identified the Top 50 prospects based on long-term fantasy value. That was followed by a list of some of our favorite dynasty sleepers, many of whom fell just short of cracking our Top 50 rankings.

Continuing with our dynasty league coverage, we now shift the focus to specific groups of players who could one day help fantasy GMs dominate specific categories.

This week, we look at 12 dynasty prospects who have the potential to become legitimate home run hitters in the big leagues:

Bryce Ball, 1B, Braves

A 6-foot-6, 235-pound left-handed hitter, Ball posted a .325/.443/.614 line with 18 homers last year as a Dallas Baptist junior before going to the Braves in the 24th round. He smashed another 17 bombs in just 231 at-bats after signing, tallying 13 in the Appalachian League and four more after a promotion to Class A Rome. The 21-year-old has the most raw power in Atlanta’s system and has already shown that he can get to it during games -- traits that should appeal to every dynasty manager.

Brett Baty, 3B, Mets

The Mets’ 2019 first-round pick (No. 12 overall) batted .615 with 19 home runs as a Lake Travis (Texas) HS senior and continued to mash in his pro debut, posting an .821 OPS with 25 extra-base hits (7 HR) while climbing three levels. With his bat speed, strength and impactful left-handed swing, he already generates big league-caliber exit velocities and shows legitimate game power to the opposite field.

Triston Casas, 1B, Red Sox

The 2018 first-rounder offered a preview of his offensive ceiling in his first full season, finishing among the Class A South Atlantic League leaders in extra-base hits (49, second), homers (19, third) and slugging (.472, fourth) at age 19. Though he will need to hit a ton to be a big league first baseman, Casas is a relatively safe bet for a young player to do exactly that.

Oneil Cruz, SS, Pirates

Cruz is one of the more exciting prospects in the game as an athletic 6-foot-7 shortstop with plus-plus raw power from the left side of the plate. Though injuries, including a foot fracture that cost him two months last season, have kept the 21-year-old from showcasing that power early in his career, there are very few guys in the Minors who can rival his line-to-line power potential. The offensive upside is considerable with Cruz, who could be a perennial 30-homer threat in the Majors even if he doesn’t stick as a shortstop.

Bobby Dalbec, 3B/1B, Red Sox

A fourth-round pick in 2016 out of the University of Arizona, Dalbec has since established himself as one of the top power-hitting prospects in the Minor Leagues. He slugged 27 homers in 135 games last season between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket and has gone deep 59 times since the start of the 2018 season, the sixth-highest total in the Minors during that span. He is a streaky masher who tends to hit his home runs in bunches, albeit with an aggressive approach and swing-and-miss issues that leave something to be desired.

Moises Gomez, OF, Rays

Signed for $40,000 out of Venezuela in 2015, Gomez was perhaps the Class A Midwest League’s top slugger as a 19-year-old in 2018, when he ranked among the circuit leaders in XBH (60, first), slugging (.503, second) and home runs (19, fourth), and set the Class A Advanced Charlotte single-season home record (16) in ‘19. That he also batted just .220 and struck out at a 33.5-percent clip raises concerns about his ability to make contact and earnestly apply his power at higher levels, but there is a lot to like in Gomez’s physically strong frame, explosive right-handed swing and penchant for hitting the ball in the air.

Nolan Gorman, 3B, Cardinals

One of the top power-hitting Draft prospects in recent memory, Gorman slugged .570 and led all 2018 draftees with 17 homers in his pro debut. He homered nine times in his first 34 games in 2019 but hit just six more dingers over his final 91 contests, albeit as a 19-year-old in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. He generates massive power from the left side of the plate, combining physical strength and bat speed with a barrel path that's conducive to driving the ball in the air, though, like many young sluggers, he’ll need to trim some of the swing-and-miss from his game.

Sam Hilliard, OF, Rockies

The 6-foot-5 Hilliard has a left-handed swing made for power and he really figured it out last year. Sure, he got some help from playing at Albuquerque in the Pacific Coast League, but he still hit 16 of his 35 homers (tied for fourth-most in the Minors) in Triple-A in 2019 on the road. He hit seven more in just 77 big league at-bats -- four of which traveled at least 414 feet -- after he got called up to Colorado (and don’t forget how great that park is for fantasy numbers) and had an average exit velocity of 90.8 mph (87.5 mph was the MLB average) on balls in play.  

Sam Huff, C, Rangers

Listed at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Huff obliterates the baseball from the right side of the plate, showing prodigious raw power that netted him the second-most home runs (28) among Minor League catchers during his breakout 2019 campaign. His 30 percent strikeout rate across his first four seasons underscores how his approach and contact skills need fine-tuning, and some question whether he will be able to stick behind the plate. That said, Huff’s power should still play at the highest level even if he’s forced down the defensive spectrum to first base.

Mason Martin, 1B, Pirates

The 2017 17th-rounder clubbed 12 homers after his promotion to Class A Advanced Bradenton in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League last year to finish the season with 35 home runs, tied for the fourth-most in the Minors. The 20-year-old’s 129 RBIs, meanwhile, were far and away the most in MiLB, and the fact that he also tallied 32 doubles and four triples points to even more future home-run power.

Kristian Robinson, OF, D-backs

Signed out of the Bahamas for $2.5 million in July 2017, Robinson offered a glimpse of his potential in 2019 as he slashed .282/.386/.514 with 14 homers while ascending from Class A Short-Season Hillsboro to Class A Kane County in his age-18 season. The 6-foot-3 outfielder’s massive right-handed power highlights an exceptional all-around set of tools, which, overall, give him one of the higher ceilings in the Minors among teenage prospects. He’s still learning how to hit the ball in the air consistently, and when that clicks for him -- you’d better hope he already is on your dynasty roster. 

Mark Vientos, 3B, Mets

One of the youngest players in the 2017 Draft, when the Mets took him in the second round, Vientos looks the part of a future slugger with his size (6-foot-4, 185 pounds), strength and naturally impactful right-handed swing. He struggled early in his first full season at Class A Columbia before turning it on in the second half to slash .271/.315/.462 over his final 52 games, during which he hit seven of his 12 home runs. And while the 20-year-old’s numbers might not jump off the page yet, his power ceiling is one of the highest in the Minors.