Ahh, the Trade Deadline season. So much fun, so stress-inducing for fantasy baseball players.Especially if you're in an American League-only or a National League-only league, when players get traded across leagues, it can create some serious anxiety. Both big trades so far have been of that ilk, but at least
Ahh, the Trade Deadline season. So much fun, so stress-inducing for fantasy baseball players.
Especially if you're in an American League-only or a National League-only league, when players get traded across leagues, it can create some serious anxiety. Both big trades so far have been of that ilk, but at least in terms of prospects who might be able fill the void, we've got you covered.
Thus far, there's really been one prospect who was traded who could see more big league time as a result, and he's at the top of the list. But read all the way through to see how trades can impact a prospect who isn't traded but could step into an opportunity created by a dealt Major Leaguer.
Here are our updated rankings of the top 10 fantasy prospects presently in the Minors. As always, they're 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. Francisco Mejia, C/OF, Padres No. 3/No. 15 overall (Previous rank: 4)
Perhaps an overreaction to his name being in the headlines because of the Brad Hand trade, but you have to think the Padres are going to give Mejia a chance to show what he can do on a regular basis, right? He was blocked in Cleveland, even with him moving out from behind the plate at times. San Diego says it is committed to allowing Mejia develop as a catcher, but maybe he can do that with Austin Hedges in the big leagues.
2. Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox No. 1/No. 3 overall (Previous rank: 3)
Jimenez is back and he promptly went 5-for-15 with a homer in his first three games with Triple-A Charlotte. The White Sox are playing for the future and he's a huge part of it. Getting the fan base excited for 2019 and beyond in the second half sure would make sense.
3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays No. 1/No. 1 overall (Previous rank: 5)
Guerrero Jr. returned from his knee injury and hit in his first four games. OK, three of them were in the Gulf Coast League and one in the Florida State League, but does anyone doubt he'll keep raking now that he's been returned to New Hampshire?
4. Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers No. 1/No. 30 overall (Previous rank: 2)
After a bit of dry spell, Hiura went 4-for-4 right before leaving for the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. He picked up a hit and an RBI in his first game back in Double-A. Look for Hiura to continue his fast track and put pressure on the Brewers to use his bat down the stretch for their playoff hunt.
5. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates No. 1/No. 12 overall (Previous rank: 6)
Keller had two clunkers in his first two starts in Triple-A, then wasn't all that sharp in a tune-up start down in the Florida State League. But the right-hander was terrific in his Futures Game start, with a perfect frame and a nice little one-inning velocity spike. Here's betting that gives him a second-half boost.
6. Michael Kopech, RHP, White Sox No. 2/No. 10 overall (Previous rank: 8)
We're sounding like a broken record here with Kopech regarding his pure stuff and his inconsistent results. His last outing: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K. Keep fingers crossed that he can string a few of those together and get that strikeout ability to Chicago.
7. Willie Calhoun, OF, Rangers No. 2/No. 45 overall (Previous rank: 9)
Calhoun has been a mainstay on this list even though he wasn't setting the world on fire. The world might want to look for a fire extinguisher now. The outfielder is hitting .441/.529/.644 in July. A little more of that and the Rangers really will have to give him a shot in the big leagues.
8. Alex Verdugo, OF, Dodgers No. 1/No. 27 overall (Previous rank: 10)
The Dodgers are clearly all-in with the Machado trade, so whether they'd give Verdugo playing time remains to be seen. But he's second in the Pacific Coast League with his .350 average and he's slugging .512 (.444/.500/.639 in his first 10 games in July).
9. Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, Orioles No. 1/No. 79 overall (Previous rank: Unranked)
One more trade-related guy. With Machado gone, there's a gaping hole on the left side of Baltimore's infield. Timothy Beckham had 40 starts at third and now will see more time at shortstop. Other third-base options have been a bit lackluster. Mountcastle's only 21 and in Double-A, but he's also up to .318/.366/.528 for the year.
10. Forest Whitley, RHP, Astros No. 2/No. 9 (Previous rank: 7)
Whitley was just getting his feet under him post-suspension and looked like he might be headed back toward being an intriguing late-season option for the Astros. A mild oblique injury forced him to miss the Futures Game, and we will have to wait and see how quickly he can return.
Dropped out: Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (Previous rank: 1)
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.