With the All-Star teams being announced recently I figured I would go that route with this week’s article. Part one is going to be all hitters. I am going to pick hitters that have had a good year and have prospect pedigree. It helps no one for me to put a 27-year-old journeyman minor leaguer putting up a .300/.400/.500 slash in the PCL.
I didn’t consider any players that played in the majors. At least to my knowledge. So even though guys like Francisco Mejia are prospect eligible they weren’t eligible to be picked here, and to be honest he wouldn’t have made the cut anyway.
Catcher: Will Smith
Hard to really find a catcher that I love. Smith’s power and average combination this year are hard to argue with. There wasn’t a lot of debate here for me for a prospect catcher to this point.
I still wouldn’t be wanting him in anything under 200 prospects owned, maybe even 300, but if catching prospects excite you Smith’s bat is worth a look.
Backup: Andrew Knizner
The only other contender I came up with. He fell short because I think Smith has more power. Knizner has shown a better average to this point so it really just depends on league format and how you want to build from the catcher position.
First base: Peter Alonso
Alonso has proved whatever doubters he had wrong to this point. Is he locked into a DH/1B role? Sure. Is he a liability in the field when he does play? Maybe. But the guy can hit and hit for power.
He has struggled since being promoted to AAA, but the sample is still relatively small. This should be a 30 plus homer year for Alonso.
Backup: Josh Naylor
Naylor has been one of the true surprises this season. The power has been there, but surprisingly he is hitting for a high average. I believe in what Alonso is doing more so he got the nod, but Naylor is definitely turning heads.
Second base: Keston Hiura
The power has been a little underwhelming, a really mean a little, as he is looking like a high teens homer guy this year and not low 20s. The Average has been there as expected. I would like to see him get a promotion soon, but until then he should be a .300 plus hitter in AA with solid power. If the new baseball thing sticks Hiura is one of those guys that could see a big power boost because he makes so much contact.
Backup: Brendan Rodgers
My first cheat on this list. I move Rodgers over to second as he lost out on the starting job and it was a toss-up on being the backup at short. Rodgers has his share of doubters. People thinking he has too much swing and miss. Rodgers has a very offense-friendly profile and should be even more fantasy-friendly playing in Colorado.
Third base: Vlad Guerrero Jr.
This is the easiest call. Not because there aren’t other options, but because how good he has been. If anything mattered for the Jays this year he would have been up before he even got injured. He is on a fantasy superstar path. The ONLY downside or thing that might keep him out of being a top-10 fantasy player in his prime is he probably won’t provide much speed.
Backup: Austin Riley
I could have gone a couple different ways here. Taking a shortstop and converting him to third or taking an injured guy like Senzel. Riley did miss time himself, but when healthy has produced. Jose Bautista and Carmargo are just stop gaps until Riley is ready, which if a slump hits either player could be this year.
Shortstop: Fernando Tatis Jr.
By far my hardest position to pick. After a slow start, Tatis Jr. has been on fire hitting .338/.414/.594 with 12 homers. Tatis has plus power and a plus hit tool that should turn into some really nice fantasy seasons at a starting to become loaded shortstop position.
Backup: Royce Lewis
Plus hit tool and potential for a lot of steals. Lewis has the potential to be a 20/40 type that people were wishing Byron Buxton would be. Lewis may eventually move to the outfield, as some have predicted, but his fantasy profile will play anywhere.
Outfield: Alex Kiriloff, Jo Adell, Taylor Trammell, Eloy Jimenez
Another cheat. I couldn’t decide which to leave off so I am adding one as my DH.
Kiriloff has been raking all season and is looking like a steal for anyone that got him post-Tommy John Surgery.
Jo Adell feels like he is on the fast track to be the next big jump prospect like Juan Soto was. With a nice all-around ability, and likely more speed than Soto.
Trammell having what feels like a really quiet season, but putting up great numbers nonetheless. His speed will be highly coveted in fantasy leagues once he gets into the majors.
Then there is the guy that has been a universal top-10 prospect all year, Eloy Jimenez. The bat is going to be a great blend of average and power. There is 30 homer potential there with an average that should be up around .300