Back by popular demand, Paul Hartman and Andy Germani return to bring you their prospect rankings for the 2019 season. In addition to the rankings, we pose a number of questions to our two “experts” to give you an idea of who they are targeting and avoiding, and why. While these rankings are primarily for those of you in keeper and dynasty leagues, some of the players could make a potential impact in 2019.
Note that players marked N/R were not ranked by that particular person. Players are also ranked using their primary position, so those that played multiple positions will not be duplicated elsewhere in our rankings.
|T 2||Nathaniel Lowe||2||3|
|T 2||Nick Pratto||3||2|
|T 6||Triston Casas||7||8|
|T 6||Brent Rooker||9||6|
|T 8||Tyler Nevin||6||11|
|T 8||Grant Lavigne||13||4|
|T 19||Chad Spanberger||15||N/R|
|T 19||Roberto Ramos||N/R||15|
|Honorable Mentions: Will Craig, Dermis Garcia, Josh Ockimey|
Who is your favorite prospect to break out in 2019?
Andy: I like Colorado prospects to break out numbers wise all the time, so Grant Lavigne is my choice. In his first season, he performed really well, hitting .350/.477/.519 with six homers. I see similar success continuing. I, obviously, don’t think he continues to hit .350, but I think he can show big numbers in a full season. What jumps out first is he walked 45 times to just 45 strikeouts. A power hitter with an acceptable strikeout rate that will be traveling through the Colorado system – he could be a very fast riser.
Paul: Andy makes such a good point about the Rockies hitting prospects, that I’m going to cheat with Tyler Nevin. The problem is that Nevin broke out in 2018 – it’s just that no one is making a big deal about it. Nevin hit .328/.386/.503 and finished third in the California League with a 141 wRC+. Then for good measure, he won the batting title in the Arizona Fall League. But, yeah, let’s say he breaks out in 2019.
What prospect (if any) could make a surprising Contribution to fantasy teams in 2019?
Andy: I will die on the Dan Vogelbach hill. There aren’t a lot of guys that are going to spend enough time in the majors to do anything, and if they do they might not be good. Outside of Peter Alonso, Vogelbach might be the only other guy. That being said, I still think he can hit. He has always been a solid walker, 15% rate through his minor league career and a 17% overall. That profile along with the 6’0″ 250 pound body makes me so excited for Vogelbach. But he has yet to prove it in three short MLB stints.
Paul: You asked for a surprise contributor, and I give you Matt Thaiss of the Angels. First basemen get little prospect love as is, but when there isn’t much power, they’re often lost in the muddle. I’m not expecting big things from Thaiss, but he makes solid contact with a pretty sweet swing from the left side. He’s as ready as he’s going to be, and I’m sure he’ll get a taste at some point this year.
What lesser-known prospect should fantasy owners put on their radars now?
Andy: Jered Walker didn’t make my list, but I am definitely keeping an eye on him. He hit 25 homers last season, albeit in a hitter friendly league. Walker is a pull power hitter with some big swing and miss issues. For how far off the radar he is, I will take a chance on the .545 slugging percentage for now, and if the strikeouts continue I can easily cut him.
Paul: Dermis Garcia has been on radars since 2014 when the Yankees signed the big powerful 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic. Garcia had a down season, hitting .241/.320/.444 in a full season of A ball. He got better as the year went on though, hitting .276/.351/.498 over his final 225 plate appearances. He has 70 power and a 60 arm, leading the Yankees to experiment with him as a 2-way player. That’s fun enough to warrant putting him back on your radars.
What prospect can you see slipping down the rankings owners may want to avoid/trade?
Andy: Jake Gatewood has similar issues to Walker, but the difference is he is a name that is known and on radars. He also just strikes out too much. In deep leagues, likely the only ones he is owned in, I would be trying to move him before it’s too late.
Paul: There are very few here that would cause me to be surprised if they fell off the prospect map this year. Generally it’s the high strikeout guys like Andy suggests above.