2018 Prospect Rankings: Pitchers

Back by popular demand, Paul Hartman and Andy Germani return to bring you their prospect rankings for the 2018 season. In addition to the rankings we pose a number of questions to each of or “experts” to give you an idea on who they are targeting and avoiding. While these rankings are primarily for those of you in keeper and dynasty leagues, some of the players could make a potential impact in 2018.

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.

Note: Rankings were compiled prior to Whitley suspension and Honeywell injury.

Rank Player Team Age ETA Andy Paul
1 Shohei Ohtani Angels 23 2018 1 1
2 Alex Reyes Cardinals 23 2016 2 2
3 Forrest Whitley Astros 20 2019 3 4
T4 Brent Honeywell Rays 23 2018 4 5
T4 Michael Kopech White Sox 21 2018 6 3
6 Walker Buehler Dodgers 23 2017 5 8
7 Mackenzie Gore Padres 19 2020 10 6
8 Sixto Sanchez Phillies 19 2020 8 9
9 Triston McKenzie Indians 20 2019 7 11
T10 Kolby Allard Braves 20 2019 9 12
T10 Mitch Keller Pirates 21 2019 14 7
12 Dylan Cease White Sox 22 2019 11 15
T13 A.J. Puk Athletics 22 2019 15 14
T13 Luiz Gohara Mariners 21 2017 19 10
T15 Mike Soroka Braves 20 2019 17 16
T15 Kyle Wright Braves 22 2019 16 17
17 Hunter Greene Reds 18 2021 21 13
18 Ian Anderson Braves 19 2020 12 27
19 Michael Baez Padres 22 2020 18 22
20 Brendan McKay Rays 22 2020 22 19
21 Jack Flaherty Cardinals 22 2017 23 20
22 Matt Manning Tigers 20 2020 13 32
T23 Jay Groome Red Sox 19 2020 20 29
T23 Cal Quantrill Padres 23 2019 24 25
T25 Alec Hansen White Sox 23 2019 27 23
T25 Adrian Morejon Padres 19 2020 26 24
T25 Yadier Alvarez Dodgers 22 2019 32 18
28 Shane Baz Pirates 18 2021 33 21
29 Alex Faedo Tigers 22 2020 29 28
T30 Chance Adams Yankees 23 2018 25 33
T30 Joey Wentz Braves 20 2020 28 30
T32 Mitchell White Dodgers 23 2019 30 35
T32 Justus Sheffield Yankees 21 2019 31 34
34 Franklin Perez Tigers 20 2019 N/R 26
T35 Jesus Luzardo Athletics 20 2020 N/R 31
T35 Corbin Burnes Brewers 23 2019 35 37
37 Tyler Mahle Reds 23 2017 34 39
38 Adonis Medina Phillies 21 2020 37 38
T39 Max Fried Braves 24 2017 N/R 36
T39 Jon Duplantier Diamondbacks 23 2019 36 N/R

HONORABLE MENTIONS

41 Fernando Romero Twins 23 2019 38 N/R
42 Stephen Gonsalves Twins 23 2018 39 N/R
T43 Dakota Hudson Cardinals 23 2018 40 N/R
T43 J.B.Bukauskas Astros 21 2020 N/R 40




Who is your favorite prospect to break out in 2018?

Andy: The disparity between Paul and I on Matt Manning kind of makes me feel like he has to be my guy. In limited time in the minors Manning has struck out 32 percent of batters. He hasn’t thoroughly dominated to the tune of a sub two ERA or struck out an absurd amount of batters, but I think Manning is going to be a big riser this year.

Paul: Hunter Greene was the number 2 overall draft pick in 2017 as a pitcher despite the fact that he was also a first-round talent as a shortstop. There’s something about guys that throw 100 mph that makes it tough to keep them off of the mound. Greene was shut down early last year but look for big things in 2018. He’s already ranked pretty high, but with his stuff, he could be the number 1 SP prospect in the game by 2020.

What prospect (if any) could make a surprising fantasy contribution in 2018?

Andy: I will go way off the board and say Kolby Allard. By way off the board I mean I don’t think many expect him to make the majors this year. He threw 150 innings at AA last year after completely skipping high-A and he had a 3.18 ERA. The strikeouts might not be great, but overall Allard should be a fantasy asset. If it happens it won’t be until July, or more likely late August, but I would give him an add once, if, a promotion comes. Also much lower key and not really a prospect, but keep an eye on Drew Steckenrider in the Marlins bullpen.

Paul: Another guy who throws 100 mph, Michael Kopech has little left to prove in the minors after reaching AAA last year. The White Sox aren’t going to rush him with no chance at contention, but they’re going to be hard-pressed to keep the 6’3″ right-hander down for too long. Kopech had a ton of success in 2017, with opponents hitting just .193 against him in two levels, striking out 172 batters in just 134 innings of work. I love this arm!

What lesser-known prospect should fantasy owners put on their radars now?

Andy: Tommy John Surgery ended his promising 2016 early, but Chris Paddack should be back this year and hopefully he picks up where he left off. In 87 2/3 minor league innings he has a 1.54 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and a 33 percent strikeout rate. Outside of only the deepest leagues he should be unowned after being relatively off the radar before and missing an entire year. Now is the time to pounce before he builds any hype.

Paul: Jesus Luzardo was acquired by the Athletics as a part of the Doolittle/Madson deal from Washington. After his recovery from Tommy John surgery, Luzardo came out and struck out 48 hitters in 43 innings, allowing just a .216 batting average against last season. He’s just 20 years old but should move reasonably quickly from this point on. The power left-hander throws mid-90s heat, with potentially a  plus curve and changeup. The window is closing to get in on Luzardo. 

What prospect can you see slipping down the rankings fantasy owners may want to trade/avoid?

Andy: Hunter Greene is always going to worry, as well as Brendon McKay. Greene more so because with his velocity I worry an arm injury is coming. It is unfair to him to just say “he’s young, he throws hard, and he might get hurt” but he’s young, he throws hard, and he might get hurt. The elite fastball guys like him, Riley Pint, Tyler Kolek coming out of high school worry me more than the guys who throw hard coming out of college. Why I don’t really know, they just do. There is the added concern of if something goes wrong they make hime a short stop.

Paul: Chance Adams is ranked pretty high for a guy who likely becomes a 5th starter-type on an AL East team. That sounds pretty harsh for someone who went 15-5, 2.45 ERA and a .193 BAA in AA and AAA last year. I think he’s a solid arm, but nothing in his arsenal gets me too excited, despite the positive results. New York is a tough place to pitch, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Adams do well enough for the Yankees while not providing enough value to make him worthwhile in fantasy. 

2018 Prospect Rankings
CatcherFirst BaseSecond BaseThird BaseShortstopOutfieldTop 100

 

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Paul Hartman

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Fantasy Baseball player since 1987. Creator of Fantasy Assembly, yet just fortunate enough to be a part of it.