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Peter Alonso
AP
Prospect Roundup

Future Category Winners: Homers

by Christopher Crawford
Updated On: March 6, 2019, 12:49 am ET

If you play fantasy baseball -- and you know you do -- you know that there are players who are going to help you in certain categories more than others. We like to call these players "category winners."

As a prospect person, I thought it'd be prudent to give you some players who can help you win those various categories in the short and long-term.

Next up, homers. Here's a look at some prospects who have a chance to hit for power upon their promotion to the majors.

2019 helpers 

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Toronto Blue Jays -- Guerrero Jr's power tool isn't as good as the hit tool, but that's partially because the hit tool can't get any higher. The third baseman has a wide base, and the strength along with his impressive bat speed, natural loft and ability to recognize spin gives him an easy plus-plus power tool at his disposal. It would be an upset if Guerrero Jr. wasn't a 30-plus homer hitter at the next level. This is a special, special offensive prospect, and we'll keep repeating it until someone has the good sense to just make him a special MLB player. It should be next year. 

MLB VIDEOS

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fantasy Baseball Preview

Feb 21, 2019
Blue Jays top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has the potential to be a top-10 fantasy third baseman right away.

 

Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago White Sox -- Jimenez is one of two prospect who make both the hit-and-power category lists, and you can probably guess the other one. It's that guy we just talked about, if you don't want to play the guessing game. Jimenez is incredibly strong, and he has the bat speed to take any pitch on any part of the plate out of the park. We likely aren't talking about Stanton, Judge or Gallo-type power numbers, but he's just a notch below that. He'll certainly help your slugging/homer totals this spring whenever he gets that call. 

Pete Alonso, 1B, New York Mets -- Alonso was one of the most improved prospects in baseball, and it showed in the stats with the former Florida Gators star hitting 36 homers at the Double and Triple-A levels. While 15 of those homers did come in the very friendly confines of the PCL and Las Vegas, Alonso has legit power to all parts of the field, and when he gets a hold of one, there aren't many prospects who are capable of hitting a ball harder of farther. Alonso should be playing everyday for the Mets by the end of the summer.

Austin Riley, 3B, Atlanta Braves -- Riley might have made his debut in 2018 if not for his knee injury suffered in the summer, but he was still able to show off his pop with 19 homers in 108 games. The right-handed hitter -- like all of the hitters on this list -- has plenty of strength, and there's natural loft in his swing. Don't expect monster power numbers from Riley right away, but assuming the Braves give him a chance to hit this year -- and they should -- Riley should put up more than adequate power numbers in 2019. 

Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros -- Tucker got a taste of the big leagues last year, and it didn't go well with a .141 average in 28 games. That sample size is too small to take seriously. In addition to being able to hit for average and steal bases, Tucker has loads of loft to his swing, and while most of the power is to the pull side, he's also strong enough to take advantage of the short fence to left field in Houston. The only reason for hesitance is that there's no obvious place for Tucker to play right now, but he and his power are ready to go. 

Future helpers

Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, San Diego Padres -- Some of why Tatis Jr. belongs here is positional value; getting homers from your shortstop is obviously a wonderful bonus. That being said, even if Tatis Jr. was an outfielder or a first baseman, he'd belong here. The 20-year-old hit 16 homers in 88 games at Double-A, and he's just starting to tap into his immense raw power. When Guerrero Jr. graduates from the prospect lists, this will be the top option in baseball, and one of the reasons is because the shortstop is going to provide big-time pop. 

Jordon Adell, OF, Los Angeles Angels -- Boy did this escalate quickly. After being the 10th pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, Adell was outstanding while reaching Double-A, and he was able to sock 20 homers in his 99 games in 2018. There's certainly more coming, as the 6-foot-3, 215-pound outfielder has impressive bat speed and is getting more comfortable driving the baseball. Adell has a good chance to reach the big leagues in 2020, and at some point, he has a chance to be a perennial 30-plus homer player. 

Nolan Gorman, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals -- In terms of just pure raw power, there might not be a prospect who has more than Gorman. A first-round pick of the Cardinals last June, Gorman hit a whopping 17 homers in 63 games with a .570 slugging percentage. He has a violent -- but somewhat controlled swing -- and his bat speed and strength allow him to hit the baseball a long, long way. He's at least a couple years away, but the power potential here is palpable. 

Joey Bart, C, San Francisco Giants -- Bart is another member of the 2018 draft class, and another hitter who has a chance to help you in the power category. The 22-year-old hit 13 homers in his first 51 games as a professional, and it's easy to see more coming as he gets more comfortable driving the baseball. Like Tatis Jr., some of this is because Bart plays a position that doesn't provide a ton of homers, but Bart is a legit 25-to-35 homer candidate, and one that could move quickly because his defense is so good behind the plate, too. 

Brendan Rodgers, SS, Colorado Rockies -- It may seem like Rodgers has been around for longer, but the shortstop is still just 22-years-old, and there's still plenty of reason for optimism. In addition to having an above-average hit tool, Rodgers has natural strength, and his well above-average bat speed gives him a chance to take the ball out to any part of the park. When you add in the fact that he's going to be playing in a hitting utopia like Coors Field for half his games, that certainly amplifies the third pick of the 2016 draft's power, but even if he were to be moved, Rodgers has 25-to-30 homer potential in his right-handed bat. 

Christopher Crawford

Christopher Crawford is a baseball and college football writer for NBC Sports Edge. Follow him on Twitter @Crawford_MILB.