A reminder that this is strictly a list for 2019. Several of these prospects are among the best in baseball, but for the purpose of this series, it’s just measuring potential impact for this season. Also, a reminder that prospects who are on MLB rosters are not eligible for this list, nor is any player that has exhausted his prospect eligibility. You can view my top 100 prospects for 2019 and my top prospects by position in our Rotoworld MLB Season Pass.
Without further ado, here’s the top 10 fantasy prospects that can help you in the 2019 season.
1. Dylan Cease, RHP, Chicago White Sox
2019 stats: 15 G, 4.48 ERA, 68.1 IP, 75 H, 32 BB, 73 SO at Triple-A Charlotte.
With Keston Hiura getting the promotion to Milwaukee, I was in a bit of a conundrum as to who belonged in this top spot, with three legitimate candidates. Then Chicago announced that Cease was going to make a start on Wednesday against Detroit, and he usurped those three. Cease is not pitching at his best right now, but the stuff is too good, and the Tigers' lineup offers big opportunities. Since we're just talking about right now, the 23-year-old belongs at this top spot. Go get him.
2. Luis Urias, INF, San Diego Padres
2019 stats: 64 G,.322/.406/.616, 17 HR, 7 SB, 33 BB, 56 SO at Triple-A El Paso; 11 G, .083/.241/.125, 0 HR, 0 SB, 4 BB, 11 SO at San Diego.
Urias would have been in the top spot if not for the Cease promotion. He's having a bit of a lull at the Triple-A level, hitting .268 over his last 10 games, but nothing to be concerned about. We keep hearing that Urias is up soon, and yet, I keep writing this guy's name near the top of this list. Be it in the next 48 hours or sometime around the All-Star break, he should be hitting everyday for the Padres in the near future, and he's absolutely fantasy relevant.
3. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Oakland Athletics
2019 stats: 4 G, 2.93 ERA, 15.1 IP, 15 H, 2 BB, 20 SO at High-A Stockton and Triple-A Las Vegas.
Luzardo had a solid start on Thursday for the Aviators -- his second at the PCL level this year, allowing two runs over five innings with four strikes and no walks. He's been pounding the strike zone since making his return to the mound, with no walks in three of his first four starts. The Athletics are absolutely in contention for a playoff spot despite mediocre production from their starting rotation. Luzardo can help make that rotation better, and he can help fantasy rosters in turn.
4. Bo Bichette, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
2019 stats: 35 G, .315/.401/.488, 3 HR, 11 SB, 18 BB, 29 SO at High-A Dunedin and Triple-A Round Rock.
Bichette continues to impress at the Triple-A level, and after his 3-for-4 day with a walk on Sunday against Triple-A Syracuse, he's now hitting .389 over his last 10 appearances for the Bisons. While he hasn't homered in any of those games, he's stolen six bases, and he's been able to draw seven walks. The only reason Bichette ranks this 'low' is that we have absolutely no idea when he's coming up. If/when it happens, he's a must-grab.
5. Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros
2019 stats: 76 G, .274/.348/.606, 24 HR, 19 SB, 31 BB, 79 SO at Triple-A Round Rock.
Tucker has struggled with contact as of late, and he has four multi-strikeout games in his last eight games, with two of those seeing him fan three times. He's hitting .212 over the last ten games, but as you can see from the overall numbers above, he was probably due for some regression. There's no room at the inn right now, but Tucker has more fantasy potential than any name on this list, and you should sprint to acquire him if the Astros give him a shot.
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6. Carter Kieboom, INF, Washington Nationals
2019 stats: 63 G, .322/.436/.595, 13 HR, 3 SB, 45 BB, 56 SO at Triple-A Fresno; 11 G, .128/.209/.282, 2 HR, 4 BB, 16 SO at Washington.
Kieboom struggled in his series against Las Vegas to begin last week, going 1-for-16 with six strikeouts. He ended the week on a strong note, however, going 5-for-8 in his first two games against El Paso. Even with those aforementioned struggles earlier, Kieboom has been sensational as of late; going 17-for-40 with three homers and nine walks. Ignore those struggles over a very, very small sample. Kieboom is legit.
7. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
2019 stats: 13 G, 2.82 ERA, 70.1 IP, 63 H, 27 BB, 82 SO at Triple-A Indianapolis; 3 G, 10.50 ERA, 12 IP, 21 H, 6 BB, 15 SO at Pittsburgh.
Keller threw 12 1/3 innings over two starts after his demotion to Indianapolis, and he allowed just two runs while striking eight and walking two. Simply put, Keller has been exceptional at the minor league level, and if you can take away a couple of innings in his three starts with the Pirates, those numbers would look much better. Yes, I realize that's not how it works, but Keller has pitched better than those numbers indicate, in my estimation. I am still very optimistic about his success at the MLB level for 2019 and beyond.
2019 stats: 67 G, .327/.389/.551, 14 HR, 7 SB, 30 BB, 62 SO at Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Oh, hello there. Lux gets added to the list after his promotion to Triple-A, and in his first three games in the Pacific Coast League, the 21-year-old is now hitting .615/.667/1.154 with a homer and four doubles. Lux has a chance to hit for average and power at the next level, and he has the ability to do it while playing a premium position. There are no guarantees of a call-up in 2019, but boy would he ever be worth an add if the Dodgers choose to bring him up.
9. Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox
2019 stats: 70 G, .356/.407/.630, 15 HR, 24 SB, 16 BB, 72 SO at High-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham.
The hits keep coming for Robert, and he's now 16-for-43 over his last 10 appearances for the Barons. He also drew a pair of walks last week, which is very nice to see for a hitter that has the skill set to hit at the top of the lineup. Because Robert is in Double-A he's a very risky fantasy addition, but the talent is just too impressive for him to not be in this spot. His ability to hit for average, power, and steal bases is special. Potentially, anyway.
2019 stats: 26 G, .364/.427/.618, 5 HR, 4 SB, 8 BB, 23 SO at High-A Inland Empire and Double-A Mobile.
And speaking of talented hitters at the Double-A level. Adell continues to crush pitching in the Southern League, and on top of those numbers above, he's hitting .421 over his last 10 games, with multi-hit games in four of his last five appearances for the BayBears. The Angels are just barely in playoff contention -- and honestly, that might be a bit of a stretch -- and it wouldn't shock me at all if Los Angeles skipped Triple-A altogether if this keeps up. He's that good. I wouldn't say that's likely, but there's no other fantasy prospect who offers this kind of impact that I can put in this spot.