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Prospect - Premium

Prospect Positional: OF

by Christopher Crawford
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

The rankings are broken into two parts: the top 10 prospects in order and the next 10 prospects in alphabetical order. As always, these rankings are done from a scouting perspective but with fantasy baseball in mind, generally focusing on standard 5x5 league categories – though other statistics (e.g., OBP) are considered – and long-term, dynasty-league value.

 

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The Top 10:

 

1. Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox

 2018 stats: 73 G, .326/.377/.573, 15 HR, 0 SB, 23 BB, 46 SO at Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte.


A sensational start to the season for the White Sox top prospect, and a promotion to the White Sox could be coming  at some point this summer despite the fact he's in Double-A. Jimenez came over in the deal that sent Jose Quintana to the Cubs, and while he missed some time with a leg injury, he still showed what makes him one of the most impressive offensive prospects today. Both the hit and power tool have a chance to be plus, and you could argue that they could be plus-plus when all is said and done. The only thing he won't provide is much value on the bases, but you won't complain too much if he's hitting 30 homers and driving in 100-plus runs with a strong average, too. 

 

Impact stats: AVG, OBP, HR, RBI

 

2. Victor Robles, Washington Nationals


 2018 stats: 15 G, .295/.436/.318, 0 HR, 6 SB, 9 BB, 7 SO at short-season GCL, short-season Auburn and Triple-A Syracuse.


Robles injured his elbow after just four games, and he just recently has entered into a rehab assignment. Fortunately, he avoided a season-ending injury, and the future is very bright for the 21-year-old outfielder.  When healthy, Robles flashes immense talent, as he has plus-plus speed that can steal 40-plus bases if the Nationals let that happen. He also shoots line-drives all over the park, and there’s some decent power here, too. The Washington outfield is full -- for now -- but expect Robles to be an everyday player for the Nationals next season, and for him to help your fantasy club in the process.
 

Impact stats: AVG, OBP, R, SB

 

3. Jordon Adell, Los Angeles Angels

2018 stats: 77 G, .307/.361/.573, 17 HR, 12 SB, 23 BB, 85 SO at Low-A Burlington and High-A Inland Empire.


This escalated quickly. Adell was the 10th pick of the 2017 draft, and was viewed as an extremely talented -- but extremely raw -- prospect out of high school. Based on the numbers he's putting up, the rawness was probably overstated. Adell has immense power; capable of taking the ball out to any part of the park. He's also a double-plus runner, so when he gets on base he's someone pitchers have to play attention to. The ball jumps off his bat, but if there's a weakness right now, it's that Adell needs to show more patience at the plate. He's probably not with the Angels until 2020, but if you're willing to wait, you could have a potential superstar on your dynasty roster.

 

Impact stats: AVG, HR, RBI, SB

 

4. Taylor Trammell, Cincinnati Reds

2018 stats: 86 G, .288/.384/.426, 8 HR, 18 SB, 45 BB, 79 SO at High-A Daytona.


Trammell hasn't seen his star shoot up quite as fast as Adell, but it's still been an impressive climb. There was a lot to like about the athletic outfielder before he saw his approach improve so much, but his willingness to draw walks has taken things to another level. The best tool here is his speed -- which is plus-plus -- but the average and power both have a chance to be above-average as well. Expect Trammell to patrol the outfield for the Reds before the end of the decade.

 

Impact stats: AVG, OBP, RBI, SB

 

5. Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox

 2018 stats: 21 G, .293/.372/.373, 0 HR, 5 SB, 8 BB, 22 SO at Low-A Kannapolis and High-A Winston-Salem

 

Robert missed the beginning of the 2018 season with a thumb injury, but he came out swinging a hot stick in his return. Unfortunately, another injury to the thumb caused Robert to head to the disabled list at the beginning of July, and there's no word on when he'll return. Assuming this isn't a lingering issue for the 20-year-old, Robert has a chance to be a star. He has plus-plus speed, and his raw power isn't far from that mark. He's a smart hitter who draws walks, and he'll use the entire field to give him a chance to hit for average as well. The White Sox are loaded in outfield prospects -- there's another one coming on this list-- but Robert has more upside than any sans Jimenez.

 

Impact stats: AVG, OBP, HR, RBI, SB

 

6. Jesus Sanchez, Tampa Bay Rays

2018 stats: 83 G, .301/.331/.459, 9 HR, 6 SB, 14 BB, 63 SO at High-A Charlotte.

 

Sanchez was signed for under $500,000 in 2014, and based on what we've seen from the left-handed hitting outfielder as a professional, that was a steal. Sanchez has five above-average tools; making hard contact from his smooth swing, and there's enough loft and strength here to suggest at least above-average power for the 20-year-old. He hasn't run much this year, but the speed is also a 55-grade, so he should be a stolen base threat going forward. There's some work to be done, but this is an advanced offensive skill set, so he could join the Rays before the end of 2019.

 

Impact stats: AVG, HR, RBI, SB

 

7. Blake Rutherford, Chicago White Sox

2018 stats: 84 G, .304/.352/.452, 6 HR, 13 SB, 23 BB, 63 SO at High-A Winston Salem.

 

We told you there was another outfielder coming in the White Sox system. Rutherford was acquired from the Yankees in a deal that sent Todd Frazier, Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson to New York. He has a sweet, line-drive stroke that uses the whole field, and he's a smart hitter who should draw more walks as becomes more comfortable. There's average pop in his left-handed bat, and 15-plus homer seasons are within reach. He's also a sharp baserunner that makes the most of his so-so speed, so he could be a double-digit steals guy, as well. Rutherford is underrated in fantasy circles, and has a chance to be an impact player ofr the White sox before the end of 2020. 

 

Impact stats: AVG, OBP, R

 

8. Yusniel Diaz, Baltimore Orioles

2018 stats: 64 G, .301/.415/.453, 6 HR, 8 SB, 43 BB, 45 SO at Double-A Tulsa and Double-A Bowie.

 

I was high on Diaz despite his pedestrian 2017 season, and it's nice to see him reward my patience with the breakout season. There's going to be some added pressure because he's the focal prospect in the trade that sent Manny Machado to Los Angeles, but he should be up to the task. He has an excellent approach with minimal swing-and-miss, and he draws walks while also hitting for average. His power is developing -- he hit two homers in the FUtures Game two weeks ago -- and he could be a 15-homer, 15-steals player. There's very little work left to be done here, so Diaz should help the Baltimore lineup at this point next summer.

 

Impact stats: AVG, OBP, R

 

9. Anthony Alford, Toronto Blue Jays

2018 stats: 75 G, .214/.298/.305, 4 HR, 13 SB, 26 BB, 85 SO at High-A Dunedin and Triple-A Buffalo; .143/.250/.143, 0 HR, 1 SB, 2 BB, 6 SO at Toronto.


Alford has had a disappointing 2018 season, one that has seen him struggle to hit for average and once again battle hamstring injuries. Even with those strugles, there's still reason for optimism involving Alford. The former Southern Miss quarterback recruit has top-of-the-scales speed, and he has a chance to use that speed because he's willing to take pitches. There's also above-average raw power in his right-handed bat, but it's starting to look like he might not be able to tap into it. He also strikes out too often, but when he does make contact, his plus bat speed causes the ball to jump off his bat. Alford needs to get going, but there's just too much upside in his bat to not include him in the top 10.

 

Impact stats: R, SB

 

10. Leody Taveras, Texas Rangers

2018 stats: 95 G, .236/.305/.323, 4 HR, 13 SB, 39 BB, 68 SO at Double-A Down East. 

 

Those numbers aren't pretty, but keep in mind that Taveras is still a teenager until September, and the stats can be misleading. Taveras is a true five-tool player, one who is capable of spraying line drives, and one who is developing power from both sides of the plate. The speed is big-league ready, and he’s a lock for 20-to-30 steal seasons if he gets on base enough to do so. Taveras can also go get it in the outfield, which should help him move through the Texas system relatively quickly. You still likely won’t see him play in Texas before the end of the decade, but if you’re looking for a long-term fantasy play, you can do a lot worse than Taveras.

 

Impact stats: AVG, OBP, R, SB

 

 

The Next 10 (Alphabetical Order):


Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros
Monte Harrison, Miami Marlins
Adam Haseley, Philadephia Phillies
Estevan Florial, New York Yankees
Jarred Kelenic, New York Mets
Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins
Tyler O'Neill, St. Louis Cardinals
Julio Pablo Martinez, Texas Rangers
Heliot Ramos, San Francisco Giants
Travis Swaggerty, Pittsburgh Pirates

Christopher Crawford

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