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1. Bobby Witt Jr., INF, Kansas City Royals
2021 stats: 67 G, .303/.369/.573, 18 HR, 15 SB, 25 BB, 73 SO at Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha.
Witt Jr’s first week in Triple-A went swimmingly. He picked up multiple hits in his first four games, and while he went just 1-for-9 in the final two contests, he ended the week with his second homer in his six contests with the Storm Chasers. The Royals are in full sale mode and are rumored to have players like Whit Merrifield on the market, and while they will feel no need to rush Witt Jr. to the majors, they can do so comfortably without having too much pressure. There’s just too much upside here to not have him as the top prospect as long as he’s eligible. [[ad:athena]]
2. Hunter Greene, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
2021 stats: 14 G, 73.1 IP, 3.07 ERA, 29 BB, 103 SO at Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville.
Greene did allow three runs in his start on Friday against Memphis, but in his five innings, he also struck out nine and showed off his electric stuff in the process. After striking out four in his previous two outings in July, the 21-year-old has whiffed 18 over his last 10 innings, which is more in line with what we were seeing in the early part of the season. Again, Greene is no lock to reach the majors at this point -- and may do so as a reliever if he does, to begin -- but like Witt Jr., the upside is too strong to rank him any lower than this.
3. Shane Baz, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
2021 stats: 12 G, 55.2 IP, 2.26 ERA, 10 BB, 82 SO at Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.
Baz’s stats don’t change from the previous week, as he’s currently in Tokyo trying to help Team USA win gold in the Olympics. He’ll likely get at least one start in for the club, and then return to Triple-A. It could be a short stint with Durham, however, as Baz has some of the best stuff in the minors and looks like he’s ready to contribute. There are openings in that Tampa Bay rotation, too. If I were running your team -- and I am very much not, for the record -- I’d add Baz now while you can.
4. Nolan Gorman, INF, St. Louis Cardinals
2021 stats: 65 G, .277/.337/.479, 15 HR, 6 SB, 24 BB, 72 SO at Triple-A Memphis.
Last week we talked about how Gorman’s homers have come in bunches this year, and since his two-homer game on July 18, the infielder hasn’t gone deep since. He is hitting .349/.379/.605 over his last 10 games, so even without the long balls, he’s been an effective hitter. St. Louis has been playing a little better as of late, but still sit eight games back of the Brewers and the Wild Card isn’t coming out of the NL Central. Whether it’s as a boost to make the playoffs or a chance to get him some time with the club, Gorman has a good shot of finishing the season with the Cardinals. Not a lock, but a good shot.
5. Vidal Brujan, INF/OF, Tampa Bay Rays
2021 stats: 52 G, .266/.361/.482, 9 HR, 17 SB, 30 BB, 34 SO at Triple-A Durham; 10 G, .077/.077/.077, 0 HR, 1 SB, 2 BB, 8 SO at Tampa Bay.
We never like welcoming people back to this list, but, c’est la vie. Brujan struggled, but here’s hoping no one takes a sample size of 26 at-bats too seriously. After being demoted to Triple-A on Wednesday, he’s back to hitting for the Bulls, going 4-for-10 in his three games against Charlotte with a couple of steals. The risk with Brujan is not so much whether or not he has the tools to succeed at the highest level; that’s pretty obvious. The reason why he ranks so “low” on this list is because of Tampa Bay’s roster structure. Still, if Brujan comes up because of an injury -- or if he’s moved to another organization -- he’s absolutely worth another shot.
6. Sam Huff, C, Texas Rangers
2021 stats: 18 G, .235/.325/.529, 6 HR, 0 SB 6 BB, 27 SO at short-season Rookie Rangers and Double-A Frisco.
Huff is currently going through some struggles right now, which isn’t a huge surprise; he’s not far removed from injury and because of his skill set there are going to be some inconsistent results -- particularly in terms of average. He’s still a catcher with elite power potential, and the homers should start coming again soon. The Rangers are going nowhere and getting there fast, and Huff is already on the 40-man roster after his call-up last season. It would be an upset if he didn’t finish the year in Texas, and he can help fantasy managers who need help behind the plate when that occurs.
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7. Joey Bart, C, San Francisco Giants
2021 stats: 43 G, .313/.377/.542, 9 HR, 0 SB, 13 BB, 52 SO at Triple-A Sacramento; 2 G, .333/.333/.333 0 SB, 2 SO at San Francisco.
The bad news is that Bart, like Huff, is currently struggling to hit for average, and after a few 0-for games his average dropped nearly 20 points in the last week. The good news is that the overall numbers show just how talented the former second-overall pick is, and no one should panic over this small of sample. The weird news is that Bart has been the subject of trade rumors, and while it’s hard to see San Francisco moving their second best prospect (Marco Luciano is better, yes), it might be a good thing for his fantasy stock. Stay tuned.
8. Josh Jung, INF, Texas Rangers
2021 stats: 31 G, .306/.374/.532, 7 HR, 0 SB, 11 BB, 28 SO at Double-A Frisco.
The last two hitters we talked about are currently going through slumps. Jung sure isn’t. He homered twice over the last week, and in his last 10 games with the RoughRiders, he’s slashing .357/.404/.667. Simply put, Jung is too advanced a hitter to be facing Double-A pitching right now, and it’s probably (definitely) time to see what he can do against Triple-A opponents. Once that happens, a good showing there will have him on the cusp of time with the Rangers -- if he’s not already. He’ll be a must-add if/when Texas makes that call.
9. Edward Cabrera, RHP, Miami Marlins
2021 stats: 9 G, 40.2 IP, 2.66 ERA, 12 BB, 51 SO at Low-A Jupiter, Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Jacksonville.
After two disappointing starts at the Triple-A level, Cabrera bounced back nicely on Saturday. The right-hander fired 5 2/3 scoreless frames for the Jumbo Shrimp against Triple-A Nashville, and he struck out five in the contest. He did also issue three walks, but control shouldn’t be an issue for the 23-year-old. Walks happen, here and there. Miami is not a playoff contender -- on the contrary -- but in a year where the Marlins have had to shuttle pitchers in and out because of injuries, Cabrera absolutely has an opportunity to make his MLB debut relatively soon. More importantly, he has the stuff to be successful when that opportunity presents itself.
10. Jose Barrero, INF, Cincinnati Reds
2021 stats: 63 G, .294/.373/.490, 11 HR, 11 SB, 28 BB, 68 SO at Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville.
Barrero has hits in 9-of-10 games for the Bats, which is good. In 5-of-6 of those contests, he has picked up just one hit in those games, which makes these stats misleading. Still, the 23-year-old was able to pick up another homer and steal over the week, and with the ability to hit for average, steal bases and provide some power -- power that will be helped by playing at GABP -- Barrero is a quality fantasy prospect who has a chance to help the Reds over the final two months of the season.
Next in line: Drew Waters, OF, Atlanta Braves; Seth Beer, 1B/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks; Riley Greene, OF, Detroit Tigers; Matthew Liberatore, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals; Jackson Kowar, RHP, Kansas City Royals