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Top 10 fantasy baseball prospects: May 13

Skenes should be stashed in fantasy baseball
Paul Skenes has the potential to be a fantasy force with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but first, he needs to be called up from the Minor Leagues.

A reminder on how this works: This is a list for the 2024 season only. It is not a list of the top overall prospects, but the players who have the best chance of making a difference in 2024.

Also, it’s only a list of prospects who are currently in the minors/have prospect eligibility. Players who are currently on MLB rosters or have exhausted their rookie status are not considered eligible.

Those caveats out of the way, here’s a look at the top prospects who have a chance to make a fantasy contribution in 2024.

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1. James Wood, OF, Washington Nationals

2024 stats: 35 G, .346/.444/.581, 7 HR, 9 SB, 25 BB, 32 SO at Triple-A Rochester.

An absolutely massive week for Woods that saw him homer five times and increase his slugging percentage 106 points since the last update. The 6-foot-7 slugger homered twice in a pair of contests, and he picked up multiple hits in four-of-six chances. Wood is deserving of this top spot for now, and it seems reasonable to believe he’ll be up with the Nationals in a relatively short time to show off his talents. He should be, anyway.

2. Junior Caminero, INF, Tampa Bay Rays

2024 stats: 23 G, .304/.379/.554, 6 HR, 1 SB, 11 BB, 21 SO at Triple-A Durham.

Outside of a three-hit game against Durham on Saturday, the hits didn’t really fall for Caminero last week. What was nice to see is that he still showed patience at the plate with a five-walk week including two free passes Sunday against the Bulls. Caminero is ready to roll, it’s just a matter of the Rays finding him a place to play on an everyday basis. He’s worth rostering now, but fantasy managers are going to have to be patient.

3. Jackson Holliday, INF, Baltimore Orioles

2024 stats: 24 G, .295/.456/.484, 3 HR, 3 SB, 28 BB, 21 SO at Triple-A Norfolk; 10 G, .059/.111/.059, 0 HR, 0 SB, 2 BB, 18 SO at Baltimore.

Holliday also had a quality week and remains the best overall prospect in baseball, but it just seems a little more likely that the two names above are going to receive promotions at this point. That has more to do with the loaded Baltimore roster than Holliday’s struggles over 10 games, to be clear. If Baltimore finds a way to get Holliday back on the roster, I’d absolutely take a chance on him performing. There’s way too much upside to just completely give up on him for 2024.

4. Tyler Black, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers

2024 stats: 28 G, .312/.398/.523, 5 HR, 4 SB, 14 BB, 18 SO at Triple-A Nashville; 7 G, .227/.261/.318, 0 HR, 2 SB, 1 BB, 8 SO at Milwaukee.

Black was optioned to Triple-A with Christian Yelich activated off the injured list Wednesday, and while the numbers weren’t outstanding, there were good moments for the infielder with the Brew Crew. He picked up multiple hits in two of his first three games back and added a steal Sunday against Durham. Black may not be back with the Brewers for a while, but the potential to hit for average, steal bases and provide some power makes him well worth roster consideration whenever it takes place.

5. Colson Montgomery, SS, Chicago White Sox

2024 stats: .34 G, 225/.351/.426, 6 HR, 3 SB, 22 BB, 46 SO at Triple-A Charlotte.

A big jump for Montgomery this week, and that’s partially based on two players from last week’s list — Paul Skenes and Kyle Manzardo, for the record — graduated, and partially based on Montgomery looking more and more ready to play. The strikeouts remain problematic, but they come with walks, and the power has started to show up with a .618 slugging mark over his last 10 games. There’s loads of risk with Montgomery for 2024, but there’s no denying it comes with even greater potential reward.

6. Cade Horton, RHP, Chicago Cubs

2024 stats: 6 G, 23.1 IP, 3.86 ERA, 3 HR allowed, 10 BB, 29 SO at Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa.

Horton made his second start at the Triple-A level Friday, and it didn’t go well. Didn’t go well is probably an understatement. He allowed six runs, walked four and gave up two homers in just three innings of work against Columbus. Disappointing, but he did strike out five and it’s hard to be too concerned over two bad Triple-A starts. Horton has the stuff and command to succeed now, and is a must-roster whenever the Cubs give him the call.

7. Coby Mayo, INF, Baltimore Orioles

2024 stats: 39 G, .293/.361/.616, 13 HR, 3 SB, 16 BB, 50 SO at Triple-A Norfolk

A rough week for Mayo, and over the last 10 games the slugger is hitting just .182 with 13 strikeouts over 44 at-bats. The weekend was far kinder to him, however, as he had a three-hit game with a homer Friday, and he doubled with a roundtripper to close out Sunday against Memphis. If Mayo played in any other organization he’d either be substantially higher on this list or ineligible because he’d be up. Even on Baltimore, there’s still loads of fantasy potential for 2024.

8. Orelvis Martinez, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays

2024 stats: 35 G, .277/.362/.569, 10 HR, 0 SB, 14 BB, 31 SO at Triple-A Buffalo.

Martinez had an injury scare after being hit on the right knee by a pitch, but he returned to the lineup Sunday and homered. The third baseman has unsurprisingly seen his average drop over the past couple of weeks — he’s not a .300 hitter and he never will be — but the power and vastly-improved approach have a chance to make that number matter less. The Blue Jays likely want to see more consistency, but everything points to him playing for Toronto at some point this summer.

9. Jace Jung, 3B/2B, Detroit Tigers

2024 stats: 35 G, .282/.400/.524, 6 HR, 1 SB, 26 BB, 42 SO at Triple-A Toledo.

Welcome to the list, Jace. We’ve been expecting you. Jung has absolutely clobbered Triple-A pitching as of late with a .522 on-base percentage and .727 slugging mark over his last 10 games. There are two concerns here: He strikeouts a ton, and he’s not going to contribute much in the stolen-base category. Even with the punchouts he’s the rare hitter who has a chance to hit for average — similar to older brother Josh — and he has well above-average power in his right-handed bat. With several members of the Detroit infield struggling, Jung could see a call-up in the coming weeks, and he’ll have a chance to help in a couple of categories whenever that promotion occurs.

10. Jacob Wilson, Oakland Athletics

2024 stats: 26 G, .439/.460/.664, 3 HR, 2 SB, 3 BB, 11 SO for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Las Vegas.

Those numbers are not typos. Believe me, I checked. Wilson was hitting .455 (!) with a 1.178 OPS in Double-A, and the sixth pick of last year’s draft went 3-for-5 Friday and Sunday in his first weekend in the Pacific Coast League. There are some question marks about Wilson’s power, but this is one of the best pure hitters in the minors, and it now seems plausible — if not guaranteed — that he’ll have a chance to play for the Athletics/help fantasy managers in 2024. Crazy.

Also considered: Victor Scott II, OF, St. Louis Cardinals; Marco Luciano, SS, San Francisco Giants; Jeferson Quero, C, Milwaukee Brewers; Jasson Dominguez, OF, New York Yankees