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Prospect Update, Mid-May

At the beginning of the month at The Dynasty Guru, we examined infieldoutfield, and pitching prospects with increasing and decreasing fantasy value. As the culmination of the monthly review and update, we updated the Top 200 Fantasy Prospects. Since then, two weeks passed, therefore, it is time to analyze notable prospect performances through May 15th, the good and the bad. Since this update only encompasses the first two weeks in May, please note this bright, flashing warning: SMALL SAMPLE SIZE!

Prospect Hitters

Top Prospect Performers

The following Top 200 Prospects are off to an impressive start in May:

Top 100 Prospects

2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Toronto Blue Jays. On May 16th, Guerrero went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, and a stolen base. This update does not consider performances from May 16th and yet he has hit .431/.456/.765 this month. Guerrero’s performance this year in Double-A is eye-popping (.400/.447/.654) and he is arguably the top fantasy prospect.

4. Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago White Sox. Despite a late start to the season due to a strained pectoral, Jimenez already has 7 home runs in Double-A. This month, he put his minor injury even further behind him, slashing .390/.429/.661.

9. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, San Diego Padres. After Tatis’ terrible performance in April (.177/.231/.333 with 34 strikeouts), some began to question his hit tool despite being the youngest player in Double-A Texas League. A blazing start in May (.333/.444/.719 with 5 home runs and 3 stolen bases) is quelling those concerns about his bat.

14. Juan Soto, OF, Washington Nationals. In just one month, Soto advanced all the way from Low-A to Double-A, dominating each level. In just nine May games in High-A, he hit an incredible .444/.524/1.000 with 6 home runs. So far in six Double-A games, Soto is holding his own (.318/.423/.500).

34. Austin Riley, 3B, Atlanta Braves. An electric start in Double-A (.333/.394/.677) and a dominant four May games (7-for-15 with 2 doubles and 2 home runs) prompted the Braves to promote Riley to Triple-A. Upon his arrival, he kept mashing, including a three-home run game on May 13th.

53. Tyler O’Neill, OF, St. Louis Cardinals. A top April performer, O’Neill earned a brief major league promotion in late April. Following his return to Triple-A, he continued his prolific home run pace in May with 7 home runs over his last 11 games.

78. Carter Kieboom, SS, Washington Nationals. A poor April performance dampened Kieboom’s sky-high expectations entering the year. In May, he is starting to turn his season around, including a ten-game hitting streak in which he raised his season line from .191/.294/.327 to .268/.381/.443.

Top 101-200 Prospects

109. J.D. Davis, 3B/1B, Houston Astros. A strong Spring Training performance earned Davis a spot on the Astros’ Opening Day roster while Yuli Gurriel served a suspension and recovered from hand surgery. Since the Astros demoted him to Triple-A in mid-April, he has dominated (.407/.460/.610) with even more success of late (.458/.500/.695).

143. Alex Kirilloff, OF, Minnesota Twins. A first round pick in 2016, Kirilloff entered last year with high expectations following an impressive debut (.306/.341/.454). Unfortunately, he missed the entire season with Tommy John surgery. Now, Kirilloff is healthy and off to a strong start in Low-A, including a sensational May (.404/.446/.846 with 14 extra-base hits in just 13 games).

188. Franmil Reyes, OF, San Diego Padres. A hulking 6’5″ and 240 pounds, Reyes led Double-A Texas League last year with 25 home runs. Despite his 70-grade raw power, no organization selected him in the Rule 5 draft. As such, he returned to the Padres and has made everyone in baseball look foolish. Prior to his major league promotion this week, Reyes was on an epic May tear. Over just 12 games, he hit an astounding .561/.647/1.317 with 4 doubles and 9 home runs!

190. Myles Straw, OF, Houston Astros. The minor league leader in stolen bases (23) is still getting on-base (.435 OBP) and wreaking havoc (9 stolen bases in 13 games).

Others of Note

  • Kevin Smith, SS/3B, Toronto Blue Jays was a fourth round pick in the 2017 draft from the University of Maryland (GO TERPS!). A free swinger in college and his debut, he is showing much improved plate discipline thus far in Low-A. Meanwhile, Smith possesses an intriguing power/speed mix, leading to 26 extra-base hits and 9 stolen bases in just 35 games, including a fantastic start to May (.462/.517/.788).
  • Acquired in the Gerrit Cole trade, Jason Martin, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates may develop into the most prized acquisition. A steady performer the past two years, he is elevating his performance this year in Double-A, including a strong start to May (.469/.509/.796 with 4 home runs).
  • Daniel Vogelbach, 1B, Seattle Mariners rebounded after a rough April in which he hit just .204/.317/.352 in 19 games in the majors. So far this month, he is hitting .345/.479/.736 with 5 doubles, 6 home runs, and 15 walks in 16 games.
  • Cavan Biggio, 2B/1B, Toronto Blue Jays is the overshadowed third prospect from a baseball dynasty (son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio) on Double-A New Hampshire. This year, he is joining the spotlight with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, hitting .306/.422/.713 with 11 home runs. In May, he already has 7 home runs (and another on May 16th)!
  • David Fletcher, SS, Los Angeles Angels simply will not slow down, surprising with newfound power. Prior to this year, he had just 69 extra-base hits in 1,132 minor league at-bats. In his first 35 games this year at Triple-A (151 at-bats), Fletcher already has 24 extra-base hits!
  • Vince Fernandez, OF, Colorado Rockies is an underrated, line drive hitter with significant pop, but also plenty of swing-and-miss. Although his 2017 surface stats are respectable (.269/.352/.464), he played half his games in Low-A Asheville, a notorious hitters’ park. Again, Fernandez gets to enjoy the friendly confines of High-A Lancaster, where he is on fire in May (.395/.536/.698).

Top Prospect Non-Performers

31. Francisco Mejia, C/OF, Cleveland Indians. A top prospect is having a disastrous season when hitting .200/.294/.367 over 9 games raises his season line.

58. Anthony Alford, OF, Toronto Blue Jays. To say Alford did not earn his early May promotion to the majors is an understatement. Prior to his promotion, he was hitting just .154/.214/.179. Unsurprisingly, Alford went only 2-for-14 in the majors.

152. Cole Tucker, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates. In 33 games at Double-A this year, Tucker has 0 home runs and, most surprisingly, 0 stolen bases and 5 caught stealing. This month, Tucker’s stock continues to plummet, with just 6 hits in 50 at-bats.

167. Isaac Paredes, SS/2B, Detroit Tigers. A strong April elevated Paredes into the top 200. Since April 28th, his season line fell from .282/.376/.521 to .207/.310/.380 during a 5-for-50 skid.

179. Lucas Erceg, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers. A streaky hitter, Erceg has struggled mightily over the last month, going 9-for-84 since April 21st. More recently, in his last 24 at-bats, he has just 1 hit.

Prospect Pitchers

Top Prospect Performers

The following Top 200 Prospects are off to an impressive start in May:

16. Alex Reyes, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals. Following Tommy John surgery last spring, Reyes is finally appearing in games. In his first two starts (just 8 1/3 innings), he struck out 18 batters (40%)! Fully recovered, Reyes likely is not long for the Minors.

64. Kolby Allard, LHP, Atlanta Braves. One of the youngest players in Triple-A, Allard is displaying poise and pitchability beyond his years. This month, he is averaging 7 innings per start with a sparkling 0.86 earned run average.

69. Griffin Canning, RHP, Los Angeles Angels. Arguably, no prospect has elevated his fantasy stock more than Canning this year. After closing April with five no-hit innings, he added four more no-hit innings in his last start. Over 14 2/3 innings in May, Canning allowed just 1 earned run and 6 hits (.120 BAA) with 22 strikeouts.

75. Fernando Romero, RHP, Minnesota Twins. So far so good for Romero in the majors. Behind his 96 mph fastball and hard, upper-80s slider, he has limited opponents to just 1 earned run with 20 strikeouts over his first 16 2/3 innings. Romero also mixes in a below-average, firm, low-90s changeup, but he is effectively a two-pitch pitcher.

155. Brusdar Graterol, RHP, Minnesota Twins. Despite a delayed start to the season and a brief trip to the disabled list (back), Graterol is dominating Low-A. In May, he has been untouchable, with 14 strikeouts in 10 2/3 scoreless innings.

178. Jaime Barria, RHP, Los Angeles Angels. Like Romero, Barria is off to a tremendous start to his major league career. In his last 3 starts, including matchups against the Rockies (in Colorado!) and the Astros, he has only allowed 3 earned runs over 18 1/3 innings.

Others of Note

  • Another prospect successfully recovering from Tommy John surgery, Chris Paddack, RHP, San Diego Padres is incredibly impressive. Prior to his injury in 2016, he was breaking out in Low-A (0.85/0.59 ERA/WHIP with 71/5 K/BB in 42 1/3 IP). In his first 3 starts this year, Paddack has thrown 16 scoreless innings with 26 strikeouts and just 1 walk. Most importantly, his repertoire (low-to-mid-90s fastball, double-plus changeup, developing breaking ball) and command look outstanding. With continued health and performance, Paddack likely will debut in the top 200 in June.
  • Freddy Peralta, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers made his very loud major league debut last week, striking out 13 batters over 5 2/3 innings. Despite his impressive performance, he lacks much command (∼12% walk rate), he is small (5’11” and 175 pounds), and he has a wild delivery. Over time, Peralta likely is a multi-inning reliever, like teammate Josh Hader.
  • Enyel De Los Santos, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies has only allowed 3 earned runs in Triple-A all year, including 0 earned runs in 13 innings this month!
  • A first round pick in the 2017 draft, David Peterson, LHP, New York Mets is likely too advanced for Low-A. Over 3 starts in May, he has only allowed 1 earned run and 9 hits (.148 BAA) in 19 innings.
  • Michael Baumann, RHP, Baltimore Orioles has been excellent thus far in Low-A (1.47/0.95 ERA/WHIP with 47 K in 38 IP) and even better in May, allowing just 1 earned run and 9 hits over 19 innings.

Top Prospect Non-Performers

13. Michael Kopech, RHP, Chicago White Sox. The main red flag for Kopech is shaky command and control. This month, it is rearing its ugly head, with 10 walks and 3 hit batters in 12 1/3 innings.

36. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, San Diego Padres. In his first two starts returning from the disabled list (blister), he lasted only 5 innings total, allowing 10 hits and 7 earned runs.

115. Nate Pearson, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays. After missing the first month with a back injury, Pearson allowed 5 hits in just 1 2/3 innings in his season debut. Unfortunately, one of those hits hit his forearm, fracturing the ulna bone. The Blue Jays will re-evaluate Pearson in 4-6 weeks.

124. Jay Groome, LHP, Boston Red Sox. Last week, the Red Sox announced Groome needs Tommy John surgery, ending his season.

139. Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers. A left groin strain luckily prevented Alvarez from doing even more damage to his stock this month. In his last start prior to the injury, he walked 6 batters in just 2 innings. On the year, Alvarez issued 20 walks in just 15 1/3 innings.

Please feel free to post comments, questions, or your own observations!

Follow me on Twitter @jaroche6 to keep up with notable daily developments!

The Author

Jesse Roche

Jesse Roche

Jesse is an attorney, currently residing in Greensboro. An avid fantasy baseball player, Jesse has experience in a diverse range of leagues, including head-to-head, rotisserie, points, and simulation. Jesse is a five-time website-wide champion at Benchwarmer Baseball and a repeat champion of a dynasty league with John Sickels at Minor League Ball. With a specific interest in baseball prospects, Jesse plans to provide in-depth analysis of up-and-coming stars accessible to all league sizes and types.


  1. Andrew
    May 17, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    What does Graterol’s ceiling look like? Does he have #1 starter upside?

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