2019 Top 140 Fantasy Outfield Prospects, Part 1
Like shortstop, outfield is a deep position in baseball, attracting both speedy, elite defensive players and plodding sluggers. A step above the defensive spectrum from first base and often an easier assignment than the infield, outfield contains a large and diverse group of players. As such, the list of outfield prospects is expansive; so expansive it warrants two separate articles. This article explores the cream of the crop, the top 20 outfield prospects. Part 2 details the remaining 120 outfield prospects, from high upside, high risk teenagers to intriguing prospects on the cusp of majors, but often considered “organizational depth.”
The prospect rankings schedule and a guide to fantasy tool grades can be found here. In addition, to see where the outfield prospects below fall in the overall rankings, you can obtain access to the updated Top 600 Dynasty League Players with a small donation.
Top 20 Fantasy Outfield Prospects
|Rank||Player||Primary Position||Secondary Position||Age||2018 Level||ETA|
|1||Eloy Jimenez CHW||OF||-||22.34||AA, AAA||2019|
|2||Victor Robles WAS||OF||-||21.86||GCL, NYP, AAA, MLB||-|
|3||Kyle Tucker HOU||OF||-||22.20||AAA, MLB||-|
|4||Jo Adell LAA||OF||-||19.97||A, A+, AA||2020|
|5||Alex Kirilloff MIN||OF||-||21.39||A, A+||2020|
|6||Taylor Trammell CIN||OF||-||21.54||A+||2020|
|7||Yordan Alvarez HOU||OF||1B||21.75||AA, AAA||2019|
|8||Luis Robert CHW||OF||-||21.65||AZL, A, A+||2020|
|9||Alex Verdugo LAD||OF||-||22.87||AAA, MLB||-|
|10||Drew Waters ATL||OF||-||20.24||A, A+||2021|
|11||Jarred Kelenic SEA||OF||-||19.70||GCL, APP||2022|
|12||Yusniel Diaz BAL||OF||-||22.48||AA||2019|
|13||Estevan Florial NYY||OF||-||21.34||GCL, A+||2020|
|14||Jesus Sanchez TB||OF||-||21.48||A+, AA||2019|
|15||Cristian Pache ATL||OF||-||20.36||A+, AA||2020|
|17||Christin Stewart DET||OF||-||25.30||GCL, AAA, MLB||-|
|17||Monte Harrison MIA||OF||-||23.63||AA||2019|
|18||Corey Ray MIL||OF||-||24.52||AA||2019|
|19||Seuly Matias KC||OF||-||20.57||A||2021|
|20||Travis Swaggerty PIT||OF||-||21.61||NYP, A||2020|
1. Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox
In 2013, the Cubs signed Eloy Jimenez for $2.8 million. Last July, the Cubs shipped him across town to the White Sox as the headliner of a package for Jose Quintana. This year, Jimenez obliterated Double- and Triple-A. Other than a two-week absence in July due to a strained left abductor muscle, he was an unstoppable force. Not only did he hit for his characteristic double-plus power (.240 ISO and 17.2% HR/FB), but he reduced his strikeout rate from 19.5% in 2017 to just 15.1% this year. Although Jimenez was clearly ready for a major league trial and on the 40-man roster, the White Sox refused to promote him to the majors, likely due to service time concerns.
Jimenez has literal light-tower, 80-grade raw power. A well-built 6’4” and 205 pounds, he draws comparisons Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. In addition to his massive power, he is an excellent hitter with a .311 career batting average. Jimenez uses the whole field, and he easily launches home runs to any part of the park. While he remains an aggressive hitter, he has elite bat speed and advanced pitch recognition, which offsets his aggression. With nothing left to prove in the minors, Jimenez should arrive in the majors in mid-April next year.
Peak Projection: .295/.350/.570, 40-45 home runs
2. Victor Robles, Washington Nationals
|GCL, NYP, AAA||0.276||0.371||0.370||192||2||19/7||32/26|
Victor Robles entered the year on the fast track to the majors. Last year, he even debuted for the Nationals in September as a 20-year-old, making the postseason roster and scoring a run as a pinch runner. Unfortunately, he suffered a hyperextended left elbow on April 9th, sidelining him for over three months. Meanwhile, Juan Soto blitzed the minors and received the promotion likely intended for Robles. Upon his return to action, he struggled until mid-August (.211/.314/.267), before heating up (.353/.392/.544 over his last 16 games). In early September, he received a promotion in the majors and excelled (.288/.348/.525).
Renowned for his elite speed and athleticism, Robles rivals teammate Trea Turner in home-to-first times. Further, he aggressively utilizes his speed on the bases and at the plate, laying down bunts, beating out infield hits, and taking extra bases. Unlike many speedsters, his bat also packs a wallop, with a lot of hard, line-drive contact. Ultimately, Robles profiles as a potential elite five-category contributor. Furthermore, he exhibits exceptional range, arm strength, and defense in center field, where he projects to start for the Nationals this year following the anticipated departure of Bryce Harper.
Peak Projection: .300/.375/.485, 20-25 home runs, 30-35 stolen bases
3. Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros
The Astros drafted Kyle Tucker, the younger brother of Preston Tucker, fifth overall in the 2015 Draft. At the time, he was a lanky and projectable athlete with an uncanny feel to hit. Now, he is a nearly fully-realized major league-ready talent. While Tucker destroyed Triple-A pitching for much of the year, including a torrid final 55 games (.383/.442/.725 with 19 home runs), he significantly struggled in his debut. Likely as a result, the Astros appear unwilling to enter the season with him as a starting outfielder, recently adding Michael Brantley to the outfield mix.
Regardless, Tucker is a potential elite fantasy performer. With an unorthodox swing, which draws comparisons to Ted Williams, and excellent bat control, he regularly generates line drives and impressive, plus power (20% HR/FB) to all fields. Additionally, he is an aggressive base runner who should chip in some stolen bases early in his career despite average speed. In the field, he likely profiles best as a corner outfielder, given his size (6’4” and still filling out), average speed, and questionable routes. With a crowded major league outfield, Tucker likely will begin the season back at Triple-A, barring a trade.
Peak Projection: .285/.360/.510, 30-35 home runs, 10-15 stolen bases
4. Jo Adell, Los Angeles Angels
|A, A+, AA||0.290||0.355||0.543||396||20||15/3||111/32|
Prior to the 2017 Draft, most considered Jo Adell a raw prospect with rare and dynamic power and speed. The Angels nevertheless selected him tenth overall on the strength of his tools. Since the draft, he has displayed far better hitting ability than expected while consistently showcasing his enormous power. At just 19 years old, Adell advanced three levels this year, with little resistance until Double-A. Most importantly, his power played all year and to all fields, including some mammoth blasts.
Although his double-plus raw power potential is the main draw, Adell has a promising hit tool. His swing-and-miss tendencies are far from dire (25.2% strikeouts and 13.6% swinging strikes), and only really showed in Double-A, where he was one of the youngest players in the league. In addition, his plus bat speed and ability to adjust have compensated for some swing-length and pitch recognition issues. To go with the power, Adell also has plus speed, which plays on the bases and in the field. As a potential 30/20 (or better) hitter, he has elite fantasy upside.
Peak Projection: .270/.330/.505, 30-35 home runs, 20-25 stolen bases
5. Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins
A first round pick in the 2016 Draft, Alex Kirilloff entered last year with high expectations following an impressive debut (.306/.341/.454). Unfortunately, he missed the entire season with Tommy John surgery. Fully recovered, he enjoyed a breakout campaign. In fact, Kirilloff arguably had the best performance of any prospect, hitting an astounding .363/.408/.599 after April. Further, he was the top performer in both Low-A Midwest League (176 wRC+) and High-A Florida State League (168 wRC+) among players with over 260 plate appearances.
A prototypical right fielder, Kirilloff has plus bat speed, plus raw power potential, and plus arm strength. What makes him stand out, however, is his pure hitting ability. With exceptional barrel control, Kirilloff sprays line drives to all fields, including a league-leading 29.5% in High-A. Additionally, he limits strikeouts (15.3%) while balancing his aggressive approach with elite pitch recognition. Presently, most of his power plays as gap-to-gap line-drives and doubles, but he projects to develop significant over-the-fence pop.
Peak Projection: .305/.350/.515, 25-30 home runs
6. Taylor Trammell, Cincinnati Reds
A raw, two-sport athlete in high school, Taylor Trammell has exhibited far more polish than most expected when the Reds selected him 35th overall in the 2016 Draft. Notably, he displays a mature, patient, and disciplined approach at the plate (12.6% BB%). His patience, combined with his elite athleticism, speed, and instincts, allow Trammell to project as a future high-end base stealer. Further, his raw power continues to develop and was on full display during the Futures Game, earning him MVP honors. Outside the Futures Game, however, his power was non-existent for much of the year, hitting just 2 home runs over his final 67 games. Most concerning, Trammell also suffered elevated swing-and-miss (15.8% swinging strikes), including 28.7% strikeouts after the Futures Game. Still raw, but oozing potential and a tantalizing combination of power and speed, he has immense upside.
Peak Projection: .270/.360/.450, 20-25 home runs, 30-35 stolen bases
7. Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros
The Dodgers signed Yordan Alvarez for $2 million in 2016, then promptly shipped him to the Astros for Josh Fields. Since his stateside debut in 2017, he has quickly ascended through the minors, reaching Triple-A this year. Despite missing most of May due to a hand injury, Alvarez breezed through Double-A Texas League (.325/.389/.615). While he struggled at first in Triple-A at just 21 years old (.202/.302/.405), he settled in over his final 21 games (.317/.398/.500).
A large and imposing 6’5” and 225 pounds, Alvarez has enormous raw power, which regularly plays in games already (23.8% HR/FB). In addition to the power, he makes consistent hard contact to all fields (27%) and remarkably suffers little swing-and-miss despite his size (8.9% swinging strikes). A patient hitter, Alvarez can occasionally become too passive, resulting, of course, in walks (11.1%), but also strikeouts (24.3%) and weak contact. Defensively, his poor athleticism and arm strength limit him to left field or first base long-term. Nevertheless, Alvarez has a special bat, which should play anywhere in the field.
Peak Projection: .275/.355/.500, 30-35 home runs
8. Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox
|AZL, A, A+||0.269||0.333||0.360||186||0||15/4||52/12|
Since the White Sox signed Luis Robert for $26 million, injuries have plagued his professional career. Last year, he suffered knee and ankle injuries, limiting him to just 28 games, and, this year, he suffered a sprained left thumb, forcing him out until early June. In his stateside debut this season, Robert struggled upon his return from injury, failing to hit a single home run and suffering substantial swing-and-miss (17.6% swinging strikes). Following the season, however, he rebounded in the Arizona Fall League (.324/.367/.432 with 2 home runs and 5 stolen bases), providing hope entering next year. Regardless of performance, observers still rave about his plus bat speed and the massive raw power emanating from his statuesque frame. Like Trammell, Robert is an elite (and even more raw) athlete who possesses sky-high power and speed upside.
Peak Projection: .265/.325/.475, 25-30 home runs, 20-25 stolen bases
9. Alex Verdugo, Los Angeles Dodgers
Alex Verdugo does it all: he can hit, he has excellent plate discipline, he has arguably the best outfield arm in the minors, and he hits home runs off the heads of outfielders. Considered a top hitting and pitching prospect entering the 2014 Amateur Draft, he wanted to hit and the Dodgers obliged, selecting him in the second round. Since then, Verdugo certainly has hit! Indeed, over the last two years, he has hit .321/.389/.452 with a sparkling 97-to-86 strikeout-to-walk ratio in Triple-A Pacific Coast League.
A pure, high-contact, and disciplined hitter, he rarely swings and misses (10.1% strikeouts and 6.5% swinging strikes) and generates a lot of all-fields, hard contact. While Verdugo has above-average raw power, it plays down in games due to a linear swing plane, resulting in a lot of ground balls (53.6%). Following the recent trade of Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, there exists at least a temporary opening in the Dodgers outfield in which Verdugo perfectly slots. Whether he opens the year in the Dodgers outfield, in another uniform, or back in Triple-A, he is a promising major league-ready bat.
Peak Projection: .300/.365/.450, 15-20 home runs
10. Drew Waters, Atlanta Braves
A second round pick in the 2017 draft, Drew Waters possesses an intriguing blend of hitting ability, power, and speed. In his debut, he performed well across two rookie ball levels last year (.278/.362/.429), despite some late-season struggles with contact. After a slow start in April this year and a minor injury, Waters returned to action in early May and took off, hitting .317/.365/.532 with 8 home runs and 17 stolen bases in Low-A. At the beginning of August, he earned a promotion to High-A Florida State League, where he held his own over 30 games (.268/.316/.374).
A switch-hitter, Waters displays a feel to hit from both sides of the plate, though with far more success from the left-side. While his swing plane is linear and his approach favors low, hard contact, he is already flashing plus power and big exit velocities. This is most impressive considering he has plenty of remaining projection. In addition, he is a premium athlete with present plus speed. Given his youth, approach, and body type, Waters can develop in any numbers of ways, most, if not all, of which are extremely exciting.
Peak Projection: .280/.330/.460, 20-25 home runs, 20-25 stolen bases
11. Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners
A cold-weather prep prospect from Wisconsin, Jarred Kelenic made a name for himself with tremendous performances for Team USA the past two summers. Based on those performances and a strong track record of hitting, the Mets selected him sixth overall in the 2018 Draft. In his debut, Kelenic made quick work of the Gulf Coast League (.413/.451/.609). Upon his promotion to the Appalachian League, he slumped, going just 4-for-50 over 14 games, before a strong finish (.330/.378/.524). After the season, the Mets traded Kelenic to the Mariners as part of the package for Edwin Diaz.
Lauded as a pure hitter, Kelenic has a graceful left-handed, line-drive stroke. Further, he already exhibits a strong approach at the plate with advanced barrel-feel and contact ability. Meanwhile, he flashes plus raw power, with big exit velocities, and above-average speed. Given his present polish and impressive work ethic, Kelenic carries far less risk than similar prep prospects. Whether he loses a step as he ages and, therefore, moves to right field is a concern. However, Kelenic possesses rare, five-category upside with huge fantasy potential.
Peak Projection: .290/.360/.480, 25-30 home runs, 10-15 stolen bases
12. Yusniel Diaz, Baltimore Orioles
The Dodgers signed Yusniel Diaz for $31 million in 2015 after he defected from Cuba. Since his stateside debut, he has performed better each year. This season, he was excellent in Double-A Texas League, hitting .314/.428/.477 with more walks (15.5%) than strikeouts (14.8%). Based on his superb performance, the Orioles accepted Diaz as the headliner in a package for Manny Machado. Although he struggled at first following the trade, he finished the season strongly over his last 30 games (.275/.363/.477).
The draw for the Orioles (and fantasy owners) is his natural hitting ability and average or better tools across the board. Offensively, Diaz is a disciplined, gap-to-gap, line-drive hitter with only average raw power, which he fully taps. Despite above-average speed, he is a disaster on the bases (28-for-63!) and it is uncertain if he will provide any fantasy value there. Regardless, Diaz has a high floor and should develop into a solid fantasy producer.
Peak Projection: .280/.350/.450, 20-25 home runs, 10-15 stolen bases
13. Estevan Florial, New York Yankees
The Yankees signed Estevan Florial for a paltry $200,000 in 2015 due to a birth certificate controversy. Last year, he began harnessing his loud, power and speed tools. Unfortunately, he experienced a setback this year, suffering a fractured hamate bone in his right wrist in mid-May. Consequently, Florial missed nearly two months of action, and he did not truly get going until mid-August. Following the season, however, he further struggled in the Arizona Fall League (.178/.294/.260 with 29 strikeouts).
A raw player, Florial has only provided a small taste of his true potential. Despite present plus raw power and plus speed, he displayed little of either this year (3 home runs and 11-for-21 in stolen bases in High-A). This is a very clear statistical manifestation of a player still in development. Largely due to his passive approach, Florial also racks up strikeouts and walks, though his swing-and-miss tendencies are not extreme. Although he makes plenty of hard contact (26.6% LD), he continues to rarely elevate the ball (27.5% FB), leading to few home runs. Regardless, his approach, pitch recognition, overall instincts need work to fully realize his potential as a 20/20 (or better) fantasy player.
Peak Projection: .260/.340/.455, 25-30 home runs, 20-25 stolen bases
14. Jesus Sanchez, Tampa Bay Rays
Until his promotion to Double-A this year, Jesus Sanchez has done nothing but hit as a professional. Indeed, he had hit over .300 at every level, including .301/.331/.462 in pitcher-friendly High-A Florida State League. While he was excellent early in the season, Sanchez displayed very little patience, walking just 6 times in his first 68 games (2.1%). With more patience the rest of the season (9.8%), however, he struggled at the plate. Ultimately, he needs to strike the right balance, and, without gains in plate discipline, his hit tool likely will play down. Despite his swing-happy approach, Sanchez has manageable swing-and-miss, due to natural bat-to-ball skills and plus bat speed. In addition, he has plus (or better) raw power to all fields. Those bullish on his hitting ability project above-average hit and power tools.
Peak Projection: .275/.325/.485, 25-30 home runs
15. Cristian Pache, Atlanta Braves
Prior to this year, Cristian Pache had yet to hit a home run in 750 plate appearances. The power many projected for him to develop began to manifest this spring, including two home runs in an exhibition game against Sean Newcomb. Not until April 26th, however, did he break through in regular season games, ultimately tallying 9 home runs on the year. In addition to the pop, Pache is a line-drive hitter with a quick bat. Although he possesses all the raw ingredients to hit, he remains an unrefined hitter, overly aggressive (4% BB) and extremely pull-heavy (57.4%). While his bat continues to develop, his defense is already elite, with incredible range, instincts, and arm strength. As such, Pache has an incredibly high floor. Should his bat fully come around, he is a potential top-10 real-life prospect.
Peak Projection: .270/.320/.420, 15-20 home runs, 20-25 stolen bases
16. Christin Stewart, Detroit Tigers
A first round pick in the 2015 Draft, Christin Stewart is a burly, powerful man with an astounding .241 career isolated slugging percentage. This year, he performed well in Triple-A, earning a September call-up to the majors, where he similarly impressed. A prototypical, old-school power-hitter, Stewart pairs plus (or better) raw power, which plays in games due to a leveraged swing, with a patient approach (13% BB) geared to hunt pitches to drive. Further, he is not a simple three-true-outcomes slugger, and he has far fewer swing-and-miss issues than most big power hitters. Defensively, Stewart is a plodding runner with limited arm strength, relegating him to left field, or even designated hitter. Nevertheless, his bat should earn him a big-league job, likely even next year.
Peak Projection: .255/.345/.480, 30-35 home runs
17. Monte Harrison, Miami Marlins
The Brewers selected Monte Harrison in the second round of the 2014 Draft. An athletic specimen, he flirted with a football career prior to the draft and those same power/speed attributes serve him well on the diamond. To begin his career, he suffered a series of severe injuries, breaking his left ankle in 2015 and then breaking his left-hand hamate bone in 2016. Once healthy last year, he broke out, hitting for power and showcasing his speed, totaling 26 home runs and 32 stolen bases across all competitions. This spring, the Marlins acquired Harrison in the package for Christian Yelich. Unfortunately, his raw approach at the plate caught up to him in Double-A, and he struck out a whopping 215 times (36.9%)! Despite frightening swing-and-miss issues, he still has massive upside with easy plus power (19% HR/FB) and blazing speed.
Peak Projection: .235/.300/.460, 30-35 home runs, 20-25 stolen bases
18. Corey Ray, Milwaukee Brewers
During his junior year of college, Corey Ray hit 15 home runs and stole 44 bases in . . . 44 attempts. Such a power/speed combination is rare, and, consequently, the Brewers drafted him fifth overall in 2016. Following a disappointing debut, Ray suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee, delaying his start last year, and struggled upon his return. While he continued to struggle with contact this year (29.3% strikeouts and 17.5% swinging strikes), Ray saw his power numbers spike. Hitting seven percent more fly balls and fully tapping into his plus power, he launched 27 home runs (18.1% HR/FB). In addition, his double-plus speed remains a threat on the bases, totaling 37 stolen bases (84.1%). Like former teammate Monte Harrison, Ray possesses enormous power and speed upside, with the risk he may never hit enough to actualize his potential.
Peak Projection: .240/.310/.440, 20-25 home runs, 30-35 stolen bases
19. Seuly Matias, Kansas City Royals
Seuly Matias arguably possesses the most raw power potential of any prospect, even Eloy Jimenez. In his first 3 games of the season, he blasted 4 home runs. Remarkably, his power binge did not truly slow down until a thumb laceration suffered in mid-August ended his season. In fact, Matias launched seven or more home runs in every healthy month, and finished the year with an eye-popping 34.1% home run-to-fly ball rate. Regrettably, he also had an equally eye-popping 34.8% strikeouts and 22.6% swinging strikes. Whether his aggressive approach and limited feel to hit improves will dictate his future success.
Peak Projection: .230/.290/.500, 40-45 home runs
20. Travis Swaggerty, Pittsburgh Pirates
Following an electric performance for Team USA last summer, Travis Swaggerty entered the season squarely in the first round conversation. After a blazing 16-for-41 start with 3 home runs and 21 walks (.390/.609/.707), including 4 games with 3 walks, he elevated to the top of the first round. During this stretch, he faced difficult competition, including Texas Tech and Auburn, quelling small conference concerns. Based upon this early season performance, and his tantalizing blend of power and speed, the Pirates selected Swaggerty tenth overall in the 2018 Draft. In his debut, he flashed the same power, speed, patience, and inconsistency as he did in college. Given his uneven performance, his profile is unclear, but with the promise of possible five-category upside.
Peak Projection: .260/.350/.445, 20-25 home runs, 20-25 stolen bases
Jesse Roche's 2019 Prospect Series
Please feel free to post comments, questions, or your own observations!
Next up: Part 2 of the Top 140 Fantasy Outfield Prospects. Stay tuned!
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