Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospects – June Update

  • This month’s prospect update didn’t see nearly as much turnover and turmoil as last month’s, as we had less players graduate to the majors, so less to replace. There are some new faces in the top 100 (especially on the backend) and a handful of faces that I may be hanging onto for a few months too long.

    Remember, I consider a graduate to be someone who is currently in the big leagues OR has lost their prospect status (no longer eligible for Rookie of the Year).

    As always, if you want to talk baseball, tell me where I am right, tell me where I am wrong or ask fantasy questions, hit me up on X/Twitter (@akfantasybb).

    1. Jackson Holliday – SS/2B – BAL – The only way he will drop from #1 is if he has a season ending injury, gets the permanent call to Baltimore or completely falls off the map statistically. He is still the best prospect in baseball.
    2. James Wood – OF – WAS – It’s finally time to admit he is the second best prospect in baseball. He has legit elite power and great speed and has the potential to put up a few 40 homer, 30 stolen base seasons. The hit tool is lacking, but his eye for balls and strikes helps him get on base plenty. He reminds me of a young Giancarlo Stanton, if he had near-elite level speed. His GB/FB rate has spiked in the wrong direction, yet I am not worried about that going forward. It’s a matter of when, not if, the Nationals call him up this season.
    3. Junior Caminero – 3B – TBR – placed on the injured list (IL) last week with a Grade 2 left quad strain, which puts him out a minimum four-to-six weeks. Combined with poor (for Caminero) performances at both the Triple-A and major league levels, I could see the Rays slowly bringing him back from the injury and waiting until September before calling him up to the big leagues.
    4. Coby Mayo – 3B – BAL – placed on the IL list with a fractured rib two weeks ago, expected to begin swinging the bat this week. They are hopeful he will return as soon as eligible. Massive power upside, decent hit tool, solid eye at the plate. Probably more a 1B or DH than a 3B, could still see time in the majors once he is recovered from his injury.
    5. Samuel Basallo – C – BAL – he’s one of only two teenagers in Double-A or higher (and we’ll discuss the other further down this list). Showing plenty of power, his hit tool and his defense are still a work in progress. His high swinging strike rate (SwStr) is not reflected in his strikeout rate yet, but one has to buckle (most of the other hitters with a SwStr rate of 14.7% or higher have a strikeout rate north of 25%). He’s probably a 1B in the long term, but the Orioles want to see if he can develop more behind the plate.
    6. Dylan Crews – OF – WAS – he had three extra base hits (two home runs), 11 walks, 20 strikeouts, two stolen bases and a .224 average at the end of April, but bounced back to the tune of 11 extra base hits (six doubles, three triples, two home runs), nine walks, 20 strikeouts, seven stolen bases and a .288 batting average in May. That’s an 18% strikeout rate (really good) and a 9.7% walk rate (very good), while showing off his hit tool and speed. The faith in Crews had waivered after his Double-A struggles from 2023 and April of this year, but he seems to have found his footing. Once Wood is in the bigs, he might be moved up to Triple-A in his spot.
    7. Cade Horton – SP – CHC – left most recent start after one inning, complaining of back soreness. Turns out it’s lat soreness. If it is a lat strain, expect a potentially long(er) IL visit. If it is just a sore back or a back strain, he might skip the IL completely or just be out for the minimum of 15 days. Keep an eye on the situation.
    8. Carson Williams – SS – TBR – legit 30/30 type shortstop, though probably with a .245 batting average. Replicating the same power he showed at High-A, with better stolen base rate. Really good walk rate, but you hope he can drop the strikeout rate like 5%. Elite defensive shortstop, whose glove will keep him in the lineup even when the bat is cold. He’s a top four prospect next year.
    9. Colson Montgomery – SS – CHW
    10. Roman Anthony – OF – BOS
    11. Jordan Lawlar – SS – ARI
    12. Andrew Painter – SP – PHI – as I’ve said before, not going to punish him because the Phillies waited so long to make a definite decision with rehab vs. surgery. He should have started the 2023 season in the Phillies rotation. I expect him to be in the majors as soon as possible once recovered next year.
    13. Max Clark – OF – DET
    14. Ethan Salas – C – SDP – He just turned 18 two days ago and struggled in both High-A and Double-A last year and has struggled with High-A this year. It’s okay. He has an elite walk rate for an 18 year old at this level and his strikeout rate is better than we could have asked. We know the defense is near-elite and that he will be a catcher in the bigs. I only moved him down because he has struggled, but can’t move him too far because he was the only 17 year old in High-A (he’s now one of two 18 year old’s, Sebastian Walcott being the other) and one of only 10 teenagers above Low-A.
    15. Walker Jenkins – OF – MIN
    16. Noah Schultz – SP – CHW – love, love, love Schultz. He has elite upside, with a near elite fastball, a legit, wipeout, capital-E elite slider, a solid-work-in-progress sinker and a decent changeup, with solid command. Imagine a less powerful, but more refined, young Randy Johnson. He could slide into the White Sox rotation as early as next season, giving them two of the best left-handed starters in the entire majors. He has legit top-five prospect upside.
    17. Jackson Jobe – SP – DET
    18. Emmanuel Rodriguez – OF – MIN – He will never compete for a batting title, may never even hit .260, yet his on-base percentage can still be in the low .400’s due to his elite eye at the plate. Has walked 20% or more at every level, has 40 homer upside and will probably strikeout 150 times a season in the big leagues. Great defender, potential middle of the order bat who will steal 15 to 20 bases a season under the new rules. This ranking may seem low by the end of the season.
    19. Matt Shaw – SS – CHC
    20. Adael Amador – SS – COL
    21. Orelvis Martinez – SS – TOR
    22. Spencer Jones – OF – NYY – has struggled to get to his immense power and is striking out even more in his second go-round through Double-AA. I probably should have dropped him further, but I believe that, once he taps into his tremendous frame and starts sending more balls into the stratosphere, he will rocket up the rankings. If he can’t get at least five balls out of the park in June, I promise to drop him into the 30’s.
    23. Rhett Lowder – SP – CIN – If the Reds had let Lowder throw just like 30 innings last year (likely in High-A), he might be in Triple-A right now, testing the limits of Triple-A hitters and having fantasy managers wondering when he will get the call to the big leagues. His numbers look bad at Double-A, but consider that batters have a .500 BABIP and he has only stranded 52% of all base runners, so he has been criminally unlucky. He has three plus pitches, with a mid-90’s fastball with plenty of sink, one of the best changeups in the minor leagues and a very good slider. I think he might see three levels this season, once his luck balances out a bit, and could be sniffing at the backdoor to the big league clubhouse in September. Right now is the cheapest he will be in fantasy, I would be grabbing him wherever I could.
    24. Xavier Isaac – 1B – TB – Kyle Manzardo graduating to the majors means that Isaac is the best first baseman in the minor leagues (and, honestly, he might have ended last season as the best anyways). He has plus-plus power and an average hit tool, but will take plenty of walks. His strikeout rate has spiked in his second stint in High-A, but he also only had 57 plate appearances there last season, so too small to take too seriously. He is a power over hit kind of player, so he may never have a great batting average, but should be able to make up for it with his power numbers.
    25. Chase DeLauter – OF – CLE – after struggling to start the year at Double-A, he fractured a toe in his left foot. Then, shortly after coming back from that injury (and just a few days ago), he sprained a toe on his right foot. He broke his foot in 2021, reinjured it in 2022, got in less than 300 plate appearances last year post-injury recovery and now has two foot related injuries in the first two months of the year. If he can keep his feet healthy and stay on the field, DeLauter has star potential, the kind of guy who can hit .275, with 30ish home runs and 25 stolen bases while playing a great right field. Let’s hope his feet don’t betray him further.
    26. Rickey Tiedemann – SP – TOR
    27. Kevin Alcantara – OF – CHC
    28. Tink Hence – SP – STL – He’s in his second go-round at Double-A and looks much more comfortable. His strikeouts and ground balls are up, walks and fly balls (and home runs) are down. He still has an elite changeup, with his fastball bouncing back after getting away from him a bit last year, with a solid curveball and slider to complete the pitch package. If he can prove that he can handle throwing more pitches per start, if he can prove that he can be successful later in game and rack up his first 100 inning season, then he can be knocking on the big league door as soon as next season. So far, this season, he seems to be proving to himself, the Cardinals and fantasy managers, that he can be all of that and more.
    29. Marcelo Mayer – SS – BOS
    30. Jacob Misiorowski – SP – MIL
    31. Jace Jung – 2B – DET
    32. Cole Young – SS – SEA – the (currently) best prospect in a very deep Mariners system, Young has an above average hit tool, decent pop, great speed and a good enough glove to stick at SS or slide over to 2B to share the middle infield with Colt Emerson once both are at the big league level. Young has a great eye at the plate, limiting his strikeouts (14.7% at Double-A) and maintaining a walk rate north of 11% across three levels the last two years. May never hit more than 15 to 18 home runs, but paired with a solid batting average, 30 steals, wonderful on-base skills and great defense and you have a burgeoning star on your hands. JP Crawford needs to keep his head on a swivel, because Young is coming for his job.
    33. Harry Ford – C – SEA – Ford is an athlete behind the plate, showcasing a near-elite arm with above average catching, elite speed (and not elite just for a catcher), above average pop and a decent hit tool. He has the chance to impact the game on both sides of the ball. Has a great eye at the plate, posting very good walk rates at every level while also maintaining solid strikeout rates. Pull heavy with nearly two-thirds of batted balls of the ground (either line drives or fly balls). Should see a promotion to Triple-A by the end of the season with a very real shot of a big league call-up as soon as next year.
    34. Termarr Johnson – 2B – PIT
    35. Jeferson Quero – C – MIL
    36. Max Meyer – SP – MIA
    37. Aidan Miller – SS – PHI – If Miller didn’t break his hamate bone his senior year, there is no one the Phillies are able to draft him at the back-end of the 1st round in 2023. He has plus raw power that, if he ever taps into it completely, will result in 40 balls a year finding their way over outfield fences. He has good speed, enough to steal 20 or more bases in the current environment, with a solid enough hit-tool and good enough eye at the plate that he limits strikeouts (9.6% SwStr and only a 20.9% strikeout rate in Low-A) and should walk plenty (14.2% so far this year). Though he played SS in high school and has started out there in the minors, the Phillies believe he will ultimately end up at 3B, where his electric arm and above-average athleticism, not to mention power upside, will play.
    38. Lazaro Montes – OF – SEA – I told you, the Mariners system is deep. Second best minor league system in baseball (right behind the Orioles) in my opinion. Montes has plus-plus, elite power. He reminds a lot of people of Yordan Alvarez: both are left-handed power hitters with questionable defensive ability that absolutely destroy the ball. Montes has shown improvements in both his hit tool and eye at the plate, as he’s improved both his strikeout and swinging strike rates at every level he’s been at, from 33.2% and 38.8% (respectively) in the Dominican Summer League to 17.6% and 12.4% (respectively) at Low-A this year. Though he probably ends up a designated hitter by the time he gets to the majors, he might be able to have just enough outfield acumen to roam left field for a few seasons first.
    39. Brooks Lee – SS – MIN
    40. Jett Williams – SS – NYM
    41. Drew Gilbert – OF – NYM
    42. Cade Cavalli – SP – WAS
    43. Edgar Quero – C – CHC
    44. Jasson Dominguez – OF – NYY
    45. Josue De Paula – OF – LAD – Though he had a higher batting average in April than in May, JDP struggled to produce, hitting zero home runs and striking out 17 times against only four walks. In May, however, he hit five home runs, walked 18 times and struck out 23. That’s a 21% strikeout rate and 17% walk rate, much better than his April numbers. He spent time in the off-season with Juan Soto and Elly De La Cruz, adding muscle and focusing on his hitting and it seems to be finally paying off in May. With a (projected) above average hit tool, near-plus power and average speed, JDP could be the next great Dodgers prospect, but we shouldn’t forget that he turned 19 less than 10 days ago and still has plenty of room to grow both physically and professionally.
    46. Curtis Mead – 3B – TBR
    47. Justin Crawford – OF – PHI
    48. Jonah Tong – SP – NYW – I will probably be the high man on Tong for a long time, but I just think he’s the latest in the Mets’ string of finding high strikeout, multiple above average pitch hurlers who dominate the minor leagues and then turn out to be above average to elite major league pitches (going back to the Noah Syndegaard, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, etc. days). The Mets grabbed him in the seventh round last year and the early returns (read: this season so far) have been great. His walk rate has gotten a little ahead of him at High-A, but they basically had him speed run the complex and Low-A levels, throwing only 39 combined innings between last year and April of this year before moving him up. Tong will be a name that everyone is talking about by the end of the season, so get in on him today. I’m buying stock wherever I can.
    49. Colt Emerson – SS – SEA
    50. Dalton Rushing – C – LAD – the Dodgers have three 23 year old or younger catchers on this top 100 prospect list. I can’t think of any other organization ever placing three catchers on one top 100 list. Rushing is the oldest and best of the three, though maybe not the best defensively. He has real 25-30 home run power, a very good hit tool and eye at the plate (in 671 minor league plate appearances he has a 16% walk rate and a 21% strikeout rate), solid defense and decent speed for a catcher. He’s more of an athlete than Diego Cartaya and more of a catcher than Thayron Lizrano. He’s also the best bet to replace Will Smith behind the dish eventually.
    51. Jairo Iriarte – SP – NYY
    52. Owen Caissie – OF – CHC
    53. Noble Meyer – SP – MIA
    54. Johnny Farmelo – OF – SEA
    55. Drew Thorpe – SP – CHW
    56. Roderick Arias – SS – NYY
    57. Tommy Troy – 3B – ARI
    58. Cam Collier – 3B – CIN
    59. Kyler Teel – C – BOS
    60. Mick Abel – SP – PHI
    61. Connor Norby – 2B – BAL
    62. Bubba Chandler – SP – PIT
    63. Ronnie Mauricio – SS – NYM
    64. Owen Murphy – SP – ATL – Murphy was absolutely dominating High-A ball, striking out more than 13 batters per nine innings pitched, having swallowed only seven earned runs and two home runs over 41 innings spread over seven starts, before missing his most recent start. Just last week it was announced he would be missing the rest of the season because of Tommy John surgery. We won’t see him back on the mound again until some time in the middle of 2025. It’s a disappointing ending to a breakout season.
    65. Deyvison De Los Santos – 1B – ARI
    66. Thayron Lizrano – C – LAD
    67. Bryce Eldridge – 1B – SFG
    68. Brady House – 3B – WAS
    69. David Festa – SP – MIN
    70. Sebastian Walcott – SS – TEX
    71. Hurston Waldrep – SP – ATL
    72. Dylan Lesko – SP – SDP – I love Lesko. He has an immensely high ceiling, with three plus pitches, but your guess is as good as his on where the pitch will end up once it leaves his hands. Currently sporting an insane 9.31 BB/9 in High-A, there is a lot of work to be done.
    73. Chase Hampton – SP – NYY
    74. Thomas Saggese – 2B – STL
    75. Justin Henry-Malloy – 3B – DET
    76. Tekoah Roby – SP – STL
    77. Leodalis De Vries – SS – SDP
    78. Diego Cartaya – C – LAD
    79. Adam Mazur – SP – SDP
    80. Jaison Chourio – OF – CLE
    81. Brock Wilken – 3B – MIL
    82. Nick Yorke – 2B – BOS
    83. Blake Mitchell – C – KCR
    84. Jacob Melton – OF – HOU
    85. Jefferson Rojas – SS – CHC
    86. Ralphy Velasquez – 1B – PHI
    87. Caden Dana – SP – LAA
    88. James Triantos – 2B – CHC
    89. Zac Veen – OF – COL
    90. Brayden Taylor – SS – TBR
    91. Starlyn Caba – SS – PHI
    92. Tyler Locklear – 1B – SEA
    93. Nelson Rada – OF – LAA – Rada joins Samuel Basallo as the only two teenagers above High-A, though his profile is more hit and speed over power. He is a plus fielder with plus speed and an above average hit tool, who is working on his approach at the plate. The hope is that he is able to bring his strikeout rate down as he gets more reps at the higher minor league levels, while bringing his walk rate up near 10%. If he can get his on-base percentage up into the high-.300’s, he will be a real threat to steal 50 or more bases in a season, challenging for the league lead year after year. Has the potential to be a good to great center fielder who hits near the top of the lineup and tortures opposing pitchers and catchers on the basepaths.
    94. Agustin Ramirez – C – NYY – because the Yankees don’t already have enough power in their lineup, a catcher who can hit 25 home runs and play solid defense is slowly working his way through their minor league system. Ramirez may not be an elite defensive catcher, but the skills should be good enough to stay behind the plate and the bat should keep him in the lineup. He’s got a solid eye at the plate, which should help him limit strikeouts and have a decent walk rate. Has a real shot to end the year at Triple-A and see the bigs in 2025.
    95. Brock Selvidge – SP – NYY
    96. Druw Jones – OF – ARI – I just can’t quit Jones. The talent is too tantalizing. He has the power and speed to be a real 40/40 guy, though he hasn’t really had a chance to tap into either because of injuries, a poor hit tool and a not-so-great-so-far eye at the plate. Odds are he drops off of this list within the next two months unless we see some real change in the strikeout rate or he starts to display the power and speed that made him the #2 pick in 2022.
    97. Angel Genao – SS – CLE
    98. Jean Cabrera – SP – PHI
    99. Moises Ballesteros – C – CHC
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