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Forrest Whitley
Prospect Roundup

2020 Buy-Low Prospects

by Christopher Crawford
Updated On: September 23, 2019, 7:05 am ET

Last week, we looked at some of the prospects who showed the most improvement in 2019.

This time, we take a look at some prospects who have disappointed this summer, but who I feel still have a chance for fantasy relevance in the long-term.

Here’s a look at the best buy-low prospects to target in dynasty formats. 


Royce Lewis, INF/OF, Minnesota Twins -- Some poor sap is going to look at Lewis's stats and wonder if they should move on. After all, the 2017 first-round pick hit just .236 with a .661 OPS in 127 games at the High-A and Double-A level, and he struck out 123 times. If someone is willing to sell him based on those numbers, jump on it. This is still a 20-year-old who has a chance to hit for a high-average, provide 20-homer seasons, and steal an even higher number of bases thanks to his speed. Sure, there's some risk after his below-average 2019 campaign, but the reward outweighs the risk and then some. Lewis still has a real chance of being a superstar. 

Taylor Trammell, OF, San Diego Padres -- Trammell struggled in his time with the Reds with a line of .236/.349/.336 in 94 games at Double-A Chattanooga, and he wasn't much better with a .697 OPS after being acquired in a trade at the deadline that sent Yasiel Puig to Cleveland and Trevor Bauer to the Reds. Despite the less-than-spectacular numbers, I think there's still plenty of reason for optimism. He drew 67 walks, and he still stole 20 bases. Keep in mind that Trammell is still tapping into his power, and the 22-year-old should be able to provide 20-25 homer seasons. Despite the poor 2019 campaign, there's every reason to believe Trammell will provide fantasy relevance in his career.

Andres Gimenez, SS, New York Mets-- Gimenez was a player that many predicted to be a breakout star -- and honestly, I wasn't far from it -- but he didn't have much success at Double-A Binghamton with a .250 average and .695 OPS over 432 at-bats. The good news is those numbers actually were much worse late in the year, and the 21-year-old shortstop made more hard contact as the year progressed. He still shows the makings of a hit-tool that could be plus, and while he won't hit a ton of homers, his plus speed gives him a good chance for 30-plus steal seasons (28 last year). The other reason for optimism is Gimenez's defense, as he should have no issues sticking at shortstop. He could be helping the Mets at some point next summer, and I'd definitely be targeting him in dynasty leagues. 

Colton Welker, 3B, Colorado Rockies -- Welker absolutely crushed minor league pitching in his first three seasons with averages of .329, .350, and .333; respectively. That average plummeted to .252 last year, however, and the 21-year-old really struggled with his first taste of Double-A pitching. It's really tough to forget about the version we saw prior to 2019, however, and I still see a hitter who has a great chance to hit for a high average with his smooth, line-drive stroke from the right side. He may not ever put up huge power numbers, but Coors Field could help in that regard. I would not give up on Welker, and I'd look to trade for him if someone decided to move on. 


Forrest Whitley, RHP, Houston Astros -- This is so obvious that I almost didn't include Whitley, but if someone is actually willing to sell low on the right-hander, by all means. It was a disaster of a season for Whitley in 2019 with an ERA of 7.99, WHIP of 1.73 and 44 walks in 59 2/3 innings. He also missed time with shoulder fatigue, and let's not forget that his season last year saw him suspended for violating the minor league drug policy. Still, there are maybe two or three pitchers that have stuff that competes with Whitley in the minors, and he just turned 22 on September 15. Is there risk? Of course, but like with Lewis, the reward outweighs it by a substantial margin. 

Justus Sheffield, LHP, Seattle Mariners -- Sheffield was the top prospect acquired in the deal that sent James Paxton to the Yankees, and the numbers aren't pretty. He posted a 6.87 ERA at Triple-A, and his 5.81 ERA with the Mariners isn't exactly awe-inspiring. Here's why you should still be excited about Sheffield long-term. Once he moved away from the bouncy ball and the disastrous PCL parks and got to work on getting back to basics in Double-A, he posted a 2.19 ERA in the Southern League, and he's struck out 35 hitters in 31 innings for the Mariners. Again, there's risk here because of his mediocre command, but the stuff is still there. I would absolutely be looking to acquire Sheffield in dynasty formats. 

J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks -- I'd also put Corbin Martin in this category, who came over with Bukauskas after being traded at the deadline in the Zack Greinke deal. Bukauskas has dealt with injuries since being drafted in the first-round pack in 2017, but he has also shown three pitches that can miss bats, including one of the best sliders you'll see from a hurler. The concern here is whether he can throw enough quality strikes from his high-effort delivery, and at 6-foot, 196-pounds, he may be best in relief. If he did make the move to the bullpen, he'd be a potential closer, and the stuff is good enough for him to become a very good starter someday. Either way, there's still a lot to like despite his 5.44 ERA over 92 2/3 innings this season. 

Logan Allen, LHP, Cleveland Indians -- Maybe I'm just intrigued by players who have a change of scenery, as this is yet another player who was traded at the deadline. Allen, 22, struggled in terms of ERA at every level, even after he was acquired by the Indians in the Puig/Bauer/Franmil Reyes move. He's also only 22, and he's certainly a candidate to bounce back. He has four pitches that are at least average, and his fastball and change get plus grades. He needs to improve his command, but if it can be even average, Allen has a chance to be a solid long-term starter. Let's also keep in mind that Cleveland has a history of getting the most out of these types of arms. 

Christopher Crawford

Christopher Crawford is a baseball and college football writer for NBC Sports EDGE and also appears on the Circling the Bases Podcast.