Prospect Roundup

Top 10 Prospects: August 2

by Christopher Crawford
Updated On: August 2, 2021, 9:06 am ET

The App is Back! Don’t forget to download the NBC Sports EDGE app to receive real-time player news, mobile alerts and track your favorite players. Plus, now you can check out articles and player cards. Get it here!

1. Bobby Witt Jr., INF, Kansas City Royals

2021 stats: 73 G, .303/.362/.562, 19 HR, 16 SB, 23 BB, 27 SO at Triple-A Omaha. 

Even after going 1-for-10 over the weekend, Witt Jr. has been successful in his first dozen games at the Triple-A level with a slash of .291/.328/.527. He's also homered three times and stolen two bases; showing off the power/speed combination that makes him a very good prospect and an even better fantasy one. The Royals are terrible and going nowhere in 2021, and can call up their best prospect without worry of pressure. Whether they will or not is another story, but as we've written several times, the potential is through the roof.

2. Keibert Ruiz, C, Washington Nationals

2021 stats: 52 G, .311/.381/.631, 16 HR, 0 SB 6 BB, 27 SO at Triple-A Oklahoma City; 6 G, .143/.143/.571, 1 HR, 0 SB, 1 BB, 5 SO at Los Angeles (NL)... 

Welcome to the list, Keibert. Ruiz's status as a prospect doesn't really change as a member of the Nationals long-term, but the short-term? Yeah, big difference when you're not behind Will Smith. A switch-hitting backstop who has a swing that suggests he'll hit for both average and power, Ruiz is ready to go, and while he's heading to Triple-A for now, it should be a relatively short stay. Ruiz has star potential, and he could be a quality fantasy option for those who need help behind the plate over the final six weeks or so of the year. 

3. Hunter Greene, RHP, Cincinnati Reds

2021 stats: 15 G, 79.1 IP, 3.06 ERA, 30 BB, 110 SO at Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville.

Another solid start for Greene on Thursday. The right-hander did allow eight hits, but he limited the damage to two runs against Triple-A Iowa, and he struck out seven while issuing a single walk. The 79 1/3 innings are a career high for Greene, and it's worth pointing out that the Reds -- while six games above .500 -- are seven games out of the division race with very little chance of catching the NL West clubs for a Wild Card spot. It is just as likely that Greene is shut down as it is that he makes his debut. It's just the upside that comes from the latter is too difficult to ignore this late in the year. 

4. Shane Baz, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

2021 stats: 12 G, 55.2 IP, 2.26 ERA, 10 BB, 82 SO at Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.

Baz's stats don't change from the previous two weeks, as he's currently in Tokyo trying to help Team USA win gold in the Olympics. He's currently starting against Japan at the time of this writing, and he will likely return to Triple-A after the event. It could be a short stint with Durham, however, as Baz has some of the best stuff in the minors and looks like he's ready to contribute. There are openings in that Tampa Bay rotation, too. If I were running your team -- and I am very much not, for the record -- I'd add Baz now while you can. 

5. Nolan Gorman, INF, St. Louis Cardinals

2021 stats: 71 G, .267/.327/.455, 15 HR, 6 SB, 26 BB, 78 SO at Triple-A Memphis. 

Gorman was red hot at this time last week. Not the case this time, unfortunately. The 21-year-old is hitting just .227 over his last 10 games, and on top of that, he's not hitting for much power as seen in a .295 slugging mark in that timeframe. Consider that to just be a situation where some regression was due over anything that suggests he can't be a helper in 2021. Baseball is hard. The Cardinals are clearly out of it for 2021, and they should give Gorman a look before the season ends. They may wait until things are going a little bit better in Memphis before that takes place. 

Editor’s Note: Drafting is only half the battle! Get an edge on your competition with our MLB Season Tools - available in our EDGE+ Roto tier for $3.99/mo. (annually) or $9.99/mo. (monthly) - that are packed with rankings, projections, a trade evaluator, start/sit tools and much more. And don't forget to use promo code SAVE10 to get 10% off. Click here to learn more!

6. Vidal Brujan, INF/OF, Tampa Bay Rays

2021 stats: 57 G, .279/.367/.484, 9 HR, 20 SB, 31 BB, 36 SO at Triple-A Durham; 10 G, .077/.077/.077, 0 HR, 1 SB, 2 BB, 8 SO at Tampa Bay.

Brujan has been scorching hot since being sent down to Triple-A, which doesn't help fantasy managers who saw him struggle (in a very limited sample, of course), but it's a nice reminder at just how talented the infielder/outfielder is. He hasn't homered since the demotion, but he has stolen three bases, and has seen his average go up over a dozen points after having several multi-hit games. It's understandable to be skeptical given how things went last time, but not because of talent; it's because there's just no guarantee that he's going to see playing time. Still, if they do give him another shot, those who need help with steals should certainly take a close look.

7. Joey Bart, C, San Francisco Giants

2021 stats: 47 G, .313/.376/.543, 10 HR, 0 SB, 14 BB, 59 SO at Triple-A Sacramento; 2 G, .333/.333/.333 0 SB, 2 SO at San Francisco.

Bart was the subject of trade rumors -- and in fact was the subject of a false report that he was part of the trade that was bringing Kris Bryant to San Francisco -- but it was always unlikely that the backstop was going to change organizations in 2021. Now, 2022 could be a different situation, but it never made sense to move someone this talented for a rental. It would probably take an injury to Buster Posey to see the 24-year-old get a call-up in the next couple of weeks, but San Francisco is right in the thick of this, and it wouldn't be a surprise at all if San Francisco found a way to get his bat in the lineup before the year ends.

8. Josh Jung, INF, Texas Rangers

2021 stats: 37 G, .306/.372/.551, 9 HR, 1 SB, 13 BB, 34 SO at Double-A Frisco.

Jung ended the weekend with a 1-for-8 effort against Corpus Christi, but even with it, the third baseman is slashing .375/.419/.700 over his last 10 games with three homers in that timeframe. The Rangers -- to the surprise of no one -- sold at the deadline, and to say that they're not playoff contenders is to say that oceans contain water. It'd be easier to justify Jung as a fantasy addition if he was in Triple-A or on the 40-man roster, but Texas has been aggressive with these type of promotions before. If they are again, he has a chance to be a strong fantasy addition before the season comes to an end. 

9. Edward Cabrera, RHP, Miami Marlins

2021 stats: 10 G, 45.1 IP, 2.58 ERA, 16 BB, 63 SO at Low-A Jupiter, Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Jacksonville.

Here's the bad from Cabrera's last start on Thursday against Charlotte: He went only 4 2/3 innings, and he walked four while allowing four hits. The good? He allowed just a run, and he struck out a dozen. Probably fair to say the good beats the bad there, huh? Cabrera's stuff is filthy, and based on his last 10 innings (one run, 17 strikeouts), it looks like that stuff is ready to go at the highest level. The question is not whether the Marlins agree, but whether they want to see one of their top pitching prospects finish the year in Miami. 

10. Jose Barrero, INF, Cincinnati Reds

2021 stats: 69 G, .309/.386/.520, 13 HR, 14 SB, 30 BB, 73 SO at Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville.

A massive week for Barrero. The shortstop hit two homers, stole three bases, and increased his average from .294 to the number you see above. Much of that is due to a 4-for-5 game on July 28, but Barrero has multiple hits in four of his last five games for the Bats. The only bad thing that's happening for Barrero right now is Kyle Farmer has been outstanding with the bat as of late, but it's more than fair to be skeptical of that continuing. It seems very likely that Barrero will finish the year with Cincinnati, and fantasy managers have a chance to get a player who can help in three categories when that takes place. 

Next in line: Drew Waters, OF, Atlanta Braves; Seth Beer, 1B/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks; Riley Greene, OF, Detroit Tigers; Matthew Liberatore, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals; Jackson Kowar, RHP, Kansas City Royals

Christopher Crawford

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