A reminder that this is strictly a list for 2019. Several of these prospects are among the best in baseball, but for the purpose of this series, it’s just measuring potential impact for this season. Also, a reminder that prospects who are on MLB rosters are not eligible for this list, nor is any player that has exhausted his prospect eligibility. You can view my top 100 prospects for 2019 and my top prospects by position in our Rotoworld MLB Season Pass.
Also, wanted to say thanks to everyone who has read this list this year. I'll have lots more prospect stuff over these next few months through the offseason, but this is the final list for 2019. You're all great.
Without further ado, here’s the top 10 fantasy prospects that can help you in the 2019 season.
1. Brendan McKay, LHP/DH, Tampa Bay Rays
2019 stats: 14 G, 70.2 IP, 1.15 ERA, 94 SO, 17 BB at Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham; 8 G, 35.2 IP, 5.55 ERA, 41 SO, 12 BB at Tampa Bay.
The Rays decided to send McKay down shortly -- and I do mean shortly -- after last week's list went out, and it was understandable. He struggled with command in his previous few starts in the majors, and with the Rays fighting for their playoff lives, they decided to move him down to Triple-A to get him right. As you can probably guess, I don't expect him to be in Triple-A for long, and I think his struggles were just regression; it's hard to have an ERA below 2.00 all season. McKay is worth stashing, and he should be back with the Rays as soon as rosters expand.
2. Carter Kieboom, INF, Washington Nationals
2019 stats: 102 G, .311/.416/.513, 16 HR, 5 SB, 63 BB, 92 SO at Triple-A Fresno; 11 G, .128/.209/.282, 2 HR, 4 BB, 16 SO at Washington.
So, rosters are expanding soon, and being on the 40-man roster -- while a big deal for my list anyway -- becomes an even bigger deal. Not only is Kieboom on the Nationals' 40-man roster, and not only is he crushing Triple-A pitching, he's going to play up the middle when he's added to the roster, and I think he has a chance to play a lot. I think Nate Lowe -- last week's number one -- has a chance to, as well, but it's at first base. The positional value matters, for me.
3. Nate Lowe, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays
2019 stats: 89 G, .297/.415/.522, 16 HR, 1 SB, 61 BB, 77 SO at Triple-A Durham; 30 G, .294/.365/.510, 5 HR, 0 SB, 10 BB, 29 SO at Tampa Bay.
I drop Lowe from the first to the third spot for all the reasons explained, and it has nothing to do with how he's hitting. Because he definitely is hitting; he has a .333 average in his last 10 games with two homers for the Bulls. The only reason I put Kieboom and McKay ahead are because they're not at first base. It's nothing against the not-so-hot corner, there are two - maybe three - players on this list who will play first for a long time. But you know how this works. Either way, Lowe is worth a roster stash, and is a lock to receive a promotion in a week or less.
4. Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros
2019 stats: 120 G, .267/.355/.555, 32 HR, 30 SB, 57 BB, 110 SO at Triple-A Round Rock.
Tucker has drawn a lot of walks as of late, and by a lot of walks, I mean he's walked nine times in his last ten games and four in his last three. He also stole a base during a doubleheader on Sunday to give him a 30/30 season. Tucker is one of the best outfield prospects in baseball, but he's also played a handful of games at first base as of late. He's also a lock to come up in September, and his ability to hit for power, steal bases and draw walks make him worth adding now, if you have the room.
5. Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox
2019 stats: 115 G, .332/.383/.630, 30 HR, 36 SB, 28 BB, 122 SO at High-A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham, and Triple-A Charlotte.
“We have made no decisions on the ultimate (September) call-up list or the ultimate timing of the call-up list," general manager Rick Hahn said over the weekend. So you're telling us there's a chance. Until we get a definite no, Robert is belonging on this list as a player who can contribute in any/every category. If he's still available in your redraft league, he's worth stashing. If he's still available in your dynasty league, you play in a bad dynasty league.
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6. Gavin Lux, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
2019 stats: 108 G, .351/.425/.615, 25 HR, 10 SB, 59 BB, 99 SO at Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The hits aren't falling the same way they were in July for Lux as they were in August, as he's hitting just .338 in the month. I couldn't write that with a straight face. Lux is awesome, and he's established himself as one of the top 10 prospects in baseball, without question. There are questions, however, about whether or not Lux is going to get the call to Los Angeles, and how much he's going to play. Disappointing, for sure, but if Lux does get the call, the fantasy upside is quite palpable.
7. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B, Baltimore Orioles
2019 stats: 120 G, .310/.342/.531, 25 HR, 2 SB, 22 BB, 119 SO at Triple-A Norfolk.
Mountcastle homered two more times last week, and while he's only walked 22 times on the year, four of those have come in his last 10 games. We recently heard rumblings that Chris Davis will get less playing time in September, and that could be because the Orioles plan on calling Mountcastle up. With the ability to hit for power and a decent average, he has a chance to be fantasy relevant the moment he does get the promotion to Baltimore.
8. Mauricio Dubon, INF, San Francisco Giants
2019 stats: 122 G, .303/.347/.474, 19 HR, 10 SB, 28 BB, 68 SO at Triple-A San Antonio and Sacramento; 2 G, .000/.000/.000, 0 HR, 0 SB, 0 BB, 1 SO at Milwaukee.
Dubon is killing the baseball right now. Since August 20 he has four multi-hit games, and three of those saw him pick up three knocks. Dubon is on the 40-man roster, which makes him a cinch to be called up by the Giants when rosters do expand. The playing time is a little more questionable, but I think the 25-year-old will get more than his fair share of starts over the final month.
9. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Oakland Athletics
2019 stats: 10 G, 37 IP, 2.68 ERA, 30 H, 8 BB, 47 SO at short-season AZL, High-A Stockton and Triple-A Las Vegas.
Luzardo has had some issues with command in his last two starts, as he issued five walks in 9 1/3 innings with the Aviators. While that's not a huge number, let's keep in mind that Luzardo had walked three hitters combined before those two starts. Still, the left-hander was able to allow just one run, and he fanned nine hitters to compensate for the free passes. It'd be a major upset if Luzardo didn't get a call-up before the year ended, but he ranks this 'low' because there's a good chance it's going to be pitching in a relief role similar to what AJ Puk is doing for the A's right now.
10. Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
2019 stats: 130 G, .262/.331/.416, 10 HR, 12 SB, 38 BB, 83 SO at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Welcome to the list, Ke'Bryan. Hayes has been in my "also considered" for a large part of the season, and with Justus Sheffield and Nick Solak getting the call-up, we have room for a new name. Hayes's numbers aren't going to pop on page, but he's hitting the ball very well as of late, and has a .378 average in his last 37 at-bats. The 22-year-old also has the ability to steal bases; a rarity for players at the hot corner, and it wouldn't be a surprise at all if he hit for more power upon his promotion, a la Bo Bichette. Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington suggested a call-up is very possible, so if you need help at third or the corner infield, here ya go.
Also considered: Jesus Sanchez, OF, Miami Marlins; Deivi Garcia, RHP, New York Yankees; Jorge Mateo, INF/OF, Oakland Athletics; Jorge Mateo, INF/OF Oakland Athletics; Logan Allen, LHP, Cleveland Indians; Cristian Pache, OF, Atlanta Braves