A couple of reminders:
First. This is for 2020 only. This is not a list of the top prospects in baseball overall. This is specifically a list for redraft leagues and redraft leagues only. Second, this is a fantasy list. It is not a list of the top overall prospects. Defense matters because it allows a prospect to play, but this list is just about the pitchers and hitters who have a chance to provide fantasy value in 2020.
With those reminders out of the way, here’s a look at the top 10 fantasy prospects for the 2020 season.
1. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, San Diego Padres
2019 stats: 20 G, 101 IP, 1.69 ERA, 28 BB, 135 SO at High-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A Amarillo.
Finally, finally, finally. We finally have a new name at the top after Gavin Lux was promoted to Los Angeles from the alternate training site. Now the question is, how long will we have to wait for Gore? The Padres are clearly going for it; they just made about 83 trades in the past 48 hours. It's hard to imagine that San Diego doesn't view the left-hander as one of their best options; he'd be one of the best options on any team. If Gore gets the shot, he's a must-add, and you probably shouldn't wait for it to take place.
2. Deivi Garcia, RHP, New York Yankees
2019 stats: 26 G, 111.1 IP, 4.28 ERA, 54 BB, 165 SO at High-A Tampa, Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
I promise you this is not just me being a prisoner of the moment. Sure, it helps that we are likely going to see that Garcia pitch over the weekend, and sure, it helps that he was dominant in his first ever MLB start. But those of you who have followed along know that I've been a big fan of Garcia, and he was a consistent member of our Top 10 lists last year. With swing-and-miss stuff and ridiculous spin rates, Garcia is a great get for those who are looking for pitching help this late.
3. Jarred Kelenic, OF, Seattle Mariners
2019 stats: 117 G, .291/.364/.540, 23 HR, 20 SB, 50 BB, 111 SO at Low-A West Virginia, High-A Modesto and Double-A Arkansas.
Let me get this out of the way: If forced to make a guess as to whether Kelenic debuts this summer or not, I’d bet against it. The Mariners can have him be a part of their roster -- assuming the service-time manipulations are still possible next spring -- until 2027 if they wait to promote him until the middle of April in 2021. Jerry Dipoto -- Seattle’s general manager -- recently went on the record and said that while they aren’t ruling out Kelenic, they’d prefer to have him develop fully before calling the outfielder up. We all know what that really means. Still, if you have a deep enough roster, I’d consider a Kelenic add because if he does get that promotion, the potential is as good or better than any prospect on this list.
Editor’s Note: Unlock our daily, weekly and rest-of-season projections, all-new weekly positional tiers, Lineup Adviser, Trade Analyzer, Player Tracker and much more! Get our in-season tools for as low as $3.99/month! Learn more!
4. Logan Gilbert, Seattle Mariners
2019 stats: 26 G, 135. P, 2.13 ERA, 33 BB, 165 SO at Low-A West Virginia, High-A Modesto and Double-A Arkansas.
I’m leaning no on Kelenic getting the call. I’m leaning the other way on his teammate. Gilbert put up dominating numbers at each level in 2019 after being a first-round pick out of Stetson the previous season -- the same school that produced Jacob deGrom and Corey Kluber, if you’re into that sort of thing -- and is one of the most underrated fantasy pitching prospects in baseball. He’s a 6-foot-6 right-hander who gets his fastball into the high 90s, and he can miss bats with three different off-speed pitches. He also throws strikes, and the Mariners should give their top pitching prospect a look before the season ends. That’ll be a win-win-win for Seattle, Gilbert and fantasy players.
5. Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B, Minnesota Twins
2019 stats: 94 G, .283/.343/.413, 9 HR, 7 SB, 29 BB, 76 SO at Double-A Pensacola.
In terms of the ability to hit for average, there aren’t many better prospects than Kirilloff. The 22-year-old has a smooth left-handed stroke with a willingness to use the whole field, and his .283 average last year -- while solid -- is not indicative of his talent; he’s better than that. The 15th pick of the 2016 draft also is tapping into his plus power, and he’s fast enough to give you a handful of steals as well. He’s not a lock to get a promotion -- I don’t know if anyone but Lux is right now, and hey, we’re still waiting, did you know that? -- but if Kirilloff gets a chance to hit in that impressive Minnesota lineup, he’s more than worthy of a roster add.
6. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
2019 stats: 113 G, .261/.334/.411, 10 HR, 13 SB, 49 BB, 92 SO at short-season West Virginia and Triple-A Indianapolis.
If not for the COVID-19 shutdown, there’s a very good chance that Hayes would already be up with the Pirates. Unfortunately, it did happen, and the infielder tested positive for the virus and missed a considerable amount of time due to it. He’s back at the alternate site now, however, and the third baseman is one of the team's top prospects with a chance to hit for average, steal some bases and also provide some sneaky power. He’s not a star, but if he gets the call, he’ll be worth an add for those who need corner-infield help.
7. Cristian Pache, OF, Atlanta Braves
2019 stats: 104 G, .277/.340/.462, 12 HR, 8 SB, 43 BB, 122 SO at Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett.
Pache was sent back down after a very short stint with the Braves, and he didn't get much of a chance to shine. I'm leaving him in the top 10 -- or bringing him back, anyway -- because I believe if he gets another chance, he has a chance to help. He's an outfielder who can provide some pop and makes hard contact, and while he hasn't had a ton of success as a base-stealer, the tools are there. Again, it may take an injury or trade(s) for him to get a chance, but Pache is worth an add if that occurs.
8. Jazz Chisholm, SS, Miami Marlins
2019 stats: 112 G, .272/.329/.513, 25 HR, 13 SB, 41 BB, 123 SO at Double-A Jackson and Double-A Jacksonville.
Welcome to the list, Jazz. Chisholm, 22, is one of the most talented shortstop prospects in baseball, and it does seem like there's a good chance he's going to finish the year with Miami. The contact issues are obvious -- look at those strikeout totals in that few of games -- but the ball jumps off his bat, there's easy plus power, and once on, he can steal 25-to-30 bases. There's huge volatility in his profile, but Chisholm has a chance to help you in several categories if he gets the chance.
9. Drew Waters, OF, Atlanta Braves
2019 stats: 134 G, .309/.360/.459, 7 HR, 13 SB, 28 BB, 121 SO at Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett.
So, this is a weird one. I'm adding Waters to the list, but it's on the premise that he is NOT a member of the Atlanta organization before the end of the trade deadline. If he's still with the Braves, he's probably not going to get a chance to contribute for the reasons listed above with Pache. if he is dealt -- and there are loads of rumors of being involved in trade discussions -- he has a chance to help as an outfielder who can steal bases, hit for average (despite the strikeouts) and provide some sneaky pop. I'd consider adding him before he's moved to a team like Cleveland or Texas, but again, if he stays put, he's a 2021 play, not 2020.
10. Wander Franco, SS, Tampa Bay Bays
2019 stats: 114 G, .327/.398/.487, 9 HR, 18 SB, 56 BB, 35 SO at Low-A Bowling Green and High-A Charlotte.
Yep, it’s time. Franco is the top-overall prospect in baseball, and he’s just 19-years-old until March. The chances of him getting a call-up are extremely slim. All that said, I can’t leave him off the list anymore. First of all, he’s the best prospect in baseball. He has a chance to contribute in every category. Second, the Rays are in position to win the World Series. Based on what we saw this spring, there’s a very good chance he makes the Rays better right now. Being better is a good thing. The worst thing that happens if you add Franco and he doesn’t play is you wasted a bench spot. The best thing that happens is you have a winning lottery ticket, but with much better odds than the typical lotto. Is there risk? Of course, but the reward, to me, is worth it.