Prospect Roundup

Top 10 Prospects: August 9

by Christopher Crawford
Updated On: August 10, 2021, 12:54 am ET

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

2021 stats: 79 G, .303/.364/.583, 23 HR, 17 SB, 32 BB, 85 SO at Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha. 

The bad news for Witt Jr. is that the shortstop has hit just .233 over his last 10 games. The good news is that he's hit four homers and added a steal in that time frame. The great news is that Witt Jr. is slashing .293/.348/.622 with seven long balls and three stolen bases in 82 at-bats since being promoted to Triple-A. The unknown news is whether we'll see him in Kansas City this year, but he's easily the top fantasy prospect not in the majors right now.

2. Keibert Ruiz, C, Washington Nationals

2021 stats: 56 G, .299/.368/.611, 17 HR, 0 SB 24 BB, 29 SO at Triple-A Oklahoma City and Triple-A Rochester; 6 G, .143/.143/.571, 1 HR, 0 SB, 1 BB, 5 SO at Los Angeles (NL)... 

Ruiz has struggled in his time in Rochester since he was traded from the Dodgers with a .133/.188/.333 slash. The sample size is all of 15 at-bats in four games, so it goes without saying that there's no reason to worry about those numbers. The reason to worry here -- and it's the reason to worry about every single player on this list -- is there's no guarantee that he's going to spend time with the Nationals, but his talent competes with any catching prospect in baseball not named Adley Rutschman

3. Hunter Greene, RHP, Cincinnati Reds

2021 stats: 16 G, 85.2 IP, 2.84 ERA, 31 BB, 120 SO at Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville.

Another spectacular start for Greene came on Thursday against Triple-A St. Paul. In fact, it might have been his best outing in Triple-A so far. The right-hander allowed just one hit over 6 1/3 innings, and he struck out 10 in the contest. After briefly scuffling, the 22-year-old (it was Greene's birthday on Friday) has an ERA of 1.98 in his last five starts for the Bats. He's very good, and Greene will absolutely be worth an add when/if Cincinnati determines the same.

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 haven't changed as he spent the last couple of weeks winning Silver at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo. He appeared in one game with Team USA, and now will get a chance to return to those excellent numbers above with Durham. The Rays have been dealing with a plethora of injuries to their pitching staff. Baz might be the most likely player on this list to spend time in the majors right now. 

5. Nolan Gorman, INF, St. Louis Cardinals

2021 stats: 77 G, .272/.327/.468, 17 HR, 6 SB, 26 BB, 83 SO at Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. 

Gorman was much better last week then he was the previous one. The 2018 first-round pick homered twice and had three multi-hit games after struggling at the end of July. Gorman has been playing specifically at second base for the Redbirds, and while there's no guarantee we see him finish the season in St. Louis, it's pretty obvious what position we'll be seeing him play when that occurs. 

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

2021 stats: 62 G, .289/.371/.492, 9 HR, 24 SB, 32 BB, 38 SO at Triple-A Durham; 10 G, .077/.077/.077, 0 HR, 1 SB, 2 BB, 8 SO at Tampa Bay.

Brujan is still not hitting for much power -- he hasn't homered since June 20 -- but everything else is going swimmingly since he was sent back to Durham. The month of August is a small sample, but a .391/.417/.565 slash with four steals is a nice way to begin, indeed. Brujan was bad in a (very) small chance with Tampa Bay, but it's not indicative of the talent. The only real concern here is how much he'll get to play when Tampa Bay brings him back.

7. Joey Bart, C, San Francisco Giants

2021 stats: 50 G, .314/.379/.536, 10 HR, 0 SB, 16 BB, 62 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. Edward Cabrera, RHP, Miami Marlins

2021 stats: 11 G, 51.1 IP, 2.81 ERA, 19 BB, 74 SO at Low-A Jupiter, Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Jacksonville.

Cabrera followed up his 12 strikeout effort last week with 11 punchouts against New Orleans on Saturday. The right-hander did allow four runs, but one was unearned and the overall takeaway is another example of how good Cabrera's stuff can be. Miami is going nowhere in 2021 and getting there fast, so they don't have to rush Cabrera into the majors if they feel he isn't ready. He sure looks like that's not the case, however.

9. Joe Ryan, RHP, Minnesota Twins

2021 stats: .12 G, 57 IP, 3.63 ERA, 10 BB, 75 SO at Triple-A Durham.

Well, we've got two Olympians -- two Silver medalists, in fact -- on this week's list, so that's pretty fun. Ryan hasn't even had a chance to make a start in the minors for the Twins just yet, as he came over to Minnesota in the deal for Nelson Cruz just before the games started. The 25-year-old has four useable pitches, and two of those -- his fastball and cutter/slider -- get plus grades. He throws everything for strikes, and while he's a better "real life" prospect than fantasy one, he's certainly capable of helping rosters if Minnesota gives him a chance this summer.

10. Seth Beer, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks

2021 stats: 77 G, .290/.401/.511, 12 HR, 0 SB, 31 BB, 57 SO at Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville.

Beer has been one of the hottest hitters in the minors over the last few weeks, and in his last 10 games, he's slashing a scorching .394/.524/.667 with three homers; including one against Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday. The former first-round pick and Clemson star can flat-out hit, and while he doesn't have elite power, he's capable of helping in the homer category while hitting for a high average and getting on base. Arizona is terrible, and should give Beer a chance to get acclimated to MLB pitching before 2021 comes to an end. 

Next in line: Jose Barrero, SS, Cincinnati Reds; 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.