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Prospect Roundup

Top 10 Prospects: July 27

by Christopher Crawford
Updated On: July 29, 2020, 11:43 pm ET

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 over 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 caveats out of the way, here’s a look at the top 10 fantasy prospects for the 2020 season. 

1. Gavin Lux, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers

2019 stats: 113 G, .347/.421/.607, 26 HR, 10 SB, 61 BB, 102 SO at Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City; 23 G, .240/.305/.400, 2 HR, 2 SB, 7 BB, 24 SO at Los Angeles. 

Lux was surprisingly sent down to begin the season, and whether it’s because of his missed time this summer or something to do with finances, it’s a bummer. That being said, it doesn’t sound like he’s going to be at the alternate site for a long time, and this is still a second baseman who can hit for average and power while providing a few stolen bases as well. Be it this week or next, Lux should get a chance to be regular for one of the best lineups in all of baseball. Be patient if you drafted him, and swoop him up if he’s still on the market.

2. Nate Pearson, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays

2019 stats: 25 G, 101.2 IP, 2.30 ERA, 27 BB, 109 SO at High-A Dunedin, Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo.

Pearson moves up one spot because of the likelihood -- not a foregone conclusion, but a likelihood -- that he’ll be starting at some point this coming weekend. It was not a surprise to see the Blue Jays decide to manipulate the service time of the right-handed hurler, but there’s no doubt he’s one of the five best starting options for the team, and the added playoff spots actually could make the Blue Jays a playoff contender during this truncated campaign. If Pearson’s debut is against the Phillies that’s a rough ask, but with his swing-and-miss stuff, he’s capable of being successful against any lineup. 

3. Jo Adell, OF, Los Angeles Angels

2019 stats: 76 G, .289/.359/.475, 10 HR, 7 SB, 30 BB, 94 SO at High-A Inland Empire, Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Fresno.

Adell has reportedly had some defensive issues in camp, but we all know the real reason he wasn’t on the Opening Day roster. Even if the Angels hold him down for a week or two, he still is too talented to not place in the top three. He can hit for average, he can hit for power, and he should provide some stolen bases, as well; he certainly has the speed to do so. Again, you’ll have to be a little patient with Adell and that’s tough to do in a 60-game season, but those who are have a chance to be rewarded heavily.

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4. Dylan Carlson, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

2019 stats: 126 G, .292/372/.542, 26 HR, 20 SB, 58 BB, 116 SO at Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. 

It was not a surprise that Carlson didn’t make the Opening Day roster for the same reason that it wasn’t a surprise to see any of these names listed above not included. Still, Carlson is the best option in left field for the Cardinals -- it’s really not that close -- and his ability to hit for average and power with sneaky speed makes him a really intriguing fantasy prospect for 2020 and beyond. It’s just a matter of when we see Carlson, not if. 

5. Spencer Howard, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

2019 stats: 15 G, 71 IP, 2.03 ERA 16 BB, 94 SO at short-season PHW, short-season PHE, High-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading. 

I expected to be asked why Jesus Luzardo wasn’t included on the top 10 last week; so much so that I added a section for him. Instead, I was peppered with questions as to why Howard wasn’t on the list. Well, the reason was because I didn’t think he was one of the top 10 prospects for the 2020 season last week, but he belongs now after the promotions. It also helps his case that there are rumors that Howard might be called up to start on Friday, but even if that’s not the case, he belongs. The soon-to-be 24-year-old has a high-to-mid 90s fastball, and he complements that pitch with three quality secondary offerings. I think he’s more a mid-rotation arm than future ace, but either way, Howard has a chance to help fantasy players in 2020 when he gets the call. 

6. Nick Madrigal, 2B, Chicago White Sox

2019 stats: 120 G, .311/.377/.414, 4 HR, 35 SB, 44 BB, 16 SO at High-A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte.

Madrigal is another prospect who probably belonged on the Opening Day roster -- with all due respect to Leury Garcia, who had a nice series against the Twins -- but the White Sox get an extra year of service time by leaving him down for a week or so. Madrigal has one of the best potential hit tools in baseball, and as you can tell from those totals above, he’s almost impossible to strike out. The question here is how much he’ll help with power, but even if he dinks and dunks, he should compensate with stolen bases. It might take another week, but Madrigal is worth stashing if you’re looking for help in the average and steal categories.

7. Casey Mize, RHP, Detroit Tigers

2019 stats: 15 G, 78.2 IP, 3.20 ERA 18 BB, 76 SO at High-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie.

If the Tigers were contenders, Mize probably makes the roster. The Tigers are not contenders, so Mize gets the service-time treatment. The 2018 first-overall pick has some of the best stuff of any pitching prospect in baseball, and he throws all of his pitches for strikes, as well. If/when he gets the call he’s not going to help much in the win category, but the 23-year-old can miss enough bats with a decent enough ERA in his first season to help fantasy players.

8. Brendan Rodgers, INF, Colorado Rockies

2019 stats: 125 G, .305/.378/.518, 21 HR, 6 SB, 57 BB, 76 SO at Triple-A Albuquerque

Rodgers was a bit of a surprise omission from the 30-player roster to open the season, and unlike some of the other names listed above, it doesn’t appear that this is just a case of service time. He still belongs on this list because he gets to hit in some of the most friendly confines in baseball if/when he gets the call, and he has the tools to hit for both power and average at the highest level. There’s more risk here than any other prospect on this list because of the roster-fit questions, but there’s just as much reward as any but the top two. 

9. Alec Bohm, INF, Philadelphia Phillies

2019 stats: 120 G, .311/.377/.414, 4 HR, 35 SB, 44 BB, 16 SO at High-A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte.

Bohm was the third pick of the 2018 draft out of Wichita State, and the 23-year-old had an outside chance of making the Opening Day lineup. See the story of all the names above as to why he didn’t. Bohm has a smooth, right-handed stroke from the right side, and his power is just a knock below his ability to hit for average. Bohm also could provide a handful of steals, but you shouldn’t count on it. It’s hard to imagine that he’s not one of the best players on the Phillies right now, and if he does get that promotion -- and I believe it’s more of a when then an if -- I wouldn’t hesitate to add him to my roster. If you play with larger rosters, I’d want him on my bench now.

10. Monte Harrison, OF, Miami Marlins

2019 stats: 58 8G, .274/.357/.451, 9 HR, 20 SB, 25 BB, 74 SO at Triple-A New Orleans. 

Harrison was one of the top prospects traded to the Marlins in the deal that sent Christian Yelich to Milwaukee, and after a borderline disastrous first season in the org where he struck out 215 times in 136 games , he rebounded nicely as you can see in the numbers above despite dealing with a broken wrist. Strikeouts are always going to be a problem because of his approach and the length of his swing, but he’s a 70-grade runner with 60-grade power that can help compensate for the swing-and-miss. The Marlins certainly don’t have a locked-up outfield, and it’d be an upset if Harrison doesn’t get a chance to play for the fish before the 2020 season comes to an end. 

Others to watch: MacKenzie Gore, LHP, San Diego Padres; Jarred Kelenic, OF, Seattle Mariners; Ryan Mountcastle, 1B, Baltimore Orioles; Matt Manning, RHP, Detroit Tigers; Jake Fraley, OF, Seattle Mariners; Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Miami Marlins

Christopher Crawford

Christopher Crawford is a baseball and college football writer for NBC Sports Edge. Follow him on Twitter @Crawford_MILB.