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 the coming season. Also, a reminder that prospects who are on MLB rosters are not eligible for this list. You can view my top 100 prospects for 2019 and my top prospects by position in our Rotoworld MLB Season Pass.
Without further ado, here’s the top 10 fantasy prospects that can help you for the 2019 season.
1. Luis Urias, INF, San Diego Padres
2019 stats: 41 G,.364/.458/.728, 14 HR, 4 SB, 25 BB, 35 SO at Triple-A El Paso; 11 G, .083/.241/.125, 0 HR, 0 SB, 4 BB, 11 SO at San Diego.
There are several reasons why Urias moves up to the top spot, but the biggest reason is that he's just been too good as of late to not have him here. He's hitting .400 over his last 10 games with two homers, and he's also starting to run more with three steals in that time frame. Urias is not going to hit for this kind of power at the majors, but he's clearly gotten stronger and added loft to his swing, and he still shows the same hit tool that made him such a good prospect in the first place. Urias should be up with the Padres soon, and he's worth stashing right now.
2. Yordan Alvarez, OF, Houston Astros
2019 stats: 52 G, .357/.453/.760, 21 HR, 2 SB, 34 BB, 43 SO at Triple-A Round Rock.
Alvarez moves down a spot, and while it has a lot to do with what Urias is doing, it's at least in part due to what Alvarez hasn't done as of late, and what Alvarez hasn't done lately is hit. He's hitting just .194 over the last 10 appearances, and while he did homer on Sunday, that was his only homer of the week. He's still drawing walks (seven in his last four games), and considering he was hitting in the .400 range not too long ago, there was going to be some regression; there just has to be. Alvarez still offers huge offensive upside, and I think we'll see him in Houston relatively soon.
3. Carter Kieboom, INF, Washington Nationals
2019 stats: 39 G, .310/.416/.585, 8 HR, 3 SB, 26 BB, 36 SO at Triple-A Fresno; 11 G, .128/.209/.282, 2 HR, 4 BB, 16 SO at Washington.
Kieboom is going through his first struggles as a member of the Triple-A roster right now, as he hasn't homered since May 22, and that was his last multi-hit game, as well. That being said, the numbers are still outstanding, and the 21-year-old was due for some struggles. He's still a middle-infielder that can help with both the average and power categories, and despite his shaky -- to put it nicely -- 11 games at the highest level, he looks like he's ready to contribute. The Nationals should give him another chance shortly.
4. Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros
2019 stats: 52 G, .254/.332/.574, 16 HR, 12 SB, 21 BB, 48 SO at Triple-A Round Rock.
After homering in four straight games last week, Tucker didn't add any long balls this week, and he also saw his average drop 11 points. That's the bad news. The good news is he stole four bases in his seven games this week, and he ended the month of May with an OPS of 1.169 with 11 homers and eight steals. Tucker is already on the 40-man roster, so there's a chance the Astros would go with Tucker over Alvarez just for that fact alone. I like Alvarez's chance of succeeding slightly more in 2019, but either player will be worthy of a roster spot if/when Houston decides they are, too.
5. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
2019 stats: 10 G, 3.40 ERA, 53 IP, 50 H, 22 BB, 61 SO at Triple-A Indianapolis; 1 G, 13.50 ERA, 4 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO at Pittsburgh.
So, let's talk about that debut. Keller gave up six runs over four innings, and calling it a successful start would be inaccurate. A deeper look, however, shows that Keller settled down very nicely after his disastrous first inning, and looked like one of the top pitching prospects in baseball for the majority of the start. Can't take away that first inning, however. Keller should be back with Pittsburgh shortly -- he threw very well in his first start back in Triple-A -- and while there's volatility here, there's more reward than risk.
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6. Dylan Cease, RHP, Chicago White Sox
2019 stats: 10 G, 3.40 ERA, 53 IP, 50 H, 22 BB, 48 SO at Triple-A Charlotte.
Cease dealt with some command issues on Thursday with four walks and allowing five hits, but he was able to strike out seven and allowed just one run against the Stripers. Control is still the biggest issue regarding the 23-year-old, but the stuff is good enough for him to overcome the free passes. The White Sox will want to see Cease show a little more consistency before he gets the call -- and there's that pesky service-time stuff -- but he'll be a must-add when the White Sox deem him ready.
7. Ryan Mountcastle, INF, Baltimore Orioles
2019 stats: 46 G, .328/.351/.578, 11 HR, 1 SB, 7 BB, 42 SO at Triple-A Norfolk.
Mountcastle missed a week with a wrist injury and underwent a cortisone shot that kept him out of the lineup until Friday. He went 0-for-4 in the first game back, but he homered with two hits on Saturday, and then had a three-homer game for the Tides on Sunday. The power is slightly behind the hit, but the former shortstop gets stronger each year, and 20-to-25 homer seasons are not just possible, but expected. The Orioles have claimed he's not ready yet, but if this keeps up, they're going to give him a look, and you should do the same.
8. Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Tampa Bay Rays
2019 (pitching) stats: 9 G, 1.16 ERA, 46.2 IP, 28 H, 9 BB, 66 SO at Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.
McKay made his Triple-A debut on Tuesday, and he pitched admirably; throwing five shutout innings while allowing three hits with no walks and striking out four. The southpaw hurler/hitter also has made four appearances as a batter and owns a .814 OPS in that time. The reason he's on this list is because of his ability on the bump, however, and McKay looks ready to contribute. Don't be surprised if Tampa Bay gives him a chance to show off that ability at the highest level relatively soon.
9. Logan Allen, LHP, San Diego Padres
2019 stats: 11 G, 5.05 ERA, 46.1 IP, 47 H, 20 BB, 54 SO at Triple-A El Paso.
After not allowing more than two earned runs in a start since April 15, Allen was roughed up by the Tacoma lineup on Thursday; allowing seven runs and six hits in just 3 2/3 innings. The PCL is a brutal league to pitch in, and even the very best arms are going to have disappointing outings. Allen's numbers aren't indicative of his talent at all, and combine his strong run -- outside of Thursday, of course -- with the fact that some Padres' starters aren't getting the job done, and he absolutely has the opportunity to pitch for San Diego soon.
10. Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox
2019 stats: 47 G, .376/.427/.704, 11 HR, 16 SB, 10 BB, 45 SO at High-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham.
Remember when Luis Robert was 'struggling' with Double-A pitching? That was adorable. Robert is hitting .396 over his last 10 games with the Barons, and the only thing you could possibly complain about is that Robert has walked just four times in 19 games with 20 strikeouts. Even with the lack of patience, Robert has a chance to be a top-of-the-order hitter who can steal bases, hit homers, hit for average and play quality defense in the outfield. The White Sox should give Robert a chance to play in Triple-A soon, and if/when that happens, he's going to jump up this list. He's a special talent, without question.