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. Yordan Alvarez, OF, Houston Astros
2019 stats: 39 G, .411/.494/.884, 18 HR, 0 SB, 23 BB, 33 SO at Triple-A Round Rock.
Three of my top four prospects from last week were called up, so once again, there's a new No. 1 on the list. There was considerable thought put into who belonged in the top spot -- more thought than you might expect considering Alvarez's numbers, but at the end of the day, I think he's the prospect who gives you the best chance of help. Even if it doesn't happen for another couple weeks, his ability to hit for average and power are unmatched at the highest level. I'd stash him now.
2. Luis Urias, INF, San Diego Padres
2019 stats: 27 G,.333/.422/.748, 11 HR, 1 SB, 15 BB, 26 SO at Triple-A El Paso; 11 G, .083/.241/.125, 0 HR, 0 SB, 4 BB, 11 SO at San Diego.
Urias has hits in four of his last five games for the Chihuahuas, which is good. He only has one hit in each of those games, however, and because of it, his average has dropped from .367 to the .333 mark he currently owns. The 21-year-old was due for some regression, however, because that's how baseball works. The Padres should call Urias up soon, and despite his struggles at the highest level, he's worth an add when he does get the call because of his ability to hit for average and new-found power.
3. Carter Kieboom, INF, Washington Nationals
2019 stats: 26 G, .368/.496/.674, 6 HR, 2 SB, 22 BB, 24 SO at Triple-A Fresno; 11 G, .128/.209/.282, 2 HR, 4 BB, 16 SO at Washington.
It's not a surprise, but Kieboom has crushed Triple-A pitching since being sent back down to Fresno, and he's homered in back-to-back games with three straight multi-hit game. Yes, Kieboom showed that he's not going to remind anyone of Andrelton Simmons with the glove, and yes, the offensive numbers are ugly. The latter is far too sample size, and the former won't hurt you -- too much, anyway -- in fantasy. WIth the Nationals looking like they're not going to be contenders and Brian Dozier underperforming, we should see Kieboom back up soon, and he's worth an add if/when it takes place.
4. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B, Baltimore Orioles
2019 stats: 39 G, .325/.353/.519, 6 HR, 1 SB, 7 BB, 38 SO at Triple-A Norfolk.
After going through a slight slump early in the month, Mountcastle is back at it, and the 22-year-old now has at least two hits in three-of-four appearances. The concern here is the lack of patience at the plate, as Mountcastle has drawn just one walk in his last 10 games to go along with seven strikeouts. Still, the ball jumps off of the infielder's bat, and he has a chance to hit for average while giving you some homers and doubles as well.
5. Dylan Cease, RHP, Chicago White Sox
2019 stats: 7 G, 3.71 ERA, 34 IP, 35 H, 11 BB, 41 SO at Triple-A Charlotte.
Cease had a bit of a mixed day in his last start on Friday. The bad is that he allowed nine hits and three earned runs, but the good is that the 23-year-old struck out eight and walked just one. He's walked just one hitter in two-of-three starts, and that's big; command is still the biggest question mark involving Cease. The right-hander needs to show more consistency if he's going to get the call to Chicago, but Cease's stuff gives him as good of chance as any starter in the minors of success.
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6. Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros
2019 stats: 38 G, .245/.318/.568, 11 HR, 8 SB, 14 BB, 38 SO at Triple-A Round Rock.
Welcome back, Kyle. Tucker would have been promoted to the list even we didn't need four new names for this week's list. After scuffling -- and scuffling is an understatement -- in his first month of the year with a .171 average and 21 strikeouts, the outfielder has scorched in May with a .345/.441/.793 slash with six homers and four steals. The only reason Tucker is this "low" on the list is there's no obvious spot, and the Astros probably go with Alvarez before they go with him. That being said, Tucker is a top 10 prospect in baseball, and he will absolutely deserve a roster spot if/when the Astros decide the same.
7. Cavan Biggio, 2B/OF, Toronto Blue Jays
2019 stats: 39 G, .315/.438/.523, 6 HR, 4 SB, 28 BB, 25 SO at Triple-A Buffalo.
The first true newcomer to the list. Biggio, the son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, has really impressed at the Triple-A level -- as you can see from the numbers above -- and the skills suggest that they can translate to the highest level. He has plus power from the left side, and he works counts and makes enough hard contact to project a strong on-base percentage. He also can steal bases, although he hasn't run as much as anticipated in 2019. He's started working in the outfield, and that could be a good sign that Biggio could be called up relatively shortly.
8. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
2019 stats: 8 G, 3.83 ERA, 40 IP, 41 H, 19 BB, 50 SO at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Keller has been a frequent flyer on this list, and while he has been dropped a few times, I think he's sticking around this time. Assuming he doesn't get a call-up, anyway. The 23-year-old needs to put together more consistent quality starts, but his stuff competes with all but a few of the elite arms, and he throws those pitches for strikes. The Pirates are surprisingly still in contention, and an arm like Keller either can help keep them, or could be given a shot when/if this falls apart. Either way, Keller will be a solid add when he does get the chance.
9. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Oakland Athletics
2019 stats: Has not played -- shoulder injury
I thought about keeping Forrest Whitley on this list, but after another disappoint start, it was time for a change. The fact that it's a change for a pitcher who hasn't thrown a single pitch this season may cause you to raise your eyebrows, but Luzardo is deserving. He's expected to return before the end of May, and he has three pitches that can miss bats that he throws for strikes. The A's rotation is a mess, and if we see the 2018 version of Luzardo, he's going to make starts -- and plenty of them -- for Oakland before this campaign finishes.
10. Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox
2019 stats: 35 G, .379/.446/.750, 10 HR, 13 SB, 10 BB, 32 SO at High-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham.
We are now deep enough in the season to start getting a little more speculative, and boy is Robert ever speculative. He's even more talented. Robert is a five-tool player who has crushed minor-league pitching, and after an adjustment period, the 21-year-old has been solid since getting the call to Birmingham. He gets a spot on this list even if he is far from a lock to get a promotion to Chicago because he can do everything, and help you in every category. He's just too good to ignore at this point in 2019.