Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: Midseason top 25 led by Amed Rosario, Rafael Devers

Remember all of those preseason prospect lists headlined by players like Dansby Swanson and Lewis Brinson, Tyler Glasnow and Jose De Leon?

It was a more innocent time, a time when fear of the unknown was stamped out by unbridled optimism.

But looking back, it's a little sad.

We need an update, a fresh introduction to the wonderful world of prospecting, and the All-Star break seems like the perfect time to reexamine what the minor leagues have to offer.

A few ground rules first:

  • Players who've appeared in a major-league game, no matter how long ago, weren't considered for this list. So no Yoan Moncada (who'd be No. 1 or 2), no Alex Reyes (who'd be top-10), no Franklin Barreto or Clint Frazier. Some of the staples you're used to seeing in some other lists out there weren't even an option for me. I want this particular list to have a longer shelf life, so if I only leave off the players who happen to be in the majors right now, it'll be harder to explain their absences when they get sent back down (which is bound to happen for some). Besides, the big prospect call-ups have already been analyzed to death. Let's get some fresh names in there.
  • No 2017 draft picks either. The first five -- Royce Lewis, Hunter Greene, MacKenzie Gore, Brendan McKay and Kyle Wright -- will almost certainly be in next year's top 100, but I'd like to see some actual data before trying to determine where they fit with everyone else.
  • Proximity carries more weight here than in traditional prospect lists. I wouldn't want to alienate all the redraft owners out there. Plus, most keeper leagues are set up so that your minor-league stashes need to deliver within a couple years' time to justify the keeper cost. 

Got it? Rules, I know. Lame.

Onward and upward!

All stats are updated through Thursday, July 6.

1. Amed Rosario, SS, Mets

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 21 (11/20/95)
2017 levels: Triple-A
2017 stats: .327 BA (346 AB), 7 HR, 16 SB, .839 OPS, 20 BB, 58 K
Rarely are prospects of Rosario's stature forced to run in place like he has, especially given how closely he matches up with his team's needs. But the Mets seem content to wait it out, presumably because it's the only way they'll get any kind of return for Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes. Come the trade deadline, this second coming of Francisco Lindor is sure to get his shot.
Second-half callup is ... expected.

2. Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox

Bats: Left | Throws: Right 
Age: 20 (10/24/96)
2017 levels: Double-A
2017 stats: .298 BA (282 AB), 18 HR, .942 OPS, 29 BB, 55 K
Nice when things go right for a change. Devers has become the middle-of-the-order force that scouts projected him to be as an 18-year-old, and he has done it at what's often considered to be the most difficult step up the minor-league ladder. The Red Sox have a glaring need at third base that Devers could adequately fill, but seeing as he's only 20, they're more likely to go the veteran route.
Second-half callup is ... possible.

3. Francisco Mejia, C, Indians

Bats: Both | Throws: Right 
Age: 21 (10/27/95)
2017 levels: Double-A
2017 stats: .338 BA (222 AB), 9 HR, .931 OPS, 16 BB, 34 K 
Given that catcher is the one position where most everyone could use a little help, Mejia has a case for the top spot on this list, but the offensive progression for players at this position is notoriously unpredictable. Still, his elite bat-on-ball skills make him a possible exception. He put together a 50-game hitting streak last year -- no lie -- and has somehow managed to improve his production this year.
Second-half callup is ... unlikely.

4. Eloy Jimenez, OF, Cubs

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 20 (11/27/96)
2017 levels: high Class A
2017 stats: .272 BA (151 AB), 8 HR, .846 OPS, 17 BB, 33 K
Jimenez's top-prospect-in-baseball-type skill set took a turn for the viral with his Roy Hobbs-style light-shattering smash in the Carolina League Home Run Derby a couple weeks ago. He has been a little banged up this year, limiting his totals, but nothing about his stat line suggest he's anything other than a future stud on the fast track.
Second-half callup is ... unlikely.

5. Gleyber Torres, SS, Yankees

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 20 (12/13/96)
2017 levels: Double-A, Triple-A
2017 stats: .287 BA (202 AB), 7 HR, 7 SB, .863 OPS, 30 BB, 47 K
Torres was poised to take over as the Yankees starting third baseman before tearing his UCL and succumbing to Tommy John surgery in mid-June. So we may not see him until next second half, but that procedure has an even more favorable track record for position players than pitchers. He could still be something like a right-hand-hitting Corey Seager.
Second-half callup is ... not happening.

6. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies

Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 20 (8/9/96)
2017 levels: high Class A, Double-A
2017 stats: .365 BA, (263 AB), 13 HR, 1.013 OPS, 8 BB, 45 K
The third overall pick in the 2015 draft, Rodgers finally made expectations a reality when he hit .400 with a 1.119 OPS in 210 at-bats for high Class A Lancaster of ... ahem, the California League. It's the most hitter-friendly of all the leagues, and his introduction to Double-A hasn't gone quite as well. But, he's young for that level, ahead of schedule, and still figures to overtake Trevor Story down the road. 
Second-half callup is ... unlikely.

7. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros

Bats: Left | Throws: Right 
Age: 20 (1/17/97)
2017 levels: high Class A, Double-A
2017 stats: .288 BA (309 AB), 17 HR, 19 SB, .920 OPS, 35 BB, 79 K
As Preston Tucker becomes a forgotten man in Fantasy circles, his kid brother is just beginning to make a name for himself, adding power to his 6-foot-4 frame even sooner than expected. The fifth overall pick in 2015 draft runs well, too, and hasn't slowed down in the least with his move to Double-A, posting nearly identical numbers there.
Second-half callup is ... unlikely.

8. Brent Honeywell, SP, Rays

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 22 (3/31/95)
2017 levels: Double-A, Triple-A
2017 stats: 9-8, 4.19 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 92 1/3 IP, 26 BB, 119 K
Honeywell hasn't lit up Triple-A the way he did all of his other minor-league stops, which could actually work to his benefit, forcing him to shore up his mechanics and refine his pitch selection before taking the final plunge. He has plenty of pitches to choose from, too, throwing all five, including a screwball, for strikes.
Second-half callup is ... possible.

9. Victor Robles, OF, Nationals

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 20 (5/19/97)
2017 levels: high Class A
2017 stats: .302 BA (252 AB), 7 HR, 14 SB, .911 OPS, 20 BB, 54 K
Much of Robles' value comes from his defense, which is of course irrelevant to Fantasy owners, but at the very least, he figures to be a fine table setter for the Nationals, making regular contact and taking the extra base when the opportunity presents itself. If he continues to grow into his power, which seems likely given his youth, he may wind up with an Andrew McCutchen-type profile.
Second-half callup is ... unlikely.

10. Ronald Acuna, OF, Braves

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 19 (12/18/97)
2017 levels: high Class A, Double-A
2017 stats: .304 BA (319 AB), 10 HR, 32 SB, .835 OPS, 24 BB, 93 K
"Toolsy" would be one way to describe Acuna, which isn't always a compliment, but he's the darling of prospect evaluators everywhere right now, cutting way down on his strikeouts with his move to Double-A and becoming one of the league's most electrifying players as a teenager. Andruw Jones took the majors by storm at age 19, and Acuna's rapid climb and awesome athleticism have invited such comparisons.
Second-half callup is ... possible.

11. Ozzie Albies, 2B, Braves

Bats: Both | Throws: Right 
Age: 20 (1/7/97)
2017 levels: Triple-A
2017 stats: .296 BA (324 AB), 7 HR, 21 SB, .796 OPS, 22 BB, 70 K 
Albies has caught fire over his last 25 games, batting .361 (39 for 108) with five homers, six steals and a 1.018 OPS, which is great timing with the trade deadline approaching and Brandon Phillips closing in on free agency. Seems like any player with genuine hitting ability develops some measure of power these days, and the contact-oriented Albies may be following suit. He's probably still more DJ LeMahieu than Jose Altuve, but maybe ...
Second-half callup is ... expected.

12. Mitch Keller, SP, Pirates

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 21 (4/4/96)
2017 levels: low Class A, high Class A
2017 stats: 4-2, 2.38 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 53 IP, 10 BB, 53 K
Keller missed about a month with a back issue and has needed a few starts to get stretched out again, but the pitching itself has been anything but a struggle. As pitching prospects go, he's almost too perfect, overshadowed by the highs of more erratic Michael Kopech and A.J. Puk types, but a lack of downside (other than injury risk every pitcher faces) is of course a beautiful thing. 
Second-half callup is ... unlikely.

13. Nick Senzel, 3B, Reds

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 22 (6/29/95)
2017 levels: high Class A, Double-A
2017 stats: .306 BA (294 AB), 5 HR, 28 2B, .840 OPS, 29 BB, 67 K
The second overall pick in the 2016 draft is as polished as expected but hasn't quite taken the minor leagues by storm, with his power manifesting more as doubles than home runs. It won't take a big adjustment for him to emerge as a 25-homer type in our present offensive environment, though, which would make him something akin to Kyle Seager or Anthony Rendon.
Second-half callup is ... unlikely.

14. Willy Adames, SS, Rays

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 21 (9/2/95)
2017 levels: Triple-A
2017 stats: .281 BA (306 AB), 6 HR, 7 SB, .801 OPS, 43 BB, 84 K
A big June helped turn Adames' season around, putting him ahead of last year's pace in most of the power categories, but it's once again only incremental improvement. He still hasn't had that breakout season to validate his high top-prospect standing, but he gets more rope as a shortstop. And he's at a point where an extended hot streak could propel him to the majors.
Second-half callup is ... possible.

15. Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 19 (3/5/98)
2017 levels: low Class A
2017 stats: .384 BA (284 AB), 10 HR, 32 2B, 1.071 OPS, 28 BB, 55 K
Bichette has tabled concerns that his wonky setup and exaggerated swing would expose him at the professional level, following up an impressive Rookie league showing last year with out-of-this-world production this year. If the mechanics hold, he combines big power potential with an advanced approach -- a skill set that hardly depends on him sticking at shortstop. 
Second-half callup is ... not happening.

16. Vladimir Guerrero, 3B, Blue Jays

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 18 (3/16/99)
2017 levels: low Class A
2017 stats: .316 BA (269 AB), 7 HR, 6 SB, .888 OPS, 40 BB, 34 K
The son of the soon-to-be hall of famer of the same name, Guerrero possesses many of the same attributes as dear old dad. He's a few inches shorter, so he won't have as much reach or natural leverage with his swing, but he makes up for it with exceptional strike-zone judgment. And evaluators aren't downplaying his power potential either.
Second-half callup is ... not happening.

17. Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Phillies

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 24 (3/17/93)
2017 levels: Triple-A
2017 stats: .292 BA (301 AB), 20 HR, .968 OPS, 46 BB, 53 K
Granted, plodding first basemen don't leave a great deal to the imagination, but the prospecting world's hesitance to embrace Hoskins despite his massive production in back-to-back seasons reminds me a little of Paul Goldschmidt's introduction to pro ball. It's an unfair comparison, of course, but even in spring training, Hoskins looked like a natural, homering three times in 21 at-bats with more walks (six) than strikeouts (four).
Second-half callup is ... expected.

18. Mike Soroka, SP, Braves

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 19 (8/4/97)
2017 levels: Double-A
2017 stats: 9-5, 2.55 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 91 2/3 IP, 21 BB, 73 K
Soroka profiles similarly to Aaron Nola, lacking the big fastball so common in today's game but making up for it with uncommon command and pitchability. And seeing as he's dominating Double-A at age 19, I wouldn't want to sell his upside short. He sits in the low 90s now, but his body isn't even fully developed at that age. If nothing else, the floor is high.
Second-half callup is ... unlikely.

19. Walker Buehler, SP, Dodgers

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 22 (7/28/94)
2017 levels: high Class A, Double-A
2017 stats: 2-2, 2.48 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 61 2/3 IP, 17 BB, 83 K
Buehler wasn't a complete nobody entering 2017, having been drafted 24th overall two years ago, but it's amazing how quickly he has climbed the prospect ranks in what's his first extended look as a professional. And why not? He has come back from Tommy John surgery throwing 99 with two plus breaking balls, and he commands it all like you wouldn't believe.
Second-half callup is ... unlikely.

20. J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies

Bats: Left | Throws: Right 
Age: 22 (1/11/95)
2017 levels: Triple-A
2017 stats: .215 BA (270 AB), 5 HR, 2 SB, .654 OPS, 46 BB, 52 K
Crawford's past standing is the main reason he ranks so high now. It's certainly not his sub-.700 OPS over the last two years. He probably would have fallen outside of my top 25 if not for an 18-game stretch in which he has hit .290 with a .930 OPS and 10 of his 17 extra-base hits for the year. He still has an advanced approach and a boatload of believers, but he's running out of slack.
Second-half callup is ... likely.

21. Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates

Bats: Left | Throws: Left 
Age: 22 (5/3/95)
2017 levels: Triple-A
2017 stats: .248 BA (254 AB), 4 HR, 10 SB, .671 OPS, 23 BB, 47 K
Meadows is kind of the outfield version of J.P. Crawford -- a highly regarded prospect from the moment he entered the scene whose production has mostly regressed with his climb to the majors. Like Crawford, his numbers have improved some after a dreadful start, but like Crawford, it's not so clear whether his upside is something to pursue anymore. 
Second-half callup is ... possible.

22. Nick Gordon, SS, Twins

Bats: Left | Throws: Right 
Age: 21 (10/24/95)
2017 levels: Double-A
2017 stats: .302 BA (321 AB), 6 HR, 9 SB, .835 OPS, 35 BB, 80 K 
Gordon isn't the burner that his brother, Dee Gordon, is, so he'll need to develop power to measure up in this current offensive environment. But provided he stays at shortstop, he won't need to develop as much of it, and he has steadily improved in that area (22 doubles already this year) since the Twins picked him fifth overall in 2014.
Second-half callup is ... unlikely.

23. Willie Calhoun, 2B, Dodgers

Bats: Left | Throws: Right 
Age: 22 (11/4/94)
2017 levels: Triple-A 
2017 stats: .302 BA (305 AB), 19 HR, .925 OPS, 21 BB, 41 K
Despite standing 5-feet-8, Calhoun packs some serious wallop, and it's not just a product of the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He was second in the Texas League with 27 homers last year. Combined with his high contact rate, it's a safe profile and one that doesn't have much more to prove in the minors. Logan Forsythe better get his act together.
Second-half callup is ... likely.

24. Dominic Smith, 1B, Mets

Bats: Left | Throws: Left 
Age: 22 (6/15/95)
2017 levels: Triple-A
2017 stats: .328 BA (345 AB), 11 HR, .876 OPS, 28 BB, 62 K
The impending teardown of the Mets would presumably put Lucas Duda on the move as well -- and right when Smith, the methodically developed 11th overall pick in the 2013 draft, is beginning to come into his own in the minors. He's going to hit, but his power remains a question mark (not good for a first baseman), as does his longevity given his portly build. Here's hoping for better than Dmitri Young.
Second-half callup is ... likely.

25. Chance Adams, SP, Yankees

Bats: Right | Throws: Right 
Age: 22 (8/10/94)
2017 levels: Double-A, Triple-A
2017 stats: 10-2, 1.85 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 87 2/3 IP, 34 BB, 90 K
You'll find bunches of higher-ceiling pitchers in the honorable mentions below, but Adams edges them out in this list because he's presumably next in line for the Yankees and has produced perhaps the most impressive stat line of any upper-level pitcher this year. A converted reliever, his command and secondary arsenal are legitimate concerns, but his two-year trend of dominance has earned him the right to fail.
Second-half callup is ... expected.

Also considered: Domingo Acevedo, SP, NYY; Kolby Allard, SP, ATL; Yadier Alvarez, LAD; Ian Anderson, SP, ATL; Jake Bauers, OF, TB; Dylan Cease, SP, CHC; Erick Fedde, SP, WAS; Jack Flaherty, SP, STL; Stephen Gonsalves, SP, MIN; Jason Groome, SP, BOS; Scott Kingery, 2B, PHI; Michael Kopech, SP, CHW; Kyle Lewis, OF, SEA; Kevin Maitan, SS, ATL; Matt Manning, SP, DET; Triston McKenzie, SP, CLE; Ryan McMahon, 3B, COL; Tyler O'Neill, OF, SEA; A.J. Puk, SP, OAK; Jesus Sanchez, OF, TB; Sixto Sanchez, SP, PHI; Juan Soto, OF, WAS; Christin Stewart, OF, DET; Alex Verdugo, OF, LAD; Forrest Whitley, SP, HOU

Senior Fantasy Writer

Raised in Atlanta by a board game-loving family during the dawn of the '90s Braves dynasty, Scott White was easy prey for the Fantasy Sports, in particular Fantasy Baseball, and has devoted his adulthood... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories
    CBS Sports Shop