Top 10 MLB prospects 2020: Second base has dynasty targets like Gavin Lux, Brendan Rodgers but thins quickly

For its reputation as a premium defensive position, second base revels in weirdness in the minors, presenting a hodgepodge of overgrown shortstops, converted outfielders and utility players in training.It's kind of a testing ground, in other words, for fringe prospects who will occasionally turn into a Ben Zobrist or Jason Kipnis

More commonly, though, second basemen become second basemen because shortstop is already filled. That's true, in fact, for the top two names on this list, who only qualify because they were forced to shift to second base during their limited time in the majors. And thank goodness for it. Coming up with 10 names Fantasy players should know was already a stretch.

Even the more defensible ones are just ... odd by 2020 standards, presenting a package of contact hitting and base-stealing rather than the usual slugger's delight. There are obviously dangers to investing is those types of prospects, but particularly in traditional 5x5 leagues where there's an obvious need for speed, the enthusiasm for them won't be lacking.

Note: This list is intended for a variety of Fantasy formats and thus weighs short-term role against long-term value. Not all of these players will contribute in 2020 — most, in fact, will not — but among prospects, they're the names Fantasy owners most need to know.

1. Gavin Lux, Dodgers

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2019: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .347 BA (458 AB), 26 HR, 10 SB, 1.028 OPS, 61 BB, 102 K
Major-league stats: .240 BA (75 AB), 2 HR, 2 SB, .705 OPS, 7 BB, 24 K    

Lux's already rapidly rising star went supernova with his move up to Triple-A midway through last year, where he hit .392 with 13 homers and a 1.197 OPS in 49 games. His tepid showing in both September and the playoffs the majors makes it less than assured he's the starter going forward, but with his quick bat, advanced approach and newly developed opposite-field pop, it won't be long.

2. Brendan Rodgers, Rockies

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2019: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .350 BA (143 AB), 9 HR, 10 2B, 1.035 OPS, 14 BB, 27 K
Major-league stats: .224 BA (76 AB), 2 2B, .522 OPS, 4 BB, 27 K    

Though Rodgers' minor-league numbers haven't exactly been lacking, last year represented the first time the production totally measured up the hype for the former third overall pick ... so of course, his season was ended by a torn labrum in his shoulder. While his timetable is unclear and path currently blocked, Rodgers is ready for the next challenge and will find it in a forgiving offensive environment.

3. Nick Madrigal, White Sox

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2019: high Class A, Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .311 BA (473 AB), 4 HR, 35 SB, .792 OPS, 44 BB, 16 K

There are contact hitters, and then there's Nick Madrigal, whose strikeout total over the past two seasons is more like a number you'd see in the caught stealing column. Yes, the contact skills that have earned Willians Astudillo so much attention over the past couple years are equaled here, to go along with a more patient approach, an inclination for a stealing bases, a first-round pedigree and a glove that actually plays. He'll be ready to step in this year. 

4. Vidal Brujan, Rays

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2019: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .277 BA (429 AB), 4 HR, 48 SB, .735 OPS, 37 BB, 61 K

An 80-grade runner with plus contact skills from both sides and occasional hints of power from the left side, Vidal Brujan has a chance to develop into a Rafael Furcal-type player, though perhaps with an even greater impact in stolen bases if he winds up with an organization that encourages aggression on the basepaths (i.e., maybe not the Rays).  

5. Xavier Edwards, Padres

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2019: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .322 BA (503 AB), 1 HR, 34 SB, .771 OPS, 44 BB, 54 K

Edwards offers a similar profile to Brujan but is a level behind and has even less hope of developing usable power. The on-base skills and all-fields approach should be good enough to earn him a spot in the lineup someday, though, which will give the Padres every incentive to make the most of his blazing speed. It's prospects like this one that give the stolen base a chance of making a comeback.

6. Mauricio Dubon, Giants

Age (on opening day): 25
Where he played in 2019: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .302 BA (503 AB), 20 HR, 10 SB, .822 OPS, 28 BB, 68 K
Major-league stats: .274 BA (106 AB), 4 HR, 3 SB, .740 OPS, 5 BB, 20 K  

Dubon has a little pop, as evidenced by his respectable home run total in 2019, but it was inflated to some degree by the introduction of a juiced ball to the already hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He's regarded more for his contact skill but may need to learn to take some walks if he's going to stick as the Giants' starting second baseman, as currently projected.  

7. Michael Busch, Dodgers

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2019: Rookie, low Class A
Minor-league stats: .125 BA (24 AB), .496 OPS, 7 BB, 5 K

One of the reasons the Dodgers routinely pick late in the first round is because they have a history of making good on those picks, and Busch presents them with another opportunity to do just that. He's uncommonly patient and can drive the ball to all fields when he finds one to his liking. His bat is ahead of his glove, though, which could complicate his path if he's confined to a plodder position like first base or left field. 

8. Andy Young, Diamondbacks

Age (on opening day): 25
Where he played in 2019: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .271 (462 AB), 29 HR, 25 2B, 903 OPS, 42 BB, 121 K

Young is one of those prospects whose impressive production is always met with a yawn, and things work out for those guys often enough that I like to stick my neck out for them in the absence of obvious alternatives. He's closer to passable than capable as a defender, but his propensity for fly balls should play well in today's offensive environment. Considering his age, an opportunity figures to present itself at some point this year.

9. Robel Garcia, Cubs

Age (on opening day): 26
Where he played in 2019: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .284 (338 AB), 27 HR, .954 OPS, 42 BB, 120 K
Major-league stats: .208 (72 AB), 5 HR, .775 OPS, 7 BB, 35 K  

Less a prospect than a curiosity, Garcia has explosive bat speed that lends itself to high exit velocities and can result in the sort of power explosion that led to him becoming the Cubs starting second baseman, however briefly, last July. Of course, his inexperience was just as evident, resulting in too many strikeouts for him to stick, but seeing as he was out of the minor-league circuit for five years, kicking around in Italy, his development is worth monitoring. 

10. Domingo Leyba, Diamondbacks

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2019: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .300 (457 AB), 19 HR, 37 2B, .870 OPS, 32 BB, 78 K
Major-league stats: .280 (25 AB), 1 3B, 2 2B, .807 OPS, 4 BB, 9 K    

As with Dubon, Layba's power production in 2019 was an outlier most likely aided by the juice ball-infused PCL and shouldn't be taken with complete sincerity, but he has long been a divisive prospect whose feel for hitting some scouts have suggested would eventually lead to a breakthrough. He at least puts the bat on the ball enough to get some traction as a utility player, possibly as soon as this year.

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

Our Latest Stories