Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report: Special 2019 Sneak Peek


Hello, Prospect Report faithful, newbies and everything in between. Welcome to a Special Edition of the Prospect Report. Whether you are in your league’s play-offs pwning nwbs or having a hard time looking all the way up from the basement, you need to start concerning yourself for next year. Who should you stash, the audience cries.

Who is going to be the Jack Flaherty, Brian Anderson, Juan Soto, and Miguel Andujar of 2019?

We know about the Acuña’s, Buehler’s, and Kopech’s of the world. Those top 10-20 guys like Vlad Guerrero Jr., Eloy Jimenez and Forrest Whitley who are sure to make headlines next year. This article is about guys deeper in the top 100 that I think can make a splash next year and even make the team out of camp.

A good place to start is this amazing and truly international 2018 Future’s Game graphic from MLB:

2018 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report: Special 2019 Sneak Peek

Get customized Fantasy Baseball advice for your team using MyPlaybook from FantasyPros.

Hitters I Like for 2019

Bats that could have a big impact next year.

Francisco Mejia, C, San Diego Padres

Mejia got called up on September 4th after raking on the Padres AAA side. I’ve really blasted Mejia this year in these articles after seeing him struggle so much early on this season. He looked lost and was not showing any power. Then he turned it around, got traded, and now he is here. So, why am I putting him as such a big 2019 guy?

Well, he’s always been highly touted and great talent’s stock pricing falling is always a buying opportunity. Mejia may never walk a lot and is an aggressive hitter but he can really smack the ball. With some growth in power production and pitch selection he could do more of this:

Alex Verdugo, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

I keep forgetting how much I love Alex Verdugo. I feel like I always get excited and he always gets not promoted into that Dodgers outfield. Well, he is promoted now, listed as the top 28th prospect on, and really has nothing left to prove in AAA. He should make this team out of camp next year.

In AAA, Verdugo hit .329 with a .382 wOBA. He was getting walks, hitting for some pop (10 HRs), and continues to feature a low K%. He does hit the ball on the ground a bit too much but maybe he could be the new Eric Hosmer. Another guy that is MLB ready and poised to Verdugo-get-em. One way or another he’ll make himself relevant:

Keston Hiura, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers (AA)

Hiura will be 23 next year and has a 70-grade hit tool with a fantastic barrel and superior bat speed. He was a first round pick in 2017 and flies a little under the radar because he is a great hitter but not out of this world in speed or power. The Brew-Crew have Travis Shaw and Jonathan Schoop hanging around 2B but he is a big part of this team that can really compete offensively.

Keston started the year in high A and is currently in AA. He was able to manufacture 13 HR in his 485 ABs so far with good K% and BB%. He got caught stealing quite a bit despite being heralded as an aware and talented stealer despite not being lightning fast. I think he is MLB ready and that is why he’s on this list.

Quick Notes

Nick Madrigal on the White Sox is someone I have written a lot about especially during his historic hitting streak he got into right after he was drafted 4th overall this year. He’s already 21 and as polished a hitter you’ll get. He’s more of a barrel-hitting high-average guy than a ‘bopper’ but could get up early in the Chicago system.

Carter Kieboom is another guy I’ve written a lot about because I think his talent will go a long way. On the Nationals, he may not break camp but he is 21, hit 16 HRs, and stole nine bags last year. His bat is rock solid and he could hit his way up into that lineup.

Honorable Mentions: Taylor Trammell, Luis Robert, Alex Kirilloff, Nolan Gorman, and Willie Calhoun (not really a prospect anymore, but I love him and he’ll rock it next year).

Pitchers I Like for 2019

A.J. Puk, LHP, Oakland Athletics

Puk is worth stashing now and many may have forgotten about him because he had Tommy John in April. This big lefty was poised to break camp with the big league team as the top prospect before going down with an injury. I love Puk because he misses bats beautifully with an amazing fastball and a whiff-o-rama slider.

He will likely struggle when he returns because he already had difficulty with control. With TJS it can take some time to get that back and he already has lots of room for improvement there. So, expect a low buying price and get in there and get this lanky pitching K-machine.

Luiz Gohara, LHP, Atlanta Braves

Another big lefty who can strike out the world is Luis Gohara. He’s a bigger bodied fella who has wowed scouts with his fastball-slider combo has struggled some this year going up and down with an injury, promotion/demotion, starting and bullpen. In the minors this year, he has close to a five ERA and, in the bigs, he has nearly a six ERA.

So, why is here? I think he’ll go for pennies next year and you can probably pick him up now in a lot of leagues. I don’t think he’ll find immediate success next year and pitchers always have wonky growth curves. That said, if he can manage the strike zone better, like he has in AAA, and live into what the scouts say about him he could break out next year.

Triston McKenzie, RHP, Cleveland Indians (AA)

McKenzie has a curveball that will really buckle players and is ready to buckle the knees of MLBs elites. Since getting promoted to AA he has a sparkling 2.68 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 90 IPs. His K-rate hovered around 12 but dropped when he got to AA. I’m not worried because of his pedigree, talent, and raw stuff. I think he could make his debut later in the year next year much like Buehler did this year.

Quick Notes

Justus Sheffield was all set to get called up when rosters expanded but ended up sitting tight in AAA after the Yanks got McCutchen and some others. Sheffield is a top 30 prospect with multiple plus offerings, especially his slider. He’s had a sub-three ERA in AA and AAA this year. If he can bring his walks down and get some control next year he could have a huge impact.

Honorable Mentions: Mitch Keller, Casey Mize, Chris Paddack (and especially Chris Paddack!!!).

Thanks for reading!

About Kyle Megrath

I care about lots of stuff. I'd like the world to be more just, equitable, and peaceful. I'd also like the Red Sox to win the world series every year. I would also like to win all my leagues and help you win all yours. I want the first one more than the second, yes, I'm not a butt. I also love reading about, writing about, and participating in Fantasy Baseball. I also love zombie movies.

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