Welcome to the 2020 Fantasy Baseball Top 10 Prospects article!
Major League Baseball is chock-full of talented prospects waiting for their shot at cracking the 25-man roster. While the talent is undeniable, most teams don't have room to call-up their highly touted prospects.
In this article, we go over both eligible rookies and prospects with a clear path at playing time. Out of all the prospects in baseball, the following players have the potential to provide the biggest fantasy impacts in the 2020 MLB season.
Spoiler alert: Players such as Wander Franco, MacKenzie Gore, and Casey Mize are being left off this list. Instead, we focus more on the fantasy players expected to make the 25-man roster out of spring training or shortly after.
Let's dive in.
2020 Fantasy Baseball Top 10 Prospects
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10. Kwang-Hyun Kim, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals signed Kwang-Hyun Kim to a two-year, $8 million deal over the offseason. Kim spent the last 12 seasons playing in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).
Over the past two seasons, Kim averaged a 2.75 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 155 strikeouts playing in the KBO.
With Miles Mikolas set to miss the first month of the season with a forearm injury, Kim is a strong candidate to begin the season as the fifth starter in the Cardinal's rotation. He possesses a mid-90s fastball with a superb slider.
If he pitches well early on, he could stick in the rotation and could be a valuable fifth or sixth starter on your fantasy baseball staff.
9. Dustin May, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
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May has impressed at every level he's pitched in since being drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016. Across four seasons in the minor leagues, the former third-round draft pick averaged a 3.50 ERA and 1.15 WHIP while averaging 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
In his first taste of the major leagues in 2019, May recorded a 3.63 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with 32 strikeouts in 34.7 innings pitched.
With the Dodgers boasting a deep rotation, May will most likely begin the 2020 season in the minors. He is the best pitching prospect in the Dodgers organization, so he should get the call-up right away if an injury occurs.
If he cracks the rotation this year, May will be a fantastic source of wins, strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP.
8. Brendan McKay, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays
McKay was the 4th overall pick in the 2017 MLB draft. Before being drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays, McKay spent three collegiate seasons at Louisville recording a 2.23 ERA and 1.05 WHIP while averaging 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
McKay breezed through the minor league system going 12-2 with a 1.78 ERA and 0.84 WHIP while averaging 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
He got the call-up in 2019, but he struggled to perform. He recorded a 5.14 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 49 innings while being shuttled back-and-forth between the majors and minors.
McKay comes into the 2020 season battling for the fifth spot in Tampa Bay's rotation. Whether he starts in the majors or minors, it won't take long for him to crack the starting rotation. He should be stashed on all fantasy teams for his strikeout upside alone.
7. Nate Pearson, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays drafted Pearson in the first round of the 2017 MLB draft following a brilliant year at Central Florida Junior College where he recorded a 1.56 ERA with 118 strikeouts against 23 walks.
In 2019, Pearson recorded a 2.30 ERA and 0.89 WHIP with 119 strikeouts in 101.2 innings pitching across three leagues (High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A).
Pearson can hit triple digits with his fastball and possesses an excellent slider. His upside is undeniable and impossible to ignore. If he pitches well in spring training, Pearson could find himself in Toronto's starting rotation sooner rather than later.
6. Yoshi Tsutsugo, 3B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays
I recently wrote about Tsutsugo in my Super Sleepers article where I labeled him as a potential STEAL given his current ADP.
Tsutsugo has been one of Japan's top power hitters averaging 35 home runs over the past four seasons. The Tampa Bay Rays worked him out at the Winter Meetings and quickly signed him to a two-year deal.
Tsutsugo can play both third base and outfield, which gives him a great chance at staying in the lineup all year.
The 28-year-old rookie has a chance at 450-500 at-bats this year, and he should be able to provide fantasy owners with steady HR, RBI, and on-base percentage. The Rays will give him every opportunity to succeed from the get-go.
5. Jo Adell, OF, Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels drafted Adell straight out of high school with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft.
Adell has breezed through the minor league system at a very young age, earning multiple promotions from Rookie League to Triple-A in less than three seasons. His potential five-tool ability has been on full display during those three seasons averaging 15 home runs, 56.5 RBI and 11 stolen bases with a .290 batting average in just 337 at-bats.
The soon-to-be 21-year-old has a legitimate shot at earning the starting outfield job heading into the 2020 season. If Adell starts the season in the minor leagues, expect him to earn a major league promotion in April. He's worth stashing in all leagues.
4. Shogo Akiyama, OF, Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds signed Akiyama over the offseason to a three-year, $21 million deal after playing nine seasons in Japan.
Over the past three seasons, Akiyama averaged 23 home runs, 77.7 RBI, and 14.3 stolen bases with a .316 batting average while playing in the Japan Pacific League (JPPL).
The 31-year-old rookie should provide fantasy owners with low-end five-tool production along with elite on-base percentage right out of the gate. Despite the logjam at outfield, the Reds plan on giving Akiyama a near-everyday role batting atop the lineup, which should mean plenty of runs and stolen bases. He has the potential to be a roto asset for your fantasy team in 2020.
3. Gavin Lux, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Lux with the 20th pick in the first round of the 2016 MLB draft. He played four seasons in the minor leagues before being promoted late last season.
Before his 2019 September promotion, Lux was destroying Triple-A pitching. He hit 13 home runs and 39 RBI with a gaudy .392 batting average in just 199 at-bats.
Major league pitching proved difficult for the 21-year-old, though. He only hit two home runs and nine RBI with a disappointing .240 batting average in 75 at-bats.
Lux comes into the 2020 MLB season as the unquestioned starting second basemen for a stacked Dodgers lineup who should have a long leash. Lux has the potential to put up low-end five-tool production as early as this year. If he can quickly adjust to the speed of major league pitching, Lux could contend for a batting title within the next few years.
2. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Oakland Athletics
The Washington Nationals originally drafted Luzardo back in 2017, but they traded him that same year to the Oakland Athletics.
In his first three seasons in the minor leagues, Luzardo recorded a 14-7 record with a 2.53 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He also had 234 strikeouts in 195.2 innings pitched.
Luzardo impressed in his first showing in the major leagues last season, posting a 1.50 ERA and 0.67 WHIP while pitching in relief. He made the playoff roster and compiled a 0.00 ERA and allowed just one hit while striking out four in three innings pitched.
Luzardo has all the tools to become a future ace in the MLB. All four of his pitches have elite potential. After battling injuries for most of last season, Luzardo comes into 2020 fully healthy and on track for the third or fourth spot in Oakland's rotation.
His upside alone warrants a pick in the middle rounds of your fantasy draft.
1. Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox
In 2017, The Chicago White Sox signed Robert to a minor-league contract, which included a $26 million signing bonus after spending four successful seasons in Cuba.
Last season, the 19-year-old prospect had a sensational season in the minors recording 32 home runs and 36 stolen bases with a .328 batting average while making three stops at High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A.
He's coming into the 2020 season with an everyday role and should push for 15-plus home runs and 20-plus stolen bases while scoring plenty of runs. His batting average and on-base percentage will leave owners wanting more, but Robert's raw power and speed should make him the first rookie taken in fantasy drafts this season.
- A.J. Puk, LHP, Oakland Athletics
- Dylan Carlson, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
- Michael Kopech, RHP, Chicago White Sox
- Carter Kieboom, SS, Washington Nationals
- Forrest Whitley, RHP, Houston Astros
Check out the rest of our 2020 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.