Welcome to the September 15th edition of the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings.
During the season the prospect rankings are updated on the 15th and 30th of each month.
2022 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings
The minor league regular season has ended except at the upper levels. The AA regular season ends this week and AAA regular season concludes on Sepember 28th.
This is the penultimate edition of the prospect rankings. On Sepember 30th the rankings will be updated again with a year in review article. There will be a mini update after the Arizona Fall season is finished.
Looking Back at My Pre Season Bold Predictions
Back in March I made ten bold prospect predictions. Some turned out good and others not so much.
- Corbin Carroll Will End the Year as the Top Prospect in Baseball
- Kyle Harrison Becomes the Top Pitching Prospect in Baseball by the End of the Year
- Erick Peña, Curtis Mead and Jordan Balazovic will Fall in Rankings in 2022
Despite only seven games of full season base coming into the year, Caroll was terrific in 2022 and is the best prospect in baseball although he may have played his last game in the minors.
Harrison just turned 21 and spent most of the year in AA where he was very good. He is my number two ranked pitching prospect behind only Grayson Rodriguez who is only still a prospect due to an injury.
Both Erick Peña (.149 BA and 37.1 strikeout rate) and Jordan Balazovic ( 2.04 WHIP) had rough years in 2022. Mead had a solid year but has only played four games since July 23rd. I question Mead's upside from a fantasy perspective.
- One of Forrest Whitley or MacKenzie Gore Will Have an ADP in the Top 125 in 2023
- Jose Siri, Heliot Ramos and Elehuris Montero end 2022 with regular MLB jobs and successful rookie seasons
- Jasson Domínguez Has a Huge Year and Finishes the Year as a Top Five Prospect
- Zac Veen Struggles for Much of 2022 in High A but Finishes Strong
Gore looked great in spring training and was surprisingly in the Padres rotation for most of the first half. After an encouraging beginning, he had a few rough starts before the All-Star break and has been on the injured list since then. Gore got traded to the Nationals and should be in their rotation in 2023.
Whitley returned from Tommy John surgery in the middle of the season. He had a few strong outings but has struggled with his control. He will be 26 in 2023 and it will be a big year for him.
Siri has been playing semi regularly since being traded to Tampa at the trade deadline. He is unlikely to hit for a high average but is strong defensively with plenty of speed and some pop.
Heliot Ramos has been among the most disappointing prospect in baseball for a second straight year. There were reports about how great he looked at the Giants' Alternate Training site in 2020 but he has been unable to produce in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League.
The Rockies are going to Rockie. Elehuris Montero has looked impressive at times and could put up nice numbers especially at Coor Field but has not been given a chance to play regularly despite Kris Bryant's injury. Despite not playing great at High A, the Rockies promoted Zac Veen to AA Hartford on August 9th and he clearly is not ready for AA pitching.
Jasson Domínguez is not quite a top five prospect but he had a nice year at High A for a 19 year old and is a few games of experience at AA this week.
- Jordyn Adams Is the 2022 Version of MJ Melendez and Nick Pratto
- Johan Rojas Will Be a Top 25 Prospect By the End of the Season
- J.T. Ginn Will Be a Consensus top 50 Prospect by the End of the Year
- Ricky Vanasco and Alec Marsh Will Stay Healthy and Shoot Up Rankings
Adams is an elite athlete who looked like he had a lot of baseball skills in 2019 at Full season A. In 2021 at High A he was out injured for much of the early season and never got on track. In 2022 although he caught down on his strikeouts Adams had a second straight disappointing year.
The Phillies have been very aggressive with Rojas who has elite speed. However, he is going to have to show more skills to be a top 25 prospect.
Ginn has been limited to 42.1 innings in 2022 and is still trying to get back to the level where he was at Mississippi State prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery.
The less said about the 2022 season for Vanasco and Marsh the better. I was very wrong about both.
Prospects That Caught My Eye
Big Time Power Potential
Deyvison De Los Santos is a 19 year man child that is already in AA who does not appear to get the attention that he deserves.
The Diamondbacks have been very aggressive with De Los Santos. He reached full season ball last August and had a .761 OPS in 37 games. In 2022 De Los Santos was terrific in 78 games at Visalia in the California League hitting 12 homers with a .392 wOBA, earning promotion to High A Hillsboro on July 22nd.
De Los Santos played just 38 games at High A where he hit nine homers but his strikeout rate increased from 24.1% at Visiilia to 32.5% at Hillsboro. The Dbacks promoted De Los Santos to AA Amarillo on September 6th for the last couple of weeks of the season. This is likely just to get a feel for AA pitching and have an extra week of games.
De Los Santos is good enough defensively to stick at third base. He has the potential to be a middle of the order bat.
Deyvison De Los Santos homers at his THIRD different level in 2022!
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 15, 2022
Another Jays Infield Prospect That Could be an Impact Bat
Looking At Sosa Again
I discussed Lenyn Sosa back in my May 15th article.
After graduating several big named prospects in recent years, the White Sox farm system do not have many prospects left. While Lenyn Sosa has always been young for his age, there was not much to get excited about with no speed and little patience.
However, in 2022, the 22 year old is in AA and the walk rate has improved(12 in 30 games versus 16 in 115 games in 2021) and the power is starting to come (205 ISO).
The White Sox do not have a long term second basemen and if Sosa keeps it up, he could get a shot as soon as 2023.
Sosa was so good in 62 games to begin 2022 for AA Birmingham (140 wRC+) that he was called up to the majors by the White Sox on June 23rd. He only played four games with the White Sox before being sent down to AAA. In his first exposure to AAA, Sosa did not stand out in his first 23 games but was called back to the majors by the White Sox on August 5th due to injuries. Sosa struggled in a brief opportunity with the White Sox and was sent back down to AAA Charlotte on August 19th.
In the 21 games in AAA since Sosa was sent down, Sosa has started to play better (106 wRC+). While Sosa was not ready for the majors in 2022, I still think he has the potential to figure in the White Sox second base plans in 2023.
Giants Cuban Hitting Prospect
Jairo Pomares has always hit but he started 2022 very slowly. The Giant signed the Cuban born Pomares to a $975,000 signing bonus as part of a huge international class with Marco Luciano and Luis Matos. in 2018.
In 2019 Pomares dominated the Arizona League with a 152 wRC+ before struggling in the least couple of weeks of the season after getting promoted to the Northwest League. After the 2020 minor league season was canceled, Pomares hurt his back and did not start the 2021 season until June 2021. However, he was too much for the California League where in 51 games, Pomares hit .372/.429./692 with 14 homers. He was promoted to High A Eugene for the last month and held his own with six homers and a .774 in 26 games.
Pomares is a bat first corner outfielder so he is going to have to continue to put up big time hitting statistics and continue to develop power in order to become a major league regular.
Pomares who turned 22 last month has spent all of 2022 for High A Eugene. He got off to an awful start in April and May hitting just .198 with a 32.8 strikeout rate. He was not great in June and July. Pomares was better in June and July with a 128wRC+ but the strikeout rate was still 35.6%. Pomares dominated in August hitting .350/.419/ .575 with four homers and a strikeout rate of 24.5% in 22 games. Pomares did not play after August 28th but there is no word of an injury.
Sometimes a benefits from a change of scenery. Clayton Beeter was drafted by the Dodgers in 2020 with the 66th overall selection out of Texas Tech. He had a decent year in 2201 making 22 starts and one relief appearance for High A Great Lakes and finishing the year with five starts for AA Tulsa. On the year, Beeter struck out 36.7% of batters but the walks were a bit high at 10.3%.
In 2022 for AA Tulsa, Beeter was striking out 36.1% of batters but the walks were up to 14.3% leading to a 1.61 WHIP. When the Dodgers acquired Joey Gallo at the trade deadline, Beeter was dealt to the Yankees.
With AA Somerset, Beeter has made six starts and struck out 40% of batters while walking 10.6% of hitters. He had back to back dominant outings with AA Somerset where combined he struck out 18 batters in nine innings while allowing just five hits and two walks.
Beeter's future may be as a multi-inning reliever but he has the potential to be very good in that role.
Teenage Pitching Prospect
2023 Deep Pitching Sleeper
Joey Wentz was part of a strong group of pitching prospects that the Braves had five years ago. The group that included Kyle Wright, Mike Soroka, Ian Anderson, Touki Touissant, Luiz Gohara, Bryse Wilson, Kyle Muller and Kolby Allard have had decidedly mixed results to date.
The lefthanded Wentz was the 40th overall selection in the 2016 draft out of high school in Kansas. He had excellent years in 2017 in the Sally League for Rome and in 2018 at High A.
In 2019 at AA Mississippi as a 21 year old, Wentz struggled some and was traded to the Tigers for Shane Greene at the trade deadline. Wentz ended the year on a high note with five starts at AA Erie after the trade where he has a 33.7% strikeout minus walk rate and a 0.94 WHIP.
Unfortunately, Wentz hurt his arm in spring training 2020 before the pandemic shutdown and had Tommy John surgery. Wentz returned in 2021 but was not at his best with 41 walks in 72 innings.
In 2022 Wentz made his major league debut in May but then missed a couple of months with a shoulder injury. Since returning on July 29th, Wentz has looked stronger than he has since the surgery and on Sepember 9th he got his first major league win with 6.2 shutout innings against the Royals where he allowed only two hits and a walk while striking out five.
Sometimes it takes a year after returning to fully comeback from Tommy John, Wentz is a potential 2023 deep value.
2023 Deep Hitting Sleeper
Chaim Bloom acquired Enmanuel Valdez for the Red Sox in the Christian Vasquez deal with the Astros and he fits the mold of a Rays position player. Valdez received a $450,000 signing bonus but it was not until 2021 that he really became productive.
Valdez hit 26 homers mostly for High A Asheville in 2021 and this year between AA in the Astros organization and AAA with both the Astros and Red Sox organizations he is hitting .303/.387/.573 with 28 homers and a 21.2% strikeout rate.
Valdez is not great defensively but can play second base and all the corner positions. He is a lefthanded hitter who seems like the type who could exceed projections beginning in 2023 in terms of playing time and production.
Enmanuel Valdez has been tearing up Triple-A since being acquired for Christian Vázquez.
In 10 games (44 PAs) for Worcester:
.297/.372/.649 with 4 HR, 9 R, 15 RBI
For the season (AA-AAA):
.324/.406/.610 with 25 HR, 75 R, 92 RBIpic.twitter.com/gVcvmqRzKq
— Big Sox Guy (@BigSoxGuy) August 16, 2022
Another Guardians Pitching Prospect to Keep An Eye On
The Guardians know how to develop pitching and it is wise to keep an eye on any starter in their organization. Rodney Boone was an eight round pick in the 2021 draft out of UC Santa Barbara. The lefthander did not make his pro debut until 2022 and has been at High A Lake County all year.
Boone was up and down most of the year. In 21 starts through August 26th, Boone had a 1.20 WHIP and a 21% strikeout minus walk rate. A solid year but not spectacular. However, Boone closed the year on a high note allowing just four hits and a walk in his last two starts over 12 innings with 20 strikeouts.
Boone who will be 23 at the beginning of 2023 should begin the year at AA Akron in what will be a big year in his development.
Improved Astros Athlete
Zach Daniels is a typical Astros outfield middle round outfield prospect with plenty of athleticism and contact questions. The Astros drafted Daniels in the fourth round of the 2020 draft out of University of Tennessee.
Hot Mariners outfield Prospect
Prospect Ranking Changes
There are six new prospects added to the rankings this time. Headed up by the previously discussed Diamondbacks teenage pitcher from Taiwan.
|459||Zach Daniels||HOU||OF||High A|
|472||Rodney Boone||CLE||LHP||High A|
There are six prospects that moved up the rankings by more than 85 places this time with a big 18 year old pitcher who the Nationals recently acquired leading the way.
|108||Deyvison De Los Santos||18||ARI||3B||AA|
The prospects moving down the rankings include a number of prospects that have already moved down quite a bit since the beginning of the year.
|247||Heston Kjerstad||-29||BAL||RF||High A|
|191||Hunter Bishop||-26||SF||CF||High A|
|168||Austin Hendrick||-24||CIN||RF||High A|
|139||Rece Hinds||-19||CIN||RF/3B||High A|
|94||Luis Matos||-15||SF||CF||High A|
2022 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings
*Note vs. ECR column is not how much the players rank has changed, it is the difference between my ranks and Fantasy Pros Expert Consensus Rankings