5 Dynasty Baseball Prospect Risers 4-30-23

by Mike Schneider
5 Dynasty Baseball Prospect Risers 4-30-23

I will be profiling 5 Dynasty Baseball Prospect Risers that are in my Prospect Rankings as of 4-30-23.

These prospects have had an impressive first month of the season and are moving up the rankings.

One of these prospects is putting up big numbers despite skipping a level and being the youngest player in AA.

Two of these prospects are having success at AAA in rebuilding organizations and should be getting a major league opportunity very soon.

The two pitching prospects that are profiled were traded at the 2022 deadline in deals that their original organization may regret.

5 Dynasty Baseball Prospect Risers 4-30-23

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Edgar Quero, Angels, C, Age 20, Ranking 103

Before getting injured on April 20th the Angels were getting a lot of production from a rookie catcher in Logan O'Hoppe who had a 142 w RC+ in 16 games.

The Angels have another catching prospect who is unlikely to be ready this year but has huge upside for the future.

Edgar Quero was signed by the Angels out of Cuba for a signing bonus of $200,000 in February 2021.

The then 18 year old switch hitting Quero played 29 games in 2021 in the Arizona Complex League where he had a .946 OPS with four homers. He finished the season playing ten games for Single A Inland Empire.

In 2022, Quero spent all of the season with Inland Empire and established himself as a top prospect while still a teenager. In 111 games he had a 150 wRC+ with 65 extra base hits.  Quero struck out 17.7% of the time with a walk rate of 14.2%.

In 2023, the Angels assigned Quero to AA Rocket City skipping High A despite just turning 20 years old on April 6th. Quero has gotten off to a fast start with a .352/.507/.463 split. He has walked more than struck out. He has six doubles in 15 games.

Quero is clearly a very advanced hitter.  He threw out 29 base stealers in 2022 and has a good arm.  His defense is not advanced as his bat but Quero has the potential to be at least an average defensive catcher.

There are few catching prospects in baseball that have a higher potential of being a fantasy asset in the future than Quero.

Justyn-Henry Malloy, Tigers, 3B, Age 23, Ranking 267

If you are playing in an on base percentage league, Justyn-Henry Malloy is a prospect that should be on your radar.

Malloy played his high school ball in New Jersey and began his college career at Vanderbilt.  In 2019 and the pandemic shortened 2020 season, Malloy only played in 26 games for Vanderbilt. He transferred to Georgia Tech for 2021 and had a strong season with 11 homers and a .994 OPS in 56 games. The Braves selected Malloy in the sixth round.

Malloy played 37 games in 2021 for Single A Augusta where he hit five homers and had a .388 on base percentage.

Last season, Malloy played 71 games for High A Rome ,54 games for AA Mississippi and the final eight games at AAA Gwinnett.  At each level, Mlloy had a on base percentage of over .400.  He had a total of 17 homers with a .862 OPS.

In the off-season the Braves traded Malloy to the Tigers for Joe Jiménez.  Obviously, there is a lot more opportunity for Malloy with Detroit than Atlanta.

Malloy has gotten off to a fast start in 2023.  He is walking (18%) almost as much as he is striking out (20.7%)  and has a spectacular split of .348/.477/.539.

Defensively, the Braves had moved Malloy from third base to leftfield in the second half of 2022 with Austin Riley blocking him. With the Tigers Malloy is back at third.  He is an average at best defender.

If Malloy continues to produce. expect to see him in the majors sooner rather than later.

Matt McLain, Reds, SS Age 23 Ranking 46

Matt McLain was originally drafted with the 25th overall pick in the 2018 draft by the Diamondbacks but did not sign and went to UCLA. McLain was one of the best hitters in the NCAA in 2021. The Reds selected McLain with the 17th overall pick in the 2021 draft.

In his first season in pro ball, the Red assigned McLain to AA Chatanooga where he struck out 28.1% of the time after striking out only 20.6% of the time in college.  However, he also walked 15.5% of the time and hit 17 homers with a 116 wRC+.

At AAA in 2023, McLain started slowly with a .176 batting average in the first ten games.  ln the next 14 games, McLain has a .563 on base percentage with five homers, a 380 ISO and a 251 wRC+.

McLain is a versatile defender who played third base and centerfield as a freshman.  In his Sophomore and Junior years at UCLA, McLain played shortstop.  As a pro, McLain has primarily been a shortstop and he has been impressively defensively.  However, he recently moved to second base when Elly De La Cruz was activated on April 20th.

The rebuilding Reds have had Jose Barrero and Kevin Newman playing shortstop for them this year.  Look for McLain to be called up soon and have an opportunity to be the everyday shortstop for the remainder of the year.

Elly De la Cruz got a late start to this year, he is just 21 years old and he has a high strikeout rate.  De La Cruz is probably a year away. Next year it will be interesting to see the defensive alignment between Jonathan India, McLain and De La Cruz. With Christian Encarnacion-Strand projected to be the future first basemen, the Reds have a chance to have a nice, young inexpensive infield for the next few years.

Ben Brown, Cubs, RHP Age 23, Ranking 255

The Phillies drafted Ben Brown in the 33rd round of the 2017 draft and signed him to a $60,000 signing bonus.  Brown was a tall, (6'6"),  raw high school pitcher from Long Island.

Brown was a project for the Phillies who pitched just 25.2 innings in full season ball prior to 2022 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2019.  Last year, Brown took a leap forward with 73 strong innings at High A Jersey Shore where he held batters to a .197 batting average against and had a 27.6% strikeout minus walk rate.

At the trade deadline, the Phillies needed bullpen help and traded Brown to the Cubs for David Robertson.  The Phillies of course ended up in the World Series and Robertson was solid for them, but trading away Brown may prove to be costly.

The Cubs promoted Brown to AA Tennessee immediately following the trade.  Brown made seven starts at the end of the year at AA and pitched well in six of the games.

Brown was assigned to AA to begin 2023 and has taken it to another level in his first four starts.  In 20 innings, Brown has allowed just one earned run while striking to 39% of batters.

Brown does need to improve his command but he has three above-average pitches (fastball, curveball and slider) and has the potential to be a valuable late blooming mid-rotation starter.

Nick Frasso, Dodgers, RHP Age 24, Ranking 233

At the trade deadline last year, the Dodgers made what appeared to be an odd trade with the Blue Jays.

They traded Mitch White a 27-year-old pitcher who had a 3.58 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP in 105.2 innings in the majors between 2020 and 2022 and Alex De Je Jesus an infielder who had a 123 wRC+ as a19 year in Single-A in 2021.

The Dodgers received two pitchers, Nick Frasso a 2020 fourth-round draft pick out of Loyola Maryland who underwent Tommy John surgery and only threw 41.2 innings as a pro and Moises Brito a 20-year-old who the Jays had just signed in June and was pitching in the Dominican Summer League.

The tall (6'5") hard-throwing Frasso was overpowering in ten starts in 2022 totaling 36.2 innings prior to the trade holding batters to a .127 batting average against with a strikeout rate of 416%. After the trade Frasso made two short starts at High A Great Lakes before the Dodgers promoted him to AA Tulsa where he made four short starts to finish the year.

In 2023 Frasso is again at AA Tulsa and he has made four starts throwing 18 innings where he has allowed just three runs while striking out 26 while only walking three.

In addition, to an explosive fastball, Frasso's secondary pitches are improving.  The biggest question with Frasso going forward is his durability since he has only pitched more than four innings in a pro game a few times.

The Dodgers have proven once again that they are really smart and good at developing their prospects.  Frasso is one of a number of high-end arms that have in their farm system.  Others include Bobby Miller, Gavin Stone, Nick Nastrini, Landon Knack, Emmet Sheehan, Maddox Bruns and Ronan Kopp.

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