Dynasty Baseball Prospect Watch – Williams/Mercedes/Sproat

by Alex Welch
Dynasty Baseball Prospect Watch

This week's Dynasty Baseball Prospect Watch checks in on players like Carson Williams, Yasser Mercedes, and Brandon Sproat. In this series, we look at what's happening across minor league box scores to find the top performances across all levels.

Starting pitching is beginning to stand out a bit more for dynasty prospects this season. If you recall last season, a few names like Andrew Abbott and Emmet Sheehan (who will sadly not pitch for a while after surgery) gained some attention early in 2023 but still took a while to gain widespread rostership.

If you missed out on some of the notable risers this year like Brett Wichrowski and Adam Mazur, there's still a good group of potential starters to grab. Now is the time to jump on some of the names below, especially the three pitching prospects, before others take a chance on them.

Be sure to check out all the other great Fantasy Baseball content F6P has to offer, including our Dynasty Baseball Rankings.

Dynasty Baseball Prospect Watch

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Hitters

Carson Williams, SS, Tampa Rays

Williams looks like he could be an elite prospect at this point. He is absolutely destroying Double-A this season.

In 34 games with Montgomery, Williams is slashing .341/.420/.638 with 8 HR, 22 RBI, 11 SB, and the highest wRC+ (217) of his career. The Rays shortstop of the future is chasing less this season and posting better contact rates, possibly thanks to some adjustments he’s made at the plate.

The walk rate remains a bit higher than you’d like, but he’s cut it down to 25.5% from a gaudy 30+% in his past two seasons. We’ll see how that holds as he moves up to the next level.

Williams is an excellent defender who will certainly stay at his position long-term. That sets a higher bar for his fantasy production, but right now he’s showing he can handle that pressure.

Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF, Minnesota Twins

Is it more notable that Rodriguez is striking out at a 27.6% rate or that he’s walking almost the same amount? Yes, you read that right. Rodriguez has a 26.3% walk rate through 33 games.

The blend of power and speed is on display at Double-A this season, as he’s sitting on 6 HR and 9 SB in 152 plate appearances. Just watch this 112-mph homer and tell me you’re not pumped about this guy.

Is he too passive at the plate? Maybe, but at least OBP leagues will reap the benefits. He’s batting .261 with a 176 wRC+, not far off those marks from his 2022 campaign.

He might not win you a batting title, but Rodriguez is a promising four-category contributor.

Yasser Mercedes, OF, Minnesota Twins

Maybe another season in the complex league is what Mercedes needed. After a rough 2023 season, he now ranks sixth in wRC+ among complex league players through 12 games.

That's a small sample size, but it's a massive improvement from last year. He already has more steals (7) than he did in 25 games in 2023, his walk rate is slowly climbing, and his strikeout rate is down to a modest 16%.

The Twins named him their minor league hitter of the week this past week. With a 1.191 OPS, Mercedes is beginning to live up to some of the hype he built for himself in the Dominican Summer League two years ago.

Plenty of dynasty players abandoned ship after last season, so see if he’s still out there in your league.

Harry Ford, C, Seattle Mariners

Ford has taken a step forward defensively, so he looks like he'll stick behind the plate long-term. That's good news for managers who need some speed at catcher.

Through 37 games at Double-A, Ford is batting .275 with 5 HR and 9 SB. His walk and strikeout rates are almost identical to last season at 18.4% and 19.5% respectively.

He hit 15 homers in 118 games in 2023. He's on nearly the same pace for 2024, and long term we could be looking at a 20/20 hitter. That's a rare find at catcher.

Pitchers

Blade Tidwell, RHP, New York Mets

The first thing that comes to mind when I see his name is the Purple Cobras squad in Dodgeball. Hopefully he’s as fierce of a competitor as that Blade.

Outside of an absolute disaster on May 10, Tidwell looks like a strong contender for the Mets next best pitching prospect with Christian Scott moving up. Tidwell recently got the call-up to Triple-A after posting a 2.16 FIP in seven appearances at Double-A.

His first start at Triple-A offered some promising signs despite his control issues.

Tidwell generates a lot of whiffs, and his arsenal continues to improve after improving his changeup last season. Walks remain the biggest challenge, but if he refines a few things, he could be a No. 2 or 3 starter for the Mets in a best-case scenario. A high-leverage bullpen role is also a decent possibility considering his strike-throwing challenges.

Brandon Sproat, RHP, New York Mets

I could arguably copy the entire Tidwell blurb and paste it here. You know, aside from the Dodgeball stuff.

Sproat shined with the Florida Gators and ranked No. 7 in the nation in strikeouts in 2023. But, like Tidwell, walks have been an issue. In eight appearances this season, he has a 12.8% walk rate.

Sproat cruised through High-A to start this season before getting a call-up to Double-A on May 15. In two starts with Binghamton, Sproat has a 2.25 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 26.1% K-BB rate.

He has more velocity on his fastball than Tidwell, sometimes reaching triple digits. The stuff looks nasty at times. It all comes down to his ability to throw strikes.

Tidwell and Sproat are both worth adding at this point. But don’t be surprised if you ultimately end up with a bullpen arm.

Spencer Schwellenbach, RHP, Atlanta Braves

It might be a difficult name for Fanatics to fit nicely on a jersey, but Schwellenbach is someone you should get familiar with. In eight starts this season, he’s pitched 45 innings with 51 K, 9 ER, and only 10 BB.

Opposing hitters are batting .190 against Schwellenbach, and the 2.33 FIP shows his 1.80 ERA is legit. The Braves moved him up to Double-A a little over a week ago. He’s 2-0 with Mississippi after going 13 IP with 17 K, 5 H, and no runs allowed. Not bad.

Schwellenbach had Tommy John surgery after the Braves drafted him in 2021, and he didn’t debut until 2023. He’s now hitting 99 mph on the gun and posting impressive spin rates on his breaking balls. This all comes with plus control.

Health is the main concern for him long-term. Schwellenbach also missed a month last season with right shoulder inflammation. But everything is working for him right now, and he’s a good add before he makes any more noise at Double-A.


Check out F6P's full prospect rankings for more.

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