Dynasty Baseball Prospect Watch – Loperfido/Manzardo/Martinez

by Alex Welch
Dynasty Baseball Prospect Watch

This week's Dynasty Baseball Prospect Watch checks in on players like Joey Loperfido, Kyle Manzardo, and Orelvis Martinez.

In this series, we look at what's happening across minor league box scores to find the top performances across all levels. We're still over a week away from rookie ball getting started, but there's plenty of action across the other leagues.

Pitching might be a little tougher to evaluate this early in the season. Most minor league starters have four starts at most. But remember how fast some names like Andrew Abbott and Emmet Sheehan climbed in 2023. It's good to have a couple of spots on your roster to add arms like a few of the pitchers mentioned below.

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

Joey Loperfido, OF, Houston Astros

If you keep up with minor league baseball at all, you've surely seen a clip of Loperfido demolishing a baseball this season. He's slashing .279/.373/.733 with a 1.105 OPS, and he's now up to 12 home runs on the season.

Strikeouts are the one blemish in his game. It's a sizable blemish. His 31.4% strikeout rate is concerning, but he's also walking at an 11.8% clip, and his contact rate remains above 70%.

The Astros are now 7-18 in 2024. They desperately need some sort of spark in their lineup. Loperfido could be called up any day now. He'll be worth grabbing in most redraft leagues. His price is probably as high as it will get as a prospect in dynasty leagues.

Orelvis Martinez, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays

We might be witnessing the Orelvis redemption tour. His stock took a hit over the past couple of years with a barely-above-Mendoza line average in 2022 and more struggles at Double-A last season. But he's hitting .316 with 155 wRC+ at Triple-A in 2024.

Last week he crushed a 469-foot grand slam against Columbus amid a hitting streak that just ended the other night at 15 games. He's up to 6 HR and 18 RBI in 19 games.

The Blue Jays have a growing crowd of guys who can play third base, and we can assume Bo Bichette isn't moving anywhere despite his .216 batting average. But keep an eye on Martinez as the season progresses to see in Toronto rewards him with a call-up.

Kyle Manzardo, 1B, Cleveland Guardians

Staying on the redemption narrative, Manzardo looks to be back to his old form from when he quickly ascended prospect rankings. He's batting .292 with 5 HR, 12 RBI, and 139 wRC+ this season at Triple-A.

Since April 20, Manzardo has four of those five homers. It's good to see an uptick in power, a part of his game that remains a bit of a question for his long-term fantasy value at first base.

The plate approach remains excellent with nearly as many walks as strikeouts. OBP leagues will love when he gets the call from the Guardians.

Cam Collier, 3B, Cincinnati Reds

Fine, we'll keep the redemption going going with Collier. He hit six home runs in 111 games in 2023. He has six home runs in 16 games in 2024. Not a bad bounceback.

Last season Collier struggled to get the ball in the air. Early returns this year are promising, and dynasty players will hope he continues to tap into his sizable raw power.

Collier's walk rate has plummeted to 4.3%. He's clearly working on a different approach as he pulls more fly balls, so we'll hope he smoothes things out in that area of his game.

Kevin Alcantara, OF, Chicago Cubs

Alcantara hasn't exactly been on fire to start 2024. He began the year hitless in his first seven games, but he's now batting.538 with four homers over his past six starts.

The power is real. Fangraphs gives Alcantara 70-grade raw power, and he looks like he's tapping more into that over the past week.

It's easy to dream on the potential of the Cubs' 6'6" outfielder. He continues to be an extremely streaky hitter who looks like a five-category contributor when he's hot.

Pitchers

Christian Scott, RHP, New York Mets

I would guess we see the minor league strikeout leader in the majors soon. Scott is cruising at Triple-A with a 3.48 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 20.2 IP.

He only has four walks in four starts with a 39.0% K-BB rate. This is coming off a spring training with nearly identical numbers.

Scott needs a spot to open up, though. Luis Severino, Jose Quintana, and Sean Manaea are entrenched as starters. Jose Butto is making a case to stay. Adrian Houser has two decent starts mixed with two meltdowns against the Braves and Dodgers.

Keep Scott on your radar as he should get a shot in New York within the next few weeks.

Caden Dana, RHP, Los Angeles Angels

Dana is coming off his best start of the year. He went 7 IP against Pensacola with a nearly spotless line of 2 H, 1 BB, and 8 K.

That puts him at a 1.47 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 18.1 IP this season. Double-A doesn't appear to be much of a test for Dana as batters are hitting .131 against him.

The 6'4" righty looks like a future mid-to-front rotation starter for the Angels depending on his continued development. He's still available in plenty of dynasty leagues as he slowly gains recognition from fantasy players.

Owen Murphy, RHP, Atlanta Braves

Murphy is dominating High-A this season. Through three starts he has 27 strikeouts in 17 innings of work with batters hitting — same as Dana — .131 against him.

His 9.0% walk rate is still higher than you'd like to see. That's the biggest concern as he advances through Atlanta's farm system.

He brings three above-average pitches to the table, so if the Braves can rein in his control, we're looking at a promising starter with one of the league's best lineups behind him.


Check out F6P's full prospect rankings for more.

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