Under-the-Radar Dynasty Baseball Prospect: Junior Caminero

by Alex Welch
Junior Caminero Tampa Bay Rays dynasty baseball prospect

We're starting to see more potential breakout predictions for 2023, so it's time to get ahead of this one while you can. This week we're looking at dynasty baseball prospect Junior Caminero.

The 19-year-old Tampa Bay Rays prospect brings a promising power outlook. He hasn't see a ton of playing time yet, so 2023 could really launch him up prospect rankings.

Caminero signed with Cleveland in 2019 and then missed a year due to COVID.  Tampa Bay traded for him at the end of 2021, taking a shot on this high-upside infielder. On his minor league page he's listed at 5'7", 157 lbs. Some writers have questioned those numbers, though, pointing to this photo Caminero posted with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who checks in at 6'2", 250 lbs.

The possibly 6'3" Caminero dominated the DSL in 2021 slashing .295/.380/.534 with 9 HRs and 33 RBIs in 43 games. He continued that hot streak through CPX and Low-A in 2022. He'll face a tougher test at Double-A this season, but a strong showing this year could skyrocket his value in dynasty leagues.

Under-the-Radar Dynasty Baseball Prospect: Junior Caminero

2022 in Review

SeasonTeamLevelGPAHRRRBISBBB%K%ISOAVGOBPSLGwRC+
2022TBRCPX361545183179.7%13.6%.167.326.403.492147
2022TBRA261176192056.8%18.8%.206.299.359.505137

You'd like to see the walk rate sustain itself a bit more, but that's a huge year for such a young hitter. He's now posted a wRC+ of 144, 147, and 137 respectively through three levels. Another plus, his plate approach looks solid, as he has yet to post a strikeout rate higher than 19%.

Only five prospects under the age of 20 hit 10+ HRs with a .300+ batting average in 2022 (min. 200 PA). That group includes: James Wood, Jordan Lawlar, Devison De Los Santos, Edgar Quero and, you guessed it, Caminero. The latter also posted the lowest K% of that bunch.

Fangraphs' Eric Longenhagen noted Caminero's peak exit velocities "are absurd for a teenager." Baseball America's Dylan White thinks the young hitter has a "reasonably likely outcome of 30-plus home runs per season." Baseball America also lists Caminero as the Rays best power hitting prospect this year.

He continued his hot 2022 in the Australian Baseball League in the fall, playing with the Perth Heat. The numbers looked good Down Under, too.

Looking Ahead

The Rays take their time moving their prospects up through the organization,  but Caminero could get a taste of Triple-A by the end of 2023. His manager from the Charleston RiverDogs said, "He's just a guy who can impact the ball as good as anyone I've ever seen. A lot of power and he's mature in terms of offensive approach. Very mature for his age.’’

So far Tampa has played him at several positions in the infield. The consensus opinion seems to be that he is best suited for third base long-term. That's not a deep position for fantasy owners at the moment.

Caminero should be at the top of your watchlist for the 2023 season. He'll turn 20 in July, and we hope to see that power continue to progress without too many changes in his profile.

He's becoming a more popular name in the industry, but average dynasty owners probably aren't too familiar with the name yet. F6P's Dave Eddy put Caminero at No. 420 overall in his latest dynasty rankings. Acquiring him before the season gets underway is probably your best bet. And if you already own Caminero, he could become a major bargaining chip depending on how this year goes.

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