The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

24 Hitting Prospects on the Rise – Dynasty Baseball

Minor League baseball is back in full swing. After a long offseason, we have our first chance to scour the box scores, read updates about potential growth, and begin our attempt to find the breakout players before they become hot commodities. If you have spent enough time on social media, you’re probably tired of hearing “small sample size,” but it is an unfortunate reality when digging through stats at such an early phase of the season.

It is easy to dismiss 50 plate appearances as nothing more than noise in the big picture. And you won’t get a loud argument from me. But some of the biggest risers in the prospect world begin that ascension right out of the gate. The willingness to strategically speculate on prospects showing early signs is part of the game. That doesn’t mean that everything we thought coming into the season goes out the window, but we need to be flexible enough to recognize when potential changes have occurred.

Throughout the year, I will be analyzing the prospect world through a statistical lens. As more information becomes available, it will become easier to draw conclusions and hone in on specific targets. The ultimate goal of this exercise will be to discuss the prospect landscape as it unfolds, hopefully, discover names early, and learn some lessons that we can carry into the future. As more details become available, I will spruce up the articles with more visual leaderboards and discuss the different angles I use to identify prospects using numbers.

Nothing I do is particularly earth-shattering, but I hope that breaking it down in a simple, easy-to-understand manner will be helpful for players of all experience levels. Think of this as an early target list. You can interact with the players listed here via free agent pickups or the trade market, depending on the depth of your league.

6 Hitting Prospects to Target at Each Level

Triple-A Risers

Royce Lewis, SS, Twins
The former #1 overall pick has bounced back from injuries and is off to a strong start. The 22-year-old is hitting .309/.418/.582 with seven doubles, two home runs, and three stolen bases in 67 plate appearances. The righty has double-plus raw power and plus speed, so the development of his hit tool is something to monitor closely. Lewis has a healthy 13.4 BB% and 19.4 K%, which indicates a solid approach that is ready for the next level. Proving that he can remain healthy is the last hurdle to clear at this stage of his development. Lewis projects to become an essential part of the organization’s future and will be worth adding in most leagues upon his arrival. There is some sneaky redraft potential if he earns consistent playing time.

Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, Royals
The 2021 breakout has carried over his success from last season. The 24-year-old is hitting .286/.423/.482 with two home runs and three stolen bases in 71 plate appearances. The lefty possesses a plus hit tool, as evidenced by his outstanding 12.7 K%. Pasquantino has more walks than strikeouts and is making a case to receive an extended look this summer. While he does not carry the same power potential as teammate Nick Pratto, there is a strong case that Pasquantino is indeed the better overall hitter. His ceiling is not as high as top tier sluggers like Triston Casas or Spencer Torkelson. But he should have a productive career and is a strong target at the right price.

Keep an eye on
Jose Fermin, SS, Guardians
Isaac Parades, 3B, Rays
Cal Mitchell, OF, Pirates
Samad Taylor, 2B, Blue Jays

Double-A Risers

Ezequiel Tovar, SS, Rockies
The 20-year-old continues to rake after a surprisingly successful stint in Big League camp during Spring Training. A plus defender who projects to remain at shortstop, Tovar has begun turning heads with signs of developing power. The righty possesses a plus hit tool and showed a surprising ability to steal bases at a high clip during his mini-breakout last year. This season, Tovar is hitting .280/.368/.560 with three home runs and three stolen bases in 57 plate appearances. The middle infielder is very intriguing when considering his age, level, position, and eventual home park.

Matt McLain, SS, Reds
Selected 17th overall in the 2021 MLB Draft, the 22-year-old hasn’t taken long to get acclimated to professional ball. McLain is an advanced college bat with a plus hit tool and plus speed. Listed at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, the righty doesn’t have the prototypical size of a premium prospect, but his well-rounded skill set suggests a high floor. The righty is hitting .283/.358/.652 with four doubles, two triples, three home runs, and two stolen bases in 53 plate appearances. Early signs of increased power is the missing link. McLain feels like a quick riser through the system that could work his way into a depleted Reds lineup as quickly as 2023.

Keep an eye on
Liover Peguero, SS, Pirates
Felix Valerio, 2B, Brewers
Esteury Ruiz, 2B, Padres
Connor Scott, OF, Pirates

High-A Risers

Masyn Winn, SS, Cardinals
The organization made the decision to have Winn focus exclusively on offense after being selected as a two-way player in the 2020 draft. The choice seems to have paid off in the early going. The 20-year-old is hitting .455/.500/.697 with three doubles, two triples, and four stolen bases in 40 plate appearances. The righty has plus speed and projects to develop power. A better-than-advertised hit tool would transform Winn into a coveted prospect. There is some untapped potential in his bat now that he’s focused solely on that side of the ball. An early investment as a secondary target via trade makes a lot of sense.

Evan Carter, OF, Rangers
The big teenager missed a large chunk of the 2021 season, but showed glimpses of his potential while on the field. This year, the lefty is hitting .333/.442/.476 with two doubles, two triples, and three stolen bases. He has a plus hit tool, plus speed, with below-average power. The organization has high hopes for Carter when considering how aggressive they’ve been with his assignments. Listed at 6’4” 190 lbs. there is optimism that Carter can tap into more power as he grows into his strength. Should that occur, he would be a highly coveted dynasty asset. As it stands, he’s got plenty of intrigue as an upside stash, particularly in OBP settings.

Keep an eye on
Ceddanne Rafaela, 3B, Red Sox
Jordyn Adams, OF, Angels
Matthew Lugo, SS, Red Sox
Cooper Bowman, 2B, Yankees

Low-A Risers

Adael Amador, SS, Rockies
An athletic, switch-hitting shortstop with plus speed excelling in full-season ball doesn’t stay a secret for long. The 19-year-old is hitting .348/.466/.543 with two home runs and two stolen bases in 58 plate appearances. His 19.0 BB% and 12.1 K% are outstanding and indicate his hit tool is more advanced than its given credit. Amador is outperforming some highly-touted players his age, and checking several boxes I look for in players on the verge of ascending. When considering the lack of hype, paired with an intriguing skill set, Amador is an outstanding long-term dynasty target at this stage.

Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Cubs
The 20-year-old is a high-upside prospect returning from a torn labrum. The lefty has bounced back in a big way and looks poised to take the leap we saw Robert Hassell III make last season. He is hitting .289/.449/.553 with two home runs and six stolen bases in 49 plate appearances in the early going. Crow-Armstrong has an above-average hit tool, plus speed and developing power. The athletic center fielder projects to be a double-plus defender, which will help expedite his arrival to the Majors. Crow-Armstrong has a fantasy-friendly skill set and makes for a savvy addition before a full breakout.

Keep an eye on
Alex Ramirez, OF, Mets
Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF, Twins­­­
Werner Blakely, SS, Angels
Jeremy De La Rosa, Nationals

Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites over the last few years, and we’re not stopping now. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.