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Dynasty Baseball Stock Watch: The Next Top Overall Dynasty Prospect

Who is the next top prospect in dynasty leagues? Arguably the biggest key to success in dynasty leagues is identifying potential shifts in long-term value and acquiring those players before their stock skyrockets. Top prospects Wyatt Langford, Jackson Chourio, Evan Carter, Jackson Holliday, Victor Scott II, Jackson Merrill, Colt Keith have already arrived in the majors. Several additional high-impact prospects find themselves on the doorstep of the big leagues including Junior Caminero, Paul Skenes, Dylan Crews, James Wood, Jasson Domínguez, Noelvi Marte, Jordan Lawlar, Spencer Jones, Colson Montgomery and Pete Crow-Armstrong. With those players no longer in the mix in a few months, there’s a strong possibility we’re looking at a brand new top overall dynasty prospect by the end of the year.

So, who are the top candidates? This column takes a look at five potential candidates that might generate enough helium to finish as the top prospect in dynasty leagues in a few months. Let’s start with identifying who it won’t be. The unfortunate reality of this exercise is that we’re forced to exclude starting pitchers and catchers from the conversation given the inherent injury question marks that come with those respective positions. That’s not an indictment of either Samuel Basallo or Ethan Salas, both of whom project as impact fantasy contributors, it’s just highly unlikely that they’ll usurp some of the alternatives at the absolute apex of dynasty league rankings in the future. We won’t knock dynasty managers who want to go completely off the board in search of the next top prospect, but we’re going to stick to candidates with a bit more of an established professional track record who are still a hyperspace jump (or two) away from making it to the majors.

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The Next Top Overall Dynasty Prospect

The Candidates

Colt Emerson, SS, Mariners

The vibes have been phenomenal for Emerson since being selected 22nd overall in the 2023 MLB Draft as he drew rave reviews during spring training after posting a 1.045 OPS with two homers and eight steals in 24 games in his professional debut. The 18-year-old shortstop is off to a sizzling-hot start this season for Single-A Modesto with a .991 OPS with two homers and one steal already through five contests. An advanced hitter who pairs a lightning-quick bat with plus bat-to-ball skills and developing over-the-fence pop, he’s checking all of the boxes so far. Given his age and stratospheric talent, Emerson appears headed for a meteoric rise over the next few months, especially if he’s tearing the cover off the ball in the upper minors before his 19th birthday. It’s abundantly clear that Seattle knocked it out of the park when they took Emerson as one of last year’s three first-round picks and he projects as a future five-category impact fantasy contributor. If we had to pick someone right now, there’s a non-zero chance Emerson is the top dynasty prospect in baseball at this time next year.

Roman Anthony, OF, Red Sox

The betting favorite at the moment in these sweepstakes, Anthony is currently the highest-ranked dynasty prospect on the Fantrax Top 500 Dynasty Rankings list, slotting in just inside the top 100 overall in the latest update, after rocketing through three levels at just 19 years old. It’s only been a handful of games this season for Double-A Portland, but he’s picked up right where he left off with two homers and two steals in six games. It’s not unimaginable that he will make it to the majors at some point later this season, but in the event that he spends the entire 2024 campaign in the upper minors, he’ll have a strong shot at finishing as the top prospect in the dynasty league landscape entering 2025. He’s been a household name for dynasty managers for a while at this point, which makes him the proverbial safety school in this exercise. That doesn’t mean Anthony isn’t one of the most exciting long-term prospects in the dynasty landscape.

Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF, Twins

If you’re looking for a fast riser, Rodriguez fits the bill as a power/speed combo threat with a sky-high upside. The 21-year-old outfielder has gotten off to a blistering start this season for Double-A Wichita, homering four times in five games this past week, and currently boasts the highest OPS (1.594) in the entire minors in an extremely small sample size. He won’t sustain these astronomical production levels moving forward, but it’s worth noting that his big-time over-the-fence pop is showing up against higher-level competition. It’s not out of the question that he could make it to Minnesota later this year and has a chance to blossom into one of the top dynasty prospects in the game, especially if his plate discipline marginally improves as he advances through the upper levels of the minors. Don’t count him out.

Lazaro Montes, OF, Mariners

Montes is a bit more of a wild card in this exercise than the rest of these candidates after hitting .303 with 13 round-trippers in 70 games last year in his professional debut. The 19-year-old Cuban native possesses a massive 6-foot-5 frame, which leads to significant over-the-fence pop. He’s also displayed better than anticipated plate skills so far, which gives him a shot at long-term success as he advances toward the upper minors. He’s further from the majors than pretty much every other contender, but his offensive upside is pretty off-the-charts if everything comes together. We’re obligated to include him on this list as few prospects in the minors can match his long-term power projection, but there’s still a wide range of potential outcomes here.

Walker Jenkins, OF, Twins

Jenkins was selected fifth overall last summer in the 2023 MLB Draft and seemingly checks every box from a long-term standpoint with pretty much every physical tool necessary to make a significant fantasy impact someday. The 19-year-old outfielder is currently on the injured list due to a hamstring injury that he suffered earlier this month at Single-A Fort Myers when he collided with the center-field wall attempt to make a leaping catch. Assuming he comes back healthy, he figures to ascend to the upper minors by the end of the season, which puts him well ahead of most hitters his age. Given his prospect pedigree and age, he might be the safest option in this exercise relative to the rest of the field.

Also considered: Samuel Basallo, Ethan Salas, Max Clark, Jett Williams, Adael Amador, Chase DeLauter, Roderick Arias

Dark Horses Candidates

Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State University

If we’re looking for the next Wyatt Langford-style meteoric rise from the collegiate ranks to the doorstop of the majors, it’s not unthinkable to envision a similar scenario with Bazzana, who is currently batting .455 with 18 homers and nine steals through 34 games for Oregon State University. The 21-year-old Australian native figures to hit the ground running in his impending professional debut and could wind up among the top prospects in the dynasty landscape in short order.

Matt Shaw, 2B, Cubs

I’m a bit higher on Shaw than most dynasty rankers and the only reason for trepidation here is that he might ascend to the majors later this season if he continues tearing the cover off the ball. The 22-year-old infielder, who was selected 13th overall last summer in the 2023 MLB Draft, launched two homers last Sunday for Double-A Tennessee and is batting .381 (8-for-21) with three homers and three steals in just seven games. I’d put him in the previous category as part of this exercise, but I’m fairly confident he’ll arrive in Chicago at some point this summer.

Xavier Isaac, 1B, Rays

It’s rare for a first base prospect to morph into a serious contender for the top spot in dynasty league prospect rankings, but Isaac might have a shot. The 20-year-old slugger looked extremely impressive last year with a .285/.395/.521 triple-slash line with 19 homers and 12 steals in 433 plate appearances between Single-A Charleston and High-A Bowling Green. His massive lefty frame and disciplined approach at the dish are already resulting in tremendous over-the-fence power and on-base percentages, which give him a shot at fantasy superstar status if his plate skills improve. There’s still some work to be done in that department as he rises to the upper minors, but he has plenty of time from a development standpoint and could be an absolute monster if he starts truly commanding the strike zone against high-level competition.

Leodalis De Vries, SS, Padres

We’re not quite going completely off the board here, but the fact that De Vries was even in camp with the Padres this spring at just 17 years old is an indication of what the club thinks of him. The top overall international prospect from the most recent signing class figures to rise up dynasty league rankings lists once he makes his professional debut. If you’re looking for an out-of-nowhere riser, it’s De Vries.

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