Our prospect team is nearing the completion of their 2016 top 10 fantasy prospects for each team, and will culminate their fantastic offseason work by releasing their Top 100 prospect rankings right around the Christmas holiday. The prospect coverage won't end their however, as they will be releasing their Top prospect rankings for each position along with profiles once we begin our Consensus Rankings series beginning in late January or early February.
In the meantime, here are links to each of their Top 10 fantasy prospects for each MLB team, along with an excerpt for the #1 prospect for each team. We hope you enjoy our prospect coverage and hope it assists you in your keeper and dynasty league drafts in 2016.
Before we get to the Top 10 Fantasy Prospects for each team, let's give a special thanks to our prospect team managed by long-time Fake Teams writer Jason Hunt:
Before we get to the top 10 prospects for each MLB team, our prospect team recently published their Top 100 prospects for 2016, and you can find them in the link below:
In addition, Brian Creagh published his Top 20 International Free Agent rankings for 2016:
Onto our Top 10 Fantasy Prospects for each MLB team:
The best case scenario for Harvey is a top 25 starting pitcher for fantasy purposes, providing great ratios along with a high strikeout total. More likely we see him settling in as a solid fantasy starting pitcher who fits into the top 50 among starters.
His overall numbers are very solid at .278/.380/.438 with 8 homers and 49 for 52 in steals, but you have to wonder what he might have been able to do over the course of a full year instead of just 81 games. Moncada is going to be a true five category player with the ceiling of being among the top players in all of fantasy baseball.
If he hits close to his ceiling, he can be a .270+ hitter with 30+ home runs, which would make him a fairly elite option in the outfield for all formats. If the issues with strikeouts continue, and he settles in as more of a .230-.240 hitter with 25 home runs, it probably drops him enough to be more of a tier 2 prospect.
Snell projects as a top of the line #2 starter and should make fantasy owners happy for years to come. This was an easy choice for us as Snell is by far the best prospect in the Raysorganization. He holds value as a starting pitcher in any league format as he will most likely debut in 2016.
Pompey has a profile that supports a solid AVG, excellent SB numbers, and some power to boot. He's exhibited impressive plate discipline in the minors, and will be able to figure it out at the major league level in due time.
Anderson has shown the potential to be an above-average hitter, providing a high batting average with some power and a lot of speed. The ceiling can potentially be a .300 hitter with 10+ HR and 40+ SB on a regular basis, but there are concerns.
There remains the potential for a hitter who can provide 15-20 home runs with 25-30 stolen bases, a solid batting average, and a good on-base percentage with Zimmer, and one who could arrive by the end of 2016.
Fulmer is a relatively safe starting pitching prospect who can be a #3/#4 fantasy starting pitcher, providing solid strikeout totals along with good ratios. Fulmer should head to AAA next season, and could be in line for a call-up by the end of the 2016 season.
Raul A. Mondesi
While the talent is undoubtedly there, he hasn't seen much improvement in his game over the last 3 years from a fantasy standpoint. One thing to note, Mondesi has been much younger than the competition at each of his minor league stops. His development may have been hindered somewhat by the Royals aggressively pushing him through their minor league system.
While comparing him to Trout seems to be unfair, it is important to remember that Trout struggled when he was called up in 2011 similar to how Buxton struggled this year. The fact Buxton struggled in the big leagues shouldn't surprise anyone considering he had limited experience in the upper minors and was shaking off the rust from missing nearly all of 2014.
There is some debate as to whether or not he will be a shortstop in the longterm, due to fringe-y range and arm strength (as well as the presence of Carlos Correa) - but he impressed in his time at Low-A and High-A, and changed some minds along the way. Bregman has the tools to hit around .300 with double-digit home runs and steals, and his advanced, high-contact approach at the plate could help him rocket through the system.
Sean Newcomb (published before the trade to the Braves)
The profile reminds me of early career Francisco Liriano, in that there will be days where you get a potential ace on your team, and others where you want to scream from the inconsistent performance. The hope is that as he goes through AA and AAA, those inconsistencies start to smooth out some.
The key acquisition in the offseason trade that sent 3B Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays, Barreto has offensive abilities that one day might put him on par with the Astros' talented triumvirate. Yet he remains outside Tier 1 thanks to lingering doubts about his chances to stick at shortstop. As Billy Beane acknowledged in a recent interview, the A's boast a number of candidates for the role but no clear shortstop-of-the-future. Barreto, in fact, could move off the infieldaltogether.
Jackson currently has some contact issues, but he has a good approach and a discerning eye, as well as the power to hit 25-plus home runs at his peak. It's a classic right field profile, with a bit more upside depending upon the evolution of his hit tool.
Despite 80-grade power, Gallo generated more discussion among our writers than perhaps any other prospect. His strikeout totals are nearly as jaw-dropping as his raw power: 41.2% of his minor-league ABs have resulted in whiffs. At that rate, Gallo would eclipse MLB's single-season strikeout record in less than 550 ABs. Either Gallo will make the necessary adjustments, or major-league pitchers will expose this one enormous flaw in his game, and the latter is as likely as the former, at least early in his career.
Albies has a great feel for the bat and speed along with the ability to stick at short defensively. The only knock against him other than his size is a byproduct of his size- the fact he is never going to hit for a ton of power, but there is a chance he develops into Jose Altuve type power as he furthers his development.
The upside remains immense, as he could be a top-tier starting pitcher if all three develop as the Marlins hope, but that could be a long time from now. He'll head to High-A Jupiter for the 2016 season.
His fastball sits in the mid-90s, he has two average to above-average off-speed offerings in his change-up and curve, and he has solid-average command. It's a top of the rotation profile - what more is there to say?
He has a patient, high-contact approach, and enough pop to project 12 to 15 home runs with regularity - perhaps even a bit more as he grows. Most everyone agrees that he could hit between .280 and .300 with double-digit steals and home runs while batting at the top of an order. And, most importantly, Crawford is a lock to stick at shortstop.
Giolito is the top pitching prospect in the minors right now, and it's not really all that close. He split last season between High-A and AA, striking out 131 batters over 117 innings. His repertoire, built on an 80-grade fastball, plus curveball, and above-average changeup should provide high strikeout totals for fantasy owners very soon, and paired with his excellent control, can also provide elite ratios. He has the ceiling of a #1 overall starter for both the Nationals and for fantasy owners, and could debut during the 2016 season.
At first blush, Torres' full-season debut may not jump off the page - he hit .293/.353/.386 with 3 HR and 22 SB (against 13 CS) in 538 PA. However, in the context of the pitcher-friendly Midwest League, that line was 16% above-average per wRC+, and Torres was the third-youngest everyday player in the league.
A 2011 first round draftee, it feels as though Robert Stephenson has been on prospect lists forever. The Reds have taken their time with him and it appears that Stephenson will finally be ready to make his debut at some point in 2016. Stephenson isn't likely to be an ace with his high walk rate(4.7 per 9 in 2015), but he should still be a quality #2-3 big league starter.
At shortstop, where he projects to stay, his offensive profile gives him the ceiling of a franchise cornerstone and perennial all-star. At Biloxi in 2015 he slashed .307/.347/.453 with 8 HR and 25 steals.
With the major-league club coming off a 98-win season, expecting to contend for a championship in 2016, but facing serious questions about its starting rotation following the departures of A.J. Burnett and J.A. Happ, Pirates fans will be clamoring for Glasnow's promotion. GM Neal Huntington, however, has hinted that the Bucs' top prospect needs more time in AAA.
Reyes is one of the few pitching prospects in the minors with true ace upside, capable of providing elite strikeout totals on the strength of three potential plus pitches. He still needs to work on his command, but he can still be a mid-rotation starter even with a higher walk total.
Swanson was the first overall pick in the 2015 draft. He is currently a shortstop, but he's not too big where he will need to move to another position. He held up perfectly well in his first exposure to pro ball, hitting .289/.394/.482 at short-season Hillsboro.
Swanson was traded to the Atlanta Braves in the Shelby Miller deal. The Braves are rebuilding and Swanson will now be a key piece of that rebuild. The instant Swanson is ready, he will play in the big leagues; the Braves will make sure of that, no matter who is playing shortstop at the time.
The prospect team will publish the Top 10 fantasy prospects for the remaining NL West teams over the next few weeks, so make sure you come back and check them out.
Rogers was the third overall pick in the 2015 draft; he could very easily have been the first. He was thought to be the best prep bat in the draft. His power, hitting tool, and arm all rank as "plus" already. His debut in pro ball went reasonably ok in 173 at bats; no red flags appeared.
Seager holds all of the tools you'd like to see in an elite fantasy option. While his speed might not blow you away, it's not out of the question for him to steal around 10 bases a year, while providing 20+ HR power and the ability to hit over .300 every year.
For fantasy purposes, it would be nice if his power could develop a bit more. If so, Margot would grade out as a very tasty power-speed combo outfielder a la Starling Marte or Charlie Blackmon. Even if the power doesn't quite get there, the speed alone will get Margot attention in the fantasy world as a Denard Span clone.
Beede pitched very well through his first 15 professional starts, but in 2015 at Double-A Richmond the control problems he suffered in college began to resurface (35:49 BB:K in 72.1 IP). In some ways, Beede resembles Mark Appel, an even more ballyhooed pitching prospect who leaves the same general impression that his results should be much better. Beede, at least, has been less disappointing than Appel, and we think Beede will become a better pitcher. With the Giants this offseason having committed so much money to their starting rotation, however, Beede's future in the organization is now a bit less clear.