Last week we released our Top 100 Fantasy Prospects list. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. Inside you’ll find a composite top 100 and three individual Top 125 lists near the bottom. As much as we’d like to think it, our list is not perfect. Not only might you, the reader, think we whiffed on a couple of guys—but us, the authors, have our own opinions too.
Brian and I got together and submitted one prospect we each think we’re too high on and one prospect we think is too low on our Top 100.
Prospects We Might Be Too High On
Franklin Barreto (Top 100 rank: 40)
I can’t get myself to like Franklin Barreto. Maybe three to four years ago when a 15/15 shortstop would have been valuable I’d have bought in. But Barreto is debuting at the wrong time. I can’t get excited about someone who’s typical major league season might look like Andrelton Simmons’ 2017. He has a mediocre approach so he declines in value in OBP/OPS leagues. It’s probably not fair to say he won’t run in the majors, but I’m not sure we can expect 30-stolen base campaigns like he’s done in the minors. I ranked him 70th in my personal Top 125 and if I’m being honest, I still think it’s too high. Upside is a huge consideration for me in prospect rankings and Barreto is lacking it.
Kevin Maitan (Top 100 rank: 66)
I hate writing anything negative about any 17-year-old prospect, so let me qualify this analysis by saying Kevin Maitan is an excellent acquisition for the Los Angeles Angels and is a prospect any major league organization would want around. The reason I believe we’re too high on Maitan is the uncertainty and duration of his future development. There is a very likely path of Maitan falling off Top 100 lists in the next year or two, having a breakout season and falling off lists again, only to re-emerge as a post-hype sleeper. We’ve already learned that it won’t be a straight path in his development and rise up a system, and to spend an early draft pick on acquiring Maitan is not maximizing every asset at a fantasy owner’s disposal. You will likely be able to turn that roster position over three times if you don’t hold Maitan for the next four years. Not to mention he has questions on his bat that will not be answered for the next two to three years. There are not many formats where it is advantageous to draft and hold Kevin Maitan over a Justus Sheffield or Dustin Fowler who could matriculate in a year or two with almost as much upside.
Prospect We Might Be Too Low On
Carter Kieboom (Top 100 rank: 88)
Carter Kieboom’s 88th overall ranking is going to make us look foolish when we re-rank in mid-July. I was the high man on our team on Kieboom but my hype is warranted. He missed three months with a hamstring injury and yeah, it sapped some key development time. But he returned to full-season ball as a teenager at the time and walked more than he struck out. He’s worked to quiet his swing a bit and what’s emerging is a potential 60/50 hit/power combo that’ll reside at third base with excellent plate discipline. I expect him to start at High-A this year and creep into Double-A near the end of the season. For someone with just 410 professional plate appearances, his floor is high and I’d be pretty stunned if he doesn’t become the good major leaguer I expect him to be.
Yordan Alvarez (Top 100 rank: 86)
For a fantasy-focused list, we are too low on a bat-first prospect who does not get the publicity he deserves due to his questionable defensive profile. Alvarez has everything we look for in a slam-dunk fantasy prospect: the size (6’5” 225 lbs), the production (.309/.391/.483 career minor league slash line making it through High-A in 2017), and the projection (plus raw power and a plus hit tool). He’s in a Houston Astros system with a reputation for developing some excellent offensive talent in the last few years (Carlos Correa, George Springer, Alex Bregman, etc.). There is a non-zero chance Alvarez ends up a designated hitter, and I believe that is costing him in many pre-season rankings, but the bat is so good and projects to such a high level that Alvarez is more than worth the risk at his current price. He’s probably two to three years away from contributing, but every dynasty owner in the process of a re-build should be targeting Yordan Alvarez and see if you can work him in as an add-on piece to a larger trade. The hype train for this kid is coming so invest now while his price is at its lowest.