Fantasy

MLB Prospect Breakdown: The Mashers

The one aspect about hitting that baseball fans love the most is power. There’s a reason why fans show up to games early to watch batting practice. It’s not to see the leadoff hitter work on bunting. People love seeing mammoth home runs fly out of the ballpark. That love for power translates over into the fantasy baseball world. If you take a look at the players that were universally drafted in the first round this year, you’ll see one common thing: Power. The players listed below are some of the best power hitters in the minors that should soon be mashing home runs for your fantasy squad.

Cody Bellinger, 1st Base, Los Angeles Dodgers

With the Dodgers offense needing a spark, they recently called up their prized prospect to help in the outfield. A natural 1st baseman, Bellinger’s power will play anywhere he’s put on the field. After socking 56 homers combined in 2015 and 2016, he got off to a red-hot start to earn his recent call-up. In 67 Triple-A at-bats, Bellinger hit .343 with five homers and 15 RBI’s. He even added seven steals for good measure. After starting his career with a more contact oriented approach, Bellinger added some loft to his swing and the power numbers took off. The scary part is that he’s still improving as a hitter. This is going to be a 35+ home run bat sooner rather than later. He’ll play outfield for now and move to 1st when Adrian Gonzalez’s contract expires after next season.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3rd Base, Toronto Blue Jays

Of course hall of famer Vladimir Guerrero’s son would be on this list. It would be a disservice to his father’s name if he wasn’t. Vlad Jr. signed with the Blue Jays in July of 2015 and has produced respectable numbers so far in his brief minor league career. In rookie ball last season he slugged eight home runs and 12 doubles over 269 at bats. Players in the rookie leagues are generally very young, but at just 17 years old, Guerrero was the youngest player in the league.

Just like his father, Vlad Jr. has incredible bat speed and plus raw power to all fields. He has also shown the ability to make solid contact on a regular basis. When you put contact and power together, the home runs are sure to follow. He’s still a couple years away from the show, but this kid has a legit chance of being just as good of a power hitter as his old man was.

Rafael Devers, 3rd Base, Boston Red Sox

Devers is a player who has plus raw power that hasn’t quite shown up in games yet. In each of the last two seasons, he has only hit 11 home runs. Those 22 combined blasts, however, have been accompanied by 70 doubles. Many scouts rave about Devers’ power potential. He puts solid contact on the ball and creates good loft to all fields. Having power to the opposite field is always key, especially at Fenway Park. As he matures as a hitter the power numbers will begin to climb. Fortunately for Devers, he’s not blocked at the major league level. If he continues to progress well in the upper minors, he should be mashing in Boston before too long. This could be the power bat the Sox have been missing since David Ortiz retired.

Eloy Jimenez, Outfield, Chicago Cubs

The 20-year-old Dominican native’s raw power gets mentioned in the same breath as Giancarlo Stanton. Any time a player’s power gets compared to Stanton, fantasy owners should take notice. Jimenez hit a modest 14 home runs last year but added a whopping 40 doubles in 432 at-bats. His slugging percentage for Single-A South Bend was a smooth .532. As he matures and adds more loft to his swing, a lot of those 40 doubles are going to start clearing the fence. Jimenez has a prototypical power hitter’s body and can generate easy power with his quick bat speed. The Cubs don’t have room for him in their outfield at the moment, but Jimenez should force their hand within a year or two. He will slot right into the heart of the Cubs lineup and post big power numbers for years to come.

Tyler O’Neill, Outfield, Seattle Mariners

When you first see Tyler O’Neill, you probably won’t expect him to be a big power hitter. He’s a little smaller than most power hitters at only 5’11. O’Neill doesn’t let that stop him though. He has impressive strength from the right side to go along with explosive bat speed. Over the last two years, the Canadian slugger has launched 56 home runs and 47 doubles in 899 at-bats. His power is legit but so are his strikeouts. O’Neill does have some holes in his swing which will keep his average lower than the other guys on this list. With that being said, he has enough natural talent to be a .250-.260 hitter in the majors. Seattle already has a gluttony of power hitters in their lineup, and O’Neill could add his name to that later this season.

Brendan Rodgers, Short Stop, Colorado Rockies

With all these outfielders and corner infielders, it’s always nice to mix a middle infielder onto the list. The Rockies took Rodgers with the 3rd  pick in the 2015 amateur draft and he’s impressed ever since. During his first full season in 2016, Rodgers hit 31 doubles and 19 home runs in 442 at-bats. He doesn’t have the big power hitter frame like Carlos Correa or Corey Seager, but he’s able to generate power in other ways. Natural strength and plus bat speed are what excites scouts about Rodgers and his potential as a slugging middle infielder. In a neutral hitter’s park, this would be a hitter than put up home run numbers in the 20’s annually. Fortunately for fantasy owners, Rodgers will get to play half his games in the launching pad that is Coors Field. This is a 30-35 home run hitting shortstop waiting to happen.

To Top