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
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
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.