Prospects season is finally here, and I am ramping it up to a top 200 this year. After 100, I will take a breath and put out a traditional top 100 list, but then I am continuing on. There are just too many legitimately exciting prospects to stop at 100. Consider this more like Prospect Hanukkah rather than Prospect Christmas, because this ranking is gonna be a slow burner. Let’s continue with 51-75:

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*Prime Projection: R/HR/RBI/AVG/OBP/SLG/SB

51) Anderson Espinoza SD, RHP – Teenage pitchers who are a few years off aren’t my favorite fantasy investments, but Espinoza has superstar raw talent. Prime Projection: 3.34/1.13/200 in 193 IP ETA: 2020

52) Robert Gsellman NYM, RHP – MLB ready with a high floor in a pitcher’s park. Some sneaky deGrom-like upside too. Prime Projection: 3.42/1.21/180 in 194 IP ETA: 2017

53) Anthony Alford TOR, OF – Shook off an injury plagued first half and slashed .266/.389/.464 with 8 homers, 13 steals, and a 61/39 K/BB in final 57 games at High-A (and very similar numbers in the AFL too). That raw power is starting to translate to games. Prime Projection: 81/18/81/.270/.338/.459/17 ETA: 2018

54) Mickey Moniak PHI, OF – Loved to see the report he tacked on 20 pounds of muscle this off-season, because he already had the best hit tool in the draft. This might sound weird, but don’t sleep on the #1 overall pick in the real draft in fantasy drafts. Prime Projection: 91/15/68/.290/.357/.440/19 ETA: 2020

55) Luke Weaver STL, RHP – Elite fastball/changeup combo, but is homer prone and needs to develop the curve. 45/12 K/BB in 36.1 MLB IP shows his upside. Prime Projection: 3.54/1.18/187 in 193 IP ETA: Mid 2017

56) Isan Diaz MIL, SS/2B – It seems like small second baseman are finally starting to get some mainstream list love. Diaz has a quick, powerful swing that led the Midwest League with 20 homers. Prime Projection: 82/20/79/.263/.337/.464/9 ETA: 2019

57) Kolby Allard ATL, LHP – Proved back injury is behind him by throwing 12 shutout innings during the minor league playoffs while reaching a career high of 99.2 IP. Can bury plus curve wherever he wants. Prime Projection: 3.35/1.11/185 in 185 IP ETA: 2019

58) Jorge Mateo NYY, SS/2B –  Named “Player Most Likely To Have His Dad Threaten To Turn This Car Right Around If He Doesn’t Stop Whining In The Backseat” in my 2016 MiLB Player Superlatives/Awards. Other than the suspension and down statistical season, still flashed his double plus speed and plus bat speed. Prime Projection: 87/10/60/.275/.320/.410/33 ETA: 2018/19

59) Brent Honeywell TB, RHP – I can only rank an AL East pitcher with good but not great strikeout upside so high, although it is hard not to like a guy who features the endangered screwball. Prime Projection: 3.49/1.14/179 in 190 IP ETA: 2018

60) Francis Martes HOU, RHP – Great stuff but control and command still raw. Looked winded in the AFL with a 4.91 ERA. Prime Projection: 3.45/1.20/183 in 187 IP ETA: 2017/18

61) Alex Verdugo LAD, OF – 12.7% K rate, 8.3% BB rate, and .134 ISO at Double-A while being the same age as the incoming 2017 college draft class. Plus bat speed is his most impressive physical skill. Prime Projection: 80/18/80/.286/.350/.463/6 ETA: 2018

62) Jorge Alfaro PHI, C – Plate approach hasn’t improved at all in 7 years of pro ball, but athleticism, raw power, and bat speed have been enough at every level. Has worked diligently on catcher defense, so like many catchers, refinement at the plate may come later. Prime Projection: 64/20/76/.252/.303/.447/5 ETA: 2017

63) Mitch Keller PIT, RHP – Groundball pitcher with advanced control and command. Effortlessly mowed down Single-A hitters using a hard, tailing fastball, plus curve, and developing change. Prime Projection: 3.45/1.15/173 in 182 IP ETA: 2019

64) Vlad Guerrero Jr. TOR, 3B – True 17-year-old who went straight to advanced, stateside Rookie Ball and slashed .295/.366/.500 with 5 homers and a 14/15 K/BB in his final 31 games of the season. Is a dead ringer for his dad at the plate, so you don’t have to search very hard for a good comp. Prime Projection: 80/30/100/.277/.338/.500/7ETA: 2021

65) David Paulino HOU, RHP – Major injury risk, but legitimate top of the rotation upside. One of the more uncomfortable at-bats in the minors coming in at a long 6’7”, 215 pounds. Prime Projection: 3.38/1.16/177 in 172 IP ETA: Mid 2017

66) Yohander Mendez TEX, LHP – Recently converted reliever with prototypical size (6’5’’, 200 pounds) and a plus fastball/changeup combo. Knocking on the door of the bigs. Prime Projection: 3.40/1.17/179 in 185 IP ETA: Late 2017

67) Kevin Maitan ATL, SS – Some guys are just worth the wait. Could be used as a valuable trade chip in only a few short years too. Prime Projection: 85/27/98/.273/.345/.507/6 ETA: 2021/22

68) Will Craig PIT, 3B – Triple-slashed .379/.520/.731 with 16 homers and a 35/47 K/BB in 55 games in the ACC, and then slashed .280/.419/.362 with 2 homers and a 37/41 K/BB in 63 at Low-A. One of the toughest outs in the minors, but has yet to show power with wood bats. Prime Projection: 79/21/88/.284/.360/.472/3  ETA: 2018/19

69) Triston McKenzie CLE, RHP – Calling him a string bean would an understatement. Has advanced feel for pitching with 3 plus pitches and projection to get the fastball into the mid 90’s. Prime Projection: 3.44/1.13/205 in 195 IP ETA: 2020

70) Juan Soto WASH, OF – Tore through Rookie Ball as a 17-year-old (.361/.410/.550), and then went 9 for 21 in his 6 game Low-A cameo. Smooth lefty swing projects for plus hit and at least above average power. Prime Projection: 80/21/90/.293/.340/.465/7 ETA: 2021

71) Thomas Szapucki NYM, LHP – Classic high upside lefty with a plus fastball, plus curve, and raw control/command. Prime Projection: 3.44/1.23/193 in 180 IP ETA: 2019

72) Jharel Cotton OAK, RHP – Would have ranked in my top 100 last off-season but the Dodgers pitching depth kept him on the outside looking in. That is no longer an issue in Oakland, where he will unleash his plus changeup and various fastballs in their spacious home ballpark. Prime Projection: 3.50/1.22/173 in 180 IP ETA: 2017

73) Erick Fedde WASH, RHP – After a rough start to the season, put up a pitching line of 1.76/1.13/88/20 in 87 IP. Looks like that is the full recovery from Tommy John surgery Washington expected when they took him 18th overall in 2014. Prime Projection: 3.53/1.19/175 in 186 IP ETA: 2017/18

74) Travis Demeritte ATL, 2B – Strikeouts are getting untenably high (33% at High-A) even for my taste, but athleticism, bat speed, power, and speed is too exciting to ignore. Prime Projection: 75/24/83/.243/.322/.449/10 ETA: 2018/19

75) A.J. Puk OAK, LHP – Still raw for a top 10 draft pick out of the SEC, but 6’7’’ lefties with mid 90’s heat and wipeout sliders are a rare breed. There is definitely bullpen risk, but Oakland will give him every opportunity to start. Prime Projection: 3.51/1.26/195 in 185 IP ETA: 2018/19

Click here for the complete Top 200

By Michael Halpern (@MichaelCHalpern)
Email: michaelhalpern@imaginarybrickwall.com
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)

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