2020 MLB Top Prospects: Ranking the rookies, sleepers to add to your fantasy baseball draft cheat sheets

Even though the veteran-laden Nationals took home the World Series title last year, youth remained the name of the game throughout the majors — and in fantasy baseball leagues. Every season, fantasy owners look for undervalued sleepers and potential breakouts, and it’s now more common to see top prospects and other rookies get fast tracked to the majors and produce almost immediately. Even if you’re not in a keeper or dynasty league, having our Top 50 MLB Prospects rankings tucked inside your draft cheat sheet is a must. 

Again, just look back to last season. Pete Alonso set the MLB rookie home run record with 53 long balls. He also scored 103 runs, drove in 120 and walked 72 times. In all, seven rookies hit 20-plus home runs – Alonso (53), Eloy Jimenez (31), Christian Walker (29), Yordan Alvarez (27), Fernando Tatis Jr. (22), Mike Yastrzemski (21), and Rowdy Tellez (21). And, that list doesn’t include the rookie who may have put on the most impressive power display of the yea, Cincinnati’s Aristides Aquino, who smacked 19 round-trippers in a mere 205 at-bats. Eight rookies who saw significant playing time posted batting averages above .300, led by Luis Arraez (.334), Tatis Jr. (.317), Bryan Reynolds (.314), Alvarez (.313), Bo Bichette (.311), Kevin Newman (.308), Tommy Edman (.304), and Keston Hiura (.303). Even the geriatric Nats had a rookie sensation in their lineup, as Victor Robles hit 17 home runs, stole 28 bases and played plus defense in center field for the 2019 champs.

2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300

Rookie pitchers weren’t quite as successful as their position player brethren, but 11 first-year hurlers made 20-plus starts. Dakota Hudson won 16 games for the NL Central champion Cardinals and posted a 3.35 ERA. Baltimore’s John Means was an All-Star and won 12 games (22 percent of the team’s season total). Mike Soroka won 13 games and posted a stellar 2.68 ERA for the NL East leading Braves. San Diego’s Chris Paddack struck out 153 batters in 140.2 innings and logged a 3.33 ERA over 26 starts. Arizona’s Zac Gallen (2.81 ERA and 96 K in 80 IP), Cleveland’s Zach Plesac (3.81 ERA in 21 starts), and the Angels’ Griffin Canning (1.22 WHIP, 96 K in 90.1 IP) all performed well in limited action.

This year’s prospect crop may not have a star who can rival Pete Alonso’s historic debut, but it’s a deep rookie class with a number of elite pitching prospects who should log significant big-league time in 2020. Also, many of this year’s Top 50 have already seen some big-league action, and there could be a significant number of rookies on opening day rosters. In fact, more than half of the players on this list could spend at least half of the season in the majors during the 2020 campaign.

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfielder | Starter | Each team

2020 MLB Top Prospects

1. Wander Franco, SS, Tampa Bay. Franco won’t turn 20 until March, but he’s already the best hitting prospect in the minors. A switching-hitting shortstop with a lifetime minor-league batting average of .336 and slugging percentage of .523, he’s a first-class talent. That might be best shown by the fact he’s walked more (83) than he’s struck out (54 Ks in 768 pro plate appearances). His righthanded swing is a little flatter and produces less power than his lefthanded stroke, but he’s an elite hitter from either side of the plate. Franco currently shows above-average defense at short, but his thick body could result in an eventual move to second or third, where his above-average arm should play. Wherever he lines up in the field, his bat is good enough to make him an All-Star.

2. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, San Diego. Slowed by blisters earlier in his career, Gore put up dominant numbers between High-A and Double-A in 2019 (1.69 ERA, 135/28 K/BB and just 56 hits allowed in 101 innings). When healthy, Gore has good command of four pitches (plus low-to-mid-90s fastball, plus curve, above-average slider, and solid changeup). He mixes his pitches well, attacks hitters, and shows the poise of a front-line starter. Barely 21, Gore will probably open the season back at Double-A, but if he continues his dominance and the Padres are in the playoff hunt, he could easily find himself in the San Diego rotation during the second half of 2020.

3. Casey Mize, RHP, Detroit. Last season Mize firmly established himself as one of baseball’s top pitching prospects by delivering a stellar campaign split between High-A and Double-A (2.55 ERA, 106/23 K/BB and just 80 hits allowed in 109.1 innings). Mize has three plus pitches (nasty splitter, mid-90s fastball, and sharp slider). With excellent command, a repeatable delivery, and an ability to mix pitches, Mize has the potential to be a frontline starter. If he continues his dominance in the minors during the season’s first half, he could arrive in Detroit as soon as midseason.

4. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Oakland. Injuries limited Luzardo to 54 innings last season, but he finished 2019 with a stellar showing while pitching out of the Oakland bullpen down the stretch (1.50 ERA, 16/3 K/BB and just  five hits allowed in 12 innings). Luzardo has elite stuff, including a mid-90s fastball and a plus change. His breaking ball is inconsistent, but it can be an occasional weapon. With plus command and a repeatable delivery, he has the tools to be a frontline starter. He’s never thrown more than 109 innings as a pro, so he’ll probably have an innings limit in 2020, but he should get a chance to crack the A’s rotation in the first part of the season.

5. Gavin Lux, 2B/SS, Los Angeles Dodgers. Last season, Lux torched Triple-A (.392 average, 13 HRs in just 49 games) and then performed well as the Dodgers starting second basemen for most of September. He’s in the mix to be the opening day starter this year and has looked good in early Cactus League action. Lux adopted a more aggressive approach in 2019, and it paid off to the tune of 66 extra-base hits over three levels. Lux has plus bat speed and good lower half balance which give him all-fields power and solid contact ability. With solid pitch recognition and a compact swing path, Lux has the ability to hit 25-plus home runs while posting an average around .280.

2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300

6. Jo Adell, OF, Los Angeles Angels. Adell reached Triple-A in his age-20 season last year, and he has tremendous power-speed potential. He looked good when I saw him this year in spring training, and he could be in line for a starting spot in LA by midseason. In 2019, Adell missed almost two months due to injuries, but he performed well in the second half and made up for lost time by wowing scouts in the Arizona Fall League. Adell is a poised, mature player who has worked hard to develop baseball skills to go with his raw tools. Every time I see him his swing path is more consistent and his approach is more refined. With plus bat speed and outstanding raw power, he has the potential to hit for average, launch 25 bombs, and swipe 20 bags per year in the majors.

7. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Houston. Whitley looked great in spring training last season but then had a horrible 2019 campaign during which he battled shoulder inflammation and took his lumps on the mound. He got back on track in the hitter-friendly Arizona Fall League (2.88 ERA and 32/9 K/BB in 25 innings) and has been pain-free during spring training this year. When healthy, Whitley has front-line starter upside, featuring a lively mid-90s fastball, plus curve, and solid command. He also mixes in a cutter, slider, and change, all of which are at least above-average. He should open the season in Triple-A, but a hot start and continued health could get him a look in the Houston rotation by midseason.

8. Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox. Slowed by injuries for much of his pro career, Robert finally broke out in a big way last season by logging an impressive 30-30 campaign. He also hit .328 and played solid defense in center field. Robert still needs to improve his plate discipline, but he has the bat speed and hand-eye coordination to hit for average despite being a free-swinger. He can also lose his balance at the plate, but when he stays under control, he has electric bat speed, a compact swing path, and plus power. This spring he’ll compete to be the opening day center fielder. Long-term he has 30-30 potential. If he can improve his plate discipline, he could hit .270 in the majors.

9. Michael Kopech, RHP, Chicago White Sox. Kopech missed the 2019 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but he’s on track to return to action sometime in early 2020. Kopech was overpowering in a brief big-league cameo during late ’18, and he has the stuff to be a frontline starter. Before succumbing to injury, Kopech had improved his command and was dominating hitters with an upper-90s fastball and plus slider. This spring he’s been throwing bullpens, and he should see Cactus League action sometime in March. The Sox have indicated that he’ll be handled with care this year (i.e. he’ll have an innings limit) but if stays healthy and regains his command, he could slot back into the South Side rotation by midseason.

10. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Miami. Just 21, Sanchez is a polished hurler who could make his big-league debut this season. Sanchez has plus command of frontline stuff, featuring an electric fastball that can reach the upper 90s. He complements his heater with an above-average curveball and a solid changeup. With a smooth delivery and solid composure, Sanchez performed well at Double-A (2.53 ERA and 97/19 K/BB with just 87 hits allowed in 103 innings). Club officials are cautious in projecting his big-league arrival, but a hot start could get him a big-league look as soon as mid-2020.

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfielder | Starter | Each team

11. Jared Kelenic, OF, Seattle. Kelenic logged an impressive 2019 season (.291/.364/.540 with 23 HRs and 20 SBs) and looks like a future star. Just 20, he will likely open the 2020 campaign in Double-A and should make his big-league debut next season. Although he’s a polished hitter with the strength and athleticism to play in the majors now, the rebuilding Mariners have no need to rush him. Kelenic has a strong work ethic and has continued to improve his swing during his three years as a pro. With plus bat speed and good plate discipline, he projects to hit for both power and average in the bigs.

12. Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore. Rutschman had a modest pro debut in 2018, but he has the tools to be an All-Star backstop for years to come. Rutschman is a complete package who has the potential to hit for power and average while playing plus defense at a premium position. At the plate, Rutschman has great lower body explosion and a picture-perfect swing path from both sides. With plus bat speed and good plate discipline, Rutschman should be able to hit for average and get on base at a good clip. He’ll probably open the season in A-ball and the cellar-dwelling Orioles have no incentive to rush him, but his talent might push him to the majors as soon as next season.

13. Nate Pearson, RHP, Toronto. After an injury-shortened 2018, Pearson came back with a vengeance last year (2.30 ERA with a 119/27 K/BB and just 63 hits allowed in 101.2 IP between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A). He’ll compete for a rotation spot this spring, but service time concerns and his injury history probably mean he opens the season in the minors. Pearson has good command of an overpowering fastball that reaches triple digits, a plus high-80’s slider, and a solid change. This spring he’s working on adding a curve to his arsenal. If he can stay healthy, he has the tools to be at least a No. 2 starter in the majors.

14. Joey Bart, C, San Francisco. Bart had an injury-riddled 2019, but he showed glimpses of his potential late in the year (.316 with four HRs in 87 at-bats at Double-A) and in the Arizona Fall League (.333 with another four HRs in 42 at-bats) before an errant fastball fractured his thumb. Bart has impressed the Giants’ leadership with his maturity and got off to a hot start in Cactus League play. If he can stay healthy in 2020, he could end up as the Giants’ starting catcher (moving Buster Posey to first) by midseason. If Bart can improve his pitch recognition and better control his timing at the plate, he could hit for a solid average while clubbing 25-plus home runs over a full season.

15. Luis Patino, RHP, San Diego. Patino put up big numbers in 2019 in his age-19 season (2.57 ERA, 123/38 K/BB and just 69 hits allowed in 94.2 innings mostly at High-A). Patino’s slight stature belies his power stuff. The slender righty has a loose arm that produces upper-90’s heat, a sharp slider, and a decent changeup. During my annual Cactus League visit this spring, I watched one of Patino’s bullpens. It was so electric that it drew audible gasps from the assembled coaches, scouts, and reporters. If Patino can tighten his command and find more consistency with his slider, he has all the makings of a No. 2 starter.

2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300

16. Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Tampa Bay. McKay had a bumpy introduction the bigs in 2019 (5.14 ERA and 56/16 K/BB in 49 innings), but he flashed enough potential to be in line for a rotation spot to open 2020. He’s been slowed by should stiffness in spring training, but he’s on track to make his Cactus League debut in the next few weeks. Last season, McKay started strong in his first few big-league appearances but became tentative after a few rough outings. He adjusted and posted solid numbers in September. McKay also received some playing time at DH, but it’s unlikely that he’ll be more than an occasional position player in 2020. At his best, McKay shows plus command of four pitches (plus low-to-mid-90s fastball, effective cutter, above-average curve, solid change), a repeatable delivery, and impressive composure. McKay is a smart pitcher who has improved his stuff as a pro and should make the adjustments necessary to be a successful No. 2 starter.

17. Spencer Howard, RHP, Philadelphia. No pitching prospect did more to boost his stock in 2019 than Howard. He battled a sore shoulder early in the season, but once he returned to action, he delivered a breakout season (2.03 ERA with a 94/16 K/BB and just 43 hits allowed in 71 innings over three levels). He capped it off with a dominant performance in the Arizona Fall League, where he was the consensus best pitcher. Howard has elite stuff including a mid to high-90s fastball, a plus change, and a plus breaking ball. He’ll almost certainly open the season in the minors — and an innings limit will curb his big-league chances this season — but he should push for a rotation spot in Philadelphia at some point this year. If he can stay healthy and tighten his command, he has the potential to be a No. 2 starter.

18. Royce Lewis, SS, Minnesota. Lewis had a rough regular season, but he got back on track in the Fall when he won the MVP award in the Arizona Fall League (.353 average). Lewis is just 20 and needs to improve his plate discipline, but he has elite tools, including plus bat speed and a compact swing path. Right now, he’s a little bit of a timing hitter and, thus, prone to streakiness, but if he can control his lower body better during his swing, he has the tools to eventually hit for average and power. Lewis is also a plus runner who should swipe 20-plus bags a year and play above-average defense at shortstop. He almost certainly won’t make the majors in 2020, but he should compete for a big-league role next season.

19. Matt Manning, RHP, Detroit. Manning has electric stuff and logged a dominant campaign in Double-A last season (2.56 ERA and 148/38 K/BB in 133.2 innings), but he’s still very much a work in progress. The lanky righthander has an electric mid-90s fastball, a plus curve, and a developing change. He also mixes in a slider and shows good control, but his stuff can be inconsistent. The Tigers have no reason to rush him to the majors and should give him the chance to refine his stuff and improve his consistency in the minors this season. Long-term, he has the tools to be a No. 2 starter.

20. Alec Bohm, 3B, Philadelphia. Bohm had a stellar 2019 campaign (.304 average, 21 HRs, 73/57 K/BB in 125 games over three levels) and impressed in the Arizona Fall League (.361 in 72 at-bats). He might contend to be the Phillies opening day third baseman, but it’s more likely that he gets a call-up in midseason. Despite his size and long levers, Bohm has a direct swing path and good hand-eye coordination. He has displayed good pitch recognition and an ability to use the whole field when I’ve seen him in person. Long-term, he has the potential to hit for a solid average and stroke 25-plus homers in the bigs.

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfielder | Starter | Each team

21. Dustin May, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers. Last year, May performed well in four August big-league starts before dominating out of the bullpen in September (10 scoreless innings with just five hits allowed and a 14/1 K/BB). May has been dealing with side tightness this spring and is likely to begin the season in the minors, but he should get another big-league shot sometime in 2020. May’s bread and butter is a nasty mid-90s sinker, which he pairs with a plus cutter. He also throws a curve, which flashes plus but has been inconsistent when I’ve seen him in person. If he can improve his changeup and tighten his curve, he could be a No. 2 starter. With his current repertoire, he’s a solid No. 3 guy.

22. Julio Rodriguez, OF, Seattle. Rodriguez has some of the best raw power in the minors and he’s just 19. Last season, he hit .326 with 12 HRs in 84 games split between Low-A and High-A, then impressed as the youngest player in the Arizona Fall League. He’ll need to prove he can handle quality off-speed stuff, but he’s a hard worker who should be able to adjust. Rodriguez has elite bat speed and the core strength to drive the ball out of any park. The Mariners will likely develop him at a measured pace, but he’s a poised youngster who should be able to handle the pressure that accompanies top prospect status. Long-term, he has the potential to be a 30-HR threat in the majors.

23. A.J. Puk, LHP, Oakland. Last season, Puk made a successful return from Tommy John surgery and logged 10 solid appearances out of the Oakland bullpen during a late-season call-up (3.18 ERA, 13/5 K/BB in 11.1 innings). This spring he’s impressed in early Cactus League play, and he’ll push for a rotation spot. Puk has flashed an improved changeup this year and now looks like he could have four quality pitches. His electric upper-90s fastball and wipeout slider were already a devastating combo, but the improved change and an occasional curve give him the weapons to be a No. 2 starter. If he can sharpen his command, he could be even better.

24. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pittsburgh. Last year, Keller posted an ugly 7.13 ERA in 11 big-league starts, but he pitched better as the season went on (4.32 ERA with 24/4 in 16.2 September innings) and he’ll compete for a rotation spot in spring training. At his best, Keller has plus stuff featuring good control of an electric mid-90s fastball and a plus curve. He’ll also throw an occasional changeup versus lefthanded hitters, but it’s not much of a weapon at this point. Keller’s big-league struggles are rooted in inconsistency. He grooved too many pitches and didn’t mix his pitches very well. He’s shown the ability to adjust before, and his September improvement bodes well for future success. He’ll need to be more consistent to fully realize his potential as a No. 2 starter, but his present skills are good enough to be at least a mid-rotation guy.

25. Carter Kieboom, SS, Washington. Kieboom struggled mightily in a brief big-league call-up, but he’s barely 22 and he posted an impressive .902 OPS in 109 games at Triple-A. Kieboom’s big-league challenges were mostly the result of an excessively passive approach which left him down in the count on just about every at-bat — a situation he should be able to remedy with the more aggressive mindset he showed in the minors. The Nats clearly hope that Kieboom is the opening day third baseman, but if he doesn’t win the job this spring, he should get a shot sometime in the first half of 2020. When he’s locked in, Kieboom shows above-average bat speed, a direct bat path, and good plate discipline. He should be able to hit for average and moderate pop as a rookie with 20-plus HR potential as he matures.

2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300

26. Deivi Garcia, RHP, New York Yankees – At 5-9, Garcia looks like a reliever, but he has the electric stuff of a No. 2 starter. Garcia’s four-pitch mix includes a fastball that tops out at 95-96 mph and a biting plus curveball. With a deceptive delivery and low three-quarters arm angle, Garcia can succeed against both lefties and righties. Just 20, he probably won’t make the opening day roster, but the Yankees’ injury woes could open the door for Garcia to start in New York sometime in 2020. If he can continue to refine his changeup and improve his command, he has the potential to be a No. 2 starter.

27. Nick Madrigal, 2B, Chicago White Sox. Madrigal is one of the best pure hitters in the minors, and he also won a minor league Gold Glove last year. Last season, he hit .311 over three levels (including a .331 showing in Triple-A) and walked 44 times while striking out just 16 times (yes, 16 — that’s not a typo) in 120 games. Madrigal is competing to be the Sox opening day second baseman and only service time concerns are likely to stand in his way. Regardless of when he takes over the job, he should hit for average, swipe 20-plus bags and score lots of runs batting near the top of Chicago’s lineup.

28. Luis Campusano, C, San Diego. Campusano is a rising star who could be much higher on this list by midseason. The powerful backstop broke out at High-A last year (.325 average with 15 HRs and 57/52 K/BB in the hitter-friendly California League) and was one of the most impressive hitters I saw in Cactus League workouts this spring. Just 21, Campusano is a polished hitter with great balance, plus bat speed, and excellent pitch recognition. He’ll be challenged at Double-A this season, but he has the tools to hit close to .300, post a high OBP, and slug 20-plus homers in the majors.

29. Logan Gilbert, RHP, Seattle. Gilbert impressed last year in his first full pro season (2.13 ERA and 165/33 K/BB in 135 innings combined between Low-A, High-A, and Double-A) and now looks like a No. 2 or 3 starter. Gilbert has a balanced, consistent delivery, which produces plus command of four pitches (fastball, slider, curve, change). His mid-90s fastball is his biggest weapon, but he can mix all four of his offerings effectively. He’ll probably open the season at Double-A and is unlikely to be rushed to the majors, but he could see big-league action in late 2020.

30. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Baltimore. Just 20, Rodriguez looked like a future ace in 2019 (2.68 ERA, 129/36 K/BB and just 57 hits allowed in 94 innings at Low-A). With a plus mid-90s fastball, solid command, and an emerging breaking ball, Rodriguez could be a No. 2 starter. He took a step forward with his changeup in 2019 and will probably open the season at High-A. The rebuilding Orioles probably will advance him slowly with a big-league ETA of late 2021.

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfielder | Starter | Each team

31. Dylan Carlson, OF, St. Louis. The Cardinals have an opening in left field this spring, and Carlson has the tools to win the job after a breakout 2019 campaign (.292 average and .372 on-base percentage with 26 HRs and 20 SBs in a season spent mostly at Double-A). Even if he doesn’t open the year in St. Louis, he’s almost certain to get a big-league look before midseason. The switch-hitting Carlson is a bit better from the left side, but he’s shown good bat speed and excellent hand-eye coordination from both sides when I’ve seen him in person. With solid pitch recognition and plus raw power, Carlson has the potential to hit .275 with 20-plus home runs over a full season in the bigs.

32. Ian Anderson, RHP, Atlanta. Anderson had a solid season in Double-A last year (2.68 ERA with 147 strikeouts and just 82 hits allowed in 111 innings) but then struggled in a five-game stint in Triple-A. Anderson has three above-average pitches, including a fastball that flashes plus, but his control has been inconsistent. Just 21, Anderson just needs to solidify his command to reach his potential as a mid-rotation starter in the bigs. He’ll begin 2020 back at Triple-A where he’ll be given plenty of time to finish his development.

33. Cristian Pache, OF, Atlanta. Pache has outstanding tools, but he’s still unrefined despite having already made it to Triple-A last year in his age-20 season. A crowded Braves outfield and a win-now approach in Atlanta will probably relegate Pache back to the minors this season, but I think the development time will be good for him long term. Although he has good bat speed and solid raw power, Pache sometimes loses his balance at the plate and doesn’t have a consistent swing path. Pache is an elite defensive center fielder whose glove should keep him in the lineup. If he can improve his plate discipline and refine his swing mechanics, he has the strength and bat speed to hit for average and moderate power in the majors.

34. Daniel Lynch, LHP, Kansas City. Lynch was a solid prospect in college, but he blossomed once freed from the straight jacket of the University of Virginia pitching philosophies. Now one of the best lefthanders in the minors, Lynch has a dynamic mid-90s fastball, a plus slider, and a solid change. He’ll probably open the season in Double-A and should compete for a rotation spot in Kansas City no later than next spring. Long-term, he projects as a No. 3 starter.

35. Sean Murphy, C, Oakland. Murphy held his own in a brief big-league call-up last year (.245 and four HRs in 53 at-bats) and is the favorite to be the A’s starting catcher to open the season. He had a small surgical procedure on his knee in the offseason and won’t be ready for game action until midway through the spring. Murphy has had a hard time staying healthy, but when he’s on the field, he’s a plus defender with above-average power and solid plate discipline. Right now, he looks like a guy who could hit .260 and belt 20 home runs. If he can improve his lower-half balance and create more leverage in his swing, he could be even better.

2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300

36. Alex Kirilloff, OF, Minnesota. Kirilloff battled a wrist injury that sapped his power in 2019, but he got on track late in the season and finished by hitting .311 with five HRs at Double-A in the month of August. When healthy, Kirilloff is a polished hitter with good pitch recognition and the bat speed to handle plus velocity. His smooth swing path and great balance allow him to drive the ball to all fields. He’ll probably start the year back in Double-A, but he could be pushing for a big-league promotion by midseason. Long-term, he has the potential to hit for average and stroke 20-plus HRs while playing a solid corner outfield in the bigs.

37. Matthew Liberatore, LHP, St. Louis. Liberatore spent all of last year at Low-A, but his stuff, poise, and command portend continued success at higher levels. Despite his lack of experience, Liberatore mixes his pitches well and avoids hard contact. His plus curve is his best weapon, but his fastball and change are both above average. He’ll probably open the season at High-A and won’t be in the majors anytime soon, but he has a good chance of reaching his potential as a No. 3 starter.

38. Brendan Rodgers, SS/2B, Colorado. Rodgers underwhelmed in limited big-league action last year before a torn labrum ended his season. At Triple-A he showed a glimpse of his potential while hitting .350 and slugging .622 in 37 games. Rodgers has struggled every time he’s been promoted, but he’s performed well at every level once he’s settled in. During his brief big-league stint, he was overly aggressive early in at-bats, which meant he consistently found himself down in the count. A mature hitter with good pitch recognition, Rodgers should be able to alter his approach in his next major league opportunity. He’s working his way back to health this spring and will probably open the season on the injured list. Ryan McMahon now looks like the opening day second baseman, but Rodgers could get a big-league look by midseason if he can return to health and recover his stroke at Triple-A. When healthy, Rodgers has the bat speed and raw power to eventually hit at .280 with 20-plus home runs over a full season.

39. Keibert Ruiz, C, Los Angeles Dodgers. Ruiz’s stock has fallen over the past two seasons and he’s been overtaken by Will Smith on the Dodgers’ Depth chart, but he’s just 21 and still has significant potential. Ruiz needs to tighten up his receiving behind the plate, but he has the tools to be a solid defensive catcher. Offensively, he shows excellent plate discipline and good hand-eye coordination which results in a high contact rate. Catchers like Ruiz who have above-average raw power and walk more than they strike out don’t grow on trees. In a Dodgers system that does an excellent job of developing hitters, Ruiz has a good chance of reaching his potential as an above-average hitter with moderate power.

40. CJ Abrams, SS, San Diego. Abrams is 19, but already he’s shown an impressive all-around skill set. He torched rookie ball to the tune of a .401 average and had as many stolen bases (14) as he did strikeouts (14). He also slugged .662 and showed above-average tools at shortstop. He probably won’t have more than average power, but his plus speed and plus hit tool make for impressive potential.

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfielder | Starter | Each team

41. DL Hall, LHP, Baltimore. Hall has a superb three-pitch mix, including an explosive mid-90s fastball, a sharp slider, and a quality change. He posted good numbers at High-A in 2019 (3.46 ERA, 116 Ks and just 53 hits allowed in 80.2 innings at High-A). His command wavers and his pitch execution can be inconsistent, but he has the tools to be a No. 3 starter. Just 21, he’ll get plenty of time to improve his command and refine his off-speed stuff.

42. Drew Waters, OF, Atlanta. Waters was named MVP in the Double-A Southern League and has an emerging power-speed skillset that could make him an above-average big leaguer. Waters’ lefthanded swing is more fluid and direct than his righthanded stroke, but he has above-average raw power from both sides of the plate. He’ll need to improve his pitch recognition to hit for average in the bigs but he’s shown the ability to make adjustments and his bat speed should eventually allow him to develop above-average power. He’ll likely begin the season at Triple-A, but he’s close to big-league ready.

43. Tarik Skubal, LHP, Detroit. Skubal is a highly underrated pitcher who is already one of the best lefthanders in the minors. In 2019 (his first full pro season), Skubal posted impressive numbers (2.42 ERA, 179/37 K/BB and just 87 hits allowed in 122 innings split between High-A and Double-A). With four quality pitches and good command, Skubal is at least a No. 3 starter. If he can continue to develop his slider and curve, he could be a No. 2.

44. Vidal Brujan, 2B, Tampa Bay. Brujan’s best tool is his game-changing speed. In 2019 he swiped 48 bags in just 99 games. A switch-hitter, Brujan takes his walks and puts the ball in play. He’ll probably open the season at Double-A and might get a big-league call-up later in 2020. His plate discipline and good hand-eye coordination should allow him to success against advanced pitching. Long-term, he should hit for average, steal 30-plus bags, and score runs hitting at the top of the Rays lineup.

45. Jasson Dominguez, OF, New York Yankees. Dominguez is just 17, so he’s a long way from the majors, but he’s an extraordinary talent who could eventually be one of the best players in the game. A switch-hitting center field with plus power from both sides of the plate, he commanded a $5.1 million signing bonus last summer.

2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300

46. Marco Luciano, SS, San Francisco. Luciano hasn’t played above rookie ball and he’s just 18, but he’s already shown prodigious power and solid defense at shortstop. He’s got a long development path ahead of him, but his electric bat speed and extraordinary raw power give him as much upside as any hitter in the minors.

47. Jordan Balazovic, RHP, Minnesota. Balzovic posted great numbers in 2019 during a breakout campaign (2.69 ERA, 129/25 K/BB and just 67 hits allowed in 93.2 innings between Low-A and High-A). Balazovic repeats his delivery and executes pitches consistently. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and his slider can be a potent weapon. He’ll need to show he can succeed against advanced hitters, but he has the stuff of a mid-rotation starter.

48. Xavier Edwards, 2B, Tampa Bay. If the Rays didn’t have Brujan, Edwards would be their leadoff hitter of the future. A polished hitter with good plate discipline and excellent contact ability from both sides of the plate, Edwards is a prototypical top-of-order guy. His plus speed allowed him to steal 34 bases and play above-average defense at second. He’ll probably start the season at High-A, but he’s already a polished player who should rise quicky.

49. Andrew Vaughn, 1B, Chicago White Sox. Vaughn was drafted third overall in 2019 and then had a modest pro debut (.278 with six HRs in 205 at-bats in Rookie ball, Low-A, and High-A). He’s limited to first base despite a plus arm and good hands, which puts a lot of pressure on his bat to produce. Fortunately, Vaughn is a polished hitter with a compact stroke and good plate discipline. He should hit for a decent average and draw plenty of walks. If he can better use his lower body to create leverage and loft in his swing, then he has the bat speed to hit for above-average power.

50. Edward Cabrera, RHP, Miami. Cabrera can reach triple digits with his fastball, but unlike most young flamethrowers, he also has solid command and a solid three-pitch mix. A year ago, he looked like a possible bullpen guy; now, he looks like a mid-rotation starter.

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