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February 25, 2015

The Top 101 Dynasty League Prospects for 2015

Part 1: 51-101

by Bret Sayre

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Being a self-proclaimed veteran of these lists, I’ve spent the introduction space here on plenty of topics—ranging from the benefits of reading scouting reports, to not giving up on guys too quickly, to reflecting on your own personal biases. There are always discussion points to jump into here that discuss how best to digest and use the information embedded in this articlepossibly one for each of the over 9,000 words spread across these 101 players. This time, I’m going to focus on one that we all know, yet are often afraid to put into action.

As excited as we get about the top prospects in baseball, they represent a value. A number. A price point. And while so many owners, including the ones on this staff, can fall in love with their favorite prospects, the risk in holding onto the larvae of the fantasy world when they can be used best as currency is one that we don’t often consider. If I own Tim Anderson (and believe me, I do), my first thought is always going to be on the type of player Anderson could bewhen it should be equally on both that and what Anderson could return for me now in the trade market. Though the pull of drafting a player out of the amateur ranks or picking up a player when he was far from a top-101 prospect is strong, it’s not the same way you’d generally view a financial investment. Not to get too Quinton on you, as that’s best saved for the man himself (seriously, go read his chapter), but if you buy a share of stock at $20 and it goes up to $40, maybe it’s time to cash it in for something that actually costs $40, rather than waiting for it to go up to $75.

It’s both a truth and a fallacy that dynasty championships are won by building a strong farm system. The fallacy is that those players are the ones that will lead you to a string of trophies and jellybeansthe myth perpetuated best by the “constant rebuilder.” The truth is that a strong farm system will grant you entrance into the area of the trade market you need to pass through to truly build a contender. Not all prospects are created with equal ETAs, and even the ones with equal ETAs have varying performance curves and eligibility. Waiting for the moon and stars to line up will often cause owners to bypass their window to win, so while it’s important to be excited about the players we’ll get to shortly, it’s also okay to shed the fear that we associate with letting them go.

Now, the fine print…

First, there are a few disclaimers specific to the prospect list to go over before we jump in. Again, these rankings are for fantasy purposes only and do not directly take into account things like an outfielder’s ability to stick in center or a catcher’s pop time. Of course, these things do matter indirectly, as they affect a player’s ability to either stay in the lineup or maintain eligibility. So, while Austin Hedges may be a top-25 prospect on BP’s Top 101, this is due in large part to his defensive value; and you’ll see that he’s not on this list because his upside isn’t nearly as great for fantasy. Additionally, home parks need to be factored in, just as when we are when talking about a major-league player. If Nelson Cruz’s fantasy potential shrinks on going from Baltimore to Seattle, we can’t pretend that these prospects operate in a vacuum, unaffected by park factors. Of course, there’s no guarantee that they will reach the majors with their current organization, so while it is not a heavy consideration, it is reflected. But most importantly, the intention of this list is to balance the upside, probability, and proximity of these players to an active fantasy lineup.

Within the list that follows, you’ll find important information about each prospect, including his potential fantasy value (in dollars) at their peak and the risk factor associated with reaching that peak. Also, you will find a fantasy overview, which summarizes how many categories each player will be useful in, along with any that carry impact. For this exercise, we defined “impact” as having the potential to be in the top 15-20 players in a given category. For instance, impact in home runs is the potential to hit 30 and impact for strikeouts is the potential to punch out 200. Then you’ll see a realistic ceiling and floor for each prospect, purely in terms of Rotisserie value, and a brief comment that adds a little extra color. The comments are specifically brief because I’ve already written fantasy-specific comments on each of these players in the individual top-10 lists (which are great and which you should read, if you haven’t already).

So without any further ado, here is the newest batch of the best prospects for dynasty leagues, 51-101. Be on the lookout for the top 50 prospects on Thursday.

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):

Willy Adames, SS, Tampa Bay Rays
Greg Bird, 1B, New York Yankees
Aaron Blair, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Garin Cecchini, 3B, Boston Red Sox
Derek Fisher, OF, Houston Astros
Kyle Freeland, LHP, Colorado Rockies
Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Nick Gordon, SS, Minnesota Twins
Pierce Johnson, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Michael Lorenzen, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Billy McKinney, OF, Chicago Cubs
Rafael Montero, RHP, New York Mets
Eddie Rosario, OF, Minnesota Twins
Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Minnesota Twins
Vincent Velasquez, RHP, Houston Astros

101. Hunter Dozier, 3B, Kansas City Royals

Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A top-10 third baseman
Realistic Floor: Trevor Plouffe

Upon being promoted to Double-A, Dozier looked completely lost, which was a far cry from his pro career up to that point. He can still be a strong contributor in average and power at a tough position.

100. Erick Fedde, RHP, Washington Nationals

Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: High
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in K, ERA
Realistic Ceiling: A passable SP2
Realistic Floor: Another TJ disappointment

The UNLV right-hander had Tommy John surgery the week of the 2014 draft and was taken by an organization with a lot of experience in the area. His slider was one of best secondaries in the draft class prior to his arm blowing out.

99. Miguel Almonte, RHP, Kansas City Royals

Age: 21, Previous Rank: 56

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A solid SP4
Realistic Floor: A middle reliever

It was a tough season for Almonte, especially when you factor in his environment (Wilmington is a glorious park for a pitcher). But with that cambio, there will always be potential here.

98. Forrest Wall, 2B, Colorado Rockies

Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $25-30
Risk Factor: Extreme
Fantasy Overview: Three-category contributor; impact potential in AVG, R, SB
Realistic Ceiling: A top-five second baseman
Realistic Floor: A tear on Craig Goldstein’s pillow

The upside is obvious with Wall as he was one of the best pure hitters in the 2014 draft, and he has 30-plus speed and Coors Field to go along with it. But let’s not pretend there isn’t plenty of risk here.

97. Marcos Molina, RHP, New York Mets

Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: High
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in ERA, WHIP
Realistic Ceiling: A borderline SP2
Realistic Floor: A yearly xFIP breakout candidate

Molina’s number were downright stupid in the New York-Penn League as a teenager, and they’ll likely continue to stay that way at Savannah. He doesn’t have ace upside, but the ratios could be great and those shiny numbers beget trade value.

96. Matt Olson, 1B, Oakland Athletics

Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Three-category contributor; impact potential in HR, RBI
Realistic Ceiling: Carlos Santana at first base
Realistic Floor: A Quadruple-A slugger

The California League has produced its fair share of mirages, but Olson had some real development in his time in Stockton. How much of it is real may be revealed at Double-A.

95. Luis Severino, RHP, New York Yankees

Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: High
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in K
Realistic Ceiling: A high-volatility SP3
Realistic Floor: A very strong source of holds

If you really believe Severino is a starting pitcher, he could be 40 spots higher on this list. The fact that he still made the list is a hedge, since we all know how to value relievers.

94. Touki Toussaint, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Age: 18, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $25-30
Risk Factor: Extreme
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in W, K, ERA
Realistic Ceiling: Bob Gibson
Realistic Floor: ¯_(ツ)_/¯

If you watched the 2014 draft coverage on MLB Network, you saw that comp dropped on the 18-year old. And while it’s completely over-the-top, it’s not the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.

93. Brandon Drury, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks

Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Three-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A .275 hitting, 20-homer third baseman
Realistic Floor: Luis Valbuena

After two seasons of very strong performance, prospects without big amateur pedigree generally get legitimate looks from fantasy owners. Drury should be there, but he’s still overlooked.

92. Joe Ross, RHP, Washington Nationals

Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: His brother, without the benefits of Petco
Realistic Floor: A guy you stream against bad lineups

A starting pitcher being dealt from San Diego to Washington isn’t the optimal move, but unlike A.J. Cole, Ross is too far away right now to be considered blocked. He could sniff SP3 status in a few years if things break right.

91. Max Fried, LHP, Atlanta Braves

Age: 21, Previous Rank: 42

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: High
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in ERA, WHIP
Realistic Ceiling: An all-around borderline SP2
Realistic Floor: John Lamb

There’s always risk with starters who lose as much developmental time as Fried is in the process of losing; however, if the stuff comes back strong, he’s a bargain at his current value.

90. Michael Conforto, OF, New York Mets

Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Three-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: Marcell Ozuna
Realistic Floor: Matt Joyce

For a college draft pick whose value is based almost solely on his bat, you’d think Conforto would be a better fantasy option. Then again, it’s the Mets.

89. Tyrone Taylor, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Three-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: Carl Crawford, circa 2014 (but healthy)
Realistic Floor: A 15-steal fourth outfielder

Taylor hasn’t put up much power production in the minor leagues, but his home park may help that a touch. His defense in center should give him plenty of chances to hit.

88. Bradley Zimmer, OF, Cleveland Indians

Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Five-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A poor man’s Shin-Soo Choo
Realistic Floor: A 10/10 outfielder

There are few bats from the 2014 draft more likely to produce fantasy value at the major-league level than Zimmer. So while he can’t match the upside of some of his peers, he should move fast.

87. Alex Reyes, RHP, St Louis Cardinals

Age: 20, Previous Rank: 100

Potential Earnings: $25-30
Risk Factor: Extreme
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in W, K, ERA
Realistic Ceiling: A high-end SP2 with piles of strikeouts
Realistic Floor: Carlos Marmol, and not the good version

The stuff is rarely questioned when it comes to Reyes, but he needs to have a much better idea of where it’s going if he wants to claim his frontline starter destiny.

86. Alen Hanson, 2B/SS, Pittsburgh Pirates

Age: 22, Previous Rank: 63

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Five-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: Daniel Murphy
Realistic Floor: A usable middle infielder in mixed leagues

Hanson has lost most of his prospect shine at this point, but he also hit .280 with double-digit homers and steals at Double-A. There are a lot of players ahead of him, but don’t let that dissuade you.

85. Grant Holmes, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: High
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in W
Realistic Ceiling: A solid SP3
Realistic Floor: That kid with the awesome hair that never turned into anything

As far as prep pitchers go, Holmes is about as safe as they get, although with added safety comes diminished upside, so expecting him to carry your staff at the end of the decade is an unreasonable thought.

84. Tyler Kolek, RHP, Miami Marlins

Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $25-30
Risk Factor: Extreme
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in W, K, ERA
Realistic Ceiling: Nolan Ryan
Realistic Floor: Nolan Ryan’s beef

Any time a prep pitcher is selected second overall in the draft, you can be certain there’s both plenty of upside and waiting to go around. Kolek can hit 101 on the gun, so that’s a good start.

83. Eddie Butler, RHP, Colorado Rockies

Age: 24, Previous Rank: 41

Potential Earnings: $10-15
Risk Factor: Low
Fantasy Overview: Three-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A SP4 who rides the bench in tough matchups
Realistic Floor: Another Coors casualty

The Rockies have Butler working on keeping the ball down and inducing weak contact, but his raw stuff can fight through the Coors effect and still allow him to be a good mixed-league starter.

82. Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets

Age: 19, Previous Rank: 58

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: High
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in AVG
Realistic Ceiling: A .300 hitting, 20-homer first baseman
Realistic Floor: The current Joe Mauer

Did you know that Smith only hit one home run last year in Low-A? Well, he did. The in-game power that lays dormant in him at the moment may not really show up until he gets to Double-A, but it’s there.

81. Raul Mondesi, SS, Kansas City Royals

Age: 19, Previous Rank: 88

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Five-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: The best version of Erick Aybar
Realistic Floor: A shortstop you’re always looking to replace

The real-life package is much more attractive than the fantasy package at this point with Mondesi, and he continues to be a good source of prospect arbitrage on the trade market. The roto upside isn’t substantial and he has a good amount of name value.

80. Trea Turner, SS, San Diego Padres/Washington Nationals

Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: High
Fantasy Overview: Three-category contributor; impact potential in SB
Realistic Ceiling: Alcides Escobar with more speed
Realistic Floor: A utility guy who is still owned in deep leagues

The speed is very real, and Turner should be able to hit 40 steals per season over the first part of his career. How valuable he’ll be will depend on whether he can hit .250 or .280.

79. Lucas Sims, RHP, Atlanta Braves

Age: 20, Previous Rank: 62

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A reasonable SP3
Realistic Floor: A guy who was ranked too high on this list

Despite not having the greatest 2014 season, Sims still projects to be a good fantasy starting pitcher, and he’ll face the large test of rebounding at Double-A in 2015.

78. Franklin Barreto, SS, Oakland Athletics

Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: High
Fantasy Overview: Five-category contributor; impact potential in AVG
Realistic Ceiling: A .300 hitter who can also go 15/15 at a middle infield spot
Realistic Floor: A boring fantasy outfielder

Barreto got some extra publicity during the offseason after being the big prospect chip in the Josh Donaldson trade, but while he’s still a long ways away, there’s enough here for fantasy owners to get excited.

77. Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox

Age: 18, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $25-30
Risk Factor: Extreme
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in AVG, HR, RBI
Realistic Ceiling: Oh my god
Realistic Floor: Oh dear lord

The 17-year old impressed with the bat during his stateside debut and while he may not be long for the hot corner, the bat should play at any position if it comes close to his lofty ceiling.

76. Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Kansas City Royals

Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: Scott Kazmir
Realistic Floor: Finnegan, the reliever

We saw what the 2014 draftee was capable of coming out of the bullpen down the stretch in 2014, but he should be given a chance to start going forward.

75. A.J. Cole, RHP, Washington Nationals

Age: 23, Previous Rank: 89

Potential Earnings: $10-15
Risk Factor: Low
Fantasy Overview: Three-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A strikeout-heavy SP4
Realistic Floor: A high-strikeout reliever

Being major-league ready doesn’t really matter when your major-league club keeps adding superstars. In another org, Cole could get a look in the second half, but in Washington, that’s unlikely.

74. Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Kansas City Royals

Age: 23, Previous Rank: 25

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: High
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in K
Realistic Ceiling: A solid SP2 in a good park
Realistic Floor: Luggage

One of the most disappointing prospect storylines over the last year has been Zimmer’s inability to get his shoulder to cooperate, as on talent alone, he should have been in the top 30 on this list by now.

73. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Boston Red Sox

Age: 21, Previous Rank: 77

Potential Earnings: $10-15
Risk Factor: Low
Fantasy Overview: Two-category contributor; impact potential in W
Realistic Ceiling: John Danks
Realistic Floor: Waiver wire fodder in shallow mixed leagues

Rodriguez walks a fine line because of how his stuff has ticked up in both of the last two second halves. If he’s the first-half guy, he’s solely a deep league option. If not, he makes for a strong target.

72. Brandon Nimmo, OF, New York Mets

Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: Alex Gordon
Realistic Floor: The guy the Mets took ahead of Jose Fernandez

We know, we know. For a raw product out of high school, Nimmo has showed great instincts and approach at the plate, so while neither the power nor speed will be difference makers, they’re likely to exist.

71. Nick Kingham, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $10-15
Risk Factor: Low
Fantasy Overview: Three-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A ratio-based SP4
Realistic Floor: A ratio-based SP4

See Gonzales, Marco. Kingham is boring and won’t anchor a staff even in the deepest of leagues, but will be pitching in a strong home park and is likely to contribute in 2015.

70. Steven Souza, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Five-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A 15/15 outfielder with a touch of upside to boot
Realistic Floor: The new James Shields

As the biggest piece hitting Tampa Bay as part of the second Wil Myers trade, Souza will look to prove the projection systems right and take his place as the latest late-bloomer to become a valuable fantasy option.

69. Manuel Margot, OF, Boston Red Sox

Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: High
Fantasy Overview: Five-category contributor; impact potential in SB
Realistic Ceiling: The 30-steal version of Brett Gardner
Realistic Floor: A SB-only OF5

The high-risk factor is somewhat deceiving for Margot, as his defense and speed will keep his overall risk down. However, the average and power are still a work in progress and are what would make him an OF2 at peak.

68. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Washington Nationals

Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: High
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in K
Realistic Ceiling: Yordano Ventura
Realistic Floor: Kelvin Herrera

The comps are easy, but appropriate for right now. Lopez has easy velocity and a good idea of where it’s going, which could lead to large strikeout totals if he can pair it with a plus secondary pitch.

67. Stephen Piscotty, OF, St Louis Cardinals

Age: 24, Previous Rank: 86

Potential Earnings: $10-15
Risk Factor: Low
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: Matt Carpenter in the outfield
Realistic Floor: A continued bridesmaid

Despite being labeled as near-major-league ready for a while now, Piscotty keeps finding himself second in line for an outfield spot in St Louis. He’ll need to hit .280-.290 in the bigs to be a realistic fantasy option in mixed leagues.

66. Dilson Herrera, 2B, New York Mets

Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Five-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A top-12 second baseman
Realistic Floor: An all-around middle-infield option

Herrera will likely be looking at minor-league time in 2015, despite debuting last year; however, there are a few paths he has to near-term playing time. He has the ability to hit double digits in homers and steals.

65. Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees

Age: 22, Previous Rank: 50

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Three-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A healthy Wilson Ramos
Realistic Floor: Replace the “R” in his name with a “B”

While certainly not the prospect he used to be, Sanchez still holds enough potential in his bat—especially in the power department—to be a good fantasy catcher (repeat after me) if he can stick behind the plate.

64. Marco Gonzales, LHP, St Louis Cardinals

Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $10-15
Risk Factor: Low
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A solid SP4
Realistic Floor: A solid SP4

Gonzales is more or less a finished product at this point, although the Cardinals’ rotation depth is going to push him either back to the minors or to the bullpen to start the 2015 season.

63. Daniel Robertson, SS, Tampa Bay Rays

Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: Neil Walker at shortstop
Realistic Floor: Stephen Drew (he wasn’t always this bad)

Sometimes slow and steady really does win the race, and usually those situations involve the middle infield. Robertson may have his ETA held up by the Rays, but he is likely to be a reliable, but unexciting option at shortstop as soon as mid-2016.

62. Austin Meadows, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

Age: 19, Previous Rank: 84

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Five-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A near 20/20 outfielder
Realistic Floor: A mixed-league OF5 in many possible combinations

The problem with Meadows’ fantasy value is that since he doesn’t have the potential to impact an individual category, he’ll need to make them all work to hit his ceiling. If the power or average falters, he becomes more middling.

61. Henry Owens, LHP, Boston Red Sox

Age: 22, Previous Rank: 55

Potential Earnings: $10-15
Risk Factor: Low
Fantasy Overview: Three-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A serviceable SP3
Realistic Floor: A replacement-level pitcher in shallow mixed

It’s tough to be a strong fantasy starter when you reside in a tough American League ballpark without a plus fastball. The change and deception will help him generate strikeouts, but keeping his ratios down may always be a struggle.

60. Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins

Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in ERA
Realistic Ceiling: Can't quite touch it, even if he jumps
Realistic Floor: A high-leverage reliever

The jokes just write themselves, people. Berrios has done nothing but get batters out since entering pro ball, yet he still hasn’t fully shaken those who believe he won’t hold up as a 200-inning starting pitcher. He’ll seek to continue proving it in 2015.

59. Dan Vogelbach, 1B/DH, Chicago Cubs

Age: 22, Previous Rank: 39

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in HR, RBI, R
Realistic Ceiling: My boo
Realistic Floor: My boo

The defensive value is just about nil with Vogelbach, but the bat has the potential to make him quite well-liked in fantasy leagues. Of course, with Anthony Rizzo already in Chicago, he’ll need a trade or a rule change to get playing time.

58. Ryan McMahon, 3B, Colorado Rockies

Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $25-30
Risk Factor: High
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in HR, RBI, R
Realistic Ceiling: Evan Longoria (post-Coors effect)
Realistic Floor: A top-18 first baseman

Just for clarity, the equation for that ceiling isn’t McMahon = Longoria + Coors. It’s McMahon + Coors = Longoria. He’s exactly the kind of hitter you love to see in Colorado for fantasy purposes, and we may only be a few years away from experiencing it.

57. Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres

Age: 23, Previous Rank: 74

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: A 25/15 OF whose average you put up with
Realistic Floor: The not-so-great Carlos Quentin

It’s great when a hitter has enough power to really help in the category, and even better when they can provide value on the bases too, but Renfroe will have to fight his hit tool and Petco to get there.

56. Albert Almora, OF, Chicago Cubs

Age: 20, Previous Rank: 57

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Five-category contributor
Realistic Ceiling: Kole Calhoun in roto
Realistic Floor: Desmond Jennings with half the speed

While he’s not the greatest selection in OBP leagues, Almora should hit enough to contribute everywhere. He may not have the type of speed you’d associate with a potential plus defensive center fielder, but his instincts should allow him to swipe enough.

55. Sean Manaea, LHP, Kansas City Royals

Age: 23, Previous Rank: 64

Potential Earnings: $20-25
Risk Factor: Medium
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in K, ERA
Realistic Ceiling: A back-end SP2
Realistic Floor: A poor man’s C.J. Wilson

The former high-end college arm took some big steps forward over the last two months of the 2014 season, and if he continues that forward, he has the potential to take a big jump up this list in 2015.

54. Kohl Stewart, RHP, Minnesota Twins

Age: 20, Previous Rank: 48

Potential Earnings: $25-30
Risk Factor: High
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in W, K, ERA, WHIP
Realistic Ceiling: Future Kevin Gausman
Realistic Floor: Present Kevin Gausman

Don’t look at the strikeout rate in Low-A as any sort of cause for concern. Stewart has the stuff to be a strong number two fantasy starter at the major-league level with the ability to strikeout 200 batters at peak, but is a few years away and was sidelined at the end of 2014 with a shoulder impingement.

53. Alex Jackson, OF, Seattle Mariners

Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $30-35
Risk Factor: Extreme
Fantasy Overview: Five-category contributor; impact potential in HR, RBI, R
Realistic Ceiling: Adam Jones with more OBP
Realistic Floor: A high-profile draft disappointment

While it may seem like a disappointment that Jackson was moved out from behind the plate before his pro career even took off, it’s for the best as far as his fantasy value is concerned. He has more upside offensively than anyone available in dynasty drafts this year.

52. Aaron Nola, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $15-20
Risk Factor: Low
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in W
Realistic Ceiling: A reliable SP3
Realistic Floor: A reliable SP4

The first boring and safe option toward the top of dynasty drafts this season, Nola is one of the most likely players to reach the majors in 2015. The ballpark will work against him, but it shouldn’t keep him from being a mixed-league option for a long time.

51. Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays

Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR

Potential Earnings: $25-30
Risk Factor: High
Fantasy Overview: Four-category contributor; impact potential in W, K, ERA, WHIP
Realistic Ceiling: A back-end SP1
Realistic Floor: A nondescript mixed-league starter

The next two players on this list represent a difficult decision many owners are going to have to make in dynasty drafts this year. A healthy Hoffman would have been an easy top-four pick in the draft and a top-25 prospect in baseball, so here’s your discount window.

Bret Sayre is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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Related Content:  Prospects,  Fantasy,  Dynasty Leagues

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