The middle of the season is a wonderful time to turn the reflection you’ve likely been doing over the last month into action. It’s the time to decide whether you really want to push in to go for it this year, or sell off some pieces for 2016 and beyond. It’s the time to look at the standings and see where you can gain the most points over the last three months.

For both contending and rebuilding teams in keeper and dynasty formats, the two places you can get the most bang for your buck at the trade deadline is knowing whose stock is on the rise and whose is falling in the minds of others. If you’re like me, you’ve made many of these deals in your leagues—and this list attempts to be a high-level guide as to how seriously to take the risers and fallers right now. We all know these rankings are just merely snapshots in time, but as we get closer and closer to the deadline, the snapshots get a little more important.

Before we start ranking players, here’s the fine print from the Dynasty 101 back in February about the ranking process and what this is/isn’t:

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.

On top of that (and my regretful choice of using Nelson Cruz as that example), unlike that “other” top-50 prospect list (you know, the non-fantasy one), we’re not going to be limiting this list to those who are only in the minor leagues. That’s no fun. If a player has rookie eligibility as of this writing, he’s in. So apologies to Blake Swihart, who netted at-bat no. 131 last week and would have clocked in no. 32, just ahead of Raimel Tapia. And for those who would ask, this list does not include the most recent draftees—and even if it did, there would only have been on that made the list. I’ll give you a hint, his name rhymes with Flendan Hodgers. In addition, I’m going to be keeping my comments pretty brief on these players, since there’s a ton of print dedicated to them already today.

Now let’s jump into the list (with a few extras at the end):

1) Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros

The 20-year-old rookie has been the top fantasy shortstop since the beginning of June. He debuted on June 8th. Correa is easily a top-20 player in dynasty formats right now, and is a borderline top-10 option. This is not a drill. This is a superstar on our hands.

2) Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins

3) Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers

4) Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins

There is absolutely nothing about what we’ve seen from Buxton this year that dims his future as a fantasy stud. He’s just doing what all non-superhuman prospects do. Seager simply awaits his opportunity, and is the clear-cut top prospect remaining in the minor leagues. Unlike his fellow elite power prospect Joey Gallo, Sano has not yet homered in his first four major-league games. Though if he keeps hitting .400, I’m not sure many Twins fans would mind.

5) Joey Gallo, 3B/OF, Texas Rangers

6) Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals

This group has an awful lot of power between them. Gallo has shown it in the majors already, and profiles as a 40-homer hitter as soon as next year. The batting average remains a major concern though, as he was one check swing away from striking out in over half of his at-bats for the Rangers. On the other hand, it’s really tough for any pitching prospect to rank this high on a fantasy list, let alone someone who hasn’t even made it to Double-A. It’s both a reflection on the state of high-end talent in the minors as a whole and the sheer ridiculousness of Giolito’s stuff. Though you already knew that by reading any of the 20 eyewitness reports we have on the guy.

7) Kyle Schwarber, C/OF, Chicago Cubs

8) Nomar Mazara, OF, Texas Rangers

9) Julio Urias, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

And here are some of my personal favorites. Schwarber is a monster with the bat, and this ranking does not take his catcher eligibility for granted. If I knew he was never going to play a game at the position in the majors, he’d still be a top-10 fantasy prospect—the bat is just that good. And for as good as Schwarber’s bat is, Mazara’s can match it. He’s started turning on the power at Double-A since the start of June and it wouldn’t be hugely surprising to see him in Texas before the year is out. Urias won’t turn 20 until next summer, and he was arguably the best pitcher in Double-A before having eye surgery.

10) Yoan Moncada, 2B, Boston Red Sox

The big-ticket signing from Boston gets his own blurb here because it’s extremely important to reinforce how little we should be taking from his performance right now. Yes, he has a .652 OPS through 34 games in Low-A, but the layoff and transition make this more than simply a prospect with disappointing numbers. If he hasn’t turned it around by the end of the season, then we can start to muster up even a modicum of concern, but not now.

11) Maikel Franco, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies

12) Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox

13) J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies

14) Steven Matz, LHP, New York Mets

15) Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians

The floor is very high in this tier, even with its riskiest prospect, as Anderson’s ability to steal bases and improving contact rate should keep him valuable if the power never quite comes (though I think it gets to average in time). Franco and Crawford should make for a fun left side of the infield for the Phillies during the remainder of the decade, but likely not starting until next year—despite the fact that Crawford is the best shortstop in their whole organization right now. Franco was built for roto leagues and for that park. The excitement around Matz in New York is extremely high right now, and it’s well warranted. The velocity is wonderful, and the strikeout potential is high, but the secondary pitches need improvement and his command isn’t there yet.

16) David Dahl, OF, Colorado Rockies

17) Rusney Castillo, OF, Boston Red Sox

Both Dahl and Castillo have seen their 2015 seasons sink into disappointment due to injuries, but both remain high on the list for different reasons. Dahl has the upside that you dream about, with his 15-homer, 40-steal potential at Coors Field. Meanwhile, Castillo has the floor to be a double-digit contributor in those same categories right now. He’s just biding his time until the Red Sox have a spot for him (which does have an effect on his fantasy value).

18) Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays

19) Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox

20) Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees

21) Hector Olivera, 2B/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers

There’s a wide range of opinions about who that next arm after Giolito and Urias is (I’m excluding Matz because he’ll be ineligible later this year). For me, though, it’s Hoffman—and the decision isn’t all that hard. The stuff is on the way back after Tommy John surgery last year, and next year, he could move from excellent to near untouchable for dynasty owners. Devers has considerable upside, and is more than holding his own as an 18-year-old in full-season ball. At a minimum, Judge should be a major leaguer who can hit 25 homers a year. In this day and age, that’s a sizable floor to have, and he’s a pretty big guy. Olivera may have been in the majors by now if not for an injury while playing at Triple-A. He’s the eldest statesman of this list, at 30 years old, but he’s ready to be a fantasy factor right now, who can hit for lots of average and enough power to profile at second or third.

22) Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Boston Red Sox

23) Aaron Nola, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

24) Nick Williams, OF, Texas Rangers

25) Trea Turner, SS, Washington Nationals

26) Alex Reyes, RHP, St Louis Cardinals

27) Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins

28) Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

29) Robert Stephenson, RHP, Cincinnati Reds

30) Dalton Pompey, OF, Toronto Blue Jays

31) Andrew Heaney, LHP, Los Angeles Angels

Some of the arms above couldn’t be much different from each other. Alex Reyes has as much upside as any pitcher in baseball not named Lucas Giolito, but we’re still not sure how much he can harness it. Glasnow and Stephenson fall in similar boats, but they don’t quite have the raw stuff that Reyes does. On the other hand, Nola and Rodriguez are about as safe as anyone on this list to be a positive fantasy contributor in mixed leagues in five years. Heaney and Berrios aren’t too far behind those two. Which of these pitchers you prefer really just comes down to how much tolerance you have for risk (and likely the depth of your league). In the hitter department, Williams has made all of the improvements you could possibly want to see from him this year—as he’s walking more and striking out less by a significant margin. If the improved plate discipline continues and merges with his innate bat-to-ball ability, watch out.

32) Raimel Tapia, OF, Colorado Rockies

33) Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

34) Daniel Norris, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays

35) Josh Bell, OF/1B, Pittsburgh Pirates

36) Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

37) Manuel Margot, OF, Boston Red Sox

38) Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Chicago Cubs

39) Chi Chi Gonzalez, RHP, Texas Rangers

It’s never easy to put a number on pitchers who aren’t quite at full health (but aren’t broken enough to fall off the list entirely). Bradley doesn’t have any structural damage in his shoulder, but he remains sidelined. Taillon is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery, and is now sidelined due to hernia surgery. It’s unlikely we’ll see him again this year. Meanwhile, both Norris and Gonzalez got tastes of the majors and both ended up back in Triple-A. However, they both remain highly talented pitchers and should be back up at some point later this season. Gonzalez was done in by his inability to miss bats, but he has more there than he’s shown.

40) Bradley Zimmer, OF, Cleveland Indians

41) Derek Fisher, OF, Houston Astros

42) Austin Meadows, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

There’s a lot that these three outfielders have in common, besides the fact that they are all in High-A. None of them is ever likely to be OF1 material in his fantasy career, but they all have the potential to be strong all-around contributors who can add value in all five categories. Zimmer and Meadows are the better bets to hit for average, while Fisher could offer a little more on the base paths.

43) Mark Appel, RHP, Houston Astros

44) Ryan McMahon, 3B, Colorado Rockies

45) Sean Manaea, LHP, Kansas City Royals

46) Clint Frazier, OF, Cleveland Indians

47) Wilmer Difo, SS, Washington Nationals

48) Jesse Winker, OF, Cincinnati Reds

49) Jose Peraza, 2B/OF, Atlanta Braves

50) Matthew Wisler, RHP, Atlanta Braves

Tucked away in the back grouping are three pitchers who are often overlooked when discussing minor-league arms—Appel and Wisler due to a perceived lack of ceiling, and Manaea because he’s missed almost all of the season to date. Difo is still trying to outrun his tag of being too old for the level last year when he dominated in Low-A, and though he hasn’t hit for much power in Double-A, he’s almost there. Frazier and Winker still have strong fantasy profiles despite struggling in 2015. Give up on them at your own risk.

Honorable Mention

Jose De Leon, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Jake Thompson, RHP, Texas Rangers

Franklin Barreto, SS, Oakland Athletics

Braden Shipley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres

Luis Severino, RHP, New York Yankees

Joe Ross, RHP, Washington Nationals

Gleyber Torres, SS, Chicago Cubs

Carson Smith, RHP, Seattle Mariners

There are plenty of fun names here, and these are all players who would likely have made a top-50 comprised solely of players in the minors (except for Smith, who is in the majors himself). We saw how impressive Ross can be in his short stint with the Nationals, and both Thompson and Severino are close to getting the chance to show what they can do with the strikeout material they have. Barreto and Torres may be the next wave of high-end middle infielders.

The Injured Birds

Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles

Hunter Harvey, RHP, Baltimore Orioles

This part just bums me out. Bundy would have been in the top 15 had he been healthy, as his stuff was finally back all the way this year. Harvey was the scouts’ darling last year, but has been shut down due to elbow soreness. He’s starting a throwing program this week, but forgive me if I’m not optimistic about him. He’d have been a top-30 arm if healthy.

Thank you for reading

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For fantasy purposes, I'm surprised neither Roman Quinn or Mallex Smith was named in any article today. Both have potential to steal 40+, and hit better than Billy Hamilton has done this year.

Renfroe and Winker really struggled with jump to AA, while Mallex excelled. But hey, you, guys are the experts.

And I didn't expect Rey Lopez to be high given his struggles statistically, but not even a mention in any article.
My apologies, Rey is in the main article.

(I'm just getting accustomed to an abrieviated name, you know, like lazy old white announcers will give Latin players with unique names)

Great series of articles today BP team. Would love to see more of differing opinions and players who certain staff members are upset didn't make the cut.
I feel like Jorge Mateo would be the thief mentioned if they were looking specifically towards steals.
And yes, I have Mateo over Smith and Quinn.
Sure, they have the potential to steal 40 bases in the majors, but I'm also not sold that either of them hits enough to play every day. There's also a huge difference between the speed element that Hamilton brings and the speed element that all of these other speed-first guys bring.

And I like Lopez, but I skew heavily towards close-to-the-majors pitching on these lists, and his stuff isn't as good as the four pitchers on this list who haven't reached Double-A yet (I'm not including Manaea because he's essentially there). He could easily be swapped out with one of the HM guys and I wouldn't bat an eye.
franco has more ABs than swihart...
He does! Then again, it also saves me the 20 different "so where would Maikel Franco rank" questions, so it's pretty much a win-win for everyone.
Where is Michael Conforto? I'd say he has to be worth an honorable mention at least.
He's in the group of the next 10 guys. He's getting closer, but the performance against minor league pitching is pretty much in line with expectations. I just don't see anything more than an average fantasy bat, and I'd rather gamble on a little more upside.
I'm surprised Adam Walker didn't make this or the just missed list.
There is no reason to dignify Davin Brown's pandering for his prospects with any response. He's just super salty that he's not rebuilding as efficiently as I am in our NL only Dynasty league. One of us owns 11 (11!!!) of the NL guys on the fantasy list. The other does not. I'll let you decide amongst yourselves which one of us is the owner of 11 (11!!!). I'll show myself out.
This is the first comment I have ever given a minus 1
How bout Delino DeShields Jr.?
Too many at bats - no longer qualifies. Wouldn't have made the list anyway.
How far off the list is Jorge Alfaro given his injury situation?
I'd have put him in a top-75. The injury plus the fickle nature of investing in catching prospects leaves him in no man's land right now, but he'll have the chance to get his stock back to where it was next season. It's just a shame as he really needs all the reps on both offense and defense that he can get.
How close was Rymer Liriano to making the fantasy list? Was Renfroe's higher ceiling the deciding factor as the numbers and peripherals at a higher level seem to support Liriano? Thanks...
He's still in the top-100, but his chances of being a strong fantasy contributor is getting smaller by the day. Renfroe has a better chance of getting to his power, and he has more of it to start.
I'm surprised to see both Derek Fisher and Vogelbach on this list, but not on the Mid Season Top 50. With the inclusion of recently promoted prospects, this one seems like the tougher list to crack. Vogelbach is the easy o e to explain (fantasy doesnt care that he doesn't have a position)... but Fisher's omission on the Top 50 was a little surprising.
CJ Edwards? BP team seemed pretty big on him a year ago. Is this just a result of him being shifted to the bullpen this year? Is there any hope of him being a major league SP at this point?
For me, no. Relievers don't belong on this list, as even Carson Smith only cracked the honorable mention section (though if I were more confident he'd be the guy the rest of the year and going forward, he'd have been reasonably high on the list.
Omitting Trevor Story looks to me like a mistake.
Nope, it's not.
Out of curiosity, what limits Story from making the list? Hit tool? Power/Speed combo in Coors does seem appealing.
I've been wondering this as well. He clearly has power and speed. His strikeout rates will keep his batting average low, but he is a SS or 2B that will play half his games in Colorado. He's a 22 year old at AAA after putting up very good numbers as a 22 year old at AA and should reach the majors much sooner than most the guys on this list.
Nice list Bret. Looking forward to the list of lists so I can know which lists are best. :P
I picked up Willy Adames today since everyone else was owned on this list and the IRL list. He's omitted here. Can you spit a few bars about Adames for me?
Does "best fantasy prospects" mean the best roto prospects?
So, are we officially condemning Raul Mondesi to the same circle of hell resided in by Austin Hedges?
I gave up on Story when Bret did.