Fantasy: Top 10 Dynasty Power-Speed Prospects In 2019
Aggressiveness is the name of the game in this year’s ranking of top power-speed prospects.
Players who aggressively drive the baseball and pursue the extra base—even if it comes packaged with a high strikeout rate—are rewarded.
Likewise, players who aggressively attempt to steal when they reach first base will be rewarded, even if they are thrown out from time to time.
The minor leagues are the perfect setting for players to refine their power and speed skills. The best players, as they develop, will learn to strike out less frequently and steal more successfully. Some—but not all—of the players included here will realize those goals.
As usual, this year’s power-speed prospect ranking skews heavily toward outfielders, which reflects the reality that the majority of your fantasy team's stolen bases will likely come from your outfield.
That's because outfielders steal the largest share of bases in the major leagues. The distribution of steals by position looked like this in 2018:
Breaking it down: (1) outfielders account for 49.6 percent of all stolen bases in the majors, (2) middle infielders contribute 32.6 percent of steals, (3) third basemen account for 7.9 percent, and (4) don't expect steals from first base, catcher or DH.
Now, on to the ranking.
The numbers in parentheses are index scores for each player's (1) rate of extra bases per batted ball, and (2) stolen base attempts per times on first base, both compared with league average.
1. Jo Adell, OF, Angels
Age: 20. HR: 5 (200). SB: 4 (131).
Pitchers love the Southern League, and apparently so does Adell. Since returning from dual hamstring and ankle injuries this spring, he has hit for average (.380) and power (.228 isolated slugging) through 21 games in the extreme pitchers' league. Adell also has gone 4-for-4 on stolen bases, despite the fact he rarely stops at first base. He enters the second half as the No. 2 prospect in baseball, and with good reason.
2. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox
Age: 21. HR: 15 (237). SB: 25 (316).
Recovered from a thumb injury that plagued him in 2018, Robert was the most productive hitter in the minors in the first half. He hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases and he looks the part. About the only thing "La Pantera" doesn't do is walk—but hey, nobody's perfect.
3. Cristian Pache, OF, Braves
Age: 20. HR: 11 (192). SB: 7 (176).
An all-world defender, Pache's offensive ceiling continues to rise in the Southern League. He didn't homer in his first two pro seasons, then hit nine homers in his third and already had 11 in his fourth. One could view Pache's intermittent success on the bases—he has gone just 7-for-17 this season—as a red flag, but the willingness to run was encouraging.
4. Kyle Isbel, OF, Royals
High Class A Wilmington
Age: 22. HR: 2 (217). SB: 5 (436).
Isbel started hot in the Carolina League after a rousing pro debut last year. Unfortunately, he hasn't played since mid-April after taking a batted ball off the face in center field. Take this opportunity to buy low on the speedy, lefthanded-hitting Isbel if you can.
5. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros
Triple-A Round Rock
Age: 22. HR: 24 (169). SB: 19 (316).
Tucker weathered a rough start at Triple-A as he repeated the Pacific Coast League, but he rebounded in fine fashion to nearly eclipse his home run and stolen base output from a year ago—in just half a season. Now, Tucker waits for an opportunity in Houston to see if he can transfer his stellar minor league production to the majors.
Reds Begin Trying Noelvi Marte At Third Base
Noelvi Marte, the centerpiece of the Luis Castillo trade, got reps at the hot corner in the Arizona Fall League after playing shortstop his whole career.
6. Josh Lowe, OF, Rays
Age: 21. HR: 11 (169). SB: 19 (277).
The younger brother of Rays Triple-A first baseman Nate Lowe, Josh is a completely different type of player as a center fielder who emphasizes speed and athleticism. His high strikeout rate limits his batting average ceiling, but Lowe's enhanced aggressiveness this year has paid off in terms of power and stolen bases.
7. Kristian Robinson, OF, D-backs
Age: 18. HR: 1 (136). SB: 4 (147).
Signed out of the Bahamas in 2017, Robinson is a physical specimen who oozes power and speed potential. Arizona rushed him U.S. ball in 2018, where he starred at two levels of Rookie ball, but decided to slow-play things this season by assigning him to the Northwest League after extended spring training. Take note of Robinson's initiative and analytical approach, which correspondent Nick Piecoro documented in March.
8. Noelvi Marte, SS, Mariners
Dominican Summer League
Age: 17. HR: 2 (166). SB: 10 (210).
The first non-outfielder on this ranking, Marte offers an intriguing blend of power and speed, though he is far away from the majors as a DSL player. Signed last year out of the Dominican Republic, he has improved his physicality and is capable of driving the ball the power. Marte is light on his feet, so plus speed should remain in his tool kit even as he matures.
9. Marco Luciano, SS, Giants
Rookie-level Arizona League
Age: 17. HR: 4 (317). SB: 2 (209).
The top international amateur available in 2018, Luciano jumped to U.S. ball in the AZL this season and thrived. Through 11 games he was hitting .372 with power and nearly as many walks as strikeouts. Luciano will impact games with his bat, and while he runs well now, his speed could diminish as he fills out.
10. Will Benson, OF, Indians
High Class A Lynchburg
Age: 21. HR: 20 (305). SB: 20 (214).
Benson is a 6-foot-5 specimen who mastered low Class A Lake County this season while repeating the Midwest League. He already has gone 20-20 this season, but the true test for the 14th overall pick in 2016 comes in the Carolina League—and beyond. The power is real but given his physicality, the speed could be fleeting.