Opening Day 2020 is less than one month away and all 30 MLB teams are fully gearing up over in Florida and Arizona. Yes, fantasy baseball draft season has truly arrived, and we here at Rotoworld have everything you need to make sure you dominate with our all-new 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide.
Sporting a plethora of content no matter your league's format — from projections and rankings to tiers, mock drafts and exclusive expert columns — this year's guide has it all.
Today, we'll be dipping into those exclusive columns to prove our guide's value with a look into Christopher Crawford's Top 100 Prospects column.
Take a look:
He was hardly an unknown prospect coming into the season – Franco ranked 13th in last year’s rankings – but after hitting .327/.398/.487 as a teenager – he’s now widely considered the best prospect in baseball and for good reason. The switch-hitter can make hard contact to all parts of the field, and while he’s still filling out his frame, the bat speed and loft suggest that he’s also going to be able to hit for power. He’s already a well above-average runner, and assuming he improves his jumps, he should be a 30-plus steal candidate. Franco should also be able to stay at shortstop in the long-term, and even if he has to move to third or second base, the bat is going to play just fine. Franco has superstar potential, and while it’s unlikely we’ll see him in Tampa Bay in 2020, he should be ready for a regular role in 2021.
Cruz came over to the Pirates in a deal that shipped Tony Watson to the Dodgers in 2017, and with all due respect to Watson, it’s likely a deal that Los Angeles would like to redo. The 6-foot-7, 175-pound shortstop has the potential for easy plus power from the left side, and he’s already tapping into it despite just turning 21 in October. He’s an assertive hitter who will work counts and is willing to draw walks, and once on base, he has above-average speed that should allow him to consistently steal 15-to-20 bases. Because of his height, Cruz does have some length to his swing, which could lead to contact issues going forward. It also could mean he may need to move off of shortstop despite his speed, possibly to the outfield. Still, Cruz has elite offensive upside at any position and could help the Pirates and fantasy teams before the end of next season.
Gilbert was a first-round pick out of Stetson, the same school that produced Jacob deGrom and Corey Kluber. The right-hander doesn’t quite have their potential, but he has a chance to give the Hatters another possible top-of-the-rotation graduate. He posted a 2.13 ERA with 165 strikeouts over 135 innings, and he showed a fastball that touched 97 mph with plenty of life. The 6-foot-6 right-hander also showed a plus slider in his 26 starts, and a change that is just a touch behind that offering as well as a solid-average curve. Gilbert pounds the strike zone with all four pitches, and his command is just behind the control. The 22-year-old has an excellent chance of reaching Seattle, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he pitched at the top of their rotation someday because of his ability to miss bats and limit self-inflicted damage.
After putting up impressive numbers at Clemson, Beer was a first-round pick by the Astros, and one of the top prospects sent from Houston to the Diamondbacks in the deal for Zack Greinke. He struggled after the trade with a .615 OPS, but his .289/.388/.516 line overall is much more indicative of the 23-year-old’s talent. He’s a patient – but assertive – hitter who will draw walks, and his smooth left-handed stroke makes him a candidate to hit for a high average and provide plenty of power. Because he’s a well below-average runner, Beer is likely going to have to play first base, and that puts a lot of pressure on his bat. He certainly has the potential to be a regular there – and a good one – but it’s something to keep in mind before investing heavily in dynasty formats.
There weren’t many prospects who saw their stock improve more than Huff in 2019, as he mashed 28 homers and was named the Futures Game MVP for his performance in that contest. The 2016 seventh-round pick offers easy plus-plus power from the right side, and while his homer numbers dropped significantly after his promotion from Low to High-A (15 homers in 30 games to 13 homers in 97 games), it’s easy to see him posting 25-to-30 homer seasons. There’s a lot of swing-and-miss in his profile, but the ball jumps off his bat, and he should be able to hit in the .270 range because of his bat speed and the plane of his swing. Huff is not going to remind anyone of Yadi Molina behind the plate, but he’s a competent defender with a strong throwing arm. Huff is very likely the Rangers’ catcher of the future, and he could be hitting in the middle of their order early in this decade.
For the full Top 100 and more from the MLB Draft Guide, you can purchase here! Take advantage of our package deals and gain access to our MLB Season Pass product, and be sure to grab our MLB DFS Toolkit as well!