Top 10 Prospects: July 5

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1. Jarred Kelenic, OF, Seattle Mariners

2021 stats: 28 G, .299/.373/.598, 9 HR, 6 SB, 14 BB, 21 SO at Triple-A Tacoma; 23 G, .096/.185/.193, 2 HR, 3 SB, 8 BB, 26 SO at Seattle.

Kelenic homered again on Sunday, and continues to show off the tools that make him the best outfield prospect in baseball -- despite his struggles in Seattle in his first taste of MLB action. The question now is not if the 21-year-old -- 22 on July 16 -- will get promoted back to Seattle, but when. The Mariners are one of the best surprises in baseball and on the cusp of playoff contention, but aren't getting a ton of offensive production from a wide variety of positions. It's hard to say that Kelenic wouldn't make the Mariners better, and it's easy to see him help them and fantasy clubs after the All-Star break. if not then, not long after.

2. Jarren Duran, OF, Boston Red Sox

2021 stats: 41 G, .284/.378/.604, 15 HR, 10 SB, 22 BB, 46 SO at Triple-A Worcester.

It's weird to say that a player not being named to a team is a good thing, but in terms of fantasy potential for Duran, that happened last week. Duran is not a part of the Olympic roster, and that along with him not playing in the Futures Game is an excellent sign that a promotion is coming relatively soon. He followed a two-homer game last week with a two-steal effort, and he continues to show the kind of power and speed that fantasy managers crave -- and crave for good reason. The 24-year-old offers significant upside, and the reward here outweighs the risk by a considerable margin.

3. Bobby Witt Jr., INF, Kansas City Royals

2021 stats: 51 G, .296/.366/.553, 13 HR, 13 SB, 21 BB, 57 SO at Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

These numbers are impressive, but they're even more so when you consider just how much Witt Jr. was struggling to begin the 2021 season. He's not struggling anymore. Over his last 10 games, the second pick of the 2019 draft is hitting .385/.447/.615 with a pair of homers and steals over 39 at-bats. Simply put, in terms of upside, there is not prospect in the minors who has more than Witt Jr. does. No lock we see him play for Kansas City in 2021, but as I've written for the last few weeks, he's worth at least considering a stash in fantasy formats because he can help in five categories.

4. Shane Baz, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

2021 stats: 10 G, 46.2 IP, 2.12 ERA, 5 BB, 69 SO at Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.

Another start for Baz on Saturday, another impressive showing. The right-hander struck out eight over five innings of one-run baseball, and he lowers his ERA on the year to 1.42 in Triple-A and 2.09 overall. That's the good news, but the bad news -- again, for fantasy purposes -- is that Baz will be joining the US Olympic team. That is something fantasy managers will have to be cognizant of, as he'll be away at the end of July for a few weeks, give or take. Still, the Rays have some obvious openings in the rotation, and Baz's ability to throw strikes with swing-and-miss stuff make him an excellent fantasy prospect for 2021 and beyond.

5. Vidal Brujan, INF/OF, Tampa Bay Rays

2021 stats: 49 G, .259/.344/.471, 9 HR, 15 SB, 25 BB, 34 SO at Triple-A Durham.

That's more like it. After scuffling over the past few weeks, Brujan had three multi-hit games over the past week, and he added a steal on Sunday after coming in as a pinch-runner. Still, the power has not been showing up as of late, and it's hard to imagine that the Rays are going to call up the 23-year-old until he starts hitting at the level that put him near the top of this list since the beginning of the season. All that being said, when the Rays do add him to the roster at some point this summer, fantasy managers should do the same.

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6. Hunter Greene, RHP, Cincinnati Reds

2021 stats: 11 G, 58.1 IP, 3.24 ERA, 24 BB, 83 SO at Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville.

Greene made a pair of starts for Louisville last week, and to be blunt, they were bad. He went just 8 1/3 innings combined, gave up 10 runs -- eight of them earned -- and walked six compared to nine strikeouts. Disappoint efforts, to be sure, but I try not to be a victim of the moment, and Greene's overall numbers are still outstanding. If this is him at his "worst" you can deal with it, and Greene is still showing some of the best stuff of any pitcher in the minors. The Reds aren't going to rush Greene -- particularly when he's not at his best -- but his fantasy potential is just too high for him not to be included on this list right now.

7. Joey Bart, C, San Francisco Giants

2021 stats: 33 G, .344/.404/.594, 8 HR, 0 SB, 9 BB, 41 SO at Triple-A Sacramento.

Bart continues to rake, and he went 3-for-4 with a homer on Friday against Triple-A Las Vegas. Opportunity matters on this list, as well, and Buster Posey was recently diagnosed with a thumb contusion, although x-rays did return negative. Of course, Bart also left his last game after being hit in the foot, so there's that to keep in mind as well. There should be more clarity on both situations soon, but Bart's ability to hit for power behind the plate while also making enough hard contact to suggest a decent average makes him fantasy relevant if/when he gets the call to San Francisco soon.

8. Cal Raleigh, C, Seattle Mariners

2021 stats: 41 G, .319/.376/.596, 8 HR, 3 SB, 14 BB, 22 SO at Triple-A Tacoma.

For the first time all year, Raleigh is going through some struggles, and an average that was in the 340s has fallen down to the number above after going .237/.302/.421 over his last 10 contests. Consider that regression to the mean; it is hard to be as hot as Raleigh was over the first six weeks of the 2021 season. He's still a catcher who can hit for average and pop from both sides of the plate, and again, the Mariners appear to have an opening behind the plate. When the Mariners decide he's worth a call-up, fantasy managers should feel the same.

9. Daniel Lynch, LHP, Kansas City Royals

2021 stats: 9 G, 45.2 IP, 5.12 ERA, 15 BB, 48 SO at Triple-A Omaha; 3 G, 8 IP, 15.75 ERA, 5 BB, 7 SO at Kansas City.

Welp. After raving about Lynch in his last start, the 24-year-old was lit up on Friday against Triple-A St. Paul; allowing 10 hits and seven earned runs over 5 1/3 innings including two homers. It's disappointing to see after the five scoreless frames he threw against Iowa in the previous effort, and it's a step backwards in his attempt to get back into the Kansas City rotation. Again, trying not to be a prisoner of the moment, but Lynch just hasn't shown quite enough consistency to suggest he's ready for the majors. He still belongs on this list based on the stuff he showed in 2020. I'm staying patient.

10. Seth Beer, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks

2021 stats: 44 G, .282/.386/.497, 6 HR, 0 SB, 20 BB, 38 SO at Triple-A Reno.

Full discloser, I thought very hard about putting Jake Burger in this final spot, and while I still think Beer is a slightly better fantasy play right now, it would have been fun to look smart after Burger was called up. Beer has handled Triple-A pitching very well as you can see from the stats above, and he continues to show an impressive approach at the plate as well plus power from the left side with enough hard contact to suggest that he can hit for average. The question would be where Beer would play if called up, but the Diamondbacks are atrocious, and they need to start getting some of their younger players at-bats. When the Diamondbacks decide to add the former first-round pick to their roster, fantasy managers should consider doing the same. Please note that I didn't make a single Beer pun in this section.

Next in line: Drew Waters, OF, Atlanta Braves; Jeter Downs, INF, Boston Red Sox; Nolan Gorman, INF, St. Louis Cardinals; Riley Greene, OF, Detroit Tigers; Spencer Torkelson, INF, Detroit Tigers