Top 10 Prospects: June 6

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A reminder on how this works: This is a list for the 2022 season only. It is not a list of the top overall prospects, but the players who have the best chance of making a difference in 2022.

Also, it’s only a list of prospects who are currently in the minors/have prospect eligibility, so players on MLB teams do not count.

Those warnings out of the way, here’s a look at the top prospects who have a chance to make a fantasy contribution in 2022.

1. Riley Greene, OF, Detroit Tigers

2022 stats: 8 G, .258/.361/.387, 1 HR, 2 SB, 5 BB, 6 SO at High-A Lakeland and Triple-A Toledo.

It’s time. It’s worth pointing out that Greene would have already been a member of the Tigers if not for his foot fracture just before the start of the season, but he’s worked his way back and is now just a step away from reaching Detroit. The outfielder has plus tools in all of the fantasy-relevant categories, and has one of the highest floors among prospects in baseball regardless of level. Greene should be up soon, and is a must-roster for anyone who needs outfield help if he’s still available.

2. Shane Baz, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

2022 stats: 4 G, 13 IP, 1.38 ERA, 4 BB, 20 SO at Triple-A Durham.

Baz was solid in his first two rehab starts of the year, but he’s escalated things over the last pair of appearances. That includes 10 strikeouts over four innings of one-run baseball on Sunday against Nashville. You could easily justify placing Baz first on this list, and you could do the same for the name below him. The one fantasy concern here is that his innings may be limited, but as long as Baz gets a chance to start and throw five innings, the fantasy upside is beyond significant.

3. Oneil Cruz, SS/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

2022 stats: 44 G, .223/.333/.411, 8 HR, 10 SB, 25 BB, 51 SO at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Cruz continues to see his numbers rise, and over his last 10 games, the 23-year-old has slashed .333/.404/.690 with five homers in 42 at-bats. That’s much more indicative of his talent than the ugly numbers he was putting up at the beginning of the year. There’s no guarantee that Cruz is up soon -- we’ve seen the Pirates call up several prospects instead of the infielder, which is a bit frustrating/weird -- but he’s still someone fantasy managers should consider rostering now before it’s too late.

4. C.J. Abrams, SS, San Diego Padres

2022 stats: 21 G, .260/.330/.427, 4 HR, 6 SB, 7 BB, 19 SO at Triple-A El Paso; 20 G, .182/.270/.273, 1 HR, 1 SB, 4 BB, 14 SO at San Diego.

If this list was to be done by tiers -- note, this list will never be done by tiers -- the top three names would represent the top, and Abrams would start the next group. That’s not because of talent as Abrams is as good as any prospect in baseball, but because there’s no guarantee he gets a chance to play in this current structure of the Padres. Still, because he can help you win the stolen base category and help in several others, Abrams belongs on this list, and will be more than worth an addition if/when San Diego does the same.

5. Josh Lowe, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

2022 stats: 26 G, .270/.333/.510, 5 HR, 3 SB, 10 BB, 41 SO at Triple-A Durham; 19 G, .188/.257/.344, 1 HR, 6 BB, 27 SO at Tampa Bay.

Lowe continues to play at a decent level with the Bulls, but he is going to have to pick things up if he’s going to get another shot with the Rays at some point this summer. The fact of the matter is that he’s an outfielder with the talent to do just that, and his power/speed combo makes him a legitimate top 40 fantasy prospect, give or take. Sure, you’d like to see a little more consistency, but the talent is obvious, and Lowe is still someone you have to keep on the radar in redraft formats.

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6. Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, Kansas City Royals

2022 stats: 51 G, .284/.375/.628, 15 HR, 3 SB, 26 BB, 31 SO at Triple-A Omaha.

Let him play. Let him play. Let him play. Pasquantino is actually in the middle of a 1-through-18 struggle, but look at those numbers above he still registers even with that funk. Simply put, Pasquantino can flat-out swing the bat, and anyone who is looking for help at the corner-infield position needs to look at Pasquantino. He should be hitting for the Royals before the All-Star break comes. If he’s not, something is wrong.

7. Ryan Pepiot, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

2022 stats: 8 G, 36 IP, 1.75 ERA, 16 BB, 40 SO at Triple-A Oklahoma City; 3 G, 11.1 IP, 3.18 ERA, 11 BB, 13 SO at Los Angeles (NL).

Pepiot is tough to place on this list, at least in terms of where he belongs. The positives are obvious, he has outstanding stuff, he has put up dominant numbers in Triple-A and has shown flashes of brilliance in his limited time with the Dodgers. The negatives are readily apparent, too, however, mostly in the fact that Pepiot just doesn’t have a great idea of where his pitches are going to land right now. It’s going to depend on the matchups, but even with the walks, Pepiot is worth roster consideration. Just be prepared to take a hit in the WHIP category when he’s on the bump.

8. Brayan Bello, RHP, Boston Red Sox

2022 stats: 10 G, 56 IP, 2.41 ERA, 21 BB, 76 SO at Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester.

Welcome to the list, Brayan. I can’t necessarily say we were expecting you this time, but you’ve earned it. A 23-year-old who was signed for a measly $28,000 in 2017, Bello has slowly but surely worked his way up rankings, and has been dominant for the majority of the 2022 campaign while earning a promotion to Triple-A. There are three pitches at his disposal tha can miss bats, and he commands them well enough to be a starter. The Red Sox should give him a chance to start game soon, and fantasy managers should give him the chance to do the same when that occurs this summer.

9. Gabriel Moreno, C, Toronto Blue Jays

2022 stats: 35 G, .324/.377/.406, 1 HR, 2 SB, 11 BB, 25 SO at Triple-A Buffalo.

Moreno continues to show the ability for average, which is good. He also continues to not show much power at all, which is both bad and surprising. The biggest issue facing Moreno, however, is the fact that Alejandro Kirk is playing at an All-Star level with the bat while also ranking among the best framers in baseball. Still, because of Moreno’s talent and the fact that there are so few quality options at the position, he belongs on this list, and it goes without saying that he’s worth a roster add if he gets a chance with Toronto. There’s just no guarantee it will happen soon.

10. Corbin Carroll, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

2022 stats: 44 G, .305/.425/.626, 13 HR, 18 SB, 31 BB, 52 SO at Double-A Amarillo.

Alright, let’s get this out of the way: The chances of Carroll actually playing for the Diamondbacks in 2022 are relatively slim. That being said, it’s time to start considering him as a fantasy option for the coming season because of where we are in the year, and because see numbers above. Carroll can contribute in every category, and is a legitimate candidate for the best prospect in baseball not counting the players currently on MLB rosters. Again, the chances are that Carroll doesn’t help fantasy rosters and Arizona until 2023, but if there’s anyone in Double-A that’s worth a roster spot, it’s him.

Next in line: Triston Casas, 1B, Boston Red Sox; Shea Langeliers, C, Oakland Athletics; Matthew Liberatore, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals​