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Fantasy Baseball: Week 9 Prospect Watch

Kyle breaks down some of the top MLB prospects and how they could impact fantasy teams moving forward.

MESA, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 23: Luis Vazquez of the Chicago Cubs bats during a training game as part of the 2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training at Sloan Park on February 23, 2024 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Matt Dirksen/Getty Images)
SS Luis Vazquez, Chicago Cubs

The Cubs middle infield tandem of Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner is currently battling through injuries, and the Cubs wasted no time calling up shortstop prospect Luis Vazquez Sunday evening. Prior to the 2017 draft, Vazquez made a name for himself due to his high defensive abilities. Through his first six minor league seasons, Vazquez seemed to be headed for a Major League utility role due to his offensive abilities not reaching their full potential. However, last season, Vazquez put together his best minor league season, slashing .271/.361/.456 with 20 home runs and 80 RBI. His career-best 20 home runs were more than his total of the previous six seasons combined. Off to a great start this season, Vazquez slashed .270/.369/.409 with three home runs and 11 RBI prior to his call-up for AAA Iowa. Overly aggressive at the plate, he enters the Majors with a 24% strikeout rate and owned a 26% K-rate this season. Fantasy owners looking for a shot in the dark could hit paydirt with Vazquez should he get off to a hot start in Chicago, but it would be wise to temper expectations unless the 24-year-old has finally figured it out offensively.

SS Carson Williams, Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay’s scouting department has done a phenomenal job developing talent and hitting on their draft picks. Williams joins Junior Caminero as Tampa Bay’s #1 and #2 prospect, and both should make a high impact when they reach the Majors. Carson Williams finished his best minor league season a year ago, slashing .258/.356/.497 with 23 home runs, 81 RBI, and 20 stolen bases. He opened the 2024 season with AA Montgomery and has gotten off to a torrid start, slashing .346/.426/.631 with seven home runs, 20 RBI, and ten stolen bases. One major concern is Williams’ aggressiveness at the plate, which has caused him to strike out a 35% clip. Should he cut down his strikeouts, Williams’s Gold Glove potential defense, plus speed and power, could see him develop into an annual All-Star shortstop with Tampa Bay.

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RHP Jacob Misiorowski, Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers’s top pitching prospect is a year away from reaching the Majors, and he is putting together a solid case to be a late-season call-up at the end of the current season. Playing in last year’s Futures Game, Misiorowski finished 2023, posting a 3.66 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 110 strikeouts in 71.1 innings across A and AA. He has started well at AA Biloxi, owning a 2.32 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 44 strikeouts in 31 innings. Misiorowski’s success has been attributed to his high-90s fastball that occasionally reaches triple digits paired with a hard slider. He is an elite-level talent and should already be owned by dynasty leagues. It is only a matter of time before Misiorowski is a household name across all fantasy baseball leagues.

RHP Grant Holman, Oakland Athletics

The former 2021 sixth-round pick spent his first few seasons as a starter before moving to a full-time relief role a season ago. Holman had success, posting 60 strikeouts in 44.1 innings. His high-90s fastball, paired with a plus splitter & slider, give him three high-level pitches for a relief role. His success as a reliever has seen him post a 0.00 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 23 strikeouts in 15.1 innings in 2024. His six saves in 14 appearances currently lead the Texas League, and the under-the-radar prospect could be a vital bullpen arm for fantasy teams. It is a wait-and-see approach, but it would be wise to monitor Holman, as he could be a solid addition when he arrives in Oakland.