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2024 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Watch Week 15

Kyle breaks down prospects in fantasy baseball who could impact your rosters!

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 26: Jhonkensy Noel #43 of the Cleveland Guardians celebrates a solo home run during his first major league at-bat in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 26, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. Jhonkensy Noel makes his major league debut. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
OF/CI Jhonkensy Noel, Cleveland Guardians

Entering last week, there was no hotter prospect than Cleveland’s Jhonkensy Noel. Through 65 games for AAA Columbus, Noel slashed .295/.359/.578 with 18 home runs and 59 RBI. Well, on his way to surpassing the 2023 total that saw him reach 27+ home runs and 84+ RBI in consecutive seasons, the outfielder/corner infielder received his call-up to make his Major League debut Wednesday. Fantasy managers are recommended to add Noel immediately. Given his combination of bat speed and power, his offensive skills are few and far between. At 6’3”, 250lbs, the right-handed hitter possesses the size to be a perennial 30+ home run hitter, but this will come with an unhealthy number of strikeouts. There will be bumps and bruises along the way, but the 22-year-old (23 in July) has the makings of an outstanding power hitter.

3B/SD Brayden Taylor, Tampa Bay Rays

Taylor joins the Tampa infield prospects list, including Junior Caminero and Carson Williams. By the 2026 season, all three should be manning Tampa’s infield, and all three will be highly sought after in fantasy leagues. Taylor, the 19th overall selection a season ago, has excelled for A+ Bowling Green, slashing .289/.407/.532 with ten home runs, 34 RBI, and 20 stolen bases. An average runner, Taylor has a knack for getting great reads off the pitcher, which has helped his ability to succeed on the basepaths. Taylor should find himself in AA after the All-Star break, and one thing to monitor is his strikeouts. He will sell out to pull pitches, which has sometimes led to a high number of strikeouts. Still, Taylor is a premier infield prospect and should reach the Majors as early as 2026. Dynasty players should be adding Taylor now.

LHP Cooper Hjerpe, St. Louis Cardinals

Drafted 22nd overall in 2022, the Cardinals organization has high hopes for the lefty entering 2023. His 2023 season saw him make only seven starts due to elbow surgery to remove loose cartilage. Even so, Hjerpe managed 51 strikeouts in 41 innings prior to being shut down, followed by 15 strikeouts in 8.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League. Fast-forward to this season, and Hjerpe is back to having success. His velocity has not caught up to pre-surgery, but his low-to-mid 90s fastball has been effective, and his slider/changeup combination has kept hitters off his fastball. Making 14 starts across A and AA, Hjerpe owns a 3.40 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 73 strikeouts in 50.1 innings. A solid finish to this season will only help Hjerpe’s case of making his debut in 2025. He may not possess a power fastball, but he has the makings of a low-end number-one starting pitcher.

LHP Mavis Graves, Philadelphia Phillies

Graves is an under-the-radar prospect that all fantasy managers, regardless of league setup, should monitor moving forward. Selected in the 6th round of the 2022 draft, the 6’6” 205lb southpaw possesses the attributes of a high-upside starting pitcher. Out of high school and early into his minor league career, his fastball sits in the low 90s, but that should change as he develops in the minors and learns to get more fluidity out of his frame and mechanics. His slider already has the potential to be a plus pitch, and his changeup is becoming more effective as the months progress. Through 12 games (11 GS) for A Clearwater, Graves is posting a 2.48 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 87 strikeouts in 58 innings. His last three starts on June 8, 19, and 25 saw him reach ten strikeouts in three consecutive games while posting ten strikeouts in four of his last six starts. After this season, Graves looks poised to crack the Phillies top-30 prospect rankings.