Welcome to Fantasy Baseball Prospect Watch! This weekly feature will list and give updates on the best minor-league prospects that are trending up, with a chance to make an impact in the MLB – and for your fantasy baseball teams – sooner rather than later.
Fantasy Baseball Prospect Watch Week 24
3B/2B Colt Keith, Detroit Tigers
A poor man’s Chase Utley, Colt Keith should crack Detroit’s lineup during the 2024 season. With a quick, left-handed swing, Keith has displayed power to all parts of the field, as well as hitting for a high average. After slashing .325/.391/.585 with 14 home runs and 50 RBIs through 59 games for AA Erie, Keith received his call to AAA Toledo. While at Toledo, Keith has shown no signs of slowing down as he has slashed .298/.378/.542 with 13 home runs and 49 RBI in 61 games. Keith’s calling card will be his ability to hit for a high average and power. He will bring nothing to the table in terms of speed, and his slow footwork defensively will ultimately see him as the third baseman of the future in Detroit. Given his strong showing during his first taste of AAA ball, there is an outside shot he breaks next Spring Training with the Tigers. Fantasy players should monitor Keith’s movement into the next season as he could be an under-the-radar waiver add with the ability to hit for a .285+ average, 25+ home runs, and 75+ RBIs.
OF Kevin Alcantara, Chicago Cubs
Part of the return in the deal that sent Anthony Rizzo to the New York Yankees in 2021, Kevin Alcantara has quickly made a name for himself in the Cubs’ minor league pipeline. Through Rookie, A+, and AA, Alcantara is slashing a combined .284/.345/.466 with 13 home runs, 71 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases. The young outfielder has shown tremendous power in his 6’6” frame thanks to his long but compact swing. Strikeouts will be an emphasis of improvement as the 21-year-old has a 26.8 K%. However, a bright side is the righty’s willingness to draw walks (8.2%) and use the opposite part of the field. At 6’6” and 188 lbs, he possesses above-average speed, and his power numbers will only continue to rise as he adds muscle to his frame. The end of 2024 is a fair target for Alcantara to make his debut in Chicago, and he could fit the trend of taller, young outfielders the Cubs have developed as he is very similar to Jorge Soler and Eloy Jimenez.
RHP Chase Hampton, New York Yankees
A sixth-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, Chase Hampton has put together a fantastic first full season in the minors. The righty has a combined 3.63 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 145 strikeouts in 106.2 innings between A+ and AA. Hampton’s fastball sits in the mid-90s but can reach 99 MPH. His fastball also has great rotation, and this has played into its effectiveness given its movement. Along with his fastball, Hampton gets great spin on his curve and slider, and both pitches have garnered numerous swings and misses through his 106 innings of work. The young righty has all the makings of a strong mid-rotation starter, and a strong showing early into the 2024 season could see him debut for the Yankees by August.
LHP Justin Wrobleski, LHP Los Angeles Dodgers
An 11th-round pick in the 2021 draft, Wrobleski has built off his 2022 season, which saw him finish with a 2.91 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and 26 strikeouts in 21.2 innings. Possessing a mid-to-high 90s fastball, Wrobleski’s repertoire also includes a plus slider, an average curveball, and da eveloping changeup that has gotten better through each start. Through 102.1 innings this season, the lefty owns a 2.90 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, and 109 strikeouts. Wrobleski figures to be a back-end starter with high upside given his high strikeout numbers. Fantasy managers should monitor Wrobleski’s movement during the 2024 season as a strong showing as he moves into AA and AAA could see him reach the Dodgers by the end of the season.