Has the MLB prospect hype in one week ever been higher than it is right now for fantasy baseball? The Cincinnati Reds called up two of the top players in their MLB farm system rankings, including arguably the overall MLB top prospect Elly De La Cruz. While De La Cruz is stealing The Show and rising up 2023 fantasy baseball rankings, there are more future MLB rookies who are newsworthy this week. If you're looking for fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups, some of these current minor league players could be rising up 2023 MLB prospect rankings and cracking MLB lineups soon. If you play in dynasty fantasy baseball leagues, be sure to read on about Andrew Abbott, Jasson Dominguez, Ronny Mauricio, and more trending MLB top prospects. Be sure to check out the latest MLB injury report to see which teams could be calling up 2023 fantasy baseball prospects this season. Now, let's get to De La Cruz and this week's MLB Prospect Report as some of the names below have been asked about in Discord.


Recent MLB Top Prospects Called Up

Elly De La Cruz – SS/3B, Cincinnati Reds

I’ve written about him a few times already and talked about him on the Fantasy Baseball Podcast this week as well. That won’t stop me from talking about the player I have as my top prospect in baseball and Elly De La Cruz’s stats bare out why. Over 38 games at Triple-A Louisville this year, he was slashing nearly a .300/.400/.600 line with a .297 AVG, .398 OBP, and .633 SLG with 12 homers and 11 steals. He's now already hit a double and scored a run in his MLB debut on Tuesday. Considered a unicorn, he has plus Hit and Power tools with double-plus speed – all while being a switch-hitter at 6-foot-5 and 200 lbs. De La Cruz will play shortstop and third base in all likelihood in the majors and allow the Reds to have lineup flexibility, as well as hitting him at DH. Get ready for him to challenge Corbin Carroll for the NL Rookie of the Year.

Andrew Abbott – LHP, Cincinnati Reds

How do we think Andrew Abbott feels? He’s one of the top prospects in the Cincinnati Reds’ farm system, eighth in my latest Top-400 Prospect Rankings, and he gets the limelight for about 12 hours – if that. The southpaw has been electric in the minors with 271 Ks in 185 total innings since being drafted in the 2021 MLB Draft. Those frames saw him post a 3.45 ERA, including a 2.50 mark in 54 innings in 2023 prior to the promotion, and a solid 1.16 WHIP. Abbott uses four pitches, three of which are above-average grades, to attack hitters and has nice velocity for a left-handed starter. In his MLB debut on Monday, Abbott hit 95 mph on the fastball and struck out six in his six innings. Still, he also walked four and had good defense behind him. There’s no doubt that Abbott has strikeout stuff but control is a concern, as is the home ballpark in Cincy, which limits the upside of his ratios at least in his rookie campaign.

Minor League Prospect News

Christian Encarnacion-Strand – 1B/3B, Cincinnati Reds

Okay, I promise I didn’t set out to do an all-Reds Prospect Report, but that’s where the chips fell this week. In all seriousness, though, the clock is ticking on Christian Encarnacion-Strand getting called up to Cincinnati just like Abbott and De La Cruz. The corner infielder has been crushing the baseball at Triple-A Louisville with a .342/.408/.716 slash line that gives him a 1.124 OPS. The 15 homers and 12 doubles in 38 games and 162 at-bats boost that SLG to where it is. Encarnacion-Strand’s Hit and Power tools both grade out as above average and he’s shown that at every level he’s played. The 6-foot, 224-pound right-handed hitter has split his time in the field pretty evenly between first and third and handles both well enough to stick at the MLB level. When he gets called up, the Reds will have some shifting to do between him and Spencer Steer, Kevin Newman, Nick Senzel, Wil Myers, and others when they get back from injuries.

Jasson Dominguez – OF, New York Yankees

While the big toe of another Yankees’ outfielder, Aaron Judge, is on the minds of many, Jasson Dominguez has been on the minds of prospect writers. The hype around the signing of Dominguez was hard to overstate and, for the most part, he’s been living up to that hype. Now at Double-A Somerset, Dominguez is slashing .205/.365/.386 in 47 games this year with eight homers, 36 R, 29 RBI, and 14 steals. Most of those stats are great, except for the batting average. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound switch-hitting outfielder has all the tools to be the next great Yankee prospect and is in my top-25 overall MLB prospect rankings. The Hit tool, despite the current AVG, is above-average to plus, while the Power tool is plus to go with a plus Run tool and above-average fielding and arm strength. At just 20 years old, there’s no real rush on him being called up and he’ll need to sort out the slash line before he gets moved to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Expect Dominguez to be up with the Yankees sometime in 2024 at this point.

Termarr Johnson – 2B, Pittsburgh Pirates

My favorite player overall in the 2022 MLB Draft, Termarr Johnson, is starting to put his elite traits to use at Class-A Bradenton. He’s slashing .260/.421/.375 in 32 games at Class-A so far in 2023 with a .796 OPS and two home runs, 21 R, 13 RBI, and three steals. That may not sound overwhelming for a guy with a 70-grade Hit tool, 60-grade Power tool, and 55-grade Speed. However, in the last 10 games, he’s hitting .273 with nearly as many BBs as Ks (11-14). The 18-year-old Johnson has the footwork and range to remain at second base long-term and the offensive traits make him a top-of-the-order type hitter from the left side of the plate. Right now he’s only a dynasty league-type prospect as the ETA on his arrival in Pittsburgh is 2025 at the earliest, assuming normal development time and health.

Kyle Harrison – LHP, San Francisco Giants

We're starting to get a lot of questions about Kyle Harrison, the Giants’ top prospect and one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. What’s the case with Harrison? He just can’t control pitches. Some of the southpaw’s numbers look great, or solid, like his 15.63 K/9 (38.8% K-rate) and his 3.55 ERA in the Pacific Coast League. However, his 8.05 BB/9 (20.0% BB-rate), 4.61 FIP, 5.04 xFIP, 1.47 WHIP, and just 38 IP over 12 starts all aren’t great. He’s had just two starts this year in which he’s made it through four innings. Not great Bob as we say. The stuff is still great and makes him a frontline starter capable arm, however, figuring out how to keep it under control is what’s keeping him on the farm for the time being. Expect him to be a threat for a rotation spot in 2024 for the Giants.

Pete Crow-Armstrong – OF, Chicago Cubs

Remember when Javier Baez was a Met? Yeah, that time in New York netted the Cubs their now-top prospect in Pete Crow-Armstrong. The 21-year-old lefty-hitting outfielder is really starting to showcase his traits in 2023 at Double-A Tennessee. In 37 games and 153 at-bats, Crow-Armstrong is slashing .281/.349/.503 with seven homers, 29 RBI, 28 R, and 13 steals. Over the last 10 games though he’s hitting .310/.383/.643 with three home runs, 12 RBI, nine R, and two steals. Even if the above-average to plus offensive tools don’t fully show up, his 80-grade defense will help him advance. Let’s face it, every team needs elite centerfield defense and that’s what Crow-Armstrong brings. He’s likely to get called up to Triple-A Iowa in about a month or so and then he should challenge for a roster spot in early 2024 on the North Side.

Ronny Mauricio – SS, New York Mets

Signed by the Mets in the 2017 international signing period, Ronny Mauricio has been a bit of a slow-burn type prospect. Now, 22 years old, he’s finally reached Triple-A Syracuse for the first time and has been putting on a show. Currently, through 56 games, Mauricio is slashing .333/.372/.551 with eight home runs, 38 R, 34 RBI, and nine steals. That average is the highest he’s ever hit over this many games in his MiLB career with the previous high being .273 way back in 2018 over two levels of the lowest minors. So while it’s certainly positive to see him excelling, it’s also confounding what to make of it. Has he figured something out or is he just getting lucky? The 45-grade hit tool and past performance indicate it’s likely a hot streak though the 60-grade power indicates the pop will stay. Ultimately it’s hard to say where Mauricio fits in the Mets’ plan, outside of being a trade piece for a deadline deal this year, because he’s blocked by Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil, Brett Baty, and Mark Vientos currently.


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