As the country gears up for another heat wave of temps over 100, there are MLB prospects who are heating up as well. It’s not just guys we’ve already heard of either. There are several new prospects that have cracked their MLB team’s starting lineups who we should be taken note of right now. For those of us in keeper and dynasty fantasy baseball leagues, this is the time to make moves for these prospects. While the rest of your league mates might be focused on Fantasy Football Draft Guides and our Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet, picking up players who might be low in Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings or on bad MLB teams can make the difference heading into next year. This week, we’ll talk about some lesser-known prospects who made their debuts this week in MLB as well as a history-making rookie for the Oakland AthleticsZack Gelof.


Fantasy Baseball MLB Top Prospects in the News

Zack Gelof, 2B, Oakland Athletics

This stat is about to sound made up, but I promise you it’s completely true. Gelof is the first player in the history of MLB, since 1900, to have at least eight homers and six steals in his first 25 games in the majors. Read that again. That’s how good Gelof has been for the struggling, downtrodden, A’s. He’s made MLB history and it seems like not a lot of people have noticed. In fact, the toolsy second baseman is still available, as of this writing, in 65-percent of Fantrax leagues which is known for having deeper league types. Gelof is quickly showing that he’s the future keystone for the A’s whether that be in Oakland or Las Vegas and he ranks 86th in my most recent Top-400 Prospect rankings. He possesses a good approach at the plate which makes his average Hit tool play up and allows his above-average Power tool to as well. When you factor in his above-average Speed, we’re talking about a 20-20 second baseman in Oakland.

Lawrence Butler, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics

Another recent call-up for Oakland, though not history-making yet, was Lawrence Butler. The lefty-hitting, righty-throwing first baseman outfielder has an interesting set of tools that should make him a staple of fantasy baseball lineups for future years. The Hit tool might be average but the Power and Speed are both above-average which is a nice combo for a guy that has first base eligibility. There are some downsides with him though. Perhaps the most notable is his high strikeout rate that’s been on display much of his time in the minors. While the walk rate and power and speed can be nice, the K-rate can take away from his value and batting average to be sure. Prior to coming up to Oakland, Butler was hitting .284/.350/.475 in 89 games between two minor league affiliates with 15 homers, 70 RBI, 67 R, and 21 steals. If Butler can keep improving on his K-rate (78 in 89 games in 2023) there’s a potential for a top-10 first baseman here if not burgeoning on higher than that.

Wade Meckler, OF, San Francisco Giants

Here comes another Giants’ prospect that no one’s paid attention to who a quality baseball player. Stop me if you’ve heard that one before. Meckler was an 8th round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft and has already progressed enough to make the major leagues. He’s only played 92 career games in the minors before his call to San Francisco but it was an impressive stint nonetheless. Meckler slashed .377/.472/.527 with six HR, 76 R, 60 RBI, and eight SB. If you’ve grasped by now, his main tool is putting the bat on the ball and getting on base. He might not have a lot of power behind the swing, but he makes good contact and it usually results in a hit. For fantasy baseball purposes, Meckler’s profile as a 60-grade Hit and Speed guy with 35-grade Power might not sound great but we can all use a .300 hitter with a 30-steal upside right? He’s a prototypical Giants’ prospect and they’ve turned out some useful ones for fantasy baseball in the past.

Jacob Misiorowski, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers

The big JUCO right-hander was a strikeout artist coming out of Crowder Junior College and he’s continued to be that for the Brewer’s minor league affiliates. The 6’7”, yes, I said he was big, has a whip of a delivery that creates natural movement on everything he throws. That’s both a gift and a curse. Just remember Randy Johnson trying to control his delivery when he was young and you get what we’re seeing with Misiorowski. He’s trying to get more control, and it’s coming, with a 110:42 K:BB ratio in 71.1 innings this year across three levels in 2023. The fastball and slider both grade out at double-plus with 70 grades with the curveball and cutter sitting above-average. That four-pitch mix makes him a serious threat to be a frontline starter for the Brewers and join the likes of Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff in being aces in their rotation. He is currently my 12th-ranked RHP prospect and may crack into my top-50 overall prospects by season’s end.

Carson Williams, SS, Tampa Bay Rays

With the news surrounding Wander Franco on the Restricted List, it’s time to start looking at replacements. Williams is currently sitting at Triple-A Durham and over 89 games at two levels this year he’s played well. He’s slashing .263/.360/.507 on the year with 18 homers, 61 R, 59 RBI, and 16 SB. The power and speed are there for sure for Williams both at at least above-average grades but the Hit tool and the strikeouts are a concern. He’s posted 119 whiffs in the 89 games this year and has 300 in 213 total MiLB games. That’s not ideal but he could be a factor later this year or out of Spring Training next year depending on what happens going forward with Wander Franco.

Cole Wilcox, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

News flash… Tampa has A LOT of injured pitchers. They’ve got more than an entire rotation on the MLB IL and that doesn’t include the minor league one either. This is where Wilcox and the next prospect in the piece come in. Not necessarily for this year but as a challenger for a rotation spot early next year. Wilcox was the centerpiece of the return in the Blake Snell trade and he’s starting to prove why. The righty possesses stuff that make him a future frontline caliber starter with a plus-fastball and plus-slider anchoring the repertoire. While the results in the minors haven’t been jumping off the page, there’s still previews of what he can be. He’s posted 158 Ks in 138.2 IP with just 44 BBs in that time frame which is a K:BB ratio we like to see in future aces. The homers this year is concerning (11 in 78.1 innings) but they are using a tackier ball at Double-A that might be causing him some issues. If the Rays need a fifth starter early next year, Wilcox could be the choice.

Mason Montgomery, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays

A current Montgomery Biscuits teammate of Wilcox, Montgomery is knocking on the door of the majors as well. The left-hander who was a sixth-round pick in the 2021 draft has been dominating the minor leagues to this point. While the stuff isn’t as high-end as Wilcox, the overall package is just as good with three above-average pitches and above-average control from the left side of the pitching rubber. He’s posted 93.1 innings at Double-A in 2023 with 116 Ks to 43 BBs. Over his 228 minor league innings, Montgomery has 307 strikeouts to 87 walks. If they decide they need more help from the left side of the rubber Montgomery might be out Wilcox for a first shot in the majors.


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