Top 20 Outfield Prospects: #11-20 (Preseason 2016 Edition)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Last week we started our listing of the Top 20 Outfield Prospects in Major League Baseball (click here to view).  Who are the next 10 prospects?  Let’s take a look:

11) Clint Frazier – Cleveland Indians
#2 ranked Indians prospect
Grade – B+

Frazier spent the entire season at High-A, hitting .285 with 16 HR and 15 SB. He added 36 doubles and 3 triples, showing the potential for the power to further develop as he gets older (he just turned 21-years old) and gains experience. The problem has been the strikeouts, though he did take a step forward last season:

  • 2014 (Single-A) – 29.7%
  • 2015 (High-A) – 21.3%

When coupled with his good eye at the plate (11.6% walk rate), if he can maintain the improved strikeout rate the potential is there to develop into a strong hitter with massive power potential. How he adjusts to the next level, especially against more advanced pitching, is going to be the key to his long-term success.

12) David Dahl – Colorado Rockies
#2 ranked Rockies prospect
Grade – B+

He hit .278 with 6 HR and 22 SB over 288 AB at Double-A last season, missing time after suffering a ruptured spleen in an on-field collision. The power should continue to grow, after posting 41 doubles, 8 triples and 14 HR between two levels of Single-A in ’14 (he had 16 doubles and 3 triples at Double-A last season). The big concern has been his approach at the plate, as the strikeouts have risen with each promotion, while the walks have dropped:

  • Single-A (422 PA) – 15.4% // 5.5%
  • High-A (125 PA) – 21.6% // 4.0%
  • Double-A (302 PA) – 23.8% // 3.6%

With power and speed there’s a lot of potential, but he needs to fine-tune his approach to take advantage of it.

13) Kyle Tucker – Houston Astros
#3 ranked Astros prospect
Grade – B+

Selected fifth overall in 2015, Tucker is the younger brother of current Houston outfielder Preston Tucker.  Like fellow first round pick Alex Bregman, Kyle showed a good approach at the plate (29 K over 232 AB), something we all know that the Astros need to improve at the big league level.  At 18-years old (he’ll turn 19 in January) and standing at 6’4”, there’s reason to believe that he will grow into his power as he ages and matures.  Couple the approach, power potential and ability to steal bases (18 in his professional debut) and he’s certainly going to be a player to watch closely.

14) Raimel Tapia – Colorado Rockies
#3 ranked Rockies prospect
Grade – B+

He has a ton of athleticism and upside, with 20/20 potential written all over him. While he’s aggressive at the plate, as his 4.0% walk rate at High-A shows, it will be interesting to see if he can continue to make consistent contact (17.7% strikeout rate). If he can, there’s .280+ upside. While he hit “just” 12 HR in 544 AB last season, he added 34 doubles and 9 triples showing that there is some power in his bat. Throw in 26 stolen bases (33 at Single-A in ’14) and the total package is there. While there is a bit of risk, there is also a lot of reward possible.

15) Max Kepler – Minnesota Twins
#3 ranked Twins prospect
Grade – B+

Not many prospects made the kind of jump that Kepler did, hitting .322 with 9 HR, 71 RBI, 76 R and 18 SB over 407 AB at Double-A last season. The power number doesn’t look impressive, but keep in mind that he added 32 doubles and 13 triples, so it’s easy to imagine him improving into the 15-20 range (if not a little more). Couple that with 20+ SB upside as well as a solid approach at the plate (13.1% strikeout rate, 13.9% walk rate) and what’s not to like? He’s put himself on the map as a potential .290/20/20 player, something few others can legitimately say.

16) Victor Robles – Washington Nationals
#5 ranked Nationals prospect
Grade – B+ (could quickly emerge as an A-)

The Nationals signed Robles as a 16-year old out of the Dominican Republic back in 2013 and are just now starting to see a return on that investment.  Splitting time between Rookie Ball and Low-A he hit .352 with 4 HR and 24 SB over 213 AB.  The power is expected to develop in time (he did add 11 doubles and 5 triples), and he’s already shown a promising approach at the plate (strikeout rates of 12.8% & 12.6%).  We always hear about five-tool prospects, and Robles has that type of upside potential.  At this time next season we may be talking about Robles as the top prospect in the Nationals’ system.

17) Anthony Alford – Toronto Blue Jays
#1 ranked Blue Jays prospect
Grade – B+

Now that he’s finally given up football, the former two-sport star is going to be able to develop his tremendous upside on the diamond. Splitting time between Single-A and High-A he definitely flashed his upside in 2015 by hitting .298 with 4 HR, 35 RBI, 91 R and 27 SB over 413 AB. He also showed an impressive eye at the plate and an improved strikeout rate upon being promoted (strikeout rate // walk rate):

  • Single-A – 25.9% // 16.8%
  • High-A – 19.2% // 11.0%

Throw in the potential for his power to develop (25 doubles, 7 triples helping to lead to a .421 SLG) and the upside is certainly there. Now that his sole focus is on baseball, look for him to potentially move quickly.

18) Eddy Julio Martinez – Outfielder
ETA – 2017
Grade – B+

Signed out of Cuba, Martinez has drawn comparisons to Andruw Jones. That alone needs to get people excited (remember in Jones’ prime saw him hit .303 with 36 HR and 21 SB), though it remains to be seen if his power will be able to develop or not. As of now his speed is his best asset, as well as expectations that he can hit for a strong average. Time will tell how he develops and adjusts to life in the U.S., but the upside is there to be one of the better prospects in the game.

19) Alex Jackson – Seattle Mariners
#1 ranked Mariners prospect
Grade – B+

The grade probably should be higher but a miserable 2015 campaign, including a bloated strikeout rate (28.9% at Single-A, 31.0% at Low-A), has got to make us at least a little bit skeptical.  He played all of 2015 at 19-years old and battled through injuries, the latter of which easily could have impacted his production.  At one point he was in the conversation for the first overall pick in 2014 (he ultimately was selected sixth overall), so there is obvious upside potential and could help ease the concerns this past season created.

The question is going to be how long it takes him to refine his game, especially his contact rate.  Those types of numbers at the lower levels are eye popping, especially since expectations are for them to rise against more advanced pitching.  There is power in his bat (11 doubles, 1 triple, 8 home runs over 163 AB at Low-A), something that should continue to grow and develop.  Still, as we’ve seen with the Rangers’ Joey Gallo if you can’t make contact the power isn’t going to matter much.

20) Cornelius Randolph – Philadelphia Phillies
#3 ranked Phillies prospect
Grade – B+

Drafted 10th overall in 2015, Randolph made a significant splash in his first taste of professional baseball by hitting .302 with 19 extra base hits (15 doubles, 3 triples, 1 home run) over 172 AB. If that wasn’t impressive enough, despite turning just 18 in June he walked (32) just as many times as he struck out (32). For a player this young, showing that type of approach has got to get observers extremely excited. We need to give the left-handed swinger time to develop, and it’s going to take time, but he clearly belongs on all radars thanks to his potential.

Grading System (still in development):
Grade A – Elite Prospects (aka potential future perennial All-Stars)
Grade B – Above Average Prospects (aka above average Major Leaguers, could develop into a potential All-Star)
Grade C – Average Prospects (aka solid, though unspectacular)
Grade D – Nothing More Than Roster Filler
Grade F – Move On

Make sure to check out all of our Top 10 Prospect Lists:

AL EastAL CentralAL West
Baltimore OriolesChicago White SoxHouston Astros
Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
New York YankeesDetroit TigersOakland A's
Tampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsSeattle Mariners
Toronto Blue JaysMinnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
NL EastNL CentralNL West
Atlanta BravesChicago CubsArizona Diamondbacks
Miami MarlinsCincinnati RedsColorado Rockies
New York MetsMilwaukee BrewersLos Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia PhilliesPittsburgh PiratesSan Diego Padres
Washington NationalsSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants

One comment

  1. chris says:

    Eddy Martinez’s ETA is NOT 2017. More like 2020. The kid is a LONG LONG LONG way away.

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