Autumn is here. Hockey and basketball have started up. NFL and college football are in full swing, and we are in the middle of the World Series! October was great for sports, and November is certainly is a great month on the sports calendar.
Fantasy baseball leagues (outside of playoff leagues) are over, so now is the time to start prepping for the 2023 season. I wanted to take some time and highlight some deeper league prospects that you may want to put on your watch lists; or maybe even pick up one to stash in your dynasty leagues.
For the purpose of this article, we will look at players that are at 5% owned, or less, on Fantrax.
C: Jeferson Quero, Milwaukee
It feels as though we are in the middle of a renaissance at catcher in the fantasy baseball world, and Quero is part of the reason why. This year Quero put up highly respectable numbers in Single-A and High-A. Any time your catcher can hit for a .286 average with double-digit homers and double-digit steals, take note.
1B: Spencer Horwitz, Toronto
Horwitz remains a sleeper, in part, due to his lack of physical stature at first base. He has an above-average-to-plus hit tool, however, the lack of power projection will keep down on industry lists. He racked up only 12 homers this year, but did manage to hit 33 doubles in the process. At 24 already, he’s on the verge of a major league call up to Toronto. If you need a hit-first 1B, not all that different than former Blue Jay John Olerud, then give him a look.
Spencer Horwitz began trending up later in the season as he made more effort to lift the ball
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) March 5, 2022
2B: Hector Rodriguez, Cincinnati
The Mets sent Rodriguez in the trade deadline deal to Cincinnati in exchange for Tyler Naquin. Thus far, the Reds have to like what they see in the second basemen turning outfielder. Power is not in the calling cards for him, however he has a plus hit tool and really good plate discipline. Toss in 10-15 steals and you’re looking at a very useful player.
3B: Carlos Sanchez, Cincinnati
I didn’t intend to have two Reds farmhands on the list, but Sanchez is simply too good to ignore. Sanchez is a tooled up third basemen and outfielder from the Dominican Republic. In 138 at bats this year in the Dominican Summer League, he hit for a robust .355 average with a .506 OBP. Like many young hitters, the power hasn’t translated just yet, but it’s coming. The Reds will look to give him a bigger test next year, and bring him stateside as soon as next season. I think you’ll have to be patient with him as he’s only 17, but if you’re in leagues that roster more than 40 prospects per team, he’s worth a stash and hold.
SS: Keiner Delgado, New York Yankees
Raise your hand if you’ve read this before: The Yankees are loaded. Delgado is the latest in a long line of hitters in the minors that have fantasy owners taking notice. Keiner played this season in the Dominican Summer League and impressed with a .310 average and .504 OBP. Speed is also on the table for him, with 34 stolen bases in 54 games. At 18, he was age appropriate for the league and could use a stint at rookie ball next year, playing alongside recent draftees.
OF: Josue De Paula, Los Angeles Dodgers
If the Yankees are loaded, then I’m not sure how to describe the Dodgers system other than super loaded. He was quite possibly the most exciting player in the Dominican this season. De Paula has all the tools that one would expect out of a future super star. From the .350 batting average, to .448 OBP, to 5 homers and 16 stolen bases, he put everything on display in his early career. If I were to put my money on one player from the DSL to jump into Top 100 prospect status by the end of 2023, it would be this kid.
DSL Dodger Josue De Paula, going deep off a pitch that’s a good six inches off the plate in. Take DSL stats with a grain of salt, but coming into today, he had a wRC+ of 160, with a higher walk rate (15.3%) than strikeout rate (13.3%) 👀 pic.twitter.com/fn5294dKqO
— Josh Thomas (@jokeylocomotive) August 14, 2022
OF: Mason Auer, Tampa Bay
A bit of a shameless plug here. Auer played in the same travel ball organization that my high school sophomore son played in last year. The Rays selected Auer out of junior college San Jacinto College in the 5th round of the 2021 Draft. To date, he’s been one of the best players so far since being selected. Auer is a gym rat, always in the cage working on something it seems. That work paid off with a .290/.372/.487 slash line and counting stats of 15 home runs and 48 stolen based in 115 games. The floor for Auer is likely a bench bat, with definite potential for much more.
A triple for Mason Auer pic.twitter.com/V2QSgUqDYq
— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) October 12, 2022
OF: Jose Gerardo: Miami
Like his other Dominican Summer League counterparts on the list, Gerardo has been impressive in his own right. On the younger side of 17 this season, he displayed more power than De Paula. He’s a bit more of a free swinger, which can hamper development to a degree. I wouldn’t be too concerned at this stage, but it’s an area worth monitoring as he begins his ascent through the Marlins system.
UTIL: Justyn-Henry Malloy: Atlanta
If you haven’t heard of Malloy by now, then you’re late to the party. I would expect to see him listed on some top 100 prospect lists going into the 2023 season. He’s off to a torrid start in the Arizona Fall League, which adds to the great debut year he had with the Braves after being drafted out of Georgia Tech. Originally on the Vanderbilt team, Malloy transferred south down I-75, and his career has taken off from there. Alex Anthopoulos hasn’t been shy about promoting his minor league stars, and as a result, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Malloy make his MLB debut next season.
I hope that I’ve been able to highlight some players that you can target in some of your fantasy leagues. Stay tuned as I’ll highlight some players that can throw it quite well from the bump in my next article, coming soon to Prospects1500.
Born in Arizona. Raised in the Midwest, and with lots of baseball. When I’m not writing about baseball or purchasing my next baseball card, I can be seen coasting down the highway to yet another travel baseball tournament with my wife and son. I love the Braves, bat flips and outfield assists.