This week in the pen-ultimate edition of the prospect preview we return to the position of outfield. We will look at one prospect that is absolutely crushing pitchers at AAA and should get a call up soon in Yordan Alvarez and a prospect that started this year with an injury, but should reach the major leagues next season in Jo Adell.
Jo Adell (20 AA LAA)
Scouting grades according to MLB.com: Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Run: 65 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60 | Overall: 60
Jo Adell may be my favorite prospect that is still in the minors. He came into the season as the 14th overall prospect on MLB.com. If you were to take out the players that were likely to lose prospect eligilibty (Vlad, Tatis, Eloy, Senzel, Rodgers) Adell would be at #9 overall. Drafted 10th overall out of high school, Adell burst on the scene and has not slowed down. Adell is a power/speed guy with a high average. Last year across three levels (A, A+, AA) Adell had 20 HR and 15 SB while hitting .290. The closest comparison from last year would be Andrew Benintendi if you swapped the HR and SB numbers. I actually believe that Benintendi could be a realistic comp overall for when Adell reaches the majors. The only difference is the strike out rate. Adell stuck out 28% of the time last year, where Benintendi struck out 23.4%. They aren’t too far off, but that 5% can make a difference at the major league level. That number is higher than I would like. But if he can continue to lower it as he progresses through the minor leagues then I would be buying into his stock more (if that is even possible). Overall Adell is the total prospect package, not just for fantasy owners.
The thought of him and Mike Trout in the same outfield for years to come is exciting for Angels fans. With a 60 grade arm, Adell would probably slide over to right field. It would be unlikely to see Adell reach the majors this season, unless he is tearing the cover off the ball and there have been multiple injuries to the Angels outfield. If he did not start the year injured, there would have been more of a chance. Still there is not reason for the Angels to rush the 20 year old if they do not need to. I do think that he can reach AAA this season. Right now Adell is at A+, as he has only played 4 games so far this season and is rehabbing from the injury. I would assume he would be back at AA before long and we can watch his development from there. Adell will most likely be my top prospect coming into the 2020 season. The skills along with the fact that he should reach the majors pretty quickly would provide fantasy owners lots of value for the 2020 season and beyond. If you are in a new league next season, expect Adell to go early and often in prospect drafts, and be prepared to pay a high price for him. The skills are already exciting, and to think he is only 20 years old and can still improve for years to come, he can be a corner stone and top pick in fantasy drafts for years to come.
Yordan Alvarez (21 AAA HOU)
Scouting grades according to MLB.com: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 45 | Field: 45 | Overall: 55
Yordan was signed by the Dodgers in 2016, then traded to Houston a month later as part of the Josh Fields trade. The now 21 year old is ranked as the 3rd best prospect in the organization, 2nd best hitter and outfielder only behind Kyle Tucker. Yordan is a powerhouse of a hitter. Last year he hit 20 HR between AA and AAA. This season, something has clicked for him as he already has 20 HR through just over 200 PA. So far he has also maintained a consistent walk rate of 12.8% (12.2% last year) and dropped his strikeout rate from 27.4% to 17.5%. This 10% decrease most definitely contributes to the raise of .292 AVG (already really good) to .363 AVG (totally absurd) and his increase of almost .100 to his OBP. If this change can stay from here on out, we can have a prime Nelson Cruz type player on our hands. Adding that to one of the already top lineups in the majors does not bode well for any opposing pitcher.
Additional good news in Alvarez’s case is that he can also play first base. This would add great value to that position, as Tyler White and Yuli Gurriel are not producing to the point of blocking him. So far he has played 9 of 48 games at first base. If he can continue to work at that position, we can see him in an Astros uniform faster. He can hold his own in the outfield, though I would expect most of his playing time to come from first base. If you are in a redraft league and have the space to add Alvarez, I would stash him away. In most formats, he will start out with just outfield eligibility. If he can add first base then it only increases his value. Even if he only plays outfield when he comes to Houston, he will be a big bat that you do not want to miss out on and if you are stashing him, it shouldn’t be too long before he comes up.\
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Cole Freel, and Kyle Amore live on Thursday May 30th, 2019 from 7:30-9pm EST for episode #163 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. Cole and Kyle will discuss the latest happenings in the world of MLB and fantasy. They will take a look back on the previous few days and a preview of the coming weekend. Including spot starts, bullpens, offense, and minor league players. This will be the 2019 Finale Thursday night show for us this year. Our Sunday shows will continue as usual. Next Thursday we begin Football shows.