Minor League Hitter Projections: End of Season Update

Alex Isherwood writes about year-end hitter projections as the minor league season draws to a close.

Top 100 Projected Hitting Prospects

With the minor league season wrapping up, this is the last update for these projections heading into the offseason. Stay tuned for future updates to the system as well as pitcher projections later in the offseason. As always, the methodology of the system for projecting prime WAR can be found here, analysis of the system’s accuracy can be found here, and more detailed projections with percentile outcomes beyond the top 100 can be found in the link here.

 

Player Notes

 

  • Unsurprisingly, Wander Franco hangs onto his title as the No. 1 overall prospect. He gets a historically bullish projection for a player below AA due to a combination of elite plate discipline and tools at just 18.
  • Dylan Carlson is starting to gain recognition, though the system has been high on him all year. Like Franco, he’s very young for the levels he’s played at, and he’s still excelled across the board.
  • Gavin Lux closes at No. 3 after slashing a ridiculous .347/.421/.607 across AAA and AA. He’s finally getting a shot in the major leagues and looks to make a claim for consistent playing time even after Max Muncy returns.
  • Though he reportedly won’t be getting a September callup, Luis Robert’s year has still been exceptional. He’s hit a combined 32 HR with 36 SB and a .328 batting average across three levels and should be up early next year despite questionable plate discipline.
  • Trent Grisham’s lofty minor league performance hasn’t translated to major league success just yet, though it’s only been 28 games. He’s perhaps been a little too patient with 13 called strikeouts in 95 PA.
  • At No. 6 is another player who flew up the rankings this yearJarred KelenicHe’s only just turned 20, but went from spending all of 2018 in Rookie-ball to finishing 2019 in AA. Most impressively, he’s hit at every minor league stop so far.
  • There’s been a handful of very good offensive performances from minor league catchers this year, but Daulton Varsho ranks the highest at No. 7 overall. A .301 batting average with 18 HR, 21 SB, and just a 13.9% strikeout rate in AA would be noteworthy at any position.
  • Drew Waters hasn’t struggled much in his minor league career, but since he’s been promoted to AA, Waters is striking out 36.4% of the time with an 84 wRC+. He’s still very young and has a great track record, so he ends up at No. 8 anyway.
  • Like Waters, Jo Adell crushed AA pitching this year before dropping off hard at AAA. His strikeout rate is worth monitoring, but expect Adell to adjust and be fine when he repeats AAA to start next year.
  • After 43 horrible major league PA early in the season, Carter Kieboom was relegated to AAA for the remainder of the year. He’s been good overall despite a slow second half and remains one of the best hitting prospects in the minor leagues.

(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

Alex Isherwood

Creator of @ProspectBot and former FantasyPros writer. Studying computer science and mathematics at William & Mary.

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