Young players are becoming increasingly important in fantasy baseball, as they can have an incredible impact immediately upon arrival to The Show. 

Additionally, we’ve now learned that aging curves show that players peak earlier than we originally thought. Perhaps a players’ peak is from age 24-27. I think it’s varies player to player, but regardless rookies are coming up and making a large impact from Day One. It’s key to know those players (even if you just watch list them) and what skills they can present to your fantasy team. I’ll be breaking down some of the key rookie hitters & pitchers (in a future piece) and project what I see from them in 2020. 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @bieryplox33 or ask me any questions!

Luis Robert (February ADP 82) – 

In a fantasy baseball world starved for stolen bases, Lu-Bob is a guy that has the potential to provide them in bunches, along with 20+ homers. He should be up on Opening Day, after inking a 6 year deal worth $50 million dollars. His defense should provide him a floor as he will play, but there could be some batting average concerns given his woeful plate discipline and penchant to chase pitches out of the zone. Regardless, this is a pick where you have to look at what could go right. If things click for Robert, you may have a 25/25 player (or better) on your hands. 

ETA: Opening Day Lineup

Projection: .252/.309/.454, 20 HR, 23 SB, 71 runs, 68 RBI

Jo Adell (February ADP 222) –

One of the most electric players in all of pro baseball, Adell has a unique opportunity to debut as a power-speed stud after graduating Ballard HS (Louisville) in 2017. The guy absolutely annihilated MiLB pitching en route to Triple A as a 20 year old in 2019. Similar to Robert, there is some swing and miss concerns, but the cost is far lower with Adell (typically available after pick 200). However there is far less playing time certainty, given the fact Adell isn’t under MLB contract yet and he didn’t perform well at Triple-A in his first taste as a 20 year old (67 wRC+). It’s a simple path to The Show for Adell in my mind, if he rakes vs Triple A pitching, he will be brought up to help reinforce LA’s OF. An injury in the OF could also expedite Adell’s path to The Show. 

ETA: Early June 

Projection: .251/.329/.419, 14 HR, 16 SB, 51 runs, 43 RBI

Nick Madrigal (February ADP 262) – 

Madrigal is a guy that should regularly post OBP numbers north of .350 and provide significant speed on the basepaths. Madrigal never strikes out (3% K, 9% BB at Triple A Charlotte in 29 games in 2019) and will score a boatload of runs. Madrigal is a magician in terms of hit tool (he’s never posted a contact rate below 95%). The elephant in the room is obviously is deficient power stroke, but Madrigal should be able to provide value to his owners even if this piece doesn’t develop. 

ETA: Late May (if he rakes at Triple A Charlotte)

Projection: .283/.345/.399, 4 HR, 18 SB, 59 runs, 43 RBI

Carter Kieboom (February ADP 296) – 

Kieboom went the dynamite when Carter was called up in 2019.. Carter totally flopped posting a butt ugly 17 wRC+ over 43 PA’s (meaningless sample). Kieboom has an opportunity to win the starting 3B job in Washington over veterans Asdrubal Cabrera & Starling Castro, and if he does he’s a must add in all formats. Kieboom doesn’t present the most fantasy friendly skills (not a ton of speed), but if it all clicks you could be looking at 25 HR’s with a .280 BA and a bunch of runs scored. He’s a very ‘safe prospect’ meaning he’s a really good hitter who has patience, good defense (ensuring his PT) and good contact rates. 

Projection: .265/.322/.412, 21 HR, 4 SB, 68 runs, 56 RBI

ETA: Opening Day Roster

Dylan Carlson (February ADP 333) – 

Dylan Carlson just absolutely dominated the high minors in 2019, posting a 142 wRC+ in 403 PA’s at Double A and a sizzling 161 wRC+in 78 PA’s at Triple A. The guy is a hitting machine and should be penciled in towards the top of the order in STL by Memorial Day. If Carlson is raking at the top of the Cardinals’ order, I see him providing incredible fantasy impact that will make him an all formats play, and this 333 ADP an incredible draft day bargain.

ETA: Late April 

Projection: .277/.339/.444, 17 HR, 7 SB, 68 runs, 65 RBI

Evan White (February ADP 398) – 

Following a recent trend of prospects signing contracts that buy out their arbitration years, Evan White signed a 6 year deal worth $24 million this winter, potentially penciling him as the everyday 1B from Opening Day in Seattle. White has drawn some Cody Bellinger comps this off-season, quite an eyebrow raising remark, and he does bring a power-speed profile to our game. I could buy him as a backup to your 1B in 15 teamers if you waited on 1B and want some plausible upside from White, as he should settle in as Seattle’s starting 1B option from day one. 

ETA: Opening Day Lineup

Projection: .248/.313/.420, 15 HR, 4 SB, 54 runs, 56 RBI

How I Prioritize Each:

Luis Robert is totally in play for me from pick 70 on if I need a big stolen base boost. In a shallow league he’s a bit more appealing as you can replace him if the plate discipline sinks him in his first taste at the big league level. 

Jo Adell can either pair up with Robert or serve as a nice consolation prize if you either missed Robert or feel squeamish investing a high pick in the potential risk Robert presents. Be prepared to stash Adell for some time though – an 1H callup isn’t guaranteed. 

Nick Madrigal is a player that fits in nicely if you have a need at 2B or MI for BA & steals. You have to ensure you have enough power to cover for his deficiency there. He’s not a great value to me, but if you need a spark he could help boost your speed and BA.

Carter Kieboom is an all around player who can help a little everywhere (not a lot of speed though), Kieboom could even gain 3B/2B eligibility depending on how Washington chooses how to unleash the potential 25 HR, .280 BA bat. 

Dylan Carlson is easily my favorite buy on this list, given his incredible power stroke & the cheap cost. He’s a no brainer for me at ADP 333.

Evan White is a guy that I’m very intrigued by given his skills, but I’m not really chasing him unless I need a talent boost at 1B/CI.