Fantasy Baseball: Hitter prospects that will become relevant in 2016

Corey Seager

Top prospects Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor and Kyle Schwarber made impacts with their major league clubs in 2015. All three of those players are very likely to remain at the major league level for 2016 and be a key contributor. 2016 presents a new crop of hitter prospects that have the ability to be fantasy relevant. Some will start the season in the majors while others may have to wait. All can help your fantasy baseball team.

* ADP data via Fantasy Pro’s

Corey Seager | SS | Dodgers
ADP: 66

Corey Seager enters the 2016 season as the prospect. He came up to get a taste of the big leagues at the end of 2015 and impressed in less than 100 at bats. He hit .337 hitting four home runs, 17 RBI, and two stolen bases. He plays a position that is in need of elite talent following in the footsteps of another young star, Carlos Correa. Coming off the board at pick 66 per there will be a price assumes with this prospect. Assuming Seager to hit above .330 is not realistic, the .280 to .290 range seems much more reasonable for 2016. That should come with a 15-20 home runs and north of 70 RBI. He should hit at the top of a strong lineup and have a chance to eclipse the 80 run total. There will be a ton of risk draft a prospect with this little experience. Just look at his teammate Joc Pederson as an example of a guy who had expectations above his reality. Seager falls behind Correa, Manny Machado, and Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop. I would be fine taking him at or around his ADP.

Byron Buxton | OF | Minnesota Twins
ADP: 206

Byron Buxton is a top prospect that many dynasty and keeper league players have been monitoring for some time. His initial taste of the major leagues was not nearly as successful as Seager’s but giving up on him after 100 plus at bats would be far too hasty. Buxton can be a stud defensively in the outfield which should help him hold onto his spot in the everyday lineup. He needs to show he can be close to .270 or .280 if he wants to be a fantasy relevant. Double digit home runs and 15-20 stolen bases is realistic for Buxton. For a guy going after 200 I would gladly take a shot on Buxton and hope he can produce the numbers we have been waiting for. He is not as bad of player he showed a season ago and improvement is coming.

J.P. Crawford | SS | Phillies
ADP: 465

J.P. Crawford saw a majority of his plate appearances at the Double-A level in 2015. How many major league at bats Crawford may get is the biggest question for 2016. It will likely be a Seager or Buxton level of at bats in or around 100. The Phillies have a ton of question marks and the timetable could get sped up for Crawford but with expectations around the team being so meager the rush to get him in the Majors is not there for the organization. You’ll want to keep an eye on his production at the Triple-A level and the organization’s stance on him. You may need to grab him a month or so sooner than you think if you want to make sure he is on your team.

Domingo Santana | OF | Brewers
ADP: 361

Domingo Santana will break camp in the everyday lineup. The Brewers moved Khris Davis this winter to open a spot for Santana. He should get 500 plus plate appearances this season. Santana has the raw power that can translate to the major league level. 20 plus home runs is well within range with 70 plus RBI and with .250ish batting average for Santana’s first season in the big leagues. He is a great grab late in drafts as a 4th or 5th outfielder if you need power.

Trea Turner

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trea Turner | SS | Nationals
ADP: 363

Trea Turner is one the prospects that I am most excited about for 2016. He has the potential to to play early for the Nationals, fills a shallow position and should produce right away. The biggest question is whether Dusty Baker and the Washington Nationals feel the same. If he can get the 400 plus appearances then a 10 home run and 20 stolen base season is in the cards with a batting average hovering around .270. I would gladly take Turner at the end of drafts and hope he sticks at the major league level. If he breaks camp with the big league club he is a strong middle infield option and if not keeping on the bench for the first couple weeks is well worth the risk. I would gladly grab Turner in the early to mid 200’s.

Josh Bell | 1B | Pirates
ADP: 512

Josh Bell is an interesting prospect with potential to make an impact in 2016. He likely will start the season in the minor leagues. How soon he can be the major leagues is a big wild card. Michael Morse and John Jason are currently penciled into a platoon at first base. Jaso is learning first base defensively and thus far the transition isn’t going well per ESPN reports but it’s still very early in spring. Jaso will face left handed pitching. He can be consistent at the plate but lacks for power. Morse will serve as the first baseman against right handed pitching and must show he can hit closer to .260 than the .215 he showed in Miami. Both players have had issues staying healthy so Bell could be called on to split duties with Jaso or Morse. Bell could get an early call for a team looking to compete in a very tough NL Central.

Other names to monitor

Nomar Mazara | OF | Rangers
ADP: 466

Nomar Mazara was one of the key additions beyond Cole Hamels the Rangers landed in their deadline deal last season. He seemingly had the potential have an impact in the 2016 but the Rangers signed Ian Desmond to play outfield. WIth Joey Gallo likely to get the call before Mazara it may be closer to 2017 before we see anything meaningful for Mazara.

Orlando Arcia |SS | Brewers
ADP: 431

Orlando Arcia is a prospect gaining a ton of buzz mainly because there is a path to playing time. If Arcia can get 500 plus plate appearances he can be a 10 home run and 20 steal guy much like Trey Turner. However if they play with his service time and let Jonathan VIllar get the work at shortstop it may be some time before we see Arcia.

Aaron Altherr | OF | Phillies
ADP: 383

Can Altherr be the 15-20 home run Ben Rolfe suggested he could be in his Philadelphia Phillies preview? The answer was yes before the an injury to his left wrist will now cause him to miss 4-6 months.

I wouldn’t expect to get anything out of Altherr until after the all star break. He can be a valuable addition down the stretch with a nice power punch. Monitor his progress and work in Triple-A. Be ready to add him prior to his call up if you dont want to miss out

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