Fantasy Baseball 2020 Rankings: Highlighting Top Prospects to Target

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 24, 2020

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 08:  Luis Robert #88 of the Chicago White Sox runs the bases against the Kansas City Royals on March 8, 2020 at Camelback Ranch in Glendale Arizona.  (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
Ron Vesely/Getty Images

Luis Robert's power across three levels of minor league baseball in 2019 turned him into one of the most hyped incoming prospects for the 2020 Major League Baseball campaign. 

The 22-year-old Chicago White Sox outfielder is expected to be one of the breakout stars of the upcoming campaign because of his production in the minors and the early impression he made in spring training. 

The buzz surrounding Robert should make him an intriguing option in fantasy baseball drafts, and he could be the most coveted prospect in many leagues. 

Oakland Athletics pitcher Jesus Luzardo also experienced a push through the minors in 2019, and toward the end of the regular season, he provided a glimpse of how strong he can be on the mound.

The left-handed pitcher should be one of the most sought after pitching prospects in fantasy drafts since he has an ounce of big league experience on his resume.


Top prospects to target in fantasy baseball

Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 08:  Luis Robert #88 of the Chicago White Sox looks on against the Kansas City Royals on March 8, 2020 at Camelback Ranch in Glendale Arizona.  (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
Ron Vesely/Getty Images

Robert produced 32 home runs and 92 RBI with Single-A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte last season. 

After he shot up the White Sox system to Triple-A, he put up 16 long balls and drove in 39 runs over 47 appearances. Not only did he hit for power, but he was also consistently on base with a .328 batting average and a .376 on-base percentage. 

Robert extended that form into spring training and drew plenty of rave reviews from his teammates, per NBC Sports Chicago's Chuck Garfien.

"He's a special player. I don't think there's anything he can't do on a baseball field,” White Sox catcher James McCann said. "You hear the label of a five-tool player, but you don't hear it thrown around very often. I have a hard time saying that he's not a five-tool player."

The 22-year-old's average draft position in leagues that selected their squads was No. 91, per FantasyPros. If you entered a 12-team league, that means he will likely be off the board by the end of the eighth round.

Until he proves himself, Robert will not be considered as high of a fantasy option as Ronald Acuna Jr. or Mike Trout, but he could be a solid complementary option to those stars. 

Stocking up on one or two of the top-20 outfielders is a wise strategy in the opening rounds, and if you feel confident in Robert's abilities, you could go for him as early as the seventh round.

A pick before that feels like a reach because he is still an unproven commodity, and plenty of outfielders are worth your attention before Robert is the best available player.


Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Oakland Athletics

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

After making his MLB debut September 11, Luzardo earned 16 strikeouts over 12 innings in six appearances. 

He impressed enough in those outings to earn a spot on Oakland's postseason roster. In his playoff debut, he gave up one hit over three innings versus the Tampa Bay Rays.

In 8.1 innings of spring work, the 22-year-old conceded four hits and a single run while striking out 13 batters. 

Based off his early success with the Athletics, the indication is Luzardo will be a key part of their rotation for the long term.

The southpaw's average draft position is No. 122, per FantasyPros, and it could be higher in some leagues because of his potential. 

The key with Luzardo and other prospects is to buy into the hype but not at an astronomical level where you draft him too early. He isn't worth selecting over the first few tiers of pitchers yet, but if you get to the ninth or 10th round or beyond, he could be a solid value selection.

The Peru-born player is expected to be a valuable part of rosters at some point in 2020, but that could accelerate if he thrives against hitters on both sides of the plate. He gave up one hit to left-handed hitters in 2019 and four base knocks to right-handed batters. 

If Luzardo excels against both types of hitters again in 2020, he could be one of the most effective southpaws in your fantasy rotation.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference