Fantasy Baseball 2020: 1st-Round Mock Draft, Rankings for Top ProspectsMay 13, 2020
Before Major League Baseball was put on hold, Luis Robert and Jesus Luzardo were expected to shine in their first full seasons.
Robert is expected to begin the 2020 campaign in the Chicago White Sox lineup, which gives him the best chance of any top prospect to make an impact.
Luzardo made his debut for the Oakland Athletics in September and is now projected to take on a larger role within the rotation.
Other prospects could emerge throughout season, but few are expected to match the production of Robert and Luzardo from the start, which makes them the most ideal fantasy prospects.
Fantasy Baseball 1st-Round Mock Draft
1. Ronald Acuna Jr., OF, Atlanta
2. Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels
3. Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee
4. Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Mookie Betts, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
6. Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland
7. Gerrit Cole, SP, New York Yankees
8. Trevor Story, SS, Colorado
9. Trea Turner, SS, Washington
10. Jacob deGrom, SP, New York Mets
11. Juan Soto, OF, Washington
12. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado
Fantasy Rankings for Top Prospects
1. Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox
2. Jesus Luzardo, SP, Oakland
3. Gavin Lux, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Carter Kieboom, SS, Washington
5. Jo Adell, OF, Los Angeles Angels
6. Michael Kopech, SP, Chicago White Sox
7. Dylan Carlson, OF, St. Louis
8. Alex Kirilloff, OF, Minnesota
9. Mackenzie Gore, SP, San Diego
10. Casey Mize, SP, Detroit
Robert's minor league power generated buzz for what he could do in a major-league lineup.
The outfielder mashed 32 home runs and drove in 92 runs across three levels of the White Sox system.
Robert spent the most time at Double-A Birmingham, but he made a larger offensive impact at Triple-A Charlotte, where he hit 16 long balls.
The 22-year-old should be integrated into a lineup headlined by Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada and Edwin Encarnacion.
Due to the power already in the White Sox lineup, Robert will likely start in the bottom half of the batting order but could move up if he adjusts well to the majors.
Although he is the No. 3 prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com, he could make the biggest impact of any top-10 prospect.
Tampa Bay's Wander Franco is not expected to land in the majors in 2020, and Gavin Lux has to fight to remain in a crowded Los Angeles Dodgers lineup.
Since Robert carries so much offensive potential, he should be worth a mid-to-late round pick as outfield depth to start the season.
Luzardo showed promise working out of the Oakland bullpen in September.
The southpaw conceded two earned runs and struck out 16 batters over 12 innings in six appearances. Those outings were a glimpse into what he can produce in the Athletics' starting rotation this season.
In 2018, he went 10-5 across three minor league levels, and if he hadn't suffered injuries in 2019, he may well have made that impact last season.
Luzardo should draw fantasy interest because of his strikeout total. He had 129 in 109.1 innings in 2018.
If the 22-year-old translates that power to the major league mound, he could be a solid provider throughout the season.
Since fantasy owners have been tipped off to his potential, you may have to select Luzardo a round or two before expected. However, the payoff could be worth it if he achieves success in the American League West.
Lux hit a pair of home runs and drove in nine runs during his September stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The call-up was a reward for hitting 26 home runs for Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The 22-year-old could provide power in the Dodgers lineup, but there is a concern about how much playing time he will get on a loaded roster.
He could start at second base, but with right-handed bats Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor fighting for playing time, some of Lux's at-bats could be taken away.
Lux hit .270 with four doubles and eight RBI versus right-handed hurlers, but he recorded a single hit in 12 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers.
His power numbers are intriguing, but he needs to improve against southpaws to be a consistent figure in lineups.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference.