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2015 Top 10 Prospects for NL East: Future Braves, Marlins, Mets, Nationals & Phillies

Week 5 Injury Report

Welcome to The Future: 2015 Top 10 Prospects breakdown per division! This is a team-by-team look at the top-10 prospects for each team in each division from a Fantasy Baseball perspective.

We will start with the NL East, which the Nationals are early favorites to win and make the World Series. The other teams are clearly in rebuild mode, or filled with youth on their current MLB squads. Oddly enough, the Nationals also happen to have the best farm system in the NL East, with one prospect making the Top 5 overall, in Lucas Giolito, and there are four Nationals players ranked in the Top 100 of my top 109 Prospects list.

With these divisional breakdowns, many players did not make the Top 109 list. This should be expected as many are either very young, or not very close to the majors as of yet. They are, however, players who should be on radar of dynasty owners or very deep leagues with minor-league spots for example.

In the modern day of Internet, Fantasy sites, and rankings at the fingertips of anyone willing to search on the interwebs, being ahead of the game on players who may not even have an impact until 2016 or 2017 can be advantageous.

I considered things such as injuries, proximity to the majors, and overall ceilings, to distinguish prospects from one another. When it comes to 18- or 19-year-old talents, there really is no silver bullet to assess talent, so using skills, or rating scores from Baseball America, and proximity to the majors all need to be considered. I watch plenty of minor-league ball, but I also rely on and for some guidance. Remember that I’m coming at these prospect rankings from a Fantasy Baseball perspective.

Top 109 Prospects for 2015

If you need or want more specifics on particular players, feel free to reach out to me. There will be more to come, as well as specific profiles of some prospects throughout the regular season.

Philadelphia Phillies 2015 Top 10 Prospects

  1. J.P Crawford, SS (Overall Rank 33)
  2. Aaron Nola, RHP (Overall Rank 40)
  3. Maikel Franco, 3B  (Overall Rank 60)
  4. Roman Quinn, OF (Overall  Rank 101)
  5. Zach Eflin, RHP (NR)
  6. Ben Lively, RHP (NR)
  7. Jesse Biddle, LHP (NR)
  8. Roman Quinn, OF (NR)
  9. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, RHP (NR)
  10. Aaron Brown, OF (NR)

Franco should be with the Phillies in 2015, but he really needs to work on his plate discipline. High expectations for Franco in 2014 left owners and fans disappointed with the results, batting only .179 after the call up, so he may remain in Triple-A to start the season.

Crawford is the most talented of the Phillies prospects and he had no problems in Class A, showing he could be a 20/20 guy batting .270 with 11 HR and 24 stolen bases.

Lively could debut in 2015 as a reliever and would bring his amazing K-rate with him.

Washington Nationals 2015 Top 10 Prospects

  1. Lucas Giolito, RHP (Overall Rank 5)
  2. Michael Taylor, OF (Overall Rank 64)
  3. A.J Cole, RHP (Overall Rank 76)
  4. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP (Overall Rank 97)
  5. Trea Turner, SS (NR)
  6. Rafael Bautista, OF (NR)
  7. Joe Ross, RHP (NR)
  8. Erick Fedde, RHP (NR)
  9. Nick Pivetta, RHP (NR)
  10. Wilmer Difo, SS (NR)

Giolito is my top pitching prospect, as well as others in the industry. He got sidetracked in 2013 with the all too common Tommy John surgery. However his command, fastball and pitch arsenal are lethal. He may even see the majors in 2016, unless their current rotation holds steady.

Taylor is a legitimate 4- to 5-tool prospect. Last year was a very successful season for him, primarily in Double-A. He had a bumpy road in Triple-A and the majors, but that shouldn’t be too concerning.

Cole is ranked ahead of Lopez, but maybe he shouldn’t be. Lopez dominated in Class A and 2015 will be a year to watch as he progresses.

Trea Turner was a great piece in a trade, is fast and can get on base by making good contact. The Nationals may need to find a home for him in 2016 if he continues to develop.

Miami Marlins 2015 Top 10 Prospects

  1. Tyler Kolek, RHP (Overall Rank 24)
  2. Justin Nicolino, LHP (NR)
  3. Avery Romero, 2B (NR)
  4. Trevor Williams, RHP (NR)
  5. J.T. Realmuto, C (NR)
  6. Isael Soto, OF (NR)
  7. Jarlin Garcia, LHP (NR)
  8. Justin Twine, SS (NR)
  9. Brian Anderson, 2B (NR)
  10. Michael Mader, LHP (NR)

Tyler Kolek is a legitimate flame-thrower and even though his MLB debut is years away, he is their top prospect with a bullet.

Nicolino should see the bigs in 2015, and has good enough command to eat some innings, perhaps on days Jose Fernandez takes off late in the season.

Soto is a young and raw outfielder from the Dominican Republic. He is exciting, but very far away from debuting as a Marlin.

Romero projects to be a second baseman or shortstop, but he primarily played second in 2014. He’ll make his debut in the near future.

Atlanta Braves 2015 Top 10 Prospects

  1. Jose Peraza, 2B(Overall Rank 52)
  2. Lucas Sims, RHP (Overall Rank 71)
  3. Max Fried, LHP (Overall Rank 73)
  4. Christian Bethancourt, C (NR)
  5. Braxton Davidson, OF (NR)
  6. Tyrell Jenkins, RHP (NR)
  7. Mallex Smith, OF (NR)
  8. Jason Hursh, RHP (NR)
  9. Alec Grosser, RHP (NR)
  10. Ozhaino Albies, SS (NR)

Proximity to the majors alone places Peraza at the top of the Braves’ prospects for me. Great average and speed in the minors in 2014 make his debut in 2015 likely.

Sims has two solid pitches with a fastball and curveball. If he develops a third pitch this season, he could see the majors next season in some capacity.

Fried was sidelined with Tommy John surgery and this will delay his development. He is a high potential starter.

Bethancourt will likely have an impact in 2015 for the Braves, but his power and patience could use some work.

Jenkins, if he remains healthy, could hone his craft and become a useful pitcher for the Braves.

New York Mets 2015 Top 10 Prospects

  1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP (Overall Rank 11)
  2. Brandon Nimmo, OF (Overall Rank 65)
  3. Steven Matz, LHP (Overall Ranking 69)
  4. Dilson Herrera, 2B (NR)
  5. Steven Matz, LHP (NR)
  6. Amed Rosario, SS (NR)
  7. Dominic Smith, 1B (NR)
  8. Michael Fulmer, RHP (NR)
  9. Gavin Cecchini, SS (NR)
  10. Marcos Melina, RHP (NR)

Syndergaard is the most obvious choice for the top spot in the Mets’ system. He has ace written all over his skill set and frame, and he may be a No. 2 starter behind Matt Harvey in New York for years to come.

2015 Fantasy Prospects
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Nimmo has good bat speed, plays solid outfield and should be a few years from the majors.

Herrera has real power and although he struggled in the majors in 2014, he shouldn’t struggle in getting on base going forward.

Dominic Smith is still an exciting prospect, and has struggled to date, however, he is only 19 and should develop more in 2015. If you are in a dynasty league, snagging him late isn’t a terrible idea.

There is a very high ceiling for Matz, and he has some dominant stuff. If he can play out an entire season in 2015, he too could break in to the majors in 2015.

Come back soon for the 2015 Top 10 prospects for each team in the other five divisions.

Noah Syndergaard Photo Credit: Tom Hagerty

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