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National League West: Sleeper prospects for 2018

Watch for these names. . .

Colorado Rockies Photo Day
Sam Hilliard
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Here are some sleeper prospects from the National League Western Division for 2018. For purposes of this exercise, a “sleeper prospect” is a player who did not receive a grade higher than C+ on the pre-season organization prospect lists, but who has a significant chance to boost their stock in 2018.

I will try to make clear if each player is a short-term “could contribute soon” type or more of a long-term speculative investment for fantasy owners.

Click here for the American League East.

Click here for the American League Central

Click here for the American League West

Click here for the National League East

Click here for the National League Central


ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: Jose Almonte, RHP: Age 22, from Dominican Republic, originally signed by Red Sox in 2012, traded to AZ in 2016; posted 3.55 ERA with 162/66 K/BB in 139 innings in High-A, impressive for Cal League, 129 hits allowed; fastball 92-95, secondary pitches (slider/cutter, change) have improved, can be overpowering; watch for any reduction in walk rate as he moves up, which could presage a breakout.

COLORADO ROCKIES: Sam Hilliard, OF: Age 24, 15th round pick in 2015 from Wichita State University, hit .300/.360/.487 with 21 homers, 37 steals, 50 walks, 154 strikeouts in 536 at-bats in High-A; originally a pitcher, so may have more development potential than most players his age; good tool set with plus speed, plus arm, plus raw power; has contact issues and needs to prove himself in Double-A; went 10-for-27 for big league squad in spring training.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS: Caleb Ferguson, LHP: Age 21, 38th round pick in 2014 from high school in Ohio, 2.87 ERA with 140/55 K/BB in 122 innings in High-A, 113 hits, good numbers anywhere but especially in the Cal League; 90-95 fastball, curve flashes plus, change-up flashes average, high strikeout rate a positive marker; as with Jose Almonte, Ferguson faces the Double-A transition in ‘18 and could move quickly with only slight command improvements.

SAN DIEGO PADRES: Edward Olivares, OF: Age 22, signed by Toronto Blue Jays out of Venezuela in 2014, traded to Padres for Yangervis Solarte; hit .269/.327/.468 in 2017 between Low-A and High-A, 17 homers, 20 steals, 30 walks, 99 strikeouts in 494 at-bats; 60-speed, 60-arm, 55 raw power, needs some strike zone work but features an intriguing overall multi-category ceiling.

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: Malique Ziegler, OF: Age 21, 22nd round pick in 2016 from North Iowa Community College; originally from Des Moines, hit .240/.329/.374 in Northwest League with five homers, 26 steals, 28 walks, 66 strikeouts in 254 at-bats; impact tool with 70-grade speed, some raw power in athletic 6-2, 170 frame as well; raw overall and a long way off but has ceiling.