Jackson Holliday [1296x729]
Jackson Holliday [1296x729] (Credit: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

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Fantasy baseball managers in ESPN standard leagues get their active lineup and then only three bench spots, so it may be difficult to roster top prospects still toiling in the minor leagues. Everyone loves the rookies, of course, regardless of sport, because they have yet to fail at the top level. Some will be awesome. Most will not be awesome. Still, we all dream that the prospects on our rosters are about to become the next Mike Trout. Some are more patient than others.

We will check in with the top prospects every other week in this space for the foreseeable future -- and follow the big-league closers in the other weeks -- and with one full weekend of big-league games underway, few are rostered in many ESPN leagues. Here are the top 10 prospects still in the minor leagues -- ranked in order of ESPN roster percentage -- with one analyst's thoughts on whether they are worth the wait for this season in redraft formats.

Top 10 minor league prospects

Jackson Holliday, SS/2B, Baltimore Orioles (46.4% rostered): The precocious Holliday, the No. 1 pick of the 2022 amateur draft posted a .954 OPS in spring training, showing power and speed, but he also struck out in one-third of his at-bats. With fewer than 100 Triple-A plate appearances prior to this season, it always made sense that he would head back to that level for at least a few weeks. The Orioles appear loaded offensively, and the 20-year-old Holliday would fit in nicely. Look for the call-up to happen this month, making it feel as if Holliday really needs to be rostered in more leagues.

Junior Caminero, 3B/SS, Tampa Bay Rays (26.7%): Caminero, also 20, entered this season with nary a Triple-A plate appearance, even though he batted 36 times for the Rays late last season. Again, while there were rumors of Caminero perhaps making the Rays, especially since they appeared unsettled at shortstop, he isn't likely to become a big league shortstop. He may follow the path of Rangers OF Wyatt Langford and be the DH. It also may happen in April, though a calf injury suffered over the weekend may push the promotion into May. Caminero, like Holliday, will hit. There is little risk in being patient here.

Paul Skenes, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (19.5%): Skenes, 22, tossed three perfect innings in his Triple-A debut Saturday, striking out five. The first pick of the 2023 draft doesn't seem to need much minor league work, like the Pirates are wasting valuable pitches in meaningless games. Pitchers get treated differently than hitters, for sure, and the Pirates will keep his innings and pitch counts in check for a while. Skenes barely pitched last season in the minors. He is not Jared Jones, who took regular turns last season and thrived in his weekend debut for the big club. Skenes figures to spend several months at Triple-A, but if you are waiting for injured veterans such as Max Scherzer, Kodai Senga and Kyle Bradish, potential ace Skenes feels worthy, as well.

Jasson Dominguez, OF, New York Yankees (8.3%): Dominguez, 21, debuted last season and hit four home runs in 33 PAs, but he will miss roughly half this season after needing Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm. A healthy Dominguez offers significant power, speed and plate discipline, albeit with swing-and-miss concerns. He is certainly a more natural center fielder than Aaron Judge, so when he is ready, he will play for the Yankees, even as they boast a crowded outfield. Dominguez does not come as guaranteed as Holliday and Caminero, so in leagues with only three bench spots, it may be difficult to wait until the All-Star break.

James Wood, OF, Washington Nationals (3.0%): Wood, 21, wowed in spring games by hitting .364 with four home runs and three stolen bases, but the Nationals are hardly contenders, so it always made sense to give him at least a month at Triple-A. Wood looks ready, and he certainly isn't being blocked by the likes of Eddie Rosario, Victor Robles and Jesse Winker. Wood should be rostered in as many leagues as Caminero at this point, and there will be a frenzy to acquire him when he gets the call to the majors.

Dylan Crews, OF, Washington Nationals (2.6%): Crews, 22, starts this season at Double-A, and again, the Nationals shouldn't be in any hurry to promote him. Wood is clearly closer to the majors, and more accomplished in the minors, too. Crews was the second pick of the 2023 draft, right after Skenes and two picks ahead of Langford. We shouldn't compare him to those fellows. Crews may not be in the majors anytime soon, so those in redraft formats may want to reconsider the bench spot.

Chase DeLauter, OF, Cleveland Guardians (2.6%): DeLauter, 22, had a terrific spring, and the Guardians aren't exactly loaded with power options in their outfield. However, his promotion is not imminent because this 2022 first-round pick entered this month with only 28 PAs at Double-A and none in the higher levels. DeLauter, by the way, showed negligible power in 2023, as well. Figure this takes half a season, at least, before DeLauter makes the majors.

Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Chicago Cubs (2.4%): Crow-Armstrong, 22, was quite a bit more popular in fantasy leagues before Cody Bellinger returned to the Cubs. With Bellinger flanked by Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki, and Michael Busch getting a legit shot at first base, Crow-Armstrong is blocked. He is a five-tool talent and tremendous center fielder, but the opportunity is not there yet, and it may not be for a while.

Noelvi Marte, 3B, Cincinnati Reds (2.4%): Marte, 22, was going to be the starting third baseman until an 80-game suspension for a performance-enhancing drug was levied. Can you wait three months for Marte? Well, you can, but in ESPN leagues, with no corner infield spot, it is tough to make a case. Just keep Marte in mind as we get to the All-Star break.

Jordan Lawlar, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks (2.3%): Lawlar, 21, was the No. 3 pick of the 2021 draft, and he hit 20 home runs and stole 36 bases across two minor league levels a season ago. The franchise sent him to Triple-A in early March, before he tore a ligament in his right thumb, which will keep him out for at least two months. It's a shame, because Geraldo Perdomo, despite an All-Star nod last season, is hardly blocking Lawlar, but this injury may just ruin much of his season.