Top 10 Prospects: July 4

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1. Nick Lodolo, LHP, Cincinnati Reds

2022 stats: 4 G, 12.2 IP, 2.84 ERA, 3 BB, 18 SO at short-season ACL and Triple-A Louisville; 3 G, 14.2 IP, 5.52 ERA, 5 BB, 19 SO at Cincinnati.

Thanks for making this easy, Cincinnati. Lodolo is going to come off the 60-day injured list on Tuesday, and he'll make a start against the Mets that day. Now, that's not an easy landing spot for the southpaw, but this isn't just about this week, of course. Lodolo has three pitches that can miss bats, and he can throw them for strikes. He's got a great chance of providing fantasy relevancy for the rest of 2022.

2. Brayan Bello, RHP, Boston Red Sox

2022 stats: 15 G, 85 IP, 2.33 ERA, 33 BB, 114 SO at Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester.

Bello made another impressive start on Friday for Worcester, firing 5 2/3 shutout innings with eight strikeouts and allowing two hits. If there's something to nitpick it's that the right-hander walked three, which he's done in back-to-back starts. To say he's worked around those walks is quite the understatement, and the swing-and-miss potential in his arsenal is beyond palpable. The Red Sox continue to deal with injury issues in the rotation, and whenever Boston gives him a chance to help, fantasy managers should do the same. There's an awful lot to like here.

3. Esteury Ruiz, OF, San Diego Padres

2022 stats: 72 G, .346/.477/.588, 13 HR, 58 SB, 48 BB, 59 SO at Double-A Amarillo and Triple-A El Paso.

What a sensational -- and completely unexpected -- season this has been for Ruiz. He's stolen bases in six straight contests, and that includes a three-theft effort on Wednesday. Do I believe he's capable of replicating these numbers at the highest level? Obviously not or there wouldn't be a player higher on this list. But you can't ignore what Ruiz has done on the field. He's an absolute must-add when San Diego sees just how real all of this truly is.

4. Francisco Álvarez, C, New York Mets

2022 stats: 67 G, .277/.368/.553, 18 HR, 0 SB, 36 BB, 71 SO at Double-A Binghamton.

Welcome to the list, Francisco. We've been expecting you. Álvarez received a promotion to Triple-A Syracuse, and that puts him just one step away from contributing to the highest level. It's worth pointing out that there's no guarantee he gets there, but this is the best catching prospect still in the minors with prestigious power from the right side and a chance to hit for average with it. The Mets haven't gotten much offensively from their catchers, and in a year where New York should be competing for a title, Álvarez makes them better. The fantasy upside is significant.

5. Max Meyer, RHP, Miami Marlins

2022 stats: 12 G, 56.1 IP, 3.67 ERA, 15 BB, 62 SO at Triple-A Jacksonville.

Meyer was outstanding on Sunday against a quality Memphis lineup, throwing six shutout innings and allowing just two hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Since returning from the injured list, the 23-year-old has allowed just three runs over four starts, with the one 'concern' being that he's not missing bats at an elite level. With his stuff, it's hard to be too concerned, and he's more than worthy of roster consideration if/when Miami calls him up this summer.

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6. Gunnar Henderson, INF, Baltimore Orioles

2022 stats: 70 G, .305/.438/.560, 13 HR, 15 SB, 58 BB, 62 SO at Triple-A Norfolk.

Henderson had a rough end of the week, going 2-for-16 in the series against Triple-A Gwinnett. We'll call that necessary regression -- necessary to prove Henderson is human -- and the game before that, the infielder hit for the cycle. In 23 games with the Tides, he's now slashing .291/.410/.535 with five homers and three stolen bases. He looks ready, but there are no guarantees of a call up which is why he ranks this "low" on the list.

7. Ryan Pepiot, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

2022 stats: 12 G, 55.2 IP, 1.94 ERA, 25 BB, 76 SO at Triple-A Oklahoma City; 3 G, 11.1 IP, 3.18 ERA, 11 BB, 13 SO at Los Angeles (NL).

Pepiot had one of his worst starts of the season on Tuesday, giving up two runs over four innings with three walks against El Paso. The right-hander continues to struggle with control, as that makes three consecutive outings where he's issued that many free passes. The stuff remains impressive, however, and we've seen in his brief time with the Dodgers that he can miss bats at the highest level. There's plenty of risk, but Pepiot's profile offers a similar -- if not higher -- potential for reward.

8. Miguel Vargas, INF, Los Angeles Dodgers

2022 stats: 76 G, .296/.387/.512, 13 HR, 8 SB, 42 BB, 55 SO at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

If Vargas played for any other team -- literally, any other team -- Vargas might rank in the top spot. This is an infielder capable of hitting for both average and power from the right side, and he’s looked outstanding for most of the 2022 season with the Triple-A Dodgers. Unfortunately, he does play for this team, and that makes things a bit more complicated. All that being said, Vargas’s talent is impressive, and at the very least someone worth monitoring in redraft formats. If he were to change organizations in a blockbuster trade? Quick escalation.

9. Shea Langeliers, C, Las Vegas Aviators

2022 stats: 67 G, .273/.366/.506, 14 HR, 4 SB, 34 BB, 66 SO at Triple-A Las Vegas.

Welcome to the list, Shea. Langeliers is currently blocked at the highest level -- and the A's may prefer to not have his clock start until 2023 -- but he belongs on this list at this point of the season. The former Atlanta prospect has plus power in his right-handed bat, a quality approach at the plate, and makes just enough had contact to project a decent -- but unspectacular -- batting average. He's also an excellent defender, so moving positions isn't likely. Langeliers is ready to go. The question is whether Oakland cares enough about 2022 to give him a shot.

10. Curtis Mead, INF, Tampa Bay Rays

2022 stats: 61 G, .300/.395/.543, 11 HR, 6 SB, 30 BB, 47 SO at Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Norfolk.

A third new member of the list, that's fun. For those wondering about Corbin Carroll, he's currently on the COVID-19 list, and it was announced last week that there was "no timeline" for his call-up. He's still someone you have to keep an eye on, but Mead -- who was just promoted from Double-A -- is a fine replacement. He's an infielder who can hit for both average and power, and he's capable of providing a couple handful of steals as well. Tampa Bay's depth chart is complicated, but Mead's talent is impressive; enough so that he has a chance to help the Rays before the season ends.

Next in line: Corbin Carroll, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks; Cade Cavalli, RHP, Washington Nationals; Ezequiel Duran, INF, Texas Rangers; DL Hall, LHP, Baltimore Orioles