Maitan will be allowed to sign elsewhere this offseason after he was declared a free agent by MLB on Tuesday as part of the Braves' punishment for illegal dealings in the international free agent market. Behind Shohei Ohtani -- who isn't even guaranteed to come over in 2018 -- the 17-year-old switch-hitter will be the most sought-after international free agent on the market this winter. While he didn't impress in rookie ball last season, he's said to be in significantly better shape heading into 2018 and still carries the potential to provide a plus hit tool and plus-plus raw power. Not many teenage prospects have a fantasy ceiling as high as Maitan's at the moment.
Apparently other prospects could be declared free agents too, but Maitan is the big fish. Teams have been trying to position themselves to sign Shohei Ohtani this offseason, but Maitan, who will be subject to the same financial restrictions, will serve as a solid consolation prize, assuming he declared eligible to sign this winter. He was in pretty bad physical shape last season, prompting evaluators to say with confidence that he won't be able to stick at shortstop. However, he appears to have diligently worked on his conditioning this offseason, so he should at least be able to handle third base long term. The switch-hitting prodigy did not post impressive numbers last season as a 17-year-old in rookie ball, but he still has the potential to provide a plus hit tool and plus-plus raw power, which puts his fantasy ceiling in rare company among teenage prospects.
Blandino reached Triple-A Louisville during the 2017 season. Upon his arrival he slashed .270/.390/.444 over 63 games. Although he hit well last season, the Reds may want the 25-year-old shortstop to spend a bit more time with Louisville before giving him a taste of the majors in 2018.
Dubon played well after reaching Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2017. Over 58 games he hit .272 with a .740 OPS. He'll be protected from the Rule 5 draft, but is without a clear path to the Show as Orlando Arcia occupies the shortstop position for the big club.
Torres is heralded by some as the top prospect in the game, so it comes as no surprise that the Yankees will protect him in the Rule 5 draft. It's expected that Torres, who's recovering from Tommy John surgery, will compete for a starting spot in the infield during spring training.
The Yankees' decision to add Estrada to the 40-man roster will protect him from the Rule 5 draft. Estrada played well at Double-A Trenton during the 2017 season. Over 122 games he hit .301 with a .745 OPS and scored 72 runs.
After being acquired from the Mets in July, Gonzalez was assigned to High-A Jupiter. While there, he posted a dominant 1.11 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over five games (24.1 innings).
The 21-year-old middle infielder was one of the prospects the Tigers acquired from Arizona in the J.D. Martinez trade. He projects as a bench infielder, capable of playing both shortstop and second base. Alcantara has some speed, but is unlikely to ever be an impact fantasy option.
The offensive numbers have gotten downright ugly as Vielma has advanced to the upper levels of the minors (.229/.273/.280 between Double-A and Triple-A last year), but his defensive versatility gives him some real-life value. It appears Vielma will compete for a utility job in spring training, but he could be on the chopping block later in the offseason if the Phillies need to clear a spot for a free-agent signing or trade acquisition.
The slick-fielding shortstop impressed scouts with his glove in the Arizona Fall League after hitting .283/.376/.331 with one home run and four steals in 558 plate appearances at Double-A in 2017. While his defense gives him a high floor as a big-league bench player, it's hard to get excited about the offensive package for fantasy purposes, as he rarely does damage with the bat and is only an average runner on the bases.