Every other week Razzball ranks the prospects closest to contributing to your fantasy roster. The list is limited to players who still have rookie eligibility (less than 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched) and who are currently in the minor leagues. It’s not a list based on talent alone, but rather it’s a mixture of talent and opportunity. It will change frequently over the course of the season as prospects graduate to the majors, injuries occur, or service time roadblocks are passed. Here are the top 15 prospects on the cusp of the major leagues for 2015 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In a surprising move, the Nationals promoted infield prospect Wilmer Difo to the majors yesterday when Jayson Werth hit the disabled list. In some ways it makes a lot of sense, as Difo was already on the 40-man roster and hitting well in the minors to start the season. This move reminds me of the Twins jumping Jorge Polanco to the majors last year to fill a need on their major league roster – opting to temporarily go with an unproven player already on the 40-man instead of shuffling the entire deck. Difo is still pretty raw, and raw prospects are a lot like raw eggs. All the “stuff” is there, but it’s usually a good idea to cook ’em. It’s uncertain exactly how the Nats will use him going forward given that their current infield seems to be working just fine. So while I don’t expect Difo to stick this year once the Nats get healthy, this presents us with a good opportunity to peek at his profile…

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The first-place Astros will promote right-hander Lance McCullers to pitch against the Athletics tomorrow. The 21-year-old will make the jump straight from Double-A to the majors. McCullers was drafted 41st overall out of high school back in 2012 and features two plus pitches in his fastball and curveball. That combination should lead to a decent amount of strikeouts if he can command both pitches. McCullers probably tops out as a #3 starter in the majors, but he’s shown improved control this year with a 3.5 BB/9 (down from 5.2 and 4.5 in the two previous seasons). His strikeout rate has also ticked up – posting a 13.3 K/9 in 29 innings at Double-A Corpus Christi. McCullers is a viable fantasy play in most formats right out of the gate. Even in shallower leagues he’s worth a spin as a streamer. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues right now…

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The writing is on the left field wall. Phillies third baseman Cody Asche has been sent to Triple-A with a new position in his future. Like a mama bird regurgitating the contents of its stomach to provide its hungry babies with the sustenance they so desperately need, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. gave Phillies fans the confirmation that Franco was getting “closer and closer”. How close? This weekend the Phillies will pass the point at which Franco can be called up while still remaining under team control through the 2021 season, so we could be talking a matter of days and not weeks. I’ve always been partial to Franco in fantasy and it’s not just my South Jersey roots. I traded for him in an experts dynasty league last summer during his first half struggles. Then I ranked him #1 in my Phillies Top 10 this offseason and #13 overall in my Top 50 Prospects. Franco has also occupied the #2 slot in the Prospect Power Rankings in each of the past two editions. So what’s all the fuss about and how do we value Franco moving forward now that he’s on the verge of a promotion to the big leagues?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Every other week Razzball ranks the prospects closest to contributing to your fantasy roster. The list is limited to players who still have rookie eligibility (less than 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched) and who are currently in the minor leagues. It’s not a list based on talent alone, but rather it’s a mixture of talent and opportunity. It will change frequently over the course of the season as prospects graduate to the majors, injuries occur, or service time roadblocks are passed. Here are the top 15 prospects on the cusp of the major leagues for 2015 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Through the first month of the first year of our new dynasty league here at Razzball, team Hannibal Montana (owned by commenter Csifu) has jumped out to an early lead. Thanks in part to a ridiculously good 2.22 team ERA and top 5 performances in all but two of our ten categories, Csifu is sitting on 132.5 points in the early going. Razzball’s own JFOH (119.5) is hot on his tail, with Ra’zbahl Al Ghul (113) rounding out the top three. It’s a 16-team, 40-man roster dynasty league with weekly FAAB pickups and no restrictions on how long players can be kept (we keep 30). I love this format, and the league has been active in both trades and pickups. Considering how many players were owned coming out of our 40-round draft, there has been a lot of activity on the waiver wire. Here’s a peek at our league’s standings, as well as the trades and major free agent acquisitions that have gone down so far…

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There’s admittedly a special place in my heart for left-handed pitchers already, but I’m falling hard for Blake Snell. The 22-year-old southpaw ranked 9th in my Rays Top 10 prospects this offseason. Here’s what I said there: “His arsenal features a low-to-mid-90s fastball, plus slider, and plus changeup. His ceiling is more of a mid-rotation starter, but in deep leagues he’s a prospect worth checking in on just in case he figures out his control and takes another step forward. He will face a bigger challenge in 2015 when he gets his feet wet in Double-A.” His feet are officially wet. After just four games in High-A, Snell was promoted to Double-A Montgomery and made his first start Friday night. He responded with six scoreless innings, striking out eight while allowing just one hit and one walk. On the season, Snell has now pitched 27 innings and has yet to allow a run. He has struck out 35 batters and opponents are hitting just .124 off him. If you’re in a deeper dynasty format with some minor league slots to fill, I’d be getting on the Snell train. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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Adam Wainwright is done for the year, so the Cardinals will have to dip into their starting pitching depth. At least for now it will be Tim Cooney as a replacement, but the popular opinion is that Marco Gonzales will eventually take that spot in the rotation and run with it. The reason Gonzales may not be an automatic add is that he’s currently dealing with an injury of his own. The southpaw is scheduled to throw again later this week after hitting the minor league disabled list with some shoulder/pectoral discomfort. Grab some BENGAY and let’s take a look at what Marco Gonzales might offer for 2015 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Every other week Razzball ranks the prospects closest to contributing to your fantasy roster. The list is limited to players who still have rookie eligibility (less than 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched) and who are currently in the minor leagues. It’s not a list based on talent alone, but rather it’s a mixture of talent and opportunity. It will change frequently over the course of the season as prospects graduate to the majors, injuries occur, or service time roadblocks are passed. Here are the top 15 prospects on the cusp of the major leagues for 2015 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fantasy owners lost two good catchers this week in Travis d’Arnaud and Jonathan Lucroy. Even in 12-team formats, you probably threw up in your mouth a little when you went to the wire and saw your replacement options. God help you if you play in a two-catcher format. But not to fear, for the rookies are here! I’m looking in your general direction Kevin Plawecki…don’t disappoint me! When I went over the Top 10 prospects for every team this offseason, I typically spat on catchers in my rankings due to their limited upside. But it’s times like these when we need to bite the bullet and take a closer look at some rookie backstops. Here are six rookie catchers currently in the majors that you may need to roster while your studs are hurt. Yes, this list is ranked in the order that I’d personally add them.

Please, blog, may I have some more?