We’re entering the safe zone for the Super-Two cutoff, and with that comes the promotion of many top prospects. The Astros made a big splash on Monday when they called up Carlos Correa, but later tonight another solid prospect from the Houston farm will make his big league debut. Right-hander Vincent Velasquez ranked 5th on my Astros Top 10 entering the season, although I honestly didn’t expect him to make an impact until 2016. He’s forced his way into the bigs with his performance, however, and he’ll join fellow 2015 call-up Lance McCullers in the Houston rotation. Like McCullers, Velasquez will make the jump straight from Double-A to the majors. That might cause some fantasy owners to be shy about grabbing him, but as Grey mentioned yesterday in his Velasquez fantasy, the 23-year-old is worth a flyer in pretty much all leagues thanks to his nasty stuff. McCullers is already close to cracking JB’s Top 50 starters, and Velasquez was a higher-ranked prospect entering the season. Can Velasquez pull off a McCullers or even surpass him for the rest of 2015? Let’s take a closer look in this week’s profile…

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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…

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David Dahl‘s 2015 season is already over after lacerating his spleen in a nasty collision. Fun fact time. Back in the day, when humans were even dumber than they are now, folks thought that the spleen produced a kind of black bile that was related to melancholy. Their descendants can now be found trolling blogs across the interwebs with a brand new arsenal of misinformation. Dahl ranked numero uno on my Rockies Top 10 Fantasy Prospects list this offseason and #12 on my Top 50 Fantasy Prospects, so this is a major injury to a very good player. Missed time is starting to pile up, as Dahl had already missed a large part of his 2013 season with a torn hammy. The 21-year-old also suffered a concussion in this week’s collision. Just talking about this makes me all melancholic. I blame my spleen. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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Alen Hanson was signed by the Pirates as a teenager way back in 2009, so it probably feels like he’s been around forever. I guess this post is my way of saying I hope you didn’t fall asleep on him, as he’s finally getting close to the major leagues. Don’t get me wrong – he won’t be up anytime soon with Neil Walker established at second base, but we could see Hanson take over at the keystone in 2016. There are a couple of factors that I think have made Hanson an underrated fantasy prospect. One is that he’s simply in a loaded system. The Pirates have one of the best farms in baseball. The other is that he falters on traditional prospect lists thanks to concerns over his defense as well as his makeup. So why does Hanson raise my Jolly Roger? Let’s take a closer look in this week’s profile…

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?
   

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?
   

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…

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   
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