We’re back for our first revision of the prospect power rankings. For those who are new, or just kinda slow, this is where we’ll take a biweekly look at the best fantasy stashes in Minor League Baseball. To see the inaugural list, click that link. While there’s no change in the top two spots, there was quite a bit of shuffling around the rest of the way through. One notable guy dropping off the list is Travis D’Anaud, who suffered a broken foot. The injury will set him back a couple months — terrible news for the 24-year-old who missed most of last season to a knee injury.
1. Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals (Previously Ranked #1): Taveras keeps the top spot. A lot of folks are growing skeptical about his chances of surfacing soon, given Allen Craig’s flexibility in the field and Matt Adams deserving more playing time. But Taveras can circumvent that logjam if the Cardinals choose to promote him as a center fielder. It’s worth noting that Jon Jay was recently demoted from the leadoff spot to seventh in the batting order. Jay’s been quite bad in 2013, hitting .197/.238/.316 on the season. He’s got some slack left on his leash, but the Cards won’t let him go too much further if that sort of misery continues. Meanwhile, Taveras, a prototype right fielder, is spending the bulk of his time at Triple-A in center.
2. Wil Myers, OF, Rays (#2): Myers collected his first homer of the year on Saturday, and I expect those to come in bunches as he grows healthier. The Rays are still unlikely to promote him before June, but he’s a lock to arrive this summer.
3. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies (#7): Arenado is maintaining an AVG north of .400 through 62 PA at Colorado Springs. Chris Nelson has 2 XBH on the season. Expect Arenado’s arrival this June.
4. Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers (#5): Moreland has been awful, and it’s looking increasingly likely that Texas will remove his bat from the lineup. That likely opens up a spot for Profar. And if it’s Ian Kinsler who fills the gap at 1B, the arrival of Profar could come with 2B eligibility.
5. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pirates (#3): Cole is another guy that seems destined for a June arrival. He’s struggling with walking batters right now (14/11 K/BB), but he’s definitely part of the 2013 plan in Pittsburgh.
6. Zack Wheeler, RHP, Mets (#8): Wheeler moves up the board, despite some poor performances at Las Vegas. Like Cole, he’s issuing too many free passes at Triple-A. Also like Cole, Wheeler is almost a lock to arrive in the bigs this summer. He needs to sort out his command/control woes, but plan on seeing him with the Mets before long.
7. Trevor Bauer, RHP, Indians (Next 5): Since a forgettable spot start in week 1, Bauer’s had a couple nice outings at Triple-A Columbus. A 7/1 K/BB in his most recent start is especially encouraging, considering his 19/20 figure in that category arcross five career MLB starts.
8. Billy Hamilton, OF, Reds (Next 5): I’ve been pretty pessimistic about Hamilton’s chances at offering fantasy relevance this season, but the Ryan Ludwick injury and subsequent crappy play from Chris Heisey opens things up a bit. Hamilton still has much to prove as he transitions from SS to CF, not to mention he’s off to a slow start at the plate (.231/.296/.323). But if he heats up and grows more comfortable in center, it’ll be tough for Cincy to keep him down.
9. Dan Straily, RHP, Athletics (#9): Straily is a little less gifted than the aforementioned pitchers, but he’s as MLB-ready as any arm in the minors. With a fragile group of starters in front of him, it seems likely we’ll see him Oakland soon, and hopefully for an extended look.
10. Erasmo Ramirez, RHP, Mariners (N/R): Ramirez is currently on the DL at Triple-A Tacoma, but he’s primed to join the M’s rotation as soon as he’s healthy. Seattle’s back-end starters have been miserable thus far, and Ramirez appears to be first in line for starts, ahead of Danny Hultzen. In 59 big league IP last year Erasmo posted a 3.36 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and a K/9 at 7.3. He was quite useful in fantasy leagues down the stretch in 2012, and it’s reasonable to think he’ll return to that form in 2013.
NEXT FIVE: Mike Zunino, C, Mariners (#6); Danny Hultzen, LHP, Mariners (#10); Allen Webster, RHP, Red Sox (N/R); Nick Castellanos, OF, Tigers (N/R); Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Rays (Next 5)
DROPPING OUT: Travis D’Arnaud, C, Mets (Next 5); Mike Olt, 1B/3B, Rangers (Next 5)
NOTEWORTHY MLB ARRIVALS: Tony Cingrani, RHP, Reds (#4); Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals (N/R), Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Twins (N/R)
NOTEWORTHY MLB DEMOTIONS: Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, Red Sox