Baseball’s purest prospect has been called up. Jurickson Profar has surfaced in Texas, and if you’re just learning this now, you’re far too late. Don’t sweat it too much if you didn’t get your hands on Profar — I don’t see much room for him in the Rangers lineup once Kinsler returns. If you did happen to scoop him, though, he’s a wonderful lotto ticket with an even bigger potential payout given 2B eligibility. In other close-to-the bigs news, Houston prospect, Jonathan Singleton, will debut at Low-A next week after serving a 50-game suspension. He’ll join MiLB home run leader, George Springer, at Double-A before long, and proceed to Triple-A where he’ll likely stay for most of the year. In a different organization, Singleton and Springer would find themselves on the cusp of breaking through, but I don’t see the Astros starting their clocks while the team is in rebuilding mode. Until further notice, those two remain outside the scope of these power rankings.
1. Kevin Gausman, RHP, Orioles (Previously Ranked #6): While he’s still technically a minor leaguer, Gausman briefly claims the top spot. The 22-year-old makes his MLB debut tomorrow, and is coming off of his best start of the season, whiffing 10 batters while allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk through 6 IP. His K/BB on the year sits at 49/5. With superb command of a polished, three-pitch repertoire (FB, CH, SL), Gausman’s chances at immediate success are quite good. Grey advises that you grab him in all formats, and I absolutely agree, but I’m afraid you’re too late by now. Check anyway, just in case…
2. Wil Myers, OF, Rays (#1): Despite his struggles (.250/.350/.382 through 40 games at Triple-A Durham), Myers is still in line for a June call-up. He’s given the Rays no reason to rush things, and I expect Tampa to gauge the Super Two cutoff with caution, but I still see Myers surfacing in the bigs before July.
3. Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins (Next 5): Christian Yelich is playing absurdly well at Double-A Jacksonville. With 20 XBH (6 HR) through 128 PA, it’s quite evident that Yelich is ready for a look the big league level. The Marlins aren’t shy about promoting prospects and they could use some serious help in the outfield. It’s about time to start stashing Yelich if he’s available and you have room to do so.
4. Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals (#2): The Cardinals haven taken a cautious approach to their prized prospect’s ankle injury, holding Taveras out of the Triple-A lineup for some 10 days now as he recovers from a low-grade sprain. Unlike the two ahead of him, he lacks a direct route to playing time at the highest level, his arrival riding on the health of the Cardinals’ outfielders. Still, he’s the highest impact guy on this list and you’re gonna be extremely pissed if you don’t have him when he get’s the call.
5. Zack Wheeler, RHP, Mets (#3): Wheeler returns today from his brief hiatus. The sore clavicle is sore no longer, it seems. And rather conveniently, the time off saves his young arm some mileage on this long season, mileage that would be most valuable if pitched at the big league level. After Gausman is promoted tomorrow, Wheeler returns as the best pitcher stash on this list, and he’s still on track for arrival next month.
6. Tony Cingrani, RHP, Reds (N/R): We saw what he could do at the big league level, and we were all upset when the Reds sent him down. That pretty much says it all. Expect Cingrani back in Cincinnati as soon as there’s a need.
7. Trevor Bauer, RHP, Indians (#8): I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the Indians are in first place in the AL Central. If they want to continue being in first place, it’ll be in their best interest to have their five best starting pitchers in the starting rotation. Trevor Bauer is in that group. As soon as he shows a bit more consistency in the command department, he’ll surface in Cleveland, and this time for an extended look.
8. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pirates (#7): Cole’s surrendered 11 runs through his last two starts, raising the disappointment level in what has already been an frustrating season. His stuff remains elite, and he’s still the next guy in line for starts in Pittsburgh. For as long as Jeanmar Gomez and Francisco Liriano are effective, though, Cole will stay in the minors.
9. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals (#10): Rendon has been fantastic since his return to Double-A Harrisburg, batting .364/.488/.788 with 3 homers through his last 10 games. Meanwhile, Danny Espinosa has been remarkably bad, and the Nats won’t let him drag down the offense all year long. Potential 2B eligibility would only elevate Rendon’s impact on the fantasy game.
10. Michael Wacha, RHP, Cardinals (N/R): In the immediate wake of the Jaime Garcia news, I speculated that Wacha would be the best option if the Cardinals needed a long-term replacement for Jaime Garcia. They’ve instead opted to go with Tyler Lyons to fill the gap in the rotation, perhaps awaiting word from Dr. Andrews on Garcia’s prognosis. Obvioulsy, John Gast is still blocking the path, and Jake Westbrook should return before long, but once Gast begins to fade, expect Wacha to take over.
NEXT FIVE: Billy Hamilton, OF, Reds (#9); Nick Franklin, SS/2B, Mariners (#5); Erasmo Ramirez, RHP, Mariners (Next 5); Kyle Gibson, RHP, Twins (N/R); Mike Zunino, C, Mariners (Next 5)
DROPPING OUT: Grant Green, 2B, Athletics (Next 5)
NOTEWORTHY MLB ARRIVALS: Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers (#4); Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Rays (Next 5); John Gast, RHP, Cardinals (N/R)
NOTEWORTHY MLB DEMOTIONS: Tony Cingrani, RHP, Reds