Listen, I’m no clairvoyant. Actually, I don’t even believe in them. Look into a ball, read a card, trace a palm and tell the future? GTFO. Well, unless you’re Professor Trelawney and your medium of choice for prophesy is tea leaves. Anyone? Anyone? Did I just nerd out alone?!? Thanks for judging me at this very moment. I could have said meteorologist instead of clairvoyant above, I suppose.

While I joke about it, one of the most important elements to competing in fantasy baseball, especially in long-term leagues, is knowing how to look at the minor league spectrum and predict the future of prospects that can help you in the immediate. It’s not necessarily telling the future, but there’s a way to extract some wisdom from the process. Now, let me go all teacher on you as to why the word wisdom was just used: Wisdom is looking to the past to know what’s going to happen in the future before it happens.

Applied to fantasy baseball, experience and wisdom can give you a leg up on the competition if you know what to look for. The elements of a call-up? A team that believes they should be in competition, a struggling hitter at the major league level, and a red hot hitter that can maysh (redneck pronunciation intended). Oh, it also doesn’t hurt to have FanGraphs highlight said player. I’ve yet to do this, and am surely shooting myself in the foot by doing so, but it’s time to make this week’s Creeper of the Week someone who has yet to take a major league at bat. Read those tea leaves and get out ahead of the crowd, because he won’t be available in many leagues once he’s called up. And I predict that will be soon.

  • A.J. Reed, 1B (7.8%) – Let’s examine what’s happening in Houston. They’ve started the season 11-20 after making the playoffs last season (although that has more to do with their dreadful pitching). Tyler White and Luis Valbuena aren’t hitting. At all. They just sent Evan Gattis back to AA to work behind the plate, freeing up DH at bats. Aaaand A.J. Reed is sitting in AAA with 6 HR in 25 games. Yes, his AVG is currently .234, but that’s with an unlucky .246 BABIP (it was .383 last year). Reed profiles as a big-time hitter with loads of pure power. He hit 34 HR in 2015 in A+ and AA ball, with an AVG north of .340. Will he do that in the majors? Most likely not. But he will hit. He’s the Astros top prospect, and a better option at 1B than Tyler White. In my opinion, the Astros will promote Reed within the next two weeks, send White down to work on his mechanics, and within another month bring White back up to take over 3B from Valbuena. Similar sentiments could be said about Trae Turner in Washington with dead-weight Danny Espinosa, but I see Reed having more immediate value this season than Turner. Either way, they’re creeping on the majors, and now’s the time to target them…

Enough creepin’…Here are your Top 100 Hitters for Week 6!

The Top 100 Hitters

Rank Name Pos Team
1 Bryce Harper OF WAS
2 Jose Altuve 2B HOU
3 Josh Donaldson 3B TOR
4 Nolan Arenado 3B COL
5 Manny Machado 3B BAL
6 Mike Trout OF LAA
7 Paul Goldschmidt 1B ARI
8 Anthony Rizzo 1B CHC
9 Mookie Betts OF BOS
10 Giancarlo Stanton OF MIA
11 Andrew McCutchen OF PIT
12 Kris Bryant 3B CHC
13 Starling Marte OF PIT
14 Carlos Correa SS HOU
15 Edwin Encarnacion 1B TOR
16 George Springer OF HOU
17 Nelson Cruz OF SEA
18 Jose Bautista OF TOR
19 Chris Davis 1B BAL
20 Jose Abreu 1B CWS
21 Ryan Braun OF MIL
22 David Ortiz DH BOS
23 Yoenis Cespedes OF NYM
24 Joey Votto 1B CIN
25 Miguel Cabrera 1B DET
26 Carlos Gonzalez OF COL
27 J.D. Martinez OF DET
28 Ian Kinsler 2B DET
29 Robinson Cano 2B SEA
30 Gregory Polanco OF PIT
31 Charlie Blackmon OF COL
32 Justin Upton OF DET
33 Eric Hosmer 1B KC
34 Dexter Fowler OF CHC
35 Buster Posey C SF
36 Adrian Gonzalez 1B LAD
37 Matt Carpenter 3B STL
38 Freddie Freeman 1B ATL
39 Todd Frazier 3B CWS
40 Brandon Belt 1B SF
41 Michael Brantley OF CLE
42 Daniel Murphy 2B/3B WAS
43 Xander Bogaerts SS BOS
44 Francisco Lindor SS CLE
45 Miguel Sano OF MIN
46 Christian Yelich OF MIA
47 Lorenzo Cain OF KC
48 Matt Kemp OF SD
49 Adrian Beltre 3B TEX
50 Brian Dozier 2B MIN
51 Gerardo Parra OF COL
52 Stephen Piscotty OF STL
53 Jason Kipnis 2B CLE
54 Hanley Ramirez OF/1B BOS
55 Hunter Pence OF SF
56 Michael Conforto OF NYM
57 Yasiel Puig OF LAD
58 Troy Tulowitzki SS TOR
59 Adam Eaton OF CWS
60 Mark Trumbo OF BAL
61 Rougned Odor 2B TEX
62 Kyle Seager 3B SEA
63 Neil Walker 2B NYM
64 Chris Carter 1B MIL
65 Albert Pujols 1B LAA
66 Maikel Franco 3B PHI
67 Jason Heyward OF CHC
68 DJ LeMahieu 2B COL
69 Ian Desmond SS/OF TEX
70 Trevor Story SS COL
71 Travis Shaw 1B/3B BOS
72 Jean Segura SS ARI
73 David Peralta OF ARI
74 Logan Forsythe 1B/2B TB
75 Dustin Pedroia 2B BOS
76 Wil Myers 1B/OF SD
77 Corey Seager SS LAD
78 Adam Jones OF BAL
79 Evan Longoria 3B TB
80 Lucas Duda 1B NYM
81 Victor Martinez DH DET
82 Starlin Castro SS NYY
83 Eugenio Suarez SS CIN
84 Odubel Herrera OF PHI
85 Aledmys Diaz SS STL
86 Jay Bruce OF CIN
87 Brett Gardner OF NYY
88 Joc Pederson OF LAD
89 Jung-ho Kang SS PIT
90 Prince Fielder DH TEX
91 Jacoby Ellsbury OF NYY
92 Ben Zobrist OF CHC
93 Carlos Gomez OF HOU
94 Brandon Phillips 2B CIN
95 Josh Harrison 2B/3B/OF PIT
96 Brian McCann C NYY
97 Corey Dickerson OF TB
98 Yasmany Tomas 3B/OF ARI
99 Nomar Mazara OF TEX
100 Steven Souza, Jr. OF TB

Dropped from Rankings: Colby Rasmus (92), Melvin Upton Jr. (94), Curtis Granderson (99)

  • Not too much turnover at the bottom, but a lot of shakeup through the middle and near the top. Six weeks in we have a good gauge of what hitters will do, and who is hot. If players are still cooler than a polar bears toenails at this point, something’s probably wrong with their swing. Guys like Jason Heyward, Carlos Gomez, Prince Fielder, Adam Jones, and Yasiel Puig all took a rough and tumble this week. They won’t drop out of the Top 100, but they’re quite undesirable in your lineups at this point. I almost dropped Jones in one of my RCL’s this past week, but thought better. The track record is too strong to drop quite yet, but something’s clearly unhealthy or off mechanically.
  • Some big risers this week include Daniel Murphy and Chris Carter, who enters the rankings for the first time at 64. I know in the comments last week I was still hesitant with Carter, but I think we’ve seen enough to believe that he can maintain this pace, while approaching 40 HR on the season. Not bad for largely undrafted, right? As for Murphy, he’s basically turned himself into Buster Posey at the plate. It’s time to buy.
  • Some prospects are looming in the minors, such as the highlighted Reed to start the article. Ralph Lifshitz does a great job highlighting the prospects each week, and you should definitely click that little hyperlink to the left, to the left, but some names of note to watch out for besides Reed: Trea Turner, WAS (2B); Orlando Arcia, MIL (SS); Andrew Benintendi, BOS (OF).

Good luck in Week 6! Check back next weekend for the new names in Week 7!