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…

AAA

Carlos Correa, SS | Astros

Correa was promoted to Triple-A, which only fuels the enthusiasm for his arrival in the bigs. He’s in our Power Rankings, and I’m sticking with the July 1-15 window as my best guess for when he comes up. Through his first 21 plate appearances with Fresno, the 20-year-old is hitting .278 with a pair of doubles. It’s obviously time to stash him if you have the room.

Jon Singleton, 1B | Astros

Remember this dude? He hit .168 in the majors last year, but he’s doing special things in Fresno. Singleton now has 12 homers and 40 RBIs on the season, including five homers and 23 RBIs in his last five games. He won’t appear on the Power Rankings since he’s not prospect eligible anymore, but don’t sleep on him as a bat to add at some point this season.

Javier Baez, SS | Cubs

Another guy who’s technically not prospect eligible, but this is a good place to mention how he’s faring. After dealing with the loss of his sister, Baez has rejoined the Iowa Cubs. He has two homers and two doubles in 68 plate appearances and he’s hitting…wait for it…311! with a .382 on-base percentage. He’s currenly riding a seven-game hitting streak and is only striking out a quarter of the time (that’s good for him). I preached patience in keepers and dynasties this spring. It could take him the better part of this season in the minors, but there’s still massive fantasy potential in Baez down the road.

AA

Joey Gallo, 3B | Rangers

After starting the 2015 season on the DL with an ankle injury, Gallo is back with Double-A Frisco and showing off his power again. The 21-year-old has four homers through his first 20 games of the season. He’s also hitting .317/.450/.603 with seven doubles. There’s a chance Gallo could reach Texas by the end of this year, but an early 2016 ETA is more likely.

Aaron Nola, RHP | Phillies

The Phils promoted Maikel Franco this weekend, but Nola is another top prospect in their system that could see major league time this year. The 21-year-old has only allowed two earned runs in three starts this month and holds a 1.0 BB/9 in 45.2 innings. The Phils’ first-round pick in 2014 looks like the real deal, and his advanced command/control should help him survive his first go in the bigs.

Nick Williams, OF | Rangers

Gallo isn’t the only fantasy stud in the making down in Texas. Williams is hitting over .300 with five homers in his last ten games, including a pair of dongs last night. Texas is loaded with toolsy outfield prospects in Nomar Mazara, Lewis Brinson, and Williams.

A+

Jose De Leon, RHP | Dodgers

De Leon will be knocking on the door of a promotion to Double-A soon thanks to the video game numbers he’s putting up in the hitter-friendly California League. In his first 32 innings pitched, the 22-year-old has allowed just six earned runs. He’s rocking a 14.1 K/9 and a pretty 1.7 BB/9.

Taylor Guerrieri, RHP | Rays

Guerrieri is making his way back from Tommy John surgery and he’s set to debut this week for High-A Charlotte. He was a Top 100 prospect on many lists prior to the injury, so keep an eye on him as he progresses this year. Or just keep reading my column and I’ll do it for you because I’m a nice guy like that.

A

Anthony Alford, OF | Blue Jays

Alford is generating some buzz in the early going. He’s focusing on just baseball now after playing football for Ole Miss, and as you would expect, he’s a very athletic outfielder featuring plus speed and power. While he’s yet to hit a homer this season, Alford is currently riding a 21-game on-base streak. He’s hitting .303/.448/.434 with ten doubles through his first 96 plate appearances in the Midwest League.

 
  1. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    come on correa baby

    • J-FOH says:
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      @AL KOHOLIC: that’s still disgusting

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha

  2. malamoney

    malamoney says:
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    Thoughts on Urias? Any chance we see him this year?

    How bout Glasnow?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I think they’re both 2016 guys

      • Steve Grogan says:
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        @Mike:

        And how about Giolito? Any chance we see him this year? Thanks!

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          no problem…I doubt it, another 2016 guy IMO

  3. PeteRosesRevenge says:
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    Any thoughts on who to start this week i have Carlos Gomez, Hunter Pence and Pujols for the Utility spot?. I’m thinking Pence might come back and light it up, Pujols and Gomez have been dissapointing but showing signs of life…

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Pence gets a weekend series at Coors, no? I’d probably lean him.

      • PeteRosesRevenge says:
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        @Mike:

        Indeed he does, The Coors Field Factror. thx ! great article

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          anytime…thanks!

          • P says:
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            @Mike:

            I often seem to zig when i should have zagged! Pence -5 so far Gomez 18 hope the air get even thinner in Colorado this week………

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              crap!

              • PeteRosesRevenge says:
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                @Mike:

                Hate when that happens sometimes i am better off leavingmy line up alone!…….C-Mart banging this week though

                • Mike

                  Mike says:
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                  yup…rosterbation leads to blindness!

  4. Clyde Prompto says:
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    Do you see any legit reason as to why the Jays and Phils wouldn’t agree to a trade that drastically helps both clubs? Toronto is absolutely loaded with prospects and the AL is wide open. Philly desperately needs to rebuild and has needs all over the diamond. Are one or both of the GM’s afraid of looking bad if things don’t work out? Is it lingering resentment over the ’93 World Series? Rogers Communications is worth over $24 billion, so balking at Hamels/Papelbon’s contracts is laughable.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’m assuming teams still feel the asking price is too high in regards to prospects. Other than that, I don’t know much about the negotiations.

      • Clyde Prompto says:
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        @Mike: Gotcha. I figure as a Philly fan and prospect guru your perspective is as good as anyone’s. The ingredients seem to be there for a ballsy, franchise-altering move. I love those as a baseball fan, plus the Phillies’ incompetence has gone from hilarious to depressing and I’d like to see them on the right track again.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          yup, thanks man…I’m patiently waiting for the moves too. Getting Franco into the picture was a boost but they’ve got a long way to go. I think it will be interesting to see if they can flip some of the other guys too like Harang etc, similar to what they did with Byrd. As we get into the summer and teams’ needs are maybe clearer, the dominoes will start to fall.

    • PeteRosesRevenge says:
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      @Clyde Prompto:

      “Is it lingering resentment over the ’93 World Series?”…..

      Not at all there is a great relationship between the Phillies , Toronto and Seattle organizations built up by Pat Gillik and maintained by Amaro. The deal just did not work out at the time. In my opinion the Phillies will wait until closer to July to get more prospects in the deal.

  5. biebs says:
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    Would you replace devon travis or vmart for any of the following. I have tulo . How banged up is he.

    Cozart, t. Hunter, bogaerts, escobar, mourstakas, grandal, a. Garcia, span, souza, rusney castillo are all available.

    Thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d lose Travis for Moose or Souza

      Hold Tulo

  6. Chad Strickler says:
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    Thanks for the Minors info! Big 10 team dynasty trade on the table: I get Abreu/Giles. He gets GCole/ARussell.

    Thoughts?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      anytime….wow, that’s a meaty trade. I like the Abreu side. Giles is a decent kicker but it’s all about acquiring Abreu in that one IMO

  7. I’ve been watching and waiting for news of a Correa call-up. I couldn’t take it any more and picked him up yesterday. I had to pull the trigger before he ended up on someone else’s team. We have 4 keepers and if he proves to be special it will be worth holding a dead spot for a few weeks for one of the top prospects. The comments coming out of Houston seem to indicate he’ll be up soon. Bring him up! Bring him up! Bring him up…

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha, makes sense

  8. MJ says:
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    What are your thoughts on Orlando Arcia? 20 years old and hitting .350 with almost a 1:1 strikeout to walk ratio in AA! The kid looks like a future defensive/offensive star shortstop.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I like him, but I still think his defense is what carries him on most prospect lists.

      He makes great contact though, which could lead to a guy who helps you in average and steals…I just don’t know if he flashes enough power to be elite fantasy shortstop material.

      • MJ says:
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        @Mike:

        I could see him hitting 10-15 homers when he matures more. Looks like a much better offensive player then Lindor…..and he’s a top 10 prospect which I will never understand.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Lindor’s defense is that good that it pumps up any holes on the offensive side…giving him the Top10 status you’re seeing on traditional lists

          double digit homers might doable for Arcia, I just wouldn’t put him in the same camp as Seager, Russell, etc. as far as offense

          • MJ says:
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            @Mike:

            Agree. Definitely no where near Correa, Russell, or Seager in terms of offensive power. But definitely a very similar if not better offensive prospect than Lindor.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              if he keeps this up in Double-A, you won’t get an argument from me, they’re very similar in terms of fantasy value I agree

  9. Bob Barker says:
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    Corey Seager or Buxton in dynasty?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Buxton

  10. Frank White says:
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    What’s up Mike.. Where can I find a site that shows the prospects coming up right away? I know you probly don’t want to give it out, Lol, but a guy in my league always picks them up a day before you put your post up

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      You mean like a news feed or something? Following Twitter accounts like beat writers or MiLB news is a good way to get the latest info. Rotoworld’s “player news” updates throughout the week and usually includes some minor league stuff.

      Twitter has become a great tool for information IMO, even if you don’t want to interact with other accounts.

  11. griff says:
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    Mike,
    would you start Kazmir at home against CWS today?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      yup

  12. Philsfan1976 says:
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    Mike- love these articles. Do you think McCullers sticks in the rotation? Worth a flyer in a 12 team mixed points league? Drop Frias for him?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks! Worth a flyer, sure. He’s got a chance to stick. I’d hold Frias for now though…anybody else you could drop?

      • Philsfan1976 says:
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        @Mike:

        Paxton, Bradley, Aj ramos?
        I have keuchel, pineda, syndergaard, casilla, ventura, cole, salazar, iwakuma

        Just picked up ramos last week.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I don’t see a clear drop there. I’d wait on Lance. I don’t think he’s the typoe of can’t miss call up that you’ll regret not picking up.

          • Philsfan1976 says:
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            @Mike: thanks again! Enjoy your Sunday!

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              anytime….you too!

  13. Yescheese says:
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    Did you see this guy Josh Hamilton in AA yesterday??

    In other news, Aaron Judge is a future fantasy first rounder. Book it

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha…Hamilton has a lot of potential!

      nice…Sky has his flag pretty firmly planted in Judge too I think

      • MJ says:
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        @Mike:

        Love Judge! Use to love Winker just as much…..what happened to him?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          he really only had a small taste of AA before hurting his hand last year, so I’m chalking it up to still adjusting to the new level as of now. Not ready to move the needle yet.

  14. steve staub says:
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    Texiera or Chris Davis ROS?

    Standard HTH 10 team league

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      flip a coin, but I could see a healthy Tex outproducing Davis by a smidge

  15. Luvdarooks says:
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    Have papelbaum-storen. &. zeigler-and Giles in reserve
    SO should I trade AJ Ramos for either A guerra or Peraza. I’d be then dumping either uribe or Mercer
    COULD USE THE mIddlle help
    Whatchathink?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Guerrero is going to have some nice flexibility this year, I’d grab him

  16. Jerry says:
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    Hey, Mike! Drop Soler for Choo? Thanks and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks! you too!

      I’d hold Soler

  17. MJ says:
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    Here is another shortstop prospect for you, Daniel Roberstson. What are your thoughts on him? He looks capable of hitting 15-20 homers with a good batting average and solid on base. I expect to see him climb some mid-season prospect lists….

  18. mcBlunty says:
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    what are your thoughts on Latos, he’s been very frustrating, up and down, up and down, mostly down, but then shows flashes, is it to early to cut bait? I could use another closer and Ziegler is available on waivers, currently only have 2 on my squad, could also dump him for another starter

    also would you rather have Ozuna or Fowler?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      drop for Ziegler makes sense….Latos feels like a streamer at this point

      Ozuna for power, Fowler for steals, whatever you need more

  19. Decisions, Decisions... says:
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    What’s you stash preference between Matt Moore and Patrick Corbin?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Corbin

      • Decisions, Decisions... says:
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        @Mike:

        Thanks Mike!

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          anytime man

  20. Kevin says:
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    Ziegler or Clippard…who’s the better option for saves

  21. Macio says:
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    Love these articles, Mike. Definitely keeping my eye on Nola…

    Quick one for you: please pick top two out of Frias, De La Rosa, Eovaldi, Greene, and Walker.

    Also, do I drop Bogaerts for Flores or Kang at this point? Xander’s been killing me.

    Thanks!

    • Macio says:
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      @Macio:

      Sorry, I meant pick three to stick with from above pitchers. Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Frias, Eovaldi, Walker but they are all kind of meh

      play the hot hand in redrafts at MI, hold Bogey in keepers

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      oh and thanks for the kind words!

  22. Steve says:
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    Who do you think has a better 2015, Russell or Correa?

    • MJ says:
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      @Steve:

      Don’t know about 2015 since they both need time to adjust, but I like Correa more for the long term…..but that’s splitting hairs since I think both will be great. Russell’s numbers might not show it so far, but he has done a fine job in his limited time thus far in the bigs. I can see him being an annual all-star shortstop in a few years. Will be very interesting to see how the Cubs infield plays out with Baez, Russell, Castro, Bryant.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      flip a coin, but I’ll take Correa

  23. David says:
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    Will Rusney be fantasy relevant this year? Thanks.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      yup, should be contributing shortly

  24. B the Esq. says:
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    Drop Carlos martinez for McCullers? Back end of the rotation guy….

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      eh, I’d hold CMart there

  25. Zac says:
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    What do you think of Mallex Smith and his speed? Do you see him being a solid big leaguer? and his ETA? Also do you think Roman Quinn is going to get a chance this year? What do you believe is projections are?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Smith should at least be a SAGNOF fourth outfielder type with a chance for more. 80-grade speed.

      Quinn’s another burner, probably don’t see him until 2016 though.

  26. Randall says:
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    Hey Mike, Where would Singleton play if he gets called up? Seems like Houston is set everywhere…need an injury to get the call?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      injury or trade, yeah

      • Randall says:
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        @Mike: Alright, well I’m hoping Gattis smokes too many cigs tonight and his lungs explode.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          ha!

  27. A Hill O' Beans says:
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    Hey Mike, nice work as always! In my keeper league we now have one NA only keeper spot. Can you give me maybe a top 5 guys you expect to start in the minors next year?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Next year? Dahl, Gallo, Urias, Giolito, possibly Sano

      • A Hill O' Beans says:
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        @Mike: Thanks Mike, I know its a little early to know who will or won’t be in the bigs. All of them are owned except for Dahl, are you putting him first out of that group, or are they still how you had them in the top 50 prospects essentially?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          no problem…I’d grab Dahl if he is available. Mazara is another name to check on

          • A Hill O' Beans says:
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            @Mike: I thought of Mazara, but he doesn’t seem to be in Yahoos player pool yet.

            Knowing that we keep six and my other five are all bats, including Puig, Buxton, Correa, DGordon, and Machado (possibly Springer) in a 3 OF/1 UT league, would you still go Dahl for free, or trade a closer for Urias? It would probably be a Holland or Familia level closer, but I doubt I’m competing this year and I’ve got a handful of other closers.