Ah yes, May. The month of mothers and flowers and regretting the guy you dropped in your fantasy league in the first week of April. I, for one, was born at the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Center, so every year I just send a Mother’s Day card there and hope it gets to the right lab technician. My ninety-five identical twins and I have been tirelessly combing the minor leagues for the prospects that could potentially receive a call to the majors this month. Cling to your chicken-wire and terrycloth milk dispenser and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Nick Senzel, CIN – As reported by my superior officer Grey this morning, Senzel should be up in the next week. That is, if you believe what the Reds tell you. I don’t believe what anyone tells me, especially my doctor. I don’t care how big the mole gets, I won’t be using that poisonous sunscreen. Pray the rays away. If you own Senzel, you’re hoping for power and average on arrival. If you’re me, you’re hoping this article gets enough comments that Grey will let me walk the grounds unsupervised.
Yordan Alvarez, HOU – Alvarez has been tearing up Triple-A. While there is indeed no starting job open for him in Houston, injuries do happen, especially when your name is Michael Brantley. Water finds its level, and hitters like Alvarez find a job. Likely already gone in AL-only formats, it may (see what I did there?) be time to stash this guy in redrafts as well. April Stats: .347/.443/.867, 11 HR, 14%BB, 19%K
Cavan Biggio, TOR – Toronto recently called up Junior, but the bigger story might be how they’re performing with what looked to be a terrible lineup. The Jays are getting just enough from the likes of Tellez, Smoak, Galvis, and Drury to rank third in the AL East with a record one game above par. So, like Alvarez, the question becomes playing time and regular at-bats in the majors. But again, like Alvarez, Biggio has shown that he is ready and should force a hand either this month or next. April Stats: .361/.495/.625, 5 HR, 3 SB, 22%BB, 17%K
Luis Urias, SDP – Surprisingly, Urias did not begin April on the starting roster, but has played well in Triple-A and, more recently, has gone on a tear with five homers in his last four games. Urias coming back up to the majors (he spent about a dozen games with the big club last month) is inevitable. One of the important lessons from his performance this past week is that this young man can indeed hit for power, maybe more than we originally thought. April Stats: .364/.435/.891, 7 HR, 1 SB, 8%BB, 21%K
Oscar Mercado, CLE – If your team is hungry for steals, Mercado may be an answer relatively soon. He stole 37 last year in AAA and 38 the year before in AA. Here’s what I said in the offseason: “I’m near Cleveland and watch the Indians regularly and I can tell you that their outfield roster is kinda…weird. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Mercado get a shot at some point, maybe even battling with Allen in spring training.” Here we are on May 1st and I’m not sure the outfield situation has significantly improved. April Stats: .302/.394/.500, 2 HR, 10 SB, 10%BB, 23%K
Zac Gallen, MIA – On to the pitchers. Playing for the AAA New Orleans Baby Cakes (I know), Gallen has struck out 38 batters in just over 33 innings pitched. He’s allowed just three earned runs and five walks. Total. With Miami already occupying the basement of the NL East at 8-21 and Gallen visibly yawning on the mound between pitches in the minors, the stars seem to be aligned for a call.
Dylan Cease, CWS – Through 24 innings for AAA Charlotte, Cease has struck out 30 and walked seven with a 3.33 ERA. When you look at the White Sox depth chart, the starting rotation is, well, not exactly set in stone. Will the Pale Hose give Cease a look? Will I ever dance again? These are the unanswerable questions I grapple with every waking moment.