Every other week Razzball ranks the prospects closest to contributing to your fantasy roster. The list is limited to players who still have rookie eligibility (less than 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched) and who are currently in the minor leagues. It’s not a list based on talent alone, but rather it’s a mixture of talent and opportunity. It will change frequently over the course of the season as prospects graduate to the majors, injuries occur, or service time roadblocks are passed. Here are the top 15 prospects on the cusp of the major leagues for 2015 fantasy baseball…
Jimmy Rollins was one of my favorite players on the Phillies, but prospect writing is cold-blooded and it’s about time the Dodgers swapped him out for Seager. If you put a gun to my head I’d cry and then say he’s up in the first week of August, similar to what the Orioles did with Machado a few years ago. Yeah, that’s right Manny…you’re “old’.
I’ve been ranking Olivera for most of the first half and I’m still not sure where he plays once he’s up or what he’ll produce. All I know is he can hit and hit for power, and there’s not much left for him to prove in Triple-A besides his health.
Castillo technically qualifies for this list despite seeing MLB time both this year and last. Between Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, and Alejandro De Aza (and Brock Holt) the Red Sox are full at the outfield corners, but Castillo could still find his way into the mix with an injury. Bad news: he’s hitting just over .200 in his last ten games at Pawtucket.
Big power with a bunch of strikeouts is what we got when Gallo debuted in the majors, and that’s likely what we’ll get if we see him again in the second half. The slugger has four home runs since joining AAA Round Rock, but he’s also hitting .191 with 17 strikeouts in 47 at bats.
Piscotty recently started playing some first base – a need right now for the Cardinals – and that could speed up his timeline from a September ETA to sometime in August. Piscotty is a good hitter who’s been showing more pop this season. It’s no sure thing he’ll debut anytime soon, but position switches like this are usually telling.
Gray leapfrogs the three pitchers behind him not because I think he’s necessarily a better play, but because I’m confident he’ll graduate this week. NL-only and deep league players should grab him if they haven’t already. 12-14 teams mixed? I’m not as keen on him. The only thing worse than a Coors is a roofied one.
Berrios has had two rough outings since his promotion to Triple-A Rochester, giving up nine earned runs and 14 hits in 10.2 innings pitched. Last night he was much better though (7 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 9 K). I still like him the most of the remaining arms for 2015, he’ll just need to string together more starts like yesterday’s. While we’re on the subject of the Twins, check out Oswaldo Arcia. He’s not eligible for this list, but he’s been tearing it up lately and is worth a stash in deeper formats.
Ross showed he could bring the goods already, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get another shot if the Nats rotation can’t stay healthy. It’s obvious that he was flying a little too under the radar this preseason, even if he doesn’t turn out to be an ace.
There’s some bullpen risk with Severino long term, and there’s a chance that’s where he helps the Yankees down the stretch this season. He’s been great at Triple-A though, sporting a 1.79 ERA and holding opposing batters to a .184 batting average with Scranton Wilkes-Barre.
Michael Cuddyer seems to have avoided the disabled list, but also admitted that his knee issue could nag him all year. I’m sure that’s exactly what you want to hear when you’re a team struggling for offense. Conforto’s knees seem to be working just fine – he’s hitting over .300 with five homers in Double-A. At the very least, I think we’ll see him in September.
This is kind of similar to Conforto…Beltran should be returning soon and Chris Young has been good, so there’s no rush to turn to Judge yet. He should be up in September as well though, and will likely take over in right field next spring. He’s a gigantic man and he brings 80-grade slant.
Peraza might be the best second base prospect outside of Moncada, but it’s looking less and less likely we’ll see him this year before September. Peraza has seen time at center, but the Braves may not be quick to flip Maybin the way he’s played, and Jace Peterson has been a pleasant surprise as well. I guess it’s possible they bring him up in some sort of super utility role, but it may be more beneficial to have him play every day in Triple-A. If you anticipate being hungry for steals this fall, he’s still a great stash. Gwinnett teammate Mallex Smith can also help in that category, and he’s got strong hat game.
Not much has changed at this point in the rankings. Norris could step in if needed in the second half, but his control regressed in his last start at Triple-A, walking four batters in six innings.
14. Sean Nolin, LHP | Athletics
The Athletics are apparently interested in shopping Kazmir, and Nolin would make the most sense to replace him in the rotation. I’m a sucker for lefties, and was happy to land him in the 16-team Razznasty league. If he’s available to stash on your farm, it could be a good use of a minor league slot that helps you in the short term.
Carlos Sanchez may be a good defender, but he’s hitting .189 in 54 games and that’s hot garbage. Johnson, meanwhile, is hitting .432 with seven steals in his last ten games for AAA Charlotte. More late-season SAGNOF here to consider.