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…
The Yankees put this one on a tee for me. It’s hard to predict when prospects will come up, so when a team announces it ahead of time I say a little prayer of thanks to Rang. Severino should start on Wednesday against the Red Sox. He struck out ten in six scoreless innings in his last Triple-A turn and should be gone in pretty much every format by Wednesday morning if he’s not already.
Grey mentioned him as a BUY this past Friday, so you know we’re getting close. Honestly, the worst case scenario at this point is he comes up in September and you’ve sat on him for four weeks, which isn’t crazy given his potential impact. I think it’ll be sooner than that, possibly even by the middle of this month. He’d been struggling lately, but put together a nice four-hit effort last night.
I was all set to drop Olivera in these rankings with the latest hammy injury, but now that he’s on the mend and with a new organization, he’s staying in the top three. There’s a much clearer path to playing time in Atlanta, and I’d guess we see him within the next two weeks as long as he’s healthy. Olivera can hit and hit for power, so hop on board if you’re hurting at corner infield.
If the Rangers start to look ahead to next year, we could see Gallo get some more major league at bats prior to September. At the very least, he’ll be up then and should bring some nice homer upside to fantasy teams down the stretch. Stomaching a low batting average with a lot of strikeouts will be part of the package. Gallo’s hitting .210 with two homers in his last ten games at Round Rock.
Severino’s going to beat him to the bigs, but Berrios is still a good pitching stash for the remainder of the season. With an ERA right around 4.00 in the month of July, the Twins’ starters have been far from dominant. With the trade deadline in the rearview mirror it makes sense for Minnesota to call up Berrios this month. The 21-year-old has given up two earned runs or less in each of his last three starts with 18 strikeouts.
Speaking of team earned run averages in July, the Red Sox rotation sported a 5.70 ERA for the month. Only the Rangers and Rockies were worse off. It might be time to dip into the farm system, where both Owens and Johnson are waiting to help. Owens hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs for Pawtucket since July 5th, and has struck out 54 batters over his last 63 innings pitched. The southpaw hasn’t walked more than two batters in any of his past nine starts. He’s ready.
7. Brian Johnson, LHP | Red Sox
Ditto for Johnson. After a brief stay in the majors, Johnson went back to Pawtucket on Tuesday and threw 6.1 scoreless innings with six strikeouts. If it’s not Owens that gets the next shot, it’ll be Johnson. At this point it might be a good idea to let both of these guys roll. I could see both lefties being streamer worthy even in shallow leagues.
Where you at, Gray? I figured last time would be your final appearance on the power rankings. Maybe this will be the month…and what better way to start your career than pitching in Coors in August? Hahahaaaarrrgh. Painful. Gray’s actually been great in Triple-A over his last three starts – giving up just two earned runs with 20 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched.
Baseball fans are excited for Judge’s power bat to arrive, but perhaps none more than Sky, who has taken to sacrificing squirrels to Jobu in Judge’s honor. The big man’s hitting .250 with one homer over his last ten in Triple-A, and I could see the Yankees giving him the full month of August to get things going. Keep this one in your pocket for September though, as Judge could impact playoff matchups and roto home run battles with his power.
With all the wheeling and dealing the Reds did, a bit of news that got lost in the shuffle was Stephenson’s successful month at Triple-A. He has now made five starts at the level, and outside of one six-run shellacking, he’s been outstanding. The power righty has struck out 31 batters in 30 innings pitched and while I originally had him pegged for 2016, a late 2015 promotion is certainly in the cards if he keeps pitching like this. Staying in the NL Central, Tyler Glasnow reached Triple-A this week and could sneak onto this list soon.
Reyes remains in Colorado. That curbs some of the Story enthusiasm for now, but I’d still keep him on your radar. Story’s hitting .326 with three homers in his last ten games and could contribute in both the power and speed departments down the stretch. Reyes is the only block at this point, since Christian Adames projects as more of a utility infielder.
Pompey returned to Triple-A, where he’s hitting .357 over his last ten games. It’s been a roller coaster year for the 22-year-old, but he’s poised to help the big club once again, even if it’s in a bench role this September.
With Ben Revere gone, it opens up a spot on the Phillies for a player like Altherr, who doesn’t have much left to prove in Triple-A. He’s more of a target for deep leagues or NL-only formats, but the 24-year-old outfielder is hitting .301/.354/.486 with six homers and seven steals in just 36 games for Lehigh Valley.
Once we get out of the top ten it gets a little weird, but it’s also a chance to go out on a limb and have some fun. I’m not saying Zimmer will be up tomorrow, but the 22-year-old has some tools and the Indians may want to see what he’s got at Progressive Field this September. The Rangers could do something similar with Nomar Mazara if they fall out of it completely.
Shout out to Ralph, who owns Davies in our Razzball dynasty league. Davies was already approaching the bigs with Baltimore, and the trade to Milwaukee may only speed things up even more. He’s a polished pitcher who relies more on good command and control than big time stuff, but give him a look in deeper leagues where starting pitchers are hard to come by on the wire.