Ranking prospects for fantasy purposes is a tricky exercise. The variables involved are constantly in flux — talent emerges, talent regresses… opportunity comes, opportunity goes… clubs get cold feet because of service time, clubs don’t give a shizz about service time. So, given the fluid nature of this prospect business, we’re going to keep a running ranking throughout the season. This post will run every other Wednesday, providing a weekly glimpse of the soon-to-arrive impact talent.

1.  George Springer, OF, Astros (Previously Ranked #2): Springer will join Houston later today, and he’s a must-add in all formats. I must admit, this call-up caught me slightly off guard — I figured Houston, of all franchises, would be the stingiest with service time. It sort of makes me wonder why they didn’t give him a look last September, but questioning Jeff Luhnow’s tactics is a useless exercise. Grey provided the fantasy spin this morning. Go grab him now if he’s somehow still available.

2.  Gregory Polanco, OF, Pirates (#6): Through 11 games at Triple-A Indianapolis, Polanco is batting .465/.511/.744 with 2 homers. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s only a matter of time before he replaces Travis Snider in right for the Pirates.

3.  Archie Bradley, RHP, D’Backs (#4):  Arizona’s pitching is an awful mess. An Archie Bradley call-up would provide an immediate boost, but GM Kevin Towers has been outspoken about not forcing his top prospect into a high-pressure situation at the big league level. Frankly, though, whenever Bradley gets the call, it’s going to be high-pressure for him. I suspect the D’Backs apprehension is service time-driven, but if their pitching woes continue, I wonder how long they can keep him down.

4.  Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals (#3): Taveras has posted a .836 OPS through his first 12 games with Triple-A Memphis, which is notable not only for the nice OPS, but also for the fact that Memphis has only played 12 games, and Oscar has seen action in them all. There’s still no clear path to big league playing time for Taveras, but the most important objective for the 21-year-old this April is to prove that he can stay healthy and on the field. So far, so good.

5.  Javier Baez, SS, Cubs (#1): My Javy Baez fever dream came to an abrupt end when he landed on the Triple-A DL with a sprained ankle. Reports suggest the injury might not be too serious, but I recall reading similar outlooks on Oscar Taveras’s ankle sprain last season, and we all know how that ended. Not to suggest that Baez will be on the shelf for a while — only that I’m concerned.

6.  Jon Singleton, 1B, Astros (#9): The Astros have one of the most promising farms in baseball, especially for fantasy purposes, and Jon Singleton will soon follow George Springer with a call-up to the big club. Singleton is off to a hot start at Triple-A, batting .333/.448/.688 with 4 HR through his first 12 games. He brings enormous power potential as soon as he surfaces.

7.  Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets (#7): Syndergaard hasn’t been bad through his first three starts, but he hasn’t been particularly good either. The fact that he’s pitching in one of Minor League Baseball’s most prodigious launching pads needs to be considered, but even so, it’d be nice to see the 21-year-old post a nice start soon.

8.  Eddie Butler, RHP, Rockies (NR): I touched on Butler in my minor league report this past Sunday, noting his strong start to the season. He added another good outing on Monday, bringing his 2014 line to 2.41/0.86/17 in 18 IP. If Colorado’s starting staff can’t get healthy, we could be seeing Butler before long.

9.  Marcus Stroman, RHP, Blue Jays (#10): Rain outs and snow outs have delayed Stroman’s third start of the season (he should get the nod in Buffalo today), which is perhaps a blessing in disguise for Toronto, keeping the mileage low on the 22-year-old’s arm. With a filthy fastball-slider combo, Stroman should be one of the best strikeout pitchers surfacing in the bigs this season.

10.  Kevin Gausman, RHP, Orioles (#5): Gausman was roughed up in his third Triple-A start of the season, allowing 10 baserunners and 4 runs through 3 IP. He’s still the next man in for Baltimore once a need arises, but yesterday’s outing is discouraging.

NEXT FIVE:  Nick Franklin (SS, Mariners); Maikel Franco (1B/3B, Phillies); Rafael Montero (RHP, Mets); Andrew Heaney (LHP, Marlins); Stephen Piscotty (OF, Cardinals)

DROPPING OUT:  Jameson Taillon (RHP, Pirates); Aaron Sanchez (RHP, Blue Jays); Matt Davidson (3B, White Sox); Jon Gray (RHP, Rockies)

107 Comments
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Swfcdan
Swfcdan
8 years ago

Not sure if im late to the party, but I’ll ask here in hope.

Guy’s come back to me saying he’ll accept Donaldson ($5 rental) and Puig ($0, resignable long term) for C Davis ($12, through 2016).

Now I like the idea just don’t wanna rush into anything. First you any worry about Puig suffering a sophmore slump year? And 2nd, doing this deal would mean I have to move M Adams to 1B long term, you have any worries about his PT when Oscar comes up- who will miss AB’s then?

Mr Baseball
Mr Baseball
8 years ago

Escobar pitching prospect – the giants could bring him up very soon – what do you see here

Smalls Killer
Smalls Killer
8 years ago

I grabbed Springer yesterday when I heard the news and I got a trade offer when I woke up this morning that I accepted. Just wanted to see if it was a thumbs up from you. I gave up George and Chavez & got Crisp & Teheran. This is a keeper league(12 teamer) but we only keep 6 & I have a feeling I won’t be keeping Cliff-ly next year

Smalls Killer
Smalls Killer
Reply to  Scott Evans
8 years ago

@Scott Evans: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it. I was hurt right away in SP as I lost Cobb for a while & Kershaw was up in the air; my Of its decent with Elsbury Kemp & Myers. Keep em common Mr Scott

goodfold2
goodfold2
8 years ago

above you advised to take cosart over scheppers as starter. who is the drop to get cosart: scheppers (could still have value as RP, and I can have as many current starters as I want, as long as 7 guys qualify at RP and 5 at SP, which he would at either), ogando, or adams (PHI, who I just picked up dropping Parra)? also have soria/santos/melancon/cotts/Kelley.

Mike B
Mike B
8 years ago

Hey Scott, love getting the prospect updates! Surprised to see Baez fall much, hope that ankle heals quickly.

In a 10 team 10 keeper, with 30 roster spots, I am hoarding Archie, Synder and Bundy. I am not counting on conrtributions from any of these guys in order to compete this season. So, thinking longterm, would Polanco Correa Sano or Russel (all owned) be a good batting-equivalent target for any of my 3 pitchers? I’m hesitant to move forward with so much pitching given the higher risk for injury. Also, Singleton is available, is his ranking more correlated to a potential call nearing, or to his fantasy impact? Thanks, keep up the great work!

Jay
Jay
8 years ago

Scott great stuff here.
I drafted springer and now that he’s up I have an open NA spot.

Polanco is out there but so too is syndergaard. With having springer would you still stash polanco or go with Noah?

Eric
Eric
8 years ago

Can you please explain to me how the standard service times and super two rules work?

Al koholic
Al koholic
Reply to  Eric
8 years ago

@Eric: answered above

KillerB
KillerB
8 years ago

No Trevor Bauer??

Brad Miller
Brad Miller
8 years ago

Would you drop me for Nick Franklin/Dozier/K Johnson/howie/infante/crawford/ackley?

Dan Johnson
Dan Johnson
8 years ago

I have springer in my dynasty keeper league I have been offered Polanco and Shelby Miller for him .

Should I accept the trade?

Dude
Dude
Reply to  Dan Johnson
8 years ago

@Dan Johnson: Yes

Dave
Dave
8 years ago

In a 12 team league and just grabbed Springer. But now I’m not sure how to handle all my outfielders.

Got Harper, Puig, Choo, Jennings, Moss, Eaton,Yelich, and now Springer.

I can only start 5 (3 OF and 2 Util), and I probably want to hold only 6 so I can grab more pitchers Who do I drop? Or should I try to trade for other needs instead?

SheriffMcRawDawg
SheriffMcRawDawg
8 years ago

Hey Scott – where would a healthy Taijan Walker end up on this list? and what are your thoughts on his current status? thanks!

SheriffMcRawDawg
SheriffMcRawDawg
Reply to  Scott Evans
8 years ago

@Scott Evans: thanks Scott – big fan of your stuff.

me
me
8 years ago

how do you talk about Springer without mentioning the Ks. How many players who K’d 162 times in AA and AAA in one season hit for an even mediocre average in the majors. Isn’t he just Rob Deer with speed?

me
me
Reply to  Scott Evans
8 years ago

@Scott Evans: Fair enough. I guess I didn’t read that list. No doubt, even if he hits .210, he’s still probably a useful fantasy player. But .210 might not be unrealistic.

grif
grif
8 years ago

Scott,
Why did Sanchez drop out?

King Trout
King Trout
8 years ago

How does one know when the earliest day is for the rookie call ups? For example, when is the earliest the pirates can bring up Polanco and still have his maximum rights. This is so confusing.

King Trout
King Trout
Reply to  Scott Evans
8 years ago

Ty for the explanation.

Fish
Fish
8 years ago

Don’t know why, but I have a feeling Gausman’s MLB career will mirror the bumpy road Homer Bailey took before officially establishing himself.

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  Scott Evans
8 years ago

@Scott Evans: notice the bumpy road it’s currently on.

Hooverville
Hooverville
8 years ago

I did not realize Polanco also had 38 SBs last year across 3-levels, what kind of SB potential does he have in the bigs?
20 SBs?

Jimmy
Jimmy
8 years ago

Hey Scott,
Have a chance to trade for Taillon in a long term keeper league that has a minor league stash component. Is he worth chasing after or would you wait to see if he bounces back before making the leap? I think the only reason he’s on the block at all is the injury, as young controlled pitching rules this league.
Thanks

Jeff
Jeff
8 years ago

Thoughts on Robert Stephenson?

goodfold2
goodfold2
8 years ago

20 team keep forever league where we can only have 12 P at a time to combat hoarding (5 SP slots and 7 RP), with QS/RW/holds/k per 9/saves/total innings (and 35 innings per week, which is NOT insignificant as waiver pitchers are terrible) and my staff is currently
SP: darvish/m.perez/w.peralta/erlin/scheppers/harrison(DL)/j.johnson(DL)
RP:soria/santos/melancon/kelley/ogando/cotts/parra/feliz(NA)
My idea was that Scheppers is terrible as starter, and will likely go back to bullpen when Harrison returns. his K/9 wasn’t great last year in bullpen.
1. Grey said to keep Scheppers over Burnett (LA)/Cosart/Oberholtzer. you agree?, both because he’s better starter and his relief value later.
2. Looks like both Parra will be less and less valuable with Marshall and Chapman coming back, meanwhile M.Adams (PHI) will likely move to setup (and possibly more if Papelbon sucks), drop Parra for Adams?

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  Scott Evans
8 years ago

@Scott Evans: just making sure, is Scheppers the one to drop out of those pitchers (making sure ogando and kelley have more value before i do that)

Troll Toll
Troll Toll
8 years ago

Any update on the status of Taijaun Walker?

Joe
Joe
8 years ago

Scott, these are my favorite articles on the web. How would you rank these pitchers in priority to stash? Eddie Butler, Marcus Stroman, Trevor Bauer, Rafael Montero?

Joe
Joe
Reply to  Joe
8 years ago

@Joe: @Joe: @Joe: I guess my question is if Bauer was considered for this list.

The Vaporizers
The Vaporizers
8 years ago

Scott,

Who do you like better?

The guy you ranked at #3 in this article or the guy you ranked #7?

How about if we consider the #12 guy, do you like him better than both?

Some of these questions are just ridiculous….. lol

Faker
Faker
8 years ago

Thoughts on Garin Cecchini? Do you think he will get called up this year?

Faker
Faker
Reply to  Scott Evans
8 years ago

@Scott Evans:

Would you stash him over Singleton?

Fat Mack
Fat Mack
8 years ago

Any thoughts on when we’ll see Henry Owens in the bigs? And how far would you have to extend your rankings to list him?

Thanks for the good work!

Mr. Rickey
Mr. Rickey
8 years ago

My OF:

Trout
Beltran
Gordon
Eric Young (SAGNOF)
Melky

Drop Melky or Young for Springer?

The Thumb
The Thumb
8 years ago

Hey Scott, would you (in a redraft 10 team league with 2 NAs) drop either Baez or Taveras for Polanco?

Aubrey Plaza's Pillow
Aubrey Plaza's Pillow
Reply to  Scott Evans
8 years ago

@Scott Evans: somehow there’s 18 other team’s NA slots with people not named polanco? nice.

makeshiftteam
makeshiftteam
8 years ago

Need to pick up a catcher…who’s the better play ROS…Mesoraco or Zunino?

bubbasmithgump
bubbasmithgump
8 years ago

Hey Scott,
Thanks for the post, good stuff!

Question: Yovani Gallardo performance thus far…legit or SSS?

Curt
Curt
8 years ago

Whats up with Kris Bryant??…..has his stock fallen?

Jason
Jason
Reply to  Curt
8 years ago

@Curt: Those rankings you see are for this year Curt, that’s why you don’t see Buxton, Sano, Bryant, etc.

Curt
Curt
Reply to  Jason
8 years ago

@Jason: I thought maybe with the Cubs struggles at 3rd, he might be fast tracked….On the other hand, I guess there is no rush since the Cubs don’t look to contend this year.

Timm
Timm
8 years ago

With springer just called up & already taken in my league who do u like the most oscar taveras, Gregory polanco, Henry Owens or Javier baez

Timm
Timm
Reply to  Scott Evans
8 years ago

@Scott Evans:

According to the rankings polanco is next in line, would you pick him up as a stash move or wait til June? Everything I hear about polanco sounds like he’s a real deal, tearing it up too in the minors.

With Archie in line after that could he be this seasons wacha or Gerrit cole?

Oz
Oz
8 years ago

Lol somebody literally dropped Springer yesterday. I put on a waiver claim but don’t think I’ll get him since I’m #9 out of 10. I also have Polonco and Taveras so I’ll be okay. I’m getting killed at catching Scott, who’s my savior coming from the minors? Lately I’ve been rolling out Travis D’Arnaud and my other choices are Zunino amd Grandal but they’re all struggling. Thanks Scott, keep ’em coming!

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  Oz
8 years ago

@Oz: zunino is hitting mid 250’s with near 800 OPS and 3 homers. that’s struggling with not even 1 year of service time catcher?

Oz
Oz
Reply to  goodfold2
8 years ago

@goodfold2:
I guess “struggling” was specifically referring to D’Arnaud

George
George
Reply to  Oz
8 years ago

@Oz: If you want a deep league option behind the plate, roll with Josmil Pinto. I just picked up Pinto after streaming Lobaton and Flowers when Wilson Ramos went down.

I am hoping that Pinto can continue to do what he has been doing. He has been DH’ing as well.

malamoney
malamoney
8 years ago

Shouldn’t Trevor Bauer be mentioned here? There is a lot of buzz about him getting a spot in the rotation and he’s been pitching well. Seems he’s primed to make a fantasy impact.

malamoney
malamoney
8 years ago

I know there’s been a bunch of Montero vs Syndergaard talk lately, but I’m wondering if they should actually be ranked closer? Syndergaard might be the better long term fantasy player, but Montero is closer to getting the call and is pitching better right now. And he’s pitching in the same launching pad. Is Syndergaard really the 2nd best pitching prospect in the minors set to make a fantasy impact right now?

Would you drop Moss for Singleton?

Do you see Nick Franklin taking over for Brad Miller?

DP
DP
8 years ago

Nice work Scott. Do you have any thoughts on Joc Pederson?

Lis Franc
Lis Franc
8 years ago

In a 12 team roto keeper league with FAAB. Picking up prospects as free agents allows for prospect to be kept virtually indefinitely (>5 years). If I’m going to pick one prospect this year, do I go all in on Springer or wait for Baez? Have Profar/Bogaerts for MI keepers currently, Stanton/Braun as primary OF keepers.

SMLV1
SMLV1
8 years ago

Dropped B. Moss for Springer good move? Just hoping Springer can provide the RBIs that Moss has provided so far…

malamoney
malamoney
Reply to  SMLV1
8 years ago

@SMLV1: Yes, good move. He will provide stolen bases as well…

Druss
Druss
8 years ago

In my keeper league I can stash two NA players. Currently I have Miguel Sano and Lindor. Should I drop Sano and add Singleton? Other players available are Baez , Butler and Stroman.
Thanks!

Josh
Josh
8 years ago

Hey Scott, with springer being a must-add & i just checked he’s still sitting in my league. It just comes down who to drop; this is my OF (we start 4, its h2h, weekly roster lock), Bryce Harper, Matt Holliday , Hunter pence, and the 4th spot I’ve been streaming this week went with Jackie Bradley jr.

Utility starting dee Gordon this week

On my bench I have Martin prado, Eric Hosmer, Carlos Santana,and Victorino on DL

I was also thinking of dropping zach wheeler; my pitching is also Strasberg, tanaka, Gerrit cole, Madison bumgarner

Thanks

Poop McGee
Reply to  Josh
8 years ago

@Josh: Wheeler just had his best start and may be figuring it out.

Get rid of Bradley Jr.

ashtray
ashtray
Reply to  Josh
8 years ago

@Josh: I agree on Bradley. Chances are you’ll be rolling with Springer rather than streaming.

Josh
Josh
Reply to  ashtray
8 years ago

@ashtray:

Yeah I’m thinking of dropping Bradley jr, but only thing is he’s in my starting lineup & the roster is already locked for the week & I wouldn’t be able to move springer to starting lineup until Monday when rosters unlock

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  Josh
8 years ago

@Josh: but you can make the move now, and would only have to wait till monday to get springer’s stats. so what. swing away.

ashtray
ashtray
8 years ago

Does the early call up of Springer mean other clubs are free to start promoting their prospects? The whole clock issue is kind of confusing to me.