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…
Now featuring a healthy shoulder, Castillo and fantasy owners shouldn’t have to wait much longer for him to come up. My guess is he’ll graduate from this list within the next two weeks. His power and speed combination should be relevant in all formats immediately.
In the last two weeks, Cody Asche has hit a cool .130 with one RBI as his only counting stat. Meanwhile, Franco has hit .357/.349/.571 with two homers and three doubles in his last ten games. I know Correa is a more highly ranked prospect, but don’t sleep on Franco, who should reach the show first and has solid fantasy potential as well. May 15th things will start to get interesting in Philly. Please God let this be true.
He’s still destroying baseballs in the minors. Correa has two homers and 11 (yes 11) steals in his last ten games played. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I have no idea when he’s coming up. I know that we all really, really, REALLY would like to know, so here’s my best guess: July 1-15. I think that gives the Astros time to evaluate where they are and gives Correa time to get his feet wet in AAA once he’s promoted.
Like Correa, Seager has tons of talent and is showcasing it in the minors so far this year. Recently promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City, Seager has hit .250/.300/.393 with no homers or steals in his first seven games there. Once he adjusts to Triple-A competition, we should see him knocking on the door in LA.
Well, so much for my no leadoff hitter theory. Francona tinkered with his lineup and Kipnis has adjusted well to the new role. The Tribe could still benefit from a better bat at short, but Lindor has cooled off again at Triple-A, hitting .158 over his last ten. The Indians want him fully cooked before they bring him up to play everyday, so we’ll have to continue to wait.
I profiled Gonzales two weeks ago when Wainwright first went down with his injury, so I’d check that out for the juicy details surrounding Gonzales’ wicked changeup and his fantasy potential this season. Gonzales got the start for Memphis last night and threw 2.1 innings. He gave up four earned runs and didn’t strike anybody out. I’d guess a couple of tune-up starts is all that stands between him and the rotation at this point, unless those tune-ups happen to completely suck.
What makes Heaney an interesting stash is his control, which should help him succeed once he’s up in the majors. While he continues to wait for his chance in the Angels’ rotation, he struck out nine with two walks and five earned runs over his last two starts. Another name to watch in this system on the reliever side of things is Cam Bedrosian.
Of course Jace Peterson starts to get hot just when I thought he was doomed to be replaced by Peraza. Still, this is going to be Peraza’s gig by the end of 2015, and he now has 11 steals on the year. He has only been caught once, and has kept his average above the .300 mark all year in Triple-A.
Buxton looked like refried dogshizz to start the year, but he’s recently turned it on. Over his last ten games, Buxton has hit .357 with a homer, two doubles, FIVE triples, and four stolen bases. I doubt anyone in this neck of the woods was looking to sell based on his early season struggles, but it just goes to show that elite tools to shine through eventually.
Unlike Buxton, Sano hasn’t quite flipped the switch yet. He’s still hitting .182 on the season, and that’s a concern. I love Sano, and while he’s not going to hit for a high average like Buxton, he’s also not going to hit under .200 forever. He still has six homers on the year and three dongs in his last ten games. The Twins just have no real reason to push him coming off a lost year in 2014, so his ETA is a big question mark.
If the Astros are going to bring up Correa for a 2015 boost, they might also want to give Appel a look in their major league rotation. The Houston starters get a little iffy after Keuchel and McHugh, and Appel has enough polish to potentially contribute this season. He hasn’t exactly been dominant lately, giving up ten earned runs and walking seven over his last 16.2 innings pitched.
This is a similar situation to Appel, where Owens is close to major league ready and the Boston rotation just isn’t very good. Through the first month and change of the 2015 season, Red Sox starters have a combined ERA of 5.56 – the worst in baseball. They’ve already begun looking within with the promotion of Matt Barnes to the bullpen, and it shouldn’t be too long before Owens gets his shot. Eduardo Rodriguez is another name watch from this system. Both have pitched well for Pawtucket, and Rodriguez has now struck out 29 batters in 29 innings. I could even see him beating Owens to the majors.
Noah Syndergaard’s call to the majors doesn’t necessarily mean Matz can’t also have an impact this year. He’s been stellar in the tough environment of the PCL, striking out 19 batters in his last 13 innings pitched while only allowing three earned runs and three walks.
14. Chi-Chi Gonzalez, RHP | Rangers
Gonzalez gave up five earned runs in last week’s start, then responded with five shutout innings and five strikeouts for the win Saturday night. He’ll contribute in 2015 at some point thanks to a Texas rotation that isn’t exactly star-studded, but it also looks like he needs some more polishing in Triple-A.
It’s still a little unclear whether Iglesias will be a factor again this year as a starter or as a reliever, especially with Michael Lorenzen getting the call before him. The Cuban right-hander’s last two starts for Louisville have been solid, if not spectacular, and he’s ready to step in should a need arise in Cincinnati.
Graduates (Highest Ranking) – 2015 MLB 5×5 Stats
Kris Bryant (1) – 12/0/14/.278/2
Carlos Rodon (2) – 1-0/2.97/1.74/12K
Yasmany Tomas (3) – 7/0/7/320/2
Addison Russell (8) – 8/2/7/.263/0
Noah Syndergaard (3) – N/A
Blake Swihart (11) – 2/0/1/.111/0
Alex Colome (12) – 2-0/1.80/0.70/10K