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…
Carlos Correa? Never heard of him. Grey told you to buy on Friday and could see Correa coming up in June. I’m hedging closer to July, but honestly it could be any day between today and the All-Star Break. If “super two” matters to the Astros (and it probably does) then mid-June is a good bet. So for now we wait, and frequent commenter AL KOHOLIC patiently pours himself another drink. Oh, and Correa is good at baseball.
Rollins looks like a shell of himself, but Seager has also cooled off since the promotion to Triple-A. He’s hitting .253/.300/.307 with no homers through his first 80 plate appearances at the level. I still expect Seager to be up at some point this year, but it may take an injury or trade of Rollins for it to happen anytime soon. Hector Olivera adds to the Dodgers’ already deep infield and complicates moving Seager off of short to speed up his arrival.
After starting the year ice-cold, Buxton is now sitting on five homers, ten triples, 12 steals, and 32 runs batted in at Double-A Chattanooga. Will he be up in the next week or two? Probably not. But with Aaron Hicks and Jordan Schafer the “blocks”, I think we see Buxton by August.
We’re getting closer to the mid-June “super two” cutoff, and that means a bunch of these specs will surface in the majors. Lindor is one that I’d expect to see by the end of next month given how poorly Jose Ramirez has hit for the Tribe. He gets knocked for being “better in real life” and that’s certainly true. But don’t count out his ability to contribute in batting average and steals this year.
Did someone say batting average and steals? The Braves have no reason to bring him up anytime before the arbitration clock cutoff this June, but after that it’s game on for Peraza time in Atlanta. He’ll be a SAGNOF option right out of the gate, and middle infield SAGNOF is the best kind.
Hector Santiago and his 4.57 xFIP feels like a ticking time bomb. When it explodes, you’ll want to be the guy holding Andrew Heaney. Through 43.1 innings pitched in Triple-A, the southpaw sports a 3.12 ERA, 2.5 BB/9, and 8.9 K/9.
Now that we have the visa/physical unpleasantness behind us, it’s safe to rank Olivera here again. While it’s hard to say exactly how the infielder will fit into the current Dodger lineup, his bat will be fantasy relevant upon arrival. I’m guessing the most logical place for him is third base with Howie Kendrick playing well at second. Expect Olivera to need around a month’s worth of at bats in the minors before he’s ready anyway.
Matz allowed four runs in his last start, which is the most he’s allowed in a start all season. It shows just how good he’s been in the hitter-friendly confines of Las Vegas (PCL). Even in that last start, he still struck out seven batters in six-plus innings. Matz now has a 9.7 K/9 to go with a decent 3.2 BB/9, and chatter about a six-man rotation in New York could open up an opportunity for him mid-summer.
Sano has hit eight homers on the season and is hitting over .300 in May after hitting just .159 in the month of April. While I don’t think he’s as close as Buxton, Sano could still see MLB time later this year. His power should be valuable in most formats once he arrives.
Last time I recommended fellow southpaw Henry Owens, but the buzz seems to be around E-Rod at the moment. Both are talented lefties pitching for Pawtucket, but while Owens has really struggled with his control (6.4 BB/9 woof!) Rodriguez has posted a 1.5/9 walk rate. Say what you will about the Red Sox starters getting better after firing their pitching coach…they could still use some rotation help.
The Jays announced that they are close to bringing Norris back up to the majors, but would like to see a couple more “consistent” starts from him before doing so. Norris has pitched well since his demotion with a 3.27 ERA and 9.4 K/9 in 22 innings pitched. The big red flag is the control though, as he’s walked at least three batters in every start. That comes out to a dogshizz 5.3 BB/9.
Another Blue Jay who was demoted this year, Pompey hasn’t played very well since being sent down. This is more about Kevin Pillar hitting a lusty .127 over the past two weeks. I think it’s only a matter of time before Pompey gets a second chance.
Gonzales took the biggest fall this week thanks to a 7-run shelling and the news that Jaime Garcia would be claiming the spot in the Cardinals’ rotation. I still think we’ll see him at some point this year (Garcia isn’t exactly a sure thing) but it may not be until mid-summer. His last start was much better – he threw six innings of 1-run ball with seven strikeouts.
Franco’s gone, but I get to replace him with another Phillie! Nola is still in Double-A, and earlier this week Ruben Amaro Jr. noted that that’s where he’ll stay for now. Nola’s advanced command/control will help him reach the majors quickly and we should see him in Philly by the end of the year. Through 52.2 innings, Nola has a 1.54 ERA and a 1.0 BB/9.
The rebuilding Braves may get a chance to see what they have in Wisler next month. Atlanta acquired him in the Kimbrel trade with the Padres earlier this year. Wisler has a 4.40 ERA for AAA Gwinnett, but also has a tidy 1.8 BB/9 in 45 innings. The current fifth starter in Atlanta is Williams Perez, and I don’t see him blocking Wisler for very long.
Graduates (Highest Ranking) – 2015 MLB 5×5 Stats
Kris Bryant (1) – 22/5/28/.283/4
Maikel Franco (2) – 7/2/7/.286/1
Rusney Castillo (1) – 1/0/0/.250/0
Carlos Rodon (2) – 1-0/4.03/1.84/21K
Yasmany Tomas (3) – 10/1/12/.337/2
Addison Russell (8) – 14/3/12/.248/1
Noah Syndergaard (3) – 1-2/3.63/1.21/16K
Blake Swihart (11) – 4/0/3/.176/0
Alex Colome (12) – 3-1/4.81/1.27/19K
Raisel Iglesias (13) – 1-0/3.94/1.25/11K