NOTE: This ranking is focused on redraft impact of players who’ve yet to debut in 2020. It’s a snapshot of all the information I can synthesize as of publication day. 

Here’s Volume 1.

Graduates from Vol. 1 = Jo Adell, Monte Harrison

Here’s Volume 2.

Graduates from Vol. 2 = Spencer Howard*, Alex Reyes, Jordan Yamamoto, Joely Rodriguez

Busy weeks like these are alright alright by me. Let’s get to the list. 

1. Tigers RHP Casey Mize gets the top spot for back to back posts. Get your old poems and party hats ready: mighty Casey is coming to town. 

2. *Phillies RHP Spencer Howard is scheduled to get the call to start the second leg of Sunday’s double header. 

Here’s Hobbs giving Howard the business. 

3. Padres LHP MacKenzie Gore gets a few steps closer as Joey Lucchesi is no longer bringing his bag of donuts into the office. Will miss that fresh Streusel. 

Here’s Grey’s Dart Throws: MacKenzie Gore

4. Dodgers 2B Gavin Lux is gonna have to start paying rent if he’s living on this list much longer. Mid August is the fuzzy, moving-target super two zone, so it shouldn’t be long now.

5. Cardinals OF Dylan Carlson drops another couple spots today as the Cardinals keep coming up covid. Plus the Schildt kinda hit the fan this week with a series of service-clock suppressing quotes that sent a shiver down my timeline.

6. Rays OF Randy Arozarena has been playing some 2B down at the training site. He’s already their best non-Meadows outfielder, so trying him at second base makes sense in a Tampa kind of way. I think he’s good enough to carve out whatever Tampa’s version of an everyday role is shortly after he gets the call. The current iteration of Manuel Margot does not belong in a major league lineup. He’s not yet 26, but his best wRC was 90 back in 2017, and he’s living on borrowed time in my opinion. 

7. Marlins 1B Lewin Diaz holders got some weird news when he was lumped in with the “top prospects” the team wouldn’t be promoting to function as roster filler. Since that report, Miami is 5-and-0 and rolling along an inside lane toward the playoffs. 

8. Atlanta LHP Tucker Davidson‘s opportunity is taking a little longer to materialize than I anticipated, and that continues Sunday as RHP Huascar Ynoa gets the start.

9. Padres 2B Jorge Mateo could bring a Myles Straw shaped piece to daily leagues in 2020. Mateo has more pop than Straw, but his plate skills are very much a work in progress. 

10. Injuries have been the main thing holding Athletics RHP Daulton Jefferies back, and while he might never be the most durable workhorse, he’s got plus command of a solid three-pitch repertoire featuring a plus change up. I think he could be good right away and visibly better than the modest expectations associated with his prospect pedigree. 

11. Marlins RHP Sixto Sanchez: Miami is hotter than that Kings of Leon song about Sixto being on fire. Every time they win, we peel a section toward revealing Sixto.

12. Tigers RHP Matt Manning is probably next in line after Mize. 

13. Partly because Tigers LHP Tarik Skubal caught the covid, which means he’s now an evolved species of human two steps removed from the rest of us, as he was already beyond the limit of what we might call human. 

14. Marlins SS Jazz Chisholm is a tough call because he might not make much contact, but this team was going to start Isan Diaz before he opted out and has been on a real athleticism kick these past few years. I think they’re hoping to avoid using him this year, but that can’t matter much when you’re 7-and-1 in a shortened season with expanded playoffs. 

 

A Team Can Dream

1. There’s been a bit of a Twitter swell around Mariners OF Jarred Kelenic, but I think you can save the roster spot for someone more likely to contribute. 

2. Tigers 3B Spencer Torkelson might make himself an option if all the cookies crumble his way in Motown. In related news, Today I Learned Smokey Robinson and Spencer Torkelson have the same number of syllables in their names. Ooh Baby Baby.

3. Orioles 1B Ryan Mountcastle’s name keeps coming up in fantasy circles, but I’m only putting him here because I’ll probably get a question about him if I don’t. I see little reason for Baltimore to promote him, and I’m guessing Baltimore sees something similar. It’s not like attendance is lagging so badly ownership wants a rookie hype infusion or like Mountcastle can prove himself endlessly superior to AAA pitching, which are two of the few ways prospects on bad teams can force an early call these days. Baltimore getting swept in four games by the Rona Marlins might’ve sealed the drawbridge on Mountcastle. 

4. Giants C Joey Bart might’ve been Tromped by Chadwick. I don’t think Bart was coming up this year anyway, but we’ll know within the week if he is, and with Tromp hitting well enough to make Grey’s Buy list, San Fran can skate around the issue, noshing on a butterfinger and looking snidely at the screen. 

 

ROLAIDS SPELLS RELIEF PROSPECTS

Tigers LHP Gregory Soto is a Freddy Krueger level nightmare for opponents. He was painting with 99 and 100 from an impossible angle last time I saw him (Saturday against Pittsburgh). I’m borrowing the word impossible from the announcer, who I think was Matt Shepard, just trying to describe what he was seeing. 

White Sox RHP Codi Heuer gave me a similar feeling. Looks unhittable to me with his easy 98 and devastating change from the same tunnel. LHP Aaron Bummer is hurt, so Heuer is really just a moment away from his second save chance. He converted the first. 16% swinging strike rate. 0.37 FIP. Just 5.1 frames so far, but I think the Sox have something huge in Heuer. 

Thanks for reading!

I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter and Reddit.

 
  1. Simsbad says:
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    Gavin Lux was tagged but not mentioned. Did you forget to add him to this one?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks! Yeah I goofed on that. Fixing now.

  2. Mike says:
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    Curious, why does Mize get the top spot but Howard is being called up on Monday? Is Mize that much better than Howard? When do we expect a Mize callup?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Good question, I actually woke up asking myself the same thing. Probably more of a 1A 1B situation than anything, but I’m always a little worried about Phillies pitchers in that ballpark, and the competition should be softer for Mize, who’s got more experience against upper level bats, but yeah I think these could be flipped.

  3. RicoSuave says:
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    Thanks for the great update The Itch!

    Oh man, I hope they call up Mize and Gore soon… I’ve been stashing them and with Flaherty and C-Mart not playing I’m falling behind…

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Rico Suave!

      Can you stream at all in the interim?

  4. detroit_kozak says:
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    Nice work… and no more questions about Mountcastle!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Hahaha thanks, detroit_kozak!

  5. COJason says:
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    Thanks, this column is very helpful and I look forward to it weekly!

    As for Carlson, I’ve been stashing him for a while and riding with Kyle Lewis and Yastrzemski. Am I better off sticking with Lewis and Yaz and dropping Carlson? That roster spot is very important and I could use it on someone actually playing. Plus, your service time comment makes me doubt an immediate call-up whenever the Cards get back on the field. Thanks!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, COJason!

      Happy to be of use.

      In an normal year, I’d think you have to hold Carlson, but I’m reading this morning the Cards won’t play the Pirates series on Monday, so I think you could turn and burn and feel no remorse. Carlson will get promoted someday, but you’ll have banked some key stats by then and might be able to get him back.

  6. Hater Bell

    Grey says:
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    May I suggest like the Now albums…Now That’s What I Call Prospects! Volume 64

    Imagine Mountcastle actually called up for the 1927 Orioles, damn…

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I like it!

      Now that’s what I call an Oriole, Special 1927 Cut!

  7. chris pierce says:
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    Would you trade Kyle Lewis for Dustin May?

    I have bellinger, Rosario, laurenano, Jimenez, addel already.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      All contextual in a case this close, and May’s Win upside is worth dealing a hot property from a position of depth.

  8. Powdered Toast Man says:
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    Hey Itch- how you doing?
    15 team 5 OF league- how long do I keep Hilliard? Best options are Hoerner, Santander, or Adell. I’d call up Adell but are his stats going to be any different? Or do I just hold and never draft a Rockie rookie again?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Yes to the final thought: gonna be a while before I draft a young Rocky or even a young Bullwinkle.

      I’d say Hello to Adell. Might struggle some the first couple weeks especially if he’s dealing with leg soreness and Joe Maddon trying to convince him he needs to relearn outfield, but once water finds its level, Adell will be loud.

  9. Chucky says:
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    With the injury to E5, Andrew Vaughn become an option?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I like where your head’s at, Chucky!

      They’ll have a decision to make in the coming days if Edwin can’t get back. I think those ABs go to Zach Collins and perhaps (please be) Yermin Mercedes, but if it becomes apparent Edwin ain’t right, we should glimpse Vaughn in time for him to make a hypothetical playoff roster.

  10. Powdered Toast Man says:
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    Itch- how you doing? Thanks for these- love them as a guy whose in 3 dynasty leagues.
    In a 15 team 5 OF league how long do I stick with Hilliard? Options are Hoerner, Adell, or Santander? I’d call up Adell but is his stat line going to be that much different than Hillard? Or do I just stick it out and never draft a Rockies rookie ever again?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      What up, Powdered Toast Man!? Thanks for the kind words!

      I’m pretty good. How are you?

      Update: I might not be as good as I thought a minute ago because I was just about to jump in and discuss this again : )

  11. thehombre says:
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    Is Grisham a superstar? Would you move him to get Luciano and an arm?

    -TheHombre

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Hmmmm . . . I think so . . .

      but if I were a few years away and the arm was good, I’d move him for Luciano +

  12. Moon Shots says:
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    Howdy Itch. Thanks for another great column. I let my excitement get the better of me and used Howard in a redraft roto league where my pitching stats were already a train wreck. Didnt look like the Braves were too in awe of him. Thats a debut for you!

    In other news im still working to move Kike in a deep dynasty league (asked you about this before and decided not to part with him for Aquino). An interested party lacks flashy prospects but would maybe kick in a guy of my choice and a first rounder. Im in rebuild mode so stacking prospects and picks is the game. Some of the guys he has a like most are real far out and im trying to collect more guys who are knocking on the door, but sometimes its best to go with quality if its much better but still years away. Anyhow, do you like Kike and a pick for Walls, Vogel, Halpin, Mercedes, Adolis Garcia, De Goti, Rasmussen, Wilderd Patino, Dennis Santana? I like Vogel though hes miles away. Walls seems like he has some sneaky good value and is much closer. Anyhow curious for your thoughts. Oh and the pick will be a very late one. Grab something here or keep shopping? Thanks!

    • Moon Shots says:
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      Walls got traded so he’s out of the running…

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        Howdy, Moon Shots!

        Is that Jake Vogel?

        I’d love to get him plus a first pick for Kike!

        • Moon Shots says:
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          Indeed it is. I’ll see if it can be done! Thanks Itch.

  13. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    i remember reading numerous reports that the deadline for the clock was back 2 weds (or was it a thurs) ago, the day pearson came up. now it’s midaugust? (since i’d assume you know far more what you are talking about than these other writers, these weren’t fantasy nor prospect writers who i read saying this). clearly i read wrongheaded stuff or i’m wrong somehow.

    • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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      oh yeah and if/when STL plays again (thur at earliest), assuming none of their corona cases are back by then they’ll not have any DH (ravelo corona, plus many others), nor even a 4th OF on active roster (dean and now l.thomas out with corona too). why almost everybody else in shallow redrafts without a stash slot are likely dodging STL players, this would seem he’d have to be up thurs (unless they get yet another series postponed). checked depth charts, ok, so if b.miller is starting SS (healthy now) they could still leave crapenter at DH, but a.dean and l.thomas simply will NOT be back by thurs. j.williams is the only other option i can see on taxi squad here for even the 4th OF spot, much less the 5th.

      • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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        now sat at earliest.

        • The Itch

          The Itch says:
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          Well it’s a couple different things.

          Super two is finishing in the top 22 percent of service time over your first two years, which is . . . complex

          https://www.milb.com/milb/news/gcs-124357946

          For Gavin Lux that timeline was hypothesized to land around August 10 . . .can’t remember who said it first . . . but my fuzzy math landed in mid August

          • The Itch

            The Itch says:
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            For the class that hadn’t played at all yet, that other timeline referenced by writers is as accurate as it gets in projecting service time over two-plus-year windows.

  14. Worm Burner says:
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    Hey The Itch,

    I was thinking of picking up a box of topps update to hold onto, but I don’t think there are enough “star” rookies this year to justify.
    I may just pick up a graded Topps Luis Robert RC separately instead. What do you think?

    Thanks man, I appreciate you and the Razz team

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Worm Burner!

      I’d just pick up the graded Roberts in that either/or.

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