While their value is highly established in dynasty and keeper leagues, there are still prospects that are worth holding onto in redraft leagues while you wait for their call up to the big leagues. Each week I'll be looking at my top five prospects from our top 200 consensus prospects who currently aren't in the majors, but could be worth holding in a bench spot given their potential value for the rest of the season. These rankings are based solely on their potential 2014 value, and do not include any players that are already in the majors as of yesterday.
Graduates This Week
George Springer - Springer was finally called up by the Astros this week after the team struggled with their offense for the first two weeks of the season. You can read Ray's analysis of his fantasy impact for this season here. Realistically, if he's still available in your league, grab him. He's got a chance to be better than your last outfielder in all leagues bigger than six teams.
1. Kevin Gausman (#18)
Norris pitched much better in his last start (7 IP, 0 ER), and while I don't think it changes the long-term outlook for Gausman, it may slow the timeframe by another week or two.
2. Gregory Polanco (#14)
The acquisition of Ike Davis last night should help the Pirates' offense in the short-term, but I don't think it really impacts Polanco down the line. With both Snider and Tabata not exactly killing the ball, Polanco should still be up by Memorial Day.
3. Joc Pederson (#32)
RANK LAST WEEK: 4 (+1)
BLOCKED BY: The four-headed outfield machine that is Puig, Crawford, Kemp, and Ethier
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME OF CALLUP: The second that two of these four are required to go on the disabled list.
Puig returned, and while Pederson remains an excellent option, his path to playing time in the majors isn't any easier as of right now. I am curious what happens if he keeps hitting like this, and if they eventually have to call him up to challenge him. Albuquerque is known as a hitters' paradise, and he has been taking advantage with a long homestand.
4. Archie Bradley (#7)
The Diamondbacks moved Trevor Cahill to the bullpen as well, so it's not exactly like there remains a ton in his way for a rotation spot. The team had the opportunity to make this change when they called up Cahill's replacement, but there he remains in Reno, waiting for his turn to head south.
5. Trevor Bauer (#139)
RANK LAST WEEK: 9 (+4)
BLOCKED BY: Carlos Carrasco, A non-belief that he really can make adjustments
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: Late May
Carrasco is better than his performance so far would indicate (7.84 ERA vs. 4.09 FIP), but with Bauer pitching well, it really could be just a matter of one or two bad starts from Carrasco to get him booted from the rotation.
6. Matt Wisler (#67)
7. Matt Davidson (#64)
RANK LAST WEEK: 8 (+1)
BLOCKED BY: Conor Gillaspie (No really, Conor Gillaspie)
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: Early June
Leave it to Gillaspie to hit well overall this year (.314/.362/.392), given that you probably weren't even expecting an empty batting average. I'm sure that the team will wait for Davidson to hit at least a little better, and realistically there's not a lot of incentive right now to bring him up.
8. Oscar Taveras (#5)
9. Javier Baez (#3)
Baez hitting the disabled list doesn't help his timeline particularly, and without a clear idea of when he will return from his ankle injury. The fact that we don't know when he will return moves him down the list for me right now, as it could push his timeline back another month. Add in that Starlin Castro has started to hit better also, and there's really no rush right now.
10. Garin Cecchini (#84)
RANK LAST WEEK: NR
BLOCKED BY: Brock Holt (Previously known as Ryan Roberts)
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: All-Star Break
Cecchini is an interesting name for OBP leagues, and doesn't really fit the profile of a slugging third baseman. The team, after trying Ryan Roberts for a few games, is now running Brock Holt out at third base while they await the return of Will Middlebrooks. If it looks like it will be a longer injury, look for Cecchini to be the move.
Honorable Mentions (in Alphabetical Order by Group)
Alexander Guerrero, 2B, LAD
If you're like me, you're wondering when it is exactly that Dee Gordon will turn back into a pumpkin. Guerrero is the play if you think that time is coming sooner rather than later, but with Gordon continuing to perform thus far, it's not clear when that will be.
Jake Marisnick, OF, MIA
Jonathan Singleton, 1B, HOU
Well, he is hitting a lot better (5 home runs, now hitting .328 on the year). For a team that is looking for offense, Singleton could be in line to be called up sooner than later. That said, first base may be one of the few positions where they may not really see a large upgrade by bringing him up.
Eddie Butler, RHP, COL
Jonathan Gray, RHP, COL
Andrew Heaney, LHP, MIA
I am a fan of Heaney, but with the Marlins having the opportunity to go in a different direction in the rotation with Brad Hand losing his spot this week, the team instead decided to move Kevin Slowey back into the starter's job. I don't think we see Heaney until sometime after midseason, but should have some solid numbers given his scouting report as well as the advantage that his home park could be.
Marcus Stroman, RHP, TOR