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 So Far
George Springer - Springer hit his first major league home run this week, and is now up to .228/.291/.304 with a stolen base as well. In 12+ team formats or deeper I would still hold on, as it looks like he may finally be heating up and adjusting.
Marcus Stroman - The Blue Jays called up Stroman on Monday, although it was to work out of the bullpen instead of the rotation as had been hoped. I still believe he ends up in the rotation before too long, because my belief in either Dustin McGowan or J.A. Happ as starting pitchers remains very, very skeptical.
We also saw a number of prospects who had been on the outside of the Buy and Hold top 10 who were promoted this week, with Wilmer Flores and Rougned Odor both being called up. The Mets will try to run Flores out at shortstop it appears, and we'll see how long that experiment lasts. Odor was a surprise, given that he wasn't on the 40-man or at AAA, but remains an interesting option if he will get consistent playing time.
1. Gregory Polanco (#14)
The news broke this week that the Pirates had offered Polanco a 7-year contract while he was still in AAA (with potentially three options as well). Gotta give them credit for trying it at least, but I wonder if they get into a bit of trouble with the Players' Association as well, given that he is still at AAA and appears to be staying until the super-2 deadline is safely in the rear view mirror. The team has said that there are things he continues to work on, but honestly that may wear thing pretty soon.
2. Trevor Bauer (#139)
RANK LAST WEEK: 2 ()
Carlos Carrasco, A non-belief that he really can make adjustments, Josh Tomlin, Danny Salazar
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP:
Early May Whenever Josh Tomlin falters, so mid-June?
I don't think it's particularly likely that the team demotes Danny Salazar in favor of Bauer, but he hasn't been good this year so far. He has had two of his best starts of the year in his last three though, which could bode well for him. As for Bauer, he wasn't chosen to take Carrasco's spot, so now he'll wait to see if Josh Tomlin will pitch well for an extended period of time.
3. Oscar Taveras (#5)
RANK LAST WEEK: 5 (+2)
BLOCKED BY: Allen Craig, Matt Adams, and Jon Jay (Possibly now Joey Butler?)
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: The first injury,
but more likely after the trade deadline After Super Two in June.
Taveras moves up this week in part because the Cardinals continue to make moves among their outfielders, as they optioned Randal Grichuk back to AAA and added Joey Butler to the roster. I'm assuming that Butler is depth at the corner spots for the team right now, and that if they needed an every day player that we might see Taveras then. For now, he'll continue to hit well at AAA, and could be up by late June.
4. Joc Pederson (#32)
RANK LAST WEEK: 4 (No change)
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.
I think if both Pederson and Taveras were called up on the same day, that Pederson would provide more value to fantasy owners for the rest of the year. However, I don't think Pederson is called up at the same time as Taveras at this point, and so he's now behind Taveras. I do wonder if Pederson spends the whole season at AAA, putting up these video game numbers. At this point, he's on pace to approach a 40 HR/40 SB season, which I know he can't possibly keep up for another five months, right?
5. Jonathan Singleton (#53)
At this point, Astros' first basemen are hitting .206/.282/.355 with 4 home runs. Oh, wait. No, those are the best of each of those categories from all three of the players listed above. They're actually hitting .173/.256/.326 with a total of 8 home runs, although Carter has seen most of his time at DH now. Obviously they're not playing for this year, but it's getting a bit ridiculous with how well Singleton is hitting.
6. Javier Baez (#3)
Baez had another tough week at the plate, and at this point I'm wondering if we see him before the trade deadline at all. With Alcantara available as well, you'd obviously like to see Baez start hitting before bringing him up.
7. Alex Meyer (#51)
RANK LAST WEEK: 8 (+1)
Mike Pelfrey Sam Deduno and Kevin Correia
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: June
Meyer's start this week wasn't one of his finer ones (4.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K), but he still remains a much stronger option for the Twins than Deduno in the long-term. With Pelfrey going on the disabled list, that removes one more potential speed bump for Meyer's rise.
8. Kevin Gausman (#18)
Gausman will return from the disabled list today to make a start at AAA Norfolk, and we should have a better idea of how he is feeling then. Norris has been pitching better, so the more likely spot for Gausman would be in place of Gonzalez or if an injury crops up among the other pitchers.
9. Tommy La Stella (#166)
RANK LAST WEEK: 9 (No change)
BLOCKED BY: Dan Uggla
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: July
Dan Uggla's last 7 days (3 games): .100/.182/.100, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts (10 at bats). I don't know what else you want me to tell you. La Stella will be a nice source of batting average when he's called up, and it sounds more and more everyday like the Braves are getting ready to cut bait on him.
10. Matt Wisler (#67)
RANK LAST WEEK: HM
BLOCKED BY: Robbie Erlin, Eric Stults
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: July
Wisler returns to the top 10 after his promotion to AAA El Paso, where he was greeted rather rudely by the Sacramento River Cats in his first start. He'll be better in the future, and could be in San Diego's much more favorable environment by midseason.
Honorable Mentions (in Alphabetical Order by Group)
Arismendy Alcantara, 2B/SS, CHC
Garin Cecchini, 3B, BOS
Matt Davidson, 3B, CHW
Alexander Guerrero, 2B, LAD
Jake Marisnick, OF, MIA
Archie Bradley, RHP, ARI
Eddie Butler, RHP, COL
Jonathan Gray, RHP, COL
Andrew Heaney, LHP, MIA
Rafael Montero, RHP, NYM
Robert Stephenson, RHP, CIN
Noah Syndergaard, RHP, NYM