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
Marcus Stroman - There are reports that Stroman may be added to the rotation next week with the news that Dustin McGowan will be headed to the bullpen. It hasn't been announced yet whether Stroman will take the spot for sure, but it would make a lot of sense, and hopefully happens.
Rafael Montero - The Mets shook up their rotation a bit due to some injuries, and called up Montero earlier in the week. He pitched reasonably well in the start, and is an interesting streaming option in shallow leagues. He doesn't have the same upside as a lot of names on this list, but he should be good for a reasonably amount of innings with solid ratios and some strikeouts.
1. Gregory Polanco (#14)
I'm not entirely sure what we're hoping for at this point. He continues to hit like he's a man possessed, and the Pirates continue to rely on Snider (.111/.273/.111 this week) and Tabata (.286/.286/.286 this week) in right field, while the team is now 6 games under .500 and 8.5 games off the pace in the division.
2. Trevor Bauer (#139)
RANK LAST WEEK: 2 (no change)
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? TUESDAY
Francona: Bauer will be promoted Tuesday to start for Indians.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) May 16, 2014
3. Oscar Taveras (#5)
There's not really a lot more evidence that the team will call up Taveras any sooner than was anticipated last week. I wonder if he does get the call as soon as they feel he is safe from Super-Two status, with Matt Adams and Allen Craig both struggling at times lately.
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.
Only four more home runs this week for Pederson. Ho hum. Matt Mattingly graded out Pederson yesterday, and the resulting grade isn't a surprise given the reports and performance so far.
5. Jonathan Singleton (#53)
6. Alex Meyer (#51)
RANK LAST WEEK: 7 (+1)
Mike Pelfrey, Sam Deduno and Kevin Correia
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: June
Another week, another rough outing for Kevin Correia (4 IP, 5 ER, 0 K). While Meyer is on a pitch count (hence being lifted after just 5 innings of no-hit ball in his last start), I still think we see him in Minnesota before the 4th of July.
7. Javier Baez (#3)
The longer he continues to struggle at the plate, the further his potential call-up gets pushed back. I'm curious if he might still be hurt at this point.
8. Kevin Gausman (#18)
Well, we did see Gausman in the majors for Wednesday, although the whole thought process for the Orioles seemed very strange. The team wanted to move Wei-Yin Chen back a day to avoid facing the Tigers, and called up Gausman on short rest to make that start instead. Hopefully the next time Gausman is called up, it will be to stay.
9. Matt Wisler (#67)
RANK LAST WEEK: 10 (+1)
BLOCKED BY: Robbie Erlin, Eric Stults
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: July
I'm starting to wonder if El Paso is going to play as another extreme hitters park in the PCL, given the altitude and the amount of runs being given up there so far. It's early, and I still think there's a reasonably good chance that Wisler is called on to replace Stults at some point in the next month or so.
10. Tommy La Stella (#166)
RANK LAST WEEK: 9 (-1)
Dan Uggla Tyler Pastornicky
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: July
Uggla only had 2 plate appearances last week, and has been completely benched at this point. The Braves are using Tyler Pastornicky primarily in his place, but even that still seems like a temporary measure given the struggles the Braves have seen on offense.
Honorable Mentions (in Alphabetical Order by Group)
Arismendy Alcantara, 2B/SS, CHC - At this point it seems like Alcantara would be a lot more likely to be called up by the Cubs than Baez, but I'm not convinced he would have consistent playing time for the rest of the season from that point onward.
Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC - Bryant has been destroying everything at AA so far, hitting .324/.422/.615 with 11 home runs in 39 games. I'm not convinced that the Cubs would skip him past AAA directly to the majors, even with another prospect in Christian Villanueva playing there currently.
Matt Davidson, 3B, CHW
Alexander Guerrero, 2B, LAD - Guerrero continues to hit at Albuquerque, but Dee Gordon continues to do the same in Los Angeles.
Francisco Lindor, SS, CLE - With Asdrubal Cabrera a free agent after the season and the Indians currently in last and 7.5 games out of first, it would not surprise me if later in the season the team moved Cabrera and started the Lindor era. However, I don't think that happens until much closer to the trading deadline, limiting the upside of Lindor's bat for just this year.
Jake Marisnick, OF, MIA - I keep waiting for Marcell Ozuna to struggle enough to get demoted, but I'm not sure when it happens at this point.
Eddie Butler, RHP, COL
Jonathan Gray, RHP, COL
Andrew Heaney, LHP, MIA - It was speculated that Heaney would be the beneficiary of the open rotation spot (RIP Jose Fernandez's elbow ligaments), but the team opted to call up Anthony DeSclafani AND sign Randy Wolf off of free agency. Soon....
Robert Stephenson, RHP, CIN - The impending return of Tony Cingrani this week would seem to keep Stephenson on hold for a little bit longer.
Noah Syndergaard, RHP, NYM - The Mets called up two different starting pitching prospects from Las Vegas, and it is possible we see Syndergaard later on in the season.