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
Trevor Bauer - As we noted last week, the Indians called up Trevor Bauer to take the start on Tuesday. He gave up two earned runs over six innings against an excellent Detroit Tigers team, notching his first win of the season.
1. Gregory Polanco (#14)
I wonder if the team might finally be getting closer, as they finally cut bait on another veteran that was struggling this week in Wandy Rodriguez. I still think we see him in the next couple weeks, pretty much as soon as they are confident he won't be Super-Two eligible.
2. Oscar Taveras (#5)
Taveras continues to hit well at AAA Memphis, but there have been signs of life from both Craig and Adams in the past couple weeks. I think that if Taveras is called up on June 1st, you could still get a 10 HR season with a .300 batting average for the rest of the year.
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.
Pederson had a "down" week against Salt Lake City and Fresno, hitting .259 with a home run since last Saturday. I'm starting to wonder at this point if Pederson ends up as a trade chip before he ends up playing in Los Angeles, given the surprisingly long string of good health that the outfield has had to date.
4. Jonathan Singleton (#53)
Frankly, I'm not really sure what they are waiting for except maybe the Super-Two deadline with Singleton. Marc Krauss and Jesus Guzman continue to be terrible, and it really seems like it is only a matter of time before at least one of them gets cut loose by the team.
5. Alex Meyer (#51)
RANK LAST WEEK: 6 (+1)
BLOCKED BY: Mike Pelfrey, Sam Deduno and Kevin Correia
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: June
Correia managed to lower his ERA to 6.52 on the year with 6 innings of 3-run ball against the Padres this week. Meanwhile, Sam Deduno threw 6 innings of 2-run ball against the Mariners last Saturday, and seems likely to get a little more of a chance than Correia really should at this point.
6. Javier Baez (#3)
Well, that's a little more like what we are looking for from Baez. He went 11 for 24 with three home runs and five doubles last week, and looks like he may finally be heading in the right direction at the plate.
7. Kevin Gausman (#18)
RANK LAST WEEK: 8 (+1)
BLOCKED BY: Miguel Gonzalez
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: Late May June
Gonzalez has pitched better of late, striking out 7 and allowing just 2 runs over 6 innings on Tuesday, but I think the struggles eventually return and the team finally gives Gausman the consistent starts for the rest of the year.
8. Marcus Stroman (#39)
RANK LAST WEEK: Graduate
BLOCKED BY: J.A. Happ
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: Mid-June
Stroman struggled in his brief call up to the majors, and it sounds like he was having a hard time adjusting to working out of the bullpen as opposed to starting. The Blue Jays are only using four starting pitchers at the moment with Dustin McGowan in the bullpen, so I think we could still Stroman back up in another month or so, but to a rotation spot this time around.
9. Jimmy Nelson (#91)
RANK LAST WEEK: Not Ranked
BLOCKED BY: Marco Estrada
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: late June Sunday
A new addition to the top 10, Jimmy Nelson has been pitching well at AAA, notching a strikeout per inning and allowing just 37 hits in 58 innings pitched. [Removes previously written portion which alludes to an idea that Nelson would replace Marco Estrada] Nelson will be recalled on Sunday to make the start in place of Yovani Gallardo. It doesn't sound like Gallardo is going on the disabled list, and at this point it may be just one start and then back to the minors. He's definitely an interesting name, and could be up for good if he pitches well.
10. Andrew Heaney (#33)
RANK LAST WEEK: Honorable Mention
BLOCKED BY: Randy Wolf
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: July
The Marlins promoted Heaney to AAA last week, and he went out there with a nice first start. The team had plugged Anthony DeSclafani into the rotation to replace Jose Fernandez, but that experiment has already ended and the team is now relying upon recent signee Randy Wolf. If Wolf struggles in his first few starts, look for Heaney to get the call to replace him.
Honorable Mentions (in Alphabetical Order by Group)
Mookie Betts, 2B/OF, BOS - Betts hits the honorable mentions at this point on the basis of the team trying hard to find a position he can play that is not blocked at the major league level. The team has been teaching him the outfield this week, with the hopes that he might be able to transition to one of those spots in the future.
Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC
Alexander Guerrero, 2B, LAD - Guerrero is still worth keeping an eye on, although his altercation with the newly-unemployed Miguel Olivo will likely keep him on the shelf for a few weeks unfortunately.
Tommy La Stella, 2B, ATL - The team continues to run Tyler Pastornicky and Ramiro Pena out at second base instead of Dan Uggla, and seem content to do this for at least a few more weeks now. Matt Mattingly looked at La Stella on Friday as well.
Francisco Lindor, SS, CLE
Eddie Butler, RHP, COL
Jonathan Gray, RHP, COL
Robert Stephenson, RHP, CIN
Noah Syndergaard, RHP, NYM
Matt Wisler, RHP, SDP - Wisler falls out of the top 10 for this week after yet another rough outing at AAA. I'm assuming that the Padres will want him to get at least one or two good starts under his belt before contemplating promoting him to the big leagues. It's too bad, because with Robbie Erlin hitting the disabled list this week, Wisler might have gotten this call had he been pitching better.