Prospect Buy and Hold
Now that Oscar Taveras and Marcus Stroman were called up, we all want to know when Gregory Polanco and Joc Pederson will be called up to the big leagues, as they are the next prospects in line to make an impact on your fantasy teams. But who are some other top prospects who can help you this season? Jason Hunt publishes his weekly Buy and Hold article every Saturday morning, ranking his top 10 prospects in line for a call up, along with some other prospects to consider as well.
Top 25 Fantasy Prospects for 2014
Matt Mattingly offered Fake Teams readers his midseason Top 25 Fantasy Prospect rankings on Sunday morning, and his rankings will make Cubs fans very happy.
Matt also offered readers his take on which prospects will be called up after the silly Super Two deadline:
Astros promote Jonathan Singleton
The Astros called up first base prospect Jonathan Singleton on Monday and signed him to a long term deal. I wrote about my thoughts on the call up on Monday evening and you can find that piece linked below.
For more on the call up, make sure you check out Crawfish Boxes, SB Nation's Astros fan site.
Jon Lester: Will he test free agency this offseason?
Back in March, we heard that the Red Sox had made a low-ball offer to their ace, Jon Lester, who is a few months from free agency. Reports indicated that the Red Sox made him a four year, $70 million offer, which was quickly turned down. Lester has repeatedly stated he is willing to take a discount to stay in Boston, but it appears the two sides are far apart at the moment. He only has to look at the contracts that Cole Hamels ($144 million), Matt Cain ($112.5 million) and Homer Bailey ($105 million) to see what his worth is on the open market. Actually, all three of those pitchers never tested free agency, as they were signed by their respective teams before becoming free agents.
Lester is doing his best to show the Red Sox, and the rest of major league baseball, that he is worth much more than the $70 million offered in the offseason. On Sunday, Lester dominated the Rays, giving up just four hits, a walk and striking out 12 in seven shutout innings in the Red Sox 4-0 win. Lester moved his record to 6-6 with a 3.15 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and a 95-22 strikeout to walk rate in 80 innings this season. He has given up two runs or less in 7 of his 12 starts and has seen his strikeouts per nine increase from 7.47 K/9 to 10.69 K/9, while his walks per nine have remained in the sub 3.0 BB/99 range.
Lester is the Red Sox ace, ranking in the top 5 in fWAR through the first two months of the season. The Red Sox have been very conservative in handing out long term contracts recently, preferring to give shorter term deals for the mid-level talent on the free agent market. That worked well for them in 2013, as they won their third World Series in the last ten years. But, I don't think they should continue that plan with Lester. If they want to compete in the AL East, they need to sign their ace.
Red Sox third baseman/shortstop Xander Bogaerts is one of the best young hitters in the game right now. The 21 year old went 2-4 with a home run and two RBI in the Red Sox 3-2 loss to the Indians last night. He is now hitting .300-.391-.443 with 4 home runs, 28 runs scored and 15 RBI in 55 games thus far. He has multiple hits in four of his last six, and six of his last ten, games boosting his average 21 points to .300. I think we will see more power out of his bat going forward.
Indians starter Justin Masterson has struggled to repeat his terrific 2013 season in 2014, but last night he reminded us that he can still dominate a game, no matter who he is facing. Masterson shut out the Red Sox on 3 hits, 4 walks and 10 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Indians 3-2 win last night. The win moved his record to 3-4 with a 4.72 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and a 68-37 strikeout to walk rate in 74.1 innings. If I owned Masterson, I would see if I could dump him in a trade as I am not sure he can regain his 2013 form. He has given up five runs or more in SIX of his 13 starts this season. WOW.
Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager struggled out of the gate this season, but has hit much better in May and in early June. Last night, he went 4-5 with a double, two triples and a home run, with 3 runs scored and 3 RBI in the Mariners 10-2 win over the Yankees in New York. Seager hit his home run off of Alfredo Aceves in garbage time in the ninth inning, and is now hitting .272-.355-.503 with 9 home runs, 24 runs scored and 36 RBI thus far, and is on pace to hit 26 home runs and drive in 102 runs. I am not sure why he isn't hitting clean up for the Mariners.
Danny Duffy pitched one of his best games of the season last night, on the road against the Cardinals. Who saw that coming? I certainly did not, especially on the road. Duffy shut out the Cardinals on one hit, a walk and five strikeouts over six innings in the Royals 6-0 win. Duffy is now 3-5 with a 3.05 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and a 29-18 strikeout to walk rate in 41 1 innings this season. He has given up two hits or less in four of his six starts. He is a very intriguing pickup in all leagues right now.
For more fantasy baseball (and football) news and rankings, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, your one stop for all the fantasy news you need on a daily basis.