Author's note: With the holiday weekend upon us, this week's Buy and Hold is being written on Thursday afternoon so that it is available for everyone on Saturday. Hope everyone enjoys their fourth, and watch some baseball if you get the chance.
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 ten 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
Graduates So Far
This Week's Graduates
Oscar Taveras - The Cardinals called Taveras back up on Sunday, and has started two games since then. It sounds like he will get relatively consistent playing time, which should help his fantasy owners.
Taijuan Walker - Walker debuted this year against the Astros on Monday, throwing six innings and allowing three earned runs. I believe he is in the rotation for the foreseeable future from here on, and is worth owning in most formats.
Mookie Betts - The Red Sox surprised everyone by calling up Betts on Saturday (predictably, right after last week's Buy and Hold was published.) He's been playing in the outfield primarily so far, and hit his first home run on Wednesday night. He's an interesting target in Yahoo leagues, because for some odd reason, he qualifies at shortstop of all places.
1. Joc Pederson (#32)
RANK LAST WEEK: 3 (+2)
BLOCKED BY: The four-headed outfield machine that is Puig,
Crawford, Kemp, Ethier and Van Slyke
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME OF CALLUP: The second that another of these four are required to go on the disabled list.
Pederson has not returned to the field yet from his shoulder injury, but it sounds like he is "close to returning to action." There still isn't anywhere for him to play in the majors, but if that happens he could still have the biggest impact of anyone on this list.
2. Javier Baez (#3)
3. Noah Syndergaard (#19)
RANK LAST WEEK: 6 (+3)
BLOCKED BY: Jacob deGrom, Daisuke Matsuzaka
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: Late July
Syndergaard had a rough outing this week, lasting just 3+ innings and allowing a bunch of hits and runs. That said, Daisuke didn't have a great start against Atlanta this week either. At some point in the future, hopefully we'll see Syndergaard in the bigs.
4. Arismendy Alcantara (#47)
RANK LAST WEEK: 9 (+5)
BLOCKED BY: Luis Valbuena, Emilio Bonifacio
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: July
Alcantara had a great week at AAA Iowa this week, hitting .417/.440/.542 with two stolen bases. He has a 12 game hitting streak going, and has also been seeing time in center field in addition to second base.
5. Alex Meyer (#51)
Meyer pitched better in his last start than he had in a while, allowing three hits and one run over six innings against Norfolk. It's still not completely clear that the Twins will call on Meyer soon, but with Trevor May currently on the disabled list, those blocking him may be less than previous weeks.
6. Jonathan Gray (#22)
A pair of better starts for Matzek probably have him safe for at least a couple more, Meanwhile, another stinker from Christian Friedrich could be the opening that Gray needs.
7. Jimmy Nelson (#91)
Estrada has pitched better lately, and while Peralta has been hot and cold, he's been alright overall this year. This ranking has more to do with the dominance that Nelson has shown at AAA all year long. If I thought he'd be up before next month, he'd have the potential to head this list.
8. Wilmer Flores (#157)
RANK LAST WEEK: Not Ranked
BLOCKED BY: Daniel Murphy
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: August 1st
There have been rumors circling around the availability of Daniel Murphy for a while, and with Flores (theoretically anyway) able to step in at the position, I think Flores gets significant playing time in the last two months of the season.
9. Kris Bryant (#8)
RANK LAST WEEK: Honorable Mention
BLOCKED BY: Mike Olt and Luis Valbuena
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: Mid-August
At this point, it seems a lot more likely that Bryant is going to force his way up to Chicago with his hitting. I'm sure that the organization wants to see him continue this for another couple weeks before a call up, but with Mike Olt hitting .057 /.132/.143 for the month of June, it may not be long at this point.
10. Rob Refsnyder (NR)
RANK LAST WEEK: Not Ranked
BLOCKED BY: Brian Roberts, Brendan Ryan, and Zelous Wheeler
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: mid-July
A new addition to this week's list, Refsnyder doesn't have the same prospect pedigree as the rest of the names on this list, but if you're looking for a middle infielder to speculate on, Refsnyder is a nice option. Second base for the Yankees has been a complete black hole all season long, and with Rob tearing up AAA in the same way he tore up AA, the team could make a move toward youth and end the Brian Roberts experiment once and for all.
Honorable Mentions (in Alphabetical Order by Group)
Matt Davidson, 3B, CHW (#64)
Maikel Franco, 3B, PHI (#36)
Francisco Lindor, SS, CLE (#35)
Jake Marisnick, OF, MIA (#69)
Archie Bradley, RHP, ARI (#7) - Bradley has now made two rehab starts at AA Mobile, and it seems like he could be back in Reno before too long. His last start was shortened by rain, so it will be interesting to see how many innings the team lets him go in his next outing.
Rafael Montero, RHP, NYM (#95)
Robert Stephenson, RHP, CIN (#17)
Matt Wisler, RHP, SDP (#67)