This week's Prospect Hot Sheet from Baseball America has a few names fantasy owners need to know. For keeper leagues, these are guys who have to be grabbed this season for next year's keepers. For redraft leagues, these are the players who will be receiving the rookie hype in the march towards 2009 drafts.
At the top is 1B Chris Davis of the Texas Rangers. Following the team's draft coup of South Carolina's Justin Smoak, the Rangers find themselves flush with future 1B - Smoak, Davis, Jarrod Saltalamacchia (?), Max Ramirez (?). What separates Davis from the other three is the fact he is currently at 1B and will be the first to get to the major leagues at the position this season.
Next is Seattle Mariners' AAA CF Michael Saunders. He was just promoted from AA after a 290/375/484 line. With 9 HRs and 11 SB on the season, the 21-year-old Saunders looks like the latest Mariners prospect being pushed aggressively. With a hole in CF on the big league club, he could get a call this season. Whether he fails miserably in 2009 a la Jeremy Reed is yet to be determined.
Finally, CF Austin Jackson finally gives the New York Yankees a hitting prospect worth watching - if only for the expected hyping of him leading to the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. The root of that hype will be this quote from the Hot Sheet:
With an budding performance record of excellence to complement his outstanding athleticism and tools, Jackson is building a strong case to supplant Joba Chamberlain as the top prospect in the Yankees organization at the conclusion of the season.
What is as interesting about Jackson is the power improvement he has shown each month - from .348 in April to .490 in May to this month's .529 SLG. If the Yankees trade CF Melky Cabrera, Austin Jackson is the reason why - not Brett Gardner who would immediately takes Melky's place on the roster.
There is one player on this week's Hot Sheet that came out of nowhere. He was a top pick of the Oakland A's a couple years ago, and he did nothing but flounder a s pro. This is SS Cliff Pennington, who has quietly advanced to AAA this season. With a combined AA/AAA slash stat line of .274/.386/.352 to go with a 21 of 25 SB figure, he could be contributing this season.
There will be a chat at 3:30 to discuss this week's Hot Sheet. This has been open to non-subscriber's all season so be sure to check it out live or via the transcipt.