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Team-by-Team: Next prospects in line

Archie Bradley leads this list of baseball's next up and coming prospects. These players are on the rise to making their MLB debut with their respective big league clubs and it may be happening sooner than you think.


Listed below is each teams next prospect in waiting. These are the next guys in line, waiting for a big league call up and waiting for a chance to show they belong in major league baseball. Of course, injuries could always change the scenarios of every teams needs and decisions but all things considered these guys are next in line.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Archie Bradley (SP)

What’s holding him back? Nothing. Ignorance maybe? Cheap owners? Your guess is as good as mine.

What can he do? Bradley would be the Diamondbacks best pitcher right now, it’s that simple, and not just because the Diamondbacks are that bad. He is THAT good, sure Bradley is struggling a bit right now but he just looks bored to me. He has absolutely destroyed every level of the minors and has nothing left to prove.  Should have a "Salazar-like" impact in the second half of 2014

Atlanta Braves: Tommy La Stella (2B)

What’s holding him back? Dan Uggla, I couldn’t even say that with a straight face… His hitting gets worse by the day and his defense is atrocious. But he makes a lot of money so he continues to play, who invented this strategy?

What can he do? La Stella may not be a fantasy star but he can provide solid batting averages and is an even better option in OBP leagues. If he could find his way into to the top of this potent Atlanta offense he could score a lot of runs and be a nice cheap second base option for fantasy owners going forward.

Baltimore Orioles: Kevin Gausman (SP)

What’s holding him back? Nothing at the MLB level, but Gausman does need more innings at the minor league level to fully develop his secondary pitches. Most notably his slider consistency.

What can he do? Depending on where the Baltimore Orioles place him when he is called up he could be anything from a dominate closer down the stretch (alla Trevor Rosenthal) or a good starting pitcher option who will pile up the strikeouts.

Boston Red Sox: Matt Barnes (SP)

What’s holding him back? Boston’s deep roster and pitching staff.

What can he do? Barnes could be a solid back-end of the rotation type of arm at any point in 2014 and even more going forward.

Chicago White Sox: Matt Davidson (3B)

What’s holding him back? Needs to cut back on the strikeouts and get his bat going as he has struggled mightily this year. But there is no clear cut option blocking him at third base.

What can he do? Probably will be a batting average risk right out of the gate but the power is there to help fantasy owners and considering he plays a premium position you will take that in deep leagues.

Chicago Cubs: Arismendy Alcantara (2B)

What’s holding him back? The Cubs are being very patient with all of their prospects. You could easily insert Kris Bryant or Javier Baez here but I think Alcantara is the next guy up. The Cubs know they are not contending this year so there is no reason to rush any these guys. But they will force their way up sooner rather than later so be ready to strike when they do.

What can he do? Would be an immediate add for an 2B needy fantasy owners, Alcantara will be one of the better power/speed options at the position as soon as he is called up with Jason Kipnis-type upside.

Cincinnati Reds: Robert Stephenson (SP)

What’s holding him back? Even with Homer Bailey’s struggles early this season Cincinnati still boasts one of the best rotations in baseball. Matt Latos coming back soon doesn’t help Stephensons ETA but whenever the Reds need him he will be there waiting.

What can he do? Might not be dominating right from the get go but he has the potential to be a top 30 starter for fantasy owners with the potential for more. In deep leagues that is very valuable. In keeper leagues scoop him up ASAP.

Cleveland Indians: Trevor Bauer (SP)

What’s holding him back? Carlos Carrasco and his dominate start to the season. Ok, im kidding. But seriously, Cleveland is being smart about this and is just giving Bauer some innings at the minor league level to consistently get his confidence up. They know what they have in him and he will be up soon.

What can he do? From the looks of things the Trevor Bauer of old is back and he could be a major contributor for fantasy owners as soon as he is called up. While probably not offering elite ratios right out of the gates he could be among MLB’s leaders in K/9 immediately right out of the gates.

Colorado Rockies: Eddie Butler (SP)

What’s holding him back? Nothing at the big league level really. Colorado is just being patient with him as they should be, but he will be up this summer. That rotation is bad.

What can he do? Could be a solid option in deeper leagues, but pitching in Colorado has to worry fantasy owners so it will be interesting to see if Butler can harness Coors Field when he gets the call.

Detroit Tigers: Eugenio Suarez (SS)

What’s holding him back? Austin Romine? Who knows, the Detroit Tiger really don’t have any better options at short stop so look for them to give Suarez a chance sooner rather than later.

What can he do? Probably not an option in most fantasy leagues but if your starving for steals, have an injury at SS or in deeper leagues he could provide decent value. I am grasping for straws here, but I play in leagues that are so deep people would be fighting over this guy. Sad I know..

Florida Marlins: Andrew Heaney (SP)

What’s holding him back? Just needs to build up his arm strength a little more. No reason for Miami to rush him when his secondary pitches and control still need work.

What can he do? Could be a solid back of the rotation type of starter when he is called up. Probably will not strike out a ton of guys and won’t get a lot of wins pitching for Miami. But if you are desperate for pitching he will not hurt you in any pitching categories.

Houston Astros: Jonathon Singleton (SP)

What’s holding him back? Himself, had Singleton not been suspended last year for a drug violation he probably would be the Astros starting first baseman right now. He will be soon.

What can he do? First base is not as deep of a position as it used to be. Singleton would be an immediate add in all leagues as he profiles as a guy who will get on base a ton, has above average power similar to a guy like Freddie Freeman and will hit in the middle of the Astros order. It is not an exciting lineup but he will still drive in a fair amount of runs for fantasy owners and be a top 15 option at 1B.

Kansas City Royals: Kyle Zimmer (SP)

What’s holding him back? Shoulder tendinitis, and the Royals want him to be pitching late in the season when it matter. They purposely held back his start to the season so his innings limit does not come into play down the playoff stretch.

What can he do? Could make an "Jose Fernandez" type of impact in the American League when called up. Zimmer is a legit Ace who could dominate MLB hitters as soon as he gets the chance.

Los Angeles Angels: CJ Cron (1B)

What’s holding him back? Just some guy named Albert Pujol, no big deal.

What can he do? Could give Mr.Pujols some rest down the stretch at first base while they rotate between 1B and DH. Cron has great power and good contact ability. He would be a major sleeper if called up and given at bats in all fantasy formats.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Alex Guerrero (2B)

What’s holding him back? Dee Gordon. Most would have laughed at that statement a month ago but check out his stats. His start to the season is allowing the Dodgers to be patient with Guerrero.

What can he do? Guerrero brings a great bat with him to whatever position he plays, the recent success of guys like Yasiel Puig and Jose Abreu shows that Cuban bats can make a huge impact given their talent levels, and not many are as talented Alex Guerrero.

Milwaukee Brewers: Hunter Morris (1B)

What’s holding him back? A little bit of himself and a little bit of the Brewers wanting to give other guys chances as Morris has never forced their hand with his production.

What can he do? Morris would be a decent option in deep fantasy leagues but his upside is limited. If you have an injury or major need at first base he would not hurt you but do not get too excited here.

Minnesota Twins: Alex Meyer (SP)

What’s holding him back? The Twins are just not very good and they will not be good any time soon. He will be up soon though but there is no need for Minnesota to rush him into a bad situation.

What can he do? Immediate must add if you need pitching. Alex Meyer (See Gausman above) could be either a dominate closer from the get go or a high strikeout option as a starting pitcher. Great arm.

New York Mets: Rafael Montero (SP)

What’s holding him back? Bartolo Colon, yeah I said it.

What can he do? The Mets have surprising depth in its starting pitching so it will take an injury or a trade to open the door for Montero but he is ready and could be a nice back end of the rotation filler in deep leagues.

New York Yankees: Manny Banuelos (SP)

What’s holding him back? The New York Yankees and their spending spree this offseason.

What can he do? Probably not an option for fantasy owners but could be a dominate lefty arm out of the bullpen as he eventually settles back into a starting role for the Yankees sometime in the next year or two.

Oakland Athletics: Addison Russell (SS)

What’s holding him back? His age, Russell is young and just needs at bats at the minor league level to work on things. Players can get exposed if rushed to the big leagues. Oakland is playing it safe here.

What can he do? Instant add in all fantasy formats as he can provide power and speed from the shortstop position. Also, if he gets a spot in the top of Oakland’s under rated lineup he could be a great source of runs for fantasy owners in need.

Philadelphia Phillies: Maikel Franco (3B)

What’s holding him back? The Phillies are giving Cody Asche every chance to win the third base job before they give up on him. Unfortunately, he is just not very good.

What can he do? Hit and hit for power. Franco is an incredible talent and he should be owned in all fantasy leagues as soon as word gets out he is coming up. Expect a lot of home runs from this 3B.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Gregory Polanco (OF)

What’s holding him back? Travis Snyder? Jose Tabata? I don’t know quite frankly.

What can he do? Polanco would slot into my top 100 overall players as soon as he gets the call and I would expect numbers similar to Starling Marte. He may struggle consistently with MLB pitching but he has emerging power and elite speed that could see him still finish the season with 10 home runs and 30 steals if he gets the call soon.

San Diego Padres: Matt Wisler (SP)

What’s holding him back? The Padres always seem to be shuffling up new and old arms into their rotation. It’s only a matter of time before Wisler gets his chance.

What can he do? He could be a great home only streaming option for fantasy owners down the stretch while contributing in all counting stats, including the daddy of them all, strikeouts.

San Francisco Giants: Heath Hembree (RP)

What’s holding him back? Sergio Romo

What can he do? He would slot right into the closer role given any serious injury to Sergio Romo and given the every changing closer carousel and value of saves we fantasy owners see on a daily basis that would make him a must add.

Seattle Mariners: Taijuan Walker (SP)

What’s holding him back? A shoulder injury pushed back his start to the season but he should be ready to go very soon.

What can he do? A top 30 starting pitcher as soon as he is called up. Walker can be very up and down at times but he is dominant when he is on and he will pitch in a very friendly home ball park.

St. Louis Cardinals: Oscar Tavares (OF)

What’s holding him back? The talent level of the St.Louis Cardinals is so impressive that a top 5 overall prospect who continues to dominate the minor leagues is still not up yet.

What can he do? Tavares, one could argue, would be the best hitter in the Cardinals lineup right now. In a lineup of all stars and veteran players Oscar Tavares could end up being their best hitting option as soon as he is called up. Yes, he is that talented.

Tampa Bay Rays: Enny Romero (SP)

What’s holding him back? The Rays just churn out pitchers like Baskin Robbins churns out ice cream.

What can he do? See Manny Banuelos above. Romero probably does not get a starting shot this year but he could. Or he could be a dominate option out of the pen and he will strikeout a lot of guys no matter what his role is.

Texas Rangers: Rougned Odor (2B)

What’s holding him back? Odor just turned 20 two months ago and just needs at bats at the minor league level. The Rangers can afford to be patient with this budding star. So unless Elvis Andrus gets traded or Jurickson Profar can’t stay healthy there is no clear cut position for Odor to play. But trades and injuries happen all the time. Rougned Odor just needs to keep getting better and stay patient.

What can he do? Could eventually be a top 5-10 option at the second base position. I am not as high on him as others. I kind of see him as a Tommy La Stella with a tad more speed, but not much more. I do not see Odors high stolen bases totals in the minors translating to the big leagues. He is just not that fast. Odor probably settles in as a high average hitter who approaches double digit home runs and 20 steals a year. That would still make him a top 10 guy at the position and a must add in all formats.

Toronto Blue Jays: Marcus Stroman (SP)

What’s holding him back? Dustin McGowan’s surprising early season spot in the rotation, but that will not last too much longer.

What can he do? A must add for any pitching needy team. Stroman has the potential and pitching savvy to contend for the rookie of the year as soon as 2014. He will be up very soon and you need to go get him now.

Washington Nationals: Brian Goodwin (OF)

What’s holding him back? Denard Span and his underwhelming fantasy numbers.

What can he do? Goodwin strikes out a lot but he also walks a lot. That’s a good thing though considering he has the speed to steal 20 or 30 bases in a season if not more. His Gold-Glove caliber defense will keep his bat in the lineups and fantasy owners will love his eventual 10 home run and 30 steal campaigns as he reaches physical maturity. Extremely talented athlete.