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
1. Gregory Polanco (#14)
RANK LAST WEEK: 1 (No change)
BLOCKED BY: Travis Snider, Jose Tabata
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: Mid May
The questions about when Polanco will be called up are getting louder, as the offense (and the team) continue to struggle in Pittsburgh, and the team falls further back in the division race. I think they end up biting the bullet on this one before Memorial Day, as he has just been hitting too much to keep down much longer.
2. Trevor Bauer (#139)
RANK LAST WEEK: 4 (+2)
Carlos Carrasco, A non-belief that he really can make adjustments, Josh Tomlin
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: Early May
3. Marcus Stroman (#40)
RANK LAST WEEK: HM
BLOCKED BY: Dustin McGowan, theoretically
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: Any day now
With Stroman lined up on the same turn in the rotation as McGowan, it really could be any day now that Stroman is in the rotation and McGowan is in the bullpen. McGowan may have fended him off for at least another start with a solid 6 inning outing on Tuesday, but he is scheduled to go Sunday against the Pirates and could change his outlook with his performance that day.
4. Joc Pederson (#32)
RANK LAST WEEK: 3 (-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.
It's a hard gig at the moment when you go out and hit two home runs, steal three bases, and hit .450 in a week and drop in the list. That said, his path to the majors isn't any clearer than it was last week, and the three players ahead of him could be up this week.
5. Oscar Taveras (#5)
RANK LAST WEEK: 8 (+3)
BLOCKED BY: Allen Craig, Matt Adams, and Jon Jay (Possibly even Randal Grichuk)
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: The first injury, but more likely after the trade deadline
Taveras has been playing in all three outfield spots this week, including a start in center field on Thursday in Colorado Springs. The call up of Randal Grichuk last week doesn't necessarily deter the team from bringing Taveras up, if only because Grichuk appears to be in a platoon right now with Jon Jay. If the team feels they aren't getting the production they want with the platoon, Taveras could be the next call.
6. Javier Baez (#3)
RANK LAST WEEK: 6 (No change)
BLOCKED BY: Starlin Castro,
Darwin Barney, Emilio Bonifacio, Not being on the 40-man Roster, Arismendy Alcantara
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: All-Star Break
Baez is hitting better since he returned from the disabled list, but with his teammate Arismendy Alcantara hitting well so far, Baez may no longer be the first call up to replace Barney or Bonifacio.
7. Jonathan Singleton (#53)
RANK LAST WEEK: 7 (No change)
BLOCKED BY: Chris Carter, Marc Krauss
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: Early June
8. Alex Meyer (#51)
RANK LAST WEEK: NR
Mike Pelfrey Sam Deduno and Kevin Correia
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: June
Meyer has been completely dominant at AAA so far this year, and with the team deciding to remove Mike Pelfrey from the rotation, the hope had been that Meyer would be the one taking his place. Alas, it was not to be, as Sam Deduno was announced as the person taking his turn instead. Soon, we will see Alex Meyer (hopefully).
9. Tommy La Stella (#166)
RANK LAST WEEK: 10 (+1)
BLOCKED BY: Dan Uggla
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: July
Dan Uggla's last 7 games: .083/.154/.083, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts (26 at bats). That is all.
10. Kevin Gausman (#18)
RANK LAST WEEK: 2 (-8)
BLOCKED BY: Miguel Gonzalez, Bud Norris
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP:
Late May June
Gausman missed his start this week after what was originally noted as an intercostal strain, but it turns out that he actually has focal pneumonia, and was hurting as a result of the coughing related to the pneumonia. He was placed on the 7-day disabled list, and O's manager Buck Showalter even joked that this was one way to help limit his innings. Gausman was expecting an innings limit of around 160-170 innings back in January, and Britt Ghiroli noted in the first article that he has been on a strict pitch count as a result.
Honorable Mentions (in Alphabetical Order by Group)
Garin Cecchini, 3B, BOS\
Matt Davidson, 3B, CHW
The team placed Conor Gillaspie on the disabled list, and now have Marcus Semien playing every day at third base. They seem happy with this so far, but eventually I think Davidson takes over.
Alexander Guerrero, 2B, LAD
Jake Marisnick, OF, MIA
Archie Bradley, RHP, ARI
Well, that was a quick drop for Bradley out of the top 10. He was struggling at Reno, and with the news now that he hit the disabled list with a flexor strain in his elbow, I wouldn't hesitate to drop him if you need the roster spot and can't hold onto him in redraft leagues.
Eddie Butler, RHP, COL
Jonathan Gray, RHP, COL
Andrew Heaney, LHP, MIA
Rafael Montero, RHP, NYM
Robert Stephenson, RHP, CIN
With Tony Cingrani landing on the disabled list, it is a bit more possible we see Stephenson take his place. However, his not being on the 40-man roster and David Holmberg will probably keep him down for the time being.
Noah Syndergaard, RHP, NYM