Prospect Buy and Hold
Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco was called up last week by the Pirates, so who will be the next top prospect called up to the big leagues who could impact fantasy rosters this season? Could it be Andrew Heaney or Alex Meyer?
Here is Jason Hunt's list of the players who could be called up in the next few weeks, or later this season. His weekly Buy and Hold series takes a look at players you should look at grabbing off your league waiver wire before they are called up, and before your league mates grab them.
Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano has been a bit of a disappointment for the Mariners this season, as his power is well below expectations, yet he is hitting above .300. Yesterday afternoon, Cano went 1-3 with a walk, a home run, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI in the Mariners 6-1 win over the inept Padres. Cano, who came into the season as the top ranked second baseman in most preseason rankings, is now hitting .327-.384-.438 with 4 home runs, 35 runs scored, 39 RBI and 5 stolen bases in 7 attempts. He is on pace for just nine home runs, but a respectable 80 runs scored, 89 RBI and a career high 11 stolen bases. I am sure his owners would trade in those stolen bases for home runs, but there is still time for him to turn on the power over the next 3.5 months.
Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka has been the biggest surprise of the 2014 season, as no one expected him to be THIS good. Last night, he faced the first place Blue Jays, and continued his dominant ways, limiting the Blue Jays to one run on 5 hits, 2 walks and 10 strikeouts in 6 innings in the Yankees 3-1 win. Tanaka is now 11-1 with a 1.99 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and an excellent 113-16 strikeout to walk rate in 99.2 innings this season. He has given up two runs or less in 11 of his 14 starts this season, and is my early choice for American League Cy Young award right now.
Mike Trout missed a few games dealing with a back injury last week, but you couldn't tell he is hurting last night, as he went yard twice in the Angels 9-3 win over the Indians. He went 3-5 with 2 home runs, a double, 2 runs scored and 4 RBI, and is now hitting .311-.397-.610 with 16 home runs, 47 runs scored, 54 RBI and 9 stolen bases. He is on pace to hit 37 home runs, steal 19 bases and drive in 125 runs. He currently ranks first in the AL in slugging percentage and OPS, and ranks third in RBI. I think this year will finally be the year he wins the AL MVP award. And deservedly so.
After seeing Justin Verlander get knocked around by the hot Royals lineup, one would think that Max Scherzer had a good shot at shutting them down, but that was not the case, The Royals lit up Scherzer by scoring 10 runs on 10 hits in 4 innings in the Royals 11-4 win last night. The loss moved Scherzer's record to 8-3 with a 3.84 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and a 111-29 strikeout to walk rate in 98.1 innings thus far. Scherzer has given up 4 runs or more in five of his last six starts, giving up 30 runs on 53 hits in 40+ innings.I recently traded for Scherzer in my AL only keeper league and the trade isn't looking pretty bad right now.
Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton is beginning to get a little more comfortable at the plate as he has hits in seven of his last nine games. Last night, Hamilton went 3-4 with a walk, two runs scored and 3 stolen bases, and is now hitting .272-.311-.393 with 4 home runs, 33 runs scored, 18 RBI and 28 stole bases in 36 attempts. He has actually shown improvement at the plate in each of the first three months of the season:
The monthly improvement is a very good sign for the young speedster, and I am beginning to think he will overtake Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon in the stolen base category in short order if he can keep this up.
Reds third baseman Todd Frazier is having a bounce back season after disappointing fantasy owners in 2013. Frazier had a good night at the plate last night, going 2-5 with a game winning home run, 2 runs scored and an RBI in the Reds 6-5 win over division rival Pirates. Frazier raised his slash line to .276-.349-.524 with 16 home runs, 44 runs scored, 40 RBI and 7 stolen bases this season, and is on pace to hit 38 home runs and drive in 94. Why is he hitting in the two spot in the Reds lineup? He probably won't hit more than 30 home runs, but in a league where power is down, he has been pretty valuable for his fantasy owners this season.
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