Prospect Buy and Hold
Now that Oscar Taveras and Marcus Stroman were called up, we all want to know when Gregory Polanco and Joc Pederson will be called up to the big leagues, as they are the next prospects in line to make an impact on your fantasy teams. But who are some other top prospects who can help you this season? Jason Hunt publishes his weekly Buy and Hold article every Saturday morning, ranking his top 10 prospects in line for a call up, along with some other prospects to consider as well.
Top 25 Fantasy Prospects for 2014
Matt Mattingly offered Fake Teams readers his midseason Top 25 Fantasy Prospect rankings on Sunday morning, and his rankings will make Cubs fans very happy.
Matt also offered readers his take on which prospects will be called up after the silly Super Two deadline:
Gregory Polanco: Pirates leadoff hitter?
Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco is one of the best hitting prospects in baseball and is due to be called up within the next few weeks, or sooner. He has the power to be a middle of the order hitter down the road, but a recent report indicates the Pirates, who really don't have a leadoff hitter presently, are going to give Polanco a shot at hitting in the leadoff spot upon his call up.
Gregory Polanco shifted to the top of the order for the Class AAA Indianapolis Indians Saturday, a move designed to prepare him for an eventual promotion to the Pirates, general manager Neal Huntington said.
Polanco had been batting third for the Indians, a spot that belongs to reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen on the Pirates.
"As he's shown us more and more signs that he may be putting himself in a position to take that next step, we wanted to make sure we didn't ask him to do something at the major league level that he hasn't done in a long time," Huntington said. "There are some things we're trying to get him used to. Right field is obviously a big one, and that's gone well. I don't know that he's going to hit third for us. ... The last time I checked we've got a pretty good guy there."
I don't need to tell you how good Polanco is, but the fact that he will be hitting leadoff once he is called up affords him the opportunity to steal more bases. It appears this is the final step he needs to take before getting called up within the next week or so. I doubt he is available in most leagues, but if he is, grab him if you can.
For more on the possible Polanco call up and the Pirates, make sure you check out Bucs Dugout, SB Nation's Pirates fan site.
Nelson Cruz: Can he hit 50?
After seeing Orioles DH Nelson Cruz hit his 20th home run of the season on Saturday night, I tweeted that I was sick to my stomach as I had the opportunity to keep Cruz at $28 in my AL only keeper league this season, and chose not to. My team is still competitive this season as I am currently in second place, so hopefully I can stay in contention the rest of the season even though that decision was not the smartest moves I have ever made.
Cruz is having a fantastic season at the plate, hitting .315-.383-.675 with 20 home runs, 39 runs scored and 52 RBI hitting in the middle of the Orioles lineup. Last season, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis hit 54 home runs, and this season Cruz is on pace to hit 59 home runs. It might be too early to start thinking about this, but he does have a decent shot at hitting 50.
Or does he? He left Sunday's game after being hit by a pitch on his left hand. The injury is being called a contusion by the team, so he may just miss a game or two.
For more on Cruz's hot start and the Orioles, make sure you check out Camden Chat, SB Nation's Orioles fan site.
White Sox ace Chris Sale might be the most dominant starter in the game right now. On Sunday, he limited the Padres to just one run in a complete game two-hitter, walking none and striking out nine in the White Sox 4-1 win. He is now 5-0 with a 1.59 ERA, a 0.60 WHIP and a 52-8 strikeout to walk rate in 45.1 innings. He has given up just three hits and one earned run in his last three starts covering 18 innings. His last start lasted just three innings, I assume due to a rain delay.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout is dealing with a back injury and missed Saturday's game as a result. Here is Angels manager Mike Scioscia on his injury:
"It just came on today," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "He has a hard time rotating. We were going to try to see if he could go out there and swing, but it's just not quite loose enough to where you want him to risk any further injury."
Hopefully he can avoid the disabled list as he has started to hit again after a slump moved his batting average down to .263. Since then, he has hit in ten straight games, bringing his average back to the more Trout-like .294. He still has only five stolen bases, and this back injury probably will keep him from running in the near future.
Rays outfielder Wil Myers was placed on the disabled list on Sunday due to a sprained right wrist. Lucky for him it is now the left wrist as that is the wrist where he gets his power being a right handed hitter. Hopefully the wrist injury does not linger during the season, as they sometimes can affect a hitter even after declared healthy for game action.
Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Polliock will miss the next 5-8 weeks with a broken right hand suffered after being hit by a Johnny Cueto pitch on Saturday night. Pollock was in the middle of his best year of his short career before the injury. The Diamondbacks now are missing two-thirds of their starting outfield with Mark Trumbo on the DL with a foot injury.
Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna had a rookie season not unlike many other rookies. He started off real hot, pitchers figured out his weaknesses, and he didn't make adjustments before a season ending thumb injury. Well. all rookies don't get injured like he did. He came into the 2014 season battling for the starting center field job and won the starting role in spring training. It appears he made some adjustments at the plate as he is faring better this season. Yesterday, he went 2-3 with a walk and a two-run home run in the Marlins 4-2 loss to the Braves. Ozuna is now hitting .265-.313-.446 with 10 home runs, 25 runs scored and 35 RBI hitting in the sixth spot in the Marlins lineup. He doesn't walk as much as you'd like, but he is hitting for power and driving in runs, and outperforming expectations to this point. The fact that he is on pace to hit 29 home runs and drive in over 100 runs tells you some regression is expected going forward, but if he can reach those projections, he will be a highly sought after outfielder on draft day in 2015.
Maybe Mark Buehrle can continue pitching like an ace the rest of the season. I am not counting on it, but he continues to baffle American League hitters, and on Sunday, he tossed a complete game shutout in the Blue Jays 4-0 win over the Royals. Buehrle is the first MLB pitcher to 10 wins, and is now 10-1 with a 2.10 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and a very low 46-20 strikeout to walk rate in 81.1 innings. He has now given up two runs or less in 10 of his 12 starts this season. He has now beaten Boston, Tampa Bay and Kansas City twice this season, accounting for six of his ten wins.
While Charlie Blackmon has received more praise for his surprising start to the 2014 season, the guy he battled in spring training is quietly having himself a solid season as well. He went 1--4 with a home run and two RBI in the Rockies 6-4 loss on Sunday. Dickerson has hit in 8 of his last 10 game appearances (he pinch hit a few times) and is now hitting .341-.396-.682 with 7 home runs, 17 runs scored and 16 RBI in just 94 plate appearances. The Rockies may have a decision to make once they return home this week as Blackmon has hit just .260-.288-.430 in May after a very hot April.
There is nothing more frustrating than dropping a player and watching him throw a complete game shutout against one of the best lineups in baseball, but that is exactly what I did with Mariners young starter Roenis Elias. Elias came into Sunday's start giving up three runs or more in four of his last five starts, but he tossed a complete game shutout in the Mariners 4-0 win. Elias limited the Tigers to just three hits, a walk and eight strikeouts and is now 4-4 with a 3.53 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and a 65-27 strikeout to walk rate in 74 innings this season.
I dropped Elias in my AL only keeper league, grabbing Red Sox starter Rubby De La Rosa for $5 off the league waiver wire after his seven shut out innings on Saturday night. So goes the quick decision to drop Elias, but I think it was the right decision. For now.
For more fantasy baseball (and football) news and rankings, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, your one stop for all the fantasy news you need on a daily basis.