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 ten 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
George Springer, Trevor Bauer, Tommy La Stella, Marcus Stroman, Jon Singleton, Eddie Butler, Kevin Gausman, Gregory Polanco,
Andrew Heaney, Jake Marisnick, Oscar Taveras, Taijuan Walker, Mookie Betts, Arismendy Alcantara, Jimmy Nelson
This Week's Graduates
1. Joc Pederson (#32)
RANK LAST WEEK: 1 (No change)
BLOCKED BY: The four-headed outfield machine that is Puig, Crawford
, Kemp, Ethier and Van Slyke
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME OF CALLUP: The second that another of these four are required to go on the disabled list.
We've heard this week that Matt Kemp might be open to a trade if it would mean he might play everyday, although realistically that doesn't change the amount of outfielders blocking Pederson from the starting lineup. More likely, the best case scenario for fantasy owners is that Pederson is included in a blockbuster trade to acquire something for the Dodgers.
2. Andrew Heaney (#34)
RANK LAST WEEK: 2 (No change)
BLOCKED BY: Unclear
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: Late July
A fifth starter for the Marlins has not been announced yet, but Heaney started on Thursday night (just 72 pitches over 2 2/3 innings pitched), and would be on normal rest for the 5th starter slot come Tuesday against the Braves. Just saying...
3. Javier Baez (#3)
RANK LAST WEEK: 3 (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 Late August
Baez appeared at the Futures Game last Sunday, and absolutely destroyed a pitch from Lucas Giolito to right-center field. We also saw Baez make his first start at second base this week, which will undoubtedly lead to speculation that Baez could be up very soon. He's been hitting better as the season has progressed, but it's still possible we don't see Baez at all this year.
4. Taijuan Walker (#6)
RANK LAST WEEK: Graduate
BLOCKED BY: The Mariners' front office?
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: early August
It was announced that Walker will not be called up for the fifth starter spot out of the All-Star break, as had been previously anticipated last week. The team wants him to make a few more starts it appears, so hopefully we see him in Seattle by the start of the month. His name, not unexpectedly, has come up in trade rumors with the possibility that the Mariners could look to acquire Ben Zobrist or David Price from the Rays.
5. Noah Syndergaard (#19)
RANK LAST WEEK: 4 (-1)
Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon?
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: Mid August
At this point, the Mets will get Jon Niese back from the disabled list next week, and with it the most likely opening in the rotation is gone. That said, Bartolo Colon's name has also been in trade rumors lately, and barring an injury, would be the most likely way for Syndergaard to get the call to the bigs.
6. Alex Meyer (#51)
RANK LAST WEEK: 5 (-1)
Mike Pelfrey, Sam Deduno and Kevin Correia, Yohan Pino, Kris Johnson
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP:
June late July
Meyer appeared at the Futures Game as well, throwing the extremely efficient four pitch, one inning outing against the World squad. It looks a lot more likely that Trevor May is being set up to take the spot of Kevin Correia in the rotation, but the team still has not announced all five of their starters for the rotation after the All-Star break.
7. Jonathan Gray (#22)
RANK LAST WEEK: 6 (-1)
Franklin Morales, Tyler Matzek and Franklin Morales
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: August
Eddie Butler was expected to be activated to make the start for the Rockies on Tuesday, but pitched in a rehab outing on Friday night. The 5th starter spot is still open for Tuesday as a result, and the options on the 40-man roster include Christian Friedrich and Jair Jurrjens. With Jurrjens slated to start today, and Friedrich not currently on the announced schedule. he may be the best fit. We'd all rather see Gray at this point, but it looks more likely that he's in the minors until September at this point.
8. Kris Bryant (#8)
RANK LAST WEEK: 9 (+1)
BLOCKED BY: Mike Olt and Luis Valbuena
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: Mid-August
Bryant was at the Futures Game last week as well, and just continues to demolish the PCL when there. At this point, I'm sure there are things that Bryant could be working on at the level, but hitting may not be one of them. The hard part in the majors right now is that if the Cubs call up Bryant, they essentially eliminate nearly all playing time for both Mike Olt and Luis Valbuena. Another month of hitting like this would force their hands.
9. Archie Bradley (#7)
RANK LAST WEEK: 7 (-2)
BLOCKED BY: Trevor Cahill, Vidal Nuno, Josh Collmenter
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: Late August
The Diamondbacks appear ready to start the sell-off, having traded Brandon McCarthy earlier in the month. However, they also brought Trevor Cahill back to the major leagues, installed him in the rotation, and have likely put off any thoughts of a call up for Bradley for another few weeks. Realistically, Bradley has not yet returned to AAA Reno, so the organization will probably want to see that before contemplating a call-up.
10. Wilmer Flores (#157)
RANK LAST WEEK: 8 (-2)
BLOCKED BY: Daniel Murphy
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME FOR CALLUP: August 1st
Even with the All-Star appearance and the rumored discussions of an extension, I think that Flores is installed as the everyday second baseman after the trade deadline, with Daniel Murphy elsewhere in the majors.
Honorable Mentions (in Alphabetical Order by Group)
Matt Davidson, 3B, CHW (#64)
Maikel Franco, 3B, PHI (#36)
Francisco Lindor, SS, CLE (#35)
Jake Marisnick, OF, MIA (#69)
Rob Refsnyder, 2B/OF, NYY (NR) - Refsnyder falls off the list this week, as the Yankees have made clear that they don't have plans right now to bring him up this year. It's obviously not impossible, but with that being unlikely, his fantasy value to owners for this year dissipates with it.
Trevor May, RHP, MIN (NR)
Rafael Montero, RHP, NYM (#95)
Robert Stephenson, RHP, CIN (#17)
Matt Wisler, RHP, SDP (#67)