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 150 prospects lists 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 2015 value, and do not include any players that are currently in the Major Leagues.
1. Kris Bryant (Cubs)
Currently at: AAA Iowa
Likely Call Up: by April 20th
The season has begun for both the Chicago Cubs and the Iowa Cubs, and with Bryant still in AAA as expected. For him to fail to reach the magical 172 days of service time this year, Bryant can't appear on the major league roster before April 14th by my calculation, and I don't think the Cubs leave it to chance and give him another day or two. They will start a new home series on 4/17 against San Diego, and I think he's up on that date. (That does screw with Iowa a bit though, as they start the year on an eight-game road trip and their home opener is the same day, meaning Bryant might not actually play in Iowa again this year.)
2. Carlos Rodon (White Sox)
Currently at: AAA Charlotte
Likely Call Up: End of May?
Rodon is expected to make his first start of the season in Charlotte tonight, and that currently puts him on the same turn as Jeff Samardzija. I still think we see Rodon at some point in May, as there really isn't a lot left for him to work on in the minors. Hector Noesi only lasted 4 2/3 innings in his start against the Twins, including 6 strikeouts but also 6 walks. I just don't see the White Sox sticking with him if he pitches like that, especially given that the Twins aren't exactly setting the world on fire at the plate on their own.
3. Rusney Castillo (Red Sox) (Up 2)
Currently at: AAA Pawtucket
Likely Call Up: First group of injuries, so maybe no later than June 1st?
Castillo will likely need injuries to some combination of outfielders to be called up for consistent playing time, but it's not exactly like Shane Victorino has been a beacon of health in previous years. Castillo has had two excellent games already at AAA, so it's also possible at some point in the next few weeks that Castillo forces the Red Sox to bring him up with his play on the field.
4. Noah Syndergaard (Mets)
Currently at: AAA Las Vegas
Likely Call Up: End of May
I think the Mets are able to trade a starting pitcher at some point in the next month or two, at which point they can bring up Syndergaard without worrying too much about service time. Ideally they find someone that can give them a better defensive shortstop after last night's game.
5. Andrew Heaney (Angels) (Down 2)
Currently at: AAA Salt Lake City
Likely Call Up: Spot starts unless there is an injury
Heaney made his first start of the season for Salt Lake City last night in Sacramento, going 7 shutout innings, striking out eight and getting the win. He moves down on the list not because I think he can have a lesser impact if he is called up, but more because with the anticipated return of Garrett Richards, I'm not sure we see Heaney until potentially mid-season.
These are players that I don't necessarily see a clear path for right now, but could have a large impact if they are called up. I wouldn't necessarily hold them yet in shallow formats, but deeper ones would be worth a shot.
Yasmany Tomas (Diamondbacks) - Tomas can hit, which is good because it doesn't sound like he's all that good on defense. He probably qualifies at third base in a number of leagues because of the Diamondbacks' attempt to play him there, but he's going to end up in the outfield when he is called back up.
Francisco Lindor (Indians) - I don't think we see Lindor before the All-Star break unless there is an injury with Jose Ramirez that will be a fairly long stay, but could jump into the top five as the season moves along.
Jon Singleton (Astros) - He'd have to unseat one of Carter or Gattis really, but for a team that has struggled on offense as much as they have early on, Singleton could be an option if they decide to make a change.