We saw Kyle Schwarber go out and dominate at the Futures Game, throwing out a baserunner and also hitting a two-run triple en route to the MVP award, and it looks like we may be seeing him for the foreseeable future in the majors as well. The Cubs opted to call up the catcher/outfielder with the injury to Miguel Montero, and inserted him into the starting lineup as the catcher on Friday. Sounds like he's going to potentially get at least a few starts at the position, which should help with qualifying both this year and for 2016.
Maddon said Schwarbers in play to catch any starter but Lester and Arrieta. Won't use him in OF at least right away.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) July 17, 2015
Schwarber can be a top 10 catcher (if he qualifies in your league, which he does in Yahoo already) for the rest of season. He went 3 for 4 last night, and if he's available for some reason, grab him now.
We will also see the major league debut of Phillies' prospect Aaron Nola, who will make his first start on Tuesday against the Rays. Nola should be up for the rest of the season, and can be a solid pickup in nearly all formats due to the potential for a low WHIP and some decent strikeout totals. Just don't bank on getting wins too often.
The Red Sox also announced they would call up Brian Johnson right after last week's post ran to take Clay Buchholz's spot in the rotation, and is expected to start on Tuesday. He's a streaming candidate in most formats, and worth a look depending on matchup.
So who's next? Which prospect is still worth holding onto now for when they are called up to the majors later?
Week 3: Kris Bryant, Yasmany Tomas
Week 4: Carlos Rodon, Addison Russell, Kevin Plawecki
Week 5: Dilson Herrera, Blake Swihart
Week 6: Noah Syndergaard, Austin Hedges, Eddie Rosario, Preston Tucker
Week 7: Maikel Franco, Lance McCullers Jr.
Rusney Castillo, Wilmer Difo
Week 9: Eduardo Rodriguez,
Chi Chi Gonzalez, Michael Feliz
Joey Gallo, Joe Ross, Mike Montgomery, Scott Schebler
Week 11: Carlos Correa, Mason Williams
Week 12: Byron Buxton, Francisco Lindor,
Kyle Schwarber (sort of), Matt Wisler, Adam Morgan
Week 13: Andrew Heaney (7), Steven Matz (4), Alex Meyer, Justin Nicolino
Week 14: Miguel Sano (6), Wilmer Difo
Week 15: Brian Johnson (15), Kyle Schwarber (3), Aaron Nola (5)
The call up of Schwarber moves Seager (along with everyone else) up another spot and back into the top three. I'm not ready to move Olivera behind Seager yet in spite of the injury and the fact that he has not returned to the field at AAA yet, but if he's still not playing by Tuesday, it may be time.
Conforto made his presence known at the Futures Game as well, throwing out a runner at home from left field as well as getting hits in both at bats. The fact that Michael Cuddyer may not be able to play on an everyday basis could open up some time for someone like Conforto, but I don't know if I see the Mets putting Cuddyer on the disabled list at the moment. I can also see that if the Yankees decide to bring up Judge to help in the lineup, he could hit 5 HR a month with regular playing time.
Piscotty has been getting time at first base as the Cardinals look for someone, anyone really, to give them production at the position with Adams out and playing Mark Reynolds and Dan Johnson at the position, but it's not clear yet how long they will look for him to play there before feeling comfortable bringing him up. He's showing substantially more power in his second go-around at AAA, including a .201 ISO through Thursday's games.
12. Luis Severino - RHP - Yankees (PR: 14)
13. Justin Nicolino - LHP - Marlins (PR: NR)
With rumors running rampant that the Marlins are making available free agent to be starters Mat Latos and Dan Haren, Nicolino would be the next in line to get any vacated rotation spot. I think that at least one of the two gets traded before the deadline, and we see Nicolino in the first week of August.
14. Henry Owens - LHP - Red Sox (PR: NR)
15. Robert Stephenson - RHP - Reds (PR: NR)
With the Reds about to potentially move a pair of starting pitchers in Cueto and Leake in the next two weeks, they are going to need to replace them, and realistically they have David Holmberg and Donn Roach (waiver claim) as healthy options to fill in. They are also stretching out Tony Cingrani as he recovers on the disabled list, but I think they bring Stephenson up before the end of August as well.
Right now I don't really see a place for any of these three prospects to play based on how their teams are constructed, but if the Braves make a move to send Cameron Maybin out of town, I would look at Peraza as the best fantasy option to replace him.
For Those About to Rebuild, We Salute You
If you're already rebuilding with an aim toward the 2016 season (or rapidly looking like you should), you're probably looking for prospects to target that have a reasonably good chance at contributing for a majority of 2016. This list isn't necessarily likely to be drastically different from the list above some weeks, and should more closely resemble the top of the fantasy prospect rankings.
1. Corey Seager - SS - Dodgers (PR:1)
2. Joey Gallo - 3B/OF - Rangers (PR: 3)
3. J.P. Crawford - SS - Phillies (PR: 4)
4. Julio Urias - LHP - Dodgers (PR: 5)
5. Nomar Mazara - OF - Rangers (PR: 6)
6. Tim Anderson - SS - White Sox (PR: 7)
7. Rusney Castillo - OF - Red Sox (PR: 9)
8. Chi-Chi Gonzalez - RHP - Rangers (PR: 10)
9. Aaron Judge - OF - Yankees (PR: NR)
10. Trea Turner - SS - Nationals (PR: NR)