The long, national nightmare is over: the Mets have finally called up outfield prospect Michael Conforto. Maybe watching the team get dominated by the best pitcher in the game on Thursday night was finally the last straw? The team finally decided that Michael Cuddyer was not healthy enough to take up a roster spot and put him on the disabled list, clearing a path to playing time for Conforto. Conforto will likely be the everyday left fielder, and may already be the best hitter in that lineup on some days. He can potentially provide batting average with some solid power production down the stretch, but is jumping up from AA and could struggle.
The Cardinals also called up their top prospect, Stephen Piscotty, with the aim of getting him in the lineup at first base. However, the team has played him twice in left field but has missed the last two games due to injury. He has shown more power this year, as many had hoped he could develop, and could provide a solid batting average with 5-7 home runs down the stretch. I'd stand pat though at this second until it appears he might get back in the lineup.
The Nationals' trade with the Padres continues to look better and better for them, as Joe Ross has helped to keep the Nationals' rotation strong while they have been without Stephen Strasburg. He's probably going to stay up until Strasburg is ready to return, which could be another couple weeks still. He's worth a grab in nearly every format, as he can provide solid ratios and strikeouts while he's up.
I'm also anticipating that the Dodgers (who haven't named starters for Saturday and Sunday as of lunchtime Friday), will call up Zach Lee to make at least one of those starts. It's been a bit of a long path for Lee toward the majors, and can provide a nice spot start for sure if he goes this weekend against the Mets. Beyond that, it's unclear how long he would be up with Brett Anderson's injury and Zack Greinke expected to return from the paternity list after the weekend.
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)
Week 16: Michael Conforto (6), Joe Ross (9), Stephen Piscotty (11)
Olivera still has not played in a game at AAA since he got injured, and with that in mind I think that Seager has a better shot to be called up sooner than Olivera. I know they're paying Jimmy Rollins a lot of money, but at some point they have to bench him and his ~.600 OPS for Seager.
4. Rusney Castillo - OF - Red Sox (PR: 4)
5. Daniel Norris - LHP - Blue Jays (PR: 5)
6. Aaron Judge - OF - Yankees (PR: 7)
7. Richie Shaffer - 3B - Rays (PR: 8)
8. Dalton Pompey - OF - Blue Jays (PR: HM)
Pompey has been hitting well for almost two months now between AA and AAA, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Jays looked to make him the key prospect going out in a trade for some pitching help. The team has announced that Aaron Sanchez won't return to the rotation when he is healthy, so a trade could help them a lot.
9. Jon Gray - RHP - Rockies (PR: 10)
Gray was almost called up to make his debut on Sunday, but the Rockies opted to go with Eddie Butler instead. Gray pitched well in his last start on the 19th, and honestly at some point he's probably a better option than Chris Rusin.
The Twins could really use some help in the pitching staff, probably more in the bullpen than the rotation. Berrios could potentially fill either role, and while I don't think it's extremely likely they go this route, he could help fantasy teams in either role.
13. Robert Stephenson - RHP - Reds (PR: 15)
14. Henry Owens - LHP - Red Sox (PR: 14)
15. Nomar Mazara - OF - Rangers (PR: NR)
If I thought the Rangers could actually put Mazara somewhere on the field on a regular basis for the big club, he'd be much higher, as he is expected to be an impact bat having already reached AA at age 20. But with Choo, Hamilton, Martin, and DeShields (as well as Gallo in the minors), I don't see the path to playing time right now.
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: 2)
3. J.P. Crawford - SS - Phillies (PR: 3)
4. Julio Urias - LHP - Dodgers (PR: 4)
5. Nomar Mazara - OF - Rangers (PR: 5)
6. Tim Anderson - SS - White Sox (PR: 6)
7. Rusney Castillo - OF - Red Sox (PR: 7)
8. Chi-Chi Gonzalez - RHP - Rangers (PR: 8)
9. Aaron Judge - OF - Yankees (PR: 9)
10. Trea Turner - SS - Nationals (PR: 10)