It's definitely been a strange year for prospects. Just looking at my preseason top 150 list, there have been 27 of the top 50 prospects on the list who have debuted, including 12 of the top 20 overall. We saw four more prospects get the call this week, as a number of contenders have reached the point where even a minimal impact by a prospect can help them down the stretch. We're likely going to see a bunch of call ups on September 1st as well, as some teams may also get a look at players they have to protect on the 40-man roster this offseason.
It seemed like the Twins were going to wait until the rosters expanded to bring Byron Buxton back up, but an injury to the surprisingly productive Aaron Hicks pushed the issue to the forefront. Minnesota continues to hang around in the wild card, just three games back through Thursday's game despite being a game under .500 as well. Odds are that Buxton isn't available in your league, but if he is, he's worth a grab on the chance that he could steal 5-7 bases in September.
I had planned on moving Trea Turner very high on this week's list when the Nationals announced they were calling him up on Friday afternoon, and removing him from contention for the list at all. He had been getting reps at second base this week at AAA, and the team has been in dire need of help there this year. His speed is his carrying tool, and if he plays regularly could also help with 5-7 down the stretch.
The first prospect from the Carlos Gomez trade to get a call up this year is the Brewers' Domingo Santana, who should get an extended look from now until the end of the year. The raw tools make him a potential 20 HR/20 SB candidate, and while he's playing center field Friday night, it's no guarantee he can play defense well enough there to stick at that position. He's an interesting lottery ticket in most leagues, but you may want to watch for matchups that could favor him.
Last is a prospect who had fallen so far off the radar that it was an open question whether he would be converted to pitching, but that isn't to be. The Angels brought up Kaleb Cowart this week to play third base, after hitting .323/.395/.491 in the PCL over 62 games. He's an interesting AL-only play since he'll be getting regular playing time with the DFA of Conor Gillaspie, but I wouldn't grab him except in those leagues.
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)
Week 17: Rusney Castillo (4), Daniel Norris (5), Luis Severino (10), Ketel Marte
Week 18: Henry Owens (7),
Richie Shaffer (5), Jon Gray (8)
Week 19: Justin Nicolino (7),
Jose Peraza (HM), Greg Bird (NR), Chi Chi Gonzalez
Week 20: Byron Buxton (2), Trea Turner (13), Domingo Santana (HM), Kaleb Cowart
1. Joey Gallo - 3B/OF - Rangers (PR: 1)
The Rangers acquired Will Venable this week, along with placing Josh Hamilton on the disabled list. The Rangers seem likely to bring him up when rosters expand in a little over a week, although with Venable on the roster i"m not sure how much Gallo plays each week.
2. Hector Olivera - 3B - Braves (PR: 4)
Olivera moved up to AAA Gwinnett on Thursday, and it seems reasonable at this point that the Braves could call him up as soon as next week. He still has to be added to Yahoo, so he's going to require a waiver claim to get him in all likelihood.
Stephenson hit the disabled list in Louisville after leaving his last start early, but it sounds like they were being more cautious than anything. He could be in line for a start as the Reds have been running out nothing but rookies for almost a month now.
Glasnow has pitched well at AAA so far, striking out 25 in 13 innings with a 1.29 ERA. I wouldn't expect him necessarily to be up making starts, but I could see him being a high strikeout reliever for the last month.
The Rays optioned Shaffer down to the minors in order to bring up another pitcher to help a depleted bullpen, but I think he's likely to be called up as soon as he's eligible. He's already shown the potential for power (2 HR in 8 games), and could give him an extended look in September to see where he fits on next year's roster.
9. Nomar Mazara - OF - Rangers (PR: 10)
10. Trevor Story - SS - Rockies (PR: 11)
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. Aaron Judge - OF - Yankees (PR: 7)
8. Tyler Glasnow - RHP - Pirates (PR: 9)
9. Bradley Zimmer - OF - Indians (PR: 10)
10. Josh Bell - 1B - Pirates (PR: NR)