We're almost into the final month, and with that comes the expanded rosters. With teams able to add anyone on the 40-man roster to their major league roster, we're going to see a number of prospects get called up to help down the stretch. For some, it will be the potential to help out with the final stretch run toward the playoffs. For others, their teams are looking to find out who might be helpful in 2016, and whether they will need to add players during the offseason. Either way, these players could be helpful to your fantasy team for the final run, even with that short playing time.
Rather than ranking these players in a specific order, I have opted instead to group them by the categories that they could help with, as many of you are probably looking for specific help in the final month, especially in roto leagues.
Power (HR, RBI)
Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara (Rangers) - Gallo is already on the 40-man roster, so he's a bit more likely than Mazara to get the call. Both are known for their power, with Mazara potentially providing batting average as well. I don't see either getting a ton of playing time down the stretch, but could still be good for a few home runs even in limited action.
Hector Olivera (Braves) - Olivera is getting closer to joining the Braves, who continue to run Adonis Garcia out at third base while they wait. Olivera should get the majority of starts in September, giving him more value than a lot of the other players on this list simply due to the number of at bats and potential for counting stats.
Trevor Story (Rockies) - Story has to be added to the 40-man this offseason, and if by some chance the Rockies do manage to trade Jose Reyes before August 31st, Story would be the natural candidate to replace him.
Javier Baez (Cubs) - Baez has been red hot at AAA Iowa, hitting .315/.379/.550 since returning to AAA in late July. It's not clear where he would play on a regular basis for the Cubs, but if he gets hot he could supplant La Stella and hit four to five home runs in a week.
Adam Duvall (Reds) - Acquired for Mike Leake, Duvall has hit 30 home runs this year in the minors between Sacramento and Louisville, and could theoretically see time at 1B, 3B, and in left field.
Batting Average (AVG)
Brandon Drury (Diamondbacks) - Chris Owings has not been playing all that well this year, but is in the middle of a bit of a hot streak these past couple weeks. Drury can play both third and second base, and could see time at both positions since he is already on the 40-man roster.
Mallex Smith (Braves) - Smith was acquired from the Padres this offseason in the Justin Upton trade, and has hit .311 with 50 steals between AA and AAA this year. He's a high contact, high speed prospect that looks more like a potential everyday center fielder with each passing week.
Max Kepler (Twins) - Kepler is destroying AA pitching to the tune of a .341/.426/.569 slash line this year while splitting time between the outfield and first base. I'm not convinced that they give him the playing time to make a significant batting average impact, but he could provide a good average when he does play.
Corey Seager (Dodgers) - Seager has gotten hot of late, hitting .302 with a pair of home runs since the start of August. Where he plays at this point remains to be seen, as their infield has solidified somewhat, but he can potentially provide positive value as well.
Speed (SB, R)
Orlando Arcia (Brewers) - The Brewers are looking to 2016, and I can see them adding Arcia to their 40-man roster (they only have 37 right now), and giving him a long look during September to see whether Jean Segura can be traded this offseason. Arcia is hitting .301 with 8 home runs and 23 steals in 31 attempts this year at AA Biloxi.
Eric Young Jr (Mets) - The Mets recently acquired Young from the Braves, and I could see them using him as a pinch running specialist down the stretch here. The speed hasn't really changed, with 23 steals in 69 minor league games this year.
Terrance Gore (Royals) - Gore has 38 steals this season at AA, and had five last year in 11 appearances in September. The speed is blinding, but you may not even get plate appearances with it.
Tyrell Jenkins (Braves) - The other pitcher acquired from the Cardinals in the Jason Heyward trade, Jenkins has reached AAA and could be in line for a rotation spot in 2016.
Jesse Biddle (Phillies) - Biddle is using his second option this year, and it makes some sense to me that the Phillies would want to find out if he will be a part of the rotation to start 2016.
Tyler Glasnow (Pirates) - Glasnow has been excellent at AAA so far, and with the Pirates still not having A.J. Burnett back, Glasnow could help out with strikeouts either as a starter or a reliever.
Kyle Crick (Giants) - Crick has electric stuff, but it's still not clear he knows exactly where it is going. He's been working as a reliever at AA, and could help the Giants with some extra innings in September.
Jharel Cotton (Dodgers) - The Dodgers moved Cotton up to AAA and are having him work out of the bullpen despite developing as a starting pitcher. If you've watched the Dodgers' bullpen over the past couple months, you know they can use all the help they can get.
Julio Urias (Dodgers) - I can see the Dodgers also bringing up Urias to help out of the pen, as he could be a nasty option from the left side for a bullpen in some dire need of help. He won't be a reliever long-term, but it would definitely help limit his innings this season.
Options for Super Deep Leagues
The odds are that these players are already owned in deep formats, but if you're just looking for lottery tickets, these players could be it.
Bubba Starling (Royals) - Starling is finally showing some of the production that was anticipated when he went with the fifth overall pick back in 2011, as he has hit .280 with 10 home runs and six stolen bases in 91 games between High-A and AA. I can see the Royals adding him to the roster to help as a defensive replacement in September, and to help rest their starters down the stretch.
Brandon Nimmo (Mets) - Nimmo will almost assuredly be added to the 40-man roster this offseason, but I don't really see him getting regular playing time if he's added to the 40-man roster in September, and if he does, it's likely just an empty average without much power or speed to go with it.
Robert Stephenson (Reds) - Stephenson will need to be added this offseason as well, and with the Reds going with a ton of rookies in their rotation, I can see them using Stephenson to move to a 6-man rotation to help limit all their innings over the season's final month, but I don't know what the odds of this are unfortunately.