Eye on the Minors: May Call-Ups & More

Scott Slezak analyzes minor league prospects recently called up to MLB, who may contribute as fantasy baseball sleepers. Also read which MLB prospects may be next.

Scott Slezak - RotoBaller

 

MLB Prospects Who Got The Call-Up

We are getting to the point of the season where teams are calling up MLB prospects from the minors faster than I can include them in my weekly reports.  I’ll start this week with two prospects that are already seeing major league action now.

 

Kevin Gausman, (SP, BAL)

By Keith Allison (Flickr: Kevin Gausman) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I just got finished watching Gausman’s 2014 debut against the Tigers and like his five starts with the O’s last May, it wasn’t pretty. The 23-year old prospect allowed five runs and six hits in four innings of work, departing after throwing 87 pitches.  It is no sin to struggle against Detroit’s top offense, but one has to wonder how long Gausman will stay in the O’s rotation if he both continues to give up runs and depart early.  Every scouting report you read raves about his velocity and plus changeup and projects him as a number-two starter in the bigs, with potential ace value in fantasy leagues.

He’s worth a pick-up as a matchup play or a “wait-and-see” option if your rotation is struggling this year. If he puts it together, he can have value in four categories.  It is anyone’s guess how the Baltimore rotation will pan out, as apparently they are going with a series-by-series approach with their starters. Gausman will need to produce results soon to be a reliable option for either  Buck Schowalter or your fantasy team.

 

Rougned Odor, (2B, TEX)

With the absence of starting second baseman Jurickson Profar, the Rangers have struggled to find production at the position. After the failed experiment with Josh Wilson and an injury to Donnie Murphy, Texas turned to Rougned Odor, their top prospect, to fill in at the keystone.  This is expected to be a temporary arrangement as the Rangers are just trying to fill the position until Profar is ready to return. Odor is only 20 years old, but has shot up through the Rangers’ system and is regarded as the top second baseman in the minors.  He has the potential to devlop into a .300 hitting/15 homer guy at a hard-to-fill position. The problem is that he is effectively blocked by Profar at second base and Andrus at shortstop, so his future may lie with another team. At his prime, Odor projects as an all-star at second, but that’s a few years away. For now, he’s a viable fill-in for, say, a fantasy team that lost Kipnis for a month, but not much more than that this year.

 

MLB Prospects Who May Get The Call-Up

And here are a few more guys who could make an impact later this season, if an opportunity arises at the big league level.

 

Cam Bedrosian, (RP, LAA)

Mike Scoscia can’t be thrilled with his closer situation in Anaheim. Ernesto Frieri lost the job due to ineffectiveness, only to be replaced by Joe Smith who is better served in a setup role. Now, Frieri is supposedly back in the role, as Smith pitched the 8th and Frieri finished up the Angels’ win on Tuesday night. If the situation changes again, the Angels might look to their farm system to Bedrosian, who is tearing up the minors this season. Bedrosian was drafted as a starter and is a TJ surgery survivor who was shifted to the bullpen after an ineffective beginning to the 2013 season. The knock on him has been his command/control, which had made him very hittable out of the rotation. But as a reliever, he abandoned his curveball and ratcheted up the velocity on his fastball for shorter spurts. That change has worked well for him as evidenced by his 37 strikeouts in 17 innings between high-A ball and double-A. The son of former closer and Cy Young winner Steve Bedrosian, Cam has a chance to debut with the Angels this year and could be a sneaky source of saves if their other options aren’t effective.

 

Kris Bryant, (3B, CHC)

I have to include Kris Bryant again because he is red hot for the double-A Tennessee Smokies. In the past week, he added five more home runs to his total. He currently leads all minor leaguers in runs scored and is second in RBI. In the Southern League, he is five average points away from a mid-season Triple Crown with his .324 BA, 11 homers and 33 RBI through Tuesday’s games. When he arrives in the big leagues, he is an immediate must-add. He has very little to prove in the minors.

 

Byron Buxton, (OF, MIN)

Buxton had only 20 at bats at Fort Myers before injuring his wrist again. An MRI revealed that it was a re-aggravation of the injury he suffered in spring training, diving for a ball. This time, he tweaked the wrist on a feet-first slide on the base paths. There is no time-table for his return, but he could be sidelined until at least July. Given that he is going to miss two months of development time, the odds are slim that he’ll be helping fantasy teams this season.

 

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Article by Scott Slezak - RotoBaller

I have attended games at all 30 Major League stadiums. I split time between New Jersey and Scottsdale, Arizona, the center of the baseball universe - Spring Training, Arizona Fall League and home to many MLB players past and present. When pitchers and catchers report, I report. Baseball love transcends to rotisserie, Strat-o-Matic and Scoresheet. Invent a platform for a baseball game, and I'll play it. A source of roto information emanating from Cactus League Spring Training and beyond.
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