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The weekend has come and gone, and some big name prospects that many thought would be called up are still riding the bus in the minor leagues. Many of these prospects are ready to go and are waiting in Triple-A for that call. It's no longer a question of if these players will be called up — they're proven their talent — it's now just a waiting game.

In the beginning of week 3, we'll take a look at four players sitting in Triple-A just itching for the chance to prove they can contribute in the majors. Some have gotten off to a slow start which has delayed their call-up, while others are simply waiting for an opening in the 25-man roster.

All owners should keep a close watch on how these four perform during this upcoming week, because as soon as they make the major league roster, they're likely to stay for a while and make a big impact.

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Acuña Matata - It Means No Worries

OF Ronald Acuña - Gwinnett Stripers (Triple-A: Atlanta Braves)

Upcoming games: vs Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 4/17-18, at Pawtucket 4/20-22

Many thought that Acuña would have been up as soon as the deadline passed for the Braves to secure another year of control. After hitting .432 with four homers, four steals and a 1.247 OPS during Spring Training it seemed like a sure-thing. But then he started the year off going 5-for-33 with one extra-base hit and 12 strikeouts over eight games in Gwinnett. Fantasy owners should keep an eye out for a breakout from the 20-year-old soon, as his .238 BABIP is more than 100 points lower than his career average, and his current 33.3 percent strikeout rate is a career-worst. There's a reason he's considered one of the best — if not the best — hitting prospect in baseball now, and he should show why this week.

 

SP Walker Buehler - Oklahoma City Dodgers (Triple-A: Los Angeles Dodgers)

Projected starts: at New Orleans 4/21, vs Iowa 4/27

It isn't much of a surprise that the top pitching prospect in the Dodgers' organization has gotten off to a good start in 2018. Sporting an 11.08 K/9 over three starts, Buehler has the second-lowest ERA in the team's rotation (2.08) and his 1.08 WHIP is third on the team among pitchers with at least 10 innings pitched. While Los Angeles has a full rotation right now, as soon as an injury crops up Buehler should be one of the first options the Dodgers turn to. In the meantime, Buehler will have two easy starts coming up against the New Orleans Baby Cakes and Iowa Cubs which both rank in the bottom-three for runs scored and batting average in the Pacific Coast League.

 

SP Jack Flaherty - Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A: St. Louis Cardinals)

Projected starts: at Omaha 4/18, at Iowa 4/23

Flaherty made only one start for the Cardinals before the return of Adam Wainwright sent him back down to Triple-A, but his continued success in the minors will have him back in St. Louis before long. Pitching at least six innings in each of his first two starts, Flaherty has a 2.77 ERA and 0.92 WHIP over 13 innings with an 11.08 K/9. His start this Wednesday against Oklahoma City will be a big test for the 22-year-old, as the Dodgers have the fewest strikeouts and the highest batting average in the Pacific Coast League. If he can pitch well against Oklahoma City then it should be safe to say he'll be back up in St. Louis in the not-too-distant future.

 

OF Willie Calhoun - Round Rock Express (Triple-A: Texas Rangers)

Upcoming games: vs Oklahoma City 4/17-20, vs Colorado Springs 4/21-23

After a slow start that saw his average sit at .190 and OPS at .465 through his first five games, Calhoun has raised his numbers across the board in the second week of the minor league season. Riding a nine-game hitting streak, Calhoun is now batting .268 with a home run and a .695 OPS through 12 games. Much like Acuña, Calhoun is expected to be called up to the majors sometime soon — most likely around the middle of May. For now though, Calhoun will be looking at a reunion with his former team as he faces the Oklahoma City Dodgers early this week followed by the Colorado Springs Sky Sox this weekend. It will be a tough stretch for Calhoun, as the Dodgers and Sky Sox are among the top-four teams in the Pacific Coast League in WHIP and ERA, but if he can keep up this hot streak against two tough pitching staffs it will bolster his case for an early call-up.

 

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