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Minor League Spotlight: Top Fantasy Prospects from Week 6


The Astros and the Cubs are eerily similar right now. Both are looking like they are on the verge of a potential postseason run for the first time in several years. They are loaded with young talent, both especially on offense, with just enough pitching to get them through games.

The Astros have more pitching with Collin McHugh and Dallas Keuchel leading a young and strong rotation where the Cubs have a loaded offense led by youngsters Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. So, who will be the next Bryant?

As of the end of week 6, the following group of prospects has been really solid for most of the year. They could potentially have a fantasy impact on this 2015 MLB season.

 

Carlos Correa (SS, HOU, Triple-A)

Stats: .286/.355/.429, 0 HR, 1 SB, 9.7% BB rate, 16.1% K rate
The Astros finally promoted Carlos Correa to Triple-A. It only took 29 games of absolutely demolishing Double-A pitching before the Astros decided that it was time to promote the 20-year-old shortstop to a more difficult level. Correa has played six games down there and has yet to hit a home run, but has still not missed out much in the slugging department. Four of his eight hits are doubles (the other four are all singles), he has a hit in every game except for one, and has scored a run each time, minus only three times, that he has reached base.

Correa is currently the top fantasy prospect as he figures to be called up very shortly and has all of the tools to have a prominent impact on a fantasy roster.

 

Jorge Polanco (SS, MIN, Double-A)

Stats: .309/.345/.456, 4 HR, 7 SB, 5.5% BB rate, 15.2% K rate
The Minnesota Twins have not received much production from the shortstop position this season. Fortunately, they have a clear solution in their system. Jorge Polanco isn’t very sharp defensively and he doesn’t have much power, but he has above average speed and a great eye at the plate. He has accumulated a lot of walks in his minor league career for someone without much power and typically keeps his strikeout rate below 15%.

Polanco was given a brief time in the Majors last season and could see some time in the Majors this season with the struggles of Danny Santana (.254/.270/.343 with no homers, only four stolen bases, and a massive 26.4% K rate to only a 1.4% BB rate).

 

Aaron Judge (OF, NYY, Double-A)

Stats: .314/.370/.521, 6 HR, 0 SB, 7.1% BB rate, 21.4% K rate
Aaron Judge was drafted with the 32nd overall pick in the 2013 draft and was heralded for his insane power. He has certainly not let the scouts down in that aspect. In only 34 games this season, Judge has accumulated six home runs and an ISO (isolated power is a statistic that measures overall power output without the influence of batting average) of .207 which shows the kind of power potential that he possesses. And while the Yankees have several outfielders already on their roster, one is struggling greatly (Garrett Jones), one is prone to injury (Carlos Beltran), and another is riding a hot streak that is sure to end soon (Chris Young). Aaron Judge could receive a call up this season and should be added onto any fantasy roster because of his game-changing power that could easily hit 25 home runs in a full season.

 

Aaron Blair (SP,ARI, Double-A)

Stats: 52.1 IP, 2.58 ERA, 4.23 FIP, 7.05 K/9, 2.41 BB/9, 1.03 HR/9
Aaron Blair may only be in Double-A, but he has a very realistic chance to make the Major League roster this season. He has pitched well enough in Double-A (his second time in Double-A after throwing 46.1 IP last season there) that a Triple-A call up could well be in the cards at some time in the early summer. Blair has a repertoire of three different pitches that he is able to throw for strikes. He has the kind of stuff that can generate enough strikeouts a season to earn him a spot on a fantasy roster that may be in need of pitching help. If the Dbacks are really in need of pitching, he could be called up before August. But my guess is that he will receive a September call up. In that month where fantasy playoffs are starting, Blair could be an excellent pickup and could help a playoff run for most fantasy teams.

 

Manny Banuelos (SP, ATL, Triple-A)

37.1 IP, 2.89 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 7.47 K/9, 4.10 BB/9, 0.48 HR/9
Manny Banuelos seemed to be headed to the front of a Major League Rotation at the end of 2011, but injuries in 2012 and eventual Tommy John surgery in 2013 sidetracked his career. He was traded from the Yankees to the Braves after a strong 2014 campaign for David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve. Banuelos looks like he could receive a promotion to the big league club soon especially considering that he hasn’t given up more than one run in a start since April 27.

Banuelos has elite stuff that could eventually be found at the front of a Major League rotation. Considering that the Braves will likely be major sellers come this trade deadline, Banuelos could receive a call up and eventually work his way into the rotation. He has in previous seasons demonstrated that he can strike a lot of hitters out and really just needs to work on a few command issues. When Banuelos is called up, he would be a great add to a fantasy roster for his near unhittable stuff.

 

Adrian Sampson (SP, PIT, Triple-A)

48.1 IP, 2.61 ERA, 2.38 FIP, 8.57 K/9, 2.23 BB/9, 0.19 HR/9
The Pirates will definitely find themselves in the playoff picture this year and could really use some help on pitching. Adrian Sampson is currently enjoying a breakout campaign in Triple-A. Easy solution? It looks like it. After dominating Double-A for much of last season, Sampson was given four starts at Triple-A in 2014 and was really smacked around. But so far in 2015, Sampson has been nothing short of spectacular.

Sampson has gone at least five innings in each of his eight starts so far this season. His highest earned run total in a start his year: three. Neil Huntington has already been quoted as saying that Sampson could help out the team this season. So fantasy owners, add him to your watch list and be ready to add this guy because he looks ready to help the Pittsburgh Pirates and any fantasy owner wise enough to add him.

 

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