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MLB Ready Prospects: Top 30 Rankings for Fantasy (Week 18)

By Tracy Proffitt from Lenoir, United States (Joey Gallo #30 - Hickory Crawdads(2)) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

As if the trade deadline weren’t intriguing enough, there have been plenty of prospects to receive the call up shortly thereafter. Tyler Duffey will be making a spot start for the Twins, Daniel Norris recently dominated the Orioles with his new club (the Tigers), and Jon Gray was recently promoted as well.

The most interesting matchups will come on Tuesday when Henry Owens of the Boston Red Sox will make his Major League debut. Then on Wednesday, Luis Severino of the New York Yankees makes his Major League debut. I expect both starters to remain with their respective teams for the remainder of the season.

Called Up:
• Daniel Norris (SP, DET)
• Luis Severino (SP, NYY)
• Henry Owens (SP, BOS)
Kyle Waldrop (OF, CIN)
• Jon Gray (SP, COL)


Major League Prospects - Fantasy Power Rankings

To be clear, this list is not the top 30 prospects in baseball. This is a list of the top 30 prospects who are likely to provide fantasy baseball value this season. The qualifications are simple: a player must not be on an active roster, they must have a clear path to the majors, and while they may have played in seasons prior to 2015, they must still have rookie eligibility. If a player is moved to the active roster of their team, they will be removed from this list and replaced.
1. Robert Stephenson (SP, CIN, AAA) – LW: 2
Stats: 108.1 IP, 3.32 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 9.97 K/9, 4.49 BB/9, 0.75 HR/9, 1.17 WHIP
ETA: Early August
The Reds have entertained, but have not yet committed themselves to the idea of Robert Stephenson joining their rotation. That will likely change soon. Michael Lorenzen has been knocked around in his past few starts, David Holmberg has a track record of mediocrity, and Keyvius Sampson had an awful time in the minors this season. Stephenson’s previous outing on July 28 was outstanding as he lasted eight innings while walking only one batter, giving up three hits, and striking out ten. He is absolutely ready for Major League action.


2. Corey Seager (SS, LAD, AAA) – LW: 1
Stats: 402 PA, .298/.348/.500, 14 HR, 3 SB, 12.9% K rate, 6.7% BB rate
ETA: September Call-Up
This is the first time in six weeks that the number one spot on this list isn’t Corey Seager. The Dodgers didn’t move Jimmy Rollins and Seager did nothing to help his case in July, posting up a mediocre .241/.303/.443 slash line. At this point it may be tough to say whether the Dodgers opt to call him up before September, but it isn’t looking likely.


3. Hector Olivera (2B/3B, ATL, AAA) – LW: 8
Stats: 74 PA, .348/.392/.493, 2 HR, 0 SB, 12.2% K rate, 6.8% BB rate
ETA: Early August
Hector Olivera being traded to Atlanta was one of the best possible things that could happen for his 2015 fantasy value. Olivera is still recovering from a hamstring injury, but could be ready to go on a brief rehab stint sometime this week. With Chris Johnson struggling at third base, the Braves may decide to call up the 30-year-old Cuban to see what he can do with regular playing time.


4. Tyler Duffey (SP, MIN, AAA) – LW: 9
Stats: 132.0 IP, 2.52 ERA, 2.29 FIP, 7.98 K/9, 2.05 BB/9, 0.07 HR/9, 1.11 WHIP
ETA: Mid-August
Tyler Duffey will be called up for a spot start on Wednesday, but it will only be one start. Still, if he impresses he could help boost his argument to remain in the big league rotation. His numbers between Double-A and Triple-A speak for themselves as he has allowed only one home run in 132 IP this season all while maintaining a solid strikeout rate (7.98 K/9) and low walk rate (2.05 BB/9). At this point, Duffey doesn’t have anything left to prove in the minors.


5. Zach Davies (SP, MIL, AAA) – LW: 10
Stats: 101.1 IP, 2.84 ERA, 3.11 FIP, 7.19 K/9, 2.93 BB/9, 0.36 HR/9, 1.22 WHIP
ETA: Early August
Much like the Hector Olivera trade to the Braves, the swap of Zach Davies to the Brewers immensely helps his 2015 fantasy value. Davies wasn’t really blocked by anybody in Baltimore, but it was clear that the Orioles wanted to wait before calling him up. In Milwaukee, Davies is likely to see the majority of the remainder of this season in the rotation as they have many holes to fill and could look to dealing some of their big arms (Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza) before the end of August.


6. Jose Berrios (SP, MIN, AAA) – LW: 14
Stats: 121.1 IP, 3.19 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 9.05 K/9, 2.52 BB/9, 0.52 HR/9, 1.13 WHIP
ETA: Mid-August
Jose Berrios had a Triple-A debut to forget, but he has really turned it around in his three most recent starts. After posting a 7.59 ERA in his first 10.2 IP at Triple-A, he proceeded to go on a nice run as he has recorded a 1.35 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 20.0 IP. Berrios is clearly behind Tyler Duffey in the Twins’ depth chart, but he may not be kept down for long if he is able to continue pitching like this. He may also join the Twins bullpen to help down the stretch.


7. Tyler Glasnow (SP, PIT, AAA) – LW: 21
Stats: 73.2 IP, 2.44 ERA, 1.97 FIP, 11.61 K/9, 2.69 BB/9, 0.24 HR/9, 1.02 WHIP
ETA: Late August
With A.J. Burnett out for at least four weeks, the Pittsburgh Pirates are in need of a new starting pitcher. Glasnow was spectacular at Double-A this season, and the Pirates clearly have some desire to rush him along to the Majors as he only spent 63.0 innings in Double-A before being promoted to Triple-A. Glasnow was fairly sharp in his debut as he walked only two, gave up just three hits and struck out six in 5.1 innings, but his poor defense cost him four runs (one earned). Expect the Pirates to continue to rush his development so he will be ready to take on a full time role in September.


8. Nomar Mazara (OF, TEX, AA) – LW: 11
Stats: 417 PA, .287/.355/.448, 13 HR, 1 SB, 20.9% K rate, 9.1% BB rate
ETA: Late August
The Texas Rangers outfield continues to be among the worst in baseball, and it is clear that they need some offensive help in that position. Their outfield currently ranks as the 26th best in the majors with a 2.5 WAR and guys like Leonys Martin, Josh Hamilton, and Shin-Soo Choo are not helping it get any better. Nomar Mazara has played very well down at Double-A and for a Rangers team that may feel they could make a postseason push this season, they may need to make the change sooner rather than later. Still, it's hard to imagine the Rangers benching Hamilton or Choo given their large contracts.


9. Adam Duvall (1B, CIN, AAA) – LW: 15
Stats: 437 PA, .281/.325/.547, 26 HR, 4 SB, 20.8% K rate, 5.7% BB rate
ETA: Mid-August
The trade of Adam Duvall to the Reds didn’t affect his fantasy value too much as he went from being blocked by Matt Duffy and Brandon Belt/Buster Posey to being blocked by Todd Frazier and Joey Votto. But many have speculated that the Reds may opt to convert the poor defensive prospect into a left fielder and give him a chance to play at the Majors if/when Marlon Byrd is dealt. He is one of the best power hitting prospects in the minors and should definitely be owned if he is called up.


10. Peter O’Brien (C, ARI, AAA) – LW: 6
Stats: 406 PA, .271/.316/.520, 20 HR, 1 SB, 23.2% K rate, 5.2% BB rate
ETA: Late August
With the Diamondbacks opting to keep all of their outfielders with the team, the odds of Peter O’Brien getting a starting role with the club have diminished greatly. There is still a chance that he gets called up and is given a platoon role with one of the other outfielders, but his fantasy impact has taken a major blow.


11. Joey Gallo (3B, TEX, AAA) – LW: 12
Stats: 260 PA, .256/.369/.548, 16 HR, 1 SB, 34.2% K rate, 15.4% BB rate
ETA: Late August/September Call Up
Joey Gallo has the potential to have a major impact for the Texas Rangers and any fantasy team that is willing to use him, but he doesn’t currently have anywhere to play. Sure the Rangers outfield has struggled, but the team will not pull the massive contracts of Josh Hamilton or Shin-Soo Choo out of the lineup. At the moment, Gallo looks like someone who will probably not see any playing time until rosters expand, but he could still be worth the add for fantasy owners in need of some power numbers.


12. Sean Manaea (SP, OAK, AA) – LW: NR
Stats: 38.2 IP, 3.03 ERA, 2.66 FIP, 11.17 K/9, 2.56 BB/9, 0.47 HR/9, 1.22 WHIP
ETA: Late August
Sean Manaea was putting together a great season in Kansas City before being dealt to Oakland for Ben Zobrist. That may have helped out his fantasy value as it now looks like his chances of being called up are higher. The Oakland Athletics could use some starting pitching help or could at the very least see what they have in Manaea. If called, Manaea has the potential to be an elite fantasy pitcher for his high rate of strikeouts and his ability to keep the walk totals down.


13. John Lamb (SP, CIN, AAA) – LW: 17
Stats: 99.1 IP, 2.81 ERA, 3.50 FIP, 9.42 K/9, 2.90 BB/9, 0.63 HR/9, 1.19 WHIP
ETA: Mid-August
As discussed last week, if Stephenson isn’t the answer to the Reds rotation, it will likely be John Lamb. Lamb was acquired in the Johnny Cueto deal, and he looks like he's ready for a call up. Expect to see him in September, if not earlier. Lamb has pitched well in two starts since joining the Reds with a 3.27 ERA, 11.45 K/9, and 4.91 BB/9 in 11 innings.


14. Aaron Altherr (OF, PHI, AAA) – LW: 24
Stats: 421 PA, .296/.364/.483, 12 HR, 15 SB, 18.5% K rate, 9.3% BB rate
ETA: Late August/September Call Up
With Ben Revere gone and the rest of the Phillies outfield terrible, there is speculation that Aaron Altherr will be the answer. Altherr has performed well in his first stint at Triple-A, and he could be in line for a promotion to take over the spot left by Ben Revere. Altherr’s speed and power make him a potential five category contributor, and fantasy owners should give him a chance to produce if he is called up.


15. Nick Williams (OF, PHI, AA) – LW: NR
Stats: 415 PA, .299/.357/.479, 13 HR, 10 SB, 18.6% K rate, 7.7% BB rate
ETA: Late August/September Call Up
Another outfield option that the Phillies have, Nick Williams was one of the many pieces acquired in the Cole Hamels deal. Williams has only reached Double-A and while it is clear that the Phillies prefer to have their prospects see time in Triple-A before the Majors (Aaron Nola for example), there is still a chance he gets starting time in the Phillies lineup. Like Altherr, Williams is a potential five category contributor and would be a major boost to any fantasy team if he is called up. Scouts love his physical tools, but they complain about his plate discipline.


16. Blake Snell (SP, TB, AAA) – LW: NR
Stats: 98.2 IP, 1.28 ERA, 2.96 FIP, 10.85 K/9, 3.83 BB/9, 0.55 HR/9, 1.04 WHIP
ETA: Late August
Blake Snell went on a very impressive 49 inning scoreless streak to start the season. He has long been viewed as a potential middle of the rotation arm, and he has put his name on the map in 2015. While Snell may have come down to Earth a bit since his streak, his numbers are still very impressive. It looks like he could be one of the top rookie starters in the league if called up. Now that he has seen time at Triple-A, he's that much closer to an audition.


17. Aaron Blair (SP, ARI, AAA) – LW: 20
Stats: 119.1 IP, 3.24 ERA, 4.16 FIP, 7.09 K/9, 2.79 BB/9, 0.91 HR/9, 1.20 WHIP
ETA: Late August/Early September
The chances of Aaron Blair getting called up before September aren’t spectacular, but there is still a chance. Blair started off his year in Double-A and pitched very well, but has yet to see the same results in Triple-A. If he manages to put together a few solid starts, he may see time with the big league club. First he must prove that he deserves it.


18. Tyrell Jenkins (SP, ATL, AAA) – LW: NR
Stats: 124.0 IP, 2.76 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 5.81 K/9, 3.85 BB/9, 0.29 HR/9, 1.31 WHIP
ETA: Mid-August
The Atlanta Braves have sold off a lot of their players this year and they've received solid returns. The first of those moves came in the offseason when they dealt Jason Heyward to the Cardinals for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins. Miller has filled in nicely for the Braves and now it appears that Jenkins may get a chance to prove himself as well. The Braves have a hole in their rotation since trading Alex Wood, and they may opt to use Jenkins at some point to fill it. Jenkins will not be a strikeout machine, but he could still prove valuable in deep leagues for teams in need of pitching.


19. Josh Bell (1B, PIT, AA) – LW: 26
Stats: 433 PA, .305/.374/.422, 5 HR, 7 SB, 12.0% K rate, 10.4% BB rate
ETA: Late August/September Call Up
The Pirates acquired Aramis Ramirez to help them with their first base situation, but he hasn’t exactly been a strong offensive force this season. A platoon with Pedro Alvarez can only help so much. A team that appears to be in win-now mode like the Pirates may decide to call up Josh Bell to provide a steady offensive force in their lineup at a position that has been surprisingly weak for them. Bell may not be the most enticing first base option for many fantasy owners because his power hasn’t been as good this season as it has in years past, but he still could help out some owners in deep leagues.


20. Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez (SP, TEX, AAA) – LW: NR
Stats: 63.1 IP, 4.41 ERA, 4.44 FIP, 4.97 K/9, 3.41 BB/9, 0.43 HR/9, 1.50 WHIP
ETA: Mid-August
The Rangers rotation has had some serious struggles and not even the addition of Cole Hamels can fix it. And while Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez can’t fix all of their problems, he could help them out. Gonzalez pitched well in his brief stint with the Rangers earlier this year, winning two games in 43.1 IP with 15 strikeouts and a 3.74 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. His lack of strikeouts decreases his fantasy value, but if he can string together quality innings, he could be worth a flier in deeper leagues.


21. Aaron Judge (OF, NYY, AAA) – LW: 23
Stats: 402 PA, .277/.348/.480, 15 HR, 4 SB, 23.9% K rate, 9.7% BB rate
ETA: Late August


22. Jake Thompson (SP, PHI, AA) – LW: 27
Stats: 87.2 IP, 4.72 ERA, 3.83 FIP, 8.01 K/9, 3.08 BB/9, 0.72 HR/9, 1.41 WHIP
ETA: September Call Up


23. Brett Phillips (OF, MIL, AA) – LW: NR
Stats: 471 PA, .317/.374/.543, 16 HR, 15 SB, 19.7% K rate, 6.4% BB rate
ETA: September Call Up


24. Trea Turner (SS, WAS, AAA) – LW: 19
Stats: 429 PA, .322/.373/.472, 8 HR, 23 SB, 19.3% K rate, 7.9% BB rate
ETA: September Call Up


25. Michael Fulmer (SP, DET, AA) – LW: NR
Stats: 93.0 IP, 2.03 ERA, 2.60 FIP, 8.90 K/9, 2.23 BB/9, 0.39 HR/9, 1.08 WHIP
ETA: September Call Up


26. Yorman Rodriguez (OF, CIN, AAA) – LW: 13
Stats: 326 PA, .269/.308/.429, 10 HR, 4 SB, 24.5% K rate, 5.2% BB rate
ETA: September Call Up


27. Jose Peraza (SS, LAD, AAA) – LW: 3
Stats: 432 PA, .296/.320/.380, 3 HR, 26 SB, 8.1% K rate, 3.5% BB rate
ETA: September Call Up


28. Alen Hanson (2B, PIT, AAA) – LW: 18
Stats: 410 PA, .274/.322/.413, 6 HR, 28 SB, 17.1% K rate, 6.8% BB rate
ETA: September Call Up


29. Brandon Nimmo (OF, NYM, AA) – LW: 28
Stats: 339 PA, .264/.345/.351, 2 HR, 1 SB, 18.0% K rate, 9.4% BB rate
ETA: September Call Up


30. Christian Walker (1B, BAL, AAA) – LW: 29
Stats: 432 PA, .263/.322/.413, 11 HR, 0 SB, 22.7% K rate, 7.2% BB rate
ETA: September Call Up


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