As we enter the dog days of summer, prospects become an ever more important part of the fantasy landscape, as injuries and roster expansions mean that teams are beginning to make roster moves to call up their young guns. In this article, RotoBaller's Joseph Berger examines the top ten prospects for your late-season fantasy run.
- Sonny Gray (SP, OAK) – It is rumored that formerly injured SP Brett Anderson is headed for the bullpen and that Gray will be recalled the next time the Athletics need a fifth starter. Gray has the stuff to stifle the competition before hitters and major league scouts figure him out. He also has front-of-the-rotation stuff for the future and plus control so he should be a decent WHIP option as well, which isn't usually true of young pitchers.
- Alex Wood (SP/RP, ATL) – Wood has cemented a starting rotation spot at least until the fantasy playoffs start. With Tim Hudson and Paul Maholm on the disabled list, Wood will get to showcase more of his abilities. He just turned in six innings of one-run ball against the Phillies on Sunday.
- Christian Yelich (OF, MIA) – Yelich struggled out of the gate when recalled, but now has a modest five-game hitting streak and is 8-for-21 in that span. His average is up to .278 and he certainly has five-tool potential. The Miami lineup won’t do any favors for fantasy owners, but Yelich should be able to hold his own while Giancarlo Stanton is in the lineup.
- Jake Marisnick (OF, MIA) – Another Miami outfielder with five-tool potential is sticking in the majors. He has struggled so far with a paltry .200 average, but he has hit one home run and stolen a base, which is more than Yelich in those categories.
- Andre Rienzo (SP, CWS) – Kind of a dark horse here, Rienzo replaced Jake Peavy in the White Sox rotation and has been amazing so far. He has given up two runs with nine strikeouts over 13 innings pitched. He’s the first ever Brazilian pitcher in the majors, so scouting information is minimum, but that’s part of what makes him so enticing, as well.
- Danny Salazar (SP, CLE) – Salazar pitched one start and registered six innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts. He’s slated to start Wednesday and I know many Clevelanders that hope he sticks. It’s a tough match-up against Detroit, but I advise you to watch his start closely, as Salazar has the kind of impact potential that could change the playoff picture in your fantasy league.
- Jarred Cosart (SP, HOU) – This kid looks like the real deal-- you can’t start your career with 28 innings allowing just three earned runs unless you've got some serious talent. The question is whether he can continue to harness that talent. He was a high-WHIP pitcher in the minors, and so I expect that a downward trend is forthcoming, but why not ride him while he’s hot?
- Xander Bogaerts (SS/3B, BOS) – If Bogaerts were active on the major-league roster right now, he’d be at the very top of this list, but there remains some question whether we will even see him in a Red Sox uniform in 2013. They opted to call up Brock Holt for the hot corner, while Will Middlebrooks remains in the minors and is still an option. It’s unclear how blocked the road to the show is for Bogaerts, but he should have immediate fantasy relevance upon his callup with middle-infield eligibility and riding an impressive few weeks in the minors.
- Khris Davis (OF, MIL) – Davis is still platooning in the Brewers outfield, but he has played more consistently recently. He’s batting .258 with two HR, five RBI and six runs in only 31 at-bats. He has power and could be a valuable contributor in deeper mixed and NL-only leagues if he plays more than three or four days a week.
- Nick Castellanos (3B/OF, DET) – Other than Bogaerts, Castellanos is next in line for the best prospect still in minors that can contribute. With 3B eligibility and in a potent fantasy lineup in Detroit, the potential for him to be an impact fantasy player for the playoff run could be substantial. What’s Detroit waiting for???
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