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Prospect Prospectin': Stud Stashin' Edition

If teams wait until late May to call up their prospects, they retain control over them for an extra year. If teams wait until the mid-June Super Two cutoff to call up their prospects, they can save themselves some money during the player’s prime years.  That is not as important a consideration of whether or not to call up a player than say, big league readiness, but it’s a more significant consideration than most GM’s admit - after all, they’re basically taking money out of players’ pockets, so they don’t have much incentive to brag about it. But there’s no denying that the players below could help their teams immediately if they were called up, and it’s just a matter of time before it happens. Chances are most of these players are already owned in your fantasy league, but if they’re still out there and you have room, I would suggest scooping one up. Worst-case scenario is you have some tempting trade bait for that one guy in your league obsessed with youngsters (every league has one), and can trade one if one if your starters goes down.

And how much good is Chris Denorfia doing on your bench, anyway? Or Mark Ellis after you picked him up when he was hot for about two games? Drop those types of dudes for one of these studs. When your opponents see that name in the add/drop notification box, they’ll think, “Damn. I thought I could wait a little longer to scoop him up.” Don’t be the guy who waited too long.

The Super Three

These three guys are the top prospects in baseball and are going to be compared to Bryce and Trout once they get called up, which is unfair to them but inevitable I guess. And who knows? Maybe they’ll come up and rake just like those two. One can only hope...

Wil Myers

Damn you and your hot streak, Matt Joyce! I was hoping to see Myers in the bigs by now, but the Rays are extremely careful with their prospects. Myers has nothing left to prove in the minors. Period. He hit .314 with 37 bombs last year (albeit in the PCL), and is raking again this year. He is my #1 impact prospect in baseball this year and the Rays will have to call him up by late summer, if not sooner. I doubt their lineup can keep hitting they way they are (12th most runs in baseball), and are going to need an extra bat.

Oscar Taveras

Chances are Carlos Beltran or Matt Holliday hit the disabled list since you started reading this post. Sure, they can move Craig to the outfield and give Adams first-base once one of those guys goes down, but with his combination of power and speed, the Cards will have to give Taveras a shot at some point soon. He doesn’t walk very often, but Oscar could be an impact-player soon as he ges the chance.

Jurickson Profar

I listed Profar after the first two guys because even though he’s seen big-league action already and they haven’t, I think he’ll make the least impact of the three this year. With Mitch Moreland hitting lights out, there’s little chance they’ll move Kinsler to first to make room for Profar. And with Elvis Andrus’ 8-year, $120 million contract extension, clearly he’s not going anywhere. Nonethelss, Profar is a special talent that could make an impact immediately when he’s called up (again). I got a chance to see him in spring training this year, and he looked damn impressive, notching base hits from each side of the plate. The youngster has struggled a bit this year in Triple-A, but is striking out a lot less and walking more. That's a good sign. Profar should be owned in all leagues, especially with Kinsler’s injury history...

Pirate Booty

The Pirates are going to be incredibly exciting in a couple years, once their 1-2 pitching punch has arrived in the bigs. Who knows? They may even have a .500 record someday.

Gerritt Cole

Cole was the number one draft pick in 2011 and reached Triple-A in his first year in the minors. He has a miniscule 2.45 ERA so this year and there’s no question he’s ready for the show. And with Jonathan Sanchez being released and James McDonald’s injury, it seems like the Pirates could make a move soon, especially if they stay close in the pennant race (they’re only three games behind the Cardinals as of today). Cole’s fastball can hit triple digits, and he also has a nasty slider; once his changeup or curveball become as reliable as his first two pitches, there’s no telling how good he could be. This year he has walked too many batters and not struck out enough, but if the Pirates can stay competitive they’ll have no option but to call up their top prospect.

Jameson Taillon

This is more of a keeper league suggestion since Cole will most certainly be called up before Taillon (if only because Taillon just suffered a left shin contusion after being hit with a comebacker). Cole probably gets more accolades, but Taillon is an absolute monster in his own right, making the two of them the best pitching prospect duo in baseball (sorry, Mariners). Drafted right out of high school, Taillon stands 6'7"and can throw 99 mph. This season in Double-A he’s striking out over a batter per inning and sports a 3.26 ERA (and a 2.61 FIP). Many experts think Taillon won’t be up until 2014, but if the Pirates are still contending in August, you can bet they’ll take a long, hard look at the hard-throwing Texas native that Baseball America ranked the number-15 prospect in baseball.

Pick him up, then once Taillon makes it to the big leagues, celebrate by tying one on with a glass of Jameson.


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