Prospects Report: Patience is a virtue with prospects
Fantasy owners are already hoping, wishing and waiting for that first wave of potential impact call-ups. Our Eric Mack highlights five scenarios that could bring a handful of popular minor leaguers to the bigs in his latest Prospects Report.
You Fantasy Baseball owners are truly a fickle bunch. Take a user feedback on CBSSports.com for Alexei Ramirez on Thursday: "Sorry. He's hitting a buck-30 and no walks. He killed me all last year, too. He's ... outta here! Juan Uribe ... COME ON DOWN!"
So, a player who was picked No. 129 overall in a standard CBSSports.com Rotisserie league is on the waiver wire for a journeyman that wasn't drafted in the top 395 players on average. Someone in your league thanks you for cutting that streaky Cuban Missile that could pop off big time this summer.
That knee-jerk overreaction extends to prospects as well. While baseball front offices use the first third of the season (two months until June 1) to evaluate "what they have," the impatient Fantasy owners clamor for the next big things to arrive before May 1. They just hate watching veteran has-beens and never-will-bes block the elite prospects. We agree, albeit with far more patience.
Before we feed further into that phenomenon, we figured we would drop a quote on you from manager Terry Francona on Wednesday with regard to the yet again slow-starting David Ortiz
"It's not Fantasy Baseball, and it's not like chess pieces," Francona said. "Guys need time to settle in. If I don't let 'em settle in, it's just going to prolong what we're going through."
Amen, Tito. You Fantasy knee-jerks, listen up.
Now to the hot tub hype machine ...
There are a few players who have gotten off to good starts in Triple-A while their major league counterparts are playing their way to the bench, or the highway. We outline them here:
1. Indians catcher
homered four times in the first four games of the Triple-A season and is
a combined 11-for-26 (.423). He is the slugging catcher of the future
for the Indians and that future figured to be June 1. It could come
before now, because ...
Who's not: Lou Marson , the Indians' current starting rookie catcher, has started 1-for-16 (.063). It shouldn't take much to make him Santana's full-time backup backstop, if not switching lockers between Triple-A and the majors.
2. Blue Jays first baseman
playing first base in Triple-A instead of third, but it might not
matter. Both of those positions are struggling out of the gate for the
Blue Jays. Wallace isn't. He is hitting .346 (9-for-26) with three
homers (in his past five games).
Who's not: Lyle Overbay entered the season as one of the least impressive starting first basemen in baseball and has made that statement hold up by going 3-for-34 (.088) through play Wednesday. His lack of pop or consistency make it difficult for a team to slot him as a first baseman. That is a run-producing position, not an out-producing position. Edwin Encarnacion isn't that much more impressive across the diamond at .219, but he has been better in recent games at least. Also, Wallace apparently is not capable enough defensively to play third in the majors.
3. Mets first baseman
, the son of
former major league Ron Davis, had the New York media buzzing this
spring, but didn't do enough to force the scuffling Mets to slot him as
their everyday first baseman on opening day, even with
(knee) opening the season on the DL. Davis' impressive
spring has carried over in Triple-A, where he has gone 8-for-23 (.348)
with two homers and four doubles (.739 SLUG). The more impressive part
of his fast start is seven walks and just three strikeouts to date. The
former first-round pick could be real good after his power breakthrough
in 2009 (.298 with 20 homers) in 429 at-bats between high Class A and
Who's not: Mike Jacobs has pop from the left side, but it comes at the expense of a terribly low average and on-base percentage. He is in the Overbay class of out-maker, hitting .167 (3-for-18) and playing his typical butcher-quality first base with what should otherwise be a pretty good Mets infield defensively.
4. Pirates third baseman
out like gangbusters in Triple-A, hitting three homers with seven RBI in
his first two games. He hasn't homered or driven in a run since, but his
7-for-28 (.250) with a .364 OBP and .607 SLUG is still pretty
threatening to the player the Pirates have in the majors.
Who's not: Andy LaRoche started the season 1-for-13 before stringing some hits together and getting his statline up to .222 (6-for-27) with a homer, four walks and four runs scored. It isn't great, but it is perhaps enough to fend off the eventual full-timer Alvarez from getting his name chanted during blowouts in Pittsburgh.
5. Rangers first baseman
twice in the first three games and has gone 8-for-24 (.333) with a .500
OBP (eight walks to two strikeouts).
Who's not: (Crush) Chris Davis is looking more like his first-half than second-half self, starting 6-for-29 (.207) with no homers. We still like him, but it has to be tough for Smoak owners to watch the Triple-A guy outperform the guy blocking him in the majors, like all those guys above.
|1. Carlos Santana , C, CLE||35%||+6%|
|2. Pedro Alvarez , 3B, PIT||31%||+4%|
|3. Aroldis Chapman , SP, CIN||74%||+1%|
|4. Domonic Brown , OF, PHI||13%||+1%|
|5. Martin Perez , SP, TEX||10%||+1%|
Notice the organizations all of the names above are employed by. They are all rebuilding teams, save for the Rangers, that don't figure to go anywhere soon. We have seen some elite prospects arrive before June 1 from the minor leagues, like Robinson Cano (around May 1) and Evan Longoria (April 15), but the Yankees and Rays were contenders those years. It will take more than a one-week hot streak for any prospects on a non-contender to get a call, so merely make note of these guys or stash them in deeper leagues.
Notice we didn't mention Aroldis Chapman or Stephen Strasburg in this story, at least until now. Their pitch-count-controlled starts were impressive, but debuting in the minors has little to do with who is blocking them. They can arrive whenever their major league teams feel saucy enough to unleash them. And, no, it likely won't happen until after May 1 at the earliest.
Major league teams just aren't as overreactive as Fantasy owners.
Eeach week we break down all the minor leaguers who are owned in at least 1 percent of our Fantasy leagues. This will be your essential guide to unearthing the elite prospects before they hit the big time.
|Stephen Strasburg||SP||WAS||85||Aaron Poreda||RP||SD||3||Steve Pearce||1B||PIT||1|
|Aroldis Chapman||SP||CIN||74||Matt Dominguez||3B||FLA||3||Eric Arnett||SP||MIL||1|
|Buster Posey||C||SF||42||Grant Green||SS||OAK||3||Mark Melancon||RP||NYY||1|
|Carlos Santana||C||CLE||35||Shelby Miller||SP||STL||3||Max Stassi||C||OAK||1|
|Pedro Alvarez||3B||PIT||31||Ben Revere||CF||MIN||3||Ryan Kalish||CF||BOS||1|
|Madison Bumgarner||SP||SF||29||Josh Reddick||LF||BOS||3||Greg Halman||RF||SEA||1|
|Desmond Jennings||CF||TB||23||Chris Withrow||SP||LA||3||Chris Nelson||SS||COL||1|
|Giancarlo Stanton||RF||FLA||23||Chris Marrero||LF||WAS||3||Henry Rodriguez||RP||OAK||1|
|Chris Tillman||SP||BAL||22||Jaff Decker||OF||SD||3||A.J. Pollock||CF||ARI||1|
|Justin Smoak||1B||TEX||19||Tony Sanchez||C||PIT||2||Alex Colome||SP||TB||1|
|Kyle Drabek||SP||TOR||18||Brandon McCarthy||SP||TEX||2||Bobby Borchering||3B||ARI||1|
|Jesus Montero||C||NYY||17||Alex White||SP||CLE||2||Hak-Ju Lee||SS||CHC||1|
|Jeremy Hellickson||SP||TB||16||Ethan Martin||SP||LA||2||Jason Donald||SS||CLE||1|
|Chris Carter||1B||OAK||16||Wilson Ramos||C||MIN||2||Jeremy Jeffress||SP||MIL||1|
|Brett Wallace||3B||TOR||15||James Darnell||3B||SD||2||Angel Villalona||3B||SF||1|
|Drew Storen||RP||WAS||15||Josh Lindblom||SP||LA||2||Joe Savery||SP||PHI||1|
|Starlin Castro||SS||CHC||14||Jemile Weeks||2B||OAK||2||Chris Carter||LF||NYM||1|
|Domonic Brown||RF||PHI||13||Simon Castro||SP||SD||2||Roger Kieschnick||LF||SF||1|
|Michael Taylor||LF||OAK||12||Mike Minor||SP||ATL||2||Noel Arguelles||SP||KC||1|
|Dustin Ackley||1B||SEA||12||Armando Galarraga||SP||DET||2||Logan Forsythe||3B||SD||1|
|Ike Davis||1B||NYM||12||Hank Conger||C||ANA||2||Lance Lynn||SP||STL||1|
|Martin Perez||SP||TEX||10||Nick Hagadone||SP||CLE||2||Nick Noonan||SS||SF||1|
|Logan Morrison||1B||FLA||10||Zach Britton||SP||BAL||2||Kam Mickolio||RP||BAL||1|
|Fernando Martinez||OF||NYM||9||Scott Elbert||RP||LA||2||Dellin Betances||SP||NYY||1|
|Jack Cust||LF||OAK||9||Danny Valencia||3B||MIN||2||Matt Maloney||SP||CIN||1|
|Eric Young||2B||COL||9||Mike Trout||CF||ANA||2||Mark Rogers||SP||MIL||1|
|Mike Aviles||SS||KC||9||Jason Knapp||SP||CLE||2||Ryan Strieby||1B||DET||1|
|Christian Friedrich||SP||COL||9||Max Ramirez||C||TEX||2||Troy Patton||SP||BAL||1|
|Daniel Hudson||SP||CHW||9||Adrian Cardenas||SS||OAK||2||Sean O'Sullivan||SP||ANA||1|
|Yonder Alonso||1B||CIN||8||Daniel McCutchen||SP||PIT||2||Ryan Roberts||2B||ARI||1|
|Derek Holland||SP||TEX||8||Nick Weglarz||RF||CLE||2||Kevin Pucetas||SP||SF||1|
|Casey Kelly||SP||BOS||8||Beau Mills||1B||CLE||2||Brad Kilby||RP||OAK||1|
|Jason Castro||C||HOU||8||Andrew Cashner||SP||CHC||2||Josh Fields||RP||SEA||1|
|Josh Bell||3B||BAL||7||Trevor Reckling||RP||ANA||2||Tyson Gillies||RF||PHI||1|
|Tim Beckham||SS||TB||7||Wade LeBlanc||SP||SD||2||David Purcey||SP||TOR||1|
|Freddie Freeman||1B||ATL||7||Brad Lincoln||SP||PIT||2||Wilin Rosario||C||COL||1|
|Tyler Flowers||C||CHW||7||Jeanmar Gomez||SP||CLE||2||Josh Thole||C||NYM||1|
|Jake Arrieta||SP||BAL||7||Rick VandenHurk||SP||FLA||2||Ivan De Jesus||SS||LA||1|
|Mike Moustakas||3B||KC||6||Miguel Sano||SS||MIN||2||Jess Todd||RP||CLE||1|
|Jarrod Parker||SP||ARI||6||Brett Jackson||CF||CHC||2||Austin Romine||C||NYY||1|
|Jacob Turner||SP||DET||6||Jose Iglesias||SS||BOS||2||Matt Sweeney||3B||TB||1|
|Hank Blalock||1B||TB||6||Sean West||SP||FLA||2||Chad James||SP||FLA||1|
|Aaron Hicks||OF||MIN||6||Thomas Neal||LF||SF||2||Shairon Martis||SP||WAS||1|
|Josh Vitters||3B||CHC||6||Zach Stewart||SP||TOR||2||Kevin Mulvey||SP||ARI||1|
|Carlos Carrasco||SP||CLE||6||Kila Ka'aihue||DH||KC||2||Adam Miller||SP||CLE||1|
|Brett Cecil||SP||TOR||5||Jordan Walden||SP||ANA||2||Billy Buckner||SP||ARI||1|
|Lars Anderson||1B||BOS||5||Jared Mitchell||CF||CHW||2||Zach McAllister||SP||NYY||1|
|Aaron Crow||SP||KC||5||Travis Wood||SP||CIN||2||Neil Walker||3B||PIT||1|
|Lonnie Chisenhall||3B||CLE||5||Alex Liddi||3B||SEA||2||Vin Mazzaro||SP||OAK||1|
|Brett Lawrie||2B||MIL||5||Matt Antonelli||2B||SD||2||Conor Gillaspie||3B||SF||1|
|Todd Frazier||OF||CIN||5||Jake McGee||SP||TB||2||Andrew Lambo||LF||LA||1|
|Phillippe Aumont||SP||PHI||5||Kyle Gibson||SP||MIN||2||Peter Bourjos||CF||ANA||1|
|Tyler Matzek||SP||COL||5||Arodys Vizcaino||SP||ATL||2||Donnie Veal||RP||PIT||1|
|Michael Bowden||RP||BOS||5||James McDonald||RP||LA||2||David Cooper||1B||TOR||1|
|Mike Montgomery||SP||KC||5||Jordan Lyles||SP||HOU||2||Wes Hodges||3B||CLE||1|
|Brandon Allen||1B||ARI||5||Trevor May||SP||PHI||1||Angel Salome||C||MIL||1|
|Emilio Bonifacio||3B||FLA||5||Will Inman||SP||SD||1||Jay Jackson||SP||CHC||1|
|Jhoulys Chacin||RP||COL||5||Dan Cortes||SP||SEA||1||Chris Valaika||SS||CIN||1|
|Tim Alderson||SP||PIT||5||William Rowell||3B||BAL||1||Andrew Brackman||SP||NYY||1|
|Dayan Viciedo||3B||CHW||4||Chris Duncan||LF||WAS||1||Travis d'Arnaud||C||TOR||1|
|Tanner Scheppers||SP||TEX||4||Wilkin Ramirez||LF||DET||1||Josh Anderson||CF||CIN||1|
|J.P. Arencibia||C||TOR||4||Hector Gomez||SS||COL||1||Gorkys Hernandez||CF||PIT||1|
|Julio Teheran||SP||ATL||4||Kyle Skipworth||C||FLA||1||Michael Main||SP||TEX||1|
|Eric Hosmer||1B||KC||4||Jiovanni Mier||SS||HOU||1||Deolis Guerra||SP||MIN||1|
|Michael Saunders||LF||SEA||4||Rich Hill||SP||STL||1||Casey Weathers||RP||COL||1|
|Dee Gordon||SS||LA||4||Brandon Snyder||1B||BAL||1||Glen Perkins||SP||MIN||1|
|Casey Crosby||SP||DET||4||Danny Espinosa||SS||WAS||1||Daryl Jones||CF||STL||1|
|Juan Francisco||3B||CIN||4||Daniel Schlereth||RP||DET||1||Fautino De Los Santos||RP||OAK||1|
|Chris Heisey||CF||CIN||4||Micah Hoffpauir||1B||CHC||1||Brandon Erbe||SP||BAL||1|
|Donavan Tate||CF||SD||4||Garrett Mock||SP||WAS||1||Scott Lewis||SP||CLE||1|
|Derek Norris||C||WAS||4||Aaron Cunningham||RF||SD||1||Engel Beltre||CF||TEX||1|
|Matt Moore||SP||TB||4||Ruben Tejada||SS||NYM||1||Jose Ceda||RP||FLA||1|
|Hector Rondon||SP||CLE||4||Michael Burgess||RF||WAS||1||Mike MacDougal||RP||WAS||1|
|Michael Ynoa||SP||OAK||3||Jordan Danks||CF||CHW||1||Reese Havens||SS||NYM||1|
|Wilmer Flores||SS||NYM||3||Craig Kimbrel||RP||ATL||1||Ryan Tucker||SP||FLA||1|
|Justin Maxwell||CF||WAS||3||Jonathan Lucroy||C||MIL||1||Chad Jenkins||SP||TOR||1|
|Ryan Westmoreland||OF||BOS||3||Anthony Slama||RP||MIN||1||Anthony Rizzo||1B||BOS||1|
|Andrew Miller||SP||FLA||3||Kasey Kiker||SP||TEX||1||Brent Morel||3B||CHW||1|
|Carlos Triunfel||SS||SEA||3||Aaron Miller||SP||LA||1||John Mayberry||LF||PHI||1|
|Jose Tabata||LF||PIT||3||Bradley Holt||SP||NYM||1||Mike Carp||1B||SEA||1|
Top AL rookies to date
- Neftali Feliz , RP, TEX -- Taking over for closer Frank Francisco gives him a legit AL ROY shot and makes him a must-have.
- Austin Jackson , OF, DET -- He is way out in front of any other hitter in the AL right now and is a viable mixed league option.
- Scott Sizemore , 2B, DET -- Steady but not spectacular to date, which is about what you should expect out of him long term.
- Brian Matusz , SP, BAL -- He was outstanding for seven innings last time out, but he lost it a bit in the eighth inning.
- Joaquin Arias , RP, TEX -- He has taken advantage of Ian Kinsler injury and has earned super utility status when he returns.
- Honorable mentions: Reid Brignac , 2B, TB; Tyson Ross , RP, OAK and Sergio Santos , RP, CHW
Top NL rookies to date
- Jason Heyward , OF, ATL -- He has seen some highs and lows, but his solid start makes us believe he can hit 25 HRs.
- Mike Leake , SP, CIN -- Despite the walks, a solid debut makes him a solid flier in all mixed leagues right now.
- Jaime Garcia , SP, STL -- He will fly under the radar below those two above, but he might be even more consistent.
- Alcides Escobar , SS, MIL -- He has yet to steal a base -- the main reason you bought into him -- but his bat is starting nicely.
- Gaby Sanchez , 1B, FLA -- My colleague Scott White takes Daric Barton over him, but I think Sanchez has more value.
- Honorable mentions: David Freese , 3B, STL; Ian Desmond , SS, WAS; Tim Wood , RP, FLA; Dan Runzler , RP, SF; Ryota Igarashi , RP, NYM and Antonio Bastardo , RP, PHI
Kevin S. Beer Bakersfield, Calif.: Could you add Zach Wheeler of the San Francisco Giants to your player database? He was their first round pick last June (sixth overall). Thanks for your help.
Emack: Surely. I assume you mean Zack. He was the most-often unlisted player on CBSSports.com behind expected No. 1 overall pick catcher Bryce Harper, who will go to the Nationals in June. We also added Matthew Hobgood , SP, BAL; Wil Myers , C, KC; and Tim Melville , SP, KC. The same day, Cuban defectors Adeiny Hechavarria , a shortstop, and Leslie Anderson , a first baseman, agreed to contracts and were added to the CBSSports.com database, too. And, no, we aren't going to add Harper until after he is drafted by the Nationals and signs. Save for Anderson, all of these players should be owned in at least 1 percent of our leagues this season as long-term keeper stashees. Future additions will be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration buzz, proximity to the majors and unlisted player listings on our website. If you want a listing of the most common unlisted player names send us an e-mail and we will forward it to you.
You can e-mail us your Fantasy Baseball prospect questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com. Be sure to put Prospects in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state. Be aware, due to the large volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee personal responses to all questions.