The Guardians couldn't give us one last chance to feature Gavin Williams in the Five on the Verge, could they?

He didn't make the cut last week but has been in and out of that illustrious group all season. Naturally, his chances of a promotion spiked over the past few days, and he'll indeed be make his major-league debut Wednesday in place of Triston McKenzie, who figures to be out for a while with a sprained elbow.

CLE Cleveland • #32 • Age: 24
2023 Minors

What it means is that Williams, who was arguably the top pitching prospect remaining in the minors, should get plenty of runway, which is all the more reason to invest in him in redraft leagues. In fact, it's kind of a no-brainer given his pedigree and the fact that everyone playing Fantasy Baseball could use another starting pitcher.

It doesn't guarantee his success, of course, and our own Chris Towers broke down some of the potential concerns for Williams, including his 4.1 BB/9 rate in nine starts after being promoted to Triple-A. But taking his minor-league track record as a whole, it's darn near unimpeachable. He had a 1.96 ERA in two stops last year and has a 2.10 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 11.8 K/9 in 37 career minor-league starts, allowing just a .170 batting average. With a fastball that pushes triple digits and two breaking balls capable of generating whiffs, Williams has the sort of upside everyone can get behind.

Five on the verge

(These are the prospects most worth stashing in redraft leagues.)

Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B, Reds

2022 minors: .304 BA (484 AB), 32 HR, 114 RBI, .955 OPS, 40 BB, 137 K
2023 minors: .345 BA (206 AB), 17 HR, 47 RBI, 1.091 OPS, 23 BB, 53 K

The past week was a quiet one for Encarnacion-Strand performance-wise, but things have been happening at the major-league level that could have an impact on his timeline. The first is not so good: Joey Votto returned from his season-long absence and homered in his first game back Monday. The expectation is that Encarnacion-Strand will play mostly first base in the majors, and that's also the position Votto plays. Encarnacion-Strand was in danger of being crowded out even before Votto returned seeing as infielders Jonathan India, Spencer Steer, Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz are all deserving of full-time at-bats, and now we're clearly at a point where manager David Bell has to strain his brain to make all the pieces fit.

But then on Tuesday, the day after Votto's return, some good news came in regarding Encarnacion-Strand's timeline. The Reds designated Wil Myers for assignment, meaning he won't come back from the IL to clutter things further and he'll no longer take up a spot on the 40-man roster. On an administrative level, there's now room for Encarnacion-Strand. And on a baseball level, there still could be. The Reds don't have a dedicated DH, and Steer has dabbled in the outfield of late. Shoot, Encarnacion-Strand himself has. Now that the Reds have surged into first place, they could use his bat wherever they can find room for it.

Colton Cowser, OF, Orioles

2022 minors: .278 BA (510 AB), 19 HR, 18 SB, .874 OPS, 94 BB, 174 K
2023 minors: .341 BA (170 AB), 8 HR, 6 SB, 1.019 OPS, 42 BB, 51 K

Aaron Hicks continues to punch above his weight, giving the Orioles little incentive to take him out of the lineup. Meanwhile, Cedric Mullins has embarked on a rehab assignment, inching ever closer to returning from a strained groin. So has Cowser missed his window? Don't be ridiculous.

The DH spot remains wide open, and Anthony Santander would fit perfectly there. The Orioles also can't be so naive as to think Hicks is anything more than a short-term fix, and the bottom third of their lineup (Adam Frazier, Ramon Urias and Jorge Mateo) is a black hole. Though Cowser has been primarily a center fielder in the minors, he has recently taken to playing right field exclusively, likely in deference to Mullins. Orioles GM Mike Elias has already intimated that all Cowser needs to do to earn a promotion is shake off the rust from his not-so-distant quadriceps injury, and well, he's 12 for 31 (.387) since returning.

Grayson Rodriguez, SP, Orioles

2023 majors: 2-2, 7.35 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, 45 1/3 IP, 21 BB, 56 K
2023 minors: 3-0, 2.86 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 22 IP, 12 BB, 29 K

Rodriguez' first 10 starts in the majors may have been a huge disappointment, but the consensus top pitching prospect coming into the year has been a man on a mission at Triple-A Norfolk. He struggled to find the strike zone in his first start but has a combined 21 strikeouts to three walks in back-to-back six-inning starts since then, including one in which he registered a Triple-A-best 28 swinging strikes.

"I would say he's been focused and he knows what he needs to do," Triple-A pitching coach Justin Ramsey told The Athletic. "He's always been talented and special, and all those things that make him who he is. But he's absolutely focused on what he needs to do to hone in on the fastball command and get those put-away executions."

Indeed, Rodriguez himself has said that he's working on emphasizing his fastball and improving the shape of his breaking balls, and it seems to be going swimmingly so far. Another start like these last two might be enough for the Orioles to bring him back.

Jonathan Aranda, 2B, Rays

2022 minors: .318 BA (403 AB), 18 HR, .915 OPS, 45 BB, 100 K
2023 minors: .340 BA (203 AB), 10 HR, 1.013 OPS, 39 BB, 55 K

A week ago, I pointed out that Aranda had raised his batting from .267 to .321 over a nine-game span. Four games later, it's up to .340. The 25-year-old is on an absolutely insane run right now -- .547 (29 for 53) with three homers and eight doubles in his past 13 games -- and surely, the big club has taken notice. It's without starting second baseman Brandon Lowe, after all, and his replacement, Taylor Walls, has come crashing down in his absence. The Rays as a whole are in a rut offensively, averaging 4.4 runs per game in June as compared to 5.0 in May and 6.7 in April.

Aranda fizzled during his short time in the majors last year, but his bat skills are no joke. He works the count and stings the ball with an average exit velocity of 91.4 mph when he makes contact. Playing time could be an issue, as it is for every Rays hitter, but the production may be worth it.

Sal Frelick, OF, Brewers

2022 minors: .331 BA (492 AB), 11 HR, 24 SB, .883 OPS, 52 BB, 63 K
2023 minors: .266 BA (79 AB), 1 HR, 6 SB, .781 OPS, 13 BB, 12 K

Frelick has played only four games at Triple-A since returning from a torn thumb ligament, but in them, he's gone 5 for 14 (.357) with a home run and two stolen bases. It certainly seems like he's going to hit the ground running, and the Brewers could certainly use him as they continue to suffer through Brian Anderson and Luis Urias on an everyday basis. They could go with the hot hand between the two at third base, freeing up an outfield spot for Frelick, and that would be that.

Manager Craig Counsell has said that the 23-year-old would likely need to log some at-bats before coming up, but if he's showing no signs of rust a week from now, what exactly would the holdup be? If not for his own injury, Frelick almost certainly would have taken over as the team's starting center fielder when Garrett Mitchell went down in April. His hit and speed tools are both near the top of the scale, and he batted .365 in 46 games after reaching Triple-A last year. As long as you're not dead set on home runs, he figures to be an asset for you in Fantasy.

Five on the periphery

(Here are some other prospects doing something of note.)

Ronny Mauricio, SS, Mets

2022 minors: .259 BA (509 AB), 26 HR, 20 SB, .768 OPS, 24 BB, 125 K
2023 minors: .325 BA (271 AB), 11 HR, 11 SB, .914 OPS, 14 BB, 47 K

Normally, I don't treat my Five on the Periphery as overflow for my Five on the Verge, but in Mauricio's case, that's exactly what I'm doing. After sitting out a few games with a bruised ankle, the 22-year-old has come back to hit .381 (8 for 21) with three homers and two steals in five games, continuing his assault on Triple-A pitching that's been fueled by premium exit velocities and a greatly reduced strikeout rate. He's even acclimated to left field during that time as the Mets try to figure out how to get his bat in the lineup. Given Tommy Pham's recent resurgence, there isn't much of an opening even there, but one potential path could be to have Mauricio bounce around the diamond, allowing the Mets' veterans a chance to rest.

Ceddanne Rafaela, OF, Red Sox

2022 minors: .299 BA (481 AB), 21 HR, 28 SB, .880 OPS, 26 BB, 113 K
2023 minors: .297 BA (232 AB), 5 HR, 30 SB, .772 OPS, 14 BB, 49 K

One of last year's pop-up prospects, Rafaela got off to an anemic start in 2023, batting .255 (37 for 145) with just one home run in his first 35 games. But he seems back to 2022 form in his past 22 games, batting .368 (32 for 87) with four home runs. Power remains his most questionable tool, but he makes contact at a high rate and isn't shy about stealing bases. His defensive aptitude should earn him plenty of run when the time comes, too. A dream scenario would be something like Cedric Mullins, but there's also a chance he ends up being a defensive-minded reserve.

Connor Phillips, SP, Reds

2022 minors: 5-8, 3.78 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 109 2/3 IP, 66 BB, 150 K
2023 minors: 2-2, 3.23 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 64 IP, 24 BB, 109 K

Phillips' 109 strikeouts lead all minor-leaguers. Second is Andrew Abbott, who's 19 behind with 90, and of course, he's in the majors now. Contributing to those numbers is the tacky ball being used in the Southern League, so you should certainly take Phillips' 15.3 K/9 at Double-A Chattanooga with a grain of salt. But he had 12.3 K/9 between High-A and Double-A last year. Moreover, the control has improved. Over his past six starts, he has struck out 57 while walking just seven in 32 2/3 innings. The tacky ball may be contributing to that as well, but the bottom line is that not every pitcher in the Southern League is putting up numbers like these. Phillips offers a more conventional power arsenal than someone like Abbott, too.

Dominic Canzone, OF, Diamondbacks

2022 minors: .299 BA (394 AB), 22 HR, 15 SB, .908 OPS, 37 BB, 83 K
2023 minors: .354 BA (212 AB), 15 HR, 1 SB, 1.100 OPS, 34 BB, 32 K

Canzone has always been a productive hitter, even going back to his days at Ohio State, but he's taken it to another level at Triple-A Reno this year and especially over his past 11 games, batting .539 (21 for 39) with four homers. You could credit it to the hitter-friendly environment, maybe, but him having more walks than strikeouts would suggest actual growth has occurred. Still, he's a huge liability in the field and isn't sound mechanically. Those same general critiques followed Seth Beer back when he was dominating the minor-league ranks, and it's fair in retrospect to say they were well founded. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks already have more outfielders than they can play, with Dominic Fletcher presumably being ahead of Canzone in the pecking order. Even so, the production is enough to earn the 25-year-old some looks in deeper Dynasty leagues.

Joey Loperfido, 2B, Astros

2022 minors: .316 BA (392 AB), 12 HR, 32 SB, .900 OPS, 53 BB, 101 K
2023 minors: .291 BA (199 AB), 11 HR, 16 SB, .940 OPS, 35 BB, 56 K

Could Lopefido be this year's Edouard Julien? His on-base percentage isn't quite .440, but he's reaching at better than a .400 clip for the second straight season. Also like Julien, he's miscast everywhere on the diamond but has tried his hand at a few positions, including second base, first base and every outfield spot. His likeliest outcome is as an offensive-minded utility man, but with the way he's hit in the minors so far, it's reasonable to hope for more.