A trio of call-ups broke up the monotony of June baseball Wednesday, though none were especially high-profile.
The Yankees needed another bat with Matt Holliday headed to the DL with an illness of some kind, and with Aaron Hicks already sidelined, Miguel Andujar is certainly in the mix for at-bats. His minor-league numbers won't blow you away -- he hit .312 with eight home runs and an .837 OPS in 74 games, including seven at Triple-A -- but he makes his share of contact. His power numbers were likely suppressed by the pitcher-friendly environment of Double-A Trenton, so you shouldn't be surprised if this audition ends up pushing Chase Headley aside.
Miguel Montero couldn't resist Tuesday and proved to be as expendable as any backup catcher as a result. Of course, the Cubs' decision to designate him for assignment was no doubt aided by the presence of Victor Caratini, who had hit .343 with eight homers and a .923 OPS at Triple-A Iowa -- numbers not too unlike those of Willson Contreras before he was called up, for what it's worth. Caratini isn't quite the prospect Contreras was, and the chances of him usurping the 25-year-old are slim to none. But if he plays as often as Montero did, he'll be more useful than most backup catchers.
Neither Andujar nor Caratini has quite the significance to Fantasy owners as this third call-up, though -- a player we've seen in the majors a time or two already.
Ketel Marte has found another gear in the minors this year, which isn't too surprising considering he's still just 23 years old. His .338 batting average and .177 ISO are both career bests (speaking strictly of the minor leagues, of course), as is his 10.1 percent strikeout rate. All three stats point to legitimate growth for a player once thought to have a future in Fantasy Baseball. Marte now profiles as more than the slap-hitting speedster he was in Seattle. His upside may actually be more along the lines of Jean Segura, the player the Diamondbacks gave up to acquire him and Taijuan Walker this offseason.
And best of all, he'll get a chance to demonstrate it with Nick Ahmed sidelined by a fractured hand. The Diamondbacks could use Chris Owings in the outfield for now, and even though A.J. Pollock and Yasmany Tomas are gearing up for rehab assignments, Marte may have entrenched himself by the time they actually return.
Five on the verge
(These are the prospects most worth stashing in redraft leagues.)
Amed Rosario, SS, Mets
2016 minors: .324 BA (479 AB), 5 HR, 19 SB, .833 OPS, 40 BB, 87 K
2017 minors: .316 BA (310 AB), 7 HR, 13 SB, .828 OPS, 18 BB, 55 K
No, the Mets haven't been any more vocal about calling up Rosario over the past week. In fact, the Asdrubal Cabrera-to-second-base-so-that-Jose Reyes-can-play-more-shortstop plan is in full motion. But there have been reports of the Mets shopping everybody, apparently resigned to their fate as also-rans. "Everybody" would presumably include Cabrera and Reyes given that neither is a long-term piece, which would mean this curious tactic is really just a last-ditch effort to showcase those two. Rosario's debut, then, still seems like a good bet to happen within the next month, thought it's worth noting he's 6 for 37 (.162) in his last nine games.
Kyle Schwarber, OF, Cubs
2017 majors: .171 BA (222 AB), 12 HR, .673 OPS, 36 BB, 75 K
2017 minors: 3 for 8, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K
Schwarber has yet to pick up an extra-base hit, but then, he has played all of two games. Status quo, then, for the 24-year-old who looked like a Fantasy mainstay coming into the year. Might the Cubs use his minor-league stint to reacquaint him with catcher now that Miguel Montero is out of the picture? It's not the craziest thought and perhaps offers some extra incentive to stash Schwarber in leagues where he's not already eligible at the position, but mostly they just want to get his bat going. The possibility of a quick turnaround for a partly proven player is reason to stash Schwarber in five-outfielder leagues.
Yoan Moncada, 3B, White Sox
2016 minors: .294 BA (405 AB), 15 HR, 45 SB, .918 OPS, 72 BB, 124 K
2017 minors: .278 BA (252 AB), 9 HR, 15 SB, .818 OPS, 42 BB, 84 K
The numbers for Moncada have continued to fluctuate since his return from a thumb injury in mid-June, which doesn't do anything to shorten his timetable. These things can turn around pretty quickly, though. Franklin Barreto was just coming out of a month-long free fall when the Athletics decided he was ready, and Moncada would seem to have even fewer hurdles to clear for the rebuilding White Sox. It'll happen at some point, so if you've already held on to him this long, no sense swapping out him out for some other prospect (unless it's Rosario, of course).
Clint Frazier, OF, Yankees
2016 minors: .263 BA (463 AB), 16 HR, 13 SB, .782 OPS, 48 BB, 122 K
2017 minors: .250 BA (260 AB), 12 HR, 9 SB, .813 OPS, 36 BB, 66 K
You know how I mentioned Miguel Andujar is in the mix for at-bats with Matt Holliday and Aaron Hicks down? Yeah, it's either him or ... Rob Refsnyder. We're talking bottom of the barrel for a team with legitimate playoff aspirations. What if somebody else goes down or Andujar displaces Chase Headley at third base? It'd make all the sense in the world for the Yankees turn to their top hitting prospect -- the top one who's healthy, anyway. Frazier, of course, was the fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft and the prize of the Andrew Miller deal last summer. His power potential hasn't translated to big numbers yet, but the same was true for Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge before they got the call.
Derek Fisher, OF, Astros
2017 minors: .315 BA (267 AB), 17 HR, 13 SB, .960 OPS, 26 BB, 60 K
2017 majors: .278 BA (18 AB), 2 HR, 1 SB, .992 OPS, 3 BB, 5 K
Fisher is just 2 for 22 in six games since returning to Triple-A Fresno, but the letdown effect may be at play there after what was an impressive major-league debut. Manager A.J. Hinch himself called Josh Reddick's return "a bittersweet move" because of what it meant for Fisher. The 23-year-old will bounce back, though, and he still has an easy path to the majors even with Reddick back in play. For as long as Jake Marisnick is offering something with the bat, his defense is too valuable to keep him out of the lineup for more than a day or two, but his history suggest the offense won't last.
Five on the periphery
(These are some other prospects doing something of note.)
Tyler Glasnow, SP, Pirates
2017 minors: 1-0, 1.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 18 IP, 10 BB, 31 K
2017 majors: 2-6, 7.45 ERA, 1.91 WHIP, 54 1/3 IP, 29 BB, 50 K
Glasnow's last start at Triple-A Indianapolis -- one of three -- was an absolute gem. He struck out 12 in seven shutout innings, allowing two hits and two walks. It was his second straight double-digit strikeout effort, but he issued four walks in each of the two starts preceding it. For the Pirates to take another chance on him, perhaps at the expense of Chad Kuhl, they'll need to see legitimate progress with the control, like the Rays saw from their erratic strikeout artist, Blake Snell. Monday's start was a good first step.
Ryan McMahon, 3B, Rockies
2016 minors: .242 BA (466 AB), 12 HR, 11 SB, .724 OPS, 55 BB, 161 K
2017 minors: .360 BA (286 AB), 11 HR, 9 SB, 1.004 OPS, 27 BB, 54 K
McMahon's stock crashed last year when he couldn't replicate in the Eastern League his numbers from the hitter-friendly California League just one year earlier. But back for a second helping this year, he was a different player, batting .326 with a .926 OPS in 181 at-bats to earn a promotion to another hitter-friendly environment, Triple-A Albuquerque, where he has hit .419 with five homers and a 1.139 OPS. He has cut down on his strikeouts dramatically and has been making starts at second base as well as first and third, so he's very much a part of the Rockies' future again.
Domingo Acevedo, SP, Yankees
2016 minors: 5-4, 2.61 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 93 IP, 22 BB, 102 K
2017 minors: 3-5, 3.16 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 94 IP, 21 BB, 100 K
The Yankees have no shortage of impressive pitchers in the minors right now, and in terms of pure stuff, Acevedo might be at the top of the list. He reaches triple digits with his fastball and controls it in a way you don't normally see from minor-league pitchers, issuing just four walks compared to 40 strikeouts in his six starts for Double-A Trenton. His 6-foot-7 frame earns him comparisons to Dellin Betances, and he hasn't yet proven he can handle a starter's workload. At worst, though, he's looking at a 2018 arrival, so make sure he's not being overlooked in your dynasty league.
Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians
2016 minors: .235 BA (485 AB), 29 HR, .810 OPS, 75 BB, 170 K
2017 minors: .254 BA (236 AB), 14 HR, .840 OPS, 33 BB, 64 K
Bradley's standout tool is his ability to hit the ball out of the park, something he did three times in Wednesday's game. Of course, it's not a skill in high demand at the major-league level, so it's a good thing he knows how to take a walk as well. His profile is not unlike that of Carlos Santana, but players who don't hit for average in the minors (something Santana himself did) make for scary long-term investments. The 21-year-old still has at least another year of development ahead of him, in all likelihood.
Corbin Burnes, SP, Brewers
2016 minors: 3-0, 2.02 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 35 2/3 IP, 18 BB, 41 K
2017 minors: 7-0, 0.97 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 83 2/3 IP, 21 BB, 82 K
I realize it's the second time in three weeks I've featured Burnes in this space, but I can't help it. I'm completely transfixed by the guy. Early scouting reports expressed concerns over his high-effort delivery -- a possible sentence to the bullpen, basically -- but Burnes tweaked it this spring to incorporate his lower body more, which has also led to better command. And in four starts at Double-A, where the flukes are typically exposed, he has actually improved his numbers with a 0.76 ERA and 0.63 WHIP.