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The prospects are coming! The prospects are coming!
Relax. It's a bunch of chumps.
OK, so that's not totally fair, especially with regard to Gary Sanchez. Jose Peraza, Steven Moya and Tommy Joseph also have things they do well and could go on to have productive major-league careers (they wouldn't have made it this far otherwise), but as prospects go, they're decidedly second-tier. I might even argue third-tier for Moya and Joseph.
With the exception of the speedy Peraza, those "things they do well" mostly boil down to "hit home runs," but Sanchez has a chance to become a more complete hitter. He had lost much of his luster before regaining it with a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League and would be more exciting for Fantasy owners if he had a job to call his own. Early speculation, though, has him getting sent back to Triple-A once the Yankees get past the pair of tough lefties awaiting them in the White Sox series.
Then again, catcher is so weak that, at least in two-catcher leagues, you could take a flier on Sanchez and hope for the best. That's also true for Joseph, who's eligible at catcher in CBSSports.com leagues even though he'll be playing first base the majors. He doesn't walk at all, but he makes enough contact that he might just be able to hold down a regular job in the majors if not for that whole Ryan Howard thing.
Moya has a similar issue. He got a chance to start Thursday with Justin Upton shifting over to center field for the first time in his career, but manager Brad Ausmus said the smaller outfield in Baltimore made that alignment possible. Peraza, meanwhile, is probably only up until Billy Hamilton's bereavement period ends. He, Moya and Joseph are best left for league-specific formats until they find an opening and prove themselves in it.
So which prospects am I excited about these days? Glad you asked.
Five on the verge
(These are the prospects most worth stashing in redraft leagues.)
Blake Snell, SP, Rays
2015 stats: 15-4, 1.41 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 134 IP, 53 BB, 163 K
2016 stats: 1-3, 3.60 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 30 IP, 16 BB, 38 K
Snell is still at the top of the list, but his stock is down after the Rays passed him over for Matt Andriese when they needed a fifth starter Sunday. That's partly because the need developed two days earlier than expected, but Andriese ended up meeting it so well that manager Kevin Cash just decided to keep him there. Snell has had some control issues since returning to Triple-A, but we shouldn't forget how he carved up the Yankees lineup in his major-league debut April 23.
Trea Turner, 2B, Nationals
2015 stats: .322 BA, 8 HR, 29 SB, .828 OPS
2016 stats: .310 BA (40 for 129), 2 HR, 13 SB, .819 OPS, 15 BB, 27 K
The Nationals waited so long to turn the page on Danny Espinosa that the slick-fielding 29-year-old is beginning to come out of it, batting .350 (7 for 20) over his last five games. That's not a bad thing from the Nationals' perspective -- they'll take production wherever they can get it -- but it does give them cause to delay Turner further, especially with him cooling off over the last week. Still, seven hits does not a season redeem.
Tyler Glasnow, SP, Pirates
2015 stats: 7-5, 2.39 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 109 1/3 IP, 43 BB, 136 K
2016 stats: 2-1, 2.13 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 38 IP, 18 BB, 49 K
Glasnow followed up arguably his best start of the season May 7 with clearly his worst start of the season Thursday, issuing five walks while recording just one strikeout over five innings, and it's that inconsistentcy that may ultimately lead to Jameson Taillon getting the call before him. But Glasnow's strikeout potential is second to none -- he recorded 11 in two of his previous starts -- and for that, I'm more confident in him making an honest-to-goodness difference in Fantasy.
Jameson Taillon, SP, Pirates
2015 stats: Did not play -- injured
2016 stats: 2-1, 1.69 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 37 1/3 IP, 4 BB, 32 K
... But I've been wrong before, and with that in mind, I'm changing my tune on Taillon, who I suggested just a week ago may not be good enough to stash. Look, he's not picture perfect. I wish he had more strikeouts and hadn't missed the last two seasons, making his innings allotment anybody's guess. But eventually, you have to take that ERA at face value, especially with him controlling the strike zone the way he is. Hey, Aaron Nola wasn't a big strikeout guy in the minors either, but look at him now.
Julio Urias, SP, Dodgers
2015 stats: 3-5, 3.81 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 80 1/3 IP, 22 BB, 88 K
2016 stats: 3-1, 1.50 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 30 IP, 6 BB, 33 K
I'm shifting gears on Urias as well, who I said earlier this week was too far down the pecking order to stash in standard mixed leagues. But manager Dave Roberts confirmed last week that the 19-year-old is ahead of fellow prospect Jose De Leon, and when push comes to shove, I just don't think Ross Stripling or Mike Bolsinger are going to stand in the way of those numbers. The Dodgers aren't exactly running away with the NL West, in case you haven't noticed.
I still don't think Urias is an absolute must in standard mixed-leagues, but with Joey Gallo (groin) and A.J. Reed (hamstring) sidelined by injury, yeah, I can agree he's one of the top five minor-leaguers to own.
Five on the periphery
(These are some other prospects doing something of note.)
Byron Buxton, OF, Twins
Career stats (majors): .195 BA (34 for 174), 2 HR, 4 SB, .555 OPS, 8 BB, 68 K
2016 stats (minors): .316 BA (24 for 76), 3 HR, 2 SB, .900 OPS, 7 BB, 18 K
After the way his first couple of stints went, it's going to take more than just the news of his return for Fantasy owners to put their trust in Buxton again, but he is working his way toward a return with a strong showing at Triple-A. We've seen him conquer that level before, though.
Lucas Giolito, SP, Nationals
2015 stats: 7-7, 3.15 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 117 IP, 37 BB, 131 K
2016 stats: 1-2, 4.74 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, 24 2/3 IP, 15 BB, 21 K
Giolito was the most-drafted minor-leaguer in CBSSports.com leagues and remains the fourth most-owned, but I think in redraft leagues, it's time to move on. Everything has gone right for the Nationals pitchers at the major-league level (better, even, with Tanner Roark emerging as a force), and the Nationals wouldn't be looking to promote Giolito even they had an opening -- not with those numbers. He has some growing to do.
Joe Musgrove, SP, Astros
2015 stats: 12-1, 1.88 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 100 2/3 IP, 8 BB, 99 K
2016 stats: 2-1, 0.34 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 26 1/3 IP, 3 BB, 30 K
Musgrove, on the other hand, is growing up before our eyes and could find himself on the Fantasy radar as quickly as Lance McCullers did last year. He won't get to skip Triple-A, though, because his sub-1.00 ERA at Double-A (like McCullers' last year) just earned him a step up the ladder. His raw stuff isn't as good as McCullers' (or most top pitching prospects'), but he controls it exceptionally well. The Astros have no shortage of possible openings in their rotation either.
Peter O'Brien, OF, Diamondbacks
2015 stats: .284 BA (139 for 490), 26 HR, .883 OPS, 31 BB, 124 K
2016 stats: .342 BA (41 for 120), 11 HR, 1.038 OPS, 2 BB, 33 K
As prospects go, O'Brien is closer to Steven Moya than Gary Sanchez. Of course, I would have said the same for Mark Trumbo at one time, and he certainly has become a Fantasy asset. O'Brien's power speaks for itself, but his unwillingness (or inability) to work the count could doom him at the major-league level. Manager Chip Hale did tell The Arizona Republic recently that O'Brien is forcing his way to the picture, and David Peralta's wrist injury, which may or may not require a DL stint, could open the door.
Keon Broxton, OF, Brewers
2015 stats: .273 BA (134 for 491), 10 HR, 39 SB, .795 OPS, 66 BB, 156 K
2016 stats: .318 BA (28 for 88), 5 HR, 12 SB, .980 OPS, 12 BB, 24 K
The rebuilding Brewers have gotten adequate production from most of their stopgaps around the diamond, but one position they still haven't settled on is center field, which makes it all the more surprising that they gave up on spring sensation Keon Broxton so quickly. How long can they ignore what he's doing at Triple-A, hitter-friendly environment or not? I'd keep stashing him in NL-only Rotisserie leagues.