Prospects Report: Let's welcome Matt already

Here is what you get when you add a Triple-A hot streak, one elite prospect and a 15-day DL stint: A potential May 1 call-up.

While it pales in comparison to June 1, the beginning of a new month marks a time teams typically look for answers to their early season struggles down on the farm. Only the listless Washington Nationals have a worse record than the Indians heading into play Thursday.

The Indians could use a jolt. Matt LaPorta would provide it.

"LaPorta is still young," manager Eric Wedge told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "He made a good showing in spring training and it's good to see he's off to a good start down there. His day is going to come."

With Travis Hafner (shoulder) going on the DL this week and LaPorta on a wild tear, he could be called up for this weekend's series. If the Indians merely choose to activate Dave Dellucci (calf) from the DL, it shouldn't be long before they realize LaPorta is too good to pass up.

"Sure it happens," Wedge told the paper of prospects forcing their way to the majors sooner than planned. "But everything is magnified because it's the beginning of the season and we're off to the start we're off to. We have to make sure we don't get too emotional about what we're doing here day to day."

Dellucci certainly earned the first look to replace Hafner at DH or the disappointing Ben Francisco (.241) in left. Dellucci is 12-for-29 (.414) with a double, triple, two RBI, seven runs and two steals (.469 SLUG and .517) on his Triple-A rehab assignment. But he is the devil we know, instead of the one we don't ... don't yet know at least.

The prime piece in the CC Sabathia trade last July could be one devil of a hitter. In fact, you have to figure he will be the most impactful hitter call-up not named Matt Wieters that we will get this season.

LaPorta could be our one chance at a Jay Bruce/Ryan Braun-like pre-June call-up. That is no small statement, yet also an indictment on the lack of true impact Fantasy hitter prospects in the upper levels of the minors.

LaPorta is hitting .368 (25-for-68) with five homers, 14 RBI, 20 runs (.436 OBP, .706 SLUG). He has an amazing 1-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (7-7) to date.

Most of his damage has come in the past 10 games (.405-3-9-12). Having Dellucci around certainly helps. They might as well bring them both up together.

"You're happy to see guys produce at the Triple-A level," Wedge said. "Again, one player here or there isn't going to make a difference in us winning or losing ballgames. It's different areas of our club [that have to improve]."

LaPorta likely shouldn't be looked upon as a savior, but he certainly can be a part of the solution, especially with just a pair of catchers or reserve outfielders as options to serve as the DH right now.

Prospect watch

Every Thursday, 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.

Player POS TM % Player POS TM % Player POS TM %
David Price SP TB 82 Chris Marrero OF WAS 3 Michael Brantley OF CLE 1
Matt Wieters C BAL 78 Jake McGee SP TB 3 Conor M. Gillaspie 3B SF 1
Tommy Hanson SP ATL 67 Tyler Flowers C CHW 3 Andrew Lambo LF LA 1
Matt LaPorta OF CLE 40 Phillippe Aumont SP SEA 3 Brett Sinkbeil SP FLA 1
Lastings Milledge CF WAS 26 Chris C. Carter 1B OAK 3 Joe Mather LF STL 1
Clay Buchholz SP BOS 25 Jason Donald SS PHI 3 Kasey Kiker SP TEX 1
Gordon Beckham SS CHW 20 Beau Mills 1B CLE 3 Cesar Carrillo SP SD 1
Mat Gamel 3B MIL 17 Daric Barton 1B OAK 3 Jason Hirsh SP COL 1
Andrew McCutchen OF PIT 15 Ross Detwiler SP WAS 2 Bradley Holt SP NYM 1
Pedro Alvarez 3B PIT 14 Will Inman SP SD 2 Kala Kaaihue 1B ATL 1
Neftali Feliz SP TEX 14 Charles Lofgren SP CLE 2 Steven Shell RP FA 1
Madison Bumgarner SP SF 12 Wilmer Flores SS NYM 2 Collin Balester SP WAS 1
Jeff Clement C SEA 11 Gerardo Parra OF ARI 2 Brett Lawrie C MIL 1
Carlos Carrasco SP PHI 11 Sean West SP FLA 2 Tyler Colvin LF CHC 1
Buster Posey C SF 10 Joshua Lindblom P LA 2 David Cooper 1B TOR 1
Jason Heyward OF ATL 10 Aaron Cunningham OF OAK 2 Greg Reynolds SP COL 1
Gio Gonzalez SP OAK 9 Junichi Tazawa SP BOS 2 Wes Hodges 3B CLE 1
Lars Anderson 1B BOS 9 Hank Conger C ANA 2 Ryan Shealy 1B KC 1
Homer Bailey SP CIN 9 Freddie Freeman 1B ATL 2 Chin-lung Hu SS LA 1
Chris Tillman SP BAL 9 Todd Frazier SS CIN 2 Josh Barfield 2B CLE 1
Michael Bowden SP BOS 8 Steve Pearce RF PIT 2 Cole Rohrbough SP ATL 1
Alcides Escobar SS MIL 8 Mark Prior SP SD 2 Kellen Kulbacki LF SD 1
Justin Smoak 1B TEX 8 Chris Valaika SS CIN 2 Ryan Kalish OF BOS 1
Michael Moustakas 3B KC 7 Andrew Brackman SP NYY 2 Brandon Allen OF CHW 1
Brett Wallace 3B STL 7 Greg Halman OF SEA 2 Mark Trumbo 1B ANA 1
Daniel Bard SP BOS 7 Aaron Hicks OF MIN 2 Gorkys Hernandez OF ATL 1
Fernando Martinez OF NYM 7 Deolis Guerra SP MIN 2 Kyle Kendrick SP PHI 1
Wade Davis SP TB 7 Greg Smith SP COL 2 Chris Nelson SS COL 1
Dayan Viciedo 3B CHW 6 Jason Castro C HOU 2 Henry A. Rodriguez SP OAK 1
Gaby Sanchez 1B FLA 6 Adrian Cardenas SS OAK 2 Jesus Guzman 3B SF 1
Tim Beckham SS TB 6 Jeremy Jeffress SP MIL 2 Dominic Brown OF PHI 1
Jarrod Parker SP ARI 6 Ben Revere CF MIN 2 Michael Main SP TEX 1
Aaron Poreda SP CHW 6 Jose Ceda RP FLA 2 Cale Iorg SS DET 1
Nolan Reimold OF BAL 6 Joe Koshansky 1B MIL 1 Alberto Gonzalez SS WAS 1
Austin Jackson OF NYY 6 Joaquin Arias 2B TEX 1 Humberto Sanchez RP FA 1
Brian Matusz SP BAL 6 Tom Gorzelanny SP PIT 1 Eric O. Young 2B COL 1
Michael Stanton OF FLA 6 James J. Simmons RP OAK 1 Casey Weathers RP COL 1
Yonder Alonso 1B CIN 5 Kevin Frandsen 2B SF 1 Daryl Jones CF STL 1
Logan Morrison 1B FLA 5 Danny Cortes SP KC 1 Gregor Blanco LF ATL 1
Kyle Blanks 1B SD 5 Dellin Betances SP NYY 1 Chris Coghlan 3B FLA 1
Matt Joyce OF TB 5 William Rowell 3B BAL 1 Fautino De Los Santos RP OAK 1
J.P. Arencibia C TOR 5 Troy Patton SP BAL 1 Brandon Erbe SP BAL 1
Max Ramirez C TEX 5 Brad Lincoln SP PIT 1 Brad Mills RP TOR 1
Josh Vitters 3B CHC 5 Wilkin Ramirez OF DET 1 Matt Tuiasosopo 3B SEA 1
Sean Gallagher SP OAK 5 Josh Reddick LF BOS 1 David Hernandez SP BAL 1
Carlos Santana C CLE 5 John Raynor OF FLA 1 Nicholas Weglarz 1B CLE 1
Brett Cecil SP TOR 4 Josh D. Fields RP SEA 1 Sean Doolittle 1B OAK 1
Michael Ynoa SP OAK 4 Kyle Skipworth C FLA 1 John Bowker 1B SF 1
Ian Kennedy SP NYY 4 Radhames Liz SP BAL 1 Carlos Rosa RP KC 1
Chad Cordero RP SEA 4 Sean Rodriguez 2B ANA 1 Bud Norris SP HOU 1
Jake Arrieta SP BAL 4 Jeremy Sowers SP CLE 1 Hector Rondon SP CLE 1
Kila Ka'aihue DH KC 4 Cedric Hunter CF SD 1 Jonny Gomes LF CIN 1
Reid Brignac SS TB 4 Justin Maxwell CF WAS 1 Brian Bogusevic OF HOU 1
David Freese 3B STL 4 Wilson Ramos C MIN 1 Michael Saunders 3B SEA 1
Luke Hochevar SP KC 4 Josh Bard C WAS 1 Daryl Thompson SP CIN 1
Matt Antonelli 2B SD 4 Daniel Schlereth RP ARI 1 Bryan D. Anderson C STL 1
Eric Hosmer 1B KC 4 Kyle Drabek SP PHI 1 Engel Beltre OF TEX 1
Jhoulys Chacin SP COL 4 Jeremy Accardo RP TOR 1 Jeff Larish DH DET 1
Timothy Alderson SP SF 4 Wilin Rosario C COL 1 Isaac Davis 1B NYM 1
Angel Villalona 3B SF 4 Ivan DeJesus SS LA 1 Joe Savery SP PHI 1
Jonathon Niese SP NYM 4 Matt Latos SP SD 1 Ryan Tucker SP FLA 1
Jesus Montero C NYY 4 Jess Todd RP STL 1 Chris C. Carter DH BOS 1
Carlos Gonzalez OF COL 4 Austin Romine C NYY 1 Andrew Cashner SP CHC 1
Dallas McPherson 3B SF 3 Jake Fox 1B CHC 1 Chris Johnson 3B HOU 1
Adam Miller SP CLE 3 Jemile Weeks 2B OAK 1 Juan Francisco 3B CIN 1
Carlos Triunfel SS SEA 3 Drew Stubbs OF CIN 1 Nick Evans LF NYM 1
Jordan Walden SP ANA 3 Daniel Moskos SP PIT 1 Wade LeBlanc SP SD 1
Angel Salome C MIL 3 Michael Burgess RF WAS 1 Anthony Swarzak SP MIN 1
Jose Tabata OF PIT 3 Kevin Mulvey SP MIN 1 John Mayberry OF PHI 1
Desmond Jennings OF TB 3 Neil Walker 3B PIT 1 Mike Carp 1B SEA 1
Jeremy Hellickson SP TB 3 Vin Mazzaro SP OAK 1 Nicholas Noonan SS SF 1
David Huff SP CLE 3 Julio Borbon CF TEX 1
Matt Dominguez 3B FLA 3 Jon Meloan RP CLE 1

Rookie watch

Top AL rookies to date

  1. Scott Richmond, SP, TOR -- He's off to a 3-0, 2.70 start, but the AL will catch up to him.
  2. Chris Getz, 2B, CHW -- A fractured finger tip won't send him to the DL; he's off to a great start.
  3. Travis Snider, OF, TOR -- He has cooled off considerably, but he will be streaky at this stage.
  4. Jose Morales, C, MIN -- Mauer's return will make him relatively worthless next week.
  5. Koji Uehara, SP, BAL -- He leads all rookie SPs with 30 innings, averaging six per start.

Top NL rookies to date

  1. Jordan Zimmermann, SP, WAS -- He has been outstanding through two starts, exceeding modest expectations.
  2. Dexter Fowler, OF, COL -- Five steals in one game is just ridiculous production from a rookie.
  3. Joe Thurston, 2B, STL -- Journeyman won't stay on this list, but he got off to a nice start.
  4. Brian Barden, 3B, STL -- He has earned starts at third base until Troy Glaus (shoulder) returns midseason.
  5. Micah Hoffpauir, OF, CHC -- His pop and Milton Bradley's injury history makes him intriguing right now.

Newbie needs

Woody: I'm looking for a long-term keeper 1B prospect. How would you rank the following: 1. Logan Morrison; 2. Lars Anderson; 3. Chris C. Carter (OAK); 4. Beau Mills; 5. Angel Villalona?

Emack: In the preseason Top 100, we ranked them: Mills (No. 21), Morrison (29), Anderson (36), Carter (39) and Villalona (75). Kyle Blanks (No. 40), Yonder Alonso (No. 41), Kila Ka'aihue (48), Gaby Sanchez (66) and Justin Smoak (71) were the other first basemen ranked among the top 75 prospects this spring. That ranking was our preseason forecast on the long-term potential of these guys.

Anderson, Smoak, Sanchez, Alonso, Morrison, Blanks, Ka'aihue, Hosmer, Carter and Mills (ranked in that order) are the most-owned among the 1B prospects. The general public likes Anderson the most, although that could be bumped by the effects of Red Sox Nation's popularity.

Morrison is out most of the season after wrist surgery, so we're inclined to go with the most-owned player. Anderson's numbers are better than Carter's or Mills' right now, and the higher ownership makes for residual value on the trade market, perhaps.

Our general feeling is first base prospects are never great stashees because of the demands of the thin position offensively. It takes a real stud to be Fantasy-worthy right away. Even Ryan Howard and Joey Votto needed a year in the majors before they were truly mixed league standouts.

Rank those five right now: 1. Anderson; 2. Mills; 3. Carter; 4. Morrison and 5. Villalona.

You can e-mail us your Fantasy Baseball prospect questions to Be sure to put Attn: 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.

Crave freelancer Eric Mack is a writer, radio producer, and podcaster based in Taos, N.M., but he lives in Google+. He's also managing editor of Full Bio

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