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Yup, safe to say the word is out on him. He's owned in two-thirds of CBSSports.com leagues now, which is more than we could have said for Byron Buxton at the time of his promotion.
Read a bit about Kyle Schwarber, too, right? I mean, technically, since he's in the majors now, he doesn't qualify for this space, but to hear Theo Epstein tell it, he won't be in the majors for long.
Which, of course, we also heard for Eduardo Rodriguez and Joey Gallo, but ... well, who's keeping score? The rule of thumb is that whenever a general manager speaks about a player's future, you can choose whether to believe it or not. And whenever that player is a potential game-changer in Fantasy, as all top prospects are, I'll believe whatever gets him to the majors sooner.
Because if I don't, someone else will, and I'll have forfeited an easy shot at a potential game-changer by putting my trust in what amounts to hot air. For most of these players, you only get one shot. If you wait for that ironclad report that spurs everyone to action, you risk missing out.
That's why I think it's perfectly reasonable to own Matz, especially with general manager Sandy Alderson saying he'll "probably" be promoted soon. That's also why I think it's perfectly reasonable to add Schwarber wherever you need catcher help just in case he performs so well as a DH that the Cubs decide to keep him on as their left fielder.
And that's also why I think it's advisable to speculate which prospects are next in line and potentially stash them ahead of time. Here are my top choices.
Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins
Sano seemed like a safe bet to reach the majors before Buxton coming into the year, but once the season started, he just didn't seem himself coming back from Tommy John surgery.
He has turned the corner over his last 33 games, though, batting .320 with seven home runs and a .981 OPS in 122 at-bats, and is clearly in the mix for a promotion with the Twins looking to bolster their roster for an unexpected playoff push. Manager Paul Molitor hinted as much to the Pioneer Press on Tuesday.
"Every day that goes by he's closer to getting here, whether it's in a couple weeks or September," Molitor said.
Of all the hitters with superstar potential, Sano appears to be the closest to a callup, making him the top minor-leaguer to stash in Fantasy (apart from Matz, of course). Given the home run power he has displayed over his minor-league career -- he had 35 long balls in 439 at-bats in 2013, his last full healthy season -- he has the look of another Giancarlo Stanton.
Corey Seager, 3B, Dodgers
Since Kris Bryant got the call in mid-May, Seager has been the minor-leaguer everyone can't stop talking about, mostly because he hit .375 with five home runs and a 1.082 OPS in 80 at-bats at Double-A before taking a small step back at Triple-A.
He probably would take to the majors just fine, but it's not so clear where the Dodgers would play him. Nobody really views him as a shortstop long-term, so third base would seem to be the obvious choice. And while the Dodgers relieved some of the logjam there by trading Juan Uribe to the Braves, they're about to get another fresh face in Hector Olivera, who they didn't pay $62.5 million to sit on the bench (though Alex Guerrero would beg to differ).
Usually when the most buzz-worthy prospect in the game is seemingly blocked at every turn, the momentum wins out in the end, and the parent team finds a way to make it work. I get the sense we're there with Seager. Maybe an injury opens the door or maybe he does play some shortstop to start out, but one way or another, I expect him to be up after the All-Star break.
And I wouldn't be surprised if it's even sooner than that.
Aaron Nola, SP, Phillies
After Matz, Nola is the pitching prospect generating the most buzz right now, though it's a big gap between the two.
A big reason for that is general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. repeatedly squelching the possibility of a midseason promotion, suggesting on more than one occasion that Nola will have to wait until September. The right-hander is clearly too good for Double-A, having compiled a 1.88 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 12 starts there, going seven innings or deeper in seven of them.
There was talk when the Phillies drafted him seventh overall last year that he may not need a minor-league stint at all, so the Phillies are playing this one extra cautiously. After watching their makeshift pitching staff allow 19 runs to the Orioles on Tuesday, though, the fan base may be growing restless and is already calling for Amaro's head. He may ultimately have to concede on this one.
Brian Johnson, SP, Red Sox
As prospects go, Johnson is a little more second-tier, with some questioning how his stuff will hold up at the highest level. But you see the term "pitchability" used with him a lot, and it certainly shows in the numbers.
He has been even better at Triple-A Pawtucket than Rodriguez was prior to his promotion, compiling a 2.51 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings in 12 starts, and earlier this season MassLive.com actually speculated that Johnson would be the first of the two to arrive. The Red Sox seem to be preparing for the move, cutting back on his innings a bit to make sure he'll be available deep into the season.
It's not like Rodriguez has solved all of the Red Sox's rotation woes, what with Joe Kelly still sporting a 5.32 ERA. The switch is coming. It's just a matter of when.
Jon Singleton, 1B, Astros
Speaking of "when," that's the question we've all been asking about Singleton for a while now. Considering he was the Astros' starting first baseman for the final four months of last season and nearly made the team out of spring training, you'd think his numbers at Triple-A Fresno -- a .280 batting average, 14 home runs and .923 OPS in 239 at-bats -- would earn him a call. But for now, the Astros seem content to wait out Chris Carter at first base. With Evan Gattis occupying the DH spot, that doesn't leave anywhere for Singleton to play.
Eventually, though, the Astros' patience with Carter will wear out. They're contenders now, after all. And while Singleton's performance as a rookie last year, when he hit just .168, doesn't inspire much confidence, he wouldn't be the first hyped prospect to struggle in his first taste of the big leagues. Mike Trout hit .214 in his first 145 career at-bats, remember.
Even if Carter does eventually come through, Singleton could be a key piece in a deal to upgrade the starting rotation and would presumably become a starter for his new team. He's clearly just biding his time at Triple-A. Playing a deep position, he's not as stashable as Sano or Seager, but he may be worth it in deeper leagues.