Prospects Report: Taking a glimpse at the Futures
With June coming to a close, it is the annual time for the setting of the Futures Game rosters. As Eric Mack writes in his Prospects Report, there are future Fantasy MVPs in there, if you can peer into the crystal ball.
We won't have to wait until after the All-Star break to see some of the elite prospects in baseball -- unfortunately, it will be a one-game glimpse into the future.
It doesn't quite carry the weight of the All-Star Game, but the Futures Game is one of baseball's best showcases every summer. Those of us in keeper leagues care and enjoy getting a first national TV look at the top prospects who were merely names on the Baseball America rankings or CBSSports.com Fantasy Baseball Roster Trends for minor leaguers.
The official Futures Game rosters were announced this week and are listed below. Teams were limited to two participants and, because it is the U.S. against the World, it won't be all of the top prospects in the minor leagues (so only two O's pitching prospects make it). Just seven of the players have reached the highest level or the minors and there are no players with major league experience. So, we won't see the most-owned minor leaguers like Clay Buchholz , Matt LaPorta and Brandon Wood .
Hopefully those guys are back in the big leagues before this game is played. There is also a slim chance some of these Futures Gamers will be called up before then -- like Justin Verlander a few years ago -- and have to be replaced on the roster.
Here are our top five must-see prospects in this event, assuming they are not called up before then:
1. Madison Bumgarner , SP, Giants
The only things we know about Bumgarner is what we read on his profile. Teenager. Left-handed. And lights out.
His 15 percent ownership ties him as the most-owned CBSSports.com player in the Futures Game.
Bumgarner is the best prospect in the minors, though, and someone we hope will get a lot of play on the broadcast. At 19, he is dominating Double-A, going 4-1 with a 2.13 ERA and a .223 batting-average against. He is a combined (7-2)-1.88-.221 ... as a teenager!
2. Mat Latos , SP, Padres
We have seen him rise in the Padres' system and prospect rankings real quickly this spring, but his ownership in CBSSports.com's Fantasy leagues has been slow to respond. He is only owned in 4 percent of our leagues, but his numbers suggest that should change.
Latos, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound future front-line ace, has handled a promotion to Double-A, going 4-1 with a 2.18 and a .217 BAA. He is a combined 7-1 with a 1.39 ERA and a .177 BAA through 58 1/3 innings between Class A and Double-A. He has 64 strikeouts to 12 walks.
The Padres are not in contention this year, but their injury-hit rotation could use some reinforcements and they very well might take a look at this 22-year-old in the second half.
3. Chris Tillman , SP, Orioles
He was a De facto No. 6 in the June 1 "High Five", but an untimely leg injury kept him from being the imminent call-up by the Orioles. The expected Koji Uehara demotion or DL assignment figures to give us a look at David Hernandez on Sunday, but Tillman very well might be the Orioles best starting pitcher today and the proverbial tomorrow.
Tillman is the No. 1 most-owned minor leaguer to be selected to the game, for very good reason. He has not allowed more than three earned runs in a game this season, posting a 5-4 record with a 2.59 ERA and a .235 BAA.
As Erik Bedard tries to prove healthy in the next couple of weeks before the All-Star Game, the Mariners will be hoping they could draw talent in a trade that could come close to Tillman.
4. Josh Vitters , 3B, Cubs
Most people recognize this name because he was a often-rumored piece of the Cubs packages for Jake Peavy . The Cubs have to be happy they never made that deal, and not only because Peavy is injured.
Vitters, drafted as a high school talent out of Southern California, got off to a slow start as a professional, but he has popped this year and looks like a future Fantasy slugger, perhaps even an elite top five Fantasy third baseman-type. He could be Evan Longoria / Ryan Braun / David Wright good. The 19-year-old will need a few years, though.
In low Class A, Vitters has hit .308 with 13 homers, a .520 SLUG and a .346 OBP. He could use a little more patience as his 37-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio suggests, but how many teenage sluggers are patient?
We have to stay patient, too. It is going to be a long few years waiting for him to arrive.
5. Neftali Feliz , SP, Rangers
We had to have at least one World Team player to watch here. It is Feliz, although the Rangers' recent announcement that he will transition to relief is discouraging in keeper leagues. It is great news that he will arrive in the second half, but it is disappointing it will be as a middle reliever to help in this pennant race the Rangers find themselves in.
Feliz is the fourth-most owned CBSSports.com Fantasy player selected to play. The 21-year-old, a key piece in the Mark Teixeira trade with the Braves a few years ago, has a lightning arm that could use a bit more command.
Feliz has held his own in Triple-A, going 3-5 with a 3.86 ERA and a .258 BAA in 60 2/3 innings. He has struck out 55 and allowed just one homer, but has walked 27. His high pitch counts might be the reason the Rangers decided he can help more this season in a Joba Chamberlain-like role. At 6-feet-3, 190 pounds, he is a rail thin Joba.
Some more talents we are curious to get a look at: Jarrod Parker , SP, ARI; Pedro Alvarez , 3B, PIT; Desmond Jennings , OF, TB; Jemile Weeks , 2B, OAK and Carlos Santana , C, CLE.
Here are the initial rosters. The numbers after 10 names are their ranking among CBSSports.com's most-owned minor leaguers.
|Jason Castro||C||HOU||Double-A||Jesus Montero||C||NYY||Double-A|
|Tyler Flowers||C||CHW||Double-A||Carlos Santana||C||CLE||Double-A|
|Chris C. Carter||1B||OAK||Double-A||Angel Villalona||1B||SF||High Class A|
|Scott Sizemore||2B||DET||Triple-A||Brett Lawrie||2B||MIL||Low Class A|
|Jemile Weeks||2B||OAK||High Class A||Starlin Castro||SS||CHC||High Class A|
|Eric Young||2B||COL||Triple-A||Alcides Escobar #5||SS||MIL||Triple-A|
|Danny Espinosa||SS||WAS||High Class A||Wilmer Flores||SS||NYM||Low Class A|
|Pedro Alvarez #3||3B||PIT||Double-A||Pedro Baez||3B||LAD||High Class A|
|Josh Vitters||3B||CHC||Low Class A||Alex Liddi||3B||SEA||High Class A|
|Brett Wallace #7||3B||STL||Triple-A||Dayan Viciedo||3B||CHW||Double-A|
|Jason Heyward #6||OF||ATL||High Class A||Luis Durango||OF||SD||Double-A|
|Chris Heisey||OF||CIN||Double-A||Tyson Gillies||OF||SEA||High Class A|
|Desmond Jennings||OF||TB||Double-A||Kyeong Kang||OF||TB||Low Class A|
|Daryl Jones||OF||STL||Double-A||Rene Tosoni||OF||MIN||Double-A|
|Giancarlo Stanton #10||OF||FLA||Double-A||Nick Weglarz||OF||CLE||Double-A|
|Madison Bumgarner #2||LHP||SF||Double-A||Manny Banuelos||LHP||NYY||Low Class A|
|Kyle Drabek||RHP||PHI||Double-A||Jhoulys Chacin||RHP||COL||Double-A|
|Danny Duffy||LHP||KC||High Class A||Neftali Feliz #4||RHP||TEX||Triple-A|
|Casey Kelly||RHP||BOS||High Class A||Yohan Flande||LHP||PHI||High Class A|
|Mat Latos||RHP||SD||Double-A||Chia-Jen Lo||RHP||HOU||Double-A|
|Brad Lincoln||RHP||PIT||Triple-A||Jenrry Mejia||RHP||NYM||Double-A|
|Brian Matusz #9||LHP||BAL||Double-A||Luis Perez||LHP||TOR||Double-A|
|Jarrod Parker #8||RHP||ARI||Double-A||Leyson Septimo||LHP||ARI||High Class A|
|Trevor Reckling||RHP||LAA||Double-A||Juan Carlos Sulbaran||RHP||CIN||Low Class A|
|Chris Tillman #1||RHP||BAL||Triple-A||Junichi Tazawa||RHP||BOS||Double-A|
The U.S. Team traditionally has the most prominent prospects because BA tends to know the most about the American players, having scouted them through high school and the First Year Player Draft. The World Team is also younger and less experienced.
It is like this most years and the World Team tends to impress and perform, perhaps because of the World players' experience in big-time competition in winter ball. Only two of the top 10 most-owned minor leaguers on CBSSports.com will play for the World side.
Every week, 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.
|Clay Buchholz||SP||BOS||37||Anthony Swarzak||SP||MIN||3||Conor Gillaspie||3B||SF||1|
|Howie Kendrick||2B||ANA||35||Will Inman||SP||SD||2||Andrew Lambo||LF||LA||1|
|Matt LaPorta||OF||CLE||28||Chuck Lofgren||SP||CLE||2||Brett Sinkbeil||SP||FLA||1|
|Roberto Hernandez||SP||CLE||25||Matt Maloney||SP||CIN||2||Joe Mather||LF||STL||1|
|Brandon Wood||3B||ANA||23||Troy Patton||SP||BAL||2||Kasey Kiker||SP||TEX||1|
|Manny Parra||SP||MIL||22||Wilmer Flores||SS||NYM||2||Cesar Carrillo||SP||SD||1|
|Cameron Maybin||CF||FLA||21||Kyle Drabek||SP||PHI||2||Bradley Holt||SP||NYM||1|
|Homer Bailey||SP||CIN||18||Chad Cordero||RP||SEA||2||Collin Balester||SP||WAS||1|
|Travis Snider||OF||TOR||18||Aaron Cunningham||OF||OAK||2||Tyler Colvin||LF||CHC||1|
|Chris Tillman||SP||BAL||15||Junichi Tazawa||SP||BOS||2||David Cooper||1B||TOR||1|
|Madison Bumgarner||SP||SF||15||Drew Stubbs||OF||CIN||2||Bryan Augenstein||SP||ARI||1|
|Lastings Milledge||CF||WAS||14||Hank Conger||C||ANA||2||Marc Rzepczynski||SP||TOR||1|
|Pedro Alvarez||3B||PIT||12||Dallas McPherson||3B||SF||2||Wes Hodges||3B||CLE||1|
|Kyle Davies||SP||KC||12||Adam Miller||SP||CLE||2||Brandon Crawford||SS||SF||1|
|Buster Posey||C||SF||12||Michael Taylor||LF||PHI||2||Ryan Shealy||1B||KC||1|
|Neftali Feliz||SP||TEX||12||Scott Elbert||RP||LA||2||Chin-lung Hu||SS||LA||1|
|Alcides Escobar||SS||MIL||11||Lou Marson||C||PHI||2||Barbaro Canizares||OF||ATL||1|
|Emmanuel Burriss||SS||SF||11||Freddie Freeman||1B||ATL||2||Mark Prior||SP||SD||1|
|Jordan Schafer||OF||ATL||10||Brett Lawrie||C||MIL||2||Jason Knapp||SP||PHI||1|
|Justin Smoak||1B||TEX||10||Todd Frazier||SS||CIN||2||Jerry Owens||CF||SEA||1|
|Jason Heyward||OF||ATL||10||Jordan Walden||SP||ANA||2||Mark Melancon||RP||NYY||1|
|Jeff Clement||C||SEA||9||Blake DeWitt||2B||LA||2||Cole Rohrbough||SP||ATL||1|
|Carlos Carrasco||SP||PHI||9||Chris Valaika||SS||CIN||2||Ryan Kalish||OF||BOS||1|
|Lars Anderson||1B||BOS||8||Andrew Brackman||SP||NYY||2||Brandon Allen||OF||CHW||1|
|Michael Bowden||SP||BOS||8||Greg Halman||OF||SEA||2||Mark Trumbo||1B||ANA||1|
|Jake Arrieta||SP||BAL||8||Domonic Brown||OF||PHI||2||Brent Lillibridge||SS||CHW||1|
|Jeff Samardzija||RP||CHC||8||Aaron Hicks||OF||MIN||2||Gorkys Hernandez||CF||PIT||1|
|Wade Davis||SP||TB||8||David Freese||3B||STL||2||Kyle Kendrick||SP||PHI||1|
|Jose Arredondo||RP||ANA||8||Jason Castro||C||HOU||2||Chris Nelson||SS||COL||1|
|Brett Wallace||3B||STL||7||Adrian Cardenas||SS||OAK||2||Henry Rodriguez||SP||OAK||1|
|Franklin Morales||SP||COL||7||Jason Donald||SS||PHI||2||Josh Whitesell||1B||ARI||1|
|Dana Eveland||SP||OAK||7||Jeremy Jeffress||SP||MIL||2||Jesus Guzman||3B||SF||1|
|Jarrod Parker||SP||ARI||7||Bud Norris||SP||HOU||2||Michael Main||SP||TEX||1|
|Brian Matusz||SP||BAL||7||Michael Saunders||3B||SEA||2||Cale Iorg||SS||DET||1|
|Mike Moustakas||3B||KC||6||Ben Revere||CF||MIN||2||Humberto Sanchez||RP||NYY||1|
|Gaby Sanchez||1B||FLA||6||Jose Ceda||RP||FLA||2||Deolis Guerra||SP||MIN||1|
|Tim Beckham||SS||TB||6||Travis Buck||RF||OAK||2||Eric Patterson||2B||OAK||1|
|Austin Jackson||OF||NYY||6||Joe Koshansky||1B||MIL||1||Greg Smith||SP||COL||1|
|Ryan Rowland-Smith||SP||SEA||6||Joaquin Arias||2B||TEX||1||Casey Weathers||RP||COL||1|
|Tim Alderson||SP||SF||6||Tom Gorzelanny||SP||PIT||1||Daryl Jones||CF||STL||1|
|Giancarlo Stanton||OF||FLA||6||Kevin Frandsen||2B||SF||1||Fautino De Los Santos||RP||OAK||1|
|Carlos Santana||C||CLE||6||Dan Cortes||SP||KC||1||Brandon Erbe||SP||BAL||1|
|Dayan Viciedo||3B||CHW||5||Dellin Betances||SP||NYY||1||Yorman Bazardo||RP||PHI||1|
|Jeanmar Gomez||SP||CLE||5||William Rowell||3B||BAL||1||Martin Perez||SP||TEX||1|
|David Purcey||SP||TOR||5||Ethan Martin||SP||LA||1||Matt Tuiasosopo||3B||SEA||1|
|Yonder Alonso||1B||CIN||5||J.R. Towles||C||HOU||1||Nick Weglarz||1B||CLE||1|
|Logan Morrison||1B||FLA||5||Brad Lincoln||SP||PIT||1||Sean Doolittle||1B||OAK||1|
|Ryan Perry||RP||DET||5||Wilkin Ramirez||OF||DET||1||Clete Thomas||LF||DET||1|
|Desmond Jennings||OF||TB||5||Josh Reddick||LF||BOS||1||John Bowker||1B||SF||1|
|Matt Joyce||OF||TB||5||Kevin Pucetas||SP||SF||1||Hector Rondon||SP||CLE||1|
|Josh Vitters||3B||CHC||5||John Raynor||OF||FLA||1||Daryl Thompson||SP||CIN||1|
|Alexi Casilla||2B||MIN||4||Josh Fields||RP||SEA||1||Bryan Anderson||C||STL||1|
|Michael Ynoa||SP||OAK||4||Kyle Skipworth||C||FLA||1||Engel Beltre||OF||TEX||1|
|Mat Latos||SP||SD||4||Radhames Liz||SP||BAL||1||Jeff Larish||DH||DET||1|
|Kila Ka'aihue||DH||KC||4||Cedric Hunter||CF||SD||1||Ike Davis||1B||NYM||1|
|J.P. Arencibia||C||TOR||4||Justin Maxwell||CF||WAS||1||Wilson Betemit||1B||CHW||1|
|Reid Brignac||SS||TB||4||Brandon Jones||LF||ATL||1||Joe Savery||SP||PHI||1|
|Max Ramirez||C||TEX||4||Brandon Snyder||1B||BAL||1||Reese Havens||SS||NYM||1|
|Matt Antonelli||2B||SD||4||Wilson Ramos||C||MIN||1||Ryan Tucker||SP||FLA||1|
|Eric Hosmer||1B||KC||4||Eugenio Velez||2B||SF||1||Chris Carter||DH||BOS||1|
|Angel Villalona||3B||SF||4||Daniel Schlereth||RP||ARI||1||Andrew Cashner||SP||CHC||1|
|Jesus Montero||C||NYY||4||Wilin Rosario||C||COL||1||Chris Johnson||3B||HOU||1|
|Ian Kennedy||SP||NYY||3||Ivan De Jesus||SS||LA||1||Trevor Reckling||RP||ANA||1|
|Carlos Triunfel||SS||SEA||3||Jess Todd||RP||STL||1||Jesse Crain||RP||MIN||1|
|Angel Salome||C||MIL||3||Austin Romine||C||NYY||1||Juan Francisco||3B||CIN||1|
|Jose Tabata||OF||PIT||3||Josh Lindblom||P||LA||1||Nick Noonan||SS||SF||1|
|Jeremy Hellickson||SP||TB||3||Jemile Weeks||2B||OAK||1||
|Eric O. Young||2B||COL||3||Chris Heisey||CF||CIN||1||Brett Cecil||SP||TOR||8|
|Matt Dominguez||3B||FLA||3||Trevor Crowe||OF||CLE||1||Chris Ray||RP||BAL||8|
|Chris Marrero||OF||WAS||3||Daniel Moskos||SP||PIT||1||Gio Gonzalez||SP||OAK||7|
|Jake McGee||SP||TB||3||Michael Burgess||RF||WAS||1||James McDonald||RP||LA||7|
|Tyler Flowers||C||CHW||3||Kevin Mulvey||SP||MIN||1||Kyle Blanks||1B||SD||5|
|Phillippe Aumont||SP||SEA||3||Jordan Danks||CF||CHW||1||Nick Evans||LF||NYM||1|
|Chris Carter||1B||OAK||3||Neil Walker||3B||PIT||1||Sean O'Sullivan||SP||ANA||1|
|Sean Gallagher||SP||OAK||3||Julio Borbon||CF||TEX||1||Steve Pearce||RF||PIT||2|
|David Hernandez||SP||BAL||3||Jon Meloan||RP||CLE||1||Wade LeBlanc||SP||SD||1|
|Jhoulys Chacin||SP||COL||3||Mitchell Boggs||SP||STL||1||Walter Silva||RP||SD||2|
|Beau Mills||1B||CLE||3||Brian Barden||3B||STL||1|
|Jonathon Niese||SP||NYM||3||Michael Brantley||OF||CLE||1|
Top AL rookies to date
- Rick Porcello , SP, DET -- Inning totals could make him dangerous in the second half, so you could sell high right now.
- Andrew Bailey , RP, OAK -- He has four blown saves, but his overall production has been clutch in Fantasy.
- Trevor Cahill , SP, OAK -- He has been as good as any rookie (and any vet?) of late.
- Nolan Reimold , OF, BAL -- He is well ahead of his highly-hyped teammate in the ROY race that's nearing the halfway point.
- Scott Richmond , SP, TOR -- It is crowded among starting pitchers in the AL ROY race; he figures to fall back.
- Honorable mentions: David Price , SP, TB; Jeff Niemann , SP, TB; Matt Wieters , C, BAL; Elvis Andrus , SS, TEX; Brett Gardner , OF, NYY; Josh Outman , SP, OAK; Ricky Romero , SP, TOR; Brad Bergesen , SP, BAL; Vin Mazzaro , SP, OAK; Clayton Richard , SP, CHW; Daniel Bard , RP, BOS; Alfredo Aceves , RP, NYY; Phil Coke , RP, NYY; Chris Getz , 2B, CHW; David Huff , SP, CLE.
Top NL rookies to date
- Tommy Hanson , SP, ATL -- It hasn't taken long for him to get over his slow start; he looks capable of dominating.
- Andrew McCutchen , OF, PIT -- He has scorched out of the gate, but his ranking says a lot about this NL ROY class.
- Colby Rasmus , OF, STL -- He has been streaky, but his power numbers and production leads rookies to date.
- J.A. Happ , SP, PHI -- Phillies want a front-line starter, but they need to try to hang on to this surprise.
- Sean West , SP, FLA -- His numbers in the majors are more impressive than they were in Double-A; he's good, though.
- Honorable mentions: Randy Wells , SP, CHC; Dexter Fowler , OF, COL; Omir Santos , C, NYM; Gerardo Parra , OF, ARI; Chris Dickerson , OF, CIN; Chris Coghlan , 2B, FLA; Kenshin Kawakami , SP, ATL; Shairon Martis , SP, WAS; Jordan Zimmermann , SP, WAS; Dan Meyer , RP, FLA; Ross Detwiler , SP, WAS; Casey McGehee , 2B, MIL; Jason Jaramillo , C, PIT; Travis Ishikawa , 1B, SF; and Ryan Hanigan , C, CIN.
You can e-mail Emack your Fantasy Baseball prospect questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com. Be sure to put 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.
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