This list will give analysis on the players who are scheduled to be called up this year and who we think, can help their major league team and also your fantasy team. Some players made their team’s opening day roster and others have been called up prior to this article. The most recent prospect to hit the majors is that of C/1B for the Giants Buster Posey.
The former first-round-pick from Florida State, Posey, was a catcher in college but has since been moved to first to get his bat in the lineup. Posey responded beautifully by hitting safely in six of his first nine at-bats. He has since cooled off only recording one hit in his next seven at-bats. No need to worry though, Posey was one of my pre-season sleepers and it was for a reason: he can hit! I can still see him hitting 70 RBI and 15 homers.
We all know what Jason Heyward has been doing, but now it seems like he has been one of the leaders in the Braves recent success. He already has 10 homeruns and 38 RBI on the season and unless Strasburg does something we have never witnessed before, he will win the ROY honors.
20 year old SS Starlin Castro got the call up in early May from AA Tennessee for the Cubs and has since started every day. The young stud has a .367 average, .421 OBP, 41 hits and 20RBIs in 26 games. In his first game as a Cub, Castro belted an opposite field home run and had a triple, driving in three runs. His defense is still very suspect as he has committed seven errors in 24 games. Considering three of those came in one game, he he improved greatly, working with Alan Trammel daily. Castro is currently hitting .297, with two homers and 12 RBIs. Castro will likely ever see the minor leagues again. He will never be a great fantasy producer at SS like Troy Tulowitzki and Hanley Ramirez, but will continue to improve and be one of the best shortstops in the game for years to come.
Justin Smoak, like Heyward has a lot of pop, unlike Heyward however, his average is only at .190 thus far. I think the Rangers have someone similar to Chris Davis in Smoak and with that they will need to take the good with the bad─ Strikeouts. Smoak has to more K’s than hits and five more than walks. The walk-to-strikeout ratio is awful and I think as he sees more Major League pitching he will adapt.
Andrew Cashner is another player who was recently called up to help the big league team. Cashner will be coming out of the pen for the Cubs after his call-up on Memorial Day. Cashner was unhittable for Triple-A Iowa as his ERA was a minuscule 0.86, he also added a 0.90 WHIP. It seems as though Cashner pitches to contact more than trying to get the swing-and-miss. He had 17 strikeouts in 21 IP but only walked two.
1.Stephen Strasburg, SP, Nationals: Strasburg, as most already know, has been simply sensational in the minors. In his 10 minor league starts Strasburg has a 6-2 record while a miniscule 1.43 ERA and a 5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He did take his first loss Friday night after allowing three runs and six hits in just over five IP. He was also charged with his first balk in the game. Strasburg’s projected debut is set for June 9 where he will face the Pirates.
2.Carlos Santana, C, Indians: Santana is hitting .342 with 10 homeruns and 42 RBI at Triple-A Columbus. Not that I think this will be the “norm” in the majors but it is worth mentioning that he has six steals without being caught and a triple to boot. Santana, like Posey, is still fairly young for a big-league catcher, but his competition is Lou Marson who is hitting just .218 with 0 homeruns. I suspect the Indians will call this kid up sometime in the middle of June.
3.Mike Stanton, OF, Marlins: Stanton has serious power and if it wasn’t for the other players ahead of him playing more important positions Stanton could easily be right behind Strasburg. Stanton has 17 homeruns in just 160 at-bats (hr/9.4 at-bats) in Double-A Jacksonville. From what I have heard he is going to be called up the first week of June and should be able to make an immediate impact. At only 20 years old Stanton has a ton of upside and should hit for enough power to be a legitimate fantasy player this year.
4.Daniel Hudson, SP, White Sox: This is a bit of a hunch here as Hudson has had his struggles this year for Triple-A Charlotte (4.47 ERA). But seriously, Freddy Garcia is Chicago’s number five starter and although he has been decent as of late, he is going to get shelled again…and again. Hudson had a 3.38 ERA for the Sox last season in six games, albeit with only two starts. Hudson has the pitches to make an immediate impact and although his ERA is a bit high for what the Sox would like to see, he did just pitch eight shutout innings last start and he has a 59-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in just over 48 IP for Charlotte.
5.Desmond Jennings, OF, Rays: Having seen this young man play in person I can attest that he is fun to watch. Unfortunately, I have only been able to see him a couple times because of injuries (I am sure the Rays feel the same). With Carl Crawford becoming a free agent at the end of the year (congratulations to Yankee fans) Jennings will need to gain some experience as he will probably be their answer. B.J. Upton has been a regular on the injury report and the Rays could use another outfielder anyway. With this being said, Jennings has just a .222 average and he swings and misses far too often (18 strikeouts in 90 at-bats). Still though, he can steal bases (caught just once in 12 attempts) and play a good outfield.
6.Madison Bumgarner, SP, Giants: This is another story of the rich getting richer. The Giants already have what most would consider the game’s best rotation and with Bumgarner they could soon have another addition. Bumgarner has a 2.72 ERA in 56.1 IP for Triple-A Fresno and has already recorded a complete game shutout. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff but with the addition of a cutter he now has enough pitches to improve on what he started on last year in the majors. In four games for the Giants last season, Bumgarner posted a 1.80 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP with 10 strikeouts in 10 IP.
7.Aroldis Chapman, SP, Reds: The Cuban defect has had his struggles in Triple-A and seems to have a ways to go before he is ready to make a positive impact for the Reds, however, he has potent stuff and could prove to be beneficial if called up. Chapman has overpowering stuff and has displayed that with 55 strikeouts in just over 45 IP. The concern here though, is his 25 walks and his control issues. A 1.47 WHIP in the minors will certainly make management think twice, but the Reds are currently in a battle with the Cardinals and if/when they begin to lose ground they will start to come up with ideas, Chapman will be on their minds.
8.Brett Wallace, 1B, Blue Jays: While playing for Triple-A Las Vegas, Wallace has shown signs of brilliance with the bat. The 23 year old has hit 11 homeruns and 33 RBI while owning a respectable .294 batting average. They Jays are trying to transition Wallace from his natural third-base position to first-base. Wallace has plenty of strength (has gained about 50 pounds since being drafted) to be a big-league first baseman and I suspect will only help the already powerful Jays lineup. I would look for Wallace to be called up shortly after the All-Star break, barring any significant injuries.
9.Lars Anderson, 1B, Red Sox: This may be a long shot here, as Anderson was just promoted this year from Double-A to Triple-A Pawtucket. Anderson was crushing the ball in Double-A (.355/5/16) but hasn’t had the same success in Triple-A (.235/3/12) just yet. With David Ortiz making some more noise as of late, the Red Sox might see fit to wait a little longer to bring Anderson up. However, if the Red Sox need to make a move to pull in another power threat, there is no doubt teams will be asking for this kid, if Anderson ends up on a less-skilled team he could have even more impact than if he remains with Boston. With that being said, I have heard nothing but good things from Boston people in regards to the first baseman and if I were to guess, he will be called up by Boston sometime in the second half of this season.
10.Jeremy Hellickson, SP, Rays: As if the Rays really need another young and promising starting pitcher. If Hellickson’s stint at Triple-A Durham has told us anything, it is that the AL East is in trouble. Hellickson has a 2.45 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 65 IP. His K total is just two less than his walk and hit total, 69 (1.06 WHIP). The Rays have the potential of having three young studs in Davis, Price, and Hellickson in the same rotation as veterans (I use that loosely) James Shields and Matt Garza. I saw Hellickson play when he first got called-up last year and didn’t think he would have numbers like this. This tells me he is improving at a very quick pace and I would assume he will make the Major League squad very, very soon.