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Fantasy Baseball – Prospect Progress Report

A smart Fantasy Baseball player doesn’t just focus on the short term. They have to be aware of players who could be called up at any point in the season. Especially when it comes to prospects who can make a tremendous impact on your season. Today, we’re going to look at some of the best minor league prospects and see if they could be in line for a call up this season.

SS Manny Machado -  He’s one of the best middle infield prospects in the game, and Machado has gotten off too a strong start in AA. He’s shown fantastic plate discipline, and is on pace to best his career high of 11 home runs. The Baltimore Orioles will probably take it slow with Macadho, as he is only 19. It’s unlikely that he’ll get more then a promotion to the majors in September.

Still, he’s one to keep an eye on for keeper leagues. Machado could be one of the best shortstops in the American League once he gets closer to his prime.

SP Dylan Bundy – A potential superstar, Bundy finally allowed his first base runner of the season in his third start. The 19 year old is toying with hitters in A ball, as he’s gone 9 innings, struck out 15, allowed no hits and one walk. He’s ready for AA, and there’s a good chance he can be in the majors as early as this season.

OF Mike Trout – He struggled in the majors last season, but he’s doing everything he can to force his way back. He’s hitting 406/452/594 with 5 steals and 7 of his 15 hits going for extra bases. Even though the Los Angeles Angels currently have an outfield logjam, he can’t be expected to stay down in the minors for too much longer.

SP Shelby Miller – He’s struggled so far in AAA, but given that he’s a 21 year old in the PCL for the first time that’s to be expected. The strikeout rate is outstanding, but right now he’s giving up a ton of homers and walking a few too many batters. He should be able to correct his mistakes, and by the end of the year I’d expect that he’d be pitching for the St.Louis Cardinals.

OF Bryce Harper – It was surprising that the Washington Nationals moved Harper to AAA. He didn’t do that well in AA, and he’s really struggling here in AAA. He’s shown strong plate discipline, but he hasn’t been able to hit for power and average. Eventually he’ll figure it out, but it looks like the Nats rushed him to AAA when they didn’t have to. He should be fine though, and could be a call up for August or September.

Travis D’Arnaud – The best catching prospect is scuffling down in AAA. Like Harper he’s shown great plate discipline, but it hasn’t resulted in any kind of production. He’s not a superstar hitter, but he should hit 10+ homers while hitting close to 300, and that kind of production plays very well at catcher. With JP Arencibia the starting catcher, D’Arnaud likely won’t get a shot until 2013.

1B Anthony Rizzo – I’m always a bit worried when a player gets traded by multiple teams. Rizzo is with his third organization, but he’s a talented hitter and given the Chicago Cubs struggles it shouldn’t be long before he should be up at some point this season. Rizzo “only” has a 1.140 OPS this year, but it is his second time through AAA. Hopefully as the season goes on he will improve on his plate discipline.

SS Jurickson Profar – One of my favourite prospects in the minor leagues, Profar could be one of the best all around players in the game. He’s off to a slow start, but as a 19 year old playing in AA that can be forgiven. He’s hitting for power and doing a good job of getting on base, and right now he’s just not hitting for average. But when the average comes up, and it will, the Texas Rangers will be very tempted to push him to AAA this year. He’s not likely to be up this year, but if you have a keeper league spot make sure to pick him up.

SP Trevor Bauer – The 3rd overall pick last year is dealing with some control issues, but his stuff is just so good he’s almost unhittable. Over his minor league career he’s struck out 63 batters in 41 1/3 innings against 24 walks. He should cruise through AA, and if some of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers continue to struggle, Bauer could be up sooner rather then later.

3B Nolan Arenado – All the Colorado Rockies third base prospect has done since he was drafted in the second round of the 2009 draft is hit. He’s off to a fantastic start, hitting 353/450/529 in 60 at bats in AA. The Rockies have received zero production out of their third baseman this year, so if Arenado keeps this up he could be looking at a promotion to the majors in a few months.