5 Fantasy Baseball Prospects You Need to Add to Your Roster as Soon as Possible
Every person playing fantasy baseball should be looking for a way to get an edge over his opponents, and one of the best ways to do so is by stashing prospects on your bench.
When looking for a prospect to add to your team, you have to pick carefully. Getting a solid-average player is useless, as those players are always available on the wavier wire, and loading your bench with them is a waste of valuable space.
The goal is to get a player who can change your season upon getting called up, like Yasiel Puig did for many teams last year. This season, there are a number of impact prospects who will be called up that you should add to your roster immediately if they are available in your league.
Some of these players are likely already taken in your league by members who stash prospects, although at least a couple of them should still be available.
This list is not designed for long-term leagues, so it is comprised of players who will contribute this season. Also, this is far from a ranking of the top prospects in baseball, but instead a list of prospects who should be valuable during the 2014 season.
Here are five prospects you should pick up in your fantasy league as soon as possible.
If Gregory Polanco is available in your fantasy league, you should start popping champagne as soon as you add him to your roster.
Coming off their first playoff season in ages, the Pittsburgh Pirates currently have a dire situation in right field. Luckily for them, they have one of the best outfield prospects in the game with Polanco in Triple-A.
Polanco is making a case to be called up immediately, as he is one of the best early season performers in all of the minors. He currently boasts a .395 batting average to go along with four home runs and seven stolen bases.
From a fantasy perspective, Polanco is close to a perfect player. He has incredible athleticism that should allow him to hit for power while stealing bases. He also has an advanced approach at the plate that should help his batting average and OBP.
Considering the Pirates’ situation at the big league level, the only thing holding Polanco back is the long-term financial cost for Pittsburgh. Despite this, he should force his way onto the roster in the near future and have the opportunity to be a fantasy stud for the rest of the season.
Probably the best overall hitter in the minors, Oscar Taveras is ready for the big leagues, and the St. Louis Cardinals are likely ready for him as well.
The Cardinals have a seemingly full outfield, yet every member has struggled significantly thus far. While Matt Holliday isn’t going anywhere, the rest of the outfield should be worried about losing their jobs to Taveras in the coming weeks.
St. Louis basically admitted to being ready to change things up in the outfield recently when it called up prospect Randal Grichuk. He has struggled since his debut, and Taveras is a much better overall player than he is.
The Cardinals can’t wait much longer for an offensive boost, and Taveras should be able to give it to them. As long as he is healthy, he should hit for both power and average while helping your fantasy team on its way to a championship.
A name you probably weren’t expecting to see on this list, Wilmer Flores could end up being a fantasy stud the rest of this season.
The biggest question with Flores as a prospect is his defense, as most evaluators tout his natural hitting ability.
If Flores is stuck playing at first, third or second base, his value is solid but unexceptional. Fortunately, the New York Mets are calling him up this week, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, and will likely make him their starting shortstop upon his arrival.
While Flores likely does not have shortstop eligibility in your league as of now, once he does have it, he becomes extremely valuable. He should be a better hitter than many shortstops in the league for both average and power.
Flores is not a major league shortstop by any means, but as long as he has shortstop eligibility and is playing everyday, he will be an immensely valuable fantasy player.
The Houston Astros have a barren big league roster, yet with George Springer getting called up earlier this season and Jon Singleton likely on his way soon, they have a bright future.
Singleton has lit up the minors so far this season with 10 home runs already. He has also reached base at a solid clip and hit for a respectable average.
While first base is usually a loaded position in fantasy, it has weakened over the years. Though Singleton’s 10 home runs were at Triple-A, they would still tie for second among all major league first baseman.
Singleton will be a well above-average power hitter for a young Astros team that will need him to drive in runs in the middle of their lineup. If you were unable to draft one of the elite first basemen in baseball, Singleton has the potential to perform at that level and would be a nice addition to your team.
Andrew Heaney seemed like a safe pick when the Miami Marlins drafted him ninth overall in 2012 out of Oklahoma State University, but he has been absolutely dominant throughout his minor league career thus far.
After 13 games at High-A in 2013, the talented lefty forced the Marlins to promote him after posting a 0.88 ERA. This year in Double-A, he has continued his exceptional pitching, posting a 2.31 ERA and 1.051 WHIP while averaging almost a strikeout an inning.
The Marlins have surprised early this season with their performance, and as long as they’re competing, they will be tempted to call up Heaney. They have a history of being aggressive with their promotions, and adding Heaney to their already above-average rotation would help them tremendously this season.
When Heaney is called up, he will help your fantasy team immediately. He is a polished pitcher who should transition smoothly to the majors, and pitching half of his games in Miami’s massive ballpark will also help his fantasy performance.
While Heaney doesn’t have the ceiling of prospects such as Archie Bradley or Kevin Gausman, he is a safe bet to be an above-average pitcher this season and would be a great addition to your team if you have an extra roster spot available.
All statistics courtesy Baseball-Reference.com.
Follow Sean on twitter: @SCunninghamPG.