June 1 is the magical date at which some top prospects can be recalled without concerns for Super Two status coming into effect. Let’s take a look at some of the names that fantasy owners can be anticipate seeing over the next few weeks:
Brett Lawrie—Toronto Blue Jays—Third Baseman
Gregor Chisholm of mlb.com (click here for the article) cited an unbelievable stat on May 28, saying, “Toronto’s third basemen entered Saturday afternoon’s game against Chicago having gone 0-for-39 during the club’s past 12 games.” To make matters worse, on May 28, Jayson Nix, Edwin Encarnacion, and Mike McCoy combined to go 0-6 in the team’s 14-inning game. Nix finally snapped the streak on Sunday, when he went 2-4 with 2 RBI and 1 R against the Chicago White Sox—though the Blue Jays recorded 18 hits as a team, so perhaps Nix's performance should be taken with a grain of salt.
Lawrie, meanwhile, has raked at Triple-A, hitting .352 with 15 HR, 47 RBI, 51 R and 11 SB. All along, the talk was that he was going to spend more time in the minors to work on his defense, and while reports on his defense have been positive, sooner or later his offense will win out anyways.
Of course, we must put Lawrie's Pacific Coast League power numbers into perspective. He had hit just 21 home runs in 978 career minor league AB heading into the 2011 season. Nonetheless, at age 21 it is possible that he simply gained strength. He did have 36 doubles and 16 triples in 2010, so Lawrie certainly showed signs of extra-base power.
He represents a huge upgrade over what the Blue Jays are currently running out there, so when he gets the call, he is going to play. Stashing him now on your fantasy team makes a lot of sense.
Anthony Rizzo—San Diego Padres—First Baseman
Rizzo has put up video game-like numbers at Triple-A, hitting .372 with 15 HR, 60 RBI, 41 R and 5 SB over 180 AB. Of course, there is no chance that Rizzo could replicate his Pacific Coast League numbers in Petco Park with a weak supporting cast. He also has struggled with strikeouts (40 K thus far, giving him a 22.22% strikeout rate). While this is not currently an overwhelming number, one has to figure that it will rise upon reaching the Majors.
Does that mean we shouldn’t be excited? Just look at this excerpt from a recent article by Eric Mack of cnnsi.com (click here to view):
“Rizzo reminds me a lot of Adrian Gonzalez,” said Kevin Boles, who managed Rizzo in Class A ball in the Red Sox organization. “Rizzo is a bigger kid and has a little more power, Adrian is a little more of a contact hitter, but they had very similar styles of play.”
The numbers are impressive and there is an awful lot to like. The Padres may even feel that it is worth getting him to the Majors just to show something for the Gonzalez trade. He also has nothing left to prove at Triple-A, just making his recall all the more likely.
Paul Goldschmidt—Arizona Diamondbacks—First Baseman
Goldschmidt is often overlooked, considering he’s playing in Double-A, but what Rizzo has done in Triple-A is much like what Goldschmidt has done in Double-A. Through 181 AB he is hitting .331 with 17 HR, 46 RBI, 40 R and 3 SB. Even more impressive, he has walked 40 times, compared with just 34 strikeouts.
People may have wanted to write-off his performance in the California League in 2010, having hit .314 with 35 HR and 108 RBI in 525 AB, due to the offensive nature of the league. However, considering the way he has began the 2011 season, he should by now have silenced those critics. Since being selected in the eighth round of the 2009 draft, all he has done is produced.
At 23-years old, he may not be as far away from reaching the Majors as you may think. The Diamondbacks recently released Russell Branyan, leaving Juan Miranda and Xavier Nady to share playing time at 1B. It could just be a matter of time before Goldschmidt forces his way into the mix.
Dustin Ackley—Seattle Mariners—Second Baseman
The Mariners are desperate for offense; we all know that. Ackley may not be performing at an elite level in the Pacific Coast League, but he is still hitting .288 with 7 HR, 26 RBI, 40 R and 6 SB. That level of performance could certainly help a team that is running Jack Wilson out there right now (.248, 0 HR, 5 RBI).
He’s not my favorite option out of the guys who could get recalled, but as a middle infielder he certainly will possess value. He doesn’t bring extensive power or speed, but he has shown that he can get on base. If he was playing with a better offense, his potential upside would be greater, but don’t necessarily shy away from him if your fantasy team is in need of some help.
Mike Moustakas—Kansas City RoyalsThird Baseman
We have all heard about Moustakas' potential by now. He was supposed to be the first prospect to the Majors for the team, but Eric Hosmer beat him there. Now, Hosmer's production could certainly help push the Royals into trusting Moustakas and getting him to the bigs sooner rather than later.
The team would need to open up a roster spot, potentially by trading Wilson Betemit—not that this is necessarily a stumbling block. Moustakas started off slowly, then grew scorching hot, and has now slowed up again recently. Over his last 10 games he’s hitting .256 with 0 HR, 5 RBI and 3 R and overall is hitting .269 with 8 HR, 38 RBI and 31 R.
Is that a reason to be concerned? I certainly don’t think so. At a weak position, he’s a prospect that should be stashed in all formats.
What are your thoughts on these prospects? Who do you think will make the biggest impact? Who do you think will arrive first?
Make sure to check out these other great articles from Rotoprofessor:
- Around the Majors: May 30: Joakim Soria, Jon Lester, Jay Bruce & More
- Injury Report: May 31: Hanley Ramirez, Francisco Liriano & More
- Closer’s Report: American League East Edition
- Buy Low Or Ignore: Does Dexter Fowler Have Fantasy Appeal?
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