LJ Rader

Prospects

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AL Top Prospect Time?

Friday, May 06, 2011


It is common practice for teams to leave their top prospects in the minors for the first one/two months of the season to delay service time, even if that prospect is major league ready. This means that potential contributors with considerable upside for the better part of the season and playoffs are likely still available in your league. It's the first week of May, so it's time to start thinking about getting an early jump on players even if they are still in the minors. Here are four American League prospects that may not be on your waiver wire for long.

OF Ben Revere, Twins
Revere was recalled Wednesday to replace the injured Jason Repko on the active roster, and there's a good chance he'll keep a starting job even when Delmon Young gets activated. Over the last three seasons in the minors Revere has swiped at least 36 bags, and he has a knack for getting on base (career .386 OBP). He's not going to help your team in the power department, but his speed and ability to hit for average (career .326 BA) make him a promising fantasy option. Consider Revere a must add in AL-only leagues.

Add in all AL-only leagues

1B Eric Hosmer, Royals
So much for timing. This piece was supposed to recommend adding Hosmer even though he was still in the minors, but the Royals beat me to the punch, calling up the top prospect for Friday's game. Hosmer - Baseball America's #8 prospect pre-2011 - absolutely tore the cover off the ball at AAA to start this season, slashing .430/.518/.581) in 93 PA with 3 HR and 3 SB. He won't be able to sustain those numbers at the major league level, but it's not unreasonable to think he could go .300/.360/.475 with 15-20 HR and 5-10 SB for the rest of the season.
That cat is already likely out of the bag, but if Hosmer is still available in your AL-only or deep mixed league, he's a must add.

Add in Mixed Leagues

2B Dustin Ackley, Mariners
Ackley was the #2 overall pick in the 2009 Amateur Draft and began his minor league career at AA, hitting .267/.368/.407. His 2011 is off to a rough start at AAA, as he's hitting .214/.343/.330 over his first 112 AB. Current Mariners' second baseman Jack Wilson is hitting just .239/.278/.269 to start the season, so a struggling Ackley would still be a major offensive upgrade over Seattle's present situation. While Ackley still needs some more seasoning at second base, he should be up in late May/early June. A .275/.345/.420 line with 10 HR and 10 SB is a more than reasonable prediction for the remainder of the season, which would make him a solid middle infield option in AL-only leagues. If you have a free bench spot in a deep AL-only league, add Ackley now and reap the benefits when he gets called up.

Add in deep AL-only leagues

3B Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians
Chisenhall was ranked by Baseball America as the #2 third baseman prospect and #25 overall pre-2011. He's had a great start to the season at AAA, hitting .277/.378/.426 with 2 HR over 94 AB. The power numbers should rise and it wouldn't be crazy to think he could slug 10-15 HR post-June while sustaining a .275 average. Current Indians' third baseman Jack Hannahan is hitting .274/.351/.464 over 84 AB to start the season. It won't last, as Hannahan was a .224/.311/.347 hitter over 856 AB prior to 2011. If the Indians want to stay in the playoff race, they would be smart to call up Chisenhall as soon as possible. He should be in the majors before early June and is worth adding now before someone else grabs him.

Add in deep AL-only leagues

Other AL prospects to keep in mind: 3B Mike Moustakas, Royals…SP John Lamb, Royals…SP Mike Montgomery, Royals…C Jesus Montero, Yankees…SP Manny Banuelos, Yankees…3B Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays…OF Desmond Jennings, Rays…SP Kyle Gibson, Twins



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