It's just about that time of year when teams are filling holes due to injuries or poor performances and fantasy baseball leaguers are drooling over being the first to grab the next big superstar off the waiver wire. If you were smart and had the space, hopefully you drafted a few of these talented young players at the end of your draft and stashed away for what's about to come in the next few weeks. Below are a few of the prospects you need to keep an eye on as teams start to make the call ups. Most will arrive in June, so you'll want to get ahead of the game and grab and stash these players now in hopes they will fill a spot or upgrade your active roster when they become activated.
Eric Hosmer, 1B, KC - You might have already missed the boat here as he was called up last week while sending down Kila Ka'aihue. I was a fan of Kila and thought he'd atleast last a little longer but Hosmer has done well hitting a few HR's and coming up big against the Yankees. I got to see this guy hit for three games this week, this dude can rake! He's also better defensively than Kila and Billy Butler, so he should stick around in the majors the entire season.
Mike Moustakas, 3B, KC - Moustakas is the next best hitting prospect in the majors in my opinion. He's a HR and RBI machine and the Royals are carrying Wilson Betemit at 3B. While Betemit has actually been hitting well, he's just keeping the spot warm for Moustakas who the Royals probably want to hold back for service time as he's clearly ready. Moustakas is currently hitting .256/6HR/26RBI in 125AB.... that's money! I think I'll call him Money Moustakas!
Dustin Ackley, 2B, SEA - currently batting .247/5HR/17RBI/6SB in 150AB. At first glance, the batting average looks like he needs more seasoning, which is probably true, but he's got a .374OBP with 31BB and 24K. So more walks then K's. I love that and you should too. We know the majors will be a different situation but you have to like what he's showing in AAA. If he can get one hot 10 day stretch here in May, he'll be ready for a call up in June! He's already been compared to Chase Utley.
Dayan Viciedo, UT, CWS - The 22 year old Viciedo has been forced all around the field as the White Sox have no where for him to play. However, the White Sox currently stink and need some kind of offensive shakeup to get their bats going. Viciedo is currently hitting .307/5HR/29RBI. He's doesn't run much and he's not much of a walker, but he can hit and makes great contact. He's that type of hitter that never has a bad at bat. Since he came from Cuba and has been scuffled back and forth between the majors and minors the last 2 years, he doesn't get much respect on the prospect lists. This guy will get called up this year and make a splash and you'll miss the keeper boat if you're not paying attention. Don't let the lack of hype pass you by, this guy can hit for AVG and power.
Desmond Jennings, OF, TB - Remember this guy? Currently batting .291/5HR/17RBI/8SB while sporting a .404OBP with 21BB/29K in 134AB. Sounds like he's ready. I'm not sure how much longer Sam Fuld can hold onto a spot but Jennings is ready. If he's sitting on that waiver wire, it's only a matter of time.
Julio Teheran, SP ATL - Already experienced a cup of tea in a spot start for Atlanta that didn't make you burst out of your shoes but in AAA he's currently at 1.91ERA/1.06WHIP/32K in 37IP with only 28H/12BB/0HR. He's clearly dominating AAA and the fact that Atlanta brought him up tells you that you should see him again soon. He's only 20 years old so even if he does get the call, temper your expectations. Otherwise though, he'll make for a great keeper and trade bait in the off-season because his stuff is super nasty!
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, SD - Rizzo is tering up AAA batting .373/10HR/45RBI/5SB/.442OBP. This is the guy that takes over the the power lost from Adrian Gonzalez. He's a low hyped prospect that can easily out hit the others above.
Brett Lawrie, 3B, TOR - Currently ripping up AAA batting .338/8HR/25RBI/9SB in 157AB. Lawrie needs work on his defense and is really the reason he's still in the minors other than service time of course. Lawrie possesses the power/speed combo we fantasy baseballers covet and he'll get a shot this summer if he keeps hitting like this, but let's hope that defense is improving!
So these are the big prospects we need to keep an eye on as they seem like the best to make an impact in the second half of 2011. Don't be lazy, do your homework, look at stats, look at team situations and make sure you grab and stash these guys early, especially in keeper leagues.
The Fantasy Man