And now, for something completely different. Since most players have already received their call-ups, here’s a list of potential impact prospects and young hitters who could provide a boost and are owned in less than 10% of leagues. This means that bigger names like Corey Seager are not eligible, but if you’re willing to scratch the bottle of the barrel, you may find the remains of some fun monkeys that once lived there, and then use the barrel to store fish for shooting. What I’m trying to say is, check these guys out.
1. Trayce Thompson (OF, White Sox, 3%) – For a guy hitting .408 with 3 Homers and a stolen base in 49 AB, I was pretty darn surprised to find he’s owned in just 3% of leagues. I mean he is a good prospect and has a famous brother, and is owned more than him? REALLY?! He’s playing every day and looks like he’s heated up again, so be bold and ride the wide on the well-rounded talent.
Okay, so he no longer qualifies as a rookie, but after his failed 2014 campaign he’s been a forgotten man despite still being only 22. He’s been snagging up a fair amount of playing time and contributing his typical power-speed combo but with a far more palatable batting average. It may be a real skill improvement since his walk rate is up and K rate is down. He also will get more run-scoring opportunities on an excellent Astros lineup, though that’s offset by playing time uncertainty due to all the talent. I’m displacing all the love I gave to Javier Baez last week on this guy.
Another no-longer-a-rookie failed young guy (I’m not trying to dodge the headline, I swear!) with a plate discipline improvement here, though you wouldn’t know it from his terrible batting average. But some of it seems to be bad luck and he’s socked 2 homers in the past 2 games. The Indians have nothing to lose from giving him a chance at redemption.
He’s cooled down after a hot start and has lost some playing time as a result. But he still has an eye-grabbing combination of power, speed, and Multi-position eligibility. He hit a home run yesterday so that may get him some more chances. He’s hit .241 with 4 Home Runs, 20 RBI, 28 R, and 6 SB in just 199 AB.
It’s hard to believe how a former first-round pick got so swiftly forgotten and cast aside. Granted, his minor league production has been, well, pretty mediocre. But in the majors, it’s been pretty good, and that counts for something! Mikie has socked 4 homers in just 50 At-Bats, and while that rate isn’t sustainable, he may provide some more pop the rest of the way.
He’s probably the most powerful guy on this list, since Gallo was owned by too many to make the cut. But working against Shaffer is that he’s not playing every day, and that he is doing a Gallo-lite impression by striking out a ton. I’d expect him to hit 2-3 more homers this month though.
– Urshela’s stock has been slowly sliding as the season has progressed and his batting average has steadily moseyed down towards the Mendoza line. But he’s still striking out under 20% and is playing every day due to his plus defense. He may not be more than a 10-15 HR hitter in his prime, but he’s better than he’s played thus far.
Collins is boring. There, I said it. He’s not that young, doesn’t hit for a ton of power, has an average average and not much speed. His name is kind of boring too. That said, he’s the starter and makes for a fine plug-in since he won’t hurt you in any category either.
Cuthbert has an excellent name, but that’s his only stand-out tool. The Nicaraguan had a much higher prospect stock a couple of years ago, but he’s still only 22 and has displayed solid plate discipline in his fragmented cup of coffee, with a .263 AVG to go with 4 walks and 7 strikeouts in 38 AB. His playing time has been a bit sporadic but he does qualify at 2B in some leagues which makes him more interesting.
He was on my last list as a talented guy who’s had a weird season, and his debut has not gone so smoothly. But it’s 12 at-bats, and I’m encouraged that he’s only struck out once. I think he could hit .260-.270 the rest of the way and his end-of-season stats won’t make Drury look so dreary.
He was claimed by the White Sox on September 5th and has been getting a fair amount of playing time since. While 27 is old to be considered a prospect, he never established himself at the major league level due to not being able to clear the Mendoza line. But what can’t be denied is his substantial power, and he has an opportunity here with a homer-friendly ballpark and somewhat of a void at third.
had a solid year in the minors, and was called up for his defense even though his defense in the majors hasn’t been great. While he lacks pop, he’s struck out less in the majors than he did in the minors, and so he should be hitting for a stronger average. He has been playing fairly often and should make a fine stopgap at short. I did say that deserved a major league promotion more than his Cuban counterpart when Urrutia was called up. But the way the O’s handled this was confusing at best. Alvarez has barely played this month, but he has enough talent to do better than what he’s done in a miniscule sample size. After not giving a chance early in this year when his offensive stats were, technically speaking, “totally bonkers”, I shouldn’t be surprised that upon his call-up, he hasn’t even played. He will still have catcher eligibility in most leagues, and should they give him a few games he’s a good bet to hit a homer or two. hopes of becoming the Astros’ catcher of the future had a head-on collision a while back, but he has an opportunity at some playing time with Castro down. Of course, just his luck, Conger’s having a career year and thus will be more of an obstacle than expected. But with the Astros having such a substantial lead, they can afford to trot him out a few times, and he does have an okay bat at a weak position. was just recalled, and pinch hit in his only at-bat. But he should have an opportunity for more even if he didn’t deserve it with the Tigers out of contention and Tyler Collins inducing an epidemic of yawns. Moya’s 2015 campaign was way less encouraging than the previous ones, but at least he has a semblance of intrigue.