MLB Prospects Who Could Play Big Second-Half Roles
There are buyers in baseball who will be using this month to grab established Major League talent in trades in hopes of bolstering their rotations or lineups for a precious playoff spot. The trade deadline is one of the most exciting times of the baseball season, and this month figures to be no different.
In recent years, a number of midseason additions have made notable impact. The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians probably don't reach last season's World Series without the contributions they received from Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller. Mark Melancon helped the Washington Nationals earn a trip to the postseason. Rich Hill and Josh Reddick helped win the NL West for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Jonathan Lucroy was a brilliant addition by the Texas Rangers.
But teams not interested in trading away big-time prospects for a rental player or a big money veteran might look to the kids on the farm to bring some added punch to their rosters. Below are seven prospects on the cusp of the big leagues who could positively impact their teams' positions in the standings, or who could play a role in your fantasy team's quest for a championship.
Rafael Devers - Boston Red Sox (3B)
The Boston Red Sox have a gaping hole at third base, with Deven Marrero at the top of their depth chart. And while they could be in the market to buy a veteran like Josh Donaldson or a younger player with potential like Maikel Franco, it might make more sense for them to call up their tremendous third base prospect Devers, who is beating the pulp out of AA pitching.
In 77 games, the 20-year-old is batting .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs, and although he's extremely young, Boston could jump him past AAA and bring up to the big leagues to fill that hole on their roster.
Yoan Moncada - Chicago White Sox (2B)
One of the most polished minor league hitters in the game, Moncada has been terrific in AAA, and a second half call-up seems imminent. The Chicago White Sox are rebuilding, so this would affect any pennant race for them, but if you're someone who has been stashing him on your fantasy roster, you've noticed that he's hit .278/.378/.448 in 72 games this season, with 11 homers, 53 runs scored, and a weighted runs created (wRC+) of 129. He's ready, and could make a big impact on the fantasy playoffs, if the Sox call him up soon.
Ahmed Rosario - New York Mets (SS)
The New York Mets' 21-year-old prospect is batting .327/.365/.474 in 83 AAA games, and although his plate discipline isn't terrific (5.3% walk-rate), he has a tremendous hit tool and plays outstanding defense.
Currently, New York has Jose Reyes at shortstop, but his -0.1 fWAR is certainly not going to keep him entrenched in the middle of the diamond. And even though the Mets are 12 games out of first, and 10.5 games out of the wild card picture, they could turn to their young shortstop and give him some playing time in the second half to get him ready for 2018.
Dominic Smith - New York Mets (1B)
It's been a brutal year for the Mets, but at least they have a couple prospects to hang their hats on. In addition to Rosario, Smith is also having an outstanding season in AAA, batting .330/.382/.500 with 12 dingers, 58 runs scored, and 58 RBIs. The Mets are probably looking to move Lucas Duda to a contender and if/when they do, will likely call up their 22-year-old first base prospect and make him the starter.
Chance Adams - New York Yankees (SP)
The New York Yankees are in the thick of the playoff race, but an area in which they have a major need is their starting rotation. And while they could be dipping their toes in the starter market in trade talks, they could also bring up the 22-year-old Adams, who is having an outstanding season. In 11 starts (57.2 innings) he is 6-3 with a 2.50 ERA and a 3.29 fielding independent pitching (FIP), striking out 9.99 batters per game while walking 3.43, which is a bit high. Opponents are batting .164 against him, but Chance has not done a terrific job pitching deep into games.
Rhys Hoskins - Philadelphia Phillies (1B)
The Philadelphia Phillies are going nowhere, which means a number of prospects could reach The Show in the City of Brotherly Love. The one who is the most Major League-ready is Hoskins, who is hitting .289/.385/.576 in 88 games, with 20 homers, 61 runs and 66 RBIs, and the power is real.
His wRC+ of 163 is off-the-charts, and if the Phils can find a taker for Tommy Joseph this month, the surging 24-year-old should immediately get the call.
Lewis Brinson - Milwaukee Brewers (OF)
Brinson got a brief call-up with the Milwaukee Brewers earlier this season, and struggled. He hit .097/.200/.161 in just 35 big league plate appearances. But in AAA, he has raked, batting .339/.412/.573 10 homers, 10 steals and 57 runs scored. He is a terrific athlete and would be the first man called up if one of Milwaukee's starting outfielders went down with an injury this month.
Ozzie Albies - Atlanta Braves (SS)
Albies is having a nice season in AAA, especially when you consider he's a mere 20-years-old. In 80 games he's batting .292/.336/.451 with 7 home runs and 21 stolen bases. He projects as a top-of-the-lineup guy, and if the Atlanta Braves decide to trade Brandon Phillips this month, a spot will open up for the young middle infielder.