Written by: Adam Ehrenreich (@mel_reich)
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Back in early May, I revisited my preseason prospect redraft rankings, breaking down who graduated to the pros, who’s on the fast track and who fell off the list completely. A ton of players have made their big league debut since the May list. Here’s a summary of how those guys are doing:
Yordan Alvarez (1st on May list) – Crazy to think my top four from May all made their MLB debut since that list was published. Alvarez finally made his way to Houston and has 7 homers in 16 games to start his MLB career. Giddy-up.
Brendan Rodgers (2) – an all-time favorite of mine, Rodgers finally made his MLB debut last month. After simmering down from a hot start, the infielder has ping-ponged back and forth from Albuquerque to Denver. He’s currently on the injured list with a shoulder impingement, but he figures to play a role for the Rockies later this summer.
Oscar Mercado (3) – Since his call up, he has 4 homers, 6 stolen bases and a .314 batting average through 39 big league games. He’s been a fantastic asset.
Keston Hiura (4) – Hiura made his MLB debut, was ridiculously demoted back to Triple-A in favor of Travis Shaw, then was promoted back to Milwaukee as Shaw was demoted. The second base job is now the 22-year-old’s to lose.
Cavan Biggio (8) – Biggio has been playing a lot of outfield for the Blue Jays and his powerful bat should continue to see starts going forward.
With five players from the May list now graduated from a list like mine, that leaves some open spots for July:
1. Jesus Luzardo (9) – While the A’s recently said there is no timetable for Luzardo to make his MLB debut, he has been racking up the strikeouts since he returned from his early season injury. When the time comes, you’ll want him stashed on your roster.
2. Kyle Tucker (NR) – Tucker vaults up to the two spot after Yordan Alvarez made his majors debut. Now that Alvarez and his unreal numbers are gone, we can go back to realizing just how good Tucker is. 24 homers, 60 RBIs and 19 SBs in 76 Triple-A games is a glimpse of what we’ll see in the Majors soon.
3. Dylan Cease (10) – The long wait is finally nigh. Cease will make his MLB on Wednesday of this week, and it sounds like he’ll remain in the big leagues as long as his outings dictate it. If for some reason he’s still available in your league, make sure you grab him.
4. Luis Urias (NR) – The last time this list came out, Urias was a big leaguer. He was demoted to work on his timing versus fastballs, but he’s knocking on the door once more. The Triple-A numbers are ridiculously good: .322/.406/.616 with 17 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 64 games. That’s unconscious. Urias is a good stash if you need middle infield help.
5. Brendan McKay (NR) – The minor league numbers were superb, and let’s give some credit to the Rays for promoting McKay to the big leagues sooner than most organizations would. The debut was fantastic: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. What’s more, it looks like Kevin Cash is prepared to keep the southpaw in the big leagues. The Rays are reportedly looking for ways to get the two-way player some MLB at-bats, too.
6. Matt Manning (6) – Manning continues his reign of terror over Double-A hitters with a 2.60 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, accompanied with a .194 BA against and 102 strikeouts in 86.2 IP. He may make the jump straight to the Majors once it’s time.
7. Conner Menez (NR) – Easily the most off-the-radar name on this list, Menez has compiled a 3.11 ERA with 106 strikeouts in 81.0 IP this season between Double-A and Triple-A. The Giants are a safe-bet to sell as much as they can before the trade deadline, and it could (should?) mean Menez sees big league appearances later this summer. Consider this the ultimately sneaky stash.
8. Will Smith (NR) – In his short stints with the Dodgers, Smith was given the opportunity to start and produce. He’s pin-balled between the MLB and Triple-A lately, but the production has remained steady regardless of level. It remains hard to find a catcher with this much pop, so once he gets a full time chance, he will need to be rostered in all leagues.
9. Anthony Kay (NR) – Though the efficiency has slowed a bit since a promotion to Triple-A, Kay remains on track to debut in the big leagues at some point this summer. The Mets need pitching help, but it’s unlikely they’re buyers at the deadline. Instead, reinforcements should come in the way of Kay down the stretch.
10. Monte Harrison (NR) – Harrison has been above average in Triple-A and he’s already on the 40-man roster, so I think it’s only a matter of time before Harrison is starring in Miami. Even with a two-week stint on the IL, Harrison has 9 homers and 20 SBs along with a .284 average. I see him as a Starling Marte type stud (with wayyyyy more strikeouts) in the near future.
HONORABLE MENTION: Isan Diaz (NR) – The Marlins will need to trade or wrap their heads around benching Starlin Castro in order for this call-up to happen, but Diaz becomes immediately viable in redraft leagues if/when it occurs. The second baseman has 18 home runs with a .295 BA in Triple-A this season, and I could see him playing a vital role in late season surges throughout the fantasy baseball world.
Falling off the list are Casey Mize, who if healthy would likely be top 3, and Cristian Pache, who is likely too far removed to be on a June list, but will return to this list before long. One player that was not on the May list but warrants recognition is Zac Gallen, who despite not being on the 40-man roster, made a strong enough impression to be given the opportunity and looks to be the real deal.
Follow staff writer Adam Ehrenreich on Twitter! @mel_reich
Follow us on Twitter! @Prospects365
Featured image courtesy of photographer of Ivan Aguirre and the El Paso Chihuahuas