The Marlins recently summoned their two top position prospects, Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick, to the majors. Both could help your fantasy teams down the stretch. Yelich was hitting .280 with seven homers and five steals for Double-A Jacksonville at the time of his promotion, but has the skills to be a consistent .300 hitter and potential future batting champ. While his power is still developing, he should settle in as a 20-25 home run threat as he matures, with the potential to also steal his fair share of bases (32 SB in ’11, 20 SB in ’12). He’s worth a flier in standard mixers due to his enormous upside.
Marisnick, although not nearly as hyped as his Double-A teammate, is still an exciting talent for fantasy purposes. He actually has better numbers than Yelich currently, hitting .294 with 11 homers and 11 steals, but questions about his plate discipline (5.7 BB%) could hold his on-base numbers down. Marisnick projects as a five-tool talent as a big leaguer, and could be a consistent .280/20/20 player in his prime. Much like Yelich, he’s worth a flier in mixers, but holds more value as a long-term stock in dynasty formats.
The Matt Garza trade made headlines on Monday, with Rangers third base prospect Mike Olt heading to the Cubs and a possible major league gig in the near future. While he’ll officially report to Triple-A Iowa to begin his Cubs career, it should only be a matter of time before he’s manning the hot corner in Chicago. Olt’s struggles have been well documented this year, due in large part to vision issues he was having earlier this spring. With that problem behind him, he’s finally beginning to recapture his stroke, and has been highly productive during his last 10 games (.290, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 1.120 OPS). He could fit nicely into the Cubs lineup for the final few months of the season and provide a nice profit for those in deeper mixers.
Also coming over in the Garza trade is pitching prospect C.J. Edwards, who was having a lights out year for Class-A Hickory (93.1 IP, 1.83 ERA, 34 BB, 122 SO). Edwards works in the low to mid-90s with his fastball, mixing him a solid curveball and changeup that are still developing but have tons of potential. Edwards has yet to allow a home run as a professional, which speaks volumes for his ability to locate his pitches and keep the ball down. The Cubs will start him at High-A Daytona, and he could finish the season as their top pitching prospect.
The Royals recently promoted top pitching prospect Kyle Zimmer to Double-A after his recent hot streak, and he continued dominating by firing six shutout innings (3 H, 1 BB, 7 SO). While much of the first half was frustrating for Zimmer (4.82 ERA at High-A), he worked diligently at repeating his mechanics, and that hard work paid off in his final four starts prior to his promotion (31 IP, 2.61 ERA, 6 BB, 42 SO). His ace potential could be on full display in the majors by mid-2014.
We’ll close this week with Brewers outfield prospect Victor Roache, who was one of the last from the 2012 draft class to make his professional debut (broken wrist). During the first half, he looked sluggish and lost at the plate, posting a .209 average with only six homers. He’s been a totally different hitter in the second half though, batting .298 with eight homers, and could be in line for a promotion in very short order. Roache led the NCAA in homers during his last healthy season in 2011, blasting 30 long balls, so power is certainly his calling card. I just added him in a 20-team dynasty league. So if you’re in a deep format, there’s a good chance he’s available.
Rob Steingall is a syndicated fantasy analyst. You can follow him on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/rsteingall) and email prospect questions to MinorDevelopments@yahoo.com