Let’s take a quick look at some of the players who have officially received their official cup of major league coffee. While these guys are all in the majors, they may not see a considerable amount of playing time through the end of the season.
Daniel Norris, SP, Jays: Norris has been a strikeout machine this season, fanning 163 over 124.2 innings of work in ’14. He’ll pitch out of the bullpen for the Jays during September, and will be eyeing a permanent rotation spot in ’15. He’s one of the very best young lefties in baseball, and a great dynasty stock to invest in.
Anthony Ranaudo, SP, Red Sox: When the Red Sox pressed the reset button on their starting rotation at the trading deadline, the stock of all their young pitching prospects took an immediately leap forward. Ranaudo is an imposing presence on the mound (6’7”, 230 lbs), who had an excellent year at Triple-A (14-4, 2.61 ERA), and will look to crack the starting rotation in ’15.
Dalton Pompey, OF, Jays: Much like teammate Daniel Norris, Pompey shot through the minor leagues this season, and will find himself in the majors after starting the season in High-A. His season line was fantastic (.317, 9 HR, 51 RBI, 43 SB), and he looks like a future leadoff guy and potential fantasy stud.
Brandon Finnegan, SP, Royals: The 2014 first rounder tossed 12 impressive Double-A innings (2.25 ERA, 13/2 K/BB) after a dominant stint at High-A (15 IP, 0.60 ERA, 13/2 K/BB). He may see a few mop up innings for a Royals team making a legitimate playoff push.
Billy Burns, OF, A’s: Could he make a September impact similar to that of Billy Hamilton last season? Burns certainly has the speed to get the job done, as he stole 54 bases in ’14 (74 SB in ’13). The A’s may look to utilize his wheels in an attempt to manufacture runs, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see him frequently used as a pinch runner.
Max Stassi, C, Astros: One of the better catching prospects in the minors gets a look following a bit of a disappointing minor league season in Triple-A (.247, 9 HR, 45 RBI).
Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers: There is a very good chance Pederson sees regular time down the stretch for the Dodgers, so he’s an immediate fantasy add if available on your league waiver wire. He blew up with a 30/30 season (.303, 33 HR, 78 RBI, 30 SB) in the minors, and could provide enough juice to push your fantasy team over the top during the final month of the season.
Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies: Franco was terrible the first few months of the season, but has been on fire since July, batting .324 with 11 HR and 47 RBI during that span. He’s likely to see regular playing time, and like Pederson, is a must add for the final month of the season.
Christian Bethancourt, C, Braves: He showed some life with the stick this season at Triple-A (.280, 8 HR, 48 RBI), which is good news since he’s a Gold Glove caliber defender behind the dish. He’s unlikely to make much of a fantasy impact this year, but could be an interesting dynasty play in the future if that bat continues to develop.
Andrew Heaney, SP, Marlins: Henderson Alvarez’s injury opens the door for him to get an extended look down the stretch, although based on his first few major league starts (6.53 ERA), it’s understandable if you’re hesitant to add him. The strikeout potential is there though, so if you’re desperate in this area, give Heaney a look. He has the potential to take a big leap forward in ’15.
Adam Duvall, 3B, Giants: While not a big-time prospect, Duvall has plenty of power in his bat (29 HR in ’14), and could be poised to take over at the hot corner for the Giants in ’15 if Pablo Sandoval leaves via free agency. Expect to see him as a pinch hitter this month.
Alex Guerrero, 2B, Dodgers: With Dee Gordon firmly entrenched at the keystone, you’re likely only to see pinch hitting appearances from Guerrero this September. His minor league line (.329, 15 HR, 49 RBI) makes him an intriguing name to follow this winter as the Dodgers decide what his role is in ’15.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rsteingall