Your fantasy baseball rankings look a little stale. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Player Prospecting series highlights the exploits of minor league baseball players, including top MLB prospects. Find out who'll make an impact, whether it's in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball game next week or in your fantasy baseball keeper league two years from now.
The Los Angeles Dodgers sided with youth in their Monday roster shuffle when they summoned shortstop Dee Gordon, generally regarded as their top offensive prospect. The dizzyingly fast 23-year-old (5-foot-11, 150 pounds) registered a .315 clip and a .361 on-base percentage while scoring 34 runs and plating 18 in 200 at-bats at Class AAA Albuquerque.
He was successful on 22 of his 25 base-stealing opportunities there, showing marked improvement in robbery accuracy. He'll hit leadoff Tuesday, and though he might not start every game, he isn't with the big club to ride pine.
Though this is directly tied to Rafael Furcal's (oblique) stay on the DL, he's no stranger to long absences, so this could be an extended preview of the future. The Blue has a 2012 option on the veteran, but Gordon is their long-term anchor.
Don't expect thump from Gordon, and you'll probably have to deal with typical rookie plate jitters. Gordon's profile offers at least a helpful clip, though. The lanky larcenist is a worthy stab for all speed-hungry fantasy teams.
It's getting to the point at which the minors are no longer a challenge for Mike Minor. After the Atlanta Braves optioned him to Triple-A Gwinnett, following his spot outing against the San Diego Padres last Tuesday, the southpaw one-hit Triple-A Buffalo for eight frames. He struck out nine and walked just one. The Bravos are almost certain to bring him up for another start this Saturday, against the Houston Astros.
Roto owners eagerly awaiting the promotion of Brett Lawrie will have to hold it for at least a few more days, probably a little longer. The wrist soreness he sustained after a pitch struck him last Wednesday has landed him on the seven-day DL at Las Vegas, the Toronto Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate.
The move is retroactive, so he can be activated this Thursday, but it's not certain that he'll be ready by then. The Jays are likely to give him at minimum a couple of games to get back in the swing of things at Vegas, too, rather than calling him up cold to make his debut.
Mike Trout, arguably the game's top prospect, didn't play for Double-A Arkansas on Saturday night because of what Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim farm director Abe Flores called a patella and quadriceps injury. The organization hasn't placed him on the seven-day disabled list and, at this point, doesn't intend to do so. It doesn't sound serious. He's hitting .303/.417/.506 with five triples, six homers and 16 stolen bases in the Southern League.
On Sunday, in Bryce Harper's first at-bat, the first pitch he saw drilled him in his left knee. The incident put a scare into the Washington Nationals after Harper fell to the ground, writhed in pain and removed himself from the game. The 18-year-old, baseball's "other top prospect," was back in the lineup on Monday for Class A Hagerstown, however, so he should be all right.
Desmond Jennings has been more aggressive in his approach to at-bats this season at Triple-A Durham. Though being healthy has also helped, the Tampa Bay Rays' outfielder has had a much easier time moving his bat through the strike zone and driving the ball. He already has nine home runs on the season, already tripling what he did in 399 at-bats last season.
There's little left to challenge him in the minors. This pop complements the high-end stolen base framework that makes the 24-year-old one of the most enticing fantasy prospect stashes, even with the required patience to wait for an opening.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570. Follow @NicholasMinnix