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Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

Archie Bradley Archie Bradley will be up with the big club before too long.
Credit: Getty Images

Over the course of a long baseball season, players typically end up showing their true colors. It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games.

That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting. We’re not sure exactly what their ceiling is, but we do know they come cheap in re-draft fantasy circles. Stashing these farmhands on your bench and waiting to see where the chips fall could yield big dividends.

Archie out of the Bunker

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The Diamondbacks know they have something very special on their hands in 21-year-old starter Archie Bradley. They don’t even want to call him up and subject him to the poison that is their 5-18 record. But once late May comes around and he’s no longer eligible for Super Two status, that stance will have to change. Bradley had a 1.84 ERA with 162 strikeouts in 152 innings last year and Arizona can’t keep rolling out starters like Trevor Cahill, Randall Delgado and Josh Collmenter with a straight face.

Pole position

The hottest player in the minors also happens to be one of the game’s top hitting prospects. Through 18 games with Triple-A Indianapolis, Gregory Polanco is hitting .419 with three homers, 20 RBIs and three steals. Travis Snider is handling himself reasonably well at the major league level for now, but the Pirates have to know they could get a big upgrade by promoting Polanco. Expect him in the majors by June at the latest.

Youth movement

The Astros wasted no time calling up mega-prospect George Springer, as he debuted on April 16 this season. If they’re truly committed to a rebuild, they’ll hurry up and get Jonathan Singleton in Houston as well. The left-handed first baseman already has eight homers while hitting .325 through 91 Triple-A at-bats this season and Marc Krauss is predictably flubbing with the big-league club.

MLB pickups ...

1. Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins – This 23-year-old is undisciplined, but packs a lot of power and gets to hit in front of Giancarlo Stanton.

2. Josmil Pinto, C/DH, Twins – Pinto has catcher eligibility and his bat keeps him in the lineup every day as a designated hitter.

3. Aaron Harang, SP, Braves – We have no idea how he’s doing it at age 35, but Harang is among the hottest pitchers in baseball.

NFL stock ...

Upgrade these guys based on recent news:

1. Mike Wallace, WR, Dolphins – New offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is going to focus on Wallace, not banish him to clear-out routes a la Mike Sherman.

2. Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks – Dynasty owners must note that Marshawn Lynch is a good bet to be cut in 2015.

3. Rueben Randle, WR, Giants – With a new West Coast offense in place, Randle won’t have to worry about the option routes that have given him trouble.

Follow Metro fantasy writer Adam Levitan on Twitter @adamlevitan.

 
 
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