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06/03/08 11:51 AM ET
Roundtable: The future is now
Bailey, Gonzalez among prospects primed to make big league splash
Oakland outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has rung up four doubles through his first four Major League games. (AP)


With Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw and Jay Bruce having crashed the mixed-league scene, who'll be the next prospect in the Majors or Minors to make a mainstream fantasy impact?'s fantasy gurus tell all in this week's edition of the Roundtable.

Homer Bailey, SP, Reds

Perpetual Reds prospect Homer Bailey will return to the big leagues this week, and while the knocks against him haven't been completely addressed -- walks too many, relies too heavily on his fastball, doesn't throw his curve enough, doesn't handle pressure well etc. -- the 22-year-old righty has a powerful enough arm to maintain top-prospect status. A road start at Philadelphia Thursday will be an immediate and stiff test of Bailey's Major League readiness, so mixed leaguers may want to sit him out for that one, but he remains a future ace and is a must-grab in keeper leagues.

-- Cory Schwartz, Host, " Fantasy 411"

Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Athletics

Despite the early success of young guns Dana Eveland and Greg Smith, A's fans have remained somewhat skeptical about the deal that sent ace righty Dan Haren to Arizona last season for six relative unknowns. Enter Carlos Gonzalez, a 22-year-old do-everything outfielder who may soon prove to be another Billy Beane gem. Rated the club's top prospect by Baseball America, Gonzalez has cracked four doubles in his first 15 big league at-bats since being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on May 30. He's got instantaneous mixed-league value if he's able to cement an everyday slot in Oakland's outfield.

-- Corey Gottlieb, Reporter, Fantasy

This guy could singlehandedly validate the Dan Haren trade. One of six prospects acquired from the Diamondbacks in exchange for Haren, Gonzalez has been impressive since making his big league debut on May 30. The 22-year-old center fielder has already posted a pair of two-double efforts in four starts after hitting .293 in 41 games for Triple-A Sacramento. Gonzalez has averaged 40 doubles, 20 homers and 93 RBIs over his last two Minor League seasons and should be given an abundant amount of time to show off his offensive tools in Oakland.

-- Kyle Stack, Reporter, Fantasy

Ian Stewart, IF, Rockies

Owners needn't scour Minor League rosters for the next prospect to make an impact, as Ian Stewart is already getting his shot in Colorado. The 23-year-old earned a callup after blasting 12 home runs with 43 RBIs in 46 games for Triple-A Colorado Springs, and he's posted a .792 OPS in nine games for the big club. Although he's been shuffled back and forth between second base and third, Stewart has been in the lineup virtually every day since May 24. Grab the young slugger while you can, as he'll be a worthwhile starter once he makes enough appearances to qualify at second in all formats.

-- Tim Ott, Reporter, Fantasy

Chase Headley, OF, Padres

If you're like me, and you're not buying the Homer Bailey hype, then sit tight. Save your prospect glee for 24-year-old slugger Chase Headley, who hasn't missed a beat since moving from third base to left field this season. After adjusting defensively in April, he came on strong in May, batting .357 with seven homers, 10 doubles and 19 RBIs in his first go-round at Triple-A. And with the Padres struggling to score runs, it's likely a matter of weeks before this polished switch-hitter makes the leap and gives San Diego fans something to get excited about.

-- Alex Cushing, Reporter, Fantasy

Chris Davis, 1B, Rangers

I present Chris Davis, the Rangers' top hitting prospect who was recently called up to Triple-A Oklahoma and looks to be on the verge of reaching the bigs. The 22-year-old got his promotion after crushing Double-A pitching to the tune of a .333 average, 13 homers, 42 RBIs and a .618 slugging percentage. All that stands in Davis' path to Arlington is the least imposing first-base platoon since anything Doug Meintkiewicz related: a timeshare between Frank Catalanotto and Chris Shelton. So let's just say that Davis will have a job in the Majors sooner than later.

-- Dave Feldman, Reporter, Fantasy

Brandon Moss, OF, Red Sox

With David Ortiz on the shelf, the Red Sox will probably fill the power void from the left side of the plate with Moss, who can play left field and first base, has some pop (.561 SLG at Triple-A Pawtucket) and even hit a couple of homers during a short stint in the bigs to begin the season. He is fully recovered from an emergency appendectomy he underwent on May 3 and is striking out at a lower rate since returning to action on May 22, so keep an eye on him.

-- Todd Zola, Correspondent

Charlie Morton, SP, Braves

With all the hype surrounding pitching prospects like Homer Bailey and Clayton Kershaw, it's easy to understand how right-hander Charlie Morton has flown below the radar. Not for long, though. The 24-year-old starter -- selected 95th overall by the Braves in the 2002 Draft -- is tearing it up the Minors, going 4-1 with a 1.91 ERA, 55 strikeouts and a 1.05 WHIP over 66 innings for Triple-A Richmond. What's more, with a mid-90s fastball and hard curve, he's held opponents to a microscopic .195 batting average. If someone goes down or underperforms in the Braves' rotation, expect Morton to get the call.

-- Milosh Marinovich, Reporter, Fantasy

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.