Severino takes over top spot among fantasy prospects in Minors
Every week, the MLBPipeline.com crew will rank the top 10 fantasy baseball prospects in the Minor Leagues. These rankings are based solely on expected 2015 fantasy production in the Major Leagues, in contrast to the MLBPipeline Top 100 Prospects list, which reflects long-term value in all phases of the game.
The Cubs insist that Kyle Schwarber will stay with them only as long as they need a DH for a week of Interleague play, and we believe them, even if he has gone 6-for-10 with a triple and homer in his first three games. But they should definitely rethink their plan to develop him as a catcher so they can get his bat in their lineup on a regular basis as soon as possible.
Chicago officials believe Schwarber can make it behind the plate. While he has the desire to do so, scouts with other clubs don't believe he can pull it off. What everyone does agree on is that the No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 Draft will hit and hit for power. In 130 Minor League games, he has batted .333/.432/.610 with 31 homers.
So with the Cubs back in contention, they should focus on putting their best team on the field -- and that team would include Schwarber in left field. Playing him in the outfield would get him to Chicago for good much quicker, and avoiding the wear and tear of catching would mean more production, more games and better health in the long run.
When Schwarber returns to the Minors next week, he'll probably claim the top spot on our Fantasy Top 10. We could use his presence because the current list has been ravaged by all the recent call-ups:
1. Luis Severino, RHP, Yankees (last week's rank: 2)
Despite a weak rotation, New York would claim a Wild Card berth if the season ended today. The Yankees could bolster their chances by promoting the electric-armed Severino, who has two plus pitches in his fastball and changeup and is faring well in Triple-A at age 21.
2. Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays (last week's rank: 4)
His 3.86 ERA in five big league starts in April remains the best among Toronto's healthy starters. While his control and command have remained shaky since his Triple-A demotion, the Blue Jays could use his help.
3. Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (last week's rank: 3)
The best position player currently in the Minors is hitting .299/.352/.463 in Triple-A at age 21. But Los Angeles doesn't seem inclined to pull the plug on Jimmy Rollins, the only weak spot in its lineup, so Seager may have to settle for coming off the bench in September.
4. Steven Matz, LHP, Mets (last week's rank: 7)
Though the first-place Mets don't have a rotation opening, Matz has nothing left to prove in Triple-A. New York could trade him for a veteran starter to bolster its infield.
5. Dalton Pompey, OF, Blue Jays (last week's rank: 9)
He bombed in Toronto in April and continued to scuffle in Triple-A in May, but he's getting his act back together in Double-A. Pompey still looks like the Jays' best center-field option and could resurface before too long.
6. Aaron Nola, RHP, Phillies (last week's rank: 6)
With the worst record in the Majors, Philadelphia has little incentive to promote its 2014 first-rounder and start his service-time clock. Nola's polish has taken him to Triple-A already and he could be better than all of the Phillies' starters if the club trades Cole Hamels and Aaron Harang before the deadline.
7. Jose Peraza, 2B, Braves (last week's rank: 5)
Jace Peterson has improved each month this season, so he's not about to relinquish Atlanta's second-base job any time soon. Biding his time in Triple-A, Peraza is the team's future at the position and his well above-average speed could translate into stolen-base help for fantasy teams if he gets a chance to play.
8. Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins (last week's rank: unranked)
Minnesota called up outfielder Byron Buxton earlier than expected, so why not Sano? He has recovered from Tommy John surgery and is hitting for power again in Double-A, and the Twins could give him regular at-bats between DH and the infield corners.
9. Hector Olivera, 3B/2B, Dodgers (last week's rank: unranked)
Los Angeles didn't give Olivera a $62.5 million contract to spend much time in the Minors, and the advanced hitter has given a taste of things to come by batting .341/.383/.432 in 11 games between Double-A and Triple-A. Like Seager, he has no immediate path to playing time with the Dodgers.
10. Cody Anderson, RHP, Indians (last week's rank: unranked)
After mentioning several prospects in need of an opportunity, we'll leave you with someone who has one. Anderson will join Cleveland's rotation on Sunday, stepping in for Shaun Marcum, who was designated for assignment. He doesn't have a huge ceiling, but Anderson can reach the mid 90s with his fastball and have power to his curve, and he posted a 1.87 ERA and 1.08 WHIP between Double-A and Triple-A this year.
Dropped out: Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians (last week's rank: 1/promoted); Kyle Schwarber, C, Cubs (last week's rank: 8/promoted); Alex Meyer, RHP, Twins (last week's rank: 10).