Gambling on Prospects: Second Half Surgers

This series will look at prospects and show whether they are worth an investment on your fantasy team. Every owner knows that the secret to a strong minors system is knowing who to throw away and knowing who to keep. Each player featured in this series will be given one of the following recommendations:

  1. Hold ’em : If you own this prospect, hang tight. While times may seem rough, the talent is worth holding onto.
  2. Fold ’em : If you own this prospect, now is the time to sell while they may still have some name value.
  3. Walk Away: This prospect is not worth paying attention to in your league.
  4. Run: Get to the waiver wire immediately and put a claim in for this prospect.

Last week, I put together my Mid-Season Top 50 list with seven players debuting on the list for the first time this season. Three of those seven were 2014 draftees, but the other four: Joey Gallo, Daniel Norris, Jose Berrios and Jimmy Nelson could have all been acquired cheaply six months ago in dynasty leagues, while their current cost may be prohibitive (especially Gallo). In an effort to gaze into the future, and get ahead of your competition, here are seven more names (non-2104 draftees) that could be making their Top Prospect list debuts in the near future.


1. Luis Severino, New York Yankees: Just 19 years old, Severino was promoted to High A three weeks ago. After a rough first outing, he has been filthy with 16 IP 6 H 5 BB and 20K in his last three starts. Severino was ranked inside of Baseball America’s (#34) and Baseball Prospectus’ (#48) mid-season top 50 prospect lists, while I was more cautious with the young right-hander. He’s climbing the top charts though with his mid 90’s fastball, feel for the change-up and his excellent control. Still young and raw, Severino has an incredibly high ceiling; it would be a wise investment now, if it isn’t too late. Midseason Ranking: N/A Bold Forecast for 2015 Top 100 Prospect List: 40. Run

2. Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox: I featured Devers two weeks ago here, but he needs to be mentioned again. The 17-year-old third baseman has been state-side for just 4 games after debuting in the Dominican League. Here are his numbers:

DSL 104 35 26 3 21 5 19 20 .337 .441 .529
GCL 14 9 3 1 7 0 2 2 .643 .688 1.214

Obviously this is a very small sample size, but his ability to hit is undeniable. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite prospects and I’ve already found a way to roster him in two dynasty leagues already. Midseason Ranking: HM Bold Forecast for 2015 Top 100 Prospect List: 50. Run

3. Gabby Guerrero, Seattle Mariners: The 20-year-old nephew of Vladimar Guerrero has been selected to play for the World team in this year’s Futures Game after hitting .291/.341/.436 in High A ball. Gabby, like his uncle, expands the zone but has very good bat speed and plus power potential. Here’s a video, courtesy of Craig Goldstein of BP:

Guerrero is already becoming one of my favorite players to root for. Midseason Ranking: N/A Bold Forecast for 2015 Top 100 Prospect List: 95. Run

4. Sean Manaea, Kansas City Royals: The 22-year-old left-handed starter has a 2-7 record with a 4.75 ERA in High A Wilmington this year. What these numbers hide is a power lefty who can throw in the mid 90’s with a plus slider. He has struck out 79 batters in just 60 innings of work, although with 30 walks issued. At 6’5″ and 215 lbs, Manaea is am imposing pitcher with the stuff to back it up. Midseason Ranking: N/A Bold Forecast for 2015 Top 100 Prospect List: 60. Run

5. Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays: While Osuna was not on the Mid-Season list, I’m cheating a little with this mention as I had ranked Osuna #75 overall heading into 2014. I noted at the time the significant risk following Tommy John surgery. On Tuesday night, Osuna made his first start back, striking out two batters in his one inning of work, working 95 mph with his fastball. Having just turned 19, Osuna is still young even with a year lost, and was dominating A ball before his 18th birthday. He has a mid 90’s fastball and very good command and joins an impressive group of Blue Jay pitching prospects. Midseason Ranking: N/A Bold Forecast for 2015 Top 100 Prospect List: 70. Run

6. Lewis Brinson, Texas Rangers: 20-year-old Brinson debuted in High A last night with 2 hits, including a double, 3 RBI and a caught stealing. Prior to his promotion, Brinson slashed .335/.405/.579 with 10 home runs and 7 stolen bases in A ball. Strikeouts are the major concern with the athletic outfielder, but this year he’s reduced his K rate from 38% to 25%. Playing along side Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro, the Pelicans are going to be a fun team to watch the rest of the way. Midseason Ranking: N/A Bold Forecast for 2015 Top 100 Prospect List: 85. Run

7. Manuel Margot, Boston Red Sox: 19-year-old center fielder Margot is hitting .261/.331/.406 with 29 stolen bases in A ball this year. Margot was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011 at just 16 years of age. Already a première defensive center fielder with plus speed, Margot also has some mid-power potential giving him an exciting ceiling to dream on. Midseason Ranking: N/A Bold Forecast for 2015 Top 100 Prospect List: 80. Run

Here’s a video courtesy of Chris Blessing (of


If you’re gonna play the game boy, you gotta learn to play it right.

Paul Hartman

Written by 

Fantasy Baseball player since 1987. Creator of Fantasy Assembly, yet just fortunate enough to be a part of it.

13 thoughts on “Gambling on Prospects: Second Half Surgers”

  1. Grabbed Devers in my league, too. You should give consideration to Mets prospect Marcos Molina; kid is advanced.

  2. Would you drop Bubba Starling to pick up Severino? I’ve been holding on to him but maybe it’s time to move on. I also have Josh Bell, Winker, Nimmo, Piscotty and Tapia in OF plus Kris Bryant who might be destined for OF as well. My league is 12 Team Dynasty with 15 man minors.

    1. Hi Dan…
      Yep, I think it’s time to move on from Starling.
      He can hit lefties, but just swings and misses against RHP. I don’t think he can ever be more than a 4th OF.
      Thanks for the question.

      1. Thanks for the help. Great article by the way! I’ll keep an eye in these guys since my league is expanding to 25 man minors rosters next year.

  3. what are your thoughts on franklin barreto, SS from the Jays organization? Thought he might make an appearance on your lists? Also, is Ryan Mcmahon, 3b from Colorado the real deal or do you think his #’s are inflated from his home park?

    1. Two great names Jim. McMahon was an HM on my top 50 prospect list. I like him a lot…. (huge ceiling)…would expect him to be a highly sought after 3B prospect very soon. Barreto is a good prospect to keep an eye on as well…he’s very young but has a chance to break into some top 100s next year. (yep, would’ve fit this piece pretty well)

  4. Thanks Paul! Love the insight. I am a big fan of McMahon as well, hope he gets some respect among prospect lists after a great 2014 campaign.

  5. I’m not well versed in dynasty league play, but I wanted to finally take a look at your stuff at least in terms of what the real teams need. Certainly, Severino would seem to be a key prospect, as the Yankees’ starting rotation looks to be in shambles with Sabathia’s health shaky beyond even this year and Tanaka probably needing Tommy John at some point. The Red Sox prospects are also intriguing, as the team is still in apparent need of hitting and can’t rely on the heroics of David Ortiz and Mike Napoli forever. Good stuff.

  6. Great stuff Paul. Keep up the good work! I have a dilemma, which shortstop should I drop Gleyber Torres,Trea Turner, or Justin Williams, to pick up Sean Manaea? My dynasty league that I am in can keep 20 minor league players.

  7. Thanks Brian, appreciate you reading!
    At the end of the day, I want Manaea more than any of those 3…
    trouble is I’m a shortstop hoarder and I’d love to keep all 3 of them ha.
    I’d probably drop Williams if I had to choose one.

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