This week in review: John Lamb, one of my favorite prospects, finally got his chance and got sheared by the Dodger’s bats. Still, that’s a tough team to face and he did strike out seven and walk two, and think he will be fine. Colin Rea had a similar fate, as he struck out 4 and walked 1 but has a 5.40 ERA to show for it. He still got the win and should be a solid arm down the road.
These players are ranked in order of most likely to make an impact for your fantasy team in 2015. It does not include pitchers who have already hit in the majors this year.
Berrios continues to post excellent numbers, but it seems that with the Twins sending Buxton to Triple-A, they may be waiting until September to debut Berrios. Still, I think he has the best combination of makeup and polish, and all that girly stuff. Oh, and a nice home park too.
Stephenson left his most recent start with cramping in his right wrist… while that’s a bit concerning, if it’s just cramping and not tendinitis or a more serious injury, it’s nothing to panic about. Still, it doesn’t help his case towards getting promoted before September, though, he’s among the most likely of remaining guys on this list to get an early call.
– Snell Struck out 6 and walked 1 in 5 1/3 Innings in his last start, which is the 5th time in 6 games he’s only walked 1, while striking out at a fantastic 12.93 K% clip. Snell seems to finally have overcome his control problem and is looking like he’s ready to excel as a #2 starter or even an ace. I expect him to at least get some major league innings, maybe a spot start or two, but the Rays have an incredibly deep rotation, especially with Smyly returning.
– Fulmer has pitched back-to-back shutouts since getting traded to the Tigers, although his peripherals has remained largely the same. Still, it’s clear the Tigers want to see what they have with their cache of young pitchers, and if not for service time reasons Fulmer would probably be in the majors too. I think he will work his way into a few starts while they rest the struggling and injury-prone Anibal.
– The Philidelphia Daily News recently reported that Eickhoff could be promoted in the near future. He’s certainly earned it, as he has an 0.64 ERA with a 7.07 K/9 and a 1.29 BB/9 in his 2 starts for the Phillies. What he lacks in upside he makes up for in polish and major-league readiness.
Although Urias’s cosmetic eye surgery dashed his chances of reaching the majors before September, the silver lining is that the Dodgers had always been planning on limiting his innings, and now he can pitch in September all he wants. How exactly he will find innings in Los Angeles remains to be seen, but as he’s already rounding back into form, they should find a way to find innings for the young phenom somehow.
I was mildly impressed with Blair earlier this year, but he has really excelled since his promotion to Triple-A, and just threw back-to-back shutouts. He’s boosted his K rate from 6.91 in Double-A to 8.25 in Triple-A. His walk rate has gone up with it, but he still has improved his stock enough to get a shot at a rotation spot come September. That said, It’s still a tough park for a pitcher to make his debut.
– After what for perhaps only Johnson could be termed as a “slump,” Johnson got his mojo back in his last start, striking out eight while allowing only four hits and one walk in a shutout. On the season, Johnson has an excellent 9.41 K/9 and a 3.06 BB/9 with a 2.45 ERA. He’s in a tough home park but he’s deserved this rotation spot for a long time and hopefully will be rewarded with it come September.
Another very talented pitcher, he continues to display his talents of striking out plenty while walking few. In his last outing, he only went three innings but struck out six and walked one. He may be on an innings restriction so the 23-year-old may not end up starting, but the upside makes him worth stashing anyway.
With a 2.99 ERA, 8.49 K/9 and a 2.30 BB/9, it’s a little puzzling that Voth spent the whole year at Double-A without a single promotion…not even to Triple-A. While he may not break into Washington’s rotation, he may see time for a spot start, and the polish and run support would help him find value should he find his way into playing time.
If Jerad Eickhoff can make this list due to a combination of solid numbers at a high level despite being older for a prospect, Petrick deserves mention too. The 26-year-old doesn’t have great strikeout stuff, with a 6.30 K/9, but he’s significantly cut down his walk rate from 2.82 last year to 1.66 this year. This was his second go-around Triple-A so you could take his improvement with a grain of salt, but he is pitching in the hitter-friendly PCL, so you could take his 4.31 ERA with a grain of sugar.
Davies got walloped in his last start and had trouble limiting his walks, putting a hard stop to his forward momentum. He still may get a chance at some starts come September, but he only has a few more weeks to put up good numbers to state his case. is back and pitched in a few multi-inning stints since. Perhaps the Dodgers are now preparing him for a relief role, where he could still be dominant with his excellent strikeout stuff. has moved a level every year, and is now in Triple-A. The 24-year-old’s 5.26 K/9 is unsexy, but his 1.43 BB/9 makes it less “blech”. has cut down his high walk rate, but it came with cutting down his strikeout rate. This is his third time through Triple-A and he has a 7.59 K/9 with a still-concerning 4.05 BB/9. Also, this is the second straight year in which both his walk rate and his K rate have declined, but he still has an awfully purdy 3.05 ERA so he has a shot at a promotion. is not a prospect at all, as he’s 34 years old. Still, he’s having a hell of a fine season, striking out a batter an inning and walking only a batter every 3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A (mostly Triple-A). He didn’t pitch at all in 2012-2013 and has improved from his return in 2014. Maybe the Padres will be nice guys and will reward his gumption with a chance to pitch in their cavernous home park. You keep doing you, Chris Smith.