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“Alluhring Strategy” Real Deal Dynasty Primer: Call-Up Conjecture

2016 has already been an exciting year for Rookies. We could see 30-40 prospects make their Major League debuts this year, but this year there could be a dozen or so Top 50 prospects that make an impact for their parent teams and perhaps your fantasy teams. It can be very difficult to project when a top prospect will be called up, but its damn fun to try and there seems to be a lot of interest in discussing it.

This week, I will be introducing “On the Cusp” prospects. I will be tracking the top ten or so prospects that project to make their debut this season. I will be ranking them using the following criteria:

  1. Polish and Preparedness for the Majors
  2. Clear Path to playing time
  3. Service Time and Arbitration considerations

I will be updating this On the Cusp Impact Prospects list throughout the Summer along with the Impact Rookie Power Rankings that I introduced the last week.


Impact Prospects On the Cusp


Aaron Blair (ATL) SP – ETA: April-May

Blair is on top of this list, not because he’s the most talented, but he is the only one on the list that I feelBlair, Aaron could be called up any day now. He is polished and ready to contribute at the Major League level and the Braves rotation was exactly one win by a starter at the time of this writing.

Atlanta sent down Williams Perez (mercifully) and will need a 5th starter this Sunday, April 24th. My guess is they bring up Blair or Mike Foltynewicz. It will be close, but a late April call up should just squeeze by on service time without losing a year of club control. If it’s Folty this weekend, Blair would be next man up when an injury strikes or ineffectiveness results in someone being cut or demoted. He is off to a terrific start to his 2016 campaign. In 3 games started: 3 W, 1.42 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 2.52 FIP, 24.6% K:BB

Blair is not as flashy or filthy as some of the other pitching prospects on this list, however, he really doesn’t have any deficiencies. He has above average fastball, change and command. This should translate to a high floor but low ceiling. If called up and given a chance to stick in the rotation, he could be a nice innings-eater that is worth a roster spot in anything league and could really be in effective in category leagues.


Tim Anderson (CWS) SS – ETA: May-June

Ok so Anderson  has been really bad so far this Spring. In his first 9 games at AAA he’s batting .179 andanderson, tim [0:12] BB/K ratio. So why do I have him listed 2nd on this list? His path to playing time is only blocked by a 37 year-old Jimmy Rollins that made the team off a minor league contract this Spring. Rollins is doing nothing at the plate and the surprising White Sox can’t depend on their pitching staff all season to continue to squeak out wins.

Anderson has plus speed and an above average hit tool that could be a spark to the parent club once he gets back on track. His defense and arm would be an upgrade alone. He should pass the service time issue for club control any day now so once he gets hot for a week or two, I think he will get the call. He rose up the rankings in 2014 when he spanned four levels of the minors in one year. We know he can rake as he put up nearly 600 plate appearances in AA with a slash line of .316/.351/.434 with 49 SB and a [24:12]3 BB:KK ratio.

If he gets the call, he will likely bat at the bottom of the order and which will lengthen the lineup and spark more offense. He can help in speed and run scored categories but he probably won’t hit for a high average right away. I can see him settling in as a .280 hitter in a few seasons.


Jose Berrios (MIN) SP – ETA: June

Berrios SHOULD be in the Twins rotation right now. He is the best arm in the organization and it isn’t barrios, joseclose. So why isn’t he up yet? Club control AND money are the only reasons he is not pitching in Minnesota already. Now the rotation hasn’t been as bad as expected over the first three weeks, however, Berrios would immediately deepen the rotation and put butts in the seats. 

Berrios has a four-pitch arsenal with two plus pitches (fastball, curve) and two above average pitches (slider, change). He showed improved command last season with 175 Ks in 166.1 innings over AA and AAA. He is dealing so far in 2016 in two starts however his command has regressed. 13:7 K:BB ratio in 10 innings. He should get that back on track with a few more starts. The question will be whether the extra year of control is enough or will they hold him back through most of June to ensure he doesn’t get an extra year of arbitration.

You should be stashing him in all league formats. Once called up he will make an impact in all scoring categories and could give your team a huge boost mid-year as the injuries pile up to your rotation.


A.J. Reed (HOU) 1B – ETA: June

Reed is another prospect that had an outside chance of making the Opening Day roster. Wisely, the Reed, AJAstros held him back and let Tyler White do his thing. Despite this, Reed still has a clear path to playing time. Luis Valbuena is the starting 3B and is counted on for some power in the lineup. In 14 games, he is batting .217/.282/.262 with 0 HRs and 3 RBIs. The Astros have had a slow start this year with high expectations. The team should really consider moving White over to 3B and letting the Reed era begin. Yeah White is a defensive liability, but you can always bring in a defensive replacement in late innings if needed.

Reed projects to have plus-plus power and a developing hit tool. After a slow start in AAA, Reed has gotten hot and will be ready to make the jump anytime. There is some swing and miss to his game, but he does have good discipline as he has reached base over 40% of his pro ball career.

You will see this a lot in the article, but Reed likely won’t see the Majors until late June to protect the clubs control and financial interests similar to the Carlos Correa call-up last season. Once called up, he will impact fantasy teams immediately in all power and run production categories. Even redrafts should be ready to pounce when there is even rumor of his impending call-up.


Sean Manaea (OAK) SP – ETA: June

So the Oakland rotation on paper is: Sonny Gray and then pray for rain. Ironically, the rotation has Manaea, Seanbeen pretty effective  as every starter has a sub-4 ERA and they just finished a three game sweep against the Yankees. That being said, it is not realistic that they keep up this pace and injuries are bound to catch up to them as the season moves on. Manaea could be fill in nicely once a starter goes down and could keep the gig for the rest of the season.

Manaea’s repertoire features a plus fastball and slider with a decent change-up and command. He dominated in his first two starts of the season in AAA giving up just 2 runs in 12 innings with 17:2 K:BB ratio. Oakland is the Moneyball OG and is likely going to hold him through the Super Two threshold. Once past, Manaea should be taking his fro to Oakland and give fantasy owners some help in most pitching categories. Stash him now if you can. Dynasty leagues will likely see his price go up in the next two months if he continues to breeze through AAA.


Tyler Glasnow (PIT) SP – ETA: June-July

Glasnow’s story is very similar to Manaea. Pittsburgh has two stud pitchers at the top of the rotation Glasnow, Tylerand they hold their breath during the rest. He made great strides last season spanning 3 minor league levels and handling each one. His path to rotation is only blocked by the likes of Jonathan Niese and Juan Nicasio. Unfortunately, the Pirates have a history of holding back their top prospects until service time and Super Two thresholds have been passed. There is no indication that this will be any different, but they could really use him in the rotation in a brutal NL West.

Glasnow features a plus-plus fastball and plus curve with a serviceable change-up. He is developing his command which has looked good so far in 2016. In two starts, he has a 15:3 K:BB ratio and gave up 7 hits and 2 runs over 10 innings. Once promoted he will make an immediate impact and I’d expect to see him as soon as the feel the Super Two deadline has safely passed.


Joey Gallo (TEX) 3B – ETA: July

We have been waiting to see him be a permanent fixture in the Texas lineup after he took the league by Gallo, Joeystorm during his call-up in 2015. His power is elite and it was a blast to follow his HR battle with Kris Bryant in 2014. After struggling in AAA last season, he is crushing it so far in 2016. In 12 games, he is slashing .302/.404/.674 with 4 HRs and 11 RBIs. He will take walks but has struck out nearly 35% of his minor league career. So far this season, he has improved in that area with 23.1% K rate over those first 12 games.

Gallo’s main issue is he has no clear path to playing time in the Major Leagues. The late free-agent signing of Ian Desmond to play LF pretty much confirms that the OF  experiment for Gallo is over. Sounds like they are now have him focused at 3B. Problem is they just extended Adrian Beltre for another two seasons and their a no at-bats available at DH with Prince Fielder penciled in there nearly every day. He may be primed to be trade bait at the deadline this season so I would think he will get the call if Beltre or Fielder go down with an injury. Otherwise they rather him hit everyday in AAA.

He has certainly lost some hype over the last year, but could contribute to fantasy teams in any power production categories if given regular at-bats this Summer.


Josh Bell (PIT) 1B- ETA: July-August

Thanks to the hot start of John Jaso, the Pirates don’t feel the need to bring him. Batting .368 due in Bell, Joshlarge part by a 97.3 Z-Contact% (contact when swinging at pitches in the strike zone). He is polished and ready to contribute but has been off to a slow start in AAA in 2016. Jaso’s production will justify the Pirates desire to keep in down until the service time/arbitration thresholds have passed. They have officially released Mike Morse so Jaso is now the only player blocking his path. A significant injury to Jaso would be the only way we see him in the first half of the season.

Bell doesn’t necessarily profile to have any plus tools but is average to above average across the board. He will be a nice depth addition to your fantasy roster if he is brought up with significant playing time, however, a UTL slot or injury fill in is likely what his production will warrant in most leagues. Dynasty leagues that have deeper lineups or larger format will see more value in him as he could contribute in most categories.


Trea Turner (WAS) SS – ETA: August

Turner is the best SS in the organization and probably should have won the starting SS spot out of training camp. Service time seems to be a concern despite a late season call-up last Fall. As long Turner, Treaas the Nationals keep up there torrid pace, they can absorb the black hole hitting in the 8th spot knowing the defense is top notch. The Nats seem to think Turner needs to work on his defense in the Minors a little longer.

He’s got 80 grade speed and a developing hit tool that could have been nice to plug in at the top of the order with Revere out. As it played out his is off to a blistering start in AAA, showing improvement plate discipline with 12.3% BB rate and 17.5% K rate in his first 13 games. He is an immediate starter in fantasy when called up because he will take over the everyday SS role when that happens. It just might be a while before it happens. If he’s not up yet, there is no reason to think he will be until he passes the service time threshold that is likely late July to early August due to his appearance last season.


Lucas Giolito (WAS) SP – ETA: August

Lil’ Gio is the top pitching prospect in the Minors and he should see some time this season in Washington. However, the Nats are going to protect their prize arm who already already gone through Giolito, LucasTommy John surgery and limit his innings this year. The Nats rotation has been solid so far and he is simply not needed right now. If there is an injury, there are two guys in AAA (AJ Cole and Austin Voth) that will likely be called up first that profile as 4th/5th Starters. It will be easier to manage Giolio’s innings in AAA so he can maximize his impact in the late Summer with the parent club. He has the nastiest fastball, curveball combo (both plus-plus) of all the prospects in baseball with an above-average change and developing command. If you have the space, stash him now as you won’t be able to acquire him once he’s promoted.




Rookie Impact Power Rankings


Kenta Maeda (LAD) SP – Finally gave up a run, but 0.47 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 15:4 K/BB ratio keeps him at #1.

Nomar Mazara (TEX) RF – Excellent plate discipline, .414/.457/.552 slash line and 1.009 OPS puts him as top impact rookie hitters so far.

Trevor Story (COL) SS – Cooled off a little and contact issues drop him down to #3. Still 8 HRs and 1.071 OPS is a damn good start to a career.

Steven Matz (NYM) SP – Tough First Start of the Season (7 ER in 1.2 INN), but he rebounded nicely this week at Cleveland (0 ER over 7 INN, 2 BB, 9 K).

Tyler White (HOU) 1B/3B – White has also cooled off striking out over 40% over the past week. Expect him to make adjustments and be just fine.

Corey Seager (LAD) SS – Week 3 was unkind to Seager as well. Still think he ends up near top of this least by year’s end.

Byung-ho Park (MIN) DH – Finally starting to heat up with better contact and 3 HRs in the last week.

Aledmys Diaz (STL) SS – Extremely productive filling in for Peralta. Now that he’s back, Diaz may see his opportunities diminish.

Seung-hwan Oh (STL) RP – Didn’t give up his first earned run until 4/20. Solid middle reliever for holds leagues.

Ross Stripling (LAD) SP – .Looks the part of a decent 5th starter.

Joey Rickard (BAL) LF – Slowing down a little but still playing every day and leading off.

Tony Zych (SEA) RP – Higher leverage situations and racks up the Ks. Should end up closing by year’s end.

Robert Stephenson (CIN) SP – Looks to be a taxi-squad spot starter until an injury opens up a permanent rotation spot. Looked good in start this week.




Bryan Luhrs

Major League Fantasy Sports
Writer & Contributor
Real Deal Dynasty Sports
Owner, League Developer & Executive Commissioner



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Major League Fantasy Baseball Weekly: Join Lou Landers and Kyle Amore live on Thursday April 21st, 2016 from 8-10pm EST for episode #10 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Weekly. We will discuss player positions and help prepare you for the coming draft season. This will run every Thursday as a live broadcast that will take live callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. Our Thursday night show will do some weekly recaps, player updates, and preview the coming week end games.

Our guests this week are Lenny Melnick and Joe Iannone. Lenny Melnick is a fantasy baseball legend and a pioneer in the business. He is credited with starting the very first fantasy baseball show in 1993 along with Irwin Zwilling and Sandy Stolle. He also has a website which you can find at where you can find all his work, and it is a great overall free community. Joe is a veteran writer with, a tenured fantasy baseball expert, and a big part of our community.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”


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Major League Fantasy Baseball Show: Join Corey D Roberts on Sunday April 24th, 2016 from 7-9pm EST for this week’s episode of the Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show. We are a live call in radio show so we encourage callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. Every week we will do a quick recap of Fr-Sat games, and a forecast of Monday through Thursday’s games.

Our guests this week are Ron Shandler, Joe Iannone, and Andy Macuga. Ron is a legend and pioneer in the fantasy baseball world. He has been part of fantasy baseball world since 1986, and is a member of the FSTA Hall of Fame. He is currently a writer with ESPN, and runs Joe is a veteran writer with as well as a tenured fantasy baseball expert. Andy is the head baseball coach at Borrego Springs H.S. in Southern California, and a veteran owner in MLFS leagues.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”


Faith, Family and Fantasy Sports.These are the three words that best describe me. I am a faithful husband and father of 6 amazing children. I work to earn a living, but I live for every precious moment I can spend with my family and a passion for sports.

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