Roster expansion is nearly upon us as Major League teams expand to 40 man rosters on Sunday. This is a time of the year when Fantasy Football and Baseball really butt heads. Will you be focusing on the new influx of MLB talent to fuel your team down the stretch? If you are already looking to next year, don’t pay all your attention to the NFL as teams cut down rosters to 53 as you may be able to add a piece or two for your baseball team in the Spring! Here are some talented players that may help you in September.
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Billy Hamilton OF Cincinnati- Is there a player that has been stashed on fantasy rosters more than Billy Hamilton? The 22-year-old speedster also stands to make the biggest impact if called up, something Walt Jocketty has yet to decide. In 118 games at Triple-A Louisville, Hamilton is hitting .259 with six home runs, 41 RBI and 73 stolen bases!
Nick Castellanos OF Detroit- Castellanos may be the most anticipated American League prospect yet to get a chance in “The Show”. Over 500 at bats at Triple-A Toledo, Castellanos is hitting .274 with 16 home runs and 70 RBI. With a major hurdle at third base in the Motor City, Castellanos has been learning the outfield.
Jonathan Singleton 1B Houston- When/If Singleton gets the call to Houston, you need to run, not walk to the front of the line. After serving a 50 game suspension, Singleton has spent time at Single, Double and now Triple-A. In 287 minor league at bats, Singleton has eleven home runs and 40 RBI, but is hitting only .217 in 68 games at Oklahoma City.
Gary Brown OF San Francisco- San Francisco needs a young stick in their outfield and Brown is their top candidate. Brown had a setback when he was accidentally hit in the head with a bat, but is expected to get the call. At Triple-A Fresno, Brown is hitting .234 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 26 attempts.
Jackie Bradley OF Boston- It was clear that Bradley wasn’t ready after making the trip north following spring training. Bradley was briefly recalled, but may get a longer look in September. Recovering from an elbow injury, Bradley is hitting .272 at Pawtucket with ten home runs, 33 RBI and six stolen bases in a dozen attempts.
Mike Olt 3B Chicago Cubs- The key to the deal that sent Matt Garza to Texas, Olt remains a top prospect in Chicago despite recent struggles. An eye problem has been corrected, but Olt is hitting only .156 in 31 games at Iowa. Olt has clubbed 15 home runs and drove in 40 runs over 351 minor league at bats. Look for the Cubs to give him a long look at third base.
Taijuan Walker SP Seattle- Walker may be the top dog in the pitching rich Seattle minor league system. For now, GM Jack Zduriencik is uncertain if Walker will get the call this weekend. Walker was lights out in Double-A, going 4-7 with a 2.46 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. In eleven Triple-A starts, Walker is 5-3 with an ERA of 3.61 and 1.41 WHIP.
Jameson Taillon SP Pittsburgh- Promoted to Triple-A at the beginning of the month, could a stint in the majors be soon to follow? In 19 Double-A starts, Taillon was 4-7 with an ERA of 3.67 and a 1.34 WHIP. In four starts at Triple-A Indianapolis, Taillon is 1-1, with an ERA of 3.75 and a 1.33 WHP. Taillon has 131 strikeouts in 125 minor league innings.
Trevor Bauer SP Cleveland- Is there a prospect that has fallen further in the eyes of scouts and fantasy managers alike? Arizona was quick to move him and everyone is impatient waiting for his control problems to improve. Bauer is 6-6 in Triple-A with an ERA of 4.17 and a 1.55 WHIP. Bauer is 1-2 in four major league spot starts, with an ERA of 5.29 and astronomical 1.82 WHIP.
Kevin Gausman SP Baltimore- I remain bullish on Gausman and believe he will turn out to be a more effective major leaguer than teammate Dylan Bundy. Gausman dominated Double-A hitters before getting a brief look in Baltimore, where he went 1-3 in five starts. At Triple-A Norfolk, Gausman is 1-2 with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Expect a call by the Birds on Sunday.
Archie Bradley SP Arizona- The D-Backs have rolled out young arms this season with mixed success. Patrick Corbin has far exceeded expectations, Tyler Skaggs not so much. Bradley is the best prospect of the bunch and has dominated Double-A where he has spent much of the season after five High-A starts. Bradley is 11-5 with a 2.05 ERA and 1.25 WHIP.
James Paxton SP Seattle- With Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma atop the M’s rotation, Seattle fans have dreams of Walker, Danny Hultzen and Paxton rounding things out. Paxton has spent the entire season at Triple-A Tacoma, going 7-11 in 25 starts. In 135 innings of work, Paxton has an ERA of 4.64 and a 1.52 WHIP.
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Tom Blaz is a writer for Fantasy Alarm and co-owner of The Recruiting Eagle a website focusing on Auburn University Athletics. Follow Tom on twitter @RecruitingEagle
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