We’re at the midway point of the 2024 MLB season and teams are starting to get desperate for healthy players. Some of those healthy players are coming from their farm systems. MLB prospects getting called up this week include Hayden Birdsong, Valente Bellozo, David Festa, and CJ Alexander.




Fantasy Baseball Prospects 2024: MLB Prospects On The Rise

Each of those are interesting for fantasy reasons, but we’re also going to look at prospects likely to come up sooner rather than later. Prospects like James Wood, Coby Mayo, and a sleeper like Steward Berroa could be in the majors shortly. It’s time to pay attention to these prospects for our MLB lineups and fantasy baseball rosters.

David Festa — RHP Minnesota Twins

Slated to start on Thursday for the Twins, Festa has been rolling at Triple-A St. Paul. The 13th rounder from the 2021 MLB Draft, he his four-pitch mix to rack up strikeouts at every stop he’s made in the Twins’ system. Only once, in less than 12 innings, has Festa posted a K/9 under 10.95. The ERAs, FIPs, and xFIPs have all been solid as well in those same spots. 

The only real concern over his minor league career thus far has been the walks, somewhat. Each stop from High-A and above, the 60-grade Fastball, 55-grade Slide, 55-grade Changeup, and 45-grade Curveball have produced at least 3.16 BB/9. Festa profiles as a high-end number 3 starter for a big-league rotation with more strikeout upside than we usually see from that spot.




Hayden Birdsong — RHP San Francisco Giants

It’s been a heck of a start to the campaign for Birdsong over his first 13 starts. Over those 57.1 innings, between Double-A and Triple-A, the righty has posted an impressive 75:26 K:BB ratio and a combined 2.51 ERA. A sub-.200 BAA is also solid. The 6’4” righty has three pitches that are above-average to plus with a fourth offering that flirts with average.

The main pitch is a mid-90s fastball with really nice run that cuts in on right-handed hitters, while the main secondary pitches are his plus-curveball and above-average slider that keeps lefties and righties, respectively, at bay. The fourth pitch flirting with an average grade is the mid-80s changeup.

Valente Bellozo — RHP Miami Marlins

The Marlins are having to dig deep into the starting pitcher reserves at this point. With all of the injuries and moves they’ve made, Bellozo will be their 14th starting pitcher used. He’s not a flashy prospect by any means with a 5.02 ERA, 4.77 FIP, 3.95 xFIP and 1.27 WHIP over 52 IP between Double- and Triple-A this year. Bellozo has struck out a nice amount of hitters with a 9.86 K/9 and 25.6% K-rate. 

Whether he sticks in the majors for more than one start has yet to be determined, but his first start facing the Royals went quite well. He pitched 5 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits and posting 2 strikeouts in those frames. Bellozo is nothing more than a backend starter with decent strikeout ability but whose stuff isn’t anything more than average.




CJ Alexander — 3B Kansas City Royals

Speaking of the Royals, they called up corner infielder CJ Alexander earlier this week. He was having a tremendous first half at Triple-A Omaha in which he slashed .323/.369/.555 with 9 HR, 42 R, 35 RBI, and 2 steals while adding 16 doubles and 4 triples as well. Kansas City is hoping the 27-year-old brings that hot start to their hot corner which has ranked 6th worst in MLB (based on wRC+).

The Power tool flashes plus for Alexander but nothing else is better than average, which includes the Hit tool. For those who are desperate for some corner help and a guy who can hit homers in spurts, Alexander is intriguing in deep leagues. That being said though, there’s risk that he’s only up for a part-time gig and flounders.

James Wood — OF Washington Nationals

In an interview with a local sports radio show this week, Mike Rizzo, the GM of the Nationals, said he will be calling up the Nationals top prospects. That includes Wood. He’s been lighting up Triple-A all season. Well, as long as he’s healthy. 

In 50 games for the Rochester Red Wings, Wood is slashing .352/.464/.588 with 10 each of HR and SB, 42 R, and 34 RBI while walking nearly as many times as he’s struck out. Quite simply, there’s nothing more to prove in the minors. With the seeming go ahead from Mike Rizzo, it’s now time to add Wood and stash him in any format.




Coby Mayo — 3B/1B Baltimore Orioles

Mayo is about the only young Baltimore bat who hasn’t gotten a shot in Camden Yards this year. That’s mainly due to him being injured for a chunk of the season so far. Over his 48 games at Triple-A Norfolk, Mayo is slashing .301/.370/.617 with 15 HR, 41 RBI, 36 R, and 3 SB. 

The Hit tool and Power tool have been evident at each stop in the minors for Mayo as last year, across Double- and Triple-A, he slashed .290/.410/.563 with 29 HR, and 19 HR in 104 games the year before. Once back on the field, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s on the short list to take a starting spot at third for Baltimore. Ramon Urias has been solid, but he’s not the answer and Mayo might start making that clear shortly.

Steward Berroa — OF Toronto Blue Jays

The offense for the Blue Jays has been generally a tough watch this year. One of the main culprits has been the woeful play of George Springer. The Blue Jays have a potential replacement for the struggles, while adding some excitement, in Steward Berroa. Sure, he’s older than the typical prospect at 25 years old, however, the skills are there. 

In 62 games at Triple-A Buffalo this year, he’s slashing .295/.380/.451 with 7 HR, 38 R, 32 RBI, and 29 SB while walking 11.7% of the time. That’s just what the Blue Jays need, a hitter who can get on base and generate runs with steals. If Toronto really wants to compete in the AL East, it should only be a matter of time before we see Berroa get a shot in the outfield.