As I sit here in the stands at Werner Park, three rows behind home, on what is known in the minors as Paul Skenes Day, I’m thinking about the next prospects to come up. 

Fantasy baseball managers are always looking for help for their rosters, especially with the latest batch of injuries that are continuing to roll in. So this week we’ll talk about some of the recent call-ups like Mitchell Parker, Matt Mervis, and Heston Kjerstad and some prospects who could be coming sooner rather than later as injury fill-ins. 


We’ll also talk about some interesting prospect news that’s caught my eye this week for some dynasty prospects. So with Paul Skenes on the mind, let’s get going into this week’s fantasy baseball prospect report.

Recent MLB Prospect Call-ups

Heston Kjerstad — OF Baltimore Orioles

Another in the line of the young Orioles’ hitters to come up, Kjerstad is getting the call after crushing Triple-A pitching. Kjerstad is power-over-hit type bat with double-plus power but below-average hit tools. 

While he’s mainly considered an outfielder, he does also play first base which will help with his shot at seeing the field. However as of right now it’s hard to see him being anything more than a platoon bat or a guy who will give off days to others. That limits the fantasy upside and value. If he can nab a full-time or 3/4 time role, the power is real and should amount to a 30-plus homer season in a full year.

Mitchell Parker — LHP Washington Nationals

The lefty for the Nationals has made two starts each of which were gems. First was a five-inning outing against the Dodgers in which he gave up just two earned runs. The next outing was a seven-inning shutout with eight Ks against Houston. 

Heck of a first week and change in the majors huh? But what can we expect going forward from him in Washington? Over 100 innings at High-A he posted a 3.75 FIP and then posted a 3.52 FIP over 113.2 at Double-A to start 2023. In that span he struck out more than 10 per 9 IP while allowing way less than a HR/9. That’s the good news. 

The problem has mainly been walks as he’s led the organization in walk percentage each year he’s qualified. If Parker has finally sorted out the walk issue, the three-pitch mix of above-average stuff is good enough to be a backend starter.

Matt Mervis — 1B Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are dealing with a spate of injuries at the moment and one of those is being filled with Matt Mervis getting called up. He got a shot in the majors a year ago, though more of a cup of coffee, and it didn’t go well. 

This time around Chicago is hoping the young first baseman brings more of his tools to bare. After hitting .282 with 22 homers at Triple-A last year, he’s back at Iowa to start this year and was hitting .288 with five homers through 18 games in 2024 before heading to the North Side. 

The average above Triple-A is still a question mark, likely topping out in the .265 range but the power is there for 25 homers as well. If you need pop desperately, Mervis is worth a shot in 12-team or deeper leagues.

Addison Barger — INF Toronto Blue Jays

The sorry Blue Jays offense is getting some reinforcements with the promotion of Barger to Toronto. He’s taking the roster spot of the injured Kevin Keirmaier while bringing versatility to the Blue Jays’ roster. 

Barger can play a few different spots but the main calling card is his plus-power. In 2022 he played 124 games across three levels and posted 26 homers with a solid average as well. This year at Triple-A Buffalo he was off to a smoking start with three homers in 19 games and a .314 AVG while walking nearly as often as striking out, which has been a calling card of his in the upper minors. 

He should get a decent amount of playing time in Toronto and if you need a multi-positional bat, he’s worth a shot in 12-team or deeper leagues.

Pete Crow-Armstrong — OF Chicago Cubs

The time has finally come for Crow-Armstrong to make his MLB debut in Chicago, unfortunately it’s at the expense of Cody Ballinger landing on the IL. The skillset with Crow-Armstrong is electric in a few ways, but mainly with speed. He’s one of the fastest guys in the minors and he uses that speed on the base paths as well as in centerfield for near-gold-glove defensive ability. 

The Hit tool is solid but the extent of his Power tool is still a question. Knowing how the Cubs want to play and that they now have two holes in the outfield with Bellinger and Seiya Suzuki both on the IL, Crow-Armstrong will likely get a pretty good run in the starting lineup to show what he’s capable of and speed is likely to play a big role in that.


Potential Prospects Coming Soon

Paul Skenes — RHP Pittsburgh Pirates

Skenes is currently building up his pitch count and workload. Today, when I saw him in Omaha, he threw nearly 70 pitches over 4.1+ innings. He gave up two runs, only one earned, and walked one.

The stuff nor commend is the question with Skenes, right now it’s simply getting pitch count up and innings up before Pittsburgh feels safer bringing him to the majors. There is more and more likelihood that Skenes only has about four more starts in the minors left before heading to the majors and starting to become the ace we expect. 

If he’s available in your league and you can afford a total stash on your bench, now is the time to get Skenes.

James Wood — OF Washington Nationals

The Nationals have Lane Thomas heading to the IL with an MCL sprain. If that injury lingers, there could be a spot for Wood to head to Washington. The young outfielder has been lighting up Triple-A pitchers to this point, after lighting up spring training with one of the best stat lines in Florida or Arizona. Mike Rizzo himself has stated that right now the Nationals will fill the roster spot with Trey Lipscomb coming back up so that Wood can get everyday at bats at Triple-A. However, keep a close eye on this situation and the time frame for Thomas to return.

Mason Black — RHP San Francisco Giants

Another pitcher has landed on the IL and this time it’s Blake Snell with a muscle injury. The Giants need all the help they can get in the rotation at this point and Mason Black might be that help. He’s started well at Triple-A Sacramento through four starts with a 20:4 K:BB ratio in 17.2 innings. 

The fastball, slider, changeup mix has been good enough to keep ratios down and strikeouts over one per frame on the mound. The only downside is that he doesn’t have a ton of upside. Black profiles as a solid number four starter in an MLB rotation. 

That being said though, the Giants tend to get more out of number four starters than most teams do in general.

Chase Meidroth — INF Boston Red Sox

This one is perhaps the biggest reach of the group in this piece. Meidroth is off to an okay start at Triple-A Worcester in terms of average and stats, but that’s not all he brings to the table. 

The OBP is .463 thus far despite an average of just .255. In fact, at every stop in the minors he’s had a better walk rate than strikeout rate and in 2023 Meidroth posted nine HR and 13 steals over 111 games with an OBP north of .400. He’s mainly been a 3B on defense so far in the minors but he could play first defensively as well. 

That would give him a shot of filling in for either Triston Casas or Rafael Devers while improving the on-base chances for the Red Sox offense.


MLB Prospect News

Leo De Vries Promoted To Class-A Lake Elsinore — SS San Diego Padres

The Padres are known for being aggressive with placements of their young prospects, but this is a whole new level. De Vries, the top international signee this signing period, is still just 17 years old and is brand new to being stateside. 

They have jumped him straight from signing to full-season A-ball without Rookie Ball in between. He is another sure fire top prospect contender for them, behind Ethan Salas, and starting De Vries at Class-A perhaps shortens his time to the majors down to 2026 instead of the presumed 2027,

Jordan Walker Optioned To Triple-A Memphis — OF St. Louis Cardinals

Quite simply I’m not sure what the Cardinals are doing here. Yes, on the surface Walker has struggled this year, but not in the metrics. Walker’s average exit velocity is higher than last year, his launch angle is up, and his barrel rate is way higher than last year. 

The walk rate is improving as well. In 2023, Walker outperformed his xBA, xSLG, and xwOBA but this year all of those expected stats are far above his actual stats, meaning he’s not playing as badly as the surface numbers indicate.

Travis Sykora Placed At Class-A Fredericksburg — RHP Washington Nationals

The Nationals appear to be fast tracking Sykora a tad with his placement at Class-A and having him skip rookie ball. The 3rd round pick in the 2023 draft has perhaps the highest upside in the Nationals’ system amongst starters. 

Sykora has three plus pitches and a bunch of movement on all of them. The problem with Sykora is the command isn’t always great. Still, the Nationals starting him at Class-A is encouraging for where they see his potential.