Trea Turner, SS/OF, Washington Nationals
(Average, Steals, Runs)

Once Dusty Baker took the reins in Washington D.C., the fantasy baseball twitterverse collectively gnashed its teeth. Things only got worse once the club optioned Trea Turner to Triple-A Syracuse, as it only reinforced the assumption that Baker would pass over young players in favor of lesser veteran talent. Folks who wondered if it was merely service-time manipulation are now scratching their heads because Turner is still punishing minor-league pitching.

Now, however, the proverbial clock is about to strike midnight. The Nationals moved Turner to center field, presumably to increase his defensive flexibility for a summer promotion. He’s hitting .304/.377/.464 with five homers and 22 stolen bases. The 22-year-old profiles as a top-of-the-order spark plug who hits for average, scores runs, and steals 20-plus bases a year. He could be a Francisco-Lindor-type fantasy producer, which would make him a borderline stud at the shortstop position.

I’m not sure the Nationals plan on replacing Ben Revere—as he’s hitting .314/.355/.329 with eight stolen bases in his last 15 games—but the plan could be to slide Revere over to left field and play Turner in center field, with the occasional start at shortstop. The Nationals’ would benefit from his bat in the two-spot, rather than someone like Jayson Werth, and fantasy owners would get a massive boost in multiple categories for the second half of the season.

Josh Bell, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates
(Average, Power, RBI)

Pirates top-prospect lists have seemingly featured Bell for the better part of a decade—only somewhat exaggerating—so fantasy owners probably know the 23-year-old first baseman. He hit .317/.393/.446 between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis in 2015. He walked as many times as he struck out and doesn’t carry a pesky platoon split. Bell can flat out hit the baseball.

The problem, though, is that Bell only hit seven homers last year and will likely be a first baseman for the Pirates, when he does get called up. That’s woeful power production from a corner infielder. It’s one of the main reasons why Adrian Gonzalez is no longer fantasy relevant, despite the fact that he’s still a decent hitter.

Bell has seemingly responded to that criticism. The 6-foot-4 switch-hitter already has 11 homers this season and has upped his ISO to .211. He’s done that without sacrificing his batting average or his on-base percentage. In fact, his overall slash line (.321/.405/.532) has improved. That should give fantasy owners confidence that he could offer double-digit homers if he’s called up around the All-Star Break, while offering tangible value in the average and RBI categories. Hell, given the way the Pirates attack the base paths, Bell could even swipe a half-dozen bases. He stole nine bags a year ago, after all.

Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres
(Power, RBI)

In terms of pure power numbers, Renfroe is the biggest potential minor-league contributor in the second half. He boasts a .272 ISO and 17 homers for Triple-A El Paso. He’s also slashing .317/.340/.589 with a trio of stolen bases, so the overall body of work is good enough that he has a strong case for second-half promotion.

There are two main problems with Renfroe: (1) the Padres don’t have much available playing time in the corner outfield spots, unless Melvin Upton Jr. shifts back to center field; and (2) his approach at the plate is ripe for exploitation at the major-league level. To expand on the latter point, the 24-year-old owns a paltry 3.1 percent walk rate and has experienced strikeout issues in the past. That aggressiveness combined with a tendency to swing-and-miss could prevent any transition to the big leagues from being smooth.

There aren’t too many great power bats who are poised to make a jump to the majors in the next few weeks. Renfroe seems to be the best and he’s not without his obvious warts. Fantasy owners desperately searching for power would be better served to take a chance on someone like Oswaldo Arcia.

Orlando Arcia, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
(Runs, Steals)

Arcia is one of the premier shortstop prospects in baseball. He’s hitting .275/.320/.404 with six homers and 11 stolen bases in Triple-A Colorado Springs. On the surface, his playing time appears to be an issue, but Jonathan Villar isn’t a long-term shortstop and is a good bet to be moved to third base or second base in the near future. That should open up a starting role for Arcia at shortstop, where he’s more than capable with the glove.

Arcia should have no problem hitting for a decent-enough average, but it’s unlikely to be .290-plus in the majors without some time to adjust. What he can do, though, is offer double-digit stolen bases with a good amount of runs—if the club bats him in the two-hole, like they have in the minors. The Brewers have collectively been aggressive on the base paths, too, which should only help Arcia’s projection in that area.

The 21-year-old shortstop may not get a call until August. Even still, he could be a difference maker for a team trying to make up some late ground in the stolen-base category.

Manuel Margot, OF, San Diego Padres
(Average, Runs, Steals)

The probability of Margot getting promoted to the majors before Hunter Renfroe is fairly high, due to his ability to handle center field, but the former Red Sox farmhand offers more than the ability to patrol the outfield gap-to-gap. He has 22 stolen bases this year and is hitting .295/.349/.412 in 342 plate appearances. His 34-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio also highlights his quality approach at the dish.

Margot has never finished the season with a batting average over .300. However, the 21-year-old speedster has the tools and the skill set to be a high-average hitter from the moment he steps into a major-league batter’s box. He could get overwhelmed with big-league stuff, as could any prospect, but the tools are present.

He’s more speed than polish on the bases—as evidenced by his eight caught stealings this year and his 13 a year ago—but Margot could still be a game-changer for fantasy owners in the second half. The small chance that he could swipe 15-20 bags is real.

Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston Astros
(Average, Power, Runs, RBI)

Who would’ve thought that we’d be talking about Bregman in this space this early. Touted as a hit-over-power guy, the former second-overall pick has swatted 14 homers already this year with a .297/.415/.559 slash line—meaning, he’s been an all-around contributor. He hits for average, apparently now hits for power, and could feature prominently in the Astros’ batting order in the near-ish future.

The Astros have gotten woeful production from the third base position. They tried Colin Moran, but that predictably didn’t work. Now, Luis Valbuena is back over at third; however, and he provides below-average defense with a low batting average. He’s passable, sure, but the Astros clearly believe that Bregman could be the immediate answer at third base—hence their decision to move him to the hot corner mid-season.

Bregman is a top-15 or top-20 fantasy prospect and is probably closer than we think to getting promoted to The Show.


Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Chicago Cubs
(Average, RBI, HR)

The dude has done nothing but hit throughout his minor-league career. He’s currently hitting .297/.417/.536 with 14 homers in Triple-A at 23 years old. And no one questions the bat. Vogelbach just lacks a defensive home and a path toward big-league playing time with the Cubs.

Of course, he could get traded to the American League this summer, though, and if he does, he’ll be a very hot commodity in fantasy leagues. Cuz Vogelbach can rake.

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If the Pirates fall out of contention and move a piece like Mercer- Does Alan Hansen provide any upside at all? Could he swipe 10-12 bags post all-star break?

Hansen is on the 40man, so he may get the call a few times this month.

But Hansen has poor defense at SS, and played mostly 2b/3b/LF this year in AAA. It seems Frazier and maybe Moroff has passed him by as future utility type guy to succeed S-Rod next year [the former Josh Harrison role]

Could see Hansen in a bench role if Freese and/or Joyce are dealt.
Trade vogelbach now please! Just do it!

We need the DH for guys like this, it's kinda sad to see him ready but with no home.