The 2016 season is only a couple of weeks old, but some prospects have already made big contributions at the Major League level -- even beyond those who broke camp on 25-man rosters.
Just look at Nomar Mazara, for instance. The Rangers called upon the 20-year-old outfielder to fill in when Shin Soo-Choo went down with an injury, and he's gone 8-for-20 -- including three hits and a homer in his Major League debut. The kid can play and it would behoove most fantasy players to pick up and activate him, even if it's just for short-term help.
Who might be next to get the call and make a fantasy impact? That's what this weekly feature is all about. Here is a Top 10 list of fantasy prospects currently in the Minor Leagues, ranked based on potential impact this season. Talent is obviously a big factor, but opportunity also figures heavily into the decision-making process. In parentheses is where each prospect ranked in our preseason prospect fantasy rankings.
1. Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins (Preseason rank: 7)
The Twins are off to a rough start. They haven't pitched terribly, but they'll want to shake things up if the struggles continue. Berrios could've been called up late last year to help in the postseason race, so his callup this year wouldn't even be a youth movement kind of deal. Though he uncharacteristically walked four in his first start this season with Triple-A Rochester, he also struck out nine.
2. Trea Turner, SS, Nationals (Preseason rank: 4)
The Nationals have struggled a bit scoring runs in the early going, and Danny Espinosa is off to a 3-for-23 start. Meanwhile, Turner is 8-for-19 with three steals and five runs scored in his first six games in Triple-A. Let the Free Trea Turner movement begin!
3. Blake Snell, LHP, Rays (Preseason rank: 8)
Coming off of a breakout 2015 season that saw him pitch across three levels and lead the Minors with a 1.41 ERA, Snell is waiting for the phone to ring in Triple-A. He's picked up where he left off, with 14 K's over 9 2/3 innings covering his first two starts. The back end of the Rays' rotation is far from solid, so Snell could be an early callup.
4. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Preseason rank: 10)
Watch Glasnow's walk rate carefully, as the righty walked three over five innings in his first start. But he also did what he always does -- namely, miss bats. If Juan Nicasio continues to throw like he did in his second start in Pittsburgh, calls for Glasnow's ascension will grow in volume.
5. Julio Urias, LHP, Dodgers (Preseason rank: NR)
Los Angeles has a pretty deep rotation, but it's easy to expect Urias to continue to push his way up as he has throughout his career. Five shutout innings with nine strikeouts in his 2016 debut was a strong statement that he plans on forcing the Dodgers' hands.
6. Orlando Arcia, SS, Brewers (Preseason rank: NR)
Most believe it's a question of when, not if, Arcia gets called up to take over at shortstop, as Jonathan Villar is really only a place-holder. Arcia can hit for average, steal bases and even provide a bit more pop than you'd think.
7. Joey Gallo, 3B/OF, Rangers (Preseason rank: NR)
The Rangers called up Mazara over Gallo because they needed someone to play right field in place of Choo. But Gallo learned from his struggles in the big leagues last year and should be more prepared when Texas needs help at third or in left. He's off to a hot start, too: 10-for-30 with four homers in eight Triple-A games.
8. Cody Reed, LHP, Reds (Preseason rank: NR)
Reed stuck around for a long time in big league camp during Spring Training, nearly landing a rotation spot. There are question marks in Cincinnati's rotation, and Reed should be the first one called upon to help.
9. Jesse Winker, OF, Reds (Preseason rank: NR)
We'll stick with the Reds here (we could even go with Jose Peraza for a trifecta). Winker can flat-out hit and could compete at the highest level. He'll get an opportunity if (or when) the Scott Schebler /Adam Duvall platoon isn't getting the job done.
10. Aaron Blair, RHP, Braves (Preseason rank: NR)
The Braves are off to a start similar to the Twins -- not surprising, given that they are in full rebuild mode. Blair is just about ready to get his first taste of the big leagues, and he should get that shot soon if Atlanta's rotation continues along with an ERA near 5.00.