It was only two years ago that Tampa Bay Rays 3B Evan Longoria won the AL Rookie of the Year award. Since then, he’s been one of the best hitters in the major leagues. We’re only a few weeks away from June, in which prospects get the call up (avoiding arbitration a year early), so I’ll give you a preview of who to grab before its too late. But first, lets look at this week’s Rookie of the Week!

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Today’s Rookie of the Week is…Brennan Boesch!

Brennan Boesch, selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 3rd round of the 2006 MLB draft, was promoted late April and has been tearing it up ever since. In the 16 games since being called up, Boesch has 8 multi-hit performances and averaged an RBI per game.  He doesn’t seem to have any explicit weaknesses, as he’s knocked around every type of pitcher and produced at and away from Detroit’s Comerica Park. He’s batting .368 with 3 HRs and 16 RBIs thus far and deserves a spot in any fantasy outfield. He provides on-base percentage as well as run production. Get this lefty slugger while he’s available, which is now in a whopping 93% of Yahoo! formats.

Advice: He’s a huge steal now. If you’re still waiting on Julio Borbon, Drew Stubbs, or Kyle Blanks to start producing, replace them with Boesch instead.

Honorable Mention:

Starlin Castro, promoted last week in the Chicago Cubs organization from Double-A to the major league level, has already shown he can live up to his name. “Star”, a guy thats not expected to provide much power, contributed a three-run homerun in his first major league at-bat. He went on to drive in a total of six runs in his major league debut: a record performance by a rookie. The young shortstop, who recently celebrated his 20th birthday, is batting .364 through his first six starts, including three multi-hit games. Don’t let that first at-bat homer fool you! His career minor league stats include  .310/9 HRs/122 RBIs in 264 games. He takes the occasional walk and strikes out minimally. If you lack shortstop depth, “Star” Castro is available in 69% of Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues.

Advice: Add Castro if you’re still waiting for one of your shortstops to come off the DL (JJ Hardy, Yunel Escobar, Rafael Furcal, or Jimmy Rollins) or start producing (Jose Reyes, Alexei Ramirez, or Jhonny Peralta).

Cold Case:

Lou Marson, the major league ready prospect inv0lved in the Cliff Lee trade sending him to the Cleveland Indians, has not shown any major league approach at the plate yet. In 23 games he is batting .197 with only four extra-base hits, while driving in only his first run on May 9th. With big name catching prospect Carlos Santana only a few cities away at Triple-A Columbus, Marson is running out of time.

Advice: If he was on your team, please do yourself a favor and click the “red minus symbol”. Pick up a decent backstop like Yorvit Torrealba or Ronny Paulino in the meantime.

Probable June Call-ups

  1. Mike Stanton (OF, Marlins): No, this isn’t the 42-year old washed up Yankees reliever–its the Marlins slugger who has been tearing up the Southern League. In only 31 games for the Jacksonville Suns, the 20-year old hit 15 bombs (thats 1 homer per 7 at-bats) and drove in 35 runs, while sustaining an incredible .476 on-base percentage. For those fantasy owners that worry about young players getting struck out a lot, he’s averaged a walk per game, so if he ever got into a slump, he could always take the necessary stroll to first base.
  2. Brett Wallace (1B/3B, Blue Jays): With Lyle Overbay batting .169 through Thursday night, Wallace has a chance to steal his spot at first base. Wallace, the big name prospect in the package that sent Matt Holliday to the St. Louis Cardinals last season, has blasted 10 HRs along with 30 RBIs in just 35 games. He’s hitting a comfortable .307 on the season. On a team that is capable of scoring a lot of runs with Wells, Lind, and Hill, he could be a great lottery as a summer pick-up.
  3. Aroldis Chapman (SP, Reds): The Cincinnati Reds pitching rotation has struggled early on, having poor performances by Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo, so Chapman has a tremendous shot at getting a June call-up. Through six starts the Cuban prospect is 3-1 with a solid 2.84 ERA, and has struck out 36 whiffs in 31.2 innings pitched. He has trouble with his control, but keeps his fastball in the mid-to-high 90s, which could easily keep major league hitters off-balance.
  4. Stephen Strasburg (SP, Nationals): As the Nationals keep winning, its looking more and more likely they will need pitching help down the stretch. Strasburg could be the missing link in the Washington rotation that helps them make a run at their first division title. At two different minor league levels (Double-A Harrisburg and Triple A Syracuse) the young gun has mowed down hitters, pitching to a 1.06 ERA through his first 7 professional starts, and has yet to give up a run in Triple-A through 12 innings. With a high 90s fastball–occasionally hitting the 100s–Strasburg has fanned 40 batters in only 34 innings. Compare this to only 8 walks and he’s the best looking pitcher in all of baseball. No doubt he’ll see the majors at some point this summer, and I feel it will be sooner rather than later.
  5. Carlos Santana (C, Indians): Lou Marson is having a hard time hitting at the major league level, and Santana may be in line as his replacement. He is batting .313 with 6HRs and 29RBIs, and has more walks than strikeouts thus far. He could even swipe a few bags a season, and how many catchers can put that on their resume? If Santana keeps up this solid performance, he will be up with the Cleveland Indians by the all-star break, especially with Lou Marson’s struggles.

So be wise with your summer fantasy decisions. Mike Stanton could end up being a complete fluke, and Strasburg may blow out his arm by June. Unfortunately with baseball, you never know what could happen.