It's rare to find a prospect who dominates the minors as thoroughly as Corbin Carroll has.
Word is he'll be called up Monday, which means even though he began his professional career at age 18, he needed only 142 games to rise through the entire system. Granted, those 142 games were spread across four years, with 2020 being lost to the pandemic and most of 2021 to injury, but in a way, that's even more impressive. Despite myriad interruptions and hardly a chance to get his feet wet anywhere, not a single level tripped up Carroll in his climb to the top.
Most every publication has him as a top-four prospect currently. He's my own personal No. 1, which makes him must-add across the board even at this late stage of the season.
Read on for more.
ARI Arizona • #7 • Age: 22
It doesn't matter if your league is points or categories, three-outfielder or five-outfielder, 10 teams, 12 teams or 15 teams. Carroll is must-add amid reports of his promotion Monday. High-profile prospect call-ups have been hit-or-miss the past couple years, but the upside for this one is too high for you to risk missing out. From the day he first set foot in the minors in 2019, Carroll has demonstrated a premium 70-grade hit tool with a patient approach and speed to spare. The power has only improved with each passing year, going beyond what scouts initially projected for his smallish stature. True, the Diamondbacks' Double- and Triple-A affiliates are hitter-friendly, but Carroll's exit velocities are on point. Even during his short stay in High-A prior to the injury last year, it's clear his bat was primed for damage.
SF San Francisco • #48 • Age: 33
Sunday's outing, though marred by a couple home runs, nonetheless marked Stripling's third consecutive quality start. It equals the number he had in his first 15 starts, all prior to his recent IL stint for a strained hip. Uncommon efficiency is partly to credit -- the most pitches he's needed in any of the three starts is 86 -- but the further removed he is from injury, the more equipped he is to go deeper now that the Blue Jays have shown a willingness to have him do so. The control is excellent, but the amount of contact does give reason for pause. Still, with the Pirates teed up for his next turn, you can just enjoy the ride for now.
Riley Greene CF
DET Detroit • #31 • Age: 22
On the day Corbin Carroll is coming up, Greene serves as a perfect reminder that the high-profile prospect call-up doesn't always go as planned. The 21-year-old rookie may finally be rounding into form, though. He has multiple hits in six of his past seven games, batting .467 (14 for 30) with two homers, a triple and two doubles during that stretch. We're at a point in the season where you can't afford to mess around too much with upside plays, and a seven-game sample isn't enough to win me over to a player with a near-30 percent strikeout rate, near-55 percent ground-ball rate and virtually nothing in the way of stolen bases. But seeing as Greene was a consensus top-five prospect coming into the year, this could be the start of something.
STL St. Louis • #21 • Age: 25
Just how ingrained is Nootbaar in the Cardinals lineup now? Dylan Carlson, a player regarded as a possible deal-breaker in a prospective Juan Soto trade just a month ago, has now sat five the past six games, in part to accommodate the surging 24-year-old. Nootbaar homered to break up a no-hitter Sunday, giving him four home runs in his past 12 games with twice as many walks (10) as strikeouts (five) during that stretch. His on-base skills have settled him into the leadoff spot, and apart from newly promoted Corbin Carroll, there isn't a hitter who needs to be picked up more right now.
Matt Manning SP
DET Detroit • #25 • Age: 25
It's rare to find a streamer pitcher so promising this late in the season. Of course, Manning wouldn't be available to stream if he had hit the ground running upon his first promotion to the big leagues as a five-time top-100 prospect last year. Turns out he came at a time when he was searching for his breaking ball (check out his Triple-A numbers just prior to that promotion), so no wonder he flopped. Fortunately, he used his time sidelined by a shoulder injury earlier this year constructively, regaining the shape and feel of his slider, and it's played up beautifully in five starts since he returned. He has plush matchups this week against the Mariners and Royals. Coming off the best two starts of his career, he'd be worth adding even if he didn't.
NYM N.Y. Mets • #23 • Age: 27
Peterson's first turn back in the rotation two weeks ago didn't go as hoped. His second turn Saturday was much better. He shut out the Rockies over six innings, striking out seven on 15 swinging strikes. Of course, he still threw his slider only 25% of the time. He featured his best pitch more like 35 percent of the time when he was putting together a 2.78 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 13.6 K/9 during a six-start stretch just before Jacob deGrom rejoined the rotation in July. Whether decreasing its usage will come back to bite him remains to be seen, but it probably won't matter in his next matchup against the woeful Nationals. Peterson may be fighting to keep his rotation spot in that start, too, with Carlos Carrasco on the mend.
CHC Chi. Cubs • #47 • Age: 27
It's looking more and more like Brandon Hughes is now the preferred option for saves in Chicago. The left-hander's 3.14 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 12.1 K/9 are numbers befitting the role, and he has registered three of the Cubs' past four saves. The one exception was an extra-inning contest Friday, where the save went to Manuel Rodriguez instead. Of course, Hughes worked the eighth inning of that game and actually suffered a blown save, so it seems like manager David Ross is still experimenting with roles in the aftermath of the David Robertson trade. He's clearly shying away from Rowan Wick, though, who got four of the team's first five saves with Robertson gone but owns a 4.64 ERA and 1.75 WHIP overall. I'll take Hughes instead, thank you.
MIL Milwaukee • #5 • Age: 24
Though a lower-profile call-up than Corbin Carroll, Garrett Mitchell is also a name of some renown. The 20th pick in the 2020 draft made his first big-league start Sunday, batting eighth and manning center field. He went 1 for 4. He may turn out to be more of a Fantasy specialist than a true standout. While there was hope at one point he could remake his swing for more power, he still puts the ball on the ground nearly 60 percent of the time, a holdover from his amateur days of trying to leg out infield singles. Clearly, the speed is there for Mitchell to factor in five-outfielder Rotisserie leagues, but you can ignore him for now in anything else. I would have rather the Brewers called up Sal Frelick to meet their center field need.