Low-ceiling prospects ready to help

Updated: July 19, 2011, 10:08 AM ET
By Keith Law

Last week's midseason ranking of the top 50 prospects in the minors left off a number of lower-upside players in the high minors who are very close to contributing in the big leagues. Here are five such players who could see real major league time this year, plus one more of note who's league-ready but is probably trade bait instead.

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona

Goldschmidt has plus raw power and a pretty good idea of the strike zone, which should combine to give him a pretty healthy MLB career as at least a solid backup. Whether he's more than that depends on whether his fringy bat speed will play enough to let him get to that power -- and with a fair number of soft-tossers kicking around the National League, he might be able to make it work. He's a below-average defender at first who might have to DH, and could end up as more of a right-handed platoon/bench bat who starts against lefties. Arizona has gotten just a .241/.312/.398 line from its first basemen this year, and I do think Goldschmidt could exceed that low bar if given the chance.