Fernandez, Bradley have potential, but ... 

April, 1, 2013
Well before the Sunday night surprise of the Houston Astros knocking off the mighty Texas Rangers to open the 2013 season, a few big league teams surprised many by promoting top prospects to the majors. A few weeks ago, it would have seemed awfully unlikely and premature for Miami Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez and Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley to start this season under the bright lights of the big leagues, but it's not an April Fools' joke, and fantasy owners seem wisely curious about the repercussions.

I'm generally cautious about trusting young, inexperienced players for fantasy purposes, but I cannot ignore the talent and opportunity Fernandez and Bradley are getting. In a standard, 10-team league, I wouldn't part with anyone ranked in my top 200, but there's certainly no harm in adding them for a final roster spot if that's not the case. As always, it depends on whom you're jettisoning to free agency to make room. Just be careful here, because the chances of these youngsters thriving initially and carrying fantasy rosters -- they're not Mike Trout and Bryce Harper -- is not, sorry to say, overwhelming.

[+] EnlargeFernandez
Scott Rovak/USA TODAY SportsJose Fernandez was the 14th overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft.
Fernandez is 20. Yes, Trout and Harper were awesome last season prior to legal drinking age, but this right-hander has never appeared in a minor league game above Single-A ball. Frankly, it's mystifying that the Marlins, in the embarrassing state they're in, would start the time clock of a top prospect right now, while the other Florida team likely will wait months before promoting slugging outfielder Wil Myers, who seems ready. The Marlins aren't contenders. Fernandez dominated in the minors last year, but he was also sent packing from spring training more than two weeks ago after throwing only two innings with the big league club. It's stunning that he's scheduled to get the call to pitch Sunday at Citi Field against the New York Mets. Right-handers Nate Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez, neither of whom was listed as hurt before the weekend, are now on the disabled list and expected to miss April, creating the void, but I'm still thinking this is only a short-term opportunity.