Is there ever a bad time for a stash?
On one hand, three of the top four prospects graduated from my last stash list, so it’s not only a good time to post a new one, the posting of a new one feels essential to the purpose of this space on the internet.
On the other hand, the minor league tree of stashes looks a little picked over at the moment. It might replenish itself in a week or two if the Orioles can stay in the race or the Diamondbacks can rip off a Seattle-like string of victories, but right now, we’re waiting for some playing time to shake loose for most of the top guys to get their shot.
Graduated From Stash List Volume 4: Esteury Ruiz is Ready for His Close-Up:
Vinnie Pasquantino, Esteury Ruiz, Max Meyer, Nick Pratto.
1. Dodgers 3B Miguel Vargas (AAA) 22 years old
They’ve tried him everywhere except catcher, centerfield and shortstop, and who knows, maybe they’ve done that in practice. Once they let him in the lineup, he’ll be tough to get rid of. He’s not on the 40-man roster yet, and this front office is smart with those spots (shocking, I know), but I don’t think that’s a big impediment to Vargas.
2. Yankees SS Oswald Peraza (AAA) 22 years old
Isiah Kiner-Falefa is not hitting this year, and I can’t think of a good reason the club doesn’t make this switch yesterday. Peraza’s season-long numbers aren’t great, but he’s been hot for a while in Triple-A and seems like the better fit for a playoff run. Or heck, an audition before the trade deadline seems like a pretty sharp move, in case New York wants to make a big trade or two and flex that payroll advantage.
3. Orioles LHP DL Hall (AAA) 23 years old
Throwing fire in three July starts, striking out 48.4 percent of opposing hitters and posting a 0.84 WHIP and 0.57 ERA across 15.2 innings. His season line is a little more indicative of what we might see from Hall as a rookie: 3.83 ERA and 1.37 WHIP with 89 strikeouts in 54 innings. But these three July starts offer a flash of the upside. He’s a little like Robbie Ray in the sense that he’s so incredibly hard to hit that he just needs to be around the plate to be effective. When he’s in rhythm, he’ll be a fantasy force.
4. Detroit OF Kerry Carpenter (AAA) 24 years old
Carpenter is screaming hot in Triple-A, and Detroit needs all the hitting it can get. Thing is, I’m kind of frustrated with Detroit, as I’ve written about here, and I don’t trust that they’ll call him up simply because he looks ready and they need help.
5. St. Louis 1B OF Alec Burleson (AAA) 23 years old
Slashing .340/.383/.556 with 16 home runs and three stolen bases in 77 games, striking out in just 15.1 percent of his at bats. Burleson doesn’t put in the same sort of elite plate appearances against lefties, which gives the organization reason to keep him down. It’s a hard thing to learn for young left-handed hitters for all sorts of reasons, mostly outside of the actual human challenge itself. Good lefty arms race through the minors, so hitters don’t see a whole lot of elite stuff from the left side until the upper levels. Minor league managers don’t employ left-on-left pitching changes the same way major league managers will, preferring an inning-by-inning approach to aid development. Conversely, it’s more important for left handed pitchers in the low minors to face righties than lefties. If a team has an elite left handed relief arm in Triple-A, he won’t be there for long. Long story short, I’m not sure a hitter can learn to beat left handed pitchers in Triple-A, at least not in any way that translates especially well to the majors.
6. Dodgers RHP Gavin Stone (AA) 23 years old
Stone. Gavin Stone. Private Eye. 11 years on the force, but they got it wrong too often for my liking, so I hung out my own shingle. Started solving my own puzzles. Like why wouldn’t the Dodgers promote me from Double-A even though I’ve been throwing rocks all season? I wasn’t really asking. I knew the answer. It’s always the same. Money. Control. Power.
7. Dodgers OF James Outman (AAA) 25 years old
Outman is on the 40-man roster, and he’s heating up after a slow start at Triple-A, belting three home runs in his last seven games.
8. Houston 2B Enmanuel Valdez (AAA) 23 years old
Valdez has played ten games in July, slashing .375/.435/.725 with five walks and six strikeouts, bringing his Triple-A line to .302/.364/.603 with eight home runs in 28 games. His strikeout rate in Double-A was 22.9 percent. In Triple-A, he’s at 17.8 percent. I think what we’re seeing is a hitter coming fully into his own, discovering how to best utilize his talents. He’s a left-handed hitter listed at just 5’9” 191 lbs, so he won’t have the Crawford Boxes tempting him, but he will have the platoon advantage more often than not.
9. Boston 1B Triston Casas (AAA) 22 years old
Casas is back in action on the complex after missing almost two months with an ankle injury. He’s 5-for-10 with a home run and a walk in three games against younger players and could quickly enter the first base picture for Boston if he carries those early returns up the chain during his rehab stint.
10. Rays RHP Taj Bradley (AAA) 21 years old
Will reportedly make his Triple-A debut after the Futures Game, and while the smart money says we won’t see him soon, that same money suggests the Rays would want to avoid their mistakes of last season, waiting too long on Joe Ryan and Shane Baz for them to be experienced players in their postseason run. Granted, they traded Ryan, but maybe they wouldn’t have done that if they’d seen how his stuff played against major league hitters by then. The organization always seemed a little low on him compared to his outcomes, and the fastest remedy for that would’ve been to see how it looks on the field.
Bradley posted a 0.91 WHIP and 1.70 ERA with 88 strikeouts in 74.1 Double-A innings across 16 starts. If he does anything like that for a month in Triple-A, he should be part of the major league rotation before August ends. Or he would be If I were running Tampa anyway.
11. Astros RHP Hunter Brown (AAA) 23 years old
Brown’s walk rate is still higher than ideal (10.9 percent), but he’s improved his ability to repeat and throws enough strikes now to let his double-plus stuff eat within the zone. Houston is a double-edged sword where pitching prospects are concerned, as we’ve seen most recently with Cristian Javier. It’s tough for a young guy to get a foothold, but if you do find yourself with an Astros starting pitcher on your fantasy roster, you’ll probably be happy you have him.
12. Nationals RHP Cade Cavalli (AAA) 23 years old
In his last eight starts, Cavalli has recorded 47 strikeouts against 13 walks across 42.2 innings with a 0.91 WHIP and 2.11 ERA. Washington has no standings-based incentive to promote him, but the club recalled Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray last year rather than tinker with their timecards and might do the same with Cavalli, especially if they feel the need some good press like they did this time last season.
13. Mets C Francisco Alvarez (AAA) 20 years old
He’s hitting .087 through eight games in Triple-A, but he’s also walked seven times and struck out nine. His .324 on base percentage over that stretch is evidence of the floor here. Even when struggling at a new level, Alvarez works the count, goes through the process. Results will follow.
14. Diamondbacks OF Corbin Carroll (AAA) 21 years old
I don’t think he’s coming up this year, but I might as well say so in the body of the article to throw a little changeup. Plus, he might be the only real lightning left in the bottle. CBA long shot or not, he probably belongs on the list.
15. Orioles SS Gunnar Henderson (AAA) 20 years old
Pew. Pew. Gunnar’s been firing blanks the past couple weeks, which is too bad because he has an outside chance to force the leap if the club keeps winning.
The next ten:
16. Rangers 3B Josh Jung (AAA) 24 years old
17. Guardians LHP Logan Allen (AAA) 23 years old
18. Yankees LHP Ken Waldichuk (AAA) 24 years old
19. Guardians OF Will Benson (AAA) 24 years old
20. Diamondbacks OF Stone Garrett (AAA) 26 years old
21. Guardians C Bo Naylor (AAA) 22 years old
22. Diamondbacks C Dominic Miroglio (AAA) 27 years old
23. Rays 3B Curtis Mead (AAA) 21 years old
24. Orioles 2B Jordan Westburg (AAA) 23 years old
25. Mariners RHP Emerson Hancock (AA) 23 years old
Thanks for reading!
I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.