Every weekend, I will be posting about the minor leaguers you should be stashing on your team. This list will be arranged by impact for this year only. Players that will be called up sooner will be ahead of players with more talent who might only be called up late in the year. Prospects are a great way to stay ahead of everyone else rather you are in a dynasty league or a 10-team league.
Last year we saw a number of great pitchers come up, Joe Musgrove, Michael Fulmer, Blake Snell, Jameson Taillon. We have seen a couple good young starters make the MLB Roster this year as well, Tyler Glasnow, Amir Garrett, Robert Gsellman, David Paulino, German Marquez, Matt Strahm, and a lot more. Despite that, there are still a number of intriguing pitching prospects to look forward too. Anyways, let us get down to business. Note: Joe Ross and Julio Urias were not considered since they are generally owned everywhere already.
1) Jeff Hoffman, AAA, ETA: May
I was very surprised he did not make the opening day roster but he did not pitch much in Spring Training, only 5.2 IP. Hoffman did have some trouble last year but did look like a top 10 MLB Draft pick in an occasional start. I really like Hoffman even with the Coors Bias. His four-pitch repertoire are all above average and his fastball consistently hit 96-97mph. Stash him.
2) Josh Hader, AAA, ETA: May
Josh Hader made three appearances in Spring Training and held a 1.93 ERA through 4.2 IP. While that looks good, he allowed six hits and walked two to end spring training with a 1.71 WHIP. Regardless of his Spring Training and his awful late season in AAA, he is one of the best pitchers on this list. He is starting the year in AAA and could make the Majors around the Super Two Deadline. He has electric stuff with a fastball in the mid-90s and a great sider with lots of movement. These pitches will give him a 9.0+ K/9 when he does get the call. If you are in a standard 10 teamer, add him in May.
3) Chad Green, AAA, ETA: April
If I were a betting man, I would have said Chad Green would be the fourth starter for the Yankees after spring training. He pitched 12 innings, had a low .209 BAA and a 1.50 ERA during spring training but the Yankees want to see what they have in Luis Severino. Chad Green could make the team in mid-April as the fifth starter; they do not need a 5th for the first couple of weeks of the year, so keep an eye on him.
4) Francis Martes, AAA, ETA: June
Martes has an elite fastball, can repeat his delivery and was one of the best arms in the Arizona Fall League. He has a similar timeline as Hader, except that his team should actually be competitive. This could mean he could be called up before the super two deadline but with the influx of young talent in Houston, they might want to save that money. Martes has a fastball that sits in the upper 90s that he commands well but lacks some movement. He also has a second above average pitch with his curveball. He needs to improve his changeup but he has frontline starter written all over him.
5) Joe Jimenez, AAA, ETA: May
Did you see that Krod fastball? He was almost hitting 90 mph, great for a High School closer. His days are numbered as the Tigers closer and the best potential fix is in AAA. Joe Jimenez will be a future closer of the Detroit Tigers. He has the potential to be an Edwin Diaz type add, 10+ K/9 with a good ERA, Whip and the saves.
6) Luke Weaver, AAA, ETA: May
Former first round pick, Luke Weaver has possibly the best command on this list. He is starting the year in AAA but could be up very quickly. With his great command, the floor is quite high with him. He struck out 45 in 36.1 IP last year in the majors but he will likely be in the 7.5-8 K/nine range. He is battling some back spasm but could be up at the end of April or early May.
7) Reynaldo Lopez, AAA, ETA: July
The White Sox’s AAA team, Charlotte Knights, will have a starting rotation of Lucas Giolito, Carson Fulmer, and Reynaldo Lopez. If you live in NC, maybe you should look at a season ticket deal. The partial season ticket deal starts at $297. They did not sponsor this post; by the way, Yoan Moncada is there too. All right back to Lopez, He can hit 100 mph and sits in the upper 90s. He has an above average curveball, an average change up and his control is not awful like some other players on this list. He can be a front line pitcher but he is on a losing team and might not be called up until the latter half of the year.
8) Lucas Giolito, AAA, ETA: July
The prize of the Adam Eaton deal with Washington, Lucas Giolito has the best stuff on this list. He should be a frontline starter but his scouting grades have taken a hit from 2016 to 2017. He needs to re-establish himself and needs to work on his command and repeating his delivery. The White Sox are not in a rush to win ball games and can keep him down most of the year. He could be up after the super two deadline or maybe in August or September. Since he is the biggest question mark ETA wise on this list, He is further down.
9) Yohander Mendez, AA, ETA: June
As a Ranger fan, I am a bit more critical of our prospects. Mendez though makes me a believer. I do not think his pitches will make him a frontline starter but he has very good control and can be a solid No.3/4 in a rotation. He will not strike out 200 batters but will have a decent whip and a mid 3’s to low 4’s ERA. He plays for a team that has consistently won the last half decade and even made Colby Lewis a 17 game winner in 2015.
10) Jose De Leon, Disabled List, ETA: July
Jose De Leon moved to Tampa Bay from the Dodgers in the Logan Forsythe deal. There are many Starting pitchers in the Rays rotation and they could keep him in the minors to continue to develop. The Rays will make some deals and create a spot for him. Despite his MLB experience in 2016, he has good control and a couple above average pitchers. He is not a front line pitcher but he is a safe No.3 type for the Rays and could be a SP that ranks in the 25-40 range when he hits his prime.
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