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8/8 Edition: Top 10 Minor League Hitters to Stash

Well, Richie Shaffer finally got the call, and didn’t take too long to hit a homer (and strike out a lot). Trayce Thompson also got a less exciting promotion as...

Well, Richie Shaffer finally got the call, and didn’t take too long to hit a homer (and strike out a lot). Trayce Thompson also got a less exciting promotion as a part-time OF. With August already partially done, a few more promotions should trickle through this month but players with opportunities for September playing time are suddenly relevant since that’s more than half of the remaining season. That means that the rankings are shifting as guys like Seager on teams in contention will be bumped down due to lack of playing time opportunity.

– Olivera could be ready to play in games within the next week, according to recent reports. He may play a few games in the minors to get reacquainted but he’s expected to be quickly promoted if he can stay on the field… unlike most prospects, there’s no incentive for waiting until September to call him up. He could find himself in the heart of the depleted Marlins lineup if that happens.

Since landing in his new Philly home, he has continued to flourish. much unlike HitchBOT, the hitchiking robot. In only 10 plate appearances, he has hit .667 with 2 Homers and a stolen base, good for a .778 ISO. Oh how I love small sample sizes. The point is though that he’s been great and should get an extended tryout come September if not sooner, and I think with the huge adjustments he’s made that he should find success as a five-tool outfielder.

– On the season, Story now is hitting .275 with 18 Homers and 15 Stolen Bases between 2 levels as a shortstop, and that’s pretty darn good. Most were hoping that would be enough for him to get promoted, but it wasn’t, perhaps because of the 25% K rate. He could be due for a big september though, so long as you can absorb some batting average risk.

– After a super dominant week and a super dominated week, Reed is now regressing to the midpoint. He’s hitting .267 with 5 Homers in 105 Double-A PA, with a 16.2 BB% and a 22.9 K%. With Carter hitting so poorly that they’re playing MARWIN GONZALEZ at first base, yeah I still think Reed is still a call-up candidate before September, and due to, not despite, the competitive nature of his club he could see lots of time in September. It would be quite aggressive, but the Astros have so much talent in the minors and have been so bold all year that I could definitely see it happening.

– Seager has spent more time atop this list than any other prospect, but the time has come to pass the torch. His future remains quite bright, but he just does not have nearly as much power as everyone was thinking after his early power surge. He’s only 21 and so he does have that upside, but he’s still pretty blocked, and is only this high due to the impact he make should he get regular playing time, rather than the likelihood of this occurring.

– Bird just hit 2 homers, and he has resumed feeding on Triple-A pitchers. He’s hit .296 with 6 Homers and a .241 ISO in 118 Triple-A, PA. His stock continues to soar higher and higher.

Janikowski has continued to slap-hit at a torrid pace. Hee has a .442 AVG with 0 homers and 3 stolen bases since his promotion to Triple-A, with a 10.0 BB% and a 8.3 K%. He’s a good bet to get called up when rosters expand and will hopefully get time to prove himself with plenty of time then, instead of just being a pinch runner.

By September, he’ll be 27, so he’s not really quite a prospect. He’s also mashed 29 Home Runs. While his comps seem to indicate that he may be doomed to Quad-A status, September should give him an opportunity to prove them wrong. The average may not be pretty but he might be able to crank 3-5 longballs for the Reds, and may benefit somewhat from a more slugger-friendly stadium. Since the trade, he’s hit .333 with 3 homers, a 10.5 K% and a 1.257 OPS in 19 PA.

– Statistically, his season has been quite similar to Janikowski. Working in Peraza’s favor for his long term future is that he’s 3 years younger. Working against that is that Peraza is now on a team that is stuffed to the gills with talent, so while he should see the majors in September, he may not get much of a useful role.

– Turner turned it back on lately, and he just snapped a 6-game hit streak. He should get called up in September, but may only get to be a super-sub (which semantically, appears to be an oxymoron) with the way the National’s roster is constructed, at least provided his major league superiors remain healthy.

Don’t swipe left on Pinder. After a strong 2014 in the hitter-friendly Cal League, Pinder has posted even better numbers in a more difficult hitting environment in Double-A. Pitchers can’t hinder Pinder, as the 23-year old is hitting .320 with 13 Homers and 6 SB in 411 PA. I would not be surprised if he gets a full-month audition at the keystone come September… I mean, after all, Eric Sogard is the incumbent, even though he is the face of the franchise. Also if you combine Sogard and Pinder’s last names you can get Sindergard so like Thor he must be destined for greatness, right?

has more long-term upside than teammate Bird, he hasn’t been hitting the ball with much authority since the promotion, with only 3 homers, a .249 AVG, and a 25.4% K%. So he’ll get a cup of coffee in September, but he won’t get to drink too much of said cup. has also been powerless lately, not a single longball in over 2 weeks… but still has 26 on the year. (SS, Athletics) was having a terrific season but will be in a splint for 3 weeks due to a severe bone bruise. Not good, but hey could’ve been worse. Target him in keeper leagues. has hit 8 of his 16 homers since the start of July, with a .256 AVG and 6 Stolen Bases (but 6 caught stealing). The 23-year old hasn’t been thought of as much of a prospect, and his 31.3% K% might be a part of that, but that power upside at catcher playing half his games at Coors is drool-inducing. Next up *wipes drool* is lean, mean a 26-year old first baseman, but he earned his first taste of Triple-A last month after hitting .327 with 14 Homers in Double-A. However, in 47 Triple-A PA, his ISO has been a paltry .023 and has a .483 OPS overall, nearly half of his .921 Double-A OPS. So maybe now he really is feeling mean.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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