Welcome to the final Hitter Stash for the season. Though the name is no longer apt, it is still time to roster prospects for your final push (as needed). We’re in September (close enough), so even as I write this article there will be plenty of call-ups after publication. Today’s Stash will attempt to include every pitcher you should (or shouldn’t) be on the lookout for this month (well, at least 30 of them). If you’re reading this, welcome to the playoffs.
Zack Collins (Chicago White Sox): A good bet to be called up in September after catching fire after the All-Star break, Zack Collins has hit .341 with 10 home runs while sporting a 26:24 K:BB ratio over that span. After spending his minor league career as a defense-only catcher, Collins looks ready to make an offensive impact in Chicago.
Sean Murphy (Oakland Athletics): Sean Murphy has been cold since returning from injury two weeks ago, but he will still represent an improvement over the carousel of catchers Oakland has used this season. Murphy’s biggest knock comes from his lack of at-bats this season as he has missed most of the season with various injuries. In his 31 games in Triple-A this season, Murphy has hit 10 home runs with a .308 batting average.
Nate Lowe (Tampa Bay Rays): Nate Lowe is getting recalled today (Sunday, Sept. 1) and will be in Tampa Bay’s lineup. Lowe should get a serviceable amount of playtime between designated hitter and first base with Jesus Aguilar and Ji-Man Choi.
Kevin Cron (Arizona Diamondbacks): His first round in Arizona was not optimistic about his at-bat opportunities, but Kevin Cron has been far and away one of the best bats in Triple-A this season hitting .331 with 38 home runs (add five more from his stint in the Majors). Cron might not be worth an add in most leagues until Arizona demonstrates a willingness to dedicate at-bats to Cron, still, his ceiling is one of the highest on this list.
Ryan Mountcastle (Baltimore Orioles): Ryan Mountcastle has cut his strikeout rate throughout the season, although his 4% walk rate will limit his effectiveness in the Majors. Still, he is hitting .309 with 25 home runs in Triple-A and will play in a hitter-friendly park upon promotion. Mountcastle is high-risk, high-reward and can play anywhere Baltimore needs him.
Bobby Bradley (Cleveland Indians): Strikeouts caught up to Bobby Bradley during his mid-summer promotion and those concerns have not abated with a 34% strikeout rate in Triple-A. Bradley has power upside with 33 home runs this season, but expect a .200 batting average accompanying that power.
Second Base / Shortstop
Carter Kieboom (Washington Nationals): Although Brian Dozier is entrenched at second base, Carter Kieboom represents the future at the position and an offensive upgrade. Washington has worked Kieboom around the diamond over the past month, so Kieboom could be a super-utility player for Washington if he does not get meaningful at-bats at second base.
Gavin Lux (Los Angeles Dodgers): The hottest hitting player in Triple-A, Gavin Lux has been nigh unstoppable since his promotion to Triple-A at the end of June. He has a season slash line of .347/.421/.607 with 26 home runs and 10 stolen bases between Double-A and Triple-A baseball. Playing time is Lux’s biggest question, as while Los Angeles has struggled at second base, the team has been successful with its current lineup and is hesitant to give meaningful playing time to a prospect. If given at-bats, Lux could be a key difference-maker on any playoff fantasy lineup.
Jorge Mateo (Oakland Athletics): Jorge Mateo will fall short of his 20/20 season after coming back cold from an injury that took half of August from him. Oakland has struggled all season to find a consistent player at second base and Mateo will add an additional dimension of speed to an Oakland team that has the sixth-fewest stolen bases this season.
Shed Long (Seattle Mariners): Already on the 40-man roster, Shed Long should be back up in the Majors shortly. Long could cap out at 15/15 in a full season, but in 2019 he will be a fill-in for at-bats with Dee Gordon getting the lions shares of reps at second base, but some looks at left field too could give Long enough at-bats to warrant ownership in the deepest of leagues.
Cole Tucker (Pittsburgh Pirates): Cole Tucker makes incredibly consistent contact in Triple-A, collecting 31 hits over his last 31 games. Tucker is already on Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster after splitting time for a good portion of the season, he does not offer significant power or speed, but could be a sneaky fill given Pittsburgh’s schedule, for a needy fantasy team in a deep league.
Ke’Bryan Hayes (Pittsburgh Pirates): Ke’Bryan Hayes has been on fire in August after having a so-so season in Triple-A, hitting .327 with three home runs and two stolen bases this past month. Hayes would have likely been called up much sooner had he hit as well as he did in Spring Training, but now that he is hitting well—the team would benefit from giving him a look.
Jose Rojas (Los Angeles Angels): Los Angeles is already working with a glut of rookies in its infield, but Jose Rojas should be the next in line to get reps around the diamond as a super-utility player. Rojas hit 31 home runs with a .297 batting average in Triple-A this season. A strong walk rate and average strikeout rate should make his debut an easier transition.
Luis Robert (Chicago White Sox): The most significant promotion question mark in 2019, is Luis Robert. He has an impact bat and is now 31/36 on the season with a .331 batting average as he burst through three levels of play. There is no doubt Robert is ready for the Majors and would benefit from a call-up, whether Chicago approaches Robert the same it did Eloy Jimenez remains to be seen. Chicago is a step away from competing in 2020 and are not in the same position as 2018 when it held Jimenez down.
Jaylin Davis (San Francisco Giants): Jaylin Davis was on a tear this season, but hit a new gear since his trade to San Francisco, hitting 10 home runs and a .343 batting average in only 26 games. He has a .308 batting average on the season with 35 home runs and would add a new level of power to a team with the fifth-fewest home runs this season. He will have stiff competition for regular at-bats, but Davis has what it takes to separate himself from his counterparts.
Kyle Tucker (Houston Astros): Josh Reddick is on a five-game hitting streak, but is still hitting .209 since the All-Star Break—without a home run or stolen base. In August, Kyle Tucker is hitting .293 with seven home runs and seven stolen bases. Tucker would have to work his way into relevancy, but given Reddick’s struggles, Tucker has a sliver of opportunity upon his nigh-guaranteed promotion.
Yadiel Hernandez (Washington Nationals): One of the more overlooked prospects this season, in part because of his age, Yadiel Hernandez has had a phenomenal season slashing a very stable .323/.402/.597 with 32 home runs and seven stolen bases. Hernandez will be competing with a few other bats for a promotion, but none of Washington’s other options have put together even remotely close to this level of success this season.
Randy Arozarena (St. Louis Cardinals): A brief call up two weeks ago, St. Louis recalled the hot-hitting Harrison Bader while demoting Randy Arozarena. St. Louis has a glut of outfielders and recently assigned Dylan Carlson to the Arizona Fall League, but given his recent promotion, Randy Arozarena should be in line for a call-up. Arozarena moved rapidly through the minor leagues this year, hitting .343 with 15 home runs and 17 stolen bases.
Drew Waters (Atlanta Braves) / Cristian Pache (Atlanta Braves): Atlanta is could call one of Drew Waters or Cristian Pache to the majors shortly as a backup in the outfield as Adam Duvall failed to impress when called to replace the injured Ender Inciarte and Matt Joyce is not a worthwhile stopgap. Waters recently won the Southern League MVP, but Pache is a complete outfielder after raising his offensive profile this season.
Brian O’Grady (Cincinnati Reds): On the 40-man roster, Brian O’Grady is likely to get a call for outfield depth. O’Grady is 28/20 with a .280 batting average in Triple-A and had a brief appearance in Cincinnati two weeks ago. While Aristides Aquino has rightfully captured the country’s attention, O’Grady went hit-for-hit with Aquino in the minors.
Monte Harrison (Miami Marlins): Monte Harrison has missed a sizable portion of the season, but still has nine home runs and 20 stolen bases this season. He is on the 40-man roster and despite his lack of at-bats this season, would make for a good call-up so he can adjust to MLB pitching as his 30% Triple-A strikeout presents a red flag even with his otherworldly speed.
Austin Hays (Baltimore Orioles): Austin Hays is trending for a call-up two years after he first got a September cup of tea. Hays missed a good portion of the season and even then worked his way back from Low-A back to Triple-A where he has found modest success.
Since Last Week
Austin Allen (San Diego Padres): Austin Allen should not be on this list as he last week, but with Francisco Mejia hitting the Injured List, Allen is an under-owned asset for those in need with guaranteed playing time.
Sam Hilliard (Colorado Rockies): Sam Hilliard was promoted this past week after hitting 35 home runs and stealing 22 bases in Triple-A this season. Strikeouts will be a big question mark on Hilliard’s profile, but in Colorado, he could be an offensive force to be reckoned with as the team retools its outfield coming into 2020. His five-game sample size looks promising.
Sheldon Neuse (Oakland Athletics): Sheldon Neuse was called up three days ago to fill in for Khris Davis at designated hitter and should remain on the team in September. Neuse had 27 home runs (more than his minor league career combined) and batted .317 in Triple-A this season.
Jesus Sanchez (Miami Marlins): While Jesus Sanchez is on Miami’s 40-man roster, given his lack of playing time at higher levels of play and his poor play while there, it is unlikely that Sanchez is promoted this September—check back next September.
Nick Gordon (Minnesota Twins): After increasing his BABIP by .100, Nick Gordon brought his batting average to a respectable .298 in his second full season in Triple-A. Otherwise, his season was a copy of the season before, but with double his doubles. Gordon should be promoted in September, but not garner enough at-bats to warrant ownership.
Kelvin Guttierez (Kansas City Royals): Kelvin Guttierez was moved to the additional comments section after news breaking that Guttierez’ injury would be season-ending. Keep tabs on him in the Spring.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter)