Every weekend, I will be posting about the minor leaguers that you should be stashing on your team. These rankings are done solely for prospects who could potentially impact the 2019 season. Their ranks are predicated on when they will be called up and raw talent—we want to give you an edge in building your team throughout the year. Not all prospects need to be stashed in every league as not all league compositions are made equally.
Zac Gallen had his first bad start of the season letting up five runs over six innings, but still striking out 10. He now sports a healthy 1.79 ERA on the season with 74 strikeouts in 60.1 innings, but unfortunately, it would seem as though we have a while yet to wait as, barring injury, Miami seems content to let its young rotation try and work through their issues as all but Caleb Smith (who has been the truth for Miami) have ERAs above 4.00. Barring injury or an utter meltdown, Miami may stick with the only five starters it has used all season and even then, with the elite performance of Elieser Hernandez, who is on the 40-man roster, in Triple-A, Gallen might wallow indefinitely.
Chicago GM Rick Hahn was on record this week about Dylan Cease, projecting Cease in the Major League sometime around the All-Start break. While he uses development as his rationale—fairly so given Cease’s otherwise inconsistent performances—it does coincide with Cease’s projected Super Two date. Hahn’s quote this week changes little in our projections of Cease, but when Cease is up he will be worth a look in most leagues.
Brendan McKay was promoted on Thursday, but to Triple-A instead of our otherwise aggressively projection that he would pass it over completely. While in Double-A, McKay threw a 1.30 ERA with 62 strikeouts over 41.2 frames. A few solid starts in Triple-A will have McKay a breath away from the Majors even with Tyler Glasnow returning from injury mid-June. Tampa Bay still needs a consistent fifth arm in their rotation and McKay will be filling that position this season.
Perhaps unfairly, we have removed Logan Allen’s first two starts of his season, where he was absolutely crushed, whereas in the seven games since he has thrown a 2.05 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 30.2 innings. Most importantly, Allen made a strong comeback a little week after getting struck by a comebacker. San Diego has shuffled Cal Quantrill and Nick Margevicius this season as their fifth starter, but with a strong May—Allen may be next in line to stick in San Diego.
Mitch Keller put up one of his best starts this week, pitching seven innings with six strikeouts while letting up only one earned run (and notably issuing only one walk). Keller is walking a passable 10% of batters this season, but has been remarkably consistent (only let up more than 3 runs in a game only once) despite even an inflated 12.5% HR/FB. Injuries to Trevor Williams and Jameson Taillon have opened up roster spots on an already shaky Pittsburgh rotation to no avail. He should have a chance to be up this summer so long as Pittsburgh intends on competing in a wide-open NL Central, but that makes for a hard projection.
A.J. Puk continues to pitch simulated games this week and will likely have at least another pair before getting sent to the minor league for a month-ish rehab session. Progression is good, no news is good news for Puk. An AL West pennant might be out of reach with Houston dominating every aspect of baseball, but Oakland should remain in play for a Wild Card and Puk should be returning at a crucial time for Oakland.
7. Jesus Luzardo, SP Oakland Athletics – ETA Early August
Shortly after A.J. Puk returns, Jesus Luzardo should follow suit as he recovers from a significant shoulder injury. Luzardo is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today and should be facing live batters shortly. Luzardo powered his way to Triple-A last season and was set to start for Oakland this season before injuring himself late into Spring Training. Luzardo has one of the highest potentials on this list and, but for his ill-defined recovery, would be higher.
Austin Voth has gotten exceedingly unlucky this season, now sporting a .400 BABIP and an ERA over a point higher than his FIP (4.54/3.36). In addition, he has a sterling 27.8%/5.8% K%/BB% and a league average batted ball profile. Voth is on the 40-man roster, in fact only one of two Washington players on the roster not in the Major League or on the Injured List—which adds to the notion that he is on the cusp as Washington cycles through players for its fifth rotation spot.
Rico Garcia continues to be one of the best pitchers in Double-A, posting another one-run quality start this past week. Garcia has 63 strikeouts in only 50 innings and in combination with a 49.1% groundball rate is looking like a solid bet in Colorado. Colorado is 2-5 in their last seven games and its rotation, excluding German Marquez, sports a combined ERA of 6.25. Colorado will likely send Garcia to Triple-A before the Majors, but Garcia is one of the most notable arms in Double-A at a time when there are few in Triple-A.
As a frame of reference, Justus Sheffield and Dario Agrazal for opportunity and success respectively, but it was Tyler Beede’s combination of both that netted him the final spot on this week’s Stash. Beede has struggled mightily in his three Major League outings this season, including an eight-run game to start the year, but in Triple-A, he has been more than serviceable with a 2.34 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 34.2 innings. Walks will be the make-it-or-break-it factor for Beede who has yet to go a game without walking a batter this season. Beede will get another chance soon enough, although whether he is streamed is entirely matchup dependent.
Forrest Whitley – After letting up 7 runs in 2 innings, something fundamentally needs to change in Whitley’s game before he will be in the conversation for a call-up, we’ll update you when/if that happens this season.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter)