The Stash 05/26: The Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash
Every weekend, I post about the minor leaguers you should be stashing on your team. These rankings are done solely for prospects with the potential to 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. Prospects are a great way to stay ahead of the curve once the most notable prospects are called up. Not all prospects need to be stashed in every league, as not all league compositions are made equally.
1. Yordan Alvarez, OF/DH, (Houston Astros) – ETA Late May
Yordan Alvarez added another two home runs this week, bringing his season total to 19, but saw a steep drop in his batting average down to .374. It is clear that Alvarez has surpassed Triple-A ball some time ago, but is currently block in the Majors with Houston playing well on both sides. George Springer, however, is likely to be placed on the Injured List (he should be by the time this article publishes) with a likely long-term injury, opening a possibility for Alvarez to get the call as the outfield shifts around. Alvarez should be universally stashed right now.
2. Carter Kieboom, 2B/SS, (Washington Nationals) – ETA Late June
Carter Kieboom is back in business after struggling in his return to Triple-A, he is now slashing .304/.418/.717 in May with five home runs and two stolen bases. Brian Dozier continues to struggle in Washington and is only on a one-year contract, so Kieboom is a good bet to replace him at second as the summer draws on.
3. Nate Lowe, 1B, (Tampa Bay Rays) – ETA Mid June
Nate Lowe has been ice cold since returning to Triple-A earlier this month, batting .170 without a home run or a steal. He maintained a strong 11:9 K:BB ratio and rough .214 BABIP. His play soured his shot at another call-up for now with Yandy Diaz hitting the Injured List on Thursday after getting hit by a pitch, but his fortune could change depending on the severity of Diaz’ injury.
4. Kyle Tucker, OF, (Houston Astros) – ETA Late July
Kyle Tucker has been electric in May, slashing .358/.458/.840 with 10 home runs four stolen bases. While George Springer will be out “a while,” but not nearly as long as the team had hoped, Tucker is competing with Yordan Alvarez for what is already a packed Houston lineup. Meanwhile, Derek Fisher got the call from Triple-A and will fill in for Springer despite Tucker and Myles Straw‘s similar position on the 40-man roster. It is difficult to see a path for Tucker to get playing time outside of when the Houston front office capriciously gives it to him.
5. D.J. Stewart, OF, (Baltimore Orioles) – ETA Mid June
D.J. Stewart is slashing a ridiculous .476/.532/.921 this May with five home runs and a stolen base. Stewart notably continued his season trend of walking more than he strikes out (9:10 K:BB). Baltimore General Manager Mike Elias said on Thursday that Stewart was on the team’s radar, but noted the difficulty of placing him in the outfield with the success of Trey Mancini and Dwight Smith Jr. Stewart is on the 40-man roster which should make any available opportunity an easy fit.
6. Jorge Mateo, SS/2B, (Oakland Athletics) – ETA Early July
Jorge Mateo had a stable month of May, batting .292, but with an average .324 OBP fueled by a 25.5% strikeout rate and a paltry 3.9% walk rate. Still, he put up five home runs and five stolen bases this month and remains one of the more effective base stealers in Triple-A. Mateo presents a one-trick-pony risk when he ascends to the Majors if his power does not stick, but should have value in some capacity for fantasy purposes. Mateo is behind Chad Pinder as Oakland’s utility guy and while Jurickson Profar as not done much at the plate this season, he makes a spot for consistent playing time harder to find until Oakland is ready to make a change.
7. Jake Rogers, C, (Detroit Tigers) – ETA Late July
Jake Rogers has continued his offensive breakout since his promotion mid-May to Triple-A. He is hitting .296 with three home runs and five walks in his first eight games. Traditionally a defense-first catcher, Rogers made adjustments to his swing that have resulted in more quality contact. When Rogers gets the call to Detroit, he should stick in real life because of his defense, but with these offensive improvements, he is well on his way to fantasy relevance.
8. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/SS/3B, (Baltimore Orioles) – ETA Late July
Ryan Mountcastle has been proficient in Triple-A this season with a .326 batting average and seven home runs. His real-life value may eclipse his fantasy value if Baltimore continues to play him at first base, although his defense is a large part of why he the team continues to work him out in Triple-A. He is landlocked in the majors with Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo occupying first base and designated hitter, but if Trumbo is moved at the deadline, perhaps even if he is not moved, Mountcastle will get the call as Trumbo is in the final year of his 3-year contract.
9. Monte Harrison, OF, (Miami Marlins) – ETA Late July
Monte Harrison has made a number of adjustments this season that have been paying off, but still leave him as an incredibly risky play in most leagues. The upside is enormous, with Harrison hitting .288 (buoyed by a .400 BABIP) with seven home runs and 19 stolen bases in his first 43 games this season in Triple-A. He’s walking more (up 5% from 2018 to 12.2%) and striking out less (36.9% to 30%) – if he can continue to cull his strikeout rate then Harrison is a stud in the waiting, if not he will present a Keon Broxton-esque floor.
10. Braden Bishop, OF, (Seattle Mariners) – ETA Mid June
Braden Bishop was called up for a few games at the start of May, where he subsequently either sat or received inconsistent at-bats. Mallex Smith was recalled and Bishop was sent back down, but Smith has failed to sustain any of the fixes he worked on in the Minors striking out nine times in his first seven games back. Bishop has hit well in Triple-A and given consistent playing time, he could be a stable bat in Seattle’s lineup.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter).