The Stash 06/01: The Top 10 Pitching Prospects to Stash
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.
1. Zac Gallen, SP Miami Marlins – ETA Late June
Zac Gallen had two successful starts this past week, allowing two runs over 13.2 innings while striking out 14 batters. Gallen has a 1.70 ERA this season with 88 strikeouts (and only 13 walks) in 74 innings pitched. While he has been unanimously the best pitcher in Triple-A, Miami has been reluctant to carve out a spot for Gallen in their rotation as the team has only used five starting pitchers all season. While several have been mostly misses, Miami seems intent to allow them to work through their issues. Further, the elite performance of Elieser Hernandez, who is on the 40-man roster, could steal a spot start if available—most recently getting a quick bullpen game in Miami on Tuesday.
2. Dylan Cease, SP Chicago White Sox – ETA Mid July
Dylan Cease posted his third quality start in a row, letting up 2 runs over 7 innings while striking out six. Cease has been excellent this season with a 3.26 ERA and a 10.34 K/9. There has been no news this week, but Mid-July seems to be Cease’s range as Chicago will likely keep him down until his Super Two deadline passes—something that was all but confirmed by GM Rick Hahn two weeks ago. Stay the course and keep your eye on Cease.
3. Brendan McKay, SP Tampa Bay Rays – ETA Late June
Brendan McKay picked up where he left off in his first game with Triple-A, throwing 5 scoreless innings while striking out 4. While in Double-A, McKay threw a 1.30 ERA with 62 strikeouts over 41.2 frames. Tyler Glasnow was moved to the 60-Day Injured List, making his return early-July. If McKay is able to string together a few more starts like his first one, he will be an attractive call up for a Tampa Bay team fighting with the New York Yankees for control of the AL East.
4. Logan Allen, SP San Diego Padres – ETA Late June
Logan Allen‘s season line took a big hit this week after letting up 7 runs in only 3.2 innings. This marked Allen’s worst outing of the season, more than his first two games where he let up 5 and 6 runs respectively – in sum, these three starts (18) represent more than double the earned runs Allen has in his other eight starts (8). Allen has been consistent until he hasn’t, but should still be in the mix for the fifth starter spot so long as he is able to bounce back.
5. Mitch Keller, SP Pittsburgh Pirates – ETA Late June
Mitch Keller made a spot start debut for Pittsburgh on Monday. Seven strikeouts were a high, but his six earned runs and two walks in only four innings were certainly a low. Keller struggled with control early, letting up all six of his runs in the first inning, but was able to improve as the game went on. Keller would have benefited through a longer stint in the Majors and should return soon as he is more deserving of the rotation spot than Nick Kingham or Steven Brault. Keller cannot be back for at least 10 days and Pittsburgh will likely have him pitch a few more games in Triple-A before considering another call-up to avoid burning through Keller’s demotions on spot starts.
6. A.J. Puk, SP Oakland Athletics – ETA Late July
Manager Bob Melvin mentioned this past week that A.J. Puk may be used in relief upon his return from Tommy John surgery, effectively tanking his fantasy value with Blake Treinen anchoring the ninth inning. Puk continues to throw simulated games and should continue to do so for at least another two or three weeks before starting his rehab assignment in late June.
7. Jesus Luzardo, SP Oakland Athletics – ETA Early August
Martin Gallegos, one of Oakland’s beat reporters, noted this week that Jesus Luzardo hit 96 mph in live batting practice this past week—the velocity is an indication that Luzardo is healing well from his left shoulder strain. Luzardo, like A.J. Puk, should also begin a rehab assignment later this month and is likely to take the starting role he won after a strong spring.
8. Rico Garcia, SP Colorado Rockies – ETA Late July
Rico Garcia continued his streak of excellence this past week, throwing five innings, letting up two runs, while striking out seven. Garcia has a 2.13 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 55 innings on the season. There are few major league teams with such a desperate need for starting pitching and Garcia is shaping up to have all of the qualities of an ace. Colorado is only a half-game back in the National League wild-card race and, if they intend on competing, will need a starting rotation with better than a combined ERA of 6.00+ (excluding German Marquez).
9. Anthony Kay, SP New York Mets – ETA Late July
Anthony Kay has been aggressively promoted by New York, a first-round compensatory pick in 2016, Kay had Tommy John surgery shortly after. Kay made his minor league debut in 2018 and has already made it to Double-A, where he has found immense success this season. Kay has a 1.62 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 61 innings. New York’s rotation should be in flux around the trade deadline and if New York keeps up its aggressive promotions, Kay could see time later this summer.
10. Mike Shawaryn, SP Boston Red Sox – ETA Today
Mike Shawaryn was called up on Thursday, but had his debut postponed. He does not have a projected start date, but he seems likely to stick in Boston for now. Shawaryn has a 3.72 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 55.2 innings of Triple-A ball this season. Alarmingly, Shawaryn has walked 28 batters in that same span. If he gets a draw against Kansas City, he will be worth a spot start in most leagues.
Tyler Beede – Beede had his first strong start of the year, letting up 1 run over 6 innings. He is on track for another Major League start.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter)