The Stash 07/08: The Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash
Every weekend, I will be posting about the minor leaguers that you should be stashing on your team. Unlike dynasty content focusing on who to own for their production years down the road, these rankings will be done solely for the 2018 season (there will be discrepancies). Players that will be called up sooner will be ahead of players with more talent who might only be called up late in the year — we want to give you an edge. Prospects are a great way to stay ahead of everyone else rather you are in a dynasty league or a 10-team league.
1. Kyle Tucker, OF, (Houston Astros) – ETA Yesterday
Kyle Tucker finally cooled off this past week, but the fact remains that Tucker is ready to play and has demonstrated as much throughout the month of June. His season line now sits at .306/.371/.520 with 14 home runs and 14 stolen bases. He has cut his strikeout rate and raised his walk rate throughout the season. The Astros don’t have a need the same way other teams have a need, but there is no doubt that Tucker will make the Astros better. Tucker batted 7th and went 1-4 with an RBI in his MLB debut yesterday and needs to be owned across all formats if he’s still available.
2. Willie Calhoun, OF, (Texas Rangers) – ETA Mid July
Willie Calhoun is now sitting on a 12-game hitting streak and has a hit in 23 of his last 27 games. Although the power is still not where the Rangers want it, Calhoun has shown himself to be a competent hitter, now hitting just shy of .300 and a strikeout rate of 10.7%. Where he will play is still a bit jumbled, but I think the most likely scenario is that Joey Gallo takes over at first to give Calhoun a shot in left field. If Shin-Soo Choo gets moved at the deadline, it would assure Calhoun playing time.
3. Eloy Jimenez, OF, (Chicago White Sox) – ETA Early September
Eloy Jimenez hasn’t missed a step since his promotion to Triple-A, but that will not likely mean much to the White Sox who are expected to keep him down until its time for a cup of tea in September. Jimenez is second only to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in most prospect rankings and for good reason. Jimenez would be a must own once called up and if you’re ahead enough and have the flexibility is worth the stash, otherwise, it is hard to justify stashing him, yet.
4. Peter Alonso, 1B, (New York Mets) – ETA Early September
Peter Alonso has hit a speed bump since entering Triple-A ball. While he has made an impact at times and is demonstrating great patience at the plate (carrying over a 15.7% walk rate from Double-A), Alonso has yet to regularly hit. Alonso has a rather unlucky .197 batting average, in part fed by a 27% strikeout rate that has held consistent for another week. If he can cut down his strikeouts, his average should go up as will his chances of a promotion this season.
5. Matt Thaiss, 1B, (Los Angeles Angels) – ETA Mid August
Matt Thaiss has shown consistency across Double-A and Triple-A this season. He does not walk enough to be considered elite, but should be a rosterable bat in most leagues. Thaiss has broken through with power in a big way this year and coupled with a near .300 batting average he should be able to make an impact on the Angels. With Shohei Ohtani back this past week, the Angels have less of a need at first now that Albert Pujols has slid back between first and designated hitter, but Thaiss is worth keeping an eye on if either goes down for a longer period of time.
6. Frank Schwindel, OF/1B, (Kansas City Royals) – ETA Late July
Frank Schwindel does not have an opening yet, but it would be an absolute waste as a Royals fan to watch Schwindel do a complete repeat year in Triple-A. Schwindel hits for power and for a solid average – he doesn’t strike out frequently and demonstrates discipline at the plate that would translate well in the MLB. Lucas Duda and Hunter Dozier are standing in his way at first base, Dozier is hitting .223 on the season with a 30% strikeout rate. Despite Dozier in his rookie year, a team as poor as the Royals needs to be evaluating their options; Schwindel is an asset.
7. Max Schrock, 2B, (St. Louis Cardinals) – ETA Late July
Max Schrock will at best he will be a fringe top-10 second baseman producing a line akin to DJ LeMahieu (not in Coors). He will not produce for most leagues, but more than most players on this list the player blocking him should not be playing (Kolten Wong is still hitting below .200) – not on a team aiming to compete. Schrock is average in nearly every way, except for an above average hit tool – but will make for a great filler for teams in need of a second base. Schrock won’t win a team any week, but he won’t tank the team either.
8. Christin Stewart, OF, (Detroit Tigers) – ETA Mid August
Christin Stewart was placed on the 7-day Disabled List with a pulled calf muscle back in June. Prior to his injury he had begun to heat up again with 2 home runs in the 3 games prior to his injury. Stewart has some of the highest power upside in Triple-A and the Tigers have a need in left field. Stewart’s batting average has been inconsistent at times this season, but when he gets on a tear he has been unstoppable. The longer he stays on the disabled list, the further his call-up will be.
9. Chris Shaw, 1B/OF, (San Francisco Giants) – ETA Early August
I simply did not think the Giants had it in them to stay competitive this long, yet here they are only a few games out of first in the NL West. If July goes well enough they will be competitors heading into the stretch and Chris Shaw will either fill in at left field or will be dealt in an attempt to win now. I am not sold on Shaw as a player and would generally not roster him in my league due to his 30% strikeout rate coupled with a paltry 4.5% walk rate, but he can mash a home run. Shaw will be a one trick pony, but for teams that tank average – Shaw may be an option for those truly desperate.
10. Myles Straw, OF, (Houston Astros) – ETA Mid August
Myles Straw is the fastest and purest speedster in the minor leagues. He currently has 45 steals (next closest player is 36) and is batting .331 on the season between Double-A and Triple-A. This kid cannot be stopped, but for the level of talent overflowing from the Astros’ MLB roster. With Kyle Tucker set to get the first promotion, playing time may be scarce for Straw, but make no mistake – few players in the minors or MLB can match his game breaking combination of getting on base and stealing each base. He is an impact player that could lead off on any of 30 teams.