The Stash 08/19: 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. Vlad Guerrero Jr., 3B, (Toronto Blue Jays) – ETA Early September
Vlad Guerrero Jr. is hitting .391 on the season with 18 home runs in only 347 plate appearances. His season was abbreviated by injury and most of his season was in Double-A so Guerrero Jr.’s ceiling is still so high it can’t be seen. Toronto is set to call up Guerrero Jr. in September and there is no indication that he won’t be a superstar from day one, hitting at the heart of an otherwise average offense. Guerrero Jr. is still less than 20% owned and is less than two weeks out from a potential call-up – stash in all leagues.
2. Eloy Jimenez, OF, (Chicago White Sox) – ETA Early September
Although Vlad Guerrero Jr.‘s ceiling may be higher, Eloy Jimenez is an all but certain lock to be up in September and has a hit in all but two games in August. Jimenez has continued to slash at his strikeout rate and is looking as though he will be a .300+ hitter in the Majors if he can maintain these improvements. Jimenez will hit at the heart of Chicago’s lineup and is set to be a bona fide stud. Jimenez should be owned at a higher rate than his 16% – like Guerrero Jr. he is a universal must-own.
3. Francisco Mejia, C, (San Diego Padres) – ETA Late August
Francisco Mejia has been everything the Padres hoped for when acquiring him in July, hitting .320 and an improved strikeout rate (14.5%) and walk rate (7.2%) – although only two home runs. Now in San Diego, Mejia is able to play his natural position of catcher. Mejia could have top-10 value ROS once called up – even in a timeshare with Austin Hedges – although Mejia may end up with the lesser half with Hedges catching fire in August.
4. Christin Stewart, OF, (Detroit Tigers) – ETA Early September
Christin Stewart should finally be up now that September is rolling around and should get a start early next season. Although his batting average has plateaued at .250, Stewart walks consistently (12%) and hits for power (19 home runs on the year). All in all Stewart played better than he did in 2017 and at a higher level. Many of the gains he made previously in the season did not hold in a way that would make Stewart a must own, but he does have the power to be an impact bat in the Majors, which means even on a terrible Detroit team he should provide value.
5. Frank Schwindel, 1B, (Kansas City Royals) – ETA Early September
Frank Schwindel is about to complete his second season in Triple-A. The results were an increased walk rate (up 4% to 6.8%), a decreased strikeout rate (down 3% to 13.1%), and an increase in power (21 home runs). Make no mistake, Schwindel is the first baseman of the future on the disastrous Royals team and is an all-around power hitter that should contribute in four categories. As September draws near, he should usurp Lucas Duda and Hunter Dozier for playing time.
6. Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, (Baltimore Orioles) – ETA Early September
Ryan Mountcastle has excelled in Double-A this season and the Orioles haven’t shied away from promoting from Double-A to end a season (Austin Hay). Given Mountcastle’s success, he could be in line for a start, following just on the heels of Cedric Mullin‘s first successful week in the Majors. Mountcastle is hitting .303/.353/.488 with 12 home runs. Mountcastle played shortstop for most of last season and third base all of this season – so the Orioles have some flexibility where he will be played.
7. Peter Alonso, 1B, (New York Mets) – ETA Early September
To get called up, Peter Alonso needs to have a great August after struggling for most of July in Triple-A. Since August 1, Alonso is hitting .394 with 4 home runs. While this only brings his time in Triple-A up to a .254 batting average, August-Alonso is the Peter Alonso that many expected would soar through Triple-A as he had Double-A earlier in the season. If Alonso keeps up (or even slows down a little) he should be in line for a September call-up and bat near the middle of a weak Mets lineup.
8. Victor Robles, OF, (Washington Nationals) – ETA Mid September
Washington is 4.5 games behind in their chase for the final wild-card spot – an attainable goal with the team’s talent, but the team also has six other teams between it and a playoff berth. Victor Robles was already called up last fall and was expected to join the Nationals much earlier in the season, before going down with an injury for most of the season. Juan Soto took that opportunity and ran with it, now becoming one of the most successful teenagers in the Majors. Although the outfield is stacked, Washington will want to give Robles more reps in the outfield in the event Bryce Harper leaves and Robles naturally assumes a role.
9. Alex Verdugo, OF, (Los Angeles Dodgers) – ETA Early September
Alex Verdugo is in an awkward position as the odd man out in Los Angeles’ outfield and is thus been kept in Triple-A until the team is ready for him in 2019. Verdugo is ready now, hitting .335 on the season with nine home runs and six stolen bases in Triple-A. When called up again he should split time with Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, and Enrique Hernandez. Barring an injury, Verdugo will have streamable value – but with only outfield eligibility and a timeshare will have his value limited.
10. Luis Urias, 2B/SS, (San Diego Padres) – ETA Early September
As with D.J. LeMahieu, Luis Urias gets by not with power or speed, but with consistent contact and a presence on the base. Urias is batting .290, but more impressively he sports an excellent .393 OBP. Urias should bat at the top of the order and even for a low scoring team like San Diego – Urias should see plenty of opportunities to score runs with a solid batting average. Urias should be a fringe play at his position, but usable for a team in need.