Every weekend, I will be posting about the minor leaguers you should stash on your team. These rankings are done solely for prospects who could affect 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. Jesus Luzardo, SP Oakland Athletics – ETA Early Sept.
Jesus Luzardo bounced back in his second start in Triple-A allowing one run in 4.2 innings with five strikeouts. Luzardo will likely start at least two more times in Triple-A to build his arm to six+ innings before receiving the call to start for Oakland. In a Q&A session this week, GM David Forst indicated as such stating “[h]e’s obviously had to overcome a lot this season, from a health standpoint. But he threw 4 2/3 innings last night, we’ll get him back to five, six innings over his next couple of starts. The fact that he will be an option for us in September is a great place to be considering how much he’s had to deal with this season.”
Kyle Wright had a mixed start on Monday as he struck out 11 batters (10 swinging), but he allowed five runs in six innings on 10 hits and a walk. Inconsistency has plagued Wright this season and for all of his successes and quality starts – his non-quality starts have sunk his season stat line. As he is already on the 40-man roster, Wright is a guaranteed call-up come September and should see some opportunities to start in Atlanta’s carousel of starting pitchers.
Chicago is maintaining Adbert Alzolay’s inning count, holding him to just four innings in each of his last starts. Alzolay threw only 39.2 innings in 2018 and 114.1 innings in 2017 – he is already at 76.2 innings this season. Had Alzolay not gone down with a bicep injury in July, he may have been up sooner, but he is a good bet to get a September promotion with the possibility of nabbing a few starts. A few rough outings before Alzolay went on the Injured List skewed his season stat line as he has not pitched particularly deep into games throughout the season – while walks are a concern, they are not nearly as bad as his line would suggest.
Ian Anderson was named Atlanta’s Minor League Player of the Year after throwing a 2.68 ERA and 147 strikeouts in 111 innings of Double-A ball. Anderson has improved across his first three games in Triple-A, with his most recent start lasting seven innings. Atlanta has had little issue promoting young talent after a quick look – it only took Mike Soroka five starts in Triple-A before his promotion in 2019. Anderson is three starts deep and has room for two more before September arrives.
Jon Duplantier was optioned back to Triple-A where he threw three perfect innings with five strikeouts. Duplantier looked sharp although he continues to be limited in innings pitched. He has not been stretched out properly and may end up pitching in relief upon a promotion next week. Arizona has a need for another starting pitcher – a role Taylor Clarke is unlikely to fill, Duplantier could get a look for a start – but the expectation is that it will result in a bullpen game.
Spencer Howard is a hot name in Philadelphia as he has risen through three levels of the minor league this season with seeming ease combining for a 2.07 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 65.1 innings. He is currently shutting down Double-A ball and is in contention for a direct promotion, skipping Triple-A altogether. How quickly he can adjust to the MLB baseball will be a big question mark, but Howard is sharp and could be a sneaky add for fantasy playoff teams if promoted.
Wil Crowe, as with many Triple-A pitchers this season, is a victim of a juiced ball with his HR/9 doubling upon promotion from Double-A. Crowe is on the heels of his worst performance this season – allowing nine runs in just two innings, but has otherwise been a consistent starter for Washington’s farm system, frequently pitching deep into games. Washington is betting that Max Scherzer will remain healthy after his most recent start and is letting Joe Ross pick up a few starts, but the team has a need for another starter and when rosters expand, Crowe could pick up a few spot starts upon a promotion.
Five games under his belt since his trade to Toronto and Anthony Kay is starting to piece together some level of forward movement. He has a 2.36 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 26.3 innings. Kay has finally begun to limit home runs, having not let up a home run over the past three games after letting up at least one home run in a game dating back to June 20th. Walks remain a persistent problem as he has allowed 17 since his trade. Toronto traded for Kay to have him play in the Majors, a September call-up seems to be in the cards if Kay can continue to piece together a successful run in Buffalo.
Back on this Stash as we near September, Keegan Akin should be in line for a starting role in Baltimore. Akin has been wildly inconsistent due to his poor command and paired with an unlucky streak has a gaudy 4.92 ERA in Triple-A (4.06 FIP). He strikes batters out at an elite rate (10.37 K/9) and could be a solid middle of the rotation pitcher if he could pare down his increased walks (4.87 BB/9). Akin has spent his entire season in Triple-A and Baltimore will want to get a long look at him this fall as he should be a full-time starter for the team next season.
Chris Archer hit the Injured List this past week and Dario Agrazal was promoted in a corresponding move. Agrazal has bounced between Triple-A and the Majors several times throughout the season without much success – lacking even an average fastball. James Marvel represents an aggressive option for Pittsburgh who already promoted Mitch Keller two weeks ago, but Marvel has been one of the best pitchers in the minor leagues this season and has only continued to improve since his promotion to Triple-A in early July.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter)