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The Stash 4/24: Ranking The Top 10 Pitching Prospects To Stash Every Weekend

Every Saturday, Alex is here to write about which minor league pitchers you should be stashing on your team.  The list will range from the top prospects to the more esoteric...

Every Saturday, Alex is here to write about which minor league pitchers you should be stashing on your team.  The list will range from the top prospects to the more esoteric that should potentially be on your radar. Players who I believe are likely to receive the call to the Show soonest will be at the top and players who may be more of a long term stash will be featured closer to the bottom. Picking up these prospects can be a great way to stay ahead of the curve in your league regardless of whether it’s a deep dynasty league or a shallow 10 teamer. 

The minor leagues features hundreds of pitchers that are rotating through farm systems and major league clubs daily. Injuries or even extra inning games can turn a fledgling AAA pitcher into a spot starter. If you feel there is someone who should be mentioned who wasn’t or if you have a general question about anyone on the list, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get to it ASAP. 

1. Aaron Blair (Atlanta Braves) – If Blair is available in your league I would pick him up immediately, especially if you need a stream on Sunday as it looks like that’s when the Braves will call him up. Why am I so stoked on Blair? Here’s his line through the first three games of the season: 19 IP, 3 ER, 10 H, 1B, 5 BB, 22 Ks. His last start in particular was absolutely superb: 7 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1B, 10 Ks. While the spike in K/9 may not be sustainable – his last two years, he’s finished with a K/9 of roughly 6.7 – his 0.79 WHIP along with him being on regular rest makes the risk worth it. 

2. Blake Snell (Tampa Bay Rays) – I don’t know if you saw Blake make the Yankees Snell what he was cooking Saturday afternoon but if you didn’t hopefully it was because you were adding him to your fantasy team. The Rays top prospect used his plus Curveball and four-seamer to strike out six Yankees through 5 – his final stat line was 5 IP, 1ER, 2H, 1 BB, 6 Ks. Snell shook off the first inning jitters to strike out the side in the second inning and though he had two wild pitches, it seems that can mostly be chalked up to nerves. His first start in the Majors was in a sold out Yankee Stadium after all. Snell’s first two minor league performances had been a little shaky – 14.1 IP, 4ER, 15H, 7BB, 21Ks – and there definitely were a few times when the Yankees swung at stuff out of the zone but that can also be viewed as a testament to Snell’s stuff. Though there is no word as of yet as to when Snell should be called back up, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was sooner rather than later, even with Erasmo Ramirez performing as well as he has.  

3. Jose Berrios (Minnesota Twins) – Open the cupboard, because I think it’s time to pour out a bowl of Crunch Berrios (you’re welcome for the team name). The first two outings for Berrios featured a few more walks than I’d like to see – 4 through 5 IP and 3 through 5 IP – but allegedly that’s because Berrios was working more on his off-speed stuff than usual. His last outing however, he got back to the Fastball and just straight dominated – 7 IP, 2H, 0 ER, 1BB, 7 Ks. Although service time isn’t an issue – now that it’s passed Mid-April, the Twins will be able to keep Berrios until 2022 – the Twins are at a cross road: give in to their poor start and let Berrios continue to work on his offspeed or bring him up now and unleash that Fastball on Major League hitters? Whatever the case, if he’s available, he needs to be on your team.

4. Julio Urias (Los Angeles Dodgers) – At first I didn’t think that Urias was going to come up anytime soon but now, given the struggles of Scott Kazmir (who also left Friday nights game against the Rockies early with a “bruised left thumb” which is I guess what they call a decrease in velocity nowadays), it might not seem so crazy. But is Urias ready? 15 IP, 5 ER, 11 H, 2 BB, 20 Ks. The first thing that jumps out is obviously the 5 ER and while his 3.60 ERA and 4.19 FIP don’t exactly make me feel great, the fact that all but one of these ER’s came in one outing makes me feel a lot better. His Fastball is ready, so is his hook and his Changeup and considering the injuries to the Dodgers rotation and the ineffectiveness of Kazmir, Urias could be called up even sooner than I had originally thought. If you’re hesitant or in a shallower league, keep an eye on Kazmir.  If he hits the DL or has another poor start (this one was in Coors after all), I would pull the trigger on Urias. 

5. Sean Manaea (Oakland Athletics) – Manaea is off to a pretty exciting start. Having just outdueled Julio Urias last week – he struck out eleven in that game – his stat line is really encouraging: 18 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 21 Ks. Even more encouraging is that he’s struck out batters with his Four-Seam, Slider, Cutter, Changeup and Curveball. Though he isn’t necessarily blowing people away with his Four-seam – his average velocity as of now is sitting around 92 – he’s getting the job done with his off speed stuff as of the six hits he’s surrendered, five of them have been off of his Fastball. Needless to say, I think Manaea is someone definitely worth stashing. 

6. Austin Pruitt (Tampa Bay Rays) – Pruitt hasn’t been making as many headlines as some other more pungent prospect in the Rays farm but he’s off to an incredibly hot start. Like back-to-back 11 K games hot. Here’s Pruitt’s line through his first two games: 13 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 22 Ks. While his third start brought him down to earth a bit – 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 B, 5 Ks – a 27 K/BB is enough to be grabbing some attention. Blake Snell, the early season success of Erasmo Ramirez and the return of Alex Cobb in July could keep Pruitt down in the minors for a bit, but his hot start should put him on your radar and – if you’re in a deep enough league – possibly on your bench.  If you’re worried about his 5’11” stature, I believe I can hear Marcus Stroman’s voice in the distance shouting “Height Don’t Measure Heart”.

7. Lucas Sims (Atlanta Braves) – Sims  has had a fantastic start to the year – 14.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 10 BB, 26 Ks – and seems to be getting better with each outing. What’s exciting about Sims is that virtually all of his strikeouts have been swinging as opposed to looking and even though most of them have been as a result of his killer Fastball, he’s also registered a few Ks with his Changeup, Slider and utter too. Sims is likely going to be battling Sean Newcomb for a shot in the Show but I think his hot start makes him definitely worth having to stash on your team. 

8. Sean Newcomb (Atlanta Braves) – Like his counterpart Lucas Sims, Newcomb has started off the year struggling a little bit with his command. Unlike Sims however, Newcomb hasn’t be striking out batters nearly as frequently: 15 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 10 BB’s, 16 Ks. The good news is that of the eight hits given up by Sims, seven of them have been singles, the bad news is it seems that virtually all of them have been line drive singles. If you’re choosing between who to stash, I would certainly lean more towards Sims to start the season but we’ll be keeping an eye on Newcomb to see if he can improve his command a bit. 

9. Tyler Glasnow (Pittsburgh Pirates) – The Pirates #1 prospect has gotten off to a bit of a rocky start – 15 IP, 6 ER, 13 H, 6 BB’s, 19 Ks – though I don’t think this is why Glasnow might be more like GlasLater. The main reason: he’s yet to develop a solid third pitch. His fastball and curve are filthy but it looks like the Pirates want him to develop his Changeup a little bit more. The struggles of Jeff Locke – and boy, oh BOY are there struggles – might also make it seem like Glasnow would be up sooner but remember, Justin Masterson and Ryan Vogelsong are ahead of him and fellow minor league prospect Jameson Taillon may be too. Fully healthy after TJS, Taillon – the former 2nd round pick who went between Bryce Harper and Manny Machado – is looking good enough through two starts that he might be a viable call-up candidate in and of himself. All this leads me to believe that it could be a little bit later than we think – like post All-Star break – before we see Tyler Glasnow. 

10. Lucas Giolito (Washington Nationals) – Of the major five pitching prospects – Giolito, Snell, Urias, Glasnow and Berrios – Giolito has been off to the poorest start by far: 11.2 IP, 3 ER, 13 H, 8 BB’s, 9 Ks. He’s been elevating his pitches in all three of his starts as he’s yet to strike out more than 4 in a game and is giving up as many line drives as he is ground balls. We know he’s got a fastball that can hit triple digits and a filthy curve but considering the early success of Joe RossTanner Roark, and the Nationals as an organization, I don’t see why Giolito would see a call-up anytime before the All-Star Break. 

Other Considerations:

Dillon Tate (Texas Rangers) – Admittedly Tate the Great is only a guy you want to add if you’re in a dynasty league or even a 15 teamer with a lot of keepers. The 21-year-old RHP is off to an incredibly good start in Single A Ball: 10.2 IP, 0 ER, 9 H, 1 BB 16 Ks. Tate was just placed on the 7 day DL with a mild right hamstring strain but should be back next week for a start that I’ll definitely be checking out. While I don’t really see a scenario in which Tate reaches the majors this year, he is a good player to roster if not solely for trading purposes come end of the year. 

Mitch Keller (Pittsburgh Pirates) – I know what you’re thinking, “Another Single-A ball guy?” Well, I think Keller is more than worthy of a mention. This is his line through the first three starts of the season – 15 IP, 0 ER, 7H, 0 BB, 23 Ks. I don’t want to get too excited, after all this is in Single-A ball and Keller’s last year wasn’t so hot, but Keller’s start will definitely have me looking to see how he’s doing for the next couple of weeks. 

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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