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. Nick Senzel, SS/3B, (Cincinnati Reds) – ETA Mid-June
Nick Senzel remains the only batting prospect worth actually stashing while fans await a call-up. He is a middle of the order bat that will make an impact immediately – had it not been for an injury of his own and has been shut down due to dizziness, we may have seen Senzel by now. At this point, a Super Two is a fair expectation as the Reds are tanking and there is no clear spot for Senzel until the Reds move their roster around.
2. Dustin Fowler, OF, (Oakland Athletics) – ETA Mid-May
There isn’t anything else Dustin Fowler can do but wait at this point in his minor league career. There is a current block in the Athletics outfield, at this point moving Khris Davis to DH and Fowler to the outfield would make the most sense. Find a way, please – the guy is good to go and would make for a solid bottom of the outfield add.
3. Max Schrock, 2B, (St. Louis Cardinals) – ETA Mid-May
A week later and Max Schrock’s batting average has dipped from .354 to .346. Schrock is hitting laughably well while Kolten Wong is now hitting below .200 on the year. At some point St. Louis will need to make the call for the sake of competing. He would be an instant own in all leagues.
4. Willy Adames, SS, (Tampa Bay Rays) – ETA Early-June
Willy Adames is keeping a solid pace in AAA ball. He has little left to prove to the slow-moving Ray’s organization. Still only 22 years old, the Rays could keep him in AAA for a while longer – but two successful seasons in AAA would be ludicrous. Tentatively shoot for a post-Super Two callup, the Rays have no other reasons at this point to keep him down.
5. Willie Calhoun, OF, (Texas Rangers) – Mid-June
The drop in ranking is tied to his poor performance in AAA, further muddying his timeline. Willie Calhoun can hit when he’s hitting, but this prolonged cold streak will push his call-up date further and further. He has until early June to get hot for a Super-Two callup, if he can’t I would expect the Rangers to keep him down.
6. Nick Gordon, SS, (Minnesota Twins) – ETA Early-June
I can understand why the Twins don’t callup Nick Gordon as despite crushing the ball, is still only in AA. What does puzzle me is how the Twins haven’t moved him up for a quick look at AAA. With Miguel Sano on the disabled list and Jorge Polanco still suspended, the Twins have plenty of infield flexibility to give Gordon a look. Do something with him, Minnesota.
7. Roman Quinn, OF (Philadelphia Phillies) – Mid-May
The Phillies have struggled mightily in right field with Aaron Altherr and Nick Williams have combined for a .200 batting average. Roman Quinn has been on fire in 2018 and currently leads all of AAA in steals. An injury prone player, Quinn would likely have been in the majors in 2017 had he not missed over half the season (including a season-ending injury). When healthy he looks to be a contributor – keep an eye on what the Phillies elect to do with him.
8. Kyle Tucker, OF, (Houston Astros) – ETA Late Summer
Kyle Tucker has been on fire this past week, but is likely no closer to a call-up. If he can sustain this success, Super Two is only a month away and there is a clear need for Tucker in the Astros’ outfield.
9. Austin Hays, OF, (Baltimore Orioles) – ETA Late-June
Austin Hays still hasn’t turned it around and is still in AA. He will need to get hot like Tucker has been, otherwise, he’ll keep getting further and further away from a call-up or a promotion to AAA. His 2017 season is a firm ceiling on Hays’ production, but at this point, the reality might be something a bit further south of those numbers.
10. Francisco Mejia, C/OF, (Cleveland Indians) – ETA Late-June
Francisco Mejia is hanging on this list by a thread and by virtue of his ceiling and catcher eligibility. I expect Mejia to turn it around at some point and when he is called up, could make an impact in the Indians lineup.
Alex Verdugo – Verdugo will be getting “significant” playing time for the time being – now is his chance to prove he belongs. Worth an add with this Dodgers lineup.