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. Jalen Beeks (Boston Red Sox) – ETA Early July
Jalen Beeks is back on cruise control in Triple-A, striking out 7 and letting up only 1 run over 7 innings on Wednesday. He has nothing left to prove in Triple-A and despite his lackluster debut, has a bright future ahead of him in the Majors. Steven Wright is filling in for the injured Drew Pomeranz, but serves only as a stop-gap. He is the most MLB ready pitcher in the minors and I look forward to Beeks getting the call again sometime this season.
2. Michael Kopech (Chicago White Sox) – ETA Late July
Michael Kopech is incredibly frustrating to follow because he is an ace-but-for his inability to reign his walks in. He’s a 2015 Blake Snell, before Snell cut his walk rate in half. The frustration is compounded by Kopech’s first month of the season where it looked like he had continued where he left off last year and had gained control. Kopech let up eight walks in his last start and five the start before that (where he also struck out ten). Kopech should still be up at some point this summer – but it won’t be until he strings together a few palatable starts, which after Thursday’s disaster may be more than a few weeks out. Despite Kopech’s ERA, which is the result of a few blowups – when he’s on, he’s on.
3. Austin Voth (Washington Nationals) – ETA Tuesday, probably
Well, Erick Fedde got the first call on Wednesday and whelmed fans, striking out 3, walking 1, and letting up four runs over five innings. Fedde should be in line for another start on Monday and Austin Voth is speculatively penciled in for a spot start on Tuesday as a spot is available with both Stephen Strasburg and Jeremy Hellickson on the disabled list. Voth’s past two starts in Triple-A have been solid, most recently letting up 3 runs in 6 innings with 8 strikeouts. If Voth does start Tuesday, it will be at home against the Orioles and should be worthy of a spot start in most leagues.
4. Enyel De Los Santos (Philadelphia Phillies) – ETA Mid July
Enyel De Los Santos has been consistent all season (now 8 quality starts in a row) and while there are some indications he has been getting lucky, there is something to be said about this much sustained success at any level of play. Playing time is De Los Santos’ biggest issue as the Phillies rotation is solid. While Nick Pivetta may seem like he is withering at the vine – he isn’t and is not in danger of losing time. Zack Elfin and Vince Velasquez seem back on track, for now. It is hard to predict where he’ll end up whether via trade, injury, or bullpen – but the Phillies are being forced to decide something.
5. Shane Bieber (Cleveland Indians) – ETA Late June
Shane Bieber is back in the driver’s seat going 7.1 innings in his last start striking out 5 and letting up only 2 runs. Josh Tomlin is doing well in the bullpen and Adam Plutko has been at best serviceable at times in the Majors (despite his success in Triple-A). Plutko is a stop gap for Danny Salazar who is still shelved through the All-Star break, at least. If Plukto continues to bomb – we could see Bieber fever once again.
6. Freddy Peralta (Milwaukee Brewers) – ETA Tuesday
Like Austin Voth, Freddy Peralta is also in line for a spot start on Tuesday away against the Pirates. Peralta has dominated Triple-A this season and is 50/50 in his two games at the Major League level this season. Peralta’s calling card is his ability to induce strikes but does not walk a lot given his deceptive fastball. Peralta should make for a great spot start against the Pirates in most leagues as the Pirates are striking out second most frequently this season, only behind the Royals.
7. Nick Kingham (Pittsburgh Pirates) – ETA July
Nick Kingham will likely get a few spot starts between now and the trade deadline and should assume a full-time spot in the rotation afterward as the Pirates will almost assuredly be selling at the deadline. Kingham has had modest success in his several stints in the Majors so far this season and should look to develop as he continues to roll over Triple-A (most recently 8 innings, 6 strikeouts, and no earned runs — it was even a two-hitter with no walks).
8. Yefry Ramirez (Baltimore Orioles) – ETA Mid June
Yefry Ramirez got back into a groove in his the last three games since his 8 run blowup and then got the call on Wednesday. His debut was tepid at best, but compared to his teammates – definitely deserved a second start. It ultimately remained a spot start as Andrew Cashner is due back from the disabled list, but I see this as Ramirez breaking down the first wall to sustained playing time. Ramirez’ season numbers do not look great, but they’re more a result of a few inconsistent starts that went horribly array than they are a representation of his overall skill set. Players make this list for a variety of reasons, Ramirez is on it because despite a lackluster season compared to the above players – Ramirez has a clear place on this horrid Oriole rotation at some point this season.
9. Kolby Allard (Atlanta Braves) – ETA Late July
Kolby Allard still sports a 2.28 ERA on the season despite a 6.12 strikeouts per nine. He doesn’t walk a lot of batters, he doesn’t let up home runs, and his groundball percentage is average at 42%. He is an enigma and is fun to watch as he so consistently, surgically get batters out. Despite injuries to the Braves’ rotation, Allard has not gotten the call – but I expect him to as we get deeper into summer if he stays the course.
10. Sandy Alcantara (Miami Marlins) – ETA Early July
As a prospect in dynasty leagues, I would not go out of my way to own Sandy Alcantara. In a 2018 redraft, he has the place to pitch and much like Kolby Allard does not overwhelm with what he has to offer, but finds success anyhow. Alcantara has found modest, but not oustanding success in the minor leagues. He was a centerpiece in the Marcell Ozuna trade with the Cardinals in the offseason and the Marlins are likely to use him this summer. He would warrant ownership in only the deepest of leagues and the spot he would occupy could also be used to stream a pitcher.