The Stash 6/2: The Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash
Every weekend, I post about the minor leaguers you should be stashing on your team. These rankings are done solely for prospects with the potential to impact 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. Prospects are a great way to stay ahead of the curve once the most notable prospects are called up. Not all prospects need to be stashed in every league, as not all league compositions are made equally.
1. Yordan Alvarez, OF/DH, (Houston Astros) – ETA Early June
Yordan Alvarez remains the top bat in the minor leagues and is slashing .358/.449/.751 with 20 home runs his year. He has been intentionally walked nine times—the third most in all of baseball (only Christian Yelich (12) and Maikel Franco (10) have been walked more). Alvarez’ Super Two deadline could be around the corner, and with injuries to Carlos Correa, the infield could shift to put Alvarez at first base. Alvarez should be stashed universally at this point in the season.
2. Carter Kieboom, 2B/SS, (Washington Nationals) – ETA Late June
Carter Kieboom went cold his final week in May, finishing with a month line of .265/.350/.588, five home runs, and two stolen bases. While Washington will be selling at the deadline, the team would be better off benching Brian Dozier and allowing Kieboom to work through second base.
3. Kyle Tucker, OF, (Houston Astros) – ETA Late July
Kyle Tucker finished may slashing .333/.429/.741 with 11 home runs and eight stolen bases. George Springer will be out a few weeks with a Grade-2 hamstring injury, but Tucker is blocked by Derek Fisher and Myles Straw (although a designated hitter spot could open up if Alvarez is promoted to cover first base). Tucker does have the benefit of having a spot on the 40-man roster when Houston is ready to pull the trigger.
4. Jorge Mateo, SS/2B, (Oakland Athletics) – ETA Early July
Jorge Mateo continued his hot season, batting .364 with a home run and a stolen base this past week. Mateo has been making consistent contact and is striking out about 5% less than last season, although a 5% walk rate will cap his OBP value in the future. Jurickson Profar is batting .192 this season at second base in Oakland; Mateo would be an upgrade both over Profar at second base and over Marcus Semien as the team’s leadoff hitter.
5. Jake Rogers, C, (Detroit Tigers) – ETA Late July
A full two weeks in Triple-A and Jake Rogers has had modest success, hitting three home runs while slashing .250/.362/.550. He will need to bring back his strikeout and walk ratios if he is to maintain the strong gains he made in Double-A earlier this season. Rogers is one of the best defensive catchers in the minor leagues, so if/when he is promoted he should stick even if he struggles to adjust.
6. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/SS/3B, (Baltimore Orioles) – ETA Late July
Ryan Mountcastle missed the past week with a wrist injury, during which teammate D.J. Stewart was promoted to Baltimore. Baltimore continues to trot out their younger talent as it has room to fail as one of the league’s worst teams. Mountcastle is slashing .319/.344/.516 this season with seven home runs and a stolen base and can play around the infield as needed. Mountcastle is aggressive at the plate and does not walk often, but he manages to make contact enough to bridge the gap.
7. Luis Urias, 2B, (San Diego Padres) – ETA Mid June
Luis Urias is one of the hottest hitters in the minor leagues after returning from San Diego in late April. Urias is slashing .355/.453/.711 with 13 home runs and four stolen bases; he is also walking at an excellent 13.4% clip. Despite inking Ian Kinsler to a two-year, eight million dollar contract in the offseason, San Diego would get more production with Kinsler on the bench and Urias in his place. His 181 WRC+ trails only Yordan Alvarez for players with at least 100 plate appearances in Triple-A this season. Urias could be a victim of service time manipulation as the team could gain a year of service time if they hold him down just a little bit longer.
8. Braden Bishop, OF, (Seattle Mariners) – ETA Mid June
Braden Bishop capped off the week with a grand slam, bringing his total numbers since returning to Triple-A two weeks ago to a .324 batting average, four home runs, and two stolen bases. Bishop was used inconsistently in Seattle and it was reflected in his inconsistent play (same as Kevin Cron in Arizona right now)—more playing time should translate his skills more accurately. Mallex Smith is still only batting .191 and has an OBP of .272; while Smith works out his kinks, Bishop would be an improvement in Seattle.
9. Yadiel Hernandez, OF, (Washington Nationals) – ETA Late July
Yadiel Hernandez is without a place in Washington and with the addition of Gerardo Parra, the team is looking less for another outfielder. Still, Adam Eaton is on the last year of his deal (but has two club options) and if Parra is able to hit consistently enough, both could make for attractive options at the trade deadline. Hernandez is older than most at 31 years old as a Cuban signee. Hernandez is slashing a phenomenal .366/.458/.689 with 14 home runs and five stolen bases so far this season. He has a 34:28 K:BB ratio and can play either side of the outfield. If there is an injury or a trade, Hernandez could step in immediately with a high chance of success.
10. Jacob Wilson, 2B/3B, (Washington Nationals) – ETA Late July
Returning to the Stash, Jacob Wilson showed that there was something to his April breakout, hitting .340/.451/.574 in May with five home runs. Anthony Rendon is in the final year of his contract and has not yet signed an extension with Washington. If Rendon is traded before the deadline, the hot-hitting Wilson would be a natural fit at third base.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter).