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. Keston Hiura, 2B, (Milwaukee Brewers) – ETA Late June
Keston Hiura should probably be back sometime this week now that he has passed his Super Two deadline. Travis Shaw has only continued to decline, now batting .163, and Milwaukee is in a bit of a rut. Hiura should assume his position at second base and not look back as he continues on a career season in the minors with a .313 batting average, 16 home runs, and seven stolen bases in Triple-A. Hiura was dropped in most leagues—snap him up universally.
2. Kyle Tucker, OF, (Houston Astros) – ETA Late July
The more the season progresses, the likelier it is becoming that Kyle Tucker will be a trade piece at the deadline. Tucker is locked out of the outfield and Houston has several serviceable young outfielders to fill in as needed. Houston could use a controllable arm like Noah Syndergaard or Matthew Boyd more than it could use Tucker in Triple-A or filling in behind Michael Brantley who the team has locked down in left field for another season. Tucker has hit 23 home runs, stolen 17 bases, and is batting .287 in Triple-A this season.
3. Luis Urias, 2B, (San Diego Padres) – ETA Mid July
Luis Urias is hitting .340 with 16 home runs and five stolen bases since his demotion to Triple-A earlier in the season—in June alone he added a .307 batting average, four home runs, and two stolen bases to that total. Urias would be called up any day, but for, Ian Kinsler finally hitting his stride in San Diego with a .308 batting average, a home run, and a stolen base. While late June is still possible because Urias’ Super Two implications have passed, until Kinsler cools off or is traded, San Diego will be less pressed to bring back Urias.
4. Bo Bichette, SS, (Toronto Blue Jays) – ETA Mid July
A full week in Triple-A has left Bo Bichette on the slow track to the majors as, while he did hit two home runs, he struck out as often as he hit (seven of each). Toronto will likely take their time to both ensure that Bichette is healthy and that he has a “good foundation” before sending him up with the rest of Toronto’s rookies. Bichette is one of baseball’s top prospects and should bounce back quickly from a broken hand.
5. Carter Kieboom, 2B/SS, (Washington Nationals) – ETA Late July
Carter Kieboom is finally back in action with hot back-to-back weeks and is slashing .333/.436/.606 since June 9th. Kieboom’s best bet to playing time is for Washington to trade away Brian Dozier who has found signs of life in June, hitting .321 and five home runs. Dozier would be a second-half rental, but with Washington out of the playoff picture, it would take what it can get.
6. Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, (Tampa Bay Rays) – ETA Late July
Nathaniel Lowe is slashing .352/.507/.611 in June with four home runs. Lowe will continue to be held down for now as his MLB counterparts continue to exceed expectations and hit over .300 in the month of June. Yandy Diaz was placed on the Injured List this week with a tight right hamstring, but did not open a spot for Lowe in part because Diaz has been playing primarily at third base and in part because the team is optimistic about Diaz’ return timetable.
7. Jorge Mateo, SS/2B, (Oakland Athletics) – ETA Mid July
Jorge Mateo has hit safely in 27 of his last 30 games, including 15 multi-hit games. Since ending a 15-game hitting streak, Mateo started again and is up to an eight-game hit streak. On the season, Mateo has hit 11 home runs and 15 stolen bases and is batting .325. Jurickson Profar has been the clear weak link in Oakland, but even he has heated up in June hitting .317 limiting Mateo’s short term prospects.
8. Bobby Bradley*, 1B, (Cleveland Indians) – ETA Late June
A 32% strikeout rate in Triple-A is a bit alarming and is generally an avoidable player, but for those in need of first base Bobby Bradley is also hammering a .292 batting average with 24 home runs this season. Coupled with one-third of his hits going for extra bases—Bradley could well end up a three true outcome batter. Bradley is expected to get the call as soon as this week with Leonys Martin designated for assignment.
*Article was written prior to the announcement of Bradley’s promotion to the major league roster.
9. Ian Miller, OF, (Seattle Mariners) – ETA Mid July
Seattle made their first sale of the year, shipping Edwin Encarnacion to the New York Yankees. The team should be a big seller at the deadline and in addition to Mitch Haniger‘s injury and Mac Williamson‘s poor play should open up some playing time for one of Seattle’s best minor league bats. Miller is slashing .272/.333/.455 with six home runs and 19 stolen bases (second most in Triple-A).
10. Yadiel Hernandez, OF, (Washington Nationals) – ETA Late July
Little has changed to move the needle on Yadiel Hernandez, who continues to be one of the hottest bats in Triple-A, now slashing .351/.439/.640 with 17 home runs and six stolen bases. He is a 31-year-old Cuban player and is currently blocked by Washington’s mostly youthful outfield, so he receives less attention than a player of his caliber deserves. When Washington begins to sell at the deadline, Hernandez could have a path to playing time.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter).