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
As with most young pitchers, Jalen Beeks will be faced with some degree of inconsistency as he works on his craft. His start on Tuesday was one such start, letting up 4 runs, 4 walks, but striking out 7. Most of the damage was done in the first inning and Beeks was able to largely recover and pitch an additional 3.2 innings, but was unable to go further after burning through so many pitches early on. Even in a down game, Beeks showcased why he is the top pitching prospect available and strikeout leader in Triple-A ball this season. Walks have not been much an issue for Beeks this season and will not factor into his analysis the same way as…
2. Michael Kopech (Chicago White Sox) – ETA Late July
Michael Kopech’s ability to generate strikeouts is second to none in Triple-A, but his cascading walk rate has limited his overall effectiveness and saddled him with an unsightly 5.08 ERA. This has been a tale of two seasons as Kopech started out limiting his walks and found great success through most of May. He has now let up 21 walks in the past four games (to 20 strikeouts). The White Sox have every reason to keep Kopech down as he struggles with control, but given their season is forgone – Kopech could benefit from making those changes at the next level.
3. Austin Voth (Washington Nationals) – ETA Saturday or Sunday?
ONCE AGAIN (third time, if you’re counting) Austin Voth served as the 26th man on Tuesday’s doubleheader, but was unable to pitch in a Major League game. Voth is on the cusp and the Nationals sent him back to Triple-A. Voth has an unlucky 4.37 ERA on the season, his 59/19 K/BB is more indicative of his talent moving forward. Erick Fedde and Jefry Rodriguez have been scarcely serviceable as spot starters this season and the Nationals should have open spots in their rotation on Saturday and Sunday with Stephen Strasburg and Jeremy Hellickson on the disabled list. Fedde should fill in for Strasburg, but it remains to be seen whether Voth will get the next call ahead of Rodriguez.
4. Enyel De Los Santos (Philadelphia Phillies) – ETA Mid July
Enyel De Los Santos is on this spot on the list because his sterling season is on par with that of Jalen Beeks. He isn’t ahead of Voth because he has no clear place in the Majors right now. All of the Phillies starters are serviceable in the Majors and been performing well – while De Los Santos may be an improvement, the Phillies have little reason to test him out barring injury. Don’t fix whats not broken. De Los Santos’ career plan in 2018 will become clearer the later into the season we get and how the Phillies react at the trade deadline.
5. Nick Kingham (Pittsburgh Pirates) – ETA Late July
Nick Kingham should get a few spot starts between now and the trade deadline or get a longer call-up should an injury occur. With the Pirates actively shopping Ivan Nova, it seems likely that he would fill that spot if/when it comes available. Kingham wasn’t lights out in his few starts at the Major League level, but showed a level of competence that can be trusted when he’s up permanently and improving.
6. Kolby Allard (Atlanta Braves) – ETA Late July
Kolby Allard would be a clear upgrade over Anibal Sanchez or Brandon McCarthy in the Braves’ rotation, but is only 20 years old. Allard has yet to let up more than 3 runs in a game this season and despite a paltry 6.12 strikeouts per nine innings, remains one of Triple-A’s best pitchers. As the season progresses and the Braves at the top of the National League, the Braves will call him up to win now and he will make an impact when called.
7. Ryan Borucki (Toronto Blue Jays) – ETA Late July
As with many of these later round estimations, Ryan Borucki’s selection (he’s back) is made on the basis a spot will open up for him around the trade deadline. The Blue Jays are poised to move J.A. Happ and Borcuki has been phenomenal since May 6th sporting a 2.35 ERA (letting up more than 3 runs only once), a passable 40 strikeouts, and most recently a three-hitter complete game shutout. Borcuki is ready for a taste of the Majors and the Blue Jays have had an overall horrible rotation this season with the exception of Happ.
8. Yefry Ramirez (Baltimore Orioles) – ETA Mid July
Yefry Ramirez is back in Triple-A after a lackluster spot start in the Majors. He has now put together four solid starts in the minors and is poised when the Orioles are ready for him later in the season or if another injury arises. Ramirez may not be worth rostering in nearly all leagues, but could make for a solid spot start when not facing the Red Sox or Yankees.
9. Yohander Mendez (Texas Rangers) – ETA Early July
Yohander Mendez got a spot start on the 15th, but was optioned back to Triple-A for violating team rules. Mendez got shellacked in his start to the tune of 6 runs in 3 innings and went through the Rockies’ lineup twice before getting the hook. Mendez’ season has been filled with high highs and low lows, with little in between. He should get playing time independent of the Rangers’ rotation, but should guarantee a role after the deadline with the Rangers looking of offload at least Cole Hamels. Mendez would be worth a spot start in away games against easier teams until he can prove he can hold his face to the fire.
10. Sandy Alcantara (Miami Marlins) – ETA Mid July
Sandy Alcantara is on this list because of opportunity, less regarding his performance this season. The Marlins have already called up many of their young, top prospects earlier in the season – Alcantara would benefit from a similar experience. He will not have much use outside of the occasional spot start as his strikeout rate is nearly non-existent and his ERA will be on the cusp of serviceable. He is closer than most pitching prospects (especially if Dan Straily gets moved at the deadline) and tabs should be kept on his for when a good matchup rolls around.
Shane Bieber: Bieber got a start last night, at the time I’m writing this I don’t know how it went, but given Carlos Carrasco should be out for a week and a half, it is my thought that he should at least get one more spot start so long as he doesn’t implode.
Freddy Peralta: Peralta is back in a big way, throwing 6 scoreless innings while striking out 7. His next start on Tuesday against the Royals makes for a tasty matchup.