The Stash 6/9: 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 Mid June
After going a season-high nine games without a home run, Yordan Alvarez came back with a vengeance, mashing three home runs over his last five games. Alvarez has hit 23 on the season with a .343 batting average in Triple-A ball. His Super Two deadline may have passed, or it will soon pass, at which point Houston will have little rationale to keep Alvarez down any longer. He is the best player in the minor leagues and should be universally stashed.
Authors Note: Yordan Alvarez was called up—go get him, y’all.
2. Kyle Tucker, OF, (Houston Astros) – ETA Late July
As of writing this, Kyle Tucker only played four games this week, but also hit four home runs this week—adding on two stolen bases as well. He now has 20 home runs on the season and is well on his way to 20 stolen bases (currently with 14). Tucker has been elite for the past month now and unlike Yordan Alvarez is already on the team’s 40-man roster (having played in Houston late last season). Despite injuries on the major league club, even to those playing his natural position in left field, Tucker has not received the call, making it difficult to project when the team will finally pull the trigger. Regardless, Tucker has reached a point where he has been too hot to not stash in deeper leagues.
3. Luis Urias, 2B, (San Diego Padres) – ETA Mid June
Luis Urias will be on his way back to the major league soon; San Diego GM A.J. Preller was quoted by the San Diego Union-Tribune as saying “I think he’s on a really fast track… we just wanted to… make sure that he was in a good spot, so that when he came back and hit (against) the better quality big-league pitching, we felt like he was in a really balanced position and in a powerful position.” Urias has slashed .370/.472/.647 since May 1 with seven home runs and four stolen bases. While the power might not last, Urias has built a case for himself as a high floor bat that can chip in across the board.
4. Carter Kieboom, 2B/SS, (Washington Nationals) – ETA Mid July
Carter Kieboom remains stone cold, batting .192 over his past 15 games with a sole home run and no stolen bases. With Brian Dozier raising his batting average high enough to at least start flirting with the Mendoza line, Kieboom is unlikely to see a promotion soon. Washington is not likely to compete this year, so the team has little reason to rush Kieboom. His long term prospects are still phenomenal, but in the short term, it will be a waiting game.
5. Bo Bichette, SS, (Toronto Blue Jays) – ETA Late June
Bo Bichette finally began his rehab assignment on Friday, after spending the last seven weeks on the Injured List on a projection that initially called for four to six weeks. Toronto has been all-in on calling up their young talent this year and Bichette would be the last big name Toronto has to call up this season. Toronto could manipulate Bichette’s service time as they did with Vlad Guerrero Jr. given Bichette has missed most of this season and is considered to be one of baseball’s top prospects, but with Toronto shifting Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to the outfield, the team seems to be clearing the way for Bichette now.
6. Jorge Mateo, SS/2B, (Oakland Athletics) – ETA Early July
Jorge Mateo continues to roll on, grabbing another home run and a stolen base while batting .320 this past week. Mateo is on a 14-game hitting streak that includes eight multi-hit games. Mateo is incredibly aggressive, leading to a paltry 4.3% walk rate, but has maintained his 5% strikeout reduction from last season, leading to a spike in his OBP. 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. Mateo has little left to do in the minor leagues as this is his second full season in Triple-A and has managed to only improve his second time around.
7. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/SS/3B, (Baltimore Orioles) – ETA Late July
Impressively, Ryan Mountcastle mashed three home runs last Sunday and continues to hit well with a .313 batting average-to-date. His aggressive approach and walk rate is a red flag to sustained success, as his 3.1% walk rate drives a rather average .335 OBP. Mountcastle is a bat-first prospect and has been shifted around the infield as the team tries to figure out a landing spot for him in the Majors.
8. Jake Rogers, C, (Detroit Tigers) – ETA Late July
Jake Rogers has gone cold over his past seven games, batting .120 without a home run or extra base hit. Rogers is still operating on a small sample size in Triple-A after decimating Double-A and earning a promotion in late May. Unless Rogers picks it up over the next few weeks, a prospective mid-summer call-up will quickly become a September call-up.
9. Ian Miller, OF, (Seattle Mariners) – ETA Early June
Mitch Haniger ruptured his testicle on Friday and will be on the Injured List indefinitely for now. Ian Miller has been rock solid in Triple-A this season and plays Haniger’s natural right field position. Miller is slashing .296/.348/.505 this season with six home runs and 16 stolen bases. His strikeout and walk rates are excellent (18.9% and 7.9% respectively). Seattle could do much worse than having Miller fill in for Haniger while he recovers (God Bless).
10. Yadiel Hernandez, OF, (Washington Nationals) – ETA Late July
Yadiel Hernandez has undoubtedly been one of the best—and certainly one of the more overlooked—bats in the minor leagues. He is slashing .368/.455/.698 with 16 home runs and five stolen bases, capped off by a 14% walk rate to a 16.9% strikeout rate. Hernandez is 31 years old, so his dynasty prospects are not as high as his redraft potential, but with Washington set to implode around the trade deadline, Hernandez could be getting his chance soon.
Braden Bishop – While Mitch Haniger‘s injury would have opened a spot, Bishop hit the IL with a spleen injury this week.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter).