The Stash 7/14: The Top 10 Pitching Prospects to Stash
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. Austin Voth (Washington Nationals) – ETA Today
Austin Voth is got the call (no, for real this time). Voth is set to start today against the Mets and as far as debuts go – Voth has a pretty streamable start. This is the fourth time Voth has been called up this year, despite having not played in a game. The 26-year-old has an unlucky 3.55 ERA in Triple-A this season (it would be a 3.05 ERA if you take away an 8 run game in .1 innings) with 72 strikeouts in 76 innings. Voth is worth a stream in most leagues.
2. Jalen Beeks (Boston Red Sox) – ETA Late July
Jalen Beeks had the opportunity to pitch in relief for Boston this past week and blew up spectacularly, letting up three runs on 4 hits and 1 walk (2 if you count the batter he hit) over 2.1 innings. Beeks has been frustrating in both of his MLB outings, but it is far too soon to call it. He will likely be up again at some point this season and while although he has been one of the most dominant pitchers in Triple-A this season – proceed with caution when he returns.
3. Enyel De Los Santos (Philadelphia Phillies) – ETA Early August
Enyel De Los Santos made his debut this past week, throwing a quality start, letting up 3 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks over 6.1 innings with 6 strikeouts. This was a spot start as the Phillies were in need of another pitcher with Vince Velasquez having been set to return the next day. Chances are short of a trade at the deadline, De Los Santos wouldn’t get the call until another injury pops up as the Phillies rotation has been solid throughout the season (with pockets of inconsistency).
4. Kolby Allard (Atlanta Braves) – ETA Late July
Michael Soroka was placed on the 60 Day Disabled List, keeping him out until September. Luiz Gohara was sent down to Triple-A for now, but is expected to rejoin the Braves after the All-Star break. With Max Fried and Brandon McCarthy also on the DL, Kolby Allard makes for the next up if the Braves’ injury woes compound or if Anibal Sanchez’ regression hits harder than expected. Allard is only 20 years old so it would not be a surprise to see the Braves keep him down, but no Braves pitcher has done better in Triple-A ball this year than Allard (except for Lucas Sims).
Michael Kopech has no problem striking out batters, but in the same vein never found a batter he wouldn’t want to walk. He now has a 111/56 K/BB ratio in Triple-A this season (Kopech is leading Triple-A in walks, second place is a paltry 32). Kopech is either untouchable or exceedingly touchable with no inbetween. Even when Kopech is called up inevitably this season, there will be significant concerns for managers looking to start him. Although he will get the strikeouts teams need, it will come at the cost of a teams ERA and WHIP – so pretty matchup dependent.
Dakota Hudson has been thought to get a spot start over the past two weeks, but the Cardinals have kept him down. Hudson would provide an upgrade to the Cardinals rotation, but with Luke Weaver throwing two quality starts in a row and Michael Wacha set to return from the disabled list after the All-Star break, the prospect of Hudson getting the call in the short term seems to have cooled. Hudson doesn’t strike out at a below average rate, instead Hudson performs as one of Triple-A’s most extreme groundball pitchers at 57.6%. Chances are high that Hudson is moved at the deadline as the Cardinals are still fighting for a playoff spot.
7. Zac Gallen (Miami Marlins) – ETA Late July
Zac Gallen got smoked on the 4th of July and hasn’t had a start since. Gallen had previously had an ERA in the low 3s and has an above average strikeout rate. Gallen has struggled in the second quarter of the season due largely to varying between great and sub-par starts, but with the Marlins trying out everyone, Gallen should get his shot sooner than later given the team’s collective 4.81 ERA. He won’t find much reprieve in the loaded NL East, but Gallen would be worth the occasional streaming start.
Although listed as Early September, Justus Sheffield could very well be up in Early August depending on how the Yankees use/don’t use him at the deadline. Sheffield is one of baseball’s top prospects and has done nothing but dominate through his minor league career. Despite the Yankees declaring Sheffield off-limits, the closer it gets to the deadline – the more the more hype will be around Sheffield. The Yankees would have the league’s best team ERA if Sonny Gray hadn’t been pitching. Sheffield is poised to help the Yankees compete this year whether through a call-up or as a trade piece. In either respect, plan on seeing Sheffield somewhere come the end of the season.
With Ryan Borucki looking solid (this is written before he faced the Red Sox last night), Sean Reid-Foley is the next in line to get called up by the Blue Jays. Save for the 8 run disaster that was Reid-Foley’s debut Triple-A game, he would be sporting roughly a 2.5 ERA on the season between Double-A and Triple-A (granted his 3.1 now isn’t bad). Reid-Foley strikes batters out at an excellent rate and while he still walks batters at a rather average amount, he has continued to improve as the season progresses. Toronto hasn’t had the need yet despite losing Jaime Garcia, Marcus Estrada, and Aaron Sanchez, but if any of the three are not ready – Reid-Foley is the best option available (although Garica looks set to be back after the All-Star break). Chances are high he’ll get the call when rosters expand.
Odds are high that the Astros call up prized prospect Forrest Whitely in September (likely for a bullpen role) (and potentially compete against teammate Cy Sneed), but I think that if the need for a starter arises, the Astros will opt to go with Josh James. James has a 116/34 K/BB ratio on the season and a 3.13 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A. He has the second-best strikeouts per nine innings in all of the minor leagues (with 50 innings pitched) at 13.98. The Astros could trade him at the deadline, but there are few pieces the team needs to trade for right now. I’m keeping a close eye on James, there are few pitchers with as much upside right now.