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.
Kyle Tucker is coming into the trade deadline after a rough July, as he hit a paltry .196 with only a single home run and three stolen bases. His 10 walks are an encouraging sign, but taken together with his 2018 season paint a picture of an extremely streaky player who, for as much as he has adjusted to Triple-A, will have some growing pains as he rises to the Majors. Tucker is the biggest piece Houston has to deal this offseason and even with the trade of Tyler White, the team has no place for Tucker until at least 2021.
Irrespective of how well Bo Bichette performs in Triple-A over the next week, he will be a victim of the trade deadline as Toronto sorts out deals for Eric Sogard and Freddy Galvis. Bichette is the team’s franchise shortstop and should be up shortly, joining Toronto’s youth revolution. Bichette is a five-category fantasy contributor and should be stashed universally if he is not already.
3. Isan Diaz, 2B/SS, (Miami Marlins) – ETA Early August
Miami manager Don Mattingly was reported as saying that he expected to see Isan Diaz in the Majors before September, and while the obvious answer is that the team trades Starlin Castro, a spot could open up regardless, as Castro is in the final year of his contract and Diaz has been rock solid in Triple-A this season, slashing .300/.390/.572 while mashing 24 home runs. Diaz has grown into a patient hitter and into his game power.
With Washington surging in the National League Wild Card race and Brian Dozier surging alongside the team, the narrative has shifted from Carter Kieboom replacing Dozier at the deadline to Kieboom as the golden trade chip for Washington to bolster its team at the deadline. While Kieboom could still serve as reinforcements in September, Detroit and Washington are reportedly trying to work out a package deal that would include Kieboom.
5. Luis Robert, OF, (Chicago White Sox) – ETA Early Sept.
Luis Robert continues to demonstrate that will be ready for a Major League promotion come September, wracking up three multi-hit games this past week (including a triple that became a home run as the result of an error). In just 68 Triple-A plate appearances, Robert is hitting .350 with five home runs and five stolen bases, with a season slash line of .349/.403/.634, 21 home runs, and 34 stolen bases from brief stops in High-A through Triple-A. If Robert is called up in September, he could be a real game-changer for teams.
Jorge Mateo added three more home runs and a stolen base to his impressive season, now slashing .301/.339/.530 with 16 home runs and 19 stolen bases. Even with the PCL’s hitter-friendly conditions, Mateo has demonstrated far more power than expected this season, as he has long eclipsed his previous season-high of 12 home runs. 2019 is Mateo’s second year in Triple-A and he has made significant improvements across the board; while he is not currently projected for a call-up until September, he could be a difference-maker in Oakland once promoted.
While Ryan Mountcastle is also within the realm of promotion if Trey Mancini is traded at the deadline, DJ Stewart would be an easier promotion, as he is on the team’s 40-man roster and had previously been promoted this year, requiring a month and a half on the IL with an ankle injury. Now two weeks removed from injury, Stewart could be a five-category fantasy contributor and is patient enough at the plate where his MLB-adjustment period is shortened.
Jake Fraley returned after a brief injury scare, but still needs some movement at the Major League level to break-in. He slashed hit .313 in Double-A with 11 home runs and 16 stolen bases. After a month in Triple-A, Fraley is hitting .252 with five home runs and four stolen bases. He will need to do better to force Seattle’s hand, but if an expendable outfielder like Domingo Santana is traded at the deadline or if Seattle decides to pull the plug on either Tim Beckham or Kristopher Negron, combined with the absence of the injured Mitch Haniger or Braden Bishop, Fraley is the top replacement in Triple-A.
If Yasiel Puig, who is in the final year of his contract, gets moved at the deadline, Cincinnati has two interesting options to replace him. The first is Aristides Aquino, who made his debut last year when he pinch-ran once before getting sent back down. This season, Aquino is slashing .297/.357/.642 with 27 home runs and five stolen bases. He had a 22-game hit streak earlier in the year and has failed to record a hit in a game only nine times since May 23rd. The team’s other option would be Brian O’Grady, who is hitting a similar .285 with 26 home runs and 12 stolen bases, or perhaps even Nick Longhi.
Los Angeles is on the brink after dropping three games to Baltimore immediately after two great wins over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now five games behind in the AL Wild Card, the team will need to figure whether to make it or break it. Short of a playoff push in 2019, there is no reason to call up phenom Jo Adell, but it remains in the realm of possibility until the deadline, as he has an impact bat that could blossom into a fantasy star. Since returning from injury, Adell has slashed .313/.389/.551 with seven home runs and six stolen bases in Double-A ball.
Will Smith – In his first game back, Smith hit in 6 RBI.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter).