Every weekend, I will be posting about the minor leaguers you should be stashing on your team. This list will be arranged by impact for this year only. 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. Prospects are a great way to stay ahead of everyone else rather you are in a dynasty league or a 10-team league. With the minor league season going, we can start seeing some movement with this list. With more and more games to evaluate, new players will jump onto the list, while others could fall off entirely.
1) Reynaldo Lopez, Chicago White Sox AAA, ETA: August
Last Week I predicted he would come up and take James Shields spot in the rotation, James made his regular start pitching 4 Innings giving up 5 runs, 3 earned while Lopez went 5 strong innings in AAA with 10 strikeouts. Lopez is creating the buzz and should be in Chicago very soon. Over his last six starts for Charlotte, he has a 1.96 ERA through 36.2 IP with 49 strikeouts and only 8 walks. Keep in mind he pitches at one of the most hitter friendly parks in the minors. He has been exceptional. Stash him.
2) Tyler Mahle, Cincinnati Reds AAA, ETA: August
Tyler Mahle also pitched on Wednesday going 7.1 IP with two earned runs allowed while striking out six and walking one. He has a 2.88 ERA through six AAA starts striking out 33 in 34.1 IP. The Reds starters have a combined 7.09 ERA post all-star break and could use some stability in the rotation. Tyler Mahle might not have a high ceiling but could contribute and end the year #1 in their rotation.
3) Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox AAA, ETA: August
Reynaldo Lopez should be the first call up from Charlotte but Giolito should quickly follow. He has done a good job bouncing back after tough outings this season. He allowed five earned in 1.2 IP a week ago but was spectacular this week throwing seven innings scoreless innings. He allowed only four hits, three walks and striking out six. With the way Hahn is dealing in Chicago, a space could be created for him soon.
4) Lucas Sims, Atlanta Braves AAA, ETA: August
Sims has been quite solid in AAA during this month. He has 5 appearances, 4 starts and owns a 3.07 ERA. In the 29.1 IP, he has 40 strikeouts to only 6 walks. That would be a 12.27 K/9 with a 1.84 BB/9. His Whip is 0.95 this month which is quite a drop form his May and June Whips of 1.36 and 1.40. Sims could take either Aaron Blair or Sean Newcomb’s spot in the rotation if he keeps this up.
5) Steven Brault, Pittsburgh Pirates AAA, ETA: August
He was shipped back to Indy last night after a brief stint in the Majors. He pitched four combined innings in two appearances with two earned runs allocated to him while he struck out two and walked two. His fastball peaked at 95 mph but settled in the 91-92 range. MLB Pipeline has his slider as a 55 grade but according to Baseball Savant, he did not throw the pitch once in his outings. I imagine this might have to do with being in a relief role vs starting role, but I would have liked to see it. Brault should be back in Pitt soon and hopefully in a starting role.
6) Yohander Mendez, Texas Rangers AA, ETA: August
The Rangers have apparently made Yu Darvish and Andrew Cashner available in trades. Yohander Mendez is likely to take the spot in the rotation should the Rangers do deal. He has been good but not great in the Texas League with a 3.86 ERA through 121.1 IP with 106 Strikeouts. It has a tell of two halves for Mendez. In the first half of the year, he had a 3.78 ERA and a whip of 1.12 and allowed 16 HRs on 61 hits. That is 26% of the balls hit going over the fence. In the second half, that HR per hit rate is down to 10%, his K per 9 is up to 9.37 from 7.11, and he has dropped him BB/9 as well. He could be a decent streaming option vs weaker opponents but he is not stash able currently.
7) Brent Honeywell, Tampa Ray Rays AAA, ETA: August
This guy is being stashed in my main league. You can keep up to eight players for your first eight picks and the team is in a tear it down, rebuild it mode. He has a path to the majors in 2017, but that is likely in the bullpen. I imagine he will be up in 2 weeks or sooner but with him in the bullpen, his impact will not be as high as the others on this list will. I could see him possibly making some starts in September if the Rays were to continue being in playoff contention with the hopes that he could be one of their starters in the playoffs.
8) Chance Adams, New York Yankees AAA, ETA: September
A massive drop for Adams in the list. It appears the Yankees are not going to be calling him up and instead will look for a starter in a trade. One of the reasons Adams might not get called up this year is he is protected from being in the Rule 5 Draft this year and with the Yankees in full youth movement, they would like to use a 40 man roster spot to save another player. Adams does continue to dominate AAA with a 2.39 ERA through 14 starts and 74 strikeouts through 75.1 IP. Unfortunately, it seems the Yankees are sticking with their rebuild mode and that makes me believe they will hold off on a Chance Adams call up.
9) Wilmer Font, Los Angeles Dodgers AAA, ETA: August
He continues to lead the PCL in strikeouts, now has a gap of 33 strikeouts between him, and second. With the Dodgers looking to acquire a SP, and with the Rangers shopping Yu Darvish, I could see Wilmer Font included in the package should the deal goes down. The Rangers need pitching depth and are quite familiar with Font having spent his first seven seasons with the organization. The Dodgers will have to include other prospects but Font could be an interesting add. Font has been quite hot in July with a 1.17 ERA through four starts. He has 33 strikeouts to four walks in 23 IP. Should he be dealt, he could be called up quickly.
10) Marco Gonzales, Seattle Mariners AAA, ETA: September
When you trade your #2 prospect and get a guy that now ranks #11 on your prospect list, it makes me think of two things. 1) You see something in the player that evaluators do not see or 2) You see a flaw in your player that evaluators do not see. Maybe both. Marco Gonzales was acquired from the Cardinals in a deal that sent Tyler O’Niell to St. Louis. Marco must be highly regarded by the Seattle administration and could be a solid four in their rotation for years to come. He has a 2.91 ERA through 80.1 IP over two levels. He did make a spot start for St. Louis earlier in the year and it did not go well, five Earned in 3.1 IP. Marco could be an option should the Mariners need a starter. He does have Andrew Moore to compete with for the next up title but with Moore’s 5.65 ERA through six starts, the Mariners could go with the new guy.