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.
Carter Kieboom is as close to a sure thing as it comes to becoming a September call-up. Kieboom has been stabled, albeit uninteresting, since July 1st, batting .287 with only three home runs. Notably, Washington is working him out at second base, shortstop, and third base—giving him positional flexibility to a degree where he could still receive consistent playing time as the team is sticking Brian Dozier’s .233 batting average at second base.
2. Luis Robert, OF, (Chicago White Sox) – ETA Early September
Luis Robert is less inclined for a promotion after Rick Hahn tapdanced around a direct question regarding Robert’s and Nick Madrigal’s potential for a 2019 promotion. Hahn acknowledged the possibility, but focused more on their potential impact in 2020, citing issues like fatigue. From High-A to Triple-A this season, Robert is slashing .337/.390/.621 with 24 home runs and 34 stolen bases and could make for an immediate impact bat on any fantasy roster.
Los Angeles lost four more games this week, now having lost 12 of is last 15 games and officially falling out of the Wild Card running. While Jo Adell has been cruising through the minor league system and while his first eight games in Triple-A have been subpar, he remains in contention for a September call-up, as he has checked every box this season, Los Angeles has a good reputation of doing right by their prospects, and with Kole Calhoun’s club option in 2020, Los Angeles may want to make the call this fall whether to keep Adell over Calhoun (and save a much needed $14 million).
4. Jaylin Davis, OF, (San Francisco) – ETA Mid August
Steven Duggar tore his labrum this past week, but Joey Rickard was given the first call to replace him over Jaylin Davis. While this came as a surprise, manager Bruce Bochy said it was because of Rickard’s defensive versatility to play all three outfield positions. Rickard is expendable, as San Francisco claimed him off waivers when Baltimore designated him earlier in June, and with San Francisco only four games outside of a Wild Card spot, Rickard will have a short leash. Davis is hitting .308 this season with 27 home runs and a 12.6% walk rate.
With Josh Reddick hitting only .200 since the All-Star Break without a home run or stolen base, the door is slightly opening for Kyle Tucker to receive some meaningful playing time this season. Although, over that same span Tucker is only hitting .241 himself, albeit with six home runs and six stolen bases. Houston continues to give Tucker opportunities at first base to give the team more flexibility at the position, with Yordan Alvarez also receiving first base looks at the major league level. Tucker struggled during his first look at the MLB and is not guaranteed to have playing time, but for the first time all season he has a sliver of a path.
Jorge Mateo tweaked his ankle this past week and landed on the Injured List. This all but guarantees his late-season call-up status, as the injury is not expected to keep him out long. Mateo represents an improvement over current second baseman Jurickson Profar, and as Franklin Barreto burned through his 2019 opportunity, the position is Mateo’s for the taking if he is able to translate his immensely successful Triple-A numbers to the MLB. Mateo is slashing .295/.334/.520 with 17 home runs and 21 stolen bases.
7. Joshua Rojas, 2B, (Arizona Diamondbacks) – ETA Early September
If Joshua Rojas was already on fire this year, since his deadline trade to Arizona he has started to burn more intensely; in just seven games he already has three home runs, a stolen base, and has already made it safely on base 23 times in that span. On the season he has a .336 batting average with 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases and has the positional flexibility to play around the diamond. While his playing second base would allow Ketel Marte to slide into his own natural shortstop, in 2019, Rojas could be a super-utility player while providing a substantive bat in Arizona.
Randy Arozarena broke out this season after receiving aggressive promotions to Double-A and to Triple-A. He has responded at every corner, turning in a combined .348/.433/.541 with nine home runs and 15 stolen bases. St. Louis is only two games back in the NL Central and remains in need of an offensive game-changer, as the team, despite its successes, has scored the sixth-fewest runs in the MLB this season. Arozarena could be the spark that St. Louis needs to push into the playoffs.
Sean Murphy missed most of 2019 with a torn meniscus, came back strong in July, but inflamed the injury last week. Murphy is expected to rest and be back by the end of August. He has an outside shot at a promotion, as Oakland remains 1.5 games out of a Wild Card spot and the team has been awful at the catcher position this season, with a combined 0.6 WAR (and a combined -11.5 Offensive WAR). Although Murphy has limited experience above Double-A, he has looked sharp this season, slashing .360/.434/.685 with seven home runs across 106 Triple-A plate appearances. Paired with a 70-grade defense, Murphy should be an improvement across the board at the position and add a level of depth to Oakland’s lineup.
Willi Castro has been a consistent player all season long, with two eight-game hitting streaks and a 13-game hitting streak to punctuate how often he collects a hit-per-game. He is efficient on the bases (17/21 stolen bases) although without much pop (six home runs). Detroit will be best served by giving Castro an opportunity in September to avoid another veteran stopgap in the off-season. Unlike Gavin Lux who if promoted would be a man without a position, Castro would be in line for nearly every start at shortstop. Castro has earned a promotion and is likely to see one shortly.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter).