The Stash 8/18: 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. Carter Kieboom, 2B/SS, (Washington Nationals) – ETA Early September
Brian Dozier has collected one hit in his last 23 at-bats dating back to August 4th (good for a .043 batting average). In that same span, Carter Kieboom has hit .293 with a home run and two stolen bases in Triple-A. While Kieboom will be called up in September as the team’s super-utility player having been worked around the diamond the past month, he could usurp Dozier at second base shortly after a call-up if Dozier continues to stick in this exceptional rut, even by his standards.
2. Luis Robert, OF, (Chicago White Sox) – ETA Early September
It is a coin toss whether Luis Robert gets the call in 2020, as he has hit beyond expectations this season, but Chicago has a reputation for holding their highly regarded prospects down in the minors until absolutely necessary. Still, 2019 is not 2018 and Chicago is nearly the completion of their rebuild—a small taste in September could do wonders for acclimating Robert rather than have him work through his potential struggles next spring. Robert is slashing .337/.390/.620 across three levels of play this season with 25 home runs and 36 stolen bases. If called up, Robert would be a universal must-add.
3. Jaylin Davis, OF, (San Francisco) – ETA Late August
Jaylin Davis has had a fantastic season, batting .307 with 31 home runs between Minnesota and San Francisco—capping it off with a three-home run game this past week (making it six home runs in just 13 games since his trade to San Francisco). San Francisco deeply needs an influx of power, with only 134 team home runs this season, and Davis is a solution in the wings. Joey Rickard is filling in for Steve Duggar, but has only hit .231 since his return to San Francisco and has otherwise underwhelmed this season. San Francisco kept most of their recent acquisitions in Triple-A for evaluation, but Davis is quickly showing the team that he has no reason to remain in Triple-A.
4. Jo Adell, OF, (Los Angeles Angels) – ETA Early September
Despite his struggles in Triple-A since his promotion in the start of August, Jo Adell could see time in Los Angeles by virtue of Kole Calhoun‘s $14 million club option in 2020. Calhoun is not worth the $14 million and Adell is the heir to right field and will likely be up for the majority of 2020. With Los Angeles’ season finished, they can better afford to have Adell sink or swim without concern. Adell missed most of the season with injuries, but came out hot enough to warrant a quick promotion to Triple-A after 43 games in Double-A.
5. Kyle Tucker, OF, (Houston Astros) – ETA Early September
Josh Reddick continues to struggle, dropping his batting average since the All-Star Break to .190 without a home run or stolen base. While Houston may be committed to him in the short term, Kyle Tucker is finally back on a hot streak, batting .360 with five home runs and three stolen bases since August 1st. Tucker continues to develop at first base and could see some additional games given his positional flexibility. If Reddick continues to struggle upon Tucker’s promotion, he may see enough at-bats to warrant ownership in 2019.
6. Jorge Mateo, SS/2B, (Oakland Athletics) – ETA Early September
Jorge Mateo remains on the Injured List with a sore ankle and remains on track to be healthy and called-up in early September. Jurickson Profar‘s role in Oakland is set to be reduced after a season of poor play, opening the door for Mateo to take over at second base once promoted. Before his injury, Mateo was in the midst of a breakout season, hitting .297 with 17 home runs and 22 stolen bases. The power was a surprise, after Mateo only put up three in 2018 and 12 in 2017—a juiced ball and the PCL may factor into that—but his speed and stolen base potential is real so long as he can get on base consistently.
7. Sean Murphy, C, (Oakland Athletics) – ETA Early September
Oakland designated Dustin Garneau this week to reinstate Josh Phegley—paving the way for Sean Murphy to receive a call in September. Oakland’s catcher situation has been poor this season, with their piecemeal efforts representing a barely average unit. Murphy missed most of the season with a torn meniscus, but has been on fire since his return in July, 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. He has missed most of the last two weeks with knee soreness, but should be back in time for the expansion of rosters.
8. Willi Castro, SS, (Detroit Tigers) – ETA Early September
Al Avila, Detroit’s General Manager, confirmed this past week that Willi Castro would debut this season. Castro is only 22-years-old and having a strong season, hitting .295 with seven home runs and 17 stolen bases. Castro is expected to be Detroit’s shortstop for the next several years and would be worth stashing in deeper leagues, as he is a guaranteed call-up, although likely initially hitting toward the bottom of the lineup in one of the worst teams in baseball.
9. Nate Lowe, 1B, (Tampa Bay Rays) – ETA Early September
Since returning to Triple-A on August 2nd, Nate Lowe has picked up where he left off in Triple-A, hitting .295 with two home runs. Lowe will assuredly return when rosters expand in September. Between Ji-Man Choi and the recently acquired Jesus Aguilar, Lowe may have difficulty finding consistent playing time, but between first base and designated hitter he should be able to find some playing time as a rotation player.
10. Drew Waters, OF, (Atlanta Braves) – ETA Early September
Ender Inciarte went down on Friday with a right hamstring injury that is initially expected to sideline him for a good amount of time. Atlanta recalled Adam Duvall in a corresponding move. Duvall spent several seasons in Cincinnati, but has spent most of this season in Triple-A, where he hit 29 home runs and carried a .259 batting average. Duvall is likely to remain in the lineup in the short-term, but the hot-hitting Drew Waters could sneak in when rosters expand. Waters is hitting .321 with six home runs and 14 stolen bases between Double-A and Triple-A.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter).