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) Tyler Mahle, Cincinnati Reds AAA, ETA: August
Across two levels, Tyler Mahle’s has a 1.97 ERA through 132.1 innings. He is a command and control specialist. He has struck out 129 and walked only 29 batters. A solid 4.45 K/BB Ratio and a .194 BAA leads to an impressive 0.91 WHIP. Mahle might not have the skills of Brent Honeywell but I love control pitchers and he has the stuff to make an immediate impact.
2) Brent Honeywell, Tampa Bay Rays AAA, ETA: August
The Rays are only a half game out of the last AL Wild Card slot but they have plenty of competition for that spot. Six teams are within two games of each other, and currently the Twins hold that second spot. The Rays do not have a need at starting pitching currently as their starters are sporting a nice 3.79 ERA post All-Star Break. Even Blake Snell has pitched decent. Honeywell could still get the call at the end of the month and he could end up displacing Snell in the rotation should he thrive. The Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Month has a 1.10 ERA over his last six starts while striking out 45 in 32.2 IP.
3) Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox AAA, ETA: August
His Charlotte Teammate, Reynaldo Lopez, received the call this week. He went six innings with six strikeouts, three walks and two earned both homeruns off the bat of Mike Moustakas. Giolito could be the next call and could debut for the White Sox this month. He has been solid in his two starts in August with 2.31 ERA through 11.2 IP. He has 13 strikeouts in those two starts while walking four. He has a decent ceiling but the floor is not as high as some guys on this list are.
4) Luke Weaver, St. Louis Cardinals AAA, ETA: August
Luke Weaver is the sixth starter for the Cardinals and since they do not need a sixth starter, he is currently in Memphis. He has been good so far in the majors with a 3.77 ERA over four appearances and two starts. He has 15 strikeouts to 5 walks in 14.1 IP. He was shelled in his last start in AAA giving up 7 earned in 5.2 Innings but the Cardinals have to like what they see from him. He could be up again soon should they need a start or he could be a bullpen addition down the stretch.
5) Steven Brault, Pittsburgh Pirates AAA, ETA: August/September
Brault made two appearances for the Pirates in July. He pitched four innings and allowed two earned to give him a 4.50 ERA. He is a fourth or fifth starter for a club. A guy that can go out and hit six or seven innings every time but will give up his share of earned runs. He has competition from Tyler Glasnow, 1.57 ERA through 11 starts and 68.2 IP with 103 strikeouts to 26 walks, on who might be called up first. Glasnow has the higher ceiling but Brault could be a solid contributor for the Pirates.
6) Stephen Gonsalves, Minnesota Twins AAA, ETA: September
Stephen Gonsalves has a strong AAA debut going seven innings striking out seven while walking none and giving up two earned. He earned the promotion to AAA after dominating AA with a 2.68 ERA through 15 starts and 87.1 IP. He now has 103 strikeouts on the year to 23 walks and could be a September call up for the Twins.
7) Wilmer Font, Los Angeles Dodgers AAA, ETA: September
The Rangers shipped Yu Darvish to the Dodgers and I am a bit surprised they did not get Wilmer Font as a toss in. He has been brilliant this season leading the Pacific League in ERA (3.39) as well as strikeouts (160); Whip (1.09) as well as K/BB (5.16). The Dodgers have a plethora of pitching option but Font could get the call in September to eat some innings and give the starters rest.
8) Yohander Mendez, Texas Rangers AA, ETA: September
Tyson Ross was activated from the DL today and will start vs Houston. He sports a 7.52 ERA through seven starts this year, not exactly what the Rangers envisioned when they spent six million dollars to bring him in. It does not look like they will resign him next year and so the Rangers could call up Mendez this month to see what they have for 2018. They hope to retool and push for the playoffs again in 2018.
9) Jimmie Sherfy, Arizona Diamondbacks AAA, ETA: August
Jimmie made the list earlier in the season and is back again. He has a 2.25 ERA in AAA through 44 games. He has closed 17 games on 19 attempts and could be a bullpen addition for the Diamondbacks as they look to keep a 4.5 lead in the wild card race. Jimmie has a solid fastball and slider combo and will be a solid bullpen addition for larger formats and dynasty leagues. He could be the eventual closer for Arizona.
10) Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals AAA, ETA: September
Unless the Cardinals make an August Trade, I do not really see a Jack Flaherty call up. They have shopped a couple pitchers but they are in the midst of a seven game winning streak and are now one games back of the NL Central leaders, the Cubs. Flaherty has a 2.86 ERA through 12 starts since being called up to AAA. He has 70 strikeouts to 20 walks through 66 innings pitched. He is solid and a good stream option but he is a stash guy just yet.
I think Tyler Glasnow should be back on this list. He has but electric in AAA and over his last 3 starts has 30K : 3BB in 19 IP.
He is no longer a prospect. If he was a prospect, he would have been 5th.
Nic – love the content! One thought… I’m usually with the other commenters asking about minor league players missing from your list. What definition of prospect are you using? Usually if someone’s only gotten a short stint in the show and they’re back full time in AAA after struggling, they won’t be owned in most fantasy leagues. I think most of us follow this column for “best imminent call-up”, whether they’ve been up before or not. So for instance would love to see someone like Glasnow on this list (think the same happened with Berrios and Snell earlier in the season). Just a thought!