Welcome to the 18th edition of The Stash List for pitchers!
- The Stash List is for your redraft leagues and does not consider impact beyond 2023
- Only current minor league players who are expected to make an impact this season are included
- Players who have already made their MLB debuts cannot have thrown more than 50 IP in MLB
- Upside, proximity, health, and opportunity are all weighed for each player
- The focus is on 12-team leagues with standard categories
- Rankings and rostership percentages will be updated weekly
This section of the column highlights the pitchers that were on the previous week’s list but have since made their MLB debuts and are no longer considered stashes because they’re still on their team’s active roster. Yet again, we don’t have any to discuss. Second half promotions should start to ramp up around the trade deadline.
Top 10 Pitcher Prospects to Stash
1. Connor Phillips, CIN – ETA August (2)
Connor Phillips has shown us in his last few starts that he has three lethal pitches that are ready to face MLB hitters. His fastball sits 96-97 and he throws it in the zone with fantastic consistency. His two secondaries are the slider and curveball, and they both excel at getting whiffs and chases. In his most recent outing, he struggled to command his breaking pitches and this suppressed his whiff rates and effectiveness significantly. He was still able to maintain an above-average Zone% and his fastball carried him through the start.
The Reds’ rotation is dragging behind the offense, and even if they acquire a starter at the deadline, they could still use Phillips’ help down the stretch if he can prove to be reliable.
2. Robert Gasser, MLW – ETA August (1)
Robert Gasser has taken a small step backwards in his K-BB% over his last two starts after he put together an impressive stretch of seven outings with no more than 2 walks and at least 5 strikeouts. The main culprit here has been an increase in the number of walks he’s allowed, as the strikeout numbers and whiff rates have still been solid.
I’m suspecting there just needs to be a slight mechanical tweak to his delivery. If you look at his pitch locations, he’s missing off the plate on the glove side with a pretty shocking frequency. It’s like he’s just yanking everything across his body.
Gasser doesn’t have great velocity on any of his pitches, but he’s always carried good strikeout rates in the minors because he has a deep arsenal and varies his pitches well. The biggest issue for him has been his struggles with command. After being promoted to Triple-A last season, his walk rates jumped to about 13% after being below 10% for his minor league career. But now he’s consistently seeing walk rates below 10% again for the first time in a while.
3. Ben Brown, CHC – ETA August (6)
Ben Brown finds himself back in the top 3 on this list mostly because of the poor play of the pitchers in the few spots behind him. His command is still a major issue, and of course the stuff is still a major strength. It seems like he really needs to develop a third pitch because recently he’s relied on his fastball and slider entirely.
My suspicion is that when one of those two aren’t locked in on any given day, he doesn’t have something else to lean on while he figures it out and adjusts. If you have two pitches and can’t throw one of them for strikes consistently, then hitters will sit on your other pitch and crush it.
With that being said, Brown’s fastball and slider are both very good in shape and velocity and his whiff numbers have been consistently great all season. He just desperately needs to develop a plan of attack beyond those two pitches.
4. Mike Vasil, NYM – ETA August (4)
Mike Vasil has continued to struggle to adjust to AAA, even though we saw a small sliver of hope in his recent starts. His most recent start offered very little of that hope. The impeccable command that he featured in AA is pretty firmly in the past and none of his pitches are sticking out as above average whiff-generators. The fastball is his primary pitch but it doesn’t have good velocity or great shape, and his cutter and changeup are designed for command and soft contact more than they are for missing bats.
If Vasil finds a way to turn it around soon, he could be a big benefactor of the trade deadline. We know how much the Mets’ rotation could use some more depth and youth, and if they’re sellers then this problem will only be exacerbated. If that’s the case, Vasil could get 3-4 starts in the majors to end the season.
5. Will Warren, NYY – ETA August (3)
Will Warren was absolutely lit up in his start Friday night. He only got 3 whiffs in 81 pitches, allowed a 96% zone contact rate, and posted a 19% CSW. In fact, every single one of his four primary pitches drew a 100% zone contact rate. Warren has a deep arsenal with movement profiles that work off each other really well but because he lacks great velocity, he has a much narrower margin for error. This can cause nights like this to come more frequently than we’d like.
Right now, it’s hard to see where he fits into the Yankees rotation barring unforeseen circumstances, especially since Nestor Cortes should return from the IL in the coming weeks after recently starting a rehab assignment. So at best, Warren is SP7 right now, but Jhony Brito is on the 40-man roster and has been their up-and-down guy so far.
6. Gordon Graceffo, STL – ETA August (5)
Gordon Graceffo is still struggling to strike batters out consistently, even though he’s been posting some pretty solid line scores. The promising underlying swing-and-miss data that we saw in his previous start disappeared last night against the Iowa Cubs. Graceffo only drew 5 whiffs on 89 pitches.
He’s primarily a four-seamer/slider pitcher with slightly above-average velocity and he mixes a curve, changeup, and sinker in as well. He’s spread his whiffs pretty evenly across pitches so far, and his best chase pitch is his slider.
7. Clayton Beeter, NYY – ETA September (8)
Clayton Beeter has settled into a groove in his two most recent AAA starts after his first two starts at the level went quite poorly. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last 8.1 IP and in that span he’s generated a whopping 30 whiffs in 160 pitches. That’s good for a sterling 18.8% swinging strike rate. He’s primed to rocket up this list if he continues this trend in his Saturday start, and he could even pass his org-mate Will Warren in the pecking order.
The slider is his best pitch and does most of the heavy lifting in getting whiffs. The fastball sits at about 92 mph and while he’s been able to keep it out of the heart of the zone, it’s unclear how it will play against MLB hitters without elite velocity or shape. The good thing is he’s already using that slider a ton – almost as much as the fastball. If he continues to throw his best pitch that often and commands the fastball well, he can be successful at the next level. Especially if he can develop and rely on a third pitch.
8. Mason Black, SFG – ETA September (7)
Mason Black has taken a few steps back in his two most recent starts after his great AAA debut earlier this month. The Statcast data doesn’t suggest that there’s another level of swing-and-miss stuff here, and he’s still using his sinker/slider combo about 85% of the time. His arsenal’s lack of depth hinders his upside, but the walk rate probably shouldn’t be as high as it is right now. He throws the ball in the zone at an above-average rate and he gets an average amount of chases as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if he carries a sub-10% walk rate moving forward.
9. Patrick Monteverde, MIA – ETA September (NR)
Patrick Monteverde made his AAA debut Friday night after dominating AA for the majority of the season. His Statcast data was pretty average across the board. He didn’t excel at getting whiffs or chases or throwing a ton of pitches in the zone. And the biggest red flag is that his fastball only averaged 89 mph and topped out at 91.4. He threw that pitch more than 50% of the time and likely can’t continue to do so as he faces better and better hitters.
Monteverde is a lefty with some deception in his delivery and despite the low velo he was able to post pristine K-BB percentages in AA. The stat line was still solid in his debut, too. It’s just become a bit clearer that his ceiling is limited.
10. Nick Frasso, LAD – ETA September (9)
Frasso has a fastball that’s tailor-made for the major leagues. He gets great extension and the pitch sits in the upper 90s with effective armside run, according to mlb.com. We’ll know more about the full arsenal when we get the Statcast data in Triple-A, but I’ll bet on a good fastball any day.
This section of the Stash List is aimed towards those of you who play in deep leagues (15+ teams or 375+ players rostered) where some of the guys on the list above might already be taken because of their higher pedigree. These players’ debuts will likely be a bit further out than the players listed above, but the purpose is to be ready to pounce on them as soon as it becomes clear that an opportunity might open up.
The players are listed in alphabetical order, and I don’t have the time to do write-ups for these guys, so I’d highly suggest checking out their FanGraphs pages and/or watching one of their starts. Also, shout out to @SpokaneWaUpdate on Twitter for inspiring this section of the article!
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)