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June 4, 2013
The Stash List
The Mystery of Super Two Status
For all of the talk about Super Two status, as it relates to calling up prospects, there is still a ton of uncertainty about what this means in a tangible manner. Putting it simply, when a player finishes a season between two and three years of service time, he can qualify for an extra year of arbitration if he is within the top 22 percent of players in that range. This means that whether a player called up this season will qualify for Super Two status will not be known until after the 2015 season. Essentially, teams are just guessing (in an educated manner) what that deadline will be three years down the road.
Since this is going to be the second year of the new CBA, which moved the cut off from 17 percent to 22 percent, we only have one year of data to go off of in order to get an idea of the timing mechanism. On June 8, 2010, Stephen Strasburg and Giancarlo Stanton both made their major-league debuts and have accumulated service time every day since. Both superstars missed the Super Two cut-off by about a week of service time (they each had 2.118 years and the cutoff was 2.139 years). Which means that if the 2015 cutoff is the same as the one from 2012, guys like Wil Myers and Zack Wheeler could come up tomorrow without their teams having to worry about that pesky extra year of arbitration eligibility.
Of course, with that said, there’s no guarantee that the date will stay constant from year to year. Which is why teams tend to be a little extra cautious when trying to avoid one of their potential future stars gaining Super Two status. However, with the end of next week being a somewhat safe guess to be past the deadline, we’re getting very close to seeing the graduation of many names on this list. So if you’ve been holding off on burning a roster spot on some of the top guys available, now might be a good time to grab one of them. In fact, just this past weekend, I finally used one of my three bench spots in a 12-team mixed expert league on the number-one player on this list.
Without any further ado, here is The Stash List, version 7.0:
1) Wil Myers, OF, Tampa Bay Rays (Last week: 2)
He had started to awaken from a performance standpoint the last time we met here, but it’s developed into a full-blown Wil-pocalypse. In his last 10 games, Myers is hitting .432/.458/.955 with five homers, 19 RBI, and even a stolen base for good measure. He’s ready. We know it, and the Rays know it.
I’ve moved Beachy and Myers back and forth so often I’ve lost count. Frankly, I’m surprised that he hasn’t been picked up in more leagues since last week. Monday night was his third rehab start, and while it wasn’t as good from a performance standpoint as his previous two, it’s just important that he’s building up his stamina. He’s still on track to join the Braves around June 20.
3) Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York Mets (Last week: 3)
The hot rumor with Wheeler is that he’ll make one more start in Las Vegas, before making his major league debut against the Cubs during the Mets’ next home stand. That would mean he’s close to the end of his run here on the Stash List. Wheeler is the kind of arm who can come up and succeed right away, and although Matt Harvey has likely ruined all future pitching prospects for the Mets (and maybe all of baseball), Wheeler doesn’t have to dominate to be useful.
The big news of the week has focused on Rendon, who was promoted to Triple-A in order to get him more time at second base. But before everyone starts penciling him into the lineup in Washington, he’s going to have to prove that he can handle the position, at least in the short term. And two errors in his first three games aren’t going to get him there any faster. This isn’t a Mark Trumbo at third base situation, but there are very specific actions that a second baseman needs to make, which are just not required elsewhere on the diamond. I still do think we’ll see Rendon play second base in Washington this year; it just may not be until late June.
It’s still not performance that lands Hamilton this high, it’s opportunity. He hasn’t shown that he’s ready to make the jump to Cincinnati, but fortunately for him, if he can just put together a hot few weeks, none of it will matter.
It took two months, but Hart’s ownership has finally crossed below the 25 percent threshold to qualify for this list. The optimistic group who predicted Hart to be back in early May has been long gone, but if he doesn’t start a rehab assignment in the next week or so, we could be looking at a July return. But even in that scenario, Hart still has the talent to hit 15 bombs and put up an average that won’t kill you—just don’t look for any steals coming off his knee injury (though you shouldn’t have been looking for many in the first place).
7) Oscar Taveras, OF, St Louis Cardinals (Last week: 8)
8) Tony Cingrani, LHP, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: 7)
The better Mike Leake pitches, the lower Cingrani’s chances of cracking the Reds’ rotation again in 2013 are, and Leake has a 0.33 ERA and 22-to-4 strikeout to walk ratio over his last four starts. So while an injury would do it as well, Cingrani no longer has much of a realistic chance to make it back to the majors solely on his own accord.
The steady climb of the Eraser continues, as he made the jump from Double-A to Triple-A this week. In his first start for Tacoma on Sunday, he allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings, but had held his opponent scoreless heading into the sixth frame. As he continues to build up arm strength, he will put himself closer and closer to Seattle—and Jeremy Bonderman getting smacked around by the Twins on the same day Erasmo pitched only helps his chances of getting their quickly.
Skaggs comes in under the wire, as he’s being recalled to start on Tuesday against the Cardinals. And if there were more daylight for a rotation spot, he’d be comfortably in the top 10. Unfortunately, even if Brandon McCarthy misses a large chunk of time with his shoulder injury, Skaggs will have to fend off Honorable Mention member Daniel Hudson.
Cole is coming off his best start of the season, going seven scoreless innings in Colorado Springs. He’s not any closer or further from the majors than he was last week from a performance standpoint, but with Charlie Morton about to be a full-blown member of the Pirates’ rotation and the Super Two deadline approaching, his time may be drawing near.
As Jason Parks and Mike (Mark? Mork?) Ferrin discussed on the latest Fringe Average podcast, Arcia was not demoted purely for performance or developmental reasons. The Twins are in evaluation mode and, frankly, they already know that Arcia is a part of their future. When they figure out that Chris Parmelee is not, or if they make a trade, Arcia should be back—and when he is, I expect him to hit.
14) Kyle Gibson, RHP, Minnesota Twins (Last week: 12)
15) Mike Zunino, C, Seattle Mariners (Last week: 17)
He’s going to have to perform better at Triple-A, but with Jesus Montero not only out for the next two months or so and permanently moving off the position they once shared, the opportunity for him to take the job is wide open. And the bar is low—for all the talk of how bad Seattle shortstops have been this year, their catchers have only hit for a combined 608 OPS.
Seven games into his rehab assignment with Triple-A Tucson and Maybin is hitting .304/.429/.609 with two homers in 23 at bats. It’s certainly a very small sample, and it’s also the Pacific Coast League, but the fact that Maybin has shown some pop while working back into game shape is a good sign. He should return to the Padres’ lineup later this week.
Maxwell will serve as the Astros starting center fielder upon his return (likely next week), at least until the next guy on this list forces his way into the picture…
18) George Springer, OF, Houston Astros (Last week: 19)
Two homers, two steals, seven runs batted in and at least a hit in every game. Just another week in Double-A for George Springer. I don’t care who he has in front of him; if he keeps hitting like this, he’s going to end up in Houston at some point this year.
The news gets more and more discouraging on Lewis, and this may be his last week on the list for a while. He hasn’t pitched since May 25, his velocity is down, and he’s struggling to get Triple-A hitters out as a result. As Corey Dawkins mentioned a few weeks back, flexor tendon surgery is not as straight forward of a recovery as Tommy John—and even that isn’t always without setbacks (just ask Ryan Madson).
Trust me, the irony is not lost on me that I spent the whole introduction to last week’s list pointing out how crazy it was that the Dodgers were discussing bringing up Yasiel Puig and Pederson. With Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford now both on the DL, it would not be a surprise at all to see the two of them playing next to each other in Los Angeles until the hamstrings of the stars (hamstrings to the stars?) have healed.
The resurgence of the 2011 first round pick has been a great story this year, and a great thing for the A’s organization. With a 2.40 ERA and more than a strikeout an inning at Triple-A Sacramento this season, Gray is showing a huge turnaround from 2012, when he dropped off many prospect lists (including my own). Even with Brett Anderson already on the shelf, being the next guy in line for the Athletics’ rotation is a prime spot for potential fantasy value—and Gray could be a big wild card down the stretch.
23) Adam Eaton, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (Last week: 23)
Two rehab starts down and it’s been all positive news so far for Duffy. He’s likely to get three to four more, which puts him on track to be back in Kansas City during the second half of June—though, as I’ve mentioned, I’m not crazy about his chances to be impactful for fantasy in 2013. Outside of strikeouts, that is.
25) Carlos Martinez, RHP, St Louis Cardinals (Last week: 20)
Apparently, Martinez has decided not to give up any runs at Triple-A while stretching himself back out as a starter. It’s probably a really good plan as far as his chances for a call-up in the second half go.