May 13, 2014
The Stash List
No time to waste this week—instead we jump right into the list with the fervor and excitement of a Yasiel Puig bat flip. Yes, we’re going full Puig.
So without any further ado, here is The Stash List 5.0:
The Graduates: None
1) Gregory Polanco, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (Previous Rank: 1)
At this point, Polanco’s Triple-A season is turning into Everybody Loves Raymond. It’s the same joke again and again and again, but instead of it being funny, it’s just sad and you wish it were over. This past week, Jaff Decker was promoted over Polanco. Yes, it was just to have a warm body for a few days, but that is a thing that happened.
2) Jurickson Profar, 2B, Texas Rangers (Previous Rank: 2)
Get back on the bandwagon now. It’s going to be full again before you know it.
3) Oscar Taveras, OF, St Louis Cardinals (Previous Rank: 3)
At this point, it doesn’t seem like there’s much that Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos can do to prevent Taveras from taking this job in another month or so. This is for the best.
4) Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Houston Astros (Previous Rank: 6)
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Oh what’s that? Just 11 homers and an on-base percentage over .400. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
5) Andrew Heaney, LHP, Miami Marlins (Previous Rank: 8)
I don’t want to talk about Jose Fernandez. None of us do. But unfortunately we must look past it for now, and that is squarely at Heaney—the next shoe to drop in the Marlins shuffling rotation. In the meantime, he has a 2.31 ERA with nearly a strikeout per inning and a WHIP of 1.05. It’s going to be very hard for the Marlins to continue their impressive run to start the year without their ace, but Heaney certainly would help.
6) Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs (Previous Rank: 4)
Things are going to turn around for Baez, but one has to wonder at this point whether it’s going to at least cost him the first call up of the season. It seems like every day Baez is showing up in the Minor League Update with an 0-4 with three strikeouts line—and while he’s far too talented for that to continue, he drops a few spots here.
7) Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets (Previous Rank: 5)
With Montero getting the call ahead of Syndergaard (not surprisingly), the big righty will have to wait about another four-to-six weeks before getting to show his wears on the biggest stage. But again, he’s great and you shouldn’t be concerned with Vegas numbers.
8) Kole Calhoun, OF, Los Angeles Angels (Previous Rank: 9)
Running the bases. Getting closer.
9) Kevin Gausman, RHP, Baltimore Orioles (Previous Rank: 13)
Bouncing back from his bout with pneumonia, Gausman threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings in his first start in over two weeks. With his innings being held down thus far, both by design and by accident, Gausman will be unleashed upon the American League at some point in June and may not have to stop until the season is over.
10) Marcus Stroman, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays (Previous Rank: 7)
His initial major-league career has seen ups and downs. After looking pretty good in his first three appearances, he got roughed up by the Angels—specifically Hank Conger, who took him deep for a three-run shot—last time out. Despite this, he’ll still make his way into the rotation before long.
11) Trevor Bauer, RHP, Cleveland Indians (Previous Rank: 11)
Say what you will about how deserving Bauer is of a shot in the rotation, but Josh Tomlin coming up and pitching very well in his first two starts of the season is just the latest thing to put a damper on Bauer’s 2014 fantasy value.
12) Maikel Franco, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies (Previous Rank: 10)
13) James Paxton, LHP, Seattle Mariners (Previous Rank: 12)
After throwing a bullpen on Sunday, Paxton is one step closer to heading out on a rehab assignment. And while he’s not as good as his very early season numbers have shown, he doesn’t have to be in order to hold plenty of fantasy value the rest of the way.
14) Jaime Garcia, LHP, St Louis Cardinals (Previous Rank: 23)
In the matter of a couple of hours on Monday, the stars aligned for a possible weekend return to St Louis for the left-handed. Garcia threw well in what could be his last Triple-A rehab start (five innings, five base runners, and five strikeouts) while Tyler Lyons got obliterated by the Cubs in what could be his last major league start for a while.
15) Derek Norris, C, Oakland Athletics (Previous Rank: 14)
Coming into Monday’s games, Norris had a .385 average and .467 on-base percentage against left-handed pitching (in 39 at bats). This part you expect—he’s historically been a platoon player and it makes sense. However, he also had a .385 average and .467 on-base percentage against same-side pitching. Just let the man play. He’s already been the second best fantasy catcher this season even without the full playing time. If he gets it, he’s not giving it back.
16) Jesse Crain, RHP, Houston Astros (Previous Rank: 22)
17) Derek Holland, LHP, Texas Rangers (Previous Rank: 16)
18) Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners (Previous Rank: 19)
After being held out of action for a couple of weeks, Walker threw his first bullpen session since being shut down for the second time on Sunday, and felt good throwing fastballs and changeups. He’s anything but out of the woods at this point, but a June return to the Mariners is at least still on the table here.
19) Rafael Montero, RHP, New York Mets (Previous Rank: HM)
Having the role is great (which Montero now has), but he’s going to be on a relatively short leash to stick with Thor lingering right behind him. Montero’s lack of a true out pitch may inhibit his strikeout numbers, especially early on, but the NL East is a nice division to call home—for as long as he’s up.
20) Arismendy Alcantara, 2B, Chicago Cubs (Previous Rank: 21)
The worse things look for Javier Baez, the better they appears for Alcantara, even though he very nearly refuses to take a way (he has four in 137 plate appearances). And the fewer reps that Baez gets in the minors at second base, the less of a chance there is of the Cubs calling him up to do so (it’s not as easy of a transition as third base on a moment’s notice).
21) Alex Meyer, RHP, Minnesota Twins (Previous Rank: 18)
22) Jenrry Mejia, RHP, New York Mets (Previous Rank: NR)
With Rafael Montero staking claim to his rotation spot, Mejia now finds himself back in the bullpen—though it may be for the best. In the rotation, he’s both an injury risk and a tax on the relievers behind him, as he only finished six innings in two of his seven starts. In the pen, he can let loose and be himself, two traits that could land him in the closer’s role in short order. In fact, his first relief appearance of the season came Monday, as he protected a two-run lead in the eighth inning against the Yankees.
23) Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous Rank: 24)
No news is supposed to be good news, right? In this case, there’s just nothing to do but sit back and hope he doesn’t get taken away from us as well.
24) Matt Wisler, RHP, San Diego Padres (Previous Rank: 20)
Wisler has been railroaded in his first taste of Triple-A, giving up 11 earned runs in just 6 1/3 innings—along with four long balls. However, the PCL can do strange things to people, and an adjustment period was to be expected. I still think we’ll see him in the majors around the All-Star Break.
25) Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Minnesota Twins (Previous Rank: 25)
Arcia had a setback this week with his wrist while rehabbing at Triple-A Rochester. There’s no reason to believe It’s going to be a long-term setback, but it looks like he probably won’t be back in Minnesota for another week or so.
Honorable Mention: Nick Franklin, Alexander Guerrero, Josh Willingham, Joc Pederson, Brett Anderson
Bret Sayre is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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