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August 5, 2014

The Stash List

16th Edition

by Bret Sayre


The Graduates: James Paxton (6), Justin Masterson (9)
It only took three-and-a-half months, but Paxton finally reemerged on a major league mound on Saturday, allowing two runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Orioles. Considering the matchup and the rust he was fighting off, it was a pretty positive outing overall. If the current schedule he’s on holds, he’ll pitch exclusively either at home in Safeco or in National League parks for the remainder of August—which is an awfully nice way to ease back into things after a long layoff. Masterson not only graduated, but he switched teams in the process. With the Cardinals, he should have an easier time finding value in mixed leagues than in Cleveland, and is certainly worth owning in 14-team mixed leagues and deeper (while streaming him in shallower leagues than that).

The Departed: Robert Refsnyder (21), Mike Foltynewicz (HM)
Sure, the Yankees not developing a positional prospect that’s made any sort of impact at the major league level since Brett Gardner is partly because their system as a whole has been down, but it’s also because of the same thing that Refsnyder must be feeling right now. Regardless of the hole, the Yankees have the cash to fill it cheaply. In this case, the Yankees brought in Stephen Drew to play second, Chase Headley to play third, and Martin Prado to play the outfield spot not taken by Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner. In other words, like Forrest Gump getting on the school bus, every position that Refsnyder could have been an option at is now taken. Foltynewicz gets the strange distinction of getting called up to the majors, but appearing in the Departed section, rather than as a graduate. That’s because he’ll be used in the bullpen the rest of the season, and with “Mr Untouchable” Chad Qualls holding down the back-end of the Astros’ pen, you can let him go in just about all redraft leagues.

And the ones who are still left waiting:

1) Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs (Previous Rank: 14)
So I guess it would seem the big jump last week was warranted. Baez will join the big club tomorrow as they start a series in Colorado—so essentially, it’s like an in-between stage between Triple-A pitching and major league pitching. The upside is still tremendous long-term, but his contact issues will hinder him until he shows he can make adjustments at the major league level. There’s always the small chance that he smothers the rest of the league with his aggressiveness, but expect the conservative, hope for the unlikely.

2) Dexter Fowler, OF, Houston Astros (Previous Rank: NR)
The not-quite-on-a-rehab-assignment outfielder is likely about a week to 10 days away from returning, and that alone makes him more valuable than most of the other names on this list. With the Astros’ offense having improved a good bit since he has last played (and the return of George Springer imminent), there should be more run-scoring opportunities for Fowler.

3) Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners (Previous Rank: NR)
The Mariners may have a full rotation now that James Paxton has returned, but if you look at the non-sovereign members of that group, it’s not difficult to envision a situation where Walker is needed down the stretch. And while this may not be vintage velocity Walker that we’ve seen of late, he’s still talented enough to warrant holding onto in most leagues with deep benches.

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Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (08/04)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article The Stash List: 15th E... (07/29)
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