June 9, 2016
The Stash List
10th Edition, 2016
For a refresher on the four types of players that are eligible for inclusion on this list, please see the first edition of the year to find out why players like A.J. Pollock, Michael Brantley, Yasiel Puig, Raisel Iglesias, and Shin-Soo Choo are not listed below.
Last week’s Stash List can be found here.
The Graduates: (3) Jameson Taillon, (10) Jhonny Peralta, (24) Colin Rea
Jameson Taillon was summoned to PNC Park on Wednesday night to make his major-league debut in what will likely serve as a spot start against the Mets. Yoenis Cespedes and company got a taste of Taillon’s nasty curveball, as the secret Canadian made 91 pitches over six innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits, walking one, and striking out three. If Taillon is indeed sent back to Triple-A after his debut, he should be back very soon to take the place of one of the trio of struggling Pirate starters.
J.P. Breen had more on the fantasy implications of Taillon’s promotion within his Call-Up feature on Tuesday, and I continue to believe that either he or teammate Tyler Glasnow will make the biggest fantasy impact of any starting pitching prospect to make their major league debut in 2016.
Jhonny Peralta returned to the St. Louis lineup on Tuesday night, smacking two doubles in four trips to the plate while hitting fifth in the Cardinals order and getting the start at third base. With Kolten Wong’s demotion to Triple-A Memphis clearing a spot on the roster for Peralta, it appears that the veteran will see a heavy dose of action at third base along with spotting Aledmys Diaz at shortstop, with Matt Carpenter taking over as the regular second baseman. In Bret Sayre and Mike Gianella’s updated top 300 rankings, Peralta checked in at no. 204 overall.
Colin Rea has now made two starts since rejoining the Padre rotation on June 2nd when Cesar Vargas was placed on the 15-day disabled list with elbow soreness. With James Shields unceremoniously being shipped out of town to Chicago, Rea should have a stranglehold on a rotation spot for the remainder of the season, but the team will assuredly continue to monitor the 25-year-old’s innings total, as he threw 133 1/3 innings between the upper levels of the minors and the majors in 2015. After Rea’s start against the Braves (7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) on Tuesday night, he’s currently at 63 2/3 innings this season.
The Dropouts: (Next 10) Cody Anderson
Anderson once again failed to capitalize on the opportunity given to him in making a start against the Mariners on Tuesday, failing to get out of the fourth inning and allowing six earned runs. Anderson was optioned to Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday, and it’s likely that his continued struggles at the major league level (7.48 ERA, 5.46 DRA, 107 cFIP in nine games) will lead to him being passed over in favor of Mike Clevinger the next time the Indians need to call upon a starter.
After “The Next 10” each week, I’ll highlight five (or more) names that may not work themselves into standard mixed league relevance this season, but could be worthy of a stash in mono or deeper mixed formats, with the goal of touching on more players each week. These aren’t necessarily the top five players not on The Stash List, just simply players worthy of a closer look in deeper formats.
Now, onto the Tenth Edition of The Stash:
1) Trea Turner, SS, Washington Nationals (Last week: 1)
With Ryan Zimmerman placed on paternity leave, Turner was (finally) summoned to the majors on June 2nd, yet here he is at the top of The Stash once again this week. Dusty Baker utilized him for all of four plate appearances over his brief stay, giving Turner one start at second base against the Reds and putting him in another game as a pinch-runner. Turner went 3-for-4 at the plate in his one start, including a double and a walk while hitting second in the Washington order. Turner’s three-hit game equaled the amount of times out machine Danny Espinosa has achieved the “feat” all season, and Espinosa’s lone such effort came in a 13-inning game against the Cubs on May 8th.
One would think that a team with designs on winning a division wouldn’t keep giving everyday assignments to a player that has all of five more extra-base hits on the year than Atlanta journeyman Chase D’Arnaud (who’s been in the majors for roughly three weeks), and that Turner could return to the majors in a few weeks, but all bets are off when Dusty Baker becomes enamored with a slick-fielding middle infielder sporting a sub-.300 OBP. Fortunately for Nats fans, at least Espinosa has a bit more pop than Neifi Perez.
2) Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Last week: 2)
In between coaching first base at Triple-A Indianapolis, Glasnow allowed two earned runs or less for his fifth straight start against Columbus on Monday. Glasnow struck out five in the outing, bringing his total to 77 in 66 1/3 innings on the year, and allowed one earned run while walking two, upping his walk total to 31 on the year, a 4.21 BB/9 rate. Glasnow has limited opponents to a .205 batting average against, and looks primed (along with Jameson Taillon and possibly Triple-A rotation-mate Chad Kuhl) to take the place of Jon Niese (5.45 DRA, 118 cFIP), Juan Nicasio (3.86 DRA, 99 cFIP), or Jeff Locke (5.54 DRA, 126 cFIP) within the next couple of weeks in the Pirates rotation.
3) Blake Snell, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Last week: 4)
This tweet from Snell himself sums up the feelings from fantasy owners everywhere regarding his potential promotion perfectly:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">What I gotta do... </p>— Blake Snell (@snellzilla11) <a href="https://twitter.com/snellzilla11/status/739478525493776384">June 5, 2016</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
The tweet came prior to his most recent start on Sunday against Triple-A Gwinnett, where he fired six scoreless innings, striking out nine and walking three.
4) Anthony DeSclafani, RHP Cincinnati Reds (Last week: 5)
DeSclafani ramped up to six innings and 72 pitches in his final scheduled rehab start on Saturday against Triple-A Rochester. His bullpen session on Tuesday went as planned, paving the way for his long-awaited return to the Reds rotation on Friday in a home start against Oakland. “Disco” has been sidelined with his balky oblique since spring training, and esteemed fantasy team member Mike Gianella pegged him as a starter capable of making a two-star impact in his preseason rankings.
I like DeSclafani’s chances of being a top-50 starting pitcher over the rest of the season, but his first couple of starts back aren’t likely to be lengthy, as he only threw a total of 22 innings in his five rehab starts.
5) Joey Gallo, 1B/3B/OF, Texas Rangers (Last week: 6)
Gallo has walked at a 20 percent clip, and struck out in 25 percent of his 145 plate appearances at Triple-A Round Rock this season, after walking in 12 percent and punching out at a 40 percent rate at the level last season. It certainly comes as no surprise that Gallo has continued to mash the ball this season in Pacific Coast League action, smacking ten home runs in just 34 games. Gallo’s .339 isolated power mark is good for third in the league (min. 100 PA), and he’s the youngest player to appear in the top 15.
Over Gallo’s last 10 starts (May 22nd-June 7th) at Round Rock, he has played first base five times, third base in three contests, and appeared as the team’s designated hitter in the other two games while watching Jurickson Profar make starts at both first base and designated hitter in Arlington within the last week from afar.
6) Alex Bregman, SS/3B, Houston Astros (Last week: 7)
Bregman has cooled down a bit over his last ten games at Double-A Corpus Christi, going 5-for-37 (.135 AVG), but he’s still walked (eight) more than he’s struck out (seven) over the period. He’s also only started at third base in one of his last ten games, putting into question just how likely a call-up to displace of one of the struggling Houston third basemen is on the horizon.
There are plenty of candidates to lose playing time to Bregman should the Astros make the move, as Marwin Gonzalez (.646 OPS) and Tyler White (.670 OPS in May, .267 June OPS in 15 PA) are making Luis Valbuena’s .731 OPS on the year look like robust production in comparison, and Colin Moran is already back at Triple-A Fresno after failing to produce much more than a couple of singles in his 20 major-league plate appearances last month.
7) Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins (Last week: 14)
Berrios struck out a season-high 11 batters in eight innings of work on Monday against Triple-A Buffalo. The start came on the heels of his worst start on the year (5 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) on May 31st against Indianapolis.
8) Luis Severino, RHP, New York Yankees (Last week: 9)
After working 6 2/3 innings in total over his first two starts of the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Severino completed six innings against Charlotte on Wednesday, allowing only three hits while striking out seven and walking one.
9) Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Los Angeles Angels (Last week: 11)
Skaggs was scheduled to throw five innings at the team’s extended spring training complex in Arizona on Wednesday before rejoining Triple-A Salt Lake, where the 24-year-old last made a start on April 20th prior to being shut down with biceps tendinitis.
10) Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York Mets (Last week: 12)
Wheeler threw a 30-pitch bullpen session at Marlins Park on Saturday, but his timeline for a return, which was targeted for early-July, has been pushed back a couple of weeks until after the All-Star break.
11) Alex Reyes, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (Last week: 13)
Reyes experienced his first taste of getting knocked around in the Pacific Coast League on Tuesday at Iowa, giving up six hits and being charged with four earned runs. Reyes made 62 pitches and failed to get out of the second inning while allowing seven of the 12 batters he faced to reach base.
12) Cody Reed, LHP, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: 18)
13) A.J. Reed, 1B, Houston Astros (Last week: 15)
Reed’s month of June (.568 OPS in seven games) has been a continuation of his May struggles (.724 OPS, lowest of his professional career) to this point, and his line against lefties (.119/.275/.286 in 42 AB) continues to head in the wrong direction.
As the Astros corner-infield options continue to struggle at the major-league level, Reed has hit just two home runs in his last 27 games, which have come sandwiched around his mid-May disabled-list stint. His lack of production could lead to Jon Singleton getting another opportunity prior to Reed making his debut, although Singleton hasn’t done much (.215/.336/.470) other than hit 14 home runs in his 52 games played at Triple-A Fresno either. At least Singleton’s .215 AVG can be somewhat attributed to his .203 BABIP.
14) Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals (Last week: 16)
Giolito looks to have righted the ship at Double-A Harrisburg, striking out 20 and allowing just 14 hits over his last three starts (19 IP), lowering his seasonal ERA to 2.98. However, Giolito did walk four batters in his start on May 30th against Northwest Arkansas—his fourth outing with four or more walks in his 11 starts on the year.
15) Brandon McCarthy, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: Next 10)
McCarthy pitched three simulated innings at Dodger Stadium on Monday, and is slated to pitch three innings at High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday, his first rehab start of the year as he works his way back from last year’s TJS, targeting a return to the Dodger rotation prior to the All-Star break.
16) Mike Minor, LHP, Kansas City Royals (Last week: 17)
Minor was unable to make his scheduled start on Saturday with Triple-A Omaha due to “rotator-cuff fatigue.” Minor’s 30-day rehab window was set to end today, but his rehab clock will be restarted with a fresh 30-day period once he returns to game action.
17) Joe Musgrove, RHP, Houston Astros (Last week: 19)
After allowing five earned runs over his first nine appearances of the year between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno, Musgrove has been touched up for 18 hits and 10 earned runs over his last two starts, which have spanned 11 innings. Welcome to the Pacific Coast League.
18) Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves (Last week: 20)
19) Ozhaino Albies, SS, Atlanta Braves (Last week: 21)
20) Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox (Last week: 22)
After drawing eight free passes in 29 May games, Anderson has yet to walk in eight games in June, lowering his miniscule walk rate to just above three percent on the season, which is the lowest rate of any qualified hitter in the International League.
Besides not walking, Anderson is hitting for a .297 AVG with one home run and one steal this month.
21) Nick Williams, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (Last week: 23)
Nick Williams 2016 Walk Watch: One walk (in six games) since last week’s list, upping his total to 11 on the season in 215 plate appearances, and leaving his walk rate at just over five percent on the year (against 55 strikeouts).
Williams is hitting for a .300 AVG over his last 10 games, and his OBP currently sits at .327 on the year as the 22-year-old adjusts to Triple-A pitching.
22) Henderson Alvarez, RHP, Oakland Athletics (Last week: NR)
Alvarez completed a 35-pitch bullpen session on June 4th, and then pitched a two-inning simulated game on Tuesday. In mid-April, Alvarez was set to make a final rehab start before joining the Oakland rotation, but he felt discomfort in his right shoulder, which was surgically repaired last July. He’s reportedly now throwing with no pain, and will begin a rehab stint with a two-inning outing at High-A Stockton on Monday.
23) Hyun-jin Ryu, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: 8)
In this video, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts indicated that while soreness in Ryu’s throwing shoulder won’t “put him back at square one,” there isn’t a timetable for his return to a mound. Ryu has yet to make another rehab start since he reported soreness to his left shoulder after his third rehab start on May 25th. Roberts also mentioned that
Ryu would need at least four rehab starts after he returns, making his return to the majors hard to see until after the All-Star break.
24) Erik Johnson, RHP, San Diego Padres (Last week: NR)
Johnson came to the Pads from the White Sox in their purge of James Shields, and I like his chances to hold down a spot in the Padres rotation over the rest of the season. Johnson struggled (6.94 ERA) in two starts with the Sox this season, but he put up a decent ERA (3.34) down the stretch in 2015, and he owns an ERA under 3.00 in each of the last two seasons at Triple-A Charlotte of the IL.
Johnson’s first scheduled start as a Padre on Friday is a stay-away, as it comes at Coors Field, but he could emerge as an effective matchup option with San Diego if he can keep the ball in the ballpark, as he did in allowing just five home runs in 132 2/3 innings with Charlotte last season.
25) Zach Eflin, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies (Last week: NR)
With Vincent Velasquez leaving Wednesday afternoon’s start against the Cubs after only two pitches, the Phillies could reach down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and call upon Eflin--the 33rd overall pick in the 2012 draft--to replace him in the rotation.
Eflin was touched upon as an NL-only option in this space a few weeks ago, and he had his start on Wednesday skipped as a result of Velasquez’s possible need for a stint on the disabled list.
The Next 10 (in alphabetical order):
Homer Bailey, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: NR)
Mike Clevinger, RHP, Cleveland Indians
Jose De Leon, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Ryon Healy, 1B/3B, Oakland Athletics (Last week: NR)
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
Tom Murphy, C, Colorado Rockies
Jose Peraza, UT, Cincinnati Reds
Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres
Richie Shaffer, 1B/3B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Robert Stephenson, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Stash List Spotlight On: AL-Only Pitchers
This week, we’ll take a look at five pitchers who could make an impact in AL-only and deeper (20 teams or more) mixed leagues this season:
Miguel Almonte, RHP, Kansas City Royals
If Kris Medlen and Mike Minor are unable to return from the disabled list and join the Kansas City rotation over the next month, the door could be cracked for Almonte, the team’s No. 6 prospect to get a chance. Almonte appeared in nine games (all out of the bullpen) in 2015 for the Royals, and he owns a 9.61 K/9 rate in eight starts at Triple-A Omaha this season. Almonte also owns an unsightly 1.56 WHIP this year thanks in part to a 14 percent walk rate that will likely need to be trimmed in order to receive an opportunity in the majors.
With Kansas City’s pitching depth in the upper minors not as plentiful as seasons past thanks in part to last season’s Johnny Cueto trade, the 23-year-old should be on the short list (along with Dillon Gee and Christian Binford) if the team needs to dip into the minors to fill a rotation spot over the rest of the season should Medlen and/or Minor not be physically fit to fill a starting role.
Dietrich Enns, LHP, New York Yankees
Chad Green, RHP, New York Yankees
If the Yankees find themselves in need of a starter and wish to give Luis Severino more seasoning at Triple-A, they could choose to summon Enns or Green, both of whom are 25 years old and pitching in the same rotation with Severino in Scranton.
Green, who came over from the Tigers this winter, make his major league debut last month in a spot start against Arizona. He was tagged for the loss, working four innings and allowing four earned runs, striking out five. Green was effective (3.93 ERA, 3.22 FIP) in 27 starts at the Double-A level with Detroit in 2015, striking out 137 in 148 2/3 innings, and he’s been one of the best pitchers in the International League this season, where his 1.61 ERA places him second among qualified starters, and his 2.43 FIP is second to only Jameson Taillon.
Enns is largely under-appreciated by prospect observers, as all the former 2012 19th rounder has done since being drafted is produce. Enns owns a 1.88 ERA this season across 11 starts at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, which is right in line with his 1.92 career minor league ERA in 87 games (32 starts). Prospect team member Jarrett Seidler had more on Enns’ back story last month, and while his FIP of 3.21 at Double-A and 4.08 in two starts at Scranton indicate that his ERA won’t stay under 2.00 for much longer, his strikeout rate is north of 20 percent once again this season, as it’s been in every year of full-season ball in his career. Ronald Herrera, Enns’ current teammate at Double-A Trenton could also get a look in the Bronx if things get nuts over the season’s second-half.
Daniel Gossett, RHP, Oakland Athletics
Daniel Mengden, RHP, Oakland Athletics
The Oakland rotation could experience quite a bit of turnover in the coming months, as trade candidates Sonny Gray and Rich Hill could very well find new homes prior to the July 31st deadline, and soon-to-be-rehabbing Henderson Alvarez could join the Oakland rotation around the All-Star break.
One of the openings could be filled by the excellently mustachioed Mengden, who came to the A’s from the Astros in last year’s Scott Kazmir trade. Mengden was impressive in four starts (0.78 ERA, 2.19 FIP) at Double-A Midland to start the year, and the 23-year old was promptly promoted to Triple-A Nashville, where he’s continued his excellent work over seven starts (1.39 ERA, 3.72 FIP). Mengden’s strand rate (over 90 percent on the year) will assuredly come down as he visits more PCL venues, but his ability to post quality strikeout rates (30 percent at Double-A, 22 percent at Triple-A) and limit the long balls (three allowed in 68 1/3 IP this season) should give him a chance to be successful should he receive the call over the second-half of the season in Oakland.
Gossett, the team’s 65th-overall pick in the 2014 draft out of Clemson, is a name to watch in deeper dynasty leagues this season, as he was just promoted to Double-A at the beginning of the month. Gossett fanned 28 percent in the California League, while holding opposing hitters to a .225 average against in nine starts prior to his promotion. If his good work continues (he owns a 24 percent strikeout rate in his first two starts) at Double-A Midland, the 23-year-old Gossett could emerge as a 2017 rotation option that Oakland would like to take a look at down the stretch this season.
J.J. Jansons is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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