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May 28, 2013

The Stash List

Don Mattingly's Post-Realism

by Bret Sayre

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I would be remiss not to talk about this past week’s strangest story, at least as far as potential call-ups from the minor leagues are concerned. On Wednesday, Don Mattingly said that the Dodgers had “internal conversations” about calling up top prospects Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson from Double-A Chattanooga.

The way I see it, there are a few different plausible ways this could have gone down. The first is that Mattingly forgot that these two prospects were outfielders and thought they could shore up the Dodgers’ tenuous (that’s being kind) infield situation. The second is that Mattingly brought their names up as a joke to lighten the mood after another Dodgers loss, and then poked a few holes in his Andre Ethier voodoo doll before muttering something under his breath about grit. The final option is that after watching Juan Uribe, Nick Punto, Luis Cruz, and Dee Gordon play for the last eight weeks, he’s just given up on the idea of a traditional infield and instead wanted to go with a five-man outfield.

Hyperbole aside, regardless of how great Pederson and Puig are playing at the Double-A level, there’s just no room for them in the 2013 incarnation of the Dodgers right now. Yes, Andre Ethier could get traded—but the possibility of that is pretty low, given his contract and the market demand for an aging corner outfielder without a ton of power. Yes, Carl Crawford could get hurt—but for all the flack he gets about his recent health history, Crawford has only been on the DL once in his career for anything that could be considered a soft tissue injury. And those are the most likely repeat offenders.

So while Puig and Pederson are clearly performing very well in the minor leagues, the odds of either one of them racking up significant fantasy value in 2013 is slight. And even if one of the outcomes above actually comes to fruition, there’s no clear indication from Dodgers management as to which minor-league outfielder would get the first shot.

Without any further ado, here is The Stash List, version 6.0:

The Graduates: Kevin Gausman (6), Yasmani Grandal (10), Nick Franklin (17)

1) Brandon Beachy, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Last week: 7)

Now, in the two weeks since Jurickson Profar graduated from this list, there have been two men who have occupied the top spot. And, next week, there will probably be another, as Beachy’s ownership has jumped from 11 percent to 22 percent in the past seven days. Of course, that coincides with him making his first rehab start at Triple-A on Friday and the whispers that it will likely be Julio Teheran vacating his rotation spot when Beachy returns. I think he’ll be worth owning and using in all formats.

2) Wil Myers, OF, Tampa Bay Rays (Last week: 1)

Myers relinquishes the number one spot, but doesn’t fall far. He’s been cutting down his strikeouts recently in Triple-A, but the overall numbers haven’t followed. With that said, it’s not the performance that has him moved down, it’s the fact that the Rays’ need for him has decreased with the play they’ve gotten from their current outfielders, especially Kelly Johnson. They will call him up, and it will likely be in the next month or so, but it’s no longer a slam-dunk.

3) Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York Mets (Last week: 9)

The good news is that Wheeler is back from his minor injury and pitching, having made two starts in the last seven days. In some ways, I believe Wheeler is the new Myers, where it doesn’t really matter what he does in Triple-A (to an extent) over the next three or four weeks. The Mets have a rotation spot with his name on it and the organization believes he’s ready to help now.

4) Billy Hamilton, SS/OF, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: 8)

Well, would you look at who’s hitting .300, getting on base at over a .400 clip and walking more than he’s striking out over his last 10 games? With Ryan Ludwick now out until August and Chris Heisey still dangling in hamstring purgatory, Hamilton can make a statement that he should be in the majors to help the Reds sooner rather than later. This is a good start.

5) Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals (Last week: 13)

The big question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Rendon will be playing second base for Harrisburg once he returns from getting his wisdom teeth taken out. Like I’ve said on the Twitter Machine, once he plays three games in a row at second base in the minors, he’ll jump to number one on this list.

6) Michael Wacha, RHP, St Louis Cardinals (Last week: 24)

The big riser of the week, Wacha looks like he’ll get the call later this week to replace John Gast in the St. Louis rotation. He’s certainly a very interesting name for fantasy purposes, but don’t let the excitement put you in a stranglehold—this isn’t a pitcher in the class of Gausman or Wheeler. What he has going for him is strong opportunity, a high floor, and a great situation to step into.

7) Tony Cingrani, LHP, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: 5)

8) Oscar Taveras, OF, St Louis Cardinals (Last week: 4)

Taveras has been M.I.A. since an ankle injury derailed him two weeks back. He hasn’t played a game since May 12, and he’s still yet to be put on the disabled list (which is even stranger since the minor-league DL is seven games). It really doesn’t matter much, though, as he wasn’t in danger of a May call up anyway.

9) Christian Yelich, OF, Miami Marlins (Last week: 3)

Yelich went from being one of the hottest hitters in the minors to one of the coldest over the past two weeks. In fact, over his last 10 games, Yelich is hitting .114 with no homers, one walk, and 14 strikeouts. But don’t let it get you too down; all it takes is a single hot streak and you never know what the impulsive Marlins will do.

10) Jesus Montero, C, Seattle Mariners (Last week: NR)

I’m still a believer in Montero’s bat, and the Mariners just played Raul Ibanez at DH on Monday against a left-handed starter. I didn’t even know that was allowed. A strong offensive showing at Tacoma should get him back to the majors within the next four to six weeks, even without an injury ahead of him.

11) Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Last week: 11)

12) Kyle Gibson, RHP, Minnesota Twins (Last week: 15)

In three of Gibson’s last four outings at Triple-A, he’s gone at least eight scoreless innings—including two shutouts. So, why exactly is Minnesota wasting its time with Samuel Deduno and Mike Pelfrey?

13) Vinnie Pestano, RHP, Cleveland Indians (Last week: NR)

The “named” closer while Chris Perez is on the disabled list is the one who we would have expected at the beginning of the year, but all you need to know about how Pestano has pitched recently is that he’s barely owned in more leagues than Joe Smith. Pestano carries the leg up of getting the first chance, and sometimes that’s all it takes.

14) Colby Lewis, RHP, Texas Rangers (Last week: 18)

15) Erasmo Ramirez, RHP, Seattle Mariners (Last week: 25)

It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for: Ramirez will be pitching on Tuesday for Double-A Jackson—his first start of the year. If all goes well health-wise for him over the next few weeks, we could see him back in the majors as soon as the end of June.

16) Allen Webster, RHP, Boston Red Sox (Last week: 19)

17) Mike Zunino, C, Seattle Mariners (Last week: 12)

You’d think that Jesus Montero getting demoted would have a positive effect on Zunino’s ranking, but he’s not doing himself any favors by getting on base at a .304 clip in the Pacific Coast League. He does have eight homers, but it is looking more and more like his 2013 fantasy value is going to limited to AL-only and deeper two-catcher formats.

18) Drew Smyly, LHP, Detroit Tigers (Last week: 20)

19) George Springer, OF, Houston Astros (Last week: NR)

Springer has now forced his way onto The Stash List by virtue of being completely dominant at Double-A so far this season. I’m still skeptical that we’ll see him in the major leagues before September, but things are getting steamy in Corpus Christi. With two more home runs on Monday, Springer now has 15 on the season, to go along with his 15 stolen bases. Yes, you read that right—he’s already at a 15/15 season through 47 games. But with all that said, he has contact issues (60 strikeouts in those 47 games), and that combined with the fact that the Astros likely don’t want to start his clock unnecessarily will put a damper on his 2013 fantasy value.

20) Carlos Martinez, RHP, St Louis Cardinals (Last week: NR)

It may read like a small piece of news compared to everyone freaking out about Michael Wacha, but current top prospect and 40-man resident Carlos Martinez was sent back down to Triple-A to be stretched back out as a starting pitcher. With the uncertainty around Jake Westbrook and Chris Carpenter, along with the potential ineffectiveness of Tyler Lyons, Martinez could find himself in the rotation during the second half and has sizable upside.

21) Nate Karns, RHP, Washington Nationals (Last week: NL-Only)

Karns will be getting the start for the Nationals on Tuesday, for his major-league debut. For a LOT more information about him, check out his Call Up post.

22) Cameron Maybin, OF, San Diego Padres (Last week: 23)

23) Adam Eaton, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (Last week: 2)

A big drop for Eaton this week, as he felt renewed soreness in his elbow. In the best-case scenario, he’s back right around the end of June and he’s no worse for the wear. Worst case scenario, he needs surgery and he shows up on a lot of sleeper lists in 2014.

24) Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Houston Astros (Last week: AL-Only)

The second debut from a Houston prospect this week, Singleton shows up just as he’s finishing with his 50-game minor league suspension for forgetting that he can’t smoke pot unless he’s on the 40-man roster. And with only the remains of Carlos Pena and the Pacific Coast League ahead of him, he may not be long for the minor leagues.

25) Danny Duffy, LHP, Kansas City Royals (Last week: NR)

I’ve responded to comments on previous iterations of The Stash List about Duffy, and the comment has always been the same. The guys who had rather large command issues prior to Tommy John surgery are the ones I’m generally least excited about immediately upon their return. Duffy may rack up some strikeouts, but I’m pretty bearish on his 2013 value, even with a return on the horizon.

Honorable Mention: Daniel Hudson, Tyler Skaggs, Josh Beckett, Alex Rodriguez, Michael Pineda

Bret Sayre is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Bret's other articles. You can contact Bret by clicking here

12 comments have been left for this article.

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