Wil Myers, Zack Wheeler, and other top prospects might soon graduate from the list, as the projected Super Two cutoff could pass before the end of the week.
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.
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The Dodgers skipper may be excited about the minor-league production of his organization's top prospects, but neither ranks among Bret's top 25.
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.
With the Rangers' top prospect moving up to the big leagues, Wil Myers takes over his spot atop the list.
"Fellow prospects, rehabbers, suspension servers and major leaguers awaiting the roles you were meant to fill,
The Stash List has not only been a place for all of us to be highlighted for our potential, but a community for the nearly famous. As we toil the baseball earth searching for a path to glory, we are subject to its whims. The injuries we played through, the bus rides we shared, the per diems we blew through at fast food joints, the dizzy bat races (ALL THE DIZZY BAT RACES)—it all leads to this.
The Astros, Marlins, and Mets are all prospect hotbeds, but each team has taken a different approach with its young players, several of whom highlight this week's list.
It’s getting to be that time of year where you can start weeding out the non-contenders from the eventual non-contenders. And for those franchises, it means decisions about when to call up their prospects. Through Monday, there were five teams with a winning percentage at .400 or below—but for the purposes of this discussion, I’m going to throw out the Blue Jays and the Angels. Both of those teams were expected to be division contenders, and they both have too much talent to be this bad the whole year and nothing coming on the farm (at least in the near future).
But those three remaining teams (the Astros, Marlins, and Mets) are not going to be contending at any point this season, and have strong prospects in the upper minors. However, each organization has treated their top guys differently. The Marlins are apparently just throwing caution to the wind, as they have both Jose Fernandez and Marcell Ozuna on their active roster—both of whom ended the 2012 season in High-A. The Astros, on the other hand, appear to be letting their prospects marinate until they are closer to a contention window. They have Jarred Cosart throwing well in Triple-A and George Springer absolutely killing it at Double-A, but I don’t expect to see either any time soon. Finally, the Mets have been burdened recently by financial constraints, so it was no shock to see the reports break that Zack Wheeler would be kept down in the minors until the Super Two deadline passes. The same would have been true for Travis d’Arnaud if he had stayed healthy enough for it to matter.
Bret explains why the list has featured more pitchers than hitters in its early weeks, and then reveals this week's top 25.
You might have noticed that, since this list has started, there have consistently been more pitchers than position players on it. This week is no different, as there are 15 pitchers and only 10 hitters. The reason for that is pretty simple—while pitching is more plentiful on the waiver wire than position players are, the stars need to align a little more for a bat stashed away on your bench to actively contribute value to any given fantasy team. If you had Anthony Rendon on your bench prior to his initial call-up, and you also had Adrian Beltre entrenched as your third baseman, you’re going to need to pull off a trade to capitalize on Rendon’s value. Of course, the owner with Beltre at the hot corner is less likely to be stashing a fellow third baseman anyway, which only furthers the point.
It’s rare to find an owner who couldn’t use more pitching on his/her roster (or at least an upgrade over the worst active member of their staff). When you’re dealing with individual positions, the barriers to entry for value make deciding whom to stash a different proposition. So while I’m saying that in a vacuum, Mike Zunino has more value than Anthony Rendon for the rest of this season, roster makeup can play a large role in determining who is more valuable to your specific team. And since the liquidity of these rookies can vary widely from league to league and owner to owner, points are docked for the lack of flexibility that may come with housing a hitter.
Freshly promoted Rockie Nolan Arenado comes off the list, which welcomes Jhoulys Chacin and Cameron Maybin, among other newcomers.
One of the greatest things about baseball is that it provides a venue in which to be surprised by something new every day. And with that comes responsibility. Today, we live in a baseball age where there is so much information available—whether it’s statistical or visual. And, sure, we’ve gotten smarter about the game as we’ve had more available to us, but it’s on all of us to not let our pre-conceived notions dictate what we see on the field and in the box score.
On Friday night, fellow BP Fantasy writer Mike Gianella and I attended a game between the Double-A affiliates of the Red Sox and Yankees in Trenton. I made the 75-minute trek down mostly to see two things: Xander Bogaerts hit and Matt Barnes pitch. We had a great time at the game, but as baseball is wont to do, the game showed us something we were not expecting to see. Even an act as simple as watching a minor-league game can end up staring down your expectations like Zack Greinke after hitting Carlos Quentin with a pitch. All you can do as an analyst or a fan is to take a step back and not just blindly charge the mound dripping with pre-conceived notions.
Jurickson Profar leads off the inaugural edition of Bret's look at little-owned players worthy of a spot on your bench.
If you’re a long-time rotisserie baseball player, you surely remember the days of just having an active lineup and nothing else. In fact, I’m sure some readers still play in leagues like that—my biggest home league is like that, and has been since it was formed back in 1984. However, as the game has expanded and developed, it has changed. It is now the norm to have multiple reserve/bench spots, and I play in leagues where that number ranges anywhere from three to eight. Those bench spots are valuable commodities and can be used in any number of ways.
Essentially, the choice of how you use your each of your bench spots comes down to the following question: Do I want to extract small pieces of value throughout the entire season or do I want to stash a high-upside player who may have potentially significant value down the line? More often than not, these bench spots are used on pitchers who can be plugged in as need be to boost your performance in pitching categories. But there are other options. In fact, I wrote back in February about the potential benefit to using the opportunity cost of a bench spot as part of a position player platoon. However, the ends of benches are best left for the potential fantasy gold mines—and that’s why this column exists.