Bret jumps straight into the rankings, and the top player could be on his way to the majors before the week is out.
No extended introduction this week, as my recent efforts have been directed toward the Top 50 Fantasy Prospects List, which came out yesterday. If you haven’t checked it out yet, right after you finish reading this column is as good a time as any. Instead, we’ll just get straight to what you came here to see. After all, I am a man of the people.
If you have any doubts about the merits of stashing players this late in the season, just think back to Kris Medlen's run last summer and read on for the latest rankings.
We’re halfway through the season now, and the Stash List has gone through a large transformation since it began two-and-a-half months ago. Gone are the elite prospects who were awaiting roster spots and/or the Super Two deadline to pass. Gone are most of the players who began the season on the disabled list—either because they have come back and been successful, like early Stash List favorite Francisco Liriano, or they are one of the seemingly many players unable to make it back onto the field, like Corey Hart or Ryan Madson.
But if you think that stashing has become a feeble exercise at this point in the season, it only takes a very short memory to see why there is plenty of incentive to do so. At this point in 2012, Kris Medlen was still lingering in the Braves’ bullpen awaiting a chance to move back into the starting rotation. In fact, he wouldn’t make his first start for Atlanta until the last day of July—and I don’t need to remind you how that story ends.
Should you start Kyle Gibson when he makes his big-league debut this Saturday? Bret looks at early-season data to help answer that question before revealing this week's list.
Around two-and-a-half months ago, I wrote an article about whether we should be plugging pitchers making their major-league debuts directly into our starting lineups. After reviewing 10 years of data, I came to the conclusion that if the pitcher is a "current" Top 100 prospect, he should be started, and he should probably be on your bench if he's not. As of this past week, when Zack Wheeler threw six shutout innings in his major-league debut, we had now seen 20 different pitchers make their major-league debuts in a starting role this season—and it seemed like a good time to take a look back and see if the hypothesis continued to hold true.
With the likes of Wil Myers and Zack Wheelers making their debuts today, Bret looks at the next wave of players who could come up and help your fantasy team.
It seems like it was just yesterday that we were all talking about Super Two status and when we'd see the likes of Wil Myers and Zack Wheeler at the major-league level. Oh wait, it was yesterday (they're both making their major-league debuts today). So as far as speculation, here at The Stash List, we move on from one very important group of players to another less attractive one. At this point, we've seen almost all of the top prospects that were waiting for the call due to service-time reasons—guys like Billy Hamiton and Oscar Taveras are not included here since there are other reasons why they have not been called up yet. So what is the wave coming in the horizon? Players who will see their values increase due to trade deadline activity.
Now, this next phase has its concentration in a few different areas, but the biggest focus is pitching—both starters and closers. There are already rumors of current closers Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Gregg, Bobby Parnell, and Casey Janssen being moved over the next month or so, and there are sure to be more as we get closer to July 31. Same with Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco, and Bud Norris in the rotation. The trading deadline presents playing time opportunities that weren't there before, and while it's still a little early to start acting on some of these impulses, it's never too early to start thinking about them. So while not all of these players who move on to contenders will have successors worthy of owning, there are definitely guys to keep tabs on as rumors begin to fly. This applies tenfold in AL- and NL-only formats, where playing time is king.