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 Carlos Carrasco, A.J. Pollock, Michael Brantley, Shin-Soo Choo, Yu Darvish, and Raisel Iglesias are not listed below.
Last week’s Stash List can be found here.
Travis, whose ownership in ESPN leagues was still under 25 percent as of Wednesday night, was summoned to the majors and hit eighth in the Blue Jay lineup against Ivan Nova and the Yankees. Travis went 1-for-4 in his return to the majors, and it shouldn’t take much for him to be an improvement upon the collective .219/.260/.325 line that Blue Jay second-sackers have posted in the team’s first 47 games. For more on Travis’ ability to make a fantasy impact this season, please take a look at J.P. Breen’s player profile from January.
I made an error in not moving Joey Gallo up on the list last week after his return from injury, which kept him out of the lineup for nearly three weeks at Triple-A Round Rock. I thought he’d need more work than the 16 at-bats (and one start at first base) he received there before being a realistic candidate to rejoin the Rangers. Gallo was called up on Monday, and he’s received all of one plate appearance in the team’s three games since, putting into question how much he’ll play in this stint with the big league club. Gallo was making good strides with his plate discipline over his first 24 games of Triple-A duty this season, and he could be headed back there soon if he’s not given a chance to supplant Mitch Moreland (.672 OPS with four home runs on the year), as surely the Rangers want to give their developing 22-year-old regular at-bats.
The Dropouts: (Next 10) Gary Sanchez
After “The Next 10” each week, we’ll be highlighting 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 Eighth Edition of The Stash:
Turner (19 percent ownership in ESPN leagues) continues to chug along at Triple-A Syracuse, hitting for a .316 AVG with one home run and two stolen bases over his last 10 games, bringing his seasonal line to .315/.382/.461 with three homers and 15 steals (in 15 attempts) in 42 games. Turner’s walk rate of just over 10 percent pairs nicely with his strikeout rate of under 20 percent, and his .842 OPS places him eighth overall in the International League and first among shortstops.
Another week goes by, and current Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa continues to not hit. Espinosa’s on-base percentage—inflated by five intentional walks while hitting eighth in front of the pitcher—now sits at an even .300 on the year after an 0-for-3 performance Wednesday afternoon against the Mets. His zero-hit performance was his 23rd of the season in 44 starts, and Espinosa, who has 29 hits on the season (Washington’s played 47 games), is currently slugging .281, which is seventh-worst in all of baseball among qualifiers. The good news for Nats fans is that they have a big divisional lead on the Mets and don’t need to make use of possible upgrades to their major-league roster.
After smashing a 438-foot shot to center on Wednesday night, Buxton has now homered in back-to-back games at Triple-A Rochester. Buxton returned to the lineup on Saturday after missing a week with a sore back, and now has five home runs in his last 16 games played. As the great Aaron Gleeman pointed out prior to Wednesday’s game, Buxton has hit for a .347/.400/.533 line in 36 career games at the Triple-A level. While he hasn’t exactly been a terror on the basepaths at Rochester, stealing only four bases in 24 games this season, Buxton’s strikeout rate was at an acceptable 23 percent rate heading into Wednesday’s action.
If you’ve ever wondered what Buxton looks like in a cowboy hat—and why wouldn’t you—and weren’t able to attend Wednesday’s “Western Night” in Rochester, here’s your visual.
After striking out “just” six hitters and walking seven in 11 innings over his previous two starts with Triple-A Indianapolis, Glasnow punched out nine in six innings on Sunday, walking two and giving up two earned runs against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Glasnow has continued to do a masterful job of keeping the ball in the park this season, allowing just two longballs in 50 innings of work, and has continued to keep his strikeout rate north of 30 percent, albeit with a walk rate of 11 percent across his first nine starts.
Unlike his teammate, Taillon, somewhat remarkably, has had no such problems with issuing free passes over his first eight starts of the year, walking just five batters (a 2.7 percent rate), while striking out hitters at a 27 percent clip.
After missing the last two seasons of game action, Taillon’s start that was scheduled for Tuesday was skipped in an effort to save his innings for later in the year. Taillon pitched 147 1/3 innings in 2013 and is at 49 1/3 innings so far this season.
Snell allowed just three hits in six innings of work and struck out nine on Saturday against Rochester. He also walked two in the outing, bringing his total to 19 walks in 41 innings at Triple-A Durham, a rate of over four per game. His ability to strike people out clearly isn’t in question (56 strikeouts in eight starts), but his continued inability to limit the free passes—he’s walked over 10 percent at every level of full-season ball sans his nine-start stint at Durham last season—could come back to bite him when he’s called to Tampa, and will also likely impede his ability to work past the fifth or sixth inning at the major league level. The Rays might not actually mind too much, as they will probably prohibit him from going through the order a third time on a regular basis anyway, but fantasy owners will certainly mind if Snell’s tasty strikeout potential comes with a hit in the WHIP category and fails to offer any assistance in the wins or quality starts categories as well.
DeSclafani made 37 pitches, 27 of which were strikes, in what will likely serve as his first of three needed rehab starts at Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday. He gave up three hits and three earned runs (coming on a three-run homer from former Twins great Chris Parmelee) without issuing a walk as he looks to ramp back up his workload before joining the tattered Reds rotation, a return which looks like a mid-June proposition at this point. Within this video, DeSclafani calls his strained oblique, which has sidelined him since spring training, a “non-issue.” Unfortunately, I have no new shoe updates this week regarding DeSclafani, but if you missed his Mother’s Day kicks, here they are.
Bregman has now made five starts (including three in his last six games) at third base with Double-A Corpus Christi, and he just keeps absolutely crushing Texas League pitching. Bregman has five home runs in his last 10 games, and his 1.104 OPS (which leads the minors) is 68 points higher than Ryon Healy’s second-place total, and 121 points higher than Ryan Cordell’s third-place number among Texas League qualifiers.
I’d say a promotion to Triple-A Fresno is right around the corner for last June’s second-overall pick, who has walked (18) more than he’s struck out (12) in his first 33 games of Double-A duty. Colin Moran has yet to get a hit and has struck out in six of his first 13 plate appearances at the major-league level.
On Wednesday, in his third of what will likely be five rehab outings, Ryu made 55 pitches in four scoreless innings with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Ryu struck out three and allowed just one extra base hit (a double to Preston Tucker) among the five he permitted on the day against A.J. Reed and Fresno. Dave Roberts indicated that Ryu was “up to 89 (MPH)” with his fastball, and that he made 10 additional pitches on the side after the game, increasing his workload from his 44-pitch effort on May 20th at High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Severino is scheduled to make a rehab start Sunday at High-A Tampa, and Joe Girardi mentioned that the 22-year-old could then rejoin the Yankees as part of a six-man rotation. On Wednesday, Brian Cashman said that Severino’s rehab from a “mild” right triceps strain would be limited to one start in Tampa, and that the team would then evaluate whether to add him to the 25-man roster in New York, or send him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. As was mentioned last week, Severino’s been (slightly) better than his 0-6 record and 7.46 ERA would suggest, but it would be hard to fault the club if they were to leave him in the minors for a few starts in an attempt to get him straightened out.
Rodriguez went seven innings at Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday night, allowing four hits and one run, while striking out seven and issuing zero free passes. Pawtucket skipper Kevin Boles called the outing “a step forward,” and also went on to say that the left-hander “looks more comfortable,” and that he “looked like he was more athletic on the mound,” as Rodriguez rehabs from his troublesome right knee injury. Rodriguez made 102 pitches in Tuesday’s outing, and while his next start is slated to take place Sunday in Pawtucket, John Farrell left open the possibility that it could come instead for the big-league club at Baltimore, certainly an encouraging sign for the 23-year-old lefty.
Amidst the hugely inflated offensive environment of the Pacific Coast League, Bradley’s impressive start to the year has largely gone unnoticed. The former seventh-overall pick owns an ERA under 2.00 (1.99) and a FIP under 3.00 (2.90) in seven starts, both totals place him among the top-five in the league, and Bradley’s solid work includes a 30 percent strikeout rate. If the Diamondbacks move the mess that is Shelby Miller to the bullpen—or to the minors—Bradley should be the beneficiary.
Skaggs, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since July 31, 2014, and hasn’t pitched this season in the minors since April 20th after being shut down with biceps tendinitis, “feels great, with no restrictions,” upon completing his third bullpen session on Wednesday. Skaggs could resume pitching in the minors at Triple-A Salt Lake as soon as this weekend–certainly outstanding news for the rehabbing lefty, who turns 25 in July.
Reyes struck out eight Fresno Grizzlies, and allowed just two hits (both singles) in four innings while making his first of the year at Triple-A Memphis on Sunday. Reyes walked three in the outing, and 48 of his 85 pitches were strikes.
Last week, I failed to mention Tyler Lyons as a rotation option alongside the currently injured Tim Cooney should an injury strike a member of the St. Louis starting five. Although the Cardinals pitching depth isn’t as robust in the upper minors this season compared to the last few seasons, the Cards could still choose to introduce Reyes into the majors this season in a bullpen role (particularly since he has yet to eclipse 120 innings in a season as a professional), which keeps him outside of the top-10 on the list for the time being.
15) Jhonny Peralta, SS, St. Louis Cardinals (Last week: 22)
Peralta started at third base for Low-A Peoria on Wednesday night, making his second start at the position as he continues his rehab from an injured thumb suffered in spring training. Peralta is slated to move to Double-A Springfield on Friday, and where the Cardinals play him defensively there could give a strong indication of how the team plans to utilize him upon his return to the majors.
I sure hope Peralta doesn’t plan on visiting a DMV at every stop on his rehab tour.
16) Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins (Last week: Not eligible)
Reed, who missed nearly two weeks of action with a strained hamstring, has gone 3-for-11 with a walk and four strikeouts in three games upon his return from the disabled list. Reed’s PCL-aided OPS is currently at .782—his lowest mark as a professional—and his work against lefties to this point (.143/.294/.286 in 28 at-bats) could be a growing cause for concern regarding his ability to make an impact at the major league level in 2016.
18) Julio Urias, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: 15)
Urias ran his Pacific Coast League scoreless streak to 27 innings(!) after his latest outing Saturday against Salt Lake. The five-inning, 64-pitch effort lowered his ERA to an other-worldly (and league leading) 1.10 on the year, and his WHIP dipped to 0.78, as the 19-year old has limited opponents to a .176 average against on the year.
Urias will make his major-league debut tomorrow, but with Scott Boras in agreement with the team’s handling of their prized lefty this season, it would appear that he won’t pitch too many more innings than last year’s total of 80 1/3.
Minor’s first rehab start (third overall) at Triple-A Omaha was an up-and-down one, as he made 82 pitches (50 strikes) in five innings of work, allowing five hits and four earned runs while walking three and striking out five. The outing brought Minor’s strikeout total to 17 batters in 12 2/3 innings of work across his first three starts, and the former Brave is pitching on the same schedule as current Royal rotation member Dillon Gee.
Minor pitched Wednesday night against Albuquerque, and the ‘Topes knocked him around for seven runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings. Minor did strike out five in the outing, but has now walked 10 in 16 1/3 innings across his four rehab starts, as he works his way back from an injured shoulder that has kept him out of big-league action since September 2014.
21) Cody Reed, LHP, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: 19)
Anderson has been on a tear at Triple-A Charlotte, hitting .375 over his last 10 games (raising his AVG to .313 on the year in the process), but perhaps more importantly, he’s drawn three of his eight walks on the season in his last four games. Anderson’s plate discipline needs plenty of work before he’s able to make an impact with the bat at the major league level, as his walk rate of under four percent this season—his first at the Triple-A level—indicates. Anderson’s ability to make an impact with his wheels remains unquestioned, as he’s swiped 10 bases in 13 attempts in 41 games this season.
Profar once again started at second base for Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday, his sixth start of the year, all of which have come after Rougned Odor’s punch to Jose Bautista’s face. How long (if at all) Profar sticks in the majors after Odor returns is an open question, but Profar has picked things up over his last 10 games, hitting for a .326 AVG in 43 at-bats, raising his seasonal AVG to .284 and his OBP to .356.
Nick Williams 2016 Walk Watch: Zero walks (in five games) since last week’s list, leaving his total at seven on the season in 160 plate appearances, and moving his walk rate to a less-than-sterling 4.3 percent rate (against 38 strikeouts).
Williams’ OBP has crept down to .290 on the year as the 22-year old adjusts to Triple-A pitching, and dynasty league owners should take note that Williams has only stolen six bases in 60 games since joining his new organization.
The Next 10 (in alphabetical order):
Jose De Leon, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: NR)
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
Max Kepler, OF, Minnesota Twins
Brandon McCarthy, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Tom Murphy, C, Colorado Rockies
James Paxton, LHP, Seattle Mariners
Jose Peraza, UT, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: Not eligible)
Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres (Last week: NR)
Richie Shaffer, 1B/3B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Robert Stephenson, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Stash List Spotlight On: NL-Only Pitchers
This week, we’ll take a look at five pitchers who could make an impact in NL-only and deeper (20 teams or more) mixed leagues this season:
Zach Eflin, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
Eflin is a prospect who I’ve been tracking since Matt Winkelman (who follows Phillies prospects as closely as anybody) of the website Phillies Minor Thoughts touted him in February, and the 22-year-old, who joined the Phillies as a part of the trade that sent Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers last season, has taken a step forward this season in my eyes. The knock on Eflin prior to the year was his lackluster strikeout rate (12.6 percent last season at Double-A Reading), but he managed to post quality numbers last season (3.69 ERA, 4.04 FIP) while keeping the ball in the yard (12 HR allowed in 131 2/3 IP), despite making his home starts at a homer-friendly park. Eflin has continued to not walk people (four percent rate) this season, and has boosted his strikeout rate to a much more palatable 22.7 percent over his first eight starts at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and has held hitters to a .181 average against. Eflin’s 2.05 ERA as the youngest starting pitcher in the International League is not too far off from his 2.46 FIP mark, and he could emerge as a rotation option in August or September in Philadelphia. Eflin should be rostered now in all dynasty leagues that roster 200 or more prospects, and could emerge as a top 75-to-100 name by the end of the year if his strikeout rate holds.
Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Jenkins—also known as the “other guy” who came from the St. Louis to Atlanta in the Shelby Miller/Jason Heyward extravaganza—has positioned himself nicely for a spot in the big league rotation very soon, and would likely have already received the call to join the Braves on Saturday had he not pitched on Tuesday. Jenkins, who turns 24 in July, has a 3.02 ERA (3.75 FIP) in 50 2/3 innings this season at Triple-A Gwinnett, and has posted his best strikeout rate (16.5 percent) since 2012, when he was in the (Low-A) Midwest League. Jenkins has shown an improved curveball this season, one that led to five of his nine strikeouts in his most recent outing on Tuesday against Norfolk. Jenkins, Aaron Blair, and John Gant should hop into the Braves rotation over the next couple of months, likely once the team trades Julio Teheran and grows tired (once again) of the Williams Perez experience.
Chad Kuhl, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Opinions are somewhat mixed on whether or not the 23-year-old Kuhl can stick as a starter long term, but I just can’t ignore the solid work that he’s done in the upper minors over the last two seasons. Kuhl hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in a start since August 1st of last season, and leads the International League this season with a 0.99 ERA in eight starts. Kuhl’s 89.1 percent strand rate and .198 BABIP to this point won’t hold for much longer, but opponents are hitting .198 against him, he doesn’t walk people (5.2 percent this season), and he keeps the ball inside the park, as evidenced by his 0.59 HR/9 between Double-A Altoona last season and Triple-A Indianapolis this season. Sounds to me like a recipe for success at the major-league level working with Ray Searage and playing in front of a quality Pirates defense.
Rafael Montero, RHP, New York Mets
A familiar name who’s largely been forgotten in recent times, Montero has posted a quality 4.09 FIP mark (which would place him 16th in the league if he had enough innings to qualify) at Triple-A Las Vegas this season in seven starts, while striking out 23 percent of PCL batters. The Mets have appeared reluctant to give Montero any type of opportunity in their rotation since his eight-start trial in 2014, and he strikes me as a prime candidate to be moved prior to this year’s trade deadline, where a team in need of pitching is likely to give the 25-year-old an opportunity to show what he can do.
Braden Shipley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
I touched on Archie Bradley’s good work earlier, but his teammate in Reno is off to a fantastic start to the year as well. Shipley, a former first round (15th-overall in 2013) pick himself, has reached Triple-A for the first time this season, and returns are good in his first nine starts at the level. Shipley has allowed only one home run in 54 1/3 innings, and his quality ERA of 2.98 is backed up by his 2.82 FIP, which is second in the Pacific Coast League, ahead of Julio Urias (2.89) and Bradley (2.90). Shipley is almost certainly behind Bradley on the team’s depth chart, and probably needs an injury to join the Diamondbacks rotation before August or September, but his quality work in a tough environment to this point in 2016 bodes well for when he does get an opportunity to crack the rotation.