June 2, 2016
The Stash List
Ninth 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 Carlos Carrasco, A.J. Pollock, Michael Brantley, Shin-Soo Choo, Sonny Gray, and Raisel Iglesias are not listed below.
Last week’s Stash List can be found here.
The Graduates: (2) Byron Buxton, (10) Eduardo Rodriguez, (11) Archie Bradley, (18) Julio Urias, (24) Jurickson Profar, (Next 10) Max Kepler, (Next 10) James Paxton
After hitting for a .336/.403/.603 line in 29 games that included six home runs and four stolen bases at Triple-A Rochester, Buxton was summoned to the majors once again after starting CF Danny Santana hit the disabled list with a strained hamstring on Monday. Buxton started in center field and hit ninth in each of his two games back, going 2-for-8 with a double and three strikeouts at Oakland.
With Minnesota’s loss on Wednesday bringing their record to the worst in the majors, one would think the organization would simply play Buxton and (Next 10) Max Kepler, a.k.a. “Mr. Oktoberfest,” on an everyday basis over the rest of the season—to see if the duo can make an outfield with Miguel Sano in it work defensively among other developmental reasons—but I have little confidence that they will.
Aaron Gleeman took a look at what the next four months could entail for Buxton (and the Twins) on Wednesday.
Rodriguez returned to the Red Sox rotation on Tuesday at Baltimore, allowing six hits in his six innings of work, while striking out three and, more importantly, walking none. Rodriguez looked strong in his season debut and sat at about 93 MPH on his fastball. Mike Gianella placed the lefty in the one-star tier among starting pitchers in his most recent update, which was completed prior to Rodriguez’s debut. I’d comfortably bump him up to the two-star impact tier after his quality first start.
Right elbow inflammation for Arizona RHP Rubby de la Rosa—which is likely to sideline him for a month—and another “injury” to Shelby Miller have opened an opportunity for Bradley to build upon his good work (1.99 ERA, 2.87 FIP in seven starts) in the Pacific Coast League. Bradley just did that in his return to the Chase Field mound on Sunday, striking out nine Padres in 7 1/3 innings of work while walking just one and allowing three earned runs. Bradley’s fastball averaged 93.8 MPH in the outing, according to Brooks Baseball.
Urias didn’t make it out of the third inning in his major league debut on May 27th against the Mets, but Alex Wood’s elbow soreness will require a stint on the disabled list and will keep the 19-year-old lefty in the big league rotation for the time being. Urias is scheduled to make his second major league start today against the Cubs and will be the first teenager to face the Cubs since Doc Gooden in 1984.
Profar has been very impressive with the bat upon his return to the majors, smacking ten hits in his first 28 plate appearances (.357 AVG), including a line-drive home run off of Corey Kluber on Tuesday night, his first at the major-league level since September 26th, 2013. Profar has a hit in each of his six games since his recall, and he’s hit leadoff in each game, giving the Rangers plenty of options once presumed Mike Tyson Punch-Out enthusiast Rougned Odor returns to the lineup. It’s been fun to see the former number-one overall prospect in the game making an impact once again at the major league level, and his performance (at the very least) has certainly increased his trade value should the Rangers decide to move in that direction over the next two months—even if the team decides to reunite him with Joey Gallo at Triple-A Round Rock when Odor returns.
(Next 10) James Paxton was called to the majors to make a start on Wednesday against the Padres, as Felix Hernandez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf muscle. Paxton allowed 10 hits and eight runs (three of which were earned) in 3 2/3 innings against the Padres on Wednesday night, striking out seven. Other rotation options at Triple-A Tacoma include Cody Martin (5.67 ERA, 4.44 FIP in eight starts) and Joe Wieland (7.68 ERA, 4.44 FIP in 10 starts).
The Dropouts: None
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, on to the Ninth Edition of The Stash List:
1) Trea Turner, SS, Washington Nationals (Last week: 1)
Turner’s May OPS of .862 was an improvement on his April total (.851) and he’s still yet to be caught in 17 stolen-base attempts on the year.
Current Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa hit his seventh home run of the year on Wednesday against the Phillies, upping his seasonal slugging percentage to .341. Espinosa’s on-base percentage—inflated by five intentional walks while hitting eighth in front of the pitcher—continues to sit below .300 on the year, currently checking in at .296.
2) Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Last week: 3)
Glasnow pitched five hitless innings against Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday night, striking out three and walking four in the rain-shortened affair, lowering his ERA to 2.07 on the year. The four walks were his most in a start since his five-walk outing on May 12th against Syracuse, and he’s now walked 29 of the 241 batters (in 61 innings) he’s faced on the season, a 12 percent rate that won’t do him any favors (or enable him to work very deep into games) once he reaches Pittsburgh.
3) Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Last week: 4)
After having his previous start skipped for precautionary reasons, Taillon didn’t walk anybody in his six-inning outing at Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday, the fifth time he’s held foes without a free pass among his nine starts on the season.
For more on Glasnow and Taillon, check out George Bissell’s piece on the pair of Pirates prospects from Wednesday.
4) Blake Snell, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Last week: 5)
5) Anthony DeSclafani, RHP Cincinnati Reds (Last week: 6)
DeSclafani struck out seven while allowing only one hit on Monday, in his second of three likely rehab starts at Triple-A Louisville. He remains on target to hop into the Reds rotation next week, likely with a home start next Thursday against the Cardinals. Unfortunately, I have no further updates on how the #3StripeLife is working out for DeSclafani.
6) Joey Gallo, 1B/3B/OF, Texas Rangers (Last week: Not eligible)
Hopefully Gallo enjoyed his one magical at-bat in Texas during his most recent call-up, which lasted less than a week. The 22-year-old returned to Triple-A Round Rock on May 29th and has resumed doing Gallo-like things, mashing two home runs in his first four games back. What I’ve been intrigued to watch upon his demotion are his defensive assignments since returning: two starts at first base, one at designated hitter, and one at third base.
Where Gallo is deployed on the diamond, and his strikeout rate (now under 24 percent on the year) are the two things to keep an eye on at Round Rock as the Rangers decide what to do with Prince Fielder (.561 OPS) and Mitch Moreland (.665 OPS).
7) Alex Bregman, SS/3B, Houston Astros (Last week: 7)
Bregman has started each of his last five games at shortstop while at Double-A Corpus Christi, after playing third base in four of six games prior.
Bregman’s slugging percentage (.626) and OPS (1.049) continue to lead all Double-A hitters.
8) Hyun-jin Ryu, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: 8)
After Ryu’s third rehab start on May 25th, a four-inning scoreless outing where he touched 89-90 MPH for the first time in two years, the Dodgers lefty experienced “minor shoulder soreness,” which kept him from making his fourth rehab start that was scheduled for Monday at Triple-A Oklahoma City. Andrew Friedman described Ryu’s third rehab start as “a significant step forward,” but his return to a mound is unclear at this time.
9) Luis Severino, RHP, New York Yankees (Last week: 9)
Severino was activated from the disabled list on Monday and was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he’ll look to regain his confidence and command of his fastball. Opponents were hitting .356 against his fastball in 2016, compared to .235 in his rookie season. As was mentioned in previous weeks, Severino wasn’t as awful (5.78 DRA) as his 7.46 ERA would suggest, but he’ll likely have to string together a number of quality performances at Scranton before jumping ahead of the rejuvenated CC Sabathia (99 cFIP) or Ivan Nova (109 cFIP).
10) Jhonny Peralta, SS, St. Louis Cardinals (Last week: 15)
Peralta has yet to return to the field after accidentally cutting his thumb while opening a box on May 28th.
11) Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Los Angeles Angels (Last week: 12)
Skaggs has yet to make a rehab start since being shut down with biceps tendonitis on April 20th, but he did throw a two-inning simulated game on Monday at the team’s extended spring training complex in Arizona. Mike Scioscia said Skaggs’ velocity wasn’t “as crisp” in the outing, and that he will pitch again on Friday in Arizona.
12) Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York Mets (Last week: 13)
13) Alex Reyes, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (Last week: 14)
Reyes’ first Triple-A road start at Las Vegas (5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) on May 27th went about as well as his first outing of the year. Reyes has now allowed just five hits and punched out 15 in his first nine innings of the year.
14) Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins (Last week: 16)
Berrios has struck out 15 batters in 16 innings over three starts since returning to Triple-A Rochester, but he’s also walked nine hitters, and he saw his ERA jump to 3.27 on the year after giving up seven runs in five innings in his last outing on Tuesday against Indianapolis. Berrios’ walk rate, which is now up to 12 percent on the season at Rochester, isn’t far from the 16 percent major-league walk rate that contributed to his demotion after just four starts.
15) A.J. Reed, 1B, Houston Astros (Last week: 17)
Reed’s month of May was the least productive of his young professional career, both by OPS (.724), and home run output (one in 18 games). He’s yet to homer in nine games since returning from his hamstring injury (which caused him to miss nearly two weeks), and his homerless streak has now reached a very un-Reed like 15 games.
Reed has continued to mash righties in his first two months of Triple-A duty, clubbing them for a .298/.383/.583 line with five home runs in 104 at-bats, but his .499 OPS in 33 at-bats against southpaws is reflective of the work he still needs to do against lefties in order to avoid being platooned when he reaches the majors.
16) Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals (Last week: 19)
Giolito had a very uneven month of May in six starts at Double-A Harrisburg, but he held opponents to a .203 AVG against, down from his .302 AVG against mark in April.
While walking 17 batters in 32 2/3 innings (as he did in May) is far from ideal, it’s an improvement over April’s 10 walks in 15 2/3 innings.
17) Mike Minor, LHP, Kansas City Royals (Last week: 20)
Ned Yost described the “mild rotator cuff fatigue” that Minor experienced after his rehab start (6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) on Monday against Triple-A El Paso as “not serious.” Minor returned to Kansas City on Tuesday to have team doctors look at the shoulder, a visit Yost said “shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as a setback.” Minor’s 30-day rehab period ends on June 9th, and the former Brave has struck out 14 while walking six in his last three rehab starts, all of which that have come at Triple-A Omaha.
18) Cody Reed, LHP, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: 21)
Reed has struck out six or more batters in six of his first eight starts of the year, his 25.7 percent strikeout rate—which is equal to Jameson Taillon’s—places him seventh among International League pitchers, and his K/PA - BB/PA of 19.7 percent places him inside the top five.
19) Joe Musgrove, RHP, Houston Astros (Last week: Next 10)
Musgrove has struck out 20 batters in 23 innings in his first four starts at Triple-A Fresno. He’s allowed eight earned runs as well, which puts his PCL ERA at 3.13 in his first taste at the level. That’s a massive rise from the microscopic 0.34 ERA he posted in six appearances with Double-A Corpus Christi prior to his promotion. Musgrove’s calling card is his stellar control, as he’s walked only six hitters in 49 1/3 innings this season (with 50 strikeouts), and that comes on the heels of his 2015 performance in which he struck out 99 and walked only eight across three levels. It looks increasingly likely that the Astros will keep Michael Felix in a multi-inning bullpen role, which would make Musgrove the likely beneficiary should an injury strike a member of the Astros starting staff.
20) Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves (Last week: 22a)
Swanson’s first full-month of Double-A action went swimmingly, as the former Diamondback property hit for a .265/.346/.407 line in 126 plate appearances with three home runs and three stolen bases.
21) Ozhaino Albies, SS, Atlanta Braves (Last week: 22b)
Albies, who doesn’t turn 20 until January, predictably struggled with the bat in his first month at Triple-A Gwinnett, hitting .246/.283/.377 with two home runs and three steals in 114 at-bats. While Albies’ raw line won’t knock your socks off, his .286 BABIP at Gwinnett should inch more toward his .367 lifetime minor-league mark, and he’s kept his strikeout rate under 20 percent at the new level—just as he’s done at every stop along the way--and his 11 extra-base hits over his first 30 games at Gwinnett puts him on a pace to eclipse his 29 extra-base hit total in 98 games while in Low-A ball last season.
22) Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox (Last week: 23)
Anderson failed to earn a free pass in six games since last week’s Stash, going 7-for-27 with the bat and putting the finishing touches on a .349/.387/.488 month of May that saw the White Sox shortstop hit all three of his home runs, and swat seven of his 10 extra-base hits on the year. After not walking at all in the month of April (18 games), Anderson’s eight-walk month in 29 games is an encouraging sign as he continues to acclimate himself to Triple-A pitching.
23) Nick Williams, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (Last week: 25)
Nick Williams 2016 Walk Watch: Three walks (in six games) since last week’s list, moving his total to 10 on the season in 187 plate appearances, and upping his walk rate to just over five percent on the year (against 48 strikeouts).
Williams’ quality work over his last 10 games (.368 AVG with two home runs and two steals) has increased his OBP to .317 on the year as the 22-year old adjusts to Triple-A pitching.
24) Colin Rea, RHP, San Diego Padres (Last week: Not eligible)
Rea was sent down to Triple-A El Paso on May 27th to help manage his innings total, but could return very soon with Cesar Vargas’ placement on the disabled list with elbow soreness.
25) Henderson Alvarez, RHP, Oakland Athletics (Last week: NR)
Alvarez threw 40 pitches off of a mound on Wednesday, and will toss another bullpen session this weekend before likely beginning a rehab stint.
The Next 10 (in alphabetical order):
Cody Anderson, RHP, Cleveland Indians
Mike Clevinger, RHP, Cleveland Indians
Jose De Leon, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
Brandon McCarthy, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
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 Hitters
This week, we’ll take a look at five hitters who could make an impact in AL-only and deeper (20 teams or more) mixed leagues this season:
Jorge Bonifacio, OF, Kansas City Royals
With Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon’s injuries leaving the Kansas City offense in search of help, the Royals reached down to Triple-A Omaha for a pair of 27-year olds in Brett Eibner and Whit Merrifield, bypassing 22-year old Jorge Bonifacio as a result. This Bonifacio, the younger brother of Emilio, a familiar name among prospect followers, is having the best offensive season of his minor-league career, and his .249 isolated power mark is his highest number since Rookie ball. After smacking 17 home runs and hitting for a roughly a league-average line last season in Double-A, Bonifacio has certainly enjoyed his first 48 games of Pacific Coast League action, hitting .308/.371/.557 with nine home runs and four steals in 207 plate appearances. Bonifacio was likely dropped at some point over the last two seasons in dynasty leagues that roster 200 or fewer prospects, but his power that was sapped due to hand injuries in the past has reemerged over the last season-plus and once again makes him an enticing option in both the short and long-term.
Matt Davidson, 3B, Chicago White Sox
Davidson, a 2016 spring training darling, was one of Chicago’s last cuts this spring and struggled upon his return to Triple-A Charlotte for his third campaign in the International League, and fourth season at the level overall. Now in his age-25 season, Davidson has made progress with the bat this season—as one would hope in their fourth shot at a level—increasing his walk rate and lowering his strikeout rate by six percent. Davidson’s also increased his isolated-power mark to .186 and his on-base percentage to .339, both of which are best totals since joining the White Sox organization. If Chicago moves on from Avisail Garcia at some point, Davidson could finally get a look.
Ben Gamel, OF, New York Yankees
Gamel failed to stick in New York after his five game cameo in early-May, but AL-only owners seeking speed should keep him on their radar, as he’s swiped nine bases (tied for seventh in the IL) in 12 attempts in 40 games this season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Gamel (.087 ISO) has yet to hit for the same type of power that he did in Scranton last season (.172 ISO), but he will likely surface again in the Bronx over the summer, as Dustin Ackley’s season-ending labrum surgery removed another roadblock for Gamel in the Yankee outfield, and the decision to cut ties with Slade Heathcott removed another option at the minor league level.
Ryon Healy, 1B/3B, Oakland Athletics
After smashing his way to a .338/.409/.628 clip in 36 Texas League games to begin the year, Healy was promoted to Triple-A Nashville on May 17th, despite the spelling of his first name. As Ben Carsley touched on in his look at dynasty prospects on Wednesday, the former Oregon Duck, a third-round pick in 2013, could work his way into the crowded Oakland corner infield/designated hitter spot over the next few months if the team decides to deal a few of its veterans. Healy’s done nothing but hit (.293 AVG) since leaving Eugene, and since he’s in his age-24 season already, he’s likely to get a chance sooner rather than later in Oakland.
Trey Mancini, 1B, Baltimore Orioles
After tearing the cover off of the ball (1.112 OPS with seven home runs in 17 games) to start the year at Double-A Bowie, Mancini struggled initially upon his promotion to Triple-A Norfolk. He’s turned it on of late however, hitting for a .306 AVG with two home runs over his last 10 games. If Pedro Alvarez (.194/.294/.350 with three home runs in 124 plate appearances) continues to struggle with providing power to the Baltimore lineup, Mancini could be summoned to help at the first base/designated hitter position.
J.J. Jansons is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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