8/23 Edition: Top 10 Minor League Hitters to Stash

Salutations, everyone! September is nigh! Trea Turner (SS, WAS) got the call, which must be bittersweet for Nats fans, since it would not have happened but for the epic collapse...

Salutations, everyone! September is nigh! Trea Turner (SS, WAS) got the call, which must be bittersweet for Nats fans, since it would not have happened but for the epic collapse of their team in the second half. At least most of the other teams on this list knew earlier on that 2015 just wasn’t there year.

In a super tiny sample size, Olivera hasn’t hit a lick… as a 30-year old in rookie ball. And he’s the top remaining prospect. Still, I’m not concerned as he didn’t strike out a lot and the sample size is, once again, super tiny. Hey that’s a nice oxymoron! Anyway he’ll probably be up Monday, getting a slight head-start on his competition.

– Kepler’s power surge continues, as he’s hit 2 more homers in the past week (9 on the season) and has gone 9-for-15 in his past 4 games. He’s always had amazing tools and he may develop into a star hitter sooner than you think.

Williams may no longer be the .400-hitting Ted Williams of the minors, but he’s still pretty darn good. He’s had 4 multi-hit games in his last 7 games, and will certainly see the majors when rosters expands.

– Reed’s torrid pace has cooled a bit in Triple-A, but he still is hiting ..333 at the level after hitting .346 at Double-A. His contact rate is around 20% but has had a near-.400 BABIP for the season, so some regression is to be expected. I still fully expect him to play often to fill in for the Marwin/Carter void of suckitude at first base. “Void of suckitude” is a contender for potential names for my future dating blog.

– Seager has been playing a few games at third base, as he tries to increase his versatility last-minute as he begs for scraps of playing time. Much like how a New York city amateur stand-up comic will do anything for scraps of stage time. He won’t play every day but the upside should make up for it.

Pinder is riding a 4 game hit stereak in which 3 of the hames were multi-hit games. Autocorrect just tried to correct multi-hit into “multivitamin”. Much amusement was had. He has good offensive upside for a middle-infielder, along the lines of Devon Travis in a best-case scenario.

It’s hard to say with any sort of certainty that Zimmer will reach the majors, as he did start the year in High-A. Then again, many of his fellow prospects like Conforto did too and zoomed past him despite excellent performance. He’s received glowing scouting reports and there’s room for him at DH if they don’t want to put him in center field. His combination of blazing speed and solid power would make him a great get, just don’t expect a high average.

Orlando’s been hot this week, with a 4-game hit streak. He may lack the power upside of most of the other guys on this list, but he’s a good bet to not stink, and might help more than any of these guys but Kepler in the batting average department.

– On the surface, it would appear that after clobbering 37 longballs at High-A last year, the fact that he’s hit only 14 this year means he stinks. This is not entirely true. The Cal league is a very inflated run environment whereas the Texas league is the opposite of that, and he’s atop the leaderboard for walks, doubles, and RBI. Oakland is the Texas league of ballparks, but he’s the A’s favorite kind of prospect and there’s a gaping hole at first base. He also has played in the outfield which increases his fantasy value significantly.

It was originally assumed as a given that Judge would be in the majors by now, but the Yankees’ suddenly healthy outfield decide to make it a taken instead. If he does get the call, playing time may be scarce anyway, and he may struggle in his limited At-bats. He’s essentially Joey Gallo-lite in the outfield, as he’s huge, has power (but not Gallo-level) and has a strikeout problem (also not Gallo-level).

Anderson has used his speed and high BABIP (.398) to maintain a .317 AVG despite his 20.7% K rate. While I was initially skeptical due to the strikeouts, looking closer at his career BABIPs seems to indicate this may be a skill as he’s posted near-.400 BABIPs at every level which is pretty crazy. But he also has stolen 46 bases which is also rather crazy. I doubt they try to move him to second base, but Alexei hasn’t been so Sexei this year and Alexei could always switch back to second to give him the opportunity to swipe some bags.

has put up solid numbers at the Triple-A level, hitting .276 with 16 Home Runs and 7 Stolen Bases. The most notable thing is that he posted these stats with a miniscule 11% K rate. As a 26-year old, he probably deserved a promotion more than Urrutia but might steal some At-bats from him in September. will miss the rest of the year with a strained Achilles. A pathetic way to end a pathetic 2015 campaign. has prevented a collapse of his beautiful early season stats, with a .284 AVG to go with 21 Home Runs. He could see playing time in Arizona but I get the feeling that he won’t play enough to make a real impact. is hitting .412 in his last 10 Games at Triple-A. He has only 7 homers but great discipline and average… I could see him being viable in a James Loney-esque way. has had a better campaign, hitting 17 Homers and stealing 13 bases. Then again, he’s 25 and his batting average is .238, so his odds of being a useful major leaguer are about as likely as a rock concert without some idiot yelling “Free Bird”. If you think those are still pretty good odds, go to more concerts. Ugh.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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