The Stash 07/01: The Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash

Brennen Gorman looks ahead, detailing the top 10 hitting prospects to stash in 2018.

Every weekend, I will be posting about the minor leaguers that you should be stashing on your team. Unlike dynasty content focusing on who to own for their production years down the road, these rankings will be done solely for the 2018 season (there will be discrepancies). Players that will be called up sooner will be ahead of players with more talent who might only be called up late in the year — we want to give you an edge. Prospects are a great way to stay ahead of everyone else rather you are in a dynasty league or a 10-team league.

1. Kyle Tucker, OF, (Houston Astros) – ETA Mid July

Kyle Tucker continued his torrid June, hitting .406 with 3 home runs and two stolen bases this past week (currently on an 18 game hitting streak). That said, Tony Kemp has more than earned his spot starting for the Astros and looks to be a consistent MLB producer in his own right. Whether before the trade deadline or after, the Astros will not keep Tucker down too long and will find a way to get him at-bats in the MLB. The most likely scenario seems to be right field, where Josh Reddick has only been marginally effective. If Kemp falters even a little, Tucker will start in left.

2. Willie Calhoun, OF, (Texas Rangers) – Late June

Willie Calhoun has a hit in 19 of the 24 games he played in June, for a total batting average of .311. Although his trademark power eludes him, Calhoun has managed to shore up every other aspect of his offensive game this past month. The Rangers are keeping Calhoun in the minors so he can get more at-bats – so it looks most likely that if a spot opens up from injury or trade that Calhoun would be called up. The Rangers don’t have the urgency the Astros do this season and can afford to take their time – Shin-Soo Choo is on a 41 game on-base streak and looking like a prime trade piece this season.

 3. Eloy Jimenez, OF, (Chicago White Sox) – ETA Early September

Eloy Jimenez hasn’t assaulted Triple-A pitching the way he had in Double-A, yet, but he does have 2 home runs after only 10 games. From a business and player management position, it would not make sense to call Jimenez up sooner than September (or arguably next April), but his ceiling is one that the prospect of his call-up warrants a stash. The White Sox have publicly stated that if Jimenez hits in Triple-A, he will be up in the fall. With Nick Senzel done for the season, Jimenez is one of two bats worth stashing across all leagues.

4. Matt Thaiss, 1B, (Los Angeles Angels) – ETA Late July

Matt Thaiss may have slowed down this past week, but his season is representative of one consistency in both power and batting average. Thaiss has 13 home runs split between Double-A and Triple-A and has managed to cut his strikeout rate in Triple-A despite his walk rate also declining. Sneakily the Angels are a year or two away from their own youth revolution, David Fletcher was the first called – Thaiss should be the next with Shohei Ohtani out for the foreseeable future.

5. Peter Alonso, 1B, (New York Mets) – ETA Early August

Peter Alonso has flashed reasons to be excited, going 3-for-5 with two home runs and three RBI on Tuesday, but overall his Triple-A play has been not enough to have the Mets consider an additional promotion. Despite 3 home runs in 13 games, he is striking out at a 27% clip and batting .220. As he adjusts to this new level of pitching, I expect his strikeout numbers will return to the mid-teens and his average closer to the career .300 he has in the minor league. Until then, however, Alonso will be solidly in Triple-A.

6. Frank Schwindel, OF/1B, (Kansas City Royals) – ETA Late July

Frank Schwindel’s June was spectacular, hitting .333/.371/.644 with 7 home runs and a 5:5 K/BB split. Schwindel demonstrates patience at the plate and can hit the ball hard. He is set to surpass his Triple-A numbers from last season, where he compiled 406 plate appearances and is more than ready for the MLB. Schwindel is competing against veteran Lucas Duda and Hunter Dozier for playing time at first base – and neither has done anything this season that would indicate they are better suited than Schwindel to man the corner for the Royals.

7. Max Schrock, 2B, (St. Louis Cardinals) – ETA Late June

Max Schrock despite his shortcomings in June is an upgrade for the Cardinals. Super Two has come and gone and Schrock is still in Triple-A. At best he will be a fringe top-10 second baseman cut from the same cloth as DJ LeMahieu – at worst he will be irrelevant. Schrock will not be owned in most leagues, but could make for a passable replacement for teams in need. Schrock will hit for average with small amounts of power and steals and represents a much needed replacement for the lagging Cardinals’ offense.

8. Christin Stewart, OF, (Detroit Tigers) – ETA Late July

Christin Stewart was placed on the 7-day Disabled List with a pulled calf muscle. Stewart’s bat has gone cold in the month of June, but still leads the International League in home runs with 15. Stewart hits for power and continues to reduce his strikeout rate while increasing his walk rate. So long as Stewart maintains his reduced strikeouts, with his ceiling for home runs – a .260 average and 40 home runs will not be out of reach in his prime.

9. Nick Gordon, SS, (Minnesota Twins) – ETA Early August

Nick Gordon is finally finding his groove once again in Triple-A ball, hitting .290 with a home run and a steal this past week. Jorge Polanco is due back this week at shortstop for the Twins, but with the team out of contention – if Brian Dozier is sold at the deadline, Gordon will have a spot in the middle infield. If he finds consistency in Triple-A, he should be the replacement, offering average home runs and steals with an above average batting average.

10. Myles Straw, OF, (Houston Astros) – ETA Early August

Myles Straw despite his success is now living in Kyle Tucker’s world. Straw offers an entirely different value to the Astros, but is still capped in the outfield with the Astros more than locked in with their starters (including the eventual Tucker). Straw has 43 steals on the season and is hitting in the .330s. Although he will at the very least be a star pinch runner starting in September, the Astros would benefit from calling him up sooner and rotating a four-man outfield with Tucker, George Springer, and Tony Kemp (if he is able to keep up the solid pace he is on). Straw is speculative too in that he could be a trade piece for the Astros as they would be dealing from a position of strength. I am curious to see what the trade deadline brings.


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Brennen Gorman

A lifetime Tigers fan (oh boy) getting ready to watch some good minor league baseball for the next few years. Liquor lawyer by trade, consumed by baseball statistics for pleasure? Yep. Seems about right.

One response to “The Stash 07/01: The Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash”

  1. Chris Tschirgi says:

    Me Gorren

    Ok im gonna sound like random crazy person but hear me out. If i could set you down a path of a little further research, and in the end you would be known as guy who revealed/created a brand new stat/metric that totally revealed:

    1. Defensive shifts and any percentages or tendencies currently used do not capture/record how successful they are at all.
    2.A new metric created by you that would reveal the success rate in terms of total runs saved and allowed for every team, whether by year, game, 2 years, all-time, etc
    3. In doing so you would also reveal that in spite of their growing popularity, shifts have actually allowed more runs than they have saved, and it would not even be particularly close

    I wouldnt want any recognition or anything like that, just the satisfaction of new data that would severely reduce or eliminate the number of shifts my beloved Astros employ and the runs they allow in the pocess, particularly in double play situations.

    You would have to do the research, but i would give u all the facts you would need, what they actually record, and what specifically is missing from the data collection that is making teams believe they R successful more often than not—specifically, that they yield more runs per game than they save per game. Of course the stat would take on more of your ideas on what to call it ir the best data ranges to give based on what you believe…but the big picture would be you would have statistical data and a new saber metric stat with proof on its direct impact on a game.

    Probably think im a crazy man lol and i cant say im really expecting you too, but if this interests you email me

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