The Stash 07/27: The Top 10 Pitching Prospects to Stash

Brennen Gorman looks ahead, detailing the Top 10 pitching prospects to stash in 2019.

Every weekend, I will be posting about the minor leaguers you should stash on your team. These rankings are done solely for prospects who could affect the 2019 season. Their ranks are predicated on when they will be called up and raw talentwe want to give you an edge in building your team throughout the year. Not all prospects need to be stashed in every league, as not all league compositions are made equally.


1. Brendan McKay, SP Tampa Bay Rays – ETA Early Aug.


Much can happen in a week, and this past week was little exception as Blake Snell was placed on the IL, requiring arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow that will keep him sidelined for at least four weeks. Brendan McKay was recently demoted, starting in Triple-A on Thursday, but if you own him, keep him stashed as he should be back up to fill in for Snell. Tampa Bay is on the bubble and fading. Short of a few blockbusters before Wednesday, McKay has the advantage to help keep the Rays competitive.


2. Mitch Keller, SP Pittsburgh Pirates – ETA Early Aug.


Mitch Keller continues to demonstrate that he is MLB-ready, throwing another six-inning scoreless gem this past week, bringing his season ERA down to 3.10. He also has 106 strikeouts in 93 innings. Other than an errant start to begin July, Keller has not let up more than three runs in a start since April (the only other start that meets that criteria). After going 2-12 since the All-Star break, Pittsburgh is clearly out of contention and looking to regroup for 2020—which should include a longer look at Keller.


3. Jesus Luzardo, SP Oakland Athletics – ETA Late Aug.


Jesus Luzardo completed two bullpen sessions this week and is prepared to throw a two-inning simulated game to start August. Luzardo has been shelved nearly all of 2019 as he has worked back from a shoulder injury and now a lat injury, but is still expected to land a starting role once healthy. If the bullpen session goes well, Luzardo should embark on a rehab assignment, working his way back up through the minor league system for the second time this season.


4. Matt Manning, SP Detroit Tigers – ETA Early Sept.


Matt Manning’s outing this past week was cut short due to rain, but he was on track for a solid start after allowing only three hits over three innings. Manning now sports a 2.82 ERA and 112 strikeouts over 99 innings and is one of the top arms in Double-A. Manning has spent the full season in Double-A and has the likes of Beau Burrows and Kyle Funkhouser ahead of him in the pecking order, but given the team’s 5.15 ERA and lack of staying power outside the contractually locked in Jordan Zimmermann and the apt-to-be-traded Matt Boyd, Detroit can do what it wants with its rotation.


5. Kyle Wright, SP Atlanta Braves – ETA Mid-Aug.


Kyle Wright was demoted after a rough outing in Atlanta. He rebounded with a six-inning, three-run quality start that saw him strike out six and walk none. After a month of solid Triple-A baseball, Wright was given an opportunity and now may have to wait a while for another major league opportunity to arise. Wright could make for an attractive trade piece given the depth of Atlanta’s minor league pitching, but the likeliest scenario is that he continues to compete for a role in Atlanta.


6. Anthony Kay, SP New York Mets – ETA Early August


MLB trade-deadline action has been exceedingly slow this year, with perhaps one notable deal completed to date (if we count Seattle trading Edwin Encarnacion in June). Who New York will sell at the deadline has been hotly discussed, as it could be Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler, both, or neither. If one is shipped off at the deadline, the struggling Anthony Kay is in line for the call, because though his rapid ascendance this season has slowed, he remains the most interesting pitching piece in New York’s farm system.


7. Nabil Crismatt, SP Seattle Mariners – ETA Early Sept.


Nabil Crismatt is waiting to show that his final outing in Double-A when he threw a two-hit complete-game shutout was not the peak of his season, now laboring through three starts in Triple-A. Crismatt pitched to a 1.94 ERA and threw 89 strikeouts in 83.2 innings and 14 starts in Double-A, but has now let up 12 runs in just three starts in Triple-A. Crismatt is walking too many and has let up a home run in each start at Triple-A. Still, it is worth noting that he has 20 strikeouts over that same span in just 11.2 innings. Crismatt will settle down and has the edge for a call-up in Seattle this fall.


8. Keegan Akin, SP Baltimore Orioles – ETA Early Sept.


If you like risky starters, Keegan Akin is your guy. He maintains a 4.66 ERA (but a 3.87 FIP), a 10.52 K/9, and a 4.66 BB/9. Akin’s best successes this season have come when he limits walks (he has eight separate games with three or more walks this season), as his ability to strike batters out is one of the best in Triple-A. With Baltimore competing with Detroit for the top pick in the 2020 draft, this would be a good time for the O’s to let Akin work out his issues at the next level.


9. Alex Faedo, SP Detroit Tigers – ETA Early Sept.


While the rise of Tarik Skubal has overshadowed Alex Faedo’s successes in 2019, there is no doubt that Fadeo has taken a massive step toward becoming a staple in Detroit’s rotation. Other than Crismatt, Faedo has the highest K-BB% in the minor leagues with 23%, and despite a so-so 3.82 ERA, a FIP of 3.47 shows there are even better days ahead.


10. A.J. Puk, SP Oakland Athletics – ETA Early Aug.


After a shaky few outings in Double-A, A.J. Puk was promoted to Triple-A, and through three innings remains scoreless while striking out three, walking none. Puk continues to work back from Tommy John surgery and should be promoted after a few more outings like these.



Conner Menez: Six strikeouts in five innings is a good indication that Menez’ stuff may have some staying power.


Fell Out

Rico Garcia


Jumped In

Brendan McKay
Kyle Wright

Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter)

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.

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