The Stash 5/1: Ranking The Top 10 Pitching Prospects To Stash Every Weekend

Every Saturday, Alex is here to write about which minor league pitchers you should be stashing on your team.  This list will range from the top prospects to the more...

Every Saturday, Alex is here to write about which minor league pitchers you should be stashing on your team.  This list will range from the top prospects to the more esoteric that should potentially be on your radar. Players who I believe are likely to receive the call to the Show soonest will be at the top and players who may be more of a long term stash will be featured closer to the bottom. Picking up these prospects can be a great way to stay ahead of the curve in your league regardless of whether it’s a deep dynasty league or a shallow 10 teamer. 

The minor leagues features hundreds of pitchers that are rotating through farm systems and major league clubs daily. Injuries or even extra inning games can turn a fledgling AAA pitcher into a spot starter. If you feel there is someone who should be mentioned who wasn’t or if you have a general question about anyone on the list, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get to it ASAP. 

1. Blake Snell (Tampa Bay Rays) – Snell’s first start back in the minors, after what was arguably the best prospect debut so far this year, went a lot better than it looks: 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Of the first 14 batters he faced, he struck out 6 and walked 1, not allowing a hit until the 5th inning. The 6th however is where Snell’s control started to fade a bit as he started to leave pitches a bit in the zone. Having given up back-to-back singles to start the inning, Snell was left to face the Reds best prospect Jesse Winker with a man on first and second. Snell tried to work him on the outside corner throughout most of the at-bat, only throwing one curveball in his 7th pitch of the at-bat before leaving a Fastball over the plate that Winker hit for a three-run tate. Aside from this one off inning, Snell looked to continue right from where he left off last week against the Yankees and is still someone you should definitely be stashing.

2. Jameson Taillon (Pittsburgh Pirates) – The former number one prospect continues to have a fantastic beginning to his minor league campaign. 23.1 IP, 4 ER, 18 Hits, 2 BBs, 23 Ks. Taillon hasn’t given up a single home run to start the season and 54% of balls put in play against him are groundballs. Here’s the deal though: there are a lot of guys who are absolutely crushing it in the Pirates AAA affiliate right now. Glasnow is written about below but there’s also Wilfredo Boscano –  22 IP, 5 ER, 23 Hits, 3 BBs, 19 Ks – and Steven Brault19.2 IP, 4 ER, 15H, 8 BBs, 25 Ks. The success of all these guys along with the fact that the Pirates like/have the ability to be patient with their pitching prospects might mean that a call-up may not be happening soon but I think when the time comes, the Pirates will decide to give Glasnow a longer timetable and let Taillon stretch his legs in the Show. This is of course dependent on Taillon continuing his success in the minors but as long as he does, I think he is someone you should be stashing away for when Juan Nicasio decides to start pitching like the Juan Nicasio of old. 

3. Tyler Glasnow (Pittsburgh Pirates) – Last week I wrote about Tyler Glasnow’s shaky start and was curious to see whether he’d be able to turn it around. Well, if his last performance was any indication, yes, he was able to turn it around for sure. 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. This performance brought Glasnow’s ERA down from 3.60 to 2.57 which is, believe it or not, still the highest ERA of all the starters on the Pirates AAA affiliate (see above Jameson Taillon section for why). I stand by the fact that Glasnow probably won’t see time in the Show anytime soon, but he is definitely a valuable stash to have. 

4. Lucas Giolito (Washington Nationals) – When I wrote about Giolito last week, I discussed how of the five major prospects, he was off to the poorest start. A week later, Snell and Barrios had their MLB debut, Glasnow struck out 11 and walked one, Urias continues to never give up more than one walk a game at the most and Giolito…well, he’s still struggling a little bit down in AA. I don’t want to over exaggerate, he’s not getting completely obliterated by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s also not pitching to his potential. His last start: 4 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Now while this was a bounce back from Giolito’s last start where he walked 4 and struck out 2, the young prospect is still yet to put together a performance down in AA that is truly dominant. 

5. Austin Voth (Washington Nationals) – When you think about prospects in the Washington Nationals farm system the first name that comes to mind likely isn’t Voth (probably isn’t the second or third name either). The 23-year-old RHP doesn’t have a Fastball that is necessarily going to blow by you – he usually sits around 91 but can hit 95 – but he has great control paired with a better than average Changeup and Slider. He’s used this 3 pitch arsenal to amass 21 Ks and 0 BB through his first 18 IP in the minor leagues. What’s even more encouraging too is that Voth is actually continuing to build upon a really successful 2015 campaign – 2.92 ERA, 8.47 K/9. It’s highly doubtful that Voth continues this dominance (an infinite K/BB rate is pretty tough to maintain after all) but considering the fact that Giolito is yet to look dominant down in AA, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Voth get the call ahead of Giolito. The lack of room in the Nationals rotation along with their early season success doesn’t lead me to believe that Voth will be up any time soon, but I would be monitoring his starts; if his success continues, I think he could be a valuable stash, especially in deeper leagues. 

6. Josh Hader (Milwaukee Brewers) – The best LHP prospect in the Brewers organization is off to a very good start in AA. I know, I KNOW, it seems a bit crazy to not only have a AA guy on here but to have him at #6! Come on, Alex! Here me out though: Taylor Jungmann was just sent down to AAA for being virtually ineffective in his first couple starts as a Brewer. The organization decided to call up David Goforth, who was added for bullpen help. The Brewers need a starter for Tuesday’s game and their best pitching prospect, Jorge Lopez is off to an abysmal start down in AAA: 14.1 IP, 14 ER, 23 Hits, 13 BBs, 16 Ks. The start would be against the Angels who hit LHP better than RHP meaning the Brewers could go with Junior Guerra but I would be surprised as he’s also struggling in AAA. It’s a bold choice but I think Hader’s showing improvement with his off-speed and his 98 mph Fastball looks good enough to make him a good stash. If he is able to make an impact while he’s in the Majors, I don’t see why the Brewers wouldn’t want to keep him around a little bit. Convinced? Let me know in the comments why or why not. 

7. Zach Eflin (Philadelphia Phillies) – Charlie Morton’s recent season ending surgery means that the timetable that existed for Phillies pitching prospects may very well have gotten a bit shorter. One of those prospects is Mark Appel who is having a pretty good minor league campaign so far: 22 IP, 4 ER, 20 Hits, 9 BBs, 17 Ks. However, there’s another Philly prospect who is doing even better: Zach Eflin. The 22-year-old’s stat line to begin the year: 26.1 IP, 6 ER, 17 Hits, 3 BBs, 22 Ks. A 7.33 K/BB ratio? Are you Eflin kidding me! The 22-year-old flamethrower can reach 98 on the gun, but his biggest issue last year was that he wasn’t recording many strikeouts – he was only able to record 68 Ks in 131.2 IP. These are his Ks per game through his first four outings this year: 3, 5, 8 and 6. The 5 and 8 K game featured 0 walks and of the 6 ER he’s given up, 5 of them have come from one poor outing. This increase in his strikeouts along with Morton’s injury and my inkling that the Phillies want to be a bit patient with Appel make me think Eflin is a guy you should be stashing.

8. Julio Urias (Los Angeles Dodgers) – Last week, I prefaced Urias’ passage by saying that Scott Kazmir’s recent poor performances made me think that Urias may be called up sooner rather than later. However, Kazmir seemed to get back on the right track a bit in his last outing against the Marlins so any hope of a Urias call up in the near future probably isn’t realistic. The LHP is showing absolutely fantastic command in the minors however. Check out this stat line: 18 IP, 5 ER, 14 Hits, 3 BBs, 23 Ks. Even crazier: those walks were spread out over 3 games! There hasn’t been a single game so far this season in which he has walked more than one batter, which partly explains his amazing 0.94 WHIP. His most recent outing was in relief, which seems to mean that the Dodgers want to limit his innings. This either means that the Dodgers might want to keep him fresh for a spot start soon or are more interested in preserving him for the long run. Jose De Leon returning soon from an ankle injury and the lack of any buzz about a potential Urias call-up however, makes me lean more towards the latter than the former. 

9. Cody Reed (Cincinnati Reds) – Reed is the 2nd best pitching prospect in the Reds organization who has what Baseball America calls “one of the best Sliders in the minor leagues.” His stat line doesn’t feature a lot of IP – 9.2 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 12 Ks – but that’s mostly due to the fact that he had to spend a little time on the DL due to his cutting his finger while moving into a new apartment. Reed’s line doesn’t really reflect how dominant he can be against left-handed hitters, the teams he’s played have featured only two, but I think the fact that he’s still finding success against righties only bodes well for Reed. While the Reds seem content to keep shuttling Stephenson between AAA and the minors – his K-rate is yet to translate – I wouldn’t be surprised to see them give Reed and his impeccable slider a shot soon. 

10. Michael Clevinger (Cleveland Indians) – I think it’s important to take a look at Clevinger in two pieces. He’s made four starts down in the minors. Here is the line from his first two and his most recent: 15.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 6 BBs, 19 Ks and here is his line from that third start: 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. True, Clevinger was hit really hard in that third start but as discouraging as that was to see it was just as encouraging to see him bounce back with 6 Ks and 0 ER in his next start. Clevinger’s most recent start – last night – was rained shortened but he still managed 5 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks further proving that his second start was a bit of an aberration. Clevinger finishes out our list not necessarily because he’s doing well in the minors but because the pitcher he might be able to replace – Cody Anderson – features a Changeup that isn’t falling and a Fastball that is continuing to stay up in the zone.

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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