Welcome to the 23rd edition of The Stash List for pitchers! New writer for this week’s edition, so plenty of movement inside the Top 10. Make sure to check out the hitter edition of this list which comes out every Sunday and will have a new update tomorrow.
- The Stash List is for your redraft leagues and does not consider impact beyond 2023
- Only current minor league players who are expected to make an impact this season are included
- Players who have already made their MLB debuts cannot have thrown more than 50 IP in MLB
- Upside, proximity, health, and opportunity are all weighed for each player
- The focus is on 12-team leagues with standard categories
- Rankings and rostership percentages will be updated weekly
There were no graduates from previous stash lists. The most notable call-up this past week was Twins left-hander Kody Funderburk. The 6’4″ southpaw was a 2018 draft pick from Dallas Baptist. In 42 games (only two starts), Funderburk was 5-1 with a 2.36 ERA in 61 innings pitched. Funderburk replaced Bailey Ober on the Twins roster, following his demotion back to Triple-A.
Top 10 Pitcher Prospects to Stash
1. Robert Gasser, MIL – ETA September (1)
Robert Gasser maintains his spot atop this Stash List. Gasser closed out a terrific August with a six-inning win over Gwinnett on August 25th. Overall, Gasser finished August with a 4-0 record, 2.63 ERA, and 33 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched. Gasser is now 9-1 on the season with a 3.85 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. With 145 innings in Triple-A, Gasser has little left to prove at the highest level in the minors.
As Matt mentioned in last week’s edition, Gasser’s road to the show was blocked, specifically by right-hander Adrian Houser. Houser has since been placed on the 15-day IL on August 28th with right elbow stiffness, leaving an opening in the Brewers rotation. In the interim, the Brewers promoted J.B. Bukauskas from Triple-A, but it was his turn in the Nashville rotation. If you are looking for pitching help down the stretch, grab Gasser before he gets the call to Milwaukee.
2. Joey Cantillo, CLE – ETA September (2)
Joey Cantillo holds tight at number two, mainly due to a fluid rotation situation in Cleveland. In his most recent start, Cantillo was roughed up by Jacksonville, albeit in his second game of the week against them. In six innings of work, Cantillo yielded six ER on eight hits, while striking out six batters. Cantillo has a 3.94 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP on the season, with the elevated WHIP mainly due to his 12.4% walk rate (4.99 BB/9).
The Guardian’s rotation is built on a crop of young talent led by Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams, and Logan T, Allen. Williams left his most recent start after an awkward fall on the mound, and rotation fillers Xzavion Curry and Cal Quantrill have been mediocre. Cleveland has fallen five games back of AL Central-leading Minnesota, and are barely holding on to their playoff hopes. I’d grab Cantillo with a multi-start September looming on the horizon.
3. Jared Jones, PIT – ETA September (4)
Jared Jones recently completed another dominant outing, tossing six innings of one-run ball, striking out 10 against a star-studded Iowa lineup that features Pete Crow-Armstrong, Alexander Canario, and Matt Mervis. Jones, a 2020 draftee, has ascended the prospect charts and is on the verge of a promotion to the majors. Jones features a high-powered four-pitch arsenal, led by his upper-90s fastball and big, sweeping slider. The command remains a concern for Jones (10.9% BB rate), although his high strikeout output could be worth the risk.
I am sorry if I cursed Jared Jones. Flipped over to his start for him to proceed to give up a HR to David Bote and then walk PCA.
Still has 9 K through 5 IP with 2 H/1 ER.
18 whiffs(46%)/33% CSW pic.twitter.com/MW72qb5wOb
— Chris Clegg (@RotoClegg) August 27, 2023
Outside of Mitch Keller and Johan Oviedo, the Pirates’ rotation has been terrible. Luis L. Ortiz, Bailey Falter, and Andre Jackson have combined for a 4.55 ERA with a low strikeout upside and inconsistent results. The Pirates will give Jones a shot sooner rather than later, and you’ll want to speculatively add Jones, especially in leagues where you need strikeouts.
4. Will Warren, NYY – ETA September (3)
Following his promotion to Triple-A, Will Warren battled inconsistency and command issues en route to a 5.64 ERA over his first 30 innings. August has been much better as Warren has settled in over his five starts in the month. In August, Warren has gone 2-0 with a 3.67 ERA with 28 strikeouts to just ten walks. The biggest problem for Warren was the long ball, yielding seven homers in his five starts. The plus side was that all the home runs were solo shots, limiting the overall damage. Warren continues his success with his fastball and sweeper, with both offerings having a 30%+ whiff rate.
With the Yankees fading fast in the standings, their run of late-season promotions has begun. Top prospects Jasson Domínguez and Austin Wells got the call this week, and others will follow suit. Warren remains likely to get a look in September, especially with Clarke Schmidt well over his career high in innings and the ineffectiveness of Jhony Brito.
5. Mason Black, SFG – ETA September (8)
Coming off his best start of the season on August 23rd (5 IP, 0 ER, 8 Ks), Mason Black regressed to his old ways, walking four hitters in an abbreviated three and two-thirds-innings start. Black has a 30.3% strikeout rate this season, but command issues continue to plague Black. His 14.3% walk rate is a career-high, and his ineffectiveness has led to many early exits of late. Black primarily features a sinker-slider combination but has shown both a four-seam fastball and cutter with limited usage. In the long term, Mason Black has a higher reliever risk, but his MLB debut will be as a starter or bulk reliever.
The 2023 campaign has been solid for the Giants, who currently sit as the third wild-card team. With the recent promotion of Kyle Harrison, the Giants have three traditional starters and have used openers more often as of late. Black is the most likely to jump to the majors, and as the race gets tighter, the Giants will need as many live arms as possible.
6. Chayce McDermott, BAL- ETA September (NR)
Making his Stash List debut is Orioles right-hander Chayce McDermott. McDermott is a bit of a late bloomer after battling numerous injuries and personal obstacles in his journey to the high minor leagues. After his recovery from Tommy John, McDermott managed just 133 innings at Ball State University. After a brief stint in pro ball following his 2021 draft selection, McDermott struggled with command (15% BB rate) en route to a 5.56 ERA across three levels in the 2022 season. McDermott has bounced back in 2023, pitching to an 8-8 record with a 3.28 ERA over 107 innings this season. His walk rate has dropped to 11.7%, while his strikeout rate has jumped to 31.3%. With two plus pitches (FB and slider) and a budding curveball, McDermott now has three offerings that yield a 28%+ Whiff rate.
We've got a pitching duel on our hands. @Chayce_mcd99 has fanned seven through five innings in a tight game! ???????
— Norfolk Tides (@NorfolkTides) August 16, 2023
The Orioles are playoff-bound and will take steps to rest their starters down the stretch. McDermott is a likely candidate to get a look, and given his team context, he would provide some sneaky win potential to close out your season. Keep an eye on the management of the O’s staff and their Magic Number as September nears.
7. Mike Vasil, NYM (NR)
As the Mets turned from contender to fire sale, Mike Vasil seemed to be a lock to head to Queens. The eighth-round draft pick in 2021 shined this season at Double-A Binghamton, posting a 3.71 ERA and 0.84 WHIP over 51 innings pitched, including a 24.9% K minus walk rate. Despite struggling early in Triple-A, Vasil has turned in four consecutive stellar outings. The best was an eight-inning, one-hit performance in early August against Scranton WB, in which he struck out seven. Vasil closed out his August with a 2-1 record, 2.79 ERA, and 1.03 WHIP.
2023 has been a disaster for the Mets despite lofty goals entering the season. Following the trades of Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, the Mets also waived Carlos Carrasco, who went unclaimed. Kodai Senga is the only secure Mets starter, and Vasil is a guy I’d expect to make a few starts down the stretch.
8. Cade Horton, CHC (NR)
This one may be considered a stretch, but hear me out. Cade Horton was the Cubs’ top pick in the 2022 Draft, selected at seventh overall and has thrown 84 1/3 innings this season. Of those 84 1/3 innings, just 23 have been at Double-A. BUT, Horton is the best arm in the Cubs’ system, including Ben Brown, who is on the minor league IL. The Cubs need a starter, and Horton is best suited to the role. Cade Horton rose to fame during the 2022 College World Series, and his momentum has not slowed. This season, Horton is one of three starters under age 22 with a sub-3.00 xFIP, 30+% K-rate, and sub-7% BB-rate.
That’s it for Cade Horton tonight and it was another good one.
His final line 5 IP,3 H, 2 ER, 7 K, 1 BB. Brief moment where he lost his control and dialed it back in. Showed swing and miss with multiple pitches.
His AA ERA sits at 1.57. pic.twitter.com/ZOQgqWgJvl
— Greg Zumach (@IvyFutures) August 31, 2023
The Cubs sit two games up for the second wild-card spot in the National League. Their offense has been inconsistent at times but possesses the veteran leadership needed down the stretch. The starting rotation has been solid overall, but beyond Justin Steele, it’s been patchwork at best. Swingman Javier Assad has filled in admirably in the absence of Marcus Stroman (ribs), but veterans Drew Smyly and Jameson Taillon have been disappointing. The Cubs have not been aggressive in the Jed Hoyer era with prospect promotions, but if anyone is going to break the trend, it should be Horton. Even if Horton comes up in a bulk relief role, he is a MUST-roster in all formats.
9. Blake Walston, ARI (NR)
Blake Walston, a 6’5″ southpaw in the Diamondbacks organization, makes his debut on the stash list. Walston was a first-round draft pick in 2019, the fourth prep arm that came off the board. In his first two minor league seasons, Walston had a 4.34 ERA with 11.00 K/9 across three levels from low-A up to Double-A. Walston has made 26 starts this season solely at Triple-A Reno, compiling a 10-6 record with a 4.43 ERA, with a miserable 1.58 WHIP. The most significant obstacle for Walston is himself. This season, he has a nearly identical 14.9% strikeout rate and 14.5% walk rate, by far the highest of his career. Walston is just 22 years old, so there is definitely time to right this sudden command issue.
Based on numbers alone, you’d think Walston has no shot at the big leagues this season. But consider the Diamondbacks are currently without Ryne Nelson, Drey Jameson, and Tommy Henry. The current rotation has Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly at the top. Behind those two aces are a collection of inconsistent arms (Zach Davies, Brandon Pfaadt, Slade Cecconi). Walston has the ability to get outs, and I can see a scenario where Walston makes a few starts down the stretch in the desert.
10. Brandon Walter, BOS (NR)
Red Sox farmhand Brandon Walter rounds out this week’s list. The left-handed Walter is days away from his 27th birthday but has quietly grown into a favorite of mine. During the 2020 pandemic, Walter improved his slider and fastball, adding additional movement and increasing the velocity of both offerings. The following season, Walter finished two levels of A-ball with a 30.8% K-BB rate and 0.97 WHIP across 89 1/3 innings. Walter was limited to 11 starts in 2022 before a disc injury in his back ended his season early. So far this season, Walter is 2-5 for Triple-A Worcester but has struggled to regain his form following the injury. Walter has pitched better recently and closed out August with a 1.16 ERA and 0.99 WHIP over 23 1/3 innings pitched. During that stretch, Walter struck out 16 batters with just six walks allowed.
Entering the 2023 season, Walter was a guy I was very high on. The Red Sox already had injuries to Chris Sale and James Paxton, in addition to uncertainty around the roles of Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houck. Walter made six appearances for the Sox early this season, pitching to a 3.07 ERA before his demotion. The Red Sox have fallen on hard times of late, losing four straight and seven of their last 10, taking them out of playoff contention. The Red Sox front office made no moves at the deadline to help an ailing rotation, and with eyes on 2024, Walter should get another shot in the majors.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)