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The Stash List – My Top 100 Prospects

Hey y’all!  All of the full-season leagues have had All-Star games and are into the second half of their seasons.  I thought it would be a fun exercise to put together my top 100 prospects.  This list is mostly a fantasy list but also has a real-life winkle in it.  In fantasy, I value batters over pitchers.  I do factor defense but has more of a tie-breaker between players.  I have also removed prospects eligible players currently in the majors and who should remain on the big league club, like Yordan Alvarez and Keston Hiura.  Enjoy!  I’ll see you in the comments and on Twitter.

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The Stash List – Post All-Star Break Edition

Hey y’all!  This week’s Stash List should be a pretty good one.  I dug deep to find guys having great seasons that should be available on most waiver wires.  One guy is a forgotten guy in a recent trade with some power and speed.  One guy is destroying baseballs in A ball and then we have two southpaws putting up some crazy strikeout percentages.

Mason Martin (PIT A) 1B Age 20 ETA 2022

The Pirates picked up Mason Martin in the 17th round of the 2017 draft.  Martin has massive power. After being drafted, he was assigned to the Appy League.  In 127 at-bats, Martin swatted eleven dingers to go along with eight doubles. He picked up ten more in 2018 before being promoted to A ball.  So far this season, in 301 at-bats, he has 23 home runs to go along with 19 doubles. As with most power prospects, Martin has strikeout issues.  The lowest strikeout rate in his professional career was 24.7% and that was in his first taste of professional ball. Martin is a pretty patient hitter, and some might say passive, with double-digit walk rates.  Being a right-handed first baseman, Martin will need to continue to hit to make it to the majors. If you are willing to take the risk, Martin is a power guy to stash in your minor leagues.

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The Stash List – Intriguing Profiles

Hey y’all!  This week’s Stash List should be pretty interesting.  Two of the guys I had previously written off, either due to injury or underperformance.  One of the hitters is a utility type player that may be hitting his way into an everyday role.  Lastly, one of the pitchers was properly chosen by his team and is really turning heads in the lower levels of the minors.

Travis Blankenhorn (MIN AA) 3B Age 22 ETA 2020

Travis Blankenhorn was picked by the Twins in the third round of the 2015 draft.  The Twins have been playing him at third and second base, as well as left field. Blankenhorn has above-average power with an average to slightly below average hit tool.  Due to his size, I doubt he is able to stick in left field, but he will be able to stick at DH. He started the season at A+, as he missed some time last year due to a lower back strain.  After 15 games and hitting .269/.377/.404 with a 14.8 BB% and 19.7%, the Twins decided he was ready to move up to AA.

With the promotion, the walks and strikeout regressed back to his career average, he is actually hitting for more power.  He ISO has increased from .135 to .224. Not only has he hit 13 home runs but also has 11 doubles and is hitting balls to all fields. For all of you deep leaguers out there, take a flyer on Blankenhorn. I could see him being a utility type for the Twins that can contribute in the power department.

Trent Grisham (MIL AAA) OF Age 22 ETA 2020

The Brewers used their first-round pick of the 2015 draft on Trent Grisham, one of the best prep players in the draft class.  He was assigned to the AZL right after being drafted and quickly moved to Low A. He has never been known for his batting average, his highest average is .233 last year, so to see Grisham hitting .254 in AA is very encouraging.  His walk percentage has always been double digits but he has decreased his strikeout rate to 17%. Grisham has, it seems, been selling out for a bit more power.

He used to have an all fields approach but his pull percentage has increased from around 30% to almost 50%.  With all the gains Grisham has made, the Brewers decided to promote him to AAA this past week. Prior to this season, I had written Grisham off but I back in. If you play in an OBP, Grisham is a must pick up prospect, if he is available on the waiver wire.

Braxton Garrett (MIA A+) Age 21 ETA 2021

In an interesting move during the 2016 draft, the Marlins used their first-round pick on Braxton Garrett.  He had a well developed three-pitch mix and it was thought he could move quickly through the Marlins system.  Unfortunately, he fell victim to injury had not pitched professionally since 2017. The Marlins started Garrett this season A+ and he has really been impressive.  In 63.1 innings, he has an ERA of 2.86, a WHIP of 1.14, and 82 strikeouts. Garrett projects to be a mid-three starter type with strikeout upside.

With the advanced nature of his pitch mix, he should continue to dominate the lower levels.  I will be interested to see how he does in AA and feel we should see that soon. In dynasty, I would take a flyer on Garrett. I checked in my leagues and he was still available in most of them. Also, with the pitching, Miami has developed recently (Gallen, Lopez, Smith, and Richards) I trust their development staff more than other teams.

Sean Hjelle (SFG A+) Age 22 ETA 2021

Sean Hjelle was selected in the second round of last years draft by the Giants.  It seemed fitting Hjelle would be drafted by the Giants, seeing that he is a 6’11’’ 215 giant righty.  After being drafted, the Giants assigned him to low A and his 21 innings he was hit around a bit. He had a 5.06 ERA and 1.31 WHIP.  Even with his struggles late last year, the Giants assigned him to A ball to begin this year. Hjelle excelled in his 40.2 innings, with a 2.66 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 14.1 SwStk%. 

He was promoted to A+ a few weeks ago and the promotion has not slowed him down. What is very intriguing to me is Hjelle command for being such a tall pitcher. His highest walk rate is 5.5%, which is pretty low, even for a regular sized pitcher.  If Hjelle is able to maintain his control while being this tall, he should be a strikeout machine in the majors. If I was in a deep league, I would take a chance on Hjelle. In a more shallower league, I would wait to see what he does in AA before I invest.

 


The Stash List – Deep Dive Edition

Hey y’all.  This weeks stash list should be a pretty good one for all of you who play in pretty deep dynasty leagues.  Three of the four guys were drafted in the eleventh round or later of there respective drafts.  All four of the guys are in the lower levels of the minor leagues, A or A+ ball.  We have a masher that is not an average killer, a speedster that is not just stolen base asset, and two control pitchers with strikeout upside.

Michael Gigliotti – (KC A+) OF Age 23 ETA 2021

In the fourth round of the 2017 draft, the Royals picked Michael Gigliotti out of Lipscomb University.  After being drafted the Royals sent him to Rookie ball and played extremely well. After posting a .329 AVG, .442 OBP, 3 home runs, and 15 stolen bases, the Royals rewarded his efforts with a promotion to A ball at the end of the season.  In only played in 22 games, but still posted an above .300 average, above .350 OBP and seven stolen bags. Unfortunately, he missed almost all of the 2018 season with a torn ACL in his knee. Gigliotti began the 2019 season back in A ball and is pounding at the door for a promotion (In fact, he was just promoted to A+ on June 20!).

In 59 games, he has a .309 AVG, .394 OBP, 1 home run, and 29 stolen bases.  You read that correctly, 29 stolen bases in 59 games and he have only been caught seven times. So it seems he has had no ill effects for the ACL injury. With the above-average hit tool and batting eye (9.7 BB% and 6.9 SwStk%), Gigliotti is one of those speedsters that can actually hit. I’m looking at you, Billy Hamilton. I would pick up Gigliotti to get in on the ground floor of this very interesting prospect.

Niko Hulsizer (LAD A) OF Age 22 ETA 2021

The Cubs drafted Niko Hulsizer in the eighteenth round of last year’s draft.  Hulsizer is one of those pure athlete types. The 6’2, 200 lb OF won the 2017 College World Series Home Run Derby and gave Morehead State their first Home Run Derby champion.  During the derby, he hit 52 long balls between the three rounds! His draft stock was hampered a bit his junior year due to a broken hand. After being drafted, the Dodgers sent him to Rookie ball where he smashed nine home runs and swiped an impressive 12 bags.  

Along with the taters and stolen bases, Hulsizer also can hit for a pretty decent average, especially for being a slugger type. He hit .281 AVG and had a .426 OBP due to his 14.9 BB%. The Dodgers assigned Hulsizer to A ball to begin the season and he is performing well.  He has smacked 15 home runs and swiped 4 bags to go along with a .268 AVG and .395 OBP. Hulsizer will probably always struggle with the strikeouts but that power is glorious. I’d take a flyer on him in dynasty for sure.

Ljay Newsome(SEA A+) RHP Age 22 ETA 2021

In the 26th round of the 2015 draft, Ljay Newsome finally received a phone call from a major league team.  He lasted to the 26th round mainly due to his stuff. He is a 5’11 righty with a mid to upper eighties fastball.  Not the sexiest pitcher profile for sure. Over the years, he has moved up a level each year and nothing in the profile drastically changed.  That is until this year. After going to a throwing program in the offseason that focused on mechanics and velocity, Newsome is having a career year.  

In 77 innings in A+, Newsome has racked up 103 strikeouts and only 8 walks. He has an ERA of 3.51 and a WHIP of 1.16 with a SwStk% of 14.3% and a BB% of 2.6%.  In fact, in a recent start, he threw 77 for of 94 pitches for strikes. For those not quick with math, that is an 81.9% strike percentage! I know Newsome is repeating and is also old for the level but this is amazing stuff.  I’d jump on board the Newsome train in deeper dynasty leagues.

Brett Conine – (HOU A+) RHP Age 22 ETA 2021

The Astros picked Brett Conine in the eleventh round of last years draft and it might be another win for the Astros organization.  After being drafted Cal State Fullerton, the Astros assigned him to low A. In 31 innings, he struck out 37 batters while walking eleven for an ERA of 1.99 and WHIP of 1.07.  He was assigned to A ball to begin the season and in 33 innings he racked up 40 punchies while walking six batters. The Astros rewarded him with a promotion to A+ and he actually got better!  

In his 27 innings in A+, he has an ERA of 1.65, a WHIP of .95, 42 strikeouts and only four walks. While doing some research on this post, I was not able to find much on him. He was not on any of the top prospect lists.  I expect that to change very shortly. For dynasty, I would keep my eye on Conine because the Astros might have found something in the mid rounds of the draft.


The Stash List – 2018 draftee edition

Hey y’all.  Since the draft was last week, I thought it would be interesting to shine some light on some players who were drafted last year and are performing quite well.  I’m bringing you two hitters drafted in the second round with some power and speed upside.  Also making their debut are two pitchers drafted in the fifth and seventh round performing well in the lower levels.  Let’s go!

Alek Thomas – (ARI A) OF – ETA 2022

Alek Thomas was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the second round of last years draft.  After being drafted the Diamondbacks sent Thomas to the Arizona League. Thomas showed a bit of power, with 2 home runs but he also hit eleven doubles.  The above average hit tool has shown, as he had a .341 AVG. His average eye also showed with a 0.396 OBP during that time and flashed his 60-grade speed with 4 stolen bases.  He finished his season in rookie ball with a 0.325 AVG and 0.394 OBP with another 8 swiped bags.

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The Stash List – Jumping into the Deep End

Hey y’all!  This week we had a couple of prospects send back down. Goodbye Keston Hiura and Nate Lowe (again).  I am pretty sure we will see both to return to the majors very soon. We also had Peter Lambert make his major league debut today against the Cubs.  I was able to catch a couple of innings and he looked pretty good. If he sticks around, he’ll get the Cubs again next week. However, this time it will be in Colorado.  The next edition of the Stash List is going really deep. Two of the pitchers were drafted out of high school but have some fantasy upside. The two hitters this week have fought off some injury concerns and are having great seasons so far.

Lewin Diaz (MIN A) 1B ETA 2021

Lewin Diaz signed with the Minnesota Twins in the July 2 period of 2013.  At the time, Diaz was rated as the tenth overall international prospect according to Baseball America.  He played in the Dominican Summer league in 2014 and then moved stateside and played in the Gulf Coast league in 2015.  During those two years, he posted double-digit walk rates, 14.9 BB, and 11 BB% respectively, and decent strikeout rates of 13.8 K% and 18.9 K%.  After 33 games in the Gulf Coast League, the Twins promoted him to the Appalachian league to finish off the 2015 season.

He must have taken the struggle bus to Elizabethton, TN because in 14 games, he had a strikeout rate of 32 K%, walked 5.7% of the time and hit .167/.245/.375. Not impressive at all.  The Twins assigned him again to the Appy league to begin the 2016 and he fared much better. In 46 games, he got his strikeout rate to 18 K% but also his power began to show. He smacked 15 doubles and nine home runs, which brought his ISO to a career-high .264.

Fast track to this year, Diaz is having a breakout year.  Last year, Diaz really struggled and his poor year ended early due to a broken thumb that required surgery to repair. The thumb injury has not sapped his power. He has smoked ten balls over the fence and also hit ten doubles as well. Scouts are a bit concerned about how his body will develop. He is a 6’4, 220 lb lefty who smashes the ball.  If Diaz is able to continue to hit, he might make it to the Twin Cities as a strong side platoon player.

Jake Fraley (SEA AA) OF ETA 2020

In one of the many trades between the Rays and Mariners, Fraley moved west in the offseason along with Mallex Smith for Mike Zunino.  Ever since being drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft, Fraley has struggled to stay healthy. He played in a career-high 66 games last year.  When on the field, Fraley has shown an above average hit tool. Fraley hit .337 with four home runs. That might not sound impressive but keep in mind he also hit 19 doubles, which might turn into home runs when he gets his hands on those major league baseballs in AAA.  

So far this year, Fraley has been able to stay on the field. Those doubles also seem to be flying a bit further as well. As of this post, Fraley has nine home runs and 14 doubles. He is also still hitting above the league average with a .337 AVG in the 51 games played in AA.  He does not just have a power upside but he also knows how to steal a base. He has 14 steals to go along with the increase in power. With all the moves Tradin’ Jerry plans to make, we should see Fraley patrolling the OF in Seattle sometime next year.

Simeon Woods Richardson (NYM A) RHP ETA 2022

The Mets took a chance on one of the youngest players that was draft eligible last year in the second round in the righty Simeon Woods Richardson.  In 11 electrifying innings after being drafted, Woods Richardson picked up 15 strikeouts with a 33.7 SwStk%. Scouts loved his 60-grade fastball and curveball with an above average changeup.  He’s very athletic and actually was a pretty good third baseman in high school as well. His delivery is very over the top which some scouts have disliked.

However, the scouts that are pretty high on Woods Richardson think the north to south movement changes the batter’s eye level.  Fastballs up and curveballs and breaking balls down aka the Blake Snell blueprint. The Mets assigned Woods Richardson to A ball to being the 2019 season. Even though his ERA is pretty high, 6.02 ERA in 40 innings, his K% is just under 30% while his BB% is only 4.6%. In deeper dynasty leagues, I would definitely give Woods Richardson a chance.  There is a lot of room for growth for the young righty.

Matt Tabor (ARI A) RHP ETA 2022

In the third round of the 2017 draft, the Diamondbacks decided to take a chance on the prep righty from Massachusetts.  After the draft, Tabor threw a couple of innings in rookie ball. He was assigned to low A ball to begin the 2018 season and performed well.  Scouts were impressed with the uptick in velocity from his high school day. Keep in mind this uptick only got Tabor up to the low to mid-nineties. He does have two plus other offerings with the changeup and curveball.  

Tabor is pretty athletic and seems to be able to hide the ball well to fool batters. In 60 innings in 2018, he had a 3.26 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and a 13.2 SwStk%, albeit with only 46 strikeouts. However, this year has been more encouraging on the strikeout side.  In 24 innings in A ball, Tabor has 29 strikeouts and 15.3% SwStk%. The ERA and WHIP as also dropped to 2.63 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. Tabor will never be a lights out starter but should be a guy that will eat innings and compile the strikeouts. Keep an eye on Tabor to see if the increase in swinging strikes and limiting the hits continue.

 


The Stash List – Prospects on the Rise

Hey Y’all.  This week’s Stash List should be a pretty interesting list.  I wanted to bring to your attention some minor leagues that might not be rostered in your dynasty league.  This week I profile a shortstop that should be making their debut in Detroit very soon, a slugger that has some interesting speed, a southpaw killing AA, and righty making mowing down competitors at every stop.

Willi Castro -DET SS ETA 2019

The Tigers picked up Willi Castro at the trade deadline last year from Cleveland for Leonys Martin.  Castro really blasted on the scene in 2017 while in High A Lynchburg. In 123 games, he had a .290 AVG with a .337 OBP and 11 home runs and 19 stolen bases.  I got to see Castro that year when I went to Lynchburg to catch Triston McKenzie pitch. In that one game, I liked what I saw. He was a pretty slick defender and had a hit out of three plate appearances that night.  Ever since then, I’ve kept my eye on Castro.

I knew he would never supplant Francisco Lindor but I thought he had the chance to play second for the Indians in the future. The Indians started Castro in AA in 2018 and to say he struggled was an understatement.  In 97 games, Castro was hitting .245/.303/.350 before moving over to the Tigers. While there, he started to perform like 2017 Willi Castro, hitting .324/.366/.562. The Tigers promoted Castro to AAA to begin the 2019 season, and the dude is killing it. Castro is hitting .349/.426/.527 while swatting 3 home runs and stealing 8 stolen bases.  He is also walking a career-high 8.6% of the time, which is very encouraging as Castro has always been an aggressive hitter. With Ronny Rodriguez manning SS in Detroit, we might hear Willi Castro called up very soon.

Will Benson – CLE OF ETA 2022

Will Benson was drafted by the Indians in the first round of the 2016 draft right out of high school.  Benson has always had strikeout issues, with a strikeout rate never below 30% during his professional career.  Last year was a real test for Benson. It was his first taste of A ball and boy was he struggling. He had a .180 AVG but a .324 OBP which shows Benson still has a decent batting eye.  Keep in mind Benson’s BABIP last year was .218. Benson was majorly struggling but in 123 games, Benson swatted 22 home runs while picking up 12 stolen bases. So there were still some things to like in the profile.  

Cleveland assigned Benson back to A ball at the beginning of this year and things are going much better. In 45 games. Benson has a .274 AVG and .377 OBP. He has also hit 13 taters and more surprisingly has swiped 17 bags.  I’m sure we will be hearing of his promotion to AA soon. As far as fantasy, Benson is definitely a boom or bust type. He could be a Joey Gallo or someone who doesn’t make it past AAA. In dynasty leagues, I’ve been hesitant to roster guys like Benson but he hits, you will have yourself a great dynasty league piece.

Conner Menez – SFG LHP Age 24 ETA 2020

The Giants picked Conner Menez in the 14th round of the 2016 draft from The Master’s College.  The 6’3’ lefty moved quickly after being drafted; moving from Rookie ball to High A. He spent the entire 2017 season in High A, pitched 114.1 innings with a SwStk% of 10.2% but was unable to keep hitters off the basepaths, as his WHIP was ugly 1.55.  The Giants were pretty aggressive with Menez last season and he again pitched in three levels. In all three levels he posted double-digit SwStk%, with the lowest being 13.3% in 74 innings at AA.

So far in AA this year, Menez has been amazing. In 48.2 innings, he has 55 punchouts, SwStk% of 14.8%, and more impressively a WHIP of 0.99.  Menez’ fastball sits around 93-94 and mixes in a low eighties curveball and mid-eighties changeup. I’ve been impressed with the decrease in his walks. They are down to 2.77 BB/9. I expect Menez to be promoted to AAA pretty soon and that will be a pretty big test. Menez has the chance to be a 4th or 5th starter type, especially pitching in Oracle Park for most of his career.

Ryan Rolison – COL RHP Age 21 ETA 2021

Colorado Rockies first-round draft pick last year, Ryan Rolison out of the University of Mississippi, is having a great start to his professional career.  I know you are probably not interested in a Rockies pitcher for your dynasty league but you might want to pay attention to what Rolison has done so far. After being drafted, the Rockies assigned him to the Rookie League, where he pitched another 29 innings.  In those 29 innings, he racked up 34 strikeouts and a SwStk% of 14.6%. He also had an ERA of 1.86 with a WHIP of 0.79. The Rockies assigned him to A ball to begin the season where he straight up dominated. After posting an ERA of 0.61, WHIP of 0.68, with 14 strikeouts over 14 innings, he was promoted to High A.  

The promotion has not stopped Rolison either. In 40.2 innings, the southpaw has an ERA of 1.99, WHIP of 1.11, and 41 strikeouts with an 11.8 SwStk%. Some scouts say his best pitch might be his curveball but his fastball and changeup are above average as well. He frequently uses all three of his pitches and really pounds the strike zone, throwing strikes about 60% of the time.  He regularly sits mid-nineties with his fastball and mid-eighties with his secondary offerings. I would keep a close eye on Rolison over the next couple of months. Colorado, smartly, has most of its affiliates in high hitting environments so if Rolison keeps performing you might want to take a flyer on the young Rockie.

 


The Stash List – Swiping Bags and Bringing the Heat

Hey y’all!  Happy Cavan Biggio, Josh Naylor and Kevin Cron Day!  I wrote about Biggo in this Stash List. In deeper leagues, I would take a flyer on Cron over Naylor.  Cron has a better path to playing time and is absolutely smashing the ball. This week’s Stash List, though,  should be an interesting one.

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The Stash List – Interesting Profiles Edition

Hey y’ all!  Another week, another round of interesting prospects making their major league debuts.  The calls up are really getting fun. I was disappointed to see the Nationals demote Carter Kieboom to AAA but not overly surprised.  Kieboom is not the best defender, which was on full display during his time in Washington, but he can really hit. I’m sure he’ll get the call again later this year and will be the Nationals opening day second baseman next year. But enough with the sadness, I have another four prospects having great seasons that you might want to keep your eye or stash on your minor league roster.

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The Stash List – Great Performances Edition

Hey y’ all! Can you believe there as already been one month of minor league baseball?  We’ve had some great stories so far.  Luis Robert killing A+ and then getting the promotion to AA.  Casey Mize throwing a no-hitter in his first start in AA. What has been your favorite story so far?

This week’s Stash List has two hitters in killing it in AAA who may get a promotion to the majors this year, one pitcher recently promoted to AA throwing absolute fireballs while limiting walks, and a college bat performing well in A+.

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