Top Prospects to Stash (Fantasy Baseball)
It’s clear that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is ready to graduate the prospect ranks and finally reward those drafters who selected him entering this season (or long before in keeper/dynasty leagues). There’s not a much better feeling than for a long-awaited stash to transform from potential to actual fantasy value. It sounds like Vlad will make the jump soon, potentially even this week.
When he does, owners will need to turn to the next top prospect to stash. Vlad, Eloy Jimenez, Victor Robles, and others have made the move to the majors this season, but there are still plenty of minor leaguers to get excited about. We’ve asked our writers for their top prospects to stash.
Who is your top prospect to stash?
Nick Senzel (2B – CIN)
“Senzel still has arguably the highest floor of any minor league hitter, and he reports to Triple-A this week after suffering an ankle sprain near the end of the spring. The Reds appear determined to force Senzel into center field rather than utilizing him at second base, and that actually makes more sense than you might think. Scooter Gennett will be back later this year, and with Scott Schebler hitting a paltry .164/.258/.291, the outfield represents the best opportunity for sustainable playing time. Senzel boasts double-digit home run and steal potential to pair with a 70-grade hit tool that should enable him to hit .270 or better right out of the gate if he can improve his K:BB ratio (he whiffed nine times this spring with no walks and recorded a 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the minors). Senzel remains a legit five-category contributor with eventual 2B and OF eligibility playing in a ballpark that features the best right-handed home run factor in baseball.”
– Paul Ghiglieri (@FantasyGhigs)
Yordan Alvarez (1B – HOU)
“Alvarez is off to a scorching start at Triple-A Round Rock, smashing nine home runs across his first 16 games, bringing his total to 29 in 445 plate appearances since the beginning of last season. Alvarez is one of baseball’s best hitting prospects, bringing a rare power and plate discipline combo in the minors at a mere 22 years old. Some might be tempted to write off Alvarez’s numbers as a product of the hitter-friendly PCL, however, his wRC+, which adjusts for league run environment, is a sterling 149 since 2018. While the Astros’ big league roster is fairly crowded, incumbent DH/1B Tyler White has struggled to start the year, opening the door for Alvarez to force his way onto the roster. While some naturally assume that Kyle Tucker will be the next Astros’ prospect to be promoted, expect Alvarez to get the call sometime in May if he continues destroying Triple-A pitching.”
– Nick Gerli (@nickgerliPL)
Matt Manning (SP – DET)
“There are plenty of names who are fighting for this top spot now that Vlad is called up, ranging from Nick Senzel and Yordan Alvarez to Forrest Whitley and Bo Bichette. To me, Manning is the best bet to make a major impact the soonest, however. He has no competition for innings blocking him in Detroit and has been shredding the minor leagues each of the past two seasons. Granted, it may take a few starts in Triple-A before he gets the call, but Walker Buehler only saw 23 innings at that stage before blowing away major league hitters over the second half of the season. I see Manning doing the same type of thing in the coming weeks.”
– Bobby Sylvester (@bobbyfantasypro)
Kyle Tucker (OF – HOU)
“In the recently created “FantasyPros & Friends” dynasty league, I made it a point to grab Kyle Tucker in the early rounds. He has torn up the minors, slashing .332/.400/.590 at Triple-A last year. Of course, he had a poor cup of coffee with the Astros, which led them to go out and get Michael Brantley this year. To make matters worse, Tucker is off to a poor start in the minors this year, slashing .140/.197/.298. However, I’m chalking that up to a small sample — he is pulling the ball too much at 67% of the time, but that number should stabilize back to the low-to-mid 40s we are accustomed to. Similarly, he will get his line drive rate back to the mid-20s. This poor early-season performance makes for a great buy-low given Tucker has proven his skills time and again, and Brantley’s injury-prone nature means Tucker could have an everyday spot in the order at any moment.”
– Carmen Maiorano (@cmaiorano3)
Forrest Whitley (SP – HOU)
“Whitley is universally considered the best pitching prospect in baseball. There seems to be a very good chance that he is one day very good. The only issue for his 2019 fantasy value is finding him a spot in the big league rotation. It’s no secret the Astros are loaded with pitchers who can throw quality major league innings. In addition to mainstays Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, Houston also employs Collin McHugh, Brad Peacock, Wade Miley, Josh James, and Framber Valdez. Whitley has more long-term upside than any of them, but the Astros will surely be monitoring his innings this season. That caps his short-term upside. It shouldn’t be a surprise to see Whitley have a lot of five-inning starts this season, similar to what the Padres are doing with Chris Paddack. Despite all these challenges to a meaningful workload this season, Whitley’s upside still makes him worth adding. His 6.55 ERA through three Triple-A starts is very misleading, as he was uncharacteristically lit up in his second start of the season. His other two appearances have been fantastic, which gives potential fantasy owners less reason to worry. The Astros will likely call him up sometime this summer.”
– Brendan Tuma (@toomuchtuma)