The 2021 season hasn’t been kind to top prospects making their Major League debuts. We’ve seen both my #1 and #2 overall prospects, Jarred Kelenic and Wander Franco, struggle initially along with countless high-profile arms. Because of this, I can understand if anyone is more leery about stashing prospects right now. And as always, stashing prospects is very dependent on your league size and position in the standings. If you are in a spot where you can afford to use the bench spot, here are my top-10 prospects to stash as we get into the month of July. And yes, I cheated on two of these guys that aren’t techinacally prospects anymore, but I still count them as they’re close enough and are currently in the minors.
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Prospects To Stash
1. Jarred Kelenic (OF – SEA)
After going 0/8 combined in his first two games back in Triple-A, Kelenic has hit .323 in 65 at-bats since then with six home runs, 17 RBI, 19 runs scored, and four steals. He also has the same amount of walks as strikeouts (10) in that span. See, he’s going to be just fine. Nothing to be worried about. If anyone dropped him in 12+ team leagues, that’s a mistake you need to capitalize on. Sure, it made sense to drop him in shallower leagues if you needed someone actually accruing stats for your team, but Kelenic’s upside is too high to leave him on the wire in 12 team leagues or more. We’re talking about arguably the best fantasy prospect in the game with .280+/30/25 upside. Now, here’s an absolute bomb from Kelenic several days ago.
Jarred Kelenic 🚀 pic.twitter.com/q6jgWAE4th
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 25, 2021
2. Jarren Duran (OF – BOS)
We’re now approaching the two-month mark of the minor league season and Jarren Duran hasn’t stopped mashing yet. Through his first 36 games with Triple-A Worcester (pronounced Wooster for you non-New Englanders), Duran is slashing .276/.366/.579 with 13 home runs and eight steals in 175 plate appearances. In fact, Duran hit his 14th and 15th homer during the making of this article. And for those that have made statements claiming that “It’s just normal Triple-A numbers”, just stop. Duran made legitimate mechanical adjustments and bulked up over the last year or so, unlocking this additional power. Just go look at his biceps. They’re huge. The Red Sox need a spark at the top of their order in the worst way possible and Duran is a logical and perfect fit. The only monkey wrench here is that Duran could still go play for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics next month.
"Walk it off, Jarren Duran!"
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 20, 2021
3. Jo Adell (OF – LAA)
Speaking of outfielders that haven’t stopped mashing. Jo Adell is now up to 16 home runs in 45 Triple-A games this season with a .323 ISO and .268/.324/.591 slash line. Yes, his strikeout rate is still high at 31.5% overall, but for what it’s worth, that rate is only 26.3% since 6/17. Adell is far from a perfect prospect, but what he can contribute in the power department makes him worth stashing in redraft leagues. This is a legit 40-homer bat with double-plus raw power to all fields. It’d be nice if he whiffed less and ran a bit more on the bases, but we can’t always get what we want. If he continues producing like this, he’s going to force the Angels hand sooner rather than later.
OMG JO ADELL WHERE DID THAT BALL GO👀🤯 pic.twitter.com/WPRgnMC1T1
— Jared Tims (@Jared_Tims) May 25, 2021
4. Vidal Brujan (2B/OF – TBR)
If you want to put Brujan 3rd here, I wouldn’t argue with you about it. However, Brujan’s continued slump along with rumblings that there’s really no spot for him right now push him down a spot or two here. Brujan remains one of the most electric prospects in baseball with a massive offensive ceiling for fantasy purposes, but it honestly would shock me if he’s still in Triple-A as we get into the month of August.
It would be one thing if Brujan was raking, but he’s slashing only .160/.225/.321 in the month of June. Brujan is still limiting his strikeouts well and does have five steals and a pair of home runs this month, so there’s that. However, at this point, Brujan is likely going to need to heat back up again and/or need an injury at the Major League level to get a shot. I’d still be stashing him in 12+ team leagues if you have the bench space, but it’s fine to cut if you’re in need of more immediate production. Brujan did his best tonight to break out of his slump, reaching base five times with three hits, two doubles, and two walks. Hopefully this is the start of a hot streak.
5. Sixto Sánchez (RHP – MIA)
Over the last three months, a common question I’ve received is, “When is Sixto Sanchez going to pitch?” It’s a great question that doesn’t really have a concrete answer, unfortunately. The latest report was that Sixto was throwing at 120 feet which means that mound work is likely in his near future. From there he’d need to go on a rehab assignment which at this point would probably need to be at least three starts or so. Factor in the all-star break and that puts us in late-July.
We all saw what Sixto is capable of when he’s on the mound. Sánchez dazzled during his rookie season in 2020, posting a 3.46 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in seven starts while showcasing three plus offerings. The strikeout rate hasn’t quite been there yet, but with his arsenal and above-average command and control, it should only be a matter of time before that ticks up./
6. Luis Patiño (RHP – TBR)
Don’t look now, but Luis Patiño is spanking Triple-A hitters recently. Over his last three starts, Patiño has combined for 15 shutout innings allowing only seven hits and four walks with 23 strikeouts (41.8% K rate). His usage earlier this season was certainly annoying, but all the signs point to that type of usage coming to an end once he’s back up. Patiño is being stretched out right now and the Rays are going to need another starter in the very near future with Tyler Glasnow out long-term and Josh Fleming now on the IL as well. I’m anticipating Patiño back up within the next couple of weeks and he has the stuff to make an impact in fantasy leagues thanks to his elite fastball/slider combination and solid changeup.
— MLB (@MLB) December 28, 2020
7. Josh Lowe (OF – TBR)
If Vidal Brujan doesn’t get the next call, it’s likely because Josh Lowe did. The vastly underrated outfield prospect has racked up nine home runs and nine steals through his first 40 games this season with a .296/.363/.566 slash line. Everyone gushes about the skills of Wander Franco and Vidal Brujan for good reason, but Josh Lowe has the tools to be an impact fantasy outfielder. He’s consistently displayed above-average to plus speed and has made strides with the hit tool and game power over the last two seasons as well. If you combine 2019 and 2021, Lowe has slugged 27 home runs in 161 games with 39 steals and a 10.6% walk rate. This is a prospect you won’t have to break the bank for when he gets called up.
8. Joey Bart (C – SFG) & Cal Raleigh (C – SEA)
I’m going to combine these two since they’re both catchers with similar offensive potential. For the last couple of years, Joey Bart has been ranked much higher in prospects rankings. A big reason for that is him getting drafted #2 overall in the 2018 draft while Cal Raleigh was a 3rd round pick. But Raleigh has really closed the gap of late, showcasing an average hit tool and plus power throughout his entire professional career. This season, both backstops have been excelling in Triple-A.
- Cal Raleigh: 184 PA, .329/.386/.615, 20 2B, 8 HR, 7.6 BB%, 12.0 K%, .286 ISO
- Joey Bart: 135 PA, .331/.385/.565, 8 2B, 7 HR, 5.9 BB%, 30.4 K%, .234 ISO
If you want to after one of these guys as an upside play, I’d actually lean Raleigh for this season. He’s hitting for more power this season and has shown a much better approach at the plate. Even though Bart is hitting .331, his plate approach still concerns me with how much swing and miss he has.
9. Jeter Downs (2B – BOS)
You could honestly throw a dozen different players in the last two spots here, but I’ll go with two that possess the best blend of upside and opportunity. First, we have former Dodger/Reds and current Red Sox farmhand, Jeter Downs. While his .243/.323/.410 slash line might not stand out, Downs has already accrued seven home runs and 10 steals in 38 Triple-A contests so far. That power/speed blend is exactly what we’ve come to expect from Downs who possesses 20/20 upside in a ballpark that fits his profile very well. The Red Sox have been getting little from their second basemen this season, who have slashed .233/.293/.380 as a group. At some point, especially if he heats up a little, Downs likely gets a chance to step in and possibly provide a needed spark to the bottom of the order. He’s a solid stash in 15+ team leagues.
10. Bobby Witt Jr. (SS – KCR)
I’m including Bobby Witt Jr here just in case. I’m still in the mindset that there’s a sub-25% chance that he gets the call to the Major Leagues this season, but the stud shortstop prospect would be a high-priority pickup if that callup does happen. The 2019 #2 overall pick is dominating at the plate for Double-A Northwest Arkansas this season, slashing .286/.354/.551 with 12 home runs and 13 steals in 45 games. There’s legit 30/30 upside here wih Bobby Witt Jr who has been compared to Trevor Story on numerous occasions. Isn’t that the type of player you want to stash just in case?
His 12th home run of the season goes… 4️⃣6️⃣1️⃣ feet!
— NW Arkansas Naturals (@nwanaturals) June 26, 2021
Honorable Mention (Hitters): JJ Bleday (OF – MIA), Heliot Ramos (OF – SFG), Brandon Marsh (LAA), Seth Beer (ARI), Nolan Gorman (STL), Drew Waters (OF – ATL), Nolan Jones (3B – CLE), Josh Lowe (OF – TBR)
Honorable Mention (Pitchers): Shane Baz (TBR), Edward Cabrera (MIA), Jackson Kowar (KCR), Hunter Greene (CIN), Tanner Houck (BOS), Daniel Lynch (KCR), Nick Lodolo (CIN), Matthew Liberatore (STL)
Media Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire, MLB Pipeline, Jared Tims, MLB
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