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“Tranquilo” – The Hitter Stash List

Here is the sequel to last week’s stash list that focused on pitching prospects. Since the season just started it a tough time to write about these young guys, but what I’ve decided to do is provide our readers with a list of bats that aren’t currently on their MLB team but are knocking on the door. The majority of these players are on the 40-man roster but there are a few exceptions. Depending on your roster settings and the depth of your league each owner will play their cards differently, but the constant is that these young guys have talent that can help you win your league championship. Whether it is stashing them on your roster now in anticipation of a call-up or adding them to the top of your watchlist, keep an eye on these guys.

American League

Yoan Moncada (CWS)

It’s tough to believe anyone hasn’t heard of Moncada by now. He headlined the blockbuster Chris Sale deal this offseason, which made him a member of Chicago’s “other team,” and the White Sox hope he’ll become their franchise player. Moncada has elite tools and has played both second and third base on defense. He is a switch hitter that makes consistent hard contact with power from both sides of the plate and he is plus runner. There isn’t much Moncada cannot do on a baseball field. He’s off to a torrid start in Triple-A it is only a matter of time until he gets called up to The South Side.  If he can curb the strikeout rate, he’s future superstar.

Bradley Zimmer (CLE)

BZimmer

Zimmer isn’t on the Indians’ 40 man roster yet but that shouldn’t keep him from debuting this year. He mashed all spring to the tune of a .358 batting average with three home runs, 14 RBI, and four stolen bases. It wasn’t enough to make the team given the Indians’ outfield depth, but Zimmer was told to “knock the door down” and force the team to call him up. He’ll start the year in Triple-A Columbus Clippers offers fantasy owners an enticing power and speed combination despite some contact issues that hurt his batting average.

AJ Reed (HOU)

Around this time last season AJ Reed wasAJ-Reed-2016-ew all the rage. A year later, after a dismal debut last year, he’s been written off as a failure in the fantasy community. Yes, his first appearance didn’t go as planned and he looked completely overmatched against quality breaking balls, but let’s acknowledge that fantasy owners are too quick to write off a former top prospect after a poor debut. He’s only an average defender at first base but Reed can rake. He’s a patient hitter with plus power that has performed at every stop in the minors. He needs to show he can make adjustments at the next level but he is far from a lost cause. Now is the time Reed in your dynasty leagues while the price is down.

Franklin Barreto (OAK)barreto-franklin-afl

Barreto was traded to Oakland in 2014 as part of the Josh Donaldson trade and has progressed quickly through the minor leagues. He stands only 5-9 but sprays line drives to all fields with a short, crisp swing from the right-handed batters’ box. He doesn’t project to hit for much power despite above average bat speed but is plus runner. The biggest question mark at this point is where Barreto will end up defensively. He’s a natural shortstop but with the oft-injured Jed Lowrie currently manning the keystone for the A’s, it appears second base is Barreto’s most likely path in the short-term. He won’t get the call until later in the year but will make his MLB debut at only twenty-one years old. The A’s hope that he is a pillar of their franchise for many years to come and he will offer fantasy owners a cheap source of stolen bases and OBP value later this season.

Rowdy Tellez (TOR)

Rowdy_Tellez_Dunedin.jpgThe first base job in Toronto is far from a lock sure thing. Sure, Justin Smoak is starting for the ‘Jays right now and Steve Pearce serves as his backup, but neither is anything to write home about. Don’t look now but there is a kid on the farm that is coming for their job. Tellez is burly, broad-shouldered prospect that mashed last year in the Eastern League and is starting this season in Triple-A. He is an advanced hitter with plus power and has demonstrated the ability to draw a walk. His shortcoming is on the other side of the baseball where he grades out as a fringy defender but has shown signs of improvement. He has yet to earn a spot on the Bluejays’ 40-man roster, which makes him somewhat of a sleeper, but nonetheless, he’s on track to debut later this season. He offers fantasy owners OBP value and power production.

National League

Lewis Brinson (MIL)Lewis Brinson

Brinson changed homes at last season’s trade deadline as a key piece in the Jonathan Lucroy deal between the Brewers and Rangers. He is an elite athlete that stands 6-4, 205 pounds and offers an exciting power and speed combination. A pure fastball hitter, he has some trouble with breaking balls and continues to refine his discipline and approach at the plate but has the raw tools to become an elite, impact player in MLB. The situation in Milwaukee comes with some question marks as they have a plethora of outfield prospects, and it remains to be seen where Brinson will end up defensively. He will be one of the Brewers’ first callups later this season and can provide fantasy owners with a power/speed combination.

Cody Bellinger (LAD)

Bellinger is the type of talent teams will make a roster move for midway through the season. Bellinger can flat out hit and has a picturesque swing for the left side of the plate that supplies plenty of pop. Cody BellingerAdrian Gonzalez is signed through next season and will hold down first base barring an injury, but there have been whispers that Bellinger could appear in the outfielder later this season if the team needs help. He is a plus defender at first but is also athletic enough to handle a job in the outfield. One way or another it appears he’ll make his debut this year and the bat is prolific.

Jesse Winker (CIN)

The injury been has been cruel to Mr. Winker. Winker.jpgWhen he signed out of high school in 2011 he was advertised as one of the most advanced prep hitters in the draft, but a collection of wrist injuries has hampered his development. Winker’s strongest tool is his bat. He boasts strong OBP skills as he hits for average with disciplined, patient approach at the plate. His flashes of power in batting practice has evaluators projecting him as an average power hitter, but it has yet to translate to the game which could be due in part to the wrist injuries. In the field, Winker is a fringe-average defender so his hit tool will need to carry him to the next level, but he projects as an above-average offensive player that will get his first taste of Great American Ballpark before the All-Star break. 

Raimel Tapia (COL)

When Tapia was set to sign his first professional contract in 2010 out of the Dominican Republic he was far from a highly-regarded prospect. Seven years later, he’s done nothing but rake at every level of minor league baseball and is knocking down to the door to Coors field. Tapia has gained notoriety due to his unorthodox crouch that he employs with two strikes, but he is still able to make hard contact and spray line drives to all field. Take a look…

Tapia

He’s upright with less than two strikes compared to the drastic crouch you see below. 

Tapia 2 strikes

If it ain’t broken don’t fix it, Raimel!

The biggest deficiency in Tapia’s game is that he is an extremely inefficient base stealer. He has the run tool to swipe bags but has yet to perfect the art of the stolen base, and this will be one of Tapia’s areas of focus this season in Triple-A. The Rockies have a logjam in the outfield but as long as he continues to hit  Tapia will find his way onto the roster later this season.

Roman Quinn (PHI)

There were a collection of prospects vying for the fifth spot on the National League side of this list, but Quinn was selected due to the highly-coveted stolen base potential he provides. Although he’s battled injuries so far in his young careers, he is a plus-plus runner on the base baths that has contact skills and sneaky power from both sides of the plate. He needs to work on his approach but offers a floor of a fourth outfielder that steals a bunch of bases with the upside of a switch-hitting Billy Hamilton. Other than Odubel Herrera in center field, the Phillies’ outfield is open for the taking and Quinn could earn a call-up before the All-Star break if he has a good start to the year.

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(Click the RED link below to listen)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Sunday April 9th, 2017 from 7-9pm EST for episode #82 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will be previewing the coming week’s key matchups and discussing key fantasy information.

Our guests this week are Craig Mish, and Professor Mark Rush. Mark is the Chief Editor for MLFS, a writer, and occasional guest on our shows. Craig Mish is the host of a fantasy baseball show on Sirius Satelitte Radio along with Jim Bowden from 9-11am EST Monday through Friday. Craig is also the host for a show on Sirius every Sunday morning with FSWA Hall of Famer Lenny Melnick from 7-10am EST.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(Click the RED link below to listen)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Sunday April 16th, 2017 from 7-9pm EST for episode #83 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will be previewing the coming week’s key matchups and discussing key fantasy information.

Our guests this week are Lenny Melnick and Kyle Klinker. Kyle is an MLFB champion and a veteran of MLFS leagues. Lenny is an FSWA Hall of Famer, the co-host of the Sunday morning fantasy sports show from 7-10am EST with Craig Mish on Sirius, and the owner of lennymelnickfantasysports.com. Check his shows out on his site every morning through out the week at 9am EST.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”

Native Mainer. Ski the East. I enjoy dynasty league formats and am partial to Latin American prospects. Currently living in the Dominican Republic.

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