Wink If You’re Ready or What’s the Rush, Man?

Feels like we get big prospect headlines every weekend. Makes sense on the baseball calendar. Adley Rutschman, Nolan Gorman and Matthew Liberatore all got that call this week, and I got an invitation to reshuffle the stash list.

Graduated from Volume 2: Royce Lewis Rolls Into Town: George Kirby, Adley Rutschman, Alek Thomas, Vidal Brujan, Nolan Gorman, Ryan Pepiot

If you cared to look back that far, you’d see two graduates in this list from the class of Volume 1, Oneil Cruz Control featured again here in Volume 3, but that’s just the nature of the nomenclature these days. Confusing times when the top guy on the stash list just got demoted after dominating for a couple weeks, but here we are, and away we go.

1. Minnesota SS Royce Lewis (AAA) 22 years old

Went 3-for-3 with a homer, a walk, and a stolen base in his first game back in AAA after slashing .308/.325/.564 in 11 games as a major leaguer. Figures to be a short stay in St. Paul.

2. Pittsburgh SS Oneil Cruz (AAA) 23 years old

Cruz has been patient and productive for about two weeks now, slashing .261/.414/.478 with a 19% strikeout and 15.5% walk rate over his past 12 games. He’s got two home runs, two stolen bases, and two caught-stealings over that stretch. He may not dominate from the jump, but the dead ball shouldn’t bother him much if he’s this patient in the show.

3. Baltimore RHP Grayson Rodriguez (AAA) 22 years old

Threw 5.1 shutout innings with 11 strikeouts last time out on May 17. I have long thought Rodriguez would come up whenever Adley did, so now we wait.

4. Kansas City 1B Vinnie Pasquantino (AAA) 24 years old

Who down Vinnie P? Every last homie, if my recent efforts to trade for him are any indication. Vinnie has made some trades of his own, sacrificing a little contact for power and swatting seven home runs in 17 games since April 30.

5. Washington SS Luis Garcia (AAA) 22 years old

Front office has blinders on here, and it’s pretty damn irritating, just thinking about it through Garcia’s point of view. He’s slashing .336/.393/.589 with eight home runs in 35 games. His 9.2% walk and 14.7% percent strikeout rate are mirror images of what the 22-year-old produced in AAA as a 21-year-old last season. I moved him up a bit this week because good wins out over evil in the end. He’s not even a prospect, so including him on the list could open a floodgate for all the Adells and Kelenics to come rushing through, but I sneaked him on through a viaduct under the city using a caveat I created last season: Garcia has graduated prospect eligibility but hasn’t debuted yet this seasonso he makes the list.

6. Boston 1B Triston Casas (AAA) 22 years old

Insert Dobby Malbec bit here, paired with cheese and Franchy Cordero dressing. Casas has been kind of meh in May, slashing .245..328/.469 with two home runs in 14 games. I’m eager to see how he deals with the cement baseballs MLB is swapping in and out this year.

7. Pittsburgh RHP Roansy Contreras (AAA) 22 years old

Contreras was up to 5.2 innings in his last AAA start on May 19, so if we are taking this front office at its word (and why wouldn’t we), he has built up the innings required to return to Pittsburgh’s beleaguered rotation.

8. Detroit OF Riley Greene (AAA) 21 years old

Detroit is 13-and-26 as I write this sentence, so they might take their time giving Greene the go-ahead at the various stages of his rehab. Word is he’s back on the field already.

9. Los Angeles 3B Miguel Vargas (AAA) 22 years old

My pick for consistent hitter in minor league baseball over the past couple seasons. Might be an upgrade over Max Muncy right now, but the Dodgers are 1.5 games up on the Padres and 4 games up on the Giants. No reason to rock the boat.

10. Kansas City 1B Nick Pratto (AAA) 23 years old

He’s always been a streaky hitter, and Pratto is getting hot at the right time (five walks and two homers in his last two games) with Kansas City seeking a sea change at the big league level, as discussed in my last article Prospect News: Royals Barbecue Hitting Coach or Moore Needs Sauce.

11. Colorado 3B Elehuris Montero (AAA) 23 years old

Montero is a career .500 hitter in the majors, so he’s got that going for him. He’s also slashing .299/.366/.504 in AAA this year, but the Rockies don’t seem too interested. Ryan McMahon is locked into the third base job. Kris Bryant is in left field. Yonathan Daza has a 134 wRC+ in 80 plate appearances this year. Connor Joe looks like an everyday player at DH. This has always been the problem for Colorado. If you put someone in Coors for half their games, they will probably produce, and then they’ll be blocking more talented players behind them. The front office has rarely shown the foresight to actively sort through their hitters and trade the extras. He’d be much higher on the list if I had any confidence in Colorado.

12. Boston RHP Josh Winckowski (AAA) 23 years old

Wink’s command was already good when it leapt late last season, an improvement he’s carried over to 2022 as evidenced by his 0.82 WHIP across 25.2 AAA innings. Whisper mill suggests he’s coming up soon.

13. Miami RHP Max Meyer (AAA) 23 years old

Sent to the IL with ulnar nerve irritation, an ominous diagnosis to say the least. What to do here? In some leagues, you already dropped him and can hope you can get him back if he gets back. In some leagues, you absolutely can’t drop him. The timing here is brutal for all involved. The Marlins are a wait-and-see sort of team where arm injuries are concerned, which means this could cost Meyer 2022 and 2023 if it’s a worst-case scenario. Word from the club is they don’t expect him to miss much time, so at least somebody’s optimism around here.

14. Arizona OF Stone Garrett (AAA) 26 years old

Jake McCarthy got the call when Arizona needed a new snake this week, and he’s earned that sunshine with his .400/.505/.693 slash line across 20 AAA games, but we’re leaving no stone unturned here at Razzball. Garrett is carrying a ten-game on-base streak for AAA Reno, during which he has five strikeouts, five walks, three home runs and three stolen bases. The D-Backs are 20-and-21 at the moment, 3-and-7 over their last ten games, so it’s all hands on deck as they battle a covid spike in their clubhouse, and Garrett is likely the next man up.

15. San Diego SS CJ Abrams (AAA) 21 years old

Hit three homers in his first two AAA games then lost the plot, slashing .094/.194/.094 in his last seven contests. It’s just one week, and he does have two steals over that stretch, but Abrams needs reps against good pitching after losing time the last two years, and with Robinson Cano in San Diego, I suspect Abrams will stay in AAA until August or so unless he rips off a really great run.

The next ten:

16. Cubs RHP Caleb Kilian (AAA) 24 yo

17. Miami RHP Edward Cabrera (AAA) 24 yo

18. Pittsburgh SS Ji-hwan Bae (AAA) 22 yo

19. Tampa 1B Jonathan Aranda (AAA) 24 yo

20. Philadelphia OF Mickey Moniak (AAA)

21. White Sox C Carlos Perez (AAA) 25 yo

22. San Francisco 3B Jason Vosler (AAA) 28 yo

23. San Francisco 3B David Villar (AAA) 25 yo

24. St. Louis LHP Zack Thompson (AAA) 24 yo

25. Oakland 3B Dermis Garcia (AAA) 24 yo

Thanks for reading!

I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.

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