We may have entered a lull as far as prospect promotions go. The past couple weeks have seen Paul Skenes, Christian Scott, Joey Loperfido, Kyle Manzardo, Jordan Beck and Tyler Black all ascend to the majors, which has taken us from having too many stashable prospects to feature in this space to perhaps having too few.

New ones will reveal themselves in due time, of course, but you should know that this recent flurry of promotions isn't the norm. There are times when the talent begins to bottleneck at the highest level, requiring only a small disruption to create a sudden surge, but we're past the surge and into the trickle now, if that metaphor works for you.

You'll note that among my Five on the Verge, three already have big-league experience, which will itself make for less fanfare whenever they do get the call. Of course, it also means their teams will be less hesitant to make that call should the need arise.


(These are the prospects most worth stashing in redraft leagues.)

Junior Caminero, 3B, Rays

2023 minors: .324 BA (460 AB), 31 HR, .976 OPS, 42 BB, 100 K
2024 minors: .316 BA (98 AB), 7 HR, .967 OPS, 11 BB, 22 K

The most notable development for Caminero over the past week is that he got a start at second base Tuesday. It was his first start there in the last two years, and it may present an easier path with Isaac Paredes and Yandy Diaz holding down the corners in the majors. Of course, Brandon Lowe is a pretty good second baseman and is trending toward a return from an oblique injury. Jonathan Aranda is also capable of playing second base and was just activated from the IL. It seems like Caminero's opportunities for at-bats are dwindling with each passing day. So why is he the top prospect to stash? Because the bat is legit, delivering some of the highest-quality contact at any level of baseball, and all it takes is one injury to the right player to make his path clear.

Jackson Holliday, 2B, Orioles

2024 minors: .295 BA (95 AB), 3 HR, 3 SB, .940 OPS, 28 BB, 21 K
2024 majors: 2 for 31, 0 HR, 0 SB, 2 BB, 18 K

Holliday has begun to find his groove at Triple-A Norfolk, batting .346 (9 for 26) with a homer, two steals and more walks (nine) than strikeouts (six) over his past seven games. Is it enough for the Orioles to welcome him back? Well, they're still getting next to nothing from the Jorge Mateo-Ramon Urias tandem that's taken his place in the lineup, and they've also slipped behind the Yankees for second place in the AL East. They have incentive, in other words. As poorly as Holliday's first big-league stint went, though, they'll probably want to be extra confident in his readiness before bringing him back. And even when they do, we won't be able to muster quite the same enthusiasm for him as the first time around.

James Wood, OF, Nationals

2023 minors: .262 BA (473 AB), 26 HR, 18 SB, .873 OPS, 65 BB, 173 K
2024 minors: .357 BA (140 AB), 7 HR, 9 SB, 1.041 OPS, 26 BB, 32 K

Without a doubt, the prospect who's done the most to put himself in consideration for a call-up over the past week is Wood, who recently homered five times over a three-game span and is batting .474 (18 for 38) during a 10-game hit streak. For as good as Wood has been at Triple-A Rochester, the home runs were the missing piece of the puzzle. He's delivered plenty in the past, his 6-foot-7 frame generating some of the easiest power in all the minors, but at least this year, too much of that power has been wasted on ground balls, making for a rate of over 50 percent. Whatever adjustment he needs to make there seems rather small compared to how much he's improved his contact rate, going from striking out 31.5 percent of the time last year to 19.2 percent this year.

"I know last year that was the big thing -- he was chasing a little too much. He's been able to carry over his at-bats from spring training here to Triple-A," Rochester manager Matt LeCroy said. "He's been able to impact the ball. He goes up there with a real good approach and executes his game plan, doesn't really get away from it much. As long as he continues to control the strike zone, he's going to continue to put up really, really good numbers."

Athletically, Wood is nearly the marvel that Elly De La Cruz is, but he appears to be more refined as a hitter, The Nationals have played right around .500 ball so far, which perhaps makes it easier to justify starting the clock on Wood. They could easily free up an outfield spot for him, particularly with Jesse Winker currently nursing a sore back.

Coby Mayo, 3B, Orioles

2023 minors: .290 BA (504 AB), 29 HR, .973 OPS, 93 BB, 148 K
2024 minors: .293 BA (164 AB), 13 HR, .977 OPS, 16 BB, 50 K

Because the Orioles figure to be extra cautious in bringing back Holliday, they may call on Mayo to fill their infield opening first. The quicker he can get his strikeout rate under control, the more plausible it becomes, and he made some strides in that regard over the past week, whiffing just three times in 24 plate appearances. His strikeout rate is still not great at 27.3 percent, but his quality of contact is so high that it may not matter. If we were to apply his Triple-A data to the majors, he'd rank in the top 20 in both average and max exit velocity.

Perhaps the bigger issue for Mayo than his strikeouts, is his defense. He has only a .936 fielding percentage at third base this year -- and that's the best it's ever been. GM Mike Elias recently told The Baltimore Sun that the Orioles are still trying to figure out Mayo's best fit defensively, so his development may supersede his capacity to help right now.

Miguel Vargas, OF, Dodgers

2023 minors: .288 BA (236 AB), 10 HR, 8 SB, .886 OPS, 46 BB, 57 K
2023 majors: .195 BA (256 AB), 7 HR, 3 SB, .672 OPS, 38 BB, 61 K
2024 minors: .294 BA (136 AB), 8 HR, 8 SB, 1.010 OPS, 30 BB, 29 K

Without an obvious choice for the fifth spot here, I'm going to take the opportunity to highlight Vargas, who technically doesn't qualify as a prospect anymore, but since he hasn't established himself in the majors yet, he might as well be a prospect for our purposes. And he wouldn't seem to have much to gain from more time at Triple-A, where he's been one of the most productive hitters so far. Of course, he's delivered big numbers in the minors all along. You can see (above) what he did at Oklahoma City last year, and even two years ago at that same stop, he slashed .304/.404/.511 with nearly as many walks (71) as strikeouts (76).

No doubt, Vargas failed in his bid to be the Dodgers second baseman last year, but he's playing the outfield now, where he might have an easier time finding his way into at-bats. Nothing appears to be on the horizon now, particularly with Jason Heyward (back) setting out on a rehab assignment, but it seems inevitable that the Dodgers will give Vargas another chance at some point this year. His peak exit velocities are still nothing to write home about, raising the question of how much of a power hitter he'll be, but his hitting instincts are really the selling point here.


(Here are some other prospects doing something of note.)

Zac Veen, OF, Rockies

2023 minors: .209 BA (172 AB), 2 HR, 22 SB, .611 OPS, 23 BB, 43 K
2024 minors: .341 BA (91 AB), 5 HR, 9 SB, 1.027 OPS, 13 BB, 25 K

If you followed my prospect content in the offseason, you'll know I never lost faith in Veen despite his ghastly numbers at Double-A, theorizing that they were more likely the result of him playing through a hand injury than simply forgetting how to hit. The injury was finally corrected via surgery, and voila, the production has returned for Veen, who once again shows the makings of a stud outfielder with power, speed and on-base skills. With as much time as he's already spent at Double-A, he's overdue for a move up the ladder, and if he's able to keep this going at Triple-A, he could put himself in a position for a call-up later this year. The biggest takeaway here, though, is that Veen is back to being a big-ticket item in Dynasty.

Aidan Miller, SS, Phillies

2023 minors: .303 BA (66 AB), 0 HR, 4 SB, .804 OPS, 12 BB, 15 K
2024 minors: .337 BA (86 AB), 4 HR, 9 SB, .990 OPS, 9 BB, 19 K

Miller made a good first impression after being drafted 27th overall last year, and he's only furthered it with his return to Low-A Clearwater this year. His strike-zone judgment is top notch for a player with his kind of power potential, and he's making a surprising contribution on the base paths as well. His future may ultimately be at third base, but the bat should play anywhere. Though he's only 19 and still far away at Low-A, his path seems highly projectable already, making him a clear Dynasty asset.

Zebby Matthews, SP, Twins

2023 minors: 3.84 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 105 1/3 IP, 15 BB, 112 K
2024 minors: 1.23 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 29 1/3 IP, 0 BB, 37 K

What stands out most for Matthews is the zero walks across five starts. You might argue the soon-to-be 24-year-old was simply too advanced for High-A, where he made the first four of those starts, but his latest came at Double-A and was perhaps his best yet. In addition to walking no one, he struck out nine over 6 2/3 innings. What's most impressive about Matthews' pristine control is that it's come with improved velocity, his fastball now peaking at 98 mph with extra extension on his 6-foot-5 frame. The right-hander needs further testing at the higher levels, but he's beginning to make a name for himself as a prospect.

Adrian Del Castillo, C, Diamondbacks

2023 minors: .263 BA (357 AB), 14 HR, 19 2B, .814 OPS, 60 BB, 113 K
2024 minors: .345 BA (139 AB), 7 HR, 15 2B, 1.004 OPS, 8 BB, 31 K

You'll want to take Del Castillo's numbers with a grain of salt since Triple-A Reno -- and the Pacific Coast League in general -- is so hitter-friendly. It's also not clear if he can actually hack it as a catcher even though he's played the position almost exclusively in the minors. But there can be no denying his offensive talent at this point. He's making loud contact, delivering an average exit velocity of 92 mph, and generally hitting the ball on a line. He's also doing a much better job of keeping the strikeouts in check this year. If a DH role is in his future, he faces an uphill path to playing time, but it's at least a conceivable one now.

Niko Kavadas, 1B, Red Sox

2023 minors: .206 BA (369 AB), 22 HR, .805 OPS, 98 BB, 172 K
2024 minors: .313 BA (96 AB), 9 HR, 1.148 OPS, 23 BB, 35 K

Speaking of newly conceivable paths to playing time, there may not be a more obvious example than Niko Kavadas. As a 25-year-old confined to first base in an organization that just graduated Triston Casas at that position, Kavadas seemed like he might never advance beyond Triple-A. A poor showing there last year certainly didn't help his case. But his return there this year has revealed a new knack for hitting the ball the opposite way without compromising his power potential, and he's long been known to draw walks at an absurd rate. With Casas sidelined for the foreseeable future with torn cartilage in his ribcage, Kavadas may be breaking through at just the right time. He still faces long odds for Fantasy relevance, but hey, there was a time when we got excited about Matt Mervis.