What a bummer this article is shaping up to be.

I say that with some trepidation, not wanting you to click away, but I'm like George Washington and Jon Snow in that I cannot tell a lie. (I'm less like them in terms of bravery and such, lest I make too flattering of a comparison.)

We all like to read about prospects, right? It's the reason this article exists. Not to tell tales out of school or anything, but the Prospects Report does big numbers, such that there's an audible cha-ching whenever I file a new one. But is there that same cha-ching when you put it into practice? You can probably answer that one for yourself.

Prospect call-ups, whether at the start of the season or several weeks in, have by and large been terrible, particularly on the hitting side. For every Corbin Carroll, there are like five Jordan Walkers, to use an example from last year, and if anything, I'm overestimating that ratio. What's worse is that, if we're really being honest with ourselves, it's been that way for a few years now.

The "why" is irrelevant. I'll offer up the theory that with fewer and fewer fastballs being thrown every year, minor-league hitters are needing more time -- longer than a year, in many cases -- to acclimate, but there may be other factors contributing to it. In any case, it's happening, and it does us no good to live in denial of it.

So why am I bringing this up now? Because the herd of stashable prospects -- at least in terms of redraft leagues -- has really thinned out in the past couple weeks. Have you enjoyed what Joey Loperfido, Kyle Manzardo and Jordan Beck have brought to the table? Not really? Well, they were among the best the minors had to offer. Of course, there were better prospects who came up even before then, but they faltered as well, which is why one (Jackson Holliday) is back in play here.

And even though there have been no majors promotions in the past week, several of the best remaining prospects have eliminated themselves for other reasons. Coby Mayo suffered a broken rib. Orelvis Martinez is in a 2-for-35 slump. Max Meyer has pitched to a 7.56 ERA at Triple-A. Miguel Vargas actually did get called up, but he's hardly playing, which only furthers my point. What good was stashing him anyway?

Basically, we're left to pick through the leftovers after the best and next-best prospect call-ups already failed to deliver on expectations, which begs the question: What's the point? What exactly are we doing here?

Well, we're reading about prospects. And that's fine because, again, we all like to read about prospects. We just need to focus in on that part and not stress so much about the immediate utility of said prospects, whether they're in my Five on the Verge or not.

Should you stash them? Only if you want to. Only if it's obvious there will be a mad dash to the waiver wire if and when they're promoted. For me, that ends with the top three (Junior Caminero, Holliday and James Wood), and even then, stashing isn't an imperative in shallower leagues.

God bless Paul Skenes.


(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: .291 BA (117 AB), 7 HR, .878 OPS, 11 BB, 29 K

I'm sorry to say that Caminero isn't doing much to force the issue right now, and he kind of needs to with Joshua Lowe, Brandon Lowe and Jonathan Aranda all healthy again. Instead, he's gone 3 for 19 over the past week, striking out seven times and walking nada. He's gotten some exposure to second base, but that position isn't any more open than third base at this point. I'm just not sensing any urgency here, and yet it's hard to imagine he won't be up at some point in the first half given that the Rays saw fit to use him down the stretch last year. He still obliterates the ball when he connects with it and has as much pure hitting potential as any minor-leaguer.

Jackson Holliday, 2B, Orioles

2023 minors: .323 BA (477 AB), 12 HR, 24 SB, .941 OPS, 101 BB, 118 K
2024 minors: .266 BA (124 AB), 4 HR, 3 SB, .865 OPS, 33 BB, 31 K
2024 majors: 2 for 31, 0 HR, 0 SB, 2 BB, 18 K

At this time a week ago, it seemed like Holliday was beginning to heat up at Triple-A, but it was short-lived. After a 5-for-29 week, he's now batting .232 (19 for 82) since his April 26 demotion, and given how much he struggled in his first taste of the big leagues, it's doubtful the Orioles would press the issue in any way with him. He needs to be scorching hot to make it back, in other words, and he's far from that. Even with Coby Mayo sidelined by a fractured rib, there are other potential infield replacements at Triple-A, including former major-leaguers Terrin Vavra and Nick Maton. Still, Holliday is the top prospect in baseball and almost certain to return at some point this season. You may not get another shot at him if you bail now.

James Wood, OF, Nationals

2023 minors: .262 BA (473 AB), 26 HR, 18 SB, .873 OPS, 65 BB, 173 K
2024 minors: .348 BA (161 AB), 8 HR, 10 SB, 1.027 OPS, 33 BB, 37 K

If there's one top prospect doing everything he can to make sure the big club takes notice, it's James Wood. He connected for his eighth home run in the second game of a doubleheader Tuesday and continues to demonstrate an impressive mastery of the strike zone for someone who stands 6-feet-7, having drawn nine walks while striking out just seven times in his past 13 games. My biggest concern is that he has only an 18.3 percent fly-ball rate at Triple-A Rocheter, according to FanGraphs, but his manager there doesn't think he has anything more to work on.

"He's done enough right now that I would feel confident, if they asked me, [to say], 'Hey, man, might as well.'" Matthew LeCroy recently told The Washington Post. "He's a guy that I think if they called him up tomorrow, he would handle it, and he would just continue to get better and better."

So when?

"Soon," manager Dave Martinez said Monday.

Clearly, it's getting harder for the Nationals to bat down the question, but in fairness, their current starting outfield (Jesse Winker, Jacob Young and Eddie Rosario) is giving them plenty to evaluate right now. And since they're not serious contenders, there's no real urgency to pull the plug on a player who might be turning himself into trade bait. Add the usual Super Two considerations, and I'm guessing it'll be another month before we see Wood. Clearly, though, the time to stash him is now.

Jasson Dominguez, OF, Yankees

2023 minors: .265 BA (456 AB), 15 HR, 40 SB, .802 OPS, 83 BB, 133 K
2023 majors: .258 BA (31 AB), 4 HR, 1 SB, .980 OPS, 2 BB, 8 K
2024 minors: 5 for 16, 1 2B, 5 BB, 6 K

You say you want a minor-league bat who you can trust to perform when he gets the call? Dominguez would seem to fit the bill. He was up for about a week last September and homered four times. And now he's back to playing in minor-league games after having Tommy John surgery. You could make the case, perhaps, that he's the most stashable prospect of all, but there's a reason why I'm only putting him fourth.

Caminero, Holliday and Wood could technically come up any day, but we know it'll be several weeks before Dominguez does. He's only getting his at-bats in right now, having yet to patrol the outfield, and you have to presume a recovery like this will use up all of the allotted 20 days. Even after 20 days, Dominguez figures to be optioned rather than activated, both because he won't be quite ready yet and because the Yankees won't have an opening anyway, not with Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, Giancarlo Stanton and Alex Verdugo all healthy. We're all looking forward to Dominguez's return, but I wouldn't say it's on the horizon yet.

Tyler Black, 1B/3B, Brewers

2023 minors: .284 BA (450 AB), 18 HR, 55 SB, .930 OPS, 88 BB, 100 K
2024 minors: .302 BA (129 AB), 6 HR, 7 SB, .895 OPS, 15 BB, 22 K
2024 majors: 5 for 22, 2 2B, 2 SB, 1 BB, 8 K

No choice for the fifth spot here would be a particularly inspired one, but I'll offer up this tepid endorsement of Black, who not so long ago was garnering some big FAAB bids in Rotisserie leagues for his stolen base potential. The presumption then was that he was up for good, but he got sent back down after only a week and, strangely enough, hasn't returned even with Rhys Hoskins going down with a hamstring injury. Jake Bauers was pushing for more at-bats at the time, but his hot streak appears to have ended while Black continues to do his thing at Triple-A Nashville. Black is an odd little player, being a corner infielder with limited power potential, but he could be a handy one for his speed and on-base prowess.


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

Drew Thorpe, SP, White Sox

2023 minors: 2.52 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 139 1/3 IP, 38 BB, 182 K
2024 minors: 1.50 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 42 IP, 13 BB, 40 K

The White Sox seem intent on slow-playing Thorpe. Not only did they return him to Double-A to begin the year after he had seemingly earned the right to advance to Triple-A at age 23, but they've mostly limited him to five- and six-inning starts when he was routinely going seven and even eight innings in the Yankees system last year. Looking at the White Sox's record, you can understand the lack of urgency, but it does make it harder to bask in Thorpe's performance when it's clear he's not being challenged. What's unclear is whether he has any weapons beyond his plus-plus changeup, which may not be enough to sustain him in the majors.

Brennen Davis, OF, Cubs

2023 minors: .201 BA (254 AB), 5 HR, 9 SB, .604 OPS, 23 BB, 73 K
2024 minors: .274 BA (95 AB), 8 HR, 1 SB, 1.005 OPS, 21 BB, 30 K

A week ago, we celebrated Zac Veen's return to prospect prominence after his two seasons wrecked by a wrist injury. This week, we're doing the same for Davis, though in his case, it was a back injury that derailed him. He doesn't have all his mobility back, but the power-and-patience profile that earned him such high marks appears to be restored. It's been especially evident over his past 10 games, during which he's batted .467 (14 for 30) with seven home runs. That's at Triple-A, by the way, which would seem to put Davis in position for a call-up except that Pete Crow-Armstrong would surely get the nod first.

Carson Williams, SS, Rays

2023 minors: .257 BA (435 AB), 23 HR, 20 SB, .853 OPS, 59 BB, 158 K
2024 minors: .343 BA (134 AB), 7 HR, 11 SB, 1.048 OPS, 16 BB, 38 K

Most rank lists had Williams as a top-25 prospect coming into the year for his superlative defense and considerable power potential. I ranked him lower because he had struck out upward of 30 percent of the time even against A-ball pitchers mostly throwing fastballs, which seemed like a serious impediment to him ever finding his footing in the majors offensively. What I didn't count on was him simply getting better. He's struck out at only a 25 percent rate at Double-A Montgomery so far, which still isn't great but is much more workable, particularly with his ability to impact the ball.

Deyvison De Los Santos, 1B, Diamondbacks

2023 minors: .254 BA (452 AB), 20 HR, .728 OPS, 25 BB, 125 K
2024 minors: .368 BA (152 AB), 14 HR, 1.106 OPS, 12 BB, 36 K

De Los Santos has been a prospect of some interest since he was an 18-year-old in the lower minors, and it's fair to say that the interest is peaking now with his absurd production at Double-A Amarillo. But there are some caveats. The first is that Amarillo is far and away the most hitter-friendly venue in the Texas League, particularly for home runs, and nine of De Los Santos' 14 having come there. The second is that his swing decisions still aren't even close to being major league-caliber. The third is that he's moved off third base and is now a full-time first baseman, giving him a narrower path to playing time.

The first you could dismiss with "OK, but we've seen him hit for power at other levels." The second you could dismiss with "well, he's a 20-year-old at Double-A -- what do you expect?" The third is harder to dismiss, especially since Adrian Del Castillo is likely destined for first base as well and is a rung higher on the organizational ladder.

Luke Keaschall, 2B, Twins

2023 minors: .288 BA (111 AB), 3 HR, 11 SB, .891 OPS, 19 BB, 25 K
2024 minors: .319 BA (138 AB), 5 HR, 13 SB, .956 OPS, 25 BB, 25 K

The Twins' second-round pick last year gained some favor with the little bit he played to close out the season, but he's taken it to another level this year. He's incredibly disciplined, with his strikeout and walk rates both coming in at 15 percent, and while his raw strength is nothing to write home about, he excels at pulling the ball in the air, maximizing his power projection. He clearly isn't afraid to swipe a bag either, making him one of the true standouts at High-A so far.