Last week, I departed from the usual Five on the Verge, Five on the Periphery format to write about the 10 pitcher prospects who've improved their stock the most. I said I'd do the same for hitters this week unless call-up considerations came into play, and well, they have. Turns out one of those pitchers from last week's article will make his major-league debut Thursday.

BAL Baltimore • #37 • Age: 24
2024 Minors

Cade Povich may be a rising prospect, his performance at Triple-A Norfolk this year having moved him into Baseball America's latest top 100, but he's not a can't-miss prospect. Walks have been an issue throughout his minor-league career, and while the rate has improved this year, he's still thrown just 61 percent of his pitches for strikes, which would rank near the bottom among big-league qualifiers. Meanwhile, his 11.7 percent swinging-strike rate is startlingly low relative to his 11.9 K/9 rate.

The contradiction would seem to arise from his atypical approach. His fastball sits in the low 90s but has a pretty good shape, and he bolsters it with four secondary offerings: a cutter, sweeper, curveball and changeup. That kitchen-sink approach may be a novel one to minor-league hitters, but are big-leaguers going to be as baffled by it, particularly if he's not throwing strikes consistently? It's reasonable to wonder.

There's also a chance it's a one-and-done regardless of how Povich performs. The cited reason for his promotion is to give Kyle Bradish an extra day of rest rather than to fill some opening. It might make sense for the Orioles to go six-man with no off days ahead, but they have yet to confirm that's the plan. Perhaps Povich's performance will influence that decision.

And perhaps he'll perform well. I don't mean to play the naysayer for a pitcher who has obviously succeeded at the second-highest level. He'll be joining a loaded team, after all, and one that seems excited to have him.

"He threw the ball great for us in spring. I thought it was huge strides from the year before," manager Brandon Hyde said. "It's great stuff. It's all about command and strikes with him, and it's something we talked about when we sent him out at the end of camp, was just really want to minimize walks, try to get hitters out early in the count, because the stuff really plays."

Still, a proper accounting of Povich's flaws -- which Hyde himself cites -- is necessary so that you go in with your eyes wide open. I'm intrigued, but even with his debut on the horizon, I would prefer to roster one of the ...


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

James Wood, OF, Nationals

2023 minors: .262 BA (473 AB), 26 HR, 18 SB, .873 OPS, 65 BB, 173 K
2024 minors: .355 BA (166 AB), 9 HR, 10 SB, 1.061 OPS, 35 BB, 37 K

We're in a holding pattern on Wood, who hasn't played since May 23 because of hamstring tightness, but he did a full pregame workout Wednesday and sounds like he's gearing up to return.

"Today was the first day I kind of did my running early," Wood said, adding that he had already gotten back to swinging a bat. "It feels good."

Presuming Wood returns in the next week and spends another couple weeks getting back in the swing of things, we'll almost certainly be past the Super Two threshold at that point, leaving the Nationals with little financial incentive to keep him down -- unless, of course, they're willing to wait until late August and preserve his rookie eligibility for next year. Perish the thought!

Noelvi Marte, 3B, Reds

2023 minors: .279 BA (348 AB), 11 HR, 18 SB, .812 OPS, 43 BB, 70 K
2023 majors: .316 BA (114 AB), 3 HR, 6 SB, .822 OPS, 8 BB, 25 K

You'll notice Marte has no 2024 stats yet. That's right: I'm getting ahead of the hype on this one, and I encourage you to do the same. You may remember the 22-year-old tested positive for PEDs this spring and was suspended for 80 games. Well, that suspension is coming to an end in three weeks, and in the meantime, Marte can get back to playing in minor-league games. His "rehab assignment" will begin Tuesday, manager David Bell announced this week, and since Marte is still technically a prospect, it seems fitting to include him here.

Prior to the suspension, Marte was a trendy mid-round pick in Fantasy. He had a successful debut late last year, combining premium exit velocities (91.3 mph average and 115.6 mph max) with a reasonable strikeout rate (20.3 percent) and an inclination for stealing bases. It's an enticing tool set for Fantasy, and with so many hitter call-ups struggling to acclimate to the majors, his immediate success is reassuring. Perhaps it's unfair to feature him here since he's only in the minors for this rehab stint, but the bottom line is that we've reached the point where stashing Marte is a priority, particularly in Rotisserie leagues.

Christian Scott, SP, Mets

2023 minors: 2.57 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 87 2/3 IP, 12 BB, 107 K
2024 minors: 2.97 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 30 1/3 IP, 7 BB, 43 K
2024 majors: 3.90 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 27 2/3 IP, 6 BB, 25 K

Though Scott's strikeouts came in a little light in his first big-league stint, he deserved to stick around, and the Mets acknowledged as much after optioning him to the minors Friday.

"He's a big-league pitcher," manager Carlos Mendoza said. "The way he's handled himself here, the performance and things like that -- it's nothing more than where we're at on the schedule. Off days coming up here, we don't need a six-man rotation. We needed a bullpen arm. He'll be back up here, and he understood that."

Scott seemed to take the demotion in stride, allowing one run on two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in five innings Wednesday. He also collected 15 swinging strikes on just 59 pitches for an absurd 25.4 percent rate. And it's true he'll likely be back sooner than later given that Tylor Megill and David Peterson are currently occupying spots in the Mets rotation. I had said before the demotion that Scott hadn't quite earned must-roster status in Fantasy yet, but that's not the criteria here. Is he one of the most stashable minor-leaguers? Rather easily, I'd say.

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: .310 BA (58 AB), 4 HR, 1 SB, .927 OPS, 6 BB, 16 K

Dominguez spent the first two weeks of his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery playing DH, but he's been back in center field for the past week and recently moved his one-man show to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he'll park it for the time being. He's nearing the end of his maximum allotted rehab time, but unfortunately, no opening has developed on the big-league club as of yet. The path of least resistance is probably Alex Verdugo, but he's doing fine -- well enough to keep his job, anyway. So even though Dominguez is technically on a rehab assignment, it's reasonable to classify him as a stashable minor-leaguer because he will be soon enough. And by the looks of it, he'll be a good one, already delivering on the power potential he showed during his eight-game big-league trial last year.

Jackson Holliday, 2B, Orioles

2023 majors: .323 BA (477 AB), 12 HR, 24 SB, .941 OPS, 101 BB, 118 K
2024 minors: .287 BA (167 AB), 6 HR, 5 SB, .927 OPS, 46 BB, 45 K
2024 majors: 2 for 31, 0 HR, 0 SB, 2 BB, 18 K

I was tempted to take Holliday out of the running given that the Orioles just opted to fill their second base opening with Connor Norby instead. But Jorge Mateo is only sidelined by a concussion, so it doesn't figure to be a long-term opening. Meanwhile, Holliday seems to be making real strides at Triple-A.

"At the beginning, I was trying to get a little bit more down in my legs and flatten my bat out a little bit, which I do think helped," Holliday recently told The Baltimore Banner. "But I didn't feel like I was getting to the position I thought I needed to be in, so I'm standing back a little bit taller and have my hands a little bit lower now. Just trying to make a good, clean move and making sure I am in my legs, because that was part of it in the big leagues. I wasn't getting into a position to fire out of. So, standing up a little taller, but still having my legs bent a little bit to be able to make that move efficient."

All the tweaking seems to be paying off. Holliday has hit safely in 11 of his past 12 games, batting .366 (15 for 41) with two homers and five doubles while reaching base at a .490 clip. If he keeps that up, he'll be back in no time, with nothing Norby could do to stop it.


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

Hurston Waldrep, SP, Braves

2023 minors: 1.53 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 29 1/3 IP, 16 BB, 41 K
2024 minors: 3.09 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 55 1/3 IP, 18 BB, 59 K

The Braves have struggled to fill Spencer Strider's rotation spot ever since losing their ace to elbow surgery, but Waldrep may be the one to finally stop the revolving door. He's not getting the chance yet, having just made his first start for Triple-A Gwinnett Sunday, but it was an impressive one, seeing him strike out 11 over six innings. Some control issues early have skewed his numbers a bit, but the 22-year-old has a 2.13 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 12.1 K/9 over his past four starts to go along with an impressive 68 percent strike rate and an outrageous 19 percent swinging-strike rate. Considered by many to be the second-best pitcher in the 2023 draft class (behind Paul Skenes), Waldrep stands out most for his devastating splitter.

Kevin McGonigle, SS, Tigers

2023 minors: .315 BA (73 AB), 1 HR, 8 SB, .863 OPS, 18 BB, 10 K
2024 minors: .342 BA (117 AB), 2 HR, 10 SB, .908 OPS, 19 BB, 17 K

The Tigers drafted McGonigle 37th overall last year for his disciplined approach and superlative bat-to-ball skills, and he's lived up to the billing so far. He has multiple hits in six of his past 13 games at Low-A Lakeland, bringing his batting average up to .342 with more walks than strikeouts. He was drafted out of high school, by the way, so this isn't some 20-something taking advantage of greener competition. No, McGonigle is the one who knocks. Many of those knocks are to his pull side, too, so you can imagine him developing serviceable power even if he won't be a big exit velo guy.

Kristian Campbell, 2B, Red Sox

2023 minors: .309 BA (68 AB), 1 HR, 3 SB, .911 OPS, 10 BB, 18 K
2024 minors: .310 BA (155 AB), 8 HR, 4 SB, .980 OPS, 27 BB, 47 K

Campbell wasn't a high draft pick coming out of Georgia Tech last year, going off the board in Round 4, but his first full professional season has seen him deliver surprising power with a whippy swing that has generated exit velocities as high as 113 mph. The on-base skills might be the biggest selling point, but the strikeouts are running a bit high for a 22-year-old who has spent most of the year at High-A. He recently moved up to Double-A amid a hot streak that has him slashing .415/.520/.707 with two home runs and two stolen bases in his past 11 games.

Luis Perales, SP, Red Sox

2023 minors: 3.91 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 89 2/3 IP, 50 BB, 115 K
2024 minors: 2.87 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 31 1/3 IP, 11 BB, 53 K

With a fastball that approaches triple digits with some of the best vertical ride in all the minors, Perales has been earning rave reviews since the start of this season. But despite what should be elite bat-missing characteristics, he was giving up oodles of hits early on. He may have flipped a switch in his past two starts, though, allowing just two hits in 10 innings with 19 strikeouts. The second of those starts came after a move up to Double-A, by the way. With those back-to-back gems, Perales now has a 20 percent swinging-strike rate, which is certainly reminiscent of the things Spencer Strider was doing in the minors.

Alejandro Rosario, SP, Rangers

2024 minors: 1.44 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 31 1/3 IP, 5 BB, 49 K

The Rangers called Rosario's number in Round 5 last year despite a genuinely awful showing at the University of Miami and immediately went to work transforming him into a bat-missing monstrosity. According to Baseball America, the Hurricanes had him scrap a splitter that showed real promise and also encouraged him locate his fastball down in the zone even though it plays better up. The Rangers reversed all that, and it's led to him mowing down hitters at Low-A, most recently striking out 11 over six one-hit innings. Perhaps even more impressive than his 14.1 K/9 is his 1.4 BB/9.