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The Stash List Week 13: Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash in 2024

The top 10 hitting prospects to stash in redraft leagues.

The Hitter Edition of the Stash List is back for the 2024 season.

This Stash List highlights the 10 best-hitting prospects likely to make an impact during the 2024 season.

Prospects are often thought of as only holding value in dynasty formats. However, knowing which prospects hold value for the current season can help set you apart in redraft leagues. Several have a 2024 ETA, and getting ahead of the curve on rostering these prospects is a key part of roster management. Last year we saw more prospects debut than ever, and there is no reason we should expect to see anything change in 2024. Read to discover the top 10 hitters you should stash in your redraft leagues.

 

Ground Rules

 

  • The Stash List is for your redraft leagues and does not consider impact beyond 2024.
  • Only current minor league players who are expected to make an impact this season are included.
  • Upside, proximity, health, and opportunity are all weighed for each player.
  • The focus is on 12-team leagues with standard categories.
  • Rankings will be updated weekly.
  • Stats will be updated weekly for all players through Thursday’s games.

 

The Stash List

 

Graduates/Call Ups

 

After spending weeks on the Stash List, Orelvis Martinez finally got his call to the show. He was then promptly suspended just days after reaching Toronto. MLB announced on Sunday that the 22-year-old infielder will miss the next 80 games for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy.  He made his debut on Friday, going 1-for-3 in Cleveland.

The Yankees called up C/1B Ben Rice this week after placing Anthony Rizzo on the 60-Day IL. Rice narrowly missed out on last week’s list, having to settle for the honorable mentions. He has a hit in both his first two games and has yet to strike out at the major league level. Rice will likely continue to hold down first base in Rizzo’s absence.

There were a few injuries that impacted this week’s list. Jordan Lawlar and Jasson Domínguez picked up injuries mere hours after last week’s article went live. Lawlar will miss four to six weeks with a hamstring strain. He had just returned from injury, so this is a major blow for the Diamondbacks.

Dominguez also left this weekend’s action with an injury. New York’s top-hitting prospect has a “moderate” oblique strain. On Thursday, the Yankees announced that Dominguez would not return to game action for eight weeks. They did not need to rush him with the stellar performances of their outfield core, but, unfortunately, Dominguez will be back on the shelf so soon after returning from injury.

Jackson Holliday will also not feature on this week’s list. He suffered from “right elbow inflammation” and hasn’t played since June 12. The Orioles do not think that this is a serious or long-term injury, though it still affects his timeline. Baltimore’s infield is stacked, and there isn’t a glaring need to rush a top prospect who has already struggled once this season.

 

Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash

 

1. James Wood, OF – Washington Nationals

 

Ladies and gentlemen, James Wood is back. After missing nearly a month due to injury, Wood returned to the lineup this week. In his first game back, on June 18th, he went 0-2 with a walk. Not exactly a remarkable start, but the fact that he’s back on the field is good news in itself. Having a bit of rust after a prolonged absence can be expected, but if it turns into a cold streak, his promotion timeline may be affected.

Nationals fans have been clamoring for James Wood’s debut for months. He has been electrifying in AAA this season. At the major league level, he would provide something that Washington is currently lacking. Dave Martinez doesn’t have a big bat in the outfield right now. Jesse Winker has been remarkable, but he’s not the long-term option. The rest of the outfield unit has been underwhelming. The Nationals are still in the wildcard hunt, and adding a bat of Wood’s caliber would do wonders for that lineup.

 

2. Owen Caissie, OF – Chicago Cubs

 

The Cubs started to turn it around, then they lost 11-1 to the Mets at home. The offense finally showed signs of life against the Giants at Wrigley during their midweek series. Before June 17th, they had scored five or more runs in just one out of ten games. There are still question marks throughout the lineup that the current options on the 40-man may not answer. When Mike Tauchman went down with a groin injury, many fans were hoping that Caissie, or even Brennen Davis or Alexander Canario would join the roster. Instead, Miles Mastrobuoni returned to Wrigley Field.

Owen Caissie is doing everything he can to force his way into the Cubs lineup. He added another home run to his tally this week, despite his average dropping slightly (.214 in his last four games). The major red flag around Caissie remains his high strikeout rate. He’s striking out in well over 25% of his at-bats. Critics of Caissie may see him as a three-true-outcomes hitter at the next level. I think his bat-to-ball skills are good enough to stick in the majors, but cutting down on the strikeouts would help his cause. If the Cubs continue to hover around .500, I’d expect Jed Hoyer to make some big moves with his job on the line. Adding Caissie to the lineup would give Craig Counsell another threat at the plate to work with.

 

3. Noelvi Marte, INF – Cincinnati Reds

 

Marte hasn’t hit the ground running after his 80-game suspension. He still has another few days before he’s eligible to rejoin the Reds, but he hasn’t forced himself back into the lineup as things stand. He has a hit in five out of his first seven games back but has just one for extra bases. He’s also striking out at a concerning rate for someone who’s experienced major league pitching. Marte has also yet to take a walk since returning to action. Granted, all of these numbers are based on a much smaller sample size than the rest of the players on this list.

Marte would provide the Reds with another quality bat in the lineup. The NL Central is going to be a dogfight for the rest of the season. The Cubs haven’t played up to their full potential, while the Pirates have been a surprise team and will be competitive in the months to come. The Cardinals have the experience on their roster to stay in the hunt as well. Cincinnati needs their best players in the lineup every day, and Marte would provide some flexibility in allowing David Bell to do that. Putting Marte at third would move Jeimer Candelario to first base, which would push Spencer Steer to the outfield. The young core that the Reds have will keep them in the hunt this summer, and Marte should play a major role in that once he returns.

 

4. Jace Jung, 2B – Detroit Tigers

 

When Jace Jung was scratched from Toledo’s lineup on Friday, many speculated that it signified his call-up to the majors. Sadly, it instead resulted in a stint on the 7-day injured list. Jace Jung has cooled off in the last week. In four games between last week’s list and now, he’s hitting .154 with just one extra-base hit. That stat line won’t do him any favors in his pursuit of a major league debut. That said, his body of work over the entire season is impressive enough to force some conversations in Detroit. His .890 OPS is the fifth-best among the entire organization. Jung has proven that he is ready for an MLB opportunity, but his injury has delayed his arrival by a couple of weeks.

Colt Keith is starting to turn it around. Over his last nine games, he’s hitting .333 with a 140 wRC+. The highlight of the stretch came against the Houston Astros, where he went 4-6 with a home run and a double. These are encouraging signs for the youngster, but there have been stretches this season where he’s looked completely overmatched. Javier Báez’s struggles have been well-documented since he arrived in Detroit, and he’s now on the injured list. Zach McKinstry will temporarily hold down the spot, but infield help is necessary. Jace Jung can provide that help while also adding a potent bat to the Tigers’ lineup.

 

5. Coby Mayo, 3B – Baltimore Orioles

 

A Stash List regular reclaims his place among the rankings this week. Mayo had missed out for the past few weeks while he recovered from a rib injury he suffered last month. Mayo’s stat line during his rehab stint looks like something you’d see on MLB The Show. In his first four games, Mayo’s hitting .462 with three home runs and a wRC+ of 379(!!!). Mayo announced his return to action with a LONG home run at High-A Aberdeen. His blast was the team’s second in a row, as fellow top prospect Enrique Bradfield Jr. had hit one of his just moments before.  Mayo’s potential has been well-documented in baseball circles, and it won’t be long before his blasts are flying out of Camden Yards.

The main concern revolving around Mayo is the same one that revolves around nearly every Orioles prospect. How much will he play? How much of an impact can he make in limited plate appearances? There is no doubt that Mayo has the talent to stick in a major league lineup, and if he was with (nearly) any other team, he’d be the everyday third baseman. With Jordan Westburg and Ramón Urías performing, there isn’t a pathway to playing time right now. We’ve already seen Heston Kjerstad, Connor Norby, Kyle Stowers, and Jackson Holliday fail to assert themselves into the lineup. The best-case scenario is that Mayo flies out of the gate once he’s called up and forces his way into the lineup. The worst case is that Mayo is resigned to a similar fate as his fellow top prospects.

 

6. Dylan Crews, OF – Washington Nationals

 

Dylan Crews was heralded as one of the best collegiate bats baseball has ever seen before he was drafted by the Nationals at #2 overall in 2023. He has rewarded Washington’s faith in him by reaching AAA less than a year after he was selected. In his first game with Rochester, he hit leadoff with James Wood right behind him. That duo should give opposing fans nightmares for years to come when both players reach the majors. While his first game didn’t go to plan (0-5), he announced his arrival with an opposite-field home run the next day. Over his last 14 games in AA, he hit .283 with a 107 wRC+. His 15 steals rank 6th in the organization and is yet to make an error in the field. Crews have the potential to make an impact on every facet of the game at a high level.

The Nationals are spoiled with prospect outfielders in AAA. Crews and Wood are a scary duo. The latter of the two will likely be the first to get the call to the show, but Crews won’t be far behind him. Washington’s current roster is full of serviceable players but is lacking stability. Jesse Winker is having a bounce-back season (.404 AVG, 174 wRC+ in June) but his long-term future with the team is far from secure. Eddie Rosario and Jacob Young haven’t been nearly as effective, so their roster spots may be sacrificed to get their young talent into the lineup. Crews’ debut is not inevitable, but don’t be surprised if he’s called up later this summer.

 

7. Heston Kjerstad, OF – Baltimore Orioles

 

It must be frustrating to be a prospect in the Orioles system right now. No matter how well you perform, you may not be able to land a consistent role because of how talented Baltimore’s roster is. That is the situation that Heston Kjerstad finds himself in. Some may have questioned my decision to leave Kjerstad off of the list in previous weeks, but that came down to one thing. He’s now had two chances in the major leagues, and in both stints, he failed to lock down a consistent role. He had a seven game run in the show in 2024 but struggled to assert himself. He only managed two hits and struck out over 35% of the time.

His performances in AAA this season would warrant a call-up for any other MLB team. Dozens of ballclubs could use a power threat in a corner outfield spot. Sadly, one of those teams is not the Baltimore Orioles. So far in Norfolk, Kjerstad has a wRC+ of 146, which ranks fourth among qualified hitters in AAA. What more does he have to do to earn a permanent spot at Camden Yards? Anthony Santander and Colton Cowser have just been so good for the O’s, meaning that Kjerstad is the odd man out for now. Kjerstad has more than enough talent to contribute to an MLB team. The question remains regarding whether he will get that chance this season.

 

8. Brooks Lee, SS – Minnesota Twins

 

Brooks Lee has been on fire since returning from injury. Since June 11th, he’s hitting .394 in AAA with four doubles and two home runs. He has an 182 wRC+ in that span, which would put him comfortably at the top of the leaderboards among players at his level had he qualified. He’s routinely hitting balls harder than 100 miles an hour and is making some stellar plays in the field too. Lee has removed any lingering questions about his health or whether he would be rusty after his return, and may be on the verge of a major league debut.

The Twins are in the thick of a playoff race. They sit 5.5 games back of the Cleveland Guardians for the lead of the AL Central but are among the top of the pack in the wildcard race. When healthy, their lineup is one of the most dangerous in baseball. Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, and Royce Lewis are all major offensive threats that would scare any pitcher. The one problem is their health. All three have had prolonged absences with injury in recent years. Interestingly, Lee played second base at AAA on Thursday, perhaps to give him a feel for the position before a call-up. Should something occur anywhere in the lineup, Brooks Lee would be a more than adequate replacement.

 

9. Jhonkensy Noel, OF – Cleveland Guardians 

 

Jhonkensy Noel makes his Stash List debut this season. The 22-year-old outfielder ranks fifth among all qualified minor league hitters with 17 home runs. At the time of writing, Noel is in the midst of a 13-game hitting streak. His double on Thursday was clocked at just over 110 miles per hour. Since the beginning of June, he’s hitting .441 with four home runs and a 222 wRC+. He’s also striking out significantly less. In that same span, he cut his strikeout rate by nearly 10%. Noel is ready to make an impact at the major league level, and he may get his chance soon.

Noel has spent time at first base, left field, and right field this season. He’s yet to make an error in the outfield and has made just two at first. He can also contribute to the Guardians’ lineup from the designated hitter spot.  Cleveland has been one of baseball’s most surprising teams, jumping out to a 45-26 record so far. Steven Kwan has emerged as one of the key pieces of their offense, and one of the best hitters in baseball, so his spot is safe. Josh Naylor is a potent power threat in the middle of the lineup, so I doubt he moves anywhere. The most likely spot that Noel could see time in is in right field, in place of Will Brennan. He’s been solid for Cleveland and put up his first multi-homer game on Thursday. For now, Noel will have to wait for a roster spot.

 

10. Matt Shaw, INF – Chicago Cubs

 

I may have been a little aggressive in my declaration that Matt Shaw will end the year as the Cubs’ third baseman. I still stand by that, but my faith has wavered slightly. Shaw narrowly beat out several other Cubs players I was considering for this spot. Moises Ballesteros has been gathering traction in the minors, earning a promotion to AAA. With the uncertainty at the catcher spot on the Cubs roster, he may be fast-tracked to Wrigley sooner than I thought. James Triantos has also been excellent this season and has forced himself into the promotion conversation. Triantos is likely a 2025 call-up, but he’s still a player to keep a close eye on down the stretch this season.

Shaw has been heating up in June. Over his last six games, he’s hitting .400 with a home run and a double. His wRC+ over that time frame is a lofty 195. Shaw’s home run was another opposite-field blast, a near-carbon copy of his dinger from last week. His ability to hit the ball the other way with power demonstrates the pop that Shaw has in his bat. Shaw then one-upped himself on Thursday, hitting another dinger to the pull side. He’s played third base primarily this season, making just four errors so far. Shaw has also spent time at shortstop, but Dansby Swanson has that spot locked up for the foreseeable future. Christopher Morel would be better suited as a primary DH given his struggles with the glove. Morel vacating that spot would open the door for Shaw to lay claim to a permanent role in Chicago.

 

On The Bubble

 

Here are the next five hitters considered for inclusion on this week’s list in no particular order.

Trey Sweeney

Marcelo Mayer

Niko Kavadas

Moises Ballesteros

Adrian Del Castillo

 

Stash List

 

Jack Mueller

Jack Mueller is an incoming graduate student at Miami University studying Sport Management. Before joining PitcherList, Jack worked for the Orleans Firebirds (Cape Cod Baseball League) and the Chicago Dogs (American Association) as an advance scout and data analyst.

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