The Stash List Week 14: 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

 

Heston Kjerstad returned to Baltimore on June 24 against the Guardians. The 25-year-old outfielder laced a double down the line in his first appearance in the Major Leagues since May 11. Since returning, he’s hitting .364 with a home run and a wRC+ of 221. Fantasy players should watch his playing time. The early contributions are encouraging, but with how crowded the Orioles’ roster is, one bad stretch could result in a return to Triple-A.

Jhonkensy Noel was called up to make his Major League debut on Thursday, June 27, replacing Johnathan Rodríguez on the active roster. Noel has been a consistent power threat for the Guardians’ Triple-A team all season. He ranks sixth among all minor league hitters with 18 homers with the Columbus Clippers. In Noel’s first at-bat, he crushed a home run at Camden Yards off of Grayson Rodriguez. In his first three games, he has two hits and an RBI. If he’s able to maintain this level of production, he could be a waiver wire steal.

Noelvi Marte returned to the Cincinnati Reds roster after his 80-game suspension. He struggled mightily in his rehab stint in Triple-A. Marte hit .151 in 12 games, limping to a -29 wRC+. It was a completely different story in his first game back in the Majors. He went 3-for-5 with a double and three runs. Marte will likely stick in the Reds’ lineup for the rest of the season.

 

Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash

 

1. James Wood, OF – Washington Nationals

The time has finally come. Grant Paulsen reported on Friday that James Wood will be called up to the Majors on Monday. If by some miracle he’s still available in your leagues, stash this man while you still can. Wood has proven everything he needs to prove to earn an MLB debut. Since returning from injury on June 18, he’s hitting .313 with a .950 OPS and a 153 wRC+. There isn’t any rust that he needs to shake off. Wood burst onto the scene in spring training, and since then has become one of baseball’s most exciting prospects. There isn’t much to say about James Wood that hasn’t already been said. He possesses “light-tower” power, and has hit above .300 consistently this season. Wood plays solid defense in center field and can steal some bases if he’s asked to.

Washington needs an MLB-ready bat to add to their lineup, and Wood is just that. He’s hit above .300 in every month this season, including .400 in March and .394 in May. He’s hit well against lefties (1.125 OPS) and righties (1.028), homering five times off of each. The Nationals are still sitting around .500, and with a strong push in the second half, they could be in the running for a Wild Card spot. Washington has enough pitching to make a run in Mackenzie Gore, DJ Herz, and Mitchell Parker. It’s time they add an exciting bat to the fray to rejuvenate their struggling offense.

 

 

If James Wood had been called up a few days prior, Mayo would have taken the No. 1 spot. However, he will have to settle for No. 2 in the meantime. The situation with the O’s third baseman remains the same: he needs consistent playing time in the Majors, which Baltimore cannot give him. We’ve seen several of the Orioles’ top prospects reach the Major Leagues, then struggle due to the difficulty of MLB pitching and/or the lack of consistent at-bats. Heston Kjerstad and Jackson Holliday were both expected to contribute immediately after their promotions, but both found themselves back in Triple-A after disappointing stretches. While Kjerstad has returned to Camden Yards, Holliday is still waiting in Norfolk. The Orioles will be cautious that a similar situation does not transpire with Mayo.

As for Mayo himself, it’s the same old story. Since returning to action on June 13, he’s hitting .415 between High-A and Triple-A. In that time, he’s hit six home runs and has a wRC+ of 268. He also struck out nearly 10% less than his season rate during that period. Like Wood, if there was any rust to shake off following his lengthy absence, he’s taken care of it. Mayo’s glove is good enough to stick at third base, however with how many quality players there are in Baltimore, he could also see significant time as the designated hitter. Coby Mayo’s MLB debut is coming, the only question is when.

 

3. Owen Caissie, OF – Chicago Cubs

 

Being a Cubs fan must be like living in “Groundhog Day”. The starting pitcher performs excellently, and the offense builds a narrow lead going into the game’s final innings. Then the bullpen capitulates and the “lovable losers” drop another close game. While Caissie cannot help with the bullpen woes, he can spark a lineup that desperately needs one. The Cubs are quickly sliding out of contention for the division. While the NL Wild Card is still tight, Craig Counsell’s team has not been able to string together any momentum necessary to stay in the fight. Cody Bellinger has been a consistent presence in the middle of the order, but outside of him, there is little to be excited about. Bringing in another power bat could take some of the heat off of the struggling stars.

Caissie has some interesting numbers in 2024. He has 15 doubles and eight home runs, which are signs of his massive power potential. He’s walking at a solid clip. His ~15% walk rate has been in and around the top 10 among Triple-A outfielders this season. The major knock on Caissie’s game continues to be the strikeout rate approaching 30%. When he makes contact, he tends to do damage. He’s regularly put up exit velocities north of 100 miles an hour. That said, the swings and misses are a red flag for a player on the fringes of the Majors. If Caissie can cut down on the strikeouts and continues to do damage in Iowa, he could see regular playing time for the Cubs as early as next month.

 

4. Jace Jung, 2B – Detroit Tigers

We’re in a holding pattern with Jace Jung. He left Toledo’s game on June 19 and went on the injured list with “right wrist soreness”. After seeing that he was scratched from the lineup, many suspected that he was on the way to Detroit to make his Major League debut. Sadly that was not the case and we will have to wait a while longer to see him in a Tigers uniform. Jung hasn’t played since leaving the game, and will likely return to Triple-A to regain a rhythm before he is in contention for a call-up.

The Tigers could use him now though. At the time of writing, Detroit is 37-43, 15 games back of the division-leading Cleveland Guardians. Some aspects of the team have been solid. The pitching staff ranks 11th in the league in ERA, and eighth in WHIP. However, the hitting core has not been as good. They rank 24th in OPS and 25th in AB/HR. The young hitters they’ve put faith in have not paid dividends yet. Colt Keith has been great for stretches but has also had stretches that put him among the worst hitters in the league. It’s clear that Detroit is willing to give their young hitters a chance, and will allow them to grow through their struggles. Jace Jung should be the next player afforded that opportunity once he is healthy.

 

5. Dylan Crews, OF – Washington Nationals

Dylan Crews seems to be adjusting to life in Triple-A well. His numbers aren’t otherworldly, but considering that he was drafted less than a year ago and this is his first stint in Triple-A, they’re impressive. Crews joined a talented Rochester Red Wings team on June 18 and has gotten off to a solid start. In his last three games, he’s hitting .308 with a double and two runs scored. Crews has already demonstrated his power tool as well. On June 21, he hit a home run off of José Buttó that went an estimated 441 feet and left the bat at 109 miles an hour. The case could be made that Crews is ready for the Major Leagues right now, but with James Wood on the horizon as well, he may have to be patient.

A Nationals lineup with Crews and Wood at the top of the order should have Washington fans dreaming, and give the rest of the division nightmares. Those two are the future of the Nats’ hitting core, and they may be in the nation’s capital together before long. Both Crews and Wood have been rock-solid defensively so far, so there is no reason to believe that they cannot coexist together in the outfield. Long term, Wood likely moves to a corner outfield spot, with the former LSU Tiger manning center. None of the current options for Washington in the outfield are nearly as exciting as Wood or Crews, so expect both of them to debut before the end of the summer.

 

6. Brooks Lee, SS – Minnesota Twins

 

If Brooks Lee played for an organization that did not have a perennial All-Star manning shortstop, he’d be in the Major Leagues already. Carlos Correa (World Series winner, ROTY award winner, and MVP candidate) is some pretty stiff competition for a young player looking to earn a spot in the Majors. The 2017 World Series champion has been on a roll in June, hitting .394 with five home runs. The rest of Minnesota’s infield is performing too. If Royce Lewis can stay on the field consistently, he could be a superstar. Willi Castro has been great this year too, hitting for a 134 wRC+ so far. At 44-36, the Twins aren’t desperate to make a move in their lineup. They are eighth in runs, seventh in OPS, and sixth in home runs. Those aren’t the signs of a team that needs to make a change, but Brooks Lee might force their hand soon.

Since returning to Triple-A on June 5, he’s hitting .338 with six home runs. His OPS during that period is 1.070 and he has a wRC+ of 170. Those are superstar numbers, albeit in a smaller sample size than his competition on the list. If it wasn’t for the players blocking him in Minnesota, he would likely be in the top three on this list. He’s hitting above .300 against both righties and lefties, slugging 1.270 against left-handed pitching so far. His defense has been stellar too, making only two errors in 130 innings between third base and shortstop. Minnesota is flush with infield talent and may add more before the summer is over if they call up Lee.

 

7. Jackson Holliday, SS – Baltimore Orioles

Major League Baseball’s No. 1 prospect returns to the Stash List after a brief stint on the shelf due to injury. Holliday’s talent is undeniable. If this was a list focused on dynasty leagues, Holliday would rank near the top. He does everything a fantasy manager could desire. He hits for average and power, steals bases, and plays good enough defense to stick in the field. Before Holliday’s first call-up, he was one of the most popular stashes. However, his first stint in the Majors was less than stellar. Holliday was one of the many prospects this season that struggled to acclimate to the top level of the game. Now, after a few months of returning to form in Triple-A, Holliday may be ready for another chance.

He faces the same challenge he faced early this season, as has every Orioles prospect. There are so many talented players on Baltimore’s roster. It is an impossible task to get every top prospect consistent at-bats without altering the roster entirely. The O’s have been one of the best teams in baseball this season, so drastically changing their roster isn’t in their best interest. Still, the youth movement is coming to Baltimore. It won’t be long until Holliday, Kjerstad and Mayo are everyday fixtures in the lineup.

 

8. Adrian Del Castillo, C – Arizona Diamondbacks

Adrian Del Castillo returns to the Stash List after having to settle for the honorable mentions in the past weeks. The 24-year-old backstop has enjoyed a breakout season that could result in a Major League debut before long. Del Castillo leads all minor league hitters with 28 doubles, and his 138 wRC+ leads all Triple-A catchers. Behind the plate, he’s been good as well. Del Castillo has thrown out fifteen baserunners attempting to steal so far, gunning down runners at a 21% clip. That may not be an elite rate, but it is higher than Adley Rutschman, Jonah Heim, and William Contreras at the Major League level. Offensively inclined catchers are a hot commodity in the Major Leagues right now, and Del Castillo has the chance to be the next one to emerge.

The National League champions have a catcher already. Gabriel Moreno was a key player in Arizona’s run to the World Series last year, and will likely hold down his spot behind the plate for the foreseeable future. He’s been injured recently though, and while it doesn’t appear to be serious, his absence has raised questions about the Diamondbacks’ depth behind the plate. Tucker Barnhart is a good veteran presence, but he is not effective as an everyday catcher. Jose Herrera has operated as the backup in Moreno’s absence, but as a career ~.200 hitter, he offers very little in the lineup. Once Moreno returns, the catcher spot will be his again, but having another offensive threat backing him up can’t hurt. Del Castillo has also spent 27 games as the designated hitter. Should a need emerge for an offensive boost, Del Castillo would be a great option to contribute.

 

9. Matt Shaw, INF – Chicago Cubs

Matt Shaw is on fire. The former Maryland Terrapin was named the Southern League Player of the Week last week after going 9-for-21 with four home runs. That dominant stretch raised his wRC+ to 132, the highest rating of any third baseman in Double-A. Shaw has demonstrated an ability to hit for power to every part of the field and has been a steady presence with the glove at the hot corner. There are other breakout bats in the Cubs system with impressive numbers (Moises Ballesteros: 154 wRC+, James Triantos: 138 wRC+) but Shaw’s path to the big leagues seems more clear-cut than his competition.

I feel like a broken record talking about the Cubs. The offense is in dire need of an overhaul. Christopher Morel picked up plenty of press this offseason as a possible breakout superstar. He’s shown he can hit for power but offers little else for Craig Counsell. His batting average is hovering around .200, and advanced defensive metrics consider Morel one of the worst defenders in the league. He’s not alone though. Nearly every bat that the Cubs thought they could count on to start the season has regressed from their 2023 form. Jed Hoyer is feeling the pressure from Cubs fans to make changes, and adding consistency to a weak spot in the lineup would be a good first step.

 

10. Colson Montgomery, SS – Chicago White Sox

Colson Montgomery hasn’t been a superstar in Triple-A, but he doesn’t have to be to put pressure on the White Sox brass. To put it kindly, the Chicago White Sox are bad. Gavin Sheets and Luis Robert Jr. have been good (114 and 107 wRC+ respectively), but outside of those two, it’s pretty bleak. Paul DeJong is Montgomery’s direct competition, and he’s been the most consistent power threat on the team with 14 home runs. While those numbers are solid, none of the players listed have laid claim to a permanent spot on the roster.

The White Sox season is lost. They sit at 22-61, more than thirty games out of the division lead. It is time for Chicago to start the youth movement, and there is no one better to lead the charge than Montgomery. He has been the crown jewel of the White Sox system since being drafted in 2021. While his 2024 numbers haven’t been outstanding, he was stellar in 64 games in 2023. Over Montgomery’s last 10 games, he’s hitting .273 with a home run and three doubles. His glove has been questionable though. Montgomery already has 10 errors through 63 games, which is less than ideal. His bat would immediately be one of the most exciting in the White Sox lineup though, which warrants keeping an eye on him. The Sox have a handful of solid prospects rising through the ranks (Brooks Baldwin, Edgar Quero), but Montgomery is the closest to making an impact at Guaranteed Rate Field.

 

On The Bubble

 

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

Deyvison De Los Santos

Carson Williams

Junior Caminero

Moises Ballesteros

Kyle Manzardo

 

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.

One response to “The Stash List Week 14: Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash in 2024”

  1. DJ says:

    Jacob Wilson’s gotta be getting close to a major-league tryout, right?

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