The Hitter Edition of the Stash List is back and updated for Week 22.
This Stash List highlights the 10 best-hitting prospects likely to make an impact during the 2023 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 2023 ETA and getting ahead of the curve on rostering these prospects is a key part of roster management. You can check out last week’s edition of the list here and keep reading to find out the latest updates.
- The Stash List is for your redraft leagues and does not consider impact beyond 2023.
- 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 and rostership percentages will be updated weekly.
- Stats will be updated weekly for all players through Friday’s games.
The Stash List
Well, safe to say there have been PLENTY of promotions over the past week. Two of the top three players from last week’s list were promoted (Ronny Mauricio and Austin Wells) plus plenty of others. No matter what position you are looking for, there is surely somebody out there for you. Instead of detailing each player, I decided to just rank them in order of priority (ignoring position):
- Ronny Mauricio
- Jasson Domínguez
- Austin Wells
- Colton Cowser– playing time concerns prevent him from ranking higher
- Alexander Canario
- Ceddanne Rafaela
- Kyren Paris
- Nick Loftin
Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash
For a third week in a row, the most valuable hitter prospect to stash in baseball is Jordan Lawlar. In my (minority) opinion, Lawlar is the best dynasty prospect in all of baseball even beyond 2023. The fact that Lawlar is already up in Triple-A and playing well makes him an incredibly valuable stash. Since joining Triple-A, Lawlar has not missed a beat. He is hitting for an excellent average, showing off his improved plate discipline, stealing bases, and hitting home runs. His profile is everything that fantasy managers dream about having in an asset and we will see him before the season ends. I mean, how can you not be excited by this home run:
Ladies and gentleman: Jordan Lawlar ?
— Reno Aces (@Aces) September 1, 2023
The National League Wild Card continues to be a battle. Arizona needs their best lineup available in every game possible. Starting both Jace Peterson and Geraldo Perdomo does not give Arizona the best chance to make the playoffs. Lawlar is a rare talent and the team surely understands that. Peterson is most likely to surrender his starting job, but either one presents Lawlar with an excellent opportunity to break through at the major league level. Fantasy managers should expect to see him in September and he needs to be stashed now before it is too late.
A big jump up the list this week for somebody who has been one of the fastest-rising prospects in all of baseball this season. After taking some time to transition to Triple-A, Colt Keith is on fire. Since August 10th, Keith has been striking out less than 12% of the time while hitting for massive power. Since August 11th, Keith has seven home runs and is batting well over .340. He is currently in the midst of an 11-game hit streak bringing his season-long Triple-A average up over .300. Overall on the season, Keith has been a model of consistency by posting strong numbers across the board. He has the looks of being a strong four-category fantasy asset who should not take long to adjust to major-league pitching.
The most significant development since his promotion to Triple-A has been his defensive usage. There was never much debate about whether or not Keith would hit, but rather where he would wind up playing defensively. Since joining Triple-A, Keith has been splitting time between second base and third base opening up another potential path to the major leagues. Detroit does not currently have much depth at second base and Zach McKinstry is not a player who is going to prevent Keith from breaking through. Stash him now and expect a promotion before the end of this year.
Most of the hype surrounding Detroit prospects is centered around Colt Keith. Much less attention is being paid to Justyn-Henry Malloy who has been excellent in Triple-A all season. After being traded from Atlanta during the off-season, Malloy got off to a red-hot start in 2023. A mid-season slump resulted in a slide down ranking lists, but he has proven he is more than capable of adjusting. Using what is perhaps the best understanding of the strike zone in all of Minor League Baseball, Malloy utilizes a patient approach to his advantage. He walks about 20% of the time and punishes mistakes pitchers leave in the zone. Check out his recent home run from this past week:
Justyn-Henry Malloy ties the game with this 2-run bomb to left. It’s his 20th home run of the season. pic.twitter.com/UEirWuftmr
— Tigers ML Report (@tigersMLreport) September 1, 2023
As mentioned earlier, Malloy’s biggest competition for a promotion Colt Keith, is already splitting time between third base and second base. This makes the likelihood that both players are promoted even higher. The Tigers are giving Matt Vierling most of the starts at third base although his wRC+ since the start of August is just 50. By promoting Malloy, the Tigers will not only improve their current lineup but also give fans a glimpse into what the future holds. Stash Malloy now, especially in OBP leagues.
4. Darell Hernaiz, SS Oakland A’s
Although Darell Hernaiz’s ceiling is not as high as some other prospects on this list, the odds of him being promoted increase every day. Hernaiz’s best attribute is his strong hit tool. After batting .338 in Double-A, Hernaiz has continued to bat over .300 in Triple-A. His strikeout rate has dropped even lower than it already was while his walk rate has maintained a rate right around eight percent. If you are looking for help in the middle infield, Hernaiz might be one of the safer prospects to pick up. He is likely to hit for a strong average and has sneaky speed although you should not expect much from the power department.
Oakland obviously has nothing left to play for this season, but that has not stopped them from giving other young players a chance. Right now, Nick Allen is currently drawing most of the starts at shortstop. Allen has a major league wRC+ average of 56 in his career. He is not the long-term solution at shortstop and will not prevent Oakland from taking a look at Hernaiz this season. He is a strong stash option thanks to his proximity to the major leagues.
Addison Barger’s move up the Stash List is mostly in direct correlation with the injuries Toronto is currently dealing with. With injuries to both Bo Bichette and Matt Chapman, there is plenty of room in Toronto’s lineup. They are still in the playoff hunt and can waste no time with other players that do not give them the best chance to win. Not only has Barger had an excellent second half in Triple-A, but he also has experience playing shortstop, third base, and the outfield this season. He can fill a variety of holes for Toronto and is proving with his strong play that he deserves a chance in the major leagues.
With Chapman and Bichette out, the team is currently relying on Davis Schneider and Santiago Espinal. Schneider has been swinging a hot bat and has the potential to be a strong replacement. Espinal on the other hand offers very little offensive value. Ernie Clement is the other player seeing his playing time increase and is not somebody who should be keeping Barger in Triple-A. Stash Barger now and expect a promotion soon.
6. Jackson Chourio, OF Milwaukee Brewers
Jackson Chourio just keeps on hitting down in Double-A. At the moment, Chourio is in the middle of a 12-game hit streak during which he has crushed four more long balls. The power and speed combination that Chourio possesses is rare. Across a full season, there is no doubt in my mind that Chourio would become an instant threat for a 30/40 season. The question is whether or not the Brewers feel confident in promoting him straight from Double-A this season.
As Milwaukee battles to fend off Chicago, fielding the best lineup is imperative. Mark Canha has been a strong pick-up, leaving Tyrone Taylor as the biggest question mark in the Brewers’ lineup. After getting red-hot at the plate, Taylor is hitless in his last 16 plate appearances and is barely above The Mendoza Line on the season as a whole. The Brewers do not have time to waste and Chourio would be an instant spark to insert into their lineup. Will Milwaukee call him up this season? I am not sure. What I do know is that you stash for upside and Chourio has as much as any prospect in all of baseball. If you have a free bench spot and want to take a big shot, Chourio is the perfect stash for you.
Although the odds of the Padres making the playoffs are quickly approaching zero, Jackson Merrill still has a chance to make his major league debut this season. However, the Padres falling out of contention is making those odds smaller resulting in Merrill dropping down a bit on this list. He continues to play well in Double-A showing significant strides in his batted ball quality. Merrill makes contact at an incredible rate for a 19-year-old and has the power and speed combination to be a 20/20 player in the future.
As mentioned last week, Merrill has been playing all over the diamond since joining Double-A. He is likely to fill a utility role if the team decides to give him a shot in the major league this season. Most of his playing time figures to come in place of Matt Carpenter. Carpenter just returned from the IL but has been a major disappointment for San Diego all season. Merrill is worth a stash if you want to chase upside.
Curtis Mead got his first chance in the major leagues last month and his performance was underwhelming. With inconsistent playing time, Mead hit .250 with zero home runs, zero stolen bases, and a strikeout of over 30%. Although the results were not encouraging, playing well without everyday playing time is extremely difficult. Mead has a long track record of success at the minor league level with good walk rates and strong batting average.
There is no team that values players on the 40-man roster as much as the Rays. Mead is obviously a part of this and the Rays have already brought him up to the major leagues once. A small sample size of 11 games should not be enough to change your overall opinion on Mead and he remains a strong stash option for the remainder of 2023.
Are you surprised to see Junior Caminero on this list? Honestly, I am surprised he broke onto this list. That being said, after the numerous promotions of the past week, would it really be a surprise if the Rays called up their top prospect? Curtis Mead ranks higher simply because he has already been up this season. Caminero would need to be added to the 40-man roster and completely skip Triple-A. However, he could not be any hotter right now. Since August 25th, Caminero has crushed six home runs. We are starting to see his raw power translate into game power making the sky the limit for this young player.
We all know about the Wander Franco situation and the opening it has created in Tampa Bay’s lineup. Osleivis Basabe has been completely fine since coming up but is far from the difference maker that Caminero projects to be. Taylor Walls is also rehabbing right now and is likely to take the majority of reps at shortstop once he returns. However, in his last 134 plate appearances before injury, Walls was batting just .164. Caminero is no sure bet to be promoted this season, but if you are looking for a potential difference-maker do not rule out stashing him.
When writing these articles, I often try to get ahead of the game. If I have some free time early in the week, I will write a bit to try and lessen the workload later on. This backfired when I included Alexander Canario on the list before his promotion. If you want a peek into what I wrote you can see that here. However, with Canario already promoted, Pete Crow-Armstrong breaks onto the list. The Cubs’ top prospect has had a tremendous season between Double-A and Triple-A already hitting 18 home runs with 35 stolen bases. He ranks inside of my top 15 prospects and is a player that has big-time fantasy upside.
He only ranks tenth on this list because the Cubs have already promoted one outfielder from Triple-A. The odds of them promoting another to fit onto their roster are relatively low. That being said, if Canario gets off to a slow start and Mike Tauchman continues to struggle, the Cubs could have no choice but to call PCA up. His upside and proximity to the major leagues make him a valuable stash even with the recent promotion of Canario.
On The Bubble