The Stash List Week 4: Top 10 Hitter Prospects to Stash in 2023

The top 10 hitting prospects to stash in redraft leagues.

The Hitter Edition of The Stash List is back and updated for week two.

This stash list highlights the ten 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 owning 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.


Ground Rules

  • 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 ownership percentages will be updated weekly.
  • Stats will be updated weekly for all players through Friday’s games


The Stash List


As you know, the hitter edition of the Stash List gets published on Sundays. This means that the list is written and submitted on Saturday night. Sunday morning, two prospects that were on the stash list were promoted to the Major Leagues. Brett Baty and Oswald Peraza each ranked inside the top ten for hitting prospects to stash and hopefully, this list helped you beat the rush to the waiver wire. Baty was dominant in Triple-A and forced his way to the Major Leagues. He has a chance to be a difference-maker at third base for your fantasy team the rest of the season. Peraza was playing well, but his promotion had more to do with injuries than anything else. He will need to perform well to maintain a roster spot once the Yankees get healthy. His biggest fantasy contribution is likely to come in the stolen base category.

Not only were two players inside the top ten called up, but two other prospects farther down on my personal list got promoted. Jordan Diaz and Enmanuel Valdez were both promoted this past week. Valdez profiles as a short-term call-up. Jordan Diaz has the most appeal for redraft players. He has been working to increase his launch angle and should receive regular playing time in Oakland’s lineup. He lacks game-changing power or speed but could be a stable source of replacement-level production for deeper leagues.

Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash


1. Elly De La Cruz, SS, Cincinnati Reds



With Brett Baty’s promotion, Elly De La Cruz reclaims the top spot on this list. Elite Minor League production and a clear path to the Major Leagues like Baty’s is the only way to usurp De La Cruz’s spot. Although he is yet to appear in a Minor League game this year, the upside in his profile is tremendous. He was previously participating in extended Spring Training before making his Minor League debut on Thursday.

All reports out of Cincinnati have been positive regarding De La Cruz’s recovery and current health. A clean bill of health further emphasizes stashing him before it is too late. Once promoted, he will be an instant impact bat. Jose Barrero and Kevin Newman continue to struggle at the plate and we should expect to see De La Cruz in Cincinnati early this summer.


2. Endy Rodriguez, C, Pittsburgh Pirates



Endy Rodriguez has picked things up at the plate. After taking a couple of weeks to adjust, Rodriguez has hit safely in seven of his last eight games recording multiple hits in four of them. His excellent hit tool is on full display and he has continued to maintain a strikeout rate below 15%. Thanks to the scarcity of elite backstops for fantasy, Rodriguez holds significant value in all formats. His value reaches new heights in OBP formats. Outside of a six-game sample at Triple-A last year, Rodriguez has walked at least 11% of the time at each Minor League level each season. He is hovering right around this number again to start 2023.

The Pirates have no reason to keep Rodriguez in the Minor Leagues much longer.  What makes Rodriguez an even better stash is the fact that Pittsburgh is winning games. Now, I do not expect this to continue much longer but the more they win, the more the Front Office might start to think this team can actually compete this year. Austin Hedges has looked even worse than usual offensively and Rodriguez is the team’s best option behind the plate. Stash him now before it is too late.


3. Jordan Westburg, 3B/SS/2B, Baltimore Orioles



Jordan Westburg jumps over Addison Barger for this week’s stash list update. Westburg is off to a pedestrian start in the Minor Leagues, but three home runs and a steal are still encouraging for fantasy managers to see. Westburg has 20/10 potential and his path to the Major Leagues might be gaining some clarity.

Jorge Mateo left the game last Wednesday with a hip injury opening up a hole in Baltimore’s infield. Mateo was off to a great start at the plate. The only other real option on the Orioles’ Major League roster is Terrin Vavra. If Mateo is forced to miss an extended period of time, the Orioles could turn to Westburg. Not only is Mateo’s injury an opportunity, but there are other holes around the infield. Gunnar Henderson is still batting well under .200 while Ramon Urias has not been much better. Westburg possesses the skill set to be an immediate fantasy asset upon his promotion.


4. Justyn-Henry Malloy, 3B/OF Detroit Tigers



Every time I go and check on Justyn-Henry Malloy’s stat line, it just gets better and better. His walk rate has somehow gone up and now sits above 24%. He is walking almost once every four plate appearances and if that is not good enough, his batting average remains over .370. He is also hitting the ball extremely hard. So far in Triple-A, he has an average exit velocity of over 95 mph with a hard hit rate above 47%. The stat sheet shows just two home runs, but JHM has hit four other balls that could have been a home run in different ballparks. The ground ball rate is high, but his average launch angle is 14 degrees. His swing path is smooth and he has a chance to hit for average and power while posting silly walk rates.

Check out this home run he hit last week:

The Tigers’ infield situation remains dire. Nick Maton has heated up at the plate, but the average is still poor and he can play second base if needed. There is no reason for the Tigers to continue trotting out Zach McKinstry and Tyler Nevin. JHM is knocking on the door and is about to bust it down. Pick him up now especially if you are in an OBP league.


5. Addison Barger, 3B/SS/2B Toronto Blue Jays



Slight move down this list for Addison Barger. After starting hot at the plate in Triple-A, Barger has cooled off and the strikeout rate has crept up. He is striking out around 30% of the time and the average leaves some to be desired. Not only is Barger struggling in Triple-A, but Whit Merrifield has really turned things on at the plate. He has three multi-hit games in the past week bringing his batting average up around .300. The clearest path for Barger to gain playing time was at second base over Merrifield. At this point, the biggest opportunity for a promotion could be in place of Brandon Belt. Belt continues to look like a shell of the player he once was. If Barger can heat up, the Blue Jays will not hesitate to give him the call to the bigs.

Barger remains a strong stash option as he is likely to be a significant fantasy asset upon his promotion. Positional versatility will help Barger break down the barrier between Buffalo and Toronto. The Blue Jays need to win every game possible to keep pace in one of the toughest divisions in baseball. Barger will be with the Jays soon making now a good time to add him to your roster.


6. Kyle Manzardo, 1B Tampa Bay Rays



Kyle Manzardo continues to tear the cover off the baseball in Triple-A. Manzardo has a hard hit rate above 55% while posting a 95th-percentile exit velocity of 107.8 mph. After walking only once in his first six games, Manzardo has been more patient at the plate walking more often. His approach at the plate is Major League-ready, the only thing left is for the Rays to call him up.

The issue with Manzardo is Yandy Diaz is dominating early on this year. He appears to be breaking out in the power department and already had some of the best contact skills in baseball. If the Rays promote Manzardo it will be to replace Luke Raley who continues to struggle. Raley is part of a platoon with Harold Ramirez who is playing just as well as Diaz. If the Rays promote Manzardo they will want to get him consistent at-bats, but they are not in a position to take ABs away from Ramirez. Manzardo remains a great stash thanks to an impressive blend of contact and power skills, but his promotion is likely contingent on an injury.


7. Casey Schmitt, 3B/SS, San Francisco Giants



Casey Schmitt continues to swing the bat well in Triple-A. The concerning part is that he is yet to hit a home run. He is hitting for plenty of average, but that comes with an inflated BABIP. Schmitt’s ascent up prospect ranks are rooted in a power outburst last season and this spring. Without this power, Schmitt is a glove-first corner infielder. We are still early in the season and he is pulling the ball plenty, but I want to see Schmitt hit some homers before moving him back up this list.

The Major League production at third base is working in Schmitt’s favor. David Villar got off to a fast start but is ice cold at the plate. His batting average is back below .200 with a strikeout rate north of 30%. Schmitt is a superior defender and a better offensive option at third base. He remains a strong stash option with a Major League promotion likely right around the corner. 


8. Michael Busch, 2B Los Angeles Dodgers


The early season transformation of Michael Busch is impressive. Busch has always posted impressive power numbers for a middle infielder. He has hit 20+ home runs in back-to-back Minor League seasons and has already hit two more this year. The issue with Busch has been keeping his strikeout rate in check. This number has consistently sat in the upper-20s despite a swinging strike rate that hovers around the league average. This season, Busch is not messing around. He is running a swinging strike rate below 10% while punishing baseballs with an average exit velocity of over 90 mph. He is keeping his strikeout rate down while walking well over 18%.
Although Busch can clearly handle himself at the plate, there have been questions about where he ends up defensively. So far in 2023, he has split time between second base and first base. He has also seen time in the outfield in previous seasons. The Dodgers do not have any current openings in their lineup at first or second base, but Busch is just an injury away from a promotion. He has 25+ home run pop with middle infield eligibility. Busch will make his Major League debut this year and could be up before the All-Star Break if he continues to dominate Triple-A pitching.


9. Sal Frelick, OF Milwaukee Brewers



Despite another injury to the Brewers’ outfield, Sal Frelick remains in Triple-A. Early on, Frelick is not having the same success we are used to seeing from him. His batting average sits below .240 and he has zero home runs. I am not pushing the panic button yet though as he is walking as often as he strikes out with a BABIP of .260 despite a 25% line drive rate. Frelick’s season is not off to the best start, but he has already stolen four bases and figures to help in at least the stolen base category upon his promotion.

We have not made it out of April and the Brewers have already lost multiple outfielders to injury. Frelick might have been in line to get promoted with the season-ending injury to Garrett Mitchell, but he landed on the IL himself. As good as Joey Wiemer has been defensively, his batting average is hovering right around the Mendoza Line. Frelick’s injury does not seem to be a long-term concern and he remains a good stash option. I still expect to see him in the Major Leagues before the All-Star Break.


10. Eduoard Julien, 2B Minnesota Twins

MLB Stats:

With Jorge Polanco back healthy, Eduoard Julien is back in Triple-A. Julien appeared in eight games for the Twins hitting two home runs during that span. So, why is Julien ranked so low if he hit two home runs and already has Major League experience? Julien’s debut was not all rainbows and butterflies. In the Minor Leagues, Julien was known for walking plenty of walks helping increase his value for OBP and points leagues. During his eight-game stint, he whiffed on over 44% of pitches with a walk rate below four percent. The whiff percentage is a concern, and he posted a ground-ball rate of 61.1%. This limits both his batting average and power upside.

Despite the concerns about his eight-game debut, Julien remains a strong stash option. The Twins have already shown a willingness to give him a chance and Polanco does not have the best injury history. Julien was also on a 40/600 home run pace and chased less than 11% of pitches. He will be back in the majors this season and still has a chance to be a solid contributor for fantasy teams.

On The Bubble

In no particular order, the top five hitters that were in consideration for inclusion to this list were: Curtis Mead (8th Week 1), Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Bo Naylor, Tyler Gentry, and Matt Mervis.


Stash List


Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

2 responses to “The Stash List Week 4: Top 10 Hitter Prospects to Stash in 2023”

  1. Buck says:

    Endy Rodriguez is on the IL with an arm injury.

  2. Oddball Herrera says:

    Not a fan of Mauricio? They are moving him defensively in AAA which is usually the red alert sign that a call up is coming before too long

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