The Stash List Week 5: 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


The Dodgers made news last week by calling up prospect Michael Busch. Busch was included in last week’s edition coming in at number eight. He was demonstrating improved plate discipline at Triple-A and has plenty of power to be fantasy relevant. His stay in the Major Leagues was originally believed to be short with Max Muncy on the Paternity List. However, now JD Martinez is on the IL allowing Busch additional time to prove he belongs.

If the Dodgers decide they want to send Busch down to Triple-A on Sunday morning right before the list is published (which teams seem to keep doing), he would rank seventh currently.

Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash


1. Jordan Walker, OF St. Louis Cardinals

MLB Stats:


Well, this comes as a surprise. After Jordan Walker made the Cardinals out of Spring Training, there was little expectation he would wind up back in Triple-A before the end of the first month. Walker appeared in 20 games for the Cardinals and looked to hold his own offensively. He posted a 101 wRC+ although his fielding left some to be desired. The biggest issue was a high ground ball rate, a consistent theme throughout his Minor League career. Walker will look to fix this issue down at Triple-A.

Despite his demotion, fantasy managers should not be dropping Walker. The upside was evidenced by two home runs and two steals. He has 20/20 potential and should be back up with the Cardinals shortly. The upside is even higher if he can fix his launch angle issue. Hold onto Walker and if somebody in your league drops him, make sure to pick him up.


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



Jordan Westburg is on a tear at the plate. He homered in back-to-back games this week including this grand slam:

This hot stretch propels Westburg up this week’s stash list. Westburg is torching the ball at Triple-A and quickly proving he is ready for the bright lights of the big leagues.

Westburg hits for power and average while adding plus speed and excellent plate discipline. At the Major League level, both Adam Frazier and Gunnar Henderson continue to struggle at the plate. The team is invested monetarily in Frazier making it possible that Henderson finds himself going back to Triple-A. Regardless of who Westburg comes up for, he will find himself in Baltimore sooner than later. Stash him now before it is too late.


3. Elly De La Cruz, SS Cincinnati Reds



Elly De La Cruz no longer tops the list of prospects to stash, but still remains one of the top options. De La Cruz’s 2023 season has not gotten off to the start many had hoped. He has struck out nearly 50% and is clearly still searching for his timing. The Reds have been aggressive with De La Cruz sending him right to Triple-A after his return from injury despite having never played a game at that level. Be patient and give him time to get situated before pressing the panic button.

The slide down this list has as much to do with his early struggles as it has to do with fellow prospect Matt McLain. McLain is off to a torrid start to the season and could get the first chance at shortstop with the Major League team. McLain is not included on this list but could impact when we see Cruz. You stash for upside and De La Cruz has plenty of that making him a valuable stash for your redraft leagues.


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



In case you were wondering if Justyn-Henry Malloy is still walking more than he is striking out, the answer is no. His walk rate does continue to push 20% while his average remains well over .300. The average is great and the power is showing up in big ways. JHM is up to three home runs while he continues to run an average exit velocity of over 90 mph. His swing path is smooth, consistent, and Major League ready.

At this point, it feels like the Tigers could call up JHM any day now. The Tigers infield is running out a combination of Nick Maton, Jonathan Schoop, Zach McKinstry, and Tyler Nevin on a consistent basis. McKinstry is swinging it well at the plate while the other three combine for a TOTAL wRC+ of 106. They have been abysmal at the plate and JHM is doing everything in his power to force his way into the Tigers’ lineup. He is worth a stash in all leagues but his value is boosted even higher in OBP leagues.

Another note is Kerry Carpenter being placed on the IL. The loss of Carpenter opens up another path for Malloy to make it to the Major Leagues. This injury gives the Tigers even less of an excuse to keep him in Triple-A.


5. Kyle Manzardo, 1B Tampa Bay Rays



At this point, it seems like there is nothing else to learn about Kyle Manzardo. He hits the ball hard, uses the entire field, and has a strong understanding of the strike zone. His walk rate is quickly approaching his strikeout rate and the only reason his batting average is below .300 is because of a .291 BABIP. Manzardo has a line drive rate north of 30% meaning we should see positive regression to the BABIP coming.

Manzardo is Major League ready. The only thing left is for the Rays to give him a chance. Both Yandy Diaz and Harold Ramirez continue to look excellent at the plate blocking first base and DH. The other path is shifting Diaz to third base and replacing Isaac Paredes with Manzardo in the lineup. Diaz has plenty of experience playing third base and Paredes has been underperforming so far this year. The lack of a clear path to Major League playing time is the only thing keeping Manzardo down lower on this list than his talent suggests. He remains a strong stash option thanks to his big upside.

One important late note is the injury to Diaz. Diaz left the game on Friday with shoulder soreness. If this injury is severe enough to force Diaz to the IL, Manzardo is likely the top candidate to replace him in the Rays’ lineup. This helped push Manzardo from sixth on this list up to fifth.


6. Endy Rodriguez, C Pittsburgh Pirates



Endy Rodriguez slides a bit due to a forearm injury. Rodriguez injured himself attempting to throw out a runner stealing second base. The Pirates do not seem overly concerned and this does not profile to be too long of an IL stint for Rodriguez. Nonetheless it still negatively impacts Rodriguez’s timeline to the Major Leagues. We will likely have to wait until Rodriguez gets healthy and plays in a week or two’s worth of games before getting considered for a promotion.

The Pirates keep winning which helps keep Rodriguez as a prime stash candidate. Before the injury, Rodriguez was heating up at the plate smashing his third home run. Versatility is an added bonus to Rodriguez’s profile as he can play all over the diamond. Further negative injury news could shift Rodriguez farther down this list, but he remains an excellent stash option for redraft leagues.


7. Matt Mervis, 1B Chicago Cubs



After much debate, Matt Mervis has officially broken onto the Stash List. Mervis was one of the most talked about prospects in baseball leading up to Spring Training. The Cubs’ signings of Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini combined with an underwhelming spring from Mervis brought the hype levels back to earth. The hype is returning after the first few weeks of the season. Mervis is mashing (living up to his nickname) in Triple-A with four home runs already. Mervis has always had an advanced understanding of the strike zone and so far this year he is walking more than he is striking out. There is 30 home run potential in his bat with added value in OBP leagues.

Part of what made Mervis such a popular hype candidate in the off-season was the lack of competition ahead of him on the depth chart. So far this season, the signings of Mancini and Hosmer have not worked out. Hosmer continues to regress offensively, while Mancini’s production has taken a massive step backward. The NL Central appears to be a very winnable division and the Cubs are unlikely to waste time by keeping their best offensive option at first base in Triple-A. Stash Mervis now before he forces the Cubs to call him up.


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


After a fast start to the year, Addison Barger has cooled off in Triple-A. Since April 13th, Barger is batting just .220 with zero home runs. Compounding the issue is Whit Merrifield’s sustained success at the Major League level. The Jays are not going to just hand Barger a lineup spot if he does not prove to them he is ready to handle Major League pitching.

Barger has slipped down this list but still remains a strong stash option. Barger demonstrated what he was capable of last season when he hit over .300, mashed 26 home runs, and added 9 stolen bases. The upside is plentiful when it comes to Barger who is just one injury away from being promoted to the Major Leagues.


9. Ronny Mauricio, SS New York Mets



Another new name on this week’s stash list, Ronny Mauricio is off to an incredible start at Triple-A. After years of mediocre performance in the Minor Leagues, Mauricio finally put it all together last season. He has not missed a beat this year with six home runs and four stolen bases already. He has an average exit velocity of well over 90 mph and a hard-hit rate north of 45%. Most importantly, he has continued to lower his strikeout rate. High chase rates have gotten Mauricio in trouble in the past, but this number is down to around 23% this year. He continues to demonstrate growth and maturity at the plate while showing off his elite toolset.

What thrusts Mauricio onto this list and makes him such a great stash are the recent reports that the Mets are moving him into more of a utility role. The Front Office has clearly seen enough to believe that Mauricio has the talent to succeed at the Major League level and want to find anyway possible to get him here. His primary position is blocked by some dude named Francisco Lindor, but Mauricio has been working at second base a lot recently. Shifting Jeff McNeil to left field for a struggling Mark Canha or playing Mauricio at DH instead of Daniel Vogelbach are both viable options. Stash Mauricio now before he forces the Mets to call him up.


10. Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 1B Cincinnati Reds


Add a fourth new name to the list this week. Much like teammate Elly De La Cruz, Christian Encarnacion-Strand started this season on the IL. He is back now and unlike Cruz, CES is looking comfortable already. In just five games, Strand has hit four home runs demonstrating incredible power. Hee is not going to hit a home run on 50% of his fly balls the rest of the year, but profiles to be an elite power threat at the Major League level. Over the course of a full season, Strand could hit .250 with 30 home runs. The one area that could get him in trouble is his aggression at the plate.

What makes CES such a great stash is how wide open the first base position is in Cincinnati. Spencer Steer is currently playing first base but started the year at third base where he is more comfortable. Nick Senzel is not going to keep CES out of the lineup, and Joey Votto still is not healthy after his off-season surgery. CES has a strong chance to be up with the Reds soon and needs to be stashed now.


On The Bubble

In no particular order, the top five hitters that were in consideration for inclusion to this list were: Eduoard Julien(#10 Week 4), Sal Frelick(#9 Week 4), Curtis Mead(#9 Week 1), Casey Schmitt(#7 Week 4), Bo Naylor.


Stash List


Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

One response to “The Stash List Week 5: Top 10 Hitter Prospects to Stash in 2023”

  1. Oddball Herrera says:

    Rodriguez was activated off the AAA IL yesterday

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