The Stash List Week 8: 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


For the fourth week in a row, a member of the StashList was promoted to the Major Leagues. First, it was Michael Busch who was only called up due to injuries and a paternity list frenzy in Los Angeles. Busch received limited plate appearances and finds himself back on this list. Second was Matt Mervis who has not gotten off to the best Major League start. Mervis is really struggling to make contact with breaking balls. He is not having the instant Major League success many thought he was primed for. Thirdly, Casey Schmitt has been dominating Major League pitching since his promotion. He is going to have eligibility all over the infield and could be a big-time fantasy asset.

That brings us to Matt McLain, the most recent StashList member to get promoted. After a rough 2022 campaign, McLain was absolutely dominating Triple-A Pitching. He has plus speed, power, and profiles as an above-average fantasy asset. The biggest key will be keeping his strikeouts in check to help keep his batting average afloat. He is batting toward the top of Cincinnati’s lineup which should only continue to improve as more top prospects get promoted. Check out his first Major League hit below where McLain shows off his speed on a hustle-double.

Mark Vientos was also promoted to the Major Leagues this week. He has been a popular name in the first five out. He was putting up big-time Triple-A stats, but I am skeptical of him getting consistent playing time over Brett Baty and Daniel Vogelbach. This is something to monitor moving forward. Another one of the next five to get promoted this past week was Eduoard Julien. Julien was promoted as a result of Jorge Polanco landing on the IL. He should play every day and is worth adding especially in OBP leagues.


Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash


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


No change at the top of this list. Jordan Westburg continues to dominate Triple-A pitching. He is now up to 12 home runs with his best wRC+ since Low-A. Westburg is crushing everything while continuing to demonstrate an ability to use all fields. His primary power is found when he pulls the ball which takes a slight hit with the new wall at Camden Yards. Regardless of this, Westburg has the speed, power, and hit tool to be a valuable fantasy asset as soon as he gets the call.

At the Major League level, Gunnar Henderson has started to play a little bit better, but the results have still been underwhelming. He is walking a ton, but his patience at the plate is resulting in a high strikeout rate. Westburg is able to play all over the infield and could replace Adam Frazier in the lineup. Frazier has not been bad, but he is far from a difference-maker and is likely best suited for a bench role. There are plenty of avenues for Westburg to take to make it to the Major Leagues. He will receive the call soon and have an instant fantasy impact once he does. Stash him now before it is too late.


2. Jordan Walker, OF St. Louis Cardinals

AAA Stats:

 Jordan Walker might be settling in at the plate. After struggling in Triple-A since his demotion, Walker has posted multi-hit games twice in the past week. He is up to three stolen bases and although he has just two home runs we all know what Walker is capable of doing. He has an average exit velocity of over 92 mph, and most importantly, is lowering his ground ball percentage. After hitting ground balls over 60% of the time with the Cardinals, Walker has brought that rate back down to around 45%. Getting the ball in the air more is a big key to his future success.

The two most likely paths to Major League playing time for Walker are replacing either Dylan Carlson or Brendan Donovan in the starting lineup. While Carlson seems most likely from an offensive standpoint, he is a near-elite defender in center field. Carlson landed on the IL which makes this route a little bit easier for Walker. The most likely path could be moving replacing Donovan who is slashing .196/.315/.261 since the start of May. Moving Donovan into a super-utility role would open up a spot for Walker back in the Cardinals’ everyday lineup. If somebody in your league gave up on Walker, pick him up now as he will be back with the team in the near future.


3. Elly De La Cruz, SS/3B Cincinnati Reds


As noted earlier, the Reds already called up one of their top prospects. That leads us to wonder how much longer they plan to keep their other rising stars in Triple-A. After a slow start to the season, Elly De La Cruz has really turned things on at the plate. Over his first nine games, EDLC was striking out over 40% of the time with an uninspiring .195/.233/.415 slash. In the 16 games since, he is walking almost as much as he is striking out with a .328/.449/.672 stat line. That slash line comes with five stolen bases and home runs a piece. EDLC looks like a star in Triple-A.

So, how much longer should we expect the Reds to keep him in Triple-A? Tough to say. With McLain up, shortstop is occupied. Despite there being a clear opening at DH, it is likely Christian Encarnacion-Strand will get the first chance there. Nick Senzel is manning third base but could move to the outfield and open up room for EDLC. Despite his ridiculous recent production, EDLC still just has 24 total games under his belt in Triple-A. The Reds will likely wait until closer to the All-Star Break to promote him to the club. EDLC has the highest upside of anybody on this list making now the perfect opportunity to stash him.


4. Kyle Manzardo, 1B Tampa Bay Rays


Kyle Manzardo has seen his average take a slight hit over the past couple of weeks. Since May 4th, Manzardo is batting just .196. If anybody dropped Manzardo as a result of this recent slump, make sure to pick him up. This .196 average comes with a .200 BABIP despite Manzardo continuing to hit the ball extremely hard. His recent performance should not deter the Rays from calling him up once they need him and he still has two home runs over that period.

Yandy Diaz is a bit banged up for the second time this season. He is back in the lineup after missing a few games with a groin injury. However, two minor injuries could potentially point to a durability issue in the future. The Rays’ lineup continues to be loaded from top to bottom blocking Manzardo from making his debut. He is Major League-ready and will be a fantasy star, you just have to be patient with his timeline.


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


After a slow couple of weeks, Justyn-Henry Malloy is showing exactly the maturity and growth we want to see out of a prospect. With three home runs since May 12th, he is showing that he can adjust just as well as pitchers can. His batting average is back up and there is plenty of power here. JHM is hitting home runs at the highest clip of his professional career thanks to elite exit velocities. Detroit is no longer as much of a pitcher’s park as it used to be, making Malloy’s bat even more exciting.

Nick Maton continues to get regular playing time with a 56 wRC+, and after a hot start, Andy Ibanez is batting .160 since May 9th. Neither player is deserving of an everyday lineup spot. The Tigers should not be able to justify keeping Malloy in the Minor Leagues for much longer. He continues to be an excellent stash option moving forward.


6. Royce Lewis, SS/3B Minnesota Twins


After making his StashList debut last week, Royce Lewis is quickly moving up. After missing nearly a year with a torn ACL, Lewis is showing no signs of rust early on. After two games at Double-A, the team quickly moved Lewis’ rehab assignment to Triple-A. All he has done there is hit three home runs in three games while adding a stolen base to prove to fantasy managers he is still going to utilize his speed. Lewis packs plenty of power in his bat with enough speed for 30 stolen bases. He was once a top-five prospect in baseball and deserves more recognition. Check out this home run he hit this week:

Lewis’ ascent up this list has as much to do with his early success as it does with his 2023 Major League debut getting closer and closer. ACL injuries require serious precaution, but Lewis has been rehabbing now for over a week. At this point, he is only a week or two away from being activated off the IL. There is no reason for Minnesota to option him back to Triple-A as they have clear openings all over the infield at both third base and shortstop. Lewis will be in Minnesota soon making now your last chance to grab him.


7. Endy Rodriguez, C Pittsburgh Pirates


Slight slide down this list for Endy Rodriguez in week eight. The slide is primarily a result of his overall stat line. Since the start of May, Rodriguez is batting .244/.392/.439 which is far from promotion worthy. The concerning part is that his struggles are directly after he injured his forearm. I am not saying there is a correlation, and a .250 BABIP definitely plays a role, but Rodriguez could be playing injured. Any additional missed time could push Rodriguez’s debut back farther than anticipated.

That being said, Rodriguez still ranks seventh on this list for a reason. At this point, he is walking more than he is striking out with four home runs and four stolen bases on the season. Catcher is a weak position for fantasy purposes and the Pirates desperately could use a replacement for Austin Hedges. Barring another IL stint, Rodriguez should be up with the team sooner rather than later.


8. Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 1B Cincinnati Reds


Christian Encarnacion-Strand continues to mash down in Triple-A. He is now up to ten home runs while maintaining a batting average well over .300. He is averaging over 91 mph on his exit velocities and the Reds will only be able to keep him in the Minor Leagues for so long. The team has already promoted Matt McLain and Encarnacion-Strand will likely be next. They have a clear opening at DH/1B and he would provide an instant upgrade.
The only issue with CES’ profile is his plate discipline. Encarnacion-Strand is a free swinger and is swinging at nearly 60% of pitches at Triple-A. This allows him to punish mistakes with light-house power, but Major League pitchers do not make quite as many mistakes as those in Triple-A. He remains a strong stash option thanks to his Major League proximity, but there are more red flags than his stat line suggests.


9. Ronny Mauricio, SS/2B New York Mets


The most obvious path to playing time continues to be in the place of Mark Canha. Vientos’ promotion figures to eat into the playing time of both Baty and Daniel Vogelbach. This leaves Canha as the only other obvious player struggling at the plate. Although his average has been better as of late, he is still struggling to hit for any sort of power. With below-average production at the plate and a declining glove in the outfield, the Mets will likely turn to their exciting young prospect in Triple-A. Stash Mauricio now before he becomes the next player to receive a promotion to Queens.


10. Colton Cowser, OF Baltimore Orioles


There was one rumor circulating earlier this week that Colton Cowser was on his way to the Major Leagues. While this was not the case, it does place an emphasis on how well he has been playing at Triple-A. After a slow start, Cowser is slashing .364/.519/.675 since April 20th. A player with seven home runs, five stolen bases, and a walk rate near 20% is a prospect well worth a stash. This is just Cowser’s second season in professional baseball and there is reason to believe he can continue getting better.

Jordan Westburg leads this StashList and is likely to receive the first promotion to Baltimore. However, that does not mean there is no room for Cowser. Currently, Terrin Vavra is getting consistent playing time in the outfield. Vavra has never shown he can maintain an everyday role at the Major League level and Cowser is going to force Baltimore’s hand sooner or later. The Orioles continue to prove they are a threat in the AL East and Cowser gives them the best chance of winning.


On The Bubble

In no particular order, the top five hitters that were in consideration for inclusion to this list were: Coco Montes,  Michael Busch, Curtis Mead (#9 Week 1), Tyler Gentry, and Bo Naylor.



Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

2 responses to “The Stash List Week 8: Top 10 Hitter Prospects to Stash in 2023”

  1. Babbo B says:

    What makes Gentry so attractive the way he’s been underperforming in AAA?

  2. Barton says:

    Garrett Acton has 0 saves…

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