The Stash, Week 4: Top 10 Hitting Prospects To Stash in 2020

Upside production just waiting to be stashed.

Every Saturday for the abbreviated 2020 season, I will be posting a list of 10 hitting prospects to stash in redraft leagues. This is important, as I am solely evaluating players for their ability to impact fantasy teams in 2020—and not beyond.

This list will exclusively feature players who are not currently on major league rosters and will include my prediction for when they will be called up, what kind of impact we can expect from them. and how you should value them in various redraft formats.

Three of the ten players on last week’s stash list, Dylan Carlson (1) Ryan Mountcastle (5) and Joey Bart (6) all graduated to the big leagues, and many of the players I would have added to the list as replacements, (Cristian Pache, Brendan Rodgers, Isaac Paredes and Jesus Sanchez) were all recalled as well in what was an extremely exciting week of prospect call-ups on both the hitting and pitching side.

Before we dive into this week’s list, here is a quick update on the guys who got the call. Carlson has struggled out to a 4-for-31 start to his big league career, but he is still worth owning in 14+ team leagues, and he isn’t a bad player to toss on your bench in 12-teamers if you need to replace someone like Byron Buxton or David Dahl after they went on injured reserve.

Mountcastle should be added in 12+ team leagues, although his playing time is yet to be determined. He hit sixth and played left field in his first game, and if that becomes the norm he will be rosterable in most formats, particularly those that count batting average – and not on-base percentage – thanks to his abysmal walk rate.

Bart is a must-add in 12-team leagues, assuming San Francisco will play him every day, and he could easily become 10-team relevant as well thanks to his prodigious power and the positional scarcity behind the dish.

Some quick notes on the other prospects who were recalled this past week:

Sanchez replaced Monte Harrison on the active roster after he went 4-for-30 with 18 strikeouts in his first stint in the big leagues. The tools are still there for Harrison, but he is not worth stashing for 2020 at this point. Sanchez is definitely worth keeping an eye on in 12-team leagues, however, although he is not an immediate add just yet outside of very deep formats.

Pache replaced Nick Markakis, who is hitting the IL shortly after opting back into the season. Pache is more of a valuable asset in real life than a budding fantasy star, but he remains worth monitoring in deeper leagues—although I’d be surprised to see him return mixed league relevance this year.

Paredes looks like he will be Detroit’s third baseman for the rest of the season, but he does not provide enough power or speed to be relevant outside of deeper (14+) formats, or AL-only leagues—despite his grand slam on Friday evening.

And finally, Rodgers is a mega-talented middle infielder, but Colorado tends to keep their prospects in perilous situations, so until we have confirmation Rodgers is playing close to every day he is probably not worth adding in most leagues.

Otherwise there was a handful of rearranging, but the list remains filled with familiar names as we await some call-ups to impact our fantasy lineups down the stretch of this shortened season.


1.  Jarred Kelenic, OF, SEA — ETA September


There are a lot of other, perhaps more practical stash candidates I’d be willing to bet real money will play in the major leagues this season, but with only six weeks left I would much rather take a gamble on Kelenic. It’s really pretty simple: the production he is capable of putting forth, even if he’s only up for a few weeks, outweighs what we might see from any of those other guys even if they get called up tomorrow.

Kelenic’s debut timeline remains a mystery, but considering the Mariners had a ton of success giving Kyle Lewis an 18-game cameo last year, it seems entirely possible they will do something similar with Kelenic, especially now that Mallex Smith and Dan Vogelbach are out of the picture for the time being.

Jake Fraley might be the next man up (more on him later) but Kelenic is one of the five most electric prospects in all of baseball, a true five-tool stud who will likely be a fantasy darling for well over a decade. I can’t promise the 21-year-old will be an instant success story (even Mike Trout struggled his first go-round) but I can promise that you will hate to be the person watching him beat your team in the playoffs come late-September.

I moved him up quite a bit on this list because while I think he carries considerable risk of not playing at all this year, I would rather gamble on lightning in a bottle than some of the less exciting prospects included below.

In 14+ team leagues, by all means give Kelenic a go. He could be a season-saver.


2. Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CWS — ETA September


The White Sox have shown a willingness to aggressively promote prospects in the past, and Vaughn’s advanced bat and recent repetitions at third base could create an opening for him at some point this season, particularly with the age and potential injury concerns surrounding Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Abreu.

The 22-year-old was the third overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft and is considered one of the purest hitting prospects to come into the pros in quite some time. Vaughn appeared in 55 MiLB games down the stretch in 2019, hitting six home runs with a batting average hovering over .250, but a stellar OBP in the .360 range.

Vaughn probably needs more minor league seasoning before he is ready for everyday big-league at-bats, but outside of Encarnacion and Abreu, the White Sox have Zack CollinsCheslor Cuthbert, and Nicky Delmonico coming off the bench—and I have little doubt Vaughn is better than all of them right now. Plus, the added ability to play third, if Chicago feels comfortable in his glovework, only makes him more likely to get a call.

The White Sox need to inject some oomph into their lineup if they want to make a run this season, especially with Leury Garcia on the IL and Encarnacion nursing shoulder issues. They won’t get it from Collins, Cuthbert, or Delmonico, so maybe they turn to Vaughn for a few weeks to try and catch lightning in a bottle.

Crazier things have certainly happened, and you won’t want to watch another team beat you in the finals after Vaughn hits three home runs in his first week in the show. Keep him on your watch list, and he’s a fine stash in deeper redraft leagues if you have an open bench spot.


3. Gavin Lux, 2B, LAD — ETA September


In 10 and 12-team redraft leagues, it is past the time to cut bait on Lux. The toolsy infielder has been atop this list for the entire season, but the Dodgers have not shown any willingness to give him the call, instead going with Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylorand even giving utilityman Zach McKinstry a one-day call-up instead of Lux. Plus, with Corey Seager missing a week of action, and the Dodgers desperately needing some left-handed oomph in their lineup, Lux remained at the team’s alternate site. Sigh.

I can understand holding onto Lux in deeper redraft leagues, particularly if you’ve gutted it out this long, but if you haven’t done so already, it is time to cut bait in 10- and 12-teamers and find someone else to add to your bench who can contribute right away.

I do still expect Lux to get a call up to Los Angeles, although it might not be until the last few weeks of the season, and I’ve resigned myself to the real possibility it does not happen at all in 2020. Even with Hernandez and Taylor playing well, Lux is frankly better than both of them and he deserves an opportunity, even if the Dodgers don’t see it that way.

If you are in a 12-teamer and need some production, it’s probably best to cut Lux and find someone who can actually help, even if it means missing out on a few weeks of Lux near the end of the season. At this point, it’s just not worth it anymore.


4. Wander Franco, SS, TB — ETA September


It’s time. I should probably have had Franco listed in the “given consideration” category the last few weeks, but now with such a small window of time left, and a relatively uninspiring group of hitting prospects left to consider stashing, Wander Francothe No. 1 prospect in all of baseball—finally cracks this list.

I don’t feel exceptionally confident the Rays will call him up at all this season, and if they do it will likely be in mid-September at the earliest, but if you’re feeling spicy in a deeper league and you have a bench spot, this future MVP candidate is well worth looking into.

Franco, 19, played 52 games at High-A in 2019, hitting .339/.408/.464 with 40 runs scored, three home runs and four stolen bases. He struck out a minuscule 6.7% of the time, while drawing walks at an outstanding 11.7% clip.

You likely don’t need a whole write-up on Franco, but his contact skills, eye at the plate, developing raw power and 60-grade speed make him an absolutely elite prospect, and a near-certainty to be a fantasy stud for years to come.

It may not be in 2020, but you could do worse to stash Franco on the off-chance Tampa throws caution (and service time) into the wind and gives him a shot before the season is up.


5. Lewin Diaz, 1B, MIA — ETA August


So technically Lewin Diaz did graduate from this list last week, getting called up to start in two games for the Marlins. He went 2-for-8 with a run and an RBI before getting optioned back to the alternate site to clear space for Corey Dickersonwho was away from the team on the bereavement list.

He’s still a prime candidate to get recalled the next time Miami needs some oomph in their lineup, and at this point I like him better than Miami’s other young hitting prospects, including Jazz Chisholm (No. 6) and Monte Harrison (unranked).

Diaz blasted 27 home runs last year, split between High-A and AA and between the Twins and Marlins organizations. He has tremendous raw power and surprisingly good strikeout rates, although his plate discipline still lacks. He’ll likely be a low average, low OBP masher—but in a shortened season a guy who might come in and bop a few home runs in a week could have tremendous value.

In deeper leagues, I think Diaz is worth grabbing and holding onto if he was dropped after he got optioned. He could get a chance to start playing regularly in the final few weeks of the season, and the power could make him 12-team worthy down the stretch.


6.  Jazz Chisholm, SS, MIA — ETA August


Chisholm could benefit from Miami’s barrage of prospect call-ups over the last few weeks, which has included Monte Harrison, Lewin Diaz, Jesus Sanchez and right-handed pitcher Sixto Sanchez.

Chisholm also benefits from Isan Diaz’s decision to opt out of the rest of this season with COVID concerns. Diaz was the team’s regular second baseman, and his absence caused the team to use a combination of Jon Berti, Eddy Alvarez and Logan Forsythe at the keystone.

With Alvarez headed to the IL, calling up Chisholm to play shortstop could shift Jonathan Villar back to second base, and would add some oomph to Miami’s rather punchless offense.

I like both Diaz and Sanchez to hold fantasy relevance more than Chisholm this season, although the toolsy shortstop prospect has the power (21 home runs) and speed (16 steals) to make an impact at the big-league level.

He does have massive strikeout issues, which will likely lead to a low batting average and has me concerned he may not be a big impact guy right away. However, the tools are tantalizing and the playing time is potentially there, so in deeper leagues, he’s worth a dart throw if you have the roster spot.


7. Drew Waters, OF, ATL — ETA September


Now that Cristian Pache is up, breaking the dam the Braves seemed to build around their high-profile prospects, perhaps we will see an influx of other young, talented prospects—including Ian Anderson, Tucker Davidson, and fellow outfielder Drew Waters.

Waters is a consensus top 50 prospect as a tooled-up 21-year-old outfielder, who has the potential to be an easy 20-20 guy at the next level.

However, like so many toolsy outfielders before him, he has an overly aggressive approach that leads to big strikeout issues, issues that were exceptionally prevalent in AAA in 2019, when he fanned a whopping 36% of the time in 26 games.

He could probably use more fine-tuning in the minors, and Atlanta has a full outfield even with Markakis out (Pache is coming off the bench) but there’s enough optimism surrounding Waters’ profile that I could see stashing him in deeper leagues, hoping to catch some lightning in a bottle down the stretch if he gets the call.


8.  Brandon Marsh, OF, LAA — ETA September


Angels outfielder Brandon Marsh is considered a potentially elite defensive outfielder with plus speed and a cannon arm that will play at all three outfield positions. However, the Angels are now giving him some reps at first base at their alternate site, which general manager Billy Eppler called “a little introduction”.

At first glance, this seems like a waste of Marsh’s obvious, Gold Glove caliber talent. However, it’s also a very promising sign for his big league timeline, which could be coming up sooner than expected.

With Mike Trout, Justin Upton, Brian Goodwin, and now Jo Adell occupying spots in the outfield, the Angels may not have much room for Marsh this season—unless they can find another spot for him. Shohei Ohtani will DH pretty regularly from here on out, but Marsh could get some reps at first base in place of the aging Albert Pujols, especially now that Matt Thaiss was optioned back to the team’s alternate site.

Marsh, 22, hit .300/.383/.428 with seven home runs and 18 stolen bases in 96 games at AA in 2019, while posting an excellent 11.4% walk rate and a 22.3% strikeout rate.

Marsh has the raw power to contribute 25-30 home runs annually, save for one small issue: he doesn’t get nearly enough lift on the ball. After averaging a roughly five-degree launch angle for his minor league career, Marsh made mechanical adjustments that showed up in the Arizona Fall League last year, and when he gets a chance to show that in games, he could instantly be a five-tool player.

He is best utilized as a center fielder, but as long as he is in the lineup in LAA he’s worth a look in 12+ team leagues. The new positional shift, and the demotion of Thaiss, could indicate a move is on the horizon.


9.   Bobby Dalbec, 1B, BOS — ETA Late August


Red Sox first base prospect Bobby Dalbec cracks the list simply because the Red Sox just are not getting it done this season and a potential teardown could be coming. While I don’t expect a huge market to develop before the trade deadline, it’s not out of the question that Boston will look to deal either J.D. Martinez or Mitch Moreland for prospects, and either subtraction would open up a spot for Dalbec to make his big league debut.

Dalbec, 25, played first and third last season in the minors, although his big league home is almost certainly at first or DH. The slugger mashed 27 home runs in 2019, 20 at AA and another seven at AAA in 30 games played. He won’t hit for a high average, though his patience at the plate could make him an even more attractive asset in OBP formats.

I’m hard-pressed to recommend stashing Dalbec in anything but the deepest redraft formats, because it’s hard to predict exactly when (or if) he will get the call, but I could easily see him being worth adding in 12+ team leagues as soon as he is up, particularly if Boston parts with either Martinez or Moreland.


10. Jake Fraley, OF, SEA — ETA Late August


This list gets bookended by Mariners outfield prospects, and while I think Jake Fraley is far more likely to make his season debut before Kelenic, I’d rather stash the more obviously talented player, especially with such a small amount of season left to be played.

That’s not to say Fraley won’t return mixed-league value if and when he gets the call, which could be coming soon. The Mariners finally dumped Mallex Smith and Dan Vogelbach, giving call-ups to Sam Haggerty and Braden Bishop over Fraley. Fraley’s initial big league cameo did not go well in 2019, when he hit .150 in 41 plate appearances with zero walks and a 34.1% strikeout rate, but it has been a bit surprising to not see him up at all so far in 2020—especially when many felt he was ticketed to be Seattle’s starting right fielder on Opening Day.

Why he hasn’t been up remains a mystery, but reports out of Seattle’s alternate site are that he’s hitting mammoth home runs off some of the team’s star minor league pitching—and there’s reason to believe he’s ready to make an impact at the big league level if and when he gets the chance.

I wouldn’t be stashing Fraley in most redraft leagues, but deep leagues or AL-only formats can give him a look if you have an extra bench spot, and he will be worth adding in deeper leagues if he gets promoted, thanks to his combination of power and speed (19 home runs and 22 steals at AAA last year).


Added: Wander Franco, Drew Waters, Jake Fraley

Removed: None

Graduated: Dylan Carlson, Ryan Mountcastle, Joey Bart


Others given consideration: Monte Harrison, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Alex Kirilloff, Brent Rooker, Sheldon Neuse, J.J. Bleday, Vidal Brujan, Adley Rutschman, Jeter Downs, Andy Young


Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Andy Patton

Andy is the Dynasty Content Manager here at PitcherList. He manages all of the prospect content on the site, while also contributing a weekly article on dynasty deep sleepers, and the weekly hitter and pitcher stash lists. Andy also co-hosts the Never Sunny in Seattle podcast on the PitcherList Podcast Network, and separately hosts the Score Zags Score Podcast.

One response to “The Stash, Week 4: Top 10 Hitting Prospects To Stash in 2020”

  1. King Donko of Punchstania says:

    “The White Sox need to inject some oomph into their lineup if they want to make a run this season…”

    Current White Sox MLB batting ranks:
    wRC+: 3rd
    wOBA: 4th
    SLG: 2nd
    ISO: 3rd

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