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.

One member of last week’s list, Phillies third baseman Alec Bohmhas officially been called up to the major league roster. The Phillies also announced they intend to play Bohm every day, and the 24-year-old already whacked a double in his first big league game. He’s worth adding in 12+ team leagues if you have space on your bench, as he has a nice overall hit tool with power to boot, making him potentially fantasy relevant right away.

The Padres activated well-traveled utility prospect Jorge Mateo on Thursday, and he immediately started in left field against left-handed Julio Urias, batting ninth. I could see Mateo succeeding in the short side of a platoon for the rest of the season, but that only has value in deeper formats or NL-only leagues, preferably ones with daily lineup changes.

Lastly, the Nationals aggressively promoted 20-year-old infield prospect Luis Garcia on Friday evening after Starlin Castro suffered a broken wrist. It sounds like Garcia is going to get a lot of playing time but considering how badly he struggled at AA last season it’s hard to imagine him gaining fantasy relevance in redraft leagues this year. He’s worth keeping an eye on though, but for those who need to replace Castro in 10 and 12-teamers, look elsewhere for now.

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. Dylan Carlson, OF, STL — ETA Today


The St. Louis Cardinals have not played a baseball game since July 29, thanks to a COVID-19 breakout through the team, but the aim is to get back on track with a double-header against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, and it looks like rookie outfielder Dylan Carlson will be along for the ride.

Carlson and Bohm are both going to be mega-popular adds this week, and while I definitely suggest looking into them in 12+ team leagues, I probably won’t be blowing huge chunks of my FAAB on either of them. If I had to choose between the two I’m taking Carlson, even with less security regarding his playing time, because the potential to contribute in all five categories is greater.

Carlson blasted 27 home runs with 20 steals last year between AA and AAA, and there’s plenty of reason to believe the power surge is real.

If he plays regularly, and hits in the middle of the lineup, he could easily produce mixed league relevant numbers, although the looming presence of Lane Thomas and Tyler O’Neill does have me a little concerned. Still, scoop him up in deeper leagues and keep an eye on him in shallower formats to see his playing time pattern and his spot in the lineup – as that will go a long way toward determining his value in 2020.


2. Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CWS – ETA Late August


The White Sox have shown a willingness to aggressively promote prospects in the past, and Vaughn’s advanced bat and his recent transition to playing 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, 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 even 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 Nick Madrigal on the IL and Encarnacion nursing some 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.  Jarred Kelenic, OF, SEA — ETA September


There are a lot of other, perhaps more practical stash candidates who I’d be willing to bet real money will play in the major leagues this season, including Brendan Rodgers, Sheldon Neuse, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Brent Rooker, but I’d much rather take a gamble on Kelenic than any of them, simply because 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 as long as Mallex Smith, Dee Gordon and Dan Vogelbach are continuing to see regular plate appearances.

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 you you’ll 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 the biggest risk of not playing at all this year, I would rather gamble on lightning in a bottle than some of the less exciting prospects I could have included. In 14+ team leagues, by all means give Kelenic a go. He could be a season-saver.


4. Gavin Lux, 2B, LAD — ETA August


At this point I think it might be 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 it’s 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.


5. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B, BAL — ETA August


When the season started, I doubted the Orioles would be able to keep slugging corner infielder Ryan Mountcastle down long. The absence of Trey Mancini made an already shallow corner infield/outfield situation even more dire in Baltimore, and Mountcastle’s .312 average with 25 home runs, 83 RBI and a 117 wRC+ in AAA last year proved he was more than ready to contribute at the next level.

However, Mountcastle did have a glaring issue: a 4.3% walk rate and a 23.5% strikeout rate at AAA last year. And while the Orioles could likely use his oomph in their batting order, which has frequently featured Jose Iglesias hitting third, it does sound like Mountcastle is using his time at the alternate site well, working constantly on his plate discipline as well as his defensive versatility.

After coming up as a shortstop, Mountcastle made the transition to third base and then spent most of 2019 at either first base or left field. That type of versatility could make him a super-utility guy, although I suspect he’s good enough to garner everyday at-bats in Baltimore for the majority of the season.

He has plus power and plus bat control, which helps make up for his lack of speed, and if his dedication to plate discipline pays off at the alternate site, he could be a big time fantasy contributor in the near future. Unfortunately, as long as he is still getting something out of his time not in the big leagues, it’s hard to predict exactly when that promotion will happen. I’d like to think soon, and I bumped him up into the top five because I think he will begin contributing right away, but Baltimore has motivation to keep him down until 2021 if they want to.

Still, I’d be happy taking a shot on Mountcastle in deep redraft leagues and will have him on my watch list in all other formats—as a call-up seems imminent and his chance of contributing in 12- and even 10-team leagues is pretty high.


6. Joey Bart, C, SFG — ETA September


When star catcher Buster Posey opted out of the 2020 season, many felt it was an opportunity for the Giants to pass the reigns behind the dish to Joey Bartthe second overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft. However, the Giants opted to go with a combination of Tyler Heineman and Rob Brantly at catcher, keeping Bart in Sacramento at the team’s alternate site. And now, even after Brantly was optioned, the team called up the wonderfully named Chadwick Tromp to work behind the dish, a discouraging sign for Bart’s short-term future.

However, Heineman, Brantly and Tromp aren’t very good — to put it lightly — and while I’m almost certain Bart would be the team’s best catching option, the Giants may not be eager to start his service time in a shortened, chaotic season with little hope for the playoffs.

In fact, a recent quote from Giants general manager Farhan Zaidi seemed to indicate exactly that, saying the team is afraid to call him up too early. “You want to feel like when you call him up, it’s absolutely the right time, and if he starts out 0-for-12 or 0-for-20, no one’s going to say, ‘Hey, did we call this guy up too early?” Zaidi said on John Shea’s podcast last week.

So while that’s certainly discouraging about Bart’s 2020 outlook, he still cracks this list because the upside is tremendous, especially from the weakest position on a fantasy squad.

The 23-year-old only has 87 plate appearances at AA, but he slashed an excellent .316/.368/.544 with four home runs and a 163 wRC+. Catchers don’t have to have elite offensive output to be fantasy relevant, and if he was called up to the show, it is entirely possible Bart would do enough to merit ownership in nearly all fantasy formats. It’s just not looking nearly as likely that that will happen super soon.

In leagues where you can afford to stash, Bart is a gamble worth taking. The potential for plus average and power out of the catching position is far too good to pass up—but I’d leave him alone in 10 and 12-team redraft leagues for now.


7. Lewin Diaz, 1B, MIA — ETA August


The first domino already fell for the Marlins when they called up toolsy outfield prospect Monte Harrisonand with COVID-19 seemingly still impacting a handful of players, it’s entirely possible guys like Lewin Diaz and Jazz Chisholm (more on him later) get the call at some point this season.

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 a week could have tremendous value.

It’s hard to recommend stashing players on a team that has played so few games this year, but in deeper leagues I think Diaz is worth grabbing and holding onto. He could get a chance to start playing regularly, and the power could make him 12-team worthy down the stretch.


8.  Brandon Marsh, OF, LAA — ETA August


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 reportedly giving him some reps at first base at their alternate site, with general manager Billy Eppler calling it “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 has been 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.  Jazz Chisholm, SS, MIA — ETA August


Chisholm’s situation is similar to Diaz and Harrison, a prospect who is nearly ready for the big leagues who might get an early shot because of the COVID outbreak.

Chisholm also benefits from the news that Isan Diaz opted 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.

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 Harrison 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, however, 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.


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


I decided to replace Bohm on this list with Red Sox first base prospect Bobby Dalbec, 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 at 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.


Added: Bobby Dalbec

Removed: None

Graduated: Alec Bohm


Others given consideration: Ke’Bryan Hayes, Cristian Pache, Drew Waters, Jesus Sanchez, Brendan Rodgers, Alex Kirilloff, Brent Rooker, Sheldon Neuse, J.J. Bleday


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.

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