The Hitter Edition of The Stash List is back and updated for Week 19.
This Stash List highlights the 10 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 rostering 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.
- 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 rostership percentages will be updated weekly.
- Stats will be updated weekly for all players through Friday’s games.
The Stash List
Hopefully, you read through last week’s list as two of the players featured were promoted. First, Brayan Rocchio was called up by the Guardians. He has played in both games since returning from Triple-A. Rocchio should continue playing every day throughout the remainder of the season and has plus speed and a strong hit tool. He is worth taking a shot on if you need help in the infield.
Later this past week, the Rays promoted top prospect Curtis Mead. Although it remains to be seen exactly how the playing time situation in Tampa will shake out, I doubt the Rays promoted a player like Mead to let him ride the bench. He figures to see playing time on a fairly consistent basis and is worth picking up in all 14+ team leagues and some 12+ team leagues.
Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash
The Mets’ starting outfield after the trade deadline consists of DJ Stewart and Rafael Ortega. Two other players rotating into the lineup? Danny Mendick and Jonathan Araúz. These are not major league-caliber players. I know that, you know that, and ultimately the Mets know that. Although it is possible that the Mets are manipulating Ronny Mauricio’s service time, he deserves a late-season call-up to show what he has.
Mauricio’s counting stats have slowed down a bit recently, but his 16 home runs and 17 stolen bases are plenty of evidence as to why he remains a valuable stash. His ability to hit for power while stealing plenty of bases will make him fantasy-relevant as soon as he gets promoted. Remain patient and expect Mauricio up by the end of August.
Is anybody swinging a hotter bat in Triple-A than Masyn Winn right now? Since the break, Winn is slashing an incredible .377/.443/.826 while also striking out less than 14% of the time. On the season, Winn now has more home runs than Mauricio and his hit tool is trending in the right direction. Winn uses all fields to drive the ball with a swing that is designed to smoke line drives. Once on, he is a constant threat to steal with plus speed and strong baseball instincts. His strikeout rate has improved with each minor league season and could continue to improve as Winn matures.
Even more important than Winn’s recent success in Triple-A are the Cardinals’ moves at the trade deadline. Paul DeJong was shipped to Toronto and even though Tommy Edman is back, Brendan Donovan was placed on the IL with a season-ending injury. Nolan Gorman is often on the bench against lefties and the team could easily replace Dylan Carlson in the lineup with Winn. Winn deserves a chance to prove he is ready for the major leagues and fantasy managers should expect the Cardinals to give this to him soon. Stash Winn now if you need help in the middle infield.
Jordan Lawlar’s one spot slide down this list has nothing to do with his performance, but rather the urgency in stashing Winn. Lawlar remains one of the game’s top minor league players who has not missed a beat since returning from the break. Lawlar continues to put his slow start farther and farther in the rearview mirror. He is up to 15 home runs on the season thanks to this one from Wednesday:
Jordan Lawlar dead central for home run No. 14. Got all of this one. pic.twitter.com/b2VRBIiCvO
— Aram Leighton (@AramLeighton8) August 3, 2023
The National League Wild Card race will come down to the season’s final days. There are seven teams fighting for three spots and Arizona cannot afford to be patient if they want to make the playoffs. Geraldo Perdomo is a fine player, but far from a difference-maker at the plate. If Arizona is set on keeping his glove in the lineup, they can easily shift him to third in place of Jace Peterson who was struggling to get at-bats in Oakland’s lineup. Lawlar is somebody who can be a game-changer both for real-life and fantasy baseball. He has as much upside as any player on this list making him well worth stashing to your teams.
The surprising part of Austin Wells‘ season has been the fact he has not hit a home run at Triple-A yet. Wells is known for his power, especially to his pull-side and it is confusing as to how he has not hit a home run yet. His exit velocities do not jump off the page, but the power is there. I expect his recent power outage is a mix of him pressing to impress along with a bit of an adjustment period. I am not worried about Wells and still think that he is an excellent stash option with tons of upside at the catcher position.
Wells ranks so highly on this list because of the lack of offensive production from Yankees’ catchers at the major league level. Kyle Higashioka and Ben Rortvedt are splitting time at catcher but neither one has been able to produce more offensively. As soon as Wells gets hot at Triple-A, the Yankees will not hesitate to call him up. Stash him now and beat the rush if you are in need of help at catcher.
Colt Keith is starting to put things together. He has hit safely in eight of his last nine games with some impressive plate discipline metrics. His swinging strike rate at Triple-A is just 10.4% with a zone contact rate of over 87%. Keith is an advanced hitter at the plate and his season total of 17 home runs proves how much of a difference-maker he can be at the plate.
Colt Keith absolutely demolishes this ball for a 2-run homer. It’s his 2nd home run with Toledo and his 16th overall. How about 108.9 mph off the bat and 473 feet. 👀🐎💣 pic.twitter.com/FIV8r0vStF
— Tigers ML Report (@tigersMLreport) June 30, 2023
The Tigers have plenty of holes in their major league lineup. To start, Zach McKinstry is getting consistent run as the team’s third baseman despite batting .188 since the All-Star break. If the Tigers want to keep McKinstry in the lineup, they can shift him to second in place of the platoon between Andy Ibáñez and Nick Maton. Keith deserves a shot in the major leagues and he is worth stashing.
Everson Pereira continues to swing the bat extremely well in Triple-A. He is up to six home runs with elite batted-ball metrics since joining Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. His average exit velocity is well over 90 mph, he has a max EV of 114.5 mph, and a barrel rate of over 15%. The upside is obvious and he has star potential. So, why does he only rank seventh on this list? He has terrible plate discipline with chase and whiff rates over 30%. Pereira is a high-risk, high-reward player who could pay off for fantasy managers and is worth stashing despite the flaws in his hit tool. He has plus power and plus speed and is still only 22 years old.
The Yankees are in need of another outfielder. Billy McKinney and Isiah Kiner-Falefa are splitting time in left field and neither one should be starting on a regular basis. As I have mentioned numerous times, the Yankees need to win every game possible. Pereira would represent an instant offensive upgrade at the plate in a position of need for New York. If he keeps swinging it well in Triple-A, the Yankees will have no choice but to call him up this season. Stash him now if you are looking for willing to chase the high upside in his profile.
One thing that I make sure to do during the off-season is look for obvious holes on a team’s depth chart. The Kansas City outfield instantly stuck out to me as a wide-open position and one that I thought Tyler Gentry had a chance to fill as early as Opening Day. The former third-round pick started the season at Triple-A and really struggled to get going early on. Through June 24th, Gentry was batting just .227/.331/.363 and had fallen behind other prospects like Samad Taylor in terms of a major league call-up. Since that date, Gentry has really turned his season around. He is batting .267/.411/.523 while walking as much as he is striking out. He has easy power and excellent OBP skills that make him somebody worth keeping your eye on.
At the major league level, nobody in the Royals’ outfield has stepped up. Currently, Drew Waters and Kyle Isbel are both getting regular playing time despite a wRC+ of 87 and 73 respectively. The leash is a little bit longer for Waters due to his age, but at the moment neither one looks like an everyday player. With the season a lost cause, the Royals want to evaluate what they might have for next season. Gentry is proving he is ready for his chance and could be up before the end of the month. Stash him now, especially, in OBP leagues.
While everybody knew that the Rays were going to be active at the trade deadline, I am not sure anybody thought that they would wind up trading away Kyle Manzardo. Manzardo remains on the IL with a shoulder issue, but the Guardians have come out and said they expect him to join their Triple-A team soon. Manzardo has been dealing with plenty of off-field issues this season which have been compounded by horrible luck on the field. He hits the ball extremely hard with a swing designed to drive the ball into the gap. He is the exact kind of player fantasy managers look for when trying to find the next star first baseman.
After acquiring Manzardo, the Guardians went ahead and traded away Josh Bell. Although this deal was partially made for financial reasons, the team made it clear that they view Manzardo as their first baseman of the future. Despite selling at the deadline, the Guardians remain in the thick of things in the AL Central. If Manzardo comes back healthy and the Guardians remain competitive, there is a strong chance Manzardo will be in Cleveland before the end of the season. He remains a solid stash option despite his 2023 season not going as planned.
9. Jackson Chourio, OF Milwaukee Brewers
Earlier I questioned whether there was a hotter bat in Triple-A than Masyn Winn. Now, I can ask the same question about Jackson Chourio and Double-A. Chourio has been nothing short of incredible lately with six home runs and eight stolen bases since July 6th. He is now up to a total of 16 home runs and 31 stolen bases on the season. Chourio is the only player on this list with as much upside as Lawlar and honestly, his upside might be even higher. His raw tools are incredible and his ability to lower his strikeout rate from 26.9% in 2022 to 19.2% this season despite being almost five years younger than the average player in Double-A is even more impressive. There is a reason he is my number two prospect in all of baseball.
MLB's No. 2 prospect — at just 19 years old — is slashing .366/.430/.662 at Double-A in July 🤯 pic.twitter.com/pJRq6JDIFX
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 29, 2023
The Brewers did go out and acquire Mark Canha from the Mets. However, he will not prevent the Brewers from calling up Chourio. A case can be made that Chourio is already as good offensively as Canha is at this point in his career. The team is also relying on Joey Wiemer to fill an everyday role despite his 77 wRC+ since the start of July. The likelihood of Chourio making it to the major leagues in 2023 is smaller than every other player included on this list. He is only 19 years old, and there is no doubt the Brewers want to be patient. However, he is dominating the minor leagues and Milwaukee needs to win every game possible. You stash for upside, and Chourio has as much as anybody. Get him on your teams now if you have an open roster spot.
Justyn-Henry Malloy has made his long-awaited return to the Stash List. Malloy was a Stash List favorite early on this season before a big slump delayed his potential promotion. The good news for those who continued to roster Malloy is that he is heating back up. Since the All-Star break, Malloy has been excellent slashing .341/.482/.545 with three home runs. He is walking over 20% of the time during this period and has some of the best on-base skills in all of Minor League Baseball. He is not going to steal many bases, but he still profiles to be extremely useful for fantasy purposes.
Although his teammate Colt Keith landed higher on this list, the Tigers will not have to choose between promoting one or the other. There is plenty of room in the major league lineup for both players. Miguel Cabrera at DH is likely the most realistic player for Malloy to replace. There is also the possibility that he could take the spot of Zach McKinstry or Akil Baddoo. Regardless of who he replaces, JHM should find himself on the Tigers before the end of the season and is a strong stash option, especially in OBP leagues.
On The Bubble