The Hitter Edition of the Stash List is back and updated for Week 24.
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
Last week’s top prospect to stash was finally promoted to the major leagues. Jordan Lawlar was called up by Arizona and made his debut on Thursday getting this infield single as his first hit:
Jordan Lawlar legs out an infield single for his first big league hit!
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 8, 2023
Lawlar has been tremendous since the start of June, showing significant strides in his contact skills and plate discipline. The power is obvious and he has some of the best base-stealing instincts in minor league baseball. There is five-category upside here and he should be picked up wherever he is available.
The Rangers also called up another top prospect Evan Carter. The move to promote Carter after just eight games at Triple-A came in response to Adolis García landing on the IL. Carter does not possess the same fantasy upside as Lawlar does but is still a strong player to target in fantasy leagues.
Top 10 Hitting Prospects to Stash
Colt Keith just keeps on hitting. He has hit safely in 17 of 18 games with an average of .373 during that span. His Triple-A home run total is up to 10 bringing his season total up to 24. With a sweet spot percentage over 38, a whiff rate below 23 percent, and a barrel rate that is continuously improving; Keith is proving that he is ready for his chance at the major league level.
One of the most exciting developments for Keith continues to be his usage at second base. Keith’s bat was always going to carry him to the major leagues, but the pressure for it to perform at a corner infield spot was high. With the likely most to second base, not only does Keith’s positional eligibility boost his value, but it sets the performance bar much lower. Zach McKinstry continues to struggle offensively a the major league level and it is time for the Tigers to give Keith a shot. Stash him now if you are looking for infield help down the stretch.
Following close behind Keith is fellow teammate Justyn-Henry Malloy. Malloy’s 2023 season continues to fly completely under the radar although some other big-time names in the industry are starting to catch on:
Justyn-Henry Malloy is severely underrated and I've been guilty of that myself.
Last 18 G: 86 PA, .419/.581/.855, 9 2B, 6 HR, 24.4% BB, 22.1% K
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) September 5, 2023
As Eric points out, Malloy has been on a tear recently at Triple-A. He is as polished of a hitter as there is in the minor leagues with an elite understanding of the strike zone. His chase rate sits at a minuscule 17.3% and his value in on-base leagues should be through the roof. With Keith moving off of third base recently, the Tigers seem content to let Malloy take this position over. Matt Vierling has been losing playing time at third base recently to Andre Lipcius although neither one should be keeping Malloy in Triple-A. The Tigers are going to want to see what they have heading into 2024 and now is a good time to stash JHM on your redraft rosters.
3. Darell Hernaiz, SS Oakland A’s
Although it has been over a month since Darell Hernaiz still owns a batting average of over .300 since his promotion to Triple-A. Power is never going to be Hernaiz’s calling card. His hit tool and solid speed are what make him an intriguing fantasy asset. His zone contact rate sits north of 87% with a whiff percentage below 18. Henraiz makes contact at an excellent rate while also working walks to further improve his on-base percentage. Not many hitters strike out less than 10% of the time in Triple-A. Hernaiz is currently doing this and could earn a major league promotion soon.
The Athletics have not been shy about giving their young hitters a chance and Hernaiz appears to be next in line. At the major league level, Nick Allen continues to put up underwhelming offensive numbers. Looking ahead to 2024, the team is likely going to want to get a look at what Hernaiz has to offer. Stash him now if you are looking for a boost to your batting average down the stretch.
4. Jackson Chourio, OF Milwaukee Brewers
This past week, we saw one prospect ranked inside of my top five make it to the major leagues. Who is to say we will not see another this week? Jackson Chourio has hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games dating back to August 17th with four home runs during that time. He has already reached 40 stolen bases blowing out his previous career high of 16. Chourio has all of the talent in the world with the biggest knock on him being a relatively high strikeout rate. He is showing tremendous growth in 2023 lowering his strikeout rate consistently as the season has moved along. Since August 22nd, Chourio has been striking out less than 14% of the time helping quiet any concerns over his hit tool.
With the Cubs nipping at the Brewers’ heels, the team needs to win every game possible to help ensure they win the division. Tyrone Taylor was a nice story for most of August, but he has regressed back to the numbers we have seen throughout his career. His wRC+ since August 25th sits below zero and the team needs to make a change here. Chourio will provide an instant spark to the lineup and has a serious chance to debut this season. Stash Chourio is you are looking for upside for the final few weeks of the season.
With Matt Chapman and Bo Bichette still on the IL, Addison Barger remains a strong stash option. Barger has come on strong during the second half of this season and continues to swing a hot bat in Triple-A. Although he has not hit a home run since August 4th, there is plenty to be excited about in his profile. Barger is still barreling the ball up at a decent rate while hitting tons of line drives and demonstrating significant strides in his plate discipline and contact skills. His max exit velocity on the season sits north of 113 mph and there is plenty of power in his profile despite the modest home run totals.
Barger’s defensive versatility increases his chances of earning a major league promotion. This season alone, Barger has made defensive starts at second base, third base, shortstop, and right field. The Blue Jays could use a utility infielder who comes with a bat-first profile, especially with their current injuries. Barger is a strong stash option for the remainder of 2023.
Once again, Curtis Mead has gotten things going down in Triple-A. Mead is now up to five home runs since August 29th and is batting well over .300 during that span. Looking at Mead’s full stat line does not accurately represent the kind of potential he has. After a slow start, Mead got hurt, and then after a brief stay in Triple-A, he was promoted to the major leagues. Inconsistent playing time resulted in him heading back to the minor leagues which can be difficult for any player. He is finally experiencing some consistency and is once again looking like a future stud for Tampa Bay.
The Rays’ usage of Luke Raley in the outfield recently suggests they might be willing to call Mead up and use him primarily as the DH. Using Mead as the primary DH or in an infield utility role would make sense and help Tampa down the stretch. He makes for a strong stash option at this point in the season.
Junior Caminero is seriously on another level right now. Not even another level, the man is on another planet. Scratch that not another planet, Caminero is in another universe. Okay, enough, you get the point. Caminero has been crushing baseballs lately including another two home runs last Sunday.
Rays top prospect Junior Caminero launched his second homer yesterday at 111 mph. That was his 35th batted ball of the year 110 mph of above.
Our No. 2 prospect in baseball is slashing .385/.450/.802 with 12 HR and 14 strikeouts over his last 25 games.
— Aram Leighton (@AramLeighton8) September 4, 2023
His season total is up to 28 with 12 of them coming since August 5th. Over this period, Caminero is doing just about everything perfectly. In addition to the home runs, his average sits up over .350. Even his plate discipline is getting better as he is seeing his strikeout rate drop as his walk rate continues to increase. The only question in Caminero’s profile entering this year was if his raw power would translate into enough game power. Safe to say that is no longer a concern.
Even with Taylor Walls back from the injured list, the Rays could use some help offensively at shortstop. Although Caminero is not the most polished defender at short, he more than makes up for it with his bat. Even if the Rays do not trust him defensively, they could replace the previously mentioned Luke Raley at DH. Caminero is likely behind a few guys in the pecking order for a promotion, but from a fantasy perspective, there are few other players worth stashing with the same upside as Caminero. If you have a free bench spot, stash Caminero and reap the rewards if he does get promoted this year.
Do not look now, but Kyle Manzardo is starting to show signs of life at the plate. The 2023 season has been a long one for Manzardo. A top prospect for the Rays, Manzardo dealt with plenty of bad luck, a shoulder injury, as well as off-the-field distractions resulting in a porous first-half slash line. He was traded to Cleveland at the deadline and is now starting to show why he was ranked so highly going into the year. Since August 26th, Manzardo has hit safely in eight of 10 games including his first home run in Cleveland’s organization.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 9, 2023
This season has never been an accurate depiction of Manzardo’s true talent level and he is starting to remind people just how talented he is.
With very little to play for at this point, the Guardians could give Manzardo a chance at the major league level this season. He ranked high on this list earlier this year and returns as an intriguing stash option down the stretch. The team is currently rolling out Kole Calhoun at first base on a regular basis and would be better suited to see what they have in Manzardo entering 2024. If you are looking for a boost at first base stash him now.
With the Padres all but eliminated from playoff contention, the case for a Jackson Merrill promotion has grown weaker. However, based on upside alone he still ranks ninth on this list. Merrill has really come on strong this season and has seemed unfazed by the tougher competition of Double-A. 20-year-old prospects are rarely known for their elite contact skills. Merrill however has already proven to be amongst the best pure hitters in the minor leagues and the gains he has made to his swing path make his profile even more exciting.
Not only is Merrill’s upside strong enough to warrant stash consideration, but the Padres have room in their current lineup for Merrill to earn a promotion. Matthew Batten is getting regular playing time although he is just three for his last 22. At this point in the season, there are not a lot of prospects that have a high probability of being promoted. By stashing Merrill, you are getting a potential difference-maker.
After a brief second promotion to the major leagues, Colton Cowser finds himself back in Triple-A. The crowdedness of Baltimore’s lineup is the primary reason he finds himself so low on this list. Cowser’s path to playing time is not easy to spot without an injury. Even if he does get promoted, the Orioles have already shown the tendency to platoon lefties further limiting Cowser’s playing time.
The above paragraph and his ranking on this list is not me saying to stop believing in Cowser’s talent. Cowser is extremely talented and has put up strong numbers in Triple-A despite being shuttled back and forth between Baltimore and Norfolk. He has the speed and power to be a big-time fantasy asset if given a chance. He is just one injury away from finding himself back in Baltimore and should remain in stash consideration.
On The Bubble