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The Stash Week 14: Top 10 Hitter Prospects to Stash in 2022

Top 10 hitter prospects to stash in your redraft league.

Welcome to The Stash List, Hitter Edition!

The Stash List will highlight the top-10 hitter prospects who are most likely to make an impact this season.

Effective in-season management will propel your team into contention, and understanding the outlook and ETA for some of baseball’s top prospects will give you an advantage over your league mates. As managers, we are looking forward to reaping the rewards of our offseason research and draft strategies, but for most of us, the fun is only just beginning.

Previous Week’s Stash List: The Stash List, Hitter Edition: Week 13

 

Ground Rules

 

  • The Stash List is for your redraft leagues and does not consider impact beyond 2022.
  • 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 shown are through July 7.

 

Top 10 Hitter Prospects to Stash

 

1. Miguel Vargas, 3B, LAD – ETA July

 

Vargas is looking MLB-ready. Since June 15, he’s hitting .322/.388/.529 with three home runs, 16 runs batted in, and three steals. His plate discipline continues to excel, registering an 11.2% strikeout rate and 9.2% walk rate during this time.

Defensively, Vargas continues to get experience at other positions, now having started games at third base (63), second base (7), first base (2), and most importantly, left field (5).

Justin Turner was on the hot seat but magically has started to get hot with Vargas right on his heels, hitting .458/.481/.708 with two home runs over the last week, maybe closing the door temporarily on taking over third base. The same can’t be said for Chris Taylor, though, who was put on the injured list with a fractured foot. He had started 56 games in left field this year and is now expected to be out several weeks. If Vargas is going to see an immediate opportunity, this is it. Stash Vargas across all redraft leagues now.

 

2. Esteury Ruiz, OF, SDP – ETA August

 

Checking in on Ruiz each day is always exciting; you kind of never know what you’re going to get. Over the last two weeks, he’s hit .261/.424/.326 with zero home runs, nine stolen bases, and a 16.4% walk rate. Ruiz only has three extra-base hits during this time and hasn’t homered since June 15. Though, his plate discipline continues to impress.

The last couple of weeks look like maybe a worst-case scenario when Ruiz struggles to hit at the highest level. If he can continue to get on base at a solid clip, his speed will take over from there. Too many times, we see free-swinging speedsters with low on-base percentages, and when they get to the Majors they don’t meet stolen base expectations, thus zapping their fantasy value.

Ruiz is on everyone’s radar at this point, but his call-up is still far from a certainty. The door could be open in light of Jurickson Profar’s injury on Thursday, though it’s unknown how long he will be out. He’s worth a speculative stash across most redraft formats right now.

 

3. Alec Burleson, OF, STL – ETA July

 

More of the same this week from Burleson, dude just rakes. He’s had multi-hit performances in seven of his last 14 games and has raised his line to .336/.380/.558 with a 14.0% strikeout rate and 6.5% walk rate. He is within the top 10 of most of minor league baseball’s offensive leaderboards and currently ranks second of hitters in the upper minors under 25 years old with a 146 wRC+.

The Cardinals outfield could use some help, and luckily it’s coming; Tyler O’Neill is set to return from the injured list the weekend. Burleson is going to have to bide his time in Triple-A until another opportunity arises. Stash him if you have the space, but a call-up is not imminent.

 

4. Francisco Álvarez, C, NYM, ETA – August

 

Álvarez has shaken the prospect world to its core over the last few weeks with his meteoric rise up prospects lists, praises from Max Scherzer, and promotion to Triple-A. He’s now ranked #2 overall by MLB Pipeline. 

He’s getting his first taste of Triple-A this week, having made his debut on July 4. He’ll have some time to get comfortable in his new digs, but once he heats up, the Mets faithful are going to be clamoring to see him in Queens.

Álvarez is still only 20 years old, and a call-up is far from certain, but the first-place Mets could probably use him down the stretch. Keep an eye on him in the second half.

 

5. Jonathan Aranda, 2B, TBR – ETA July

 

The Rays signed Yu Chang this week. Why? We’ll probably never know. This is especially frustrating considering they have Aranda on the 40-man roster, hitting .419/.486/.742 with two home runs and 13 runs batted in since his recent demotion back to Triple-A, and he’s started games at first base (18), second base (21), and third base (24) this season. Insert shrugging shoulders emoji here.

His return to the Rays is highly uncertain right now, but Aranda has nothing left to prove in the minors. There really doesn’t seem to be a spot for him to get regular at-bats in Tampa right now, so we’ll just have to wait until the next opportunity arises. Hopefully, that promotion will be for good.

 

6. Nick Pratto, 1B, Royals – ETA July

 

Pratto has been doing Pratto things over the past couple of weeks, hitting four dingers but striking out 21 times (31.3%) in the process. On the year, he’s hitting .237/.367/.466 with 15 home runs, a 30.9% strikeout rate, and a 14.5% walk rate. The strikeouts are going to be a problem and need to come down before he gets promoted.

In the wake of Vinnie Pasquantino’s promotion to the Royals, there is no immediate opening for Pratto. However, the Royals are expected to be big-time sellers at the trade deadline, so July will likely bring a whole different outlook on their roster construction. We’ll likely see Pratto called up once an opportunity for everyday at-bats presents itself. Stash him in deeper leagues where you can use his power.

 

7. Spencer Steer, SS, MIN – ETA August

 

Steer has seen his numbers take a dip recently. Since June 15, he’s hitting just .214/.287/.393 with three home runs and 21 strikeouts to only nine walks. He’ll need to heat back up before being considered for a promotion.

When he does get the call, it will likely be in a versatile role as he’s started games at second base (12), third base (20), and shortstop (3). Steer is not worth stashing yet, as he’s not on the 40-man roster and still needs some time in Triple-A. However, he’s a name to know for the second half.

 

8. Triston Casas, 1B, BOS – ETA August

 

Casas still hasn’t played since May 17, as he is currently on the minor league IL with an ankle injury. He finally returned to practice last week, reportedly having started fielding and taking batting practice, but there is no timetable to return to game action.

Casas will need some time to ramp back up once he gets healthy, which is going to push a potential call up to the second half. He is still worth a stash due to his upside and proximity; we just have to wait a little longer than anticipated.

 

9. Oswald Peraza, SS, NYY – ETA August 

 

Peraza has been scorching at the plate over the last month, hitting .308/.375/.551 with five home runs, 13 runs batted in, and six steals. During this time, he’s been on base in 17 straight games and lowered his strikeout rate to a more reasonable 22.6%.

Peraza has spent the majority of his time at shortstop this year, and although the Yankees aren’t looking for help at the Major League level, Peraza is starting to look like a viable option. He’s more of a name to know down the stretch and isn’t worth stashing in redraft leagues right now.

 

10. Eguy Rosario, 2B/3B, SDP – ETA August

 

Rosario has been about as hot as a hitter can be in Triple-A. Over the last 30 days, he’s hitting .333/.426/.781 with 11 home runs, 33 runs batted in, and four steals. His plate discipline has been just as good, with a 16.4% strikeout rate and a 12.3% walk rate.

Rosario has been comparable to Ruiz and could very well get called up first as he’s already on the 40-man roster and has spent the entire year in Triple-A. He’s spent time all around the infield this season; second base (40), third base (18), and shortstop (17) this season, so he could be a viable utility player worth knowing as we get into the second half.

 

Because you’ll ask:

These are some big-time prospects putting up some big-time numbers in the minor leagues. All are likely top-10 prospects in baseball but were not included in the top-10 hitters to stash in redraft leagues. Right now, it appears unlikely they will make a significant contribution for fantasy purposes in 2022. This does not mean they will not be called up — it’s quite possible, but it’s most likely in September, if at all, and not for a meaningful amount of time.

The Orioles, Diamondbacks, and Rockies are all in fourth or fifth place in their respective divisions, and outside of rewarding their guys with a cup of coffee in September, there is no incentive to call them up now.

If you’re stashing purely based on upside and have the roster depth to speculate on a high-upside name like Carroll, Henderson, and Tovar,  then absolutely make the add. As of this week, their ETAs all look more like 2023. But, like anything in this speculative article, this certainly can change at a moment’s notice.

 

Others considered (in no particular order):

Previously debuted, currently in minors: Kyle Stowers (BAL – AAA), Ezequiel Duran (TEX – AAA), Cal Mitchell (PIT – AAA), Lenyn Sosa (CWS – AAA), Estevan Florial (NYY – AAA)

Yet to make their MLB debut: Moises Gomez (STL – AAA), Pedro Leon (HOU – AAA), Jordan Westburg (BAL – AAA), Gunnar Henderson (BAL – AAA), Ezequiel Tover (COL – AA), Corbin Carroll (ARI – AA), Michael Massey (KCR – AAA), Mark Vientos (NYM – AAA), Samad Taylor (TOR – AAA)

 

Photos by Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels, Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)

Greg Gibbons

Pitcher List Dynasty Team, Member FSWA, Vice President of the Cleveland Baseball Federation, Founder of Cleveland Rocks Dynasty (the greatest dynasty league in the Midwest)

3 responses to “The Stash Week 14: Top 10 Hitter Prospects to Stash in 2022”

  1. Phillipe says:

    The editor in me can’t resist — Florial has made his MLB debut in a previous season, and he also made his 2022 season debut earlier this year. Good work otherwise!

  2. BB says:

    Not sure the Padres will be clearing a 40-man spot for Esteury anytime soon, since they also have to make room for Tatis, Pomeranz and Pierce Johnson all returning from the 60-day IL in the foreseeable future.

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