The Stash Week 4: 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 3

 

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 April 30.

 

Graduates and Notable Call Ups

 

Isaac Paredes, 3B, TBR

Paredes was called up by the Rays on Sunday (5/1) after his solid start to the 2022 campaign. Parades was acquired from Detroit for Austin Meadows in an early-April deal and although he doesn’t have the pedigree of some of the others on this list, he’s certainly playing like he does.

Paredes split time between second and third base while normally hitting in the top of the order. He has an excellent eye at the plate (11.5% walk rate), is an extremely good contact hitter (79.8% contact rate), and has added some in-game power.  It’s possible Paredes gets an extended look at third base and with success could run with the job throughout the summer.

 

Top 10 Hitter Prospects to Stash

 

1. Adley Rutschman, C, BAL – ETA June 

Rutschman is back! He’s finally healthy and started a rehab assignment at High-A Aberdeen this week. He’s facing lower level pitching but had an impressive four hit night on Saturday and has been on base eight times in four games.

Once he’s ready, Rutshman will be assigned to Triple-A Norfolk and continue to ramp his workload before presumably joining the Orioles. He’s likely to split time between catching and designated hitter and may even even sprinkle in some time at first base.

Rutshman should be rostered in all formats at this point. His proximity, upside, and health make him the highest priority stash in fantasy leagues.

 

2. Nolan Gorman, 2B, STL – ETA June

Gorman continues to mash Triple-A pitching, adding another four home runs this week, and leads the minor leagues in home runs and OPS, while knocking on the Cardinals front door.

An unsightly 32.5% strikeout rate and 63.5% contact rate are reason to be cautions with Gorman once he gets promoted as it’s very possible he could be exposed against big league pitching. Strikeouts will always be part of his game, but a step forward in plate discipline would help his case for promotion.

Gorman is not on the 40-man roster and there’s no clear opening at the big league level right now, but he is doing everything he can to force the Cardinals’ hand. He’s a strong stash now considering his substantial experience and recent success in the upper minors and will provide your team a power jolt once he is called up.

 

3. Oneil Cruz, SS, PIT – ETA May

Cruz falls a couple spots this week as his cold streak at Triple-A continues. He only had four hits all week to 14 strikeouts, including a hitless night on Saturday with four strikeouts. He’s also made a few blunders in the field, including an embarrassing dropped fly ball in left field last weekend.

Cruz’s strikeout rate is sitting at 30.0% (23.4% in 2021) with a contact rate of only 62.2% (76.2% in 2021) and has only hit one home run. Remember when we were all upset that Cruz was reassigned to Triple-A instead of breaking camp with the Pirates? Looks like the Pirates were right on this one.

All is not lost though, Cruz is a notoriously streaky hitter. He could easily catch fire and be on the next plane to Pittsburgh. He’s still a strong hold and now could be a great time to inquire about a trade if he’s rostered by another manager.

 

4. Triston Casas, 1B, BOS – ETA June

Casas has cooled a bit at the plate from his hot start, including four straight hitless games and adding eight strikeouts during the last week. Still, he has stellar plate discipline, a 17.2% walk rate and a 72.5% contact rate, though his numbers are down compared to his career marks.

Casas’ splits against lefties are shaping up to be something to keep an eye on. Over 21 at-bats he has only three hits and a 36% strikeout rate.

This week the Red Sox designated Travis Shaw for assignment and recalled Franchy Cordero to backup Bobby Dalbec, an assignment that many thought could go to Casas. Instead, he’ll continue to get regular at-bats in Triple-A in hopes of heating back up before a promotion.

 

5. Riley Greene, OF, DET – ETA July

Greene was primed to start the season on the Tigers’ Opening Day roster before fouling a ball off his foot during Spring Training that resulted in a fracture and a minimum six-to-eight-week recovery. Even with the setback, Greene’s enormous upside and a possible mid-to-late season promotion still make him worthy of a stash.

Over two levels in 2021, Greene hit .301 with 24 home runs, 84 runs batted in, and 16 stolen bases. He’s the complete package and was a near-unanimous top-3 prospect across the industry.

The Tigers have recently made some aggressive roster moves and have the pieces to contend in the AL Central. Depending on how the season is going, when Greene gets healthy will likely determine how quickly they promote him to the majors. The uncertainty around his health is really the last hurdle. Stash Greene for his upside — just keep an eye on his injury updates.

 

6. Jose Miranda, 3B, MIN – ETA May

Miranda might be starting to heat up in Triple-A; he hit his second homer of the campaign on Wednesday and over the last seven days he is hitting .333 with only one strikeout.

His defensive home is a lingering question and a major hurdle to earning a promotion. Notably, Miranda has started 13 games at third base, five games at first base, and two games as the designated hitter.

He profiles as a bat-first prospect and could be called up at any time once he gets hot. His proximity makes him an interesting stash, but uncertainty about his defensive profile may lead to irregular playing time and limited at-bats. Considering the importance of a 1B/3B/CI bat in your fantasy roster, it’s worth stashing Miranda now, as he could be one of the first to receive a call-up.

 

7. Gabriel Moreno, C, TOR – ETA July

Moreno’s hot start is now in the rearview mirror after registering just two hits this week over 16 at-bats with six strikeouts and is yet to hit a home run. The organization seems to have tabled the idea of Moreno working elsewhere on the diamond for now, as he’s played 12 of 13 games at catcher, with the other being at designated hitter.

Moreno is worth a stash in deeper redraft leagues only right now. He has limited experience at the Triple-A level, so it’s best he still receives regular at-bats. On paper, catcher is a bit crowded in Toronto, though he could certainly force an opportunity while Danny Jansen is on the injured list with an oblique strain.

 

8. Royce Lewis, SS, MIN – ETA July

Lewis is back in a big way this year, off to an extremely hot start at the plate and reaffirming himself as a top prospect. He’s coming off a torn ACL which caused him to miss all of the 2021 season.

Plenty of questions were unanswered coming into this season, but Lewis is hitting for average, hitting for power, and running; he should be firmly back within the top-20 prospects, if not higher.

Of course, he plays the same position as Carlos Correa who the Twins are hoping to sign long-term. It’s uncertain what this means for Lewis, but for now, he continues to produce at a very high level and might force his way into the big league lineup. His immense upside makes him worthy of a deep league stash, but there’s no indication he’s being considered for a call-up yet.

 

9. Mason Martin, 1B, PIT – ETA June

Martin is another prospect off to a hot start who could push for a promotion soon. He doesn’t have the pedigree of some of the other top hitter stashes, but is hitting for average and power and certainly could be an upgrade at first base in Pittsburgh.

Martin’s 29.1% strikeout rate and 67.1% contact rate are both concerns, but there’s really no reason he shouldn’t get a chance soon. Pittsburgh is clearly in no rush with their top minor leaguers, but Martin very well could be the next to get the call.

 

10. MJ Melendez, C, KC – ETA July

Melendez had another sub-par week at the dish, logging just four hits in 19 at-bats, though he did cut down on strikeouts compared to prior weeks.  The Royals have slowly been testing his defensive prowess in right field, having made two starts there thus far, considering he’s blocked at the major league level by Salvador Perez.

Melendez will need to heat up at the plate and quickly if he wants to force the Royals hand with his bat alone. If not, he may continue to get experience at other positions and push his ETA further out than originally thought. He is on the 40-man roster though and makes for a strong speculative upside stash across redraft leagues as someone who could get called at anytime should an opportunity arise.

5/1 Update: Royals catcher Cam Gallagher will be placed on the injured list with a left hamstring strain and the team announced they will call-up Melendez as his replacement. 

 

Dropped out of the top 10: Brennen Davis, OF, CHC, (#9, Week 3): Davis has some loud tools and tremendous upside, but he’s struggling mightily at Triple-A. He’s striking out at an alarming rate (36.4%) and has only attempted one stolen base. He could heat up with the weather, but for now it’s best to leave him on the waiver wire.

Others considered (in no particular order): Brennen Davis, Heliot Ramos, Juan Yepez, Vinnie Pasquantino, Nick Pratto, Pedro Leon, Alek Thomas, Oswald Peraza, Francisco Álvarez, Ryan Fitzgerald, Miguel Vargas, Estevan Florial, Travis Swaggerty, Jarren Duran, Vidal Bruján (Week 1, #10)

 

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)

5 responses to “The Stash Week 4: Top 10 Hitter Prospects to Stash in 2022”

  1. Mario Mendoza says:

    Technically not a prospect anymore, but do you see WAS Luis Garcia taking a starting job soon at SS or 2B? The WAS infielders are terrible.

    • Greg Gibbons says:

      Hey Mario, thanks for reading. Garcia will likely be up at some point, he is mashing at Triple-A but has been poor defensively while splitting time between SS and 2B. They will probably recall Garcia when he’s ready defensively, which makes for an uncertain ETA. He’s probably a wait and see in redraft formats.

  2. Marc says:

    Any chance Corbin Carroll sneaks onto this list in near future? Whats his projected timeline for call up as his speed/hit combo strikes me as being more fantasy relevant than some of the names on here

    • Greg Gibbons says:

      Corbin is off to a great start and for dynasty purposes I absolutely agree with you, he has some of the highest upside in the minors. He is only in Double-A though and has limited professional at-bats due to the cancelled 2020 season and an injury during 2021. I expect he will jump to Triple-A at some point this season, then be in line for a call-up in 2023. Even if the timeline gets accelerated to this season, his MLB debut would be very late in the season, which doesn’t translate to a meaningful impact for redraft leagues.

  3. Roger says:

    Miranda called up today!

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