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The Stash Week 5: Top 10 Pitcher Prospects to Stash in 2022

Top-10 Starting Pitcher Prospects to Stash in your Redraft League

Welcome to The Stash List, Pitcher Edition!

The Stash List will highlight the top-10 starting pitcher 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, Pitcher Edition: Week 4

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 May 6 (generally, the most recent three appearances and season total)

 

GRADUATES AND NOTABLE CALL-UPS

 

Alex Faedo, RHP, DET

Faedo made his long-awaited MLB debut this past Wednesday. The former first-round pick worked five innings and allowed just two runs. He dealt with a lot of baserunners but was able to limit the damage. His fantasy appeal is a little uncertain right now, he didn’t generate a ton of whiffs, just three on the whole night and a poor 22% CSW, but has looked good in his minor league appearances thus far. He has already returned to Triple-A Toledo but could be recalled next time a starter is needed.

TOP-10 SP PROSPECTS TO STASH

 

1. Max Meyer, RHP, MIA – ETA May

Meyer made what could have been his final start in Triple-A on Friday, firing five innings of one-run ball while striking out six. His command was a little less dominant than usual allowing three walks and a 59% strike rate on 91 pitches. His first inning strikeout of Nolan Gorman was beautiful, especially considering he was put in a tight spot right away following an error and an infield single. He showed the poise and confidence that Miami fans will expect.

There has been wide-spread speculation that Meyer could join the Marlins rotation as early as this coming week. Elieser Hernandez has been struggling and could be demoted if his performance continues to waiver. Hernandez lines up to pitch Monday at Arizona, with his next turn coming over the weekend at home against the Brewers. If Meyer does get the call he could be slated to start on Sunday. If Meyer is still available in your league you need to add him now.

2. Roansy Contreras, RHP, PIT – (New) ETA May

Contreras’ scheduled outing on Friday was postponed due to rain and it’s unclear when he may pitch next. He continues to get stretched out, having slowly increased his pitch count since jumping back to a starting role; maximum of 46 pitches with PIT during his three relief appearances, 57 pitches on 4/24, and 62 pitches on 4/30. The next time out it would be nice to see Contreras work a bit deeper into the game as his longest outing has only lasted into the fourth inning.

Current fantasy managers, please hold Contreras during this time. Once he is called up, he’ll immediately be their best starter and will be a significant contributor to your fantasy team down the stretch.

3. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, BAL – ETA June

Rodriguez had another tough outing this past week, working into the fourth inning and allowing five earned runs while striking out five. Most of the damage was done in the second inning when he allowed the first three hitters to reach base leading to four runs crossing the plate. He worked around a walk and a passed ball that allowed a run to score. Through five starts, he has a 4.15 ERA (2.28 xFIP), 37.9% strikeout rate, and 5.7% walk rate.

Rodriguez’s time with the Orioles is coming. He is not on the 40-man roster, so a call-up is not imminent, but he is the kind of talent that you make room for once he’s ready. For fantasy, consider Rodriguez on the cusp of making a significant impact for your team, and is a must-stash in all leagues.

Next outing Saturday, May 7 at 7:35pm EST vs. Nashville (MIL)

4. George Kirby, RHP, SEA – ETA May

Kirby has been a pillar of consistency over his five starts for Double-A Frisco, working exactly five innings in his last four outings and now has a 1.82 ERA, 34.4% strikeout rate, and 5.4% walk rate. He appears ready for Triple-A, if not the majors.

The Mariners’ immediate intentions with Kirby are unclear. He lost the competition for the fifth spot in the Mariners rotation to Matt Brash, who was demoted to Triple-A this week after struggling in his first taste of the majors, so there is a spot in the big-league rotation. Kirby is scheduled to pitch in Double-A on Saturday (vs. Jack Leiter, a must watch, if you can) but the Mariners will need a starter for Monday’s game against the Phillies and many speculate it could go to Kirby.

No matter how this weekend shakes out, he is a must stash now in anticipation of a call-up in the near future. If you have the roster space and he’s available in your league, make the add now.

Next outing Saturday, May 7 at 8:05pm EST vs. Frisco (TEX)

5. Edward Cabrera, RHP, MIA – ETA July

Cabrera made his return to Triple-A Jacksonville this week, working four innings and allowing only two runs. He didn’t have his best stuff, surrendering four walks and posted a poor 53% strike rate. He’ll need some additional time in Triple-A to refine that command and get stretched out after his late start to the season. Most importantly, he looks fully healthy.

Cabrera is someone who is expected to receive a call-up at some point in 2022 and certainly has the upside to be a difference-maker on your fantasy team. There are some roadblocks at the major league level that may keep Cabrera in Triple-A for a while longer, but once he has an opportunity he needs to be rostered in all formats.

6. Cole Winn, RHP, TEX – ETA July 

Winn had his worst statistical start of the season, working five innings while allowing four earned runs and walking six. Winn struggled with his command, 48% strike rate over 83 pitches, and generated a poor 16% CSW. He will need to get back on track before the Rangers consider him for a promotion.

For the time being, the Ranger rotation appears full, though nothing is set in stone. Winn’s time is coming, likely whenever the next extended big league opportunity arises. Winn offers a mid-rotation upside and but is only worth stashing due to his proximity.

Next Outing: Saturday, May 7 at 7:05pm EST vs. Reno (SDP)

7. Ethan Small, LHP, MIL – ETA July

Small had an underwhelming start on Friday, mostly due to a poor first inning where he allowed three first inning hits include a grand slam off the bat of Rylan Bannon, his first home run allowed of the season. He settled down from there, working his strikeout magic the rest of the way and perhaps effectively wild. The lefty has a 1.98 ERA, 31.6% strikeout rate, and a .135 batting average against through his first six starts.

His mediocre command (59.9% strike rate and 15.4% walk rate) is a concern, and there isn’t any room in Milwaukee for another starter at the moment. With a step forward with his command he could very well force the Brewers’ hand, though, they do have a track record of promoting starting pitchers and using them in a bullpen role as they get their first taste of the majors. Barring injury or a trade, he’s more of a watch lister right now with a second-half ETA and likely an uncertain role.

8. Matthew Liberatore, LHP, STL – ETA June

Liberatore registered back-t0-back outstanding performances to round out an impressive April and jumped into the top-10. Unfortunately, he had a bit of a dud on Friday against Jacksonville, allowing six earned runs including a three-run homer off the bat of Willians Astudillo. Liberatore worked 100 pitches (60% strike rate) and on the year has a 4.24 ERA, 30.1% strikeout rate, and 5.9% walk rate.

The Cardinals rotation is far from pillars of good health, so the next opportunity in the rotation could go to Liberatore. Though, he’s only 22-years-old and not on the 40-man roster, so the Cardinals are probably not in any rush to promote him. Liberatore offers mid-rotation upside and is only worth a stash right now due to his proximity.

9. Caleb Kilian, RHP, CHC – ETA July

More of the same this week from Kilian; shaky command leading to higher pitch counts and an early exit. Though despite the struggles, he has limited the damage and holds a 1.83 ERA through his first five starts.

Look for Kilian to continue logging innings in Triple-A, but once he finds his stride he could get a shot in Chicago. Scouts peg Kilian with a mid-rotation upside right now but he does have the potential for more if he can harness his command and take a step forward with his secondaries. With an ETA likely in the second half he’s someone to keep an eye on.

10. Ryne Nelson, RHP, ARI – ETA July

Nelson is getting his first taste of Triple-A ball this year and is off to a bit of a slow start, though he is showing he has the ability to strike out advanced hitters. Through his six starts, Nelson has been inconsistent and logged a 7.18 ERA while allowing six home runs already. Despite his struggles, his strikeout rate (26.1%) and walk rate (5.3%) are both promising.

Arizona is perhaps the path of least resistance when it comes to pitching promotions, and Nelson is expected to get a chance at some point this summer. He needs some additional seasoning but a second-half call-up is very much in play. He’s a stash due to his proximity but he does offer some strikeout upside if he can continue to refine his secondaries.

11. Drey Jameson, RHP, ARI – ETA July

Jameson had a rough Triple-A debut, surrendering seven earned runs and only working into the fourth. His fastball sat in the upper 90’s, but his pitch count rose quickly (80 on the night) and he only generated two whiffs and a 14% CSW.

Like Nelson, Jameson is not on the 40-man roster and will be vying for an opportunity with Arizona, likely in the second half. Expect Jameson to get a number of Triple-A starts under his belt before he’s considered for a promotion. Keep him on your watch list for now, but as we get deeper into summer he may be an arm to stash.

Next Outing: Saturday, May 7 at 7:05pm EST vs. Round Rock (TEX)

Dropped out of the top 10: Jack Leiter, RHP, TEX (#8, Week 4): Leiter has tremendous upside but he’s only worked more than three innings in one outing so far and likely has a long lead time before making his MLB debut. This could certainly change as we get further into summer but for now look to stash an arm with a closer proximity.

Next outing Saturday (5/7) 8:05pm EST vs. Arkansas (SEA)

Others considered (in no particular order): Hunter Brown, Cade Cavalli, Jack Leiter, Bobby Miller, Zack Thompson, DL Hall, Ryan Pepiot, Brandon Williamson, Cody Morris, Jordan Balazovic, Jay Groome, Deivi Garcia, Luis Gil, Alex Faedo, Matt Brash

 

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)

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