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The Stash Week 8: 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 7

 

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 27.

 

GRADUATES AND NOTABLE CALL UPS

Cal Mitchell, OF, PIT

The Pirates are finally making some moves. Mitchell was promoted and made his Major League debut this past Wednesday. His promotion comes after an outstanding Triple-A campaign where he hit .306/.362/.500 with five home runs and six stolen bases over 34 games.

Mitchell should be a solid source for both average and on-base percentage leagues and make power/speed contributions along the way. Expect him to see regular playing time so long as he continues to hit. He makes a fine speculative add in any format.

Michael Harris II, OF, ATL

The big surprise this week was the Braves promotion of Harris straight from Double-A Mississippi. He earned a promotion thanks in part to a struggling Braves outfield but also by hitting .305/.372/.506 with five home runs, 11 stolen bases, a 19.9% strikeout rate, and a 8.7%  walk rate.

The 21-year-old made his major league debut on Friday and should be in line for regular at-bats while he is with the Braves. This is an aggressive assignment, especially considering he skipped Triple-A, but the power/speed combo and hit tool from Harris offer extreme upside and he is worth adding in all formats.

TOP 10 HITTER PROSPECTS TO STASH

 

1. Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, KCR – ETA June

Well, this is just getting out of hand. Since May 16, Pasquantino has hit .442/.458/.953 with five home runs, and 20 runs batted in. He should be in Kansas City.

On the year, the lefty has a 15.1% strikeout rate, 12.5% walk rate, and 82.0% contact rate. His splits vs. left handed pitching are respectable to0: .225 average, three home runs, and an 9:8 K:BB ratio.

He’s not on the 40-man roster, and this is his first year in Triple-A, but he’s already 24-years-old and quite bluntly the Royals current first base options stink. Stash Vinnie now and be thankful later.

2. Royce Lewis, SS/3B, MIN – (New) ETA July

Lewis is about as hot as you can be at the plate right now. Since returning to Triple-A, he’s hitting .353/.389/.559 with two home runs and three stolen bases. He’s not walking much (just 2.8% during this time), but he’s limited his strikeouts (22.2%).

Defensively, he’s started primarily at shortstop (26), but he’s also seen starts at third base (2) and left field (2) while usually leading off. Upon his inevitable call-up, expect a five-category masher who will gain dual eligibility. Strongly recommend holding him during this time.

3. Riley Greene, OF, DET – ETA July

Greene is back! He was primed to start the season on the Tigers’ Opening Day roster before a Spring Training foul ball fractured his foot and cost him the first two months of the 2022 season. 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 a unanimous top-3 prospect across the industry.

Greene started a rehab assignment on Friday with Single-A Lakeland and is expected to take a few weeks to ramp up before joining the Tigers. If he follows the same path as Adley Rutschman, he could be ready by mid-to-late June. Greene is only rostered in 17% of Yahoo leagues; check your waiver wire and if he’s available stash him now.

4. Oneil Cruz, SS, PIT – ETA June

Contrary to popular belief, Cruz is no longer struggling (at the plate). Since May 15, Cruz has hit .304/.396/.587 with four home runs, two stolen bases, and a 11:7 K:BB ratio. On the year, his strikeout rate sits at a reasonable 25.3%, walk rate at 12.9%, and a contact rate at 70.6%. Yes, there’s room to improve still, but he is coming around and his unusually low BABIP has slowly been climbing (now at .262) and should continue to normalize.

Defensively is a different story. He’s started 31 games at shortstop and seven games in left field, neither of which appear to be going very well as he’s racked up 13 errors on the season. Regardless of his position, every time the ball heads his way, you just have to hold your breath.

At this point, Cruz is going to be an adventure no matter where the Pirates put him in the field, but his bat is a worthy addition to any lineup. Some stash fatigue is setting in here as he continues to ride fantasy pine; hopefully the wait will be over soon.

 

5. Triston Casas, 1B, BOS – ETA July

In the midst of a recent cold stretch, Casas hasn’t had a multi-hit game or home run since May 1, and now hasn’t played since May 17. He is currently on the minor league injured list with an ankle injury and no has timetable yet for a return.

Before the injury, Casas’ splits against lefties were called out by Chaim Bloom recently as one of the reasons he’s still in Triple-A; over 36 at-bats, he has eight hits, zero home runs, and a 33.3% strikeout rate.

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

6. C.J. Abrams, MI/OF, SDP – ETA July

Abrams is a top prospect in baseball and broke camp with the Padres despite being only 21 years old and still pretty raw in terms of his development. He spent most of his time at shortstop but also received some playing time in the outfield. He ultimately struggled at the plate and started to get irregular at-bats, so he was demoted to Triple-A El Paso.

Abrams is starting to heat back up. Over the last seven days in Triple-A, he’s hit .450/.522/.600 with one home run, seven runs batted in and has chipped in two stolen bases. Expect Abrams to get an extended run in the minors, but his upside is immense, so with sustained success, he could be a big fantasy contributor down the stretch.

7. Gabriel Moreno, C, TOR – ETA July

Moreno continues to hit at an impressive clip in Triple-A. He’s logged four multi-hit games over the last two weeks and on the year, he’s now hitting .333/.392/.430 with an excellent 17.6% strikeout rate and 8.0% walk rate.

Moreno is worth a stash in deeper redraft leagues only right now due to his lack of experience and road blocks at the Major League level. For now, he’ll continue to receives regular at-bats in Triple-A while Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk hold down catcher in Toronto.

8. Miguel Vargas, 3B, LAD – ETA July

Vargas burst onto the fantasy scene in 2021 after hitting .319 with 23 home runs and a 16.4% strikeout rate over two levels. Now considered a top prospect, his encore is currently in progress, and now he’s knocking on the big league door.

Vargas’ fire May continues; since May 1 he’s hit .319/.423/.532 with four home runs and a 18:16 K:BB ratio. On the year, he’s hitting .291 with a 16.9% strikeout rate, 14.1% walk rate, and 79.9% contact rate.

If Vargas were on any other team, he’d either be at the top of this list or already in the Majors. The problem for Vargas is the lack of opportunity with the Dodgers; his last hurdle to a promotion, but a big one. He is worth a stash based on his upside, but right now, there are too many mouths to feed in Los Angeles, so he’s ticketed for regular at-bats in Oklahoma City. He’s an injury away from being a significant contributor for your fantasy team.

9. Kyle Stowers, OF, BAL – ETA June

Stowers vaulted onto redraft radars last week when he won International Player of the Week, which included a stretch of 10 hits over four games, with five home runs and 10 runs batted in.

Stowers has made big strides this year to cut strikeouts which have also been the Achilles heel to his big power, and on the year he has a 23.3% strikeout rate to go along with a 10.4% walk rate.

The Orioles are starting to promote some of their next generation talent and Stowers should be on this list. He lacks the pedigree of some others here but could take over an outfield spot in Camden Yards very soon. Stash him only in the deepest leagues due to his proximity.

10. Jonathan Aranda, MI, TBR – ETA July

Stop me if you’ve heard this before; a breakout Rays infield prospect with an excellent hit tool and defensive versatility who’s on the cusp of a call-up. Yeah, here’s another one.

Aranda is crushing at Triple-A and has been over the last two seasons. This year he’s up to .327/.402/.509 with six homers, 2 stolen bases, a 20.6% strikeout rate, and 10.1% walk rate.

The Rays have so many good prospects, they can be frustrating to have on a fantasy roster at times as they continually get platooned or block each other’s playing time. Aranda is forcing his hand and is already on the 40-man roster, but nothing is imminent. He’s worth keeping an eye on for now.

 

Bonus name to know: Luis Garcia, 2B/SS, WAS – ETA June: Though he’s not technically a prospect, Garcia is crushing Triple-A this year, hitting .327 with eight home runs and a 32:16 K:BB ratio and 80.6% contact rate. The Nationals continue to play Alcides Escobar and Caesar Hernandez up the middle instead of allowing Garcia an opportunity, potentially due to his poor defense (seven errors already), but this is a bit of speculation. He’ll likely be up at some point and could be a significant contributor down the stretch, but his ETA is a bit uncertain.

 

Others considered (in no particular order): Nick Pratto, Josh Lowe, Mason Martin, Brennen Davis, Heliot Ramos, Pedro Leon, Oswald Peraza, Francisco Álvarez, Ryan Fitzgerald, Travis Swaggerty, Jarren Duran, Tyler Freeman

 

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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