Top Fantasy Baseball Prospects To Stash (2022)
After a disappointing showing in 2021, you may be hesitant to buy into prospects this season for fantasy baseball. I believe the lost 2020 Minor League season hurt many prospects’ development, leading to poor production in 2021. After an entire 2021 season, these youngsters should be ready to get back on the field, and with the crop of talent on the rise, we could see strong production from many prospects in 2022.
At the time of writing, it seems likely that prospects like Bobby Witt Jr. (SS – KC), Spencer Torkelson (1B, 3B – DET), Bryson Stott (SS – PHI), Reid Detmers (SP – LAA), and Hunter Greene (SP – CIN) will all make the Major League team. Unfortunately, Riley Greene (OF – DET) suffered a fractured foot and is out for several months. Julio Rodriguez (OF – SEA) seems like he could make the Opening Day roster, and if I had to make a call right now, I lean toward him making the Mariners squad out of camp. Nick Lodolo (SP – CIN) is another questionable one. We know he will not be in the Reds rotation the first time, as they only need four starters. Lodolo will make the stash list below.
When looking at prospects to stash, the most critical aspect is proximity. You do not want to waste valuable roster spots on minor leaguers who are months away. This list is geared more for 15-team leagues or deeper 12-team leagues where you roster more than 350 players.
Prospects Worth Stashing
1. Nick Lodolo (SP – CIN)
I mentioned Nick Lodolo as a starter who would not be in the rotation the first time through. The Reds technically only need four starters the first time around and will line up with Tyler Mahle (SP – CIN), Reiver Sanmartin (SP – CIN), Vladimir Gutierrez (SP – CIN), and Hunter Greene. Tyler Mahle will start game five. With Luis Castillo (SP – CIN) out, the door is open for Nick Lodolo to grab the fifth spot the second time through the rotation. Lodolo likely starts a game or two in Triple-A before getting the call, but he is well worth a stash for a high-floor pitcher with plenty of upside.
The old Mackenzie Gore appears to be back. It is the best he has looked since 2019. Gore was the consensus top pitching prospect in baseball before taking a major tumble-down prospect lists in 2020 and 2021. His fastball velocity is up, and his mechanical issues appear to be ironed out. Rumors are flying around that Chris Paddack (SP – SD) could be on the move in a package with Eric Hosmer (1B – SD). If that is the case, a rotation spot is opened up immediately for Mackenzie Gore.
There was a strong possibility that Adley Rutschman could have broken camp with the Baltimore Orioles. He is more than ready to be the everyday catcher, but a triceps injury will keep him out for a few more weeks. Due to the lack of Spring Training reps, Rutschman will likely begin his season in Triple-A and get a few weeks of work there before debuting in Baltimore. Rutschman has the tools to step in and immediately be a high-end catcher for fantasy purposes.
It is honestly silly that Oneil Cruz was optioned to Triple-A and is not breaking camp with the Pirates. Cruz did everything he needed to do to earn a roster spot. He hit two mammoth home runs, which both came on pitches below his knees. Pretty impressive for a 6’7″ hitter. Cruz was hitting .333 with a 1.066 OPS in 15 Spring Training at-bats, including the two home runs. He smokes baseballs and has impressive speed for his size. Cruz should be back up in early May and is worth stashing for his upside.
I have a hard time believing that CJ Abrams breaks camp with the Padres, but the team has yet to rule it out. Currently, the team has an open spot on the 40-man roster and needs another infielder. Unless the Padres make another move, Abrams could be the best option. Abrams is doing everything to earn a roster spot as he has a .333/.357/.556 slash line with two home runs this spring.
Roansy Contreras was another victim of the Pirates’ prospects who are ready for the Majors but sent down for more work. Considering Contreras pitched just 3.2 Triple-A innings and three innings with the Pirates last year, this move makes more sense. But, the Pirates rotation is in desperate need of help, and Contreras could help fill that void. Contreras has a blazing fastball that has some of the best velocity among all pitching prospects and a wipeout slider and curveball to pair with it. This year, he could be a solid starting pitcher and should be up fairly soon.
Miranda was more than ready for a shot at the big leagues in 2021 but never got the call. He dominated Double-A with a .345/.408/.588 slash and 13 home runs in 218 plate appearances. He continued to dominate in Triple-A as he posted a .343/.397/.563 slash with 17 home runs. The additions of Carlos Correa (SS – MIN) and Gio Urshela (3B – MIN) do not help Miranda’s prospects of playing time, but a trade could benefit him. There have been talks centered around one of Oakland’s starters (Sean Manaea (SP – OAK) or Frankie Montas (SP – OAK)) being traded to the Twins, and Miranda would be a great fit in Oakland for playing time.
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