Please see our player page for Gunnar Henderson to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Is there ever a bad time for a stash? 

On one hand, three of the top four prospects graduated from my last stash list, so it’s not only a good time to post a new one, the posting of a new one feels essential to the purpose of this space on the internet. 

On the other hand, the minor league tree of stashes looks a little picked over at the moment. It might replenish itself in a week or two if the Orioles can stay in the race or the Diamondbacks can rip off a Seattle-like string of victories, but right now, we’re waiting for some playing time to shake loose for most of the top guys to get their shot. 

Graduated From Stash List Volume 4: Esteury Ruiz is Ready for His Close-Up

Vinnie Pasquantino, Esteury Ruiz, Max Meyer, Nick Pratto. 

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Rangers RHP Jack Leiter is a good place to start because he exemplifies what’s  weird about the Futures Game. Leiter hasn’t earned his spot on the field (6.30 ERA), but that’s not uncommon to this game, which different organizations use for different reasons on a player-by-player basis. It’s not an All-Star game, in other words. It’s not even an all-famous game, although that’s what gets Leiter on the roster. It’s not even really a combination of the two. Some organizations might send a middle reliever, like Baltimore did with Marcos Diplan in 2021, who the team DFA’d the other day, almost exactly a year after Diplan gave up home runs to Brennan Davis and Francisco Alvarez in Coors Field during the sixth inning of last year’s Futures Game. 

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A lot of the best prospects are now big leaguers, but the top of this list remains stocked with ready-now impact fantasy talents. 

Graduated from Volume 3: Wink if You’re Ready or What’s the Rush, Man? 

Royce Lewis, Oneil Cruz, Luis Garcia, Roansy Contreras, Riley Greene, Elehuris Montero, Josh Winckowski, CJ Abrams, Caleb Kilian, Edward Cabrera, Jonathan Aranda, and Zack Thompson.

Graduated from Volume 2: Royce Lewis Rolls Into Town Wearing Pink Like Kirby 

George Kirby, Adley Rutschman, Alek Thomas, Vidal Brujan, Nolan Gorman, Ryan Pepiot 

Click here to see Volume 1: Oneil Cruz Control

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This first published restructuring is always fussy to navigate. Even waiting longer than I wanted to didn’t even clear much space via prospect graduations. 

I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index

Oh and here’s a link to Wednesday’s article, Prospect News: Dahian Santos is Coming to Town or Commencement Day, in which I discussed the graduates. 

We’ve got a new name atop the list and some fresh powder further on down the mountain.

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Some of these guys will have to move off the position, either because they’re blocked by a star-level regular or because they lack the hyper-elite twitch, reflexes, hands and arm required to make it as a big league shortstop, but for the most part, these guys will man their middle infields for the next decade or so. Some dynasty league veterans build minor league rosters populated almost exclusively by shortstops and outfielders. Solid plan, really. Shortstop might be the game’s deepest position at the moment, and it’s only getting deeper. 

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These birds are in no rush, man.

They’re just getting going on the international front, so even though we might pounce on players who sign for big deals, I’m skeptical of the infrastructure in place to ease those teenagers’ transitions to professional baseball in the states. I’m skeptical of the whole plan, to be honest, given the slow-roasting, historical-losing outcomes we’ve seen so far. If Baltimore can follow the path the Astros and Cubs laid out by being truly abysmal for a half-decade just before the dawn of a successful stretch, the fans will appreciate the end point, assuming any remain. The AL East piece suggests their hands were tied to some extent–that the only path was full-tank with no on-field investments in the pitching or hitting side. I dunno. It’s just tough for me to get super hyped about the big future all these guys might have when we’ve seen what it took to acquire them. 

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Baltimore shortstop prospect Gunnar Henderson (2-for-5 with a triple and a homer) is riding a seven-game hit streak in the GCL. Henderson was a second-round pick for the Orioles in this year’s draft (42nd overall). There’s not a lot to get excited about right now in Baltimore, but if you play in dynasty league, I’d scope Henderson as a long-term project with a potentially sweet payoff. At 18, Henderson is 6’3″/180 with a nice left-handed swing that can make contact and hit for some power. Like a lot of shortstops, there’s talk of a slide to third if he doesn’t have the defensive chops, but his bat should play at either position. Henderson’s K-rate is a touch high at 23% but he also has a nice walk rate (11%) through 70+ plate appearances. Check him out if he’s available and you’ve got a roster slot to play with. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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