Gunnar Henderson is going off draft boards around the 10th round this season. (The Athletic)
Our Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospects list is back for the 19th annual season, and — as always — this list is our take on how these prospects rank prior to Opening Day.
This season, we bounced back to 52 returnees after just 44 players were repeats in 2022. As the missed 2020 campaign gets further into the rear view mirror, we expect this will continue to normalize.
As a byproduct of this dynamic, there were 26 graduates from the 2022 list, a slight decline from 30 the season before. Also down was the number of those dropping off the list (a decline of four from 26 in 2022). Newcomers also dropped, from 56 to 48.
Graduating From Last Year’s Top 100 List
Last year’s rankings in parentheses.
Julio Rodriguez, OF, Seattle Mariners (1); Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Kansas City Royals (2); Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore Orioles (3); Riley Greene, OF, Detroit Tigers (4); Spencer Torkelson, 1B/3B, Detroit Tigers (5); CJ Abrams, SS, San Diego Padres/Washington Nationals (6); Oneil Cruz, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates (17); Alek Thomas, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (19); Nolan Gorman, 2B/3B, St. Louis Cardinals; Josh Lowe, OF, Tampa Bay Rays (25); Hunter Greene, SP, Cincinnati Reds (29); Vidal Brujan, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays (32); MJ Melendez, C, Kansas City Royals (38); George Kirby, SP, Seattle Mariners (43); Reid Detmers, SP, Los Angeles Angels (45); Nick Lodolo, SP, Cincinnati Reds (46); Joe Ryan, SP, Minnesota Twins (48); Jose Miranda, 3B, Minnesota Twins (50); Bryson Stott, SS, Philadelphia Phillies (54); Edward Cabrera, SP, Miami Marlins (55); Jarren Duran, OF, Boston Red Sox (61); JJ Bleday, OF, Miami Marlins (68); Michael Harris II, OF, Atlanta Braves (74); Aaron Ashby, SP, Milwaukee Brewers (75); Joey Bart, C, San Francisco Giants (79); and Roansy Contreras, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (100).
Dropping Off the List This Season
Last year’s rankings in parentheses.
Shane Baz, SP, Tampa Bay Rays (12); Orelvis Martinez, SS/3B, Toronto Blue Jays (27); Kahlil Watson, SS, Miami Marlins (37); Nick Pratto, 1B, Kansas City Royals (41); Brady House, 3B/SS, Washington Nationals (44); Sixto Sanchez, SP, Miami Marlins (47); Austin Martin, SS/OF, Minnesota Twins (49); Hedbert Perez, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (59); Heliot Ramos, OF, San Francisco; Garrett Mitchell, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (67); Cole Winn, SP, Texas Rangers (70); Ronny Mauricio, SS, New York Mets (73); Jordan Groshans, 3B/SS, Toronto Blue Jays (76); Tyler Freeman, SS, Cleveland Guardians (77); Everson Pereira, OF, New York Yankees (78); Jhonkensy Noel, 3B/1B, Cleveland Guardians (80); Pedro Leon, SS, Houston Astros (81); Emerson Hancock, SP, Seattle Mariners (82); Greg Jones, SS, Tampa Bay Rays (86); Justin Foscue, 2B, Texas Rangers (89); Mark Vientos, 3B/SS, New York Mets (98); and Asa Lacy, SP, Kansas City Royals (99).
Okay, here we go. Without further ado, here are our…
2023 Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospects
Last year’s rankings are in parentheses.
1. Gunnar Henderson, SS/3B, Baltimore Orioles (57): Henderson’s developing power is among his most exciting features, and after posting the highest hard contact rate of anyone in the AL after reaching the majors last year, it’s clear he’s ready to become a star very soon. Expect him to play third base this season (and look pretty good doing so), but he’ll likely get a chance to grab the shortstop gig in 2024. Henderson racked up the total bases in Double-A, breezed through Triple-A in about a half-season and then hit decently in his first taste of the bigs. B-More is suddenly flush with prospects and a bright future, with this kid front and centre. To get a sense of how he generates power (and how badly he needs a smaller batting helmet), see the video below.
2. Corbin Carroll, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (9): Carroll got a fair amount of experience in the bigs, but remains rookie eligible. Now that Dalton Varsho has been traded, the path to PT for Carroll is wide open, so we’re expecting a breakout effort. How good is Carroll? Well, consider that just 15 prospects had at least 20 homers, a .300 BA and a 200+ ISO last year, and he’s one of them. Toss his speed and elite on-base skills into the mix, and we’re looking at a future superstar.
3. Jordan Walker, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals (23): Walker took another big step forward last year, piling up a crapload of runs and total bases at Double-A. His ultimate power potential is up in the air, but with his speed, BA and on-base skills, he’s going to be a very special player. Note that he recently hurt his shoulder, but says he’s fine.
4. Jackson Chourio, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (NR): No prospect improved his stock more last year than Chourio, who pretty much came out of nowhere to establish himself in the top five. This young Venezuelan talent is at the top of the heap of what is now an impressive cadre of international prospects the Brewers have collected in recent years. It’s still not a great farm system, but the emergence of Chourio sure helps. He was dominant in about a half-season at Class-A, managed an 800+ OPS in High-A and then struggled to do much in six Double-A games. Did we mention Chourio won’t 19 until midway through Spring Training? Love this kid’s future.
5. Elly De La Cruz, 3B/SS, Cincinnati Reds (96): De La Cruz barely made our list last year, and is now a top five prospect. Expect him to begin the season in Double-A (possibly Triple-A), and if he shows improvement in his strike zone judgment, he could find himself in the bigs by the second half. EDLC has superstar potential which he showed by hitting extremely well at High-A before doing nearly as well in close to 200 Double-A at-bats. His first season of full-season ball couldn’t have gone better, and once he makes better contact, there won’t be anything he can’t do because the power, speed and hit tool are already elite.
6. Anthony Volpe, SS, New York Yankees (10): It’s not unreasonable to think that Volpe could emerge as the Yanks’ starting shortstop this season, if not out of Spring Training, then at some point during the schedule. At the very least, he’s going to be given the chance to compete for the job after spending most of last year at Double-A before piling up some impressive run numbers in a month’s worth of time at Triple-A. Put Volpe on your AL ROY watch list.
7. Grayson Rodriguez, P, Baltimore Orioles (13): Baltimore’s top pitching prospect almost certainly would have made his MLB debut last year had it not been for a lat strain that cost him several weeks. Rodriguez is fully healthy now and projected to be the Oriole’s fifth starter this season, but it’ll be hard to count on a major contribution from him after he was limited to 75 2/3 innings in 2022. Still, his 2.20 ERA over 14 starts at Triple-A suggests he has nothing left to prove in the minors.
8. Eury Perez, P, Miami Marlins (60): Perez is a 6’8″ righty that has tremendous potential as evidenced by the superb command he flashed at Double-A last year as a 19-year-old. For our money, there’s only one righty (Grayson Rodriguez) that’s a better prospect. Perez can almost hit triple digits with his heater, to boot.
9. Druw Jones, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (NR): Jones is one of the most prominent newcomers to our Top 100, but he comes from bloodlines (Andruw Jones‘s son) that need no introduction. Arizona has a boatload of top prospects this year, so Jones isn’t even the top Arizona outfielder on this list. Still, we like him more than most, although he is going to take some time given that a shoulder injury means that he’s yet to get into a pro game since going second overall in the 2022 draft. But oh my, the upside here is scary high!
10. James Wood, OF, Washington Nationals (NR): In going from unranked to the top 10, it’s clear that Wood’s hype machine has been in full throttle mode. The 20-year-old has very nice speed, with emerging power and tremendous on-base skills. The key component the Nats got in the Juan Soto trade, Wood missed time with injuries last year, but showed enough while healthy (70 runs in 76 games) to whet the appetite of prospect hounds.
11. Francisco Alvarez, C, New York Mets (18): Alvarez is nearly a finished product. His defensive skills will need a bit more tweaking, so expect him to begin the season at Triple-A, but he’s definitely going to be with the Mets at some point this year. Alvarev’s BA has slipped as he’s risen the ranks, but he still managed an impressive 885 OPS between Double-A and Triple-A. Don’t expect speed — he is a catcher, after all — but his power and a decent BA will play for Fantasy purposes. Sure, it was a super small sample size in the bigs, but Alvarez barrelled 37.5 per cent of his batted balls (for context, among qualified players, Aaron Judge led the bigs with just over 26 per cent last year).
12. Marcelo Mayer, SS, Boston Red Sox (24): By allowing many of its stars to walk, Boston is putting a lot of faith in its farm system and Mayer is one of the biggest hopes in the organization. Last year, he was very productive at Class-A before spending about a month at High-A and comporting himself well. All told, Mayer gained some valuable professional experience and could be ready to move to the upper minor league levels as a result. We really like his ability to lay off bad pitches.
13. Jordan Lawlar, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks (56): Lawlar has a short, compact swing from the right side that allowed him to tear through the D-Back system last year despite missing time with injury. He racked up the total bases at Class-A (to the tune of a .600+ SLG), made quick work of High-A and then got some valuable Double-A experience to end the season. All told, Lawlar’s first full season as a professional ended with a 910 OPS for 100 games of work, so he’s real close to being a big leaguer. The power potential is intriguing and the speed will make him a real Fantasy asset, so at this point, it’s just work he needs on defense (especially throwing accuracy) to get over the hump.
14. Noelvi Marte, SS, Seattle Mariners/Cincinnati Reds (7): The Reds plan to shift Marte to the hot corner, so that may affect his Fantasy value down the road. Last year, he took a nice step forward at High-A before getting traded to the Cincinnati system, where he hit even better over the final few weeks at the same level. It’s clear that Marte’s bat is ready for the next challenge, so expect the 21-year-old Dominican to move to Double-A. We like his power, and he’s got speed, but could use some work on his baserunning.
15. Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Rangers (16): Jung missed most of 2022 but once he returned, the Rangers didn’t waste much time bringing him to the Show for September. He’s expected to be the team’s everyday 3B this year and has serious breakout potential. The San Antonio native — who also attended Texas Tech — is probably going to be a real fan favourite playing in his home state.
16. Marco Luciano, SS, San Francisco Giants (11): Luciano slipped a bit in the rankings after a tough, injury-ravaged season. Still, he remains the team’s top prospect, although it’s important to note that he’s expected to wind up at third base long-term. Even in a difficult year, Luciano still displayed great on-base skills, enough so that the Giants added him to the 40-man roster this offseason. Assuming he can stay healthy (which is a big if considering he’s not expected to play this spring as he’s dealing with a back woe), he’s a likely candidate to make his MLB debut this season.
17. Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Chicago Cubs (69): We like PCA more than most analysts, but after he showed sweet extra-base power at Class-A and then put up impressive counting cat numbers in a half season at High-A, we’re convinced that he’s the real deal. Power? Check. Speed? Check? BA skills? Check? On-base prowess? Check. Just 20, Crow-Armstrong has a very high floor, and if he can continue to hit for average in the higher levels, his ceiling will be pretty damned high, too.
18. Jackson Holliday, 2B/SS, Baltimore Orioles (NR): The O’s have another gem on their hands in 19-year-old middle infielder Holliday. He showed an elite batting eye at Rookie ball, quickly earning the call to Class-A, where he didn’t hit quite as well. Still, Holliday showed tremendous potential in his first taste of pro ball, and all he needs now is reps. The son of former star Matt Holliday showed why he soared up the draft prospect list last year to become the top overall pick. In fact, some are even more bullish on him than we are, but we want to see what he’ll do at full season ball before going all in.
19. Ezequiel Tovar, SS, Colorado Rockies (NR): Tovar soared up the list this year to the point he’s expected to play in the majors in 2023 (after getting his first cup of coffee last season). He flashed great extra-base power at Double-A and then continued to rack up the total bases in his brief time at Triple-A, but failed to display his speed while in the majors. In fact, Tovar might have spent even more time in Colorado last year if not for an injury. Consider him a top 30 option at shortstop this season, with obvious great upside in dynasty formats.
20. Daniel Espino, P, Cleveland Guardians (62): Cleveland is well represented on this list, but right-handed pitching prospect Espino ranks at the top despite missing almost all of 2022 with a shoulder problem. Still, when he did pitch last year, he was superb (2.45 ERA with a whopping 35 Ks in just 18 1/3 IP). As you can see from that, Espino’s K potential is through the roof, but durability is a concern, one that’s grown given further issues with his shoulder this spring that will shut him down for a couple of months.
21. Taj Bradley, P, Tampa Bay Rays (94): Bradley soared up our list this year after a dominant showing at Double-A (1.70 ERA through 16 starts) that earned him: (a) an invite to the Futures Game; and (b) a promotion to Triple-A, where he was easier to hit, but still very effective. He was able to use his changeup against righties much more often, and it became an important pitch for him as he really limited hits allowed. Bradley is a clear keeper in dynasty formats, so enjoy the ride.
22. Andrew Painter, P, Philadelphia Phillies (NR): Another newcomer who really burst onto the prospect map this year, Painter has quickly established himself as the Phillies’ top phenom. In his first full season, it was clear after just nine starts that he was way too good for Class-A (1.40 ERA). Painter then went undefeated and looked even better in his few weeks at High-A before wrapping his season with five impressive outings at Double-A, where he proved tough to hit. All told, he recorded a 1.56 ERA over 22 starts last year. Yup, this kid can pitch. The Phillies have some very impressive arms on the way, but none of them can compare to Painter, who could arrive in the bigs later this year and should ultimately develop into the team’s ace. Do note, however, that he’s currently dealing with a sprained UCL that will shut him down for at least four weeks.
23. Zac Veen, OF, Colorado Rockies (15): One of the top outfield prospects in the game, Veen racked up major total bases at High-A before struggling with his extra-base pop over the final few weeks in Double-A. His speed is going to be a major asset for Fantasy owners, and that — combined with the fact that we tend to covet Colorado hitting prospects — is why we have him ranked higher than some. Other than his speed, Veen’s hit tool and arm are plus skills, and more power will come as he adds muscle.
24. Termarr Johnson, 2B/SS, Pittsburgh Pirates (NR): The Pirates are beginning to collect some nice looking prospects, and Johnson — someone we like a smidge more than most — tops the list. Pittsburgh’s 2022 first round pick didn’t do much in Rookie ball, yet quickly found himself in Class-A, where he showed great patience in his couple of weeks of service. We definitely want to see more extra-base power from Johnson in his first full season this year, but given his discipline and contact skills, this will come.
25. Triston Casas, 1B, Boston Red Sox (39): Casas looks like a very important part of the future core of the Red Sox, considering how much turnover there’s been in Beantown. Despite some injury issues last year, he piled up very impressive counting cat numbers in Triple-A, although he whiffed a bit more than he did in 2021. Okay, so Casas didn’t hit very well in his first taste of the bigs, but he’s definitely better than he showed, and we’re expecting to see closer to that version of him this year. With this in mind, there are already rumblings that the BoSox may try to lock him up long term very soon.
26. Curtis Mead, 1B/3B, Tampa Bay Rays (87): Mead has soared through the Rays’ system while also shooting up our top prospect list. After playing at three different levels in 2021, last year he put up some sweet counting cats in a few months at Double-A before a promotion to Triple-A, where he continued to hit well over the final month of the season. We love Mead’s extra-base prowess and his ability to do a little bit of everything.
27. Diego Cartaya, C, Los Angeles Dodgers (92): We’re not quite as high on the top Dodgers’ prospect as some, but you never know with catchers. He still has a ways to go in his development, and that can often be a very difficult process for backstops. While Cartaya has no speed like most catchers, he hit well at Class-A, forcing his way up to High-A after just a few weeks. Not surprisingly, the extra-base wasn’t as prevalent at the higher level, but he got some great experience last year that should have him knocking on the door of the higher levels of the minors soon.
28. Kyle Harrison, P, San Francisco Giants (65): One of the top left-handed pitching prospects in the game, Harrison looks like he’ll be a top of the rotation hurler in time. He was actually projected to go a bit higher in the 2020 draft, so the Giants grabbing him 85th overall could turn into a steal if he continues to develop as he has to date. Last year, that path saw him dominate High-A (1.55 ERA through seven starts) before proving only slightly more hittable while spending the rest of the season at Double-A. For a young pitcher, Harrison has looked quite durable so far, so if that continues, as does his success, he’ll be knocking on the door of the bigs very soon.
29. Robert Hassell III, OF, Washington Nationals (14): Although some experts have soured on Hassell a bit, he remains a slam dunk top 10 outfield prospect. Traded to the Nats as part of the Juan Soto deal, Hassell has flashed developing power, sweet speed and a great hit tool. But it was Hassell’s struggles after the trade to the Washington system that have created some doubts. However, considering how productive he was at High-A, we’re willing to give him a bit of rope to see how he adjusts at Double-A (and a new organization) before pushing him any further down our list.
30. Brett Baty, 2B/3B, New York Mets (63): In soaring up the list this year, Baty has garnered plenty of hype, and why not? He spent most of the season molesting Double-A pitching before failing to show any extra-base sock in his brief time at Triple-A (while hitting .364). Baty capped it off with a fairly productive cup of coffee in the bigs. He’ll have a tough time winning the third base in Spring Training (although it’s not out of the question given his play so far), but either way, he’s sure to be a factor there before season’s end.
31. Miguel Vargas, 1B/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers (52): When Vargas fell just shy of our top 50 last year, we talked about his flexibility, and now he’s added OF to his mix as he looks like a possible future super sub. But really, after scoring 100 runs in 113 Triple-A games, he’s clearly ready to play in the bigs, regardless of where he’ll ply his trade defensively. After being named to the Futures Game last year, Vargas seems like a real candidate to be the NL ROY in 2023.
32. Royce Lewis, SS, Minnesota Twins (51): It feels like Lewis has been a prospect forever, yet he’s still just 23. However, it’s fair to wonder what the future defensive position of the 2017 first overall pick will be now that Carlos Correa has joined the Twins. Injuries, including twice tearing his right ACL, have really slowed Lewis’ progress, but it’s hard not to get excited about a player that averaged nearly a run per game at Triple-A when he was able to play. Assuming he can finally stay healthy, he’s likely to add to his scant MLB experience this year.
Twins top prospect Royce Lewis taking BP
Lewis is coming back from ACL tear pic.twitter.com/5CpOaCdXhd
— Jake “Iggy” Ignaszewski (@JakeIggy) March 3, 2023
33. Masyn Winn, SS, St. Louis Cardinals (NR): We’re generally a bit higher on rifle-armed Winn than most, but his speed and power potential really excite us. The Cards’ 2020 second round pick took a massive step forward in his second professional season last year, hitting extremely well at High-A before earning a promotion to Double-A after just a few weeks. Winn held his own at the higher level, gaining valuable experience that should have him in position for his first taste of the bigs this season.
34. Jasson Dominguez, OF, New York Yankees (28): After spending most of the season putting up pedestrian numbers at Class-A, Dominguez showed tremendous on-base skills in his few weeks at High-A and then a serious average-power tandem for the Double-A playoffs. His game/raw power is still the main selling card here, and while his hit tool has room for growth, what he did at Double-A (.450 BA in five games) was a small-sample aberration. Still, Dominguez showed steady growth through his first full season, so it’s not a surprise that some like him even better than we do.
35. Colton Cowser, OF, Baltimore Orioles (84): There are some who are much more bullish on Cowser than us, even slotting him just outside the top 10. For our money, he’s still a top five prospect for Baltimore in what’s suddenly a very good system, and while his walk rate has slipped as he’s risen through the ranks, it’s still very impressive. After being promoted to Double-A last year, Cowser really seemed to hit his stride (.341 BA in 49 games) before gaining about a month’s worth of experience at the minor’s highest level. All told, his first full season hinted at a player that does a lot of things very well, but perhaps not one thing at a star level.
36. Ricky Tiedemann, P, Toronto Blue Jays (NR): Toronto’s top prospect has earned an invite to Spring Training for 2023, but as an NRI, he’s going to have to wow the team to earn a job. Still, this indicates that the Jays know he’s getting closer to contributing in the bigs after a pro debut that saw him excel at three levels last year. Tiedemann recorded a 1.80 ERA in a half dozen starts at Class-A, was only slightly worse (2.39 ERA) in eight starts at High-A, and then finished his season up with a 2.45 mark over four Double-A outings. All told, he only won five games along the way given his generally short outings, but the training wheels are likely to come off in 2023. ZiPS projects him to have some homer issues if he pitches in the majors this year (quite possible), but for that to improve over his next couple of seasons.
37. Brennen Davis, OF, Chicago Cubs (8): After a pretty much lost year in 2022, Davis arrived at Spring Training early this year in the hopes of re-establishing himself as a top prospect. The 23-year-old is recovering from multiple procedures on his back but looks healthy now, which is great news for the rebuilding Cubs, who are counting on him to make an impact in the bigs at some point this year. Davis’s power went AWOL last year, as did his speed and BA, but really, given all the issues he went through and how long it took to diagnose what was wrong, it’s not fair to judge him based on his performance in 2022. He’s capable of playing all three outfield spots, but is probably best suited for a corner spot, possibly right field.
38. Brayan Rocchio, 2B/SS, Cleveland Guardians (37): Rocchio slipped ever so slightly on our list this year, but we’re still much more bullish on his future than most. The switch hitter is expected to make his MLB debut this year, even after he didn’t hit as well at Double-A before showing more power potential during his few weeks at Triple-A. He’s already flashed nice speed, great contact skills and strong glovework, so if that power keeps developing, he could be a real force in time.
#Guardians 22yr old switch hitting (2B/SS) prospect Brayan Rocchio currently training out at the organizations Goodyear Development Complex. Chance that Rocchio possibly makes his MLB debut at some point in 2023.@rocchio05 #ForTheLand pic.twitter.com/tpb38j93JB
— Guardians Prospective (@CleGuardPro) February 3, 2023
39. George Valera, OF, Cleveland Guardians (31): Valera is likely to make his MLB debut at some point this year, but the timetable may be delayed thanks to a wrist injury early in Spring Training. Even so, we like him more than many, mostly because of his power potential. But staying healthy has been a bit of an issue throughout his career, and that’s a concern before he ever takes the field at the MLB level. Valera’s BA ceiling probably isn’t extremely high, but now that he’s mastered Double-A and put up some impressive counting cat numbers at Triple-A, he’s oh so close.
40. Tyler Soderstrom, C/1B, Oakland Athletics (33): Soderstrom slipped on our list this year, and we’re clearly not as high on him as some others. He spent most of the season at High-A, and was bumped up despite the fact he didn’t hit nearly as well as he had at Class-A the year before. Soderstrom’s walk rate kept dropping when he reached Double-A, yet he was given a short look at Triple-A, where he really struggled to hit for extra bases. He certainly got some valuable experience last year, but saw a substantial drop in BA from 2021. Still, Soderstrom is the A’s top prospect for a reason. He may not hit for average, but 29 homers and 105 RBI over three levels last year will open some eyes, even if he may not have the defensive skills to stick behind the plate full-time, especially given that his bat will likely be ready for the Show first.
41. Gabriel Moreno, C, Arizona Diamondbacks (26): The key piece Arizona got in the Daulton Varsho trade, Moreno put up some impressive counting cats at Triple-A, and the duplicated that effort in his brief time in the bigs. A Valentine’s Day baby, this Venezuelan exceeded his rookie eligibility last year from a service time perspective, but remains a prospect given that he’s still well under 130 at-bats. Moreno was Toronto’s top hitting prospect, and realistically has a chance to become one of the top Fantasy catchers in the not too distant future.
42. Elijah Green, OF, Washington Nationals (NR): After his first taste of pro baseball, Green soared onto our list this year and we now like him more than most prospect hounds. He showed us enough in his brief time at Rookie ball (especially his power potential) to the point that we can’t wait to see what he’ll be capable of in his first full year. Taken fifth overall in the 2022 draft, Green has a massive ceiling thanks to his power-speed combo.
43. Henry Davis, C, Pittsburgh Pirates (58): We like the former No. 1 overall pick a bit more than others thanks to his nice recovery at the AFL when he hit much better and showed what an on-base force he can be. Davis missed time during the regular season, but showed he was too good for Class-A after just five games. He continued to display nice power at High-A before struggling with contact issues and lack of extra-base power at Double-A for a few weeks. Still, we find Davis’ extra-base sock and power potential very intriguing and believe he could reach the majors earlier than most catchers.
44. Bo Naylor, C, Cleveland Guardians (NR): Naylor is Cleveland’s catcher of the future, but the seat is being kept warm by Mike Zunino. For now, Naylor will begin the season at Triple-A to wrap up his apprenticeship after taking a massive step forward at Double-A, quickly proving he was ready for Triple-A last year. The power Naylor flashed at Triple-A was really eye-opening, and while he failed to do anything during his brief time with the Guardians (0-for-8), it’s clear he’s very close. In fact, he makes for an intriguing option in redraft leagues given the chance he has to make an impact this season. Naylor’s combination of patience, power and positional scarcity make him a very exciting prospect, but you know the drill with catchers… it’s rarely a seamless transition given the defensive demands.
45. Kyle Manzardo, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays (NR): Among first base prospects, Manzardo has a real chance to contribute in the bigs, and his pedigree suggests he could find relative success immediately. In his first full campaign as a pro last year, he tore through High-A in about a half-season and then didn’t really slow down much over the final few weeks at Double-A. Manzardo is an extra-base machine, so make sure Washington’s 2021 second round pick is on your sleeper list and keep an eye on what the NRI does at Spring Training.
46. Evan Carter, OF, Texas Rangers (NR): Carter ranks a bit lower on our list than others, mostly given his lack of pop. Having said that, his batting eye and on-base ability are exciting qualities, helping him put together a very strong season at High-A last year. Carter earned a late-season look at Double-A, where he racked up quite a few extra base knocks in his brief time there. Assuming the doubles become homers in time, he has the speed to be a real asset (10 triples and nearly 30 steals last year). At this current development pace, Carter should arrive in the bigs sometime next year.
47. Endy Rodriguez, C, Pittsburgh Pirates (NR): Unlike some, we slotted Rodriguez into our top 50 because he’s getting a look in Spring Training and legitimately has a chance to play in the bigs this season. The power and production he flashed at three levels last year really grabbed our attention. Eighty total bases in 31 games at Double-A? Um, yes please. The fact that Rodriguez hit better with each promotion is another extremely promising sign and suggests he’s very close to contributing in the majors.
Collected some data together from early on spring. Of prospects with at least 5 batted ball events so far, here's their EV…
Endy Rodriguez – 91.77
Jared Triolo – 90.15
Liover Peguero – 91.64
Lolo Sanchez – 81.23
Malcom Nunez – 81.84
Nicky Gonzales – 90.88#Pirates
— Anthony Murphy (@__Murphy88) March 3, 2023
48. Bobby Miller, P, Los Angeles Dodgers (66): We’ve heard Miller compared to Max Scherzer, so that’s hard not to get very excited about. Last year, Miller showed progress at Double-A, trimming his ERA while recording a solid WHIP of 1.20. He looked even sharper in his four starts at Triple-A, always a promising sign. The Dodgers may have gotten a real steal here with the 29th pick in the 2020 draft.
49. Oswald Peraza, SS, New York Yankees (40): Obviously, Peraza will have to contend with Volpe, but there’s still a chance he’ll be the long-term answer at shortstop for the Yankees. Last year, Peraza didn’t hit as well at Triple-A, but was productive enough with elite basestealing skills to keep climbing our list. Oh, he hit pretty well during his first taste of the Show, too. Given Peraza’s defensive flexibility, he could be useful as a utility player while he waits for a full-time gig.
50. Cade Cavalli, P, Washington Nationals (53): Cavalli should be fully healthy this spring and will be given the opportunity to become a rotation staple in Washington. Last year, he got plenty of experience at Triple-A, proving very difficult to hit. In his lone start in the bigs, Cavalli allowed too many baserunners to have success, but he has the pedigree to really shine as long as his command holds up.
51. Mick Abel, P, Philadelphia Phillies (85): We like Abel much more than most experts, and given how much bigger a workload he was able to handle and his improved control, we’re really high on him. Last year, he posted solid hit rates at High-A before being moved up to Double-A, where he actually looked even sharper over a few starts. Abel definitely took a nice step forward in his second season, hence his nice jump in the rankings.
52. Brooks Lee, SS, Minnesota Twins (NR): The eighth overall pick last year, Lee soared through the minors in his first pro season, reaching Double-A after just 29 games at the Rookie and High-A levels. He flashed developing extra-base pop in four games at Rookie ball, and even better on-base skills through 25 games at High-A. Lee then wrapped up his impressive run by batting .375 in a couple of games at Double-A. All told, he racked up plenty of total bases and proved fairly productive. Lee’s ultimate future may be at third base, but the switch-hitter has the hit tool to play anywhere on the diamond. It’s elite level, so expect him to carry Fantasy teams with his BA in time.
53. Adael Amador, SS, Colorado Rockies (NR): Colorado seems to have a ton of shortstop prospects, but we like Amador much more than most analysts simply given the fact he posted the best BB/K ratio of any minor leaguer with 350 or more PA last year. This is a switch-hitter that mastered Class-A as a teenager, piling up a ton of runs, with a power-speed-BA-OBP mix that tells us he’s ready to move up this year. Amador’s advanced approach, contact skills and all-around ability makes us think he could be quite a bit higher on this list a year from now.
54. Kevin Alcantara, OF, Chicago Cubs (NR): A prospect brimming with confidence, Alcantara flashed developing power in his first go at full-season ball last year. He’s unlikely to be a Fantasy factor for a little while, but he’s definitely someone you want in a dynasty format now. Still, Alcantara has come right out and said he wants to reach the bigs in 2023, so if nothing else, you know he aims high.
55. Gavin Williams, P, Cleveland Guardians (NR): Former East Carolina star Williams entered the list this year after an impressive season in which he dominated High-A (1.40 ERA over nine starts) before logging another 70 strong innings at Double-A. He looks like a fast mover, capable of winning games, durability and posting some very impressive ERA and ratio numbers. If Williams can continue his run of good health and performance, he’s a likely candidate to see MLB action at some point this year. He led all minor league pitchers in BAA, and really the only reason we’re not more bullish on him is his lack of experience. That’s hardly a knock, really, but we do want to see how he does against more advanced competition.
56. Esteury Ruiz, OF, Oakland Athletics (NR): Acquired by the A’s from Milwaukee in a three-team deal in December, Ruiz has tremendous potential, and his path to PT became so much clearer thanks to the trade. Last year, he tore through Double-A in a couple of months, earning a promotion to Triple-A, where he piled up 60 runs in 65 games. Ruiz hit extremely well, showed developing power, stole a boatload of bases and dramatically improved his strike zone judgment. In a 35 at-bat trial in the bigs, he failed to show any pop and generally struggled (especially in the runs department), but he’ll definitely have the opportunity to rectify that this season.
57. Edwin Arroyo, SS, Cincinnati Reds (NR): The Reds are loaded with shortstop prospects, so expect some of them to be used as trade chips or wind up switching positions. Arroyo, who was part of the booty Cincy got in the Luis Castillo trade, enjoyed a fine performance at Class-A in his first full season, showing sweet extra-base sock, nice speed and the ability to hit for a high BA. Just 19, Arroyo’s fine season established him as one of the top shortstop prospects in the game, one with the potential to be a good major leaguer as soon as next year, perhaps the season after.
58. Jackson Jobe, P, Detroit Tigers (93): The third overall pick from 2021, Jobe made a nice move up the list this year after a solid effort in his pro debut last season. The Tigers started him out at Class-A, where his record wasn’t good and he dealt with some wildness. But after moving up to High-A, Jobe looked fantastic, going undefeated through three starts, while recording a video-game like 1.15 ERA. We can’t wait to see how he fares against better competition, because this kid has some sky high potential.
59. Colson Montgomery, SS, Chicago White Sox (NR): Montgomery was invited to Spring Training as a NRI after a fine performance in his first full season (but has since been sent back to minor league camp). Taken 22nd overall in 2021, it took him just a couple of months to prove he was too good for Class-A, and while he didn’t hit as well at High-A, the Pale Hose remained aggressive with him, promoting him to Double-A to end the season. Montgomery struggled to put up many counting cats there, so will likely begin 2023 at the same level. Still, he gained some valuable experience last year and posted an impressive number of total bases while his extra-base pop took a step forward. At one point, Montgomery compiled a 50-game on-base streak before slowing in the second half.
60. Jack Leiter, P, Texas Rangers (35): Former Vanderbilt star Leiter slipped in our rankings this year after we suggested he had the look of a future star in 2022. However, he took his lumps in his pro debut after starting out his pro career at Double-A. Leiter had an awful record and simply allowed too many baserunners to enjoy much success. Still, the Rangers think enough of him that they’ve brought him to camp as a non-roster invite.
61. Ceddanne Rafaela, OF, Boston Red Sox: Rafaela came out of nowhere with a monstrous campaign last year. After just a couple of months, it was clear he was too good for High-A, and then he piled up some very impressive counting cat numbers at Double-A. Rafaela’s improvement in extra-base sock was the biggest pleasant surprise of his breakout effort. Small wonder he was selected for the Futures Game.
62. Sal Frelick, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (91): Some are far more bullish on Frelick than us, but we still think enough of him to give him a nice boost in the rankings this year. He’s going to get a chance on a bigger stage as a member of Team Italy in the upcoming WBC, so Fantasy owners would be wise to tune in for a preview of what he’s capable of. As a refresher, though, take a look at what Frelick did in surging through the Milwaukee system last year: he piled up a goodly amount of extra-base hits in tearing through High-A in less than a month, then piled up tons of runs in a couple months at Double-A before an even more productive few weeks at Triple-A. All told, he racked up 90 runs in 119 games while flashing across the board skills. Expect Frelick to make his MLB debut very shortly, perhaps even right out of Spring Training, making him a real sleeper for 2023.
63. DL Hall, P, Baltimore Orioles (NR): Hall is probably ready to contribute in the bigs as a reliever right now, but B-More may keep the southpaw in the minors for the time being with the belief that he’ll be even more valuable as a starter down the road. Besides, a back woe has sidelined him this spring, so it’s unlikely he’ll pitch enough to break camp as a starter with the O’s. Last year, Hall spent most of the season at Triple-A and pitched decently (4.70 ERA), and while too many home runs and too many baserunners allowed is a dangerous combination, you have to be intrigued by his K rate (over 14.6/9). He had some issues in his first taste of the bigs last year, so a bit more seasoning is likely in order to see if he can sharpen his control. Staying healthy last year allowed Hall to re-establish himself as a prospect; this year, it’s time to take the next step.
64. Gavin Stone, P, Los Angeles Dodgers (NR): The Dodgers have several pitchers worth tracking this spring, and Stone is near the top of the heap among the prospect arms to watch. Last year, he started out at High-A again, but was so dominant through 25 frames that he was quickly bumped to Double-A, where his ERA was again sparkling (1.60). The Dodgers had no choice but to keep promoting Stone, and he proved even more spectacular at Triple-A. Believe it or not, he only surrendered 20 earned runs through 25 starts and one relief appearance all season. Impressive! It wouldn’t be shocking to Stone deployed as a long reliever/spot starter in the bigs this season while he awaits a full-time rotation slot.
65. Tink Hence, P, St. Louis Cardinals (NR): The Cards’ third-best prospect, Hence was named an AFL Rising Star last year after a dominant regular season at Class-A that saw him massively up his pitch count and improve his control. In time, he’s expected to feature plus offerings with both his fastball and curve, but his changeup won’t likely be an average weapon. Expect Hence to work his way up to the bigs by 2025.
66. Andy Pages, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (42): Pages’ prospect star has dimmed a bit, but we still think pretty highly of him. Okay, so he didn’t hit as well with the move up to Double-A last year, but it was still a fairly productive campaign during which his strikeout rate did not rise. Pages has a swing with tons of loft, so rarely hits ground balls, and that translates into plenty of power (nearly 60 homers over the last two seasons combined).
Andy Pages led the Dodgers Minor Leagues in HRs in 2021 w/31, his homerun per flyball rates have ranged from above average to elite, he hit .296/OPS .904 in the AFL at the end of last year, he's shed 25 lbs., and has an absolute cannon. This dude is a great prospect. #dodgers pic.twitter.com/YPD2q5UUT1
— Dodgers Daily (@dodger_daily) March 8, 2023
67. Luis Matos, OF, San Francisco Giants (30): Matos has slipped in our rankings this year as questions have emerged about just how high his ceiling is. In moving up to High-A last year, he scored a decent amount of runs, but his previously low strikeout rates reached new heights and he really struggled to get on base. Age remains on Matos’ side, but if he doesn’t show progress in 2023, he’ll likely find his way off this list a year from now.
68. Luisangel Acuna, 2B/SS, Texas Rangers (NR): New to this list this season is the underrated Acuna, coming off a season in which he proved he was too good for High-A after just a couple of months. He was promoted to Double-A and endured his struggles, but really put himself on the prospect map based on his superb base stealing and fine 795 OPS as a 20-year-old. We really like Acuna’s hit tool which, combined with his speed, OBP skills and decent pop, makes for an intriguing package.
69. Michael Busch, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers (NR): Busch is probably ready for his shot, but when the Dodgers added Miguel Rojas it further blocked this prospect. Last year, Busch was an on-base machine at Double-A, quickly getting bumped up to Triple-A, where his walk rate dipped back to regular human levels. Still, it’s hard not to get excited by a prospect that averaged over two total bases per game at the higher levels of the minors. Was Busch aided by a .355 BABIP at Double-A? Probably. But the fact he struck out less often after moving up to Triple-A was a very good sign. Busch deserves a chance in the bigs, so let’s hope the injury to Gavin Lux gives him that opportunity.
70. Harry Ford, C, Seattle Mariners (NR): Ford, who will participate in the WBC for Great Britain, is a prospect we’re not as bullish about as some (if only because he has yet to even reach High-A and development for catchers can be non-linear). In his first full season, he gained some valuable experience at Class-A and enjoyed a pretty productive campaign, although his rising K rate is worrisome. Still, you have to love Ford’s on-base skills, even if he wound up hitting more infield flies than you’d like.
71. Alex Ramirez, OF, New York Mets (NR): Ramirez is going to get plenty of attention at training camp this spring as one of the Mets’ most promising prospects. Last year, he put up some impressive counting cats at Class-A, earning a mid-season promotion to High-A, where he pretty much maintained his power. In his second pro season, Ramirez definitely showed improvement as a hitter, although we’d like to see his line drive rate get back to where it was at Class-A if he’s going to continue to produce as he moves up the ranks. His glovework has really opened some eyes at training camp.
72. Joey Wiemer, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (97): Wiemer is not yet on the 40-man roster, but the hype machine is in full swing. Last year, he showed nice power at Double-A before spending the final few weeks at Triple-A where his extra-base sock was even more impressive. All told, Wiemer was not able to match his 2021 power showing, but he’s been promoted aggressively. He played a fair bit of centre field last year, but is probably better suited for right field.
73. Cam Collier, 3B, Cincinnati Reds (NR): The Reds were tickled pink when Collier was still on the board at No. 18 in last year’s draft, and given how advanced his hitting is, not only could this pick be a steal in time, he may find his way to the bigs sooner than most in his class. He hit extremely well in his pro debut last year at Rookie Ball, so is likely to be challenged aggressively this season. Collier is already a top 10 prospect at the hot corner; by this time next year, he could be pushing for the top spot.
74. Coby Mayo, 3B, Baltimore Orioles (72): Mayo was in big league camp this spring, and really impressed with his power. In BP, he was mashing dingers that observers say were longer than anything they had ever witnessed. Last year, Mayo took about two and half months to prove he was too advanced for High-A, and while he wasn’t able to pound homers as often at Double-A, he was still productive enough to hint that he’s closer to the bigs than many believe.
O’s 3B prospect Coby Mayo has man-sized strength and ability in a young person’s body. Watching (& hearing) it all come together is a treat for any fan but especially for O’s backers who want a homegrown slugger. This was his 1st day with the big leaguers. He fits. pic.twitter.com/sKqglCbIxY
— Florida Prospect Report (@FLProspectPod) February 16, 2023
75. Max Meyer, P, Miami Marlins (22): Meyer slid on the list this year mostly because he’ll miss most or all of the season in the wake of Tommy John surgery. He’ll begin the year on the 60-day IL, but the third overall pick in 2020 remains a prospect worth rostering in dynasty formats. Yes, he had some trouble in his MLB debut last year before getting hurt, but Meyer is tough to hit, and if he can sharpen his control a tad, he’s going to be a fine weapon in time.
76. Nick Gonzales, 2B, Pittsburgh Pirates (20): Gonzales took a major tumble in the rankings this year thanks to no small part to injuries. But given how well he hit in the final month after coming back, perhaps he’s a good buy-low asset. Gonzales’ extra base sock left something wanting last year as his slugging dropped 130 points from his pro debut in 2021. Still, this kid was a star at New Mexico State and has an above-average hit tool, so even if his power doesn’t develop to MLB levels, there’s definite value here.
77. Hunter Brown, P, Houston Astros (NR): The fact that Brown’s delivery is compared to Justin Verlander is certainly exciting. Brown showed massive improvement at Triple-A last year before going undefeated in his MLB debut, which consisted of a couple of starts and a few relief appearances. As a fifth round pick in 2019, he’s got a chance to be a major steal.
78. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF, Minnesota Twins: Rodriguez could miss a good part of 2023 in the wake of season-ending knee surgery last year. But this dude proved he was a future on-base stud while piling up some very sweet counting cats at Class-A. Rodriguez’s emerging power and decent speed are also intriguing aspects of his skill set, but we’ll have to see how the procedure affects his running.
79. Kevin Parada, C, New York Mets (NR): Parada arrived at training camp super early, so clearly the 11th overall pick in last year’s draft is a keener. Last year, he racked up five total bases in just three games at Rookie level before getting bumped up to Class-A, where he was pretty much just as impressive in his brief time. Overall, Parada has just 40 professional at-bats to his credit so far, so he needs reps, but after spanking 26 homers in his final college season, the Mets bought in fully, inking him to a $5 million bonus.
80. Gavin Cross, OF, Kansas City Royals (NR): Another high pick from last year’s draft (ninth overall), Cross was a star at Virginia Tech and his college success translated immediately to the pros as he was very productive in his debut split between Rookie ball and Class-A. The 22-year-old Tennessee native saw action in centre field and right field last year, but also played a bit of first base in college. Cross is very advanced, so it’s going to be interesting to see how aggressively he’ll be moved through the Royal system.
81. Miguel Bleis, OF, Boston Red Sox (NR): Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2021, Bleis could wind up being Boston’s top international addition since Rafael Devers. Last year, Bleis moved stateside to Rookie ball and showed some nice home run power to the point that we may be a bit higher on him than most rankings. Depending on how well he does in his full-season debut this year, the hype train may really begin in earnest for this kid.
82. Alexander Canario, OF, Chicago Cubs (NR): The Cubs are suddenly loaded with outfield prospects with Canario joining the party after a breakout season that saw him hit very well at High-A, earning a promotion after just a month. He spent most of the season at Double-A before a bump up to Triple-A for the final month, where his hitting regressed. Still, Canario combined for 37 homers (despite his highest ground ball rate yet) and 23 steals through 125 games at three levels last year. Unfortunately, injuries suffered in winter ball necessitated both ankle and shoulder surgery, so will be a bit behind this year.
83. Owen White, P, Texas Rangers (NR): We’re not quite as bullish on White than others, although he proved tough to hit at High-A through 10 starts and one relief appearance, and then looked even better in going undefeated through four Double-A starts. Even though he got hurt in July, he saw more action last year, but still only has 24 career appearances as a pro despite already being 23 years old. Worse yet, his neck woe has resurfaced this spring and he’s been shut down until the team gets a better handle on what’s happening here.
84. Austin Wells, C, New York Yankees (88): Despite a broken rib that will cost him all of Spring Training, Wells has made s slight move upwards in our rankings this year after his second pro season in which he piled up some very impressive counting cats at three levels. There’s a decent chance he’ll make his MLB debut at some point this year.
"At some point, whenever that may be, I’ll be ready to go."
— Yankees Magazine (@YanksMagazine) March 9, 2023
85. Oscar Colas, OF, Chicago White Sox (NR): Colas has a very realistic shot to be a starting outfielder for the ChiSox this year after tearing through the minors in his first pro season in 2022. He showed some sweet pop at High-A, but did even better at Double-A. Over the final week and change of the season, Colas stepped it up even further, racking up really impressive counting cat numbers. The strikeouts are a concern, but this didn’t stop him from hitting for a very high average. Signed as an international free agent in 2021, Cuba-born Colas was a two-way star in his home country, often called The Cuban Ohtani, however, the White Sox seem to view him as a positional player only. At this point, Colas’ bat seems ready; he probably only needs more work on his defense.
86. Jonathan Aranda, 1B/2B/3B, Tampa Bay Rays (NR): The good-natured Aranda enjoyed a pretty strong season at Triple-A last year, racking up a nice amount of total bases in what was arguably his most productive season yet. He earned his first look in the bigs, and scored a decent amount of runs, but didn’t hit very well. A top 400 dynasty league asset, Aranda could become a super sub in time.
87. Chase DeLauter, OF, Cleveland Guardians (NR): Cleveland’s first round pick last year (16th overall) had a foot injury last year that has worsened this winter, finally to be diagnosed as a fracture. DeLauter had surgery in January and will miss 4-to-5 months, which will delay his pro debut. The good news is he has an advanced college bat that should allow him to move quickly once he’s healthy.
88. Cristian Hernandez, SS, Chicago Cubs (71): We like Hernandez a bit more than other rankings — even though he slid on our list this year. He did struggle to adjust in his first season in North America last year, and simply wasn’t as feared a weapon as he’d been in his pro debut the previous season. Having said that, there’s a reason that Hernandez has been compared to the likes of Alex Rodriguez and Manny Machado, so let’s see how things go in full season ball — especially as he has another year to mature physically.
89. Brandon Pfaadt, P, Arizona Diamondbacks (NR): Pfaadt is in the mix for the fifth starter gig for the Snakes this spring after proving to be a workhorse at Double-A before finishing the season as a big winner at Triple-A. He was a bit more hittable last year, but his work at Triple-A (including a sub-1.00 WHIP and well over a K per frame) proved that he’s ready for his first crack at the big leagues.
90. Quinn Priester, P, Pittsburgh Pirates (83): Priester slipped slightly in our rankings this year, but he’s likely to make his MLB debut at some point this season. Perhaps the only reason he’s been downgraded was an injury last year that limited him to 19 starts and 90 1/3 frames pitched, and while this restricted his win total, his record wasn’t nearly as good. Still, Priester showed better control than ever, and that’s a big plus for his future prospects. He’s in Spring Training as an NRI this year and bears watching as a potential in-season waiver wire pickup.
91. Tanner Bibee, P, Cleveland Guardians (NR): Bibee landed on our rankings this year, but there are many that are more bullish on him than us. Still, it’s hard to quibble with his pro debut as he enjoyed solid hit rates at High-A and was even better at Double-A. Bibee definitely looks the part of a durable hurler, and the fact that just four other minor league pitchers last year had strikeout rates of at least 10 K/9 with walk rates under two per nine and at least 100 innings tossed sticks out as impressive. He’s clearly on the fast track and will likely make it to Triple-A this year, but may not have the ceiling of some other arms on this list.
92. Jacob Berry, 1B/3B, Miami Marlins (NR): Taken sixth overall in last year’s draft, Berry opened some eyes at training camp this spring before being sent down to minor league camp. In his pro debut, he struggled to hit in a few games at Rookie level, before performing better over the final few weeks at Class-A. All told, Berry put up some decent counting cats in his first taste of professional ball. The former LSU standout is a switch hitter who was considered among the most polished bats in the draft, so don’t be surprised to see him promoted aggressively in his first full year this season.
93. Jackson Merrill, SS, San Diego Padres (NR): The 27th overall pick from 2021 has established himself as a fine dynasty league option at shortstop after a breakout season last year — even if it was shortened by injury. Merrill proved way too good for Rookie ball after just a couple of weeks and then racked up a ton of total bases in the couple of months he spent at Class-A, flashing sweet extra-base pop, emerging fence-clearing power and tremendous BA potential. We’d like to see him pick his base stealing spots better, but assuming he can stay healthy this year, he has a chance to really move up the rankings.
94. Blaze Jordan, 1B/3B, Boston Red Sox (NR): Jordan could be Boston’s third baseman of the future, but also adds to the depth at first base, something the team sorely needs. Last year, he spent most of the season back at Class-A, racking up total bases at a better clip, and he turned it on even more after a promotion saw him spend the final month at High-A. All told, Jordan got some valuable pro experience last year and posted some impressive counting cat totals. What was most encouraging was the progress he made with his contact rate, whiffing just 16.1 per cent of the time at Class-A.
95. Logan O’Hoppe, C, Los Angeles Angels (NR): Dynasty owners really need to look into acquiring O’Hoppe after he enjoyed a massive breakout season. He started out back at Double-A, and spent most of 2022 there, showing a nice increase in his total base count. But after being dealt to the Angels in the Brandon Marsh trade O’Hoppe really took off, hitting much better over the final few weeks in their system. It’s clear he’s ready for the bigs after showing massive improvements in his walk rate; in fact, consider him among the leading AL ROY candidates for 2023.
96. Matt McLain, SS/2B, Cincinnati Reds (NR): Wow, the Reds sure have built up an impressive collection of middle infield prospects. McLain has serious speed, but is a below average fielder so is likely not going to stick at shortstop long term. Last year, he showed some nice extra-base power at Double-A, but has yet to establish himself as a consensus top 100 prospect. What intrigues us most about McLain is his combination of patience and speed as that can translate into a serious Fantasy weapon in time — whether he remains at SS or has to shift to the keystone corner.
97. Nick Yorke, 2B, Boston Red Sox (34): Yorke took a big step back last year and it’s possible injuries played a role. Did Boston make too big a reach in taking him in the first round in 2020? A stronger showing in the AFL bodes well for a recovery this year, but we’ll need to see better extra base pop and a more productive campaign in general from Yorke, or else he’ll find himself off the list in 2024.
98. Dustin Harris, OF, Texas Rangers (95): Harris moved up to Double-A last year, but was limited to 85 games thanks to a wrist woe. He didn’t hit nearly as well, and wasn’t as successful on the basepaths, but still offers an intriguing power and speed combo. Harris likely needs another season in the minors before making his MLB debut, but is definitely someone to watch this year.
99. Liover Peguero, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates (90): Peguero slipped a bit in our rankings, and now heads into a very important season that will likely dictate his future role. The good news is it sounds like he’s a more focused player now, which will be needed as he seeks to rebound from a disappointing 2022. Peguero struggled with the move to Double-A, posting underwhelming counting cats while seeing most of his power regress and his on-base skills take a bath. He did manage his first MLB hit in his brief three at-bat stint in the bigs, but we’re not expecting him to make an impact in Pittsburgh this year.
100. Deyvison De Los Santos, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks (NR): Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2019, De Los Santos could ultimately wind up at first base. Last year, he took a big step forward, showing tremendous on-base skills at Class-A, racking up tons of total bases at High-A and then getting a bit of action at Double-A over the last couple of weeks. The power and BA is there, and DDLS even showed a bit more speed last year, too, so if he can pitch in with a few swipes here and there, it’s a bonus. Given that he’s still just 19, his pop has us intrigued.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
Canadian singer Scott Merritt has been at it since the 1970s. In 1986, he released his third album, Gravity Is Mutual, which included a guest appearance by Adrian Belew (King Crimson). The lead single, “Overworked and Underpriviledged,” became his most successful radio-friendly tune.