2022 MLB Top 100 Prospects: End of Season Update

Just Baseball's end of season top 100 prospect update for 2022!

The 2022 Minor League season has wrapped up and with that a full season of prospect performances to evaluate. Not only did we update our 2022 Top 100 prospect list, but we updated the functionality of it as well.

You can now share individual prospect write ups by clicking the social media icon at the bottom of the player’s report, search by player name or team, sort by columns and we added arrows to indicate the trend of each prospect’s ranking.

To keep up with Just Baseball’s prospect content and analysis, check out our prospect podcast “The Call Up” which features detailed breakdowns on all of these prospects as well as interviews with many of them.

1. Corbin Carroll - OF - Arizona Diamondbacks

Height/Weight: 5’10’, 170 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (16), 2019 (ARI) | ETA: 2022

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An absolute speedster with phenomenal baseball instincts and a veteran’s presence in the batter’s box, Carroll is a safe bet to be a solid big leaguer with All Star potential. 

Offense

Starts almost completely upright and then proceeds to drop his weight into his back hip and sink into his back side. An elite athlete, Carroll controls his body exceptionally well, staying in his back hip and using the whole field well. His efficient bat path is quick to the ball while staying in the zone for a long time. Carroll finds the barrel easily with a swing geared for line drives, but hits the ball so hard that he is a home run threat as well.

Though Carroll played in a very hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, he has produced a max exit velocity of 111 mph and his 90th percentile exit velocity of 106.6 just edges out Christian Walker for the best mark in the D-backs organization. More bat speed than you’d expect given his small frame, leading to sneaky pop to the pull-side.

A grinder at the plate, Carroll is constantly battling and is a hard player to get out. He already has a polished approach that led to a 15% walk rate in the upper minors this season. Carroll has the ability to drive the ball with authority, but he also can slap balls into the ground with a great chance of beating them out. He is consistently clocked with sub-four second run times to first base. Carroll has the offensive profile of a top of the order catalyst who can do it all. He should be a high on base guy with a chance to hit as many as 30 home runs depending on his approach.

Defense/Speed

Carroll has the makings of an easy plus defender in center field. His 80-grade speed and 5-foot-10 frame allow him to reach his top speed relatively quickly, giving him closing speed that few others possess.

His reads are already at least big league average and the combination of his speed and efficient routes make it seem like he can get to any baseball. Due to the presence of Alek Thomas, Carroll has seen action in left in the early going of his MLB career where he is already a plus plus defender. He’s a lock to stick in center field long-term if the D-backs prefer him there over Alek Thomas. He has the upside to be a premier, Gold Glove center fielder.

Outlook

Carroll faced a lot of adversity since being drafted in 2019. A shoulder injury followed 2020’s cancelled season, delaying his development quite a bit. Carroll made up for lost time by reaching the Major Leagues in just 142 Minor League games. A testament to his polish and knack for hitting.

Already making an impact at the big league level, we still haven’t seen the best of Carroll. After all, he remarkably has only 700 professional plate appearances under his belt. Carroll has true five-tool upside with elite makeup and instincts. The D-backs could very well have their face of the franchise in Corbin Carroll.

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2. Gunnar Henderson - SS - Baltimore Orioles

Height/Weight: 6’3′, 210 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 2nd Round (42), 2019 (BAL) | ETA: 2023

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Henderson has done everything possible to improve his stock over the last two seasons. Seeing gains in just about every tool while demonstrating a veteran’s maturity at the plate, it is easy to see how the 21-year-old has become one of baseball’s best prospects.

Offense

A simple upright set up with relaxed hands, Henderson utilizes a small gathering leg kick to get into his backside and does a really good job of staying there. Aside form a slight stretch backwards, Henderson doesn’t feature much hand movement with his load, allowing him to repeat his moves and timing.

Henderson has continued to add strength since joining the Orioles organization, producing exit velocities as high as 112 mph and home runs as long as 480 feet this season. The simplicity of his swing and easy power has helped Henderson consistently tap into his exciting raw pop in games with potentially even more in the tank.

Great plate discipline and body control help Henderson remain productive against all pitch types and he uses the entire field impressively. He could probably benefit from getting the ball in the air a bit more (47% GB rate), though Henderson’s ability to hit the ball hard to all fields and above average speed should have him routinely above average in the BABIP department.

A patient hitter, Henderson has maintained a chase rate below 20% all season and should consistently get on base at an impressive clip. After really struggling through his first couple seasons left-on-left, Henderson has looked much more comfortable against lefties in the upper minors this year. There’s still room for improvement with Henderson’s splits, but when you crush righties to an OPS over 1.000, a .740 OPS vs. lefties is more than tolerable.

Defense/Speed

Long viewed as a candidate to move to third due to his size, Henderson still moves extremely well and has looked the part of an everyday shortstop. Henderson’s smooth actions and plus arm are complemented by impressive quickness for a 6-foot-3, 210 pound guy.

Though we have seen Henderson moved around the diamond in Triple-A and at the MLB level, that is more a testament to Henderson’s natural fielding ability and versatility than an inability to stick at shortstop. The 21-year-old has all of the physical goods and the instincts to be a big league average shortstop now, but also offers the ability to move all over the infield.

A well above average runner, Henderson was 22/25 on stolen base attempts in the upper minors this season and should be a threat for 15-20 stolen bases annually.

Outlook

Five tool potential with a relatively high floor, Henderson is one of baseball’s best prospects for a reason. After dominating Double-A, Henderson entered Triple-A as the level’s youngest player and continued his torrid production. The 21-year-old’s game was polished enough for the Orioles to see him as an asset to their playoff push, earning a September call up for the American League Wild Card hopefuls.

Henderson’s skillset is similar to that of Bobby Witt Jr.’s with perhaps slightly less loud tools and a more advanced approach. The Orioles will have a decision to make in regards to how they want their infield to shake out, but it is safe to assume that Henderson will be holding down the left side of their infield for the foreseeable future.

There’s perennial All Star upside with Henderson who has enough power to swat more than 30 homers while getting on base at a high clip and adding value on the base paths.

3. Grayson Rodriguez - RHP - Baltimore Orioles

Height/Weight: 6’5′, 225 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (11), 2018 (BAL) | ETA: 2022

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The best pitching prospect in baseball really does not have a weakness on the mound. A big body with three easily plus pitches and good command make it easy to see why Rodriguez is the most impressive arm in the minors. 

Arsenal

Since Rodriguez has arrived to professional baseball, he has done nothing shy of dominating. Since 2018, the 22-year-old has pitched to a 2.41 ERA across every minor league level while striking out 406 in 283 1/3 innings.

Rodriguez throws from a high ¾ arm slot with consistent, medium-effort mechanics and tons of arm speed. Rodriguez’s repertoire starts with his mid-to-upper 90’s fastball with jump. He commands the pitch well, getting whiffs at the top of the zone while working east west effectively too. The big right-hander has been able to sustain at least mid 90s velocity deep into starts.

The high velocity, riding fastball pairs with Rodriguez’s screwball of a changeup at 83-85 mph to make hitters extremely uncomfortable. Rodriguez has a phenomenal feel for his change, throwing it for strikes to both lefties and righties in any count. An easy plus plus pitch, the 12 inches of horizontal break, the pitch fades away from lefties, inducing plenty of weak contact while also diving in and under the hands of righties.

Rodriguez also features a plus slider with sharp, late bite in the low 80s that he manipulates and locates with ease. Opponents posted just a .496 OPS against the pitch this season. While Rodriguez uses his slider more than twice as much as his curveball, he has made some adjustments with the shape of the pitch, flashing plus with more depth and downward break.

Rounding out Rodriguez’s arsenal is an 89-91 mph cutter that he will mix in to get weak contact and provide a fourth speed for the hitter to worry about.

Outlook

There’s no minor league pitcher with bag of pitches as deep and as nasty as G-Rod. The different looks he can give hitters at 6-foot-5 makes at-bats miserable to say the least.

A fastball with ride, changeup with big arm-side fade, a hammer curveball that dives out of the strike zone and a cutter as a taste-breaker leaves hitters worrying about four different directions and speeds. The fact that he commands his entire arsenal so well breaches the unfair territory. The Orioles very well could have their ace as they head towards building a contender at Camden.

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4. Elly De La Cruz - SS - Cincinnati Reds

Height/Weight: 6’5′, 200 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: $65K – 2018 (CIN) | ETA: 2023

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One of the more overlooked prospects in the 2018 international free agent class, De La Cruz signed for just $65K and is looking like he could end up being one of the biggest IFA steals in years.

Offense

A switch-hitter with big time raw power, De La Cruz wowed with his impressive pop in both the Complex League and Low-A Daytona last season, but looked quite raw at the plate. The 20-year-old is still an extremely aggressive hitter, but he consistently hits the ball hard and rarely misses mistakes.

De La Cruz’s long levers and quick hands help him produce elite bat speed, registering exit velocities as high as 115 mph and homers over 500 feet. Of his two swings, De La Cruz packs more of a punch from the left side of the plate and uses the entire field a bit better. Still, the switch-hitter’s right-handed swing is not too far off and the uneven at-bats could likely play a part in one side being ahead of the other this early in his career.

Considering his present ability to impact the baseball with more room to fill out in his frame, it would not be extreme to project 80 grade power for the shortstop. The larger question in regards to De La Cruz’s ceiling is how much he is going to hit, but his ridiculously high slugging on contact and improved body control in the box bode well even if he is a fringy hitter.

The chase rates are still pretty high for De La Cruz, but he is quick enough to get to tough pitches and long enough to display impressive plate coverage. De La Cruz has a chance to be one of the most powerful switch-hitters we’ve seen.

Defense/Speed

There’s some question within the industry if De La Cruz can stick at shortstop as he physically matures, but given that he is an off the charts athlete with a rocket for an arm, added muscle and weight shouldn’t hold him back much, if at all. De La Cruz could use some refinement with his actions at short–especially his hands–which will come with more reps but he has shown the ability to make all of the throws with plenty of range thanks to his athleticism and elite arm.

De La Cruz absolutely flies. His long legs move quickly, making it seem like he is taking three steps between bases. With 14 triples since the start of last season, De La Cruz just glides around the bases in what seems like three steps per 90 feet.

The speedy shortstop has improved his base stealing drastically in 2022, getting better jumps and picking more opportune times to run. He should be a 30/30 threat at any level.

Outlook

Not only does De La Cruz possess arguably the most exciting offensive tools in Minor League Baseball, but he is already translating them into production in what really is his first full professional season. Top of the scale speed with elite power potential as a switch hitter makes De La Cruz seem like he was created in a lab. His plus arm from shortstop only adds to the allure.

Just 20 years old and already mashing in Double-A, some of the extreme risk around De La Cruz has been hedged ever-so slightly. For De La Cruz to push towards his superstar ceiling, he will need to refine his approach a bit.

Having only played just over 200 professional games, De La Cruz is ahead of the curve. If he continues to mature as a hitter, we could be looking at one of the best all-around players in baseball in a couple years.

5. Gabriel Moreno - C - Toronto Blue Jays

Height/Weight: 5’11′, 195 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $25K (2018) – TOR | ETA: 2022

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An extremely athletic catcher with an elite hit tool and solid defense, Gabriel Moreno has become one of the safest bets behind the dish in the minors. 

Offense

Upright stance with some weight on his back leg, Moreno starts his hands in a relaxed position then uses a barrel tip for timing. He is able to repeat this move remarkably well, timing it up with a simple stride. Seemingly always on time with a knack for manipulating the barrel and getting to tough pitches, Moreno has one of the best hit-tools in the minors.

The big question for Moreno has been the power. The 22-year-old seemed to be in the midst of a breakout in that department last year, launching eight homers in 32 Double-A games before a thumb injury cut his season short.

This season, Moreno has continued to mash to a high batting average, but his ground ball rate has jumped back up by more than five percent and the extra base hits have suffered as a result.

Though not the biggest guy in the world at 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, Moreno has above average power in the tank, but the challenge is tapping into it without compromising a big part of what makes him such a highly regarded prospect: his innate feel to hit.

Moreno has flashed pull side power, posting exit velocities as high as 111 mph and a respectable 90th percentile EV of 102.2 mph. He is explosive rotationally, uncorking like a rubber band on pitches middle-in. Because he has such a great feel for the barrel, Moreno is comfortable using the whole field and can spoil even the toughest of pitcher’s pitches.

With just a 12% strikeout rate in his Minor League career and the potential to hit for at least some power, Moreno should ride his elite hit-tool and solid approach to offensive success at the highest level. If Moreno is able to tap into just average game power, he could be a well-above average bat for any position, let alone catcher.

Defense/Speed

An athletic catcher, Moreno moves well behind the dish and has a quick release complemented by an above-average arm, helping him throw out 41% of attempted base stealers in Triple-A this season.

Moreno’s receiving has earned mixed reviews in the past, but he has shown enough to leave optimism in that regard. Moreno is a gamer who pitchers enjoy as a battery mate and he has steadily improved as he has compiled reps in the upper levels. It is safe to assume that Moreno could at least be an average defender with potential to be above-average with the glove.

Outlook

The Blue Jays have an interesting catching situation to say the least with the emergence of both Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen. The reality is, Moreno would likely be getting every day reps at the big league level for a large portion of MLB’s teams right now.

There are few catchers in Major League Baseball who can swing the bat as well as Moreno does while providing the athleticism that he brings to the table. Moreno is ready to be an everyday catcher at the highest level with a great chance to hit for average, get on base at a strong clip and provide at least average defense which should steadily improve as he earns more reps.

If Moreno can tap into at least average game power, we’re probably talking about one of the most well-rounded catchers in the sport.

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6. Francisco Alvarez - C - New York Mets

Height/Weight: 5’10”, 230 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $2.7M – 2018 (Mets) | ETA: 2023

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One of the best power hitting catchers we have seen in the minors in some time, Alvarez has the goods to become one of baseball’s best catchers and should arrive in Queens in early 2023.

Offense

Starting with an open stance and a toe tap to close himself off, Alvarez has some of the easiest power you’ll find in the minors. Stocky with a powerful and explosive lower half, Alvarez stays in his backside really well and controls his body throughout his load and swing.

At a solid 5-foot-10, 230 pounds, Alvarez has easy plus pop in the tank, especially to his pull side. Though he looks to do damage to his pull side, Alvarez is capable of hitting the ball to all fields with authority thanks to his ability to keep his weight back and let the ball travel.

Alvarez relied on his natural feel to hit and decent overall approach to climb all the way to Triple-A in his age 20 season, but as he got to the upper levels, his struggles with elevated heaters were exploited a bit. A 30% chase rate and and even higher high in-zone whiff rate on four-seamers has resulted in him seeing more of them, but there are plenty of good hitters who have blue zones up there, they’re just better at laying off those pitches (see: Mike Trout).

Alvarez has put his big time power on display this season, crushing home runs as far as 452 feet and as hard as 113 mph off of the bat. With his elite power/bat speed and ability to crush pitches belt high and below, Alvarez has been able to slug through his struggles with consistency in Triple-A. That said, he will need to improve his struggles with the high heat to reach his sky-high ceiling.

Defense/Speed

A grinder behind the dish, Alvarez has continued to improve defensively as he has progressed through the minors. Despite often being the youngest player on the field, Alvarez looks the part as a catcher and earns high marks for his desire to improve as a defender.

Alvarez’s arm is easily plus and he has honed in on his accuracy this year, throwing out 28% of base stealers in the upper levels (a figure that has progressively gotten better as the year has gone on). Lacking blocking fundamentals earlier in his career, Alvarez has made huge strides in preventing passed balls as well as receiving. He should almost surely stick behind home plate and could be an average defender or slightly better at the highest level.

Outlook

There is just so much to dream on with a prospect like Alvarez. He has a chance to not only be baseball’s best power-hitting catchers, but to also be one of the game’s better power hitters period. With improving defense and the makeup/work ethic to encourage belief that he will keep getting better in that regard, Alvarez has a chance to be a well-rounded backstop with elite offense upside.

It would not be crazy to expect Alvarez to break in with the Mets early next season and while there may be some swing and miss in the early stages of his MLB career, his swing is just too good and too quick for whiffs to permanently hold him down. The Mets could very well have their best catcher since Mike Piazza.

7. Eury Perez - RHP - Miami Marlins

Age: 19 | Height/Weight: 6’8, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $200K, 2020 (MIA) | ETA: 2023

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A wunderkind who towers at 6-foot-8, Perez has floored scouts and opponents alike with his ability to command the strike zone and repeat his mechanics on top of his nasty stuff.

Perez his one of the favorites to take over the “best pitching prospect in baseball” title upon Grayson Rodriguez’s graduation.

Arsenal

Put simply, Perez is a unicorn. Looking like he should be working on his finishing around the rim rather than carving hitters up, the 6-foot-8 Eury Perez impressed the Marlins brass so much in 2021 and 2022 Spring Training that he was assigned to Double-A to start the season at just 18 years old.

A slow, controlled windup that exudes little effort, Perez takes his time before he whips in his mid-90’s heater with ridiculous arm speed. We saw Perez’s plus fastball consistently eclipse over 2,500 RPM, boasting a ton of life. Perez generates easy extension thanks to his ridiculously long levers, causing the ball to get in on hitters quickly. 

Perez has also shown a good feel for his above-average breaking balls, with the slider leading the way. Flashing plus in the 86-88 mph range, Perez’s sharp, late breaking slider is difficult for hitters to differentiate from his fastball until it is too late.

The second breaking ball for Perez is an above-average curveball in the low 80s. Perez is comfortable throwing it for a strike and has sharpened the offering since last season.

Perez’s changeup gives him a third plus offering, also working off of his fastball really well to lefties. Like many young, hard-throwing pitchers, Perez can at times be a bit too firm with the offering, but when he’s feeling it, it can be a true swing-and-miss pitch to lefties and righties with plenty of late arm side fade.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Perez is his command. A 6-foot-8 19-year-old who has a good feel for four pitches sounds like a player you would create in MLB the Show.

Perez presently has above-average command with a great chance to reach the plus territory in that regard.

Outlook

To put a ceiling on Perez would be ridiculous. As one of the youngest players at each stop, the 19-year-old has often looked like the most polished both with his ability to pitch and demeanor on the mound.

Perez’s ability to repeat his mechanics for such a young, tall, and long pitcher should have the Marlins dreaming of a second Sandy Alcantara.

His delivery is so effortless that there may be even more velocity in the tank. If it all works out, we are looking at a potential Cy Young(s) winner. Perez essentially has the floor of a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

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8. Jordan Walker - OF - St. Louis Cardinals

Height/Weight: 6’5, 220 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (21), 2020 (STL) | ETA: 2023

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Already built like a linebacker at 20 years old, Walker has hedged early swing and miss concerns by simply mashing as one of the youngest players at every stop. He’s a pretty darn good athlete too.

Offense

Standing at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Walker does not require much effort to get into his plus plus raw power. Starting with an upright stance before sinking into his back leg to get into his powerful lower half, Walker effortlessly explodes through the baseball.

Walker starts slightly open with his stance and does not close himself off totally, sometimes even stepping in the bucket a bit. Even though his front shoulder can leave the ball a bit earlier than desired, he keeps his weight back and his bat stays in the zone for so long that he has no problem pulverizing fastballs. Walker will have the tendency pull off of well-located breaking stuff, but he rarely misses mistakes allowing him to remain productive against curves and sliders in the minors.

When a player punishes heaters to a .360/.450/.640 slash line with little whiff like Walker did this season, it’s easy to believe in his swing path playing at the highest level, he will just need to find a way to stay on secondaries a hair longer to push towards his cathedral ceiling.

When Walker is staying behind the baseball and driving it with authority to all fields, one can’t help but think of a young Aaron Judge. As one of the youngest players in Double-A, Walker launched 19 homers in 119 games while hitting .306/.388/.510. While there’s definitely some whiff in Walker’s game at this point, he only struck out 21.6% of the time this season because of his ability to punish fastballs while rarely missing mistakes of any pitch type.

Walker has the upside of one of the most consistent power-hitters in baseball and the more games he plays, the more possible it seems that he can reach somewhere near his ceiling.

Defense/Speed

A great athlete for his size, Walker has held his own at third base, but with his rapid rise through the minors and Nolan Arenado manning third for the Cardinals for the foreseeable future, Walker has seen reps at all three outfield spots.

Walker’s average speed and elite arm and give him the potential to play an above average right field once he gets comfortable out there. In the early going, Walker has struggled a bit with his reads, but his work ethic and athletic ability lend plenty of reason to believe that he can blossom into a solid outfielder.

Though not a burner, Walker is an average runner who gets great jumps on the bases. After swiping 14 bags on 16 tries last year, Walker was 22/27 on SB attempts in 2022. Much like his future teammate Paul Goldschmidt, Walker should be able to surprise the defense for 10-15 stolen bases per year.

Outlook

Swing and miss concerns deterred teams from taking Walker in the front half of 2020’s first round, though Walker has done nothing but hit since going pro. Despite being one of the youngest players at each level he reaches, Walker seems to get better each time he’s promoted.

Set to begin next season in Triple-A as a 20-year-old, it is very possible that we see Walker fast-tracked to the big leagues much like 2019 first-rounder Nolan Gorman. Walker will need to improve against spin and get more comfortable in the outfield, which is exactly why the Cardinals are sending him to the Arizona Fall League.

Walker has 40+ homer upside with at least an average hit tool and solid complementary skills to provide value beyond his potentially special bat.

9. Diego Cartaya - C - Los Angeles Dodgers

Height/Weight: 6’3, 220 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: 2018 – LAD ($2.5M) | ETA: 2024

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A prized international free agent, Cartaya signed for $2.5 million as a 16-year-old in 2018. After impressing at the complex, Cartaya was off to a phenomenal start to his 2021 season in Low-A before an injury cut him to just 31 games. Cartaya picked up where he left off in 2022 with another great offensive season while impressing with his polish behind the plate.

Offense

Relaxed setup with a small leg kick, Cartaya made a slight adjustment with his hands this season, starting them a bit further back in his stance to make his hand load as simple as possible. A strong hitter with plenty of raw bat speed, Cartaya produces impressive exit velocities with ease along with a swing that is built for lift and carry.

Cartaya has plus power to his pull side and at times will try to yank the ball that way, causing him to spin off of softer stuff, especially from lefties. It seems to be more of an approach thing than a swing that is geared for the pull as he has shown plenty of comfort going the other way with authority, launching five homers to the opposite field and plenty of extra base hits.

With 32 homers in his last 125 Minor League games, there is no doubting Cartaya’s power potential. He is a pretty patient hitter who has walked at a 14% clip over that same timespan. While there is some present whiff for Cartaya, he controls his body well, repeating his moves in the box. The tendency to get a bit long and pull happy, will be something to monitor as he ascends to the upper minors, however his body control and solid chase rates give him a good chance to develop into an average hitter.

Defense/Speed

Already earning high marks for the way he commands a game behind the dish, Cartaya is an incredibly cerebral catcher who pitchers love to throw to. He is athletic, moving and blocking well behind the dish.

Like many young catching prospects, Cartaya could use some improvement in the receiving department, but has steadily improved in that department. The Venezuela native has a plus arm and should be an above-average all-around catcher, along with great intangibles. 

Outlook

Already one of the game’s best catching prospects, Cartaya made up for lost time with a monster 2022 season. A blend of power, defense and intangibles have Cartaya reminding many of Salvador Perez. He will likely begin 2023 in Double-A with a chance to debut in 2024.

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10. Andrew Painter - RHP - Philadelphia Phillies

Height/Weight: 6’7′, 220 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (13), 2021 (PHI) | ETA: 2023

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The top prep pitching prospect in the 2021 draft, Painter is a wunderkind who is tall enough to play forward on the hardwood, young enough to be a college freshman, and yet is polished enough to pound the strike zone with multiple plus pitches.

Arsenal

Possessing a four pitch mix that rivals any pitching prospect in baseball, Painter has dominated hitters mostly with his 70 grade fastball that sits 95-97 mph and has been clocked as high as 101 mph. The pitch really explodes out of Painter’s hand with tons of life, boasting more than 18 inches of induced vertical break which has helps him generate some of the best in zone whiff rates in the minors.

Painter’s second plus pitch is his 81-83 mph sweeping slider. The pitch tunnels well off of his riding fastball boasting late, sharp bite away from right-handers. While he mostly uses the slider against same-handed hitters, he has also showed plenty of comfort burying the pitch on the back leg of lefties and has continued to use it more frequently in early counts to steal strikes.

The go-to put-away pitch against lefties for Painter has been his above-average curveball in the upper 70s. The 19-year-old has improved the shape of the pitch, ensuring that it does not blend with his slider and offering much more downward bite.

The fourth pitch for Painter is a changeup that has flashed above-average in the upper 80s. He has rarely needed to use the pitch in the lower levels, but continues to use it more frequently as faces stiffer competition.

The changeup was a focus for Painter heading into this season, improving his command of the pitch as well as the improved arm side fade that it now features. Not only does the changeup give Painter a rare fourth speed, but it also gives him a fourth movement direction which is a tunneling nightmare for hitters.

Outlook

The fact that Painter commands his elite stuff with such precision for a 19-year-old giant truly is remarkable. Painter’s strike% has hovered around 67% all season long while he continues to rely on his fastball less as he gains confidence in his strong secondaries.

Painter is a rare talent who is looking increasingly likely to make his big league debut before he can legally buy a beer. The Phillies could very well have their next generation ace in Painter as he continues to exceed even the loftiest of expectations.

11. Jackson Chourio - OF - Milwaukee Brewers

Height/Weight: 6’1’, 170 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $1.8M – 2021 (MIL) | ETA: 2024

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Chourio has wasted no time getting acclimated to baseball stateside. After putting up good numbers in the DSL last year, Chourio tore through Low-A pitching this season and has kept it rolling in High-A as an 18-year-old. Chourio’s tools are immense, and he’s way more advanced than his peers.

Offense

A twitchy, explosive athlete, Chourio generates plus bat speed with relative ease. Chourio’s load is simple, picking his heel up while focusing on shifting his weight onto his back side. Not the biggest of frames, much Chourio’s pop comes from his powerful lower half and rotational power. 

As a result, Chourio can get a bit out of control at times and pull off the ball. That said, Chourio has shown plenty of comfort going the other way with authority and as he matures as a hitter, I expect his 51% pull rate to improve.

Already posting a max exit velocity of 109 MPH at 18 years old and plenty of 105+ MPH liners this season, Chourio is flashing above-average power has a chance to tap into plus power as he fills out a bit more. 

An aggressive hitter, Chourio’s 33% chase rate has limited his ability to take free passes, but thanks to how quick Chourio is to the ball, he rarely misses fastballs, mashing to an OPS over 1.100 against them. As Chourio improves with his patience and approach, he should develop into an above average hitter with plus raw power. 

Defense/Speed

A 70-grade runner who already gets excellent jumps in center field, Chourio has the potential to be an elite defender up the middle. His routes and overall comfort in the outfield makes it easy to forget that he is just 18 years old. 

Despite his top-of-the-line speed, Chourio is still getting his feet wet as a base stealer. As he gets more experienced on the base paths, Chourio should easily be able to steal 20+ bags per season. 

Outlook

The only 18-year-old in High-A, Chourio has relied on natural ability and impressive athleticism to keep up with competition that is on average more than four years older than him. Elite speed and defensive potential in centerfield with an offensive skillset to dream on, Chourio has a lot of similarities to Michael Harris II, including how young he could possibly debut. 

Assuming Chourio continues to mature as a hitter, he has 30/30 upside while playing center field at an extremely high level.

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12. Anthony Volpe - SS - New York Yankees

Height/Weight: 5’11, 180 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (30), 2019 (NYY) | ETA: 2023

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Arguably 2021’s biggest breakout prospect got off to a brutally slow start this season before kicking things in gear the rest of the way. Volpe can do it all, impacting the game in countless ways along with elite makeup.

Offense

Volpe worked hard to tap into more power ahead of the 2021 season and has developed into a hitter who squeezes out every ounce of his raw power in games. The exit velocities are slightly above average at best, but Volpe lifts the ball as much as any hitter in the minors while generating a ton of carry.

The 21-year-old’s set up and swing is reminiscent of Nolan Arenado, starting with his hands somewhat high while using the same unique timing mechanism that starts with the back heel actually coming off of the ground before rocking backwards and picking up his front foot.

This is likely a cue to get into his back hip and Volpe does a fantastic job of just that. Volpe stores plenty of energy in his back side with his hovering leg kick before unleashing his explosive lower half and bat speed.

Ahead of his years in the maturity department at the plate, Volpe commands his at bats with comfort and rarely chases. He uses the whole field well while leveraging his hitter’s counts to look to do a bit more damage. Volpe has the goods to blend a plus hit tool with plus game power.

Defense/Speed

Much like his offensive game, Volpe’s instincts help him maximize his tools. His arm is average and the range is slightly above average, but he makes all of the plays and seems to always be in the right spot. He is extremely accurate with his throws as well.

An above average runner, Volpe does not need elite speed to be a menace on the base paths. In his 110 Double-A games, Volpe swiped 44 bags on 50 tries and started his Triple-A career 4 for 4 on stolen base attempts.

Outlook

Volpe brings just about everything you want to the table from a baseball player. With above average tools across the board and the work ethic, instincts and makeup to maximize those tools, it’s no surprise that the 21-year-old has been able to fly through the minors.

Already reaching Triple-A by the end of the 2022 season, Volpe is eyeing a 2023 debut at which point he may never look back. The Yankees feel like they have their shortstop of the future and they have every reason to think so.

13. Ricky Tiedemann - LHP - Toronto Blue Jays

Height/Weight: 6’4′, 220 | Bat/Throw: R/L | 3rd Round (85)- 2021 | ETA: 2023

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A well-regarded prospect out of high school, Tiedemann’s asking price was not met in 2020 and he opted to go the JuCo route with his eyes on the 2021 Draft. Tiedemann made major strides in his season at Golden West JC, prompting the Jays to take him in the third round. Tiedemann has continued his kicked it into another gear since going pro, quickly looking like one of the best left-handed pitching prospects in baseball.

Arsenal

Throwing from a low arm slot, Tiedemann generates a ton of arm speed allowing his already impressive arsenal to play up. The southpaw has three impressive offerings but the combination of his plus fastball and plus changeup has helped him carve up more experienced hitters.

Tiedemann’s fastball sits 94-96 MPH, topping at 98 with elite spin and a ton of arm-side run. The pitch really jumps out of his hand from the low release point and gets on hitters quickly. Tiedemann maintains his arm speed really well with his plus changeup, making it really difficult to differentiate out of his hand. The change sits in the mid 80s with roughly 18 inches of arm side fade.

The southpaw used his slider more frequently as the season went on, adjusting the shape of the pitch a bit which allowed him to land it for a strike more frequently along with more desired movement. An average pitch coming into the season, Tiedemann’s improvement with the slider has it looking closer to above average while flashing plus.

A big guy at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Tiedemann can struggle at times to sync up his mechanics, but still maintained a walk rate below 10% and should at least grow into average command. The 20-year-old is difficult to game plan for as a hitter because of his willingness to use both of his off speed pitches against both lefties and righties.

Naturally, Tiedemann favors his slider against lefties and changeup against righties, but he will still mix his slider in against righties around 20% of the time with success and the change around 10% of the time with success against lefties.

Outlook

There are few pitchers in the prospect world with more helium than Ricky Tiedemann. Reaching Double-A before his 20th birthday, Tiedemann is on a fast track to the big leagues. The Jays want to be careful with building him up as he threw just 38 innings in JuCo last year.

Nearly 90 innings in his first professional season while climbing three levels is a great milestone to hit. He will likely begin next season in Double-A with a chance to jump up to Triple-A relatively quickly after already looking strong in his cameo with New Hampshire at the end of the season.

Tiedemann has the goods to be a strong No. 2 option if he keeps trending the way he has. If his command backs up a bit, he is a likely middle of the rotation arm, but it is hard to bet against his pitch mix, built-in deception and size.

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14. Ezequiel Tovar - SS - Colorado Rockies

Height/Weight: 6’0, 170 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $800K – 2017 (COL) | ETA: 2023

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One of the younger players in Double-A, Tovar’s elite defensive ability and solid feel to hit has allowed him to play above his age-level at every stop. Still a glove-first prospect, Tovar is trending more towards being an all-around shortstop than a defensive specialist.

Offense

An athletic hitter who really gets into his legs, Tovar uses the ground well to generate more power than you’d expect and his wide, crouched stance helps him keep his weight back and control his body well.

Tovar has a compact swing and uses the whole field well thanks to his barrel and body control. It is tough to beat Tovar because of his willingness to stay inside the baseball and go the other way while also possessing enough bat speed to turn on pitches middle in–especially in hitter’s counts. The 20-year-old is extremely mature at the plate and leverages his favored counts really well, looking for a pitch that he can get the head of the bat out on and rarely missing the mistakes.

Power may not be a focal point of Tovar’s game, but an improved ability to pick his spots to let it eat and increased strength have him looking like a guy who can hit 15-20 homers despite a mostly gap-to-gap approach that will produce more doubles.

Defense/Speed

As ridiculous as it sounds, sometimes it seems like Tovar was born to play shortstop. His footwork is great, his actions are smooth, his arm is plus and he has the instincts of a 10-year veteran. Tovar has Gold Glove potential at the position and is already showing it by being one of the best defenders in Double-A at 20 years old.

A plus runner, Tovar has improved in translating his speed into stolen bases. After swiping just three bags in 32 High-A games last year, Tovar has already racked up 17 stolen bases through his first 65 Double-A games.

Outlook

After a rough finish to his 2021 season in High-A which carried into Arizona Fall League struggles, much of Tovar’s perceived momentum was stifled heading into 2022. As a result, the prospect was not on a ton of radars on Opening Day.

Of course, that has since changed and every time I watch Tovar play, I come away more confident that he will be a good big leaguer. It’s easy to see that when you have a prospect like Tovar mashing Double-A pitching at the age of 20, but what is impressive to me is the way he can impact games even when he isn’t mashing.

The elite defense, improved ability to get on base and integration of speed into game value has made Tovar a high floor prospect whose ceiling is difficult to peg for all the right reasons. A 20/20 shortstop with gold glove defense is the hope here, and Tovar seems to inch closer to that outcome each day.

15. Daniel Espino - RHP - Cleveland Guardians

| Height/Weight: 6’2, 205 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (24), 2019 (CLE) | ETA: 2023

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After a lights-out 2021 season, Espino was off to an even better start in 2022 before a knee issue cut his season to just four starts.

Arsenal

Espino’s arsenal could go toe-to-toe with any pitcher in the minors and his fastball leads the way. The right-hander’s heater sits 96-98 MPH, reaching triple digits consistently. Thanks to Espino’s low release point and elite life (21 inches of induced vertical break), he was able to pick up a ton of swinging strikes up in the zone and freeze hitters at the knees.

Since the start of the 2021 season, Espino has recorded a 16 percent swinging strike rate on his fastball, one of the best clips in professional baseball. Expanding to the rest of his stuff, Espino posted the second best swinging strike rate among qualified pitchers in the minors in 2021 at 20.2%, behind only Spencer Strider of the Braves.

Of his off-speed offerings, Espino’s slider is his strongest. The pitch sits in the upper 80s, occasionally touching 90 MPH. Espino does a great job of repeating his tough release point across all of his pitches, making it difficult for the hitter to differentiate what’s coming out of his hand. By the time they realize the slider is coming, it’s too late. The pitch has sharp, late break, darting away from right-handed hitters and tying up left-handed hitters.

While he is still working to command it, Espino’s changeup is an exciting third offering with plus potential. Working off of his elite fastball, the changeup will play up, but the pitch itself is nasty. While a hitter is worrying about 98 with life, Espino could mix in 88 with around 13-15 inches of horizontal movement fading away from left-handed hitters.

Espino’s fourth offering is a curveball that he will mix in to steal strikes in the upper 70s. The pitch can be above average and provides a rare look from Espino that isn’t in the upper 80s or upper 90s.

Outlook

A really physical 6-foot-2, 205 pound right-hander, Espino uses his body really well and has clean mechanics. The 21-year-old has progressed with his command nicely and had only walked four batters in his first four starts in 2022 while striking out 35.

Improving his strike throwing consistency was as simple as finding a more consistent landing spot for Espino given his explosive lower half. As Espino improved on his command, his strikeout rates continued to rise through the 2021 season and into 2022.

The lost 2022 season is upsetting, but at 21 years old and already in Double-A, Espino was ahead of schedule. Assuming Espino is healthy, he is talented enough to start next season in Triple-A with a chance of breaking into the big leagues at some point next season. The sky is the limit for the former first-rounder who has ace stuff and commands it well.

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16. James Wood - OF - Washington Nationals

Height/Weight: 6’7′, 220 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 2nd Round (62) – 2021 (SD) | ETA: 2025

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James Wood could wind up being one of the steals of the 2021 Draft. Signed away from Mississippi State for twice the slot value at $2.6M, he has top of the scale power potential in a surprisingly athletic XXL frame.

Offense

Wood has a quiet upright set up, with simple pre-swing moves that are easier for him to repeat with his long levers. After showing flashes of his ability at the complex last year, Wood made some small tweaks to get his lower half more involved and has started to tap into his elite raw power.

Wood’s lower half adjustability is extremely impressive for a player of his stature, as is his barrel control. Despite standing at 6-foot-7, Woods’ ability to repeat his pre-swing moves and barrel adjustability has helped him limit the whiffs. Not only is Wood striking out at a low clip through the early stages of his pro career, but his in-zone whiff rates are impressively low.

There’s probably even more room for strength with the 19-year-old which is absurd considering the fact that he has already hit a ball 114 mph this year and boasts a 90th percentile exit velocity of 110 mph.

Boasting the ability to leave the yard foul pole to foul pole, Wood has a chance to develop into elite power paired with bat-to-ball skills that most wouldn’t expect with his profile.

Defense/Speed

A good athlete, Wood played basketball as well before moving down to Florida to focus on baseball (smart move). Wood is an above-average runner with an above=average arm. His long strides help him close in on the baseball in the outfield, which has helped Wood actually look pretty good in the early going in center field. Should Wood move to a corner, he would be an above-average defender there.

Outlook

There have been few players with Woods’ profile, so projecting a player like him is extremely difficult. Wood has as much upside as any prospect in baseball and his relatively advanced feel to hit for his age/experiences hedges the extreme perceived risk.

Impressive knowledge of the strike zone and the ability to play all three outfield spots have him looking like a potential Aaron Judge type of talent, but for every Judge there are dozens of John Mayberry Jr.’s.

That said, the more James Wood I see, the more belief I have that he can be closer to Judge than Mayberry.

17. Kyle Harrison - LHP - San Francisco Giants

Height/Weight: 6’2′, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/L | 3rd Round (85)- 2020 | ETA: 2023

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In a 2020 MLB Draft dominated by college arms, the Giants were able to entice prep southpaw Kyle Harrison to forgo his UCLA commitment with a $2.5 million signing bonus. The Giants like to target naturally deceptive arms with unique pitch profiles, and Harrison fits the bill quite perfectly. Harrison has dominated his way through the minors from the jump.

Arsenal 

An athletic pitcher with a tough, low release point, Harrison naturally makes for an extremely uncomfortable at bat, but his plus stuff makes things that much harder for opposing hitters. Harrison’s plus fastball is his best pitch. It sits 93-95 MPH, topping out at 97.

The pitch’s perceived velocity is closer to the upper-90s thanks to Harrison’s low release point and high spin rates. Averaging nearly 2400 RPM’s from a high three-quarters release, Harrison features a lot of life on his fastball with run as well from a spot that is difficult to pick up out of the hand.

Harrison’s slider gives him a second plus pitch in the low 80s with two-plane break. Opponents hit just .167 against the pitch this season and it is sharp enough to be a weapon against both lefties and righties.

Harrison’s above-average changeup worked in tandem with his fastball to make at-bats extremely difficult on opposite-handed hitters. Though the pitch can be inconsistent, it boasts 17 inches of horizontal movement which can be devastating for right-handed hitters given how difficult it can be to pick up the ball out of his hand from his slingshot release.

Outlook

Already succeeding in Double-A before his 21st birthday, Harrison is on a fast track to the big leagues. With three viable offerings and built-in deception, the last piece for Harrison is his command. His walk rates marginally improved in 2022, but he will need to find a way to more consistently repeat his mechanics to reach his frontline ceiling.

Even with command issues, Harrison gets enough whiffs to be a high strikeout middle of the rotation arm who may struggle with consistency. Given Harrison’s athleticism and ability to get outs already in the upper minors, I’ll bet on him being closer to the frontline starter outcome.

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18. Triston Casas - 1B - Boston Red Sox

Height/Weight: 6’4′, 240 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (26), 2018 (BOS) | ETA: 2022

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The rare high floor/ceiling combination for a big bodied power hitter, Casas boasts 30+ home run potential with an innate feel to hit and plus makeup.

Offense

Big body with long levers and tremendous strength throughout his frame, Casas deploys a small hovering leg kick that is very slow and controlled and allows him to maintain incredible balance throughout every swing. His strength and long arms allow him to generate plus bat speed whip with plus-plus raw power. Capable of doing damage to all parts of the ballpark and should have no issue flicking pitches on the outer half off of the green monster in left. 

Despite his long levers, Casas has a very short stroke designed to be as short to the ball as possible. The swing itself is somewhat reminiscent of Freddie Freeman due to the ability of using a short swing with a big frame.

Casas’ professional approach should help him develop into an above average hitter. He already understands how to use the count to dictate his approach, with most of his damage coming while he’s ahead in the count and an innate ability to battle and spray the ball when he’s behind.

He chokes up and widens out with two strikes and simply looks to put the ball in play rather than do damage and often still winds up doing damage because of elite raw power. Casas is still working to tap into his light-tower power more consistently in games and injuries over the last couple seasons have like effected that.

Casas has already hit home runs as far as 472 feet and has the ability to mishit baseballs that still leave the yard. Left-handed pitching has given Casas some trouble in the upper-levels and is something to monitor, however his polish at the plate and unteachable raw power lend to the belief that he can develop into at least an average hitter left on left.

There is just so much offensive upside to dream on with Casas and though he has struggled in the early parts of his MLB debut, the 22-year-old has 30+ homer upside while getting on base at a high clip.

Defense

Casas’ massive build limits him to first base, where he moves well and already excels at picking and has solid footwork around the bag. His arm is easily plus, however his near bottom of the scale speed would make a transition to the outfield difficult. He has the agility to be an above-average defender at first, especially for his size. 

Outlook

Casas has the classic look of a slugging first baseman capable of producing runs in bunches. While the power is immense, the advanced approach and adjustability of his swing gives him more upside than your prototypical power hitter.

Injuries and 2020’s cancelled season have limited Casas to just 284 Minor League games since being drafted in the first round of 2018’s draft. A meticulous worker who earns high marks for his work ethic and makeup, Casas will surely benefit from his big league reps at the end of the 2022 season and should be a favorite to man first base for the Red Sox on Opening Day next year.

Slashing .281/.389/.500 in his 76 MiLB games this season, Casas provided a barometer of what we can expect from him at the big league level once he is fully developed. Maybe with even more power.

19. Brett Baty - 3B - New York Mets

Age: 22 | Height/Weight: 6’3’, 210 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (12) – 2019 (NYM) | ETA: 2023

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Baty enjoyed a power breakout in 2022, climbing his way from Double-A to the big leagues before unfortunately going down with a season-ending thumb injury.

Offense

Some of the easier power you’ll see in the minors, Baty requires little movement to get into his plus raw power. It was never really a matter of hitting the ball hard for Baty, who has produced impressive exit velocities since entering pro ball, though high ground ball rates impeded his ability to consistently slug.

An inconsistent lower half led to an extremely high 57% ground ball rate last season, limiting him to just 13 homers in 116 games between High-A and Double-A. Baty made some small tweaks to sync up his upper body and lower-half, slashing his ground ball rate by more than 10%.

Baty’s swing is smooth and his barrel stays in the zone for a long time, helping him use the entire field well. The left-handed hitter has shown plenty of comfort shooting balls the other way when he is behind in the count, but also had no problem leaving the yard to left field, launching eight oppo homers this season.

The 22-year-old has looked more comfortable against lefties as he has progressed through the minors, posting a respectable .781 OPS against southpaws this season. Baty is quick to the ball and repeats his moves well, helping him crush fastballs to an OPS over 1.000 in the minors this season. A well rounded hitter who is continuing to tap into his plus raw power, Baty has a chance to slug 30 homers with a good enough approach to get on base at an above average clip.

Defense/Speed

Initially looking shaky in the early parts of his professional career, Baty worked hard to improve his footwork and agility and the improvements became noticeable in games. Baty has a plus arm and is confident making difficult throws. While his range is still closer to average there’s no doubts in his ability to play the hot corner.

An average runner at best, Baty is not much of a base stealer, swiping only eight bags in his 237 minor league games.

Outlook

A well-rounded hitter with plus power to dream on, Baty has long been considered one of baseball’s best third base prospects for good reason. Baty’s stock has continued to rise as he has hedged his weaknesses and tapped into his strengths as he has progressed through his career. adjustments Baty has made to tap into more power.

Minimizing defensive concern at third while driving the ball in the air with more consistency and authority at the upper levels has Baty looking like one of baseball’s safer prospects while still maintaining All Star upside. The Mets likely have their third baseman for 2023 and beyond in Baty.

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20. Jordan Lawlar - SS - Arizona Diamondbacks

Jordan Lawlar – SS – Arizona Diamondbacks

Height/Weight: 6’2, 185 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (6), 2021 (ARI) | ETA: 2024

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Long viewed as a candidate to be selected first overall in 2021’s MLB Draft, Lawlar was the most well-rounded prep prospect in the class and has proved it by climbing all the way to Double-A in his first full professional season.

Offense

Sets up in a medium base with an equal weight distribution, Lawlar uses a gathering leg kick along with a barrel tip for timing before unleashing a lightning quick stroke.

The swing produces more quickness than raw bat speed, but there is more bat speed to come as he adds strength. Lawlar’s feel to hit and approach rivals any bat from his draft class, showcasing a impressive bat-to-ball skills and an advanced knowledge of the strike zone as one of the youngest hitters at each level his has jumped to.

Lawlar very rarely looks sped up or fooled in the box and it always looks like he is in control of the at-bat. He has a tendency to get big in plus counts, similar to most young hitters, but it almost certainly won’t be a problem as he matures. Lawlar shows an advanced ability to use the whole field with authority while being able to just throw his hands at a pitch with two strikes and use his speed to leg one out when he is fooled.

The power is the bigger question mark, as he may never be physically imposing. With that being said, he already flashes average power to his pull side and as he adds strength, he could provide 20 homer pop on an annual basis. Lawlar’s advanced feel to hit and developing power give him great upside in the batter’s box. He fits the profile of the modern leadoff hitter to a tee. 

Defense

Lawlar is an elite athlete with quick-twitch actions on the defensive side of the ball. There are no questions about his ability to stick at shortstop, and his range, hands, and plus arm lead us to believe he could potentially compete for Gold Gloves.

He’s also a plus plus runner who will flash elite home-to-first times. The defensive tools are loud and he should impact the game with his glove and legs on a nightly basis. 

Outlook

Lawlar is an exciting blend of polish and projection. His present feel to hit is extremely advanced as are his defensive tools. How much power he will generate is the biggest question that will ultimately determine his ceiling but 16 homers in 99 games between Low-A, High-A and Double-A is a great sign.

Lawlar has the ceiling of a perennial All-Star capable of impacting the game in a variety of ways. If he can tap into 20 home-run power at the highest level, we could see shades of Trea Turner. That said, his defensive ability, relatively advanced bat and dynamic speed give him a high floor at shortstop.

21. Marcelo Mayer - SS - Boston Red Sox

Height/Weight: 6’3, 190 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (4), 2021 (BOS) | ETA: 2024

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A favorite to be selected first overall in the 2021 MLB Draft, Mayer surprisingly fell to the Red Sox with the fourth selection. A well-rounded game with monster offensive upside, Mayer has already shown a solid feel to hit with still plenty of physical projection.

Offense

A sweet left-handed swing with a ton of whip, Mayer hit the ball hard and can spray it all over. Starting with his weight slightly stacked on his back leg, Mayer uses a barrel tip for timing along with a stride. While the barrel tip can potentially disrupt timing, Mayer gets slotted early which helps hedge that issue.

The combination of Mayer’s impressive body control and smooth swing that lives in the zone has helped him hit all types of offerings well. Mayer posted impressive splits this season, slashing .296/.385/.519 against left-handed pitchers.

While there is more room to fill out for Mayer, he is already tapping into above average raw power with a 90th percentile exit velocity of nearly 104 MPH. There’s some zone whiff for Mayer as his swing can get long on him at times, but his strong approach, splits and body control point towards an above average hit tool in the future. Already producing a bit more thump than expected, Mayer has a chance to develop into plus power as well.

Defense/Speed

Though not a great runner, Mayer moves pretty well at shortstop and has all of the goods to be an above average defender there. A plus arm, soft hands, good footwork and clean actions give Mayer a great chance to stick at the position even if he fills out a little bit. If he does need to move to third eventually, Mayer would be a plus defender there.

Outlook

It was a great first full season for Mayer in just about every aspect. The 19-year-old produced impressive offensive numbers between Low-A and High-A while providing reason to believe that he can stick at shortstop longterm.

Launching 13 homers and 45 extra base hits in 91 games this year, Mayer should grow into plus power as he fills out his projectable frame. Still probably two years from Fenway Park, Mayer could have a claim as one of baseball’s best overall prospects by the end of next year. There’s 30+ homer pop to dream on with good on base skills and staying power at short.

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22. Pete Crow-Armstrong - OF - Chicago Cubs

Height/Weight: 6’0′, 185 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 1st Round (19), 2020 (CHC) | ETA: 2024

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Acquired in the Javier Báez deal from the Mets last season, Crow-Armstrong missed all but six games of his 2021 campaign due to a shoulder injury. An advanced feel to swing the bat and elite defensive potential have PCA making up for lost time this season.

Offense

Due to 2020’s pandemic and an injury that wiped out Crow-Armstrong’s 2021 season, we were left not totally knowing what to expect from the former first-rounder this season. What became abundantly clear rather quickly was the fact that PCA has a bit more to him than many were giving him credit for around the time he was traded straight up for Javier Báez.

PCA starts with an upright stance before sinking into his backside as he gets his hands into a launch position. The move is simple and the 20-year-old repeats it with ease, which helps him be on time frequently.

A smooth, level swing that is geared for line drives, PCA has shown plenty of comfort spraying the ball all over the field. An area where he has surprised a bit more is the pull-side power department. Crow-Armstrong already has nine homers on the season and has recorded exit velocities of 107 mph on several occasions this year. Still with some room to fill out a bit and twitchy athleticism and bat speed which allow him to turn on pitches middle in with authority, 20+ home runs is not out of the question for the newly-turned 20-year-old.

Given the confidence that PCA has in his ability to put bat on ball, he can get a bit swing happy at times. Like many young hitters, the high fastball has been an area of temptation that he has succumbed to, though I expect the talented hitter to quell his aggressiveness against better pitching in High-A.

Defense/Speed

A plus runner with great instincts, PCA makes an impact both on the base paths and in the field with his legs. Defensively, Crow-Armstrong has a chance to be a Gold Glover in center field. His reads are great, as are his jumps and there’s no doubt about his closing speed. An above-average arm is just the icing on the cake for a guy who should command the outfield as well as anyone in the business once he gets to the big leagues.

On the base paths, PCA has already made his speed known, swiping 13 bags in his 38 Low-A games prior to his promotion. There is probably some room for improvement in terms of picking the right spots to run and getting slightly better jumps from first base, but the speedster should be a 20+ stolen base threat annually.

Outlook

There was no doubt that PCA would be a solid, high floor prospect thanks to his elite defensive potential and speed as a left handed-hitting center fielder. The question seemed to be, “how much upside does he have?”

It seemed that the Mets weren’t even sure of how much upside their 2020 first round pick had given their willingness to part with him for a few months of Javier Báez. As we are quickly learning, PCA has the ability to impact the baseball more than many expected and an All-Star ceiling is not outlandish. Even with nearly two lost seasons, he is still an extremely young 20 years old and has already hit his way to High-A.

Crow-Armstrong is a hard-nosed gamer who is doing all of the things we thought he would do pretty well, exceptionally well while doing the things we weren’t totally sure he was capable of with the bat already.

23. Colton Cowser - OF - Baltimore Orioles

Height/Weight: 6’3′, 195 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (5), 2021 (BAL) | ETA: 2023

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Great contact skills and developing power with a projectable/athletic frame give Cowser an exciting combination of a solid floor and intriguing upside.

Offense

Upright stance from the left side and a simple swing geared for line drive contact, Cowser’s limited movement allows him to be on time and repeat his swing. A great athlete, Cowser’s lower half adjustability and impressive feel for the barrel help him put good swings on tough pitches and use the whole field.

One of the most polished hitter’s in the 2021 draft, some scouts wondered how much power would be in the tank for Cowser with a swing that is more geared for consistent contact. Cowser has answered those questions this season with 17 homers across three levels. With a max exit velocity of 113 MPH this season and 90th percentile EV of 103.6 MPH, Cowser is already producing above-average impact and has room to fill out more.

With the added power has come a bit more whiff than expected, but Cowser hedges that with a great approach. Just a 17% chase rate has helped Cowser walk at a 15% clip and his natural feel to hit still shines through. Cowser has had to adjust to aggressive assignments and should settle into a strikeout rate closer to 20% than 30%.

Cowser has struggled against lefties this season which is something to monitor, though his ridiculous numbers against righties and ability to draw free passes against lefties helps quell the splits concern. Again, Cowser is too good of a hitter to have gaping splits longterm.

Defense/Speed

An above-average runner, Cowser covers plenty of ground in center field with long strides and solid closing speed. He has seen action in all three outfield spots, but the majority of Cowser’s starts have come in center this season. Solid reads and instincts along with an above average arm give him a great chance to stick in center, but if he moves to a corner he could profile as a fringe plus defender.

Cowser stole plenty of bases in the lower levels, but struggled to find the same success in Double and Triple-A. He adds value on the bases, though will probably never be more than the occasional base stealer.

Outlook

Every farm system needs a Colton Cowser. In the volatile world of prospects, Cowser offers a rare level of safety while still providing enough projection to get excited about. The uptick in power and comfort in centerfield pushes Cowser’s ceiling higher, but Orioles fans should feel really confident in the fact that they have at least an above average regular in Cowser. There’s shades of Kyle Tucker in his game.

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24. Marco Luciano - 3B - San Francisco Giants

Age: 20 | Height/Weight: 6’2′, 190 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $2.6M (2018) | ETA: 2023

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Injuries cut Luciano’s 2022 season to just 65 games, but when he was on the field, he flashed the elite bat speed and raw pop that has made him one of the most highly touted prospects in baseball for years.

Offense

Starting with an athletic stance, Luciano sinks into his back side with a gathering leg kick and keeps his weight back well. Luciano previously struggled with the consistency of his pre-swing moves, but even in somewhat limited at bats this season, looked much smoother with his load and swing.

Possessing some of the most impressive raw power in the minors, Luciano defies his frame by flashing plus-plus raw pop despite weighing less than 200 pounds. Luciano’s hands work as well as any Minor League hitter you’ll see, generating a ton of whip and violence. Capable of producing exit velocities as high as 119 MPH, including 65 batted balls over 105 MPH since the start of the 2021 season (694 at-bats).

Swing and miss crept into Luciano’s game when he reached High-A last year, but he slashed his strikeout rate by more than 15% to a solid 22.2% rate thanks to the smoothing out of his load and lower half. Luciano has also ditched his pull-happy approach, using the whole field more than ever this season. He easily has the potential for 30+ home run pop with the patience to keep the strikeout rates in check while getting on base at a good clip.

Defense/Speed

Luciano is viewed by many as a candidate to move off of shortstop, though the Giants have exclusively played him at short so far in his career. A below-average runner, Luciano has fringy range and choppy actions that have marginally improved over the last year or so. Luciano does have a borderline 70-grade arm which helps his outlook, but could also play well at third base.

Outlook

Whenever a prized international free agent gets off to a great start to their professional career, the hype train typically leaves the station earlier than other prospects. That said, Luciano deserves every bit of the hype. While the 2022 season was ultimately somewhat disappointing for Luciano due to injuries, he showed some really encouraging signs in the hit-tool department and still showed us that unteachable bat speed that has long had scouts drooling.

The Giants could have a perennial All-Star who is capable of launching 30 or more homers with ease if it all comes together. A move to third seems likely but it doesn’t really matter too much where you play if you slug with the best of them.

25. Taj Bradley - Tampa Bay Rays

Height/Weight: 6’2, 190 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 5th round (150), 2018 (TB) | ETA: 2023

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An elite athlete on the mound already with two big league pitches, the development of Bradley’s changeup is what is stands between Triple-A Durham and the middle of the Rays rotation.

Arsenal

The Rays took Bradley in the fifth round in 2018 and gave him twice the slot value, tantalized by his upside. At 17 years old on draft day, Bradley was one of the youngest players in the entire class. Bradley spent two years in Rookie Ball, as the Rays slowly paced his development and entered the 2021 geared up for his first full-season. The hard-throwing right-hander’s maturation was immediately visible (1.83 ERA across 22 Low-A and High-A starts).

He followed up his strong 2021 with another ridiculous season this year. In 133.1 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, Bradley pitched to a 2.57 ERA with 141 strikeouts and just 33 walks as one of the youngest pitchers in the upper levels.

Bradley’s plus fastball is his best pitch. At 94-97 miles-per-hour with a ton of life, Bradley is able to get a ton of swings and misses when he elevates the heater, but also freezes hitters weary of his slider with four-seamers at the knees. The pitch averages more than 19 inches of induced vertical break.

Bradley’s 86-88 mph slider gives him a second plus pitch and it gets better each time I’ve seen Bradley throw. The 21-year-old’s split changeup is lagging behind as a third offering, but he has improved his feel for it this season landing it for a strike 15% more frequently than last year.

Outlook

Great stuff and premium athleticism give Bradley frontline upside. As he improves the feel for his changeup and his east/west command of his heater, Bradley could be a major problem for big league hitters. Bradley’s progress with his changeup this season is encouraging and he should have a chance to break camp with the Rays next season. The Rays very likely have another homegrown stud pitcher on their hands.

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26. Druw Jones - OF - Arizona Diamondbacks

Height/Weight: 6’4′, 180 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (2) – 2022 | ETA: 2026

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The son of legendary center fielder Andruw Jones, Druw has a skillset reminiscent of his father’s, which helped him go No. 2 overall in this year’s draft. A labrum injury while taking batting practice put an end to Jones’ 2022 season before it started, though he should be ready to go by Opening Day next year.

Offense

As is the case with most prep prospects, Jones’ is raw in the batter’s box though he has already flashed plenty to be excited about. His swing is choppy and can leave the zone quickly, but he has also shown the ability to drive the ball with authority to all fields.

Jones relied on his natural ability and advanced approach to rake at the amateur level and has the skill set to be an above average hitter with solid power. With a big frame and plenty of room to fill out as well as a lower half that could be more involved in his swing, there’s a chance that Jones could tap into plus raw power as he matures.

Defense/Speed

Much like his father, Jones already looks like he could patrol center field with the best of them. A 70-grade runner with a 70 arm and instincts you just don’t see from a teenager in the outfield, Jones has a chance to win many Gold Gloves.

Jones should be a menace on the base paths as well as he is not only fast but very quick, and the aforementioned instincts are evident as a baserunner as well.

Outlook

Though the injury is unfortunate as we were all eager to see Jones make his pro debut, it should hardly delay his timeline assuming he is 100% by the start of next season. Jones has the potential to be a true five-tool player in center field with an above average hit tool and possibly plus power.

Bloodlines, athleticism and already a special ability to play centerfield that has not been seen from a high school prospect in a longtime, Jones has all of the upside the Diamondbacks could want with the No. 2 pick while offering a bit less volatility than most players with his kind of ceiling.

27. Logan O’Hoppe - C - Los Angeles Angels

Height/Weight: 6’2′, 185 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 23rd Round (677) – 2018 | ETA: 2023

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Traded by the Phillies for Brandon Marsh at the deadline, O’Hoppe enjoyed a breakout season in 2022, launching 26 homers while walking as much as he has punched out. The Angels were likely reluctant to sell low on Marsh, but were able to add their catcher for 2023 and beyond in O’Hoppe.

Offense

Like a true catcher, O’Hoppe really gets into his legs with his stance and actually sinks even deeper into his lower half in his load. O’Hoppe uses the ground well tapping into above average raw power with explosive lower half.

After a solid offensive season in High-A last year, O’Hoppe made some adjustments to tap into more game power. The 22-year-old also made strides with his approach, cutting his chase rate by 8% while seeing improvements with his swinging strike rate and whiff rates.

Boasting an impressive blend of contact and power this season, O’Hoppe produced a zone contact rate of 87% while hitting 26 homers. The power surge and improved patience have helped O’Hoppe walk at a 15% mark. The hit tool is fringe plus for O’Hoppe with above average raw power that he has figured out how to tap into consistently in games. He has the goods to be one of the better offensive catchers in the game.

Defense/Speed

At one point, O’Hoppe was seen as a glove-first catching prospect. His offensive breakout makes it easy to overlook the fact that he can really defend behind the dish. O’Hoppe has a plus arm and is extremely accurate with his throws. He moves really well behind the dish and is an above average blocker as well. A solid receiver, O’Hoppe checks just about all of the boxes as a catcher and should be an above average defender at the highest level.

Outlook

One of the biggest climbers in regards to prospect rankings, O’Hoppe’s offensive numbers would have been impressive for a first baseman let alone a strong defensive catcher. A good 2021 season followed by a superb Arizona Fall League performance adds some context to 2022’s breakout, though his 100+ game sample this season should be more than enough for people to trust the bat.

A borderline plus hit tool and comfortably above average power paired with strong defense behind the dish has O’Hoppe looking like the Angels backstop of the future. He has a great chance to be an above average regular with All Star upside at a difficult position.

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28. Gavin Williams - RHP - Cleveland Guardians

Height/Weight: 6’6′, 225 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (23), 2021 (CLE) | ETA: 2023

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A huge power pitcher with some of the best stuff in the country when he was at East Carolina, Williams worked mostly as a reliever due to command issues through his first three seasons. Things clicked for, Williams in his fourth season, becoming the team’s ace and one of the best pitchers in the country. Though his track record was limited, the Guardians saw too much upside to pass on at pick No. 23.

Arsenal

Williams fits the description of the big bodied power pitcher, standing at 6-foot-6, 225 pounds while he power fastball leads the way with for his electric arsenal. The right-hander’s high spin fastball sits 95-97 mph with plenty of life, boasting around 19 inches of induced vertical break and some of the best fastball whiff rates in the minors.

The fastball command for Williams has gotten better as the year has progressed, throwing the pitch for a strike 70% of the time. The right-hander has a pair of impressive breaking balls, led by his plus curve that sits in the the upper 70s with a ton of depth and 11-5 break.

Though his cutterish slider is more of an above average pitch, Williams uses the pitch frequently against righties as a weak contact inducer that he lands for a strike more frequently than his big curve. Opponents had an OPS of .369 against both of Williams’ breaking ball this year with a 35% strikeout rate.

Williams will mix in an average changeup as his fourth offering, but it can get firm on him in the 87-90 mph range. The pitch flashes above average when he has the feel for it, showing some arm side fade. Though not up to the standard of his other three impressive pitches, it gives Williams another look and can be an effective pitch as he gains more confidence in it.

Outlook

The Guardians are as good as any team in baseball at identifying and developing pitching and they seem to have snagged Williams just as his stock was about to go through the roof. Williams rode the momentum of his All American collegiate season right into professional baseball where he pitched to a 1.96 ERA in 115 innings between High-A and Double-A with a 33% strikeout rate while walking just 9% of batters.

The size, stuff and improved ability to repeat his mechanics have Williams trending like a potential No. 2 starter and he is in the right organization to keep developing on the mound quickly. If the command remains fringy, the Guardians still have a durable, high volume strikeout pitcher who can sit in the middle of their rotation for years and eat innings.

29. Jackson Holliday - SS - Baltimore Orioles

Height/Weight: 6’1′, 175 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (1) – 2022 | ETA: 2026

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The son of MLB All-Star Matt Holliday and the No. 1 selection in the 2022 Draft, Holliday has five-tool potential and looked great in his brief debut season.

Offense

Holliday is an advanced hitter for his age with a smooth swing from the left side and comfort driving the ball to all fields. Starting upright, Holliday utilizes a slow leg kick to get into his lower half, but repeats it well and has looked comfortable with his timing.

The athleticism of Holliday is more than evident in the batter’s box, as he shows off impressive lower-half adjustability, helping him still get off good swings even when he is a bit fooled our out front. Much like his father, Holliday is a patient hitter who does not strike out much and will work plenty of free passes.

Holliday’s barrel lives in the zone and even in the limited action we saw from him in his 2022 debut, the 18-year-old swung through few pitches. The impact is not totally there yet for Holliday, but he has a big frame and room to add more muscle which could help him develop above average or even plus power. Holliday projects as a plus hitter.

Defense/Speed

A plus runner with plenty of lateral quickness and range, Holliday has a great chance to stick at shortstop. He is already demonstrating smooth actions, good instincts and soft hands to go with a plus arm. Holliday should blossom into an above average defender at short. His plus speed should make him a consistent threat to steal bases.

Outlook

It’s easy to see why Holliday was the No. 1 pick in the 2022 Draft. He has already shown a feel to hit with tools and physical projection to dream on. Arguably the most advanced prep prospect in his class, Holliday has a chance to climb the minors relatively quickly thanks to his polish and approach to the game.

How much power he taps into will be a determinant in just how absurdly high his ceiling is, but Holliday’s instincts, natural hitting ability, physical projection and bloodlines have Holliday looking like a potential All-Star shortstop for the Orioles.

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30. Bobby Miller - RHP - Los Angeles Dodgers

Height/Weight: 6’5, 220 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (29), 2020 (LAD) | ETA: 2023

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Miller was seen as high-risk, high-reward pitching prospect out of Louisville with electric stuff, but a limited track record as a starter. The Dodgers took the training wheels off of Miller this year and he has responded well to being stretched out.

Arsenal

A deep arsenal that is headlined by a plus plus fastball that routinely touches triple digits, Miller has some of the best stuff you’ll see in the minors. Miller’s fastball averaged 99.1 MPH in 2022, which would actually lead all qualified Major League starters.

On top of the elite velocity, Miller has improved the shape of his fastball to give it more ride. As a result, Miller has seen a jump in the whiff rates of his fastball, setting the tone for his three impressive secondaries.

Miller’s best secondary offering his his plus slider in the upper 80s. As the season has gone on, Miller has leaned on the pitch more than any of his other secondaries. The right-hander has extreme confidence in the offering, using it in any count and locating it well. With its sharp, late break, and his ability to spot it at the bottom of the zone, Miller has used the slider as a ground ball machine in the launchpad that is the Pacific Coast League.

Not far behind is Miller’s above average curveball which he has sharpened this season. A tick harder and tighter, Miller’s curve has gone from a strike stealing pitch to a legitimate put away offering. The 23-year-old is extremely comfortable landing both breaking balls for strikes.

Lagging behind the other three pitches is Miller’s changeup which has flashed above average but has the tendency to get firm on him. He has struggled to locate the pitch at times this year, throwing it for a strike roughly 15% less frequently than the rest of his arsenal.

There have been starts where the changeup is there for Miller and he is comfortable throwing it to both lefties and righties, providing hope that it can be an above average offering. His command has improved as the season went on and his ability to locate three of his four offerings with plenty of confidence gives Miller the potential for comfortably above average command.

Outlook

Yet another electric pitching prospect in a loaded Dodgers system, Miller has a good chance to be the best of the bunch. Three potentially plus pitches with solid command and impressive size/athleticism on the mound paints the picture of a potential front line starter.

Miller’s surface level stats may not be as sexy as some of the other pitching prospects in his ranking tier, however the Texas League and Pacific Coast League are two of the most difficult spots in the Minors to pitch.

Most importantly, Miller set a career-high for innings pitched at any level, tossing 109.2 frames while maintaining his high-end stuff late into the season and late in games. Reliever risk all but gone, Miller is a likely middle-of-the-rotation option with frontline potential.

31. Colson Montgomery - SS - Chicago White Sox

Height/Weight: 6’4′, 205 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (22), 2021 (CWS) | ETA: 2023

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Montgomery was dynamite in his first pro season, mashing through Low-A and posting strong numbers in High-A before a premature promotion to Double-A as part of the White Sox “Project Birmingham” idea to have all of their top prospects on the same team.

Ignoring those 14 games and whatever that idea was, Montgomery showed a lot of maturity and upside at the plate in his first season with power to dream on.

Offense

A big guy with long levers, Montgomery stays short to the ball generating a lot of whip and leverage. He already flashed above average power to his pull side this season with a max exit velocity of 112 mph and has plenty more power in the tank.

Montgomery already controls his body really well, keeping his weight back and using his leverage. His quiet load helps him stay on time, producing an impressive zone contact rate of 89% in 2022. While his power is more apparent to his pull side at this point, Montgomery comfortably barrels the ball to all fields and should develop into home run power to all fields.

Already possessing an advanced approach for this age, Montgomery struck out less than 20% of the time across Low-A, High-A and Double-A while walking at a 13% mark. The 20-year-old is an exciting blend of a potentially plus hit tool and plus raw power.

Defense/Speed

An average runner, Montgomery moves well for his 6-foot-4 frame though he probably won’t be the rangiest of shortstops. He has an above average arm and overall good footwork which should help his chances of sticking at short. If Montgomery continues to add strength and slows down a step, he has the arm and ability with the glove to be an above average defender at third.

Outlook

Montgomery was viewed as an older prep prospect, but now he is ahead of schedule of most of the 2021 draftees thanks to his polish at the plate. A high floor relative to the other prep bats recently drafted, Montgomery still offers immense upside. There’s a plus hit tool plus power blend to dream on here with his size and feel to hit that is a bit reminiscent of Corey Seager.

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32. Noelvi Marte - SS - Cincinnati Reds

Height/Weight: 6’1′, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | $1.55M – 2018 (CIN) | ETA: 2024

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The centerpiece in the Luis Castillo swap with the Mariners, Marte possesses immense offensive upside and continues to look more polished at the plate.

Offense

Initially viewed as a high-risk, high-reward power bat, Marte has a higher offensive floor than some may give him credit for. Marte has a pretty simple swing and doesn’t require much effort to generate his above-average bat speed.

As a result, the 20-year-old has put up above-average contact rates and solid K-BB figures. Marte has the tendency to pull off a bit with his front side, resulting in some struggles with breaking balls and too many rollovers to the left side of the infield.

When Marte is at his best, he is staying back and using the whole field. He is twitchy and athletic enough to turn on pitches middle-in, but sometimes struggles to let secondary stuff travel and drive it up the middle or the other way.

Marte’s ability to control the barrel and above-average exit velocities, paired with a decent approach, have helped him put up pretty consistent numbers at each level. Though, if he is going to tap into his plus raw power consistently, he will need to iron out the kinks with his lower half.

Still with some more room to fill out, Marte has already produced exit velocities as high as 111 mph this season, reinforcing the potential plus power the young infielder has in the tank. Marte could be a small tweak away from exploding offensively, but he has produced pretty good results thus far on natural ability and athleticism.

Defense/Speed

Marte can cover ground at shortstop, showing some solid range and an above-average arm. His footwork can get a bit sloppy, as can his actions, which has led some evaluators to speculate a potential move to third base.

If he moves to third, Marte should be good defender at the position, though there is still hope that he can continue to find consistency up the middle. An above-average runner, Marte is not the biggest threat on the base paths, but he does add some value in that department.

Outlook

Known for the shows that he can put on in batting practice, Marte has exciting raw pop that he flashed in games in the early going of his career. When Marte sticks to his approach, he’s a tough hitter to strikeout, but he can also find himself selling out for pull-side power, occasionally giving away at-bats.

Plus raw power and potential for an above-average hit-tool, Marte has the upside of a middle-of-the-order masher with some speed. Reds fans can dream on 30+ homers and a decent on-base clip if Marte can find some more consistency with his approach and lower half.

33. Miguel Vargas - 3B - Los Angeles Dodgers

Height/Weight: 6’3′, 205 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $300K, 2017 (LAD) | ETA: 2022

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A natural hitter, Vargas has put up strong offensive numbers at every stop. Though nothing quite jumps off of the page, his plus hit-tool, sneaky power and defensive versatility give him one of the higher floors in the minors with the potential to be a well above average regular.

Offense

Vargas has a silky smooth swing and a barrel that lives in the zone. A simple set up from the right side, Vargas times up his moves well and consistently puts himself in a good position to get his best swing off. The 22-year-old has added some strength over the years and has worked with the Dodgers to translate his high contact rate and impressive bat speed into more game power.

Things clicked for Vargas in the power department during the 2021 season, launching 23 homers along with 52 extra base hits in 120 games between High-A and Double-A. Vargas kept things rolling into Triple-A this season where he hit 17 homers and 53 XBH in 113 games.

The uptick in power over the last two seasons has not come at the expense of his impressive contact skills with Vargas actually posting the best BB/K ratio of his career (0.93). Vargas drives the ball to all fields with ease, controlling his body extremely well through his swing.

A high contact rate, phenomenal approach and above average power give Vargas as safe of an offensive profile as you’ll find with enough upside to get excited about. Vargas has a great chance to get on base at a high clip with 20+ homer power in the tank and plenty of doubles.

Defense/Speed

An average runner, Vargas has averaged around 10-12 stolen bases per season, but surprisingly swiped 17 bags on 22 tries year. A savvy base runner, Vargas will add some value on the base paths and a career high in stolen bases at the most challenging level he’s played at leaves reason to believe that steals can be a small part of his game even in the big leagues.

Vargas made improvements defensively at the hot corner, providing more confidence that he is capable of playing average defense at third base, though that is likely his ceiling. That said, Vargas has moved all over the diamond in anticipation of his 2022 call up, seeing action in left field as well as second base and first base. Though he is not a great defender, his versatility is a nice consolation prize and he should be able to play passable defense at any of the aforementioned spots.

Outlook

A ridiculously impressive track record of hitting along with a well-rounded game and defensive versatility make Vargas one of the more high floor prospects in the game. Even with the high floor, the 22-year-old still has plenty of upside to look forward to, flashing comfortably above average power to his pull side and an ability to drive the ball with authority to all fields.

Vargas should factor into the Dodgers 2023 plans and beyond with a skillset capable of replacing Justin Turner’s production if all goes right.

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34. Curtis Mead - 3B - Tampa Bay Rays

Height/Weight: 6’2, 170 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: (2018) | ETA: 2023

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An under-the-radar international free agent out of Australia, Mead broke out in a big way in 2021 and has continued to mash in the upper levels in 2022.

Offense

Formerly starting from an extremely upright and setup, Mead is still relatively tall in his stance but is more bent at the knees. Mead has Always featured an extremely advanced swing for his age with proper sequencing that allows his lower half to work extremely well.

The result is a barrel path that essentially lives in the zone and allows him to drive balls to all parts of the zone with relative ease. Mead has already flashed plus exit velocities, with a 90th percentile exit velocity of 107 mph, one of the better marks in the organization.

A doubles machine due to his all-fields approach and swing that is geared for hard line drives, Mead has racked up 75 doubles along with 28 homers since the start of last season (180 games). Mead’s body control and bat-to-ball skills combined with his plus raw power could make him a hitting machine in the future even if he isn’t launching 30 homers per season.

Defense/Speed

While not especially flashy or athletic, Mead’s hands and instincts should make him an average defender at either third or second base. Mead’s average arm and speed will keep him on the dirt with second base being the position he profiles best at.

The 21-year-old’s footwork looks strong enough to accommodate a move to second, but his arm is decent enough to play an average third base. Mead made the majority of his starts at the hot corner this season, but still saw action in 20 games at second.

Outlook

Mead’s advanced approach and swing give him a chance at becoming a plus hitter at the highest level with 20+ homers and plenty of doubles.

Though he has the offensive skill-set of an above average regular, the right-handed hitter has dismantled lefties over the last two minor league seasons to the tune of a .365/.413/.620 line making him a viable platoon bat with the ability to play three infield spots for the Rays as soon as Opening Day 2023.

35. Jasson Dominguez - OF - New York Yankees

Age: 19 | Height/Weight: 5’10, 210 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: $5 million – 2020 (NYY) | ETA: 2024

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Yet another Yankees hitting development story, Dominguez made adjustments heading into the 2022 season and has looked like a completely different hitter. It’s not only the offense that has improved for Dominguez as the teenager made leaps in every aspect of his game.

Offense

When I first saw Dominguez in 2021, he had a lot of moving parts to the switch hitter’s swings that he struggled to repeat and often just looked out of sorts–especially from the right side of the plate. Starting with the right side, Dominguez cut down his leg kick while quieting/simplifying his hand load. The tweaks helped Dominguez see the ball earlier and control his body much better.

The adjustments not only helped Dominguez up his OPS from the right side by more than 200 points, but he also trimmed his pull rate and chase rate, making better overall swing decisions. Dominguez’s swing was further along from the left side to begin with, though he made some smaller tweaks to achieve much of the same benefits of his right-handed improvements.

On top of the mechanical adjustments, Dominguez cut his chase rate by nearly 10% in High-A while his zone contact rate jumped by a similar margin this season. The improved contact rates have not come at the expense of power for Dominguez, registering a max exit velocity of 113 MPH this season while upping his 90th percentile EV by nearly three mph this season.

All of the sudden, Dominguez looks like a really well-rounded hitter who still has the freakish strength capable of producing 30 home runs with ease as he continues to find consistency. After drawing free passes at a 9.8% clip in Low-A in 2021, Dominguez has walked 13.4% of the time this season between Low-A, High-A and Double-A.

Defense/Speed

Dominguez shedded some unnecessary weight last offseason, helping him move better in the outfield and on the bases, looking more like the plus runner he has was anticipated to be. It was rough for Dominguez in the early parts of 2021 in the outfield as he struggled with his reads and sometimes looked lost in the outfield.

He has looked drastically better this season, taking cleaner routes and getting earlier jumps on balls. Possessing a huge arm, Dominguez would project as a plus defender in a corner, but he has the goods to stick in center.

After only registering seven steals on 10 tries last season, Dominguez racked up 37 stolen bases in 44 tries this year across three levels. Dominguez should be a threat to steal 20+ bases even at the highest level if he doesn’t slow down too much with age.

Outlook

Dominguez has not even played 200 professional games and it seems like he has been around forever because of the unfair hype placed on him before he made a professional plate appearance. There was no sugar coating how concerning things looked for Dominguez in 2021, however 2022 has served as a perfect example as to why you do not close the door on talented teenagers after a tough season–especially when they have the expectations and pressure placed on them like Dominguez did.

The adjustments that he has made in the box at 19 years old are remarkable and the fact that he could go from lost in Low-A to finishing the next season in Double-A in barely over a year is a testament to his highly-regarded work ethic and natural talent (and the Yankees PD). I am buying what Dominguez was selling in the second half of the season and believe there’s an above average hitter here with big power potential and a solid chance to stick up the middle.

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36. Gavin Stone - RHP - Los Angeles Dodgers

Height/Weight: 6’2, 205 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (24), 2019 (CLE) | ETA: 2023

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The earliest draft pick in Central Arkansas history, Stone has seen his stuff several ticks since joining the Dodgers organization with the potential for three well above average offerings.

Arsenal

Stone deploys a four-pitch mix with multiple weapons that induce whiffs within the strike zone. He works extremely fast and is a fiery competitor on the mound. He has found success by working ahead in the count consistently thanks to his ability to throw three of his pitches for quality strikes. He is exceptionally athletic and mobile on the mound, making it especially easy for him to repeat his mechanics. 

His arsenal starts with a mid 90’s heater with ride that he locates both east-west and north-south. Stone’s ability to locate this overpowering offering makes it a weapon both early and late in counts and he holds its velocity deep into outings. The ball explodes out of his hand and low release point creates some deception and added life to hitters who consistently have issues timing him up.

The best off-speed pitch in Stone’s repertoire is his plus mid 80’s changeup that features an abnormal amount of late drop and ASR. The pitch produces ugly swings against both lefties and righties and regularly missed bats even when located within the zone. To the naked eye, the immense amount of late-life could easily get it confused with a splitter. He threw it to the bottom of the zone at will and it should miss bats at the highest level. 

Stone’s third pitch is a mid 80’s slider that he deploys mostly against right-handed hitters. While it may not feature the same movement as many of the sliders in modern-day baseball, Stone’s ability to throw it for quality strikes when behind in the count allows the offering to play up. It will never be a bat-missing machine like the changeup, but it is a valuable pitch nonetheless. 

Stone sprinkles in a low 80’s curveball to round out his arsenal. He only throws it a few times each outing and it tends to back up a bit on him at times leading to some consistency issues regarding location. It flashed solid depth and shape at the bottom of the zone, making it a nice change-of-pace pitch to be used sparingly.

Outlook

There isn’t much more Stone can achieve in the Minor Leagues. He has excelled at every challenge the Dodgers have thrown his way and the numbers/overall polish reflect the fact that he is big-league ready right now.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see him break camp with the Dodgers next season, though he could have probably handled a promotion in 2022. Stone combines a high floor with a high ceiling, as we don’t see him as anything less than a number four starter on a playoff-caliber team. If he further develops his breaking balls and command, Stone has the ceiling of a number two starter on a first-division team.

37. Evan Carter - OF - Texas Rangers

Height/Weight: 6’4′, 190 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (50) – 2020 | ETA: 2024

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An under-the-radar Tennessee prep prospect in the 2020 Draft, few pro scouts had seen Carter play. The Rangers snagged Carter in the second-round for an underslot bonus of $1.25 million. Carter impressed with his polish and well-rounded game, reaching Double-A in his first season. The 20-year-old has as much helium as just about any prospect.

Offense

Tall with long levers, Carter stays short to the ball with a flat swing geared for plenty of line drive contact. Carter uses a small leg kick and quiet load leading into a smooth swing. It’s easy to envision Carter developing into a plus hitter or better with the way he is able to repeat his moves and find the barrel.

Carter is already a polished hitter with an advanced approach. Just an 18% chase rate and 17% strikeout rate, Carter is a tough out who will draw plenty of walks. His swing is more geared for contact, but Carter has above average power to his pull side with plenty of room to fill out. His 90th percentile exit velocity is above average at 103 mph and Carter already launched multiple homers over 430 feet this season.

A big frame at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, Carter has plenty of room to add more strength and could easily develop into plus power. The combination of long levers with a great feel to hit can lead to a lethal power/hit combination which Carter seems to be well on his way to developing.

Defense/Speed

Carter is a plus runner who covers a lot of ground in center with his long quick strides. His jumps and instincts are already impressive along with an above average arm. If Carter cleans up his routes he will easily project as a plus defender in centerfield.

There wasn’t much hesitation from the speedy Carter in regards to attempted steals this season. While he did swipe 28 bags, he as caught 13 times. Carter has the speed to be an impactful base stealer, but will need to get more efficient.

Outlook

If Carter had more buzz around him in the 2020 Draft, Carter would probably be one of baseball’s most discussed prospects. Even after a huge 2022 season, it feels like Carter is not getting the notoriety he deserves. Not only is the newly-turned 20-year-old already producing in the Minors, but he has big upside.

Carter has five-tool potential with a great chance to stay in centerfield and the polish to climb to the big leagues quickly. Assuming Carter picks up where he left off next season, he could easily be considered one of baseball’s best young outfield prospects.

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38. Josh Jung - 3B - Texas Rangers

Height/Weight: 6’2, 220 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (8), 2019 (TEX) | ETA: 2023

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The hit tool and raw power were never a question for Jung, but he struggled to tap into his plus raw pop in his first professional season. A power breakout in 2021 had Jung on a fast track before a torn left labrum delayed his start to the 2022 season. Despite missing 90% of the regular season, Jung impressed enough upon returning to Triple-A action to earn a big league call-up.

Offense 

Jung has had impressive bat-to-ball skills dating back to his days at Texas Tech, where he hit .348/.455/.577 over his three years as a Red Raider. The hit-tool translated in Jung’s first season, posting a .316 batting average between rookie ball and Low-A, but the third baseman mustered just one homer in 44 games.

Jung’s power was sapped by a 50% ground ball rate, which came as a result of an aggressive leg kick that was more of a knee lift upwards than a gather into his backside. Jung tended to have a heavy front foot on his landing and tended to be steep to the ball. 

After 2020’s layoff, Jung emerged with a tweaked set up and a swing geared for more lift. The adjustments made a huge impact in the power department and did not undermine his bat-to-ball skills at all. Jung’s groundball rate dipped by more than 15% while his HR/FB rate jumped from 5% to 22%.

It was more of the same in 2022 when Jung returned from injury, launching six homers in 23 Triple-A games. The 24-year-old’s extreme confidence in his hit-tool sometimes results in him expanding the zone a bit earlier in counts, holding him back from better walk numbers.

Jung hits the ball hard to all fields and should offer a nice blend of batting average and power. The last piece for Jung will just be improving his approach a bit. That will likely come with more at-bats, but more importantly, the power has looked to be all the way back since his shoulder surgery earlier this year.

Defense/Speed

An extremely fundamentally sound third baseman, Jung may not wow with the range, but only made three errors in his final 77 games at the hot corner in the minors. Jung has improved his footwork to give him average range at the position since going pro and has an above average arm as well. 

Outlook

The fact that Jung was able to return this season in any capacity from his shoulder surgery is extremely encouraging, but to hit the ground running and earn an MLB call up is about as about as great as things could have gone this year.

Jung has a chance to post a batting average in the high 200’s, along with 25+ homers and average or better defense at third. As the Rangers continue to focus on competing in the next couple years, Jung will undoubtedly be a big part of those plans as a high floor, steady bat who could make a couple All Star appearances.

39. Hunter Brown - RHP - Houston Astros

Height/Weight: 6’3′, 220 | Bat/Throw: R/L | 5th Round (166)- 2019 | ETA: 2022

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Brown pitched his way into draft consideration after a lights-out season at Division II Wayne State University in 2019, flashing electric stuff but iffy command. The Astros helped clean up Brown’s mechanics and polish his arsenal, helping him turn in one of the best seasons in the upper minors this year while earning a September call-up.

Arsenal

One of baseball’s biggest breakout pitching prospects this year, Brown has harnessed his explosive stuff with mechanics that are as smooth as ever. Brown has three potentially plus offerings, starting with his 95-97 MPH fastball topping out at 99. Brown’s fastball is a true four seamer with ride, generating whiffs at the top of the zone and he has also developed much better east/west command of the pitch as well.

Brown has a pair of impressive breaking balls, including a spike curve in the low 80s and a sharp slider in the low 90s. The curve has become Brown’s go-to pitch against lefties, while his improved slider has become a much more reliable pitch for him against right-handed hitters. Brown’s bender is easily plus, bordering a 70 grade.

After operating more in the upper 80s with his slider last season, Brown tweaked the slider to sit in the low 90s with sharper bite. Using the high spin fastball at the top of the zone and then spinning his two breaking balls off of hit has created a tunneling nightmare for hitters and has been a big part of his Triple-A and early MLB success.

Brown will mix in a changeup that flashes average, however the effectiveness of his hammer curveball against lefties lessens the necessity for his changeup.

Outlook

The early results at the MLB level on top of a dynamite Triple-A season for Brown are hard to deny. The 24-year-old looks like the latest Astros pitching development success story with smoothed mechanics and an assortment of pitches that plays off of each other really well.

The improved command for Brown has him trending towards a solid middle of the rotation option with flashes of more.

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40. Endy Rodriguez - C - Pittsburgh Pirates

Height/Weight: 6’0, 180 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: $10K – 2018 (NYM) | ETA: 2023

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Signed for a measly $10,000 by the Mets before being traded to the Pirates in the three team Joe Musgrove deal, Rodriguez has done nothing but rake since making his pro debut in 2018. The talented switch-hitter kicked things up another notch in 2022, putting up arguably the best offensive season in all of the minors.

Offense

A switch hitter with pretty even production from both sides, Rodriguez has a really good feel for both of his swings that are geared for lift and carry. Rodriguez further simplified his load in 2022, losing the moving leg kick in favor for a toe tap. He struggled at times with the timing of his leg kick in years prior and his ridiculous 2022 slash line may point towards the tweak helping him find even more consistency.

It’s hard to argue with a hitter who posts an OPS above .900 from both sides of the plate and while Rodriguez’s exit velocities are above average at best, his swing is designed to drive the ball in the air. Rodriguez is extremely difficult to strike out, possessing great pitch recognition skills and impressive bat to ball no matter where the ball is pitched.

Impressive balance and plate coverage helps Rodriguez stay back on breaking pitches and drive them with authority to all fields while still being quick and explosive enough to turn on hard stuff in. Rodriguez mashed breaking balls to an OPS of .988 while dismantling fastballs to the tune of a 1.177 OPS.

Rodriguez is a complete hitter with the body control, bat to ball skills and approach to give him a plus hit tool while tapping into every bit of his above average raw power in games.

Defense/Speed

A primary catcher, Rodriguez is extremely athletic behind the dish and receives well. Despite being younger for the upper levels, Rodriguez controls the game well as a catcher and pitchers seem to enjoy working with him.

With a litany of talented catching prospects in the Pirates system, Rodriguez has also received reps at second base, first base, and left field. He is athletic and talented enough to be an average defender at any of those positions.

It seems that the Pirates longterm plan is to keep Rodriguez at catcher, but if he continues to produce the way he has offensively, they will likely use his versatility as a way to keep him in the lineup.

Outlook

Rodriguez is an extremely fun prospect. I mean, how many switch-hitting catchers who can also play the infield and outfield have we seen? Combine the defensive versatility and switch hitting with a strong balance of bat-to-ball and intriguing game power, there is a lot to like with Rodriguez.

A confident hitter who controls his at bats from both sides of the plate, Rodriguez has a chance to be one of the better switch hitters in all of baseball while providing value behind the dish and potentially at other defensive spots as well. Rodriguez could be a threat to hit .300 with 20+ homers.

41. Sal Frelick - OF - Milwaukee Brewers

Age: 22 | Height/Weight: 5’10’, 180 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 1st Round (15) – 2021 (MIL) | ETA: 2023

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A three sport athlete in High School, Frelick won Masachusetts Gatorade Football Player of the Year before heading over to Boston College. Top-notch speed and potential for a 70-grade hit tool have Frelick looking like one of baseball’s safer prospects. 

Offense

Great bat-to-ball skills and swing malleability help Frelick make a ton of contact while getting to tough pitches. Frelick’s hands work extremely well and his short swing makes him a difficult hitter to strike out. 

The 22-year-old overcame some drifting issues with his swing earlier in the season, finding much more lower half consistency which has helped him make more consistent contact with more impact. Since making the jump to Triple-A, Frelick has posted some of the best contact rates in all of the Minor Leagues with a zone contact rate of 94% while still walking at a 12% clip. 

Frelick sprays the ball all over the field, and is even a tough out with two strikes, somehow hitting .278 in two strike counts. 

While power will never be a part of Frelick’s game, he can hit the ball with some authority to his pull side when he gets the right pitch. There’s potentially 10-15 homers in the tank for Frelick, especially if he calls Milwaukee home when he breaks into the big leagues.

It’s a delicate balance for Frelick, who does hit the ball on the ground a lot (51% GB rate), but also racks up so many hits by slapping the ball on the ground and using his wheels. When Frelick is at his best, he is smacking line drives to either gap while resorting to more of the “put the ball in play” approach with two strikes. 

Elite contact rates and a knack for getting on base give Frelick a high floor with enough impact to rack up plenty of extra base hits. 

Defense/Speed

Another Brewers prospect with game-changing speed, Frelick covers a ton of ground in center and has continued to improve his reads and routes with more experience out there. His arm is average at best, but he does a good job of getting himself in a good position to make strong throws by beating the ball to the spot.

Despite possessing immense speed, Frelick has not yet translated it into stolen bases. The 22-year-old picked up just a dozen bags in his first 100 games of the season, but should be more of a base stealer as he gets more comfortable on the base paths at the upper levels. 

Outlook

Frelick may not have enough power to be a star in today’s game, but he has as good of a chance to be a big league regular as any prospect outside of the top 50. A virtual guarantee to stay in center field with a hit tool that is trending towards a 70 grade, Frelick is a throwback player who will have Steven Kwan lovers seeing double, but with a bit more exciting tools.

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42. Masyn Winn - SS - St. Louis Cardinals

Height/Weight: 5’11, 180 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (54), 2020 (STL) | ETA: 2023

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An explosive athlete who put things together offensively this season, Winn looks like he could be the shortstop of the future in St. Louis.

Offense

After a decent showing in his first pro season, albeit with limited power, Winn made some adjustments to get his lower half more involved and more consistent. In just 30 more games this season, Winn more than doubled his home run total from last year while cutting the strikeouts some and upping his walk rate.

Winn found more overall consistency with his swing in 2022, seeing his zone contact rate jump by 6% while his 90th percentile exit velocity jumped by nearly three mph. Starting slightly open with his weight slightly favoring his backside, Winn has stayed behind the baseball better, hitting less ground balls while seeing a higher percentage of his fly balls leave the yard.

An insanely twitchy athlete who was also a highly regarded prospect on the mound, Winn generates impressive bat speed and rotational power. He has no problem catching up with velocity and is already an above average hitter. Struggles with breaking balls seem to be the only thing holding back Winn offensively, though it is important to note that he was hardly 20 years old at the time of his Double-A promotion.

It is difficult to project power for a prospect like Winn. He lacks physical stature, but is wiry strong with quick twitch that you just cant teach and has steadily improved in regards to driving the ball in the air. Already posting above average contact rates, Winn could develop into a fringe-plus hitter as he matures at the plate.

Defense/Speed

Winn boasts top of the scale speed and his freakish athleticism can be seen on the base paths and in the field. He is rangy with actions that have continuously become smoother along with an 80 grade arm. Winn projects as a plus defender as he gains more reps at short.

The 70 grade speed has translated into big stolen base numbers for Winn, swiping 43 bags on 48 tries this season.

Outlook

A combination of tantalizing upside with the present skill set to handle aggressive assignments, it is easy to be extremely excited about Winn. The 20-year-old has game changing speed along with one of the best infield arms you’ll see and seems to get better at the plate each time I see him. Even if the power does not totally develop, Winn is a good enough hitter with elite complementary tools to be an impact shortstop. If he does develop into above average power, you could be looking at a five-tool All Star up the middle.

43. Robert Hassell III - OF - Washington Nationals

Height/Weight: 6’2, 195 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 1st Round (8) – 2020 | ETA: 2024

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Nearly a .300 hitter in his two professional seasons, there’s little question in regards to Hassell’s hit tool. With above-average speed and a good chance to stick in center, how much power Hassell develops at the plate will ultimately decide whether he is a solid regular or perennial All-Star.

Offense

Featuring a simple and easy swing with quiet, repeatable mechanics, Hassell’s quick bat and ability to control the barrel allow him to get to tough pitches. Hassell’s an extremely athletic hitter who can spray the ball foul line to foul line with a good approach.

As he mentioned on our prospect podcast, “the Call Up” Hassell is still working on his lower half consistency in order to tap into a bit more power. He has a tendency to get on his front foot on occasion, cutting off his swing a bit and leading to occasional top spin ball to right field.

This is very common in young hitters and it should be cleaned up with with more at-bats. Even so, Hassell is such a good athlete and so twitchy that he can get still drive the ball even when he is off-balance.

It looks like Hassell could put on anywhere between 20 and 30 pounds of muscle over the next couple of years if that’s the route that he wants to go, but as he continues to solidify himself as a true centerfielder, he could ultimately continue his development as more of a gap-to-gap hitter with good complementary tools.

Defense/Speed

He’s currently a fringe plus runner who takes long strides and has great closing speed in the outfield. If Hassell slows down a bit due to added strength, there is a chance he moves to a corner where his arm would more than play.

It seems like Hassell is not too eager to put on weight and slow down as the speed component of his game is something he prides himself on. Hassell stole 34 bags on 40 attempts last year and is on pace to match that total in 2022.

Outlook

Hassell has the potential to be an impact, middle of the order bat once/if he fills out. As time passes, I continue to see more of a young Christian Yelich profile for Hassell, rather than a guy who is going to throw on 20 pounds of muscle and anchor a corner.

Athleticism and mobility is a big part of Hassell’s game from the batter’s box to center field and the base paths. Naturally, the 20-year-old should start to impact the baseball with a bit more authority and should be able to tap into 20 homer power, but a 20/20 profile with a high batting average and staying power in center field seems like the most likely profile for Hassell.

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44. Bo Naylor - C - Cleveland Guardians

Height/Weight: 6’0, 205 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (29) – 2018 | ETA: 2023

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After a let-down season in 2021, Naylor made some tweaks to his swing and has enjoyed the best offensive season of his career this year. The glove has come a long way too.

Offense

Physical but athletic, Naylor offers plenty of raw power and explosiveness in his swing. After his brutal 2021 season, Naylor tweaked his set up to get his lower half more involved, using a more open stance with his weight much more stacked on his back side. Naylor now features a more pronounced leg kick, that gathers him even further into his back hip before uncorking his powerful swing.

Though the new moves are louder, Naylor is extremely athletic and controls his body really well. Getting his lower half more incorporated has helped Naylor hit the ball with authority more consistently, seeing his 90th percentile exit velocity jump by three mph. More importantly, Naylor’s improved ability to replicate his swing has helped him improve his zone contact rate by 8%.

Naylor is a patient hitter who rarely expands the zone, walking at a 16% clip between Double-A and Triple-A this year. His willingness to go deep in counts leaves him more susceptible to strikeouts, though his improvements in the contact and pitch recognition department lend to optimism that he can keep the strikeout rates in the low 20% range.

Possessing comfortably plus pull side power, we have seen Naylor launch a ball over 460 feet this season to right field. That said, his improvements with his lower half have helped him stay behind the baseball and use the whole field.

A better hitter with added power, it’s easy to buy what Naylor is selling this year. He has 30 home run potential with the ability to walk as much as anyone.

Defense/Speed

One of the most athletic catchers in the minors, Naylor has made big leaps behind the dish over the last couple seasons. He naturally moves and blocks well and has continued to receive better. Naylor has a plus throwing arm and has been able to limit the running game with success all year throwing out 33% of attempted base stealers.

An above average runner, Naylor has stolen 20 bases on 24 tries, bringing that JT Realmuto type of athleticism to the catching position.

Outlook

Naylor impressively turned the page on a brutal season in 2021 and has been a consistent offensive force all year as one of the younger players at the Triple-A level. The progress the 22-year-old has made behind the dish in tandem with his offensive onslaught has him looking like the catcher of the future for the Guardians.

Plus power, athleticism and a patient approach gives Naylor exciting offensive upside. It is more of a matter of whether his hit tool can translate at the highest level. After what we’ve seen from Naylor this year as a result of tangible adjustments in the box, it’s getting easier to believe that he will hit enough.

45. Brandon Pfaadt - RHP - Arizona Diamondbacks

Height/Weight: 6’4, 210 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 5th Round (149), 2019 (ARI) | ETA: 2023

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Four viable offerings and plus command has helped Pfaadt get outs in even the most hitter friendly environments. Pfaadt’s pitchability, polish and improving stuff have him trending towards a rotation spot with the D-backs next year.

Arsenal

Hardly ever handing out free passes and attacking hitters with an assortment of pitches, Pfaadt has become one of the more fun pitching prospects to watch. He may not have the kind of stuff that will frequent him on Pitching Ninja, but he has above average stuff that plays up thanks to his elite command and overall feel to pitch.

Pfaadt sets the tone with his 93-95 mph fastball which has ticked up since last year. It’s a high spin pitch that jumps from his low release point, generating plenty off whiff in the zone. Pfaadt commands his fastball east/west and north/south, helping the above average pitch play up and set up his assortment of secondaries.

His low 80s slider flashes plus with late sweeping break. Pfaadt impressively lands the pitch for a strike 72% of the time using it as his go-to out pitch against righties, but also has enough confidence with the pitch to back door and back leg lefties.

Pfaadt’s preferred weapon for left-handed hitters is his above average changeup with late arm side fade in the mid 80s. Much like the rest of his arsenal, Pfaadt has a great feel for the pitch, especially to his arm side. He’s not afraid to mix the pitch in to righties as well as he does a good job of keeping it at the bottom of the zone and below.

The fourth offering for Pfaadt is his average curveball which he will mix in a few times per game to steal strikes.

Outlook

Though he may not have ace upside, Pfaadt is as much of a virtual lock to stick as a starter and continues to get better each time I watch him pitch. Plus command of four pitches that have ticked up in 2022, it makes sense that Pfaadt kicked things into another gear this season.

Despite pitching in some of the most hitter-friendly environments in the Minor Leagues as a fly ball pitcher, Pfaadt attacked hitters relentlessly. He may be susceptible to the long ball, but solo shots hurt a pitcher much less than walks and Pfaadt only walked 4.8% of batters this season.

The 24-year-old has the floor of a back end of the rotation starter though I believe his pitchability and willingness to improve and tweak his craft will have him closer to a No. 3 starter.

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46. Zac Veen - OF - Colorado Rockies

Height/Weight: 6’4, 190 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (9), 2020 | ETA: 2024

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Tantalizing tools and an incredibly projectable frame give Veen immense upside. Still just 20 years old, the outfielder is following up a strong first pro season in Low-A with even more production in High-A. The Rockies may just have their next face of the franchise in Veen.

Offense

The ninth overall pick in the 2020 Draft, Veen was viewed as one of the highest-ceiling bats in his class and has done nothing but reinforce those projections through his first two professional seasons.

Veen is a long, slender, and fluid athlete with tons of projection still left in his frame. His long levers fortunately don’t create too much extra length in his swing, but do generate a ton of bat speed and whip, aiding his double-plus raw power potential. His at-bat quality is advanced for his age, keeping his chase rates at bay and is aware of the strengths he possesses in the box. 

His swing decisions as a whole have slowly improved, which is encouraging to see as he has made the leap to High-A this season. There’s probably a bit more room for improvement in that regard, especially in plus counts where he tries to do too much and can have an at-bat turn south on him quickly.

Veen possesses a natural ability to use the whole field and as he adds strength and mass, he will become a threat to leave the yard from line to line. Veen’s lower half is extremely mobile and flexible, which allows him to do damage even when he doesn’t get his ‘A’ swing off. Depending on how much weight his frame will carry, we could be looking at a 35 home run threat with a decent feel to hit. 

Defense/Speed

Like in the box, Veen’s running and fielding projection is contingent on how his body develops. He is currently a plus runner who utilizes long strides to cover tons of ground in the outfield along with a plus arm.

He gets to his top speed quicker than most his size, but that could change if Veen adds a bunch of weight. It seems like Veen’s plan is to remain relatively slender and allow his plus speed to remain a big part of his game. Through his first 150 professional games, Veen cruised to 50 stolen bases and has continued to get better with his jumps and picking the right spots to run.

Like many young outfielders, Veen could clean up his routes, but with plus speed, a plus arm, there’s a good chance he will be an above average defender up the middle. If Veen moves to a corner, he could be Gold Glove-caliber.

Outlook

Veen is one of the more tantalizing talents in the minor leagues. The combination of power, speed, and a decent feel to hit gives him a potentially special skillset. As he continues to get stronger and more advanced with his approach, Veen has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order monster who adds a dynamic piece to a lineup due to his ability to run.

I thought High-A would be more of a challenge than it has been for Veen so far, as his strikeout rate has dropped and walk rate has risen marginally. This is extremely good news for the Rockies, as Veen could beat his original ETA of 2025 by proving he is more advanced than many evaluators speculated.

40 home runs wouldn’t be out of the question at Coors Field, but he will also split the gaps and run wild. Veen’s upside rivals that of anyone in the minors as he has the potential to become a five-tool superstar.

47. Elijah Green - OF - Washington Nationals

Height/Weight: 6’3, 215 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (5) – 2022 | ETA: 2025

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One of the best athletes we have seen in years, Green is built like a linebacker and flies. This does not come as a total shock given the fact that his father was an NFL tight end for a decade, but Greene’s physical talent gives him sky-high upside to dream on.

Offense

Already pretty maxed out physically, Green has flashed exit velocities that you rarely see from a player his age. Green utilizes a simple toe tap and hand load, relying on his impressive bat speed and strength to impact the baseball, which is a bit reminiscent of Starling Marte.

Green uses the whole field really well and controls his body impressively for such a raw hitter. Green seems to know his swing and repeats his moves pretty well. With the way Green’s hands work, he can get to tough pitches and is able to get around on hard stuff in.

It’s easy to see big time upside with Green offensively and given how hard he hits the baseball, there is big power potential. That said, Green’s swing is more line drive-oriented which is not necessarily a bad thing provided his elite speed.

Defense/Speed

Green ran a ridiculous 6.16 60-yard dash as a high schooler and his electrifying speed helps him cover a ton of ground in center. Like many other young outfielders, Green could improve upon his reads and routes, but there’s no doubt that he can be a great defender up the middle. Green gets to his top speed quickly and should be a menace on the base paths.

Outlook

A potential No. 1 overall pick candidate, the Nationals were thrilled to nab Green with the fifth pick of this year’s draft. Green has as much upside as any player in the 2022 class and the more I watch, the more I believe that there is above-average bat-to-ball skills in there as well.

Green should have no problem sticking in center and has a chance to produce impressive power numbers. While there is not much more room to fill out for Green, he is as physically imposing of an 18-year-old as we have seen in pro-ball in a while.

With tools across the board and impressive bloodlines, there’s plenty to dream on with Green. The Nationals are hoping for a five-tool centerfielder here and if he hits enough, they might just get one.

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48. Brooks Lee - SS - Minnesota Twins

Height/Weight: 6’2′, 200 | Bat/Throw: S/R | 1st Round (8) – 2022 | ETA: 2024

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The safest bat in the 2022 draft class, the switch hitting Lee has added muscle to tap into above average power to pair with his 70 grade hit tool.

Offense

When you watch Lee hit, it is easy to understand how he was so consistent through his three collegiate seasons and kept it rolling into his first 31 pro games. Lee’s swing is almost identical from both sides of the plate, utilizing a simple set up and quiet load while relying on his impressive bat speed and added strength to produce impact.

Lee has a knack for manipulating the barrel, showing the ability to spray the ball all over the field even when he is fooled or the pitch is in a tough location. Lee has flashed above average power to his pull side and will pick his spots to try to do damage.

A zone contact rate of 89% through his 31 professional games while walking at a solid 12% mark, Lee should be a high on-base, low strikeout threat annually. He has the tendency to get very contact-oriented, hitting more balls into the ground than desired, but his pro sample size is extremely small and he was handling aggressive assignments to High-A then Double-A in the early days of his Twins career.

Lee’s floor is as high as any 2022 draftee and his ceiling will likely be dictated by how much he can slug. He has the power to mash 20 homers along with an elite ability to hit.

Defense/Speed

Fundamentally sound and instinctual, Lee is a consistent defender at shortstop. The added strength/weight has slowed Lee down a tick and his range is limited. He has a good arm and can make all of the throws as well as smooth actions, however he is likely to be closer to an average defender at the position. Some evaluators see Lee as a candidate to move off of short.

Outlook

Viewed as a high-level draft prospect dating back to his high school days, Lee elected to play for his father at Cal Poly where he raked for three seasons as well as on the Cape. It was more of the same for Lee in his 31 pro games, hitting .303/.389/.451 in High-A and briefly Double-A. Lee will likely climb quickly, with a good chance to hit for a high average and get on base at a high clip while hitting for at least average power.

49. Drew Romo - C - Colorado Rockies

Height/Weight: 6’1, 205 | Bat/Throw: S/R | CBA Round (35) – 2020 (COL) | ETA: 2024

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A rare, ahead-of-his-years prep catching prospect, Romo has impressed both at the plate and behind it.

Offense

A switch-hitter with a good feel to hit from both sides of the plate, Romo’s swing is built for line drives and a lot of contact. Romo’s stroke from the left side is really impressive as he stays short, compact and quick. The efficiency of his swing and simple pre-swing moves help him frequently be on time as well as get to tough pitches.

Romo offers a bit more power from the left side, where his swing has a bit more natural lift and his body is more balanced and under control. The 20-year-old possesses a great feel for the barrel and is tough to strike out. While Romo is strong and athletic enough to tap into some more power, his simple swing from both sides of the plate combined with above average bat speed has him trending towards a comfortably above average hit tool with enough power from both sides of the plate to be satisfied.

Defense/Speed

As we continue to see with this new generation of catchers, athleticism can really help set prospects apart behind the dish; especially high school catchers. Romo is already an advanced defender with a plus arm and earns high marks for the way he commands a game.

Romo moves well and has impressed with his ability to block and receive. The Rockies may have a Gold Glover in a few years at catcher.

Outlook

There is nobody standing in front of Romo and the Rockies starting catching job in the next couple years and with his polish as a hitter and defender, he could climb through the minors quicker than many may have expected.

Romo has some similarities to J.T. Realmuto, and while that may be aiming high, he has given no reason to believe that those heights are not achievable.

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50. Max Meyer - RHP - Miami Marlins

Height/Weight: 6’0, 195 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (3), 2020 (MIA) | ETA: 2022

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Tommy John Surgery put an end to Meyer’s rookie season shortly after his big league debut. Prior to Meyer’s injury, his fastball ticked up and he showed a much better better feel for his changeup, hedging some of his perceived reliever risk arsenal wise.

Arsenal

Meyer’s calling card is his plus-plus slider which sits 89-91 and generates 2800 RPM’s. Meyer commands the pitch exceptionally well to his glove side, sweeping it away from right-handed hitters and burying the offering down and in on the back leg of lefties thanks to its gyro break.

Even when hitters know the slider is coming, they don’t stand much of a chance. In Meyer’s 178 professional innings, opponents have hit just .111/.169/.215 against Meyer’s slider even with him throwing it nearly 40% of the time.

The slider Meyer’s fastball, as his inward twist with his leg lift helps him hide the ball a bit longer before uncorking his quick arm from a similar release point across the two offerings.

Though Meyer’s fastball sits 95-97 mph, it lacks desired shape and life. The pitch has been hit hard in pro ball, with opponents posting an OPS above .900 against the pitch in his 37 starts. The good news is Meyer’s fastball ticked up a notch prior to his injury, helping him get more whiffs on the pitch.

The former Minnesota Golden Gopher did not need to use his changeup much in college thanks to his dominant slider and high velocity fastball, but Meyer has made a concerted effort to improve the quality of his third pitch. Meyer went to the pitch around 15% of the time in his 15 starts this season as a weak contact weapon even when it is not located perfectly.

Even mixing in a changeup a handful of times per game will be enough for Meyer with the way he can manipulate and locate his slider to both lefties and righties. 

Outlook

A two-way player at Minnesota, Meyer’s athleticism is more than evident on the mound with the way he is able to use his lower half and repeat his mechanics, helping him to above average command.

While Meyer’s only plus pitch is his slider, it has a chance to be one of the best sliders in baseball. Meyer will likely need to tweak his fastball shape to reach his ceiling, whether that be switching to more of a heavy two-seamer or finding a way to throw the pitch with more riding life and vertical break.

Though the injury is unfortunate, Tommy John Surgery has become such commonplace in baseball that it is more of a detour than a setback or reason for concern. To this point, it is really hard to deny the results from Meyer.

Meyer is an ultra-competitor who is not afraid to attack hitters and if he can improve his fastball shape, he projects as a middle of the rotation arm that will provide flashes of a bit more when he’s on.

51. Ken Waldichuk - LHP - Oakland Athletics

Height/Weight: 6’4′, 220 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 5th Round (165) – 2019 (NYY) | ETA: 2022

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Built-in deception and a high spin fastball helps Waldichuk pick up K’s in bunches, despite his secondaries being just average or slightly above. The southpaw’s stuff has ticked up a bit over the last couple seasons and his command continues to improve, giving him a much better outlook as a potential rotation piece.

Waldichuk was dealt to the A’s as part of the Frankie Montas return at the 2022 Trade Deadline.

Arsenal

One of the Yankees biggest breakout pitching prospects in 2021, Waldichuk piled up strikeouts in bunches behind a four pitch mix with build in deception. Waldichuk stands at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds and generates a ton of extension from his high three quarters release. While his stuff may not jump off the page pitch profile wise, it looks like it is coming out of a slingshot with the way he hides the ball. There are some similarities with Trevor Rogers in the way that Waldichuk’s funkiness makes for an uncomfortable at bat.

Waldichuk’s heater sits in the mid 90’s and is a high-spin pitch averaging over 2,300 RPMs. He gets plenty of whiffs on the pitch at the top of the zone. The fastball gets in on hitters really quickly, exploding out of his tough release point. This season, Waldichuk racked up an impressive 14.6% swinging strike rate on the offering.

Waldichuk has a pair of breaking balls and a changeup that he mixes well, but the slider and change lead the way for him off of his fastball. As lefties are geared up for a heater with life, Waldichuk will sling the slider, catching hitters cheating and generating some ugly swings. The pitch is above average in the low 80s and he has commanded it with more success this season.

While it is his go-to weapon against lefties, Waldichuk will mix in the slider against right-handed hitters with success as well. Opposing hitters from both sides of the plate have slashed just .110/.197/.174 against the pitch this season.

The changeup is a pitch that I think will continue to play up as Waldichuk learns to command it. A tough pitch for right-handed hitters to pick up, Waldichuk hides the ball well and repeats his release point with the change. Often times, hitters cannot differentiate the changeup from his riding fastball until it’s too late. Even though the change is an above average pitch, it plays up to plus because of the way it works off of his fastball.

Waldichuk will also mix in an average curveball in the upper 70s as a fourth pitch to change pace and steal strikes.

Outlook

Back to back seasons in the upper minors with gaudy strike out numbers and improving walk rates had Waldichuk continuing his ascent as a highly regarded pitching prospect after being a more under-the-radar guy as a fifth round pick in 2019.

The 24-year-old is not a finished product, however his steady maturation on the mound earned him a taste of the big leagues in 2022 where he showed plenty of flashes of his mid-rotation upside while also reminding us that there is still some work to do. His natural deception, solid pitch mix and gradually improving command make for a back end of the rotation starter at worst with No. 3 upside.

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52. George Valera - OF - Cleveland Guardians

Height/Weight: 6’0, 180 | Bat/Throw: L/R | IFA: $1.3M (2017) – CLE | ETA: 2023

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Valera’s calling card is his sweet left-handed swing geared for lift and power. Though swing and miss concerns cloud the 21-year-old’s outlook a bit, his consistent production has become impossible to ignore.

Offense

Valera starts with an open stance and his weight heavily stacked on his backside which helps him control his lower half throughout his load and into his swing while keeping his weight back. Valera has exciting power–especially to his pull side–but the 21-year-old will at times look to pull a bit too much.

Valera’s swing can get long on him and the desire to go pull-side could be stemming from just wanting to get the barrel out in time, though it has caused him to be more susceptible to roll over on off speed, pulling the ball 65% of the time on non-fastballs while putting it on the ground 52% of the time.

A patient hitter, Valera punishes mistakes and will wait the pitcher out until he makes one. The ability to shrink the zone and crush pitches middle in hedges some of Valera’s swing and miss concerns and though he seems like he could get exposed against higher quality pitching, Valera has put up solid numbers in Triple-A as a 21-year-old.

When Valera is at his best, he is able to stay back hip and let his natural bat speed/strength eat. He has flashed the ability to drive the ball the other way with authority, but the front foot swings casting out and around the baseball have been more frequent.

Impressive bat speed with a swing that is geared for home runs paired with Valera’s patience at the plate make him a likely three true outcome slugger who should undoubtedly benefit from the limiting of the shift at the MLB level.

While there are holes in Valera’s game, he has remained productive at every level, reaching Triple-A before his 22nd birthday. There’s an outside shot that Valera can mature into an average hitter, but it is more likely that he is a below average hitter who can walk at a high clip and slug.

Defense/Speed

A slightly above average runner, Valera is a good athlete who moves his feet pretty well along with an average arm. With decent defensive tools across the board, Valera should be a fine defender in a corner outfield spot. He has played all three spots in his Minor League career, but he is most comfortable and experienced in right field.

Outlook

With George Valera, it is really about the bat. The good news is, the bat is exciting. The Dominican Republic-native offers 30+ home run upside with an above average OBP and hope for an average hit tool.

There seems to be some dissent in the industry as to how valuable of a prospect Valera is, but he has responded to every promotion by making the adjustments needed and remaining productive. Already on the 40 man roster, Valera could break into the big leagues next year, though another few hundred at bats in Triple-A would do him well.

53. Henry Davis - C - Pittsburgh Pirates

Height/Weight: 6’2, 210 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (1), 2021 (PIT) | ETA: 2023

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The top selection in 2021’s MLB Draft has been banged up in his first full pro season, but has shown flashes of offensive brilliance.

Offense

Starts crouched and slightly open. Hovers with front leg to help keep weight back. Though a bit unorthodox, Davis generates a ton of torque and rotational power with his swing while staying extremely short to the ball.

Davis put the questions around his swing to bed by slashing .370/.482/.663 with 17 homers and 31 walks against just 24 K’s versus ACC pitching in 2021. It was more of the same for Davis in his 22 High-A games this season, quickly earning a promotion to Double-A where injuries derailed his season.

Even in just 53 games, Davis launched nine homers along with 21 extra base hits, flashing his plus raw power. While his swing is geared for doing damage to his pull side, Davis generates enough bat speed and backspin to where the ball carries well to all fields.

Davis syncs his strong lower half and upper body well starting from the beginning of his swing where his unique hand load is almost always in the sequence with his slow leg kick. Frequently putting himself in a good position to hit along with a short, quick swing, Davis projects as an above average hitter. Pair the above average hit tool with plus raw power and you have a really exciting offensive profile for any position let alone a catcher.

Defense/Speed

Davis’ best tool on defense is his 70-grade arm. He’s a good athlete which provides some optimism that he can continue to improve behind the dish, but he has some work to do in regards to blocking and receiving.

He was able to get away with some things in college thanks to his absurd arm, but he will need to shore up some defensive fundamentals to provide value on the defensive side of things.

Outlook

At the end of the day, the big asset here is Davis’ bat. That being said, the Pirates took him first overall to be the catcher of the future, and he has a chance to be just that. Davis has shown good bat-to-ball skills and immense pull-side power that should have Pirates fans excited.

Though his reps have been limited at the professional level thus far, Davis is a polished hitter who should be able to make up for lost time. He’ll see time in the Arizona Fall League before picking things back up next season in the upper minors. Davis has a chance to hit for average along with 30 homer upside.

54. Brennen Davis - OF - Chicago Cubs

Age: 22 | Height/Weight: 6’4′, 220 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (62), 2020 (CHC) | ETA: 2022

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After a breakout 2021, injuries and a back surgery in May stifled Davis’ momentum in the early going of 2022. Davis has a chance to be a dynamic outfielder with an enviable combination of power and speed, but he will need to find health and consistency in Triple-A.

Davis returned from injury for the final month of the Triple-A season and is slated to get more at bats in the Arizona Fall League while eying a strong start to 2023 and a potential call up.

Offense

When Davis was drafted in 2018, he was seen as a tall, lanky kid with quick-twitch ability, but scouts were unsure what to expect with the bat. After all, Davis did not really focus on baseball until his senior season of high school, excelling on the basketball court as well. 

Early in Davis’ career, you’ll also see an “armsy” swing that doesn’t incorporate his lower half very much. An inconsistent lower half is common among younger players and is going to be even more pronounced when you are 6-foot-4, 175 pounds. Davis showed up in 2019 looking much more physical and has continuously added strength. Now listed at 210 pounds, you can see the physicality making its way into Davis’ game. 

It doesn’t take much for Davis to generate power, especially now that his lower half plays a part in his swing. Limited effort and quick twitch athleticism allow Davis to control his body well. Despite his long levers, Davis typically does a good job of staying short to the ball. The outfielder has no problem hitting the ball where it’s pitched and has shown an easy ability to leave the yard from foul pole to foul pole.

Defense/Speed

A plus runner, Davis has the goods to stick in center field along with an above-average arm which could handle either corner as well. Like many young outfielders the 22-year-old could improve on his reads in center, but his quickness from his days on the basketball court and recovery speed give him a margin for error.

While stolen bases have not been a huge part of his game, Davis’ plus speed and long strides make him an effective base runner and he should be able to swipe 10-15 bags per year with ease.

Outlook

Davis earns high marks for his makeup and work ethic, which has been backed up by his consistent progression. The former second round pick has mashed his way to Triple-A in just 152 games. The power/speed combo that Davis possesses along with a good feel to hit evoke some young Matt Kemp memories.

It was huge for Davis to return to the field before the end of the 2022 season to shake off the rust from missing the majority of the season. It will likely take Davis some time to fully regain his explosiveness both at the plate and in the field and he will likely be one of the most closely watched prospects in the Arizona Fall League.

Davis has elite offensive upside with the ability to play all three outfield spots at a high level. A mostly lost 2022 season hurts, but Davis climbed levels so quickly that he will still be relatively young for the Triple-A level at 23 years old by the start of next season. If Davis is not hampered by his back injury, he could blossom into an all-around All Star in the Cubs outfield.

55. Harry Ford - C - Seattle Mariners

Age: 19 | Height/Weight: 5’10, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (12), 2021 (SEA) | ETA: 2024

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First round prep catchers have a brutal track record, but Ford is not your typical prep catcher. Easy plus speed and projectable power give Ford plenty of upside even if he does not stick behind the dish.

Offense

One of the most dynamic players in the 2021 Draft, mock drafts had Ford going as high as the top five and as low as the twenties; the athletic catcher wound up somewhere in the middle, selected 12th overall by Seattle. Ford already looks like a potential steal, turning in a great offensive season in 2022, flashing his above average power along with an extremely advanced approach for his age.

At a physical 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, Ford generates impressive bat speed and a compact swing geared for line drives. Ford scrapped the leg kick in favor of a toe tap which has helped him catch up to higher velocity and has not come at the expense of power. Ford has a great feel for the barrel and is able to get to a lot of difficult pitches thanks to his lightning-quick hands.

Ford impressively only chased 14% of pitches in this season, helping him walk at a 18% clip. Though he is pretty filled out frame wise, Ford has more power in the tank if he can sync his upper body and lower half up more.

Ford already makes good swing decisions, shows a good feel for the barrel and has flashed above average power as a 19-year-old. There’s a nice blend of on base skills, power potential and athleticism that could make Ford a dynamic offensive threat.

Defense/Speed

Ford reminds me a bit of Daulton Varsho. He’s so athletic and cerebral that he will find a way to develop into at least an average defensive catcher .Unsurprisingly, he moves well and gets to difficult pitches to block. His receiving is better than I thought it would be, and his arm looks average.

He is such a good athlete that he could probably play centerfield much like Varsho if the Mariners wanted to get Ford some run in other spots or if he doesn’t develop behind the dish like the team hopes. An easy plus runner, Ford stole 23 bases on 28 tries this season.

Outlook

Projecting a player as unique as Harry Ford is difficult, but for nothing but good reasons. If Ford struggles behind the dish like many of his high school catching predecessors, he has a really exciting bat and plus speed to fall back on.

If Ford is able to stay at catcher, he could be one of the most dynamic prospects we have seen in a while. It is worth wondering if moving Ford to centerfield would be better for the longevity of his career and overall value, especially if the 19-year-old isn’t providing much value with his glove. Ford has the offensive skillset to put up 20/20 seasons while being an OBP machine.

56. Adael Amador - SS - Colorado Rockies

Height/Weight: 6’0, 170 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: $1.5M – 2019 (COL) | ETA: 2025

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A switch-hitter with a great feel to hit, it’s easy to see why the Rockies shelled out $1.5 million for Amador in 2019’s loaded IFA class.

Offense

Amador is a polished hitter who repeats his moves well with great timing. From the left side, Amador utilizes a gathering leg kick in tandem with a rhythmic hand load with impressive control. You almost forget he’s only 19 years old by the way he is able to duplicate his swings and some of the easy takes he has.

From the right side, Amador’s lower half is a bit less involved resulting in a little less power output. Amador makes up for it with borderline elite bat-to-ball skills as a righty and low chase rates. You’ll see Amador use his leverage counts to let swing for more from the left side more frequently, but he is adept to adjusting within at bats and catering his approach to the situation.

Amador has steadily put on some strength since signing and has room for some more muscle as well. As he stands now, the 19-year-old has a chance to get on base at an impressive clip while mixing in 15-20 homers and plenty of doubles. If Amador adds more strength, he could push 20-25 homers, but there’s little question on the hit tool.

Defense/Speed

A good athlete, Amador flashes impressive range at shortstop and quick feet. His actions continue to get smoother as he logs more innings at the position, but Amador has closer to an average arm.

There’s a chance Amador could move to second base, where his defense could be elite, but for now Amador looks to have a solid chance to stick at the position, especially if he improves his arm strength.

An above-average runner, Amador is probably not going to steal bases in bunches, but his athleticism should allow him to be a positive on the base paths overall.

Outlook

Amador is one of the more polished under-20 prospects in all of the minor leagues. Already walking more than he strikes out as a switch hitter who has tapped into some pop, the Dominican Republic native should continue to crack Top-100 lists across the industry.

The defense will be something to follow for Amador, not because he isn’t capable at shortstop, but rather the presence of Ezequiel Tovar and Amador’s elite defensive potential at second base could result in a move to the other side of the diamond at the upper levels.

Regardless, Amador’s bat and approach should carry him up the ranks quicker than many of his peers. It’s easy to envision a low-strikeout switch-hitter who will surprise you with his sneaky power and ability to get on base.

57. Mick Abel - RHP - Philadelphia Phillies

Height/Weight: 6’5, 195 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st round (15), 2020 (PHI) | ETA: 2024

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The most talented prep arm in the 2020 draft class, Abel has not disappointed thus far, reaching Double-A in 32 pro starts. Possessing electric stuff, it’s a matter of command for the tall and talented righty.

Arsenal

Abel’s arsenal has the potential to be frontline caliber. His fastball sits at 94-97 miles-per-hour, topping at 99 with high spin rates and limited effort. The heater has some riding life to it and plays well at the top of the zone, generating an impressive 13.4% swinging strike rate this season.

Working off of the fastball for Abel is a plus slider in the mid 80’s with late, sharp downward bite. Because of its shape, Abel is able to utilize the pitch with success to both righties and lefties. That said, Abel also possesses a changeup that has flashed above average with arm-side fade. Abel will almost exclusively go to the change against lefties, giving him another look aside from his slider. 

Abel’s fourth offering is an average curveball that can blend at times with his slider in the low 80’s. Because of Abel’s arm speed and ability to spin the baseball, there’s a chance his curve could develop into something a bit more. 

Outlook

Consistently punching out batters at a 27% clip or higher, Abel dominated lower level hitters with his fastball/slider combination though his feel for his changeup has improved as the season progressed. Command has been a challenge for Abel in the early going as he has long levers to sync up causing some inconsistencies with his delivery.

If Abel can even get to average command, his stuff will give him a great chance of developing into an above average No. 3 starter. There’s room for more upside with the 21-year-old, who earns high marks for his tireless work ethic. Improved feel for his changeup and overall command could have Abel trending closer to a front line starter.

58. Brice Turang - SS - Milwaukee Brewers

Height/Weight: 6’1’, 170 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (21) – 2018 (MIL) | ETA: 2023

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Nothing jumps off of the page with Turang, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a glaring weakness in his game. A superb defender who has already reached Triple-A at 22 years old, Turang has finally started to hit the ball with more authority.

Offense

Turang has impressed scouts with his ability to hit and polish dating back to his high school days in Corona, California. Lacking some of the tools to dream on, Turang slipped to the back end of the first round in 2018’s MLB Draft. 

The first two pro seasons for Turang were a solid but also reinforced some of the fears that scouts had: there was plenty of contact, but not much more than that offensively. After another average offensive season in 2021, Turang adjusted his set up and has tapped into more power this season. 

The left-handed hitter widened his stance while getting more into his legs than his previous upright setup. Turang also adjusted his hands from sitting on his shoulder near his head to further away from his body and further back in his stance. The adjustment likely helps him keep his hands back longer while creating more tension/stored energy prior to uncoiling at launch. 

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The tweaks have translated for Turang who has seen his 90th percentile exit velocity jump by 1.5 MPH with more 105+ batted balls than his previous two seasons combined. 

Hitting the ball harder has unsurprisingly resulted in a career-year power wise for Turang. Never having hit more than six homers in a season entering this year, Turang has already launched a dozen long balls through his first 110 games this season. 

Even with the added power, Turang has still maintained his impressive contact rates while commanding the strike zone. The 22-year-old has always impressed with his feel for the barrel and ability to spray the ball all over the field. 

Turang will always be a hit over power guy, but with fringe average power, a well-above average hit tool and a knack for getting on base, the former first rounder has a good chance to be a consistently above average hitter.

Defense/Speed

A plus runner, Turang’s speed is impactful both in the field and on the base paths. Impressive range, smooth actions, an above average arm and impressive instincts have Turang looking like a plus defender at the highest level. 

Despite projecting as an impact defender at shortstop, the Brewers have given Turang some making starts this season at third base, second base and even centerfield likely due to the presence of Willy Adames with the big league club. 

The speed has always been there for Turang, but he has looked as comfortable on the base paths as ever. On pace to set a career high in stolen bases, he has also been the most efficient of his career, swiping his first 29 bags on 31 tries this season. 

Outlook

One of baseball’s higher floor prospects, Turang may never be a star, but he has a great chance to be an MLB regular and potentially a solid one at that. Still just 22 years old and producing above-average numbers in Triple-A, Turang has a great chance to break camp with the Brewers next season. 

The uptick in power has added a bit more up upside to Turang’s profile and his well-rounded game is reminiscent of the Cubs’ Nico Hoerner. 

59. Oswald Peraza - SS - New York Yankees

Height/Weight: 6’0, 170 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $170K, 2017 (NYY) | ETA: 2022

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Peraza shook off a slow start in Triple-A, mashing from June onwards before earning an audition in the Bronx as a September call up. Plus defense and speed headline Peraza’s exciting tools, but the kid can swing it too.

Offense

Despite being younger than the average player at every Minor League stop he’s been at, Peraza has held his own with both the bat and his glove along the way. 2021 was truly a breakout season for Peraza and he put up another strong offensive season as a 21-year-old in Triple-A this year.

Peraza has a silky smooth right-handed stroke that features a big, slow and controlled leg kick and a clean barrel path that stays in the zone for a long time. The swing takes extreme body control and athleticism that Peraza has a ton of. 

He has good bat speed that allows him to produce above-average raw power and he’s starting to show he can get to it in games. Peraza also features a noticeable two strike approach, in which he minimizes the leg kick and looks to battle. It’s similar to Bo Bichette, albeit with less power. He’ll need to continue to improve his knowledge of the strike zone as he moves up, as he could stand to walk at a higher rate. The bat-to-ball skills are excellent and he has a real chance to become a plus hitter with solid power when all is said and done.

Speed/Defense

Peraza is a plus runner with good footwork at shortstop, giving him above-average range. His plus arm strength allows him to make all the throws necessary and his hands are among the best in the Yankees system; the 22-year-old should be a plus at short at the highest level.

A much more aggressive and efficient base runner this season, Peraza stole 33 bases on 38 tries in Triple-A. He has drawn immense praise for his high baseball IQ and should be a 20+ stolen base threat in the big leagues.

Outlook

Peraza’s sweet swing from the right side and plus defense at short make him a high probability everyday shortstop. The Venezuela native has the upside of a fringe All-Star if he continues to develop offensively. If he can further refine his plate discipline and continue to tap into his above average raw power, Peraza could be a 20/20 threat with an impact glove at short.

60. Owen White - RHP - Texas Rangers

Height/Weight: 6’3, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (55), 2018 (TEX) | ETA: 2023

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Drafted in 2018, injuries and a COVID canceled season delayed White’s debut until 2021, but the right-hander has been well worth the wait. Explosive stuff and an advanced feel to pitch has helped White make up for lost time, dominating hitters over the last two seasons and finishing this year in Double-A.

Arsenal 

Since debuting in 2021, White’s fastball has operated in the mid 90s, topping out at 97 mph with riding life. White’s fastball is easily a plus pitch thanks to the strong velocity, high spin rates and his ability to command it east/west and north/south.

White has an assortment of secondaries he is comfortable going to off of his fastball, but his slider is the best of the bunch. The right-hander snaps his slider in the mid 80s with late horizontal bite, while commanding it exceptionally well. His ability to spot it on both sides of the plate makes it effective to both lefties and righties.

The third above average or better pitch for White is his changeup in the upper 80s with late dive. White has gained more confidence in the pitch this season, landing it for a strike more frequently and using it as his go-to secondary pitch against lefties. The pitch is comfortably above average and plays up off of his lively fastball.

White’s curveball flashes above average in the 78-81 mph range, featuring more downward break and depth. Smooth and easy mechanics help White repeat his delivery and pound the strike zone. His present command is above average with potential for plus.

Outlook

White entered 2022 with only 71 innings pitched in his professional career including his dominant stint in the Arizona Fall League at the end of last year. The limited track record caused us to keep White towards the back of our preseason top 100 list this year, however another 80 impressive innings has White climbing up the list and positioning himself as one of the better right-handed pitching prospects in baseball.

An impressive four pitch mix which features three above average or better offerings, White’s above average command in tandem with the stuff gives him a high probability of being a No. 4 starter with enough upside to be a high-end No. 3.

61. Jackson Merrill - SS - San Diego Padres

Height/Weight: 6’3, 195 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (27) – 2021 | ETA: 2025

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An under slot first round pick, the Padres followed their trend of scooping up pop up prospects with the selection of Merrill. Not only has his hit tool translated, but Merrill is hitting the ball with more authority than many evaluators anticipated with even more room for projection

Offense

Injuries cut Merrill’s season to just 45 games this year, though that was all the 19-year-old needed to show that he has a lot more upside than he was given credit for. Merrill enjoyed a growth spurt in his senior year of high school and seems to just be reaping the rewards of the added physicality. He also has seen his natural hitting ability that attracted the Padres in the first place translate into pro ball.

Merrill starts with a slightly open stance, relaxed hands and his weight slightly stacked on his back side. His hand load is quiet and he uses a small step to get himself closed while keeping his energy stored in his back hip. Merrill maneuvers the barrel really well with great plate coverage. His 89% zone contact and just 19% strikeout rate reinforce Merrill’s well above average ability to hit.

I’d be lying to you if I said I expected above average exit velocities from Merrill in year one, however his max exit velocity of 110 mph and 90th percentile EV of 104 mph with still plenty of room to fill out has Merrill looking like he could tap into even more juice.

Defense/Speed

While just an average runner, Merrill moves his feet well at shortstop and has the goods to potentially stick there. If he slows down a step, there is a chance that Merrill could move to second base or third, but for now he looks like he should get every shot at short.

Outlook

18 years old at the start of the season, Merrill seems to still be maturing physically which makes him somewhat more difficult to project than other prospects and the limited action in 2022 doesn’t help. Regardless, Merrill has exceeded my expectations in every way, hitting the ball with much more authority than anticipated with his well above average ability to hit immediately shining through.

If Merrill continues to fill out and tap into his power, he could be a breakout name to watch in 2023.

62. Royce Lewis - SS - Minnesota Twins

Age: 23 | Height/Weight: 6’2, 210 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (1), 2017 (MIN) | ETA: 2022

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After not being seen in a game setting since 2019 due to injuries and 2020’s MiLB season cancellation, Lewis looked healthy and much improved at the plate in 2022 before unfortunately re-tearing his ACL.

Offense

When the Twins drafted him first overall in the 2017 MLB Draft, they saw an uber-athletic position player with a high-floor coupled with a high-ceiling. Unfortunately, things have not gone to plan for either Lewis or the Twins. After a rough 2019 Minor League season, Lewis broke out as the MVP of the Arizona Fall League. Just as things were looking up for the young prospect, an ACL tear abruptly ended Lewis’ 2021 season before it began.

It seemed like 2022 was finally the season where Lewis was starting to put it all together. There was some buzz around the backfields in Spring Training regarding how good Lewis looked, and the former top pick has made some extremely encouraging adjustments at the plate. Lewis eliminated his dramatic leg kick, which often threw his timing off as well as his balance in favor of a toe tap to simplify things while letting his natural bat speed and athleticism produce the power.

Even with quieting his pre-swing moves down, Lewis still produced big time exit velocities in his limited action including a max EV of 114 MPH and near elite 107.9 MPH 90th percentile EV.

The changes really helped Lewis find offensive consistency, lighting up Triple-A to a .313/.405/.534 clip before getting the call up to the big leagues where he did kept things rolling for a dozen games before going down with the injury.

Lewis was striking out as his lowest clip since he was in High-A while walking more than he ever had. Assuming he makes a 100% recovery, there’s 30 home run power in the tank with a well above average hit tool and a newfound ability to draw free passes.

Defense/Speed

Lewis has shown he can handle shortstop throughout the Minor Leagues. His plus wheels and athleticism allow him to move around the field with ease and his plus arm strength only strengthens his defensive profile. Lewis could be a bit more consistent with his actions at times, but that will come with more reps…and we know he has lost out on plenty of those.

This is all under the assumption that Lewis returns looking like he did prior to the re-tearing his ACL. He may not be as aggressive on the base paths, however even a tempered Lewis can swipe 20 bags with ease.

Outlook 

Lewis has all the tools to be an impact big leaguer, and the positive adjustments he made in the batter’s box make it that much more frustrating that he went down with another serious injury. Possessing as much upside as anyone you are going to find in the back end of the Top 100 list and somehow still just 23 years old, Lewis has the ingredients to become a perennial All-Star.

63. Quinn Priester - RHP - Pittsburgh Pirates

Height/Weight: 6’3, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (18) – 2019 | ETA: 2022

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Preister built on a good 2021 with a great 2022, finishing the year in Triple-A and putting himself on track for PNC Park at some point in 2023.

Arsenal

Priester has a deep bag of five pitches that he will mix really well. The right-hander has a four seamer and sinker along with a plus curve, slider and changeup. The four seam fastball has been a hittable pitch for Priester through the years. It sits in the 93-95 mph range but lacks shape.

Introducing the sinker more frequently this season has helped Priester immensely. He has upped his usage of the pitch by 10%, helping him generate a lot of ground balls and more whiffs than his fastball from his over-the-top release point that really makes the pitch dart to his arm side and under barrels.

Priester’s best pitch his his plus plus curveball in the upper 70s with 12-6 break. The pitch breaks so much that it can be difficult to land for a strike, but Priester racked up a 45% chase rate with the offering while allowing almost no hard contact.

Rounding out Priester’s arsenal is an above average slider and changeup. The slider sits in the mid 80s with a cutterish, short break. He spots the pitch well, almost exclusively using it against righties. Priester’s changeup lags behind the rest of his arsenal. It flashes average with decent arm side fade, however Priester struggles to command it.

Outlook

The lack of fastball quality was my biggest concern with Priester and the use of his sinker has helped hedge that immensely. Not only does Priester get more whiffs with his sinker than his four seamer, but it is also a weak contact machine.

Priester may not consistently be a huge strikeout pitcher, though when he is on, he can accumulate K’s in bunches. Even when the stuff isn’t all the way there, Priester’s above average command and five pitch mix helps him turn in quality starts. Priester has the ceiling of a No. 3 starter with a great chance at being an above average No. 4. He’s near big league ready.

64. Joey Wiemer - OF - Milwaukee Brewers

Height/Weight: 6’5, 220 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 4th Round (121), 2020 (MIL) | ETA: 2023

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An unorthodox set up and swing that has done nothing but produce big results, it is easy to see how Wiemer has drawn comparisons to Hunter Pence, but Wiemer has larger tools and risk.

Offense

After struggling to tap into his plus raw power at the University of Cincinnati, Wiemer made some adjustments to get the ball in the air more. The big right-handed hitter starts heavily stacked on his backside using a pronounced toe tap as a timing mechanism. 

A great athlete for his 6-foot-5, 220 pound frame, Wiemer repeats his unique moves really well and does a great job of adjusting to tough pitches. There’s a bit of zone whiff for Wiemer, but he makes up for it with a solid approach and spectacular slugging on contact. 

Despite liking to go to his pull-side for damage, Wiemer has shown easy pop to all fields and does a good job of hitting the ball where it’s pitched. There are few hitters in the minors who hit fastballs harder than Wiemer and his stacked setup helps him stay back on off speed.

Against heaters this season, Wiemer is slashing .370/.467/.704 with 14 homers and the harder the pitcher throws the more comfortable he seems. Wiemer’s ability to catch up to almost any velocity while holding his own against secondary stuff really improves his outlook in regards to his hit tool.

At one point this season, Wiemer looked lost in Double-A for weeks. Now at the Triple-A level, things have clicked for Wiemer as his chase and whiff rates have dwindled as the season has progressed. Elite raw power that has produced homers as far as 480 feet paired with extremely positive trends in the hit-tool department leave me wondering just how high Wiemer can ascend.

Defense/Speed

An above average runner who uses his long strides to cover ground quickly, Wiemer is fast enough to play all three outfield spots, but projects better at a corner where his 80 grade arm will shine. Wiemer has struggled at times with his jumps and reads, but his tools are just too tantalizing to write off his definitive upside.

Wiemer mentioned on our prospect podcast “The Call Up” how he would like stolen bases to remain an aspect of his game even at the highest level. He has held true to his assertion, swiping 31 bases on 34 tries between Double-A and Triple-A this season.

Outlook

Already looking like one of the biggest position player steals of the 2020 MLB Draft, Wiemer has enjoyed a spectacular first two professional seasons, launching 48 homers while stealing 61 bases in 232 games.

The 23-year-old could find himself in the big leagues as early as Opening Day 2023 and has the upside of a 30-30 threat with solid defense in a corner. The loud nature of his game and hard-nosed hustle will surely make him a fan favorite in Milwaukee.

65. Michael Busch - 2B - Los Angeles Dodgers

Height/Weight: 6’1′, 210 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (31), 2019 (LAD) | ETA: 2023

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A powerful bat who controls the strike zone really well, Busch has the ingredients of a Max Muncy lite.

Offense

Busch features a short, compact swing that produces big exit velos and massive backspin to all parts of the park. Busch’s opposite-field power is perhaps the most impressive aspect of his game. A significant amount of his homers were hit to left field off of fastballs middle away.

The power does come with some swing-and-miss concerns, though it seems the strikeouts pile up due to Busch’s willingness to get deep into counts. One of the biggest adjustments he’ll have to make at the big league level is picking his spots and when to be aggressive early in counts. Overall, there is 30 homer power here with good on-base skills and an ability to hit lefties. 

Defense/Speed

The majority of his time in the field is spent at second base. While he has improved significantly since being drafted, he is a below-average defender there due to his heavy-ish feet and not enough arm to make up for it.

With the shift being banned in the majors next season, it’ll be interesting to see if the Dodgers continue rolling him out at the keystone. Busch is a below-average runner who doesn’t project to be especially good at any position on the diamond. 

Outlook

Busch’s value will be dictated by the potency of his bat. He will likely never contribute much with his glove or his wheels. With that being said, his patience and power offer a higher floor than most prospects and we will likely see him in LA next season.

Though an older prospect, Busch has had relatively limited professional at bats with his 2019 cut short and 2020’s cancellation. As Busch gains more experience, he should find some more offensive consistency. There’s foul pole to foul pole home run pop with a knack for getting on base and palatable whiff rates. Busch should be able to keep the strikeouts relatively in check with a lot of homers and walks.

66. Alec Burleson - OF - St. Louis Cardinals

Height/Weight: 6’2, 215 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 2nd Round (70), 2020 (STL) | ETA: 2022

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Burleson wasted no time in his pro debut, climbing three levels and finishing the year in Triple-A thanks to his strong approach and pitch recognition.

Offense

A two-way player at East Carolina, the Cardinals drafted Burleson as an outfielder and as he explained to Just Baseball back in June, exclusively focusing on hitting has allowed him to take his offensive game to the next level while tapping into more power.

Burleson has an extremely quiet set up, starting pre-stacked on his backside with just a toe tap for timing. This allows him to keep his weight back and spray the ball all over the field. Burleson has enough strength to leave the yard to all fields when he really gets a hold of one, hitting a handful of opposite field home runs this season.

With two strikes, Burleson spreads out even more, eliminating his stride and focusing on putting the ball in play. This approach is something ECU coach Cliff Godwin has instilled in his hitters and it is a big reason why Burleson has been able to maintain a minuscule 17% strikeout rate in his Minor League career.

At times, Burleson sees the ball so well that he becomes swing happy, resulting in lower walk rates. If Burleson can improve his patience a bit, he should be an OBP machine.

While Burleson may not hit towering shots or break 110 MPH exit velos, he gets good natural carry on the ball and should be a threat to hit 25+ home runs annually thanks to his high rate of contact and his sustainably high HR/FB rate

Defense/Speed

Despite being a below-average runner, Burleson’s reads and routes were solid as the year went on and his arm as a former pitcher is comfortably above-average. Burleson is capable of playing in either corner and should develop into an average defender at either spot.

Outlook

Nothing jumps off the page with Burleson, but he has a really sound, high-floor profile. A guy with an above-average hit tool and an ability to eke out every ounce of his slightly above-average power is usually a safer bet, which is why Burleson was able to accommodate the aggressive assignments.

Burleson was one of the best hitters in Triple-A this season prior to his MLB promotion, hitting .331/.372/.532 with 20 HR while striking out just 14% of the time. The 23-year-old quickly proved everything he needed to statistically in the minors along with plus makeup.

There may not be a ton of All Star appearances here, but Burleson’s game is reminiscent of his veteran teammate Corey Dickerson, albeit with better splits.

67. DL Hall - LHP - Baltimore Orioles

Height/Weight: 6’2, 195 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (21), 2017 (BAL) | ETA: 2022

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Arguably possessing the nastiest stuff of any left-handed prospect in baseball, it is all about command and health for Hall. On pace for a career-high mark for innings this season, Hall has at least made major strides in regards to the latter this year.

Arsenal

Hall is a very athletic and whippy athlete who gets great extension and features big time arm speed. The fastball is the calling card for Hall, as the 6-foot-2 lefty routinely sits in the mid-to-upper 90’s with ride.

Hall’s command of the heater is fringe average with a tendency to miss arm-side due to the heavy run he produces when he flies open too early. Hall has trouble consistently locating it to his glove side, something he will need to shore up in order to reach his ceiling.

The second plus offering for Hall is his slider with late bite in the mid 80’s. The southpaw leans on the pitch much more frequently in left-on-left matchups, holding them to a .487 OPS on the pitch.

The changeup gives Hall another comfortably above-average secondary pitch in the mid 80’s that features lots of arm-side run and some sink. He throws the pitch with good arm speed, creating lots of deception, making it his go-to secondary against right-handed hitters. The change has the ability to miss bats, however, it specializes in inducing soft contact.

Hall also has a slurvy breaking ball that features 10-4 break in the low 80’s. His two breaking balls had the tendency to blend together earlier in his career, but he has focused on distinguishing the two offerings. Hall’s curveball lacks the tightness of his slider and is a bit more of a hittable pitch, but is still an above-average secondary that he will use to steal strikes.

Outlook

Hall saw his 2021 season cut short due to a stress reaction in his elbow, but has returned looking as good as ever this season. Though command has remained a struggle for Hall, he has continued to punch out hitters at one of the highest marks in the minors (36.6%).

The Orioles promoted Hall to pitch out of their bullpen as they tried to make a playoff push, but it was also probably to limit his innings a bit as he is on his way to a career-high mark coming off of an injury.

Hall’s repertoire is as impressive as anyones and he is clearly the second-best pitching prospect in the Orioles farm system. The raw movement on his pitches is great. However, he will have to continue to make strides with his command in order to reach his No. 2/No. 3 ceiling. As we are already seeing, Hall has a comfortable fall back as a nasty reliever.

68. Owen Caissie - OF - Chicago Cubs

Height/Weight: 6’4’, 210 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 2nd Round (45), 2020 (CHC) | ETA: 2024

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Big time physical projection and a pretty good feel for the strike zone, Caissie has immense offensive upside, especially in the power department. The then teenager received an aggressive assignment to High-A for 2022 and responded well.

Offense

Standing at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds with already impressive present pop, many evaluators are eager to see what kind of power Caissie will be able to generate as he continues to fill out and mature physically and at the plate. 

Caissie has not totally tapped into his big raw power in games due to his struggles to lower half inconsistencies. This is common for tall young hitters and his tendency to lose his back hip and drift will cause his bat to drag through the zone sometimes. As a result, Cassie found himself out on his front foot too frequently on off speed pitches, causing more weak contact and ground balls.

When Caissie is able to keep his weight back and stay in his back hip, the way he can impact the baseball to all fields is impressive and his pull side power can be jaw-dropping. Caissie is short to the ball and can really turn on pitches middle-in with authority. The newly-turned 20-year-old had 37 batted balls over 105 mph and reached exit velocities as high as 113 mph.

When everything is in sync for Caissie, you can see flashes of a potentially special power bat. As Caissie continues to iron out the inconsistencies with his lower half, there is foul pole-to-foul pole power potential for the Ontario, Canada native as he has the ability to generates a ton of leverage and natural carry.

Defense/Speed

Caissie moves well for his size, but his limited experience in the outfield heading into 2022 was evident in his reads and routes. A comfortably above-average arm and more than enough athleticism to be passable in a corner outfield spot, there is plenty of reason to believe that Caissie can develop into at least an average defender and he made solid strides defensively this season.

Outlook

Already putting on shows with his majestic batting practice homers, we started to see flashes of his plus raw power in games this season. Still with plenty of room for added strength and power in the tank and a mature approach, Caissie will need to find more consistency with his lower half and body control in general to consistently tap into his big time juice.

Still extremely young with a solid High-A season under his belt, Caissie is progressing nicely and could be a middle-of-the-order masher capable of 30+ homers if the raw pop can translate into game pop. 

69. Edwin Arroyo - SS - Cincinnati Reds

Height/Weight: 6’0′, 175 | Bat/Throw: S/S | $1.55M – 2018 (CIN) | ETA: 2025

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Arroyo was taken in the second round of 2021’s Draft as more of a glove-first shortstop, but has shown more offensive upside than many evaluators anticipated.

Offense

A compact build with some wiry strength, Arroyo really gets into his lower half with a wide, crouched stance in order to get his entire body into his swing. Despite registering slightly below-average exit velocities, Arroyo’s swing generates easy lift and carry, helping him to a respectable 12% HR/FB rate.

Arroyo displays strong bat-to-ball skills from both sides of the plate. While he has a bit more juice from the right side, Arroyo’s contact rates are better from the left side. That said, Arroyo has hit a maximum exit velocity of 106 mph from both the left and right side.

A pretty aggressive hitter, Arroyo can find himself expanding the zone a bit too frequently like many young hitters who are confident in their ability to make consistent contact. Arroyo hits fastballs well and sprays the ball all over the field, but he will need to learn to lay off of pitcher’s pitches–especially breaking balls–if he is going to reach his offensive ceiling.

Still just 18 years old, Cabrera is ahead of his peers and could tap into 20 home run pop while generating plenty of contact.

Defense/Speed

For a player in his first full pro season, Arroyo’s instincts at short are extremely impressive and he could easily be the best defensive infielder in the Reds system before long. Arroyo is a natural up the middle, with clean actions, impressive footwork and a rocket for an arm. It is easy to forget that Arroyo is just 18 years old when watching him play short.

An above-average runner, Arroyo has had success swiping bags through the lower levels and should be a threat for 15 or more stolen bases annually.

Outlook

Seemingly a sure-thing to stick at shortstop with a good chance to be a plus defender at the position, Arroyo’s perceived floor would’ve already been pretty high. Combine the impressive defense with fact that he is a athletic switch-hitter who has put up impressive numbers as an 18-year-old in Low-A and you have a relatively safe profile with enough upside to dream on.

70. Jackson Jobe - RHP - Detroit Tigers

Age: 19 | Height/Weight: 6’2, 195 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (3), 2021 | ETA: 2024

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The top prep arm in the 2021 Draft, Jobe is a data darling and a premium athlete on the mound.

Arsenal

Viewed as a candidate to climb relatively quickly, Jobe’s stay in Low-A was longer than planned due to somewhat inconsistent fastball command and lower than expected chase rates on his slider. Still, the potential was more than evident.

Jobe’s fastball sits 94-96 MPH, with high spin and solid life. Jobe’s slider flashed plus in the 82-84 MPH range, but was inconsistent this season. The pitch has produced absurd spin rates over 3,000 RPMs with impressive depth. It has the potential to be a 70-grade offering if Jobe can find more consistency and tighten it.

The third pitch for Jobe is a changeup that has flashed above average in the mid 80s. After almost never throwing it in high school, Jobe showed a pretty good feel for the pitch which boasts 14 inches of arm side fade. As he develops better command of all of his offerings, Jobe’s changeup could develop into a plus pitch.

Outlook

Jobe had the looks of one of the most polished high school arms we had seen in a while before looking more his age in his first pro season. Even so, he struck out 28% of batters and gave us glimpses into his elite potential.

Though the command is a work in progress, Jobe’s athleticism on the mound and ability to stay around the strike zone in his first year points towards above average command in the future. The newly-turned 20-year-old has some work to do to achieve his frontline ceiling, but there’s potential for three plus pitches and above average command if all goes right with Jobe’s development.

71. Tink Hence - RHP - St. Louis Cardinals

Height/Weight: 6’1′, 175 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (63), 2020 (STL) | ETA: 2022

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An electric athlete with elite arm speed, Hence overpowered Low-A hitters all year long.

Arsenal

Already boasting two plus pitches with a decent feel for a third, Hence was simply too talented to pitch the entire season season in Low-A. He simply dismantled Low-A hitters, punching out 81 batters in 52.1 innings with a WHIP of 0.88.

Leading the way for Hence is his plus heater. Sitting 95-97, topping out at 99 mph. Featuring high spin from a low release point, the pitch explodes out of his hand and generates a high percentage of whiffs in the zone. Hence stays closed for a long time, helping him hide the ball before it gets on you quickly thanks to his arm speed and the life of the pitch.

Hence’s second plus pitch is his his slurvy breaking ball in the low 80s. The pitch tunnels well off of Hence’s lively heater, making it difficult for hitters to pick up the spin until the ball is on them.

The third pitch for Hence is a mid 80s changeup that has flashed above average, but he did not need to use it much in Low-A. The pitch can get firm on him, though he does have a decent feel for the pitch.

Outlook

A premium athlete on the mound, it is really fun to watch Hence pitch. He works quickly and repeats his delivery well, getting the most out of his smaller frame with his mechanics.

Good stuff and already solid command, Hence has big upside. He could benefit from adding some strength to his wiry frame. The Cardinals have not stretched Hence out much, averaging less than four innings per start, but he is set to get more work in the Arizona Fall League.

It’s easy to see enough talent to believe that Hence could be a No. 3 or even No. 2 starter, however it will be important to see if he can maintain his velocity deep into starts once we see the Cardinals take the training wheels off. Hence has as much upside as any pitching prospect at the lower levels.

72. Tyler Soderstrom - 1B - Oakland Athletics

Height/Weight: 6’2, 195 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (26), 2020 | ETA: 2023

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Soderstrom is way ahead of his years in the batter’s box, but struggled behind the dish in his first two pro seasons. With the bat looking so good and the glove lagging, Soderstrom has started to see more action at first base.

Offense

Starting with an open stance and his weight stacked on his back side, Soderstrom just brings his foot over to close himself off and lets his plus bat speed and strength do the work. He’s already physical, but with broad shoulders and long legs, he could likely to add another 10-15 pounds of good weight.

His hands and wrists contain immense strength that allow him to manipulate the barrel at a high level. Soderstrom’s controlled violence with his swing gives him a great chance to hit for power while not whiffing at too high of a clip. Still an aggressive hitter, Soderstrom could benefit from cutting down his 31% chase rate, but that will likely come with more at bats.

Soderstom’s swing is smooth and his barrel stays in the zone for a long time, backed up by his 85% zone contact rate. If the 20-year-old can tone down his aggressiveness a bit, he will can develop into an above average hitter who can easily hit 30 or more homers.

Defense/Speed

The A’s drafted Soderstrom as a catcher, but barring any advances to his athleticism and lateral movement, he likely projects as a first baseman. He currently struggles to keep balls in front of him when blocking, which is likely due to the fact that he lacks the quickness to be able to constantly get in good blocking positions.

He’ll flash plus pop times thanks to his quick transfer and above-average arm strength, but the accuracy of his arm is currently inconsistent. Soderstrom’s decent hands should help him profile as an above average defensive first baseman.

Outlook

Soderstrom possesses the most exciting bat in an A’s system that is light on prospects with middle-of-the-order potential. The more I see of Soderstrom, the more confident I am that he can develop into the left-handed masher for the A’s. Regardless of where he ends up on the defensive side of things, Soderstom’s bat will be his ticket to becoming an above average big league regular.

73. Bryan Rocchio - SS - Cleveland Guardians

Age: 21 | Height/Weight: 5’10, 170 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: $1.3M (2017) – CLE | ETA: 2023

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A switch-hitter with solid tools across the board, elite defensive potential and makeup, Rocchio is a high floor prospect with intangibles that the Guardians love.

Offense

Impressive bat-to-ball skills and just overall improved quality of contact in 2021 helped Rocchio triple his home run total from 2019 in just 40 extra games. While power may not be the catalyst of Rocchio’s game, he has hit the ball with more authority and carry over the last two seasons. He topped his 2021 career-high of 15 homers with 17 more in 2022.

A switch-hitter, Rocchio has a balanced and smooth swing from both sides of the plate. Rocchio’s right-handed swing has been more advanced over the years, though he closed the gap on his splits this season.

Like many young hitters who have a strong feel to hit, Rocchio can at times be a bit too swing-happy, swinging at tough pitches early in counts. He has improved a bit with his approach this season, cutting his chase rate by 4% and walking at the highest clip of his career (9.3%).

After an up and down season as one of the younger hitters in the upper levels, Rocchio’s offensive upside is still intriguing as a guy who could provide 15-20 home runs and hit for a high batting average once his approach is further refined.

Defense/Speed

A great defender at shortstop, it seems like Rocchio always knows where to be and gets excellent breaks on balls hit in his direction. Rocchio’s plus speed can be seen in the field, as the talented shortstop will show off impressive range in all directions. Smooth hands and and a strong enough arm for the position have Rocchio projecting as a plus defender.

Rocchio’s speed is more visible in the field than on the base paths at this point, which is a bit surprising given his well-documented impressive baseball IQ. He has not been an efficient base stealer (14/23 in 2022), but there’s reason to believe he can become a decent factor on the base paths.

Outlook

There may not be as much superstar upside with Rocchio than most other top 100 prospects, but there’s also few prospects who have as high of a probability of being a big league regular. A switch-hitter with plus defensive potential and speed, Rocchio has climbed through the minors quickly thanks to his maturity.

Triple-A was a challenge for Rocchio after he shook off a slow start to Double-A with a scorching couple months before his promotion. Rocchio could probably use another season in Triple-A as he tries to find more offensive consistency, however his glove is good enough to hold down the shortstop position at the highest level right now.

If Rocchio can develop into a .270 hitter with 15-20 homers per season, his defense, speed and intangibles would make him a well above average regular at the position.

74. Jack Leiter - RHP - Texas Rangers

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 205 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (2), 2021 (TEX) | ETA: 2023

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A phenomenal junior season at Vanderbilt had Leiter looking like one of the best pitching prospects in years. After being selected No. 2 overall by the Rangers last year, Leiter received an aggressive assignment to Double-A where he showed flashes of his frontline upside, but really fought command issues.

Arsenal

High ¾ arm slot with a short arm stroke and lower half driven mechanics. There’s some effort in the delivery, but Leiter’s plus athleticism and ridiculous strong lower half helps. The fastball is a plus offering featuring 93-97 velocity that plays up because of the spin and rise it creates from a low vertical attack angle. Leiter’s struggles to command the heater this season caused it to play down some, but it has the potential to be a plus pitch or better.

Leiter’s mid 80s slider was easily his best pitch this season. The right-hander landed it for a strike more than any of his other offerings, holding opponents to a .471 OPS against it. A plus offering, nearly half of Leiter’s strikeouts this season came on the pitch.

His upper 70s curveball gives Leiter a second distinctive breaking ball with downward break and depth. The pitch has flashed plus, but was inconsistent this season. At its best, the curve should be a plus swing-and-miss pitch to both lefties and righties thanks to its vertical break.

The right-hander will mix in an 85-87 mph changeup that flashes above average. Only throwing it around 6% of the time this year, Leiter will need to find more of a feel for the pitch, but it has a chance to be a viable fourth offering.

Outlook

A bulldog on the mound, Leiter has all of the intangibles along with ridiculous athleticism to make him one of baseball’s most exciting pitching prospects. There’s no way around the fact that 2022 was a disappointing year for Leiter, but he earns exceptional marks for his makeup/work ethic and has has a pretty good built-in pitching coach in his father, Al.

An arsenal that is led by an exceptional fastball along with three secondaries that boast above average to plus potential, Leiter has the goods to become a frontline starter. A 13% walk rate and overall struggles to get ahead of hitters plagued Leiter this season, but few pitchers make their professional debut in Double-A.

The 22-year-old has plenty of time to iron out some of the issues with his delivery and has the natural tools to be a strike thrower, having showed us the ability to pound the zone through his collegiate career. Look for a bounce back season from the talented competitor in 2023.

75. Jonathan Aranda - 1B - Tampa Bay Rays

Height/Weight: 5’10, 175 | Bat/Throw: L/R | IFA: Rays – (2016) | ETA: 2022

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Though he lacks much defensive value, Aranda has produced at every stop and has continued to hit in the early days of his MLB career. Aranda is a natural with the bat and has steadily added power.

Offense

Maybe one of the most overlooked prospects in baseball over the last couple years, Aranda has produced a .323/.408/.513 slash line with 34 HR over his last two Minor League seasons. A plus hitter who has progressively tapped into more power, Aranda fits the mold of many other Rays prospects with an extremely safe offensive profile.

A slightly open stance with a rhythmic leg kick, Aranda has some of the best bat to ball skills in the minors. Though his hand load is loud, his hands/wrists work so well that he can get the barrel to tough pitches.

Aranda has above average power to his pull side and does a great job of hunting pitches he can get into that pull side pop with. The 24-year-old could improve with his ability to pick up spin. His quick bat and impressive body control helps him crush fastballs and changeups. If Aranda can get a bit better with handling breaking stuff, he will be one of the toughest outs in the Rays lineup.

Added strength has helped Aranda tap into above average power, posting the highest exit velocities of his career in 2022, maxing out at 112 mph.

Defense/Speed

Here lies a big part of the problem for Aranda. He is a bit position-less. The Rays tried Aranda out just about everywhere. Even in his brief MLB stint this year, Aranda has seen action at second base, first base and third base as well as some games in left in the minors.

Not having a true defensive home hurts Aranda a bit, but he hedges that with the ability to play passable defense at multiple spots. He has the ability to be an above average defender at first base while trending closer to average at best at second. While capable of playing third base and left field in a pinch, Aranda is a below average defender at both spots. Aranda is a below average runner, but not a liability on the bases.

Outlook

Aranda is not the sexiest prospect in the world. There’s no crazy tools to dream on or much defensive value, however he has been arguably the most consistent hitter in the minors over the last couple years. Reminiscent of Vinnie Pasquantino of the Royals, Aranda’s numbers are too good to deny, the advanced data backs it up and if you just watch his at bats, you can just see the comfort and command of the battles he has.

As I speak to Minor Leaguers of who has stood out to them over the last couple seasons, Aranda’s name comes up as much as anyones. After setting a career high of 14 homers last year, Aranda has launched 20 this season while maintaining his elite contact rates. Aranda is too good of a hitter to not be a big league regular.

76. Cam Collier - 3B - Cincinnati Reds

Height/Weight: 6’2’, 210 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (18), 2022 (CIN) | ETA: 2025

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Collier fell into the laps of the Reds at pick No. 16 the 2022 Draft and they were happy to sign the the talented teenager to a well-overslot $5 million bonus. The son of former big leaguer, Lou Collier, Cam is just a natural in the batter’s box. 

Offense

Collier has always been ahead of his years as a baseball player. So much so that the 17-year-old decided to get his GED and play Junior College Baseball at Chipola College which has produced players like Jose Bautista, Russell Martin, Patrick Corbin, Adam Duvall and others. 

The youngest player in his conference, Collier raked to a .956 OPS against pitchers who were multiple years older than him. Collier has an elite feel to hit with pitch recognition skills that you just don’t see often from player’s of his age and experience. 

A sweet left-handed swing that is a bit reminiscent of the Royals’ M.J. Melendez, Collier uses the whole field really well and rarely strays from his approach. At times, Collier tends get on his front foot a bit too early, leading to some rollovers and weaker contact. His hands and ability to manipulate the barrel allow him to get to pitches even when he loses his lower half, but he has shown plus power potential when he stays on his back side. 

Collier’s elite swing decisions should continue to help him stay ahead of the curve and as he continues to develop consistency with his swing, there is a plus hit tool to dream on here with at least above-average power. 

Defense/Speed

An average runner at best, Collier still moves his feet well at third base and is pretty mobile. He has a plus arm with plenty of carry on his throws, which should help him project as an above-average defender at the position. 

Outlook

The youngest player selected in last year’s draft, Collier’s advanced offensive skill-set should allow him to keep up with his fellow teenage first-rounders. Collier has hit the ground running at the complex already showcasing his exciting power potential with a 450-foot bomb.

All teenage prospects are risky, but Collier’s bloodlines, polish at the plate and elite makeup should have the Reds feeling good about the chances of converting their first round pick into an MLB piece. With impressive bat-to-ball skills, and even better pitch recognition skills, Collier has a chance to be an OBP machine with 30-homer pop. 

77. Kyle Manzardo - 1B - Tampa Bay Rays

Height/Weight: 6’1, 205 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 2nd Round (62) – 2021 | ETA: 2023

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Yet another breakout offensive prospect in the Rays system, Manzardo offers one of the safest offensive profiles you’ll see.

Offense

Manzardo starts with his hands relaxed on his shoulder, using a toe tap for timing. It’s impressive how he is able to generate the rotational power and whippy bat speed he does with such little effort. Manzardo’s bat lives in the zone and he seems to barrel everything. The blend of whippy bat speed while living in the zone for so long helps Manzardo post an impressive 86% zone contact rate while driving the ball with authority.

The left-handed hitter has above average power to his pull side and easily backspins the baseball to all fields. Manzardo has a patient approach, rarely chasing and leverages his hitter’s counts well. He drew 59 walks this season while only striking out 65 times.

A plus hit tool with above average power that Manzardo is able to tap into every ounce of thanks to his swing and approach, the 22-year-old is one of the safest bats in the minors.

Defense/Speed

An average runner, Manzardo will not provide a ton of value with his legs or glove but he should be an average defender or better at first base.

Outlook

After tearing up High-A, Manzardo was promoted to Double-A and picked up right where he left off. A 1.049 OPS in his first season with as many walks as strikeouts as a 22-year-old is hard to argue against. The way Manzardo controls his at bats and is already able to get into his power with potentially some more in the tank is exciting. He find the barrel as much as any hitter in the minors and should quickly climb to the big leagues.

Manzardo has 20-25 home run juice with a 70 grade hit tool. His consistent splits left-on-left further solidify just how safe his bat is. The Rays have plenty of options at first base moving forward, but Manzardo might be the best of the bunch.

78. Termarr Johnson - 2B - Pittsburgh Pirates

Height/Weight: 5’8′, 175 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (4), 2021 (PIT) | ETA: 2026

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Viewed as one of the best pure prep hitters in years, Johnson’s bat has a chance to be special, but as an average running second baseman, there’s a lot of pressure on that bat.

Offense

Johnson starts with his bat resting on his shoulder and his weight favoring his backside before getting into a big leg kick that coincides with a barrel tip. Generally, these loud moves would be of concern in regards to disrupting timing and consistency, but Johnson is quick and compact with explosive bat speed.

Despite his smaller stature, Johnson generates a ridiculous amount of rotational power, already flashing plus power to his pull side. Like many young hitters, Johnson tends to try to get into his pull side power a bit too much, causing him to be out and around the baseball. Good secondary stuff in pro ball has also caused Johnson to drift onto his front foot as well.

Johnson is a really fun hitter to watch. Pitchers will fear going inside on him because of the way he is able to turn around stuff on the inner half with authority. When Johnson is at his best, he is able to shoot balls the other way with authority as well, but he will need to find some more consistency with his lower half.

It will remain to be seen if Johnson can get away with his loud moves against more advanced pitching, however his advanced feel to hit and ridiculous bat speed should help him either A. Get away with it or B. Quiet things down without it coming at expense of his power.

Defense/Speed

Technically drafted as a shortstop, Johnson profiles as a second baseman and already saw the majority of his starts in Low-A at the position. His hands work really well and he has a well above average arm for the position. Johnson should be an above average defender at second.

Just an average runner who many evaluators think could slow down a step as he continues to mature, it’s unlikely that Johnson is a major factor on the bases.

Outlook

There’s a lot to like with Johnson’s bat as a potential plus hitter with plus raw power. While I understand why scouts see that kind of upside with Johnson, I do think there’s more susceptibility to whiff than some are accounting for with Johnson.

The offensive skill set is extremely exciting and he could develop into one of baseball’s most exciting offensive prospects, but he may be more challenged by older pitching than some may think. Regardless, Johnson is big upside, bat-first second baseman whose ceiling is one of the best hitters at his position at the highest level.

79. Luis Campusano - C - San Diego Padres

Height/Weight: 5’11, 230 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (39) – 2017 (SD) | ETA: 2022

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Initially rushed to the big leagues due to a brutal catching situation in San Diego last season, Campusano was sent back to Triple-A where he has since mashed. The offensive-minded catcher has exciting upside and a track record of hitting through the minors.

Offense

Formerly utilizing a sizable leg kick, Campusano has since experimented with a few different timing mechanisms at the plate before settling on a toe-tap. Now starting slightly open with his stance, Campusano uses the toe-tap to close himself off and keep his weight back.

The 23-year-old is a physical hitter with a thick lower half and does not require much movement to get into his explosive rotational power. Experimenting with timing mechanisms has likely contributed to the highest ground ball rate of Campusano’s professional career, however he is still consistently hitting the ball hard and has cut his strikeout rate by three percent.

Campusano has a solid approach, picking up spin well and punishing breaking balls to the tune of an OPS above .800. Palatable chase rates and solid contact rates give Campusano a great chance to be an average hitter or slightly better and he has flashed his above average power on several occasions this year, maxing out at 112 mph off of the bat.

Though the higher ground ball rate is something to monitor with Campusano, his improved contact rates against all pitch types, chase rates and overall swing decisions provide reason for optimism. Even in a hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, Campusano posted impressive offensive numbers over his last two seasons hitting .296/.364/.511 with 29 homers and a strikeout rate of just 18.7%.

Campusano has the goods to be at least an average hitter with above average power and on-base skills that keep getting better.

Defense/Speed

Though the bat leads the way for Campusano, he has the tools to be a solid big league catcher. He uses his athleticism to help him move well behind the dish and block effectively. His above average arm has become increasingly accurate, throwing out a career-best 36% of attempted base stealers in Triple-A this season.

Questions of leadership and maturity have cast a shadow on Campusano’s ability to work with pitchers and call a game, but the Padres hope that side of things will come as he gets experience at the big league level.

Outlook

It has been a year of tweaks offensively for Campusano in 2022, but he has remained extremely productive while making strides on the defensive side of things. The bat will likely always lead the way for the 23-year-old, though there’s a lot to like in that department.

Campusano has the bat-to-ball skills and progressing approach to hit for a high average along with the power to launch 20+ homers. It’s all about the consistency for the former second round pick both offensively and defensively.

Though the jump in ground ball rate is not quite ideal, Campusano uses the whole field and hits the ball hard enough to get away with it. He has consistently posted solid HR/FB rates since his High-A breakout in 2019 and should see his power start to translate at the highest level as he gains more comfort.

80. Matt McLain - SS - Cincinnati Reds

Height/Weight: 5’10’, 185 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (26), 2021 (CIN) | ETA: 2023

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A polished college bat, the Reds have been aggressive with their assignments of McLain since selecting him in the first round of the 2021 Draft. McLain has responded well to each assignment and has tapped into more power in Double-A. 

Offense

McLain has as simple of a swing and set up as you’re going to find. He starts upright and takes a short stride before just letting his bat speed and elite hand eye coordination kick in. The simplicity of McLain’s swing helps him control his body well and punish velocity. 

McLain is a line drive hitter who splits the gaps and can tap into above-average pop to his pull side. A patient hitter, McLain is a tough out who picks his spots well to try to do damage. While the newly-turned 23-year-old’s strikeout numbers have jumped a bit in Double-A, he has seen his 90th percentile exit velocity jump by a full mile per hour, lending belief that his nearly doubled HR/FB rate this season could be sustainable. 

What encourages me most about McLain is his strong approach and pitch recognition. This is generally typical of players who are quick to the ball and do not have to accommodate a ton of pre-swing movement; those types of hitters just have more time to decide. 

McLain’s improved ability to slug and consistent walk rate have hedged some of the pressure on his hit tool. There’s plenty of similarities between Jonathan India and McLain’s offensive profile and much like last year’s Reds Rookie of the Year, McLain’s power could play up to above-average in Great American Ballpark.

Defense/Speed

Despite the system being loaded with shortstops, McLain has seen the majority of his playing time at short. McLain relies on his athleticism and good arm to play solid defense at shortstop, even though he is not the most natural looking at the position. 

He still makes all of the plays he needs to and should have little problem sticking at the position as an average defender if the Reds wanted to keep him at shortstop. A plus runner who played all over the field in his collegiate career at UCLA, McLain could be the best candidate to see more action at another position. McLain has seen some action at second base this season, but could also be a centerfield option for the Reds with his speed and arm.

McLain has made a concerted effort to be a more aggressive base stealer in the pros, swiping 30 bags on 33 tries in his first 110 games. 

Outlook

A high-floor offensive profile along with plus speed and a solid above-average glove, that can play all over the diamond, McLain is yet another “safe” prospect in this Reds system who you fans can still hope for fringe All Star upside. The 23-year-old is a gamer who plays at full speed all of the time and can help his team win in many different ways.

While he may not have the superstar upside of Elly De La Cruz or Noelvi Marte, McLain has a really good chance to be an above-average regular at the shortstop position–or anywhere else the Reds want to stick him–as a flat out gamer who can set the tone for your lineup.

Yet another Reds prospect with 20/20 upside, McLain has the ingredients to be a fan favorite as a consistent top of the order threat.

81. Ceddanne Rafaela - OF - Boston Red Sox

Height/Weight: 5’8, 195 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $10K (2017) – BOS | ETA: 2023

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An elite defensive defender at multiple spots, Rafaela enjoyed a power breakout in 2022, boosting his longterm outlook. Rafaela is an incredibly unique prospect for all of the right reasons.

Offense

After hitting 10 homers in 102 Low-A games last year, Rafaela exploded with 21 bombs in 116 High-A/Double-A games this season while seeing his batting average jump by nearly 50 points. Rafaela adjusted his set up and swing path a bit this season, aiming to hit the ball in the air more. He cut his ground ball rate by 8% while hitting the ball with more authority and carry to all fields.

Though his power is above average at best, Rafaela’s adjustments have helped him tap into it in games making his jump in HR/FB rate sustainable. An extremely aggressive hitter Rafaela will need to develop more patience at the plate as his 38% chase rate limited him to just 26 walks in 522 PAs.

Rafaela controls his body well and has steady numbers against breaking balls and off speed pitches. If he can refine his approach, Rafaela could easily be an above average hitter with decent power that he taps into effectively.

Defense/Speed

A 70 grade runner and premium athlete, Rafaela is an impact defender no matter where you stick him on the diamond. Rafaela saw the majority of his action in centerfield where his speed is on full display. He covers a ridiculous amount of ground and gets great jumps. His routes got better and better as the year went on. He’s a plus defender in center

Rafaela is not quite as elite at shortstop due to his average arm, but his quickness, great hands and range make him an above average infielder at the position. He made 20 starts at shortstop this season, only making two errors. Rafaela swiped 28 bags in 35 tries this season.

Outlook

Rafaela’s offensive onslaught this season has totally shifted his outlook. Once viewed as a bench utility type, Rafaela looks more like an every day player with super-utility versatility in a similar manner to Chris Taylor of the Dodgers. That is the ceiling to dream on for Red Sox fans, but I don’t think they would be upset with a younger, faster Kikè Hernandez either.

82. Kevin Alcantara - CF - Chicago Cubs

Height/Weight: 6’6, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $1M – 2018 (NYY) | ETA: 2024

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Projectable would put it lightly with the 6-foot-6, athletic Alcantara. Acquired from the Yankees in the Anthony Rizzo deal, Alcantara has a chance to be a terrorizing middle-of-the order bat with sneaky complementary tools.

Offense

This year has been our first full-season look at Alcantara, and the million-dollar international free agent has not disappointed. As you may expect with a tall, lanky hitter, there’s some swing and miss concerns with Alcantara, but his athleticism helps him control his large frame through his swing.

By nature, Alcantara can get long at times with his swing and can find himself struggling to get around on higher velocity. However, he has worked to be much quicker and direct to the baseball, seeing improvements with his contact rates and ability to handle hard stuff in.

The long levers Alcantara possesses helps him generate a ridiculous amount of whip and bat speed, launching homers as far as 452 feet this season while flashing exit velocities as high as 112 mph. The tall slugger has no problem with plate coverage, crushing pitches middle away. 15 of his 40 extra base hits in 2022 went to the opposite field.

Alcantara is a fairly aggressive hitter, with a 32% chase rate this season, but much like his contact rates, the newly-turned 20-year-old’s approach progressed nicely as the season went on. The Cubs were in no rush with Alcantara, letting him feel things out for the entire season in Low-A which allowed him to keep working towards tapping into his power in games rather than sending the youngster into fight or flight mode in High-A.

Built like an NBA small forward with impressive athleticism, there are few prospects in baseball with as much projection as Alcantara. It’s a big leap from the complex to Low-A and he handled it extremely well as a teenager. Assuming Alcantara adds more strength and continues his maturity as a hitter, the offensive outcomes for the young outfielder are really limitless.

Defense/Speed

Alcantara possesses above average speed thanks to his long strides which allow him to cover plenty of ground. Though there’s plenty of reason to believe he can stick in center, there is a chance that Alcantara could slow down a step as he physically matures. He would project as an above average outfielder in a corner with a pretty good arm.

His speed translates more into closing speed in the outfield than quick burst base stealing, but Alcantara can still get to his top speed quick enough to steal 10-15 bags annually and provides overall value on the bases.

Outlook

Prospects with 70 grade raw power to dream on and potential to stick in center field don’t come around every day. Though still a very volatile prospect profile, Alcantara’s strong first full season in Low-A hedges at least some of the extreme risk around his hit-tool.

The 20-year-old has a sneaky good feel to hit and improved in that department as the year went on. A decent ability to recognize spin and comfort driving the ball to all fields give Alcantara the potential to be an average hitter while is massive power potential gives him All Star offensive upside at a premium position.

83. Carson Williams - SS - Tampa Bay Rays

Height/Weight: 6’2, 180 lb | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (28) – 2021 | ETA: 2025

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Williams put his big tools on display in his first pro season, giving Rays fans plenty to look forward to. He will need to cut down in the whiffs to reach his All-Star ceiling, though.

Offense

Still with a wiry frame and room to fill out, Williams has already produced eye-opening power numbers for an 18-year-old in his first year of pro ball. The 6-foot-2, 180 pound Williams has long levers and generates easy bat speed even though his swing can be very upper half centric.

Already reaching exit velocities of 110 MPH while smacking 51 extra-base hits in his first season, Williams has plenty more pop in the tank. Williams starts with an upright stance and relies on his natural bat speed and athleticism to produce thump, but the lack of lower-half involvement leaves power on the table for him. You’ll see Williams often finish even his swing more upright than he started, which is a bit of a tell.

The fact that Williams was able to consistently produce the way he did even with the swing deficiencies is a testament his twitchiness and natural athleticism. His lack of base, caused him to struggle with off speed stuff, but Williams crushed fastballs to an OPS over 1.000.

With more room to fill out on top of the room to improve with his base, there is easy plus power to dream on with Williams. He already has a decent approach and feel for the barrel.

Defense/Speed

Williams is an above average runner with an easy plus arm. His actions are smooth, but he could stand to improve his footwork some. As he gets more reps and irons out the fundamentals, Williams should be an above average defender at short.

While he is not a burner, Williams is fast enough to be a factor on the base paths. He stole 28 bases on 38 tries this season. He is more likely a 10-15 stolen base guy as he climbs.

Outlook

The Rays have gone with athletic, projectable shortstop is the first round of two of their last four drafts selecting Greg Jones and Carson Williams. Though the 32% strikeout rate was high for Williams, he showed a pretty mature approach and an ability to hit velocity. He will need to improve with recognizing spin, but he was just an 18-year-old in full season ball this year.

Williams has plus power potential with staying power at shortstop and decent speed. All eyes will be on the hit-tool for the teenager and I believe he will make strides in that regard next season.