B/R's Updated Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings After 2 Months
Now that the 2022 MLB season is nearly two months old, it's time for an update to our Top 100 prospect list.
Our preseason rankings were published on April 15, but between MLB promotions and breakout performances, we are overdue for a fresh look at the league's top up-and-comers.
The following factors helped determine where each player fell in our updated rankings:
- Potential: Potential trumps production a lot of the time, especially in the lower levels of the minors and with recent draft picks. Skill set and tools are often better indicators of what kind of player someone will be.
- Talent: For those in the higher levels of the minors who are close to breaking into the big leagues, production and talent level were the determining factors since the players are viewed as more complete products.
- Eligibility: A player must maintain rookie eligibility to be considered for inclusion. That means no more than 130 big league at-bats for position players, 50 innings for pitchers or 45 days on the active roster.
Let's start with 50 players who fell just outside the rankings.
Honorable Mentions: Next 50
RHP: Sam Bachman (LAA), Matt Brash (SEA), Mike Burrows (PIT), Roansy Contreras (PIT), Cole Henry (WAS), Gunnar Hoglund (OAK), Drey Jameson (ARI), Seth Johnson (TB), Caleb Kilian (CHC), Landon Knack (LAD), Ty Madden (DET), Michael McGreevy (STL), Cole Winn (TEX), Simeon Woods-Richardson (MIN)
LHP: Andrew Abbott (CIN), Jake Eder (MIA), DJ Herz (CHC), Asa Lacy (KC), Kyle Muller (ATL), Jared Shuster (ATL), Ethan Small (MIL), Blake Walston (ARI), Brandon Williamson (CIN)
C: Dillon Dingler (DET), Harry Ford (SEA), Logan O'Hoppe (PHI)
IF: SS Nick Allen (OAK), SS Adael Amador (COL), SS Jacob Amaya (LAD), SS Gabriel Arias (CLE), SS Aeverson Arteaga (SF), 2B Xavier Edwards (TB), 3B Christian Encarnacion-Strand (MIN), 3B Coby Mayo (BAL), SS Matt McLain (CIN), SS Jackson Merrill (SD), IF Jose Miranda (MIN), SS Colson Montgomery (CWS), 3B Bryan Ramos (CWS), SS Brice Turang (MIL), 3B Mark Vientos (NYM), SS Carson Williams (TB)
OF: Jerar Encarnacion (MIA), Pedro Leon (HOU), Benny Montgomery (COL), Christopher Morel (CHC), Alex Ramirez (NYM), Heliot Ramos (SF), Esteury Ruiz (SD), James Wood (SD)
100. OF Jackson Chourio, MIL
99. 1B Vinnie Pasquantino, KC
98. C Korey Lee, HOU
97. LHP Ricky Tiedemann, TOR
96. 3B Zack Gelof, OAK
95. OF Sal Frelick, MIL
94. OF Colton Cowser, BAL
93. SS Brayan Rocchio, CLE
92. IF Curtis Mead, TB
91. SS Masyn Winn, STL
-Outfielder Jackson Chourio is the youngest player in full-season ball, and he's hitting .357/.407/.563 with 16 extra-base hits in 123 plate appearances. Expect to see his name all over top-prospect lists by midseason.
-The Toronto Blue Jays selected Ricky Tiedemann in the third round of the 2021 draft, and he is shaping up to be one of the steals of the class. The 6'4" southpaw has a 1.41 ERA, 0.72 WHIP and 68 strikeouts in 44.2 innings, and he earned a quick promotion to High-A.
-Catcher Korey Lee was No. 70 on our preseason list, but he's off to a slow start at Triple-A with a .215/.271/.401 line and a 28.6 percent strikeout rate. The 23-year-old is still the catcher of the future in Houston.
90. RHP Cade Cavalli, WAS
89. RHP Emerson Hancock, SEA
88. C Ivan Herrera, STL
87. SS Edwin Arroyo, SEA
86. RHP Brayan Bello, BOS
85. RHP Will Bednar, SF
84. RHP Matt Canterino, MIN
83. OF Jasson Dominguez, NYY
82. C Drew Romo, COL
81. SS Tyler Freeman, CLE
-Shortstop Edwin Arroyo was the first player taken out of Puerto Rico in the 2021 draft, and he's off to a great start in his full-season debut. The 18-year-old has a .319/.392/.539 line that includes nine doubles, three triples, nine home runs and eight steals in 47 games.
-After a lackluster pro debut and a slow start this season, Jasson Dominguez finally seems to be headed in the right direction after hitting .310/.419/.563 with 13 extra-base hits in 105 plate appearances in May at Single-A.
-Right-hander Cade Cavalli checked in at No. 26 in our preseason rankings, but he's off to a rocky start at Triple-A with a 4.94 ERA and a significant dip in his strikeout rate from 12.8 to 8.9 per nine innings.
80. RHP Quinn Priester, PIT
79. SS Ronny Mauricio, NYM
78. SS Elly De La Cruz, CIN
77. 1B Nick Pratto, KC
76. SS Cristian Hernandez, CHC
75. OF Austin Martin, MIN
74. OF Andy Pages, LAD
73. SS Jordan Groshans, TOR
72. RHP Hunter Brown, HOU
71. RHP Gavin Williams, CLE
-The Chicago Cubs gave shortstop Cristian Hernandez a $3 million bonus on Jan. 15, 2021, and he has drawn comparisons physically to a young Alex Rodriguez. The 18-year-old is hitting .285/.398/.424 with 11 extra-base hits, 21 steals and almost as many walks (30) as strikeouts (39) in his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League.
-Gavin Williams sent his draft stock soaring with a strong junior season at East Carolina, and the big 6'6" right-hander has continued to impress in his pro debut. Through nine starts, he has a 1.40 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 67 strikeouts in 45 innings at High-A Lake County.
-Lauded for his advanced hit tool coming out of Vanderbilt, outfielder Austin Martin is hitting a middling .251/.363/.330 in 212 plate appearances for the Minnesota Twins Double-A affiliate. Will he make enough hard contact to be an impact player?
70. 2B Ezequiel Duran, TEX
69. LHP Ken Waldichuk, NYY
68. SS Brady House, WAS
67. RHP Jackson Jobe, DET
66. 2B Justin Foscue, TEX
65. C Austin Wells, NYY
64. OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, CHC
63. RHP Ryan Pepiot, LAD
62. RHP Edward Cabrera, MIA
61. 2B/OF Vidal Brujan, TB
-Catcher Austin Wells (1.004 OPS, 13 XBH, 27% CS) and left-hander Ken Waldichuk (9 GS, 1.43 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 67 K, 44 IP) are both newcomers on the Top 100 list as the New York Yankees have a farm system on the rise.
-The Yankees system would look even better if they had not traded Ezequiel Duran to the Texas Rangers in the Joey Gallo deal. The 23-year-old hit .317/.365/.574 with 24 doubles, seven home runs and 31 RBI in 45 games at Double-A before making his MLB debut Saturday.
-Outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong was the centerpiece of the deal that sent Javier Baez to the Mets last summer, and he's quickly rising the ranks in the Cubs farm system. The No. 19 overall pick in the 2020 draft, he hit .354/.443/.557 in 38 games at Single-A to earn an early promotion to High-A South Bend.
60. RHP Mick Abel, PHI
59. SS Kahlil Watson, MIA
58. OF Josh Lowe, TB
57. 2B Nick Yorke, BOS
56. C Luis Campusano, SD
55. LHP Matthew Liberatore, STL
54. LHP DL Hall, BAL
53. SS Oswald Peraza, NYY
52. OF Joey Wiemer, MIL
51. SS Liover Peguero, PIT
-Outfielder Josh Lowe earned a spot on the Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day roster, but he was optioned back to Triple-A after hitting .188 with 27 strikeouts in 71 plate appearances. Despite those early struggles, his future remains extremely bright, and he could be the heir to Kevin Kiermaier in center field.
-Acquired in the deal that sent Starling Marte to the Arizona Diamondbacks, shortstop Liover Peguero is enjoying a breakout season offensively. The 21-year-old is hitting .294/.321/.476 with 22 extra-base hits and 11 steals playing at the Double-A level.
-Drafted in the fourth round more on potential than production during his collegiate career, Joey Wiemer is shaping up to be the steal of the 2020 draft. After posting a .958 OPS with 27 home runs and 30 steals last season, he's hitting .284/.357/.574 with 15 doubles, 12 home runs and 12 steals in 44 games at Double-A.
50. 3B Josh Jung, TEX
49. LHP Nick Lodolo, CIN
48. RHP Taj Bradley, TB
47. OF Evan Carter, TEX
46. 3B Miguel Vargas, LAD
45. OF George Valera, CLE
44. SS Bryson Stott, PHI
43. 2B Michael Busch, LAD
42. SS Gunnar Henderson, BAL
41. SS Ezequiel Tovar, COL
-Shortstop Ezequiel Tovar (.317/.398/.581, 24 XBH, 11 HR, 16 SB) and outfielder Evan Carter (.268/.348/.439, 16 XBH, 4 HR, 9 SB) are two of only three prospects who began the year outside our top 100 list and now have a place inside the top 50. Both are still 20 or younger, with Tovar also possessing elite defensive skills at shortstop and Carter showing early five-tool potential.
-Right-hander Taj Bradley looks like Tampa Bay's next elite homegrown pitcher. The 21-year-old has a 2.20 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 51 strikeouts in 41 innings at Double-A following a breakout season in the lower levels of the minors last year.
-Michael Busch hit .306/.445/.667 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI in 31 games at Double-A before earning an early promotion to Triple-A. Don't be surprised if he's playing second base in the majors before the season is over.
40. C MJ Melendez, KC
39. SS Orelvis Martinez, TOR
38. RHP Andrew Painter, PHI
37. RHP Bobby Miller, LAD
36. 3B Brett Baty, NYM
35. RHP Max Meyer, MIA
34. RHP Jack Leiter, TEX
33. C Tyler Soderstrom, OAK
32. 2B Nick Gonzales, PIT
31. RHP Eury Perez, MIA
-With a 1.40 ERA and a staggering 69 strikeouts in 38.2 innings, Andrew Painter was the biggest climber among players outside the top 100 to start the year. With a projectable 6'7" frame, the No. 13 overall pick in the 2021 draft has as high a ceiling as any pitching prospects in baseball.
-An injury to Salvador Perez opened the door for MJ Melendez to make his MLB debut, and now that Perez is back healthy, he's sticking around in the majors and splitting his time between catcher, right field and DH. After slugging 41 home runs in the minors last year, he has a 130 OPS+ with four doubles and four home runs in 101 plate appearances in the majors.
-Right-hander Eury Perez is backing up his breakout 2021 season with a 3.79 ERA and a 56-to-nine strikeout-to-walk ratio in 38 innings at Double-A. With that, he has overtaken Max Meyer and Kahlil Watson as the top prospect in the Miami system.
30. C Shea Langeliers, OAK
29. OF Luis Matos, SF
28. OF Michael Harris, ATL
27. RHP Shane Baz, TB
26. SS Royce Lewis, MIN
25. 3B Jordan Walker, STL
24. LHP Kyle Harrison, SF
23. OF Zac Veen, COL
22. OF Robert Hassell III, SD
21. 1B Triston Casas, BOS
-Lefty Kyle Harrison has struck out 73 of the 162 batters he has faced this season en route to a 3.05 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 38.1 innings. His fastball and slider are both above-average pitches, his changeup is a quality third offering, and he won't turn 21 until August.
-The prospect centerpiece of the Matt Olson blockbuster deal, catcher Shea Langeliers has always been viewed as an elite defensive catcher, and his bat is starting to catch up. In 46 games at Triple-A, he's hitting .270/.355/.506 with 11 home runs, and he's nailed 13 of 38 base stealers.
-Outfielders Robert Hassell III (No. 8 overall) and Zac Veen (No. 9 overall) were the first two high school players taken in the 2020 draft, and both have impressed early in their pro careers thanks to advanced hit tools.
20. SS Oneil Cruz, PIT
19. OF Alek Thomas, ARI
18. RHP Daniel Espino, CLE
17. C Henry Davis, PIT
16. C Diego Cartaya, LAD
15. OF Corbin Carroll, ARI
14. SS Noelvi Marte, SEA
13. OF Brennen Davis, CHC
12. SS Marcelo Mayer, BOS
11. SS Jordan Lawlar, ARI
-Many viewed Oneil Cruz being sent to the minors as the latest example of service time manipulation, but he's hitting just .223/.333/.411 with a 25 percent strikeout rate at Triple-A to start the year. That said, his offensive upside remains as high as anyone on this list.
-The future is bright for the Arizona Diamondbacks with Jordan Lawlar, Corbin Carroll and Alek Thomas all off to terrific starts. While Lawlar and Carroll are laying waste to minor league pitching, Thomas has a 117 OPS+ with five doubles and five home runs in 25 games in the majors after making his MLB debut on May 8.
-Last year's No. 1 overall pick, Henry Davis, hit .342/.450/.585 with five home runs and 22 RBI in 22 games at High-A before he was promoted to Double-A. There's no reason to rush him into a rebuild, but he could force his way to the majors as early as 2023.
10. RHP George Kirby, SEA
9. SS CJ Abrams, SD
8. SS Anthony Volpe, NYY
7. C Gabriel Moreno, TOR
6. C Francisco Alvarez, NYM
5. RHP Grayson Rodriguez, BAL
4. 2B Nolan Gorman, STL
3. SS Marco Luciano, SF
2. OF Riley Greene, DET
1. C Adley Rutschman, BAL
-Slugger Nolan Gorman was No. 30 in our preseason rankings, and now he looks like a legitimate NL Rookie of the Year contender. After posting a 1.044 OPS with 15 home runs in 34 games at Triple-A, he is hitting .318/.400/.591 with three doubles, three home runs and 10 RBI in 13 games in the majors.
-Hard-throwing George Kirby made his MLB debut on May 8 with six shutout innings, and through five starts he has a 3.46 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and a 28-to-three strikeout-to-walk ratio in 26 innings.
-With Bobby Witt Jr. and Julio Rodriguez both exhausting their prospect status, Adley Rutschman is now the No. 1 prospect in baseball. He too is in the majors, so expect to see another new No. 1 overall next time we update these rankings.
ARI (3): SS Jordan Lawlar (11), OF Corbin Carroll (15), OF Alek Thomas (19)
ATL (1): OF Michael Harris (28)
BAL (5): C Adley Rutschman (1), RHP Grayson Rodriguez (5), SS Gunnar Henderson (42), LHP DL Hall (54), OF Colton Cowser (94)
BOS (4): SS Marcelo Mayer (12), 1B Triston Casas (21), 2B Nick Yorke (57), RHP Brayan Bello (86)
CHC (3): OF Brennen Davis (13), OF Pete Crow-Armstrong (64), SS Christian Hernandez (76)
CWS (0): None
CIN (2): LHP Nick Lodolo (49), SS Elly De La Cruz (78)
CLE (5): RHP
Daniel Espino (18), OF George Valera (45), RHP Gavin Williams (71), SS
Tyler Freeman (81), SS Brayan Rocchio (93)
COL (3): OF Zac Veen (23), SS Ezequiel Tovar (41), C Drew Romo (82)
DET (2): OF Riley Greene (2), RHP Jackson Jobe (67)
HOU (2): RHP Hunter Brown (72), C Korey Lee (98)
KC (3): C MJ Melendez (40), 1B Nick Pratto (77), 1B Vinnie Pasquantino (99)
LAA (0): None
LAD (6): C Diego Cartaya (16), RHP Bobby Miller (37), 2B Michael Busch (43), 3B Miguel Vargas (46), RHP Ryan Pepiot (63), OF Andy Pages (74)
MIA (4): RHP Eury Perez (31), RHP Max Meyer (35), SS Kahlil Watson (59), RHP Edward Cabrera (62)
MIL (3): OF Joey Wiemer (52), OF Sal Frelick (95), OF Jackson Chourio (100)
MIN (3): SS Royce Lewis (26), OF Austin Martin (75), RHP Matt Canterino (84)
NYM (3): C Francisco Alvarez (6), 3B Brett Baty (36), SS Ronny Mauricio (79)
NYY (5): SS Anthony Volpe (8), IF Oswald Peraza (53), C Austin Wells (65), LHP Ken Waldichuk (69), OF Jasson Dominguez (83)
OAK (3): C Shea Langeliers (30), C Tyler Soderstrom (33), 3B Zack Gelof (96)
PHI (3): RHP Andrew Painter (38), SS Bryson Stott (44), RHP Mick Abel (60)
PIT (5): C Henry Davis (17), SS Oneil Cruz (20), 2B Nick Gonzales (32), SS Liover Peguero (51), RHP Quinn Priester (80)
SD (3): SS C.J. Abrams (9), OF Robert Hassell III (22), C Luis Campusano (56)
SF (4): SS Marco Luciano (3), LHP Kyle Harrison (24), OF Luis Matos (29), RHP Will Bednar (85)
SEA (4): RHP George Kirby (10), SS Noelvi Marte (14), SS Edwin Arroyo (87), RHP Emerson Hancock (89)
STL (5): 2B Nolan Gorman (4), 3B Jordan Walker (25), LHP Matthew Liberatore (55), C Ivan Herrera (88), SS Masyn Winn (91)
TB (5): RHP Shane Baz (27), RHP Taj Bradley (48), OF Josh Lowe (58), IF/OF Vidal Brujan (61), IF Curtis Mead (92)
TEX (5): RHP Jack Leiter (34), OF Evan Carter (47), 3B Josh Jung (50), 2B Justin Foscue (66), 2B Ezequiel Duran (70)
TOR (4): C Gabriel Moreno (7), IF Orelvis Martinez (39), 3B Jordan Groshans (73), LHP Ricky Tiedemann (97)
WAS (2): SS Brady House (68), RHP Cade Cavalli (90)