Ranking MLB's Top 10 Prospects at Each Position Right Now

Joel ReuterJune 25, 2022

Ranking MLB's Top 10 Prospects at Each Position Right Now

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    Riley Greene (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    We've released updated versions of our farm system rankings and Top 100 prospect list over the past month, but how do the top prospects in baseball stack up to the players at their same position?

    Ahead, we've provided a rundown of the top 10 players at each position, with outfielders all lumped into one group and pitchers split into right-handed and left-handed.

    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.

    With all of that established, let's start with the catchers.

Catchers

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    Adley Rutschman (Cole Burston/Getty Images)

    Top 10 C Prospects

    1. Adley Rutschman, BAL
    2. Francisco Alvarez, NYM
    3. Gabriel Moreno, TOR
    4. Diego Cartaya, LAD
    5. Henry Davis, PIT
    6. Shea Langeliers, OAK
    7. Luis Campusano, SD
    8. Austin Wells, NYY
    9. Drew Romo, COL
    10. Ivan Herrera, STL


    -Former first-round picks Henry Davis (No. 1 in 2021), Austin Wells (No. 28 in 2020), Drew Romo (No. 35 in 2020), Adley Rutschman (No. 1 in 2019) and Shea Langeliers (No. 9 in 2019) are all off to solid starts at the pro level despite the long-standing risk of drafting a catcher early.

    -Francisco Alvarez does not turn 21 years old until November, yet he's already playing at Double-A where he's hitting .283/.372/.570 with 16 doubles, 16 home runs and 44 RBI in 59 games.

    -With Rutschman and Gabriel Moreno both currently in the majors, there figures to be some turnover on this list in the coming months. Philadelphia Phillies catcher Logan O'Hoppe is next in line for a spot in the top 10.

First Basemen

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    Triston Casas (John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

    Top 10 1B Prospects

    1. Triston Casas, BOS
    2. Tyler Soderstrom, OAK
    3. Nick Pratto, KC
    4. Vinnie Pasquantino, KC
    5. Michael Toglia, COL
    6. Jordan Diaz, OAK
    7. Kyle Manzardo, TB
    8. Spencer Horwitz, TOR
    9. Alex Binelas, BOS
    10. Gabe Matthews, LAA


    -After acquiring fellow catcher Shea Langeliers in the Matt Olson blockbuster, the Oakland Athletics have begun transitioning Tyler Soderstrom to first base. The 2020 first-round pick has played 29 games at first base, 18 games at catcher and 15 games at designated hitter on the year.

    -Nick Pratto (.816 OPS, 11 HR, 37 RBI) and Vinnie Pasquantino (66 G, .955 OPS, 18 HR, 67 RBI) are playing together at Triple-A Omaha. Pratto has also seen some action in left field, while Pasquantino has split his time between first base and DH.

    -Rising prospects Spencer Horwitz (24th round pick in 2019) and Gabe Matthews (undrafted in 2021) have already exceeded expectations relative to their draft positions, while Jordan Diaz is one to watch in the Oakland system with an .884 OPS and 34 extra-base hits at Double-A in his age-21 season.

Second Basemen

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    Nolan Gorman (John Fisher/Getty Images)

    Top 10 2B Prospects

    1. Nolan Gorman, STL
    2. Nick Gonzales, PIT
    3. Michael Busch, LAD
    4. Nick Yorke, BOS
    5. Justin Foscue, TEX
    6. Ezequiel Duran, TEX
    7. Xavier Edwards, TB
    8. Jordan Westburg, BAL
    9. Tyler Black, MIL
    10. Emmanuel Valdez, HOU


    -Nolan Gorman is close to exhausting his prospect status with 101 at-bats under his belt in the big leagues, and he has made an immediate impact in St. Louis with a 139 OPS+ and 10 extra-base hits in 31 games.

    -It will be interesting to see what the Tampa Bay Rays do with speedy Xavier Edwards in the coming months. The 22-year-old is hitting .337 with a .382 on-base percentage at Triple-A and has little left to prove in the minors, but there's no clear path to playing time in the majors, meaning he could wind up being a trade chip.

    -One of the breakout prospects of 2022, Emmanuel Valdez is hitting .339/.439/.656 with 17 doubles, 17 home runs and 57 RBI in 57 games between Double-A and Triple-A. The 23-year-old probably fits best as an offensive-minded utility player in the majors.

Third Basemen

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    Jordan Walker (Benjamin Rusnak/Getty Images)

    Top 10 3B Prospects

    1. Jordan Walker, STL
    2. Brett Baty, NYM
    3. Miguel Vargas, LAD
    4. Josh Jung, TEX
    5. Curtis Mead, TB
    6. Zack Gelof, OAK
    7. Mark Vientos, NYM
    8. Bryan Ramos, CWS
    9. Christian Encarnacion-Strand, MIN
    10. Coby Mayo, BAL


    -The trio of Jordan Walker (.904 OPS, 26 XBH at AA), Brett Baty (.823 OPS, 20 XBH at AA) and Miguel Vargas (.864 OPS, 28 XBH at AAA) make up the top tier of up-and-coming third basemen. Walker is still only 20 years old, while the other two are in their age-22 seasons.

    -Bryan Ramos is hitting .271/.344/.467 with 12 doubles, 11 home runs and 41 RBI in 60 games at High-A, and he just missed the cut for a spot on our Top 100 prospect list last time it was updated. He could emerge as the No. 1 prospect in the Chicago White Sox system before 2022 is over.

    -Zack Gelof (second round, No. 60 overall) and Christian Encarnacion-Strand (fourth round, No. 128 overall) have quickly emerged as two of the biggest value picks of the 2021 draft class. Meanwhile, Curtis Mead is well on his way to joining Dave Nilsson, Grant Balfour and Liam Hendriks as Australian-born success stories.

Shortstops

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    Marco Luciano (Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

    Top 10 SS Prospects

    1. Marco Luciano, SF
    2. Anthony Volpe, NYY
    3. C.J. Abrams, SD
    4. Jordan Lawlar, ARI
    5. Marcelo Mayer, BOS
    6. Noelvi Marte, SEA
    7. Oneil Cruz, PIT
    8. Royce Lewis, MIN
    9. Orelvis Martinez, TOR
    10. Ezequiel Tovar, COL


    -With Adley Rutschman and Riley Greene both currently playing in the majors, there's a good chance Marco Luciano will take over as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball by midseason. The 20-year-old has elite bat speed and generates as much raw power as any player in the minors.

    -Jordan Lawlar (40 G, .361/.472/.612, 18 XBH, 19 SB) and Marcelo Mayer (35 G, .273/.358/.469, 20 XBH, 8 SB) are both off to strong starts in their first full professional seasons. Expect their careers to be closely compared in the coming years, as many viewed them as the top overall prospects in the 2021 draft class.

    -As always, the shortstop position is loaded with high-ceiling talent. There were a total of 24 shortstops on our most recent Top 100 prospect list update, and all of the players listed above ranked inside the top 50. The next five were Gunnar Henderson (BAL), Liover Peguero (PIT), Oswald Peraza (NYY), Kahlil Watson (MIA) and Brady House (WAS).

Outfielders

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    Michael Harris II (David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Top 10 OF Prospects

    1. Riley Greene, DET
    2. Michael Harris II, ATL
    3. Brennen Davis, CHC
    4. Corbin Carroll, ARI
    5. Robert Hassell III, SD
    6. Zac Veen, COL
    7. Luis Matos, SF
    8. George Valera, CLE
    9. Evan Carter, TEX
    10. Joey Wiemer, MIL


    -Riley Greene likely would have broken camp with a spot on the Detroit Tigers roster this spring had it not been for a fractured foot. The 21-year-old finally made his MLB debut on June 18, and he's gone 6-for-16 with more walks (5) than strikeouts (3) over his first five games.

    -Despite a slow start to the season at Triple-A prior to undergoing back surgery, Brennen Davis still has as high a ceiling as any prospect in baseball. The 22-year-old checks all the boxes to be a five-tool center fielder, and he was far enough ahead of the developmental curve that the lost time this year shouldn't knock him off course.

    -Evan Carter is one of the youngest players at the High-A level, as he won't turn 20 years old until Aug. 29, and he's more than holding his own. The 2020 second-round pick is hitting .263/.361/.434 with 19 extra-base hits, 11 steals and a strong 12.8 percent walk rate.

Right-Handed Starting Pitchers

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    Shane Baz (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

    Top 10 RHP Prospects

    1. Grayson Rodriguez, BAL
    2. Daniel Espino, CLE
    3. Shane Baz, TB
    4. Eury Perez, MIA
    5. Jack Leiter, TEX
    6. Max Meyer, MIA
    7. Bobby Miller, LAD
    8. Andrew Painter, PHI
    9. Taj Bradley, TB
    10. Mick Abel, PHI


    -With Grayson Rodriguez (lat strain) and Daniel Espino (knee tendinitis) both sidelined with injuries and Shane Baz currently pitching in the Tampa Bay rotation, the door is wide open for another right-handed pitcher to step forward and make a case for the No. 1 spot on this list.

    -According to MLB.com, Eury Perez has grown four inches and added 45 pounds since he was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2019. Now 6'8" and 220 pounds, he is already pitching at Double-A in his age-19 season, and he has a 3.39 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and a 69-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 51 innings.

    -The other right-handed pitching prospects who found their way onto our most recent Top 100 list include Ryan Pepiot (LAD), Jackson Jobe (DET), Gavin Williams (CLE), Hunter Brown (HOU), Quinn Priester (PIT), Matt Canterino (MIN), Will Bednar (SF), Brayan Bello (BOS), Emerson Hancock (SEA) and Cade Cavalli (WAS).

Left-Handed Starting Pitchers

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    Nick Lodolo (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

    Top 10 LHP Prospects

    1. Kyle Harrison, SF
    2. Nick Lodolo, CIN
    3. DL Hall, BAL
    4. Matthew Liberatore, STL
    5. Ken Waldichuk, NYY
    6. Ricky Tiedemann, TOR
    7. Kyle Muller, ATL
    8. Ethan Small, MIL
    9. DJ Herz, CHC
    10. Andrew Abbott, CIN


    -Only six of the above pitchers appeared on our updated Top 100 prospect list, with Ken Waldichuk (58.2 IP, 1.99 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 88/22 K/BB) and Ricky Tiedemann (53.2 IP, 1.17 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 84/18 K/BB) both making the jump after sitting well outside that conversation when the season began.

    -While he still has work to do refining his overall command, Kyle Harrison has struck out 98 of the 226 batters he has faced this season while limiting opposing hitters to a .196 batting average. The 20-year-old has gone from low 90s in high school to touching 98 mph with his fastball while backing it with a 60-grade slider and an improved changeup.

    -Kyle Muller was knocked around in his one spot start in the majors this year, but he's been lights out at Triple-A with a 3.00 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 92 strikeouts in 69 innings. The 24-year-old has also trimmed his walk rate from 12.2 to 7.6 percent.


    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and accurate through Thursday's games.

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