Updated Top 100 MLB Prospects at the Start of 2023January 6, 2023
Updated Top 100 MLB Prospects at the Start of 2023
It's time for Bleacher Report's first Top 100 prospect list of 2023, setting the baseline for another year of rankings.
The following factors helped determine where each player fell on our updated list:
- Potential: This trumps production a lot of the time, especially in the lower levels of the minors and with recent draft picks. Skill sets 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: Tanner Bibee (CLE), Mike Burrows (PIT), Emerson Hancock (SEA), Gabriel Hughes (COL), Drey Jameson (ARI), Dylan Lesko (SD), Griff McGarry (PHI), Ryne Nelson (ARI), Kumar Rocker (TEX), Owen White (TEX), Yosver Zulueta (TOR)
LHP: Brandon Barriera (TOR), Matthew Liberatore (STL), Kyle Muller (OAK), Jared Shuster (ATL), Carson Whisenhunt (SF), Brandon Williamson (CIN)
C: Ivan Herrera (STL), Korey Lee (HOU), Edgar Quero (LAA), Dalton Rushing (LAD), Daniel Susac (OAK)
IF: Junior Caminero (TB), Zack Gelof (OAK), Nick Gonzalez (PIT), Brady House (WAS), Colt Keith (DET), Orelvis Martinez (TOR), Ronny Mauricio (NYM), Coby Mayo (BAL), Matt McLain (CIN), Matt Mervis (CHC), Max Muncy (OAK), Liover Peguero (PIT), Bryan Ramos (CWS), Spencer Steer (CIN), Brice Turang (MIL), Mark Vientos (NYM), Cole Young (SEA)
OF: Miguel Bleis (BOS), Justin Crawford (PHI), Justin Dirden (HOU), Drew Gilbert (HOU), Gabriel Gonzalez (SEA), Heston Kjerstad (BAL), Luis Matos (SF), Grant McCray (SF), Benny Montgomery (COL), James Outman (LAD), Everson Pereira (NYY)
100. IF/OF Edouard Julien, MIN
99. RHP Taylor Dollard, SEA
98. OF Kevin Alcántara, CHC
97. LHP Mason Montgomery, TB
96. RHP Ty Madden, DET
95. LHP Logan Allen, CLE
94. OF Samuel Zavala, SD
93. IF/OF Ceddanne Rafaela, BOS
92. OF Garrett Mitchell, MIL
91. SS Zach Neto, LAA
- Edouard Julien jumps into the Top 100 after hitting .400/.563/.686 with 10 extra-base hits in 96 plate appearances in the Arizona Fall League. The 23-year-old also had a .931 OPS in 113 games at Double-A during the regular season, and he could debut in 2023.
- Outfielder Samuel Zavala won't turn 19 years old until July 15, but he's already played 33 games at Single-A. He hit .254/.355/.508 in 141 plate appearances as one of the youngest players in full-season ball last year.
- After hitting .407/.514/.769 with 40 extra-base hits in 53 games during his junior season at Campbell University, shortstop Zach Neto went No. 13 in the 2022 draft. He reached Double-A in his pro debut and looks to be on the fast track to the big leagues.
90. IF Kyle Manzardo, TB
89. RHP Brock Porter, TEX
88. RHP Brandon Pfaadt, ARI
87. SS Brayan Rocchio, CLE
86. C Austin Wells, NYY
85. 2B Jace Jung, DET
84. RHP Gordon Graceffo, STL
83. RHP Ryan Pepiot, LAD
82. C Yainer Díaz, HOU
81. OF Joey Wiemer, MIL
- Right-hander Brandon Pfaadt led all minor league pitchers with 218 strikeouts in 2022, posting a 3.83 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 167 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. The 24-year-old will compete with fellow prospects Drey Jameson and Ryne Nelson for a rotation spot this spring.
- After three years as a starter at Texas Tech, Jace Jung went No. 12 in the 2022 draft and jumped straight to High-A to begin his pro career. He logged a .373 on-base percentage in 134 plate appearances after signing, and he should be one of the first players from his draft class to reach the majors.
- The Houston Astros have not made an outside addition at catcher, which bodes well for prospects Korey Lee and Yainer Díaz. While Lee is the more polished defensive backstop, Díaz is the far superior offensive prospect. The 24-year-old hit .306/.356/.542 with 22 doubles, 25 home runs and 96 RBI in the upper levels of the minors last season.
80. RHP Wilmer Flores, DET
79. OF Andy Pages, LAD
78. C Harry Ford, SEA
77. SS Carson Williams, TB
76. RHP Jackson Jobe, DET
75. OF Gavin Cross, KC
74. LHP Ken Waldichuk, OAK
73. 3B Cam Collier, CIN
72. IF Jordan Westburg, BAL
71. OF Alex Ramirez, NYM
- Athletic catcher Harry Ford hit .274/.425/.439 as a 19-year-old at Single-A last season, and his 88 walks ranked in the top 25 among all minor leaguers. He also threw out 27 percent of base-stealers and ranks as the top overall prospect in the Seattle farm system.
- Left-hander Ken Waldichuk made his MLB debut on Sept. 1, logging a 4.93 ERA and 4.29 FIP in 34.2 innings over seven starts down the stretch. Acquired from the New York Yankees in the Frankie Montas deal at the deadline, he'll be given every opportunity to win a rotation spot this spring.
- Jordan Westburg could be the next high-profile hitting prospect to make his MLB debut for the Baltimore Orioles. The 2020 first-round pick posted an .852 OPS with 39 doubles, 27 home runs and 106 RBI in 138 games between Double-A and Triple-A, and he can play all over the infield.
70. OF Emmanuel Rodriguez, MIN
69. RHP Gavin Stone, LAD
68. SS Royce Lewis, MIN
67. C Kevin Parada, NYM
66. SS Jackson Merrill, SD
65. OF Oscar Colás, CWS
64. RHP Quinn Priester, PIT
63. OF Alec Burleson, STL
62. 3B Jacob Berry, MIA
61. C Drew Romo, COL
- Catcher Kevin Parada could wind up being one of the steals of the 2022 draft after he slipped to the New York Mets at No. 11. The Georgia Tech standout hit .361/.453/.709 with 26 home runs and 88 RBI in 60 games during his final season on campus, and his polished bat could fly through the minor league ranks.
- Even after the Andrew Benintendi signing, there is a good chance Oscar Colás will find his way into a starting job in the Chicago White Sox outfield in 2023. The Cuban defector hit .314/.371/.524 with 24 doubles, 23 home runs and 79 RBI in 117 games across three levels in 2022, closing out the year at Triple-A Charlotte.
- Alec Burleson hit .331/.372/.532 with 25 doubles, 20 home runs and 87 RBI in 109 games at Triple-A last season before getting his feet wet in the big leagues as a September call-up. The 24-year-old will compete for playing time at designated hitter and the corner outfield spots this spring.
60. RHP Jack Leiter, TEX
59. C Henry Davis, PIT
58. SS Adael Amador, COL
57. C Bo Naylor, CLE
56. OF Colton Cowser, BAL
55. OF Sal Frelick, MIL
54. C Logan O'Hoppe, LAA
53. RHP Cade Cavalli, WAS
52. OF Brennen Davis, CHC
51. RHP Mick Abel, PHI
- Henry Davis (59 G, .264 BA, .852 OPS, 23 XBH) and Jack Leiter (23 G, 5.54 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 109 K, 92.2 IP) went Nos. 1 and 2 in the 2021 draft, but both players had an up-and-down first full professional season. Don't be surprised if both make a significant climb up these rankings by midseason.
- The Milwaukee Brewers have assembled an impressive collection of outfield prospects in recent years, and the highest floor of the bunch belongs to 2021 first-round pick Sal Frelick. The 22-year-old hit .331/.403/.480 in 562 plate appearances over three minor league levels last year, including a .365 average and .943 OPS in 46 games at Triple-A to close out the year.
- Injuries limited Brennen Davis to 53 games in 2022, and he struggled at the plate when he was able to take the field, but he still has legitimate five-tool upside and one of the highest ceilings in the minors. With a clean bill of health he could quickly push back into the top 25 or higher.
50. OF Elijah Green, WAS
49. SS Masyn Winn, STL
48. 2B Termarr Johnson, PIT
47. RHP Tink Hence, STL
46. C/IF/OF Endy Rodriguez, PIT
45. 3B Josh Jung, TEX
44. 2B Michael Busch, LAD
43. OF George Valera, CLE
42. LHP DL Hall, BAL
41. SS Edwin Arroyo, CIN
- With an imposing 6'3", 225-pound frame and a dynamic 60-power, 70-speed toolbox, Elijah Green was a candidate to go No. 1 overall in the 2022 draft before concerns about his hit tool caused him to fall. He hit .302/.404/.535 with six extra-base hits in 12 games in his pro debut, but he also struck out 21 times in 52 plate appearances.
- Is Endy Rodriguez a catcher? A second baseman? An outfielder? Wherever he winds up defensively, it's his bat that gives him the potential to be a star. The 22-year-old hit .323/.407/.590 with 39 doubles, 25 home runs and 95 RBI in 125 games across three minor league levels last season, closing out the year at Triple-A Indianapolis.
- The Cleveland Guardians are one of the best in the business at developing pitching talent, but they've also seen an influx of young position-player talent in recent years. George Valera could be the best of the bunch. The 22-year-old had an .816 OPS with 52 extra-base hits in 132 games between Double-A and Triple-A in 2022.
40. SS Colson Montgomery, CWS
39. RHP Max Meyer, MIA
38. SS Brooks Lee, MIN
37. OF James Wood, WAS
36. SS Oswald Peraza, NYY
35. OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, CHC
34. C/1B Tyler Soderstrom, OAK
33. SS Noelvi Marte, CIN
32. RHP Gavin Williams, CLE
31. OF Jasson Dominguez, NYY
- Armed with a high-octane fastball and a wipeout slider, Max Meyer moved quickly through the minors to make his MLB debut last July after going No. 3 overall in the 2020 draft. He made just two starts before he was sidelined with an elbow injury that ultimately required Tommy John surgery, but he still has the stuff to be an impact arm once he returns.
- The Cincinnati Reds have done a great job of restocking their farm system the past two years, and Noelvi Marte was the centerpiece of the deadline deal that sent Luis Castillo to the Seattle Mariners. The 21-year-old had an .829 OPS with 23 doubles, 19 home runs and 23 steals in 115 games at High-A last year.
- After a sluggish start to the 2022 season, highly touted Jasson Dominguez hit .290/.405/.510 with 20 doubles, 18 home runs, 63 RBI and 91 runs scored in 109 games from the beginning of May through the end of the year.
30. RHP Hunter Brown, HOU
29. IF Curtis Mead, TB
28. 3B Miguel Vargas, LAD
27. RHP Andrew Painter, PHI
26. 3B Brett Baty, NYM
25. 1B Triston Casas, BOS
24. OF Evan Carter, TEX
23. LHP Ricky Tiedemann, TOR
22. OF Robert Hassell III, WAS
21. RHP Bobby Miller, LAD
- Curtis Mead began his pro career in the Australian Baseball League at age 16, and he has been on a significant upward trajectory the past two seasons. The 22-year-old hit .298/.390/.532 with 40 extra-base hits in 76 games between Double-A and Triple-A last season, and he could be in the big leagues before the All-Star break.
- Eric Hosmer's exit should give Triston Casas a clear path to the starting first base job for the Boston Red Sox to begin the 2023 season. The 6'4", 252-pound slugger had a 113 OPS+ with five home runs and 12 RBI in 27 games as a September call-up.
- Left-hander Ricky Tiedemann went from third-round pick in 2021 to one of baseball's elite pitching prospects last year when he logged a 2.17 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 117 strikeouts in 78.2 innings. The 20-year-old reached Double-A in his age-19 season.
20. OF Zac Veen, COL
19. RHP Daniel Espino, CLE
18. OF Druw Jones, ARI
17. SS Jackson Holliday, BAL
16. SS Ezequiel Tovar, COL
15. LHP Kyle Harrison, SF
14. RHP Taj Bradley, TB
13. C Diego Cartaya, LAD
12. SS Marcelo Mayer, BOS
11. SS Marco Luciano, SF
- The Colorado Rockies have a pair of elite prospects in Ezequiel Tovar and Zac Veen, and both guys could see the big leagues in 2023. Tovar should compete for the starting shortstop job in spring training, while Veen hit .333 with a .444 on-base percentage and 16 steals in 21 games in the Arizona Fall League.
- With an upper-90s fastball and a sharp slider, Kyle Harrison piled up 186 strikeouts in 113 innings between High-A and Double-A. The 6'2", 200-pound southpaw had a 2.71 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over 25 starts, and the continued development of his changeup and overall command could make him a future MLB ace.
- With a 55-hit, 60-power offensive profile, Diego Cartaya has elite catcher potential. The 21-year-old had an .892 OPS with 22 doubles, 22 home runs and 72 RBI in 95 games between Single-A and High-A in his age-20 season.
10. RHP Eury Pérez, MIA
9. SS Anthony Volpe, NYY
8. OF Corbin Carroll, ARI
7. SS Elly De La Cruz, CIN
6. RHP Grayson Rodriguez, BAL
5. OF Jackson Chourio, MIL
4. 3B Jordan Walker, STL
3. SS Jordan Lawlar, ARI
2. 3B Gunnar Henderson, BAL
1. C Francisco Álvarez, NYM
- The Arizona Diamondbacks have a pair of future stars in the making in outfielder Corbin Carroll and shortstop Jordan Lawlar. Carroll demolished minor league pitching last year before logging a 133 OPS+ in 32 MLB games down the stretch, while Lawlar hit .303/.401/.509 with 41 extra-base hits and 39 steals while reaching Double-A in his first full season.
- Gunnar Henderson is locked into a starting role for the Baltimore Orioles to begin the 2023 season, while Grayson Rodriguez could also break camp with a spot in the starting rotation after an injury-shortened 2022 campaign. The future is bright in Baltimore and that pair is a big reason.
- Catcher Francisco Álvarez had an .885 OPS with 22 doubles, 27 home runs and 78 RBI in 112 games between Double-A and Triple-A last year before making his MLB debut in September. The 21-year-old is still not a finished product defensively, but his bat might be too good to keep off the Opening Day roster.
ARI (4): SS Jordan Lawlar (3), OF Corbin Carroll (8), OF Druw Jones (14), RHP Brandon Pfaadt (88)
ATL (0): None
BAL (6): SS Gunnar Henderson (2), RHP Grayson Rodriguez (6), SS Jackson Holliday (17), LHP DL Hall (42), OF Colton Cowser (56), IF Jordan Westburg (72)
BOS (3): SS Marcelo Mayer (12), 1B Triston Casas (25), IF/OF Ceddanne Rafaela (93)
CHC (3): OF Pete Crow-Armstrong (35), OF Brennen Davis (52), OF Kevin Alcántara (98)
CWS (2): SS Colson Montgomery (40), OF Oscar Colás (65)
CIN (4): SS Elly De La Cruz (7), SS Noelvi Marte (33), SS Edwin Arroyo (41), 3B Cam Collier (73)
CLE (6): RHP Daniel Espino (19), RHP Gavin Williams (32), OF George Valera (43), C Bo Naylor (57), SS Brayan Rocchio (87), LHP Logan Allen (95)
COL (4): SS Ezequiel Tovar (16), OF Zac Veen (20), SS Adael Amador (58), C Drew Romo (61)
DET (4): RHP Jackson Jobe (76), RHP Wilmer Flores (80), 2B Jace Jung (85), RHP Ty Madden (96)
HOU (2): RHP Hunter Brown (30), C Yainer Diaz (82)
KC (1): OF Gavin Cross (75)
LAA (2): C Logan O'Hoppe (54), SS Zach Neto (91)
LAD (7): C Diego Cartaya (13), RHP Bobby Miller (21), 3B Miguel Vargas (28), 2B Michael Busch (44), RHP Gavin Stone (69), OF Andy Pages (79), RHP Ryan Pepiot (83)
MIA (3): RHP Eury Pérez (10), RHP Max Meyer (39), 3B Jacob Berry (62)
MIL (4): OF Jackson Chourio (5), OF Sal Frelick (55), OF Joey Wiemer (81), OF Garrett Mitchell (92)
MIN (4): SS Brooks Lee (38), SS Royce Lewis (68), OF Emmanuel Rodriguez (70), IF/OF Edouard Julian (100)
NYM (4): C Francisco Álvarez (1), 3B Brett Baty (26), C Kevin Parada (67), OF Alex Ramirez (71)
NYY (4): SS Anthony Volpe (9), OF Jasson Dominguez (31), SS Oswald Peraza (36), C Austin Wells (86)
OAK (2): C/1B Tyler Soderstrom (34), LHP Ken Waldichuk (74)
PHI (2): RHP Andrew Painter (27), RHP Mick Abel (51)
PIT (4): C/IF/OF Endy Rodriguez (46), 2B Termarr Johnson (48), C Henry Davis (59), RHP Quinn Priester (64)
SD (2): SS Jackson Merrill (66), OF Samuel Zavala (94)
SF (2): SS Marco Luciano (11), LHP Kyle Harrison (15)
SEA (2): C Harry Ford (78), RHP Taylor Dollard (99)
STL (5): 3B Jordan Walker (4), RHP Tink Hence (47), SS Masyn Winn (49), OF Alec Burleson (63), RHP Gordon Graceffo (84)
TB (5): RHP Taj Bradley (14), 2B/3B Curtis Mead (29), SS Carson Williams (77), 1B Kyle Manzardo (90), LHP Mason Montgomery (97)
TEX (4): OF Evan Carter (24), 3B Josh Jung (45), RHP Jack Leiter (60), RHP Brock Porter (89)
TOR (1): LHP Ricky Tiedemann (23)
WAS (4): OF Robert Hassell III (22), OF James Wood (37), OF Elijah Green (50), RHP Cade Cavalli (53)
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and accurate through Wednesday's games. Prospect tool grades via MLB.com.