Bleacher Report's Updated Top 50 MLB Prospects at the Start of 2020

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2020

Bleacher Report's Updated Top 50 MLB Prospects at the Start of 2020

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    Ron Vesely/Getty Images

    The offseason is winding to a close, and as spring training approaches, it's time for Bleacher Report's first top-50 prospect rankings of 2020.

    The following factors helped determine where each player fell in these 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 fewer than 130 big league at-bats for position players, 50 innings for pitchers or 45 days on the active roster prior to roster expansion in September.

    Let's start with 50 players who fell just outside the rankings.

Next 50

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    Nico Hoerner
    Nico HoernerNuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

    RHP: Jordan Balazovic (MIN), Shane Baz (TB), Justin Dunn (SEA), Jhoan Duran (MIN), Deivi Garcia (NYY), Luis Gil (NYY), Tony Gonsolin (LAD), Brusdar Graterol (MIN), Josiah Gray (LAD), Hunter Greene (CIN), Mitch Keller (PIT), Jackson Kowar (KC), Alek Manoah (TOR), Joe Ryan (TB), Brady Singer (KC), Bryse Wilson (ATL), Kyle Wright (ATL)

    LHP: Anthony Kay (TOR), Nick Lodolo (CIN), Daniel Lynch (KC), Shane McClanahan (TB), Adrian Morejon (SD), Kyle Muller (ATL), Ryan Rolison (COL)

    C: Luis Campusano (SD), Sam Huff (TEX), Keibert Ruiz (LAD)

    1B: Triston Casas (BOS), Ryan Mountcastle (BAL), Evan White (SEA)

    2B: Vidal Brujan (TB), Xavier Edwards (TB), Nick Madrigal (CWS)

    SS: Jazz Chisholm (MIA), Oneil Cruz (PIT), Jeter Downs (LAD), Tyler Freeman (CLE), Luis Garcia (WAS), Jordan Groshans (TOR), Nico Hoerner (CHC), Noelvi Marte (SEA), Ronny Mauricio (NYM), Geraldo Perdomo (ARI), Ryan Vilade (COL)

    3B: Nolan Gorman (STL), Jonathan India (CIN), Josh Jung (TEX)

    OF: Trevor Larnach (MIN), Brandon Marsh (LAA), Jesus Sanchez (MIA)

Nos. 50-46

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    Jose Urquidy
    Jose UrquidyPatrick Smith/Getty Images

    50. C Daulton Varsho, Arizona Diamondbacks (23 years old)

    Varsho hit .301/.378/.520 with 18 home runs and 21 steals at Double-A last season, and he could be ready for his first taste of the big leagues in 2020. While questions remain about his defense behind the plate, he has the athleticism to move to a corner outfield spot or even second base if needed, and it looks like his bat will play anywhere.

         

    49. RHP Jose Urquidy, Houston Astros (24 years old)

    After pitching his way onto the postseason roster, Urquidy allowed just one earned run in 10 innings of work during the playoffs, including five scoreless innings as the starting pitcher in Game 4 of the World Series. He doesn't have overpowering stuff, but he changes speeds well and keeps hitters off-balance with a polished four-pitch repertoire.

           

    48. LHP DL Hall, Baltimore Orioles (21 years old)

    With three above-average pitches and smooth mechanics from a well-built 6'2", 195-pound frame, Hall has all the makings of a future rotation staple. The question is his command. While he posted a 3.46 ERA with 116 strikeouts in 80.2 innings at High-A last year, he also walked 54 batters for a 6.0 BB/9 clip. The jump to Double-A will be an important step in his development.

          

    47. OF Alek Thomas, Arizona Diamondbacks (19 years old)

    A first-round talent who slipped to No. 63 overall in the 2018 draft, Thomas has emerged as one of the more intriguing position players from that class. He hit .300/.379/.450 with 40 extra-base hits and 15 steals between Single-A and High-A in his full-season debut. With the speed and instincts to stick in center field, he has significant long-term potential.

          

    46. LHP Tarik Skubal, Detroit Tigers (23 years old)

    After a dominant pro debut (22.1 IP, 0.40 ERA, 33 K) following his selection in the ninth round of the 2018 draft, Skubal was one of the breakout prospects of 2019. With the injury issues that plagued him in college in the rearview, he turned loose an electric four-pitch mix on High-A and Double-A hitters, posting a 2.42 ERA and 1.01 WHIP with 179 strikeouts in 122.2 innings. He's the real deal.

Nos. 45-41

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    Sean Murphy
    Sean MurphyRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    45. OF JJ Bleday, Miami Marlins (22 years old)

    One of the breakout college players of 2019, Bleday hit .350/.464/.717 with 26 home runs last spring at Vanderbilt to fly up draft boards. He ended up going No. 4 overall to the Miami Marlins. While his pro debut was inauspicious (151 PA, .690 OPS, 11 XBH), he has the prototypical right field profile with a solid hit tool, 60-grade power and a strong arm.

         

    44. OF Riley Greene, Detroit Tigers (19 years old)

    Selected one pick after Bleday at No. 5 overall, Greene should move through the minors faster than most prep prospects thanks to a polished offensive game. He went 13-for-37 in nine rookie ball games, earning a quick promotion, and he was bumped up again to close out his pro debut at Single-A. His left field profile defensively limits his upside a bit, but his bat will drive his value.

          

    43. SS Marco Luciano, San Francisco Giants (18 years old)

    Signed to a $2.6 million bonus as one of the headliners of the 2018 international class, Luciano lived up to the hype with a fantastic pro debut. He hit .322/.438/.616 with 10 home runs in 38 games in rookie ball, earning a promotion to Low-A before his 18th birthday. With legitimate five-tool potential and a chance to stick at shortstop defensively, he has star-caliber upside for the rebuilding San Francisco Giants.

         

    42. 3B Nolan Jones, Cleveland Indians (21 years old)

    With a .409 on-base percentage and a 17.3 percent walk rate over four minor league seasons, Jones has been the prospect version of Joey Votto since getting drafted in the second round in 2016. He's still working to tap into his plus raw power and refining his defense at the hot corner after playing shortstop in high school, but he has all the makings of a solid everyday player.

         

    41. C Sean Murphy, Oakland Athletics (25 years old)

    If not for injury issues the past few seasons, Murphy would already be entrenched as Oakland's everyday catcher. He made his MLB debut last September and hit .245/.333/.566 with five doubles and four home runs in 60 plate appearances. The job appears to be his heading into spring training. Known for his rocket arm and plus receiving skills coming out of college, he has a chance to be a two-way standout if he can stay on the field.

Nos. 40-36

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    Logan Gilbert
    Logan GilbertJohn Froschauer/Associated Press

    40. RHP Spencer Howard, Philadelphia Phillies (23 years old)

    While a shoulder injury limited Howard last season, he was nothing short of dominant, pitching to a 2.03 ERA and holding opponents to a .173 average while posting a 94-16 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 71 innings. With a fastball that touches 98 mph and plus slider to headline a legitimate four-pitch mix, he has front-line upside. He still needs to prove he can handle a starter's workload with just 211.1 professional innings under his belt.

          

    39. RHP Logan Gilbert, Seattle Mariners (22 years old)

    The No. 14 overall pick in 2018, Gilbert chewed through three minor league levels in his pro debut, posting a 2.13 ERA and 0.95 WHIP with 165 strikeouts in 135 innings and closing out the season at Double-A. With advanced pitchability, four average-or-better pitches and a sturdy 6'6", 225-pound frame, he looks like the future ace of a Mariners team that is building toward something special with a farm system on the rise.

        

    38. LHP Matthew Liberatore, St. Louis Cardinals (20 years old)

    St. Louis acquired Liberatore from the Tampa Bay Rays last week, but he may not be with the team for long. "Forgive me if I can't help but think that the Cardinals plan to keep lefty Matt Liberatore moving in another deal to try to improve their roster for 2020," wrote Keith Law of The Athletic.

    Wherever he settles in for the 2020 season, he will be one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. The No. 16 pick in the 2018 draft is more advanced than other prep arms his age with more upside than some of the college guys taken ahead of him. With the potential for three plus pitches, advanced command and a 6'5", 200-pound frame that offers some remaining projection, he has a high floor and a No. 2 starter ceiling.

         

    37. 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates (22 years old)

    While he did not seize the MLB third base job as hoped in 2019, Hayes profiles as an impact player at the next level. He hit .265/.336/.415 with 30 doubles, 10 home runs and 12 steals in 110 games at Triple-A last year, and he will likely return for a second go-round to kick off 2020. Once he's deemed ready, Colin Moran will not stand in his way.

          

    36. SS CJ Abrams, San Diego Padres (19 years old)

    Abrams quickly delivered on the expectations that come with being the No. 6 overall pick, hitting .401/.442/.662 with 23 extra-base hits and 14 steals in 32 rookie ball games to earn a late promotion to Single-A. With a plus hit tool and top-of-the-scale speed, he looks like a future leadoff hitter. The question is where he'll land defensively, with second base or center field perhaps more likely than shortstop.

Nos. 35-31

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    Andrew Vaughn
    Andrew VaughnKiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

    35. RHP Grayson Rodriguez, Baltimore Orioles (20 years old)

    In a 2018 draft that lacked a slam dunk top high school pitching prospect, Rodriguez could become the best of the bunch. The No. 11 overall pick has used a heavy mid-90s fastball and a biting slider to overpower lower-level hitters, posting a 2.68 ERA and 0.99 WHIP with 129 strikeouts in 94 innings at Single-A. He also throws a plus curveball and an average changeup, all from a strong 6'5", 220-pound frame. He could finish 2020 as one of baseball's elite pitching prospects.

        

    34. OF Heliot Ramos, San Francisco Giants (20 years old)

    After posting a middling .245/.313/.396 line at Single-A in 2018, Ramos had some work to do rebuilding his prospect stock. The Giants started him at High-A, and he responded with a .306/.386/.500 line and 31 extra-base hits in 338 plate appearances before being promoted to Double-A. A spike in his walk rate from 6.5 to 9.5 percent shows he's capable of making adjustments.

          

    33. 1B Andrew Vaughn, Chicago White Sox (21 years old)

    A 60-grade hit tool and 60-grade power were enough for the White Sox to make Vaughn the No. 3 overall pick last June. He hit .278/.384/.449 with 23 extra-base hits and nearly as many walks (30) as strikeouts (38) while reaching High-A in his pro debut. He could be manning first base for an exciting young White Sox team before 2020 comes to a close.

        

    32. OF Taylor Trammell, San Diego Padres (22 years old)

    Acquired from the Cincinnati Reds last summer in the Trevor Bauer three-team blockbuster, Trammell profiles as the center fielder of the future in San Diego. He struggled a bit making the jump to Double-A, hitting .234/.340/.349 with 26 extra-base hits and 20 steals in 126 games, but he still showed solid on-base skills and plus speed. His second go-round in the upper levels of the minors could see him regain his elite prospect status.

        

    31. SS Carter Kieboom, Washington Nationals (22 years old)

    Kieboom has little left to prove in the minors after hitting .303/.409/.493 with 24 doubles and 16 home runs in 109 games at Triple-A. However, he scuffled in his first taste of the majors, going 5-for-39 with 16 strikeouts. The Nationals signed Starlin Castro and re-signed both Asdrubal Cabrera and Howie Kendrick to fill out the infield contingent, but Kieboom should still get a chance to play his way into a job.

Nos. 30-26

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    A.J. Puk
    A.J. PukMichael Zagaris/Getty Images

    30. RHP Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox (23 years old)

    After missing the 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, Kopech will look to regain his place as one of baseball's top pitching prospects. He had a true 80-grade fastball pre-injury, and he backed it with a filthy wipeout slider and a solid curveball and changeup. He has already made his MLB debut, and as long as he proves healthy this spring, he could be in the White Sox rotation for a good chunk of 2020.

         

    29. OF Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins (22 years old)

    Kirilloff hit .348/.392/.578 with 71 extra-base hits in 130 games at Single-A and High-A in his return from Tommy John surgery in 2018, which sent him soaring up leaguewide top prospect lists. He fell back to Earth a bit at Double-A last year with a .283/.343/.413 line and just 29 extra-base hits in 411 plate appearances. The plus hit tool and intriguing raw power remain, but there are adjustments to be made.

        

    28. OF Drew Waters, Atlanta Braves (21 years old)

    Often overshadowed by Ronald Acuna Jr. and Cristian Pache, Waters is a supremely talented outfield prospect in his own right. He hit .309/.360/.459 with 56 extra-base hits and 16 steals while reaching Triple-A last year, and he could join Acuna and Pache to form one of the best young outfields in baseball. Cutting down on a 28.6 percent strikeout rate will be the key to reaching his full potential.

         

    27. RHP Forrest Whitley, Houston Astros (22 years old)

    In terms of pure stuff, Whitley belongs in the conversation for baseball's top pitching prospect. His heavy fastball touches 98 mph with good late life, and his changeup, slider and curveball are all plus secondary offerings. He also creates a great downhill plane with his long 6'7" frame.

    However, he was shelled to the tune of a 7.99 ERA in 59.2 innings in 2019, and his walk rate spiked to 6.6 BB/9. A strong showing in the Arizona Fall League (25 IP, 2.88 ERA, 32 K) has provided some reason for optimism, but few prospects had a more confounding 2019 season.

        

    26. LHP A.J. Puk, Oakland Athletics (24 years old)

    After missing the 2018 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, Puk did not make his 2019 debut until June 11. He made his MLB debut for a contending Oakland team Aug. 21 and posted a 3.18 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 11.1 innings over 10 relief appearances. With a lethal fastball-slider combination that helped him rack up 184 strikeouts in 125 innings in his last full season in 2017, he has front-line upside if he can stay healthy and continue to develop his changeup as a consistent third offering.

Nos. 25-21

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    Dylan Carlson
    Dylan CarlsonMichael Reaves/Getty Images

    25. OF Kristian Robinson, Arizona Diamondbacks (19 years old)

    After making a splash in his stateside debut as a 17-year-old, Robinson continued to flash his tremendous potential while taking another step up the ladder in 2019. He hit .319/.407/.558 with 10 doubles and nine home runs in 44 games in the Northwest League before he was bumped up to Single-A, and that is likely where he will start the 2020 season. Few prospects in baseball have a higher offensive ceiling, though it will take him some time to get there.

          

    24. SS Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals (19 years old)

    The No. 2 overall pick last June, Witt has the baseball bloodlines and the five-tool upside to be the future face of the Kansas City Royals. While he hit a forgettable .262/.317/.354 with one home run in 37 games after landing the third-highest bonus in draft history (nearly $7.8 million), all signs indicate he'll be one of baseball's top prospects. With 20-20 upside offensively and the glove to stick at shortstop, he can develop into a cornerstone player.

          

    23. RHP Luis Patino, San Diego Padres (20 years old)

    After exceeding expectations early in his pro career, Patino has emerged as one of the most promising pitching prospects in the sport. He reached Double-A before his 20th birthday last year, posting a 2.57 ERA and 1.13 WHIP with 123 strikeouts in 94.2 innings overall. He still has some things to iron out with his mechanics, and he has yet to eclipse 100 innings in a season. With a fastball that touches 98 mph, a power slider and a plus curveball, along with impressive raw athleticism, he has the physical tools to be a star.

             

    22. OF Dylan Carlson, St. Louis Cardinals (21 years old)

    It looked like a reach when the Cardinals selected Carlson with the No. 33 overall pick in the 2016 draft, as he was ranked as the No. 92 prospect in the draft class by Baseball America. A slow start to his pro career seemed to support that idea before he broke out in a big way in 2019. With a .292/.372/.542 line that included 28 doubles, 26 home runs and 20 steals between Double-A and Triple-A, he is now one of baseball's most promising outfield prospects.

          

    21. RHP Sixto Sanchez, Miami Marlins (21 years old)

    The prize of the J.T. Realmuto trade, Sanchez tossed a career-high 114 innings in 2019 and continued to show top-of-the-rotation potential. With a 75-grade fastball that has touched triple digits and a terrific changeup-curveball pair, he posted a 2.76 ERA and 1.07 WHIP while tallying 103 strikeouts between High-A and Double-A. The Marlins won't rush him after he dealt with some injury issues earlier in his career, but a 2020 debut is not out of the question.

Nos. 20-16

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    Ian Anderson
    Ian AndersonDarron Cummings/Associated Press

    20. 3B Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies (23 years old)

    The tantalizing raw power that made Bohm the No. 3 overall pick in 2018 was on full display in his first full professional season. He hit .305/.378/.518 with 30 doubles and 21 home runs in 540 plate appearances over three minor league levels, reaching Double-A to close out the year. After Maikel Franco was non-tendered, and with no clear in-house replacement beyond the versatile Scott Kingery, it's only a matter of time before he's manning third base in Philadelphia.

        

    19. RHP Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves (21 years old)

    The No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 draft, Anderson has developed into the top pitching prospect in a stocked Atlanta system and one of baseball's most promising young arms. He dominated Double-A hitters to the tune of a 2.68 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 147 strikeouts in 111 innings last year before getting knocked around a bit in five starts at Triple-A. Nevertheless, he's knocking on the door. With a mid-90s fastball and a polished curveball-changeup pairing, he has the potential to join Mike Soroka atop the MLB rotation.

           

    18. C Joey Bart, San Francisco Giants (23 years old)

    Aggressively assigned to High-A for his first full pro season, Bart missed nearly two months with a fractured hand but still hit a solid .278/.328/.495 with 16 home runs in 79 games, closing out the season on a high note at Double-A. He then raked to the tune of .333/.524/.767 with four home runs and 10 RBI in 10 games in the Arizona Fall League before a fractured thumb cut things short. He has two-way star potential and looks like the heir apparent to Buster Posey if he can just stop getting hit in the hand with pitches.

        

    17. RHP Matt Manning, Detroit Tigers (21 years old)

    A two-sport standout in high school who was committed to play baseball and basketball at Loyola-Marymount, Manning has taken off since turning his full attention to the diamond. The 6'6", 215-pound right-hander has worked hard to smooth out his mechanics, which has led to improved command of his electric stuff. He pitched to a 2.56 ERA and .192 opponents' batting average with 148 strikeouts in 133.2 innings at Double-A last year, and a 2020 debut could be forthcoming.

       

    16. 2B/SS Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies (23 years old)

    Despite falling flat in his first MLB action, Rodgers has tremendous upside. He hit .350/.413/.622 with 20 extra-base hits in 37 games at Triple-A last year before making his MLB debut May 17. After hitting just .224/.272/.250 with a 33.3 percent strikeout rate in 25 games, he was lost for the season to a torn labrum in his right shoulder. A .296/.352/.503 line in 1,684 career minor league plate appearances and the fact that he's still just 23 years old is enough to keep him as a top-20 prospect.

Nos. 15-11

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    Jarred Kelenic
    Jarred KelenicBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    15. RHP Dustin May, Los Angeles Dodgers (22 years old)

    After posting a 3.38 ERA with 110 strikeouts in 106.2 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, May made his MLB debut Aug. 2. He didn't miss a beat against big league hitters with a 3.63 ERA (2.90 FIP) and 32 strikeouts in 34.2 innings over four starts and 10 relief appearances. With a dynamic fastball-curveball-cutter-changeup repertoire and a durable 6'6" frame, he should be a key piece of the Dodgers rotation for years to come.

        

    14. OF Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners (19 years old)

    A strong showing in the Dominican Summer League in 2018 earned Rodriguez a promotion straight to full-season ball last year, and he proved up to the challenge. He hit .326/.390/.540 with 26 doubles and 12 home runs in 367 plate appearances and closed out the year with an absurd .462/.514/.738 line in 17 games at High-A. He still needs to prove himself against upper-level pitching, but the future looks extremely bright.

         

    13. LHP/1B Brendan McKay, Tampa Bay Rays (24 years old)

    Will McKay be the game's next two-way star? Despite going 2-for-10 at the plate and hitting his first MLB home run Sept. 22, his long-term value still appears to be largely tied to the mound. After posting a 1.10 ERA with 102 strikeouts in 73.2 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, he made 11 starts for a contending Rays team and finished with a 5.14 ERA (4.03 FIP) and 56 strikeouts in 49 innings. He'll be one to watch this spring.

         

    12. SS Royce Lewis, Minnesota Twins (20 years old)

    A middling .236/.290/.371 line in 127 games between High-A and Double-A has done little to quell the long-term optimism surrounding Lewis. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft is still well ahead of the developmental curve, and his .353/.411/.565 line in 95 plate appearances in the Arizona Fall League should give him some momentum heading into 2020. He's also come a long way defensively at shortstop.

        

    11. OF Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners (20 years old)

    "Kelenic-for-Cano" is a phrase that could elicit groans from New York Mets fans for years to come if the young outfielder continues on his current developmental path with the Mariners. The No. 6 overall pick in 2018 reached Double-A in his first full season, hitting .291/.364/.540 with 31 doubles, 23 home runs and 20 steals in 117 games over three minor league levels. It remains to be seen if he can stick in center field, but he has the arm and the power bat to profile just fine in right field if he needs to slide over.

Nos. 10-6

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    Casey Mize
    Casey MizeMark Cunningham/Getty Images

    10. C Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles (21 years old)

    A switch-hitting catcher with a 60-grade hit tool, 60-grade power and the defensive acumen to be a Gold Glove winner behind the plate, Rutschman is a rare talent. He hit .411/.575/.751 with 17 home runs and twice as many walks (76) as strikeouts (38) during his junior season at Oregon State. His first full professional campaign is as highly anticipated as any in recent memory.

        

    9. LHP Jesus Luzardo, Oakland Athletics (22 years old)

    It looked like Luzardo might pitch his way onto the Opening Day roster last spring before a left shoulder strain sidelined him and cost him most of the first half of the season. He made his MLB debut Sept. 11 and posted a 1.50 ERA with two saves and 16 strikeouts in 12 innings. He then tossed three scoreless innings in relief in the AL Wild Card Game. With a lethal fastball-curveball-changeup mix and plus command, he could be Oakland's ace by midseason.

          

    8. RHP Nate Pearson, Toronto Blue Jays (23 years old)

    With a fastball that regularly sits in the upper 90s, a wipeout slider, a slower curveball and a decent changeup, Pearson has an electric arsenal at his disposal. He's also an intimidating presence on the mound with a burly 6'6", 245-pound frame that he uses to create an excellent downhill plane. He posted a 2.30 ERA and a .176 opponents' batting average with 119 strikeouts in 101.2 innings and reached Triple-A to close out the year. It's only a matter of time before he's in Toronto.

          

    7. OF Cristian Pache, Atlanta Braves (21 years old)

    Already widely regarded as the best defensive outfielder in baseball, Pache took his game to another level in 2019 by hitting .277/.340/.462 with 36 doubles, nine triples and 12 home runs in 130 games between Double-A and Triple-A. He could take over as Atlanta's everyday center fielder at some point in 2020, and he won't turn 22 until November.

        

    6. RHP Casey Mize, Detroit Tigers (22 years old)

    Equipped with a mid-90s fastball, a plus slider and an often unhittable 70-grade splitter, Mize was a no-brainer choice for the Tigers with the No. 1 overall pick in 2018. He also has advanced command of all three of those pitches, smooth mechanics and a durable 6'3", 220-pound frame. He reached Double-A in 2019, posting a 2.55 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with 106 strikeouts in 109.1 innings along the way. A 2020 debut seems likely.

Nos. 5-1

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    Wander Franco
    Wander FrancoJason Miller/Getty Images

    5. LHP MacKenzie Gore, San Diego Padres (20 years old)

    Gore is the most polished prep pitcher to come along in years with four above-average pitches and impressive command and pitchability for someone his age. The No. 3 overall pick in 2017 has already reached Double-A, posting a pristine 1.69 ERA and 0.83 WHIP with 135 strikeouts in 101 innings last season. A deceptive delivery further adds to his effectiveness. All signs point to a future at the top of the San Diego rotation.

        

    4. 2B/SS Gavin Lux, Los Angeles Dodgers (22 years old)

    Lux pushed his way onto the MLB roster last year with a .347/.421/.607 line between Double-A and Triple-A that included 25 doubles and 26 home runs in 113 games. He hit .240/.305/.400 with seven extra-base hits in 23 games after making his MLB debut Sept. 2. He will enter 2020 as one of the favorites for NL Rookie of the Year honors thanks to a clear path to the starting second base job.

         

    3. OF Jo Adell, Los Angeles Angels (20 years old)

    Hamstring and ankle injuries sidelined Adell last spring, and he didn't make his season debut until May 24. He made up for lost time, hitting .289/.359/.475 with 27 doubles and 10 home runs in 76 games while reaching Triple-A. The Angels' decision to decline their option on right fielder Kole Calhoun is directly tied to Adell's proximity to the majors, and his five-tool potential should be on full display in the big leagues before the All-Star break.

         

    2. OF Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox (22 years old)

    The White Sox signed Robert to a six-year, $50 million extension Jan. 2, all but ensuring he will break camp with a starting spot in the MLB outfield. After he hit .328/.376/.624 with 31 doubles, 11 triples, 32 home runs and 36 steals last season, it's clear he had nothing left to prove in the minors. Expect to see him penciled into the starting center field job on Opening Day and as the odds-on favorite for AL Rookie of the Year honors.

         

    1. SS Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays (18 years old)

    Unlike many of the other prospects at the top of these rankings, Franco is likely at least a year away from reaching the majors. The precocious infielder split last season between Single-A and High-A, hitting .327/.398/.487 with 43 extra-base hits and more walks (56) than strikeouts (35). He has given every indication that he can remain at shortstop going forward. The Rays will be patient, but he is the type of generational talent who could force their hand.

           

    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.