Predicting Every MLB Team's Starting Lineup and Rotation in 2022

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2020

Predicting Every MLB Team's Starting Lineup and Rotation in 2022

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    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    What will the MLB landscape look like by the time the 2022 season arrives?

    It's a fun hypothetical to explore with numerous stars ticketed for free agency during the next two offseasons. Among them are Francisco Lindor, Kris Bryant, Max Scherzer, Trevor Story, Javier Baez, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Noah Syndergaard, J.T. Realmuto and Trevor Bauer.

    Along with the potential roster shuffling that could create, teams also have rising prospects ready to move into key roles on MLB rosters in the years to come.

    All of that was taken into consideration as we set out to predict the 2022 starting lineups and rotations for all 30 MLB teams. Before we dive in, a quick rundown of how they were assembled:

    • Players Under Contract: The obvious starting point was to pencil in players who are under contract through the 2022 season.
    • Arbitration-Eligible Players: Next up were players who won't have reached free agency when 2022 rolls around but have established themselves as everyday big leaguers.
    • Top Prospects: From there, top prospects were projected into roles based on their current development and expected arrival date.
    • Free Agents: This is where things got fun. Any player set to hit free agency during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 offseasons was fair game to be shuffled between teams. Financial flexibility and clear areas of need both played a part in deciding where each key free agent landed.
    • Designated Hitter: You'll see that both AL and NL teams have a designated hitter in their projected lineups. With the universal DH expected to be approved for the shortened 2020 season, all signs point to its being fully integrated by the 2022 season.

    Included with each team's projected lineup and rotation is a rundown of rising prospects and projected additions, as well as a prediction for every team's top three prospects in 2022 to give an idea of what's left in the farm system.

    Let's get to it.

                  

    Note: Players listed in bold are roster additions. Players listed in italics are upcoming free agents who were re-signed by their current teams. The number in parentheses following some players indicates where they rank on their organizations' top-30 prospect lists for 2020, according to Baseball America.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Zac Gallen
    Zac GallenNorm Hall/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. 2B Daulton Varsho (No. 1)
    2. CF Ketel Marte
    3. 3B Eduardo Escobar
    4. DH Seth Beer (No. 12)
    5. 1B Christian Walker
    6. RF Kole Calhoun
    7. LF David Peralta
    8. SS Nick Ahmed
    9. C Carson Kelly

    SP Zac Gallen
    SP Madison Bumgarner
    SP Jake Odorizzi
    SP Luke Weaver
    SP Corbin Martin (No. 7)
    CL J.B. Bukauskas (No. 10)

                        

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The D-backs have seemingly found their catcher of the future in Carson Kelly, which means the defensive versatility of Daulton Varsho will likely land him at second base or in center field in the majors. Slugger Seth Beer would be a major beneficiary of the universal DH.
    • Additions/Extensions: While they wait on the arrival of lower-level prospects like Blake Walston and Luis Frias, veteran Jake Odorizzi is the perfect stopgap workhorse in the middle of the rotation. Despite his recent breakout, it won't break the bank to re-up with Eduardo Escobar.
    • Top 3 Prospects in 2022: 1. OF Kristian Robinson, 2. OF Alek Thomas, 3. SS Geraldo Perdomo

Atlanta Braves

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    Ronald Acuna Jr.
    Ronald Acuna Jr.Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. CF Cristian Pache (No. 1)
    2. 3B Kris Bryant
    3. RF Ronald Acuna Jr.
    4. 1B Freddie Freeman
    5. 2B Ozzie Albies
    6. DH Austin Riley
    7. LF Drew Waters (No. 2)
    8. SS Dansby Swanson
    9. C William Contreras (No. 8)

    SP Mike Soroka
    SP Zack Greinke
    SP Max Fried
    SP Ian Anderson (No. 3)
    SP Kyle Wright (No. 4)
    CL Will Smith

                 

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The top prospect duo of Cristian Pache and Drew Waters will join superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. in the Atlanta outfield long before the start of the 2022 season. While most evaluators consider Shea Langeliers the team's top catching prospect, it will likely be William Contreras who gets the first crack at securing the MLB job.
    • Additions/Extensions: The Braves looked like a perfect landing spot for Kris Bryant during trade talks this offseason, and the fit still makes sense once he hits the open market. Veteran Zack Greinke will be 38 years old in 2022, but his stuff and approach give him a good chance to age well. Expect the front office to do everything it can to make sure Freddie Freeman spends his entire career in Atlanta.
    • Top 3 Prospects in 2022: 1. RHP Victor Vodnik, 2. C Shea Langeliers, 3. OF Michael Harris

Baltimore Orioles

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    Adley Rutschman
    Adley RutschmanJoe Robbins/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. CF Austin Hays (No. 4)
    2. C Adley Rutschman (No. 1)
    3. RF Trey Mancini
    4. 1B Ryan Mountcastle (No. 5)
    5. LF Anthony Santander
    6. 3B Renato Nunez
    7. DH Nomar Mazara
    8. 2B Hanser Alberto
    9. SS Brandon Crawford

    SP Grayson Rodriguez (No. 2)
    SP DL Hall (No. 3)
    SP Zach Davies
    SP Michael Baumann (No. 10)
    SP John Means
    CL Hunter Harvey (No. 8)

                       

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: Adley Rutschman, last year's No. 1 overall pick, is the future face of the franchise, while Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall represent one of the best tandems of pitching prospects in the minors. Longtime prospects Ryan Mountcastle and Hunter Harvey still have time to develop into impact players.
    • Additions/Extensions: Expect the O's to continue working on the fringes of the free-agent market in the years to come. Brandon Crawford provides a defensive-minded stopgap at shortstop, Nomar Mazara has enough potential to be worth a roll of the dice and a reunion with former prospect Zach Davies gives the staff a reliable workhorse.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. SS Austin Martin (2020 draft), 2. SS Gunnar Henderson, 3. SS Darell Hernaiz

Boston Red Sox

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    Rafael Devers
    Rafael DeversBillie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. RF Alex Verdugo
    2. LF Andrew Benintendi
    3. 3B Rafael Devers
    4. DH J.D. Martinez
    5. SS Xander Bogaerts
    6. 2B Jeter Downs (No. 3)
    7. 1B Bobby Dalbec (No. 2)
    8. C Christian Vazquez
    9. CF Jarren Duran (No. 5)

    SP Chris Sale
    SP Eduardo Rodriguez
    SP Tanner Houck (No. 11)
    SP Nathan Eovaldi
    SP Jon Lester
    CL Bryan Mata (No. 4)

                

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The path is clear for Bobby Dalbec and Jeter Downs to take over on the right side of the infield at some point in the next year. The same goes for Jarren Duran in center field with Jackie Bradley Jr. on his way out the door. Who will emerge from their collection of befuddling pitching prospects?
    • Additions/Extensions: The cost-cutting Red Sox are not likely to make any splashy free-agent additions in the years to come. A long-term contract for emerging ace Eduardo Rodriguez makes sense given the dearth of pitching talent in the system. Former ace Jon Lester has indicated he is "absolutely" open to the idea of returning to Boston once his contract with the Chicago Cubs is up after the 2020 season.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. 1B Triston Casas, 2. OF Gilbert Jimenez, 3. RHP Noah Song

Chicago Cubs

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    Javier Baez
    Javier BaezQuinn Harris/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. LF Ian Happ
    2. 1B Anthony Rizzo
    3. SS Javier Baez
    4. C Willson Contreras
    5. DH Kyle Schwarber
    6. 3B David Bote
    7. 2B Nico Hoerner (No. 2)
    8. RF Jason Heyward
    9. CF Albert Almora Jr.

    SP Kyle Hendricks
    SP Yu Darvish
    SP Mike Minor
    SP Chris Archer

    SP Adbert Alzolay (No. 11)
    CL Craig Kimbrel

                    

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: It's only a matter of time before Nico Hoerner takes over as the everyday second baseman. There is a lot of pitching talent in the lower levels of the minors, but Adbert Alzolay is the only MLB-ready arm with any real upside. How does catching prospect Miguel Amaya fit into the long-term plans?
    • Additions/Extensions: The Cubs will need to decide whether to keep Kris Bryant or Javier Baez long-term, and the smart money is on Baez. Anthony Rizzo is so ingrained in the organization and the community that it's hard to imagine he signs elsewhere, and the front office has always loved Kyle Schwarber. The question is how the Cubs address the rotation. Mike Minor would be a nice replacement for Jon Lester, while Chris Archer still has the stuff to make an impact.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. LHP Brailyn Marquez, 2. OF Brennen Davis, 3. OF Cole Roederer

Chicago White Sox

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    Luis Robert
    Luis RobertRon Vesely/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. 2B Nick Madrigal (No. 4)
    2. 3B Yoan Moncada
    3. RF Luis Robert (No. 1)
    4. LF Eloy Jimenez
    5. 1B Andrew Vaughn (No. 2)
    6. DH Jose Abreu
    7. SS Tim Anderson
    8. C Yasmani Grandal
    9. CF Jackie Bradley Jr.

    SP Lucas Giolito
    SP Trevor Bauer

    SP Dallas Keuchel
    SP Dylan Cease
    SP Reynaldo Lopez
    CL Michael Kopech (No. 3)

                     

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: First-round picks Andrew Vaughn and Nick Madrigal are two of the most polished college bats in recent memory, and they should already be established in 2022. The same goes for five-tool phenom Luis Robertwho signed a long-term deal before making his MLB debut. Flame-thrower Michael Kopech may ultimately fit best at the back of the bullpen.
    • Additions/Extensions: Finding a second established front-line starter to pair with Lucas Giolito figures to be a priority in the years to come, and Trevor Bauer would fit nicely. There's a good chance Luis Robert will eventually outgrow center field, and there's room for the defensive-minded Jackie Bradley Jr. in a stacked lineup.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. RHP Matthew Thompson, 2. OF Benyamin Bailey, 3. RHP Andrew Dalquist

Cincinnati Reds

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    Luis Castillo
    Luis CastilloJoe Robbins/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. 2B Nick Senzel
    2. 1B Joey Votto
    3. SS Francisco Lindor
    4. 3B Eugenio Suarez
    5. RF Nicholas Castellanos
    6. DH Mike Moustakas
    7. LF Jesse Winker
    8. CF Shogo Akiyama
    9. C Tyler Stephenson (No. 4)

    SP Luis Castillo
    SP Sonny Gray
    SP Nick Lodolo (No. 3)
    SP Robbie Ray
    SP Wade Miley
    CL Amir Garrett

                     

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The Reds appear to have their catcher of the future in Tyler Stephensonwho was the No. 11 overall pick in the 2015 draft. Their most recent first-round pick, left-hander Nick Lodolo, should move as quickly through the minors as anyone from the 2019 draft class. Will Jonathan India be used as a trade chip?
    • Additions/Extensions: The Reds spent the offseason looking for a long-term answer at shortstop, and they will be one of the top suitors for Francisco Lindor when he inevitably hits the open market. Before that happens after the 2021 season, they could also look to further bolster the starting rotation by adding Robbie Ray this coming winter as a replacement for Trevor Bauer.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. RHP Hunter Greene, 2. 3B Rece Hinds, 3. OF Michael Siani

Cleveland Indians

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    Shane Bieber
    Shane BieberRon Schwane/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. CF Oscar Mercado
    2. 3B Nolan Jones (No. 1)
    3. 2B Jose Ramirez
    4. DH Franmil Reyes
    5. LF Joc Pederson
    6. 1B Bobby Bradley (No. 12)
    7. SS Tyler Freeman (No. 2)
    8. RF Daniel Johnson (No. 23)
    9. C Roberto Perez

    SP Shane Bieber
    SP Mike Clevinger
    SP Carlos Carrasco
    SP Aaron Civale
    SP Triston McKenzie (No. 7)
    CL James Karinchak (No. 16)

                    

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The Indians are going to squeeze everything they can out of the farm system in an effort to keep payroll down. That means Tyler Freeman and Nolan Jones will get every opportunity to take over on the left side of the infield. Right-hander Triston McKenzie has seen his prospect stock dip over the past year, but he still has the stuff to hold down a rotation spot.
    • Additions/Extensions: The Indians will continue to pinch pennies in the years to come, and that means waving goodbye to Francisco Lindor. A long-term deal for Shane Bieber would make a lot of sense, but he'll still be under control either way. Slugger Joc Pederson should be a reasonably priced addition to shore up one of the corner outfield spots.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. OF George Valera, 2. RHP Ethan Hankins, 3. C Bo Naylor

Colorado Rockies

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    Brendan Rodgers
    Brendan RodgersJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. RF Charlie Blackmon
    2. 2B Brendan Rodgers (No. 1)
    3. 3B Nolan Arenado
    4. DH Ryan McMahon
    5. 1B Colton Welker (No. 5)
    6. CF David Dahl
    7. LF Ryan Vilade (No. 8)
    8. SS Terrin Vavra (No. 14)
    9. C Mike Zunino

    SP German Marquez
    SP Jon Gray
    SP Ryan Rolison (No. 2)
    SP Kyle Freeland
    SP Daniel Norris
    CL Scott Oberg

                    

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: Assuming the money is not there to re-sign Trevor Story, it looks like Terrin Vavra is the future at shortstop after he hit .318/.409/.489 with 43 extra-base hits at Single-A while showing a solid glove. The front office will need to get creative with how it utilizes an overabundance of corner infielders down on the farm.
    • Additions/Extensions: The Rockies should pony up to re-sign Jon Graywho is one of the few homegrown pitchers in franchise history to enjoy any sort of consistent success. Other than that, don't expect them to start throwing money around. Defensive standout Mike Zunino fills the catcher void nicely, while former top prospect Daniel Norris is a solid mid-level target to fill out the starting staff.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. SS Adael Amador, 2. OF Brenton Doyle, 3. 1B Michael Toglia

Detroit Tigers

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    Casey Mize
    Casey MizeMark Cunningham/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. SS Willi Castro (No. 9)
    2. 2B Kolten Wong
    3. 3B Isaac Paredes (No. 5)
    4. 1B Spencer Torkelson (2020 draft)
    5. DH Miguel Cabrera
    6. LF Christin Stewart
    7. RF Gregory Polanco
    8. CF Daz Cameron (No. 7)
    9. C Jake Rogers (No. 10)

    SP Casey Mize (No. 1)
    SP Matt Manning (No. 2)
    SP Matthew Boyd
    SP Tarik Skubal (No. 3)
    SP Spencer Turnbull
    CL Joe Jimenez

                  

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: Three potential front-line starters—Casey Mize, Matt Manning and Tarik Skubal—are quickly rising through Detroit's minor league ranks. The Tigers also have some intriguing position-player talent with everyday upside, and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft will add to their treasure trove of young talent. Arizona State star Spencer Torkelson is the likely pick, and he's going to fly through the minors.
    • Additions/Extensions: The stability Kolten Wong would bring to a young infield and clubhouse is valuable beyond his on-field contributions. The Tigers also look like the perfect team to take a chance on Gregory Polanco, who could benefit from a change of scenery and a clean bill of health.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. OF Riley Greene, 2. SS Wenceel Perez, 3. OF Parker Meadows

Houston Astros

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    Yordan Alvarez
    Yordan AlvarezJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. CF George Springer
    2. 2B Jose Altuve
    3. 3B Alex Bregman
    4. LF Yordan Alvarez
    5. RF Kyle Tucker
    6. SS Carlos Correa
    7. 1B Taylor Jones
    8. DH Abraham Toro (No. 6)
    9. C Garrett Stubbs (No. 24)

    SP James Paxton
    SP Forrest Whitley (No. 1)
    SP Lance McCullers Jr.
    SP Jose Urquidy (No. 2)
    SP Josh James
    CL Bryan Abreu (No. 5)

                  

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The development of Forrest Whitley is the biggest X-factor for the Astros. He has a chance to be the ace of the staff and one of the best pitchers in baseball if everything clicks. Others like Jose Urquidy, Bryan Abreu and Cristian Javier all have the stuff to be impact arms, though Abreu and Javier fit best in the bullpen.
    • Additions/Extensions: Left-hander James Paxton feels like the kind of pitcher who will go to Houston and thrive after years of teasing with his potential, similar to Charlie Morton and Wade Miley. Beyond that, the bulk of the Astros' spending is going to be focused on keeping George Springer, Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers Jr. in the fold.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. SS Freudis Nova, 2. RHP Hunter Brown, 3. C Korey Lee

Kansas City Royals

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    Brady Singer
    Brady SingerJamie Squire/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. SS Adalberto Mondesi
    2. 2B Whit Merrifield
    3. 3B Hunter Dozier
    4. DH Jorge Soler
    5. 1B Yuli Gurriel
    6. RF Khalil Lee (No. 7)
    7. LF Kyle Isbel (No. 5)
    8. C MJ Melendez (No. 12)
    9. CF Ender Inciarte

    SP Brady Singer (No. 4)
    SP Jackson Kowar (No. 3)
    SP Daniel Lynch (No. 2)
    SP Brad Keller
    SP Kris Bubic (No. 8)
    CL Mychal Givens

                

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The Royals took Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic all within 40 picks during the 2018 draft. That group represents the future of the starting rotation and in many ways the future of the organization. The development of MJ Melendez will determine whether Salvador Perez sticks around.
    • Additions/Extensions: The excitement that 2019 AL home run king Jorge Soler brings to the lineup is worth locking him up, provided the price is right. Plugging roster holes with second-tier free agents like Yuli Gurriel, Ender Inciarte and Mychal Givens fits the budget and gives the roster enough talent to start pushing back toward contention if things click in the rotation.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. SS Bobby Witt Jr., 2. OF Erick Pena, 3. LHP Austin Cox

Los Angeles Angels

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    Mike Trout
    Mike TroutRob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. 2B David Fletcher
    2. RF Jo Adell (No. 1)
    3. CF Mike Trout
    4. 3B Anthony Rendon
    5. DH Justin Upton
    6. LF Brandon Marsh (No. 2)
    7. 1B Matt Thaiss
    8. SS Andrelton Simmons
    9. C Tucker Barnhart

    SP Noah Syndergaard
    SP Shohei Ohtani
    SP Griffin Canning
    SP Anthony DeSclafani
    SP Patrick Sandoval (No. 6)
    CL Ty Buttrey

                   

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The trio of Mike Trout, Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh has the potential to be the best outfield in baseball in 2022, though it could take a few seasons for Adell and Marsh to settle in and reach their full potential. Left-hander Patrick Sandoval tops the team's thin collection of pitching prospects.
    • Additions/Extensions: After whiffing on Gerrit Cole this past offseason, the Angels are still searching for their staff ace. A healthy Noah Syndergaard would solve that problem nicely, and don't overlook the potential impact of Anthony DeSclafani, who posted a 3.89 ERA and 117 ERA+ in 166.2 innings last year. The staff would also benefit greatly from having a defensive-minded backstop like Tucker Barnhart to call games.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. SS Jeremiah Jackson, 2. OF Jordyn Adams, 3. RHP Chris Rodriguez

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Walker Buehler
    Walker BuehlerJoe Sargent/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. RF Mookie Betts
    2. 2B Gavin Lux (No. 1)
    3. CF Cody Bellinger
    4. SS Trevor Story
    5. 1B Max Muncy
    6. 3B Justin Turner
    7. DH DJ Peters (No. 14)
    8. LF Scott Kingery
    9. C Will Smith

    SP Walker Buehler
    SP Clayton Kershaw
    SP Julio Urias
    SP David Price
    SP Dustin May (No. 2)
    CL Brusdar Graterol (No. 3)

                   

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The Dodgers have an embarrassment of riches on the pitching side, which explains why top prospects Josiah Gray and Tony Gonsolin are nowhere to be found in these projections. That said, they've done a nice job of finding ways to utilize their best arms, regardless of the roles they fill. To that point, Brusdar Graterol could be the long-term answer in the closer's role
    • Additions/Extensions: Will Mookie Betts leave in free agency? Will Clayton Kershaw finish his career with another team? For now, we're penciling both players into the Dodgers lineup in 2022. Letting Corey Seager walk and upgrading with a massive free-agent deal for Trevor Story would be a flashy all-in move. A swap of catching prospect Keibert Ruiz to the Philadelphia Phillies for super-utility man Scott Kingery makes a lot of sense for the Dodgers. Kingery is essentially a younger, cheaper version of Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. C Diego Cartaya, 2. 3B Kody Hoese, 3. OF Andy Pages

Miami Marlins

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    Sixto Sanchez
    Sixto SanchezBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. CF Monte Harrison (No. 6)
    2. 3B Brian Anderson
    3. RF JJ Bleday (No. 2)
    4. 1B Lewin Diaz (No. 7)
    5. LF Jesus Sanchez (No. 3)
    6. DH Eddie Rosario
    7. SS Jazz Chisholm (No. 5)
    8. 2B Isan Diaz
    9. C Jorge Alfaro

    SP Sixto Sanchez (No. 1)
    SP Edward Cabrera (No. 4)
    SP Sandy Alcantara
    SP Caleb Smith
    SP Braxton Garrett (No. 8)
    CL Jorge Guzman (No. 14)

                

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The youth movement will be in full effect by the time the 2022 season rolls around. The Marlins have focused heavily on restocking their farm system, and the result is an abundance of high-end talent that is set to descend on the MLB roster over the next few years. Sixto Sanchez and Edward Cabrera both offer front-line upside, while outfielders JJ Bleday and Jesus Sanchez have middle-of-the-order potential. The X-factor is power-hitting shortstop Jazz Chisholm.
    • Additions/Extensions: The Marlins are not going to spend until they're ready to contend, and that will likely not be until 2023 or 2024 when these young guys have had a chance to establish themselves in the majors. Eddie Rosario gives the young lineup an experienced run producer.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. LHP Asa Lacy (2020 draft), 2. OF Jerar Encarnacion, 3. OF Kameron Misner

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Keston Hiura
    Keston HiuraStacy Revere/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. SS Luis Urias
    2. RF Adam Eaton
    3. LF Christian Yelich
    4. DH Keston Hiura
    5. 1B C.J. Cron
    6. 3B Lucas Erceg
    7. 2B Brice Turang (No. 1)
    8. CF Lorenzo Cain
    9. C Omar Narvaez

    SP Brandon Woodruff
    SP Adrian Houser
    SP Ethan Small (No. 4)
    SP Eric Lauer
    SP Josh Lindblom
    CL Josh Hader

               

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The Brewers have one of the thinnest farm systems in baseball, and most of their high-ceiling talent is in the lower levels of the minors. Brice Turang has the speed and on-base skills to be a factor up the middle, and Ethan Small is one of the most polished arms from the 2019 draft class. Other than that, there's not much on the horizon. Can Lucas Erceg reach his offensive ceiling?
    • Additions/Extensions: The Brewers have spent years piecing together the first base position with low-cost free-agent signings, and C.J. Cron would fit the mold. The on-base ability and outfield defense Adam Eaton provides make him a great fit on this roster.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. C Mario Feliciano, 2. LHP Antonie Kelly, 3. OF Hedbert Perez

Minnesota Twins

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    Royce Lewis
    Royce LewisBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. 2B Luis Arraez
    2. LF Trevor Larnach (No. 3)
    3. 3B Josh Donaldson
    4. DH Miguel Sano
    5. RF Max Kepler
    6. 1B Alex Kirilloff (No. 2)
    7. C Mitch Garver
    8. SS Jorge Polanco
    9. CF Royce Lewis (No. 1)

    SP Jose Berrios
    SP Kenta Maeda
    SP Jose Quintana
    SP Jordan Balazovic (No. 4)
    SP Jhoan Duran (No. 5)
    CL Ken Giles

                

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: There's a steep drop-off after the top five prospects in the Twins system, but those five guys all figure to be a factor by 2022. Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff both have advanced bats, and 2017 No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis has the athleticism to make a smooth transition from shortstop to center field.
    • Additions/Extensions: If Jake Odorizzi walks next offseason, left-hander Jose Quintana is a comparable replacement who fits nicely in the middle of the rotation. Meanwhile, Ken Giles would bring stability to the back of the bullpen and allow Taylor Rogers to return to a setup role. Could Byron Buxton be non-tendered by 2022?
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. SS Keoni Cavaco, 2. OF Misael Urbina, 3. RHP Matt Canterino

New York Mets

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    Jacob deGrom
    Jacob deGromQuinn Harris/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. CF Brandon Nimmo
    2. C J.T. Realmuto
    3. RF Jeff McNeil
    4. 1B Pete Alonso
    5. LF Marcell Ozuna
    6. DH Dominic Smith
    7. 2B Robinson Cano
    8. 3B Mark Vientos (No. 6)
    9. SS Amed Rosario

    SP Jacob deGrom
    SP Marcus Stroman
    SP Andrew Heaney
    SP Chase Anderson

    SP David Peterson (No. 10)
    CL Seth Lugo

                      

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The bulk of the Mets' high-level talent will not be ready by 2022, including shortstop Ronny Mauricio. With 60-grade power and a strong arm, Mark Vientos is one to watch as the third baseman of the future. David Peterson, Kevin Smith and Thomas Szapucki are among the pitching prospects who could be ready
    • Additions/Extensions: The Mets have not had a franchise catcher since Mike Piazza left town, and Yoenis Cespedes is coming off the books just in time for them to make a run at J.T. Realmuto in free agency. Spending on him and slugger Marcell Ozuna means letting one of Marcus Stroman and Noah Syndergaard walk, along with Steven Matz. The upside of Andrew Heaney and consistency of Chase Anderson still give the rotation a solid outlook.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. SS Ronny Mauricio, 2. RHP Matthew Allan, 3. 3B Brett Baty

New York Yankees

19 of 30

    Mark Brown/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. 2B DJ LeMahieu
    2. RF Aaron Judge
    3. SS Gleyber Torres
    4. LF Giancarlo Stanton
    5. C Gary Sanchez
    6. 3B Gio Urshela
    7. DH Miguel Andujar
    8. 1B Luke Voit
    9. CF Aaron Hicks

    SP Gerrit Cole
    SP Luis Severino
    SP Masahiro Tanaka
    SP Clarke Schmidt (No. 2)
    SP Domingo German
    CL Aroldis Chapman

                    

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The Yankees farm system has an extremely bright future with arguably the most impressive collection of lower-level talent in baseball. That group is still a ways off, though, and they are thin on MLB-ready prospects. Right-hander Clarke Schmidt is the most polished arm in the system. Expect Deivi Garcia to wind up in a multi-inning bullpen role, similar to Chad Green.
    • Additions/Extensions: The Yankees would be wise to bring back both Masahiro Tanaka and DJ LeMahieu if the price is right, as the departure of both players would leave glaring holes on the roster. Other than that, the pieces are in place, and they are going to spend a ton on arbitration raises for their in-house talent in the years to come. This is the roster, for better or worse.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. OF Jasson Dominguez, 2. OF Kevin Alcantara, 3. SS Alexander Vargas

Oakland Athletics

20 of 30

    Matt Chapman
    Matt ChapmanRich Schultz/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. CF Ramon Laureano
    2. SS Marcus Semien
    3. 3B Matt Chapman
    4. 1B Matt Olson
    5. LF Michael Conforto
    6. RF Stephen Piscotty
    7. C Sean Murphy (No. 3)
    8. DH Sheldon Neuse (No. 7)
    9. 2B Nick Allen (No. 10)

    SP Jesus Luzardo (No. 1)
    SP Frankie Montas
    SP A.J. Puk (No. 2)
    SP Sean Manaea
    SP Daulton Jefferies (No. 4)
    CL Archie Bradley

                    

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The one-two punch of Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk has long been viewed as the future of the Oakland staff, and two-way standout Sean Murphy completes the battery. Slick-fielding Nick Allen could be a Gold Glove shortstop, but he would cede to Semien upon arriving in the majors.
    • Additions/Extensions: The A's have historically let their best talent walk in free agency, rather than ponying up to keep them around. They have made a few exceptions over the years, and Marcus Semien could receive that same treatment after his MVP-caliber 2019 season. With strong on-base skills and enough volatility in his performance for the price to be right, Michael Conforto looks like a reasonable target. They're not afraid to spend on a quality reliever like Archie Bradley.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. SS Robert Puason, 2. OF Brayan Buelvas, 3. SS Logan Davidson

Philadelphia Phillies

21 of 30

    Alec Bohm
    Alec BohmBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. 2B Jean Segura
    2. DH Michael Brantley
    3. RF Bryce Harper
    4. 3B Alec Bohm (No. 2)
    5. 1B Rhys Hoskins
    6. LF Adam Haseley
    7. C Keibert Ruiz
    8. SS Bryson Stott (No. 3)
    9. CF Mickey Moniak (No. 9)

    SP Aaron Nola
    SP Zack Wheeler
    SP Jake Arrieta
    SP Spencer Howard (No. 1)
    SP Francisco Morales (No. 4)
    CL Kirby Yates

                     

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: Third baseman Alec Bohm hit .305/.378/.518 with 21 home runs in 125 games while reaching Double-A last year after going No. 3 overall in 2018. Shortstop Bryson Stott—last year's top selection, who went No. 14 overall—should move similarly quickly through the farm system. The X-factor is the continued development of Spencer Howard and Francisco Morales, who both have front-line upside.
    • Additions/Extensions: After committing significant money to Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler the past two offseasons, it remains to be seen if the Phillies will be able to afford J.T. Realmuto. Assuming he leaves, the catcher position becomes a glaring hole, and a swap of Scott Kingery for Keibert Ruiz solves that issue. Anchoring the bullpen by adding Kirby Yates and adding a solid on-base bat in Michael Brantley round out the roster for a team with title aspirations.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. C Rafael Marchan, 2. OF Johan Rojas, 3. SS Luis Garcia

Pittsburgh Pirates

22 of 30

    Ke'Bryan Hayes
    Ke'Bryan HayesBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. SS Kevin Newman
    2. LF Bryan Reynolds
    3. RF Oneil Cruz (No. 3)
    4. 1B Josh Bell
    5. DH Will Craig (No. 24)
    6. 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes (No. 2)
    7. 2B Adam Frazier
    8. CF Travis Swaggerty (No. 11)
    9. C Jacob Stallings

    SP Joe Musgrove
    SP Mitch Keller (No. 1)
    SP Cody Bolton (No. 5)
    SP Jameson Taillon
    SP Trevor Williams
    CL Corey Knebel

                     

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: Ke'Bryan Hayes has long been pegged as the third baseman of the future, and he profiles for five average or better tools. At 6'7", Oneil Cruz has already stuck at shortstop longer than expected, but he probably fits best on this roster in right field. The 21-year-old has legitimate superstar upside. Will Craig would be another beneficiary of the universal DH. Mitch Keller is the pitching prospect everyone knows, but keep an eye on Cody Bolton.
    • Additions/Extensions: The Pirates are not going to all of a sudden become a free-spending organization, so don't expect any flashy additions. Closer Corey Knebel has dealt with some injuries, and he could be a classic Pirates reclamation project by the time 2020 rolls around.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. RHP Tahnaj Thomas, 2. SS Liover Peguero, 3. RHP Quinn Priester

San Diego Padres

23 of 30

    MacKenzie Gore
    MacKenzie GoreJohn E. Moore III/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. CF Taylor Trammell (No. 4)
    2. RF Trent Grisham
    3. SS Fernando Tatis Jr.
    4. 3B Manny Machado
    5. LF Wil Myers
    6. 1B Eric Hosmer
    7. DH Francisco Mejia
    8. 2B Gabriel Arias (No. 9)
    9. C Luis Campusano (No. 5)

    SP MacKenzie Gore (No. 1)
    SP Dinelson Lamet
    SP Chris Paddack
    SP Luis Patino (No. 2)
    SP Joey Lucchesi
    CL Emilio Pagan

                     

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The Padres already saw one top prospect emerge as a star when Fernando Tatis Jr. took the league by storm last year. There is plenty more high-ceiling talent on the way, including front-line starters MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patino, center fielder Taylor Trammell and potential catcher of the future Luis Campusano. The second base job could be a battle between Gabriel Arias and Owen Miller.
    • Additions/Extensions: With Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers scheduled to make a combined $75.5 million in 2022, the Padres might be hesitant to add any other bloated salaries to the payroll in the coming years. That said, there's such an abundance of high-ceiling talent down on the farm that they should still be able to make a serious push toward contention.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. SS CJ Abrams, 2. LHP Joey Cantillo, 3. OF Hudson Head

San Francisco Giants

24 of 30

    Joey Bart
    Joey BartRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. CF Starling Marte
    2. SS Mauricio Dubon (No. 10)
    3. RF Heliot Ramos (No. 3)
    4. C Joey Bart (No. 2)
    5. 3B Evan Longoria
    6. LF Mike Yastrzemski
    7. DH Jaylin Davis
    8. 1B Buster Posey
    9. 2B Will Wilson (No. 12)

    SP Mike Foltynewicz
    SP Seth Corry (No. 7)
    SP Steven Matz
    SP Sean Hjelle (No. 9)
    SP Logan Webb (No. 11)
    CL Shaun Anderson

                     

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The Giants will still be waiting on rising prospects like Marco Luciano, Luis Matos, Alexander Canario and Luis Toribio in 2022, but they figure to welcome the dynamic duo of Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos to the MLB roster. Can any of the team's pitching prospects take a step forward to be more than a back-end arm? Left-hander Seth Corry appears to have the stuff after racking up 172 strikeouts in 122.2 innings at Single-A last year.
    • Additions/Extensions: Catcher Buster Posey has a $22 million club option for 2022 that will likely be bought out for $3 million, but that doesn't mean the Giants are going to let the future Hall of Famer finish his career elsewhere. A reduced salary and a move to first base make sense. Something will have to be done about the starting rotation, and both Mike Foltynewicz and Steven Matz offer enough upside to stir optimism.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. SS Marco Luciano, 2. OF Hunter Bishop, 3. OF Luis Matos

Seattle Mariners

25 of 30

    Logan Gilbert
    Logan GilbertNorm Hall/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. CF Jarred Kelenic (No. 2)
    2. SS Corey Seager
    3. RF Julio Rodriguez (No. 1)
    4. LF Mitch Haniger
    5. 3B Kyle Seager
    6. 1B Evan White (No. 3)
    7. DH Kyle Lewis (No. 10)
    8. C Tom Murphy
    9. 2B Shed Long

    SP Logan Gilbert (No. 4)
    SP Marco Gonzales
    SP George Kirby (No. 5)
    SP Justin Dunn (No. 8)
    SP Justus Sheffield (No. 7)
    CL Joey Gerber (No. 23)

                    

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The Mariners have spent the past couple of seasons stockpiling prospect talent while continuing to nurse a postseason drought that stretches back to 2001. The 2022 season could be when they finally start to reap the rewards, with elite outfield prospects Julio Rodriguez and Jarred Kelenic both ticketed for stardom. The pitching side of things will hinge heavily on the continued development of their top arms, but the talent is there.
    • Additions/Extensions: J.P. Crawford is running out of chances to prove he can be an everyday shortstop in the big leagues, and if he hasn't locked down the position by 2021, it will be time to move on. Teaming up the Seager brothers by signing Corey Seager in free agency would be a fun way to address the position.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. SS Noelvi Marte, 2. LHP Brandon Williamson, 3. RHP Juan Then

St. Louis Cardinals

26 of 30

    Dylan Carlson
    Dylan CarlsonMichael Reaves/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. 2B Tommy Edman
    2. DH Matt Carpenter
    3. 1B Paul Goldschmidt
    4. 3B Nolan Gorman (No. 3)
    5. RF Dylan Carlson (No. 1)
    6. LF Tyler O'Neill
    7. SS Paul DeJong
    8. C Yadier Molina
    9. CF Harrison Bader

    SP Jack Flaherty
    SP Corey Kluber
    SP Miles Mikolas
    SP Dakota Hudson
    SP Zack Thompson (No. 7)
    CL Giovanny Gallegos

                    

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The Cardinals have not had a position-player prospect with the upside of Dylan Carlson in years, and slugging third baseman Nolan Gorman is not far behind. The pitching pipeline has run a bit dry, but 2019 first-round pick Zack Thompson should be ready for a shot as long as he can stay healthy.
    • Additions/Extensions: As long as Yadier Molina wants to keep playing, it seems the Cardinals are going to be willing to pencil him in as the starting catcher. Don't bet against him to still be playing in 2022. Assuming Corey Kluber bounces back to even 75 percent of what he was before last year's injury-shortened season, he would slot in nicely as the No. 2 starter behind young ace Jack Flaherty.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. LHP Matthew Liberatore, 2. C Ivan Herrera, 3. OF Jhon Torres

Tampa Bay Rays

27 of 30

    Wander Franco
    Wander FrancoMichael Reaves/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. 2B Vidal Brujan (No. 3)
    2. 3B Wander Franco (No. 1)
    3. LF Austin Meadows
    4. 1B Nate Lowe
    5. DH Brandon Lowe
    6. RF Josh Lowe (No. 11)
    7. SS Willy Adames
    8. C Ronaldo Hernandez (No. 8)
    9. CF Kevin Kiermaier

    SP Tyler Glasnow
    SP Blake Snell
    SP Brendan McKay (No. 2)
    SP Joe Ryan (No. 9)
    SP Shane McClanahan (No. 6)
    CL Nick Anderson

                   

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: More than any team in baseball, prospects are the lifeblood of the Rays' success. They have the crown jewel of the minor leagues in Wander Franco, who has all the tools to be a perennial MVP candidate. Two-way standout Brendan McKay could be focused solely on pitching by 2022, while fellow pitching prospects Joe Ryan and Shane McClanahan appear to be next up in a long line of homegrown standouts on the mound.
    • Additions/Extensions: Nothing to see here. The Rays' strategy remains to draft, develop, trade and repeat. They could look to strike a team-friendly early extension with guys like Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows, or even Franco if he's amenable, but don't count on any significant outside additions.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. RHP Shane Baz, 2. 2B Xavier Edwards, 3. RHP Seth Johnson

Texas Rangers

28 of 30

    Joey Gallo
    Joey GalloBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. 1B Carlos Santana
    2. LF Nick Solak (No. 4)
    3. 3B Josh Jung (No. 1)
    4. RF Joey Gallo
    5. DH Willie Calhoun
    6. C Sam Huff (No. 2)
    7. SS Elvis Andrus
    8. CF Leody Taveras (No. 3)
    9. 2B Rougned Odor

    SP Lance Lynn
    SP Hans Crouse (No. 6)
    SP Kyle Gibson
    SP Kolby Allard
    SP Brock Burke
    CL Jose Leclerc

                      

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: A breakout season from Sam Huff and the selection of Josh Jung at No. 8 overall in the 2019 draft gave the Texas farm system two new top prospects. Those two and polished hitter Nick Solak could provide the offensive foundation around sluggers Joey Gallo and Willie Calhoun. Which young arms will emerge from a talented crop of hurlers?
    • Additions/Extensions: The Rangers have some decisions to make on the pitching side with Mike Minor, Lance Lynn and offseason addition Corey Kluber all headed for free agency before the 2022 season rolls around. Extending Lynn and counting on some of the young arms they've collected to round out the staff makes sense. First base has been a bit of a revolving door of late, and on-base machine Carlos Santana would provide an outside-the-box solution to the leadoff spot in his age-36 season.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. RHP Yerry Rodriguez, 2. SS Maximo Acosta, 3. RHP Cole Winn

Toronto Blue Jays

29 of 30

    Nate Pearson
    Nate PearsonJoe Robbins/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. 2B Cavan Biggio
    2. SS Bo Bichette
    3. 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
    4. LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
    5. RF Teoscar Hernandez
    6. 3B Jordan Groshans (No. 2)
    7. CF Randal Grichuk
    8. DH Alejandro Kirk (No. 4)
    9. C Danny Jansen

    SP Nate Pearson (No. 1)
    SP Hyun-Jin Ryu
    SP Simeon Woods Richardson (No. 3)
    SP Carlos Martinez
    SP Anthony Kay (No. 9)
    CL Raisel Iglesias

                       

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: Hard-throwing Nate Pearson is one of baseball's top pitching prospects and perhaps the best bet to assume a spot at the top of an MLB rotation. He'll be joined on the starting staff by Simeon Woods Richardson and Anthony Kay, who the Jays scooped up in the Marcus Stroman trade last summer. The next homegrown position player to seize an everyday role will likely be 2018 first-round pick Jordan Groshans.
    • Additions/Extensions: The Blue Jays have shown an affinity for pitchers who can handle both starting and relief roles in recent years, including Marco Estrada, Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini. Former Cardinals ace Carlos Martinez fits that mold, while longtime Reds closer Raisel Iglesias would stabilize the relief corps.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. SS Orelvis Martinez, 2. RHP Adam Kloffenstein, 3. RHP Alek Manoah

Washington Nationals

30 of 30

    Juan Soto
    Juan SotoScott Taetsch/Getty Images

    PROJECTED LINEUP

    1. SS Trea Turner
    2. CF Victor Robles
    3. LF Juan Soto
    4. RF Tommy Pham
    5. 1B Mark Canha
    6. 3B Carter Kieboom (No. 1)
    7. DH Khris Davis
    8. C Salvador Perez
    9. 2B Luis Garcia (No. 2)

    SP Max Scherzer
    SP Stephen Strasburg
    SP Patrick Corbin
    SP Wil Crowe (No. 4)
    SP Austin Voth
    CL Roberto Osuna

                      

    NOTES

    • Rising Prospects: The Nationals farm system is extremely thin behind the infield tandem of Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcia, who are both shortstops by trade. Wil Crowe and Tim Cate are a pair of high-floor starters who should be ready to push for rotation spots in the near future.
    • Additions/Extensions: The Nationals have a ton of money invested in the pitching staff, and that will remain the case if they seek an extension with Max Scherzer as predicted. That means they will likely focus on the second-tier free-agent market to plug the holes on the roster around their stars. Slugger Khris Davis, late bloomer Mark Canha and high-mileage backstop Salvador Perez could all wind up as bargains, while investing in Tommy Pham would complete the outfield.
    • Top Prospects in 2022: 1. RHP Jackson Rutledge, 2. RHP Andry Lara, 3. 1B Drew Mendoza

                

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