2020 MLB Prospect Power Rankings for Top 50 Middle Infielders

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2020

2020 MLB Prospect Power Rankings for Top 50 Middle Infielders

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Last month, we released our top 100 MLB prospects for the 2020 season, with Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco and Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert headlining the list.

    Now it's time to dive even deeper.

    In the weeks to come, we'll be counting down the top 50 prospects at each position, starting with the middle infielders.

    Since the line often blurs between second basemen and shortstops while those players rise the minor league ranks, it made sense to lump the two positions into one list. In the end, there's a good chance a lot of prospects currently listed as shortstop will wind up at second base.

    There were 19 middle infielders included on our top 100 list and seven more who received honorable mentions, so nearly half of this list needed to be padded out with new names.

    Let's kick things off with 25 players who finished just outside the top 50 before diving into our rankings.

              

    Note: Jordan Groshans (TOR), Isaac Paredes (DET), Keoni Cavaco (MIN) and Ryan Vilade (COL) will be ranked as third basemen. Austin Martin (TOR) will be included with the outfielders.

Next 25

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    Jahmai Jones
    Jahmai JonesDarron Cummings/Associated Press

    These 25 middle infield prospects were part of our preliminary list, but they fell short of inclusion in the final list of 50:

    • SS Matthew Lugo, BOS
    • 2B Chase Strumpf, CHC
    • 2B Tyler Callihan, CIN
    • SS Gabriel Rodriguez, CLE
    • SS Wenceel Perez, DET
    • SS Brady McConnell, KC
    • 2B Jahmai Jones, LAA
    • SS Jose Devers, MIA
    • SS Eduardo Garcia, MIL
    • SS Wander Javier, MIN
    • SS Oswald Peraza, NYY
    • SS Alexander Vargas, NYY
    • SS Anthony Volpe, NYY
    • SS Casey Martin, PHI
    • 2B/SS Ji-Hwan Bae, PIT
    • SS Jake Cronenworth, SD
    • 2B/SS Owen Miller, SD
    • SS Masyn Winn, STL
    • SS Taylor Walls, TB
    • SS Alika Williams, TB
    • SS Maximo Acosta, TEX
    • SS Luisangel Acuna, TEX
    • SS Anderson Tejeda, TEX
    • 2B/SS Miguel Hiraldo, TOR
    • SS Yasel Antuna, WAS

Nos. 50-46

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    Logan Davidson
    Logan DavidsonJanie McCauley/Associated Press

    50. SS Jordan Westburg, Baltimore Orioles (Age: 21)

    The No. 30 overall pick in the 2020 draft, Westburg hit .326/.385/.516 with six doubles and four home runs in 25 games in the Cape Cod League last summer to send his draft stock soaring.

         

    49. 2B/SS Will Wilson, San Francisco Giants (Age: 22)

    Looking to shed payroll, the Los Angeles Angels attached Wilson to overpriced veteran Zack Cozart during the offseason and shipped them to the Giants. The No. 15 pick in the 2019 draft, Wilson fits best as an offensive-minded second baseman.

        

    48. SS Arol Vera, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 17)

    The Angels gave Vera a $2 million bonus as part of the 2019 international free-agent class. His quick hands and advanced bat-to-ball skills give him a significant offensive ceiling, though he could eventually outgrown shortstop as his 6'2" frame fills out.

            

    47. SS Gunnar Henderson, Baltimore Orioles (Age: 19)

    Viewed by some as a potential top-15 pick, Henderson slipped to the second round of the 2019 draft, where the Orioles signed him to an above-slot $2.3 million bonus. He has average or better tools across the board, with significant raw power and a strong arm.

         

    46. SS Logan Davidson, Oakland Athletics (Age: 22)

    Davidson slugged 42 home runs as a three-year starter at Clemson before going No. 29 overall in the 2019 draft. If he can tone down the swing-and-miss in his game, he has the tools to be a power-hitting everyday shortstop.

Nos. 45-41

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    Jacob Amaya
    Jacob AmayaGregory Bull/Associated Press

    45. 2B/SS Jacob Amaya, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 21)

    Amaya tallied 81 walks and a 14.5 percent walk rate on his way to a .369 on-base percentage last year between Single-A and High-A. He fits the prototypical super-utility profile with a solid hit tool, double-digit home run power and the defensive chops to play all over the infield.

        

    44. SS Gabriel Arias, San Diego Padres (Age: 20)

    It took Arias some time to get rolling after he signed for $1.9 million as part of the 2016 international class, but he broke out in a big way last year at High-A, hitting .302/.339/.470 with 21 doubles, 17 home runs and 75 RBI. His aggressive approach resulted in a 25 percent strikeout rate, but his mix of defense and power should play at the next level.

          

    43. SS Terrin Vavra, Colorado Rockies (Age: 23)

    The Rockies selected Vavra in the third round of the 2018 draft out of the University of Minnesota, and he has quickly emerged as the club's top middle infield prospect. He hit .318/.409/.489 with 43 extra-base hits and 18 steals while tallying the same number of walks (62) and strikeouts (62) at Single-A in 2019.

        

    42. SS Nick Loftin, Kansas City Royals (Age: 21)

    One of the top collegiate middle infielders in the 2020 draft class, Loftin went No. 32 overall after hitting .311/.370/.479 in three seasons at Baylor. He has an extremely high floor and does everything well on both sides of the ball.

         

    41. 2B Ezequiel Duran, New York Yankees (Age: 21)

    Duran posted an .824 OPS with 12 doubles, 13 home runs and 11 steals in 66 games at Low-A last season. His arm limits him to second base, but he has 20-20 upside offensively and is still working on refining his overall approach.

Nos. 40-36

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    Justin Foscue
    Justin FoscueNati Harnik/Associated Press

    40. 2B Justin Foscue, Texas Rangers (Age: 21)

    Foscue hit .331/.395/.564 with 22 doubles and 14 home runs during his sophomore season, then performed well as the starting second baseman on the collegiate national team. He is one of the most polished hitters in the 2020 draft class and should move quickly after going No. 14 overall in June.

       

    39. SS Kyren Paris, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 18)

    One of the youngest players in the 2019 draft class and a pop-up prospect leading up to draft day, Paris secured a $1.4 million bonus as a second-round pick. He is going to take some time to develop, and there's a lot of room between his floor and ceiling, but he has future impact player potential.

       

    38. 2B Michael Busch, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 22)

    Primarily a first baseman and outfielder at North Carolina, Busch hit .284/.436/.547 with 16 home runs during his junior season to solidify his standing as a first-round pick. The Dodgers moved him to second base to begin his pro career, and he'll be given every chance to stick there, but his bat will profile fine at a corner if it doesn't work out.

          

    37. 2B/SS Braden Shewmake, Atlanta Braves (Age: 22)

    Shewmake hit .300/.371/.425 with 23 extra-base hits and 13 steals in 278 plate appearances in his pro debut last year after going No. 21 overall in the 2019 draft. His 6'4" frame is not a prototypical fit at shortstop, but he has the instincts and arm to stick there long-term.

        

    36. 2B Aaron Bracho, Cleveland Indians (Age: 19)

    Bracho made his pro debut stateside in 2019 and turned heads with a .281/.402/.570 line that included 21 extra-base hits in 169 plate appearances. His limited defensive profile puts additional pressure on his bat, but the offensive tools are there for him to be a star.

Nos. 35-31

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    Willi Castro
    Willi CastroCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

    35. 2B/SS Andres Gimenez, New York Mets (Age: 21)

    Gimenez saw his stock slip last year when he hit a punchless .250/.309/.387 in 117 games at Double-A. With that said, he's still way ahead of the developmental curve, and he's off to a nice 8-for-25 start in his first taste of the majors. His defensive skills across the infield give him a high floor.

       

    34. 2B/SS Jeremy Pena, Houston Astros (Age: 22)

    A third-round pick in 2018 who turned in a forgettable pro debut, Pena broke out last season with a .303/.385/.440 line and 35 extra-base hits in 109 games between Single-A and High-A. He's also an above-average defender and could be the long-term answer at shortstop if Carlos Correa walks in free agency.

        

    33. SS Willi Castro, Detroit Tigers (Age: 23)

    The Tigers might have found their shortstop of the future when they acquired Castro from the Indians at the 2018 trade deadline in exchange for Leonys Martin. He hit .301/.366/.467 with 28 doubles, 11 home runs and 17 steals in 119 games at Triple-A last year.

           

    32. SS Freudis Nova, Houston Astros (Age: 20)

    MLB.com wrote: "Nova has the highest ceiling of any position player in Houston's system and has drawn comparisons to Hanley Ramirez and Edgar Renteria." He's a work in progress, but he could prove well worth the wait for the Astros.

        

    31. 2B/SS Luis Garcia, Washington Nationals (Age: 20)

    After an impressive full-season debut in 2018, the Nationals aggressively promoted Garcia to Double-A last year. He responded with a lackluster .257/.280/.337 line with only 30 extra-base hits in 553 plate appearances, but taking his lumps now could prove fruitful down the road. He still looks like a future everyday second baseman for the Nationals.

Nos. 30-26

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    Bryson Stott
    Bryson StottAaron M. Sprecher/Associated Press

    30. 2B/SS Nick Allen, Oakland Athletics (Age: 21)

    One of the best defensive middle infielders in the minors, Allen has legitimate Gold Glove potential at second base and shortstop. A .292/.363/.434 line and 30 extra-base hits in 328 plate appearances at High-A last year gave his prospect stock a shot in the arm, and his defensive profile gives him an extremely high floor.

       

    29. SS Brayan Rocchio, Cleveland Indians (Age: 19)

    The Indians brought Rocchio stateside when he was 17 years old, and he spent all of 2019 playing at the Low-A level. While his .250/.310/.373 line doesn't jump off the page, his advanced feel for hitting, good wheels and standout defensive tools give him an enormous amount of potential.

       

    28. 2B/SS Jeremiah Jackson, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 20)

    One of the most productive middle infielders in the minors last year, Jackson posted a .939 OPS with 23 home runs and 60 RBI in 65 rookie ball games. His 33.0 percent strikeout rate is a red flag, and he might fit better at second base long-term, but his loud raw power is tough to ignore.

           

    27. SS Bryson Stott, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 22)

    A standout at UNLV, Stott hit .356/.486/.599 with 20 doubles, 10 home runs and 16 steals during his junior season before the Phillies made him the No. 14 pick in the 2019 draft. Power is his only tool that is not above-average, and he has a good enough hit tool to make up for it offensively.

        

    26. SS Greg Jones, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 22)

    A tremendous athlete with 70-grade speed, Jones hit .341/.491/.543 with 26 extra-base hits and 42 steals as a draft-eligible sophomore at UNC Wilmington. Some late helium pushed him into the first-round conversation, and he ended up going No. 22 overall in the 2019 draft. He may fit best in center field.

Nos. 25-21

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    Brice Turang
    Brice TurangSue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    25. SS Liover Peguero, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 19)

    Part of the return package in the deal that sent Starling Marte from Pittsburgh to Arizona during the offseason, Peguero is a prospect on the rise. Originally signed for $475,000, he hit .326/.382/.485 with 21 extra-base hits and 11 steals in 60 games between rookie ball and Low-A last year.

        

    24. 2B/SS Brice Turang, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 20)

    Turang hit just .256 with a .340 slugging percentage in his first full season after going No. 21 overall in the 2018 draft, but he showed elite on-base ability in the process. He drew 83 walks at a 14.7 percent clip for a .367 on-base percentage. He also swiped 30 bases in 35 attempts. There's enough potential in his hit tool for him to develop into an impact leadoff hitter.

           

    23. SS Orelvis Martinez, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 18)

    The Blue Jays shelled out $3.5 million to sign Martinez as part of the 2018 international class. He hit .275/.352/.549 with eight doubles, five triples and seven home runs in 162 plate appearances while making his pro debut in the States. His bat stands out over his glove right now, and he may profile best at third base long-term.

        

    22. SS Ed Howard, Chicago Cubs (Age: 18)

    The top prep shortstop in the 2020 draft class, Howard was drafted No. 16 overall by the Cubs. A standout defender with an excellent feel for the game, he made strides with his offensive skills on the showcase circuit last summer. He profiles similar to Francisco Lindor at the same age.

         

    21. SS Robert Puason, Oakland Athletics (Age: 17)

    The Yankees gave hyped prospect Jasson Dominguez a $5.1 million bonus on the international free-agent market last summer, and the Athletics paid an identical price to add Puason to their farm system. Already a plus defender with good instincts and a strong arm, his hit tool will determine if he reaches his vast ceiling.

Nos. 20-16

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    Nick Gonzales
    Nick GonzalesStephen Brashear/Associated Press

    20. SS Jose Garcia, Cincinnati Reds (Age: 22)

    Garcia hit .280/.343/.436 with 46 extra-base hits in 452 plate appearances at High-A last season, and he ticks all the boxes to be an everyday shortstop in the majors. The Reds gave him a $5 million bonus when he defected from Cuba in 2017, and that investment could start to pay off in 2021.

        

    19. SS Geraldo Perdomo, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 20)

    The D-backs think highly enough of Perdomo that they were willing to trade fellow shortstop prospect Jazz Chisholm last summer. Perdomo hit .275 with a .397 on-base percentage and more walks (70) than strikeouts (67) between Single-A and High-A in 2019, then posted a .316/.417/.418 line in 97 plate appearances in the Arizona Fall League.

           

    18. SS Tyler Freeman, Cleveland Indians (Age: 21)

    The heir apparent to Francisco Lindor in Cleveland, Freeman is a .319/.379/.441 hitter in 992 plate appearances in the minors since he was selected in the second round of the 2017 draft. His 60-grade hit tool makes up for his lack of over-the-fence power, and he'll fit on either side of second base defensively.

       

    17. 2B/SS Nick Gonzales, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 21)

    Gonzales hit an absurd .448/.610/1.155 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI in 16 games this spring at New Mexico State before going No. 7 overall in the 2020 draft. A .351/.451/.630 line over 185 plate appearances in the Cape Cod League to win MVP honors last summer helps ease concerns about his ability to handle quality competition. He fits best as an offensive-minded second baseman.

       

    16. SS Ronny Mauricio, New York Mets (Age: 19)

    Mauricio is the headliner of a Mets farm system that is stocked with high-ceiling, lower-level talent. He played the entire 2019 season at the age of 18 and hit .268/.307/.357 with 29 extra-base hits at Single-A. A switch-hitter with 60-grade raw power and a rocket arm, he has loud tools and one of the highest ceilings of any middle infield prospect.

Nos. 15-11

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    Jeter Downs
    Jeter DownsElise Amendola/Associated Press

    15. SS Noelvi Marte, Seattle Mariners (Age: 18)

    Marte was one of the standouts of the Dominican Summer League last year, hitting .309/.371/.511 with 31 extra-base hits and 17 steals in 65 games. MLB.com compared him to a young Hanley Ramirez offensively, though there are still some questions about his long-term defensive home.

       

    14. 2B/SS Xavier Edwards, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 20)

    The Rays acquired Edwards in the offseason deal that saw Tommy Pham and Hunter Renfroe swap teams. He's done nothing but hit since going No. 38 overall in the 2018 draft, posting a .328/.395/.399 line with 56 steals in 168 minor league games. He'll never hit for power, but his 60-grade hit tool and top-of-the-scale speed gives him table-setter potential.

           

    13. 2B/SS Jeter Downs, Boston Red Sox (Age: 22)

    Downs has been traded twice since going No. 32 overall in the 2017 draft, most recently going from the Dodgers to the Red Sox in the Mookie Betts blockbuster. He hit .276/.362/.526 with 35 doubles, 24 home runs and 24 steals between High-A and Double-A last year and looks like the long-term answer at second base in Boston.

        

    12. SS Oneil Cruz, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 21)

    A rare 6'7" shortstop, Cruz has passed all the tests to stick at the position to this point in his minor league career. With 60-grade raw power and one of the strongest arms in the minors, he would profile well in right field if he does move off the position, but for now, he remains a middle infielder. He had an .832 OPS with 27 extra-base hits in 292 plate appearances while reaching Double-A last year.

        

    11. 2B Vidal Brujan, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 22)

    With a 60-grade hit tool and some of the best wheels in the minors, Brujan has a similar profile to fellow Rays middle infield prospect Xavier Edwards. Brujan is a .294/.377/.417 hitter over five minor league seasons, and he stole 48 bases last season between High-A and Double-A.

Nos. 10-6

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    Jazz Chisholm
    Jazz ChisholmAssociated Press

    10. SS Jazz Chisholm, Miami Marlins (Age: 22)

    With electric bat speed and some of the best raw power of any shortstop prospect, Chisholm launched 21 home runs as a 21-year-old at Double-A last year. He hit just .220 in the process with a 32.1 percent strikeout rate, but a career-high 11.4 percent walk rate provides some hope that he's developing a better approach. There's no question he'll stick at shortstop.

        

    9. 2B Nick Madrigal, Chicago White Sox (Age: 23)

    Few prospects have a higher floor than Madrigal, who possesses a 70-grade hit tool and some of the best bat-to-ball skills in all of baseball. His lack of power and second base profile defensively limits his ceiling, but he's a safe bet to be a solid big league regular for the next decade.

           

    8. 2B/SS Nico Hoerner, Chicago Cubs (Age: 23)

    Forced into action last September when Javier Baez went down with an injury, Hoerner hit .282/.305/.436 with three home runs and 17 RBI in 20 games down the stretch. Not bad for a guy who was drafted No. 24 overall in 2018. He's seen time at second base, shortstop and center field, and his hit tool plays at any of those positions.

        

    7. SS Marco Luciano, San Francisco Giants (Age: 18)

    One of the biggest prizes of the 2018 international free-agent class, Luciano signed with the Giants for $2.6 million. He played the entire 2019 season at 17 years old and hit .302/.417/.564 with 13 doubles, 10 home runs and 42 RBI in 47 games, earning a late promotion to Low-A. He could be a top-10 prospect in all of baseball at this time next year.

        

    6. SS CJ Abrams, San Diego Padres (Age: 19)

    Lauded for his 80-grade speed leading up to the 2019 draft, Abrams showed more polish than expected in his pro debut, hitting a ridiculous .401/.442/.662 with 23 extra-base hits and 14 steals in 32 rookie ball games. Blocked by Fernando Tatis Jr. in the majors, he might wind up in center field.

Nos. 5-1

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    Gavin Lux
    Gavin LuxAssociated Press

    5. SS Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals (Age: 20)

    MLB.com wrote about Witt: "Scouts rave about his makeup and passion for the game as much as his tools, giving him as much chance as anyone to reach his enormous potential." The No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 draft has legitimate five-tool upside and looks like the future face of the franchise in Kansas City.

       

    4. 2B/SS Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies (Age: 23)

    Rodgers has little left to prove in the minors after hitting .296/.352/.503 over five seasons since going No. 3 overall in the 2015 draft. He had a 1.035 OPS with 10 doubles and nine home runs in 37 games at Triple-A last year to earn his first taste of MLB action, but he struggled in 25 games before suffering a season-ending injury. Despite the inauspicious big league start, his future is still extremely bright.

        

    3. SS Royce Lewis, Minnesota Twins (Age: 21)

    After hitting a middling .236/.290/.371 in 127 games between High-A and Double-A, Lewis took a significant step toward rebuilding his stock with a stellar .353/.411/.565 line and 12 extra-base hits in 22 games in the Arizona Fall League. The dynamic tools that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft are still there, and he could eventually shift to center field to accommodate Jorge Polanco.

           

    2. 2B/SS Gavin Lux, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 22)

    Lux forced his way to the majors last year with a .347/.421/.607 line between Double-A and Triple-A that included 25 doubles, 26 home runs, 76 RBI and 99 runs scored in 113 games. His surprise demotion to the minors to begin the 2020 season has done nothing to diminish his future outlook. If the Dodgers let Corey Seager walk in free agency, Lux could wind up back at shortstop, but for now, he's locked in at second base.

        

    1. SS Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 19)

    After a stellar rookie ball debut in 2018, Franco solidified his standing as the consensus top prospect in baseball last year when he hit .327/.398/.487 with 43 extra-base hits in 114 games between Single-A and High-A. He also had far more walks (56) than strikeouts (35), and he did it all before his 19th birthday. This is what an 80-grade hit tool and future superstar looks like, folks.

           

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