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As a prep draft prospect in 2019, Volpe was seen as a skills-over-tools type with good makeup that was a likely big leaguer, but without big upside in large part because of the power ceiling due to his size (listed at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds.). Like fellow two-way Mississippi prep player Austin Riley, position player was the right call and Keith hit the ground running at the plate with a solid year at High-A followed by an Arizona Fall League appearance at age 20. The flat fastball and uphill swing don't intersect for long, which means less contact. Like Francisco Alvarez above, Cartaya is a Venezuelan catcher, right at the top of the 2018 international signing class in bonus ($2.5 million) and prospect status -- and a reputation that came years before he even signed. Top MLB rookies for 2023 include Corbin Carroll, Gunnar He Martinez seems like a familiar kind of prospect. Players. Norby was a pop-up prospect at East Carolina in 2021, lacking big tools but proving he could hit with enough skill to project as a low-end regular. The company says itll pay $250,000 for the card if its He was good enough after returning that he certainly could have made his big league debut at the end of the season like fellow Baltimore prospect Gunnar Henderson did. The O's grabbed him with the 41st overall pick and, as with a number of recent college position players playing in Baltimore's system, 2022 was a breakout year. There's a real shot he hits 25 homers at some point, but I'd expect more 15-20 on an annual basis. Due to that risk and the low success rate of prep righties in general, he lasted until the 24th overall pick in the 2019 draft. Crow-Armstrong became a known name early in his high school career in southern California and held serve, going 19th overall in 2020 to the Mets. Flores has a frankly bananas backstory. ESPN MLB Insider Kiley McDaniel launched his annual list of the Top 100 Major League Baseball Prospects today on ESPN+. In the 2020 draft, Tiedemann was an intriguing 17-year-old prep lefty whose price wasn't met. On the bright side, this is the part of hitting that clubs think is most coachable. Flores is on a path to go from a completely anonymous junior college pitcher to a top-100 prospect making his big league debut in a three-year span. But his ceiling is 40 homers if it all clicks -- and that's not the ceiling of many players in the minor leagues, especially at his position. Rodriguez was bitten by the aforementioned Best Pitching Prospect in Baseball snake last season, when he was limited to just 75 innings because of a right lat strain after earning the title on my preseason list. His changeup is still plus and with the added arm speed, his two breaking pitches now play above average. He has easy plus bat speed and power potential along with a strong sense of the strike zone for a prospect of his age. Type: One of the best amateur hitters in recent memory, with Jose Ramirez or Rafael Devers vibes. The selling point here is Hassell can hit with a good approach. He has advanced feel in all aspects of the position, grading out above average as a defender, thrower, and athlete behind the plate with rare speed for the position. Get your favorite live sports, stories and originals with ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu. Ceddanne Rafaela, CF, Boston Red Sox OK, I don't have proof for the robot or the future part -- but I can confirm Julien has never been a good defender anywhere and you can look up that he's French-Canadian without my help. He held serve all the way to draft day in 2021 as a toss-up with Jordan Lawlar for best prospect in the draft. Frelick has plus-plus contact skills and above-average pitch selection along with plus speed and an intense mentality. The list, ranking prospects from In the year leading up to the draft, the 6-foot-3 righty was up to the mid-90s with almost perfect backspin to his four-seamer, an inconsistent, rarely used curveball that was a 55- or 60-grade pitch when he nailed it and a truly awe-inspiring changeup that many scouts graded as a present 80 pitch, which I'd never heard of for a high school pitcher. Marte has been on the radar for a while, as he was in the top tier of his international signing class when he got a $1.55 million signing bonus in 2018. The Giants surprised some by paying him $2.5 million (late first-round money) in the third round in the 2020 draft. The value of six-plus years of control of a big league ready catcher with an above-average glove and offensive package is enormous, when a 2.0 WAR season (i.e. I mentioned above in the Termarr Johnson blurb that he and Collier were the two prep hitters in the Atlanta area and recognized by scouts as early as their freshman years for having high first-round potential. He makes up for it with his arm and he has made progress in all the soft skills like game-calling while physically staying loose and flexible. He has a sweet lefty swing and will slide over to right field eventually, but there's a rare set of hitting tools here and he is with a team that has had plenty of fast-tracked young hitters shoot through the system. Per usual, though, there are still plenty of compelling prospects on the board. That's not what you normally see in an elite high school baseball prospect, but Ford also does the baseball stuff pretty well. Luisangel Acuna, SS, Texas Rangers The then-Orioles scouting group (now scattered around baseball) beat the industry on Rodriguez by taking him a dozen picks before most expected and the current regime specifically optimized his arsenal to line him up to reach his frontline potential. 21 overall in the 2021 draft as a high-floor lefty from Kansas State with a plus changeup and above-average command but a fastball, slider, and curveball that were all fringy. He has posted plus-plus exit velos across Low-A, High-A and Double-A and hit 20 homers in 99 games while playing a solid center field. Prospect Rankings Depth Charts MLB Players The D-backs have young starting pitching on the 40-man that may get shots first (Drey Jameson, Ryne Nelson, Tommy Henry) but Pfaadt is the best of the bunch, with a mid-90's heater, slider, changeup and command that all grade out as 55- or 60-grade. He has hit .271/.363/.491 with 40 homers and an 11% walk rate, 24% strikeout rate in 926 professional plate appearances, while being young for every level and playing in the infield. Valera will likely be behind schedule this spring after recent news that he underwent surgery on the hamate bone in his right hand. His fastball command is the main area for improvement, and he'll spend 2023 in the upper minors, where hitters are good enough to force him to improve. Cristian Hernandez, SS, Chicago Cubs He has always shown above-average raw power and pitch selection, along with around average bat control, so he profiles as an everyday player at any position, with hope that the overall defensive package will be at least average. Tovar has good feel for the bat head, is a plus defender at a key position, and had a breakout 2022 at the plate. Scouts are still concerned that he isn't quite nimble enough behind the plate and his arm strength plays down due to execution, though a robot ump future would help. He dominated High-A and Double-A in 2022 and is still just 21 years old. He was excellent over the summer before that, looking like a midfirst-round pick, but swung and missed a good bit, so the spring made Wood look like a tools-projection whose long arms just wouldn't let him get to his upside at the plate, even when he dialed in the approach better. As a 22-year-old in 2021 he was dealing, but made only 10 starts because of a bout with COVID-19. This isn't a true comparison, because most players don't have a one-for-one perfect analog. Lee is fine as a fill-in shortstop but fits well at third base, and he's a savant in the batter's box. Elly De La Cruz is going to become appointment viewing once he gets to the TV league, in the same way that Oneil Cruz and Fernando Tatis Jr. lit up Statcast on a nightly basis when they hit the big leagues, Velo: 95-99, Fastball: 65/70, Slider: 55/60, Curveball: 50/60, Changeup: 45/55, Command: 40/50, Reminds me of: (leans in, whispering, looking around) Justin Verlander. During a disastrous, ill-fated deadline deal, the Mets shipped him to the Cubs straight up for Javier Baez on a rental while Crow-Armstrong was still recovering from shoulder surgery. He also played with current Mets 3B Mark Vientos and likely 2023 1st rounder Enrique Bradfield Jr. (Vanderbilt). Arroyo and Williams are back-to-back here because they're pretty similar prospects. He's a 55 runner, and I don't think he's quite quick enough to be a plus defender at short, but has (no surprise) strong instincts in all phases. De La Cruz actually hit over .300 at both High-A and Double-A last year in big samples. His stuff spiked almost immediately, with 3-4 added ticks of velo giving him four above-average pitches with the same strong command, though his fastball doesn't have the en vogue bat-missing shape to it. There isn't a ton of information and the least track record of anyone thus far on the list, but the upside is a .275 hitter with an above average walk rate and 25 homers that plays shortstop. Like many pitchers in this range, his stuff and/or performance jumped in 2022 and at least some of this group will give back some of those gains because pitchers are susceptible to injuries and mysterious loss of arm speed or command. Aside from those two things, there are a lot of similarities: Both will be 21 years old during the 2023 season, finished the 2022 season at Double-A and offer average hit and pitch selection to go with above-average power projection from powerful right-handed swings. He's a center fielder right now and could eventually move to right field, but that's mostly irrelevant because he has plenty of offensive potential to profile anywhere. Reminds me of: He's somewhere in the Venn diagram of Gary Sanchez, Cal Raleigh, Salvador Perez and Willson Contreras. Now -- prepare to be shocked -- he's improved a lot under the tutelage of the Dodgers' pitching development. Jonathan Ornelas, SS, Texas Rangers Type: Plus power and patience from a probable catcher. I think he'll be a superior backup option to Knizner by the end of 2023. From my perspective (and plenty of other scouts), Collier has looked like one of the most gifted hitters for his age for as long as he has been scouted, gave a clear performance in 2022 to that end and he also has a 70-grade arm, which seems pretty explosive to me. I think he'll be a solid everyday player and as soon as midseason, with some chance I'm underestimating his ultimate upside. Brady House, SS, Washington Nationals In 2021 (and behind closed doors because of the canceled 2020 minor league season) he took a massive step forward, adding about 20 pounds of muscle and a new swing geared to that frame, hitting 27 homers in 109 games. There's frontline potential here, and you can scout the statline a bit: If he keeps his strikeout rate over 10 per nine innings and his walks gets below three per nine innings in the upper minors, he'll probably be moving up this list. St.)The Rays have a Logan Allen, too. Bo was flat-out awful at Double-A in 2021, then torched the same level in 2022, earning promotions to Triple-A and the big leagues. Waldichuk was another later-round Yankees find (fifth round in the 2019 draft out of St. Mary's) before becoming the headliner of Oakland's four-player return in last summer's Frankie Montas/Lou Trivino trade. As a bad outcome, that's still a solid-average everyday player, so there's very little risk. The added arm speed also improved both breaking balls, and the changeup is a plus to plus-plus weapon. After publishing my final rankings, I heard lots of buzz that Rushing would go in the 20s and I would've slid him up into that range in the days before the draft, buying into his hit/power combo and trusting that he'd figure out a way to stick behind the plate. Type: Positionless Canadian-born hitting robot sent from the future. I mention Alonso as the comp because he also has a simple, low-maintenance swing and massive power that he regularly gets to in games. Our way-too-early lineup rankings look at the best -- and worst -- offenses ahead of the 2023 MLB season. On last year's list, I ranked Perez 55th and said he "has the most attractive rsum an 18-year-old pitcher can have" while explaining that a young, hard-throwing, super tall right-hander with changeup ahead of breaking ball isn't a type I like to bet on, and it also seems impossible that a kid this young and tall can keep throwing strikes like this. One decent argument against (though it still doesn't change my mind) is if they don't think he'll be able to jump to making 32 starts after his light workload in 2022 and just 117 innings pitched in 2021. It's pretty universal now to project Quero as an above-average offensive threat with power, patience and contact skills, but reviews on his defense differ. His slider is a 60-to-70-grade pitch depending on the day. Ramos also has 55-or-60-grade power while Mayo's is a grade or two better. The idea that Perez could be big league ready with four plus pitches and plus command as he's turning 20 years old this season is completely absurd so I'm going to stop worrying and enjoy the ride. Logan T. Allen didn't throw his changeup much in high school since it's more hittable by bad hitters than a good breaking ball. To those in the industry though, he was the name that drew the most intrigue because of his massive upside while having appeared in only eight official pro games at the time of the deal. On top of that, Alvarez has a real chance to be an everyday-quality defender behind the plate. Team-by-team top 10 lists: NL | AL . In 2022, he was sitting 94-97 with above-average breaking stuff, a plus changeup and above-average command. 49 on this list), so they're often compared. He also has a rare, plus-plus ability to put the bat on the ball and a good enough approach (call it average pitch selection) that his contact skills show up in his raw stat line. Type: Plus hitter and steady defender, but with below average power. He'll also need to be challenged enough by hitters to be forced to use all four pitches and sharpen them up a bit. At that point, Rodriguez was an intriguing multipositional prospect with a feel to hit. Here's a past one, for example. This year, Painter will need to upgrade the command a notch, though his stuff is good enough that average control (throwing it over the plate) and fringy command (hitting his spot) could be enough to make him one of the Phillies' top five rotation options pretty soon. How bright is your team's future? They are among six quarterbacks in our top 50. He was preferred as a shortstop out of high school when he went 54th overall, but he was still raw at the plate. Late in the draft process last summer, ESPN college baseball analyst Chris Burke told me to run Rushing up my draft rankings and I didn't listen enough. If he doesn't improve there, Tovar will be slightly below league average at the plate, but helped by Coors and his standout glove, so probably just a low-end regular. Four players cracked the top 10 on all six lists, listed here with If this all feels negative, he is ranked this high because he could break out and hit .270 with 25 homers at shortstop if things ever just click into place. Davis is most likely a first baseman if catching doesn't work out. and, on the right night, he has three plus secondary pitches with enough control and command to turn over a lineup a few times. Cue the "how do they keep getting away with this" memes. Lewis has been on the verge of sticking in the big leagues for years now -- but the 2017 No. Brown's changeup and command are both fringy but fine, while his 95 to 98 mph heater, slider and curveball are all plus and his control is about average. His limitation is that he probably will hit just 10 to 15 homers annually, with more gap power than anything else. Other tools like throwing for position players or off-speed pitches are more based on visual evaluations, but there are some objective figures to round observations up or down. The Cards now have a glut of young position players at-or-near the big leagues that need to sort themselves out, but Winn figures to get a crack at the shortstop job, probably in 2024. Jones has longer arms that can lead to him being a little awkward at times, so projecting exactly what he'll be physically and offensively has a bit of an error bar. He inexplicably slipped to the No. For the top tier of prospects, I present their tools as 45/60 meaning presently it's a 45 and projects to a 60 at maturity. Like Woods above, Walker was also a summer standout on the showcase circuit who swung and missed a bit while showing massive power. Keith was an intriguing switch-hitting two-way prospect from a Mississippi high school in the 2020 draft, but you had to project to see a plus tool. Which teams came out on top and who lost big? The Rockies are a confusing franchise to try to understand as a whole but the top of their system took a step forward in 2022, with the emergence of Ezequiel Tovar and Amador alongside Zac Veen and Drew Romo. He is an average defender at first base, left field and right field, so there are clearly some options to get him in the lineup. Type: If it all clicks, it looks like Max Scherzer. Luciano signed for $2.6 million as one of many standout seven-figure signees in the 2018 international class that also included Francisco Alvarez, Diego Cartaya, Noelvi Marte (all ranked above Luciano on this list), Orelvis Martinez and Kevin Alcantara. Type: Projection righty with frontline potential. Type: Power-and-patience package at the plate, probably a catcher. When you throw in his speed, it adds up to a lot of long counts, infield singles and bloopers that turn into doubles. Reminds me of: There isn't a perfect comp, but the best and most recent example is that huge 6.3 WAR season Brandon Crawford put up in 2021. His defense is fine, mostly fringy but can be average with some work, and his arm is plus. Type: Above-average-to-plus fastball, slider, curveball and command. He does a version of the trendy mound positioning I describe in Kyle Harrison's blurb, slinging from a low slot with good extension. 42 overall pick, mainly because of questions about his ability to make contact and stick at shortstop long term. The O's have back-to-back best prospects in baseball and their farm system is the class of the sport, thanks in large part to a really strong pipeline of scouting and developing hitters. You can see why the Padres wouldn't include both Wood and Merrill along with the others in the Juan Soto trade package: They could both be franchise cornerstones if it all clicks. Merrill is probably the best recent example of why teams should consider taking a chance on a spring pop-up player with almost no history. Type: Plus fastball/breaking ball you see in late innings, but enough feel to be a starter. He'll get a big league look at some point in 2023 and I'm rooting hard for him because baseball is more fun with more Kyle Schwarber types. Since he's a bottom-of-the-scale runner, Quero would become a first baseman if he can't catch, so his progress behind the plate (his arm is average, receiving is a bit behind that) will be important to monitor over the next couple seasons. Salas has plus bat control, a decent approach and solid-average raw power along with a good enough glove to maybe stick at shortstop, though he might also slide over to second base. College football reporters' NFL draft takeaways, Rangers-Devils Game 7: Key players, matchups and final score predictions, 'This is probably his best shot': Why the time is now for Harden and the 76ers, 10 fantasy football breakout players for 2023, Ranking the fights at UFC 288: Why Henry Cejudo's return tops the list, Man United in pole position for top four, but can't take their eyes off Liverpool, The VAR Review: Red cards for Jota, Skipp; Richarlison penalty claim, Will Levis opens up about emotional draft day, After hoopla of going No. Despite being young at every level, he has demonstrated above average pitch selection and, at least average contact skills. He spent a year at a junior college, then two years exclusively in the bullpen for the Aggies, eventually being passed over in the five-round 2020 draft. Velo: 93-95, Fastball: 60/65, Slider: 55/60, Changeup: 50/55, Command: 45/55, Type: The next low-slot frontline starter -- Aaron Nola, Chris Sale, Luis Castillo-esque. To me, it's more likely that his peak physical years might be more like 23 to 25 than the typical 26 to 28. With the new ROY service time rules, the O's could and should put Rodriguez on the Opening Day roster, as he's probably their third-best starter right now. Type: Middle infielder with advanced hit tool, 20-homer potential. He's 6-foot-6, 235 pounds, regularly hits triple digits with his fastball, mixes in a plus-flashing slider and pitches with enough feel to be effective. Frelick was a late bloomer as a standout multisport athlete in Massachusetts who turned into a middle first-round pick at Boston College. That hasn't happened, as he still has a lanky build and runs well, but is exclusively playing a corner outfield spot. He's also a solid-average runner and defender who is passable in center field in addition to having a plus arm. Hassell was the No. 1, Panthers' Bryce Young is all 'business now', XFL semifinals: Defenders roll Sea Dragons, set up title showdown with Renegades. The only real thing to nitpick on at this point is it's hard to imagine him having a 70- or 80-grade tool on the card, but not being able to find a substantive weakness is a good sign in a player. Winn is one of the most physically gifted players on this list. Henderson looked like he'd be a late first-round pick in 2019 as a well-rounded high school shortstop in Alabama. Did Pats make Mac Jones happy? Type: Plus-Plus athlete with bloodlines and feel. The comp thing starts to bother me here, because Holliday, Merrill, Montgomery, Mayer and Henderson, all in the top 18, are all advanced hit/power combos at shortstop without great big league comps (unless you squint at their size, and say maybe Corey Seager). Type: Shortstop who is above average at everything, but still a teenager. There's all kinds of conditions and exceptions beyond how I simply describe it there, but Craig Kimbrel and A.J. It was a first for Topps. He split time between third base and catcher as an amateur and has slowly improved behind the plate to where I think he'll be an average defender with an average arm within a year or two. The 2023 fantasy baseball season is here! You can expect a .260ish average with a plus walk rate (call it a .350 on-base percentage), plus power (let's say 25 homers -- but I bet he cracks 30 at least once) and above-average defense at third base, good enough to fill in at shortstop if needed. Velo: 94-98, Fastball: 60/65, Slider: 55/60, Curveball: 50/55, Changeup: 60/70, Command: 50/55, Type: Potential frontline righty with a devastating changeup. Throw a dart.". Those aren't major concerns right now, though, as he's got massive power in games, is young and talented enough to make adjustments, and is much younger than the pitchers he is facing. He's now a high-likelihood big league starter, with No. But you have to nitpick at this point of the list. Tiedemann has east/west-oriented stuff with a tailing fastball, sweepy slider and diving changeup. Johan Rojas, CF, Philadelphia Phillies Like Division-II product Pfaadt earlier on this list, Brown had a good arm with mid-90s velocity and some relief risk but Brown's separator then (and now) was a plus hammer curveball that is now a plus-plus pitch. Brown was a spring popup prospect at a Division II school going into the 2019 draft. His in-zone miss rate (i.e. He made the leap in 2022, crushing High-A and Double-A with a 70-grade heater that sits 95-97 with bat-missing life at the top of the zone along with a two-plane slider and changeup that are above-average to plus. Henderson was No. Winners, loser of the shortstop carousel . He's a jacked, squatty prospect who will play a corner-outfield spot and while we need to see more than the 84 professional games he has played, all the information we have is pretty exciting. Cartaya's hit/approach combo is a bit better than Alvarez, but the big differences are two grades of power and three levels of the minors (Cartaya ended the year in High-A; Alvarez was in the big leagues). LIke the Braves just did on the NL side, the O's have a shot to sweep the AL ROY voting with Henderson and Rodriguez finishing 1-2. Winn also has a history and even some pro experience on the mound, where he sits in the mid-90's and will show a 70-grade breaking ball. Normally, teenage pitchers who are tall and/or throw this hard have flat-out bad command that is often a career-long weakness. WebHigh School Baseball Recruiting Database. Wood likely loses a step or two and slides over to right field as he ages, but he's a decent center fielder with an outside shot to remain there. Neto has a busy, max-effort swing that most scouts think he'll have to dial down when facing 95-plus mph on a regular basis, which would cut into his deceptively good exit velos and overall power production given his size. That physical development now makes staying in the infield defensively a longer shot, but his bat will profile anywhere. He's also a switch-hitter and, unlike Oneil Cruz, De La Cruz has a skinnier build that allows him to actually play a big-league-caliber shortstop. That said, there's also a compelling argument that Carroll offers value in more facets. Kiley McDaniel covers MLB prospects, the MLB Draft and more, including trades and free agency. Type: Big league-ready hit-over-power shortstop. Type: Big power, fine contact, unclear position. ESPN releases top 100 prospects for 2023 here's where the Reminds me of: No perfect comp; more on this below. Type: 5-foot-10 gamer is a plus runner and hitter. He lasted until the 22nd pick in the 2021 draft and was 13th on my board. The Padres took him 62nd overall, but gave him a $2.6 million bonus commensurate with the 26th overall pick. Stroud had a great pro day and it further solidified his case as one of the two best QBs in this draft class. That's also gone something like scouts expected, as he's now facing competition closer to his talent level. Luis Matos, CF, San Francisco Giants While he's learned to tap into his power effectively, Peraza profiles around average as both a contact, approach and in-game power threat. Unlike Cartaya, Soderstrom is seen by many as a likely first baseman. contact skills) is also the best among that group, and he has plus speed to help leg out some infield hits. under sdt theory, when extrinsic rewards are present:, lowball offer on poshmark,

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