“It’s hard to predict what the National League will look like in 2022. I think a lot of it depends on how things go with TV contracts and expansion; but even if the league remains at 30 teams, there are still going to be some interesting storylines.”
The “oldest baseball team” is a team that was founded in 1876. The oldest baseball team in the United States, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, was founded in 1869.
I rated the top 100 MLB prospects and all 30 farm systems going into the 2022 season earlier this winter. Now it’s time to get further into my team-by-team rankings, which will begin with the National League and conclude later this week with the American League.
Here’s a short review on a crucial word you’ll find in the team lists: Future value, abbreviated as FV henceforth, is a single figure that represents a player’s worth. It’s rated on a scouting scale of 20 to 80. A 50 is a low-end daily player with 2.0 WAR; a 60 represents a well-above-average position player, No. 3 starter, or high-end closer with 3.0 WAR. I avoid giving minor leaguers an 80 since it implies that they are anticipated to be among the best players in baseball.
While the top 100 is precisely that lengthy, I rate every prospect who receives a 45 or above FV rating and include that rank in the team lists. There are reports on the top 10 prospects for each club, as well as varied numbers of others based on the system’s strength. In general, everyone greater than a 40 FV will be considered, followed by hand-picked fascinating possibilities who are 40 FVs.
Now it’s time to look at my rankings for 2022.
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CHC | CIN | MIL | PIT | STL NL West: ARI | COL | LAD | SD | SF NL East: ATL | MIA | NYM | PHI | WSH Central Division of the National League: CHC | CIN | MIL | PIT | STL NL West: ARI | COL | LAD | SD | SF
Overall, No. 4 No. 9 (tied) rated by depth of quality (prospects better than 40 FV) 37 players for a total worth of $289 million
1. RHP Max Meyer (55 FV) (33rd on the Top 100) 2. SS Kahlil Watson (55 FV) (40) 3. RHP Edward Cabrera, 55 FV (44) 4. RHP Sixto Sanchez, 50 FV (54) 5. Eury Perez, 50 FV, RHP (55) 6. RF Peyton Burdick (50 FV) (71) 7. J.J. Bleday, 50 FV, RF (91) Jake Eder, LHP, 45+ FV, No. 8 Ian Lewis, 2B, 45+ FV, is ranked ninth. Dax Fulton, LHP, 45+ FV, is ranked tenth. Nasim Nunez, SS, 45 FV, is ranked 11th. 12. Jose Salas, 45 FV, SS 13. Zach McCambley, 45 FV, RHP Victor Mesa Jr., CF, 45 FV 14. Victor Mesa Jr., CF, 45 FV Joe Mack, C, 40+ FV, No. 15 Yiddi Cappe, SS, 40+ FV, 16. 17. Evan Fitterer, RHP, 40+ FV Evan Fitterer, RHP, 40+ FV Evan Fitterer, RHP,
Cody Morissette (2B), Osiris Johnson (CF), Nick Fortes (C), Braxton Garrett (LHP), Jordan McCants (SS), Cody Poteet (RHP) are the 40 FV (6) players.
Payton Henry (C), Jerar Encarnacion (RF), Andrew Nardi (LHP), Brady Allen (RF), Nick Neidert (RHP), Louis Head (RHP), Andrew McInvale (RHP), Ronaldo Hernandez (C), Will Banfield (C), Sean Guenther (RHP), Griffin Conine (RF), Chris Mokma (RHP), Tanner Allen (LF), Paul McIntosh (C).
Cabrera’s Impact in 2022
Lewis is the Over 40 FV Breakout Pick.
Johnson is a 40 FV or less breakthrough selection.
Prospects ranked outside of the top 100
Before undergoing Tommy John surgery, Eder was having a breakthrough season and would have finished in the top 100 if he had remained healthy. In high school, Eder sat in the low-90s with a good changeup, but his breaker and command were erratic, and his cost pushed him to Vanderbilt. His first several seasons were spent as a reliever or in limited stints, turning into a more fastball/slider dominating pitcher, as is customary in college, until being promoted to the rotation in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Because of his bullpen danger due to command concerns, the Marlins selected him in the fourth round, but he threw 711 innings at Double-A as a starter in 2021, posting higher numbers than any of his relief seasons in college. He now possesses three above-average pitches, a 92-95 mph fastball, and an analytically favorable form to his talent, as well as starting command.
After a summer showcase season in which he was drafted in the middle of the first round, Fulton blew out and finished 40th overall in 2020, earning an over-slot bonus. In 2021, he returned and threw successfully at both the A- and B-ball divisions. Perez eclipsed him, but he was still impressive for a youngster. His talent has returned, with two 55-to-60-grade pitches in his fastball and slider, as well as a good changeup and command. With 10 more strong starts, Eder and Fulton are two of the better prospects to reach 50 FV territory, but Eder’s may have to come in the Arizona Fall League.
Back in high school, McCambley was a particular favorite who didn’t meet his bonus number and ended up at East Carolina. He’s always been a large guy with above-average velocity and a hammer breaking ball with feel, but he didn’t always put it all together. His stuff has terrific form and he throws quality strikes, with his changeup being the difference between a mid-rotation starter, a lengthy reliever, and a setup guy. He’s another sleeper arm that might make a midseason surge. Fitterer entered the 2019 draft as an over-slot sinker-heavy prep righty, and although he hasn’t thrown many pro innings, all of the components are still there. His 91-93 mph heater boasts a distinctive cut/sink shape, as well as above-average breaker and starter attributes, so bulk performance is what he needs to climb up.
Lewis signed for just under $1 million out of the Bahamas in the 2019 foreign class that also included Jose Salas (Venezuela), and although they’re both arrow-up in value since then, I’m leaning toward Lewis for now. Lewis has a superb swing and feel for the game, as well as above-average bat speed, burgeoning power, and at least plus speed, but he’ll most likely play second base defensively. Because he’s only played 43 pro games, all in the complicated league, he’ll remain below the top 50 FV tier. Salas was more well regarded as an amateur ($2.8 million) and also has a high-probability hitting tool, prompting the Marlins to promote him to low-A last year, despite the fact that he is still just 18. Salas is a larger youngster who will most likely shift from shortstop to second or third base, but Lewis’ power signs are a touch better in the early going, and he’s also a little speedier.
On Kiley McDaniel’s 2022 list, where did your team’s brightest young talents land?
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Nunez is a sort of talent who has often been overlooked by clubs, and even more so by experts, until recently: a strong defensive shortstop who can hit — but not with much power. Nunez has grown in this area, as well as possessing the qualities you’d like to see: physical ability, bat control, coachability, and exceptional swing judgments, all of which Nunez has. He has approximately the same chance of making it to the major leagues as everyone who has reached low-A, but he’ll have to do it at a better level or show more pop to crack the 50 FV tier. Cappe signed for $3.5 million with the Marlins after waiting an additional signing period, and he’s now 19 years old, so he’s farther advanced than the normal 16- or 17-year-old top international signee. He’s a lanky 6-3, so his longer limbs and amateur appearance raise some concerns about making contact with mid-90s velocity, but he’s got all the other attributes. Since signing, he has also surpassed expectations, thus Cappe is another young Marlin to keep an eye on in early 2021 if he wants to move up another FV category.
Mesa Jr. was an afterthought when he signed, receiving $1 million with his big brother Victor Victor (who received $5.25 million), but as the extra glitz faded, Victor Jr. emerged as the stronger potential. He’s an above-average center field fielder and runner who had a strong full-season debut in low-A at the age of 19. Mesa Jr. has the appearance of a low-end regular with a little more loft and normal maturity. His exit velos are respectable, as is his pitch selection, so with a little more loft and normal maturation, he may be a low-end regular. Mack was a notable hitter on the national scene for a long time until finishing 31st overall last summer. Mack’s spring swing was altered, which impacted his draft grade, and young catchers are the most risky position players to sign, but Mack possesses good raw power and can hit. His defense has always been solid, and he probably went a dozen choices later in the spring than he would have otherwise.
Others worth mentioning
Early last spring, Morissette was a hot name, as he and teammate/future first-rounder Sal Frelick hadn’t been seen much on the national stage but had the makings of top-50 overall choices. Morissette survived until the 52nd round, although he was a backup option for a handful of teams in the first round’s second half. He can bat and play second or third base, but his in-game power will determine whether he is a low-end regular or a utility player. Johnson was a raw, young-for-the-class high school choice who was harmed by the pandemic’s missing time. Miami sent him to low-A to make up for missed time, but he struggled enough to be sent back to Rookie league, when the Marlins shifted him to the outfield to take his mind off playing shortstop. This worked brilliantly, and he was able to return to low-A and perform far better. Now that he’s showing some performance to match his large raw talents (plus bat speed, above-average raw power, bat-to-ball skills, above-average runner, center-field fit), the only issue is whether his pitch selection will improve to allow the tools to shine even more.
McCants, like Johnson, is a prep tools up-the-middle bet. McCants, who is 6-foot-1 and can play shortstop, is a strong runner with a decent swing and great contact rates. The issues are about his in-game strength and general polish, but the foundation is solid. Encarnacion has fallen down the rankings as his frightening frame and raw power have been harmed by excessive swing and miss in games. He needs to rake, and he needs to rake quickly, as a 24-year-old with little defensive skills and a spot on the 40-man roster. Allen has been a particular favorite since high school; he’s always had plus raw power, a strong approach, some hitability, and surprising physical skills. I believe he has the potential to be a platoon/reserve major leaguer, and I prefer him over Tanner Allen, a more bat-first, left-field-only prospect from the Marlins’ 2021 draft class. McIntosh was a post-draft free agent from West Virginia who had good exit velos and the defensive skills to play catcher, but he was also 23 years old and had just average stats for his experience. He went directly to low-A and hit a lot of home runs; the Marlins could have uncovered a gem here. Conine is the son of Mr. Marlin Jeff, and he possesses massive lefty raw power, with 36 homers in high-A and Double-A combined, but he also has an insane amount of swing and miss.
Overall, No. 18 and qualitative depth No. 29 (tied) (prospects better than 40 FV) The entire value is $190 million. There are 32 participants in this game.
C, 60 FV, Francisco Alvarez (9th on the Top 100) 2. SS Ronny Mauricio (55 FV) (43) 3. Brett Baty, third baseman, 55 FV (52) 4. 3B Mark Vientos (92) 5. Matt Allan, 50 FV, RHP (121) 6. Alex Ramirez, 45 FV, RF 7. Khalil Lee, 45 FV, RF
Calvin Ziegler/RHP, Dominic Hamel/RHP, Mike Vasil/RHP, Carlos Cortes/2B, Joel Diaz/RHP, Jose Butto/RHP, Jaylen Palmer/3B, Nick Plummer/LF, William Lugo/SS, Robert Dominguez/RHP, Luis Rodriguez/LHP, Junior Santos/RHP, J.T. Schwartz/1B, Robert Dominguez/RHP, Luis Rodriguez/LHP, Junior Santo
Eric Orze/RHP, 35+ FV (12), 2B Travis Blankenhorn Jordany Ventura (RHP), Jordany Ventura (RHP), Jordany Ventura (RHP Hayden Senger/C, Hayden Senger/C, Hayden Senger/C, Joander Suarez/RHP, Joander Suarez/RHP, Joander Suarez/R Simon Juan, Nick Meyer, Christian Scott, Kevin Kendall, Simon Juan, Nick Meyer, Nick Meyer, Nick Meyer, Nick Meyer, Nick Meyer, Nick Meyer, Nick Meyer, Nick Meyer, Nick Meyer, Nick Meyer, Nick Meyer, Nick CF Jake Mangum, LHP Javier Atencio, and C Vincent Perozo
Plummer’s Impact in 2022
Ramirez is the Over 40 FV Breakout Pick.
Breakout Pick: Ziegler (40 FV or Less)
Prospects ranked outside of the top 100
Allan is a traditional prep power arm with a mid-90s heater aimed at the top of the zone and a strong high-spin curveball. He possesses a set of work-in-progress feel attributes that were improving before he blew up, and it’s unclear where they stand as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. He’s about to be 21 and has only thrown 10.1 pro innings since the 2019 draft, but he’s still rated high because he has all the tools to be a frontline starter with the power and feel to make it all work.
Ramirez is one of the more intriguing prospects in the so far disappointing 2019 international signing class, having signed for $2.05 million from the Dominican Republic. He completed his whole age-18 season in low-A, where he largely played center field and had a respectable season. This is especially noteworthy since he was unable to participate in official professional games in 2019 and 2020. To perform as well as he did after being hurried as if he had a regular ramp-up is a fantastic indicator for the future. He currently possesses good raw power that should be above ordinary to plus, as well as hitting feel, but he still has to acclimate to advanced stuff and pursue less. He’ll probably end up in right field, but for now, he’s OK in center.
With his power-and-patience skill combination and outfield tweener defensive fit, Lee has a chance to be a decent major leaguer, maybe even a low-end daily player. He’ll be more of a platoon/reserve option if he can only hit.220 or.230.
Others worth mentioning
This group of players will be divided into three sections. With Ziegler, Hamel, and Vasil, we start with the 2021 draft class pitchers. Ziegler, a Canadian prep product pitching in Florida and exhibiting an above-average fastball/breaking ball mix and starter qualities, was moving up late in the process. Hamel is one of several 22-year-old collegiate pitchers who will improve in 2021 as a result of the shorter draft. Depending on how his changeup and command develop, he’ll be a back-end starter or a middle relief. Vasil dropped out of consideration three years ago, despite being a mid-first-round draft talent, and then stagnated at Virginia. He slipped to the eighth round from where he should’ve gone in the draft — I saw him as a solid second-round pick against Georgia Tech last spring — and he has regained some of his prep form since signing.
The following group is made up of recent international pitching signees. Diaz has had a solid statistical DSL summer with an above-average fastball, a decent but improving curveball, changeup, and command. Rodriguez is a 6-foot-3 left-handed pitcher who progressed to low-A at the age of 18 and has a potentially above-average fastball, as well as significant development in developing secondary pitches and outstanding current command. Dominguez was the hottest name on last year’s list when he exploded out of nowhere after signing, but he’s taken a step back due to command concerns and greater bullpen risk, while his raw talent is still dynamite — his fastball has been sitting 94-96 and reaching 99 mph.
Palmer, a 2018 22nd-round sleeper from Flushing, New York, who continues to record good exit velos and may play center field in addition to the infield, but whose pitch selection has to improve, is one of three significant power batters. Lugo had even higher exit velos as a teenager, at the top of the minor leagues for his age, while playing a good infield in rookie ball — but his position and contact rate against superior stuff are also concerns. Plummer, a previous 23rd overall selection, was signed to a major league contract by the Mets as a minor league free agency from the Cardinals’ outfielder-rich system. The swing changes seem to be genuine, thus the 25-year-old might be a major league player in 2022.
In terms of quality depth, No. 26 (tied) was rated No. 23 (tied) overall (prospects better than 40 FV) The overall value is $128 million. There are 38 participants in this game.
1. Bryson Stott, 50 FV, SS (66th on the Top 100) 2. RHP Mick Abel, 50 FV (89) 3. Johan Rojas, 50 FV, CF (99) Logan O’Hoppe, C, 45+ FV, 4th place 5. Andrew Painter, 45 FV, RHP 6. LF Ethan Wilson (45 FV) Matt Vierling, CF, 45 FV, is number seven. Hans Crouse, 45, RHP 9. Luis Garcia, 45 FV, SS Erik Miller (LHP, 40+ FV) is ranked tenth.
Jordan Viars/RF, Hao Yu Lee/2B, Griff McGarry/RHP, Francisco Morales/RHP, Micah Ottenbreit/RHP, William Bergolla/SS, Simon Muzziotti/CF, Yemal Flores/RF, Donny Sands/C, Mickey Moniak/CF, Jhailyn Ortiz/RF, Yhoswar Garcia/CF, 40 FV (12): Jordan Viars/RF, Hao Yu Lee
35+ FV (16): James McArthur (RHP), Cristopher Sanchez (LHP), Casey Martin (2B), Jamari Baylor (2B), Baron Radcliff (1B), Jadiel Sanchez (RF), Damon Jones (LHP), Logan Simmons (SS), Eduar Segovia (RHP), Marcus Lee Sang (RF), Dominic Pipkin (RHP), Rafael Marcano (RHP), Jean Cabrera (RHP), Jose Pena Jr. (RHP), Star
Impact in 2022: Vierling
O’Hoppe is the Over 40 FV Breakout Pick.
Breakout Pick: Viars (40 FV or Less)
Prospects ranked outside of the top 100
Painter had been one of the best arms in the 2021 prep pitching class for a long time, and he gained traction late in the draft to land in the top 20 choices. He’s 6-foot-7 and, rather surprisingly, he’s really excellent at everything, despite the fact that most pitchers this height struggle with command, health, and/or breaking ball consistency. I’ve seen four pitches that have all flashed above average at times, he’s hit the mid 90s on occasion, and he’s always had outstanding command. Even the most polished prep pitchers take longer than you think, but with a solid debut season, he has 50 FV potential in the next 12 months, similar to Mick Abel or Quinn Priester.
Crouse was acquired in the Kyle Gibson/Spencer Howard trade and had a short, though unsuccessful, appearance in the major leagues. Because of his demeanor, on-mound shimmies, and colorful delivery, he’s best characterized as eccentric. Since his high school underclass days, he has been in the top 90s with many high-spin plus breaking balls. He’s more of a once-or-twice-through-the-order kind than a real 180-inning starter, but he’ll stick in your mind. Miller is a colossal lefty whose stuff swings from year to year, but all four pitches have shown to be above average throughout the years, despite his shaky command and limited innings due to injury.
Since reporting to camp, O’Hoppe has been on the rise and had an offensive breakthrough last season, largely at high-A. With strong pitch selection and increasing power, there’s a chance for solid-average offense. He’s a solid defender who might develop into a long-term option and potential starter, although he’ll be more valuable in 2023 than 2022. Wilson possesses great raw power from the left side, but his ability to make contact will determine whether he is a regular left fielder or platoon player. Vierling might start the season with the big league club as a genuine fourth outfielder, capable of playing all three positions and offering a hit-first offensive impact that is just below league average. Garcia has been actively transferred, as is the case with many shorter-limbed, polished, internationally signed shortstops. He was terrible at the bat in low-A in 2019, but he came back in 2021 and was much better. He’s a strong hitter who can play short and is already getting walks; power is the last piece, but I wouldn’t anticipate much more than 8-12 homers each year.
Others worth mentioning
Viars was an unheralded prep talent who was selected 84th overall by the Phillies in 2021. He’ll most likely be a corner outfielder with hit and power skills and the potential for more. Because he has no national or professional experience, he has a lot of room to advance if he continues to hit as he did in 22 games last summer. In recent years, Lee has emerged as Taiwan’s top position player. Years ago, I heard his name mentioned as a sure-fire power hitter who would probably suit at second base. He has limited promise at 5-foot-10 with poor speed and defense, but the Phillies signed another overseas talent with a similar profile years ago, Rays 3B Curtis Mead, who is currently in the Top 100.
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Flores inked a $1.4 million contract in January 2021 and had a solid DSL debut last summer; if it pans out, he’ll have above-average hitting and power skills. Bergolla is the headline acquisition from Venezuela, who cost $2.05 million two months ago. Due to his advanced hit/power tools for his age, he has been a top name in this international class for years, making his pro debut one of the most anticipated this summer. Radcliff, a 23-year-old selected out of Georgia Tech in 2020, is the last upside play in this bunch. He’ll never be considered a pure hitter, but he possesses 80-grade raw power and the patience to walk 21% of the time in low-A last season. He’ll most likely be another Adam Brett Walker type who stays at the bottom of the 40-man and has a hot month or two in the big leagues, but I’m all in on the potential.
McGarry has some genuinely fantastic raw talent (three pluses, occasionally a 70) but has never put up strong statistics, so as one of the numerous 22-year-old pitchers in last summer’s draft, he’s a nice developmental project in the fifth round. Morales has long been a prospect with a decent slider, but his results haven’t been great recently, and he’s on the 40-man roster, so he has to be working his way up to a major league job. Ottenbreit, a fourth-round selection out of Michigan last summer, was another under-the-radar prep choice. At 6-4, he checks a lot of boxes with a clean arm and command indications for three pitches. Pena was the first draft choice out of Tampa Prep, my old high school — shout out to all the Terrapins out there — in the sixth round last summer. He has genuine raw talent, with a fastball that can reach 99 mph and a strong spike curveball. Pena’s changeup and command aren’t great, and he’s physically exhausted, so he’ll definitely end up as a reliever. However, given how many major league middle relievers look like, it’s easy to see how he’ll pile up strikeouts.
Overall, No. 24 and No. 26 (tied) in terms of quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV) The entire value is $149 million. There are 32 participants in this game.
1. C, 55 FV Keibert Ruiz (27 in the Top 100) 2. Brady House, 55 FV, SS (41) 3. RHP Cade Cavalli, 50 FV (65) 4. Cole Henry, 45 FV, RHP 5. RHP Andry Lara, 40+ FV 6. RHP Jackson Rutledge (40+ FV) 7. Joan Adon, RHP, 40+ FV Joan Adon, RHP, 40+ FV Daylen Lile, RF, 40+ FV Daylen Lile, RF, 40+ FV
Cristhian Vaquero/CF, Armando Cruz/SS, Cristhian Vaquero/CF, Cristhian Vaquero/CF, Cristhian Vaquero/CF, Cristhian Vaquer Yasel Antuna/3B, Yasel Antuna/3B, Yasel Antuna RHP Gerard Carrillo Matt Cronin (LHP), Matt Cronin (LHP), Matt Cronin (LHP Tim Cate (LHP), Aldo Ramirez (RHP), Mitchell Parker (LHP), T.J. White (CF), Tim Cate (LHP), Tim Cate (RHP), Tim Cate (RHP), Tim Cate (RHP), Tim Cate (RHP), Tim Cate Seth Romero/LHP, Jeremy De La Rosa/RF, Sammy Infante/2B
Dustin Saenz/LHP, Mason Denaburg/RHP, Branden Boissiere/1B, Roismar Quintana/RF, Zach Brzykcy/RHP, Lucius Fox/SS, Jackson Cluff/SS, Evan Lee/LHP, Drew Millas/C, Donovan Casey/RF, Israel Pineda/C, Jordy Barley/SS, Zach Brzykcy/RHP, Lucius Fox/SS, Jackson Cl
Ruiz’s Impact in 2022
Lile is the Over 40 FV Breakout Pick.
Breakout Pick: White (40 FV or Less)
Prospects ranked outside of the top 100
Henry is the system’s consensus fourth prospect, but there are a lot of different viewpoints beyond that. He’s back to sitting 94-96 mph with an above average-to-plus hook, refining his changeup and starting qualities after an up-and-down spell with raw stuff in college. He’ll likely start the year at Double-A and is a safer option for rotation value than Cavalli, but with a bit less potential. Lara is a hefty 6-foot-5 righty with a strong delivery and feel for throwing. His stuff is more 55-grade, so he might finish up as a mid-rotation starter. Rutledge was the 17th overall selection in 2019, one of several in a long line of Nationals first-round picks pursuing pitching promise. The issue is that the 6-foot-8 Rutledge might struggle to remain healthy and throw strikes, as he did in a 2021 plagued by shoulder discomfort and blisters. Rutledge can reach 100 mph with bat-missing tendencies and two plus breaking balls, as well as a slider that is often plus-plus. With a plus fastball, solid-average secondary stuff, and fringy command, Adon got a major league look last year but seems more like a potential multi-inning type reliever. Lile was one of my favorite pure hitters in the 2021 draft class, but he’s a corner fit, so he’ll have to keep hitting.
Others worth mentioning
The Nationals tend to make a big impact at the top of the international signing bonus scale, and the coveted signings of the last two years, Vaquero and Cruz, are at the top of the 40 FV category. Cruz signed last winter and played in the Dominican Summer League, generally living up to expectations with one of the greatest short-handed hands anybody has seen at this age and a contact bat with little power. Cruz is an above-average runner, and in-game power is usually last, but I favor hit-first foreign prospects, so I may be on the low end until he shows himself. With a lanky, projectable, explosive 6-foot-3 body and high marks on his raw power, speed, and arm strength, Vaquero is a touch more well-rounded. He, like Robert Puason and Jasson Dominguez, has massive tools that come with some hit-tool danger, and his takes differ significantly from competing teams who just got a few looks since his contract was done so early. Vaquero’s professional debut will give valuable information for rounding up or down on his equipment.
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I’ll divide the other notable players into two categories, the first of which includes former collegiate lefties. Cronin is a high-slot fastball-heavy reliever with a good breaker and whiff-inducing characteristics who will likely be a good middle reliever. Cate is a little pitcher with a strong curveball who will most likely need to pitch in shorter stretches to increase his fastball velocity and imitate Tim Collins, his usual parallel. Parker is another high-slot lefty with whiff-inducing qualities and solid-average stuff who has already exceeded expectations in pro ball and has a chance to be a bench starter. Before off-field issues disrupted his collegiate career, Romero looked like a top-10 choice with three quality pitches; he’ll be 26 shortly and is likely a multi-inning reliever. Saenz is a more-than-the-sum-of-his-parts squatty lefty with above-average velocity and solid feel who might follow Parker’s route to a rear rotation.
White is a late-blooming corner outfielder who broke out late last summer on route to being drafted in the fifth round. He possesses a lot of raw power and a good feel for hitting. He’s only played 15 pro games, but there are some intriguing elements here. Infante’s bat and hands have a lot of thump for the infield, but he has to make more contact to get to that pop, which is still an issue. Last spring, scouts were split on Boissiere, with some believing he was a bat-only first baseman with limited power and others believing he was a bat-only first baseman with limited power; the latter group was a bit more correct after his pro debut. Quintana is already 19 years old and has only appeared in seven official games due to injuries, but he possesses above-average raw power and a traditional right-field profile; all we need to know now is how his bat performs in games.
Central Division of the National League
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Kilian was also part of the Bryant deal, and following a breakthrough year in 2021, he’s the finest pitching prospect in the organization. He possesses a solid-average four-pitch mix with excellent plus command and sits in the mid-90s. Wicks was the most recent Cubs first-round pick. He’s a large lefty with a great changeup and above-average command, but his fastball/slider combination is just ordinary. Vizcaino, who was also part of the Rizzo deal, will almost certainly wind up as a reliever, but his mid-90s fastball and changeup are also strong pitches. With above-average raw stuff from the left side and enough feel to possibly start, Herz put up gaudy strikeout figures. Marquez has been in the triple digits for a long time on the left side, but the rest of the package hasn’t progressed much recently. Jensen has a mid-90s fastball and can definitely start, but he lacks a legitimate swing-and-miss secondary pitch.
Others worth mentioning
Franklin is a popular name among Cubs employees. He missed the whole 2021 season due to oblique and shoulder injuries, but since his comeback, he has cranked up his heater to 98 mph while maintaining a solid changeup. Franklin has starter command and a solid-average curveball, so if he can maintain his internal momentum, he might be on his way to being the system’s top pitching prospect. Gray was a particular favorite in last year’s draft, displaying a mid-90s heater from the left side with bat-missing qualities, as well as an effortless plus curveball with high spin and a big, projectable body.
Gray attended IMG in Florida but came up as a two-way player in Illinois, so the polish and workload aren’t precisely what Florida youngsters are accustomed to. If everything falls into place, he may be able to complete this list, but it will most certainly take a couple of years. Carraway is a high-effort, single-inning lefty who pitches in the high-90s and has a 70-grade curveball with a lot of aggression but limited execution at the moment. Ball, a late-round discovery with 70-grade raw power who has hit better than anticipated thus far, came to the organization from Atlanta as part of the Joc Pederson trade. Santana (the third member of the Darvish package) and Made (a seven-figure overseas signing) have both gotten their due in recent years. They both have certain tools, but in 2021, neither of them will strike as hard as they should.
Overall, No. 19 and No. 10 in terms of qualitative depth (prospects better than 40 FV) Total value of $188.5 million 44 players
Hunter Greene (RHP, 60 FV) is No. 1 on the list (23rd on Top 100) 2. Nick Lodolo, 55 FV, LHP (79) 3. SS, 50 FV Elly De La Cruz (100) 4. Brandon Williamson, 50 FV, LHP (101) 5. SS Matt McLain (45+ FV) Rece Hinds, RF, 45+ FV; Rece Hinds, RF, 45+ FV; Rece Hinds, Chase Petty (RHP, 45+ FV) is number seven. 8. Lyon Richardson, RHP, 45+ FV Lyon Richardson, RHP, 45+ FV Lyon Richardson, RHP, 45 Jay Allen, CF, 45 FV, is number nine. Austin Hendrick, RF, 45 FV, is ranked tenth. Tyler Callihan, 2B, 40+ FV, 11th Graham Ashcraft, RHP, 40+ FV, No. 12 Mike Siani (CF, 40+ FV) is number thirteen. Nick Quintana (#14), 3B, 40+ FV 15. Mat Nelson, C, 40+ FV Mat Nelson, C, 40+ FV Mat Nelson, C, 40+ F
T.J. Friedl, T.J. Friedl, T.J. Friedl, T.J. Friedl, T.J. Friedl, T.J. Friedl, T.J. Friedl, T.J. Friedl, T.J. Friedl, T.J. Friedl, T.J. Friedl, T.J. Friedl, T.J. Friedl, T.J. Jose Torres/SS, Alejo Lopez/2B, Yerlin Confidan/RF, Daniel Duarte/RHP, Christian Roa/RHP, Reiver Sanmartin/LHP, Daniel Vellojin/C, Andrew Abbott/LHP, Bryce Bonnin/RHP, Jose Torres/SS, Alejo Lopez/2B, Yerlin Confidan/RF, Daniel Duarte/RHP, Christian Roa/RHP
Riley O’Brien (RHP), Dauri Moreta (RHP), Carson Spiers (RHP), Ivan Johnson (2B), Carlos Jorge (SS), Ariel Almonte (RF), Yassel Pino (1B), Leonardo Balcazar (SS), Alexis Diaz (RHP), Malvin Valdez (CF), Joel Kuhnel (RHP), Debby Santana/3B, Braylin Minier (3B), Thomas Farr (RHP), Stevie Branche (R
Greene’s Impact in 2022
Allen is the Over 40 FV Breakout Pick.
Breakout Pick: Miller (40 FV or Less)
Prospects ranked outside of the top 100
McLain, the Reds’ first-round choice last summer, is a UCLA infielder with an extensive scouting resume, having been a late first-round pick out of high school. Some scouts see a guy who can play everywhere and has above-average talents across the board, with the potential to be a speedy mover. Others believe he is a better suited for second base or center field, and that his swing and batting average exaggerate his in-game potential. In high school, Hinds had significant swing-and-miss worries, as well as fears that he’d have to go to right field, but everyone witnessed the 70-grade raw power and actual backflips. He showed strides in games this year (10 homers in 43 games at Low-A, with a good 28 percent strikeout rate), but his out-of-zone chase rate will have to be reduced at higher levels. I believe he’ll settle in right field and be a 40-bat type with 25-30 homer potential.
Allen, the Reds’ second-round choice last year, is a typical multisport center-field athlete (he previously played quarterback) with feel for the game and flashes of power in the game. His sense for the striking zone is the differentiator here, and it might propel him to the top of the list next year. Hendrick is the other kind of hitter: he has tremendous bat speed and raw power, but he swings and misses in the zone. That may be more difficult to correct since it’s either a bat-path problem that requires you to sacrifice in-game power to address, or a spin recognition/timing issue. Hendrick, like Hinds, will almost certainly never be a 50-hitting major leaguer in the long run, but you may hope that he utilizes his power to the point where it doesn’t matter.
Callihan is a now-hit/raw power combination type without a definite position; he’ll have Tommy John surgery, but it shouldn’t have a significant impact on his game. He might develop into a quick-moving utility corner bat, especially if he can lift the ball more often in games. Siani’s finest asset is his plus-plus center-field defense, and he looks to have worked to get his swing back on track, which should result in a major-league-caliber offensive performance. Quintana was acquired in the Barnhart trade from Detroit. He’s simple enough to dissect: his in-game tools could all be a 50. Nelson, a late-blooming 22-year-old from Florida State who was drafted in the compensation round last year, fits in with many of those described above: a lower-contact rate hitter with great raw power and solid defense.
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Williamson, the major prospect in Seattle’s Winker/Suarez trade, barely made the Top 100. He’s progressively progressed, and he now has an above-average four-pitch mix from the left side, as well as some deception and craftiness; he might be a force in the second half of the season. Petty was acquired from Minnesota as part of the Sonny Gray trade. I’m usually low on triple-digit velo goofs from the prep levels, but he’s a hard eval. Petty stands out because he has good physical talents and feel, three pitches that flash above average, and the secondary and intangible attributes that so many other hard-throwing prep righties lack as a lower slot, main sinker/slider type with substantial movement difference between those pitches. Richardson is a unique kind, somewhat over average in all areas but lacking a 60 on the scouting card, and destined to be a fourth beginning type. Ashcraft is back to his high-octane stuff, sitting 95-97 mph with bat-missing lift and a good slider. He was a potential reliever with TJ in his history. He’s enhanced his starting qualities and can now last several innings, but he is a reliever who will blow your hair back with booming opening music.
Others worth mentioning
Friedl is a great runner who can play center field and has an above-average hitting tool; he doesn’t have a lot of power, but he should be a decent backup outfielder, maybe starter caliber at some time. Miller was a strong hit-first prep catcher in the draft, projecting as a low-end daily backstop with adequate power and defense. He only appeared in three games last season owing to a misdiagnosed ailment that he has now recovered from. There isn’t much on the stat sheet right now, but the skills are still there, and he’s ripe for a breakthrough, playing for a team that has a strong track record with the dangerous subgroup of prep catchers: Tucker Barnhart, Tyler Stephenson, Devin Mesoraco, and others.
Cerda was promoted to the 40-man roster despite just playing 21 games above Low-A in 2021 because to his enormous raw tools and 17 home runs. He’s a good runner currently, but he’ll most likely settle in a corner, with plus raw power and decent patience, but his pitch selection and power approach may cause contact concerns. Solomon didn’t pitch in 2021 since he was recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he was a hot name from the alternative site before his injury in 2020. You could even see a starter back then if you squinted hard enough — he was sitting at 95-97 mph with bat-missing movement and two plus-flashing breaking balls, as well as the ability for command. Sanmartin is a completely different prospect, but one who is considerably closer to the majors: he is 25 years old, has below-average velocity, and pitches in the lower-slot. With cunning and trickery, he sits around 88-91 mph, and his best offering is a good changeup. He’s been around for a long, and despite his lack of scouting reports, there’s a possibility he’ll enter camp as the No. 5 quarterback.
Cabrera is the top foreign signee from the most recent class. For years, he’s been a top-of-the-class name, and he’s similar to Noelvi Marte in that he’s a mature-framed, powerful now hit/power combination shortstop/third baseman tweener. Cincinnati is aiming for a similar outcome. Bonnin is another power pitcher, with a 95-98 mph bat-missing fastball and a 55-to-60 grade breaker. He might be useful as a late-inning reliever. Torres was a draft-eligible sophomore at NC State and one of the few real shortstops with offensive potential in the 2021 draft college rankings; I believe he’ll be an average hitter with below-average power, making him a decent utility type.
Overall, No. 27; qualitative depth, No. 21 (tied) (prospects better than 40 FV) The entire value is $108 million. There are 32 participants in this game.
1. Aaron Ashby, 50 FV, LHP (83rd on the Top 100) 2. Sal Frelick, 50 FV, CF (106) 3. Joey Wiemer, 45+ FV, RF Tyler Black, second base, 45+ FV 5. Brice Turang, 45 FV, SS Garrett Mitchell, 45 FV, CF 7. C, 45 FV, Jeferson Quero CF, 45 FV, Jackson Chourio 9. Ethan Small, 45 FV, LHP Freddy Zamora, SS, 40+ FV, 10th place 11. Felix Valerio, 2B, 40+ FV Felix Valerio, 2B, 40+ FV Felix Valerio, 2B, 40
Eduardo Garcia/SS, Hedbert Perez/LF, Antoine Kelly/LHP, Abner Uribe/RHP, Joe Gray Jr./RF, Kory Howell/CF, Zavier Warren/3B, Alec Bettinger/RHP, Taylor Floyd/RHP, 40 FV (9): Eduardo Garcia/SS, Hedbert Perez/LF, Antoine Kelly/LHP, Abner Uribe/RHP, Joe Gray Jr./RF, Kory Howell/CF
Dylan File (RHP), Carlos Rodriguez (CF), Justin Topa (RHP), Russell Smith (LHP) are among the 35+ FV (12) players. Hendry Mendez/CF, Hendry Mendez/CF, Hendry Mendez/ Eduarqui Fernandez/RF, Gabe Holt/2B, Weston Wilson/3B, Max Lazar/RHP, Mario Feliciano/1B, Tristen Lutz/RF, Hayden Cantrelle/2B, Eduarqui Fernandez/RF, Gabe Holt/2B, Weston Wilson/3B, Max Lazar/RHP
Impact in 2022: Ashby
Chourio (above 40 FV Breakout Pick)
Breakout Pick: Fernandez (40 FV or Less)
Prospects ranked outside of the top 100
Frelick was a top target early last spring when he arrived to Boston College as a freshman following a multisport career at a nearby high school, but he wasn’t seen much throughout the summers. He got out to a great start and never let up, finishing 15th overall. He’s a terrific runner and fielder, and at the bat, he’s a short-levered hitter with good pop and plate discipline, which modern organizations want. These features assist tools in performing as they should at higher levels and may sometimes result in unexpected in-game power spikes. I admire how he came from a football/hockey family, and he still has that attitude. He barely made my Top 100, but he’ll almost certainly make it by midseason.
In the 2021 selection, Black was my gut feeling man; I placed him No. 16 overall, knowing he wouldn’t go that high, but figuring someone would pick him before the 30th round. I was shocked he made it to the Brew Crew at the age of 33. As a shorter-limbed hitter with tremendous feel for contact, a decent approach, and adequate power, Black resembles Frelick. Black also has a lot of signs of being an underestimated hitter: he’s young for his class, he went to a mid-major college, he hasn’t played in a large summer league, and he’s had outstanding results. He also has a fixable swing problem, as he makes a lot of flat contact but can’t pull or lift the ball while having the raw power to hit 15-20 home runs. I believe he’s a.275 hitter with a strong approach and fringy power who plays respectable second base, and his feel for the game helps everything play up; a handful of guys who did that last year were 2.5-to-3-win players.
Wiemer had a terrific Cape and a terrible spring for Cincinnati, but he’s always had tools, so he was drafted in the fourth round in 2020 and made a loud pro debut with a few swing changes. He’s a higher-leveraged hitter who tries to smash the ball far, so he has below-average contact skills, significant in-game power, and the potential to play all three outfield positions. I wouldn’t expect him to cut through the minors, but he now looks like an exciting big leaguer of some kind. This type of hitter who leans on his physical abilities (trying to launch mistakes, essentially) can take longer at higher levels to adjust to better pitching, so I wouldn’t expect him to cut through the minors.
Mitchell has to make a swing modification to pull/lift more and get to his substantial talents, but even if he doesn’t, he’ll make contact and play good center field. Chourio has only played in the DSL, but he has done well despite being mostly regarded as a tools fool before the season (plus run, real bat control, growing power). I’m going to wrap this up on him since he’s the kind of guy that organizations aim to include in trades before they get to Low-A. Turang was the finest player in his prep class as a sophomore/junior, but has since plateaued as a competent, patient hitter who is a good fielder but is unlikely to reach his 15-20 homer power level in games. Because Zamora tore his ACL during Miami’s draft spring, he was a bit more mysterious than most of his draft contemporaries. So far in pro ball, he’s hit better than predicted and has always been a strong runner with above-average defense, but (as you would think) he’ll never hit for tremendous power. Valerio is listed at 5-foot-7 and can only play second base, so he doesn’t have much promise, but he can hit.
Small is another TrackMan favorite the Brewers unveiled ahead of schedule, this time in the form of vertically oriented items from a high spot, which was popular a few years ago. His normal-by-velocity heater is in the top of the zone, and he also possesses a good changeup at the bottom, as well as the ability to identify them. His breaker has always been a flaw, as has his lack of putaway items, therefore he’s most likely a backend type.
Among this group of position players, Quero is the most well-rounded. He has the ability to hit and defend like them, but he also has the strength and feel to make an impact in games. I’m usually wary of catchers in rookie ball because of the danger they pose (second only to pitchers), but they have all of the characteristics of an everyday catcher.
Others worth mentioning
Garcia was one of my favorites during a pre-signing MLB showcase three years ago, and he’s continued to impress whenever he’s been on the field since then. He’s a superb fielder with enough offensive potential to project as a major leaguer, but I’m not expecting much more than a utility player from him. Perez is a physically mature 18-year-old left fielder who can bat and understands how to get to his power in games, but he swings a little too much and is already backed into the corner-outfield profile squeeze, so he’ll have to hammer. Gray was a tools standout in Mississippi early in high school, finished 60th overall in 2018, and ultimately broke out in 2021. There will always be some swing and miss with his long-levered, power-focused approach, but he has excellent raw power (20 homers last year across both A-ball levels at age 21) and can cover all three outfield positions, so with modest improvements, he has a reserve/platoon potential.
Uribe and Kelly may be categorized as follows: Both players are now simple plus stuff with little finesse or feel. Uribe sits in the mid 90s, often reaching over 100 mph, and shows a good slider, but he has no clue where the ball is going right now, as seen by the surface numbers or the eye. His delivery and physical abilities aren’t horrible, so there’s reason to be optimistic, but I’m always the underdog when it comes to this sort of candidate. Kelly, a 6-foot-6 southpaw who was drafted 65th overall in 2019 out of junior college, lit up the Brewers’ pitch analytics. He’s been hurt and inconsistent thus far, but he continues to show two plus pitches and below-average but reasonable command, with some signs that he’ll have strong enough control to make it to the majors.
I believe there is a nice bench bat here with Holt and Wilson. Holt has exceptional plate discipline, as well as contact abilities and speed. He can play practically everywhere, but his power is almost non-existent. Wilson is 27 years old, but he had a good year at Triple-A as a corner utility player with above-average power and a good approach.
Overall, No. 3 and No. 1 in terms of qualitative depth (prospects better than 40 FV) Total value: $296 million There are 57 participants in this game.
1. Oneil Cruz, 60 FV, SS (13th on the Top 100) 2. C, 55 FV, Henry Davis (39) Liover Peguero, 50 FV, SS (53) 4. Nick Gonzales, second baseman, 50 FV (70) 5. Roansy Contreras, 50 FV, RHP (76) 6. Quinn Priester, 50 FV, RHP (77) Endy Rodriguez, C, 45+ FV, No. 7 Travis Swaggerty, 45 FV, CF 9. Matt Fraizer, 45 FV, CF Jared Jones, RHP, 45 FV, is ranked tenth. Ji-hwan Bae, 2B, 45 FV, 11. 12. Miguel Yajure, 45 FV, RHP 13. RHP Bubba Chandler (45 FV) Diego Castillo, 14th, 2B, 40+ FV Maikol Escotto, SS, 40+ FV, 15th place 16. RHP Michael Burrows (40+ FV) Rodolfo Nolasco, RF, FV 40+ 18. Anthony Solometo, 40+ FV, LHP Dariel Lopez, 3B, 40+ FV, 19. Canaan Smith-Njigba, LF, 40+ FV, No. 20 Lonnie White Jr., CF, 40+ FV, No. 21 Connor Scott, CF, 40+ FV, 22nd
J.C. Flowers/RHP, Kyle Nicolas/RHP, Hudson Head/CF, Luis Ortiz/RHP, Jared Triolo/3B, Po-Yu Chen/RHP, Ricky DeVito/RHP, Cody Bolton/RHP, Abraham Gutierrez/C, 40 FV (13): J.C. Flowers/RHP, Kyle Nicolas/RHP, Hudson Head/CF, Luis Ortiz/RHP, Luis Ortiz/RHP RHP Carmen Mlodzinski, CF Jared Oliva, RHP Nick Garcia, LF Cal Mitchell
Jack Suwinski/LF, Rodolfo Castro/2B, Shalin Polanco/CF, Jack Suwinski/LF, Rodolfo Castro/2B, Rodolfo Castro/2B, Rodolfo Castro/2B, Rodolfo Castro/2B, Rodol Yordany De Los Santos/SS, Yordany De Los Santos/SS, Yordany De Los San Tucupita Marcano/SS, Tucupita Marcano/SS, Tucupita Marcano Mason Martin/1B, Sammy Siani/CF, Tony Blanco/RF, Lolo Sanchez/CF, Brennan Malone/RHP, Owen Kellington/RHP, Tahnaj Thomas/RHP, Tsung-Che Cheng/SS, Tsung-Che Cheng/SS, Tsung-Che Cheng/SS, Tsung-Che Cheng/SS, Tsung-Che Cheng/SS, Tsung-Che Cheng/ Jase Bowen/CF, Omar Cruz/LHP, Austin Roberts/RHP, Sergio Campana/CF, Matt Gorski/CF, Eddy Yean/HP, Santiago Florez/RHP, Carter Bins/C, Jackson Glenn/2B, Jase Bowen/CF, Omar Cruz/LHP, Austin Roberts/RHP, Sergio Campana/CF, Matt Gorski/CF
Cruz’s Impact in 2022
Cruz is the Over 40 FV Breakout Pick.
Breakout Pick: Head (40 FV or Less)
Prospects ranked outside of the top 100
With a breakthrough season in which he proved that the short-season excitement and performance were real, Rodriguez emerged as the greatest component of the Musgrove deal this year. He’s a strong hitter with excellent pitch selection and a solid defender at the bat. The power may or may not arrive, but it isn’t a roadblock to being one of the world’s top 30 catchers at some time. Bae is another strong hitter with a decent approach but less power than the others. On the positive side, he’s a good runner who can play both middle infield positions well, though he’s more comfortable at second. Castillo follows the Pirates’ evaluative pattern of being a good hitter with below-average power who can also play well up the middle but lacks the ancillary tools. He’s probably a utility guy.
With 310 at-bats in three seasons for Arizona and a slugging percentage below.400, Frazier has had an unusual journey to high-end prospectdom. His pro debut followed this pattern, but he missed the 2020 season, then had a tremendous breakthrough in 2021, making it difficult to predict what he’ll be in the future. He’s always had above-average talent, but inconsistency in playing time, a fractured hamate bone, and a swing change are all issues. I believe he’ll be a strong platoon fourth outfielder who can play all three positions, but if he continues to perform well, he’ll be a low-end regular player. Due to his own (negative) swing alteration in the spring, Swaggerty was an appealing 2018 first-rounder, but with enormous tools and a strong summer performance. He’s only played 12 games since 2019, so it’s unclear whether the swing changes are paying off, but his talents are still massive, and he’s on his way to the majors.
Jaxson Smith-Njigba, Smith-brother, Njigba’s is a great wide receiver for Ohio State. Canaan was acquired from the Yankees as part of the Taillon trade. Easy plus raw power and good pitch selection are two crucial aspects in hitting for power at the highest levels, and he has both. He has little defensive value and is probably an average-at-best contact hitter, with the main issue being whether he can consistently lift the ball in the game enough to reach his power. Nolasco was a revelation in the 2019 rookie ball season, both in terms of performance and exit velocity. In 2021, he virtually repeated the feat in the domestic complicated league, paving the groundwork for a run to a 50 FV if he can repeat it in Low-A. Nolasco is a solid enough contact hitter and pitch picker to get to his plus raw power, and he plays right field well enough.
Buster Olney ranks the best of the best in baseball, position by position.
Pitchers | Infielders | Outfielders | Teams
As a teenager, Lopez made a strong full-season debut. He’s a corner fit with above-average raw power and decent hittability, but erratic pitch selection that might pose difficulties at higher levels. After a solid 17-year-old pro debut with excellent exit velos while largely playing shortstop, Escotto was included in the Yankees’ Taillon package and was a hot name. After not playing a competitive game in 2020, he was double-promoted into an auto-strike-calling league, so expectations were eased a little, yet Escotto hit precisely league average in Low-A as a 19-year-old. White was a dual-sport promise to Penn State as a wide receiver, and he has the body and talents you’d expect from a player of his caliber. Over the summer, his contact rate and exit velos drew mid-first-round excitement, and a bit more swing and miss than projected helped him slip to a $1.5 million bonus at the 64th overall choice. I’m still optimistic, but he might struggle with below-average contact and everything else while playing center field. Scott was a fan favorite who attended the same high school as Kyle Tucker and had many of the same traits. In pro ball, he’s been OK, with 2021 being a career year; with more in-game lift, I could see him climbing into the 50 FV class.
Jones possesses lightning-quick arm speed, which evaluators noticed early in his prep career. He’s improved the bat-missing form of his fastball since then, but it still reaches 100 mph on occasion and sits in the mid-90s most of the time. He also continues to show good ability to spin both a slider and a curveball. His changeup and command quality are still a touch behind, but his clean arm motion and athletic attributes indicate that he has the chance to remain in a rotation. Chandler was a shortstop/pitcher/quarterback at Clemson, but after receiving $3 million in the third round last summer, he’ll most likely be a pitcher for the Pirates. On the mound, he’s naturally raw, but the broad qualities — mid-90s heater, plus breaking potential, command, confidence, and attacking style components — are all there to click. He comes from a dangerous demographic, but as a switch-hitting infielder, he was a consensus second- or third-round choice, so he has a built-in backup plan.
Solometo ($2.8 million) was another big-money prep arm made possible by Davis’ 1-1 underslot agreement, and he has a distinctive arm swing that works for him. Early in the spring, he flirted with 97 mph readings, but at maturity, he’ll most likely remain a low-90s type, relying on his excellent slider and feel. Yajure was a high-probability No. 3-4 starter when he was acquired in the Taillon trade, but his stuff has backed off a notch, so he’s tracking more like a ready-made backside starter. Burrows is more likely to be a long-term reliever, but his fastball sits in the mid-90s and he throws a quality curveball, so he has late-inning potential.
Others worth mentioning
Flowers, Nicolas, Chen, and Malone stand out among the group of pitchers in the bottom ranks. Flowers was a two-way star in high school and at Florida State, where he mostly played center field, but has since moved to the mound in professional baseball. He’s most likely a reliever, but he has above-average athletic capabilities and a strong fastball/slider combination, and he’s still learning the ropes on the mound. Nicolas blew out on the Cape, reaching 100 mph, and then was a very standard fastball-reliant hard thrower for Ball State in the spring. He was drafted 61st overall by the Marlins and traded to Pittsburgh following the season. He’ll almost certainly be a reliever in the long run, even if he’ll use his above-average slider more. Chen has been on the international radar for a long time and showed advanced feel and a solid curve/splitter combination in support of a low-90s heater in his pro debut as a youngster. He’s a backend starter with a great chance of succeeding. Malone was a guy in high school, finishing 33rd overall and becoming the second component in the Starling Marte trade. Last season, he only threw 14 innings due to injuries and control concerns. He has starting command, four above-average pitches, and a heater that reaches the mid 90s on occasion when he’s at his best, but he’ll need to throw more to reclaim that form.
In the Joe Musgrove trade, Head was the second player (and perhaps the best at the time, ahead of Endy Rodriguez), and he had a difficult 2021 season. He was a multisport player who debuted in the spring before the 2019 draft, so the industry had no experience judging him as a batter — and then his strikeout percentage skyrocketed to 32 percent in his full-season debut. This has led to some doubt about his offensive potential, but it’s still early, and he possesses average raw power, plus speed and a center-field fit, so there’s still time. Triolo was a glove-first third baseman in college who also had some offensive skills. He’s hit well despite his age, so playing at the higher levels in 2022 should help decide if he’s a reserve or high-end utility player. Since getting caught up in Braves international penalties, Gutierrez’s value has fluctuated and he has now returned to the image most had when he was an amateur: he can bat and defend, but we’ll have to wait and see how much offensive effect he’ll have. Polanco (lefty hit/power potential, presumably in a corner), De Los Santos (bat/power promise, definitely at third base), and Blanco (big power, rest is a concern) are all recent high-dollar foreign signees, but it’s still early. Cheng stands out because as a youngster, he recorded 30 walks to 14 strikeouts in rookie level.
Overall, No. 14 and No. 19 in terms of qualitative depth (prospects better than 40 FV) Total value of $217.5 million for 40 players
Jordan Walker (3B, 60 FV) is ranked first (17th in the Top 100) Nolan Gorman, 3B, 60 FV, Nolan Gorman, 3B, 60 FV, Nolan Gorman, 3B (18) 3. C, 50 FV, Ivan Herrera (63) 4. Matthew Liberatore, 50 FV, LHP (93) 5. Masyn Winn, 45 FV, SS 6. Josh Baez, 45 FV, RF Juan Yepez, 1B, 45 FV, is ranked seventh. 8. Zack Thompson, 45 FV, LHP 9. Michael McGreevy, 45 FV, RHP 10. Malcolm Nunez (third base, 40+ FV) Alec Burleson, RF, 40+ FV, 11th Tink Hence, RHP, 40+ FV (12. Tink Hence, RHP, 40+ FV) C, 40+ FV, 13. Leonardo Bernal
Brendan Donovan/3B, Jhon Torres/RF, Luken Baker/1B, Patrick Romeri/RF, Andre Pallante/RHP, Connor Thomas/LHP, Alec Willis/RHP, 40 FV (10): Brendan Donovan/3B, Jhon Torres/RF, Luken Baker/1B, Patrick Romeri/RF, Andre Pallante/RHP, Connor Thomas/LHP, Alec Willis/RHP CF Tre Fletcher, SS Jonathan Mejia, and CF Luis Pino
35+ FV (17): Ian Bedell (RHP), Ryan Holgate (RF), Angel Rondon (RHP), Austin Love (RHP), Gordon Graceffo (RHP), Edwin Nunez (RHP), Ali Sanchez (C), Chandler Redmond (1B), Freddy Pacheco (RHP), Conner Capel (RF), Edgardo Rodriguez (C), Ramon Mendoza (2B), Jeremy Rivas (SS), Matt Koperniak (LF), Dionys
Impact in 2022: Yepez
Baez is the Over 40 FV Breakout Pick.
Breakout Pick: Graceffo (40 FV or Less)
Prospects ranked outside of the top 100
Winn is an exceptional talent: a good runner with plus bat speed who projects for plus raw power, a strong sense for contact, at least a plus-plus arm, and, oh yes, he also pitchers on occasion, flashing two plus-plus pitches. At the bat, he’s still a touch raw, with below-average pitch selection, but the eye test indicates that a breakthrough is on the way. The Cardinals’ pitching development staff adores him on the mound, and they want him to be available to throw innings if hitting doesn’t pan out.
Baez is also intriguing, as an 18-year-old with some of the top exit velos on the planet, but he also has an evident explosion in his hands. He’s thrown upper-90s heat on the mound, but he’s young for his prep class and has limited repetitions from a cold-weather state, so he’ll be a little behind his warm-weather counterparts in terms of development. The pace of his progress will be determined by his pitch selection, and early results are promising. As a result, another promising young pitcher pitched just eight innings in 2021, owing to prudence in introducing him to a full pro workload rather than any major injury concerns. He’ll show off two good pitches, a mid-90s fastball and a two-plane breaking ball, but he also has a clean arm motion and the physical capacity to develop starting skills. Backstop who hits the switch Bernal has only played in the DSL, but he fits all the criteria in terms of tools, performance, and age vs. level figures; keep an eye on him this year as he makes his American debut.
This year, Yepez has a chance to make an impact on the major league squad. In terms of handedness, speed, defense, and position, he’s restricted, but he’s got the important stuff: offensive skills and Triple-A success. Thompson struggled in 2021, but rebounded in the Arizona Fall League with more velocity and crisper raw stuff and execution. With an effortless good curveball, he has the ability to be a mid-rotation starter. McGreevy, a converted shortstop, was the Cards’ first-round pick last summer, and although his pitch shapes and spin rates aren’t exactly trendy, he’s got strong arm speed, a solid breaking ball, and starting qualities, so there’s enough to work on. Nunez excelled at both high-A and Double-A levels, despite his youth. He can hit and possesses raw power, but his swing plane doesn’t fully use that power, and his pitch selection is just average. He could be better suited for first base, therefore he’s currently more of a corner/utility platoon guy than an everyday player. Burleson was a two-way star at East Carolina, a sought-after outfielder who was also a pro prospect as a left-handed pitcher with finesse. Many were startled when he went from high-A to Triple-A in his pro debut as a 22-year-old, especially because he was primarily focused on hitting for the first time in his career. He has low-end everyday tools and might push his way into the majors before the end of the year.
Others worth mentioning
Baker, who reached Triple-A last season, has a lot of raw power and a good sense for how to use it in games. As an out-of-favor right-handed first baseman/DH, he’s Rule 5 eligible, but he’s the sort of player who can earn a call-up and blast four home runs in his first week in the big leagues. Pallante improved in the Arizona Fall League and now seems to be a backend starter, with a fastball that sits at 94-96 mph and an above-average slider. Thomas’ velocity has progressively increased, and he currently throws between 89 and 91 mph, which may be enough to allow his above-average off-speed pitches and command to play in a major league rotation. Willis was a late popup prep righty in Colorado last spring. He’s still a work in progress, but he has an above-average fastball/slider combination. Bedell’s velocity has dipped a little following Tommy John surgery last season, but he has displayed three above-average pitches and command at times, so keep a watch on his return. Graceffo was a fifth-round pick out of Villanova who has made an immediate impact since joining the team. He is 6-foot-4, throws 93-96 mph, and has above-average stuff, so he has rotation potential. Walsh has one of the strongest sliders in the minors, sitting 95-97 mph; he’s on the 40-man roster and has Triple-A experience, so he may be called up at any moment.
Here’s how one pitcher got a deal after slipping into an online discussion.
» Jeff Passan
Walston, a 6-foot-5 projection lefty who was a late popup guy out of high school, was also picked in the 2019 draft at No. 26 overall, establishing a mix between the upside college righties and lower-upside college lefties. With his curveball, changeup, and command all flashing above-average-to-plus, there are shades of Cole Hamels when he’s at his best. He’s now sitting around 90-92 mph, but will sometimes hit the mid-90s. He’s an old-fashioned high school projection bet who’s entertaining to see in action. We’re moving on to the 2020 draft, where the D-backs selected Jarvis, Cecconi, and Pfaadt in that order, but I’ve reversed it now, but they’re all quite close. Pfaadt is a late-blooming fifth-round pick from a Division II school who debuted in Double-A with those monster arms from the 2019 draft. His above-average breaking balls and feel both performed better than predicted, and his fastball has improved to 92-95 mph in late innings. Cecconi had a great name in high school, but injuries and velo fluctuations plagued him during the final three or four years. He has above-average skills and starting characteristics, but he has yet to put it all together. Jarvis, like Cecconi, was a late bloomer at Duke, with a velo spike in his 22nd year, and has settled in with above-average raw talent and starting attributes.
De Los Santos, an 18-year-old with 70-grade raw power who performed well at low-A while playing third base, is the major breakthrough star in this bunch. There are some approach and contact dangers already there, as well as the uncertainty of which corner place he’ll settle into — so there are some genuine restrictions here, but this is a first-round prospect whose name I didn’t know at this time last year. Vukovich resembles De Los Santos in that he is a power-oriented third baseman with some contact and defensive concerns but high productivity. Vukovich’s potential is a little smaller, and he’s a year ahead, so it’s almost a coin flip.
Robinson is a tremendous talent with one of the strongest power-speed-production combos in the minors, but his story also has a tragic undertone. In brief (read more here), Bahamas-born Robinson had a mental health crisis in Arizona during the early stages of the epidemic, and his career was jeopardized by immigration concerns stemming from his interactions with police authorities. He hasn’t played in a professional game since 2019, but he’s back in the backfields and seems to be on pace, having been promoted to the 40-man roster in the meantime owing to his immense potential. There are definitely more serious concerns at hand, and we haven’t seen him play in a long time, so this is more of a wait-and-see scenario.
Beer has the good fortune of being an ice-cold DH who is now ready for his big-league debut in the same year that his team adds the universal DH. He had shoulder surgery only five games into his major league career, but he seems to be on pace to return, where his power-and-patience-plus-raw-power skill set may flourish. Del Castillo was a top-ten overall choice entering last spring at Miami, but he struggled offensively and didn’t really improve his defensive skills behind the plate. He can hit and has 15-18 homer kind of raw power, but needs to tweak his approach to get to it. I believe he’ll be an offensive-minded backup catcher who fills in at first base and DH as needed. Hummel was acquired from Milwaukee last summer for Eduardo Escobar and has a similar profile to Del Castillo: he can hit, has some pop, and isn’t very good behind the plate. The D-backs should have enough of sorta-catchers to rotate in when the starting catcher gets pinch-hit late in games with these two and Daulton Varsho.
Others worth mentioning
At shortstop, Alexander and Bliss have quite different approaches to achieving equal potential value. Alexander is a competent defender with an 80-grade arm, while Bliss can play shortstop but has a fringy arm that makes him a better match at second base. Alexander has serious contact concerns but above-average raw power, while Bliss has below-average raw power but can clearly hit and has enough feel to knock some errors out of the park. Bliss has a better chance of making it to the big leagues, but Alexander has a bigger impact potential. Barrosa will almost certainly make the top leagues, but he will have minimal influence. His major league abilities include excellent bat control and speed, as well as good center field defense, but his raw power is at the bottom of the spectrum. Before he blew up in the summer, Grammes was a good candidate to click. With two plus breaking balls and a relief fit, he’s a conversion arm with a top speed of 100 mph. Canzone, a platoon corner outfielder with 20+ homer power, is another late-blooming reserve type.
Overall, No. 24 and No. 14 in terms of qualitative depth (prospects better than 40 FV) The overall worth of the 35 players is $149.5 million.
1. Zac Veen, 60 FV, RF (No. 20 in the Top 100) 2. Drew Romo, 50 FV (C) (85) 3. Benny Montgomery, CF, 45+ FV Benny Montgomery, CF, 45+ FV 4. Ryan Vilade, 45 FV, LF Brenton Doyle, 45 FV, CF Elehuris Montero, 3B, 45 FV, 6th place 7. SS Ezequiel Tovar (45 FV) LF, 45 FV Yanquiel Fernandez 9. Adael Amador, 45 FV, SS Bernabel, Warming, 3B, 40+ FV Michael Toglia (1B, 40+ FV) is ranked 11th. 12. Jordy Vargas, 45 FV, RHP 13. Chris McMahon, RHP, 40+ FV Chris McMahon, RHP, 40+ FV 14. Dyan Jorge, 40+ FV, SS 15. Sam Weatherly, 40+ FV, LHP
Helcris Olivarez/LHP, Ryan Feltner/RHP, Noah Davis/RHP, McCade Brown/RHP, Hunter Goodman/C, Karl Kauffman/RHP, Joe Rock/LHP, 40 FV (11): Jaden Hill/RHP, Ryan Rolison/LHP, Colton Welker/3B, Juan Brito/2B, Helcris Olivarez/LHP, Ryan Feltner/RHP, Noah Davis/R
Mateo GIl/SS, 35+ FV (9) RHP Blair Calvo, LF Juan Guerrero, 1B Grant Lavigne Ronaiker Palma/C, Ronaiker Palma/C, Ronaiker Palma/C RHP Will Ethridge, RHP Bryan Perez, C Willi MacIver, RHP Gavin Hollowell
Montero’s Impact in 2022
Tovar (above 40 FV Breakout Pick)
Brown is a 40 FV or less breakthrough choice.
Prospects ranked outside of the top 100
Montgomery was a national scout as a prep center fielder for a long time, known for his outstanding bat speed and foot speed, as well as his unique hand action at the plate. During his draft spring, he grew in size and strength, propelling him to the No. 8 overall selection. What will be watched in spring is how well his swing performs against advanced stuff and how well he displays in-game pull power. In professional baseball, Vilade has gradually drifted down the defensive spectrum to a left field/first base fit, but he’s always been able to bat and possesses above-average raw power. His in-game power is average, putting him in a position where he doesn’t provide much speed, defense, or over-the-fence power, and he’s right-handed, which is why he’s seen as a decent role player.
Doyle was a late-round pick out of a Division II college who had never seen pro-level pitching but has major-league talents; the Rockies selected him in the fourth round, just where a lot of other clubs hoped to get him. He made a strong post-draft debut in 2019, then followed it up in 2021 with a decent season that revealed his floor and potential. Doyle is the sort of center fielder with a poor contact rate and a lot of raw power that we’ve seen before, from Drew Stubbs to Mike Cameron. Doyle will be 24 in May and will likely spend the most of the season at Double-A, revealing whether he is a low-end starter or a role player. Toglia had a hit-or-miss draft year, but the Rockies trusted in him and took him 23rd overall out of UCLA in 2019. He’s a 6-foot-5 switch-hitter with patience and power who doesn’t have a genuine plus on the card (maybe his left-handed raw power), but he’s good at everything, so he’s a platoon/bench or low-end starting option.
Tovar is a strong defender at shortstop with at least excellent bat control, and these two attributes helped him reach high-A last year as a youngster. Beyond that, he doesn’t have many raw skills, and his pitch selection is below average, as seen by his poor walk rates, but his bat-to-ball ability means he’ll have little issue making contact at the lower levels. He also hit 15 home runs, but I believe that number will decline as he progresses due to his pitch selection issues. Tovar is an almost-certain big leaguer, even if he ends up as a bench player who bounces about, but the concerns that will determine if he can be an every-day player are whether he can improve his pitch selection and maintain league-average in-game power.
Amador has a similar profile, as an above-average runner and fielder at shortstop who can also make contact. Amador has a stronger pitch selection, but he lacks the explosiveness and power potential of his teammates. Jorge received a $2.8 million bonus from the Rockies after waiting an additional signing period for budgets to reset. He has a bit more physical promise than Tovar and Amador, standing 6-foot-2 with plus speed and above-average bat speed, but he’s the same age as Amador and has no pro experience, so he’ll have to settle for second place for the time being.
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Montero’s name will be eternally linked to the ill-fated Nolan Arenado payroll dump, since he was the most valued piece of the deal that was sent back to Colorado. Montero also made a major leap forward in 2021, repeating Double-A and smoking it two years later, then continuing the act in Triple-A, paving the way for a big league debut in 2022. He boasts good raw power and above-average bat discipline, but his pitch selection is below-average, which may jeopardize both. Montero is a solid third baseman who, like many of the position players in this bracket, can play anywhere from platoon to low-end starter. Bernabel possesses a comparable skill set, with good bat control and shaky pitch selection, as well as a corner fit. Bernabel has a knack for lifting the ball in the game, but his raw power is below average. Because to the paucity of knowledge, Fernandez has the biggest variance of this corner group, similar to Jorge with the shortstops. Fernandez possesses great lefty raw power, which he demonstrated in the DSL, as well as a good contact rate. It seems to me to be more of a case of “I have more talent than my opponents” than “As an 18-year-old, I have power, know how to utilize it, but also have contact skills and solid pitch selection.” But, apart from the fact that he’s obviously a corner outfielder, we don’t have much terrible information.
Vargas has only thrown in the Dominican Summer League, but his fastball was sitting at 93-95 mph with considerable action. He also has enough feel and potential to throw an above-average curveball. It’s still early, but there are hints of progress. Since his high school underclass days, McMahon has been a little up and down. He throws a tailing sinker at 91-93 mph, but when he was at his finest in college at Miami, he was more like 93-95 mph (Fla.). His slider, changeup, and feel are all above-average at times, but he’s more of a No. 4 or No. 5 starter today than when he was drafted. Weatherly pitched in college and has a good four-pitch mix, but he’s always seemed to be more of a power lefty reliever. His 92-95 mph heater and slider are good, and if he can preserve his raw stuff, anything around 40-to-45 command should make him a major leaguer.
Others worth mentioning
Hill, like a number of other pitchers in the system, isn’t the most analytically sound, but he has the broad qualities evaluators want. He’s a large righty with a high-90s fastball (though not in bat-missing condition or with much deception at the present), an above-average slider, and a plus-plus changeup, but his command of those weapons wasn’t always there. In his draft spring, he blew up and required Tommy John surgery, which helped him fall from the mid-first to the second round. There’s a lot to work with here, but Hill is just 22 and hasn’t pitched in multiple innings in a long time. Rolison’s velocity is a few ticks lower than it was at Ole Miss, but he still has moxie, starting command, and a quality curveball, so he’ll be a solid big leaguer in some capacity. At Ohio State, Feltner exhibited an amazing arm, but he struggled with command; the Rockies reduced his arm swing, and that component helped. His raw stuff isn’t quite as good as it was in college, but he’s still a serviceable big league arm.
Brown showed a strong heater and hook at Indiana, but he had a shorter track record of success and command, so he’s more of a developing pitcher. There’s a little more time to see how it goes since he’s 6-foot-6 and a great athlete with a recent stuff increase from a cold-weather background, but the bullpen is the most probable consequence. Goodman, the next choice after Brown in the fourth round last summer, is a below-average receiver behind the plate who may need to go to first base, but he has easy plus raw power and excellent output. He’s most likely a right-handed bench/platoon catcher or third catcher/mostly first baseman, although even that is becoming more important with the universal DH. Gil (Benji’s son) was also acquired in the Arenado deal and is a competent shortstop with 15-18 home run potential and good game sense, but no plus tools.
Overall, No. 10 and No. 7 in terms of qualitative depth (prospects better than 40 FV) Total value of $247.5 million 48 players
Diego Cartaya, 55 FV, C (No. 26 in the Top 100) 2. RHP Ryan Pepiot, 50 FV (59) 3. Bobby Miller, 50 FV, RHP (61) 4. Andy Pages, 50 FV, RF (68) Michael Busch, 1B, 50 FV, is ranked fifth (87) Miguel Vargas, 6th baseman, 50 FV (111) 7. RHP Nick Nastrini, 45+ FV 8. RHP Landon Knack, 45+ FV Eddys Leonard, 2B, 45+ FV, No. 9 Wilman Diaz, SS, 45 FV, 10. Carlos Duran, RHP, 45 FV, is ranked 11th. 12. Jacob Amaya, 45 FV, SS Alex De Jesus, 3B, 45 FV, is number thirteen. Jose Ramos, CF, 45 FV, 14. Rayne Doncon, SS, 45 FV, 15. Jorbit Vivas, 2B, 40+ FV, 16. 17. RHP Andre Jackson (40+ FV)
Jesus Galiz/C, 40 FV (16), Michael Grove (RHP), Maddux Bruns (LHP), Hyun-il Choi (RHP), Emmet Sheehan (RHP), Clayton Beeter (RHP), Gavin Stone (RHP), James Outman (CF), Peter Heubeck (RHP), Nick Robertson (RHP), Jonny Deluca (CF), Luis Rodriguez (CF), Michael Grove (RHP), Maddux Bruns (LHP), Maddux Bruns (LHP), Maddux Bruns (L Yeiner Fernandez/C, Samuel Munoz/3B, Kody Hoese/3B, Kendall Williams/RHP
Carson Taylor, Brandon Lewis, Justin Bruihl, Jake Vogel, Ryan Ward, Carson Taylor, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lewis Tanner Dodson (RHP), Ryan Noda (1B), Devin Mann (2B), Edgardo Henriquez (RHP), James Yurchak (1B), Leonel Valera (SS), Tanner Dodson (RHP), Tanner Dodson (RHP), Tanner Dodson (RHP), Tanner Dodson (RHP), Tanner Dodson (RHP), Tanner Dodson (RHP), Tanner Jerming Rosario (RHP), Drew Avans (LF), Kyle Hurt (RHP), and Osvanni Gutierrez (RHP) are the starting pitchers.
Impact in 2022: Knack
Doncon is the Over 40 FV Breakout Pick.
Galiz (40 FV or less) is my breakthrough choice.
Prospects ranked outside of the top 100
Nastrini is the most bizarre narrative I’ve ever heard of a post-draft riser. After his rookie year at UCLA, when he showed first-round talent, he was on everyone’s 2021 draft boards. Nastrini developed the yips as a junior in 2021, walking 38 batters in 311/3 innings before abandoning the school and scouts had to go to a nearby collegiate summer league club to see him pitch before the draft. He was hitting 95-98 mph with a plus hook, but it was difficult to reconcile these two sides of himself. In the fourth round, the Dodgers selected him for a little overslot $500,000 bonus.
Nastrini pitched 14 pro innings after signing, largely at low-A, striking out 32 batters while walking just seven. Nastrini was the buzz of the Dodgers’ instructional league, sitting 95-97 with two breaking balls that were both 60-to-70-grade pitches, depending on who you questioned – but everyone agreed he was better than Bobby Miller in the same situation. Every year after the draft, a handful of players break out in the summer/fall, and I’m skeptical of rating too high based on such a tiny sample size, but I believe Nastrini is around 20 pro innings away from becoming a 50 FV for me. Everything else points to this man being a male, so we’d just have to agree to disregard those 311/3 innings in 2021 at UCLA.
Knack has his own intriguing background, having emerged as a nearly-23-year-old passed-over player at East Tennessee State during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. With an above-average fastball/breaking ball mix and above-average throwing feel, the scouting report from that first glance has held up. Despite the Dodgers’ tremendous pitching depth on the big league club and premium pitching prospects, he’ll spend the most of the year in Triple-A, and numerous team sources believe that Knack is the best of those who might step in for a spot start. Duran is a different kind of arm, a 6-foot-6 20-year-old with just two starts above low-A, but he’s another power arm with starting potential. Duran possesses a quality breaking ball that sits in the mid-90s, with a sinker and changeup thrown in for good measure. Jackson is a converted outfielder who has already played in the major leagues after undergoing Tommy John surgery. With the exception of his plus changeup, he’s a decent utility arm that can fill a variety of positions.
Leonard had a breakthrough year as a 20-year-old in 2021, hitting 22 home runs and batting 45 percent better than the league average while playing all over the infield and a little center field. Because he may be out of control at times and his arm is just decent, he probably fits best at second and in center as the best form of a super utility type. He’s a good runner with above-average raw power and has developed his raw talents into serviceable ones at the plate. In-season, he’ll be a 50 FV if he continues hitting like this. Amaya is a less interesting possibility, but she’s similar. He’s a more consistent shortstop who can stay there, and he’s put up lower statistics owing to unfortunate BABIP and probably just sporadic power.
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De Jesus is now playing largely shortstop, although he will eventually shift to third base. As a teenager at low-A with a power-and-patience skill set, he had a slow start to 2021, but recovered nicely with a timing tweak to his swing, putting up solid year-end numbers as a teenager with a power-and-patience skill set. Vivas is a 5-foot-10 second baseman with average-to-below-average talents, but he has the three most essential things going for him: he can hit, he has a nice approach, and he has enough power to make it all work. He also plays well and is young for his position, so he has trade value, even if he is a Tommy La Stella-type player.
Diaz was a top-tier talent in the international class of 2021, and he’s still on course to be what he was predicted to be at the time. While remaining at shortstop, the components are in place for above-average hit and power tools, but in-game power will come last and there is some hit-tool risk, as there is with any prospect who hasn’t yet played in a game in the United States. Despite a bonus approximately a fourth of Diaz’s, Doncon was the unappreciated discovery of the same signing class; he had a contract with the Dodgers before making a physical jump during the beginning of the epidemic and showing up looking like a seven-figure prospect in the DSL last summer. Doncon is now a shortstop, but when he grows, he may be able to transfer to another position, but Diaz is likely to stay there. Doncon’s tremendous growth was most noticeable in his bat speed and raw power, and it’s already showing in his professional stats.
Ramos was a low-cost international signing out of Panama when he was 17 years old, and he’s done nothing but produce in professional baseball. He has some of the finest exit velos in the low minors, and his power-and-patience skill set is already showing up in games, albeit at higher levels, he could struggle against superior offspeed things. He’s a versatile defensive tweener with a good arm who can play everywhere.
Others worth mentioning
This section of the list has three intriguing young catchers: Galiz, Fernandez, and Taylor. Galiz had a contract early in the 2021 international class as one of the top players, but it fell through, and the Dodgers swooped in. He had a decent DSL debut, making excellent contact and playing good defense, but he has to show more of his natural power in games, which the Dodgers can teach him. Fernandez is a member of the 2020 international class and possesses a similar profile to some of the Dodgers’ prior major league catchers: undersized, capable of hitting, decent power, and the makings of a good fielder. Taylor was a late-developing backstop at Virginia Tech who, if he had a complete spring, would have gone higher than the fourth round in the 2020 draft. After a great pro debut in high-A, he has a profile that favors offensive over defense.
Bruns had the finest raw talent (70-grade heater and hook, 60-grade slider) but the poorest command in the whole 2021 prep pitching class, while Heubeck had good average stuff but advanced feel/delivery/projection, demonstrating that there are no absolutes even with top tier teams. Sheehan, a sixth-round pick from Boston Collegiate, is another clearly nice bargain in the college pitching rankings. He pitched in the mid-90s in college and then sat 95-98 in shorter pro stints, putting up figures similar to Nastrini’s: 1523 innings, 34 strikeouts, and 8 walks.
Rodriguez was one of the best position players in the 2019 international class, which has so far been lackluster, and he has lost some of his shine. The epidemic took a toll on the 2019 class. Players were scheduled to make their pro debuts in a lost season in 2020, but when a fresh class arrived, several of the 2019 signees were 18 years old and were forced to make their US pro debuts with no official games under their belts in 2021. Rodriguez grew in size and strength, but his swing grew in size as well, and his rhythm was off. He now has easy plus raw power, but he’s also a tweener fit defensively. Munoz was the big-ticket addition in the most recent signing class, and he’s an advanced lefty hitter with power potential who might long-term suit in either of the corner positions.
Overall, No. 14 and No. 22 in terms of qualitative depth (prospects better than 40 FV) The entire value is $207 million. There are 35 players in total.
1. C.J. Abrams, 60 FV, SS (No. 4 in the Top 100) 2. CF, 55 FV (31) Robert Hassell III 3. Luis Campusano, 50 FV (67)) Luis Campusano, C, 50 FV (67)) Luis Campusano, C, 50 F 4. MacKenzie Gore, 50 FV, LHP (80) 5. James Wood, 45 FV, CF 6. SS Jackson Merrill (45 FV) Euribiel Angeles, 45 FV, SS 8. Victor Acosta, SS, 40+ FV Victor Acosta, SS, 40+ FV Josh Mears, LF, 40+ FV, No. 9 10. Robert Gasser, LHP, 40+ FV Robert Gasser, LHP, 40+ FV 11. Samuel Zavala, CF, 40+ FV Samuel Zavala, CF, 40+ FV
Jarlin Susana/RHP, Kevin Kopps/RHP, Victor Lizarraga/RHP, Eguy Rosario/2B, Reiss Knehr/RHP, Brandon Valenzuela/C, Matt Waldron/RHP, Ethan Elliott/LHP, Adrian Martinez/RHP, Steven Wilson/RHP, Yendry Rojas/SS, Max Ferguson/2B, 40 FV (12): Jarlin Susana/RHP, Kevin Kopps
Nerwillian Cedeno/2B, Ray Kerr/LHP, Tirso Ornelas/LF, Corey Rosier/CF, Nerwillian Cedeno/2B, Ray Kerr/LHP, Tirso Ornelas/LF, Corey Rosier/CF, Nerwillian Cedeno/2B, Ray Kerr/LHP, Ray Kerr/ River Ryan (RHP), Noel Vela (LHP), Jairo Iriarte (RHP), Daniel Montesino (LF), Jackson Wolf (LHP), Ryan Bergert (RHP), Brayan Medina (RHP).
Gore’s Impact in 2022
Wood is the Over 40 FV Breakout Pick.
Susana (40 FV or less) is my breakthrough choice.
Prospects ranked outside of the top 100
On the showcase tour two summers ago, Wood had a Kyle Tucker-like appearance, with above-average bat control and raw power from a 6-foot-7 frame, no batting gloves, and several tape measure home runs. He also possesses significantly above-average speed and is currently performing well in center field. His spring at IMG Academy was hit-or-miss, so attention shifted from the middle of the first round to the second round to the third round at draft time, with worries regarding his signability. The Padres selected him 62nd overall, but paid him $2.6 million, which is comparable to late-20th-round choices. Wood had a strong pro start, but in those 26 tough league games, he struck out 32 percent of the time. Merrill was a late-20s Padres draft selection who signed for $1.8 million; Merrill drew a lot of attention before the Padres took Wood with the following round. Many teams didn’t have enough experience with wood bats at full-sized fields against D1-level pitching to feel confident in a first-round eval, even though his tools belonged there. I didn’t know Merrill’s name until about March 2021, so many teams didn’t have enough experience with wood bats at full-sized fields against D1-level pitching to feel confident in a first-round eval, even though his tools belonged there. If everything comes together, the lefty-swinging shortstop has Stephen Drew vibes, and he should join Wood in low-A this year.
Acosta has a little more prospect excitement and potential than Angeles, but at this moment, I prefer Angeles. Angeles is incredibly polished both on and off the field, and he has more skills than tools at this moment. He can really hit and play all of the infield positions, and he has good power for his age (19) and height (5-foot-11, 175 pounds). He could be a Marwin Gonzalez-type high-end utility player, but that’s still a lot of value. Acosta is a better shortstop than Zavala and is a strong runner with more visible talents, which is why he signed for $1.8 million in the class. Acosta isn’t nearly as polished, but he’s just 17 years old, so there’s still time.
Mears has amazing raw power, a 70 or 80, and will sometimes offer you above-average run times. That’s a great start, but the contact rates need to increase before such tools can be used at higher levels. After signing for $1.2 million from Venezuela last summer, Zavala stood out in the DSL as a 17-year-old. He’ll almost certainly finish up as an outfield tweener, despite his current status as a solid-average runner and excellent fielder in center. The hit/approach/power combination is his differentiator, as seen by a strong performance in the DSL; keep a watch on him for a huge US breakthrough in 2022.
After the reduced pandemic draft, Gasser was one of several 22-year-old college pitchers in contention for the first five selections. His low-90s heater, which can reach 95 mph, has a whiff-friendly fastball form, and his good slider is the carrying attribute. He has a lot of feel and command, as well as a good changeup, so he’ll be able to cut through A-Ball swiftly.
Others worth mentioning
Susana could have signed in the previous international class, but he waited a year to collect $1.7 million from the Padres in January when his velocity surged late in the process and most of the bonus money was gone. He’s 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, and he’ll be 18 this week. His best current talent is arm speed, which he can sit 95-97 and reach 99 mph with. He can throw for strikes with two power breaking balls and a low-90s changeup, but as you would expect, he has command and finesse difficulties that make him a relief risk.
Last year, if you watched any college baseball, you were undoubtedly familiar with Arkansas bullpen pitcher Kevin Kopps. Kopps won the top amateur league in the world as a 24-year-old (now 25), being the 99th overall choice and signing for a below-slot bonus after dominating (131 strikeouts, 0.90 ERA in 892/3 innings, including only one start). He was a late bloomer in part because to Tommy John surgery in 2018, but also because of the peculiar method he pitches: roughly 2/3 of the time he throws a mid-80s cutter/slider. Personnel with the Padres believe he’ll be in the majors by 2022.
Matt Waldron is the third distinctive taste in this collection. He was a very conventional reliever in Double-A last year, pitching around 90-94 mph, but he busted out a knuckleball about this time last year and gradually added it to his repertoire. The Padres want him to slow down from 80 mph to the mid-70s and throw it around 75% of the time, since the reduced strain on his arm will enable him to pitch more often than most relievers. In 2022, he has a good chance of getting a major league look, particularly if the Padres need some more length.
Rojas (Cuban SS signed for $1.3 million, well-rounded skill set), Ferguson (slight 2B had up-and-down draft year but has bulked up, is a strong runner) and Rosier (slight 2B had up-and-down draft year but has bulked up, is a plus runner) are three additional position players worth noting (2021 12th-rounder out of UNC Greensboro had a loud pro debut, was traded over from Seattle). The Padres selected two pitchers from West Virginia in the 2021 draft: 6-foot-7 Jackson Wolf, who throws a sinker/slider combination out of the low slot, and Ryan Bergert, a strong underclass power arm who missed the spring due to Tommy John surgery.
Overall, No. 11 and No. 14 in terms of qualitative depth (prospects better than 40 FV) Total value: $230.5 million There are 39 participants in this game.
Marco Luciano, 3B, 55 FV, 1st place (No. 30 in the Top 100) 2. Luis Matos, 55 FV, CF (42) Kyle Harrison (LHP, 55 FV) is ranked third (50) Joey Bart, C, 50 FV; Joey Bart, C, 50 FV; Joey Bart, C (72) Patrick Bailey, C, 50 FV, 5th place (103) 6. Heliot Ramos, 50 FV, RF (107) Hunter Bishop, 45 FV, CF 8. Will Bednar, 45 FV, RHP 9. Gregory Santos, 45 FV, RHP Luis Toribio, 3B, 45 FV, 10. Jairo Pomares, CF, 45 FV, is ranked 11th. Casey Schmitt, 3B, 45 FV, No. 12 Aeverson Arteaga, 40+ FV, SS R.J. Dabovich, RHP, 40+ FV, 14th 15. LHP Nick Swiney, 40+ FV
Matt Mikulski (LHP), Ryan Murphy (RHP), Manuel Mercedes (RHP), Will Wilson (2B), Matt Mikulski (LHP), Ryan Murphy (RHP), Ryan Murphy (RHP), Ryan Murphy (RHP), Ryan Murphy (RHP), Ryan Murphy (RHP), Ryan Murphy (RHP), Tristan Beck (RHP), Carson Ragsdale (RHP), Adrian Sugastey (C), Tristan Beck (RHP), Carson Ragsdale (RHP), Carson Ragsdale (RHP), Carson Ragsdale (RHP Randy Rodriguez, Sam Delaplane, Kai-Wei Teng, Sean Hjelle, Jimmy Glowenke (2B), Randy Rodriguez, Sam Delaplane, Sam Delaplane, Sam Delaplane, Sam Delaplane, Sam Delaplane, Sam Delaplane, Sam Delaplane, Sam Delaplane, Sam Delaplane, Sam Dela Ricardo Genoves/C, Eric Silva/RHP, Trevor McDonald/RHP
Seth Corry (LHP), Ryan Reckley (SS), Kervin Castro (RHP), Blake Rivera (RHP), Tyler Fitzgerald (SS), Brett Auerbach (C), Mason Black (RHP), Cole Waites (RHP), Michael Plassmeyer (LHP). 35+ FV (9): Seth Corry (LHP), Ryan Reckley (SS), Kervin Castro (RHP), Blake Rivera (RHP), Tyler Fitzgerald (SS), Brett Auerbach (C),
Impact in 2022: Bart
Schmitt is the Over 40 FV Breakout Pick.
Murphy is a 40 FV or less breakthrough choice.
Prospects ranked outside of the top 100
Bishop still has the skills that sent him to the No. 10 overall selection in 2019, but he also faces the same contact concerns as before, as well as fresh concerns regarding reps and durability. The final two concerns are due to a shoulder injury and the pandemic year, while the contact troubles are because to his lack of bat control. He’s rated so high because he has plus-plus bat speed and raw power, as well as excellent foot speed and enough feel to play center field. Pomares’ contact ability has been questioned, but his pitch selection has been exposed with a 33 strikeout to 1 walk ratio in a late-season promotion to high-A. He hit well in low-A as a 20-year-old before that, and he possesses an above-average power/speed combination, but it comes with a lot of risk.
Toribio is a right-handed third baseman with limited range, so if he continues on this path, he will be forced to play first base full-time. That puts him in a corner profile-wise (and wastes his above-average arm), but he can hit, has a nice approach, and has plus raw power, so I see a big leaguer in him, even if it’s only a platoon righty bat. Schmitt was a standout reliever and third baseman at San Diego State, but the Giants have just recently acquired him as a position player. He’s a solid fielder with an above-average bat and enough raw power to play every day.
Schmitt hasn’t played above low-A since he was 23, but the pieces are in place for a breakthrough. Arteaga, a lanky, defense-first shortstop from Venezuela, was signed for $1.2 million as a familiar type. He’s already exceeded early expectations, hitting nine home runs in 56 complex league games and displaying a power/speed/patience combination that often arrives later, if at all, for players of this caliber.
The Savannah Bananas are rewriting baseball’s rules.
Alden Gonzalez is a character in the film Alden Gonzalez
In 2021, Bednar made a huge stride forward by joining the Mississippi State rotation and pitching as the ace in the team’s College World Series championship run. With a fastball and curveball that can both play above average at times, his excellent slider is the difference-maker here. Although Bednar has adequate command to project as a No. 3 or No. 4 starter, he is physically exhausted and his delivery is average, so his pitchability will have to come through. At the other spot, Santos made a major stride forward, running his heater above 100 mph and flashing at least a plus slider. His command and general pitchability are both below average, but adequate, and he could be a late-inning weapon with a few tweaks.
Dabovich was a strong starting prospect with solid average stuff at Arizona State, then switched to the bullpen and was up to 100 mph with bat-missing lift. His curveball played near to good with the additional arm speed, but it all came down to relieving command. This trip is important because Dabovich is one of the rare prospects who has shown both a back-end rotation and a late-inning version of himself. He’ll most likely stick to relief, and his 45-grade command will keep him in the late innings. Swiney is the quintessential quirky, clever left with above-average offspeed stuff, fringy velocity, and command.
Others worth mentioning
I’ll concentrate on some arms in the lowest two categories since the Giants have perhaps the greatest, if not the best, pitching development system in baseball right now, especially at the major league level. Mikulski was a second-round choice last summer, one of several improved 22-year-old collegiate pitchers who were overlooked because to the pandemic-shortened draft. With a wild performance at Fordham, an above-average slider, and a solid changeup, his velo jumped from the low-90s to the mid-90s and topped 100 mph. What he does is appropriate for a multi-inning relief job. Murphy, on the other hand, has a fringy fastball and largely decent off-speed pitching, but he has excellent command. Continuing the whiplash, Mercedes is an upside teenager with a wide range of possible outcomes, but he’s currently pitching in the mid-90s with a three-pitch mix that’s at least solid average when it’s right, but I’ll guess he splits the difference and fits in the multi-utility relief role like Mikulski projects.
Ragsdale is 6-foot-8 and throws a 92-94 mph fastball with a strong curveball and good feel for throwing. Delaplane was grabbed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners while rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery. He will be 27 years old shortly and has only pitched two innings above Double-A, but he has insane raw stuff. He’s 92-94, but he has outstanding bat-missing traits and a one-of-a-kind, plus slider that’s a little perplexing to analyze, but it’s worked everywhere so far. Teng has above-average stuff across the board and above-average command, a sort of pitcher that advanced pitching teams have shown they can eke out one more strong attribute and turn into a decent major leaguer. Silva is on the tiny side, but he has the physical ability, arm speed, and feel for snapping off two different types of breaking balls that you want to see if you’re going to gamble on a non-standard kind. McDonald is another over-the-slot prep righty with outstanding breaking ball feel and enough other attributes to see him as a back-end starter. Waites will not be a starter, but he is a late bloomer with a 55- or 60-grade slider who can reach speeds of 100 mph.
- national league east
- mlb standings 2020
- dh in national league 2021