The 2023 Prospect Handbook is at the printer. All 30 team Top 10s are published. Pitchers and catchers are less than a month away from reporting to spring training.
All of that can only mean one thing: It’s time for the grand finale, the 2023 Top 100 Prospects.
This year’s list is headed by Orioles infielder Gunnar Henderson, the reigning Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year who showed hints of his ability in Baltimore during the final stretch of the regular season.
Henderson joined budding star catcher Adley Rutschman—the Orioles’ first- and second-round picks from the 2019 draft—as potential cornerstones on a Baltimore roster that looks poised to reach October for the first time since 2016.
He’s not the only baby bird ready to hatch. Righthander Grayson Rodriguez ranks No. 6 overall and places behind only Phillies righty Andrew Painter among the game’s top pitching prospects.
Jackson Holliday, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 draft, rounds out Baltimore’s trio of Top 15 prospects. As an amateur and in a brief sample as a pro, Holliday drew effusive praise from scouts and executives around the game.
Henderson is followed at the top by D-backs outfielder Corbin Carroll, who responded well to an aggressive assignment in 2022 by bashing his way from Double-A to the big leagues.
Carroll, Arizona’s first-rounder from 2019, has an enticing blend of hittability, power, speed and defense that could make him a fixture at the top of Arizona’s lineup and the lynchpin in the team’s efforts to rise in a powerful NL West.
Henderson and Carroll open the year atop the list but likely won’t be there long. Both should graduate within the first few weeks of the regular season. If that happens, they’ll give way to Brewers outfielder Jackson Chourio, the breakout star of the 2022 minor league season.
At just 18 years old, Chourio showed enough skills and tools to jump over the Arizona Complex League and into full-season ball in early May. He opened his time in Low-A with a bang and never stopped hitting in a year that saw him finish in Double-A. He has as much upside as any player on this list.
Painter, the top-ranked pitcher on the list, blazed a similarly scorching trail as Chourio. He overpowered the completion at three stops with a tantalizing blend of stuff, poise and command. In doing so, he joined Chad Billingsley, Forrest Whitley, Zack Greinke,Dylan Bundy and Clayton Kershaw as the only prep pitchers since 2006 to reach Double-A in their first season after the draft year.
Painter just edged Rodriguez and Marlins righthander Eury Perezfor the nod as the game's top pitching prospect. Perez followed his breakout 2021 season with a similarly special 2022 when he spent most of the year bullying hitters throughout the Southern League.
As always, this list is a mix of our staff members’ opinions and the input from talent evaluators around the game. J.J. Cooper, Matt Eddy, Geoff Pontes, Kyle Glaser, Josh Norris and Carlos Collazo each submitted personal Top 150 rankings, which were then tabulated into one composite list for feedback from scouts and executives.
After heeding their opinions, adjustments were made. The results are what you see before you.
We hope you enjoy.
Correction: Due to an error in the editing process, Owen White and Josh Jung were incorrectly placed in the initial publication of the BA Top 100 Prospects. They have since been placed in their proper spots.
See Full List Expand Collapse All Updated on: 1/18/2023
Tools: Hit: 60 | Power: 70 | Run: 60 | Field: 60 | Arm: 70
Skinny: A well-rounded player with few weaknesses, Henderson has the speed, strength and athleticism to impact the game in multiple ways and is ready for a starring role in Baltimore after making his major league debut last year.
Tools: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 80 | Field: 60 | Arm: 45
Skinny: The undersized but speedy Carroll tore through the upper levels of the minors last season in his first year back from shoulder surgery. His advanced contact skills, elite speed and sneaky power should make him a dynamic threat atop the D-backs lineup.
Tools: Hit: 60 | Power: 70 | Run: 70 | Field: 55 | Arm: 50
Skinny: The biggest breakout prospect of 2022, Chourio boasts some of the loudest tools in the minors with prodigious power, speed and athleticism to go with advanced hitting ability and instincts. He's on the fast track after reaching Double-A as an 18-year-old and has a chance to be the face of the Brewers franchise.
Tools: Hit: 50 | Power: 70 | Run: 55 | Field: 50 | Arm: 60
Skinny: The physically imposing Walker continues to hit for power and average at every level and is one of the most complete hitters in the minors. He'll eventually take his place in the middle of the Cardinals order and has a chance to be one of the game's premier offensive threats.
Tools: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 70.
Skinny: Painter's mix of explosive stuff, exquisite command, advanced durability and impressive poise gives him a chance to be a rare ace in the major leagues. He's still only 19 and has to stay healthy, but his potential is unmatched amongst the game's current pitching prospects.
Tools: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 70 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 65
Skinny: Rodriguez missed three months with a lat strain last season but dominated at Triple-A when he was healthy. His uncommon combination of size, stuff and command give him a chance to pitch at the front of the Orioles rotation in the near future.
Tools: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 60 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 65
Skinny: The 6-foot-8 Dominican looks like the Marlins next great pitcher after reaching Double-A as a 19-year-old last season. With an upper-90s fastball, a dominant changeup, two quality breaking balls and rare control for a pitcher his size, Perez has a chance to eventually join Sandy Alcantara at the front of Miami's rotation.
Elly De La Cruz
Tools: Hit: 40 | Power: 70 | Run: 70 | Field: 55 | Arm: 70
Skinny: Few players can match De La Cruz's explosiveness or the excitement he generates. His combination of power, speed and size gives him superstar potential, but he has to improve his approach and cut down on his strikeouts.
Tools: Hit: 50 | Power: 70 | Speed: 30 | Fielding: 45 | Arm: 50.
Skinny: The hulking catcher has some of the best power of any prospect and made his major league debut as a 20-year-old last season. His power and patience help him project to be an offensive force even if his size and bulk eventually forces him to move out from behind the plate.
Red Sox SS
Tools: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Field: 60 | Arm: 60
Skinny: The silky smooth shortstop showed better-than-expected power in his debut while maintaining his advanced contact skills and graceful defense. He remains far away but projects to be the Red Sox's next great homegrown infielder.
Tools: Hit: 55 | Power: 65 | Run: 55 | Field: 50 | Arm: 55
Skinny: Wood showed tremendous power, rare athleticism for his size and a surprisingly strong feel for hitting in his pro debut, leading the Nationals to acquire him as the top prospect for Juan Soto. He's many years away, but his potential is enormous.
Tools: Hit: 70 | Power: 45 | Run: 40 | Field: 60 | Arm: 60.
Skinny: Moreno continued to hit, hit and hit some more as he rose from Triple-A to the majors last year. Although he faces questions about his power following a wrist injury, his knack for contact and advanced defense behind the plate give him a chance to be one of baseball's top catchers regardless.
Tools: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Field: 55 | Arm: 60
Skinny: Lawlar stormed up to Double-A as a teenager in his pro debut and showed the ability to hit for average, hit for power and steal bases at will against older competition. He has to shore up his defense at shortstop, but he projects to be a dynamic offensive player regardless.
Tools: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 55 | Field: 50 | Arm: 45
Skinny: Volpe came back down to Earth a bit in 2022, but he still rose to Triple-A as a 21-year-old while showing solid offensive ability and an advanced feel for the game. His Bronx debut should come in 2023.
Tools: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Field: 60 | Arm: 60
Skinny: The top pick in the 2022 draft put together a sensational spring and didn't slow down in pro ball, showing advanced plate discipline and all-around skills on both sides of the ball. The son of former all-star Matt Holliday is still growing physically and has a chance to blossom into an all-star one day himself.
Tools: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 45 | Cutter: 50 | Splitter: 70 | Control: 50
Skinny: The Japanese import overwhelmed some of MLB's best hitters when he faced them in the World Baseball Classic and is now set to make his long-awaited U.S. debut. With an upper-90s fastball and devastating splitter, he has the stuff to make an impact immediately in the Mets rotation.
Tools: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Field: 70 | Arm: 60
Skinny: A defensive wizard at shortstop, Tovar raced from Double-A to the majors on the strength of his offensive gains and now projects to be the Rockies shortstop of the future. His Gold Glove-caliber defense, growing strength and knack for conact despite an aggressive approach give him a chance to be the Rockies next homegrown standout.
Tools: Hit: 50 | Power: 70 | Run: 30 | Field: 45 | Arm: 60
Skinny: Cartaya boasts some of the biggest power in the minors and has the swing to consistently get to it against upper-level pitching. He has to shore up his defense and stay healthy, but he nonethelss has the bat to be an offensive force.
Tools: Fastball: 80 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 70 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55
Skinny: Espino's fastball and slider are devastating pitches that overwhelmed hitters at every level and have allowed him to dominate when he's been on the mound. He has never pitched 100 innings in a season and missed most of last year with a knee injury, so staying healthy and showing he can pitch deep into starts will be key moving forward.
Tools: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50
Skinny: The high-octane righthander flew up to Double-A in his pro debut last year while showing some of the best pure stuff in the minors. With an upper-90s fastball, two dominant breaking balls and improving control, Williams has every chance to be a dominant workhorse in the rotation.
Tools: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 70 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 50
Skinny: Armed with some of the best stuff in baseball, Miller features a fastball that sits high 90s with a deep arsenal of plus or better pitches in his fastball, slider and changeup. With Triple-A experience in 2022, Miller is poised to make his big league debut in 2023.
Tools: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 50 | Field: 55 | Arm: 55
Skinny: The Padres top prospect has seen limited action over his first two professional seasons due to injury, but when Merrill is healthy few hitters possess his upside at the plate. A strong combination of bat-to-ball skills, approach and projectable power give Merrill the look of an offensive standout.
Tools: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 45 | Field: 50 | Arm: 55
Skinny: A breakout season from Rodriguez in 2022 saw the catcher climb three levels of the minors, reaching Triple-A by year's end. Rodriguez was the best hitter in the minor leagues in the second half of 2022. From July 1 on he led all qualified MiLB hitters in average (.377), slugging (.723), OPS (1.181) and extra-base hits (43).
Tools: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 70 | Field: 70 | Arm: 60
Skinny: The son of former Braves legend Andruw Jones, Druw is a slick-fielding outfielder like his father with projectable power in his bat. The second overall pick in the 2022 draft sustained a shoulder injury after signing, tearing his left labrum during his first batting practice as a professional. He should make his professional debut in 2023.
Tools: Hit: 60 | Power: 45 | Run: 60 | Field: 80 | Arm: 55
Skinny: After missing most of 2021 with injury, Crow-Armstrong returned in 2022 and impressed in his first action in the Cubs organization. Acquired from the Mets at the 2021 trade deadline, Crow-Armstrong is an elite defensive center fielder with plus hitting ability and speed. The Cubs top prospect has true five-tool upside at peak.