2022 Arizona Complex League Top 10 Prospects
A later draft date and Aug. 1 signing deadline this year left precious little time for 2022 draft picks to establish themselves before the Rookie complex league seasons concluded on Aug. 23.
In fact, not a single 2022 draft pick met our qualifying thresholds of 50 plate appearances or 15 innings for our Arizona Complex League prospect ranking. And just two prep first-rounders played in the ACL: Mariners shortstop Cole Young and Reds third baseman Sal Stewart.
The promising young Latin American talent more than made up for the lack of draft picks. It was a strong year for ACL talent overall, headlined by a talented Guardians shortstop and a flame-throwing Padres pitching prospect who went on to become a key part of one of the biggest blockbuster trades of all time.
1. Angel Genao, SS, Guardians
Genao is the latest in Cleveland’s line of talented middle infield prospects. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2021, he impressed evaluators with both his offense and defense in the ACL. The switch-hitter shows sneaky power—especially from the right side—thanks to excellent barrel control and loft in his swing. In the field, he has quick feet, smooth actions and a plus arm that will allow him to stick at shortstop.
2. Jarlin Susana, RHP, Padres
The Padres signed the 6-foot-6, 235-pound Susana in January, a couple months shy of his 18th birthday, and skipped him past the Dominican Summer League to make his pro debut in Arizona. He stood out immediately in the ACL and was one of five prospects San Diego sent to the Nationals for Juan Soto and Josh Bell at the trade deadline. Susana’s fastball routinely sits in the upper 90s and often touches as high as 102 mph. He pairs it with a devastating slider and a solid changeup.
3. Rayne Doncon, 2B/SS, Dodgers
Doncon started slowly, hitting .228 with a .666 OPS through 30 games, before coming on strong down the stretch. He posted a 1.101 OPS in August, when he struck nine of his ACL-best 26 extra-base hits. Doncon struggled against spin early before refining his pitch selection, while his outstanding barrel accuracy allowed his talent to shine. He has a wiry body that should thicken as he matures, making a move to the corner outfield probable.
4. Gabriel Gonzalez, OF, Mariners
Gonzalez entered the season as one of the top Rookie-ball talents, and he performed like it in the ACL before a promotion to Low-A on Aug. 2. Gonzalez’s strong knowledge of the strike zone—including a 15% strikeout rate—allowed his offensive gifts to shine. He has the look of a classic corner outfielder who supplies an average hit tool with plus power.
5. Moises Ballesteros, C, Cubs
Ballesteros laid waste to the ACL, prompting the Cubs to boost him to Low-A Myrtle Beach on Aug. 2. He’s an extremely powerful hitter with a loose, easy swing that allows him to flick long drives to all sectors of the ballpark. His 5-foot-10 frame is extremely thick already, so he’ll have to stay on top of his conditioning, but the Cubs are excited about his potential.
2022 Futures Game: Five Names To Watch For Next Year
With the 2022 version complete, we turn our focus to youngsters who could pop in Futures Games in the coming years.
6. Gleider Figuereo, 3B, Rangers
The Rangers boasted one of the best squads in the ACL, and Figuereo was one of the team’s top talents. He started making noise in minor league spring training and didn’t stop until the close of the season. Excellent barrel control and swing decisions helped him hit .280/.363/.616 and put the 18-year-old among the league’s leaders in a host of offensive categories, including a tie for second place with nine home runs. Figuereo has work to do defensively, but he’s athletic and has adequate actions for third base if he improves his accuracy.
7. Jordy Vargas, RHP, Rockies
Vargas was one of the breakout arms in the ACL this season. His money pitches are a low-90s fastball that tops out around 95 mph with late life as well as a nasty, downer breaking ball. He whiffed 40 and walked just four in the ACL before a late promotion to Low-A Fresno. Vargas’ next step will be refining a changeup that is in its early stages.
8. Yeison Morrobel, OF, Rangers
Morrobel hit .329/.405/.487 in 41 games and was a key part of the Rangers’ ACL-best offense. He could stick in center field but is more likely to move to a corner as he matures. That maturity should add strength as well, which will amplify both his raw and game power. If his swing decisions remain sound, he has the potential hit for impact.
9. Cristian Hernandez, SS, Cubs
Easily the most famous player in the ACL on Opening Day, Hernandez spent the season showing flashes of the talent that made him a preseason Top 100 Prospect. He’s got big-time bat speed and power but needs to refine his plate discipline to access those tools more often. Hernandez is a solid defender at shortstop, with upside as high as just about anybody who came through Arizona this summer.
10. Anthony Gutierrez, OF, Rangers
The Rangers are extremely high on Gutierrez, and they showed it by promoting the 17-year-old out of the Dominican Summer League to the ACL in his first pro season. He has the tools and projection to be a potential all-star, including bat-to-ball skills, power and the speed and reactions to stick in center field. Gutierrez did an exceptional job making contact on pitches in the zone, and his numbers should look even better if he improves his chase rate.