2022 Florida Complex League Top 10 Prospects
The Florida Complex League was a bit lighter in talent than its Arizona counterpart this year. Even so, the Rookie league featured a few potential future stars.
The most notable was Red Sox outfielder Miguel Bleis, who drew raves for his blend of five potentially plus tools. Pirates two-way talent Bubba Chandler showed power stuff on the mound and a powerful bat in the box before moving to Low-A.
The playing time thresholds to qualify for the FCL ranking were 50 plate appearances or 15 innings. By those parameters, only one 2022 draft pick qualified for the list: Nationals first-round outfielder Elijah Green, who played to his amateur report by showing outstanding tools that will need to be polished into skills.
1. Miguel Bleis, OF, Red Sox
Bleis signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2021 and spent his first U.S. season dominating the competition until a late back injury shut him down on Aug. 11. Bleis shows solid bat-to-ball skills and plenty of impact on contact, including a league-best 23 extra-base hits. He’ll have to refine his approach against breaking pitches, but his offensive gifts are clear. Bleis plays an effortless center field and is a sure bet to stick there thanks to plus speed, outstanding range and an arm that grades at least above-average.
2. Bubba Chandler, RHP, Pirates
The 2021 third-rounder is a two-way player, but most of Chandler’s impact came on the mound, where his athleticism and stuff helped him dominate. His fastball parks reliably in the mid 90s and touches a few ticks hotter. His potentially plus breaking ball gives him a swing-and-miss secondary. He is continuing to work on a changeup and has sprinkled in cutters, curveballs and sinkers. Chandler hit for power in the FCL but his production dried up at Low-A. He did not play an inning in the field, and his long-term future appears to be on the mound.
3. Luis Serna, RHP, Yankees
Serna turned heads in the Dominican Summer League last year before opening eyes in the FCL. The 18-year-old finished the year with a league-leading 56 strikeouts against 17 walks in 41.1 innings. Two things about Serna stand out: His advanced pitchability, and a nasty changeup that has already earned the “airbender” tag. He throws a low-90s fastball that touches 94 mph and a pair of breaking pitches. His stuff should jump forward if he adds weight to his 5-foot-11 frame.
4. Elijah Green, OF, Nationals
Drafted fifth overall in July, Green showed an explosive skill set in the FCL. His big-time power allowed six of his 13 hits to go for extra bases, including two home runs. He also turned in run times of 4.1 seconds or better and played center field well enough to potentially stick there. Green hit .302/.404/.535, albeit with a 40% strikeout rate. If he can hone his approach, then he has a good chance of reaching his sky-high ceiling.
5. Yiddi Cappe, SS/3B, Marlins
Cappe signed with the Marlins out of Cuba in 2021, and the 19-year-old showed well in his first U.S. action this season. His six home runs tied for the FCL lead, which is impressive considering he played just 30 games before moving to Low-A. Evaluators were excited by Cappe’s raw power and the potential of more to come as he gets stronger, though there were concerns about his pull-heavy approach.
6. Samuel Basallo, C/1B, Orioles
After years of ignoring marquee international free agents, the Orioles’ renewed commitment to Latin America is beginning to bear fruit. Basallo has a strong, 6-foot-3 body, so sticking behind the plate might be a challenge. But he shows enough flexibility to give himself a fighting chance, and his plus arm strength should allow him to control the running game. Basallo shows feel to hit and does damage when he makes contact, as shown by his six home runs, which tied for the FCL lead.
Nationals' Elijah Green Earns High Praise
The 2022 first-rounder has already impressed members of the organization during minor league camp.
7. Junior Caminero, 3B/SS, Rays
The Rays acquired Caminero from the Guardians last offseason for righthander Tobias Myers. The current thickness of Caminero’s body makes it unlikely he’ll play shortstop, but his bat-to-ball skills, bat speed and impact would help him if he has to move to either infield corner. His arm strength is near average, which could help him land at third base. He has average hands and fringe-average speed.
8. Luis Perales, RHP, Red Sox
Perales signed in 2019 and had his pro debut delayed by the pandemic. He pitched just two innings in the Dominican Summer League in 2021 and this year stood out as one of the better arms in the FCL. Perales throws three pitches: a mid-90s fastball that touches 98 mph, a potentially plus breaking ball in the low-to-mid 80s and a changeup that flashes above-average.
9. Hector Rodriguez, OF, Mets
The Mets traded Rodriguez to the Reds as part of the July deal for Tyler Naquin. Rodriguez is a 5-foot-8 lefthanded hitter who impressed evaluators with his leadoff skill set. He has a high-contact approach with sneaky power that allows him to spray the ball around and let his blazing speed do the rest. His speed also allows him to outrun mistakes in center field.
10. Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz, RHP, Red Sox
Boston’s 2021 fourth-round pick, Rodriguez-Cruz showed a fastball in the 93-94 mph range this summer. He also throws a potentially plus curveball, a fringe-average changeup and below-average slider. He throws strikes at a high rate and has the projectability remaining to amplify both his stuff and his stamina.