2022 Prospect Sleepers For All 30 Teams
While each organization's top 30 prospects get the majority of the buzz, there are still countless unheralded prospects that have successful big league careers.
Here are 30 sleepers, one from each team, who could make a leap forward in 2022.
36. Kenny Castillo, C
Castillo has a knack for making hard contact, profiling as an offensive catcher with a strong arm who still has some growing to do behind the plate.
34. Kadon Morton, OF
Morton impressed Braves officials during instructs and has an interesting blend of power and speed. He’ll need to dramatically cut down his whiff rate (35%) to make the most of his tool set.
32. Brandon Young, RHP
Young, a 2020 nondrafted free agent, boasts a mid-90s fastball. If any of his secondary pitches takes a step forward, he has the physicality and makeup to be a big league starter.
Boston Red Sox
34. Nathanael Cruz, RHP
When healthy—which hasn’t been often in his pro career—Cruz shows the potential for a four-pitch mix anchored by a mid-90s fastball.
31. Pablo Aliendo, C
Aliendo is an athletic catcher with excellent catch-and-throw skills behind the plate. He has an easy, level swing that makes a lot of contact and has room to get stronger.
33. Jared Solomon, RHP
If not for Tommy John surgery late in 2020, Solomon would likely have pitched in Cincinnati in 2021. If his stuff bounces back to where it was pre-injury, he could make it to the big leagues in 2022. His fastball and slider give him a pair of potentially plus pitches.
36. Hunter Gaddis, RHP
Gaddis has a big, long build at 6-foot-6 and has a good fastball-slider combination. His fastball sits in the low 90s and reaches 94-95 mph. He can get swings and misses with both offerings.
31. Bryan Perez, RHP
A nephew of Edinson Volquez, Perez looked sharp as a 17-year-old in the Dominican Summer League, where he showed a smooth delivery and good feel for pitching. He works off a fastball that sits at 93-96 mph, touches 98 and complements it with a potential plus curveball.
Chicago White Sox
32. Luke Shilling, RHP
The 15th-round pick in 2018 out of Illinois showed promise when healthy, with a 93-98 mph fastball and two plus breaking balls, but has spent most of his career on the injured list and had Tommy John surgery in 2021. If healthy, he’s got a chance to be a reliever prospect.
32. Danuerys De La Cruz, C
A standout at the plate and behind it in the Florida Complex League, de la Cruz displayed strong catch-and-throw skills, and plus raw power at the plate.
37. Corey Julks, 3B
Julks had his most consistent season in 2021, slugging .491 with an .841 OPS at Double-A. He sequenced his swing better and started using his pull side more, eschewing the inside-out approach he had earlier in his career.
Kansas City Royals
32. Clay Dungan, SS
Dungan plays above his tools as a grinder who can flat-out hit. He profiles best as a utility infielder who could hit his way into an occasional starting role.
Los Angeles Angels
33. Brendon Davis, 3B
A fifth-round pick of the Dodgers in 2015, Davis was picked in the 2020 minor league Rule 5 draft. The versatile 24-year-old from Lakewood, Calif., jumped from High-A to Double-A to Triple-A in 2021.
Los Angeles Dodgers
37. Emmet Sheehan, RHP
The sixth-round pick out of Boston College stood out in his pro debut with his low-slot, running 95-99 mph fastball that generated elite swing-and-miss rates.
35. Josh Roberson, RHP
A 17th-rounder out of UNC Wilmington in 2017, Roberson showed a mid-to-upper-90s fastball this season as he zoomed to Double-A. The fastball also showed excellent spin, induced vertical break and was accentuated by a deceptive approach angle. He pairs the fastball with a hard, high-spin slider. Roberson needs to improve his control and command to reach his ceiling.
32. Taylor Floyd, RHP
A 10th-round pick from Texas Tech in 2019, Floyd is a low-slot reliever with a low-90s sinker and a slider that sweeps across the zone. It’s an unusual look for hitters, which helps Floyd’s stuff play up to post an 84-24 strikeout-to-walk mark in 56 innings in 2021, finishing the year in Double-A.
31. Cade Povich, LHP
Povich signed for $500,000 in the third round and had a strong 10-inning pro debut. He added velocity quickly after joining the Twins—he touched 95 mph at instructs—and could move quickly.
New York Mets
32. Daison Acosta, RHP
The 23-year-old Dominican righthander missed the season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery but resumed throwing after the season. The Mets remain high on Acosta, who has an interesting fastball/slider mix and unique angles created by his long limbs.
New York Yankees
35. Juan Carela, RHP
Carela is part of the Yankees’ next wave of young, hard-throwing righthanded starters. He already brings his fastball into the mid 90s and shows flashes of a plus slider and analytical characteristics which amplify his entire repertoire.
33. Carlos Amaya, C
Amaya was an under-the-radar signing out of Venezuela in 2019 and hit his way out of the Dominican Summer League in 2021. The A’s are impressed with his advanced strike-zone command.
31. Erubiel Armenta, LHP
Armenta turned in an impressive minor league debut, rising from Low-A Clearwater to Double-A Reading and striking out 49 batters in 23 innings in 16 appearances. He throws up to 95 mph from the left side with a changeup that flashes plus, but needs to cut down on his walk rate.
33. Luis Ortiz, RHP
A $25,000 signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2018, Ortiz has steadily added strength and velocity. He sat in the mid 90s and touched 99 mph late in 2021. He pairs his fastball with a swing-and-miss, mid-80s slider and a burgeoning changeup. He has some reliever risk but also breakout potential.
San Diego Padres
31. Jose Azocar, OF
A minor league free agent signee, the 25-year-old Azocar led Triple-A West in triples and stole 32 bases in 2021. He rivals Robert Hassell III for the Padres’ best defensive outfielder.
38. Bryan Woo, RHP
The Mariners drafted Woo in the sixth round out of Cal Poly in 2021 despite the fact he’d just had Tommy John surgery. When healthy, he showed a loose, clean delivery and touched 97 mph in relief with room to project more velocity.
San Francisco Giants
31. Alexander Suarez, OF
The 19-year-old Suarez put together a solid season in the Arizona Complex League. He led the league with 60 hits and his .311 average was eighth on the circuit. He plays a decent center field.
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St. Louis Cardinals
31. Inohan Paniagua, RHP
Paniagua has a pair of intriguing offerings in his above-average fastball that tops out at 96 mph and an upper-70s curveball that flashes plus. He fared well in his full-season debut in 2021 at Low-A Palm Beach.
Tampa Bay Rays
33. Mason Montgomery, LHP
The Rays’ sixth-round pick out of Texas Tech dominated the Florida Complex League in his pro debut. He has a 91-95 mph fastball with lots of hop at the top of the zone and improving control.
31. Daniel Mateo, OF
Mateo has the tools to be an exceptional defender in center field. He added about 25 pounds of muscle and has begun to tap into raw power. He’s got bat-to-ball skills but needs to refine his approach in order to get the most out of his tools.
Toronto Blue Jays
33. Adrian Hernandez, LHP
Hernandez is a 5-foot-9 reliever who rose three levels in 2021 to reach Double-A as a 21-year-old, striking out 108 batters in 62.1 innings. He pitches around 90-92 mph and touches 95, with a plus changeup that’s his bread-and-butter pitch.
34. T.J. White, OF
A fifth-round pick as a 17-year-old high school senior in 2021, White had a successful debut in the Florida Complex League, showing off 65-grade in-game power from both sides of the plate with good on-base skills.