All-Time Baseball America No. 1 Prospects

Image credit: Kris Bryant (Photo by Tom DiPace)

Since Baseball America released its inaugural Top 100 Prospects ranking in 1990, 31 different players have held the title of No. 1 prospect in baseball.

While no prospect ranking is ever a guarantee of major league success, being named the No. 1 prospect is generally a harbinger of good things to come.

2024 Top 100 Prospects

See the full Top 100 entering the 2024 season headlined by Orioles SS Jackson Holliday.

Seven No. 1 prospects went on to win Most Valuable Players awards in their careers (Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Bryce Harper, Josh Hamilton, Joe Mauer, Kris Bryant and Ronald Acuña). Six won Rookie of the Year awards (Harper, Bryant, Acuña, Ben Grieve, Corey Seager and Gunnar Henderson). In all, 23 of the 31 players (74%) became all-stars—a percentage that only figures to grow as recent No. 1s Henderson and Jackson Holliday progress in their careers.

Aside from Holliday, who has yet to make his major league debut, the only No. 1 prospect to never reach the majors was Yankees lefthander Brien Taylor. Otherwise, every player who ranked No. 1 between  1990-2017 played at least eight seasons in the majors, with the more recent selections still too early in their careers to reach that threshold.

Holliday is the third straight Orioles player to be named the No. 1 prospect, the first time a team has had the No. 1 prospect three years in a row. The 1996-97 Braves (Andruw Jones), 2004-05 Twins (Joe Mauer), 2011-12 Nationals (Bryce Harper) and 2019-20 Rays (Wander Franco) all had the No. 1 prospect two years in a row when the same player repeated. Prior to the Orioles, the Cardinals were the only team to have different players rank No. 1 in consecutive years with J.D. Drew in 1999 and Rick Ankiel in 2000.

A No. 1 ranking is no guarantee of future stardom. But more often than not, stardom does await the player crowned as the best up-and-coming prospect in the game.

Baseball America subscribers can find the all-time No. 1 prospects below.

Baseball America No. 1 Prospects

YearPlayer, Pos., Team
2024Jackson Holliday, SS, Orioles
2023Gunnar Henderson, 3B/SS, Orioles
2022Adley Rutschman, C, Orioles
2021Wander Franco, SS, Rays
2020Wander Franco, SS, Rays
2019Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays
2018Ronald Acuña, OF, Braves
2017Andrew Benintendi, OF, Red Sox
2016Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers
2015Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs
2014Byron Buxton, OF, Twins
2013Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers
2012Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
2011Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
2010Jayson Heyward, OF, Braves
2009Matt Wieters, C, Orioles
2008Jay Bruce, OF, Reds
2007Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP, Red Sox
2006Delmon Young, OF, Rays
2005Joe Mauer, C, Twins
2004Joe Mauer, C, Twins
2003Mark Teixeira, 3B, Rangers
2002Josh Beckett, RHP, Marlins
2001Josh Hamilton, OF, Rays
2000Rick Ankiel, LHP, Cardinals
1999J.D. Drew, OF, Cardinals
1998Ben Grieve, OF, Athletics
1997Andruw Jones, OF, Braves
1996Andruw Jones, OF, Braves
1995Alex Rodriguez, SS, Mariners
1994Cliff Floyd, OF, Expos
1993Chipper Jones, SS, Braves
1992Brien Taylor, LHP, Yankees
1991Todd Van Poppel, RHP, Athletics
1990Steve Avery, LHP, Braves

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