Five Players Who Could Rise Up The Top 100 Prospects In 2023
A Top 100 Prospects ranking is a snapshot in time. A player’s ranking reflects what he has shown to that point in his career and how he projects moving forward, with the impact he projects to make in the major leagues the ultimate determining factor of where he slots in.
But players, especially young prospects still developing into their bodies and skill sets, get better. Whether it’s a sudden and rapid skill improvement, unexpected strength gains or questions being answered about one's game, player projections can change swiftly and send them shooting up the Top 100 rankings.
Here is a look at five Top 100 prospects in particular who are candidates to rise quickly in 2023. Just as last year’s list included eventual ALCS and World Series MVP Jeremy Peña, all are candidates to assert themselves as some of the best prospects in the game before graduating and making an impact in the major leagues when the time is right.
Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF, Twins
Top 100 Rank: 46
One of the top prospects in the 2019 international class, Rodriguez signed with the Twins for $2.5 million and emerged as one of the organization’s most promising young hitters last year before a knee injury cut his season short after 47 games. He boasts elite strike-zone discipline—some observers opined Rodriguez had the best plate discipline they’d ever seen—and has progressively gotten stronger to add power to his quick, direct lefthanded swing. That combination of elite zone control and growing power from the left side gives him a chance to blossom into a middle-of-the-order slugger as long as he stays healthy, which will be the key to watch in 2023. If Rodriguez can stay on the field for a full season, he has a chance to grow into one of the game’s most dangerous hitting prospects and rise quickly up the rankings.
Gavin Stone, RHP, Dodgers
Top 100 Rank: 56
A fifth-round pick out of Central Arkansas in 2020, Stone immediately intrigued when he led the Dodgers system in strikeouts in his pro debut and took things up a notch last year. His fastball jumped from 93-96 mph to 94-98 mph, his changeup improved to become a bonafide plus-plus pitch and his slider added power and bite to give him another swing-and-miss weapon. He did it all while simultaneously improving his command, especially of his fastball, and showed elite aptitude and competitiveness en route to leading the minors with a 1.48 ERA. The only questions facing Stone revolve around his size and durability—his 6-foot-1 height listing is extremely generous and he’s 180 pounds on a good day—but he’s strong and athletic in his frame and held up over 121.2 innings last year without issue. With three above-average or better pitches, crisp command and a steady, professional mound presence, Stone has all the ingredients to continue his meteoric rise and break into the Dodgers rotation before long.
Edwin Arroyo, SS, Reds
Top 100 Rank: 65
Noelvi Marte was the top prospect the Reds acquired from the Mariners for Luis Castillo at last year’s trade deadline, but Arroyo isn’t far behind and has a chance to surpass Marte as the best player the Reds received in the deal. A slick defensive shortstop renowned for his glove when he was drafted in the second round in 2021, Arroyo surprised everyone by showing the ability to hit for average and power from both sides of the plate as one of the youngest players in the full-season minors last year. He hit .293/.366/.480 with 14 home runs, 84 RBIs and 27 stolen bases between Low-A Modesto and Low-A Daytona while showing advanced pitch recognition, confidence and poise against older arms and all-fields power out of a lean, projectable frame that still has room to get stronger. Arroyo has to prove he can sustain his production against higher-level pitching and outside the hitter-friendly environments of the California League, but he has the tools, athleticism and instincts to do and assert himself as one of the game’s premier shortstop prospects.
Tanner Bibee, RHP, Guardians
Top 100 Rank: 86
A command-oriented righthander when the Guardians drafted him in the fifth round in 2021, Bibee arrived at spring training last year showing vastly enhanced stuff and carried it through the season, rising from High-A to Double-A and finishing with a 2.17 ERA and 167 strikeouts against just 27 walks in 132.2 innings. Bibee’s fastball has jumped from 90-95 mph in college to 93-98 mph as a pro without any loss of command, and his slider and changeup have progressed to give him a full arsenal of swing-and-miss weapons. The Cal State Fullerton product is following the Shane Bieber path of a command-oriented college righthander whose stuff jumped under Cleveland’s tutelage, and another big year against higher-level competition will solidify his standing as the Guardians’ next great pitching development success.
Bryce Miller, RHP, Mariners
Top 100 Rank: 100
Miller primarily pitched out of the bullpen at Texas A&M and the Mariners drafted him in the fourth round in 2021 believing he was likely destined to be a reliever, but he streamlined his delivery and improved his secondaries in his first full season last year to dominate as a starter and race to Double-A. Miller has one of the best fastballs in the minors at 96-99 mph with explosive finish and carry and can dominate with it alone, which he often does. His slider and changeup are improving and his strike-throwing has jumped immensely since his college days, allowing him to aggressively pound the strike zone and challenge hitters with his explosive stuff. Miller’s fast, electric delivery can still look reliever-ish at times, but he holds his stuff and works quickly and efficiently to last deep into starts. With continued improvements to his secondaries and control, Miller has a chance to rise quickly and eventually join George Kirby and Logan Gilbert as standout homegrown starters in the Mariners rotation.