Here Are The Top 100 Prospects Affected By The MLB Lockout

Image credit: Gabriel Moreno (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

The negotiations toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement reached a stalemate on March 1, and the league then canceled the first two series of the big league season. The minor leagues will play on, however, albeit with quite a bit less star power than under normal circumstances. 

The lockout applies to all players on each team’s 40-man roster, a group which also includes plenty of the game’s top prospects. In fact, a staggering 37 members of Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list will lose development time as long as the players are still locked out. 

Here are the players who are affected, listed by their spot in the Top 100. 

Some of those players, like Shane Baz (Rays), Keibert Ruiz (Nationals), Reid Detmers (Angels) and Roansy Contreras (Pirates), might not have spent much—if any—time in the minor leagues at all this year under normal circumstances. All have made their big league debuts, and Baz even got to pitch in the playoffs. 

For plenty of others, however, this year promised to be part of the slow catchup from at least the lost season of 2020. 

The Twins’ Royce Lewis, for example, hasn’t taken an at-bat in an official game since his star turn in the 2019 Arizona Fall League. The following two seasons were washed away by the pandemic and then a season-ending injury sustained in the winter prior to the 2021 season. 

As talented as he is, Lewis still had plenty of questions to answer about what type of hitter he could eventually become, and the 2022 season meant a chance to finally recoup all that lost development time. 

Instead, he’ll have to wait.  

Blue Jays catcher Gabriel Moreno, the No. 7 prospect in the sport, was one of the breakout stars of the first half of 2021 before a broken thumb sidelined him for nearly the rest of the year. He picked up where he left off with a standout performance in the Arizona Fall League, but he, too, could have used more experience against high-level arms before getting his first call to Toronto. 

Instead, he’ll have to wait. 

How about Brayan Rocchio, the highly talented, cerebral Guardians middle infielder? Visa issues in his native Venezuela meant he didn’t even get time at instructional league in 2020, making the sting of the lost season more acute than most. 

Still, Rocchio thrived in 2021 and further established himself amid a host of talented Cleveland prospects—including Top 100 prospect infielders Tyler Freeman and Gabriel Arias and outfielder George Valera— who were added to the 40-man roster in the offseason.  

He and his fellow Guardians prospects could be using 2022 to not only make up for lost development time, but also to see who separates themselves from the pack and wins a long-term spot in Cleveland.

Instead, they’ll have to wait. 

Or what about M.J. Melendez and Nick Pratto, two of the biggest turnaround stories of 2021. Both struggled through awful seasons in 2019 at High-A Wilmington before bashing their way back to prominence in the upper levels. Melendez’s 41 home runs were the most in the minor leagues in 2021, and Pratto’s 36 tied with Griffin Conine for second place.  

The pair should be starting their encore performances now in front of Cactus League fans in Surprise, Ariz. Instead, they’ll have to wait. 

But perhaps the cruelest cut of all sits at the top of the list. That would be Julio Rodriguez, the sublime Seattle superstar in wait. Rodriguez possesses a combination of tools, skills and charisma that could easily make him not only the face of the Mariners’ franchise, but also could help him eventually nudge into a mix of young superstars who have overtaken the sport in recent years. 

The only times Rodriguez allowed minor league pitchers a moment to breathe was when he was terrorizing international competition as part of the Dominican Republic’s Olympic squad. This was the year Rodriguez was supposed to add the final coat of polish before getting to Seattle, where he could have helped the Mariners break the longest playoff drought in American professional sports. 

Instead, he’ll have to wait.  

Below is a list of all 37 Top 100 Prospects who are on 40-man rosters and will not be able to play or train with their teams until the owners lift the lockout. 

Some of their seasons would have started in the big leagues on March 31. Those who began at Triple-A would have opened on April 5. The rest of the group would have had to wait a few more days, until April 8, for their Opening Day. 

Instead, we all have to wait.

2. Julio Rodriguez, OF, Mariners

7. Gabriel Moreno, C, Blue Jays

8. Shane Baz, RHP, Rays

11. Keibert Ruiz, C, Nationals

14. Oneil Cruz, SS, Pirates

28. Reid Detmers, LHP, Angels

33. Jose Barrero, SS, Reds

37. Aaron Ashby, LHP, Brewers

42. M.J. Melendez, C, Royals

43. Nick Pratto, 1B, Royals

44. Josh Lowe, OF, Rays

45. Matt Brash, RHP, Mariners

52. D.L. Hall, LHP, Orioles

53. Luis Campusano, C, Padres

54. Shea Langeliers, C, Braves

55. Oswald Peraza, SS, Yankees

56. Vidal Brujan, 2B/OF, Rays

62. Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays

63. Tyler Freeman, SS, Guardians

64. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Marlins

66. Brayan Rocchio, SS, Guardians

68. George Valera, OF, Guardians

69. Edward Cabrera, RHP, Marlins

71. Joey Bart, C, Giants

72. Jeremy Peña, SS, Astros

78. Liover Peguero, SS, Pirates

80. Roansy Contreras, RHP, Pirates

82. Royce Lewis, SS, Twins

84. Cristian Pache, OF, Braves

85. Jordan Balazovic, RHP, Twins

86. Joe Ryan, RHP, Twins

89. Geraldo Perdomo, SS, D-backs

90. Jose Miranda, 3B, Twins

91. Jarren Duran, OF, Red Sox

92. Ronny Mauricio, SS, Mets

94. Heliot Ramos, OF, Giants

100. Gabriel Arias, SS, Guardians

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