Major League Baseball 40-Man Roster Additions Ahead Of Roster Deadline
Teams had until 6 p.m. ET on Nov. 15 to add eligible players to their 40-man roster or risk losing those unprotected players during the Rule 5 draft. We will be updating this page throughout the day with the players that were added to their team's 40-man roster.
Blaze Alexander, SS: A former prep standout for IMG Academy, Blaze took some time to smolder before catching fire in 2022. Alexander hit .306/.388/.539 across 88 games for Double-A Amarillo in 2022. He started 76 games at shortstop across the Double-A and Triple-A levels and projects to stick there long term. Alexander’s newfound offensive prowess could go a long way in earning him an opportunity as an everyday player.
Carlos Vargas, RHP: Acquired by the D-backs prior to the roster deadline, Vargas had Tommy John surgery at the beginning of 2021 and returned to the mound this summer. Over 27 appearances Vargas struck out 37 batters across 34.1 innings. Vargas relies on a two-pitch mix consisting of an upper-90s fastball with two variations and a low-90s slider with tight gyro spin. Vargas could move quickly over the next year, eventually fitting into a high-leverage bullpen role.
Dominic Fletcher, OF: After solid showings in his first two seasons out of the draft in 2019 and 2021, Fletcher broke out in 2022, hitting .312/.378/.486 with 57 extra-base hits while spending a majority of his season at the Triple-A level. Fletcher displays high contact rates (80.8% contact rate) and major league average exit velocity data (88.2 exit velocity average) but is limited offensively but an aggressive approach. Fletcher toes the line between fourth outfielder and average everyday regular.
Jorge Barrosa, OF: The outfielder quietly enjoyed a breakout season for Double-A Amarillo, taking to the offensive-happy environment of his home park. Barrosa hit .276/.374/.438 across 110 games as a 21-year-old at Double-A. Barrosa pairs plus bat-to-ball skills (83.8% contact rate) with advanced plate discipline (23% chase rate) to get the most out of his profile at the plate. His exit velocity data is below-average but Barrosa displays advanced barrel control that allows him to get the most out of his contact with flush barrel after flush barrel.
Justin Martinez, RHP: While Martinez has the ability to light up the radar gun, it’s his plus splitter that drives his profile. Martinez’s signature pitch was on display during the Arizona Fall League’s Fall Stars Game as he generated four whiffs against the eight changeups he threw during an inning of work, getting ugly whiffs against Ronny Simon and Edouard Julien. Martinez’s mix and ability to throw his changeup in any count to any handedness gives him an opportunity to cut it as a middle relief option in the near term.
Roddery Munoz, RHP: The righthander rides a plus slider to success, using it at a higher rate than his fastball. Muñoz made 22 starts across High-A and Double-A in 2022, striking out 26.9% of batters faced. His four-seam fastball sits 95-97 mph, peaking at 99 mph. His slider is a high-80s cutter hybrid that induced a whiff rate over 45%. While Muñoz will continue to develop as a starter he could find success as a reliever in the major leagues.
Braden Shewmake, SS: Drafted 21st overall out of Texas A&M back in 2019, Shewmake has struggled to find his footing at the plate as a professional. After ascending to Double-A out of the draft, Shewmake stalled out at Double-A coming out of the pandemic in 2021, hitting just .228/.271/.401 over 83 games. He spent the 2022 season with Triple-A Gwinnett, where he hit .259/.316/.399 while starting 64 games at shortstop. In his present form Shewmake has the look of a light-hitting utility infielder who can fill a variety of roles in a pinch.
Darius Vines, RHP: The righthander ranks as the Braves No. 8 prospect ahead of the 2023 season. A 2019 seventh-rounder, Vines makes his living off a plus changeup that is rated as the best in the Braves farm system. Vines doesn’t throw very hard, sitting 90-93 mph on his fastball, with above-average hop. His changeup is so effective because it plays perfectly off of his fastball’s approach to the plate, creating deception out of the hand. It’s Vines’ ability to keep hitters off balance that has driven his success to date. He’ll likely need to add more power to his fastball to keep up his success against major league-quality hitters.
Grayson Rodriguez, RHP: The odds of getting struck by lightning twice within two minutes are likely better than the odds the Orioles would leave Rodriguez unprotected after the 6 p.m. deadline. Rodriguez still lays claim as the best pitching prospect in the minors, but that distinction won’t last long. On the heels of a competitive turn in 2022, it’s all hands on deck for the O’s in 2023, and Rodriguez has a legitimate chance to break camp as a member of the Baltimore rotation. Led by a deep arsenal of above-average or better pitches, Rodriguez has true front-of-the-rotation upside.
Joey Ortiz, SS: Not too long ago Ortiz was considered the slick-fielding, light-hitting teammate of collegiate star Nick Gonzales at New Mexico State. In the time since, Ortiz has remade his body and swing and now looks the part of everyday major league infielder with impact in his bat. Ortiz was poised for a breakout coming out of the 2020 pandemic but a shoulder injury limited him to 35 games. Returning in 2022, Ortiz made a name for himself, hitting .284/.349/.477 with 35 doubles and 19 home runs over 137 games between Double-A and Triple-A. A midseason adjustment saw Ortiz take off, hitting .352/.416/.610 from July 1 on and cementing his place on the 40-man roster. Ortiz is another Orioles prospect who is primed to contribute in the big leagues in 2023.
Seth Johnson, RHP: Acquired from Tampa Bay in the three-team trade that sent Jose Siri to the Rays and Trey Mancini to the Astros, Johnson has always had big stuff and upside but a poorly timed UCL injury made him a casualty of the Rays roster crunch prior to the trade deadline. Johnson will miss all of 2023 recovering from Tommy John surgery. A converted shortstop, Johnson broke out for Campbell in 2019 and displayed some of the most promising stuff in the Rays system during the 2021 season. Whether Johnson’s plus mid-90s fastball returns post-surgery is no guarantee, but his upside made this an easy decision for the Orioles.
Drew Rom, LHP: One of the more unheralded starters in the upper levels of the Orioles system the last few seasons, Rom struck out 27.1% of the batters he faced in 2022, but he did it in an unusual fashion. The lefthander's primary fastball sits 89-92 mph with heavy ride and cut. He plays it off a low-80s slider with around 8-10 inches of sweep and slight depth. The two-pitch combination works for Rom as he generates above-average whiff numbers against his fastball and high chase rates against his slider. Rom’s third pitch is a low-to-mid-80s splitter that generated the highest chase and whiff rates in his arsenal. With three pitches, advanced feel for sequencing and a short deceptive arm action that hides the ball well, Rom has a chance to cut it as a back-of-the-rotation starter.
Noah Denoyer, RHP: Denoyer signed in August of 2019 as a nondrafted free agent after going unselected in the 40-round draft. He saw success coming out of the 2020 pandemic season, and after a successful 2021 campaign split across both levels of Class A, Denoyer once again returned to camp following the offseason new and improved. Boasting a two mph jump on his fastball velocity, Denoyer remade his slider into a mid-80s sweeper to play off of his downer curveball. With his improved arsenal Denoyer missed bats at the highest rate of his career, succeeding in a piggyback relief role for Double-A Bowie. He finished his season in the Arizona Fall League, making six appearances for Scottsdale and starting the annual Fall Stars Game for the American League team.
Boston Red Sox
Ceddanne Rafaela, OF: A slam dunk addition for the Red Sox as Rafaela played his way onto the Top 100 list this season with his standout performances on both sides of the ball. The diminutive utility man made highlight plays in centerfield throughout the season, perhaps cementing his future in the grass. He hit .299/.342/.538 across 116 games primarily at the Double-A level, while hitting 21 home runs and stealing 28 bases. Rafaela is likely to spend a good chunk of the 2023 season in Triple-A Worcester but is an easy—and local—option should the Red Sox need outfield or infield help. A versatile player who once looked the part of a super-utility player, Rafaela has blossomed into an exciting potential everyday centerfielder with a nice combination of offensive skills.
Brandon Walter, LHP: The lefthander’s path has been an unusual one as he spent a large chunk of his collegiate career recovering from injury. Walter slipped into the 26th round where the Red Sox scooped him up. Coming out of the 2020 pandemic Walter emerged a different pitcher. Now mixing a low-90s sinker with heavy groundball driving tendencies with a sweep low-80s slider and a plus changeup Walter now came equipped with starter traits. His trajectory continued to trend upwards in the early part of the 2022 season before a neck injury shelved him for the remainder of the season. At 26 years old entering the 2023 season and now on the 40 man roster, Walter should see time with the major league club during the early part of the season with an opportunity to pitch his way into a permanent role.
Chris Murphy, LHP: Murphy began training at Southern California’s notorious Throw Zone as a little leaguer and has used advanced analytics and training to model himself into a potential major leaguer. After struggling with command during his draft season at San Diego, Murphy found his command almost immediately upon signing with Boston. The organization asked Murphy to locate his fastball in the upper-quadrants to take advantage of the flatter approach angle and riding life on the pitch. The change worked, and Murphy has enjoyed successful stints over his first three seasons as a professional. The lefthander split the season between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester, running into trouble at the Triple-A level. Likely to return to Worcester to begin the 2023 season Murphy is another arm at the ready providing the Red Sox short to the majors pitching depth.
David Hamilton, SS: There are few athletes playing the game of baseball better than Hamilton, as he’s a twitchy top-of-the-scale runner with athletic abilities uncommon on the diamond. Unfortunately these abilities didn’t translate to production in 2022, as Hamilton hit a league average .251/.338/.402 as a 24 year old at Double-A. He did showcase defensive skills at shortstop and stole an eye-popping 70 bases. Hamilton is one of the best baserunners in the minors, it’s just a matter of if he’ll hit enough to take full advantage of those abilities in the major leagues one day. At worst Hamilton can fit a multi-situational reserve role for a contending team, providing baserunning fireworks and defensive stability.
Wilyer Abreu, OF: Acquired by the Red Sox in the trade that sent Christian Vazquez to Houston, Abreu finished his season with Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League. Abreu has an unusual body and skillset, as he’s a barrel-chested athlete with more twitch that his body lets on to. His bat-to-ball skills are fringy but he displays advanced understanding of the strike zone chasing pitches out of the zone just 20% of the time, an elite number. If Abreu can continue to develop his bat-to-ball skills and power in the coming years he has a chance to develop into a potential everyday option, but he’s more than likely to be relegated to a platoon role long-term.
Brennen Davis, OF: Few prospects have seen their once-highly exalted prospect status crater quite like Davis’ has in recent seasons. While health has played a role, signs of swing and miss issues began to pop-up in Double-A last season and carried over into his injury plagued 2022 campaign. Limited to just 53 games last season, Davis missed a majority of the season after undergoing a procedure on his back to remove a vascular formation that resulted in nerve pain. Davis returned this fall, playing five games for Mesa in the Arizona Fall League before he was shut down for the season with back tightness. How much of Davis’ struggles were due to injury or actual skill is up for debate. It’s true that when healthy Davis promised some of the biggest upside of any prospect in the game. If health once again returns for Davis he has a clear pathway to the major league playing time with the rebuilding Cubs.
Kevin Alcantara, OF: After years of teasing with tools and projection, Alcantara manifested in 2022 hitting .273/.360/.451 with 19 doubles and 15 home runs. He climbed his way onto the back end of the Top 100 Prospects by season's end and has earned promising reviews from rival evaluators. Still tooled up and unrefined, Alcantara is aggressive at the plate, swinging with a great frequency. This will lead to poorly executed at bats, but Alcantara exhibited an improved approach as the season wore on. As Alcantara continues to refine his loud tools into game skills he could blossom into an impactful middle of the order bat with plus power and explosiveness in the field and on the bases. A risky profile but one with tremendous rewards if Alcantara continues to improve with each new challenge.
Ben Brown, RHP: Acquired by the Cubs from the Phillies in the David Robertson trade, opposing scouts that saw Jersey Shore early in the season viewed Brown on par with current Phillies pitching prospects Mick Abel and Griff McGarry. Brown’s health prior to 2022 had been an issue, as he pitched a total of 29.1 innings between 2019 and 2021. What lurked beneath was the secret held for years by Brown’s poor health. He was filthy. Brown’s fastball sat 94-96 mph this season, pairing it with a slurvy mid-80s curveball and a high-80s cutter-slider hybrid. All three of Brown’s pitches generated whiffs at an above-average rate, while his slider and curveball generated high rates of chase swings. If Brown can maintain health he has a powerful three pitch mix that could strive as a starter long term.
Ryan Jensen, RHP: Selected with the 27th overall pick in the 2019 draft out of Fresno State, Jensen struggled early in his professional career but took off after a mechanical change made early in 2022. The Cubs shortened Jensen’s arm action after spending a majority of the month of May on the organization’s Development List. Upon returning Jensen was generating significantly more ride on his four-seam. Prior to the change Jensen’s four-seam and two-seam fastball would often blend together. The improved shape allowed the two pitches to serve different purposes with Jensen’s sinker generating groundball contact at an elite rate (68%+ post slot change) and his four-seamer generating above-average whiff rates after the change. Jensen was still limited to shorter outings throughout 2022 but he could develop into a viable bulk starter that can both generate groundballs and miss bats with an above-average curveball, slider and improved four-seam fastball.
Chicago White Sox
Bryan Ramos, 3B: The 20-year-old Ramos popped up as a standout for Low-A Kannapolis in 2021, hitting .244/.345/.415 with 13 home runs and 13 stolen bases. He once again stood out early with High-A Winston-Salem, hitting .275/.350/.471 with 19 home runs over 99 games. He hit a bit of a speed bump at Double-A Birmingham to end the season but still displayed advanced bat-to-ball skills. Ramos has a nice combination of above-average bat-to-ball skills, above-average approach and above-average game power. Ramos’ game power is notable for a player his age, as his 103.7 mph 90th percentile exit velocity ranks among the upper echelon for players his age.
Jose Rodriguez, SS: After a strong 2021 season in which Rodriguez spent a majority of his campaign at the Class A levels, the shortstop was assigned to Double-A Birmingham out of camp. He spent the entire 2022 season with the Barons, hitting .280/.340/.430 with 38 extra-base hits and 40 stolen bases. Rodriguez displays speed, at least average power and above-average bat-to-ball skills. His aggressive approach unfortunately means he’ll often swing himself into outs. While Rodriguez is a somewhat unheralded player he has shown flashes of everyday regular upside.
Elly De La Cruz, 3B: This was among the most obvious of slam dunk additions entering the day, as De La Cruz is among the most explosive prospects since Fernando Tatis Jr. De La Cruz hit .304/.359/.586 with 31 doubles, 28 home runs and 47 stolen bases in 120 games across High-A and Double-A. De La Cruz starred in this summer’s Futures Game and put together arguably the best season of any player in the minor leagues in 2022. Elly will be just 21 years old entering 2023 but after a string 47 game showing with Double-A Chattanooga, he could be primed to begin the season with Triple-A Louisville. Despite all of De La Cruz’s loud tools and production, there’s some underlying swing and miss that could mean Elly’s not quite major league ready as of yet.
Noelvi Marte, 3B: The Reds targeted the Mariners deep farm system multiple times during 2022, first acquiring Brandon Williamson in the trade that sent Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker to Seattle and then again when the Mariners acquired Luis Castillo. In the return for the latter the Reds acquired the explosive Marte who was hitting .275/.363/.462 with 15 home runs at the time of the trade. Marte has a good balance of above-average bat-to-ball skills, plus power and average approach that culminates in a potential impact hitter. Defensively he’s slid down the defensive spectrum and now likely profiles at third base where his above-average arm should play. Still some elements of Marte’s swing and approach that need to be ironed out, but it’s easy to see an impact power hitter in Marte’s peak seasons.
Brandon Williamson, LHP: The first Reds-Mariners trade netted the Reds Williamson, a former college teammate and close friend of Reds pitcher Nick Lodolo. Williamson is a tall, funky lefthander with a hoppy fastball, two distinct breaking ball shapes and a changeup he’s shown feel for. After a standout 2021 campaign, Williamson struggled to throw strikes with the same consistency he had in his previous professional stops. With deceptive stuff and four distinct pitches that can flash above-average Williamson still has plenty of time to find his command and join Lodolo in the Reds rotation. After a down season Williamson is a viable bounceback candidate if he can return to form.
Levi Stoudt, RHP: Acquired alongside Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo in the package that netted the Mariners Luis Castillo, Stout is a former third-round pick out of mid-major Lehigh. After undergoing Tommy John surgery after signing Stoudt didn’t debut professionally until 2021, making 15 starts between High-A and Double-A. Stoudt returned to Double-A to begin 2022, but struggled to keep the ball of opposing hitter’s barrels and inside the park. He was acquired by the Reds in July and lost his command over his final six appearances with Triple-A Louisville. Armed with mid-90s fastball and a sweepy lwo-to-mid-80s slider Stoudt relies on the two pitch mix a majority of the time. In fact Stoudt’s fastball-slider combination accounted for nearly 85% of his pitch usage in 2022. Stoudt uses his fastball and slider almost equally and has the type of stuff that could play up out of the pen.
Lyon Richardson, RHP: After showing improved velocity during his 2021 campaign, a late season elbow injury required Tommy John surgery and Richardson was shelved for all of 2022. A return in 2023 is imminent but as with all arm and shoulder injuries there’s no guarantee Richardson’s stuff returns right away.
Ricky Karcher, RHP: While Karcher may lack the hype that surrounds many of the other players protected on deadline day his stuff is as loud as any pitcher on a 40 man roster. Karcher mixes a trio of pitches led by a high-90s fastball with well above-average spin rates in the 2,500+ rpm range on average. His slider is clearly his best pitch as it generates whiffs and chases while landing for a strike with greater frequency than any pitch in his arsenal. His slider is a nasty plus offering sitting 85-87 mph with on average 10 inches of sweep and 2,700+ rpm of raw spin. Karcher’s slider is an analytics darling grading out at 130 according to Stuf+. Karcher had legit high leverage stuff and could be an option for the Reds in 2023.
Angel Martinez, SS: Few teams do a better job of scouting the international market than the Guardians do, and in recent years their success has led to tough roster decisions. Martinez hit .278/.378/.471 with 23 doubles and 13 home runs between High-A and Double-A, though a majority of his season was spent with High-A Lake County. Martinez finished his season in the Arizona Fall League and hit .260/.341/.343 over 21 games with Peoria. Martinez is a well-rounded player who displays above-average bat-to-ball skills and plate discipline that should lead to high batting averages and on-base percentages in the future. At present his raw power is below-average, but he will flash average power upside due to his advanced plate skills and optimal launch angles at contact.
Juan Brito, 2B: The infielder was acquired by the Guardians from the Rockies in exchange for Nolan Jones in the hours leading up to the deadline. Brito fits an archetype the Guardians have had success with in recent years—a switch-hitter with advanced plate discipline and strong bat-to-ball skills. This style of player is so synonymous with the Guardians that a longtime scout texted me in the aftermath of the trade saying “Brito was always a Guardians prospect, they just needed to make it official.” In this way Brito fits the Guardians style of play—a high-contact hitter with developed skills as a hitter looking to add impact as he ages. If Brito is able to grow into more strength and power he could develop into an above-average hitter in the major leagues at peak.
Joey Cantillo, LHP: The lefthander was left unprotected last season in the Rule 5 draft that never happened. A year later, Cantillo has pitched his way onto the crowded Guardians 40-man roster. Cantillo was acquired from the Padres in the 2020 trade that sent Mike Clevinger to San Diego. He was placed on the injured list with a shoulder injury on Aug. 6, but had performed in 13 starts prior to that with Double-A Akron. In fact, Cantillo was enjoying a breakout season as his 4-3 record, 1.93 ERA and 35.5% strikeout rate prior to the injury indicated. From a stuff perspective Cantilo mixes four pitches, a four-seam fastball that sits 91-93 mph with ride and cut, an upper-70s changeup with Bugs Bunny shape that plays off of his fastball, a mid-80s slider-cutter hybrid and a low-70s curveball with tremendous depth. While Cantillo’s arsenal lacks average power, his variety of shapes does translate to high stuff rankings, as his fastball, changeup and slider all grade out as above-average to plus according to Stuf+. The biggest question remaining for Cantillo is whether he can stay on the field for a full season.
Tim Herrin, LHP: The 6-foot-6 lefthanded reliever is a former 26th-round pick in 2018, and after five years in the Guardians organization he’s earned a spot on their 40-man roster. Herrin mixes three pitches with two variations of his fastball. His four-seam and two-seam sit 95-97 mph, touching 98. His four-seam is clearly his primary pitch, generating above-average spin rates and cut on the pitch. He pairs his fastball variants with a high-80s cutter, his best bat-missing pitch, and a low-80s slider that’s used less than his cutter but drove strong results in 2022. Herrin saw success out of the pen in the upper levels of the minor leagues in 2022 as the lefthander struck out 34.1% of batters he faced in 2022 between Double-A and Triple-A.
Warming Bernabel, OF: A young third baseman that came into his own in 2022, Bernabel’s ability to hit has caught the eye of rival evaluators as Bernabel posted a .317/.390/.504 slash line as a 20-year-old at Low-A Fresno in 2022. He continued his success at the plate, hitting .305/.315/.486 over a 26-game sample with High-A Spokane. Bernabel ended his season with Salt River in the Arizona Fall League but struggled across 15 games, hitting just .111. Despite his struggles in the Fall League, Bernabel is at the core of a group of young talented Rockies prospects in the lower minors.
Blair Calvo, RHP: Stuff has never been a problem for Calvo, who boasts a mid-90s fastball and one of the best sliders in the minor leagues. Calvo’s slider rated with a score of 122 according to Stuf+, a well above-average marker. His combination of upper-80s velocity and almost a foot of sweep on average makes it one of the hardest sweepers thrown in all of baseball. He finished his season in the Arizona Fall League and has the look of a potential high-leverage relief option.
Julio Carreras, SS: A standout defender on the left side of the infield, Carreras drew rave reviews from scouts with Northwest League coverage this season. He showed promise with the bat during his 110-game run with Spokane, hitting .289/.352/.473 with 11 home runs and 37 doubles. He saw a promotion to Double-A Hartford before season’s end, where he held his own over 19 games. Carreras’ development as a hitter is key to defining his future role. If he can be even average offensively his standout defensive ability has a chance to carry his profile.
Brenton Doyle, OF: A former Division II standout Doyle has been a steady performer as a professional. Assigned to Double-A Hartford out of camp, Doyle had a solid but unspectacular year, hitting 23 home runs for the YardGoats but striking out 158 times. In a late season promotion to Albuquerque Doyle thrived in the offensive friendly environment, connecting for six extra-base hits across nine games. Doyle fits the fourth outfielder profile with enough offensive upside to fill-in but likely not enough to force his way into the everyday lineup.
Nolan Jones, OF: Acquired by the Rockies prior to the deadline for infielder Juan Brito, Jones has been a prospect for several years and was formerly ranked as a Top 100 Prospect. In recent years his swing and miss and passivity at the plate have led to increased concerns around his profile. He has a combination of elite on-base skills and power, but has run high strikeout totals in recent years without much value defensively. Jones’ change of scenery and the less crowded Rockies 40-man roster could lead to increased opportunities for him in 2023.
Riley Pint, RHP: It’s been the longest of paths up to this point for Pint, as the former fourth overall pick has finally clawed his way onto the Rockies 40 man roster. He spent the majority of the season pitching out of Double-A Hartford’s bullpen, showing enough control to finally let his loud stuff do the talking. While Pint has never lacked pure stuff, the ability to get it over the plate has long eluded him. Pint’s two-pitch mix consists of a mid-to-high-90s four-seam fastball and an upper-80s slider with ride and sweep. The days of projecting Pint as a major league starter are long gone, but he’s found a role as an explosive reliever.
Reese Olson, RHP: The Tigers acquired Olson from the Brewers prior to the 2021 trade deadline when they flipped Daniel Norris to Milwaukee. In what looks to be a good trade for the Tigers, Olson had a breakout season in Double-A in 2022, navigating the offensive environment of the Eastern League. Olson finished tied for ninth in total strikeouts among all minor league pitchers and his 33.1% strikeout rate ranked as the 13th-best rate among minor league pitchers with 100 or more innings pitched in 2022. Olson uses a four-seam fastball sitting 93-96 mph with ride and bore, a high-80s changeup with significant vertical play off of his fastball, a high-spin sweeping slider at 82-84 mph and a high-70s curveball with two-plane depth. Olson’s command really depends on the pitch. For example, he has below-average command of his four-seam fastball but above-average to plus command of his changeup and slider. Olson’s ability to land his changeup with regularity has led to success. If he can improve his strike-throwing on his fastball he has a chance to break out as a viable part of the major league rotation. If not, he has the stuff to excel in a bulk starter or multi-inning fireman role.
Parker Meadows, OF: The younger brother of Tigers major leaguer Austin Meadows, Parker enjoyed his best season as a professional in 2022. He hit .275/.354/.466 with 16 home runs and 17 stolen bases across 113 games with Double-A Erie. Meadows finished his season with Salt River in the Arizona Fall League and hit .224/.303/.433 with three home runs over 24 games. For the second consecutive season Meadows saw his flyball rate climb and his groundball rate drop. In fact, Meadows' drastically improved production was backed by strong progression across all of his underlying metrics. Meadows cut his chase rate from 30.5% in 2021 to 20% in 2022, while showing a two mph increase to his 90th percentile exit velocity and an improvement to his contact rates across the board. Meadows is likely a year away from impact in the major leagues but he has developed into a potential everyday outfielder with above-average offensive upside.
Andre Lipcius, INF: There was some question around whether Lipcius would be protected or not, but in the end the Tigers were able to make room for the utility infielder. While Lipcius lacks loud explosive tools he shows a deep understanding of the game and a skills over twitch style of play. Lipcius has some of the best plate discipline in the Tigers organization and pairs it with above-average contact skills. His power is below-average but he gets the most out of his hard contact and shows the ability to punish mistakes. Defensively, he should split time between third base and second base, with the ability to handle either position. He’s a versatile player who could see time immediately in a bench or platoon type of role.
Wenceel Perez, 2B: Years after bursting onto the scene with strong performance in the Florida State League, Perez rediscovered himself at the plate in 2022. The infielder hit .295/.369/.534 with 47 extra-base hits and 18 stolen bases. After chasing at a fairly high rate early in his professional career, Perez cut his chase rate in half and the results followed. By swinging less often at the wrong pitches and picking his spots, Perez was able to reignite his career and recover his prospect status in the process. Likely to spend a majority of his season in Double-A Erie, Perez has a chance to play his way onto the Tigers active roster by the end of 2023.
Brendan White, RHP: Selected in the 26th round of the 2019 draft out of Siena College, White refined his pitch mix, ditching his curveball this offseason and doubling down on his slider. After working primarily as a starter in 2021, the Tigers moved White to the bullpen full time, where he flourished as a two-pitch reliever. His four-seam fastball is really a cut fastball that plays up due to his up-tempo operation and low release point. Now on the 40-man roster, White has an opportunity to see innings out of the Tigers pen in 2023.
J.P. France, RHP: Deception and sequencing is the name of the game for France, who used all five of his pitches 200-plus times in 2022. France’s fastball sits 91-94 mph with riding cut and a flat vertical approach angle. His primary secondaries are a mid-80s cutter and low-80s sweeping slider, but he’ll mix in a mid-70s curveball with depth in lieu of either at times. His fifth pitch is a low-80s changeup that mimics the shape of his fastball It had the lowest usage rate of his four secondaries but is still a primary part of his arsenal. France will throw the kitchen sink at you and could find success as a back-end starter or be used as rotation depth in the major leagues next season.
Kansas City Royals
Alec Marsh, RHP: A supplemental second-round pick out of Arizona State, Marsh has seen his stuff tick up since his collegiate days. While his low-to-mid-90s fastball features plus spin rates in the 2500-plus rpm range, it’s his mid-80s slider and low-80s changeup that drive his profile. He’s struggled with strike-throwing consistently as a professional, but his four-pitch mix has shown a knack for missing bats. Likely a high-leverage relief weapon, but there’s still a deep enough arsenal to believe starting is still an option for Marsh.
Freddy Fermin, C: The Venezuelan native’s story is one of perseverance that’s not uncommon in baseball. Fermin was signed in 2015, and at 27 years old made his major league debut this July. He now finds himself once again on the Royals 40-man roster. Fermin had a strong offensive campaign with Triple-A Omaha, hitting .270/.365/.480 with 17 doubles and 15 home runs across 87 games in 2022. He’ll provide catching depth for the Royals.
Diego Hernandez, OF: Over the last year the lean and lanky Hernández has blossomed into an intriguing outfield prospect with baserunning acumen and blossoming game power. After spending a majority of his season at High-A Quad Cities, Hernández saw 32 games with Double-A Northwest Arkansas over the remainder of the season. Hernández is an aggressive hitter who expands the zone often, as he looks to put the ball in play—in order to make plays with his carrying tool, his speed.
Los Angeles Angels
Kolton Ingram, LHP: Ingram is a true underdog profile, as an older Division II player who stands 5-foot-9. Ingram pitched his way onto the Angels 40-man roster with strong showings across three levels in 2021 and then 50 appearances for Rocket City in 2022. Ingram mixes three pitches but works primarily off of a fastball/slider combination. His fastball has natural cut, playing up due to his low release height and flat vertical approach angle. His slider is a flat sweeper at 79-81 mph with plus spin rates in the 2,700-plus rpm range on average. He’ll flash a changeup but it’s not a primary part of Ingram’s sequencing. He’s a true relief prospect with unusual release traits and two movement profiles on his primary pitches that dovetail.
Jose Soriano, RHP: The Angels and Soriano have had a rollercoaster since he first signed in 2016. He’s had Tommy John surgery twice and was lost in the Rule 5 draft to the Pirates for nearly a full year before he was returned to the Angels last November. He rehabbed throughout the spring, returning in the final week of July and making four appearances with the Angels ACL team. He made three appearances for Low-A Inland Empire over the final weeks of the 2022 season. Prior to his injury Soriano possessed some of the loudest stuff in the Angels system.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Diego Cartaya, C: Cartaya, the Dodgers No. 1 prospect, has a loud power-driven profile at the plate and an inconsistent track record as a defender at the catcher position. His exit velocity data rivals that of above-average power hitters at the major league level despite playing nearly all of 2022 as a 20-year-old. Cartaya hit .254/.389/.503 with 22 doubles and 22 home runs in 95 games between Low-A and High-A in 2022. While he’s shown swing and miss, his contact rate is near-average and he’s not prone to expanding the zone at a high rate. The biggest question around Cartaya’s profile surrounds his ability to stick at the catcher position long term. His defense backed up in 2022 after being one of Cartaya’s standout tools entering the season. Despite his addition to the 40-man roster Cartaya is likely two years away from impact in the major leagues.
Michael Busch, 2B: A top 100 prospect over the last few seasons, Busch has proven to have one of the minor leagues’ best combinations of on-base ability and power. He slugged 32 home runs across Double-A and Triple-A last season as he hit .274/.364/.516 across 142 games. He played a majority of his time at second base, and at 25 years old looks ready to contribute at the major league level. It’s a bat-first three true outcomes profile, but Busch’s on-base skills and power could lead to some above-average offensive seasons.
Andy Pages, OF: The 21-year-old Cuban outfielder, who had an excellent stint in the Arizona Fall League in 2022, is one of the best power hitters in the Dodgers system. While he hit just .236 in 2022, he struck out less than 25% of the time this season while running above-average contact rates. He was mostly the victim of bad luck on balls in play as he ran a .271 BABIP this season. He’s limited to a corner outfield spot defensively, but his ability to backspin the ball and drive pitches to all parts of the park hints at an above-average major league power hitter in the future.
Jonny DeLuca, OF: One of the best athletes in the Dodgers system, DeLuca found his stride in 2022 and enjoyed a breakout season split between High-A Great Lakes and Double-A Tulsa. The speedy outfielder hit .260/.347/.541 with 22 doubles, 25 home runs and 17 stolen bases across 98 games. He spent time at all three outfield positions in 2022 and could serve as a potential depth option for the Dodgers in 2023. It took a few years for DeLuca’s game to gel, but he’s trending toward a potential major league average outfielder.
Xavier Edwards, 2B: The Marlins sent a pair of prospects to the Rays in exchange for Edwards and righthanded reliever JT Chargois. Edwards, a Florida native, returns to his hometown club looking to earn playing time at the major league level. While Edwards has regressed as a runner in recent seasons he’s failed to develop in-game power. His game is heavily centered around his ability to put the ball in play and get on base. He’s limited to second base defensively. It’s a hit-over-power second base-only profile.
George Soriano, RHP: Soriano is a righthander with a three-pitch mix who made a full-time move to the bullpen upon promotion to Triple-A in early June. Soriano works primarily off of a mid-90s four-seam fastball and a plus low-to-mid-80s sweeper with average spin rates in the 2,700-plus rpm range. He mixes in a changeup but his primary plan of attack is fastball and slider. Soriano is a potential middle relief option for Miami in 2023.
Josh Simpson, LHP: A lefthanded reliever taken in the 32nd round of the 2019 draft out of Columbia, Simpson uses his curveball as his primary pitch—it saw more than 50% of his usage in 2022. The pitch sits 78-81 mph with heavy two-plane break. The pitch generated whiffs on 50% of all swings this season despite the elevated usage. Simpson’s fastball sits 93-96 mph, touching 97 mph, but nothing about it is unusual outside of its above-average velocity.
Eli Villalobos, RHP: A former 14th-rounder out of Long Beach State, Villalobos is a righthanded reliever with a three-pitch mix heavily centered around his fastball. Villalobos’ heater sits 93-95 mph, touching 98 mph at peak with heavy ride and cut. He pairs that with a slurvy high-70s curveball and a splitter. All three of Villalobos’ pitches generated whiffs at an above-average rate in 2022, and he could have success as a reliever in the Marlins bullpen in 2023.
Brice Turang, SS: A once highly-touted shortstop prospect from the California prep ranks, Turang has been a steady but unspectacular prospect as a professional. He spent all of the 2022 season at the Triple-A level, hitting .286/.360/.412 over 131 games. He’s a plus contact hitter and runner who rarely chases or gets himself into bad counts. He’s just an average defender at shortstop and power—up to this point—has not been a key component of his game. Turang toes the line between utility player and average major league infielder.
Abner Uribe, RHP: If you’ve taken in the Abner Uribe experience first hand then you’re fully aware he throws gas. Uribe sits in the high 90s, and touches 100 mph at peak. He missed a majority of the 2022 season after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He resurfaced in the Arizona Fall League and made nine appearances for Glendale, where he allowed just a single run. Uribe is a relief only prospect but possesses high leverage reliever equipment.
Cam Robinson, RHP: A righthanded reliever with a four-pitch mix and excellent feel for spin across his arsenal, Robinson is a former 23rd-round pick out of University High in Orlando. Robinson dominated out of the bullpen in 2022, climbing three levels. Robinson struck out 84 batters across 65 total innings, allowing just a single home run in 2022. His primary mix consists of a four-seam fastball that sits 93-95 mph, touching 97 mph at peak, a high-80s cutter with above-average spin rates and an upper-70s curveball with two-plane break and tremendous depth. He’ll mix in a sweepy slider but it’s a clear fourth pitch. With a defined role in relief and good stuff across the board, Robinson looks ready for middle relief work in 2023.
Edouard Julien, 2B: Drafted in the 18th round in 2019 out of Auburn, Julien has some of the best on-base skills in the minor leagues. Over his first two professional seasons Julien has posted on-base percentages of .400 or better while hitting 15 or more home runs and stealing 15 or more bases. He fits a potential leadoff hitter prototype but his lack of defensive value limits his profile. He’s below-average at second base but it’s likely his best position. There’s no question that Julien can hit, but his defensive limitations add some risk to getting his bat in the lineup.
Matt Canterino, RHP: If not for injuries over the last two seasons Canterino might be viewed as the best pitching prospect in the Twins system. Canterino uses a mid-90s fastball with heavy cut and ride from an extremely vertical slot, and he pairs his fastball with a mid-80s slider and a low-80s changeup. He had Tommy John surgery late this summer and will be on the shelf for all of 2023.
Brent Headrick, LHP: A funky lefthander who gets by on deception and advanced sequencing, Headrick’s short arm action and three-quarters slot allow his low-90s fastball to play up. The four-seam lacks velocity but has ride and run, boring in on lefthanded batters. He throws his cutter and changeup almost equally, generating lots of whiffs and bad chase swings against his cutter. Headrick’s fastball and cutter combination drove a great deal of success in 2022 and gives him a go-to one-two punch to fall back on should he end up in the bullpen long term. With advanced command of his entire pitch mix Headrick still has a chance to start but likely fits best as a multi-inning reliever or bulk starter.
Casey Legumina, RHP: Legumina found his stride with a move to the bullpen this season with Double-A Wichita in early August. He saw a jump in fastball velocity and was sitting 95-97 mph out of the bullpen and using his slider at a higher rate than he did as a starter. He uses four pitches, but his transition to a two-pitch reliever drove a great deal of his success. Legumina has a chance to see innings in middle relief for the Twins this summer.
New York Mets
Stephen Ridings, RHP: After the Yankees designated Ridings for assignment, the Mets took Ridings and added him to their 40-man roster before the deadline. He dealt with a right shoulder impingement that led to him only pitching two innings in 2022. Prior to the injury Ridings sat 97-100 mph on his fastball with heavy ride and explosive late life. His primary secondary is a slider in the mid 80s that generated whiffs. It’s a powerful two-pitch mix that will play in a high-leverage role.
New York Yankees
Randy Vasquez, RHP: The Yankees made one addition to their 40-man roster prior to the deadline and Vasquez was the lone recipient. Vasquez has excellent feel for spin across his arsenal and a standout breaking ball in his slider. Coming out of the 2020 pandemic, Vasquez first popped up with Tampa in the Low-A Florida State League. His success continued as he climbed the ladder of the Yankees minor league system, spending the 2022 season as a pivotal piece for Double-A Somerset’s Eastern League title-winning team. He tossed eight no-hit innings in Somerset’s deciding game in the Eastern League championship series and took a no-hitter into the sixth inning on May 13. Vasquez mixes two fastball variations in a four-seamer and a sinker that sit 92-94 mph, touching 96 mph, with a pair of breaking balls and a changeup. His flat sweeper low-80s slider boasts elite raw spin rates in the 3,000 rpm range on average and nearly a foot and a half of horizontal break. He uses his slider around a third of the time, playing it off of both fastball shapes and two different pitch shapes in the upper 80s in his cutter and changeup. Vasquez has the stuff to thrive in a major league bullpen right now, but may have an element of pitchability and sequencing that leads to a five-inning starter type of role.
Lawrence Butler, OF: Explosive is the best word to describe Butler, who is fresh off starring in the Arizona Fall League. Butler has a strong combination of plus power and speed and can impact the game with one swing. It’s a three true outcomes profile at the plate with a heavy dose of strikeouts, walks and extra-base power. In recent years Butler has proven himself a capable outfielder, avoiding the first baseman-only tag he wore previously. He’s an exciting player who's likely a few seasons away from true impact in the major leagues.
Hogan Harris, LHP: A 2018 third-rounder out of Louisiana-Lafayette, Harris has enjoyed success over parts of two major league seasons. Harris has missed significant time due to injury, missing the 2018 season recovering from an elbow injury—which eventually led to Tommy John surgery that cost him the 2021 season. It’s reasonable to view 2022 as Harris’ first fully healthy season, as he reached Triple-A Las Vegas by season’s end. Harris’ four-pitch mix consists of fastball, changeup, curveball and slider. His pitch usage heavily relies on his low-to-mid-90s fastball with good ride and heavy bore and two swing-and-miss secondaries in his changeup and high-spin curveball.
Johan Rojas, OF: One of the best athletes in baseball, Rojas is a standout center fielder with tools that haven’t yet translated to a great deal of offensive success. Rojas hit .244/.309/.354 with 37 extra-base hits and 62 stolen bases across High-A and Double-A in 2022. He finished his season in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .310/.423/.452 over 12 games with the AFL champions Surprise. While Rojas’ offensive game still needs more time to marinate, his defensive skills would make him a worthy option for many clubs in the Rule 5 draft.
Mike Burrows, RHP: A cold weather prep arm selected by the Pirates in the 11th round of the 2018 draft, Burrows has blossomed over the last two seasons into a power righthander. Burrows mixes three pitches headed off by a mid-90s four-seam fastball with heavy ride and a mid-80s 11-to-5 curveball with depth and plus spin rates in the 2,800-2,900 rpm range. While Burrows is primarily viewed as a two-pitch power arm, his changeup saw around a 15% usage rate with above-average whiff, chase and strike rate metrics. While Burrows’ 5.31 ERA across 10 Triple-A starts is unappealing his underlying numbers were strong (3.98 FIP, 16.7% K-BB rate) and his luck on balls in play was well below-average (.333 BABIP, 60.8% left on base rate). Burrows will likely return to Triple-A to begin the 2023 season, but should join the Pirates major league roster by some point next summer. Burrows has the stuff to flourish right now in a major league bullpen, but has shown enough starter upside to continue on that path.
Endy Rodriguez, C: Since the Pirates acquired Rodriguez in the three team trade that sent Joey Lucchesi to the Mets and Joe Musgrove to the Padres, Rodriguez has blossomed into one of the top catching prospects in the minor leagues. He hit .323/.407/.590 with 39 doubles and 25 home runs, climbing to Triple-A by season's end. Rodriguez is a plus contact hitter with above-average approach and average game power. While he lacks high-end exit velocities, his hard hit rate of 32% was average. He makes consistent line drive contact, takes professional at-bats and has the discerning eye to recognize the mistakes and capitalize on them.
Colin Selby, RHP: A 2018 16th-rounder out of Division III Randolph-Macon (Va.), Selby performed as a 24-year-old at Double-A, striking out 41 batters over 32.2 innings. He saw a late season promotion to Triple-A, a level he’ll likely return to in 2023. Selby is a power reliever who sits 95-98 mph on his fastball and pairs it with two different breaking balls. He throws a low-80s curveball with dynamic two-plane break and depth and a harder slider in the high 80s with late sweep. He throws enough strikes and mixes shapes with power, giving Selby a chance to crack into the Pirates middle relief corps in the coming years.
Jared Triolo, SS: A well-rounded player with a hit tool driven offensive profile and the ability to play a variety of premium defensive positions, Triolo has the tools of a super-utility player with the ability to do a little of everything well. He’s a plus contact hitter with plus on-base skills, rarely if ever swinging himself into outs, and he gets the most out of his fringe-average raw power, using a line drive-focused approach. He’s an above-average baserunner who stole 24 bases in 2022 on 29 attempts, and has the heads-up intangibles that play up in the field and on the basepaths. Triolo will likely spend a majority of his season at Triple-A but could play his way onto the Pirates active roster with another standout camp.
St. Louis Cardinals
Connor Thomas, LHP: Since his days in the Georgia Tech rotation Thomas has always outperformed his pure power and stuff. While Thomas sits just 88-90 mph on his fastball, his ability to mix four pitches and two fastball variations in a variety of counts and land them for strikes has allowed Thomas to find success at the highest levels of the minor leagues. Thomas is riding a wave of momentum into the offseason after pitching in the Arizona Fall League’s annual Fall Stars game. While none of Thomas’ pitches jump off the spreadsheet in stuff+ models his pitchability and advanced sequencing have allowed him to be a duck in a pond full of swans.
San Diego Padres
Tom Cosgrove, LHP: While the name Tom Cosgrove might sound like the weekend anchor on your local news he’s in fact a former 12th-round pick back in 2017 out of Manhattan College. He moved into the bullpen full-time in 2021 and further evolved heading into 2022, as he ditched his more vertical mid-70s curveball for a sweeper in the 78-82 mph range. This change led to further success for Cosgrove as his stuff plays up from a low, sidearm slot. He missed bats at a high rate with his sweeper and it allowed his below-average fastball velocity to play up when paired against it. Cosgrove has a chance to step into the Padres bullpen in 2023 to provide a change-of-pace look.
Pitch Clock Reduces 2023 Opening Day Games By Average of 29 Minutes
Opening Day games averaged 2 hours, 42 minutes with the new pitch clock this year, down from 3:11 on Opening Day in 2022.
San Francisco Giants
Marco Luciano, SS: There was little doubt that Luciano would be protected before the deadline. Luciano ranks within the top 20 prospects in the game and has some of the highest hit and power upside in the minor leagues. The slugging infielder hit .263/.339/.459 with a 22.2% strikeout rate as a 20-year-old at HIgh-A. Unfortunately Luciano has missed time this season with a back issue, but returned to the Eugene lineup in late August. With a spot on the 40-man roster, Luciano could play his way onto the Giants active roster in early 2024 with a standout 2023 campaign.
Luis Matos, OF: It was a disappointing season for Matos by all measures. After hitting .313/.358/.494 across 109 games at Low-A as a 19-year-old, Matos followed up that campaign with a .211/.275/.344 line across 91 games with Eugene. He rebounded some with a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, but there are still questions around his ability to hit for impact consistently. He’s a strong defender in the outfield capable of handling center field on an everyday basis, and he has bat-to-ball skills—but his aggressive, swing-happy approach often gets Matos into trouble. If he can cut his chase rate in a similar fashion to that of Brewers prospect Esteury Ruiz, he has a chance to develop into a hit-over-power profile with speed on the basepaths.
Brett Wisely, 2B: Acquired from the Rays prior to the roster deadline in exchange for Tristan Peters, Wisely has made his bones over the last two years as a gritty bat-driven second baseman. He hit .274/.371/.460 over 112 games with Double-A Montgomery. Wisely shows the ability to hit for contact, get on base and hit the ball hard in the air. He’s limited to second base defensively but has the sort of plate skills and average or better power that could play everyday in the role.
Keaton Winn, RHP: A two-time draftee out of Iowa Western JC, Winn hadn’t pitched competitively since 2019 before the 2022 season. After a strong performance across three levels, Winn finished the season with a 6-6 record, a 4.08 ERA, a 27.1% strikeout rate and a 6.9% walk rate. His four-pitch mix features four different pitches that could grade out as above-average on stuff alone. His four-seam fastball sits 94-96 mph and touches 100 mph at peak with ride and heavy bore. His primary secondary is a mid-80s splitter that generated whiffs and chases at rates higher than 40% in 2022. He also mixes in a mid-80’s slider with tight traditional slider shape and a two-seam fastball with similar peak velocity to his four-seam. It’s a powerful arsenal and Winn has had very little professional experience. It’s an exciting profile with a reliever floor and starter upside.
Tristan Beck, RHP: Selected in the fourth round out of Stanford in 2018, the righthander pitched his way onto the 40-man roster despite having rough campaigns in back-to-back seasons. Beck uses four pitches—a fastball that sits 92-94 mph, a mid-80s slider with moderate sweep, an upper-70s curveball with plus depth and a mid-80s changeup. It’s a starter’s pitch mix and Beck could fit into a depth starter or longman role in the short term.
Jose Cruz, RHP: A two-pitch power righthander who struck out 42.6% of the batters he faced in 2022, Cruz sits 95-97 mph on a two-seam fastball with a flat vertical approach angle, pairing it with a sweepy mid-80s slider. He’s a true power sidearmer, as he has a low side arm slot and long arm action that plays up the deception on his power one-two punch. Cruz is still a few years away but could develop into a middle relief option for the Giants by the summer of 2024.
Prelander Berroa, RHP: Acquired from the Giants last May for Donovan Walton, Berroa has made a name for himself mowing down hitters with a ruthless two-pitch plan of attack. Berroa mixes a high-90s fastball with explosive riding life that topped out at 101.8 mph this season with a tight high-80s slider with spin rates in the 2,500 rpm range on average. Undersized at 5-foot-11, Berroa’s frame and two-pitch-focused arsenal lead to the obvious reliever tag. Despite a combination of plus velocity and vertical break on his fastball, Berroa’s go-to pitch is his slider, as he saw a sharp increase in usage following his trade to the Mariners organization. He’s an exciting talent whose high-octane stuff could play in a variety of roles.
Isaiah Campbell, RHP: Health has long been the sticking point for Campbell, as he’s dealt with injuries dating back to his time at Arkansas. In 2022 Campbell took to a move to the bullpen, as he blossomed as a two-pitch reliever. The bespectacled righthander tossed 27 innings from June 8 on, allowing just five earned runs, two home runs and three walks to 42 strikeouts. Campbell’s arsenal consists of two pitches, a mid-90s four-seam fastball that was clocked at 100 mph this season and a low-to-mid-80s slider with over a foot of sweep. Campbell’s slider is his most thrown pitch, seeing a greater than 60% usage rate in 2022. With good health and success in a newfound role, Campbell could contribute for the big league club in 2023.
Jonatan Clase, OF: While Clase is less likely to fill an MLB role right now, his exciting power and speed potential made his addition to the 40-man roster imperative. Clase led the California League in stolen bases and triples this season and showcased a knack for hard contact. On the other hand, Clase is still an aggressive switch-hitter who will swing himself into outs. While he flashes as much upside as any player currently in Seattle’s system, he also can be a maddening talent at times. His 70-grade speed and power potential from both sides of the plate likely would have been too much for many clubs to pass on in the Rule 5 draft.
Cade Marlowe, OF: A former 20th-round pick and product of Division II college baseball, Marlowe is an instinctive and heady player who’s been productive over his two-plus seasons as a professional. He’s an excellent baserunner and strong outfield defender capable of handling all three outfield slots. He has fringe-average power and bat-to-ball skills, but compensates for those deficiencies with above-average plate discipline and optimal launch angles. Marlowe is a player that can fill a bench role for the Mariners in the coming years and may have been a strong Rule 5 candidate had he gone unprotected.
Tampa Bay Rays
Taj Bradley, RHP: One of the top pitching prospects in the game, Bradley heavily leans on a powerful two-pitch arsenal. With a four-seam fastball that sits 94-96 mph with plus vertical break, inducing whiffs and chases. His command for his fastball is plus, as he consistently hits his spots despite plus stuff. His primary secondary is a high-80s slider-cutter hybrid that drove chases on 40% of swings against it. He showed better feel and confidence for a splitter this season and will show a low-80s curveball. Bradley should return to Triple-A Durham to begin the season where he’ll look to tighten his execution against the minors' highest level of competition.
Curtis Mead, 3B: Few if any prospects in baseball possess Mead’s plus combination of contact and power. Both Mead’s hit tool and power grade out as plus. He hit .298/.390/.532 with 27 doubles and 13 home runs in 76 games between Double-A and Triple-A. He was shutdown in September with an elbow issue that plagued him throughout the season. While his health might be in doubt heading into next season, his ability to hit his way into the Rays active roster is not. There’s a real chance Mead is in the middle of the Rays order by July. After the Tampa offense was anemic for stretches in 2022, Mead’s impact will be a welcomed addition.
Greg Jones, SS: Tooled up switch-hitters are among the riskiest profiles in the amateur world. While there’s significant upside if it all clicks, there’s added pitfalls with this style of player. While Jones has had his ups and downs as a professional the organization showed prior to the deadline the still value his upside highly. Jones possesses plus speed that translates to high stolen base totals and average raw power. His profile comes with a high amount of swing and miss that’s limited his upside and production as a professional. He’s a solid shortstop defender with all tools to stick but lacks an internal clock. All of Jones’ tools look good on paper but they’ve yet to translate to sustain success and production.
Osleivis Basabe, SS: Some players standout for loud tools while others standout for their ability to play the game. Basabe falls into the latter category with the ability to slow the game down and make heady plays on both sides of the ball. He’s a standout defender that shows soft hands, excellent transfers and a quick release that plays up average arm strength. At the plate he looks to out the ball in play and rarely swings and misses, his swing is level and a majority of his contact is groundballs, but he does display above-average bat speed and average or better plate skills. Basabe looks like a classic utility infielder long term, capable of handling multiple spots in the infield with the contact and approach to avoid looking overmatched.
Colby White, RHP: White was major league ready by the end of 2021 but was placed on the IL in early April and underwent Tommy John surgery. Prior to the injury he sat 93-96 mph and dominated with his high ride fastball in the top of the zone. He paired his plus fastball with a mid-80s slider with more depth than tilt. It’s a powerful pitch mix that looked destined for the Rays bullpen prior to his injury. He’ll likely return toward the end of 2023 in a rehab capacity, gearing up for 2024.
Luisangel Acuna, SS: The younger brother of Ronald Acuña Jr., Luisangel is a standout player on his own. Blessed with athleticism and twitch that seems to run in the Acuña family, Luisangel stood out this season, hitting .277/.369/.426 with 11 home runs and 40 stolen bases across 91 games split between High-A and Double-A. He finished his season in the Arizona Fall League with Surprise, playing in 21 games and earning selection to the annual Fall Stars Game. Acuña should return to Double-A to begin 2023, when he’ll play the entire season at 21 years of age.
Owen White, RHP: A trendy breakout pick entering the season, White rode a wave of momentum leftover from the previous Fall’s showing in the AFL. White pitched well over the first half of 2022 amassing a 9-2 record and a 3.59 ERA with 104 strikeouts to 23 walks over 80.1 innings. He was shut down in July with elbow fatigue but returned in the final week of the season. White throws four pitches, led by a four-seam fastball that sits 94-97 mph with ride and bore. His primary secondary is a sweepy mid-80s slider with some depth, but he’ll use his low-80s curveball with 11-5 shape and good depth interchangeably. He flashes a changeup as well, though it works primarily as a chase pitch and is a clear fourth option. White has a starter’s pitch mix and has proven productive in the role, it’s just a matter of proving he can maintain health and handle a starter’s workload.
Dustin Harris, OF: After a breakout 2021 that saw Harris earn inclusion within the Top 100 Prospects, Harris’ prospect status plateaued in 2022. He had a good offensive season, hitting .257/.346/.471 with 17 home runs and 19 stolen bases while striking out in just 19.4% of his at bats. It’s a hit-tool driven profile with average approach and power that fits as a corner outfielder. Harris rarely swings and misses, showing himself to be a plus contact hitter over the last two seasons, but you’d like to see more actualized power in his profile. He could develop into an average corner outfielder with the ability to hit for a higher average with 18-20 home run power.
Cole Winn, RHP: Once a heralded prep righthander from the California high school ranks, Winn’s professional career has been a roller-coaster ride. After falling from grace with poor performance during his first professional season in 2019, Winn rebounded coming out of the pandemic, producing a strong season in 2021 with Double-A Frisco. Expectations were once again high for Winn entering 2022, but he struggled to throw strikes, miss bats and keep hitters off his fastball at Triple-A. It’s uncertain how much of Winn’s struggles were impacted by the tough PCL run environments, but no doubt 2022 is a season Winn would like to put in the rear-view.
Jonathan Ornelas, 2B: One of the breakout prospects for the Rangers this season, Ornelas hit .299/.360/.425 with 20 doubles and 14 home runs over 123 games with Double-A Frisco. He started 86 games at shortstop in 2022 but has the ability to handle third base, second base or any of the outfield positions. Ornelas seems best suited for a super-utility role long term.
Zak Kent, RHP: A 2019 ninth-round pick out of Virginia Military Academy, Kent has progressed rapidly as a professional. He stood out coming out of the pandemic in 2021, performing well across High-A and Double-A. He returned to Double-A to start 2022, producing solid results before a late-season promotion to Triple-A. Kent navigated the treacherous waters of the PCL, allowing two home runs and five earned runs over 27 innings. Kent throws four pitches but his primary mix consists of four-seam fastball with ride and cut at 92-94 mph and a mid-80s slider with high spin rates and some sweep. He’ll mix in a mid-70s 11-5 curveball as well as a splitter, but they’re clear third and fourth offerings.
Toronto Blue Jays
Yosver Zulueta, RHP: After a pair of injuries that kept him on the shelf for the better part of three seasons, Zulueta returned to the mound in 2022 to standout results. He ascended all four full-season levels, finishing his year in the Triple-A Buffalo bullpen. The Jays were cautious with Zulueta in the second half of the season, moving him to the bullpen with Double-A New Hampshire to limit his innings total. Despite the limited track record as a professional, Zulueta has the stuff to work as a starter. His four-seam fastball sits 97-99 mph and touches 102 mph. He flashes easy velocity on his fastball, but his sweepy low-to-mid-80s slider with depth is his best pitch. He generated whiffs on 41% of swings against the slider in 2022 and drove chase swings at a 30% rate overall. While thrown less than his slider and fastball, Zulueta’s changeup is also an above-average pitch that drove good results in limited use. He’ll also use a low-80s curveball that looks like a spiked version of his slider out of the hand. Zulueta has plus stuff and the potential to develop into an electric five-inning starter.
Addison Barger, SS: After middling results over his first three professional seasons, Barger broke out with High-A Vancouver in 2022. He hit .300/.366/.558 with 14 home runs over 69 games with Vancouver before a promotion to Double-A New Hampshire in mid July. Barger hit .313/.384/.528 with nine home runs over 47 games. He earned a late-season promotion to Triple-A Buffalo at the end of the season before reporting to the Arizona Fall League. Barger was shut down early in AFL play with an injury. Barger’s aggressive tendencies at the plate and unusual swing give some evaluators pause, but he has undeniable above-average lefthanded power with the ability to handle shortstop or third bas. There’s been speculation that Barger could be the long term answer for the Blue Jays at second base.
Orelvis Martinez, SS: With a strong 2022 season and a standout spring training, Martinez entered the 2022 season with as much helium as any prospect in the minors. However, after a tumultuous 2022 campaign, he leaves with the year with serious questions around his long-term impact. Martinez set a club record for the Double-A New Hampshire FisherCats with 30 home runs, but he also hit .203 across .492 plate appearances. Martinez has natural power and bat-to-ball ability but his overzealous approach often will lead to bad chase swings and contact on the wrong pitches early in counts. Martinez is likely to return to Double-A to refine his approach.
Spencer Horwitz, 1B: To make it as a first base- only prospect you have to hit, and Horwitz has done just that over the last two seasons. While it’s a hit and approach over power profile, Horwitz has displayed above-average game power without selling out his approach. He hit .275/.391/.452 with 95 strikeouts to 73 walks split between Double-A and Triple-A. With a nice balance of bat-to-ball skills, approach and power Horwitz could blossom into an everyday player in a similar mold to Ty France.
Jackson Rutledge, RHP: The 6-foot-8 righthander was selected by the Nationals in the first round of the 2019 draft. After reaching Low-A in his first summer as a professional Rutledge has since struggled with health. He returned to the Low-A level for the third time this season and not only found health but greater consistency. While Rutledge is still prone to blow up outings, he ended the season on a high note, posting a 4-1 record, 3.09 ERA and 40 strikeouts to 10 walks over 35 innings. Rutledge pairs two fastball variations, which sit 94-96 mph and top out at 98-99 mph, with a low-to-mid-80s slider with tighter true slider shape. The development path has been long for Rutledge but he could see his timeline accelerated with a move to the bullpen.
Jeremy De La Rosa, OF: After receiving a lot of hype upon initially signing, De La Rosa’s prospect helium has dissipated in recent years. After a strong showing in 2022 De La Rosa has rekindled his prospect stock. De La Rosa hit .315/.394/.505 with 10 home runs over 69 games with Low-A Fredericksburg in 2022. He balances moderately aggressive tendencies at the plate with average bat-to-ball skills and potentially plus game power. He’s a slugger a few seasons away from impact, but is nonetheless a prospect worth protecting.
Matt Cronin, LHP: A dominant college reliever during his time with Arkansas, Cronin has continued down that path as a professional, making 88 relief appearances over two and a half minor league seasons. Cronin spent a majority of his season with Triple-A Rochester in 2022, making 34 appearances and striking out 34 batters over 35.2 innings. Cronin’s arsenal is centered around a low-90s fastball with elite vertical break, as Cronin generates more than 20 inches of induced vertical break on average. He pairs it with a slider, curveball and changeup.
Jose A. Ferrer, LHP: A powerful lefthanded reliever who represented the Nationals in this year’s Futures Game, Ferrer spent the majority of his season with High-A Wilmington. Ferrer mixes a four-seam fastball that sits 94-96 mph and touches 98-99 mph with a plus, high-80s changeup that generated whiffs at a near 50% rate in 2022. He’s likely a year away from impact but could find himself in a high-leverage role for the Nationals by early 2024.
Jake Alu, 3B: an afterthought coming out of Boston College in 2019, Alu lasted until the 24th round before being selected by the Nationals. He produced a strong season coming out of the 2020 pandemic and continued to be productive throughout 2022. He hit .299/.365/.506 across 132 games split between Double-A and Triple-A and played his way onto the Nationals’ 40-Man roster. With abundant opportunity in Washington, Alu could see time in the major leagues by mid-summer.
Jake Irvin, RHP: Drafted out of Oklahoma in 2018, Irvin missed all of 2021 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He showed no ill effects, tossing 103.1 innings between High-A and Double-A. He struck out more than a batter an inning and limited his walks. With a three-pitch mix consisting of a mid-90s four-seam fastball, a low-80s curveball with two-plane break and a changeup he can land for strikes, Irvin has the makings of a reliable innings-eater at the back end of a rotation. With the ample opportunity in Washington Irvin could debut in the big leagues early in 2023.