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Prospect All-Star Teams By Age

Anthony Volpe (Somerset Patriots)
Anthony Volpe (Somerset Patriots)

Baseball America selects an overall minor league all-star team each season and also chooses all-stars at each minor league level.

This year I wanted to take that concept and give it a different spin: prospect all-star teams by the ages.

Each group from age 19—with many players making their full-season debuts—to age 23—with many players poised to contribute in MLB next season—receives its own all-star team.

In this way, prospects are compared against their peers of the same age, rather than players at the same minor league level or players who may be more experienced and more physically mature. Because one thing is universally true of player development: more experienced, more physically mature players hit for more power.

But that doesn't mean the younger players won't get to those levels of power production one day.

Viewing standout minor league performers by the ages also has utility for dynasty league players, who may seek to have as many players as possible passing through the theoretical peak ages of 25 to 27 at a given time.

In choosing these all-star rosters, I made a few cheats to shoehorn worthy players onto various teams. I also applied a flex position to each of the five teams, typically choosing two catchers per team and sometimes adding a second DH. This is a reflection of the insane talent level at the catcher position currently in the minor leagues and also the fact that catchers have it tough, so depth is important.

Only players who retain prospect eligibility for 2023 were selected.

A note about statistics:

• The WAR totals are my own simple calculations based on the estimated wins above replacement value of hitters' offensive contributions (batWAR) and pitchers' fielding-independent pitching ERA (fipWAR). Strict accuracy is not guaranteed or even implied.

OPS+ and ISO+ for hitters and ERA+ and K-BB+ are adjusted for ballpark and compared to league average rates. FIP is park-adjusted.

OW25% is offensive winning percentage projected to age 25. It translates what a player does today in the minor leagues into what he might do in the majors at his peak value tomorrow, based on his current age and proximity to MLB. This is merely a guideline for the value of the runs the player created in the context of his current league and home park.

Age 19 Prospect All-Stars
Players turn 25 in 2028

CEdgar QueroLAA4.4X519152151.601
CHarry FordSEA3.9X503133123.619
1BDeyvison de los SantosARI3.3XXX569130134.513
2BAdael AmadorCOL3.9X557134107.580
3BJordan Lawlar*ARI3.9XXX439144140.677
SSMarcelo MayerBOS3.7XX427141153.622
OFJasson DominguezNYY4.7XXX533139142.653
OFEvan CarterTEX3.8XX480142135.637
OFJames WoodSD3.5X331165168.703
DHKevin AlcantaraCHC3.8X501136147.615

* Jordan Lawlar appeared only at shortstop this season, but I cheated by moving him to third base to get both him and Marcelo Mayer on this team.

While there aren't enough 18-year-olds in full-season ball to form a complete team, Brewers outfielder Jackson Chourio and Reds shortstop Edwin Arroyo are two notable exceptions who would not be out of place on this team of 19-year-olds.

SPAndrew PainterPHI3.5XXX1041632092.00
SPCristian MenaCWS2.4XXX1051171403.23
SPRicky TiedemannTOR2.2XXX791481792.51
SPEury PerezMIA1.7XX751121823.52
SPTink HenceSTL1.7X521632081.68

Andrew Painter and Ricky Tiedemann were two of the biggest pitching prospect breakouts of 2022. Each started at Low-A and climbed to High-A and then Double-A. Joining them on that development trek was White Sox righthander Cristian Mena, who is flying under radars.

Eury Perez was advanced enough to open the season at Double-A as a teenager, a rare and impressive feat.

Age 20 Prospect All-Stars
Players turn 25 in 2027

CFrancisco AlvarezNYM4.1XXX501140153.720
CDiego CartayaLAD3.7XX447145161.596
1BColt Keith*DET2.4X217168189.760
2BKyren ParisLAA3.4XX437128134.630
3BElly De La CruzCIN4.9XX514153184.651
SSEzequiel TovarCOL3.3XXX319150136.793
OFPete Crow-ArmstrongCHC4.5XX474154150.628
OFRobert Hassell IIIWSH3.5XX51612498.614
OFJordan WalkerSTL3.1X544121109.547
DHNoelvi MarteCIN3.0X524120106.438

* Colt Keith played exclusively third base and second base this season, but I cheated by moving him to first base on this team. He's a 6-foot-3 lefthanded hitter who is bound to produce more power in the seasons ahead. This is more a case of having no good first base alternatives for the age-20 group and a desire to acknowledge Keith's upside.

Honorable mention: The Guardians' Angel Martinez and the Rangers' Thomas Saggese are both 20-year-old middle infielders who reached Double-A. They got squeezed out of this age-20 roster but are intriguing prospect targets in deep leagues.

SPKyle HarrisonSF2.5XX1131361853.27
SPDax FultonMIA2.6XX1181051463.30
SPCarlos RodriguezMIL2.1XX1071361453.29
SPMick AbelPHI1.5XX1081151154.03
Miguel UllolaHOU1.2X721231473.82

Most notable here is that 20-year-olds Kyle Harrison, Dax Fulton and Mick Abel are 2020 draftees who have zoomed to Double-A.

Age 21 Prospect All-Stars
Players turn 25 in 2026

CDalton Rushing*LAD2.5X130238219.919
1BKyle ManzardoTB5.2XX407186191.759
2BCurtis MeadTB2.7XX335138133.640
3BGunnar HendersonBAL4.9XXX511152134.710
SSAnthony VolpeNYY3.9XX604126134.590
OFMason AuerTB4.5XX536145148.539
OFCeddanne RafaelaBOS3.8XX527134148.554
OFCorbin CarrollARI3.6XXX437140150.606
DHGeorge ValeraCLE3.1XX569121133.535
DHJordan DiazOAK2.9XXX530123119.533

* As a 2022 draft pick, Dalton Rushing has a lot less playing time than other players here, but his pro debut was just that impressive, both by these measures and his batting traits. The Dodgers appear to have struck gold in the draft—again—with the selection of Rushing out of Louisville in the second round.

Gunnar Henderson and Corbin Carroll joined fellow 2019 draftees Bobby Witt Jr., Riley Greene and CJ Abrams in MLB late in the season. This group of 2019 preps—Brett Baty and Anthony Volpe were also first-rounders that year—may go down as one of the best ever.

Henderson and Carroll are preseason favorites to be AL and NL Rookies of the Year in 2023.

SPTaj BradleyTB2.9XX1331471463.53
SPMichael McGreevySTL2.9XX1441231123.82
SPBlake WalstonARI2.4XX1241191333.72
SPWilmer FloresDET2.4XX1041361673.17
SPSimeon Woods RichardsonMIN3.0XXX1081471493.20

D-backs lefthander Blake Walston gained feel for his changeup in the second half at Double-A Amarillo, a hitter's paradise, which portends well as he adds velocity with physical maturity.

Age 22 Prospect All-Stars
Players turn 25 in 2025

CEndy RodriguezPIT5.5XXX536166161.589
CLogan O'HoppeLAA4.9XX450160160.722
1BChristian Encarnacion-StrandCIN5.1XX541157187.598
2BConnor NorbyBAL3.8XXX553137148.504
3BBrett BatyNYM4.6XXX420161133.736
SSAddison BargerTOR5.5XXX530161160.665
OFJustyn-Henry MalloyATL5.6XXX601145124.668
OFColton CowserBAL5.3XXX630139118.583
OFSal FrelickMIL4.6XXX55913997.616
DHBo NaylorCLE4.5XXX514141145.653

Catcher is so deep in the minor leagues right now that the 22-year-old all-star team includes three of them! Endy Rodriguez and Logan O'Hoppe were two of the better overall performers in the minor leagues, but excluding Bo Naylor and his 20-homer, 20-steal performance just didn't seem right.

Honorable mention: Rangers outfielder Aaron Zavala, Rockies catcher/first baseman Hunter Goodman and Yankees catcher Austin Wells all had great seasons and would not be out of place here.

SPMason MontgomeryTB3.1XX1241541753.14
SPGrayson RodriguezBAL2.9XXX751442111.97
SPGordon GraceffoSTL2.9XX1401441543.73
SPGavin WilliamsCLE2.8XX1151571602.99
SPBen BrownCHC2.7XX1041281793.11

Mason Montgomery, Gordon Graceffo and Gavin Williams are all 2021 draftees who passed the Double-A test in their first full pro seasons.

Anthony Volpe Photo By J. Conrad Williams, Jr. Newsday RM Via Getty Images

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Age 23 Prospect All-Stars
Players turn 25 in 2024

CYainer DiazHOU3.1XXX490133144.533
1BNiko KavadasBOS6.2XXX519170192.620
2BEdouard JulienMIN4.0X512128105.548
3BCasey SchmittSF4.2XXX529142132.533
SSJordan WestburgBAL3.6XX623125134.478
OFEsteury RuizMIL6.8XXX534160129.739
OFTyler GentryKC4.6XX491152135.589
OFOscar ColasCWS4.0XXX527143143.520
DHAlec BurlesonSTL3.6XX476139125.573
DHJonny DeLucaLAD3.6XX442147186.528

If your dynasty team is looking for reinforcements on a shorter timeline, this group of players will be popping up in MLB in 2023 and 2024. Some have already gotten there.

A couple of 24-year-old hitters I like for upside and opportunity in 2023 are Cubs first baseman Matt Mervis and Tigers outfielder Kerry Carpenter. On the pitching side, these 24-year-olds should get MLB run in 2023: Braves lefthander Kyle Muller and Twins righthander Louie Varland.

SPGavin StoneLAD4.2XXX1211691992.55
SPBrandon PfaadtARI4.1XX1671372203.71
SPTanner BibeeCLE3.6XX1331511802.70
SPHunter BrownHOU3.1XX1061471683.67
SPBryce MillerSEA3.0XXX1341331473.41

The group of age-23 pitching prospects offers a wealth of options. In addition to those listed above, Nationals righthander Cade Cavalli, Giants righthander Landen Roupp, Reds lefthander Andrew Abbott, Dodgers righthander Bobby Miller and Mariners righthander Taylor Dollard all had success at the upper levels and are poised for MLB debuts in the near future.

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