Seven Prospects Primed To Bounce Back In 2023

Image credit: Henry Davis (Photo by Tom DiPace)

There’s an old cliche in the scouting and player development space; development isn’t linear. This old adage plays out each season as highly rated prospects struggle and players are written off due to a down season the previous year. The ebbs and flows of minor league development are often apparent in our year-over-year rankings, as work and growth are key parts of a player making good on their promise. 

Below is a list of players coming off of down 2022 campaigns who could be in for bounceback seasons in 2023.

Brady House, 3B, Nationals: A member of the potentially historic and talent-laden high school shortstop class of 2021, House is fully healthy after dealing with a variety of injuries during the 2022 season. A talented player with good size and an easy, powerful righthanded swing, House was moved to third base this season and has impressed with his play during minor league spring training. He’s shown the ability to work deep into counts, hit for power and run. As is often the case, House’s debut season was derailed due to health more than poor play. He returns to Low-A Fredericksburg to begin the 2023 season. Look for House to impress with his plus power and feel to hit early during the 2023 campaign. 

Kahlil Watson, SS, Marlins: After a hot start to the 2022 season, Watson’s first full season came back down to earth quickly. His overzealous approach at the plate and a forgettable on-field incident with an umpire drew plenty of negative attention. Unfortunately, this masked improved performance in the second half of the season. Over his final 30 games Watson hit .264/.373/.509 while walking 13.5% of the time and cutting his strikeout rate by over 30%. During minor league spring training games, Watson looked reinvigorated playing shortstop and showed a more refined approach at the plate. He cleaned up some of the more aggressive tendencies in his swing, displaying a balanced and controlled operation. Look for Watson to recover his prospect pedigree over the first half of 2023. 

Luis Matos, OF, Giants: Much was expected from the Giants talented outfielder entering the 2022 campaign, however things didn’t go as planned. Matos hit just .211/.275/.344 over 91 games with High-A Eugene, and he dealt with injuries during the 2022 season. Matos didn’t impress in the Arizona Fall League or put up big numbers during major league spring training action, but with the experience he’s gained over the last year it’s reasonable to anticipate a rebound in 2023. Matos is the victim of swing happy tendencies, as his swing rate was well above 50% in 2022 and his chase rate was 35%. An improved approach could yield better results in 2023. 


Henry Davis, C, Pirates: The top pick in the 2021 draft experienced some bumps in the road during his first full minor league season. Injuries limited him to just 55 games over the course of the 2022 season. He hit .341/.450/.585 over 22 games with High-A Greenboro but struggled in 31 games with Double-A Altoona, hitting .207/.324/.379. After a solid showing with Surprise in the Arizona Fall League and with a clean bill of health, Davis is poised to rebound in 2023. A bat-first catcher, Davis possesses above-average power and contact skills with average swing decisions. While the Double-A numbers weren’t great, his underlying power, contact and chase rates were all above-average, making it likely he could rebound in a big way in 2023. 

Brennen Davis, OF, Cubs: Only a few years ago Davis was ranked among the top prospects in baseball. Since that point Davis has struggled through an injury plagued year and a half. Still just 23 years old, if Davis can find health it’s reasonable to anticipate a bounceback campaign in 2023. Davis has plus power and has shown excellent on-base ability throughout his minor league career. A return to health could signal a bounceback campaign for Davis. 

Orelvis Martinez, SS, Blue Jays: Martinez hit 30 home runs in 2022 as a 20-year-old at the Double-A level, but that was accompanied by a .203/.286/.446 slash line and a 28.5% strikeout rate. Young for the level, Martinez showed his immaturity with an extremely aggressive approach. Improvements to his swing decisions could lead to Martinez recapturing his prospect stock quickly. A talented hitter with easy plus power, Martinez has the natural abilities to develop into a star. 

Ronny Mauricio, SS, Mets: Similar to Martinez, Mauricio was a highly touted prospect whose status as a Top 100 prospect was impacted by his overly aggressive swing tendencies. At 21 years old Mauricio crushed 26 home runs with Double-A Binghamton but hit just .259/.296/.472 in large part due to his lack of approach. The ingredients are still there for Mauricio to develop into a very good player but he’ll need to cut down on his aggressive swing tendencies in order to meet the expectations placed on him early in his career. He showed power once again during his time with the major league team in spring training but his approach was still lacking. 

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