The 2024 Not Top 100 MLB All-Prospect Team


Image credit: Pitcher Jack Leiter of the Frisco RoughRiders pitches (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

A common misconception is that prospects that aren’t on a top 100 prospect list aren’t particularly valuable players. The truth is, depending on the year, the difference between the 75th overall prospect and the 150th overall prospect is often marginal at best. To illustrate that, we’re going to construct an entire roster of prospects with the following two rules:

Rule 1: Prospect cannot be on ANY of the following 2024 Top 100 Prospects lists:
  • Baseball America
  • MLB Pipeline
  • FanGraphs
  • ESPN
  • The Athletic
  • Baseball Prospectus

2024 Prospect Rankings

Find Preseason Top 30s, our Top 100 and more updated rankings entering the season.

Rule 2: The prospect is a high-probability MLB player, ideally starting in the majors or Triple-A

The goal is that every player selected for this team is a significant MLB contributor in the near future. Sounds challenging? Perhaps. We’ll look back in a year and see how we did. Further, it is this author’s assertion that this team would NOT be the worst team in the major leagues this season. I did a back-of-the-envelope type of projection for this team using ZiPS, and this group would be somewhat equivalent to the 2024 Rockies and Nationals. That’s probably both an indictment on those rosters, as well as a mild endorsement of the quality of these players.

Catcher – Agustin Ramirez, Yankees

The Yankees have a trio of very good catching prospects in Austin Wells, Agustin Ramirez and Ben Rice. Wells ranked among our Top 10 preseason catchers and they rank No. 5, 12 and 20 respectively in the Yankees Top 30. For context, Ramirez currently ranks No. 22 at MLB Pipeline, No. 12 on FanGraphs and No. 7 by Baseball Prospectus. The Yankees protected him on the 40-man roster, which indicates how they value him internally.

I was curious whether Ramirez is well-known, so I did what every scientifically-minded person does, A Twitter/X poll:

I gave voters the option to self identify their level of prospect fandom. Among the “Love Prospects” voting block, only 39% were familiar with him, among the “Baseball Fan” group, only 12% were familiar with him. My prior was that he was relatively obscure. This poll appear to confirm that.

In Spring Training, Ramirez put up a 108.7 mph 90th percentile exit velocity with an average exit velocity of 93.5 mph. Those numbers would give him between 65 to 70 grade raw power. He pairs that with excellent contact rates, though he did struggle a bit more in Double-A. Before 2023, Ramirez toiled for two years in the complex league. The differences in his rankings are likely attributable to how much his recent performance is weighted, and how much evaluators believe in the glove.

Across three levels, he slashed .271/.364/.455, good for a .819 OPS and strongly supported by the underlying exit velocities and contact rates. The only question is whether or not he sticks at catcher. If he does, he’s my personal pick to be the Yankees’ catcher of the future.

Catcher – Ivan Herrera, Cardinals

Herrera has hit at every level, posting wRC+ of 100 or greater at every stop in the minors, including a 147 mark last season in Triple-A. He was a Top 100-150 type prospect a few years ago, and made a lot of strides last season, improving his 90th percentile exit velocity from 104 mph in 2022 to 107 mph in 2023, which is a jump from 50-grade power to 65-grade power. He maintained a pristine 9.6% swinging-strike percentage, with the only flaw in the profile being a sub-optimal 7.7 degree launch angle, which is limiting the power output. The bat will play, and we have him as an average receiver and blocker with a fringe-average arm. He currently ranks No. 6 in the Cardinals system.

DH – Haydn McGeary, Cubs

McGeary is No. 27 in the Cubs system. He’s likely a designated hitter, which means he really needs to mash to make it to the big leagues. McGeary is a massive 6-foot-4 slugger with immense strength who hits the ball harder than almost anyone and has a keen eye for the strike zone. He also makes an impressive amount of contact, posting an excellent swinging strike percentage of 11.6% and 11.8% in High-A and Double-A last season. He clocked in at No. 17 at Baseball Prospectus and No. 21 at MLB Pipeline.

Here’s the familiarity poll:

Geoff Pontes wrote about him last September, and I’ll quote a snippet:

He’s one of two players with a 90th percentile exit velocity over 108 mph with a contact rate above 72% and a chase rate below 25%, and he’s the only player to do that in more than 200 plate appearances this season.

Geoff Pontes, Baseball America

McGeary’s surface level numbers don’t jump off the page, but the underlying metrics Geoff cites are really good. He has plenty of competition ahead of him (that’s life in the DH lane), but I think he’ll be mashing in the big leagues sooner rather than later. His slash line in his final season in college was an absurd .481/.579/1.061 with 35 home runs. Over his collegiate career (722 PA), he hit .448/.522/.930 with 75 homers. This is an elite slugger that you should get to know.

1B – Luken Baker, Cardinals

Read about Baker as a Bold Prediction for 2024.

2B – Connor Norby, Orioles

Norby is a prime example of a high-probability major leaguer that isn’t currently on a top 100 list. He cracked our Top 100 last year, which emphasizes the thesis of this article—the difference in value between the No. 90 prospect to the No. 150 to the No. 180 prospect is negligible.

Norby ranked No. 43 in the 2021 MLB draft, then ranked as the No. 12 prospect in the Orioles system in 2022. He has gradually climbed since, ranking No. 7 in 2023 and No. 6 in 2024 behind guys like Jackson Holliday, Coby Mayo and Samuel Basallo. While Norby won’t hit for a ton of power (he has roughly 40-grade exit velocities), he’s produced at every level, including a 109 wRC+ last season in Triple-A. Steamer and ZiPS project him for almost league-average offense in 2024, should he somehow get playing time in a loaded Baltimore lineup.

SS – Darell Hernaiz, Athletics

ZiPS has Hernaiz, the No. 7 prospect in a thin Oakland system, projected as almost a league-average player as a rookie, with most of the value coming on the defensive side of the ball. But I’m intrigued by the bat. Hernaiz posted 105 mph 90th percentile exit velocity (one mph above MLB average) and a 112 mph max exit velocity (1-2 mph above MLB average) with minuscule whiff rates at only 22 years old in Triple-A. He hits the ball on the ground too much to project for a lot of home runs, but the contact and exit velos more than back up his excellent batting averages throughout the minors.

Our scouting report likes the hands and range but questions the arm, so he may not stick at short, but he should have some time to prove it. We’re talking about a player that might be able to stick at short, with a good shot at hitting .300 with a solid amount of walks, while chipping in around 10 home runs. That’s a very valuable major leaguer, and tremendous progress from being the No. 439 prospect in the 2019 draft.

It appears the average fan is far more familiar with Hernaiz than I had anticipated.

3B – Damiano Palmegiani, Blue Jays

Let’s read off Palmegiani’s wRC+ at each level:

  • 167
  • 141
  • 116
  • 123
  • 146 (Triple-A sample)

This is fully supported by a 107.7 mph 90th percentile exit velocity at Triple-A (+3.5 mph above MLB average, 65- to 70-grade power) with a sublime 19 degree average launch angle, and a very manageable 12.9% swinging strike percentage. Those are numbers that can compete with Coby Mayo’s, with a little bit more juice and a little more swing and miss. This is not to say that Palmegiani is an equivalent prospect to Mayo, but that his underlying offensive data at Triple-A was superb. If he can stick at third base, which is not a given, he could be another impact bat for our non-Top 100 team.

Super Sub – Addison Barger, Blue Jays

Barger played all over the field last year, but he’s far from a weak-hitting super utility type. Barger posted plus exit velos in Triple-A (106 mph 90th percentile exit velocity, 113.7 mph max exit velocity), with excellent contact metrics to boot, albeit with an inability to regularly lift the ball. He’s ready for the show and will provide average defense wherever he plays.

CF – Jonatan Clase, Mariners

Clase has plus-plus speed and ranked as RoboScout’s No. 72 fantasy prospect, though a lot of that is likely driven by the stolen base profile. In our case, we can translate his elite speed into potential defensive value. Our team is a bit lacking defensively, so Clase will hopefully be a strong defender in center field. His profile might look a lot like Jose Siri’s (low average, decent homers, good defense), or perhaps even Ceddanne Rafaela.

RF – Dylan Beavers, Orioles

Just when you thought the Orioles were out of elite hitting prospects, they pull another one back in. Beavers is a shining example of why the Orioles didn’t get to where they are because of tanking. There’s a strong case to be made that Beavers is already a top-100 prospect, with present MLB average exit velocities, pristine zone contact and chase rates, and a present ability to lift the ball, all baked into an athletic, physical 6-foot-4 frame. RoboScout loves the offensive performance, ranking him No. 93, banking on a tremendous 150 wRC+ in Double-A after a 125 wRC+ in High-A.

LF – Justice Bigbie, Tigers

RoboScou ranked Bigbie No. 80, which we are using as a proxy for impact offensive potential. Although he struggled somewhat in a very small Triple-A sample, he absolutely mashed in High-A and Double-A, posting wRCs+ of 161 and 170 respectively. We’re going to stick him in left field and trust that he’ll figure it out.

SP1 – Chayce McDermott, Orioles

The Orioles’ farm system is loaded. McDermott has run a strikeout percentage above 30% at every stop in the minors. That won’t translate directly to the majors, but only eight pitchers did that in the big leagues last season (minimum 100 innings).

McDermott had four pitches that all got above 13% swinging strike percentage in Triple-A last year, headlined by a good fastball that gets plus ride with average velocity. It’s a quality pitch that should be roughly average in the majors. It won’t get a lot of hype because of the lack of elite velo, but the shape is good.

McDermott’s slider is excellent, with great depth and some sweep, and produced excellent results, both from a contact-quality standpoint, as well as plenty of whiffs and chases. He has a curveball with distinct shape from the slider, which isn’t a dominant pitch, but fits well within his arsenal. He rounds it out with a changeup to lefties, giving him plenty of weapons to work with.

While not an exciting prospect, pitchers with average-to-plus fastballs, two distinct breaking balls and a changeup to attack opposite-handed batters are a good bet to succeed in the majors.

SP2 – Dominic Hamel, Mets

Hamel is arguably a five-pitch pitcher that shares a lot of similarities with McDermott. He’s an older pitcher with average velo, plus ride and a variety of pitches, who regularly posts strikeout percentages above 30%. These are the types of pitchers that often go unnoticed until they’re putting up solid seasons in the major leagues.

Hamel primarily works off a 93 mph fastball with great ride, throwing it over 57% of the time, but still missing bats with the pitch. Both his curveball and slider were great at managing contact with distinct shapes. The changeup didn’t get a ton of chase, but was his best pitch for swings and misses in the zone. He mixes in a cutter about 4-5% of the time.

A pitcher with a solid fastball and a potential five-pitch mix, Hamel looks poised to be a quality major league arm in short order.

SP3 – Jack Leiter, Rangers

The things that made Leiter an exciting pitching prospect are still there. He has a fastball with plus velocity and plus ride and spin from a low slot. It’s very hard to rank a pitcher who just posted back to back seasons with ERAs in the fives, but I’m here to tell you that 2024 is the year Leiter figures it out and puts it all together.

Leiter is a high-pedigree pitcher, and comes from a family that produces major league arms. I’m going to look past the struggles to find a consistent breaking ball and bank on him figuring it out.

SP4 – Cade Povich, Orioles

Povich is a five-pitch lefty without a true dominant pitch, making him a perfect non-Top 100 starting pitcher. Each of his five pitches generated swinging strike percentages above 13%, and all were decent at managing contact quality. He needs a tick up in command, but we’re going to bet on the five-pitch mix from the left side.

SP5 – Luis Gil, Yankees

Gil made the Yankees Opening Day roster thanks to a profile that is very similar to Jared Jones: a high velo, high ride fastball with a great slider. He’s lighting up stuff models, and is probably our highest upside starter, other than perhaps Joe Boyle.

SP6 – Joe Boyle, Athletics

Read about Boyle as a Bold Prediction for 2024.


We’d fill out our bullpen, with some of these guys.

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