The best teams in the minors on Opening Day 2023 are weighted heavily towards the upper levels of the minors. Nine of the Top 10 are Double-A or Triple-A teams, and the list is led by a pair of Triple-A teams that combined in their season-opener to place a full tenth of BA’s Top 100 on the field at the same time.
The only lower-level roster with multiple Top 100 prospects can be found in Brooklyn, which opened with catcher Kevin Parada and outfielder Alex Ramirez as the crown jewels of its group.
A trio of clubs in the Eastern League made the list as well, with Somerset, Hartford and Akron all on the list. Somerset and Hartford have two Top 100 prospects apiece, and Akron has an excellent roster fronted by one of the best pitching prospects in a system known for pumping out arms.
Cleveland, in fact, is the only system to place two of its teams in the top 10.
All evaluations are based on the rosters at the completion of play on April 6, 2023.
- Norfolk Tides, Triple-A Orioles
It should come as no surprise that Baltimore—our top-ranked farm system—begins the year with one of the most talented rosters in the minor leagues. And that’s even with Grayson Rodriguez in the big leagues. In his absence, Norfolk boasts five Top 100 prospects: Infielders Jordan Westburg, Joey Ortiz and Connor Norby, outfielder Colton Cowser and lefthander D.L. Hall. If you looked at the Tides’ roster on Triple-A Opening Day last week, where Rodriguez was on the mound, the six Top 100 players on one roster would rival the best Opening Day roster we’ve seen since Baseball America began compiling a Top 100 Prospects list in 1990. Only five organizations had six players on the Top 100 this year, Norfolk had six on one minor league team.
- Durham Bulls, Triple-A Rays
Tampa Bay always has a good system, so it’s no surprise that Durham always sends plenty of talent through the DBAP. The Bulls’ season-opening tilt with Norfolk featured a full tenth of BA’s Top 100 list. Their roster is fronted by talented righthander Taj Bradley and buttressed by infielders Jonathan Aranada, Curtis Mead and Kyle Manzardo. Look out for rising infielder Osleivis Basabe, too.
- Columbus Clippers, Triple-A Guardians
The Guardians’ system is stacked as well, and their Triple-A roster holds five of the organization’s best prospects. Unsurprisingly, the Clippers’ ship is led by pitching, including Top 100 prospects Logan T. Allen and Tanner Bibee. The offense is also plenty talented, and includes catcher Bo Naylor, infielder Brayan Rocchio and outfielder George Valera, all of whom rank among the Top 100.
- Brooklyn Cyclones, High-A Mets
The first non-Triple-A team on this list is Brooklyn, which opens its season with a pair of Top 100 prospects and at least one more who could find himself there with a hot start to his season. The Cyclones’ roster is led by first-round catcher Kevin Parada, who helped Low-A St. Lucie win its league’s championship in his pro debut. The Cyclones also have outfielder Alex Ramirez, who returns to the level looking stronger than a year ago. Don’t forget about Tennessee alum Blade Tidwell, who has nasty stuff and went in the 2022 second round, or righthander Raimon Gomez, who popped for scouts during spring training.
- Frisco RoughRiders, Double-A Rangers
The RoughRiders check in as the most talented Double-A team on the list. They reach that plateau because they house two Top 100 prospects, including top Texas talent Evan Carter, the center fielder with the extraordinarily well-rounded game for someone his age. Carter is complemented by the system’s top pitching prospect, Owen White, who has had trouble staying healthy but has been extraordinary when he gets on the mound. He dealt with injury last season but returned in time to help push Frisco to the Texas League championship. That duo is backed by five more of the organization’s Top 30, including infielders Luisangel Acuña and Thomas Saggese, outfielder Dustin Harris and righthander Jack Leiter. Don’t sleep on lefty flamethrower Grant Wolfram, who could be a weapon out of their bullpen.
- Hartford Yard Goats, Double-A Rockies
The Rockies’ system has been greatly replenished in recent years, and two of its best talents started their seasons in the Eastern League. The roster is led by outfielder Zac Veen, a tooled-up player who can impact the game at the plate, on the bases or with his glove. He’s joined by catcher Drew Romo, an excellent defender who had begun to show offensive upside before injuries to his hand stymied his season. That duo is complemented by intriguing infielders Warming Bernabel and Julio Carreras.
- Memphis Redbirds, Triple-A Cardinals
The best arm on the Redbirds’ roster can be found on the infield, not on the mound. That’s because they have Masyn Winn, a man with a railgun hanging from his shoulder, playing shortstop. St. Louis has shown its faith in Winn by placing him at Triple-A at just 20 years old. Memphis’ next-best arm and second Top 100 prospect is lefty Matthew Liberatore, who has been stellar out of the gate and has touched 98 with his fastball. Righthanders Gordon Graceffo and Guillermo Zuñiga are worth keeping your eyes on as well.
- Oklahoma City Dodgers, Triple-A Dodgers
The Dodgers’ system always seems to be loaded for bear, and its Triple-A team has two of its higher-end prospects. Oklahoma City is led by a pair of Top 100 prospects in righthander Gavin Stone and infielder Michael Busch. The former jumped three levels last year while leading the minor leagues with a 1.48 ERA. The latter is a bat-first infielder who returns to Triple-A after swatting 21 home runs in the Pacific Coast League in 2022.
- Somerset Patriots, Double-A Yankees
The Patriots, fresh off their 2022 Eastern League championship, return two Top 100 prospects, both of whom can be found roaming their outfield. Jasson Dominguez and Everson Pereira both are dynamic talents who can impact the game on both sides of the ball. Dominguez in particular made big impressions in the EL Championship Series and again in big league spring training. Pereira has long shown flashes of his talent but has consistently been waylaid by injuries, including one that kept him off the field during Somerset’s postseason. The Patriots also have the Yankees’ top pitching prospect—righthander Will Warren—who looked excellent during spring training.
- Akron RubberDucks, Double-A Guardians
The gem of Akron’s roster is mammoth righthander Gavin Williams, who broke out in a big way in 2022 with 149 strikeouts in 115 innings in his pro debut, which started at High-A and finished in Double-A. He opened his 2023 campaign on a high note with nine punchouts in 4.1 innings in the RubberDucks’ Opening Day game. Williams is backed by eight more members of the Guardians’ Top 10, including talented infielders Angel Martinez and Jose Tena, pitchers Joey Cantillo, Doug Nikhazy and Tanner Burns and outfielder Petey Halpin.
Here is a look at how many Top 100, Team Top 10 Prospects and Team Top 30 Prospects each MLB and MiLB team has on its active roster (players on the injured list are not included). These are based on rosters as of the end of play on April 6, 2023. We will update the rosters for teams that open on April 7 to reflect any changes to their rosters before their Opening Day.
|Amarillo Sod Poodles||1||2||3|
|Binghamton Rumble Ponies||4|
|Boston Red Sox||2||2||4|
|Bowling Green Hot Rods||1||2||5|
|Cedar Rapids Kernels||1||3||8|
|Charleston (SC) RiverDogs||5|
|Chicago White Sox||1||1||1|
|Corpus Christi Hooks||1||6|
|Down East Wood Ducks||2||7|
|Dunedin Blue Jays||1||5|
|El Paso Chihuahuas||1||4|
|Fort Myers Mighty Mussels||1|
|Fort Wayne TinCaps||1||3||10|
|Great Lakes Loons||1||5|
|Hartford Yard Goats||2||3||5|
|Hudson Valley Renegades||2||3|
|Inland Empire 66ers||2||5|
|Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp||3||8|
|Jersey Shore BlueClaws||1||2|
|Kannapolis Cannon Ballers||1||3|
|Kansas City Royals||0|
|Lake County Captains||2|
|Lake Elsinore Storm||2||5|
|Lakeland Flying Tigers||1||6|
|Las Vegas Aviators||1||1||6|
|Lehigh Valley IronPigs||1||3|
|Los Angeles Angels||1||1||1|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||1||2||3|
|Myrtle Beach Pelicans||1||3|
|New Hampshire Fisher Cats||1||5|
|New York Mets||1||1||1|
|New York Yankees||1||1||1|
|Northwest Arkansas Naturals||7|
|Oklahoma City Dodgers||2||2||3|
|Omaha Storm Chasers||3||6|
|Palm Beach Cardinals||5|
|Pensacola Blue Wahoos||1||2||5|
|Portland Sea Dogs||1||2||4|
|Quad Cities River Bandits||1||3||6|
|Rancho Cucamonga Quakes||2|
|Reading Fightin Phils||1||3||5|
|Richmond Flying Squirrels||2||8|
|Rochester Red Wings||2|
|Rocket City Trash Pandas||1||4||13|
|Round Rock Express||5|
|Sacramento River Cats||1||2||6|
|Salem Red Sox||1||2||7|
|Salt Lake Bees||1||3|
|San Antonio Missions||1|
|San Diego Padres||1||1|
|San Francisco Giants||1|
|San Jose Giants||1||2|
|South Bend Cubs||1||1||4|
|Springfield (MO) Cardinals||1||3|
|St. Louis Cardinals||1||2||3|
|St. Lucie Mets||1||1||5|
|St. Paul Saints||3||6|
|Sugar Land Skeeters||3||8|
|Tampa Bay Rays||2|
|Toledo Mud Hens||1||4|
|Toronto Blue Jays||0|
|Tri-City Dust Devils||2|
|West Michigan Whitecaps||1||4|
|Wichita Wind Surge||1||2||3|
|Wilmington Blue Rocks||1||2||4|
|Wisconsin Timber Rattlers||1||4|
|Worcester Red Sox||2||4|