These 18 Players Have 80-Grade Tools In The 2024 Baseball America Prospect Handbook


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Every year, Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook grades each of the tools for the 900 players who make up the Top 30s. For hitters, those grades are hitting, power, speed, defense and arm strength. Pitchers are graded for every pitch in their repertoire and also how well they control their mix. 

If you are a regular reader of BA, you know that the standard scouting scale for those grades is 20-to-80, with 20 being the lowest possible (Myles Straw’s power or Dan Vogelbach’s speed) and 80 being elite (Shohei Ohtani’s power or Devin Williams’ changeup). 

Ask BA: Can You Explain Tools Grades?

J.J. Cooper explains how tools grades factor into how we rank players across various lists.

As would be expected, 80-grade tools are rare. How rare? Glad you asked. Of all the tools in this year’s Handbook, just 18 earned the nod as truly elite. That list is led by nine 80-grade runners and five pitchers with 80-grade fastballs. 

No pitcher earned an 80 for any non-fastball, and no hitter was awarded an 80-grade hit tool. Just two players—the Orioles’ Jackson Holliday and the Rockies’ Adael Amador—even got grades of 70 for their hittability.

Just 18 offspeed pitches—13 sliders, one curveball, and four changeups—reached the 70-grade threshold. 

Only one player in the book received multiple 80 grades. That player? Orioles outfielder Enrique Bradfield, who earned those marks for both his speed and his defense in center field.

Who else earned a coveted 80 grade on his card? Here’s the breakdown exclusively for Baseball America subscribers.


Players: Evan Carter (Rangers), Victor Scott II (Cardinals), Garrett Mitchell (Brewers), Isaiah Drake (Braves), Homer Bush Jr. (Padres), Jordyn Adams (Angels), Kendall George (Dodgers), Chandler Simpson (Rays), Enrique Bradfield Jr. (Orioles)

As would be expected these guys are fast. Home-to-first times to earn an 80 grade are 4.0 seconds or less for righthanders and 3.9 seconds or less for lefthanders. Mitchell was the fastest player in the big leagues with remaining prospect eligibility, clocking in at an average of 4.09 seconds from home to first.

Carter was second on that list with an average time of 4.12 seconds, which tied him with Royals star shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. Mitchell and Carter also posted average sprint speeds of 29.6 and 29.3 feet per second, respectively. 

Predictably, this group also stole a great deal of bases. Combined—with Mitchell’s, Carter’s and Adams’ big league time—swiped 339 bags in 399 chances, good for a rate of nearly 85%. Simpson and Scott each stole 94 bases, which left them in a tie for the minor league lead. 


Players: Jacob Misiorowski (Brewers), Daniel Espino (Guardians), DL Hall (Orioles), Ben Joyce (Angels), Daniel Palencia (Cubs).

Grading a fastball isn’t as simple as checking out which numbers flashed on the radar gun. Big-time velocity is a huge component, but it’s not everything. The way a pitch moves, the degree to which it is commanded and the deception caused by the pitcher’s delivery all play roles in a fastball’s effectiveness. 

The five pitchers above certainly check the velocity box. Misiorowski, Palencia and Joyce averaged between 97 and 100 mph on their heaters and Hall coming in around 95 mph between his time in the minors and majors. Joyce, who famously touched 104 mph in spring training and 105 mph during his time at Tennessee, averaged an even 100 mph in the minor leagues. 

That velocity helped Joyce garner an absurd 54% miss rate on his four-seamer during his time in the minors. Among the rest of the group, Misiorowski (37%) and Palencia (30%) each checked in at 30% or better, and Hall finished with a miss rate of 27% in the minors but upped that mark to just better than 30% in the big leagues. Hall and Palencia each got 7 feet of extension during their big league time as well. 

Espino is a special case because he has not pitched in an official game since April 2022, so for his grade we are relying on what he showed when healthy. In the early portion of that season, he was as dominant an arm as could be found in the minor leagues and regularly cracked 100 mph with his fastball. 


Players: Pete Crow-Armstrong (Cubs), Enrique Bradfield Jr. (Orioles)

Dating back to his amateur days at California’s famed Harvard-Westlake HS, Crow-Armstrong has earned a reputation as a shutdown defender. His glovework helped him earn a first-round selection from the Mets in 2020 and then a quick trade to the Cubs the following year as part of the deal that brought Javier Baez to New York. 

Crow-Armstrong’s plus speed and instincts help him get quick jumps on balls to all sectors, and he takes crisp, confident routes to anything hit his way. He won a minor league gold glove in 2022 and has earned nods for the Best Outfield Defender in his various leagues in each of the last two seasons as part of BA’s annual Best Tools survey

Bradfield was the Orioles’ first-rounder in 2023 and carries a sterling defensive pedigree. He was named the best outfield defender among college players and was given an 80 in the run-up to the draft.

“He’s a lockdown center fielder and his speed plays close to an 80,” a scout told Baseball America for a feature story in our annual draft preview issue. “. . . He’s got tremendous instincts in center field.”


Player: Junior Caminero (Rays)

After being dealt from Cleveland to Tampa Bay, Caminero started turning heads in the 2022 Florida Complex League. A year later, he put together a performance that ranked among the best in the minors and finished the season on the Rays’ playoff roster. The 20-year-old’s game is based around offense, and his power is the unchallenged best among prospects. Caminero finished the year with a .976 OPS and 31 homers in a season split between High-A Bowling Green and Double-A Montgomery, then added another in the big leagues and five more in the Dominican Winter League.

Caminero’s average (91.5 mph) and 90th-percentile (110.6) exit velocities were outstanding, and he struck out 100 times in 510 minor league plate appearances, good for a rate of just 19.6%. Since 2006, Caminero is one of just two minor leaguers to homer that often and strike out so infrequently. 


Player: Masyn Winn (Cardinals)

Among all his gifts, Winn’s throwing arm is by far his most notable calling card. The Cardinals prospect famously called his shot at BA’s 2022 Prospect Pad when he said that if he got the chance he was going to uncork a 100 mph throw from shortstop. He got his chance and he made good on his promise. On 208 big league throws in 2023, Winn averaged 92.4 mph and maxed at 98.4 mph. Both figures ranked fifth among big league shortstops in 2023.

*All capsules written by Baseball America’s Josh Norris

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