There have been some amazing performances by prospects in 2023. Many have come from high-ranking players living up to expectations. Others have exceeded them, jumping more firmly onto the prospect radar with breakout campaigns.
Jim Callis recently highlighted some with his own All-Breakout Prospect Team, but that squad doesn’t provide the only examples of prospects who improved their stocks this season. So we’ve decided to give you one who did from each organization. There are 17 members of the Top 100 listed below, none of whom were on the list at the start of this season.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: Alan Roden, OF (No. 7)
A third-round pick last year, Roden entered 2023 on the outside of Toronto’s Top 30 list but shot up the rankings during our midseason update because of his strong approach at High-A and Double-A. The 23-year-old outfielder walked more times (68) than he struck out (64) over 442 plate appearances and finished the season with a .430 OBP that ranked eighth among full-season qualifiers. Adding power will be the next step, but Roden’s discipline and bat-to-ball skills could get him an MLB look next summer.
Orioles: Samuel Basallo, C (No. 5/MLB No. 46)
Shout out to Coby Mayo, who made Callis’ team, but he wasn’t the only one to really improve his stock in 2023. Basallo began the year as the O’s No. 12 prospect, one who was hitting full-season ball for the first time. He’s finishing it in the middle of the Top 100 and is probably under-ranked on the O’s Top 30 as a teenager who finished with a torrid four-game debut in Double-A. He ended the season with a .953 OPS and his 162 wRC+ places him third among all Minor Leaguers with more than 400 plate appearances.
Rays: Junior Caminero, 3B/SS (No. 1/MLB No. 6)
Caminero got some Top 100 consideration in the spring because of the strong opening to his career before cracking the list quickly into the season on April 16. He hasn’t stopped rising since his age-19 campaign. The infielder finished the season with 31 homers in 117 games at High-A and Double-A, and put up a .324/.384/.591 line over that span. He is already notorious for generating exceptional exit velocities, and it’s that type of raw and in-game power that has fueled his surge to prominence.
Red Sox: Roman Anthony, OF (No. 2/MLB No. 35)
Marcelo Mayer, Ceddanne Rafaela and Miguel Bleis took up the Top 100 oxygen in the Sox system entering the season. Anthony – last year’s 79th overall pick – seemingly got off to a slow start at Single-A Salem, but his swing decisions were good enough for the Red Sox to promote him to High-A Greenville. That ended up being the right move as Anthony hit .301/.422/.565 with 13 homers in 64 games from June 13 onwards at High-A and Double-A. He now projects as an above-average hitter with plus power.
Yankees: Chase Hampton, RHP (No. 4/MLB No. 96)
New York keeps doing this – turning a mid-round pick into a notable arm in quick time. Hampton (a sixth-rounder out of Texas Tech) showed three above-average pitches in his fastball, curveball and slider to strike out 145 batters in 106 2/3 innings between High-A and Double-A. Despite this being his first full season, Hampton only needed nine starts with Hudson Valley before heading to Somerset, and his continued strong strikeout rate in the Eastern League helped him jump 22 spots from his preseason rank.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Guardians: Juan Brito, INF (No. 6)
Acquired from the Rockies for Nolan Jones last November, Brito is trending toward making that swap a win-win for both sides. Ranked as Cleveland’s No. 18 prospect to begin 2023, the 21-year-old switch-hitter has climbed three levels and 12 spots in the rankings on the strength of a plus hit tool, highlighted by low swing-and-miss rates across High-A and Double-A. He’s closing out his season Triple-A this week and will only turn 22 on Sunday.
Royals: Javier Vaz, 2B/OF (No. 13)
Even coming out of Vanderbilt, Vaz was an overlooked member of Kansas City’s 2022 Draft class as a 15th-rounder. That’s no longer the case. The 22-year-old swung and missed at only 3.3 percent of his pitches seen in 2023 – the third-lowest rate among 710 Minor League full-season qualifiers. That helped him hit .279/.373/.400 with 50 strikeouts and 64 walks in 119 games at High-A and Double-A, and he flashed plus speed with 30 steals too. He profiles as a potential old-school contact-heavy leadoff hitter.
Tigers: Colt Keith, 3B/2B (No. 2/MLB No. 25)
We really just needed to see what’d happen when Keith got healthy for a full season after a shoulder injury limited him to 48 games in 2022 before he showed out in the Arizona Fall League. We have our answer. Keith put up similar numbers at both Double-A and Triple-A this season – notably slugging above .500 and posting an OPS above .900 at each stop – and enters Wednesday with 27 homers and a workable 20.8 percent K rate in 122 games. After not opening in the Top 100, he sits in the top quarter of that list now.
Twins: Cory Lewis, RHP (No. 13)
The Twins’ ninth-rounder in 2022 wasn’t even on the Top 30 to start this season but has leapt up to No. 13 after a tremendous first full year. Armed with a four-pitch mix that includes a legit knuckleball, Lewis’ 2.49 ERA is fifth among all Minor League pitchers with at least 100 IP. He struck out 10.5 per nine while walking just 2.9 across two levels of A ball. Next up: the challenge of the upper levels.
White Sox: Noah Schultz, LHP (No. 2/MLB No. 61)
It’s true that the 2022 26th overall pick threw only 27 innings this season due to a flexor strain and shoulder injury, but in a year when many of Chicago’s top prospects were stagnant, recent Draft picks or trade acquisitions, his jump onto the Top 100 stands out. The quality of the 6-foot-9 southpaw’s pitches – namely a mid-90s fastball and near-plus-plus slider – helped him strike out Single-A batters in droves and has many in the industry intrigued by how dominant he could be in a larger sample.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Astros: Zach Dezenzo, 3B/2B (No. 5)
The Astros took Dezenzo in Round 12 of the 2022 Draft after he tied an Ohio State record with 19 homers. He wasn’t on the club’s Top 30 list to start the season, but jumped on the radar in a hurry by hitting .407 with an OPS of 1.102 over 31 games with High-A Asheville to earn a bump to Double-A. He was just two homers shy of a 20-20 season, finishing with a combined .914 OPS and 141 wRC+.
Angels: Nelson Rada, OF (No. 3)
Rada was on the radar a bit as an international prospect who received seven figures to sign in January 2022, but came in at No. 14 on the Angels’ preseason Top 30 with the typical hesitation of waiting to go too crazy about a prospect before he’s played a game in the United States. But not only did Rada hold his own, he skipped over the rookie-level complex league and went straight to the Single-A California League, leading the circuit with 55 steals and finishing with a .276/.395/.351 line while playing most of the season at age 17.
A’s: Luis Morales, RHP (No. 6)
Yes, Morales was considered to be the best pitching prospect of the 2023 international market and got $3 million to sign, but we’ve all seen top prospects (from the Draft or internationally) really stumble out of the gate. While the A’s monitored the 20-year-old Cuban right-hander’s workload carefully, he still managed to touch four levels, finishing in High-A and ending with a combined 2.86 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 10.8 K/9 and .202 BAA.
Mariners: Gabriel Gonzalez, OF (No. 3/MLB No. 66)
There are some very good young hitters in the Mariners’ system these days, with them taking high school hitters in the first round of the last three Drafts. Gonzalez is helping make sure no one forgets about the organization’s international efforts. He spent all of 2023 at age 19 and hit his way from Single-A Modesto to High-A Everett, finishing with a .298/.361/.476 line and 18 combined homers which allowed him to rise up to No. 3 in the system and firmly onto our Top 100.
Rangers: Sebastian Walcott, SS (No. 3/MLB No. 62)
Ranked as our No. 8 international prospect, the Bahamas native joined the Rangers for $3.2 million in January and moved stateside quickly, even picking up some time at High-A as a 17-year-old. Walcott is an emerging power-speed threat, and his plus-plus arm should help him play short, third or even right field, wherever Texas feels his skills best fit down the line. He spent the majority of his season in the Arizona Complex League, hitting .273/.325/.524 with seven homers in 35 games.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: AJ Smith-Shawver, RHP (No. 1/MLB No. 53)
Smith-Shawver entered the year as a former two-sport high school star coming off an uneven first full season of pro ball in 2022. Though he hasn’t thrown a ton of total innings this year (81 2/3 combined), he’s managed to rocket from High-A to impacting the big league pitching staff. His Minor League numbers (2.85 ERA, .174 BAA, 11.3 K/9) jump off the page, all amassed at age 20, which is why he’s now the top prospect in the organization and its lone representative in the Top 100.
Marlins: Xavier Edwards, 2B/OF (No. 4)
Edwards has kind of gone from on the radar as a Rays prospect to one whose prospect star had faded a bit prior to this season. The change in scenery that came via an offseason trade with the Marlins has certainly helped. Entering the year as the club’s No. 12 prospect, he’s jumped up after hitting .351 with a .429 OBP and 32 steals in Triple-A. He’s now more than holding his own in the big leagues while contributing to the Marlins’ push for a Wild Card spot.
Mets: Jett Williams, SS/OF (No. 3/MLB No. 78)
Williams was a favorite of scouts when he went 14th overall to the Mets last year, but many would have thought he’d be more of a project than a quick riser. Instead, he climbed three levels in his age-19 season because his walk-heavy approach played exceptionally well at both Single-A and High-A this summer with OBPs above .420 at both stops. A plus runner, he swiped 45 bags too and got time at two premium positions in short and center.
Nationals: Daylen Lile, OF (No. 6)
The 2021 second-rounder missed out on his first full season due to Tommy John surgery but showed the above-average hit tool that excited some scouts around Draft time when he reached Single-A Fredericksburg this summer, hitting .291/.381/.510 with 34 extra-base hits and 21 steals in 66 games. Lile slowed down at High-A Wilmington, but he showed enough coming off the missed time to entrench himself firmly within Washington’s deep outfield corps alongside Dylan Crews, James Wood, Elijah Green, Robert Hassell III and others.
Phillies: Orion Kerkering, RHP (No. 7)
College relievers taken in the fifth round of a Draft don’t typically come with big expectations, but Kerkering has done everything he can to be noticed as one of the top relief prospects in the game. He’s now finishing up his first full year of pro ball in Triple-A, pitching across four levels of the system. He brought a 1.54 ERA, .180 BAA, 0.87 WHIP, 13.3 K/9 and 14 saves with him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and we should be seeing him pitch in high leverage situations out of the Phillies’ pen soon enough.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers: Jacob Misiorowski, RHP (No. 3/MLB No. 36)
A second-round pick last year, Misiorowski has already established himself as one of the Minors’ most dominant hurlers on a pitch-by-pitch basis. His plus-plus fastball, wicked slider, above-average curveball and solid cutter made Single-A, High-A, Double-A and even All-Star Futures Game batters look foolish in his first full season as he struck out 110 over 71 1/3 innings. Control concerns could eventually move him to the bullpen, where he could be a right-handed Josh Hader, but for now, the excitement level is high enough that he’ll keep starting because of that ceiling.
Cardinals: Victor Scott II, OF (No. 4)
Scott just wrapped up his regular season and finished with a Minors-best 95 stolen bases over 132 games between High-A and Double-A. As an 80-grade runner, his ability to swipe bags may not be a huge shock -- though anyone predicting 90-plus thefts from him should collect a prize -- but his jump up the Cardinals Top 30 ranks was fueled by a strong offensive showing too, particularly at Springfield, where he hit .323/.373/.450 with a 119 wRC+ over 66 games.
Cubs: Owen Caissie, OF (No. 3/MLB No. 64)
The highest-drafted Canadian outfielder ever, Caissie is the best part of the trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Padres. He turned just 21 in July of this year and might have the most power of any player in the Top 100, registering elite-level exit velocities and banging out 22 homers in Double-A this season, a big reason why he’s jumped up from No. 13 on the Cubs’ preseason Top 30 to No. 3.
Pirates: Anthony Solometo, LHP (No. 4/MLB No. 84)
Solometo threw well during his 2022 pro debut, but with strict usage limits (47 2/3 IP with Bradenton). The gloves came off in 2023 and he topped 110 innings for the year, throwing extremely well in hitter-friendly Greensboro and earning a midseason promotion to Double-A at age 20. He gets Madison Bumgarner comps a lot because of his unorthodox mechanics, and it’s working. He’s now one of the best left-handed pitching prospects in the game, one who finished with a combined 3.26 ERA, .227 BAA and impressive 17.5 K-BB%.
Reds: Connor Phillips, RHP (No. 4/MLB No. 68)
Yet another part of the youth movement that’s helping the Reds stay in the Wild Card race, Phillips came to the Reds by way of the Jesse Winker trade with the Mariners. There’s still work to be done command-wise (4.9 BB/9 in the Minors this year), but the stuff is electric (13.2 K/9 before his callup) and he’s coming off a terrific seven-inning win in his last big league start. Phillips began the year as a high-upside type who was No. 12 on the Reds’ list and is now in the middle of the Top 100 with a big up arrow next to his name.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs: Jansel Luis, SS/2B (No. 13)
Signed for $525,000 out of the Dominican Republic in January 2022, Luis jumped stateside for the first time this summer, hitting .292/.373/.483 with three homers in 24 games in the Arizona Complex League. The 18-year-old jumped to Single-A Visalia in mid-July and held his own for someone moving to full-season ball at the age of an American high school senior. D-backs officials believe in the switch-hitter’s power potential, and he’s a good bet to stick up the middle, either at short or second depending on team need.
Dodgers: Nick Frasso, RHP (No. 4/MLB No. 65)
Somehow the Dodgers managed to add a top pitching prospect while contending in 2022, getting Frasso from the Blue Jays. He had just returned from elbow surgery and has really taken off in his first full year of health, reaching Triple-A while displaying an explosive fastball that touches triple digits. He’s missed a lot of bats (10.4 K/9) all while still monitoring his innings. He has a legit three-pitch mix which could allow him to land in a rotation soon if he can prove he can handle the workload.
Giants: Patrick Bailey, C (graduated)
There was some fear that Bailey was going to be a first-round bust, especially after he hit just .225/.342/.420 with High-A Eugene in 2022 (though his defense has always been highly regarded). He took a nice little step forward offensively between Double- and Triple-A before being summoned to the big leagues after just 28 games. His bat has been OK, but he’s been a huge contributor behind the plate, both in terms of framing and controlling the running game. Him solidifying the position is a big reason why the Giants have hung around the Wild Card race.
Padres: Ethan Salas, C (No. 1/MLB No. 5)
You can’t tell the story of Minor League Baseball this year without mentioning Salas’ rise. Ranked as our top international prospect in the 2023 class, Salas skipped over the complex levels entirely to open his age-17 season at Single-A Lake Elsinore, hitting .267/.350/.487 with nine homers in 48 games. He received later bumps to High-A Fort Wayne and (perhaps too aggressively) Double-A San Antonio while showing plus defensive skills behind the dish. The well-rounded profile makes him the game’s top catching prospect and has many wondering if he could see San Diego before his 20th birthday in June 2026.
Rockies: Yanquiel Fernandez, OF (No. 2/MLB No. 49)
Fernandez was a little bit of a lower-fanfare international signing, getting $250,000 from the Rockies in July 2019, and he couldn’t make his pro debut until 2021 because of the pandemic. He definitely put his name on the map with 21 homers and 109 RBIs in his U.S. debut with Single-A Fresno in 2022 and he’s raised his profile even more by reaching Double-A at age 20 and hitting another 25 homers to establish himself as one of the more exciting run-producing prospects in the game.