Ranking this year's WS players by their prospect hype

October 28th, 2022

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Most of the key performers in the upcoming World Series between the Astros and Phillies were highly regarded talents as they worked their way through the Minors. Twenty players on the two rosters cracked MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list en route to the big leagues.

Jose Altuve and Framber Valdez are the most notable exceptions. Altuve's small stature scared off scouts, while Valdez was a late bloomer who didn't land a pro contract until age 21, five years after he was first eligible. Altuve signed for $15,000 out of Venezuela in 2006 and Valdez turned pro for $10,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2015.

When they were prospects: Astros | Phillies

As for the 20 former Top 100 Prospects, let's rank them based on their prospect hype at the time they arrived in the Majors:

1. Bryce Harper, OF, Phillies
1st-round pick (No. 1 overall), 2010 (JC of Southern Nevada), $6.25 million bonus/$9.9 million contract (Nationals)

2. Alex Bregman, 3B, Astros
1st-round pick (No. 2 overall), 2015 (Louisiana State), $5.9 million bonus

3. Justin Verlander, RHP, Astros
1st-round pick (No. 2 overall), 2004 (Old Dominion), $3,120,000 bonus/$4.5 million contract (Tigers)

4. Kyle Schwarber, OF, Phillies
1st-round pick (No. 4 overall), 2014 (Indiana), $3,125,000 bonus (Cubs)

5. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Phillies
Supplemental 1st-round pick, 2010 (HS/Texas), $600,000 bonus (Blue Jays)

6. Zack Wheeler, RHP, Phillies
1st-round pick (No. 6 overall), 2009 (HS/Georgia), $3.3 million bonus (Giants)

7. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros
1st-round pick (No. 5 overall), 2015 (HS/Florida), $4 million bonus

8. Yordan Alvarez, OF, Astros
International free agent, 2016 (Cuba), $2 million bonus (Dodgers)

9. Nick Castellanos, OF, Phillies
Supplemental 1st-round pick, 2010 (HS/Florida), $3.45 million bonus (Tigers)

10. Aaron Nola, RHP, Phillies
1st-round pick (No. 7 overall), 2014 (Louisiana State), $3,300,900 bonus

11. Alec Bohm, 3B, Phillies
1st-round pick (No. 3 overall), 2018 (Wichita State), $5.85 million bonus

12. Brandon Marsh, OF, Phillies
Second-round pick, 2016 (HS/Georgia), $1,073,300 bonus (Angels)

13. Bryson Stott, SS, Phillies
1st-round pick (No. 14 overall), 2019 (UNLV), $3.9 million bonus

14. Kyle Gibson, RHP, Phillies
1st-round pick (No. 22 overall), 2009 (Missouri), $1.85 million bonus (Twins)

15. Lance McCullers Jr., RHP, Astros
Supplemental 1st-round pick, 2012 (HS/Florida), $2.5 million bonus

16. Jean Segura, 2B, Phillies
International free agent, 2007 (Dominican Republic), $70,000 bonus (Angels)

17. J.T. Realmuto, C, Phillies
3rd-round pick, 2010 (HS/Oklahoma), $600,000 bonus (Marlins)

18. Jeremy Peña, SS, Astros
3rd-round pick, 2018 (Maine), $585,000 bonus

19. Hunter Brown, RHP, Astros
5th-round pick, 2019 (Wayne State, Mich.), $325,000 bonus

20. Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Phillies
5th-round pick, 2014 (Sacramento State), $349,700 bonus

Perhaps the best power-hitting prospect in Draft history, Harper skipped his last two years of high school to enroll early at Southern Nevada, where he led all national junior college players with 31 homers as a 17-year-old in a wood-bat league. After going No. 1 overall to the Nationals, he landed what still stands as the largest guarantee ($9.9 million) ever given to a position player in the Draft and reached the big leagues for good at age 19 in April 2012.

Harper never did rank No. 1 on an MLB.com Top 100, placing third behind Mike Trout and Jeremy Hellickson in 2011 and second behind Matt Moore in 2012. But he still was considered a better prospect at the same stage than Bregman, who ascended to No. 1 on our mid-2016 list days after his promotion to Houston.