MLB Pipeline’s midseason updates for every team’s Top 30 Prospects list are now out for your perusal. But unlike previous years, when we did a full reshuffling of the preseason Top 30 order while also adding Draft picks and international signees to our lists, the unusual circumstances surrounding the 2020 season led us to take a different approach to this year’s midseason re-rank process, with the additions of 2020 Draft picks representing the extent of our updates.
Going 30 deep for every team does have its limitations, though, because no matter if a farm system is loaded or light with talent, we still agonize over which guys make the end of a list and which just miss out. In many cases, those players who fall short of making a team’s Top 30 are either young, intriguing prospects or future big leaguers.
If we were to extend our midseason Top 30 lists further, the below list of players would be the next-up prospects for each organization.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: Nick Frasso, RHP
After a standout baseball and basketball career as a California prepster, Frasso focused on the former exclusively at Loyola Marymount and began to realize his upside on the mound, notching 10 saves as a sophomore. He moved into the rotation this past spring only to suffer an elbow injury that prevented scouts from getting a true look at him as a starter. When healthy, though, the athletic 6-foot-5 righty has shown the makings of a three-pitch mix, headlined by a fastball that’s been up to 97 mph.
Orioles: Darrel Hernaiz, SS
The Orioles’ fifth-round pick out of an El Paso, Texas high school in 2019, Hernaiz had a solid pro debut in the Gulf Coast League last summer. He has good bat speed with surprising pop, though he’ll probably be hit over power. He has the chance to stick at shortstop with good energy, a very good internal clock and enough arm, though he could outgrow the position and need to move to second or third.
Rays: Esteban Quiroz, 2B
Quiroz made his pro debut for Tigres de Quintana Roo in the Mexican League in 2011, and he spent seven seasons as one of the best players in Mexico, batting .287 with a .397 on-base percentage during that time. He signed with the Red Sox in 2018 and saw time in Double-A that year before joining the Padres in an offseason trade, then slashed .271/.384/.539 as a 27-year-old with Triple-A El Paso in 2019. Intrigued by his high-contact left-handed bat, advanced approach and overall track record at the plate, the Rays acquired the diminutive second baseman from San Diego in late March.
Red Sox: Yoan Aybar, LHP
The Red Sox signed Aybar for $450,000 as a potential five-tool center fielder out of the Dominican Republic in 2013, but he hit just .241/.279/.345 in the Minors before moving to the mound in 2018. He has yet to advance past high Class A and is purely a reliever, but he owns a mid-90s fastball that peaks at 99 mph and can flash a plus power slider.
Yankees: Beck Way, RHP
One of the top junior college prospects in the 2020 Draft, Way signed for $600,000 as a fourth-rounder from Northwest Florida State JC. He broke out as a reliever in the Cape Cod League last summer and dealt as a starter this spring, showing a 92-96 mph fastball, lively changeup and decent slider.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Indians: Jean Carlos Mejia, RHP
Mejia needed innings this season after missing six weeks in 2018 with a sore elbow and much of last year with an abdominal strain. Signed for $45,000 in the Dominican Republic in 2013, he throws strikes with four pitches, the best of which is a 91-96 mph sinker that has helped him post a 1.7 groundout/airout ratio in six pro seasons.
Royals: Nick Heath, OF
The Royals made Heath their 16th-round pick in the 2016 Draft, after he had totaled 75 steals in three seasons at Northwestern State. He swiped at least 35 bags in three of his first four pro seasons and led the Minors with 60 stolen bases in 2019, batting .255/.345/.387 between Double- and Triple-A. That performance earned the speedy outfielder a spot on Kansas City’s 40-man roster after the season and opened the door for his big league debut on July 30. He appeared in five games with the Royals, going 2-for-6 with a double, two RBIs and two steals, before landing on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain on Aug. 8.
White Sox: Bryan Ramos, 3B
A Cuban defector who signed for $300,000 in 2018, Ramos made his pro debut last summer and hit .277/.353/.415 in the Rookie-level Arizona League as a 17-year-old. He exhibits feel for hitting and at least solid raw power, and the White Sox plan on seeing if he can handle second base.
Tigers: Paul Richan, RHP
A polish-over-stuff starter whom Detroit acquired from the Cubs in the 2019 Trade Deadline deal for Nicholas Castellanos, Richan posted solid numbers at the Class A Advanced level in his first full season, going 12-7 with a 4.00 ERA and 115/20 K/BB in 123 2/3 innings (22 starts). While the 23-year-old righty doesn’t overpower hitters with his four-pitch mix, he does miss his share of bats, generates a healthy number of groundballs and throws lots of strikes.
Twins: Gabriel Maciel, OF
Maciel was part of the return the Twins got from the D-backs in the 2018 Eduardo Escobar deal that also brought right-hander Jhoan Duran to the system. The 21-year-old Brazilian has always shown the ability to make consistent contact, hitting his way to the Florida State League in 2019 and now has a .288 average and .357 on-base percentage in his career, albeit without much power to date. His plus speed is an asset on the basepaths and in the outfield.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
A’s: Brady Feigl, RHP
A fifth-round pick in 2018 out of Mississippi, Feigl spent his first full season of pro ball as a starter in the California League. He has a solid three-pitch mix with a deceptive delivery, throwing his low 90s fastball with high spin rate and sink, leading to a high groundball rate. He pitched very well in a relief stint in the Arizona Fall League in 2019, where his stuff played up in shorter stints.
Angels: Jose Reyes, OF
Reyes signed at the start of the 2017-18 international signing period for $425,000 and made his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2018, before coming stateside and playing across two levels of rookie ball in 2019. There’s serious raw power from the left side of the plate or him to tap into if he can keep improving his approach at the plate. He’s played all three outfield spots, but he’s probably best suited to an outfield corner.
Astros: Nivaldo Rodriguez, RHP
One of several rookies pressed into service in Houston's bullpen, Rodriguez didn't reach full-season ball until last year, when he logged a 2.40 ERA, .183 opponent average and 114 strikeouts in 105 innings between two Class A levels. Signed for just $10,000 out of Venezuela in 2016, he features a high-spin curveball with quality depth and a 90-94 mph fastball with good shape.
Rangers: Keithron Moss, 2B/3B
After saving their international pool money for an unsuccessful bid at Shohei Ohtani in 2017, the Rangers used their excess cash to sign six players to six-figure bonuses, including $800,000 for Moss. The Bahamian stands out with his feel for hitting from both sides of the plate and his solid speed.
Mariners: Jonatan Clase, OF
If you like speed, Clase is the prospect for you. He’s the fastest player in the Mariners' system, one who signed for only $35,000 during the 2018-19 international signing period. He hit .300/.434/.444 during his pro debut and stole 31 bases in the Dominican Summer League. He’s not very big at 5-foot-9, but he’s added strength and has extra-base pop, with his speed helping him take extra bases and cover a ton of ground in center field.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: Trey Riley, RHP
The Braves liked Riley and his arm strength enough to take him in the fifth round of the 2018 Draft out of John A. Logan Community College in Illinois. A move to full-season ball in 2019 didn’t go so well, especially in terms of his command (7.1 walks per nine), but he still can touch 96-97 mph regularly and has a slider that could be an out pitch in time, though he didn’t miss many bats in his first full season.
Marlins: Humberto Mejia, RHP
Mejia made his big league debut Aug. 7 with a spot start against the Mets, striking out six in 2 1/3 innings seven years after signing for $50,000 out of Panama. His best weapon is an upper-70s curveball with depth that plays well off his 90-95 mph four-seam fastball, and he throws strikes with both of those pitches as well as an average changeup.
Mets: Tony Dibrell, RHP
Taken in the fourth round of the 2017 Draft out of Kennesaw State, Dibrell, 24, finished his first full season tied for the Class A South Atlantic League lead in strikeouts (147) and continued to pitch well at Class A Advanced St. Lucie in 2019 before scuffling after receiving a midseason promotion to Double-A Binghamton. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound right-hander has starter qualities in his size and four-pitch mix, though he’ll need more consistent velocity, sharper secondary pitches and better overall control to become an effective back-of-the-rotation piece for the Mets.
Nationals: Holden Powell, RHP
Powell took over as UCLA's closer during his freshman year and never relinquished the role, ultimately racking up 26 saves that ranks second in school history behind only David Berg. As a result, the right-hander was one of the best bullpen options in the 2020 Draft class, leading to his selection by the Nats in the third round. The 6-foot right-hander has a prototypical relief profile, with a low-90s fastball that can reach 97 mph and a filthy, plus slider that nets him whiffs.
Phillies: Jamari Baylor, SS
Baylor popped up into the third round of the 2019 Draft out of a military high school in Virginia and barely got his pro career started, missing all but four games because of a hamstring injury. He has every tool you’d want, though he needs reps to tap into them consistently against good competition. He has the chance to hit for average and power as he refines his approach, he should be a basestealing threat and he has enough arm and range to potentially stick at shortstop.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers: Pablo Abreu, OF
Signed by the Brewers for $800,000 at the outset of the 2016-17 international period, Abreu showed an interesting power-speed combo while manning center field as an 18-year-old in the Pioneer League in 2018, but he was limited to just 41 games in ’19, missing time with both right and left shoulder injuries. He’s a good athlete with projectable tools, including a right-handed bat that could enable him to hit for both average and power as he continues to refine his swing and gains much-needed experience.
Cardinals: Andre Pallante, RHP
A fourth-round pick in the 2019 Draft out of UC Irvine, where was the Anteaters’ Friday night starter as a junior, Pallante pitched well in his pro debut, posting a 2.78 ERA with 38 strikeouts over 35 2/3 frames in the Class A Short Season New York-Penn League. The 6-foot right-hander is somewhat undersized but possesses a quick arm that helps him generate a low-90s fastball that he can either cut or sink. He complements his heater with a pair of breaking balls as well as a changeup and has a track record of throwing strikes as a starter.
Cubs: Alfonso Rivas, 1B/OF
The Cubs liked Rivas' hitting ability and hoped to draft him out of Arizona in 2018, only to have the Athletics take him in the fourth round. Acquired in a January trade for Tony Kemp, he could unlock more power if he alters his swing path and drive more balls in the air. He has more athleticism and arm strength than most first basemen.
Pirates: Blake Cederlind, RHP
A 2016 fifth-round pick, Cederlind became a full-time reliever in 2017 and really took off in 2019, pitching across three levels, throwing well in the Arizona Fall League and getting added to the 40-man roster. He and his triple-digit sinking fastball likely would have gotten some big league time this year if he hadn’t tested positive for COVID-19, but don’t be surprised to see him get built up and make it to Pittsburgh before the season is over.
Reds: Jared Solomon, RHP
Solomon pitched across two levels of A ball in 2019 and was effective overall, with some ups-and-downs along the way. There’s still projection left and he already had a fastball that touches 96-97 mph with good spin and a slider that could be above-average eventually. Improvement in his changeup and his command will determine if he can remain a starter or if his future is in a bullpen.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs: Eduardo Diaz, OF
After battling a groin injury during a challenging first full season in 2018, Diaz, who signed for $100,000 in September 2015 out of Venezuela, fared well in his return to the Class Midwest League last year continued to produce after a midseason promotion to Class A Advanced Visalia, ultimately batting .283/.341/.427 with 42 extra-base this and 18 steals between the two stops. The D-backs would like him to become more selective inside the zone, viewing it as a key for the 23-year-old to unlock his power potential
Dodgers: Jimmy Lewis, RHP
A second-round pick from a Texas high school in 2019, Lewis has yet to make his pro debut after a pre-signing physical revealed a partially torn labrum in his pitching shoulder. He already can reach 95 mph with his fastball and should add more velocity as he fills out his lanky 6-foot-6 frame. His downer curveball also shows the makings of becoming a plus pitch.
Giants: Ricardo Genoves, C
The Giants signed Genoves for $500,000 out of Venezuela in 2015 on the strength of his defense, and his plus arm and solid receiving skills have lived up to his scouting reports. His bat started to come around last summer, when he hit nine homers and posted an .804 OPS in 51 games while advancing to low Class A.
Padres: Jorge Ona, OF
The Padres blew past their international bonus pool in 2016 to sign a handful of their top prospects, but none of those signings were bigger than Cubans Adrian Morejon ($11 million) and Ona ($7 million). Ona scuffled offensively during his first two pro seasons and had most of his ’19 campaign wiped out by shoulder surgery, but he still showed enough promise at Double-A Amarillo (.348/.417/.539 in 25 games) last year that the Padres felt it was necessary to add him to their 40-man roster in November.
Rockies: Julio Carreras, 3B/SS
Carreras could turn out to be one of the best bargain international signings, joining the Rockies organization for just $15,000 in February 2018. He’s performed very well, both in the Dominican Summer League in 2018 and then in the Pioneer League during his 2019 U.S. debut. With long levers and bat speed, he’s starting to tap into his raw power while making a ton of hard contact. He’s played all over the infield, but he could develop into a player who profiles well as an everyday third baseman eventually.