Here are 30 breakout prospects -- 1 for each team

April 3rd, 2018

Some prospects are highly touted heading into a season and then live up to advanced billing. Others are a bit more under the radar, either because they are coming off of injuries, haven't performed up to expectations or perhaps are just getting started on their pro careers. MLB Pipeline selected one of these type of prospects from each organization as a 2018 breakout candidate. We might not be talking much about the prospects below now, but they could jump on the scene in a big way this season.

• Breakout prospects by division: NL East | NL Central | NL West | AL East | AL Central | AL West


Baltimore: Matthias Dietz, RHP (No. 30 on Orioles' Top 30)

Dietz made improvements during the second half in the South Atlantic League last year as well as in the fall instructional league, and his strong spring has the Orioles thinking the big righty might be ready to take another developmental stride back at Delmarva in 2018. More »

Boston: Pedro Castellanos, 1B (No. 18 on Red Sox's Top 30)

Ticketed to return to Greenville in 2018, Castellanos has a mature approach for a 20-year-old, making consistent line-drive contact from gap to gap. He hits the ball hard and rarely strikes out, and he should begin to tap into the raw power he displays during batting practice once he adds some strength to his 6-foot-4 frame. More »

New York: Luis Medina, RHP (No. 7 on Yankees' Top 30)

Medina isn't extremely physical at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, but his lightning-fast arm generates 95-102 mph fastballs with natural cutting action. He needs more consistency with his mechanics and control to truly dominate, though time is very much on his side because he won't turn 19 until May. More »

Tampa Bay: Genesis Cabrera, LHP (No. 22 on Rays' Top 30)

Cabrera may be wiry, listed at 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, but his arm is lightning-quick and helps him generate a 92-95 mph fastball as a starter that can reach 97 in shorter bursts. More »

Toronto: Kevin Vicuna, SS (No. 23 on Blue Jays' Top 30)

The lithe-framed Vicuna has ultra-athletic actions, with quick, twitchy hands that help him absorb anything hit his way and execute a fast release that in turn helps his average arm strength to play up. And while he generates well-below-average power with his right-handed swing, Vicuna does have good bat-to-ball skills and a sound approach. More »


Atlanta: Drew Lugbauer, C/3B (No. 30 on Braves' Top 30)

Lugbauer's power from the left side of the plate is legitimate. Where he plays defensively still remains somewhat in question, but in 2018, the Braves are committed to helping him develop as a backstop. More »

Miami: Edward Cabrera, RHP (No. 13 on Marlins' Top 30)

Cabrera's stuff and feel for pitching leapt forward in 2017 with Class A Short-Season Batavia, especially in terms of his velocity, as he reached 101 mph with his fastball while working anywhere from 95-100 mph.That kind of ability gives the 19-year-old right-hander arguably the highest ceiling of any pitching prospect in Miami's system. More »

New York: Desmond Lindsay, OF (No. 7 on Mets' Top 30)

Lindsay's raw tools have long tantalized the Mets front office; he's just had trouble staying on the field to refine them and turn them into production. Still, he's No. 8 on the Mets' Top 30 and there's cautious optimism in the player development department. More »

Philadelphia: Mickey Moniak, OF (No. 5 on Phillies' Top 30; No. 88 on Top 100)

It might seem odd to consider a former No. 1 overall pick, especially one taken in 2016, as a breakout candidate. But after a rough first full season in the South Atlantic League in 2017, MLB Pipeline was willing to give him a mulligan for a learning year, although he definitely has something to prove. More »

Washington: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B (No. 7 on Nationals' Top 30)

The switch-hitting Antuna does most of his damage from the left side, where he exhibits preternatural barrel ability and consistently drives the ball with a leveraged swing. He shows present pop to the gaps, and ultimately could develop average over-the-fence power. More »


Chicago: , OF (No. 14 on White Sox Top 30)

While   and   were the definite headliners in the four-prospect package the Red Sox sent to the White Sox for Chris Sale  at the 2016 Winter Meetings, Basabe also came to Chicago with a ton of upside. An injury to his left knee hampered him in his first season with his new organization, but he's primed for a better 2018 after surgery to repair a torn meniscus. More »

Cleveland: Nolan Jones, OF (No. 4 on Indians' Top 30)

Beyond his impressive left-handed hitting ability, Jones also boasts advanced plate discipline and an age-defying approach that helped him lead the NYPL in both walks (43) and OBP as a teenager. His raw power has yet to translate during games, but scouts do expect him to develop the above-average power befitting of a big league third baseman. More »

Detroit: Jake Robson, OF (No. 27 on Tigers' Top 30)

Robson's all-out style of play should gain him more fans as he moves up the ladder and he could make a big jump up this list if he keeps hitting while reaching the upper levels. More »

Kansas City: Michael Gigliotti, OF (No. 5 on Royals' Top 30)

Gigliotti's ability at the plate and his well above-average speed could make him an on-base machine. He strokes line drives to all fields, controls the strike zone and can bunt for hits. He's also a serious basestealing threat and one of the best center fielders in an organization that places a premium on speed and defense. More »

Minnesota: Ryley Widell, LHP

Widell was ranked No. 190 on MLB Pipeline's Top 200 Draft prospects heading into the 2017 Draft and the Twins saw enough in the junior college (Central Arizona) left-hander to take him in the seventh round and sign him for an above pick value $400,000 bonus. There's upside here, and the Twins think he's going to take big step towards reaching it in his first full season. More »

Prospects ready to make an impact in 2018


Chicago: Bryan Hudson, LHP (No. 24 on Cubs' Top 30)

Hudson might have been the most projectable pitcher in the 2015 Draft, standing 6-foot-8 with plenty of room to add strength to his lanky 220-pound build. Hudson did a much better job of repeating his delivery and maintaining his strength last year, finishing second in the Minors with a 3.1 groundout/airout ratio thanks to the sink and extreme angle he creates. More »

Cincinnati: Tyler Stephenson, C (No. 9 on Reds' Top 30)

Developing a prep backstop can take longer, given all of the responsibilities of the position, but Stephenson has been particularly slowed by a string of unrelated injuries, from a concussion to a wrist injury and, most recently in 2017, a broken thumb that shut down what had been an encouraging season in the Midwest League. The Reds think he's going to pick up where he left off, and then some, in 2018. More »

Milwaukee: Tyrone Taylor, OF

Although Taylor, when healthy, stands out most for his above-average speed and outfield defense, the Brewers also believe that the 24-year-old still has untapped potential with the bat. He has good bat speed and advanced bat-to-ball skills from the right side of the plate, with a knack for pounding the gaps that ultimately could translate to more over-the-fence pop. More »

Pittsburgh: Cody Bolton, RHP

The 6-foot-3 right-hander has some projection to him and the Pirates liked what they saw from him this Spring Training after a solid debut in the Gulf Coast League last summer. More »

St. Louis: , RHP (No. 21 on Cards' Top 30)

Greene's Double-A season in 2017 with the Blue Jays was a rough one, but the Cardinals felt there was more than enough to work with to acquire him in January in the   deal. He's already made some adjustments to how he attacks hitters, both physically and mentally. More »


Houston: Freudis Nova, SS (No. 5 on Astros' Top 30)

Houston loves Nova's tools as well as his performance in various analytic measures of strength, speed and condition. He has bat speed and loft in his right-handed stroke, shows promising plate discipline, has the quickness to steal bases and the tools to stay at shortstop. More »

Los Angeles: Jerryell Rivera, LHP (No. 22 on Angels' Top 30)

Rivera was an under-the-radar high school player in Puerto Rico who was seen by many as a soft-tossing southpaw. He pitched well, albeit sparingly, during his pro debut in the rookie-level Arizona League, and he's already added some ticks on his fastball since signing. More »

Oakland: , C (No. 8 on A's Top 30)

One of the better catch-and-throw backstops in the Minors, Murphy stymies the running game with plus-plus arm strength and above-average pop times, so much so that only 46 baserunners attempted to steal against him over 91 games in 2017. At the plate, the right-handed hitter exhibits a strong approach with natural hitting ability and raw power to his pull side. More »

Seattle: Wyatt Mills, RHP (No. 10 on Mariners' Top 30)

A side-armed right-hander with two above-average pitches, Mills pairs a low-90s fastball that touches 95 mph with a tight slider. The combination makes him highly effective against same-sided hitters, and he's already impressed Mariners club officials with his ability to throw strikes from his unique slot. More »

Texas: Hans Crouse, RHP (No. 4 on Rangers' Top 30)

Crouse can destroy hitters with a mid-90s fastball that features riding life, as well as with an overpowering slider than he can manipulate into a power curveball when he wants. He also shows some promising fade on a changeup that should be a solid third offering once he develops enough separation in velocity from his heater. Though he has a lot going on with his mechanics, he keeps them in sync enough to find the strike zone on a consistent basis. More »


Arizona: Mack Lemieux, LHP

Lemieux struggled some during his first full season, partially because he didn't quite know what a long pro campaign looked like. It sounds like a lesson was learned because the 6-foot-3 right-hander came to camp this spring looking ready and raring to go. More »

Colorado: Colton Welker, 3B (No. 4 on Rockies' Top 30)

Welker could post monster numbers in 2018 at Class A Advanced Lancaster, perhaps the best hitting environment anywhere in the Minors. He has precocious feel for the barrel and pitch-recognition skills, allowing him to make repeated hard contact with ease, and he has the bat speed and leverage to produce 20-homer power once he gets stronger. A high school shortstop, he has solid arm strength and is making encouraging progress learning third base. More »

Los Angeles: Mitchell White, RHP (No. 4 on Dodgers' Top 30)

White can make hitters look bad with a variety of pitches: a 92-97 mph fastball with nasty sink and run, a power slider with late bite that he can turn into an equally effective cutter and a curveball that shows flashes of becoming a true hammer. If he can refine his changeup, control and command, he could be a frontline starter. More »

San Diego: Tirso Ornelas, OF (No. 15 on Padres' Top 30)

Listed at 6-foot-4, 180 pounds, Ornelas shows the makings of becoming an impact player with his size, athleticism and array of tools. He's an advanced hitter with a fluid but explosive left-handed swing that produces line-to-line contact and raw power. His patient approach, ability to recognize pitches and willingness to take walks all stand out for his age, and he opened eyes with his ability to handle center field during his pro debut. More »

San Francisco: Sandro Fabian, OF (No. 6 on Giants' Top 30)

Fabian has an uncanny feel for hitting, barreling balls with ease and showing the potential for at least average power. He also shows good defensive instincts as well, getting good jumps in right field and possessing a strong, accurate arm. More »