Top 100 Prospects list: Who's in and who's out?

February 1st, 2023

In case you haven’t heard (and I find it hard to believe that you haven’t), we launched our new Top 100 Prospects list last week. By design, it elicited a ton of response, questions and comments.

Jim Callis, Sam Dykstra and I took to Twitter on Monday to answer those questions and comments to the best of our ability. And we got a lot of good ones. So rather than just picking out a smaller handful and expounding on them further for this week’s Inbox, I decided to give rapid-fire responses, splitting them into two categories: questions about guys on the list and queries about those who didn’t make the Top 100.

On the list

Will Harry Ford play catcher all of 2023 or begin mixing in other positions? And which outcome would help his prospect status more? -- @tomsegal

There aren't plans for him to play anywhere else, nor is there a need for him to move, even if he's more than capable. I think his value is best served as an everyday catcher -- and I think he might lead our Top 10 Catchers list a year from now.

Why is Diego Cartaya at 14 and Endy Rodriguez at 55? It seems that Endy has done everything that Cartaya has and more at higher levels. If they swap organizations, would they swap ranks as well? -- @SimmBobby

It's not just about production. I think Endy is really going to hit, but I’m not sure what position he plays. Not that his catching is bad, but I don't know if he's a full-timer back there. The confidence in Cartaya behind the dish helps.

Was there a renewed focus on control for pitchers as those pitchers seemed to rise to the top over those with more electric stuff? -- @CaoChadTTV

I would need to dive into this more. Having Andrew Painter, Grayson Rodriguez, Eury Pérez, Kyle Harrison and Bobby Miller up top -- that's pretty electric stuff. So it was not a concerted effort, but guys do need to throw strikes.

How heavily was Henry Davis's injury factored into his ranking, both in terms of long-term risk and in justifying his poor performance in Double-A? -- @kjk425

We try not to let injury impact ranking too much, unless it's something recurring/could hurt a player long term. We’re a little worried about how much he gets hit by pitches, and reports on his defense factored in for sure.

In terms of quality and quantity, where would you rank the 2023 Orioles system in terms of all-time best? -- @antman_92

This one is hard to do without some research. (Maybe a story later?) The Padres had 10 Top 100 guys a few years back, while the Braves had eight in back-to-back years. In terms of best -- plus depth -- I'd say the O's are Top 10 (we haven't been doing system rankings for that long).

Emmanuel Rodriguez. What are the thoughts about him? Seems pretty low in comparison to other lists. Can he shoot up the list this season? -- @leviher70509380

We love Rodriguez and we did get some feedback that he should be higher on the list, but also that we could pump the brakes given he's yet to play a full season. I think he could shoot way up with a full, healthy year -- Top 20 ceiling, in my opinion.

Not on the list

What decision made you keep Edouard Julien off the Top 100 list? -- @JesiahWaldner

While we are pretty confident about his bat, we aren’t 100 percent sure about where he plays defensively. Maybe he can play second, but that’s no sure thing. He was very much in the conversation, though, and he did make our Top 10 Second Basemen list.

Why wasn’t Luis Ortiz included? -- @2000sSports

I know Pirates fans love Ortiz and his arm is very impressive, but let's pump the brakes a bit on him. I had him under-ranked on the Bucs’ Top 30 last year and that will be corrected. But I’m not 100 percent sure what he is in the Major Leagues just yet, and he didn't exactly dominate in the Minors.

Connor Norby seemed like a guy that could have been there. How far off was he? -- @Joseph_Merkel

Orioles fans are getting greedy! I kid. He certainly showed the bat (and power) will play at the higher levels. He wasn't far off, and could be in line for an early add to the Top 100 when someone graduates off. He’s probably best suited at second base.

Gut feeling on if/where Ethan Salas is on this list at this time next season. -- @_kingdode

That might depend on where the top international signee plays this year. Dominican Summer League numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt; I think he could handle an assignment to the Arizona Complex League. I'll say back end of the Top 100 in 2024 with an up arrow.

How far was Matthew Liberatore from the Top 100 this year? And has he been overtaken in the organizational rankings by other pitchers (e.g., [Cooper] Hjerpe, [Michael] McGreevy)? -- @iPopEditor

We might have a little (unfair) prospect fatigue with Liberatore. He's still super young and has plenty of time to figure it out. I still think he's a Major League starter, but he has to perform this year (and will graduate in the process). I wouldn't put him ahead of other highly ranked arms in the St. Louis system.

How could you do this to Zack Gelof? -- @Delusional_Oak

I love me some Zack Gelof and think he'll be a very good big leaguer. I know he was shaking off some rust post-injury last year, but we got enough scouts who were concerned with how his swing works to keep him off the Top 100 list.