Here's when Top 100 prospects will debut

March 25th, 2022

You know the Top 100 prospects. If you look a little closer, you can see which members of the Top 100 have a 2022 estimated time of arrival. That means they’re close. But how close are we talking, really?

A lot could happen in the months ahead between injuries that slow down progress or Major League needs that expedite a prospect’s move to The Show. But in the name of fun and the setting of reasonable expectations, we’ve combed through the 51 Top-100 prospects with 2022 ETAs (plus a bonus name) and tried to predict when we will see them in the Major Leagues this summer based on four windows -- Opening Day, Early (April-May), Midseason (June-July-August) and Late (September-October).

Opening Day

Bobby Witt Jr., SS/3B, Royals (MLB No. 1)
The time has come. The Royals have made the third-base job Witt’s to lose, and for a player with five plus to plus-plus tools, this guy doesn’t lose. The 21-year-old has carried his hot 2021 over to this spring, and with some Draft-pick compensation potentially in the offing following the new CBA, Kansas City has little excuse to leave the game’s top prospect and his 30-30 potential away from the Majors any longer.

Spencer Torkelson, 1B/3B, Tigers (MLB No. 4)
Sticking in the AL Central, Detroit has similarly left a spot wide open at first base for Torkelson to grab in his second Spring Training. Fresh off a 30-homer season in his first taste of the Minors, the 2020 first overall pick has the plus-plus power to play immediately at the top level, and his addition could be equal to free agents Javier Báez and Eduardo Rodriguez’s in terms of 2022 impact.

Riley Greene, OF, Tigers (MLB No. 5)
Make it 2-for-2 in Motown. Tigers GM Al Avila has spoken about making the Major League roster the best it can be on Day One, and if the spring is any indication, that would include Greene in center field. The 21-year-old outfielder is 3-for-9 (.333) with a homer and a triple in the early days of spring, picking up right where he left off with a .301/.387/.534 line and 24 homers at Double-A and Triple-A last season.

Oneil Cruz, SS, Pirates (MLB No. 26)
This might be optimistic thinking. Cruz has all of six Triple-A games under his belt, though he also got two looks at the Majors in 2021. But would you want to bet against a slugger with plus-plus raw power who is capable of consistently posting 100-plus mph exit velocities and 400-foot homers in the Majors right now? Probably not. Setting aside questions about a 6-foot-7 shortstop, Cruz provides a bigger bat already than Pittsburgh’s other options at the six like Kevin Newman and Cole Tucker, and since he’s already seen the top level, he’s earned his opportunity to get back in short order.

Joey Bart, C, Giants (MLB No. 31)
This was coming the moment Buster Posey announced his retirement. Even if Curt Casali shoulders a decent amount of the load early on, Bart -- a quality defender with plus power potential -- is ready to don the tools of ignorance by the bay and hopefully stick for nearly as long as his predecessor.

Outside the Top 50: Joe Ryan, RHP, Twins

Early (April, May)

Adley Rutschman, C, Orioles (MLB No. 2)
There’s still a chance the game’s best catching prospect could move up one category. He’s certainly ready for everyday Major League duty as a plus switch-hitter with Gold Glove potential behind the plate. A triceps strain means he’ll cut it close for Opening Day (either in the Majors or Minors), and even if he is fully healthy by the first week of April, the Orioles seem to be leaning toward letting him prove his health with Triple-A Norfolk first. Assuming all goes well in recovery, it shouldn’t take him long to do that and punch his ticket to Camden Yards.

Gabriel Moreno, C, Blue Jays (MLB No. 7)
Toronto’s loaded catching depth chart might be the only thing that slows down Moreno’s ascent in 2022. The 22-year-old backstop makes loud contact from the right side and exhibits promising athleticism from behind the plate to make himself an all-around threat. A thumb injury kept him from seeing Triple-A (and maybe the Majors) in 2021, so a potential quick move to Buffalo makes sense before he can wrestle the starting job from Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk and Reese McGuire.

Reid Detmers, LHP, Angels (MLB No. 21)
The 2020 10th overall pick ascended quickly to Anaheim in his first full season, relying on a four-pitch mix and above-average control to climb three levels. Detmers was roughed up a bit in that first taste of the Majors (7.40 ERA, five homers, 11 walks in 20 2/3 innings), so re-establishing a layer of success at Triple-A Salt Lake before an MLB return a few weeks into the season is likely.

Hunter Greene, RHP, Reds (MLB No. 22)
Triple-digit heat is coming to Cincinnati. The 22-year-old right-hander, who has already touched 101 mph this spring, saw 65 1/3 innings of Triple-A action in 2021 (posting a 4.13 ERA with 79 K’s in that span) and he was added to the Reds’ 40-man roster in November, so he’s knocking on the door already. A little more sustained success and improvement of the off-speed stuff might be all it takes to get the 2017 second overall pick to the promised land.

Nolan Gorman, 2B/3B, Cardinals (MLB No. 33)
Utilityman Tommy Edman might be grabbing second base out of the gate, but he lacks the offensive ceiling of Gorman, a plus slugger from the left side. The 21-year-old is ticketed to head back to Triple-A Memphis, where he hit .274/.320/.465 with 14 homers in 76 games last season, and he has the bat to make those numbers pop quickly now that he’s even more adjusted to the level. St. Louis seems optimistic enough about his defensive move across the infield to get him a look at the Major League keystone before long.

Edward Cabrera, RHP, Marlins (MLB No. 34)
The 23-year-old right-hander made seven inconsistent starts for the Fish in 2021, and a loaded Major League rotation will be what squeezes him out of improving his 5.81 career ERA out of the gate. All rotation depths are challenged at some point, and Cabrera (and his upper-90s fastball, plus slider and plus changeup) will be one of, if not the first arms called upon when an opening arises.

Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Cardinals (MLB No. 43)
The 22-year-old southpaw is technically a candidate for the Cardinals’ No. 5 rotation spot this spring, but he appears to be a long shot at this stage. A move back to Triple-A Memphis, where he threw a whopping 124 2/3 innings at a young age in 2021, seems the likeliest path, and he’ll be waiting in the wings whenever rotation help is first needed. How fun would it be if Liberatore and childhood friend Gorman debuted on the same day?

Luis Campusano, C, Padres (MLB No. 44)
The Padres may open the season with as many three catchers on the roster in Austin Nola, Jorge Alfaro and Victor Caratini. Campusano’s ceiling might be higher than anyone’s in that group, and after hitting .295/.365/.541 over 81 games at Triple-A El Paso last year and getting Major League looks in each of the last two seasons, the 23-year-old doesn’t have a ton to left to prove he’s capable of taking the next step for the final time.

Josh Lowe, OF, Rays (MLB No. 50)
Keep an eye on what Tampa Bay does with Kevin Kiermaier and Austin Meadows, two outfielders rumored to be on the trade market. If either does get moved before Opening Day, then Lowe is an Opening Day candidate. As things stand, he needs to play every day, and the best chance for him is back at Triple-A Durham, where he collected 22 homers and 26 steals last season while providing impressive defense from the grass. He’ll be ready at a moment’s notice whenever the Rays need outfield help.

Outside the Top 50: MJ Melendez, C, Royals; Nick Pratto, 1B, Royals; Roansy Contreras, RHP, Pirates; Gabriel Arias, INF, Guardians; Vidal Bruján, OF/2B/SS, Rays; Jarren Duran, OF, Red Sox; Jose Miranda, 3B/2B/1B, Twins; Matt Brash, RHP, Mariners

Midseason (June, July, August)

Julio Rodríguez, OF, Mariners (MLB No. 3)
Could arguably the best batter in prospectdom hit his way to Seattle sooner this June? Sure. This is an outfielder who batted .347 and posted a 1.001 OPS at High-A and Double-A last season and helped the Dominican Republic medal at the Olympics to boot. The only thing missing from Rodríguez’s Minor League resume is Triple-A experience, and he’ll get that quickly this spring. The M’s might want to avoid another Jarred Kelenic situation (hyped prospect struggles out of the gate after being pushed to MLB), but Rodríguez has a bat of his own that could make his stay in Tacoma only a few months long, tops.

Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Orioles (MLB No. 6)
MLB Pipeline’s top pitching prospect could probably blow Major League hitters away with his four-pitch arsenal, highlighted by a plus-plus fastball and 70-grade heater. Like the other Rodríguez above, he’s yet to see Triple-A, so he seems headed there. A few K-heavy, BB-light outings there may be all Baltimore needs to reunite him with Rutschman on Eutaw Street.

Brennen Davis, OF, Cubs (MLB No. 15)
The 22-year-old outfielder climbed to Triple-A for a brief spell in 2021, and his power played immediately with four homers in 15 games. He’s also a plus runner with an above-average arm, making him capable of playing anywhere on the grass. The signing of Seiya Suzuki adds a potential roadblock to Davis’ ascent to Wrigley, but with a return to Triple-A ball coming, he’s too tooled-up to not force his way to the Windy City by the midpoint of the season.

Triston Casas, 1B, Red Sox (MLB No. 16)
Boston was rumored to be involved in the Freddie Freeman sweepstakes but ultimately didn’t make an aggressive enough offer because of the presence of Bobby Dalbec and the charging Casas. If it all clicks, Casas has a better ceiling than Dalbec, considering his own prodigious power and much better overall hit tool. He can also be a defensive asset at the cold corner, and after reaching Triple-A Worcester at the tail end of 2021, he’ll be just a short drive down the Mass Pike away from bringing those tools to the Fens.

Alek Thomas, OF, D-backs (MLB No. 18)
Thomas hit the ground running (and slugging) when he reached Triple-A Reno last season with a .369/.434/.658 line, eight homers and five steals in 34 games there. (Reno’s hitter-friendly ballpark played a role there as well.) With plus speed, he could be a defensive asset in Arizona right now. Thomas only turns 22 in late April, but it’s becoming clear that the rebuilding D-backs should be making space for him quickly.

George Kirby, RHP, Mariners (MLB No. 32)
The 2019 20th overall pick’s stuff continued to pick up over his first full season, interrupted only slightly by right shoulder fatigue in July. His control is already bordering on plus-plus, too, and it’s that combination of accuracy and arsenal that could make him a quick mover yet again in 2022, after finishing last year at Double-A.

Max Meyer, RHP, Marlins (MLB No. 35)
Meyer’s slider certainly looked Major League-ready this spring when he got whiff after whiff on it in early Grapefruit League play. The 2020 third overall pick is also throwing in the mid-90s with his fastball. He made two dominant Triple-A starts last season (striking out 17 while allowing one earned run in 10 frames), and like Cabrera, it might just be Miami’s deep rotation that holds him off from seeing loanDepot Park in the first few months of the season.

Cade Cavalli, RHP, Nationals (MLB No. 39)
The 6-foot-4 right-hander led the Minors with 175 strikeouts in 123 1/3 innings across three levels last season but is likely headed back to Triple-A Rochester with one clear objective -- improving his command. Cavalli was punished at times by more patient hitters the higher he climbed, and if he can hit his spots more consistently in a Triple-A return, the rebuilding Nationals should be standing ready to welcome him to their rotation with open arms.

Nick Lodolo, LHP, Reds (MLB No. 42)
Lodolo lacks the Triple-A experience of his Reds teammate Greene, in part because he missed time in 2021 while dealing with a shoulder strain, and that’s about the only reason he’s lower on the list. The 24-year-old southpaw shows plus control of three above-average pitches (fastball, slider, changeup), and he’s put that to good use already this spring. Greene and Lodolo backing Tyler Mahle and Luis Castillo in the Cincy rotation by the Trade Deadline would bring some hope to the banks of the Ohio River.

Bryson Stott, SS, Phillies (MLB No. 45)
For all the moves they’ve made recently, the Phillies still face a question mark at shortstop, so maybe consider Stott’s arrival to be on the early end of the Midseason period. The 2019 first-rounder has a chance to be an above-average hitter, runner and fielder in the Major Leagues, and his tools, while lacking a plus designation, have played everywhere he’s been in his young career, including Triple-A and last year’s Arizona Fall League.

Cole Winn, RHP, Rangers (MLB No. 48)
The reigning Texas League Pitcher of the Year won’t get to defend his crown, not that he’d want to do so. The 22-year-old right-hander sports a plus heater, plus curveball and two 55-grade pitches in his slider and changeup -- each of which helped him finish out 2021 at Triple-A. He’s still young at 22, but the stuff and lack of quality starting pitching for Texas could earn him midsummer looks.

Outside the Top 50: Shea Langeliers, C, Athletics; Oswald Peraza, SS, Yankees; Michael Busch, 2B/1B, Dodgers; JJ Bleday, OF, Marlins; MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Padres; D.L. Hall, LHP, Orioles; Miguel Vargas, 3B/2B/1B, Dodgers

Late (September, October)

CJ Abrams, SS, Padres (MLB No. 9)
This is our bonus pick. Abrams is actually listed as a 2023 ETA on our prospect ranking, and this doesn’t necessarily butt heads with that either. Under this scenario, San Diego is in a playoff hunt late in the season and turns to Abrams, who is about to complete a healthy season after missing out on most of 2021 with a fractured left tibia and sprained left MCL, to provide 80-grade speed and a good hit tool off the bench, just before he turns 22 in October. Abrams could arrive and still not technically graduate. If he were to perform well in the Majors, he could put himself in the driver’s seat to be Pipeline’s No. 1 overall prospect come next spring.

Nick Gonzales, 2B, Pirates (MLB No. 20)
Most of this section is reserved for contending teams looking for last-minute help. News flash: the Pirates aren’t looking like contenders. That said, the organization did give Cruz a well-earned cup of coffee in the Majors last year, allowing him to get valuable experience heading into the offseason. They could execute the same plan with Gonzales, a potential plus-plus hitter who will see the upper Minors for the first time this summer.

Brett Baty, 3B/OF, Mets (MLB No. 27)
Baty seems headed back to Double-A to begin 2022 but won’t need much time there after getting 151 at-bats with Binghamton last year. His primary goal: lifting the ball more to make the most of his plus power potential because the overall hit tool is already there. Whether it’s at his natural position of third or in the outfield where he can show some athleticism, Baty could be able to help New York’s late playoff push by the end of his age-22 season.

Royce Lewis, SS, Twins (MLB No. 46)
It’s probably going to have to be at a different position, huh? The Carlos Correa signing alters Lewis’ potential arrival, but only slightly. The 2017 first overall pick did get looks at second, third and center before suffering a torn ACL last year that kept him off the field entirely during the 2021 regular season. He’s looked healthy this spring with his usual plus speed, and a full Minor League season of quality production -- which Lewis hasn’t enjoyed since 2018 -- could be enough to get him to the Minneapolis side of the Twin Cities before the season is up.

Outside the Top 50: Austin Martin, OF/SS, Twins; Tyler Freeman, INF, Guardians; Bobby Miller, RHP, Dodgers; Greg Jones, SS, Rays


Shane Baz, RHP, Rays (MLB No. 12)
Baz started Game 2 of the ALDS last year and would have been an easy pick for the Opening Day section, until he underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies from his right elbow earlier this week. He is expected to resume throwing in 2-3 weeks, and after he’s built back up, that would still put him in line with the Early group above. But we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves until he is back on the mound and showing the elbow scare is behind him before we place him on any ETA calendar.

Josh Jung, 3B, Rangers (MLB No. 29)
Texas’ top prospect underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder back in February. He isn’t expected back until late August, and that’s if all goes well. Unlike Baz, Jung doesn’t have Major League experience, so he may run out of time to join Corey Seager and Marcus Semien in the Rangers infield in 2022.

Sixto Sánchez, RHP, Marlins (MLB No. 58)
The 23-year-old right-hander is still four weeks away from throwing after a setback in his recovery from 2021 shoulder surgery. Sánchez made seven starts for the Marlins in 2020 but didn’t pitch at any level last season due to the injury concerns.