Predicting the Top 10 prospects for '23

February 9th, 2022

Get ready for a lot of talented rookies in the big leagues and a lot of turnover atop MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list in 2022. Led by Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman, Mariners outfielder Julio Rodríguez and Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., seven of the eight highest-rated prospects on our end-of-season 2021 Top 100 should graduate to the Majors this year.

We annually look into the future to predict the 10 best prospects at the finish of the upcoming season. Heading into 2021, we incorrectly projected that Rutschman already would have established himself in Baltimore but did have Rodríguez and Witt in the top two spots. We also nailed three more top 10 prospects in Giants shortstop Marco Luciano, Padres shortstop C.J. Abrams and Tigers outfielder Riley Greene.

Recent history tells us that virtually every prospect who ends one season in the Top 10 will repeat the next unless he graduates or gets hurt. Prospects ranked from 11-25 fill most of the remaining holes, along with a couple from the 26-50 range and sometimes someone from the bottom half of the Top 100 or straight out of the Draft.

Our projected 2023 top 10 is dominated by shortstops and catchers, with just one pitcher cracking the list. (And in case you're wondering about our preseason 2022 Top 100, we'll unveil that once Spring Training begins.)

1. Anthony Volpe, SS, Yankees (No. 15 on end-of-2021 Top 100)
In his first full season as a pro, Volpe won MLB Pipeline Hitting Prospect of the Year accolades after batting .294/.423/.604 with 27 homers and 33 steals in 109 games between Low-A and High-A while topping the Minors in runs (113) and ranking second in OPS (1.027) and third in extra-base hits (68).

2. Francisco Álvarez, C, Mets (No. 10)
Not only is Álvarez one of the best all-around offensive prospects in the game -- he slammed 24 homers at age 19 while spending most of 2021 in High-A -- but he's also gifted with the tools to become a solid defender behind the plate.

3. Noelvi Marte, SS, Mariners (No. 11)
Following in the footsteps of Jarred Kelenic and Rodríguez as elite hitting prospects in the Mariners system, Marte nearly turned in a 20-20 season as a 19-year-old making his full-season debut.

4. Marco Luciano, SS, Giants (No. 5)
Luciano's otherworldly bat speed gives him more power potential than any other middle-infield prospect and allowed him to match his age with 19 homers in 106 games between Low-A and High-A in his full-season debut.

5. Marcelo Mayer, SS, Red Sox (No. 9)
Scouts considered Mayer both the best pure hitter and the best defender in the 2021 Draft, which is why we rated him as the best prospect available, and the Red Sox were delighted to snare him with the fourth overall selection.

6. Jack Leiter, RHP, Rangers (No. 12)
The son of two-time All-Star and World Series champion Al Leiter, Jack is a better prospect at the same stage of their careers and went No. 2 overall in the 2021 Draft after dominating in his lone full college season at Vanderbilt.

7. Corbin Carroll, OF, Diamondbacks (No. 20)
Carroll missed most of 2021 with a shoulder injury but remains an advanced hitter with burgeoning power, plus-plus speed and fine instincts in center field.

8. Jordan Lawlar, SS, Diamondbacks (No. 13)
As a Dallas-area high school shortstop with five-tool potential, Lawlar naturally drew comparisons to Witt before the Diamondbacks drafted him sixth overall last July.

9. Henry Davis, C, Pirates (No. 22)
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 Draft, Davis has a higher offensive ceiling and a stronger arm than most catchers and will move as rapidly as he can polish his receiving.

10. Diego Cartaya, C, Dodgers (No. 28)
Often compared to Salvador Perez because of his size and profile, Cartaya is a more advanced hitter than Perez was at his age and batted .298/.409/.614 at age 19 in Low-A during an injury-shortened 2021.