These prospects just missed the Top 30 lists

March 6th, 2020

We've unveiled MLB Pipeline's new organization Top 30 Prospects lists over the last week -- ranking, grading and reporting on 900 players who hope to someday make their mark in the big leagues.

Going 30 deep still doesn't leave enough room for every intriguing prospect or future big leaguer. 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 who just misses out.

With that in mind, we reveal below the identity of each organization's prospect No. 31 if we were to extend our lists further. When we undertook this exercise a year ago, the just-missed group included five players who would appear in the Majors in 2019: right-handers Joe Harvey (Yankees), Jimmy Sherfy (D-backs) and J.B. Wendelken (Athletics) plus infielders Jake Noll (Nationals) and Donovan Walton (Mariners). Our Astros representative was righty Cristian Javier, who went on to top the Minors in ERA (1.74), strikeout rate (13.5 per nine innings) and opponent average (.130).

Blue Jays: T.J. Zeuch, RHP

The 2017 first-round pick has an excellent sinker and reached the Majors last season, but his lack of a true plus pitch and the fact that he struggles to put hitters away likely limits his ceiling to that of a No. 5 starter.

Orioles: Luis Ortiz, LHP
One of the key acquisitions in the Orioles’ renewed efforts on the international market, Ortiz signed last July for $450,000. The Orioles love his arm strength, with a fastball up to 95 mph and the chance to have three pitches. He’s raw, but projectable.

Rays: Diego Infante, OF
Signed for $300,000 at age 17 out of Venezuela in July 2016, Infante broke out offensively last season to hit .288/.344/.504 in the Rookie-level Appalachian League, where he ranked third with 12 home runs. He has loud tools on both sides of the ball, including plus raw power that plays to the big part of the field, though pitch-recognition and swing-and-miss issues lead to questions about his overall hitting ability.

Red Sox: Kyle Hart, LHP
Hart survives with an 89-91 mph fastball because he keeps batters off balance by mixing his cutter, curveball and changeup and throwing all four pitches for strikes. A 19th-round choice out of Indiana in 2016, he led Boston farmhands in wins (12) and innings (156) while reaching Triple-A last year.

Yankees: Glenn Otto, RHP
Otto has had a blood clot removed from his pitching shoulder and lost two months to a ribcage injury since New York made him a fifth-round pick out of Rice in 2017. When he's 100 percent, he can miss bats with a 92-97 mph fastball and a spike curveball, which helped him post a 3.20 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 56 1/3 high Class A innings in 2019.

Indians: Jose Fermin, 2B/SS

Fermin has advanced bat-to-ball skills that allowed him to hit .293/.374/.379 and lead the low Class A Midwest League in strikeout rate (9 percent) at age 20 a year ago. Signed for $500,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, he has fine instincts that help him play better than his average tools on the bases and in the middle infield.

Royals: Noah Murdock, RHP
A seventh-round pick last June, Murdock has a quick arm and can beat hitters with both his 95-97 mph fastball and high-spin-rate curveball. The Virginia product had an impressive pro debut, posting a 2.17 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings in the Appalachian League, but he needs to establish better sync in his delivery and will brought along slowly by the Royals as a result.

Tigers: Sergio Alcantara, SS
The 23-year-old switch-hitter has yet to play above Double-A and owns a .261/.340/.317 line over 222 games at the level. But he’s a true plus defender with a 70-grade arm at shortstop, which is why the Tigers added him to their 40-man roster after the 2017 season.

Twins: Devin Smeltzer, LHP
The Twins got Smeltzer from the Dodgers at the 2018 Trade Deadline in the Brian Dozier deal and he made his big league debut last year and nearly graduated off of prospects lists. The lefty has a funky and deceptive delivery and mixes his pitches well. He’s started throughout his career, and could be a No. 5, but also could be a very useful bullpen piece.

White Sox: Bryan Ramos, 3B
A Cuban defector who signed for $300,000 in 2018, Ramos came to the United States for his pro debut at age 17 last summer and batted .277/.353/.415 in the Rookie-level Arizona League. He has a feel for hitting and at least solid raw power, and he'll get a chance to play some second base in 2020.

Angels: Kyle Tyler, RHP

Tyler was a 20th-round pick of the Angels out of Oklahoma in 2018 and began his career completely off the radar. He jumped on by pitching his way from the Midwest League to the California League, finishing with a 2.59 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and .196 batting average against over 121 2/3 innings.

Astros: Peter Solomon, RHP
A 2017 fourth-rounder from Notre Dame, Solomon can flash first-round stuff when he's on, with his 92-96 mph fastball, hard curveball and harder slider/cutter all grading as plus pitches at their best. He seemed on the verge of a breakout in 2019 before blowing out his elbow in April and having Tommy John surgery two months later.

Athletics: Drew Millas, C
The Missouri State product was the A’s seventh-round Draft choice in the 2019 Draft, but wasn’t able to play last summer after signing because of a right UCL sprain. His defense is his calling card, a plus receiver and blocker who already calls his own game to go along with a plus arm when healthy. How much he’ll hit will determine what kind of future role he can have.

Mariners: Penn Murfee, RHP
The Mariners’ 33rd-round Draft pick in 2018 spent most of his first full season in the California League and finished with impressive 10.8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 rates. He then pitched so well in the Arizona Fall League, he was chosen to pitch for Team USA in Olympic qualifying.

Rangers: Jason Bahr, RHP
The Rangers took on the salaries of Cody Gearrin and Austin Jackson to acquire Bahr from the Giants in July 2018, and he won their Minor League pitcher of the year award in 2019. Using a 90-95 mph fastball with good extension and spin rates along with an improved changeup, he led the system in opponent average (.189) and strikeout rate (9.3 per nine innings) while logging a 2.51 ERA between high Class A and Double-A.

Braves: Justin Dean, OF

One of the fastest players in the Braves system, Dean stole 47 bases in his first full season of pro ball with Rome in the South Atlantic League. He led that circuit in steals while hitting .284/.386/.431 before getting a look at what tougher competition looks like in the Arizona Fall League.

Marlins: Dalvy Rosario, SS
New to shortstop after previously playing center field, the athletic Rosario possesses plus arm strength, solid speed and some sneaky power. Signed for $125,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2016, he batted .200/.253/.324 as an 18-year-old in short-season ball last summer.

Mets: Daison Acosta, RHP
A lean and projectable right-hander, Acosta, 21, has a low-90s fastball that he pairs with a high-spin breaking ball and a below-average changeup. He reached full-season Class A Columbia for the first time in 2019, pitching to a 3.78 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 26 walks in 52 1/3 innings (11 starts).

Nationals: Jackson Tetreault, RHP
A 2017 third-round pick out of State JC of Florida, Tetreault struggled in his first Double-A campaign but fared better following a late-season demotion to Class A Advanced Potomac, where he had opened the season. The 23-year-old right-hander can run his fastball into the mid-90s but lacks a quality secondary pitch, leading many to project him for a bullpen role.

Phillies: Andrick Nava, C
Signed in July 2018 for $400,000 out of Venezuela, Nava made his pro debut in the Gulf Coast League in 2019 and opened eyes with a .314/.349/.372 line. He has a solid approach at the plate already with some power to come. His defensive game is a bit raw, but he throws well.

Brewers: Phil Bickford, RHP

The Brewers held the former first-rounder (2015, Giants) back in extended spring training last season to work on his strike-throwing, but when they finally turned him loose, he racked up 53 strikeouts against 11 walks in 32 2/3 innings and held hitters to a .197 average over 32 2/3 innings out of Class A Advanced Carolina’s bullpen. The 24-year-old righty can miss bats with his 93-95 mph fastball and a sweeping slider in the low 80s.

Cardinals: Tommy Parsons, RHP
A non-drafted free agent who signed with St. Louis in June 2018, Parsons climbed from Class A Peoria to Triple-A Memphis in his first full season, posting a 3.53 ERA and 1.09 WHIP across a Minor League-leading 165 2/3 innings. He has plus control of a four-pitch mix, though nothing he throws is plus.

Cubs: Aramis Ademan, SS
Ademan signed for $2 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2015 and ranked as Chicago's top position prospect two years ago, but he since has posted OPS of .563 and .652 in high Class A at ages 19 and 20. The Cubs pushed him aggressively because they believed in his bat, but he needs to get stronger to make an impact at the plate.

Pirates: Michael Burrows, RHP
The Pirates went above slot to sign Burrows in the 11th round of the 2018 Draft for $500,000 and he spent most of the 2019 season in the New York-Penn League. His velocity has ticked upward on his sinking fastball and he pairs it with an effective slider as he continues to work on improving his changeup.

Reds: Yan Contreras, SS
Contreras has some offensive upside with leverage in his swing and good bat speed that points to future power, especially if he can refine his approach. He’s a shortstop now, but could outgrow the position and move to third in the future.

D-backs: Jorge Barrosa, OF

Signed by Arizona out of Venezuela for $415,000 in July 2017, Barrosa is a sum-of-all-parts switch-hitter who stands out most for his defense, which is among the best in the D-backs’ system. Though the 19-year-old lacks impact potential at the plate, he controls the zone well and makes enough contact to profile as a fifth outfielder.

Dodgers: Robinson Ortiz, LHP
Ortiz already has two solid offerings in his 90-95 mph fastball and his changeup, though he needs to tighten up his slurvy breaking ball. A $60,000 signee out of the Dominican Republic in 2017, he had a 4.59 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 86 1/3 low Class A innings last year at age 19.

Giants: Garrett Frechette, 1B
Signed for a well-over-slot $797,500 as a 2019 fifth-rounder from a California high school, Frechette has the hitting ability, bat speed and leverage to be a good all-around hitter when he doesn't get caught selling out for power. He batted .290/.364/.366 while making his pro debut in Rookie ball.

Padres: Dauris Valdez, RHP
An imposing presence on the mound, the 6-foot-8 right-hander has a pair of power pitches in a 98-101 mph fastball and mid-80s slider but has trouble locating both pitches. He enjoyed some success last season at Double-A Amarillo, posting a 4.23 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings, though he also issued 28 walks and allowed 11 home runs.

Rockies: Willie MacIver, C
An athletic backstop, MacIver was the Rockies’ ninth-round pick in 2018 out of the University of Washington. His first full season had some ups and downs, but he did reach double digits in home runs and stolen bases and he threw out 38 percent of potential basestealers. There are those in the Rockies organization who feel he is primed for a breakout in 2020.