It’s been a busy time in the Majors, Minors and baseball as a whole. We have been through a talent-filled Draft and a blockbuster Trade Deadline for the ages and are headed toward a stretch run with 18 teams within six games of a postseason spot. All the while, players across the lower levels are sharpening their tools, breaking out and taking one step closer to their Major League stardom.
Amid the madness, let’s check in on that latter group with an updated version of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list.
Mets catcher Francisco Álvarez -- a 20-year-old with plus-plus power who has already reached Triple-A -- sits atop our ranking as the top prospect in the game. He's just the third catcher to hold the crown as baseball's No. 1 overall prospect, joining Joe Mauer (preseason 2004) and Adley Rutschman (midseason 2021).
Tucking in behind Álvarez at No. 2 is Orioles infielder Gunnar Henderson. D-backs outfielder Corbin Carroll rounds out the top three.
Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (No. 4) is the top pitcher on the list, giving Baltimore two of our top four overall prospects in what has already been an upstart season for the Major League club.
Here are a few ways to break down the 2022 midseason edition of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100:
The Top 10
1. Francisco Álvarez, C, Mets (ETA: 2023)
2. Gunnar Henderson, SS/3B, Orioles (ETA: 2023)
3. Corbin Carroll, OF, D-backs (ETA: 2023)
4. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Orioles (ETA: 2023)
5. Anthony Volpe, SS, Yankees (ETA: 2023)
6. Jordan Walker, 3B/OF, Cardinals (ETA: 2023)
7. Gabriel Moreno, C, Blue Jays (ETA: 2022)
8. Marcelo Mayer, SS, Red Sox (ETA: 2024)
9. Diego Cartaya, C, Dodgers (ETA: 2023)
10. Eury Pérez, RHP, Marlins (ETA: 2023)
Complete list »
Truth be told, those top three were all considered fairly close in our update deliberations. Álvarez’s pop potential at the premium position of catcher was too good to overlook at such a young age. That said, Henderson’s improved plate discipline and Carroll’s five-tool skillset made them easy contenders too. Pérez, at just 19 years old, is the youngest member of the top 10 and already has 73 Double-A innings under his belt.
Biggest risers (preseason to midseason):
Gunnar Henderson, SS/3B, Orioles (No. 64 to No. 2, up 62)
Elly De La Cruz, SS/3B, Reds (No. 76 to No. 15, up 61)
Taj Bradley, RHP, Rays (No. 74 to No. 21, up 53)
Kyle Harrison, LHP, Giants (No. 75 to No. 22, up 53)
Miguel Vargas, 3B/OF, Dodgers (No. 94 to No. 44, up 50)
Daniel Espino, RHP, Guardians (No. 53 to No. 16, up 37)
Eury Pérez, RHP, Marlins (No. 41 to No. 10, up 31)
Bobby Miller, RHP, Dodgers (No. 57 to No. 27, up 30)
Harry Ford, C, Mariners (No. 93 to No. 68, up 25)
Jordan Walker, 3B/OF, Cardinals (No. 30 to No. 6, up 24)
Henderson has increased his walks and decreased his strikeouts at Double-A and Triple-A, all while retaining 20-20 potential with his power and speed, to make our biggest leap. De La Cruz was always considered toolsy and has turned his considerable strength and wheels into bonafide production in the Cincinnati system, a group suddenly loaded with infielders. Bradley led the Minors in ERA last season and has used his elite fastball-cutter combo to keep the results coming at the top two stops in the Tampa Bay pipeline.
Jackson Chourio, OF, Brewers (No. 11)
Andrew Painter, RHP, Phillies (No. 25)
Ezequiel Tovar, SS, Rockies (No. 28)
Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Cubs (No. 31)
Ricky Tiedemann, LHP, Blue Jays (No. 34)
James Wood, OF, Nationals (No. 35)
Brayan Bello, RHP, Red Sox (No. 37)
Curtis Mead, 3B/2B, Rays (No. 38)
Masyn Winn, SS, Cardinals (No. 54)
Edwin Arroyo, SS, Reds (No. 55)
Chourio hadn’t played stateside ball at all coming into 2022. Now, the 18-year-old outfielder has already reached High-A and is showing no signs of slowing down with any of his tools. Painter -- the 13th overall pick last year -- is also awaiting a challenge, having posted a 1.19 ERA with 118 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings at Single-A and High-A. Two members of the above group (Wood, Arroyo) parlayed their 2022 successes into prominent roles in Deadline blockbusters.
Eleven players from this year's Draft class slide right into the Top 100, including five of the top six picks. Rangers fourth-rounder Brock Porter is the only player who was taken outside the top 18 selections. Porter -- MLB Pipeline's top-ranked pitcher of the 2022 Draft -- was notably signed for $3.7 million, roughly the equivalent of mid-first-round slot money.
Druw Jones, OF, D-backs (No. 12, second overall choice)
Jackson Holliday, SS, Orioles (No. 14, first overall)
Elijah Green, OF, Nationals (No. 29, fifth overall)
Termarr Johnson, 2B/SS, Pirates (No. 39, fourth overall)
Brooks Lee, SS, Twins (No. 33, eighth overall)
Kevin Parada, C, Mets (No. 40, 11th overall)
Jacob Berry, 3B, Marlins (No. 52, sixth overall)
Cam Collier, 3B, Reds (No. 63, 18th overall)
Jace Jung, 2B, Tigers (No. 74, 12th overall)
Gavin Cross, OF, Royals (No. 75, ninth overall)
Brock Porter, RHP, Rangers (No. 94, 109th overall)
Shortstops, shortstops and more shortstops. Twenty-four of them, to be exact. Players at the six outnumber the other positional categories followed by right-handed pitchers (22), outfielders (21), catchers (12), third basemen (eight), left-handed pitchers (five), second basemen (five) and first basemen (three). The 27 pitchers on the list marks the lowest percentage ever accounted for by hurlers, dating back to 2004. On the flip side, the dozen backstops are tied for the most ever.
Seventy-nine of the 100 entered the professional ranks through the Draft, while the remaining 21 signed internationally. Three No. 1 overall picks made the cut: Jackson Holliday (2022), Henry Davis (2021) and Royce Lewis (2017). Twelve members of the group have already been traded in their careers, including six at this year's Deadline. Robert Hassell III (No. 23) and James Wood (35) joined the Nationals in a swap for Juan Soto while Noelvi Marte (No. 18) and Edwin Arroyo (No. 55) moved to the Reds. Angels catcher Logan O'Hoppe (No. 67) and A's lefty Ken Waldichuk (No. 70) were also recent AL West additions.
The United States produced 75 players on the midseason updated list, followed by the Dominican Republic (12), Venezuela (seven) and Cuba (two). Australia (Curtis Mead), Canada (Bo Naylor), Panama (Daniel Espino) and Puerto Rico (Edwin Arroyo) have one representative on the Top 100.
The Dodgers claim the most Top 100 prospects on our list with seven, including four in the Top 50 (Diego Cartaya, Bobby Miller, Miguel Vargas, Michael Busch). The Orioles, Cardinals and Rangers are all close behind with six while the Reds, Guardians and Pirates have five apiece.
All 30 teams have at least one Top 100 representative. The Braves, White Sox, Astros, Angels and Mariners are the organizations that barely meet that criterion.
Prospect Points (100 for No. 1, 99 for No. 2, etc.) can give a quick weighted look at which organizations are most loaded with Top 100 talent, beyond the raw numbers. These are the 10 systems with the most Prospect Points following this update:
Orioles, 371 (Gunnar Henderson, SS/3B, No. 2)
Dodgers, 355 (Diego Cartaya, C, No. 8)
D-backs, 281 (Corbin Carroll, OF, No. 3)
Reds, 278 (Elly De La Cruz, SS/3B, No. 15)
Nationals, 259 (Robert Hassell III, OF, No. 23)
Mets, 254 (Francisco Álvarez, C, No. 1)
Guardians, 251 (Daniel Espino, RHP, No. 16)
Pirates, 244 (Henry Davis, C, No. 20)
Red Sox, 232 (Marcelo Mayer, SS, No. 8)
Rockies, 222 (Zac Veen, OF, No. 24)
Hit (70): Termarr Johnson, 2B/SS, Pirates (No. 39)
Power (70): Francisco Álvarez, C, Mets (No. 1)
Run (70): Corbin Carroll, OF, D-backs (No. 3); Jackson Chourio, OF, Brewers (No. 11); Druw Jones, OF, D-backs (No. 12); Elijah Green, OF, Nationals (No. 29); Sal Frelick, OF, Brewers (No. 49); Royce Lewis, SS, Twins (No. 61)
Arm (80): Masyn Winn, SS, Cardinals (No. 54)
Field (70): Druw Jones, OF, D-backs (No. 12); Ezequiel Tovar, SS, Rockies (No. 28); Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Cubs (No. 31); Nick Pratto, 1B, Royals (No. 84)
Fastball (70): Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Orioles (No. 4); Daniel Espino, RHP, Guardians (No. 16); Bobby Miller, RHP, Dodgers (No. 27); Cade Cavalli, RHP, Nationals (No. 58); Gavin Williams, RHP, Guardians (No. 56); Ryan Pepiot, RHP, Dodgers (No. 77); Brock Porter, RHP, Rangers (No. 94)
Curveball (65): Hunter Brown, RHP, Astros (No. 71)
Slider (65): Daniel Espino, RHP, Guardians (No. 16); Jackson Jobe, RHP, Tigers (No. 41); Max Meyer, RHP, Marlins (No. 46)
Changeup (75): Ryan Pepiot, RHP, Dodgers (No. 77)
Control (60): Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Orioles (No. 4)