NEW: Top 100 Prospects list

August 19th, 2021

There's more upheaval than ever on MLB Pipeline's updated Top 100 Prospects list. Twenty-seven players have graduated from our preseason rankings to the big leagues, and performances have been more volatile than ever coming off a 2020 season with no Minor League games.

Rays shortstop Wander Franco had sat atop our last four preseason and midseason Top 100s, but now that he has lost his rookie/prospect status, Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman claims the No. 1 spot. For just the second time since began compiling its rankings in 2004, the same team boasts the game's top position prospect and top pitching prospect.

Baltimore right-hander Grayson Rodriguez is the highest-ranked hurler at No. 8. The only other organization to accomplish that feat was the White Sox, with Yoán Moncada at No. 1 and Michael Kopech at No. 12 on our mid-2017 list.

Let's break down the new Top 100 in a variety of ways ...

The Top 10
1. Adley Rutschman, C, Orioles
2. Julio Rodríguez, OF, Mariners
3. Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Royals
4. Spencer Torkelson, 3B/1B, Tigers
5. Marco Luciano, SS, Giants
6. C.J. Abrams, SS, Padres
7. Riley Greene, OF, Tigers
8. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Orioles
9. Marcelo Mayer, SS, Red Sox
10. Francisco Álvarez, C, Mets

The top of our list consists of five holdovers from our preseason Top 10 (Rutschman, Julio Rodríguez, Witt, Torkelson, Abrams), four more players who ranked in the upper half of that Top 100 (Luciano, Greene, Grayson Rodriguez, Álvarez) and our highest-rated 2021 Draft prospect (Mayer).

Biggest risers

Rays right-hander Shane Baz made the biggest leap from our preseason Top 100 to our current list, moving from No. 90 to No. 20 after finally figuring out how to harness his impressive pure stuff. Here are the prospects with the most upward mobility:

Shane Baz, RHP, Rays (No. 90 to No. 20, up 70)
Cade Cavalli, RHP, Nationals (No. 99 to No. 41, up 58)
George Kirby, RHP, Mariners (No. 92 to No. 35, up 57)
Reid Detmers, LHP, Angels (No. 74 to No. 24, up 50)
Brennen Davis, OF, Cubs (No. 61 to No. 14, up 47)
Brett Baty, 3B/OF, Mets (No. 94 to No. 49, up 45)
Hunter Greene, RHP, Reds (No. 71 to No. 27, up 44)
Alek Thomas, OF, Diamondbacks (No. 81 to No. 42, up 39)
Francisco Álvarez, C, Mets (No. 48 to No. 10, up 38)
Edward Cabrera, RHP, Marlins (No. 68 to No. 30, up 38)
Keibert Ruiz, C, Nationals (No. 57 to No. 19, up 38)

Highest newcomers
Mariners shortstop Noelvi Marte couldn't quite crack our preseason list but rocketed all the way up to No. 11 on our updated Top 100 in the midst of his impressive U.S. debut. That's the biggest jump from off the list to on it, and here are the largest such moves, all of them made by position players:

Noelvi Marte, SS, Mariners (No. 11)
Anthony Volpe, SS, Yankees (No. 15)
Jarren Duran, OF, Red Sox (No. 26)
Diego Cartaya, C, Dodgers (No. 29)
Jose Barrero, SS, Reds (No. 33)
Gabriel Moreno, C, Blue Jays (No. 34)
Tyler Soderstrom, C, Athletics (No. 46)
Orelvis Martinez, SS/3B, Blue Jays (No. 48)
Jordan Walker, 3B, Cardinals (No. 63)
Oswald Peraza, SS, Yankees (No. 64)

Draft debuts
Eleven players from the 2021 Draft immediately enter the Top 100 after turning pro. All of them are first-round picks, including the first six selections:

Marcelo Mayer, SS, Red Sox (No. 9, fourth overall choice)
Jack Leiter, RHP, Rangers (No. 12, second overall)
Jordan Lawlar, SS, Diamondbacks (No. 13, sixth overall)
Henry Davis, C, Pirates (No. 23, first overall)
Kahlil Watson, SS, Marlins (No. 28, 16th overall)
Jackson Jobe, RHP, Tigers (No. 50, third overall)
Brady House, SS, Nationals (No. 60, 11th overall)
Colton Cowser, OF, Orioles (No. 83, fifth overall)
Sam Bachman, RHP, Angels (No. 96, ninth overall)
Sal Frelick, OF, Brewers (No. 97, 15th overall)
Matt McLain, SS, Reds (No. 99, 17th overall)

For the first time ever, right-handed pitchers aren't the most represented position on the Top 100. That distinction belongs to the outfielders with 24, followed by shortstops (22), right-handers (21), catchers (12), left-handers (nine), second basemen and third basemen (five each), and first basemen (two).

Seventy-seven Top 100 prospects came out of the Draft, including 60 first-round choices and four No. 1 overall selections (Rutschman, Torkelson, Davis and Twins shortstop Royce Lewis), while 23 arrived via the international market. Eleven of them already have been traded, with Ruiz the highest-ranked member of that group at No. 19 after going from the Dodgers to the Nationals in the recent Trea Turner/Max Scherzer deal.

The United States produced 75 players on the list, followed by the Dominican Republic with 15 and Venezuela with seven. Canada (Twins right-hander Jordan Balazovic, No. 88), Cuba (Barrero) and Puerto Rico (Giants outfielder Heliot Ramos, No. 87) can each claim one Top 100 prospect.

Farm reports
The Marlins are the lone organization with seven Top 100 Prospects, highlighted by Watson at No. 28 and right-handers Edward Cabrera and Max Meyer at Nos. 30 and 31. The Royals have six Top 100 guys, while the Orioles, Pirates, Rangers and Rays each have five.

A quick if imprecise way to gauge the strength of star talent in a farm system is to calculate what we call Prospect Points (100 for the No. 1 prospect, 99 for No. 2 and so on through one for No. 100). The Marlins lead in that measure as well with 323, narrowly edging the Mariners at 320.

The Top 10 organizations in terms of Prospect Points, with their top prospect in parentheses:

Marlins, 323 (Kahlil Watson, SS, No. 28)
Mariners, 320 (Julio Rodríguez, OF, No. 2)
Orioles, 255 (Adley Rutschman, C, No. 1)
Padres, 250 (C.J. Abrams, SS, No. 6)
Red Sox, 250 (Marcelo Mayer, SS, No. 9)
Tigers, 242 (Spencer Torkelson, 3B/1B, No. 4)
Royals, 235 (Bobby Witt Jr., SS, No. 3)
Nationals, 230 (Keibert Ruiz, C, No. 19)
Diamondbacks, 227 (Jordan Lawlar, SS, No. 13)
Blue Jays, 217 (Gabriel Moreno, C, No. 34)

Best tools
We grade every Top 100 Prospect's tools on the 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 represents big league average. These are the best of the best:

Hit (65): Austin Martin, OF/SS, Twins (No. 38); Tyler Freeman, INF, Indians (No. 65)
Power (70): Spencer Torkelson, 3B/1B, Tigers (No. 4)
Run (80): C.J. Abrams, SS, Padres (No. 6)
Arm (75): Gabriel Arias, INF, Indians (No. 89)
Field (80): Cristian Pache, OF, Braves (No. 40)

Fastball (80): Hunter Greene, RHP, Reds (No. 27); Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays (No. 44); Brailyn Marquez, LHP, Cubs (No. 95)
Curveball (65): Reid Detmers, LHP, Angels (No. 24)
Slider (70): Jackson Jobe, RHP, Tigers (No. 50)
Changeup (70): Ryan Pepiot, RHP, Dodgers (No. 67); Jackson Kowar, RHP, Royals (No. 93)
Control (65): George Kirby, RHP, Mariners (No. 35)