Here are the Top 10 RHP prospects for 2022

March 14th, 2022

MLB Pipeline will reveal its 2022 Top 100 Prospects list on Thursday, with a one-hour show on MLB Network and on Saturday at 11 a.m. ET. Leading up to the release of the Top 100, we'll examine baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

There’s been a ton of turnover among right-handed pitching prospects.

Six of last year’s Top 10 right-handed pitching prospects have graduated from the list. Two others dropped off, mostly because of injuries holding them back. So this year’s list has eight new names, with only Grayson Rodriguez of the Orioles, now considered the best pitching prospect in baseball, and Max Meyer of the Marlins, one of three Miami right-handers on the list, left as holdovers.

Don’t be surprised if you see more movement from this year’s preseason list, with seven of the 10 below looking like they could make considerable contributions in the big leagues this season. There’s a fairly even distribution of how these players entered pro ball, with four high school draftees (Rodriguez, Shane Baz, Hunter Greene, Jackson Jobe), four college Draft picks (Jack Leiter, George Kirby, Meyer, Cade Cavalli) and a pair of international signees in Cabrera and Eury Perez.

The Top 10 (ETA)

  1. Grayson Rodriguez, Orioles (2022)
  2. Shane Baz, Rays (2022)
  3. Jack Leiter, Rangers (2023)
  4. Hunter Greene, Reds (2022)
  5. George Kirby, Mariners (2022)
  6. Edward Cabrera, Marlins (2022)
  7. Max Meyer, Marlins (2022)
  8. Cade Cavalli, Nationals (2022)
  9. Jackson Jobe, Tigers (2025)
  10. Eury Perez, Marlins (2023)
    Complete list »

Top Tools

Fastball: Baz, Greene (80)
If you want guys who can throw hard, you came to the right place, and both of these guys can throw their high-octane heaters for strikes. Between Triple-A and the big leagues, Baz averaged 96.6 mph and touched 100 with his fastball. Greene’s averaged close to 99 and was well into triple digits on a regular basis. While Greene has a slight edge in terms of velocity, Baz’s is elite because of how well it plays, and stays, in the top of the zone.

Curveball: Leiter, Cavalli (60)
Leiter’s curve is an upper-70s breaking ball that has true downer break to it. At Vanderbilt, he showed the ability to both land it for strikes and expanding the zone to get hitters to chase it, missing bats both in and out of the strike zone. Cavalli has a bit more power in his curve, throwing it in the mid-80s with excellent depth, contributing to his ridiculous strikeout rate in 2021.

Slider: Meyer, Jobe (65)
Meyer’s and Jobe’s sliders were the best secondary offerings in their respective Draft classes, Meyer in 2020 and Jobe last year. While Meyer’s slider wasn’t quite as sharp in Double-A in 2021 as it was when he was at the University of Minnesota, it’s still a devastating pitch, thrown 85-89 mph with huge horizontal break and some depth as well. Jobe’s slider got some 80 grades from some scouts when he was in high school, thrown in the low-80s with elite-level spin rates north of 3,000 rpm.

Changeup: Rodriguez (70)
It shouldn’t be fair for someone who has a fastball that touches triple digits to have an offspeed offering as effective as Rodriguez does. But it’s nasty, a mid-80s offspeed pitch that’s hard, late and thrown with a ton of deception, especially when he throws it off his fastball.

Control: Kirby (65)
Kirby walked just 1.9 per nine innings during his career at Elon University, including a ridiculous 0.6 per nine during his junior year in 2019, the year he was a first-round pick of the Mariners. He served notice he’d continue on that path by not issuing a single free pass in 23 innings during his pro debut and even though he’s throwing a lot harder than he was in college, he’s still stingy, with a 1.5 BB/9 rate in his pro career to date.


Highest ceiling: Rodriguez
Now considered the game’s best pitching prospect, Rodriguez is in this spot for the second straight year. The size, the stuff and his feel for pitching all continued to take steps forward in 2021, leading to a higher strikeout rate and lower walk rate while climbing to Double-A. Oh, and he’ll be just 22 for all of this season.

Highest floor: Kirby
Kirby entered pro ball as a high floor type of college arm because of his command. He now has a much higher ceiling because all of his stuff has trended up, but even if that backs up a bit as his workload increases, the fact he can throw all of his pitches pretty much where he wants gives him a very, very good chance to be a big league starter for a long time.

Rookie of the Year Award candidate: Baz
Baz is one of only two on this list who touched the big leagues last year (Edward Cabrera is the other) and he had some early success, even if his postseason start didn’t go as well. The Rays seem to know how to bring young pitchers along and look for Baz to make a huge contribution to a staff poised to help Tampa Bay compete in the AL East again.

Highest riser: Perez
He’s grown four inches and gained 45 pounds since he signed in 2019, with his stuff increasing and improving proportionately as well. His pro debut last year was scintillating and there are those who think he might eventually be better than any of the Marlins on this list.

Humblest beginning: Cabrera
Some pitchers can take a little bit lounger to flourish. Cabrera was eligible to sign in 2014, but couldn’t find a team, signing with the Marlins for $100,000 a year later. The 2019 season was a huge breakout for him and while injuries slowed him down a bit in 2020 and 2021, he still made it up to the big leagues for seven starts last year.

Most to prove: Leiter
It might be unfair to say someone who has yet to throw a professional pitch has a lot to prove, but considering he was drafted as a sophomore the year following the 2020 shutdown, Leiter has a, umm, lighter amateur resume than usual for a pitcher entering a first full season. That and the fact that as the No. 2 overall pick, there is some pressure for him to get to Texas quickly and help turn things around, makes him someone worth watching closely.

Keep an eye on: Cole Winn, Rangers
Luckily for Leiter, he’s not alone in the Texas pitching pipeline. Winn was the Double-A Central League pitcher of the Year and got to Triple-A in 2021, all at the age of 21. The 2018 first rounder has four pitches that all are plus at times and misses a ton of bats, while just about knocking on the big league door.