Here's the freshly updated Top 100 Prospects list

May 14th, 2024

Break out the caps and gowns. It’s time for a whole bunch of graduations and an updated Top 100 Prospects list.

Young players who began the 2024 season on a Major League Opening Day roster with zero MLB service time exhausted their prospect status Sunday by way of the 45-day threshold. With that threshold passed, MLB Pipeline is taking this opportunity to spruce up the Top 100 prospect rankings.

Brewers outfielder Jackson Chourio, Tigers second baseman Colt Keith and Pirates right-hander Jared Jones are this weekend’s big graduates. Rangers outfielder Wyatt Langford remains on the list due to a right hamstring strain that has placed him on the IL and paused his prospect clock.

But we’ve done more than remove and replace those three. We’ve also revoted on the Top 15 spots, moved prospects in need of big jumps or falls (i.e. 10 or more spots), dropped some off the list completely and welcomed worthy performers amid their 2024 breakouts.

Top 15
1. Jackson Holliday, 2B/SS, Orioles
2. Paul Skenes, RHP, Pirates
3. Junior Caminero, 3B/SS, Rays
4. Wyatt Langford, OF, Rangers
5. James Wood, OF, Nationals
6. Ethan Salas, C, Padres
7. Dylan Crews, OF, Nationals
8. Walker Jenkins, OF, Twins
9. Jordan Lawlar, SS, D-backs
10. Jackson Jobe, RHP, Tigers
11. Colson Montgomery, SS, White Sox
12. Marcelo Mayer, SS, Red Sox
13. Max Clark, OF, Tigers
14. Samuel Basallo, C/1B, Orioles
15. Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Cubs

There isn’t a huge change at the top. Despite his initial struggles in the Majors and subsequent option to Triple-A Norfolk, Holliday remains in the top spot because this is a long-term ranking. The Baltimore middle infielder is still only 20 years old -- making him young for Triple-A, nevermind the Majors -- and his history of performance at every other stop, plus the knowledge that the gap between Triple-A and the Majors is as wide as ever, gives us belief he’ll still be a plus-plus hitter in The Show eventually. By way of Chourio’s graduation, Skenes climbs up one spot to No. 2 one day after his own MLB debut, and Caminero and Langford similarly stay in order as they round out the top four.

The big climbers here are Wood and Jobe.

The Nationals outfielder faced some hit tool questions after striking out 33.7 percent of the time at Double-A last season, but he’s turned that around nicely while still jumping to Triple-A to begin his age-21 campaign. Wood’s power potential remains as good as it gets in the Minors, and his ample speed allows him to steal bags and play an impressive center field.

Jobe made headlines by touching 102 mph during a short appearance in Spring Training, and his fastball-slider-changeup-cutter mix remains among the Minors’ deepest arsenals. He’s dealing with a hamstring strain now, but he was putting up stellar numbers for Double-A Erie before then with a 2.16 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 24 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings, strengthening a potential ace projection.

Highest risers
+42 Christian Scott, RHP, Mets (100 to 58)
+40 Andy Pages, OF, Dodgers (92 to 52)
+27 Colt Emerson, SS, Mariners (78 to 51)
+19 Drew Thorpe, RHP, White Sox (76 to 57)
+16 Bubba Chandler, RHP, Pirates (83 to 67)
+16 Jacob Melton, OF, Astros (90 to 74)
+15 Max Meyer, RHP, Marlins (99 to 84)
+14 Dalton Rushing, C, Dodgers (67 to 53)
+13 Kyle Manzardo, 1B, Guardians (52 to 39)
+11 Jackson Jobe, RHP, Tigers (21 to 10)
+11 Blake Mitchell, C, Royals (84 to 73)

Scott has been a Minor League development success story for the Mets, taking on a four-seamer and a sweeper in recent years with impressive results. With two strong MLB starts under his belt already, he’s looked like he belongs in The Show and could be a key piece for New York’s rotation even when the group is at full strength. Similarly, Pages has been a strong contributor for the Dodgers since arriving on April 16, thanks to his plus power, and that’s all the more significant given how much other top prospects have struggled at the top level. With that production, he’s put last year’s season-ending shoulder surgery in the rearview mirror, allowing his stock to jump.

Emerson already had helium entering the spring, and while he’s missed some time with an oblique issue for Single-A Modesto, his reputation as a potential plus hitter has only gotten stronger with good early plate discipline. Following two offseason trades, Thorpe has picked up right where he left off last year with a dominant Double-A turn in the White Sox system, and Chandler is getting whiffs aplenty at the same level, adding to the hope of a dominant rotation in Pittsburgh's future. Melton has been fighting swing changes since entering pro ball but has upped his line-drive rate while keeping his strikeout rate in check back in Double-A this season.

Biggest droppers
-23 Dylan Lesko, RHP, Padres (49 to 72)
-23 Termarr Johnson, 2B/SS, Pirates (39 to 62)
-22 Luisangel Acuña, 2B/SS/OF, Mets (58 to 80)
-19 Mick Abel, RHP, Phillies (44 to 63)
-16 Gabriel Gonzalez, OF, Twins (70 to 86)
-16 Sebastian Walcott, SS, Rangers (63 to 79)
-15 Ricky Tiedemann, LHP, Blue Jays (25 to 40)
-12 Roderick Arias, SS, Yankees (77 to 89)
-12 Druw Jones, OF, D-backs (69 to 81)
-12 Noelvi Marte, 3B/SS, Reds (18 to 30)
-10 Victor Scott II, OF, Cardinals (89 to 99)
-10 Marco Luciano, SS, Giants (35 to 45)
-10 Adael Amador, 2B/SS, Rockies (24 to 34)

Lesko battled control issues last year too, but many chalked those up to the ebbs and flows of Tommy John recovery. Another year removed from the surgery, and he’s still having difficulty working in the zone despite his promising stuff. Once considered a plus-plus potential hitter, Johnson has looked league-average at best for High-A Greensboro and is letting his high walk rate buoy his overall slash line. He still doesn’t turn 20 until June 11, so there’s time for him to rebuild his stock.

Now at Triple-A, Acuña is still stumbling out of the gate to begin his Mets career because he’s chasing too much out of the zone to let his above-average power play. Abel’s fastballs are down a tick early on to an average in the 93-94 mph range, and on top of continuing control woes, his slider has looked like his only true above-average pitch early. Gonzalez hasn’t stepped forward in terms of power with only one homer in 20 games at High-A and is now on the IL with a back issue. Walcott’s jump to High-A at 18 was intriguing, but he’s striking out more than 28 percent of the time for the third straight affiliate.

Moving out
Connor Phillips, RHP, Reds (from 62)
Nick Frasso, RHP, Dodgers (from 71)
Brock Porter, RHP, Rangers (from 79)
Chase Petty, RHP, Reds (from 87)
Tekoah Roby, RHP, Cardinals (from 88)

Phillips has really struggled to stay in zone in his Triple-A return and has issued more walks than strikeouts early on for Louisville, looking more like he could be a future reliever. Frasso is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery. Porter is back in Arizona to work with Rangers instructors after walking 14 in 8 1/3 innings to begin his High-A season. Petty has also struggled with strikes at Double-A, though he’s looked better of late and could pitch his way back onto the list. Roby has allowed nine homers in six starts, and while some hitter-friendly environs in the Texas League may explain part of that, he might need to live more on the periphery of the zone to dominate.

New faces
85. Lazaro Montes, OF, Mariners
93. Zac Veen, OF, Rockies
94. Moises Ballesteros, C, Cubs
95. Cam Collier, 3B, Reds
96. Jaison Chourio, OF, Guardians
97. Edgar Quero, C, White Sox
98. Jefferson Rojas, SS, Cubs
100. Ralphy Velazquez, 1B, Guardians

Montes has cut down on his strikeouts and continued to flash prodigious power as a 19-year-old at Single-A, and while defense remains a concern, his bat could play anywhere. Veen was severely restricted by a wrist issue in 2023. He’s back in Double-A and looking like a power-speed threat again. Collier has been even better at the plate at High-A than he was at Single-A, restoring some of his pre-Draft stock. Quero is similarly ticking back up now that he’s more age-appropriate for Double-A; his six homers for Birmingham already equal his 2023 total.

The Cubs add a pair in Ballesteros (a potential plus hitter at catcher) and Rojas (an above-average-hitting shortstop who joined High-A for his age-19 season), giving them a league-best eight. Also, the Guardians add switch-hitting outfielder Jaison Chourio and 2023 first-rounder Velazquez, two of their best Single-A performers before both turn 19 this month. Yes, that’s one Chourio out and another Chourio in for the MLB Pipeline Top 100.