Thanksgiving in the United is a time for baseball fans to dig into their turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing (or whatever other delicious dishes sit on the table), and they also might choose to give thanks for the cornucopia of talent headed toward the Majors. Here are prospect-related reasons each fanbase can be thankful this holiday season:
Orioles: MLB Pipeline’s top overall prospect Jackson Holliday climbed four levels in his first full campaign and could be on the cusp of joining former fellow No. 1s Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson in the first half of 2024.
Rays: Junior Caminero debuted with Tampa Bay as a 20-year-old after hitting 31 homers and slugging .591 at High-A and Double-A in the summer. His near-elite power will fuel his MLB chances next spring.
Red Sox: Roman Anthony, the 79th overall pick in 2022, was one of the breakout prospects of the year after showing plus power and impressive swing decisions while reaching Double-A as a 19-year-old. A new Roman empire, perhaps?
Guardians: Acquired from the Rays at the Trade Deadline, Kyle Manzardo was still returning from a shoulder issue at the time but stood out for both his hit and power tools in the Arizona Fall League, solidifying his standing as a legit first-base option for Opening Day.
Tigers: After missing much of the first half with lumbar spine inflammation, Jackson Jobe got back to dominating with a fastball-slider-cutter-changeup mix that makes for one of the best and fullest arsenals in the Minors.
Twins: Minnesota had the 13th-best odds in the 2023 lottery and landed the fifth overall pick. The Twins took North Carolina prep outfielder Walker Jenkins, and with his five above-average tools, he could be a quick superstar in that system.
White Sox: Chicago is in a state of flux, but having a clear top prospect like Colson Montgomery (MLB No. 17) -- a shortstop with plus-plus raw power -- should bring some hope to the South Side.
Angels: The Halos took quick-moving Florida Atlantic first baseman Nolan Schanuel 11th overall, and they lived up to their reputation by bringing him to The Show ASAP, only to see him reach base in all 29 of his MLB games.
Astros: Top Houston prospect Jacob Melton -- who moved into that spot with Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford traded away -- was one of only five 20-40 Minor League performers last season.
Athletics: Jacob Wilson became Oakland’s top prospect after going sixth overall in July, and he hit .318 with only 10 strikeouts in 99 plate appearances for High-A Lansing after signing. His 5.3 swinging-strike rate was the fifth-lowest among 200 Midwest Leaguers with at least 90 PA.
Braves: Hurston Waldrep’s splitter was one of the best pitches in the 2023 Draft class, and the former Florida Gator used it to strike out 41 batters in 29 1/3 innings as a pro. He could push his way into Atlanta’s rotation early next year.
Phillies: Orion Kerkering, a 2022 fifth-rounder, started his first full season at Single-A and ended it in the Major League postseason. Kerkering’s upper-90s fastball and mid-80s sweeper are both at least plus pitches, and he could take a jump with more MLB experience in ’24.
Reds: The Reds graduated a lot of bats in 2023. Meanwhile, Cincinnati took Wake Forest righty Rhett Lowder seventh overall in the Draft, and armed with a plus change and plus control, the 21-year-old is set to be the face of the farm quickly.
D-backs: Jordan Lawlar showed good power and at least plus speed on his way to Phoenix and was part of an Arizona World Series roster ahead of schedule. He should challenge Geraldo Perdomo at the six this upcoming spring.
Rockies: Colorado is always in dire need of pitching and grabbed a quality arm in Tennessee right-hander Chase Dollander with the ninth overall pick. Dollander (MLB No. 59) has a 95-97 mph fastball, plus slider and above-average change.