This might be the dog days of summer for some, but for us at MLB Pipeline, it’s a time for excitement and positive energy.
The caffeine? An influx of talent from the recently completed Draft, a changing landscape due to the Trade Deadline and brand new versions of our Top 100 Prospects list, all of our Top 30 team lists and Top 10 by positions lists.
Since our list came out to start the 2023 season, there have been a ton of graduations from the top, with seven of that top 10 surpassing rookie status (130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched or 45 active days on the roster) to lose prospect status. That’s just one of the reasons for a much different-looking top of the list this go-round, starting with Orioles phenom Jackson Holliday, who took over the No. 1 spot during the season based on the incredible first full season of pro ball he’s been having.
He's followed by another Jackson -- this one with the last name Chourio, the five-tool Brewers outfield prospect … and that’s where things get different. Before we slice and dice the list in totality, let’s look at the top 10:
1. Jackson Holliday, SS/2B, Orioles (ETA: 2024)
2. Jackson Chourio, OF, Brewers (ETA: 2024)
3. Paul Skenes, RHP, Pirates (ETA: 2024)
4. Dylan Crews, OF, Nationals (ETA: 2024)
5. Ethan Salas, C, Padres (ETA: 2026)
6. Junior Caminero, 3B/SS, Rays (ETA: 2025)
7. James Wood, OF, Nationals (ETA: 2024)
8. Evan Carter, OF, Rangers (ETA: 2024)
9. Jackson Merrill, SS, Padres (ETA: 2024)
10. Jordan Lawlar, SS, D-backs (ETA: 2024)
Complete list »
There are a couple of noteworthy things with this list. The first is the placement of the top two picks from the 2023 Draft. Both Skenes and Crews, LSU teammates, are the highest-debuting pair of picks in any of our Top 100 lists. That speaks to just how talented the top of this Draft class is perceived to be. So does the fact that we have five members of the class in the top 16, something that also has never happened since we started ranking prospects.
Skenes and Crews are in rarified air on their own, too. Only Stephen Strasburg, who debuted at No. 2 on the 2010 preseason list, and Bryce Harper, who landed at No. 3 for the first time in 2011, beat or match either of them for top individual debut.
The other thing that should stand out the most is the aggressive placement of Ethan Salas at No. 5. Salas wasn’t on the Top 100 to start the season as a 16-year old who had just signed with the Padres. He was added as a replacement during the year and has moved up a couple of times based on his remarkable performance in full-season ball to date (he just got promoted to High-A). As far as our records indicate, we’ve never had someone this young (17) this high on the Top 100. Even highly touted international phenoms haven’t come close. Jasson Domínguez was No. 54 on the preseason Top 100 in 2020 right around his 17th birthday. Kevin Maitan had a ton of hype and debuted on a Top 100 at around age 17 as well … at No. 32. So we’re in uncharted territory.
Let’s take a look at what else makes this Top 100 special.
5. Ethan Salas, C, Padres
6. Junior Caminero, 3B/SS, Rays
26. Colt Keith, 3B, Tigers
28. Coby Mayo, 3B/1B, Orioles
30. Cade Horton, RHP, Cubs
34. Jeferson Quero, C, Brewers
37. Roman Anthony, OF, Red Sox
38. Jacob Misiorowski, RHP, Brewers
39. Cole Young, SS, Mariners
43. Brady House, 3B, Nationals
Add in catchers Dalton Rushing of the Dodgers (No. 46) and Samuel Basallo of the Orioles (No. 50) and there are a dozen players in the top 50 who were in pro ball but did not start the year on the Top 100.
There are 11 players from this year’s Draft class on the new Top 100 -- the same number that debuted in our re-ranking a year ago -- including the first seven picks and eight of the top 10. Phillies first-rounder Aidan Miller is the only player not taken in the top 14 picks to land on the list; had it not been for a broken hamate early in the spring, the high school slugger would have likely gone in the top half of the round.
3. Paul Skenes, RHP, Pirates (No. 1 overall pick)
4. Dylan Crews, OF, Nationals (No. 2)
13. Wyatt Langford, OF, Rangers (No. 4)
15. Max Clark, OF, Tigers (No. 3)
16. Walker Jenkins, OF, Twins (No. 5)
44. Rhett Lowder, RHP, Reds (No. 7)
60. Noble Meyer, RHP, Marlins (No. 10)
64. Chase Dollander, RHP, Rockies (No. 9)
82. Jacob Wilson, SS, A’s (No. 6)
88. Kyle Teel, C, Red Sox (No. 14)
97. Aidan Miller, 3B, Phillies (No. 27)
If you like watching good players patrolling the outfield, then this is a list for you. There are 27 outfielders in this Top 100, leading the way among all positions. There are 27 total pitchers (21 right-handers and six lefties), matching last year for the lowest percentage of pitchers in a midseason re-rank. Shortstops are next with 19, followed by 11 catchers, nine third basemen, four second basemen and three first basemen.
Seventy-six of the 100 came via the Draft, meaning 24 were signed internationally. There are two No. 1 overall picks on the list at the very top, with 2022 No. 1 pick Jackson Holliday at No. 1 on the list and this year’s top selection, Paul Skenes, not far behind at No. 3.
There are 73 players from the United States on the list, followed by the Dominican Republic (11), Venezuela (7), Canada and Cuba (2 each). Australia, the Bahamas, Curacao, Panama and Puerto Rico all have one representative apiece.
The Orioles and Pirates share the lead among organizational representation, each with six members of this new list. The Brewers, Cubs, Dodgers, Mets, Reds and Rockies each have five Top 100 prospects. The Astros and the Royals are the only systems without a player on the list.
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, 433 (Jackson Holliday, SS, No. 1)
Brewers, 353 (Jackson Chourio, OF, No. 2)
Pirates, 274 (Paul Skenes, RHP, No. 3)
Padres, 257 (Ethan Salas, C, No. 5)
Nationals, 249 (Dylan Crews, OF, No. 4)
Rays, 242 (Junior Caminero, 3B/SS, No. 6)
Tigers, 232 (Max Clark, OF, No. 15)
Reds, 228 (Noelvi Marte, 3B/SS, No. 24)
Cubs, 225 (Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, No. 12)
Rangers, 218 (Evan Carter, OF, No. 8)