In 31 seasons, the Arizona Fall League has sent more than 3,000 players and more than 60 percent of its participants to the Majors. Its long list of distinguished alumni includes Hall of Famers Roy Halladay, Derek Jeter and Mike Piazza, future Cooperstown shoo-in Albert Pujols and a newly crowned MVP (Ronald Acuña Jr.) and Cy Young Award winner (Gerrit Cole).
While its total of 10 Top 100 Prospects was lower than usual this fall, the AFL Class of 2023 still should include 125 or more future big leaguers. The highest-ranked among them -- White Sox shortstop Colson Montgomery (No. 17 on the Top 100) -- also sits atop our annual listing of the Fall League's best prospects. Several non-Top 100 guys also stood out, none more than the circuit's Offensive Player of the Year, Cubs second baseman/outfielder James Triantos.
Our rankings are based on long-term potential more than AFL performance, though both are factors. Several scouts who cover the league contributed their opinions to our process.
1. Colson Montgomery, SS, Glendale (White Sox No. 1/MLB No. 17)
Montgomery didn't dominate, slashing .244/.300/.415, but he continued to earn Corey Seager comparisons as a large shortstop with huge offensive upside that he hinted at with a 409-foot homer while earning MVP honors in the Fall Stars Game. He has 30-homer upside to go with hitting ability, plate discipline (though he focused on being more aggressive in Arizona) and a chance to remain at shortstop.
2. Chase DeLauter, OF, Peoria (Guardians No. 4/MLB No. 85)
If we weighed tools and AFL performance equally, DeLauter would rank No. 1. He slashed .299/.385/.529 with more walks (14) than strikeouts (11), led the league with 27 RBIs and showcased an impressive combination of size (6-foot-4, 235 pounds), athleticism and polish at the plate. He has solid or better tools across the board and profiles best as a right fielder.
3. Carson Williams, SS, Peoria (Rays No. 2/MLB No. 19)
One of the youngest players at age 20, Williams looked worn out at the end of a long season and didn't perform at his best. (The same was true of Seager as a 19-year-old in 2013.) He's still a shortstop who combines plus power and defense with solid speed and well above-average arm strength, though his strikeout rate (31.4 percent in the regular season, 36.6 percent in the AFL) remains a concern.
4. Ricky Tiedemann, LHP, Surprise (Blue Jays No. 1/MLB No. 31)
Tiedemann looked at his best after shoulder and biceps ailments limited him to 44 innings during the regular season, winning Pitcher of the Year accolades after posting a 2.50 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 18 innings. His mid-90s fastball and diving low-80s changeup are well above-average offerings, while his upper-70s slider is becoming more formidable and his delivery provides deception.
5. Jackson Jobe, RHP, Salt River (Tigers No. 3/MLB No. 54)
After back issues cost him the first half of the season, Jobe showed why the Tigers selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 Draft. His trademark 83-85 mph slider was the best in the league and he backed it up with a mid-90s fastball and an improving 89-92 mph cutter and mid-80s changeup. Some scouts preferred him to Tiedemann because Jobe has a deeper repertoire and better command.
6. Kyle Manzardo, 1B, Peoria (Guardians No. 2/MLB No. 58)
Known as a hit-over-power guy when he arrived in Arizona, Manzardo burnished his reputation by ranking third with six homers, hitting another in the Fall Stars Game and two in the playoff semifinal. He was more aggressive than usual and his pop is exactly what Cleveland needs in its lineup.
7. James Triantos, 2B/OF, Mesa (Cubs No. 9)
Triantos has always displayed advanced bat-to-ball skills, and that didn't stop in the AFL, where he slashed .417/.495/.679 to rank second in hitting, slugging and OPS (1.174) and third in on-base percentage. He showed more power, plate discipline and aggressiveness on the bases than he had previously, though his defensive home remains a question and may be left field.
9. Harry Ford, C, Peoria (Mariners No. 2/MLB No. 39)
The most athletic catching prospect in baseball, Ford helped Great Britain to its best-ever finish (second place) at the European Baseball Championships at the end of September but didn't have a lot left in his tank afterward. His odd .174/.412/.609 batting line testifies to his ability to hit for power and control the strike zone, and he has plus speed and arm strength.
10. Abimelec Ortiz, OF/1B, Surprise (Rangers No. 14)
After leading the Minors in slugging (.619) and winning the High-A South Atlantic League MVP award and home run crown (26 in 80 games), Ortiz wanted to work on improving his approach. He did just that without sacrificing power, slashing .314/.460/.600 with 12 walks in 50 plate appearances. He also looked better in right field than expected.
11. Eric Brown, SS/2B, Surprise (Brewers No. 10)
Brown had one of the higher floors in the AFL as a quality defender at both middle-infield spots and a contact hitter who knows how to get on base. His instincts enhance his tools and he's a savvy basestealer with solid speed.
12. Jace Jung, 3B, Salt River (Tigers No. 4/MLB No. 67)
The younger brother of Rangers postseason star Josh Jung, Jace has similar power and more patience than his sibling even if he slashed just .200/.385/.300 in Arizona. Though he won a Minor League Gold Glove at second base, he lacks the quickness for the position and is fringy at the hot corner.
13. Kevin Parada, C, Glendale (Mets No. 5/MLB No. 89)
Parada may have been the most confounding prospect in the Fall League, as the No. 11 pick in the 2022 Draft slashed just .186/.240/.371 with a 38.7 percent strikeout rate and threw out just five of 41 basestealers (12.2 percent). Though his approach was troublesome and his arm remains below average, scouts did like his power and he should get the job done as a receiver.
14. Bryan Ramos, 3B, Glendale (White Sox No. 7)
Ramos flies under the radar but projects as a possible solid regular with advanced feel for the barrel and plus raw power. He has worked diligently to make himself into a respectable defender at third base.
15. Jakob Marsee, OF, Peoria (Padres No. 12)
No player boosted his stock more during the AFL than Marsee, who won MVP honors by slashing .391/.508/.707 with circuit bests in slugging, OPS (1.215), runs (25), hits (36), doubles (12), extra-base hits (18) and total bases (65). He offers bat-to-ball skills, a patient approach, solid speed and good instincts, as well as aggressiveness on the bases and in the outfield.
16. Jacob Berry, 3B, Peoria (Marlins No. 4)
Berry has struggled much more than expected since the Marlins made him the No. 6 overall choice in the 2022 Draft, but he looked more hitterish while showing more power and patience in the Fall League than he did in the Minors. He also made strides with his defense and showed signs of becoming at least an adequate third baseman.
17. Tekoah Roby, RHP, Scottsdale (Cardinals No. 5)
Roby's 5.93 ERA belies the likelihood that he becomes a No. 3 or 4 starter. He still needs to add strength and refine his command but he has four potential solid offerings that move in different directions, highlighted by a 92-96 mph fastball with a carry and an upper-70s downer curveball.
18. Dominic Keegan, C, Peoria (Rays No. 9)
Keegan's hitting ability, power and on-base aptitude have translated into production at Vanderbilt, in the Minors and in the AFL, where he slashed .340/.446/.585. He's an adequate catcher with an average arm who continues to improve as he gains experience behind the plate.
19. Victor Scott II, OF, Scottsdale (Cardinals No. 4)
Scott parlayed his top-of-the-line speed into sharing the Minor League stolen base title (94) and ranking second in the AFL with 18 in 23 contests (not including three in the Fall Stars Game). He's a tablesetter -- albeit without much power -- and his quickness and instincts also could make him a Gold Glove center fielder.
20. Sterlin Thompson, OF/2B, Salt River (Rockies No. 6)
Thompson had one of the Fall League's better left-handed strokes and more patient approaches, though his solid-to-plus bat may be his lone tool that grades as average or better. His hitting ability gives him a nice floor, but he's probably going to wind up in left field and will need to maximize his power to become a regular there.
21. Gabriel Rincones Jr., OF, Scottsdale (Phillies No. 9)
Rincones isn't dripping with tools but he's an efficient player who gets the most out of what he has. He's a left fielder with solid power and good instincts on the bases, and he ranked fourth in steals (15) and tied for fifth in walks (17).
22. Damiano Palmegiani, 3B, Surprise (Blue Jays No. 18)
Palmegiano tied for third with six homers, finished second in the AFL Home Run Derby and starred in the title game as Surprise won its second consecutive championship. With his solid power and improving approach and defense, he could claim Toronto's third-base job at some point next summer.
23. Emiliano Teodo, RHP, Surprise (Rangers No. 22)
The league's Reliever of the Year (0.00 ERA, five saves in five tries, 19 strikeouts in 11 innings, .086 opponent average), Teodo also was its hardest thrower with a fastball that parks in the upper-90s and climbs to 102 mph. A smaller righty with electric arm speed, he also has a power slider with high spin rates and could be a high-leverage reliever if he throws more strikes.
24. Wilmer Flores, RHP, Salt River (Tigers No. 7)
Flores fell off the Top 100 list during the Minor League season but he has a better chance to become a big league starter than most Fall Leaguers. The younger brother of the Giants infielder of the same name, he logged a 22/4 K/BB ratio in 18 innings, with his 93-96 mph fastball and power curveball highlighting his four-pitch repertoire.
25. Ryan Webb, LHP, Guardians (unranked on Cleveland Top 30)
Backing up a low-90s fastball with a solid curveball and slider, Webb topped the Fall League with 36 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings. He could be a No. 4 starter if he throws more strikes.