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Now that the 2020 MLB draft is complete, it’s time for an updated look at the league’s top 50 prospects to see how this year’s top draft picks fit into the leaguewide prospect landscape.
The following factors helped determine where each player fell in these rankings:
- Potential: Potential trumps production a lot of the time, especially in the lower levels of the minors and with recent draft picks. Skill set and tools are often better indicators of what kind of player someone will be.
- Talent: For those in the higher levels of the minors who are close to breaking into the big leagues, production and talent level were the determining factors since the players are viewed as more complete products.
- Eligibility: A player must maintain rookie eligibility to be considered for inclusion. That means fewer than 130 big league at-bats for position players, 50 innings for pitchers or 45 days on the active roster prior to roster expansion in September.
Let’s start with 50 players who fell just outside the rankings.
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Mitch KellerBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images
RHP: Jordan Balazovic (MIN), Shane Baz (TB), Edward Cabrera (MIA), Jhoan Duran (MIN), Deivi Garcia (NYY), Brusdar Graterol (LAD), Josiah Gray (LAD), Hunter Greene (CIN), Emerson Hancock (SEA), Mitch Keller (PIT), Jackson Kowar (KC), Alek Manoah (TOR), Joe Ryan (TB), Clarke Schmidt (NYY), Brady Singer (KC), Jose Urquidy (HOU), Simeon Woods Richardson (TOR), Kyle Wright (ATL)
LHP: DL Hall (BAL), Nick Lodolo (CIN), Daniel Lynch (KC), Shane McClanahan (TB), Kyle Muller (ATL)
C: Luis Campusano (SD), Sam Huff (TEX), Keibert Ruiz (LAD), Daulton Varsho (ARI)
1B: Triston Casas (BOS), Evan White (SEA)
2B: Vidal Brujan (TB), Xavier Edwards (TB), Nick Madrigal (CWS)
SS: Jazz Chisholm (MIA), Oneil Cruz (PIT), Jeter Downs (BOS), Tyler Freeman (CLE), Nick Gonzales (PIT), Jordan Groshans (TOR), Nico Hoerner (CHC), Noelvi Marte (SEA), Ronny Mauricio (NYM), Geraldo Perdomo (ARI)
3B: Nolan Gorman (STL), Josh Jung (TEX)
OF: Jasson Dominguez (NYY), Heston Kjerstad (BAL), Trevor Larnach (MIN), Brandon Marsh (LAA), Jesus Sanchez (MIA), Zac Veen (COL)
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Asa LacySam Craft/Associated Press
50. LHP Asa Lacy, Kansas City Royals (Age: 21)
A 6’4″ left-hander with a three-pitch arsenal of power stuff and a strong track record of throwing strikes and racking up strikeouts, Lacy was viewed as the top pitching prospect in the 2020 draft for a reason.
The No. 4 overall pick had a 2.07 ERA with 224 strikeouts in 152 innings during his time at Texas A&M, and he immediately moves to the top of an impressive list of pitching prospects in the Kansas City system.
49. OF Alek Thomas, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 20)
A first-round talent who slipped to the second round of the 2018 draft, Thomas hit .300/.379/.450 with 40 extra-base hits and 15 steals in 114 games between Single-A and High-A in his full-season debut.
He showed an advanced approach for his age with a 10.3 percent walk rate, and he should have no problem sticking in center field defensively, giving him an extremely high floor to go along with his considerable ceiling.
48. LHP Tarik Skubal, Detroit Tigers (Age: 23)
Skubal was one of the breakout prospects of 2019, posting a 2.42 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 179 strikeouts in 122.2 innings between High-A and Double-A. Not bad for a player who slipped all the way to the ninth round of the 2018 draft.
Drafting him was a roll of the dice after he missed the entire 2018 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, but it already looks like it will pay significant dividends.
47. OF JJ Bleday, Miami Marlins (Age: 22)
The No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 draft, Bleday hit .347/.465/.701 with 27 home runs and 72 RBI in 71 games during his junior season at Vanderbilt.
That represented a huge power spike after he hit just six home runs his first two seasons on campus, and he now has a prototypical right fielder profile. He could be a centerpiece of Miami’s rebuilding efforts and part of the first wave of current top prospects to arrive in the majors.
46. OF Riley Greene, Detroit Tigers (Age: 19)
One of the most advanced high school hitters to come along in years, Greene was the No. 5 overall pick in 2019, and he impressed in his brief pro debut.
He hit .271/.347/.403 with 16 extra-base hits in 57 games over three minor league levels, closing out the year with 24 games at Single-A West Michigan. His polished hit tool should allow him to move quicker than most prep prospects, and while he’ll likely be limited to left field defensively, he has a chance to be an impact player offensively.
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Sean MurphyRonald Martinez/Getty Images
45. SS Marco Luciano, San Francisco Giants (Age: 18)
Signed for $2.6 million as part of the 2018 international free-agent class, Luciano shined in his highly anticipated pro debut last year.
He hit .302/.417/.564 with 13 doubles, 10 home runs and 42 RBI in 47 games, earning a promotion to short-season A-ball before his 18th birthday. A 45-to-32 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 216 plate appearances speaks to his refined approach, and his tremendous bat speed gives him huge power potential.
44. 3B Nolan Jones, Cleveland Indians (Age: 22)
Jones is an on-base machine with a .409 on-base percentage and a 17.3 percent walk rate in four minor league seasons since he was taken in the second round of the 2016 draft.
He is still growing into his plus raw power, tallying 22 doubles and 15 home runs in 126 games between High-A and Double-A last year, and he may never be a 30-homer threat. Regardless, there is plenty of value in his current offensive profile, and he has also developed into a solid defender at third base.
43. C Sean Murphy, Oakland Athletics (Age: 25)
The starting catcher job in Oakland seemingly belongs to Murphy now after he posted a 137 OPS+ with five doubles and four home runs in 60 plate appearances down the stretch last year.
There are some durability concerns after he missed significant time in 2018 and 2019, and he’s now on the older end of the prospect scale, but he has a chance to be one of the most well-rounded catchers in baseball if he can avoid the injured list.
42. RHP Spencer Howard, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 23)
Howard has thrown just 211.1 professional innings since he was taken in the second round of the 2017 draft, so he still has a lot to prove from a workload standpoint.
That said, his strong 6’2″, 205-pound frame, electric four-pitch repertoire and plus command all point to a future near the top of the MLB rotation. He had a 2.03 ERA with 94 strikeouts in 71 innings between High-A and Double-A last year, and he continued to dominate in the Arizona Fall League with a 2.11 ERA and 11.4 K/9 in 21.1 frames.
41. RHP Logan Gilbert, Seattle Mariners (Age: 23)
A standout at the same Stetson University program that produced Jacob deGrom and Corey Kluber, Gilbert has a chance to join them at the MLB level in short order.
After throwing 112.1 innings during his junior season on campus, the Mariners shut him down after signing him as the No. 14 pick in the 2018 draft. His pro debut proved worth the wait as he posted a 2.13 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 165 strikeouts in 135 innings over three minor league levels, closing out the year at Double-A.
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Austin MartinNati Harnik/Associated Press
40. LHP Matthew Liberatore, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 20)
The Cardinals acquired Liberatore in the deal that sent Randy Arozarena and Jose Martinez to Tampa Bay during the offseason, and after some initial rumblings that he could be flipped in a subsequent deal for Nolan Arenado, he ended up staying put in St. Louis.
The 6’5″ left-hander has a terrific fastball-curveball-changeup repertoire and plus command that belies his age to go along with smooth mechanics and solid overall pitchability. He’s further along in his development than most pitchers his age and still offers some further physical projection.
39. 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 23)
Despite a lackluster 2019 season at Triple-A where he hit .265/.336/.415 with 42 extra-base hits and 12 steals in 110 games, Hayes remains one of baseball’s elite third base prospects.
MLB.com wrote: “He’s consistently brought up in conversations about the best defensive prospects in the game at any position, and he’s clearly the best third baseman in the minors, one who will be a Gold Glove contender the minute he joins a big league roster.”
That takes a lot of pressure off his bat, though he does have a 60-grade hit tool and some sneaky pop.
38. SS Austin Martin, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 21)
The best pure hitter in the 2020 draft class, Martin batted .368/.474/.532 with more walks (85) than strikeouts (82) during his time at Vanderbilt.
It remains to be seen where he’ll wind up defensively after spending most of his time at third base and in center field at Vandy before being drafted as a shortstop. His bat will play wherever he lines up, and even if he tops out at 20 home runs, his gap power and terrific approach give him significant offensive upside.
37. OF Taylor Trammell, San Diego Padres (Age: 22)
The center fielder of the future in San Diego, Trammell was acquired last summer in the three-team, seven-player deal that sent Trevor Bauer to Cincinnati.
Despite hitting just .234/.340/.349 at Double-A last year, he remains a five-tool threat and a future everyday center fielder. Below the surface of those middling numbers, he had a 13.0 percent walk rate and swiped 20 bases in 28 attempts, so the season was not without its positives.
36. RHP Grayson Rodriguez, Baltimore Orioles (Age: 20)
More physically advanced than the average high school pitcher when he went No. 11 overall in the 2018 draft, Rodriguez has quickly established himself as the top pitching prospect in an up-and-coming Baltimore system.
The 6’5″, 220-pound right-hander went 10-4 with a 2.68 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 129 strikeouts in 94 innings at Single-A last year, and while there’s no reason to rush him, he could force his way up the organizational ladder quickly if he continues to impress.
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Carter KieboomJohn Capella/Sports Imagery/Getty Images
35. OF Heliot Ramos, San Francisco Giants (Age: 20)
After a disappointing 2018 season in which he hit .245/.313/.396 at Single-A, Ramos saw his prospect stock slide a bit, but he bounced back nicely with a huge 2019 campaign.
The No. 19 overall pick in the 2017 draft hit .290/.369/.481 with 24 doubles and 16 home runs in 102 games, and he made significant strides with his approach in raising his walk rate from 6.5 to 9.5 percent. After he closed out the 2019 season at Double-A, a 2021 debut is not out of the question.
34. 1B Andrew Vaughn, Chicago White Sox (Age: 22)
An extremely polished collegiate standout, Vaughn hit .374/.539/.704 with 15 home runs and nearly twice as many walks (60) as strikeouts (33) during his junior season at California before going No. 3 overall in last year’s draft.
He hit .278/.384/.449 with 23 extra-base hits in 55 games after signing, reaching High-A in the process, and he appears to be on the fast track to the everyday first base job and a spot in the middle of an up-and-coming White Sox lineup.
33. SS CJ Abrams, San Diego Padres (Age: 19)
Part of the top tier of prospects in the 2019 draft, Abrams went No. 6 overall and quickly backed up the hype by hitting .393/.436/.647 with 24 extra-base hits and 15 steals in 34 games after signing.
With a 60-grade hit tool and top-of-the-scale speed, he looks like a future leadoff hitter. He has the defensive tools to stick at shortstop, but the presence of Fernando Tatis Jr. at the MLB level will eventually push him to second base or center field.
32. SS Carter Kieboom, Washington Nationals (Age: 22)
Kieboom has nothing left to prove in the minors after hitting .303/.409/.493 with 24 doubles, 16 home runs and 79 RBI in 109 games at Triple-A last year.
Before the season was halted, he looked like the favorite to claim the open third base job that was vacated by Anthony Rendon’s departure, and he currently stands as one of the most MLB-ready prospects in baseball and a future impact player offensively.
31. RHP Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox (Age: 24)
Prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery that cost him the entire 2019 season, Kopech was arguably the most electric pitching prospect in baseball. His 80-grade fastball regularly registered triple digits, and he backed it with a lethal wipeout slider and a solid changeup-curveball pairing.
Provided he returns to his pre-injury form and avoids further arm issues, he appears destined for a spot alongside Lucas Giolito at the top of the Chicago rotation. He also offers an extremely high floor with closer upside out of the bullpen if he eventually needs to transition into that role.
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Forrest WhitleyRich Schultz/Getty Images
30. OF Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins (Age: 22)
Kirilloff missed the 2017 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, then he shot up prospect rankings when he returned to action in 2018 and hit .348/.392/.578 with 44 doubles, 20 home runs and 101 RBI in 130 games between Single-A and High-A.
Slowed by a wrist injury last year, he hit .283/.343/.413 with 29 extra-base hits in 94 games at Double-A, but his future remains extremely bright. He has seen time at both corner outfield spots and first base, and that versatility will help him carve out an initial role on the MLB roster.
29. RHP Forrest Whitley, Houston Astros (Age: 22)
The consensus top pitching prospect in baseball entering 2019, Whitley was shelled to the tune of a 7.99 ERA and 1.73 WHIP, allowing 59 hits and 44 walks in 59.2 innings.
He looked sharp in the Arizona Fall League, posting a 2.88 ERA with 32 strikeouts and just nine walks in 25 innings, which provides some reason for optimism. With a strong 6’7″ frame, four plus pitches and a strong track record of success prior to the debacle that was 2019, he still has a chance to develop into a top-of-the-rotation star if he can build off his AFL performance.
28. RHP Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves (Age: 22)
Anderson is now the top pitching prospect in a still-stacked Atlanta farm system after posting a 2.68 ERA with 147 strikeouts in 111 innings at Double-A last year. He was knocked around in five starts at Triple-A to close out the season, but he’s still well ahead of the developmental curve.
The 6’3″ right-hander has excellent command of an advanced three-pitch repertoire that includes a mid-90s fastball, hammer curveball and improving changeup, and he could be part of the MLB rotation before 2021 is over.
27. LHP A.J. Puk, Oakland Athletics (Age: 25)
Puk ranked third in the minors with 184 strikeouts over 125 innings in 2017, then he missed the entire 2018 season and a good chunk of 2019 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
He finally made his MLB debut on Aug. 21 and posted a 3.18 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 11.1 innings out of the Oakland bullpen, tallying two holds in 10 appearances. The 6’7″ left-hander’s future is still in the starting rotation, and he looks like a potential future co-ace alongside Jesus Luzardo for years to come.
26. OF Kristian Robinson, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 19)
MLB.com described Robinson’s ceiling as “the highest in Arizona’s system and one of the highest among all teenage prospects,” and that’s saying something given the current crop of lower-level talent across the minor leagues.
The 6’3″, 190-pound outfielder already looks the part of a future middle-of-the-order run producer. He hit .282/.368/.514 with 13 doubles, 14 home runs and 51 RBI in 69 games last year between Low-A and Single-A, making his full-season debut before his 19th birthday. He could be a top-10 prospect in baseball at this time next year.
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Drew WatersMark Cunningham/Getty Images
25. SS Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals (Age: 20)
A five-tool player with 20-20 potential offensively and the glove to be a standout shortstop, Witt was the consensus top high school player in the 2019 draft, and the Royals were happy to add him to a pitching-heavy system with the No. 2 overall pick.
He hit .262/.317/.354 with eight extra-base hits and nine steals in 37 games after signing, and he could quickly shoot to the top tier of these rankings once he makes his full-season debut. He looks like the future face of the franchise in Kansas City.
24. RHP Luis Patino, San Diego Padres (Age: 20)
An undersized 6’0″ and 150 pounds at the time, Patino signed for just $130,000 as part of the 2016 international free-agent class. He’s now a strong 192 pounds, and his stuff has taken off with a fastball touching 99 mph and a wipeout slider.
He had a 2.57 ERA and 1.13 WHIP with 123 strikeouts in 94.2 innings last year while reaching Double-A, and he has shown the requisite athleticism to stick as a starter despite his undersized frame. All signs point to him eventually slotting in as the No. 2 starter in San Diego behind future ace MacKenzie Gore.
23. OF Drew Waters, Atlanta Braves (Age: 21)
Overshadowed in his own system by fellow outfielders Ronald Acuna Jr. and Cristian Pache, Waters is an elite prospect in his own right—and one who could soon be knocking on the MLB door.
He hit .309/.360/.459 with 40 doubles, nine triples and seven home runs in 573 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A last year, and he didn’t turn 21 years old until after the season. A future center fielder on most teams, he has played mostly at the corner spots in deference to Pache. The Braves appear destined to have the league’s best outfield, and Waters makes up a third of that future puzzle.
22. RHP Sixto Sanchez, Miami Marlins (Age: 21)
Still just 21 years old, Sanchez has seemingly been on the top-prospect radar for years. After elbow inflammation limited him to just eight starts in 2018, he returned healthy last year and reasserted himself as a future ace.
In 18 starts at Double-A, he went 8-4 with a 2.53 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 97 strikeouts in 103 innings, showing the elite fastball-changeup-slider arsenal that has earned comparisons to a young Pedro Martinez. He’s come a long way already since signing for $35,000 as part of the 2015 international class, and he could soon take his place at the top of the Miami rotation.
21. SS Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies (Age: 23)
Rodgers has done nothing but hit since going No. 3 overall in the 2015 draft. He posted a .350/.413/.622 line with 10 doubles and nine home runs in 37 games at Triple-A last year to earn his first MLB call-up on May 17, 2019.
He hit a middling .224/.272/.250 with 27 strikeouts in 81 plate appearances before suffering a torn labrum that required season-ending surgery. Still, his future remains extremely bright thanks to a 60-grade hit tool and some plus power that will play at whatever infield spot he ultimately winds up manning.
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Spencer TorkelsonRick Scuteri/Associated Press
20. OF Dylan Carlson, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 21)
After hitting a mediocre .246/.348/.390 in 112 games between Single-A and High-A in 2018, Carlson was nowhere near top-100 prospect lists despite his pedigree as a first-round pick in 2016.
A .292/.372/.542 line with 28 doubles, eight triples, 26 home runs and 20 steals in 126 games between Double-A and Triple-A made him the biggest breakout prospect of 2020, and he now looks like a future star in the St. Louis outfield. Whoever earns the starting left field job in St. Louis when play resumes will just be keeping the spot warm for Carlson.
19. C Joey Bart, San Francisco Giants (Age: 23)
Despite missing time with a fractured hand, Bart continued his rapid rise through the San Francisco farm system, hitting .278/.328/.495 with 14 doubles and 16 home runs in 79 games last year.
He closed out the season with a .912 OPS and four home runs in 22 games at Double-A, then he hit .333/.524/.767 with four home runs and 10 RBI over 10 games in the Arizona Fall League before suffering another hit-by-pitch-related hand injury. As long as he can avoid fastballs to the hand going forward, he looks like the heir apparent to Buster Posey and a future All-Star.
18. RHP Matt Manning, Detroit Tigers (Age: 22)
Manning was a projectable 6’6″ right-hander with a scholarship to play baseball and basketball at Loyola-Marymount when the Tigers took him No. 9 overall in the 2016 draft. Now he’s one of the top pitching prospects in baseball with all the makings of a future top-of-the-rotation starter.
In a full season at Double-A last year, he went 11-5 with a 2.56 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 148 strikeouts in a career-high 133.2 innings. He also lowered his walk rate from 3.9 to 2.6 per nine innings, and there is further projection remaining in his tall frame as he continues to develop toward an exciting finished product.
17. RHP Dustin May, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 22)
May offers quite the arsenal of pitches from his towering 6’6″ frame, and MLB.com wrote the following about the hard-throwing prospect:
“May has one of the best 1-2 combinations of pitches among prospects. He primarily works with a harder-than-usual two-seam fastball that sits at 94-98 mph and has plenty of run with heavy sink, and a cutter that he added in 2018 that parks in the low 90s. He also has a sharp-breaking power curveball that creates groundouts and a decent changeup that he’s still learning to trust.”
He had a 3.63 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with 32 strikeouts in 34.2 innings at the MLB level last season, making four starts and 10 relief appearances. He’ll need to prove himself in a crowded field of starting pitching options for the Dodgers, but that shouldn’t be a problem given his elite stuff.
16. 3B Spencer Torkelson, Detroit Tigers (Age: 20)
The first overall pick in the 2020 draft debuts in the No. 16 spot on our prospect rankings. He could climb into the top 10 in short order once he makes his pro debut, and he could make his MLB debut shortly thereafter.
An extremely polished slugger, Torkelson hit .337/.463/.729 with 54 home runs in 129 games at Arizona State, walking a staggering 31 times in 17 games this spring. That disciplined approach should help him move quickly through the minors, even with a defensive shift coming from first base to third base.
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Brendan McKayJohn McCoy/Getty Images
15. SS Royce Lewis, Minnesota Twins (Age: 21)
After a disappointing 2019 season in which he hit .236 with a .290 on-base percentage in 127 games between High-A and Double-A, Lewis bounced back with a .353/.411/.565 line and 12 extra-base hits in 22 games in the Arizona Fall League.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft hit .292/.352/.451 with 46 extra-base hits and 28 steals in 2018, and he is still well ahead of the developmental curve. There is every reason to believe he will bounce back from a lackluster campaign and continue his ascension toward stardom.
14. LHP/DH Brendan McKay, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 24)
A two-way standout at Louisville, McKay has also played both ways to begin his pro career. That said, he may eventually be best served turning his full attention to the mound.
The polished left-hander had a brilliant 1.10 ERA and 0.81 WHIP with 102 strikeouts in 73.2 innings in the upper levels of the minors last year, and he made his MLB debut in June. Beneath the surface of a disappointing 5.14 ERA, he had a 4.03 FIP and a stellar 56-to-16 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 49 innings.
13. OF Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners (Age: 19)
Rodriguez tore apart Dominican rookie league pitching in 2018, and he continued to rake in his stateside debut last year. He hit .326/.390/.540 with 26 doubles, 12 home runs and 69 RBI in 84 games between Single-A and High-A.
An imposing 6’4″, 225-pound corner outfielder with a 55-grade hit tool and 60-grade power, he has all the ingredients to be a middle-of-the-order superstar once he arrives in Seattle. Despite the fact that he won’t turn 20 years old until December, he appears to be on track for a 2022 debut.
12. 3B Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 23)
Bohm showed the offensive prowess that made him the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 draft when he hit .305/.378/.518 with 30 doubles, 21 home runs and 80 RBI in 125 games over three minor league levels last season.
The Phillies non-tendered Maikel Franco during the offseason, seemingly clearing a path for Bohm to take over as the everyday third baseman at some point in the near future. He has been better than expected defensively at third base after many viewed him as a future first baseman during his time at Wichita State.
11. OF Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners (Age: 20)
New York Mets fans might spend the next decade cringing at the mention of Kelenic, who was shipped to Seattle as part of the ill-fated Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz blockbuster trade.
The No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 draft sent his prospect stock soaring last season when he hit .291/.364/.540 with 31 doubles, 23 home runs and 20 steals in 117 games over three minor league levels. He made his Double-A debut shortly after his 20th birthday and joins Julio Rodriguez as a centerpiece of the Mariners’ rebuilding efforts.
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Cristian PacheChristian Petersen/Getty Images
10. C Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles (Age: 22)
Switch-hitting catchers with 60-grade hit tools, 60-grade power and Gold Glove potential don’t come around very often. Rutschman is exactly that, and he stands as the face of the ongoing rebuilding efforts in Baltimore.
He hit .411/.575/.751 with 17 home runs, 58 RBI and twice as many walks (76) as strikeouts (38) during his junior season at Oregon State before going No. 1 overall in the 2019 draft. MLB.com called him the “best all-around catching prospect since Joe Mauer,” and he has a chance to enjoy a similarly impressive career.
9. LHP Jesus Luzardo, Oakland Athletics (Age: 22)
A shoulder injury at the end of spring training may have been all that kept Luzardo from breaking camp with a spot in the Oakland rotation, and after missing a significant chunk of time during the first half, he finally made his MLB debut on Sept. 11, 2019.
He ended up pitching his way onto the playoff roster with a 1.50 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 12 innings spanning six relief appearances, and he tossed three scoreless innings of relief in the AL Wild Card Game. The left-hander has a 2.53 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 10.8 K/9 in 195.2 career minor league innings, and he looks like the future ace of the staff in Oakland.
8. RHP Nate Pearson, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 23)
There may be no pitching prospect in baseball with better pure stuff than Pearson, who sits in the triple digits with his fastball and has touched 104 mph, backing that high-octane fastball with a lethal slider and a vastly improved changeup.
The burly 6’6″, 245-pound right-hander was virtually unhittable in the minors last season, posting a 2.30 ERA and 0.89 WHIP with 119 strikeouts in 101.2 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .176 batting average. He’s destined to join Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette as rising stars in Toronto while anchoring the starting rotation for years to come.
7. OF Cristian Pache, Atlanta Braves (Age: 21)
An elite defensive outfielder viewed by many as the best all-around defensive player in the minors, Pache took a significant step forward at the plate last year.
He hit .277/.340/.462 with 36 doubles, nine triples and 12 home runs in 130 games between Double-A and Triple-A, and he didn’t turn 21 years old until November. It’s only a matter of time before he’s patrolling center field in Atlanta and sharing the outfield with Ronald Acuna Jr. and Drew Waters.
6. RHP Casey Mize, Detroit Tigers (Age: 23)
Mize showed why he was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft during his first full professional season last year, going 8-3 with a 2.55 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 106 strikeouts in 109.1 innings between High-A and Double-A.
He threw a 98-pitch no-hitter in his Double-A debut on April 29, and he might have gotten a crack at Triple-A if not for the month he missed in early summer with shoulder soreness. He’s as polished as any top pitching prospect in baseball and might already be the best pitcher in the entire Detroit organization, 2019 breakout star Matthew Boyd included.
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MacKenzie GoreRalph Freso/Getty Images
5. LHP MacKenzie Gore, San Diego Padres (Age: 21)
The most polished high school pitching prospect to come along in years, Gore posted video game numbers last season between High-A and Double-A with a 1.69 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 135 strikeouts in 101 innings.
The 6’3″ left-hander has four 60-grade pitches, and he can throw them all for strikes consistently. He also has some deception in his delivery with a high leg kick that makes him even harder to hit. There is little reason to believe at this point that he will be anything other than an MLB ace and one of the best pitchers in baseball once he arrives in San Diego.
4. SS Gavin Lux, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 22)
The No. 20 overall pick in the 2016 draft, Lux got off to a slow start offensively before turning in a breakout season at the plate in 2018. That proved to be just the start.
He hit .347/.421/.607 with 25 doubles, 26 home runs and 10 steals in 113 games between Double-A and Triple-A last year, posting an 11.7 percent walk rate against a 19.5 percent strikeout rate. With that, he forced his way onto the MLB roster in September, and he now looks like the second baseman of the present and future for the Dodgers.
3. OF Jo Adell, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 21)
The best overall athlete in the 2017 draft, Adell showed a more refined skill set than expected in his pro debut after going No. 10 overall, and he has continued to impress in the years since while rapidly rising the ranks.
A true five-tool talent, he hit .289/.359/.475 with 37 extra-base hits in 76 games in the upper levels of the minors last year after getting a late start to the season while nursing hamstring and ankle injuries. The Angels’ decision to decline their option on Kole Calhoun was directly tied to the belief that Adell would be ready to take over as the everyday right fielder early in the 2020 season.
2. OF Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox (Age: 22)
Robert showed he was MLB-ready last year when he hit a ridiculous .328/.376/.624 with 31 doubles, 11 triples, 32 home runs, 92 RBI, 108 runs scored and 36 steals over three minor league levels.
The White Sox signed him to a six-year, $50 million extension in January, all but handing him the starting center field job in the process, and he looked like the AL Rookie of the Year front-runner before the season was delayed.
1. SS Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 19)
Franco looks like a true generational talent two years into his pro career.
MLB.com gave him a top-of-the-scale 80-grade hit tool after he batted .327/.398/.487 with 43 extra-base hits and more walks (56) than strikeouts (35) in 495 plate appearances between Single-A and High-A.
He turned 19 years old on March 1, and while the delayed season has pushed back his timeline, there’s still a good chance he will make his MLB debut before his 21st birthday. The Rays have been the best in the business at developing pitching talent over the years, and now they have a true blue-chip position player headlining their farm system.