Prospects who most improved inventory in 2022

September 15, 2022

There have been a lot of prospects with breakout performances this yr, none extra spectacular than Brewers outfielder Jackson Chourio. Making the leap from the Rookie-level Dominican Summer season League a yr in the past, he is ending the season in Double-A — at age 18! — and has batted .296/.350/.556 with 20 homers and 16 steals in 95 video games.

Unranked amongst MLB Pipeline’s High 100 Prospects getting into the season, Chourio since has vaulted all the way in which as much as No. 11. Under, we highlight the prospects who’ve boosted their inventory probably the most inside every group this yr, and 10 others even have climbed their manner onto the High 100. That contingent contains Phillies right-hander Andrew Painter (No. 25), Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Tiedemann (No. 34) and Nationals outfielder James Wooden (No. 35).

Blue Jays: Ricky Tiedemann (No. 2/MLB No. 34)
It wasn’t that way back — simply 14 months, in truth — that Tiedemann was a third-round decide. The 6-foot-4 left-hander might have been taken 90 occasions over earlier than falling to Toronto at No. 91. Now, he’s one of many 35 finest prospects in baseball and second on our checklist of left-handed pitchers. Tiedemann’s velocity has picked as much as the mid-90s in professional ball, whereas his slider and changeup have grow to be true above-average pitches. He completed 2022 with a 2.17 ERA and 117 strikeouts over 78 2/3 innings whereas climbing from Single-A to Double-A in his age-19 marketing campaign.

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Orioles: Gunnar Henderson, SS/3B (No. 1/MLB No. 2) 
Henderson was clearly firmly on the radar as our No. 64 total prospect earlier than the season started, No. 3 on the O’s checklist. However he went from excellent prospect to arguably one of the best prospect within the recreation with what he did within the Minors this yr, with a .947 OPS throughout Double- and Triple-A and a house run shy of a 20-20 season. He hasn’t missed a beat since getting known as as much as the large leagues, both.

Rays: Kyle Manzardo, 1B (No. 6)
To be a notable first-base-only prospect, it’s a must to hit. Ever since Manzardo was a second-round decide by Tampa Bay final yr, he has actually, actually hit. The Washington State product has produced a mean above .320, an OBP above .400 and a slugging proportion above .600 at each cease within the Rays system thus far, together with Double-A Montgomery the place he ends his first full season. What’s extra, Manzardo has performed a promising job of marrying energy with a robust contact charge. His 16.8 p.c Ok charge is Eleventh-lowest among the many 130 Minor Leaguers with a minimum of 20 homers this yr.

Crimson Sox: Ceddanne Rafaela, OF/SS (No. 4/MLB No. 100)
Rafaela established himself as one of many Minors’ finest and most versatile defenders final yr, however he has taken his offensive potential to a different degree by hitting .303/.347/.549 with 21 homers and 27 steals in 113 video games between Excessive-A and Double-A. Signed for $10,000 out of Curacao in 2017, he is listed at simply 5-foot-8 and 152 kilos however produces energy with a fast right-handed swing and aggressive mindset.

Yankees: Will Warren, RHP (No. 8)
Warren has gone from an eighth-round pick of Southeastern Louisiana in 2021 to the Yankees’ finest pitching prospect a yr later. Armed with a 85-88 mph slider with nasty sweep and a 92-95 mph sinker, he has logged a 3.78 ERA with a 117/42 Ok/BB ratio in 123 2/3 innings between Excessive-A and Double-A throughout his professional debut.

Guardians: Tanner Bibee, RHP (No. 8)
The Guardians excel at serving to polished school pitchers enhance their stuff, and Bibee is the most recent instance since signing as a sixth-round decide from Cal State Fullerton final yr. He is now working at 93-97 mph and reaching 99 along with his fastball whereas flashing a plus slider and changeup. His upgraded arsenal has helped him submit a 2.06 ERA, .211 opponent common and a 158/25 Ok/BB ratio in 126 2/3 innings between Excessive-A and Double-A in his professional debut.

Royals: Tyler Gentry, OF (No. 8)
The 2020 third-rounder had a sound statistical season final yr with an .844 OPS in 44 video games at Excessive-A Quad Cities, however knee accidents shut him down in August and made him an even bigger query mark heading into 2022. Take into account that query answered. Gentry leads Kansas Metropolis Minor League qualifiers in common (.327), slugging (.549), OPS (.974), and wRC+ (155) whereas chipping in 21 homers and 10 steals in 105 video games at Excessive-A and Double-A. The 23-year-old outfielder’s breakout season has helped fill the Royals’ Minor League hitting vacuum following a number of graduations all through the summer season.

Tigers: Kerry Carpenter, OF (No. 14)
Carpenter hit solely 15 homers in 112 video games at Double-A Erie final season earlier than engaged on including raise to his swings through the offseason and early components of 2022. The consequence: the left-handed slugger had 30 homers via 98 video games at Double-A and Triple-A on Aug. 9 and would have been a favourite to win the Minor League dwelling run title if a pesky Main League callup hadn’t gotten in the way in which. Carpenter has been slugging round .500 since becoming a member of the large membership — an indication that his energy leap this season was no phantasm.

Twins: Marco Raya, RHP (No. 7)
The Twins’ fourth-rounder in 2020, Raya had missed making his debut in 2021 because of a shoulder pressure, so he was a little bit of an unknown amount heading into this season. He nonetheless has an extended solution to go, however he made an enormous leap into the group’s high 10 along with his exhibiting with Single-A Fort Myers this yr. The Twins had been cautious along with his utilization, however he missed a ton of bats (10.5 Ok/9) and was very powerful to hit (.199 BAA) and simply turned 20 in August.

White Sox: Lenyn Sosa, INF (No. 4)
Signed for $325,000 out of Venezuela in 2016, Sosa has made a leap in 2022 by making higher swing choices, leading to a .309/.361/.499 line with 20 homers in 106 video games between Double-A and Triple-A — as effectively his first journey to the Majors. His finest instruments are his hitting means and stable arm energy.

Angels: Edgar Quero, C (No. 3)
Quero landed within the Angels’ High 10 to begin the 2022 season after signing for $200K in Feb. 2021 and taking part in his solution to full-season ball final yr. He’s taken an enormous step ahead this season, on either side of the ball. He’s proven off his superior method and a capability to already get to his energy, resulting in a .965 OPS with Single-A Inland Empire whereas persevering with to enhance his receiving, the reason why he’s knocking on the High 100 door as a young person.

A’s: Jordan Diaz, 1B/3B (No. 8)
The A’s all the time thought Diaz might hit and thought he carried out effectively sufficient in Excessive-A Lansing in 2021 so as to add him to the 40-man roster. He repaid their religion in him with a vey robust season throughout Double- and Triple-A this yr and is knocking on the large league door at age 22. Diaz has posted a .324/.364/.508 line throughout the degrees and may influence the A’s lineup in 2023.

Mariners: Bryce Miller, RHP (No. 5)
The Mariners could have discovered a steal within the fourth spherical of the 2021 Draft in Miller, who confirmed great things however much less polish at Texas A&M after transferring from the bullpen to the rotation in his Draft yr. He’s pitched throughout three ranges this yr, as much as Double-A, and the reliever danger speak could be very quiet after he’s struck out 10.6 per 9 and walked 3.2, all whereas working a full starter’s workload.

Astros: Yainer Diaz, C/1B (No. 3)
Acquired from the Guardians as a part of the Myles Straw commerce final July, Diaz has proven improved energy and made progress along with his protection in his first full yr with the Astros. He had batted .306/.356/.542 with 25 homers in 105 video games between Double-A and Triple-A, almost matching his whole of 27 blasts from his first 4 professional seasons earlier than Houston known as him up on Sept. 2.

Rangers: Evan Carter, OF (No. 3/MLB No. 59)
Carter hasn’t a lot made a leap this yr as he has loved his first totally wholesome professional season and proven that he is a possible five-tool expertise. A shock second-round decide as a Tennessee excessive schooler in 2020, he has rebounded from a stress fracture in his again final yr to hit .287/.388/.476 with 39 extra-base hits and 26 steals in Excessive-A at age 19 earlier than getting promoted to Double-A on Tuesday.

Braves: Vaughn Grissom, SS/2B (No. 1/MLB No. 79)
The funding the Braves made in going over slot to signal Grissom within the Eleventh spherical of the 2019 Draft is seeking to be a really clever one. He’s hit all over the place he’s gone and jumped firmly onto the High 100 throughout this season, hitting .324/.405/.494 throughout Excessive-A and Double-A. Come up and play second base, a spot he had performed simply seven video games in 2022, within the huge leagues whereas persevering with to hit over .300? No drawback.

Marlins: Jerar Encarnacion, OF (No. 14)
Encarnacion established himself as one of many higher energy hitters within the Marlins system after signing for $78,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, then bumped into the pandemic shutdown in 2020 and knee and finger accidents final yr. Wholesome once more this season, he batted .294/.363/.505 with 22 homers in 99 video games between Double-A and Triple-A and likewise slammed his first two huge league longballs.

Mets: Alex Ramirez, OF (No. 4/MLB No. 89)
A $2.05 million signing out of the Dominican Republic again in July 2019, Ramirez was removed from an unknown getting into this season, however his profile was stuffed with quite a lot of if’s earlier than his breakout. The 19-year-old outfielder began turning his potential into manufacturing extra recurrently with a .281/.346/.436 line, 11 homers and 21 stolen bases in 121 video games at Single-A St. Lucie and Excessive-A Brooklyn whereas taking part in in some harsh environments for hitters. His energy, velocity, fielding and throwing instruments are all a minimum of above-average, and he might be primed for an additional leap when he reaches the higher Minors in 2023.

Nationals: James Wooden (No. 3/MLB No. 35)
From the 62nd total decide to the thirty fifth total prospect and a giant piece of a blockbuster commerce. Wooden has mashed at each Single-A Lake Elsinore and Fredericksburg within the Padres and Nats techniques, respectively, hitting .324/.429/.560 with 12 homers and 19 steals over 71 video games mixed at these two stops. His plus velocity could also be stunning for his measurement at 6-foot-7, but it surely’s held up effectively over his first full season. Add in his apparent energy potential and above-average arm, and Wooden offers Washington followers hope for the way forward for its post-Juan Soto outfield.

Phillies: Andrew Painter, RHP (No. 1/MLB No. 25)
We knew Painter was good and had the possibility to be excellent finally because the Phillies’ high decide in 2021. Did we all know he’d be this good, this quick? No manner. He wasn’t in our High 100 to begin the season and now is likely to be under-ranked at No. 25. Now in Double-A at age 19, his numbers for the season are ridiculous: 1.17 ERA, .170 BAA, 13.5 Ok/9 and a couple of.3 BB/9.

Brewers: Jackson Chourio, OF (No. 1/MLB No. 11)
The best choice right here with out query. We’ve mentioned and written it loads, but it surely’s price doing once more; Chourio turned 18 again in March and had solely performed within the Dominican Summer season League earlier than the beginning of the common season. He skipped proper over the Arizona Complicated League and is now at Biloxi, the place he’s on monitor to be on a listing with Bryce Harper and Fernando Tatis Jr. as the one 18-year-olds to get greater than 15 Double-A plate appearances in a single season. Chourio has flashed all 5 instruments as a middle fielder, standing out most for his prodigious energy and plus-plus velocity, and ought to be a candidate for the No. 1 total prospect spot earlier than he graduates to Milwaukee, which might come as early as subsequent summer season.

Cardinals: Gordon Graceffo, RHP (No. 3/MLB No. 83)
A fifth-round decide final yr out of Villanova, Graceffo began to indicate promising indicators of a breakout early in professional ball, and people indicators kicked into one other gear this summer season in his climb from Excessive-A to Double-A. The 22-year-old right-hander can contact the upper-90s now and again along with his heater whereas exhibiting a plethora of different promising pitches along with his slider, curve and alter. Whereas his Ok numbers have dropped off a bit at Springfield, Graceffo’s management gained’t probably be a problem, cementing his place in our High 100 so early in his profession.

Cubs: Ben Brown, RHP (No. 7)
A Phillies Thirty third-round pick of a Lengthy Island highschool in 2017, Brown had Tommy John surgical procedure in 2019, misplaced the 2020 season to the pandemic and labored simply 16 innings in 2021. He got here out this yr firing mid-90s fastballs that high out at 98 mph, to not point out a pair of energy breaking balls, which is why the Cubs sought him within the David Robertson commerce in July. He has compiled a 3.42 ERA, .216 opponent common and 141/34 Ok/BB ratio in 100 innings between Excessive-A and Double-A.

Pirates: Endy Rodriguez, C/2B/OF (No. 6)
After coming to the Pirates from the Mets within the three-team deal that despatched Joe Musgrove to the Padres, Rodriguez had a really stable first full season along with his new group in 2021, with an .892 OPS with Single-A Bradenton. He’s taken it just a few steps additional this season, mashing his solution to Double-A and hitting a mixed .319/.407/.589 with 24 homers whereas catching, taking part in second and the outfield, placing him on the cusp of High 100 standing.

Reds: Elly De La Cruz, SS/3B (No. 1/MLB No. 15)
Whereas De La Cruz burst on the scene final yr, he climbed to the highest, or near it, of the prospect ladder this season. He’s some of the thrilling prospects in all of baseball with louder instruments than simply about anybody. With 28 homers and 46 steals mixed this yr, he has the possibility to hitch some unique firm if he finishes 20/50 or 30/50.

D-backs: Brandon Pfaadt, RHP (No. 4/MLB No. 94)
Pfaadt was actually on the radar coming into this season, however his efficiency at Double-A Amarillo and Triple-A Reno has made him a little bit of a family identify in prospect circles in 2022. The 23-year-old right-hander not solely leads the Minors with 202 strikeouts in 155 1/3 innings; he’s additionally the primary Minor Leaguer with a minimum of 200 Ok’s since 2011 as our Jim Callis specified by the most recent MLB Pipeline publication. Pfaadt’s four-pitch combine, highlighted by a plus fastball and divebombing changeup, pushed him into our High 100, and he’ll probably stay there proper up till he sees Arizona, probably early in 2023.

Dodgers: Gavin Stone, RHP (No. 7/MLB No. 81)
The penultimate decide within the five-round 2020 Draft, Stone has improved his repertoire as a professional and now offers with a mid-90s fastball with a tough method angle, a mid-80s slider/cutter and an upper-80s changeup that plummets on the plate. The Central Arkansas product leads the Minors in ERA (1.56), ranks seventh in strikeout charge (12.3 per 9 innings) and has climbed from Excessive-A to Triple-A this summer season.

Giants: Grant McCray, OF (No. 4)
The Giants made McCray a third-round pick of a Florida highschool in 2019 as a result of they preferred his energy/velocity mixture, and he lastly confirmed it off this yr now that he now not was held again by nagging accidents. He hit .289/.383/.514 with 23 homers and 43 steals in 120 video games at two Class A stops, making him one in every of 4 20-40 gamers within the Minors this season.

Padres: Jackson Wolf, LHP (No. 13)
Wooden, Robert Gasser or Esteury Ruiz might have been picked right here if all three weren’t dealt on the Deadline. As a substitute, we’ll go together with Wolf, a 2021 fourth-round senior signal out of West Virginia. The 6-foot-7 southpaw jumped to Double-A not too long ago after posting a 4.01 ERA with 134 strikeouts in 119 innings at Excessive-A. What he lacks in velocity, Wolf makes up for in spectacular breaking balls with slider and curveball, serving to his case as a future potential No. 4/5 starter.

Rockies: Adael Amador, SS (No. 3/MLB No. 64) 
Hat tip to Ezequiel Tovar, who simply might have gotten the nod right here, however we’ll go together with Amador for what he’s performed in his full-season debut as a 19-year previous in Single-A. The infielder has climbed to the center of the High 100 with a giant up arrow subsequent to his identify due to his .292/.415/.445 line, 15 homers and 26 steals, all whereas persevering with to indicate defensive actions that can maintain him within the center infield long-term.