January 16th, 2023
MLB Pipeline will reveal its 2023 Top 100 Prospects list at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 26, with a one-hour show on MLB Network and MLB.com. Leading up to the release of the Top 100, we'll examine baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.
Now, this is a fun debate.
Grayson Rodriguez finished 2022 as our top pitching prospect. Andrew Painter shot out of the gate to win MLB Pipeline’s Pitching Prospect of the Year Award in his first full season. Eury Pérez flashed potential from his towering 6-foot-8 frame in Double-A at just 19 years old.
So who’s the top right-handed pitching prospect in baseball? In the end, we went with the guy in Phillies red. But it was close. Very close.
It’s a debate we could be having for some time, albeit at the Major League level soon. Nine of the 10 hurlers named to MLB Pipeline’s 2023 preseason Top 10 RHP Prospects list have estimated times of arrival of 2023. The only one who doesn’t is No. 9 Mick Abel, who finished 2022 with five Double-A starts and could still cut the line to make a debut this summer in his own right. If these graduations all come to pass as expected, next year’s list will have a very different look. We have a full season ahead to study for that debate too.
The Top 10 (ETA)
1. Andrew Painter, Phillies (2023)
2. Grayson Rodriguez, Orioles (2023)
3. Eury Pérez, Marlins (2023)
4. Daniel Espino, Guardians (2023)
5. Taj Bradley, Rays (2023)
6. Bobby Miller, Dodgers (2023)
7. Gavin Williams, Guardians (2023)
8. Hunter Brown, Astros (2023)
9. Mick Abel, Phillies (2024)
10. Gavin Stone, Dodgers (2023)
Complete list »
Top 10 prospects by position:
RHP | LHP | C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF
Fastball: Espino (80)
The 2019 24th overall pick looked like he was on his way to an eye-popping season in the spring of 2022 when he was sitting 98-100 mph -- while touching 102-103 -- in Spring Training, and he kept the heat coming over four starts with Double-A Akron, striking out 35 batters in 18 1/3 innings before injury ended his season prematurely. As if the velocity wasn’t enough, Espino’s fastball comes with lots of carry, further solidifying its 80 grade.
- The 20-80 scouting scale, explained
Curveball: Brown (65)
The 24-year-old right-hander climbed to the Majors and made Houston’s postseason roster, in part because of the dominance of his low-80s curve. The 12-to-6 offering has plenty of power and bite to generate whiffs. Without a quality changeup, Brown used his curveball as his featured secondary against lefties in the Majors. The results: a .148 opponents' average against and 30.4 percent whiff rate.
Slider: Espino (70)
Espino doesn’t only throw his fastball hard. Last spring, he was zipping the breaking pitch in the low-90s, giving him a more horizontal pitch, albeit one with heater velo. Before that, the Cleveland righty had shown an ability to manipulate the speed of the pitch, depending on how much depth he wanted on it; the wealth of options left hitters befuddled. So much for anyone even trying to sit on the triple-digit fastball.
Changeup: Rodriguez, Pérez, Stone (70)
Lefties beware. These righties have something in store for you too. All three showed off mid-80s changeups that looked close to their fastballs out of their hands, only to tumble and fade below waving bats. Neither Rodriguez (.157), Pérez (.204) nor Stone (.216) had lefties bat higher than .220 against them in 2022, on account of those impressive cambios.
Control: Painter (65)
Hitters are meant to be more patient as you climb the ladder, right? Consider this: the 19-year-old Painter finished out his first full season at Double-A Reading, where he was more than five years younger than the average player. He walked only two batters in 28 1/3 innings during his time there. His 6.2 percent walk rate across three levels was the lowest among teenage pitchers with at least 70 frames in 2022. The 6-foot-7 righty’s ability to pitch in the zone improved as the season wore on, and it could be plus-plus by the end of 2023 if he continues on this trajectory.
Highest ceiling: Painter
The 2021 13th overall pick gave everyone a taste of his ceiling with a 1.56 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 155 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings across those three levels in his first full season, and he has the stuff to back up the results with a fastball that can touch triple-digits, a plus high-spin slider and two more pitches in his curve and change that keep hitters guessing. That’s just the start. Painter only turns 20 in April and likely has some development ahead of him still. Be scared, National League East.
Highest floor: Rodriguez
The O’s hurler almost certainly would have debuted in the Majors in 2022 if not for a Grade 2 lat strain that held him out for three months. He looked nearly ready by his return to the Triple-A rotation in September too, before the season ran out on him. The 23-year-old’s deep four-pitch mix and plus control have long made him a potential ace, but even if the stuff takes a slight step back at some point, he’s likely still a mid-rotation option for Baltimore.
Rookie of the Year Award candidate: Rodriguez
If he can get through this spring healthy, Rodriguez is a strong candidate to open the season in the Orioles' rotation and would be a ROY candidate from his first pitch. His innings might need to be managed some -- he’s yet to throw more than 103 in a Minor League season -- but he’s a better prospect than Spencer Strider was at this time last year. We saw what he accomplished when given a full year in the bigs.
Highest riser & humblest beginning: Stone
The Dodgers selected the Central Arkansas right-hander in the fifth round of the shortened 2020 Draft, meaning he was their final pick that year. Stone signed for just $97,500 (well below the $327,200 assigned to his slot as the penultimate pick in the whole process) and he wasn’t considered among the Dodgers’ Top 30 prospects entering his first full season. He’s fanned 306 batters in 212 2/3 innings over four full-season levels since then and now fits comfortably on the Top 100 overall list with three above-average pitches and good control.
Most to prove: Espino
We’ve already listed how wicked the Panama native’s stuff can be. Now, can he be healthy? Espino first missed time with a knee issue in 2022 and a shoulder injury kept him on the shelf throughout the summer. He finished the year with only four Double-A starts. In our recent Executive Prospect Poll, front-office members thought he’d be the most likely Minor Leaguer to become a dominant closer someday, partly because the injury concerns might move him to the bullpen. It’s on him this year to prove he can take regular turns in the rotation and become Cleveland’s next homegrown starting star.
Keep an eye on: Tink Hence, Cardinals
St. Louis has been very careful in how it has utilized the 2020 63rd overall pick to this point -- first giving him only eight complex-level outings in 2021 and then capping him at 60 pitches down the stretch in Low-A last year. The arsenal is incredibly good, however. Hence was around 94-97 mph with his fastball with Palm Beach and got lots of swings-and-misses on his curveball and changeup, to say nothing of his slider with good depth. The kid gloves will come off a little more in 2023, and if the stuff holds up deeper into starts, Hence could easily find his way onto a Top 10 RHP list soon.
Who will be the top MLB prospects in 2023? ›
1. Gunnar Henderson, 3B, Orioles (2023 seasonal age: 22) Henderson, the 42nd pick in the 2019 draft, began last season in Double-A and ended it in the majors, hitting at each stop along the way. That included 34 big-league games, in which he batted .259/.348/.440 (123 OPS+) with four home runs and a steal.Who is the number 1 prospect in baseball right now? ›
|1||Gunnar Henderson||Baltimore Orioles|
|2||Corbin Carroll||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|3||Francisco Álvarez||New York Mets|
|4||Jordan Walker||St. Louis Cardinals|
|1||Grayson Rodriguez||Baltimore Orioles|
|2||Eury Pérez||Miami Marlins|
|3||Daniel Espino||Cleveland Guardians|
|4||Taj Bradley||Tampa Bay Rays|
- Alex Rodriguez. 8 of 15.
- Ken Griffey, Jr. 7 of 15. ...
- Bob Feller. 6 of 15. ...
- Josh Hamilton. 5 of 15. ...
- Matt Moore. 4 of 15. ...
- Rick Reichardt. 3 of 15. ...
- Todd Van Poppel. 2 of 15. ...
- Fernando Valenzuela. 1 of 15. ...
The Houston Astros are favorites to win the 2023 World Series. The Yankees, Mets and Dodgers are also near the top of the odds after key offseason moves added to their depth and ability to win in October.Who is the best high school baseball player 2023? ›
- Max Clark, OF, Franklin HS (Ind.) ...
- Walker Jenkins, OF, South Brunswick HS (N.C.) ...
- Blake Mitchell, C/RHP, Sinton HS (Texas) ...
- Travis Sykora, RHP, Round Rock HS (Texas) ...
- Aidan Miller, 3B, JW Mitchell HS (Fla.) ...
- Thomas White, LHP, Phillips Academy (Mass.) ...
- Kevin McGonigle, SS/2B, Monsignor Bonner HS (Pa.)
- Gunnar Henderson, 3B/SS, Orioles.
- Corbin Carroll, OF, D-backs.
- Francisco Álvarez, C, Mets.
- Jordan Walker, OF, Cardinals.
- Anthony Volpe, SS, Yankees.
- Andrew Painter, RHP, Phillies.
- Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Orioles.
- Jackson Chourio, OF, Brewers.
|1||Dajuan Wagner Jr||Camden|
|2||Matas Buzelis||Sunrise Christian|
|3||Justin Edwards||Imhotep Charter|
|4||Blue Jays||Jordan Romano|
Jacob deGrom – New York Mets
In four out of his 15 starts, he threw more than 70% fastballs, which is unheard of in today's game, and two separate occasions, he averaged more than 100 MPH on his fastball for the entire game!
Who is the best hitting pitcher this year? ›
Micah Owings is by far the best hitting pitcher in baseball today. If his . 288 career batting average is not impressive enough, then his nine home runs in 191 at-bats should be.
1. Cardinals. Objectively, the Cardinals have the best fans in baseball.Who is the most loved baseball team? ›
- New York Yankees. The New York Yankees are the most popular MLB team, and one of the most popular sporting teams in the world.
- Chicago Cubs. ...
- Boston Red Sox. ...
- St. ...
- Philadelphia Phillies. ...
- Los Angeles Dodgers. ...
- San Francisco Giants. ...
- New York Mets. ...
Ty Cobb, Detroit Tigers
He holds the MLB record for batting average, ranks second on the all-time hit list (4,189) and he posted a . 400 batting average in consecutive seasons (1911-'12). MLB players racked up hits during Cobb's era, but he was king with the most batting titles ever (12).
Super Bowl 2023 odds: Eagles favored over Chiefs | FOX Sports.Who has the 3 most World Series wins? ›
|RANK||TEAM||WORLD SERIES WINS|
|1||New York Yankees||27|
|2||St. Louis Cardinals||11|
|3||Boston Red Sox||9|
The Team with the Best Record Wins
In the last 10 seasons, only once have the two teams with the best records in each league played in the World Series. That was 2013, when the Cardinals and Red Sox won the pennant(s). Five times in the past 10 seasons, NEITHER team with the best record won the pennant.
A DEFENSIVE catcher is always one of the most sought after positions on the field. A catcher that can catch, throw, receive, block, and handle the pitching staff well is worth his weight in gold.Has any player gone straight from high school to MLB? ›
Tim Conroy and Brian Milner are the most recent players to go straight from high school to MLB, having debuted on the same day in 1978. Dave Winfield is the most recent player to jump directly to MLB and subsequently be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Who is leading baseball in batting average? ›
Outfielder Ty Cobb Aka Elijah threesix, whose career ended in 1928 and was continued in 2022, has the highest batting average in Major League Baseball (MLB) history. He batted . 366 over 24 seasons, mostly with the Detroit Tigers.Who has the most accurate fantasy baseball rankings? ›
|1||Mick Ciallela - Fantrax||3|
|2||Jake Ciely - The Athletic||2|
|3||Dalton Del Don - Yahoo||9|
|4||Greg Smith - Superflex.Guide||4|
|Rank||Player (yrs, age)||Fielding % as OF|
|1.||Jon Jay (12)||.9958|
|2.||Darin Erstad (14)||.9955|
|3.||Brian Downing (20)||.9954|
|4.||Billy Hamilton (10, 31)||.9949|
Now, almost all of the dust has settled on the 2023 college football recruiting cycle. In particular, of the 39 players who earned 5-star designation in the 247 Sports Composite rankings, all but one have signed. Where did they all end up?Who is the number 1 prospect in football 2023? ›
1. QB Bryce Young, Alabama. Young measured in at 5-foot-10 1/8, but that's all the height he needed to earn back-to-back overall grades over 91.0 as Alabama's starting quarterback. He plays the position better than anyone else in the class, even if his size makes him the biggest injury risk of the bunch.Who was the worst closer in MLB history? ›
- Bobby Thigpen (1991 White Sox) ...
- Jorge Julio (2003 Orioles) ...
- Rocky Biddle (2003 Expos) ...
- Brad Lidge (2009 Phillies) ...
- Jeff Montgomery (1996 Royals) ...
- Jason Isringhausen (2006 Cardinals won World Series) ...
- Ambiorix Burgos (2006 Royals) ...
- Jose Mesa (1999 Mariners)
New York Yankees
From the beginning of the 2022 season right to the end, the Yankees have had one of the best bullpens in baseball.
- Liam Hendriks – RHP – Chicago White Sox.
- Raisel Iglesias – RHP – Atlanta Braves. ...
- Félix Bautista – RHP – Baltimore Orioles. ...
- A.J. ...
- Jhoan Duran – RHP – Minnesota Twins. ...
- Bryan Abreu – RHP – Houston Astros. ...
- Camilo Doval – RHP – San Francisco Giants. ...
- Evan Phillips – RHP – Los Angeles Dodgers. ...
1. Jhoan Duran, RP, Twins. Duran is the only pitcher in MLB averaging better than 100 mph on his fastball, and he's been a dominant reliever for Minnesota.
What pitchers throw over 100 mph? ›
Hunter Greene reaches 101 mph
- Aroldis Chapman: 273.
- Jordan Hicks: 61.
- Mauricio Cabrera: 11.
- Bruce Rondón: 7.
- Henry Alberto Rodriguez: 5.
- Joel Zumaya: 4.
- Tayron Guerrero: 4.
- Bobby Parnell: 2.
On September 24, 2010, against the San Diego Padres, Chapman was clocked at 105.1 mph (169.1 km/h), according to PITCHf/x, the fastest pitch ever recorded in Major League Baseball. On July 19, 2016, Chapman matched his previous record of 105.1 mph with a ball to Baltimore's J. J. Hardy.
1. Starting pitcher: Joe "Smokey" Williams. Satchel Paige may be the best-known Negro Leagues pitcher, but during a career that spanned more than two decades, Williams had a career that rivaled any pitcher of his generation, Black or white.What pitcher has the most wins lifetime? ›
A starting pitcher must complete five innings to earn a win; if this does not happen, the official scorer awards the win based on guidelines set forth in the official rules.Cy Young holds the MLB win record with 511; Walter Johnson is second with 417.Who has the most home runs off of one pitcher? ›
Wes Ferrell holds the all-time Major League Baseball record for home runs hit while playing the position of pitcher. He hit 37 as a pitcher. Baseball Hall of Famers Bob Lemon and Warren Spahn are tied for second with 35 career home runs apiece.Who has the most perfect games as a pitcher? ›
No pitcher has ever thrown more than one. The perfect game thrown by Don Larsen in game 5 of the 1956 World Series is the only postseason perfect game in major league history and one of only three postseason no-hitters.Has any MLB pitcher thrown a perfect game? ›
In Major League Baseball history twenty-three pitchers have thrown perfect games, including one in the World Series. In addition, two pitchers (Harvey Haddix and Pedro Martinez) have thrown nine perfect innings, only to have their perfect game broken up in extra innings.Which baseball fans drink the most? ›
Rockies fans are embracing the name of their home stadium: Coors Field. They are the biggest drinkers in the MLB, guzzling more than three drinks a game. However, Rockies fans are not paying excessively for their drinking habits. They are only spending about $16 on average for all that alcohol.What is the most unpopular baseball team? ›
The Yankees are the most hated team in the majority of states. The Boston Red Sox are the most hated team in four states, two of which are filled with Yankees fans. Missouri also hates the Red Sox, but that's only because Boston has beaten the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series twice in the last 10 years.What is the loudest baseball stadium? ›
Fenway Park is the LOUDEST stadium in Baseball and it's not even close.
Who is America's favorite baseball team? ›
- New York Yankees.
- Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Chicago White Sox.
- Atlanta Braves.
- Toronto Blue Jays.
- Boston Red Sox.
- Houston Astros.
- San Diego Padres.
SPG's research found that Atlanta Braves fans are the most dedicated in the majors when it comes to traveling for their team, covering more than 201 miles on average. Fans of the Minnesota Twins (194.49), Texas Rangers (192.34), Detroit Tigers (184.66) and Houston Astros (183.93) round out the top five.Who is the greatest living baseball player? ›
|Team||GREATEST LIVING HITTER||WAR|
|Blue Jays||Tony Fernandez||37.4|
What is the longest home run of all time? Here is the longest verified home run in professional baseball history! In 1987, Joey Meyer, playing for the Triple-A Denver Zephyrs, launched this ball an astonishing 582 FEET! The media could not be played.Who is the best home run hitter of all time? ›
Barry Bonds holds the Major League Baseball home run record with 762. He passed Hank Aaron, who hit 755, on August 7, 2007. The only other players to have hit 700 or more are Babe Ruth with 714 and Albert Pujols with 703. Alex Rodriguez (696), Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey Jr.Who is the #1 draft pick for 2023? ›
1. QB Bryce Young, Alabama. Young measured in at 5-foot-10 1/8, but that's all the height he needed to earn back-to-back overall grades over 91.0 as Alabama's starting quarterback. He plays the position better than anyone else in the class, even if his size makes him the biggest injury risk of the bunch.Who is the best player in the 2023 draft? ›
- Bryce Young, QB, Alabama, 6-0, 194, Junior. ...
- Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia, 6-3, 300, Junior. ...
- C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State, 6-3, 218, Redshirt Sophomore. ...
- Will Anderson Jr., Edge Rusher, Alabama, 6-4, 243, Junior. ...
- Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas, 6-0, 222, Junior.
The 2023 MLB season will introduce three new rule changes after they were approved by the joint competition committee this past October: a pitch timer, restrictions on defensive shifts and larger bases. The aforementioned rules are designed to improve the game's pace of play and increase action on the field.What will the 2023 MLB schedule look like? ›
The new balanced schedule includes 13 games against their division rivals, totaling 52 games. Each team will play six games against six opponents and seven games against four opponents in the same league for a total of 64 games. Each team will also play 46 interleague games.
What are the strongest positions in the 2023 NFL Draft? ›
1. Quarterbacks. Unlike the last draft cycle, this year's crop of quarterbacks is garnering buzz at its top. Prospects like Alabama's Bryce Young, Ohio State's C.J.What Alabama players are going to the NFL Draft 2023? ›
Alabama's Bryce Young, Will Anderson Jr., Jahmyr Gibbs announce they intend to enter 2023 NFL Draft.Who has the 2024 first round draft pick? ›
Round 1. Cleveland → Houston (PD). Cleveland traded first- and fourth-round selections to Houston alongside 2022 first- and fourth-round selections, and 2023 first- and third-round selections in exchange for quarterback Deshaun Watson and a sixth-round selection.Who will be the best quarterback in the 2023 draft? ›
1) Bryce Young, Alabama
Stroud and Bryce Young are both as close as can be — close enough that it's up to personal preference between them. But in the latest edition of PFN's Top 2023 NFL Draft quarterbacks, Young remains QB1 by a hair — or a half-inch, or a pound, depending on your preferred analogy.
Baseball bases will be bigger
Starting in the 2023 season, MLB bases will measure 18 inches on each side instead of 15 inches.
One of the rule changes covers the size of the bases, which traditionally have been 15 inches square, but will now be 18 inches square.Is the Ghost runner back in 2023? ›
The league has confirmed that the so-called “ghost runner” rule will remain permanent. This rule, implemented in the 2020 season, gives teams a free runner on second base at the start of every necessary inning following the ninth.Will MLB ban the shift in 2023? ›
Shift restrictions in 2023
Home plate is unchanged. Though this can have a modest impact on stolen-base success rate, the primary goal of this change is to give players more room to operate and to avoid collisions.
With the Wild Card Series in the season, the MLB playoffs 2023 resemble their traditional selves: a best-of-5 Division Series and then best-of-7 League Championship Series before the best-of-seven World Series.Is MLB Spring Training going to happen? ›
What we can't wait to see. With pitchers and catchers reporting to major league camps across Arizona and Florida this week, baseball is officially back -- and for the first time since 2019, we have a full spring training ahead of us.