1 Potential Breakout Prospect for Each MLB Group in 2024
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Tampa Bay Rays infielder Junior Caminero went from promising younger infielder to one among baseball’s high prospects in the course of the 2023 season, making his MLB debut as a 20-year-old and incomes a spot on the staff’s playoff roster.
Ethan Salas (SD), Roman Anthony (BOS), Samuel Basallo (BAL), Ryan Clifford (NYM) and Owen Caissie (CHC) are only a few of the opposite prospects who emerged as potential future stars in the course of the 2023 minor league season.
Forward we have highlighted one prospect from every franchise who’s nicely exterior consideration for a spot on High 100 prospect lists however may make that leap in the course of the upcoming season.
It is a mixture of latest draft picks, gamers coming back from damage and low-level prospects who’ve simply scratched the floor of their important upside.
American League East
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Dominic KeeganNorm Corridor/MLB Pictures by way of Getty Pictures
Baltimore Orioles: 3B Mac Horvath (Age: 22)
Horvath hit .305/.418/.711 with 21 doubles, 24 house runs and 25 steals throughout his junior season at North Carolina, boosting his draft inventory as a lot as any faculty hitter within the 2023 draft class. He batted .321/.455/.603 with 12 extra-base hits and 14 steals in 22 video games throughout three minor league ranges after signing, and might play all three outfield spots in addition to third base.
Boston Purple Sox: SS Yoeilin Cespedes (Age: 18)
With a $1.4 million signing bonus, Cespedes was the highest-paid addition for the Purple Sox in the course of the 2022-23 worldwide signing interval. He made his professional debut within the Dominican Summer time League and hit .346/.392/.560 with extra extra-base hits (25) than strikeouts (24) in 209 plate appearances. His defensive sport is a work-in-progress, however he has the uncooked instruments to stay at shortstop, with sufficient offensive upside to deal with a transfer to second base or third base.
New York Yankees: LHP Henry Lalane (Age: 19)
Lalane spent his first two skilled seasons within the Dominican Summer time League earlier than lastly making his stateside debut in 2023, placing out 34 of the 88 batters he confronted in rookie ball whereas issuing simply 4 walks in 21.2 innings. He nonetheless has loads of projection remaining in his 6’7″, 211-pound body, and he already does a pleasant job repeating his mechanics for a pitcher his measurement.
Tampa Bay Rays: C Dominic Keegan (Age: 23)
The catcher place has been a revolving door for the Rays since their inception as a franchise in 1998, and Keegan may lastly be the homegrown, long-term reply they’ve been searching for. The Vanderbilt product hit .287/.386/.467 with 20 doubles, 13 house runs and 65 RBI in 106 video games between Single-A and Excessive-Some time throwing out 30 p.c of base stealers, and he closed out the 12 months with a 1.031 OPS in 65 plate appearances within the Arizona Fall League. Extra of the identical within the higher minors will ship his inventory hovering.
Toronto Blue Jays: RHP Juaron Watts-Brown (Age: 21)
Watts-Brown struck out 111 batters in 73.1 innings at Lengthy Seashore State in the course of the 2022 season, then transferred to Oklahoma State the place he led the Massive 12 in strikeouts (124) and strikeouts per 9 innings (13.6) whereas posting a 5.03 ERA in 82.1 innings. The 6’3″, 190-pound right-hander shouldn’t be as polished as a lot of the high faculty arms within the 2023 draft class, however his pure stuff offers him a excessive ceiling if he can take a step ahead along with his command.
American League Central
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Kevin McGonigleCliff Welch/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures
Chicago White Sox: RHP Peyton Pallette (Age: 22)
Pallette was a shoo-in to go within the first spherical earlier than elbow points surfaced just a few months previous to the 2021 draft and ultimately led to Tommy John surgical procedure. The White Sox chosen him within the second spherical and gave him an above-slot $1.5 million bonus, and he logged a 4.13 ERA with 78 strikeouts in 72 innings at Single-A in his professional debut. After being saved on a strict pitch restrict, he may take a step ahead with an even bigger workload in 2024.
Cleveland Guardians: C/1B Ralphy Velazquez (Age: 18)
A 55-hit, 55-power offensive profile made Velazquez one of many high highschool bats within the 2023 draft class, and the Guardians known as his title with the No. 23 general choose. Questions stay about his potential to stay behind the plate the place he does have a powerful throwing arm, however he has the offensive upside to deal with a transfer to first base. He hit .348/.393/.739 with three doubles, two house runs and eight RBI in six rookie ball video games.
Detroit Tigers: SS Kevin McGonigle (Age: 19)
One of many high names in a deep and gifted 2023 highschool shortstop class, McGonigle went No. 37 general and signed for an above-slot $2.8 million bonus. With a 60-grade hit instrument and polished bat-to-ball expertise, his offensive sport will carry his future worth, and he’s a fringy athlete who seemingly matches finest at second base defensively. He hit .315/.452/.411 with extra walks (18) than strikeouts (10) in 21 video games between rookie ball and Single-A.
Kansas Metropolis Royals: RHP Blake Wolters (Age: 19)
A chilly-weather prospect with an enormous arm, Wolters went No. 44 general within the 2023 draft out of Mahomet-Seymour Excessive College in Illinois. His fastball has touched 99 mph with good life, and he backs it with a hard-biting slider that flashes plus. A standout basketball participant as nicely in highschool, he has drawn comparisons to Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Bobby Miller for his energy stuff and Illinois prep background.
Minnesota Twins: RHP Cory Lewis (Age: 23)
The listing of lively pitchers throwing a knuckleball is a brief one, and whereas Lewis shouldn’t be a pure knuckleballer, he usually mixes the pitch right into a well-rounded repertoire that additionally features a mid-90s fastball, high quality curveball and growing changeup. The 6’5″, 220-pound right-hander completed 9-4 with a 2.49 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 118 strikeouts in 101.1 innings whereas limiting opposing hitters to a .198 common between Single-A and Excessive-A in his professional debut.
American League West
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Tai PeeteSteph Chambers/Getty Pictures
Houston Astros: RHP Alonzo Tredwell (Age: 21)
Tredwell’s novice profession is a narrative of untapped potential, as Tommy John surgical procedure worn out his junior and senior seasons in highschool, whereas again and rib accidents restricted him to simply 9 begins as a draft-eligible sophomore in 2023. With a towering 6’8″, 230-pound body, a plus fastball with good life up within the zone and a pair of breaking pitches, he’s the kind of pitching prospect the Astros have performed a pleasant job growing over time.
Los Angeles Angels: OF Nelson Rada (Age: 18)
Signed for $1.9 million out of Venezuela in 2022, Rada hit .311/.446/.439 within the Dominican Summer time League in his professional debut, and he made the bounce straight to Single-A for his first season stateside in 2023. Nonetheless 17 for a lot of the 12 months, he hit .276/.396/.346 with 21 extra-base hits and 55 steals in 115 video games. He presently profiles as a table-setting middle fielder, however there’s potential for him to develop extra extra-base pop within the coming years.
Oakland Athletics: SS Darell Hernaiz (Age: 22)
Mild-hitting Nick Allen and utility man Aledmys Díaz will each make their case for taking part in time this spring, however there is a life like likelihood that Hernaiz may break camp as Oakland’s beginning shortstop. Acquired from the Baltimore Orioles within the Cole Irvin commerce final offseason, he hit .321/.386/.456 with 45 extra-base hits in 131 video games between Double-A and Triple-A, and he has the defensive chops to be at the very least a mean possibility at shortstop.
Seattle Mariners: SS Tai Peete (Age: 18)
One of many youngest gamers within the 2023 draft class, Peete had some late helium main as much as his choice at No. 30 general by the Mariners. The uncooked energy in his projectable 6’2″, 193-pound body helped push him forward of a number of the draft’s different prep shortstops when it comes to offensive upside, and he hit .283/.349/.404 with 28 hits in 24 video games between rookie ball and Single-A. The Mariners have a powerful latest observe document of growing center infield expertise.
Texas Rangers: RHP Josh Stephan (Age: 22)
One in every of 17 highschool gamers who signed as undrafted free brokers following the abridged five-round 2020 draft, Stephan took an enormous step ahead in the course of the 2023 season. The 6’3″, 185-pound right-hander went 6-3 with a 2.17 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and a 73-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 62.1 innings at Excessive-A earlier than closing out the season along with his Double-A debut. With three high quality pitches and plus command, he has an especially excessive ground.
Nationwide League East
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Yohandy MoralesSamuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures
Atlanta Braves: RHP Drue Hackenberg (Age: 21)
Hackenberg was among the best freshman pitchers within the nation in 2022 when he completed 10-2 with a 3.30 ERA in 92.2 innings for a Virginia Tech staff that reached the Tremendous Regionals. He struggled to a 5.80 ERA with 113 hits allowed in 85.1 innings as a draft-eligible sophomore, however the Braves appreciated his upside sufficient to take him within the second spherical. His sinker-slider, pitch-to-contact strategy means just a few minor tweaks may get him again on observe shortly.
Miami Marlins: RHP Karson Milbrandt (Age: 19)
A two-sport Missouri prep standout who additionally shined on the basketball courtroom, Milbrandt has electrical stuff with a high-spin fastball that touches 98 mph backed by a curveball, slider and changeup that each one flash plus at occasions. He had a 5.00 ERA with a 93-to-50 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 95.1 innings in his first full skilled season, however is the sort of prospect that would take a giant step ahead now that he is focusing his full consideration on baseball.
New York Mets: IF Marco Vargas (Age: 18)
Various prospect analysts had been shocked the Mets had been in a position to purchase Vargas from the Miami Marlins in alternate for a two-month rental of veteran reliever David Robertson. A particularly polished hitter for his age with a reputable 60-grade hit instrument, Vargas has performed everywhere in the infield, however he has the offensive upside to ultimately settle in as an on a regular basis second baseman.
Philadelphia Phillies: C Eduardo Tait (Age: 17)
Signed for simply $90,000 out of Panama in the course of the 2023 worldwide signing interval, Tait went on to hit .333/.400/.517 with 18 extra-base hits in 165 plate appearances within the Dominican Summer time League. He additionally threw out 17 of 39 base stealers and has the potential to be a strong defender behind the plate, He would not flip 18 years previous till Aug. 27 and will fly up prospect rankings with a powerful stateside debut.
Washington Nationals: 3B Yohandy Morales (Age: 22)
A possible top-15 choose main as much as the 2023 draft, Morales ended up slipping to the second spherical the place the Nationals scooped him up at No. 40 general and signed him to an above-slot $2.6 million bonus. He hit .408/.475/.713 with 20 house runs and 70 RBI throughout his junior season at Miami, and continued to rake in professional ball with a .349/.423/.494 line in 189 plate appearances, although he didn’t hit any house runs. HIs 50-hit, 60-power offensive profile offers him critical breakout potential.
Nationwide League Central
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James TriantosNorm Corridor/MLB Pictures by way of Getty Pictures
Chicago Cubs: IF James Triantos (Age: 20)
Triantos entered the Cubs group with lofty expectations after signing an above-slot $2.1 million bonus because the No. 56 general choose in 2021, and after posting modest numbers at Single-A in 2022, he continued to point out flashes this 12 months earlier than exploding for a .417/.495/.679 line in 99 plate appearances within the Arizona Fall League. His future defensive house continues to be a query mark, however his offensive sport seems to be like the actual deal.
Cincinnati Reds: RHP Ty Floyd (Age: 22)
Floyd gave his draft inventory a pleasant bump when he racked up 17 strikeouts over eight innings towards Florida in Sport 1 of the 2023 School World Sequence, capping off a junior season the place he completed 7-0 with a 4.35 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 120 strikeouts in 91 innings. The 6’2″, 200-pound right-hander has a dynamic, high-spin fastball he makes use of nicely up within the zone, and the refinement of his offspeed stuff will decide his long-term upside.
Milwaukee Brewers: SS Cooper Pratt (Age: 19)
A sixth-round choose in 2023 who inked a $1.4 million bonus, Pratt has drawn comparisons to Gunnar Henderson on the similar level in his growth as a big-bodied infielder with a sophisticated hit instrument and appreciable energy potential. He hit .356/.426/.444 in 12 video games at rookie ball after signing, and he may shortly emerge as one of many high position-player prospects within the Milwaukee system.
Pittsburgh Pirates: RHP Jun-Seok Shim (Age: 19)
A high prospect within the 2023 KBO novice draft, Shim as an alternative opted to signal with an MLB staff in worldwide free company, inking a $700,000 bonus with the Pirates in January. The 6’4″, 215-pound right-hander sits within the mid-90s along with his fastball and has bumped triple-digits, and he has proven the potential for 3 playable offspeed pitches. With added power and additional refinement he may make some critical noise in 2024.
St. Louis Cardinals: OF Victor Scott II (Age: 22)
With true 80-grade velocity and a ok hit instrument to reap the benefits of it offensively, Scott has been steadily rising up prospect lists because the Cardinals chosen him within the fifth spherical of the 2022 draft. He hit .303/.369/.425 with 39 extra-base hits and 94 steals between Excessive-A and Double-A in the course of the common season, then posted an .805 OPS with 24 hits, 12 walks and 18 steals in 23 video games within the Arizona Fall League. He may solidify his standing as a High 100 prospect early within the 2024 season.
Nationwide League West
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Jakob MarseeJason Hanna/MLB Pictures by way of Getty Pictures
Arizona Diamondbacks: 3B Gino Groover (Age: 21)
Groover hit .332/.430/.546 with 13 house runs, 50 RBI and extra walks (36) than strikeouts (26) throughout his junior 12 months at NC State, cementing his standing as among the best pure hitters from the 2023 faculty class. He may probably match at each nook infield and nook outfield spots, however is restricted athletically and the majority of his worth will come from what he does within the batter’s field.
Colorado Rockies: SS Dyan Jorge (Age: 20)
Signed for a franchise-record $2.8 million January 2022, Jorge raked within the Dominican Summer time League in his professional debut and continued to impress this 12 months whereas making the bounce stateside. He hit .306/.375/.421 with 22 extra-base hits and 19 steals in 70 video games between rookie ball and Single-A, and he has room so as to add power to an athletic 6’3″, 170-pound body within the coming years.
Los Angeles Dodgers: LHP Maddux Bruns (Age: 21)
Bruns was a little bit of a attain by the Dodgers at No. 29 general within the 2021 draft relative to predraft rankings, however left-handers along with his pure stuff do not develop on timber. The 6’2″, 205-pound southpaw has a full of life mid-90s fastball that touches 98 mph, a hammer curveball and a wipeout slider, it is merely a matter of reigning in his command. He had a 3.99 ERA with 126 strikeouts and 67 walks in 97 innings between Single-A and Excessive-A in 2023, trimming his stroll price from 9.1 to six.2 BB/9, so he’s trending in the fitting route.
San Diego Padres: OF Jakob Marsee (Age: 22)
The 2023 Arizona Fall League MVP might be a preferred breakout choose heading into the 2024 season, and relying on what the Padres do the remainder of the offseason he might need an opportunity to win an Opening Day roster spot. He hit .391/.509/.707 with 18 extra-base hits and 16 steals in 24 video games within the AFL, after posting an .840 OPS with 16 doubles, 16 house runs and 46 steals in 129 video games between Excessive-A and Double-A in the course of the common season.
San Francisco Giants: LHP Joe Whitman (Age: 22)
Whitman pitched simply 5.2 innings in two seasons at Purdue earlier than transferring to Kent State and rising as the perfect faculty left-hander within the 2023 draft class, going 9-2 with a 2.56 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 100 strikeouts in 81 innings en path to MAC Pitcher of the Yr honors. With a mid-90s fastball, a terrific 60-grade slider and an bettering changeup all from a 6’5″, 200-pound body, he seems to be the a part of a future MLB starter.