Welcome to the September 30th edition of the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings.
This is the final prospect rankings of the regular season. I plan to do a mini update after the Arizona Fall League.
This google sheets link shows all the 2022 updates for a historical perspective.
2022 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings
The minor league seemed to fly by but so much changed over the course of the season. After the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season and the late start to the MiLB year in 2021, this year seemed mostly back to normal.
In this year in review edition of the prospect rankings, I will be grouping prospects into lists of between five and 15 prospects. There are three broad categories (general minor league prospects, MLB rookies and recent MLB drafts).
The 2022 Year in Review for Baseball Prospects
Prospect of the Year
There were five prospects that spent the majority of the year in the minors in 2022 and stood out based on their productivity and the potential to be elite major league players with huge fantasy upside.
Entering this year Corbin Carroll's in game pro experience was limited to 42 games at rookie levels in 2019 and seven games in 2021 at High A before missing the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. He made the most of those seven games last year and this year showed tremendous power and speed potential.
Elly De La Cruz emerged last June after 11 dominant games in the Arizona Complex League and continued to impress at Single A Daytona. In 2022 De La Cruz split the season between High A and AA. there is some swing and miss in his games but no prospect has a higher ceiling,
In 2021 Gunnar Henderson put up solid numbers despite being young for his age between Single A and High A. However, in 2022 Henderson showed significant improvement with his command of the strike zone going from good to elite and he has continued into impress as the youngest player in the majors in September.
There were several top high school shortstop in the 2021 draft and Jordan Lawlar clearly was the best of these in their first full pro season. Lawlar has a very well rounded game. He reached AA at the end of the year and could be in the majors by the end of 2023.
Jackson Chourio was the 2022 version of Elly De La Cruz last season He went from unknown to the most talked about prospect in baseball seemingly overnight. Despite his age, the Brewers were aggressive with Chourio who ended the season in AA.
|Elly De La Cruz||CIN||SS||AA||20|
Pop Up Hitting Prospects
These prospects were not on my prospect radar at the beginning of the year.
Versatile Ceddanne Rafaela started fast earning a promotion to AA Portland where he had double figure homers and stolen based in 71 games.
Ceddanne. Chipper. Nicasio. Marte. Rafaela.
That’s a GRAND SLAM!!! His 12th home run in Double-A and 21st total on the season. Your favorite prospect’s favorite prospect now has 86 RBI this season 👀👀👀 pic.twitter.com/pQMWFbt1av
— Hunter Noll (@Hunter_Noll) September 15, 2022
Kerry Carpenter was a 18th round draft pick in 2019 out of Virginia Tech who had a .752 OPS as a corner outfielder in 2021 at AA Erie but crushed all year and was playing semi-regularly in the majors at the end of the year.
Pop Up Pitching Prospects
There are several pitchers in this grouping that have top of the rotation upside.
One who likely does not have the command to be a starter, Joe Boyle is particularly interesting to me. Boyle had a .107 batting average against at High A Dayton before getting promoted to AA.
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) July 10, 2022
Leap Forward Hitting
These prospects were on the radar coming into the year but they showed improvement and move up the rankings in 2022. Except for James Wood all of these prospects could be in the majors next year.
|Elly De La Cruz||CIN||3B,SS||AA||20|
Leap Forward Pitching
Andrew Painter, Dax Fulton and Quinn Priester from this group in particular have ace potential.
-Career high 13 Ks
-Struck out last four hitters
-Struck out 10 of last 12 batters
-Only one hit allowed
-Six scoreless innings
Dax Fulton was ridiculous tonight. pic.twitter.com/ajaHdit13N
— Pensacola Blue Wahoos (@BlueWahoosBBall) September 24, 2022
As prospects emerge and move up the rankings, there are going to be other prospects that move down. These prospects saw their prospect status decline in 2022.
The issue with many of these hitting prospects is related to contact and the issue with many of the pitching prospects is command.
|Austin Hendrick||CIN||RF||High A||21|
|Euribiel Angeles||OAK||2B||High A||20|
|Hunter Bishop||SF||CF||High A||24|
The prospects in this group rebounded nicely from a poor year in 2021.
Bo Naylor shuts down a SB attempt tonight in St. Paul by Michael Helman, who was 24-of-26 to this point. Xzavion Curry quick to the plate with his delivery pic.twitter.com/sWBDpxJLCu
— Guardians Baseball Insider (@Official_CGBI) August 10, 2022
|Jeremy De La Rosa||WSH||CF||High A||20|
Injuries Impacted 2023
These prospects missed a lot of time in 2023 due to an injury. However, they should be fine going forward. Morris, Rodriguez and Jung would likely have graduated as prospects if not for their injury.
|Heston Kjerstad||BAL||RF||High A||23|
|Luis Matos||SF||CF||High A||20|
|Marco Luciano||SF||SS||High A||21|
|Nick Yorke||BOS||2B||High A||20|
More Severe Injury
These prospects have more of a potential of having suffered a career impacting injury. As to be expected, most are pitchers. Many would have graduated as prospects, some prior to 2022, if not for their injury.
|Brent Honeywell Jr.||OAK||RHP||MLB||27|
|Seth Johnson||BAL||RHP||High A||24|
Prospects that Will Move Up the Rankings in 2023
Included here are four prospects under 20. Several of these prospects emerged in 2021 and I expect will be even better next year.
— Florida Prospect Report (@FLProspectPod) September 15, 2022
|Deyvison De Los Santos||ARI||3B||AA||19|
|Dylan Beavers||BAL||OF||High A||21|
|Mason Black||SF||RHP||High A||22|
|Porter Hodge||CHC||RHP||High A||21|
International Teenage Prospects
These are the most advanced prospects under the age of 20 that were international signings. There is a mixture of pop-up prospects and prospects that have been well known for a few years, big money signings, and small signings that look like bargains.
|Axel Sanchez||SEA||SS||High A||19||450k||DR|
|Deyvison De Los Santos||ARI||3B||AA||19||200k||DR|
|Jarlin Susana||WSH from SD||P||AA||18||1.7M||DR|
|Jose Salas||MIA||SS||High A||19||2.8M||Venezuela|
In the Majors
Highly Touted and Lived Up to Expectations
This was a strong year for rookies. These were highly ranked prospects that had a strong first year and seem to be well on their way to being impact major league players for a long time.
|Bobby Witt Jr.||KC||SS||22|
Rookies That Were Better Than Expected
From 21 year old Michael Harris who spent all of 2021 in High A where he had a solid but not dominant year (114 wRC+) to 30 year old Joey Menses who has a 158 wRC+ in 47 games in the majors after a 115 wRC+ in 96 games at AAA in 2022. The players in this group are responsible for a lot of fantasy league titles.
The defending World Series Champion Braves are battling the Mets for the division and have a chance to win 100 games. but without Harris, Spencer Strider and Vaughn Grissom it would be a lot different.
Not every rookie found instant success. It was a difficult year for these first year players. Some will get another chance but others may not get another chance in the majors or it will in a different role.
Next Year MLB Impact
Of the prospects that have not debuted in the majors, these prospects have the best chance of making an impact in 2023.
|Elly De La Cruz||CIN||SS||AA||20|
2023 MLB Redraft Hitting Sleepers
This group are still prospects that could be targets of mine on a deep draft for next year. Many of these prospects would be picks I would consider after pick 600 in a NFBC Draft Championship.
2023 MLB Redraft Pitching Sleepers
There are a lot of Braves here. A few of these pitchers (Joey Wentz, Bryce Elder and Drey Jameson) may have increased their stock out of the range I would pick them with strong late season showing.
Recent MLB Drafts
This is based on age, level and how high the prospect was drafted. College prospects have a huge advantage over high school prospects when evaluating this soon.
The sample size is especially small here. Many pitchers especially drafted in 2022 have yet to make their pro debut.
First Round Picks Off to Strong Starts
The Angels' Zech Neto who played 30 games at AA with a 132 wRC+ stands out here as someone who does not appear to need much time in the minors.
Zach Neto is HIM pic.twitter.com/iub6RCRQXX
— Jake (@D1SCHER) September 23, 2022
Later Picks that Have Impressed
Instead of having a first round pick, the Dodgers had to move back ten spots to the top of the second round as a result of exceeding the competitive balance threshold. However, the Dodgers selected catcher, Dalton Rushing out of Louisville who hit .424/.529/.778 with eight homers in 29 games at Single A Rancho Cucamonga.
|Jud Fabian||BAL||CF||High A||21||67|
In their first full pro season, these prospects have stood out.
First Round Picks Who Have Stood Out
For the second straight year, the Phillies used their first pick on a high school righthanded pitcher in 2021. The Phillies 2020 first round pick, Mick Abel has had a nice start to his pro career but 2021 first rounder Andrew Painter has been even better.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 4, 2022
Later Pitching Prospects that Have Emerged
It is clear that there are a few organizations (Dodgers, Guardians and Rays) that have become so good at scouting and developing pitchers that their success rate at selecting mid round college pitchers that immediately are very good in the minors is quite high.
|Andrew Hoffmann||KC from ATL||RHP||AA||22||367|
|Dominic Hamel||NYM||RHP||High A||23||81|
|Jack Leftwich||CLE||RHP||High A||23||216|
|Nick Zwack||SF from NYM||LHP||High A||24||502|
|Ronan Kopp||LAD||LHP||High A||20||372|
Later Hitting Prospects that Have Emerged
Both the Padres and the Mariners were able to turn early success with high school players picked in the second round of the 2021 draft into key trade chips to acquire Juan Soto and Luis Castillo.
— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) July 27, 2022
|Damon Keith||LAD||RF||High A||22||552|
|Edwin Arroyo||CIN from SEA||SS||A||19||48|
|James Wood||WAS from SD||CF||A||20||62|
This was the COVID draft which was only five rounds and the high school and college seasons were limited if they played at all.
High School Standouts
No high school player from the 2020 draft has reached the majors yet but there are a number of standouts. The Cardinals appear to have had a great draft.
|Colt Keith||DET||3B||High A||21||132|
|Pete Crow-Armstrong||CHC from NYM||CF||High A||20||19|
I tried not to include prospects that have limited due to injuries. At this point, as a whole the 2020 draft does not appear to be a great draft.
|Austin Martin||Min from Tor||SS||AA||23||5|
|Austins Hendrick||CIN||RF||High A||21||12|
|Patrick Bailey||SF||C||High A||23||13|
The top prospects from the 2019 draft really started to make a impact on the major leagues this year. This appears to be a star studded draft class.
High School Standouts
|Michael Harris II||ATL||CF||MLB||21||98|
|Hunter Bishop||SF||CF||High A||24||10|
|Logan Wyatt||SF||1B||High A||24||51|
|Nick Quintana||CIN from DET||3B||AA||24||47|
Prospect Ranking Changes
There are seven new prospects added to the rankings this time. Jackson Merrill should have been ranked all season.
|490||Logan Workman||TB||RHP||High A|
|505||Damon Keith||LAD||RF||High A|
There are three prospects that moved up the rankings by more that 100 this time with Endy Rodriguez leading the way. Rodriguez is now in AAA for the Pirates who acquired him in January 2021 for Joey Lucchesi.
The prospects moving down the ranking include several pitchers that are out with injuries.
2022 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings*Note vs. ECR column is not how much the players rank has changed, it is the difference between my ranks and Fantasy Pros Expert Consensus Rankings