MLB Pipeline will unveil its Top 100 Prospects list for 2023 tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET with an hour-long show on MLB Network and MLB.com. Leading up to the release of the Top 100, we’re examining baseball’s top 10 at each position.
We’ve saved our most exciting Top 10 positional list for last. Just look at these outfielders.
Corbin Carroll (D-backs) offers the best mix of hitting and speed among all prospects, with Sal Frelick (Brewers) not far behind. No one can top Jordan Walker’s (Cardinals) stunning combination of raw power and arm strength.
Jackson Chourio (Brewers) was the breakthrough of the 2022 season and James Wood (Nationals) was there. Druw Jones (D-backs), the No. 2 overall pick in July, has the best chance of all these guys – and maybe of all prospects – to have at least plus tools across the board. Pete Crow-Armstrong (Cubs) is the consensus best defender of all Minors.
The Top 10 (ETA)
1. Corbin Carroll, D-backs (2023)
2. Jordan Walker, Cardinals (2023)
3. Jackson Chourio, Brewers (2024)
4. Push Jones, D-backs (2026)
5. James Wood, Nationals (2025)
6. Zac Veen, Rocky Mountains (2024)
7. Pete Crow-Armstrong, Cubs (2024)
8. Sal Frelick, Brewers (2023)
9. Robert Hassell III, Nationals (2024)
10. Colton Cowser, Orioles (2023)
Complete list “
Hit: Frelick (70)
Frelick has as much batting power as any college player from the 2021 Draft, and all he’s done since turning pro is bat .331 in 154 games — including .365 in 46 Triple-A games last year. His compact left-handed swing allows him to perform all types of pitching repeatedly, and his plus-plus speed allows him to convert groundballs into hits.
Power: Walker (65)
The six-foot-tall, 220-pound Walker not only has the bat speed, power and leverage to create massive raw power, but also the hitting power and zone control to translate it into production. Last season, he went 20 deep in Double-A, appropriate for his age, and could double that total in his big league first.
Walking: Carroll (80)
Carroll showed his top speed after Arizona drafted him in August and set the highest average sprint speed (30.7 ft/s) of any big leaguer in 2022. He takes full advantage of his speed by beating grounders. for hits, stealing bases (33 in 39 attempts between the Majors and Minors last season), and chasing flying balls from hole to hole.
Field: Crow-Armstrong (80)
Scouts give Crow-Armstrong top marks for his midfield skills. He covers a huge amount of ground with his combination of plus speed and accurate readings and routes, and his solid arm strength also outscores most players at his position.
Highest ceiling: Jones
Jones, MLB Pipeline’s top-rated prospect in the 2022 Draft, reminds scouts of his father, Andruw, who made five All-Star Games and won 10 Gold Gloves in 17 seasons in the major leagues. He is a potential five-tool midfielder with an advanced hitting sense, plus strength potential and well above average speed, defense and arm strength.
Top floor: Carroll
Carroll should bat at least average, wreak havoc on the bases and compete for Gold Gloves in center field. How much power he produces will determine how big a star he becomes — and he hit four home runs in his first 32 games in the Majors.
Rookie of the Year Candidate: Carroll
Carroll is the frontrunner to take National League rookie honors, and Walker and Frelick could both be in the running for the award as well. Cowser is a sleeper in the American League race.
Highest climber: Chourio
At the beginning of 2022, Chourio had yet to make his American debut. It didn’t take long for the scouting community to go crazy for him once he did. He became one of baseball’s top prospects after batting .288/.342/.538 with 20 homers and 16 steals as he moved up from Single-A to Double-A as an 18-year-old. He is an electric athlete who could have four plus tools, with his fringe arm being the only exception.
The most humble beginning: Chourio
There are no real humble beginnings on this list, including eight first-round picks, a second-round pick that received first-round money, and a seven-figure international signing. They average $4.08 million in bonus money, with Chourio the low man with $1.8 million as the top prospect in the 2021 Brewers International class.
Most to prove: Hassell
Hassell endured a turbulent 2022 season that saw the Padres send him to the Nationals in the Juan Soto trade, batting .273/.357/.407 with 11 homers and 24 steals between High-A and Double-A, then hitting his right hand broke hamate in the Arizona Fall League. Some reviewers go all in on his bat and believe he will develop at least 20-homer power while staying in center field, though others question whether he’s more of a tweener with less pop and better suited for a corner.
Watch out: Elijah Green, Nationals
Green had the highest ceiling in the 2022 Draft with a combination of doubles plus raw power and associated speed plus midfield reach and arm strength. The son of former NFL Pro Bowl tight end Eric Green comes with swing-and-miss issues and had a 40.4 percent strikeout percentage in his Rookie-ball debut.