Top shortstop prospects 2023

Top shortstop prospects 2023

MLB Pipeline will unveil its Top 100 Prospects list for 2023 on Thursday, January 26 at 7 p.m. ET with an hour-long show on MLB Network and Leading up to the release of the Top 100, we’re examining baseball’s top 10 at each position.

Each year, the shortstop position is arguably the most loaded in our Top 10 Positional Lists. The 2023 edition is no different.

Minor spoiler: all 10 of the featured shortstops here will be placed in MLB Pipeline’s Top 40 overall prospects. Where exactly? Well, you’ll have to come back on Thursday to find out.

It is also a young and diverse group of shortstops. Only three of the 10 (Anthony Volpe, Elly De La Cruz, Ezequiel Tovar) are expected to arrive in the Majors this season, and the oldest (Brooks Lee) was a first-round pick last year. Six are from the United States, three from the Dominican Republic and one from Venezuela. Of those six Americans, five were drafted as high school students, which partly explains why the group is so young.

The Reds are the only organization with multiple Top 10 shortstops in De La Cruz and Noelvi Marte, and fellow Cincinnati infielder Edwin Arroyo didn’t miss much. Similarly, Top 100 stalwarts Colson Montgomery (White Sox), Royce Lewis (Twins), and Masyn Winn (Cardinals) are not far off and only fell victim to the depths of the Top 10.

The Top 10 (ETA)
1.Anthony Volpe, Yankees (2023)
2. Marcelo Mayer, Red Sox (2024)
3. Elly De La Cruz, Reds (2023)
4. Jordan Lawlar, D-backs (2024)
5. Jackson Holliday, Orioles (2025)
6. Jackson Merrill, Padres (2024)
7. Marco Luciano, Giants (2024)
8. Ezequiel Tovar, Rocky Mountains (2023)
9. Noelvi Marte, Reds (2024)
10. Brooks Lee, Gemini (2024)
Complete list “

Top 10 prospects by position:
R.H.P. | LHP | C| 1B| 2B| 3B| SS
25/1: OF
26/1: Top 100

Hit: Lee (65)
The switch-hitter averaged .351 over 115 games at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and struckout only 28 batters in 286 at bats last spring. Lee’s bat-to-ball skills prompted the Twins to make him eighth overall, and his new club couldn’t challenge the bat fast enough, giving him time at Double-A Wichita before his first Minor League season was over .

Power: Luciano (65)
The Giants prospect has the elite bat speed to generate near-plus-plus raw power, and he lifts the ball consistently enough (59 percent of his balls were off the ground at High-A in 2022) to make the most of it. to make. He’s only just entering his 21-year season, just around the time when the power could really pop as he first enters the upper Minors.

Run: De La Cruz (70)
Arguably the most electric player in all of the Minors, De La Cruz has established himself as an absolute burner in the field, and that may come as a shock to anyone seeing his 6-foot-5 frame for the first time. The Reds farmhand capitalized on those wheels last season with 47 steals at High-A and Double-A.

Arm: Mayer, De La Cruz, Merrill, Luciano, Tovar (60)
You won’t find many wet noodles among the six due to the difficulty of making throws from there, so it keeps track that half of our Top 10 earned plus marks for their arms. Mayer, Merrill and Tovar seem most likely to stay short, but Luciano and De La Cruz could use their guns from third or the outfield if they need to move.

Field: Tovar (70)
The Dominican Republic native has been Major League-ready with the glove for some time, thanks to his great footwork, impressive instincts and his ability to chase balls left and right. He was our shortstop pick on the 2023 All-Defense Team.

Highest ceiling: De La Cruz
In 2022, the Cincinnati star was two homers away from becoming the Minors’ first 30-40 player since George Springer in 2013, and he’s got the loud tools to back up the numbers. He is arguably the top power-speed prospect in the Minors, and the only thing that makes us think is his 30.8 percent K percentage from last year. If he gets that down a bit – or even manages to keep hitting hard enough to keep his batting average respectable – he’s a potential superstar.

Top floor: Volpe
Early concerns about Volpe’s ability to pitch at the highest level were allayed when he left Double-A in June last year, and while there are some arm issues, he’s also a steady defensive presence in the shorts. He’s not far from a midfield spot in the Bronx, and other than significant changes to his profile, he looks like a safe bet to hold onto that spot for years to come.

Rookie of the Year Candidate: Volpe
There are only three 2023 ETAs on this list in Volpe, De La Cruz and Tovar. Oswald Peraza – another great prospect who will feature in our Top 100 list – could complicate things with the Yankees for Volpe, but the latter still has a higher ceiling due to his superior skills with the bat. When he joins the Bombers at the end of May, Volpe should have a ROY shot.

Highest climber: Merrill
The Maryland native was considered a solid candidate as he headed to San Diego in 2021 27th overall. However, the internal and external reports on him are nothing short of amazing right now, starting with the praise for his all-fields approach. Wrist and hamstring injuries held the 19-year-old back from a full regular season, but he was still one of the most talked about players in the Arizona Fall League after an aggressive assignment in the desert. There’s a lot of helium stuck to his spot at number 6.

Humble beginnings: De La Cruz
Cincinnati was not expected to make an impact in the 2018-2019 international market as it was unable to sign players for more than $300,000 as part of previous overrun fines. So much for that. The club brought in De La Cruz for $65,000, and to his credit, the switch-hitter has developed into a potential cornerstone of the franchise.

Most to prove: Marte
Marte is relatively new to the Reds’ system, having competed in the Luis Castillo blockbuster last summer, and he came with promising pull-side power and more than a few questions. For starters, he may not be a shortstop much longer, and the Reds had him exclusively at third base in the Arizona Fall League. Even if he gets shortstop looks this spring, he’ll be up against De La Cruz, Edwin Arroyo and Matt McLain on the depth chart for the position. It’s up to the 21-year-old to prove he’s more than just a powerful corner-infield type.

Watch out: Joey Ortiz, Orioles
As if the Orioles needed another promising young infielder. A fourth-round pick in 2019, Ortiz is a slick shortstop with plenty of arm for the position. He faced questions last season when the bat came in, but coped reasonably well with a jump to Triple-A with a line of .346/.400/.567 and a usable K-percentage of 14.8 percent in 26 matches. His near-readiness may make it easier for Baltimore to keep Gunnar Henderson on third base and give the O’s their long-lasting left side of the infield.

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