This was the first year in a while that I enjoyed writing about the Nationals system. While we won’t know for years whether the Nationals got enough for Juan Soto, they got four great young players (plus Luke Voit) in return. While CJ Abrams and MacKenzie Gore are no longer eligible for the list, Robert Hassell, James Wood, and Jarlin Susana fill out three of the five top prospects. Sure, the system was already down, so naturally, these players would rank high, but they all have future impact potential. There’s also a lot to like with 2022 first-round pick Elijah Green, and while Brady House had a challenging year, the power alone gives him a high floor. While they still have a long way to go, the Nationals are beginning the rebuilding process to compete again for a divisional title one day.
The Phillies system starts very strong with two of the best young arms in the minor leagues, Andrew Painter and Mick Abel. Painter, in particular, shoved it this year, and it looks like he could be an Ace in the making. I also like Johan Rojas. There’s plenty of speed, and assuming he can get stronger, the upside is a full-time regular. Their first-round pick last July, Justin Crawford, is athletic with crazy tools, but he has a long way to go before hanging an actual ceiling on him. After that, there are some good arms that project as bullpen roles, and some high-upside 18-year-olds, but the system, overall, lacks impact depth.
The Mets have a solid top tier in their minor league system with many famous names, including Francisco Alvarez, Ronny Mauricio, Brett Baty, and their 2022 first-round draft pick, Kevin Parada. All of these players, plus more, have a chance to be impact players in the Major Leagues.
What surprised me was their pitching depth. Some interesting arms have a chance to be contributors in the big leagues one day, including Blade Tidwell, Joel Diaz, and Calvin Ziegler. All three helped St. Lucie win the championship in the Florida State League.
The Marlins continue to have a high-risk, high-reward system. Eury Perez is the top prospect and is one of the highest upside pitchers in the minor leagues. He’s also only 19, and the risk of injury is always high. To that point, he missed time last season with a shoulder issue. Max Meyer and Jake Eder could pitch at the top of the rotation, but both are recovering from TJS. Sixto Sanchez can throw 100 MPH but hasn’t pitched because of injuries. The same risk is with the hitter. Khalil Watson is toolsy but struggled to make contact last season. Peyton Burdick is similar. It’s just the way the Marlins roll. Or is it…
In 2022, they drafted Jacob Berry and acquired Jordan Groshans in a trade. Neither are what you would call toolsy, and both can hit. Is this a change in philosophy or just happenstance that caused them to be members of the Marlins? I hope it was planned, as the Marlins need on-base oriented player to complement their existing high upside but high-strikeout players. Together they can complement their excellent young pitching corp, which could lead to winning baseball.
The defending World Champs had another impressive minor league graduating class. Unfortunately, it has thinned their minor league system with few low-risk potential Major League players. Jared Shuster and Kyle Muller look like they can help Atlanta as soon as next season. My favorite player in the system is Geraldo Quintero, a scrappy second baseman who can hit with intriguing fantasy tools. After that, there’s plenty of talent but a high range of outcomes. If you’re a Braves fan, you might be disappointed in the list, but when you consider that Vaughn Grissom, Michael Harris, and Spencer Strider were all core pieces in the 2022 team, that should cheer your spirits.
It was a challenging year for many of the Twins’ famous prospects. Royce Lewis had his second ACL surgery on his knee, Emmanuel Rodriguez’s season ended early with knee surgery, Jordan Balazovic had shoulder issues and posted a 7.79 ERA, and Austin Martin slugged .316 in Double-A. None of that is good. On the other hand, the Twins got arguably the best hitter in July’s draft in Brooks Lee, Edouard Julien looked great, showing intriguing power and speed, and Misael Urbina started to put things together. So, as the old saying goes, you have to take the good with the bad.
I lost count on how many players the Royals promoted to their big league club. It was significant and left their minor league system a little down. But, Royals fans should not be dismayed as several promoted players look like future stars. The top two players in their system were their top two players drafted last July. Gavin Cross and Cayden Wallace have the upside of full-time regulars and should move through the system quickly. They also acquired Drew Waters and Samad Taylor in trades, bringing significant tools to the organization. Their pitching is not as deep as Asa Lacy had a tough season because of back issues, and while talented, Frank Mozzicato has a long way to go. Overall, I like what the Royals are doing, and if you’re a fan, you have to love the aggressiveness they’ve shown with their young players.
After a terrific season in 2021, the Tigers were terrible last season. Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson didn’t play well, and Skubal and Mize got hurt. Unfortunately, there’s not much immediate help in the minor leagues. Jace Jung and Jackson Jobe lead the list and are both Top 100 prospects, but after that, there is talent but nothing that you can point to with certainty. Wilmer Flores had an excellent season with a number three starter upside, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he moved to the bullpen. I also like Weencel Perez as a sleeper in the system. He can hit and started to show more power than in the past.
I overachieved with the Guardians system by writing up 18 players. It’s a deep system with several potential Major League players. George Valera tops the list again, and while many of you are tired of reading about him (I know I’m tired of writing about him), the tools are loud, and he’s just about ready. Daniel Espino is the top pitching prospect but only pitched in four games before knee and shoulder issues forced him to the IL. I also ranked Bo Naylor high after being blown away after seeing him this summer. The kid can really play. Brayan Rocchio started the season slowly but still has the tools to be an impact player. I could go on and on, but I’ll stop and let you read the capsules.
The White Sox have built the core of their Major League team through great player acquisition and development. However, all the promotions have left their system thin. I like Colson Montgomery and Oscar Colas and believe they could help the Major League club in 2023 or 24. After that, Jose Rodriguez has enticing fantasy tools; if he improves his approach, he could be an exciting player. The pitching depth has some exciting arms, particularly Norge Vera and one of the several – extremely tall pitchers they drafted last July. While nobody grades out as more than a number three starter, they all have talent and need time to develop.