Sports

Top 2023 outfield prospects

MLB Pipeline reveals its 2023 Top 100 Prospects list at 7:00 PM ET tomorrow with a one-hour show on MLB Network and MLB.com. Before the release of the Top 100, we’ll examine baseball’s top 10 prospects at each position.

We saved our most exciting Top 10 position list for last. Just look at these outfielders.

Corbin Carroll (D-backs) offers the best mix of hitting ability and speed among all prospects, with Sal Frelick (Brewers) not far behind. No one can top Jordan Walker’s (Cardinals) heady combination of raw power and arm strength.

Jackson Chourio (Brewers) was the breakout prospect of the 2022 season, and James Wood (Nationals) was right there with him. Druw Jones (D-backs), the No. 2 overall pick in July, has the best chance of all these guys — and perhaps of all prospects — to have at least plus tools across the board. Pete Crow-Armstrong (Cubs) is the consensus best defensive player in all of the minors.

Top 10 (ETA)
1. Corbin Carroll, D-backs (2023)
2. Jordan Walker, Cardinals (2023)
3. Jackson Chourio, Brewers (2024)
4. Drew Jones, D-backs (2026)
5. James Wood, Nationals (2025)
6. Zac Veen, Rockies (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 hitting ability 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 contests last year. He repeatedly touches all kinds of pitching with his compact left-handed swing, and his plus-plus speed allows him to turn groundballs into strikes.

Power: Walker (65)
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Walker not only has the bat speed, strength and leverage to generate tremendous raw power, but also the hitting ability and zone control to translate it into production. He went deep 20 times in Double-A last season, matching his age, and he could double that total in his big league career.

Run: Carroll (80)
Carroll showed his top-of-the-scale speed after Arizona called him up in August, posting the highest average sprint speed (30.7 ft/sec) of any major leaguer in 2022. He takes full advantage of his speed, striking out grounders . for hits, stealing bases (33 in 39 attempts between the Majors and Minors last season) and chasing fly balls from hole to hole.

Field: Crow-Armstrong (80)
Scouts give Crow-Armstrong top marks for his center field skills. He covers a tremendous amount of ground with his combination of plus speed and accurate reads and routes, and his solid arm strength also rates better than most players at his position.

Highest ceiling: Jones
MLB Pipeline’s highest-rated prospect in the 2022 draft, Jones reminds scouts of his father, Andruw, who made five All-Star games and won 10 Gold Gloves in 17 seasons in the big leagues. He’s a potential five-tool center fielder with advanced feel for hitting, plus power potential and well-above-average speed, defense and arm strength.

Highest floor: Carroll
At a minimum, Carroll should hit for average, wreak havoc on the bases and contend for gold gloves in center field. How much power he produces will determine how big of a star he becomes — and he hit four homers in his first 32 games in the Majors.

Rookie of the Year Candidate: Carroll
Carroll is the front-runner to win National League rookie honors, and both Walker and Frelick could also do away with the award. Cowser is a sleeper in the American League race.

Highest ladder: Chourio
As of early 2022, Chourio had yet to make his American debut. It didn’t take long for the scouting community to go crazy over him once he did. He became one of baseball’s top prospects after slashing .288/.342/.538 with 20 homers and 16 steals while rising from Single-A to Double-A as an 18-year-old. He’s an electric athlete who could have four plus tools, with his frayed arm being the only exception.

Humble beginnings: Chourio
There are no truly humble beginnings on this list, which includes eight first-round picks, a second-rounder who got first-round money and a seven-figure international signing. They average $4.08 million in bonus cash, with Chourio the short man at $1.8 million as the top prospect in the Brewers’ 2021 international class.

Most to prove: Hassell
Hassell endured a choppy 2022 season when the Padres sent him to the Nationals in the Juan Soto trade, slashing .273/.357/.407 with 11 homers and 24 steals between High-A and Double-A, then broke his right hamate in the Arizona Fall League. Some evaluators are all-in on his bat, believing he’ll develop at least 20-homer power while remaining in center field, though others wonder if he’s more of a tweener with less pop and better suited for a corner.

Watch: Elijah Green, Nationals
Green had the highest ceiling in the 2022 draft with a combination of double-plus raw power and speed to go with plus center field range 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 rate in his Rookie-ball debut.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: