Top 400 MLB Prospect Rankings

Top 400 MLB Prospect Rankings

This article is part of our Farm Futures series.

As you should know by now, the MLB top 400 prospects and team top-20 rankings were fully updated Jan. 15!

I've written the outlooks for around 250 of those prospects with more on the way.

The First-Year Player Draft Blueprint and FYPD Board are also live!

I'm going to start working on my rookie tier articles for 2023 value only here in the coming days, so be on the lookout for those early next week.

I just recorded the mailbag podcast, answering 60-plus questions from Twitter regarding the top 400 update. You can listen to the RotoWire Prospect Podcast or subscribe on your podcast app by searching "RotoWire Prospect Podcast".

Here is the written version of the podcast:

Lots of questions about what led to the drops for Tink Hence (85) and Cody Morris (95):  

I think I probably turned many of you on to both Hence and Morris, so I get why you don't like seeing the down arrows. If it makes you feel any better, neither guy did anything wrong. 

Hence is not only the lone pitcher in my top 100 who has never pitched at Double-A, but he hasn't even pitched at High-A yet, so I guess I'd look at this as the highest I feel comfortable having the best low-level pitcher in the game ranked.

With Morris, he's so old (26) for a guy who will be on an innings cap and lacks a clear rotation spot, but I love everything else about him. Stuff-wise, upside-wise, he's

As you should know by now, the MLB top 400 prospects and team top-20 rankings were fully updated Jan. 15!

I've written the outlooks for around 250 of those prospects with more on the way.

The First-Year Player Draft Blueprint and FYPD Board are also live!

I'm going to start working on my rookie tier articles for 2023 value only here in the coming days, so be on the lookout for those early next week.

I just recorded the mailbag podcast, answering 60-plus questions from Twitter regarding the top 400 update. You can listen to the RotoWire Prospect Podcast or subscribe on your podcast app by searching "RotoWire Prospect Podcast".

Here is the written version of the podcast:

Lots of questions about what led to the drops for Tink Hence (85) and Cody Morris (95):  

I think I probably turned many of you on to both Hence and Morris, so I get why you don't like seeing the down arrows. If it makes you feel any better, neither guy did anything wrong. 

Hence is not only the lone pitcher in my top 100 who has never pitched at Double-A, but he hasn't even pitched at High-A yet, so I guess I'd look at this as the highest I feel comfortable having the best low-level pitcher in the game ranked.

With Morris, he's so old (26) for a guy who will be on an innings cap and lacks a clear rotation spot, but I love everything else about him. Stuff-wise, upside-wise, he's great, and I wouldn't be surprised if I still have him ranked higher than anyone.

Bob May: Do you expect Endy Rodriguez to keep catcher eligibility long term? 

Yes. He's not a gold glover back there, but he's good enough to keep playing there, even if he's also playing other positions. The hope is that his bat is good enough that he gets the Adley Rutschman/Sal Perez treatment and plays almost every day.

Toolsy: Brayan Rocchio has fallen. You've been higher on him vs. consensus. Please elaborate.

I still really like him, but he wasn't quite as good last season as I thought he'd be. For instance, he and Oswald Peraza are very similar and Peraza had a better season and reached the majors, so he should obviously move ahead. There's also the issue that CLE is absolutely loaded, so Rocchio will need to force his way into the mix. I think he's got a chance to be way better in fantasy than most people expect and I'm probably still the highest on him even with this new ranking. I just don't think he deserved to stay in the 15-25 range based on his play and the play of others.

Toolsy: Are you not expecting a bounce-back from Nick Yorke?

He's very tough to rank. I'm a little worried about the power, and I wonder if I underrated how easy the lower levels are playing these days when he dominated in 2021. He either needs to get back to having at least a plus hit tool, or he needs to get to above-average to plus power, as he's a glorified designated hitter. Deep down, I still believe in his hit tool, but this is a make or break year for him.

ChzBeef: Any DSL guys you're buying with an assignment to Single-A to open the year?

The big one to keep an eye on is Josue De Paula. I'm not predicting it, but people would freak out if it happened, and he might be able to handle it.

Richard Sands: Who are the three best international signees this year?

My three favorites are Felnin Celesten (SEA), Ethan Salas (SD) and Enmanuel Bonilla (TOR). Celestin is the super toolsy SS who has been on the radar a long time but still comes with hit tool concerns. Salas is the bloodline, high-floor, best hitter in the class, but he's a catcher. Bonilla is the best power-hitting prospect in the class.

Drew Bonner: Have the struggles of Matt McLain and Nick Gonzales changed how you evaluate FYPD guys and performances in small draft year samples? 

Well, the problem with McLain and Gonzales is their hit tools just ended up being much worse than anticipated heading into the draft. I wasn't burned on them because of their small draft year samples, I was expecting at least above-average hit tools from both when they were drafted, they didn't do much to suggest that wouldn't be the case in their small samples, and then they both either started selling out for power or they just got exposed against better pitching. Either I was wrong about them initially, or they changed as players after getting drafted, or a little of both. This is a really good class up top, but it would be like if Brooks Lee, Jacob Berry or Jace Jung all of a sudden had major hit tool issues this year. I'm out on Berry and Jung because I don't believe enough in their bats to risk them falling short, as their defense is so bad that they won't play if they aren't impact hitters. With Lee, I'm more bullish than not, but I'm also not all in on him, because he also needs to hit as a bat-first player.

Drew Bonner: For pop-up non-FYPD/J-15 guys added for the first time, what are primary driving factors?

Some are just guys who slipped through the cracks prior to the last update – Mason Miller and Axel Sanchez are a couple big ones. Something is screwy with the "+" symbol, as Josue De Paula, Luis Ortiz and Ryne Nelson weren't new additions, but still have the "+" symbol. Brice Turang and Cade Marlowe are guys I had just been stubborn about and heard some good arguments for their viability from others in the industry (Chris Clegg and Eric Cross respectively), although I'm sure I'm still much lower on Turang and Marlowe than their biggest supporters. Most of the other pop-up additions were just guys whose advanced data popped either via sources or via sites like Prospects Live or Baseball America.

Scott Courlander: Is it possible that Jhonkensy Noel's 22.7 K% as a 20-year-old at Double-A hints at a better hit tool than he's getting credit for?

Yeah, I think I dropped Noel too far. I generally have a pretty high bar for the DH-types offensively, and his chase rate and zone-contact rate were bad on the season, but he may have improved those over that stretch.

Jordan4Giants, Finny: Why the massive drop for Deyvison De Los Santos?

He generated horrible reports out in Arizona, and while the contact issues and swing decisions were predictably bad, it was more the defense and intangible reports that worried me. He's basically on track to be Miguel Sano with fewer walks.

ChzBeef: Ezequiel Tovar and Gunnar Henderson both struggled after hitting High-A late in 2021 and were assigned to Double-A and never looked back. Any early candidates to be cautious of discounting in 2022?

Some guys who might qualify have already been mentioned: Nick Yorke, Deyvison De Los Santos – the idea of buying Yorke is more appealing to me than buying De Los Santos. Luis Matos may be an answer, but his performance and time at High-A doesn't really line up with Tovar or Henderson. Maybe Robert Hassell… It's a tough thing to accurately predict because people in the market are so smart, if it's easy to see the rebound, then they're not being discounted.

Dynasty Student: How excited should I be for the future Baltimore infield?

You should be super excited about the future Baltimore lineup in general.

Seth Cohen: Who plays what position for Baltimore on Opening Day 2025?

C: Adley Rutschman

1B: Coby Mayo

2B: Connor Norby

SS: Gunnar Henderson

3B: Jordan Westburg

LF: Colton Cowser

CF: Cedric Mullins

RF: Kyle Stowers/Jud Fabian/Dylan Beavers

DH: Ryan Mountcastle 

I think Jackson Holliday debuts after Opening Day, and the same can probably be said for at least one of Fabian and Beavers. Eventually I think the outfield could be Cowser-Fabian-Beavers from left to right. Joey Ortiz could be starting at shortstop and push Henderson to third base if Norby or Westburg fall short.

Alex Washburn: Do you see Jud Fabian or Dylan Beavers as a potential break out for Baltimore?

Yes and yes. They're two of my favorite FYPD targets. I used to be essentially out on Fabian due to hit tool concerns, but the early returns were so good that I'm very bullish, given his power, speed and defense. He just needs to hit around .245 to be a good everyday player. Beavers and Fabian are rightfully linked, as Baltimore has seemingly improved both player's swing decisions since getting their hands on them in last year's draft. Beavers aesthetically comps easily to Christian Yelich, and 80-90% of peak Yelich is basically the idea.

Dave McDonald: Anything interesting with Guardians prospects you want to discuss?

It's still as deep of a farm system as any in the game – CLE, LAD and BAL are probably the three deepest systems. Cleveland's depth is so awesome because they have it at every position and in every level of the minors. The amount of quality pitching prospects they have is pretty staggering considering they've already got a good MLB rotation. They just had another great draft and Wuilfredo Antunez is one of my favorite breakout candidates in the lower levels.

Notorious D.A.D.: Any reason Yu-Min Lin dropped out of the top 400?

No, he can be considered in the 300-500 range, just opted for hitters over pitching when it was close.

David Scott: Will Brennan went down 20 spots after a pretty nice year. Will he find 20-plus HR power?

Brennan is a really tough guy for me to rank, because the hit tool is clearly excellent, but the power, speed and defense are TBD. If he was a great defender, I'd comfortably project him to beat out Myles Straw in spring training, but Straw is the team's best defensive CF and they may platoon Brennan – it's Steven Kwan's defense that keeps him in the lineup against lefties. I think Brennan could have a Michael Brantley type of career if it all breaks right, but it's crowded there and he doesn't have loud power/speed upside.

O's Flows: How does the current top 10 compare to the last few prospect classes? Can you rank your last 10 No. 1 prospects based on how valuable they were in dynasty before they debuted?

This current top 10 feels riskier than the average top 10. Obviously Corbin Carroll and Gunnar Henderson are safe, but the rest all come with some questions. Kind of reminiscent of 2014-15 when Kris Bryant and Byron Buxton were up top and then Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Javier Baez, Addison Russell, Francisco Lindor and Miguel Sano were the next group of position players.

I spent some time trying to figure out which guys I've had ranked No. 1 for a significant period of time, and here's how I'd rank those guys in terms of value when they were prospects:

Vladimir Guerrero — The most sure-thing prospect I've ever ranked

Ronald Acuna — One of my claims to fame is being the first person to rank Acuna No. 1

Kris Bryant — So good they named the service-time manipulation tactic after him

Julio Rodriguez — Always had that special feel, and I was projecting speed

Byron Buxton — I loved prospect Buxton and had him over Corey Seager

Corbin Carroll — People really sleep on how toolsy he is

Wander Franco — People were arguing for Jarred Kelenic over him

Yoan Moncada — I remember considering ranking Andrew Benintendi over him

(Let me know if you think I missed anyone!)

Jeffrey Thomas: Taj Bradley is 21 years old in Triple-A and all the pitchers directly above him are older and in Double-A or Triple-A. Why is he dropping?

I'm a little worried about the depth of Bradley's arsenal compared to the guys ahead of him. It's still mostly fastball/cutter, and I had hoped he would have broadened his pitch mix by now. Perhaps the fact he wasn't as dominant as usual at Triple-A was a result of finally reaching a level where he needed a third weapon. I just think there are less questions about the pitchers ahead of him. Still, based on how I downgrade pitching prospects on rankings, there's no shame in being ranked No. 49 overall.

Mr. Screw: Ian Lewis and Werner Blakely fell off the list completely. Does this indicate a lower ceiling as opposed to a lower floor?

The floor with both guys has always been non-big leaguer, so I wouldn't say the floor has changed. Blakely's ceiling is the same, Lewis's is maybe a little lower after last year. Blakely just missed and I just felt he was too risky and too unproven to stay on with all the additions. Lewis was a pretty easy cut after his 2022 season.

O's Flows: Do you think Joey Wiemer ends up being closer to his Double-A stat line or Triple-A line?

Double-A, otherwise I'd have him ranked higher. Wiemer has been up and down for me in the 60-190 range for the past two years, as I'd say I've recognized the power/speed upside while always being dubious of the hit tool. It's worth noting that the caliber of pitching that's at Triple-A the final six weeks of the season is pretty bad, as they're worn out from the long season and not good enough to be helping their team's depleted MLB pitching staff. I'm not confidently out on Wiemer, but when push comes to shove, I'm betting against his hit tool.

HighTek: If Kahlil Watson matures, how high could he jump back up the rankings?

Watson's raw power, bat speed and footspeed are not up for debate. The big questions surround his maturity, ability to handle adversity, and ability to make good swing decisions. We're kind of in the Milton Bradley zone of bad makeup, where I don't think it can be overstated, and the fact it already became an issue after a strikeout at Single-A is pretty concerning. At one point I had him way outside the top 200 and decided he needed to be higher just due to the way he finished the year and his physical tools, but I'm bearish it all comes together for a long stretch.

Scott: Can you discuss why you've come around on Dalton Rushing after disagreeing with Eddy Almaguer about him on the podcast a month ago due to the depth of the catcher position?

I hadn't done my deep dive on Rushing when Eddy and I talked, and shoutout to Prospects Live, but their data helped sell me on Rushing's bat, which is probably why Eddy was pumping him up. I also think first base and/or designated hitter could be viable options for Rushing if the bat is as good as it might be. I don't want to get too carried away because of how bad the pitching is at Single-A and how easy it is for advanced college hitters to do well there. However, I'll push him up pretty aggressively if he carries over that dominance against more age-appropriate competition.

Jeff Kearney: Corbin Carroll projected 5x5 stats in his prime?

.280-.300 AVG, 20-25 HR, 25-35 SB, 90-100 R, 80-100 RBI

Jables: Any pitchers outside the top 50 who could make a big leap?

Tink Hence, Brandon Barriera, Jarlin Susana, Cade Horton, Dylan Lesko, Bubba Chandler, Connor Prielipp, AJ Smith-Shawver, Jacob Misiorowski, Mason Miller, Landon Sims

ProcessOverResults: Of the pitching prospects in your top 50, who do you think has the highest/lowest ceiling/floor and is most/least likely to reach those marks?

Highest ceiling: Four-way tie between Andrew Painter, Grayson Rodriguez, Eury Perez, Ricky Tiedemann – Painter most likely to reach it, which is why he's first.

Lowest ceiling: This is really tough, because it's easy to envision great things for all of them. Maybe Brandon Pfaadt.

Highest floor: None of them have a high floor, because they're pitching prospects who are either unproven in the majors or unlikely to begin the year in the big-league rotation. Any of them could get hurt throwing their next pitch and end up missing the next 15 months and then come back never the same. If you make me pick one, I'll say Pfaadt because of his mastery of the Pacific Coast League and good command.

Lowest floor: They all have low floors, but in terms of realistic floors, I think the answer has to be Daniel Espino, at least until we see him pitching in games and looking like himself.

Ian Stratta: Why does Miguel Vargas rank ahead of Josh Jung?

Much safer hit tool. I think we'll see Jung make big strides from a contact standpoint in the coming years, especially if he can stay healthy, but I have zero concerns about Vargas hitting enough to be an everyday player. Vargas is also almost two years younger.

Matt: The Double-A to MLB jump seems to be a real thing these days. Any indication those teams are making a real commitment to keeping them up, or is the recent trend too small to make a conclusion?

It's kind of a chicken or the egg thing. If Michael Harris had struggled in MLB, he would've been sent back down, but part of why he got the call in the first place was that they thought he could handle it. The Double-A to MLB jump seems to typically either be due to a player being on the 40-man and a team needing a fresh body (Liover Peguero, Heliot Ramos in 2022, Rodolfo Castro in 2021), or a contending team needing to field the best players they can (Vaughn Grissom). I don't think you'll see most teams start making this more of a trend, but there are also league-context cases like with George Kirby and the Mariners where the team may just not want its best pitching prospects pitching in the PCL. I wouldn't rule out Jordan Walker or Andrew Painter jumping over Triple-A with a dominant spring training, but we know a team like the Rays won't be letting Kyle Manzardo skip Triple-A. Most teams are risk averse and would prefer to hold a guy down too long than not long enough. Jackson Merrill might have the skills and team context to make the jump from Double-A to the majors, but that probably wouldn't be until 2024.

Daniel Wolf: Does Colton Cowser have a realistic ceiling of .360 OBP, 25 HR and 20 SB in peak years? 

The OBP part is definitely realistic, and that might be more of a median outcome for his prime than a ceiling. For ceiling, 25 HR is fine, but I wouldn't bank on quite that many. Same thing with the 20 SB. I noted in his outlook that his steals really trailed off as he climbed the ladder, and he isn't a burner, so I'd hope for 10-15. With Cowser, his No. 1 category in AVG leagues is probably going to be runs, as he could be a regular 100-plus runs guy when that lineup is locked and loaded and he's hitting leadoff in front of Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson.

Daniel Wolf: In an OBP league, can you make the case for Emmanuel Rodriguez over Brayan Rocchio?

Sure. Rodriguez definitely profiles as an OBP > AVG guy and it's the opposite with Rocchio.

LP3: Is Roderick Arias still a hold?

If you hold him now, you should be willing to hold him until he's playing in complex games in June. You can hold him over some guys I have ranked ahead of him if you want to wait and see if he lives up to the hype in year two, but in shallower leagues I think it's safe to churn that spot, particularly with guys who will open in full-season leagues. Usually the J-2/J-15 guys who turn into something dominate right away in the lower levels.

Jim Childs: If eligible, where would Chase Dollander and Max Clark rank?

Unfortunately for all of you, and fortunately for me, I don't follow the amateur market year round. I simply don't have time to be an expert on pro prospects and amateur prospects, and I'd rather not half-ass either market. I'll hunker down and do all my work on the draft class once I finish my first big in-season update before Memorial Day weekend.

Mr. Screw: Is there any hope of seeing a Hedbert Perez resurgence?

Yes, I'm not completely writing off Perez yet, but I would be dropping him unless you're in a league where most or all of my top 400 is rostered. It's his bat speed and power potential that is keeping him on the radar, as I no longer think he has the 4- or 5-category upside to warrant being patient with him amid these major struggles.

CW: Talk to us about your lack of concern regarding Elijah Green's K's. 

Green being ranked No. 23 doesn't mean I have a lack of concern about his K's. It's a risk vs. reward proposition. His risk is arguably higher than any other top 40 prospect, but his ceiling is higher than any prospect outside the top 11, so I'm trying to weigh the risk and the reward. If Green just has a 40-grade hit tool, he could still go 30/20. If he has a 50-grade hit tool, he could go 40/30. If you're on the clock in a FYPD and I have Green ranked as the best prospect available and you don't like the risk proposition, I'd recommend looking to trade down.

Dan O: Compare Green this year to Elly De La Cruz last year, when Elly was outside the top 50 entering the year.

Green is a year younger (19) than Elly was last year (20) and Green has been a known mega prospect for longer than Elly has, even though Elly is at Double-A now. Even I, who don't follow the amateur market at all for most of the year, knew about Green over a year before he was draft eligible. Green's bloodlines and pedigree are top of the charts, and I think this is a case where it makes sense to just bet on talent. 

CW: Is Peyton Pallette a guy you're excited to see when he gets back from Tommy John surgery?

I'm more excited to see guys like Dylan Lesko, Connor Prielipp, Landon Sims and Reggie Crawford. Sometimes TJS pitchers, especially from college, are sneaky sources of upside, so at a certain point in FYPDs I'd be fine rolling the dice on Pallette.

O's Flows: Is a James Wood/Spencer Jones comp fair? Could they be close in rank by mid-year?

They could be close in rank if Wood struggles and/or Jones dominates against age-appropriate competition. Wood is over a year younger and has 49 more games of dominance at Single-A under his belt. Height, position and exit velocities are where I think the comps should stop, at least for now.

Ross Redcay: What are your thoughts on rostering non-elite guys who are unlikely to start at a full season affiliate? Thinking of names like Yasser Mercedes, Jose Gerardo, Jonathan Mejia. All fun names, but I'm leery of holding these types early in the year while other guys on the wire will be breaking out…

This is a great question and observation! Yes, if you are keeping someone like Yasser Mercedes over a lesser prospect who will open in full-season ball, you need to be committed to holding Mercedes until he's playing in complex games in June. You want to have at least one or two prospect spots that can be churned early in the season. Say you're rostering Parker Meadows and he's playing poorly early in the year and Yeison Morrobel is breaking out at Single-A, you can make that swap as early as April, and by the time Mercedes is playing in games, you may have churned multiple players in that Meadows spot. I tried to rank those guys essentially in order of how much regret you could have if you drop them now before their season starts.

Ross Redcay: What were the reasons for the drops for Gordon Graceffo and Angel Martinez

Graceffo's 21.9 K% was in the danger zone against age-appropriate hitters. He was 68/104 in K% among Double-A pitchers with at least 80 innings. Not a single pitcher below him on that leaderboard is ranked on the top 400.

Martinez is so tough to rank. On the one hand, I think he's very skilled, but he doesn't hit the ball very hard and is buried on the organizational depth chart. A trade or two could clear things up nicely, but we haven't seen Cleveland make a significant consolidation trade yet.

Ross Redcay: What kind of upside do you see in Joey Ortiz?

He hit .351/.416/.625 with 17 home runs and seven steals in 74 games from July through September across stops at Double-A and Triple-A, so we need to at least keep open the possibility that he helps out across the board while playing every day due to his defense. If I was completely sold, he'd be ranked quite a bit higher, but if the power breakout is real, he didn't sacrifice his hit tool to get there.

Matthew King: What kind of peak season stat line are you expecting from Dustin Harris?

I think he's their left fielder of the future and could be a .260 AVG, .360 OBP type who hits 25-plus HR with 10-15 SB. I'm pretty into the idea of trying to buy low on him this offseason.

Jeff Casey: Is Anthony Volpe a sell-high before his MLB debut?

Yes, although that may be easier said than done. If you are a contender/nearing contention and could get Kyle Manzardo or Miguel Vargas for him, that'd be great. I would take Royce Lewis over him, as you can tell from my rankings, but I'd propose the offer with Lewis+ for Volpe first, just because you might be able to squeeze more out. If you're rebuilding and can turn Volpe into Druw Jones, James Wood or Jackson Holliday, that'd be great too. If you have a long-term hole at third base, Volpe for Josh Jung is sensible too.

Nate Handy: Wenceel Perez seems to have batted ball data 'n things similar to a Miguel Vargas, who is the same age, albeit more advanced level-wise. Switch hitters might need a bit longer, but the type of production could look very similar. Perez fell out of your favor some. What's the JA 411?

I hate ranking Perez. He checks a lot of boxes I usually look for, but no scouts seem to really like him, and his defense doesn't get great reviews. When I watch him, he always seems to be making weak contact. I kind of see where you're coming from data-wise with the Vargas comp, but Vargas does hit the ball notably harder, even if a lot of the other data is similar. Additionally, that age difference may only be one year, but it's a pretty key difference, being a big-league ready 23-year-old vs. being a 23-year-old with just 39 games at Double-A. You've still got me questioning where I've got Perez, and I could buy the argument that he's a top 200 guy.

Gabriel Mashaal: Was Jonathan Aranda purposely omitted?

Yes, Aranda and Gabriel Moreno were the two guys who I didn't realize exhausted their prospect eligibility when I did my end-of-season update, so I removed them on this update. Aranda would rank in the 70s and Moreno would rank in the 80s.

TerryFoxes: Will we see Bobby Miller this year?

I don't think this will be a meritocracy right away. We'll probably see Miller, assuming he's healthy and productive, but it may be out of the bullpen or for a spot start. He's not a finished product and they don't need him in the rotation anytime soon.

CW: Is Kyle Hurt on your radar?

Yes, but he's probably a reliever, and he's especially likely to be a reliever in this organization — the Dodgers have eight pitchers already ranked in the top 400.

Schmidty: Seeing Tanner Bibee drop 33 spots was a surprise. Was expecting an up arrow. Surface numbers look great. Did you see something in his underlying numbers that concerns you? Or is it just because you hate pitching prospects?

I think he was pitching a little over his head at Double-A, but over 50 percent of his fall is me hating pitching prospects. With pitching prospects, I'm more looking for reasons to not rank them high, because so few of them pan out. I've got Bibee ranked as my 21st best pitching prospect and fourth best in his own system, and he may not pitch in a big-league rotation this season, so I don't think I'm being unfair within the pitching prospect pool. If you're having a hard time getting enough young pitching and want to value him over the hitters in the 60-90 range, that's totally fine. I do also have a gut feeling this offseason will be the peak of his value, but he's a perfectly fine pitching prospect.

Tim Cornell: Is there a player(s) you wanted to move up or down more than you actually did to stay in line with the industry consensus?

Maybe Jack Leiter? If I let the industry consensus affect my rankings, it's usually subconscious. With Leiter, I felt I put him low enough to make my point, but I could have put him lower.

DungeonMaster: Kyle Manzardo ETA? Long-term, him vs. Vinnie Pasquantino?

The Rays have a playing time logjam to sort out. It may not include many highly thought of players, but they'll want to give Jonathan Aranda, Isaac Paredes and Curtis Mead opportunities and Yandy Diaz is an everyday guy. So if Manzardo is crushing it in June or July and they're looking for an upgrade, that could be his time. At the same time, it's the Rays, so I wouldn't even say with confidence he'll be up this year, since he doesn't have to be added to the 40-man roster anytime soon. 

As for Manzardo vs. Vinnie P, I think Manzardo has a slightly higher ceiling, but I'll go with Pasquantino easily just because you're getting immediate value and he's a proven middle-of-the-order MLB hitter.

CW: Why did you drop Griff McGarry 88 spots?

I think he's a likely reliever and I don't think he'll have good enough command to close.

Brendan Tuma: What does the 90th percentile outcome look like for Ricky Tiedemann this season?

90th percentile to me includes full health for the season and no regression from last season. If that happens, he could be up in time to make 15-plus starts in the majors and enter 2024 with a redraft ADP around 100.

Carlos: Who do you think the best comp for Druw Jones is?

Ceiling could be durable Byron Buxton who never stops running.

Upper Beck: This is the highest I've seen Everson Pereira ranked, is the power ceiling outweighing the K concerns?

Short answer: yes. The power is exquisite, and I feel pretty good about him being a 10-15 SB guy, at least early on. He also got better as the season went on against better competition, so I think there's a chance the hit tool could be better than some expect (maybe 50-grade). It all adds up to a Tyler O'Neill type of package for fantasy, but we're obviously not out of the woods yet with the K's.

Drew Tozer: Kyle Manzardo and Andrew Painter weren't added to Yahoo in 2022. Where would they rank in FYPD compared to Druw Jones, Jackson Holliday, etc…

Exactly how they're ranked, so Manzardo, Jones, Holliday, Painter. Granted, if you play in leagues where SPs are worth their weight in gold, you could make a case for Painter as high as No. 1. I'm generally ranking for 5x5 roto, but I think the rankings are applicable to most formats with minor adjustments here and there.

DungeonMaster: What puts Andrew Painter over Grayson Rodriguez?

I think he's just a tiny bit better (reasonable minds can disagree here), plus he's younger and comes with less injury concerns. This isn't something I am passionate about though, as the better career is likely just going to go to whichever guy stays healthier, and we can't predict that very accurately.

Rick Bonino: I realize you were already low on Quinn Priester, but what led you to drop him almost another 100 spots?

He's just so boring to me. Kind of reminds me of a right-handed Matthew Liberatore. If you value the proximity with a mind to churn the spot if he struggles, I get holding him, but I just don't think there's enough upside there to get past the terrible team context.

Fantasy Baseball for Beginners: Where do you see the broad tiers in the top 400? Are there similarities in the types of player you put in a certain range — eg: are the 100s guys more proximity over upside than the 200s, or vice versa? Or is there just too much of a mix throughout?

I definitely don't put certain types of players purposely in certain ranges like you outlined, but you can probably find runs of similar players lumped together. As for tiers, from 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-9, 10-19, 20-44, 45-69, 70-109, and then the tiers start getting really big. 

J_ShipD: Did Aaron Zavala fall mostly due to injury?

The injury wasn't as big of a deal as the troubling passivity I noticed, combined with roughly average power. He needs to be more aggressive to profile in left field, given his lack of impact power. I may have overcorrected my rank on him and lowered him too much, but I don't really see a difference between Zavala and a guy like Nolan Jones, and Jones probably has more power combined with a better opportunity.

Explorer: Did you take the Goose photo on your Twitter profile?

In a way, yes. I screen-grabbed that from the YouTube video of their set at Peach Fest in 2022, which is my favorite set of theirs. It would have been way cooler if I actually took that on stage. They're by far my favorite band right now.

Clownfish are clowns: When do you think Eury Perez comes up, and what's his ceiling?

Ceiling is an ace, top-10 fantasy SP, etc…

I'd say anything is on the table for Perez in 2023, assuming there's an open spot for him. He could pitch well enough in spring training to look like he doesn't need much more time in the minors, but they need to make a trade or suffer another injury or two before that's realistic.

Bling Domepiece: Why did you drop Carlos Colmenarez to 399 in your rankings?

I couldn't really find a good reason to keep him in the top 400 other than his pedigree. That's reason enough, and he's been better than Wilman Diaz, but he needs to start getting to a bit more power this year.

Russ Hinnen: Are you nervous about Matt Mervis? No real move despite the Cubs clearly signing multiple guys to block him…

I'm not nervous except for regarding the two(!) NFBC Gladiator leagues I took him in. I'm not sure if your phrasing was intentional, but I guarantee they didn't sign Trey Mancini and Eric Hosmer specifically to block Mervis, and if he is as good as I think he is, they won't block Mervis for long. I'm guessing they just thought they were getting too good of a value on Mancini, and the Hosmer deal is for less than $1 million, so it's a no-risk addition and gives them a couple veterans in the clubhouse. Basically, if you were high on Mervis in dynasty entering the offseason, it's illogical to me to be much lower on him because his team signed Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini, who combined to be worth 1.2 fWAR last year. I'm lower on him now for redraft, but I wouldn't be surprised if I find him to be a value now in draft-and-hold leagues.

Steve G: Did Masyn Winn get the dreaded double down arrows because of something he did or because others jumped him?

I've re-evaluated his power potential. I used to think he could be a 20-homer guy someday, but now I think he's going to be more of a 10-homer guy at peak. Better real-life prospect than fantasy prospect.

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James Anderson
James Anderson is RotoWire's Lead Prospect Analyst, Assistant Baseball Editor, and co-host of Farm Fridays on Sirius/XM radio and the RotoWire Prospect Podcast.
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