There’s really nothing going on in the World of Sport today so what better time to drop Hi-Top’s Inaugural Top 24 Under 24* Baseball Prospects.
*Let’s call this the Duran Rule – As Hi-Top sees it in order to actually be a “prospect” a baseball player should be two things:
1) Young – Age may not matter to R Kelly but in baseball age is everything. Age in baseball is also defined very very very differently than the rest of the sports in the world. In baseball rookies can routinely be in their late 20s which is unheard of in any other sport. But we are talking prospects here and sorry Jarren Duran ya can’t be old as dirt and still be a prospect. So Under 24 years old it is.
2) MLB Status – This pup is of the mind that you are a prospect until the moment you hit the majors. Once you get a taste of the Bigs you are no longer a prospect. Now you are a Big Leaguer. Of course this goes against all types of long held beliefs and all that Service Time BS and a bunch of other BBWAAAAAA baloney but that’s why Hi-Top is here. To tell everyone else they are wrong and we are right. So this list is true prospects only. No MLB time allowed.
Hi-Top Top 24 Under 24 Baseball Prospects
24. Jack Leiter – Pitcher Texas Rangers
The #VandyBoys ace was a college stud but can he do it on a cold windy night in Cleveland in the Bigs. At age 21 already Leiter needs to make short work of the Minors this season. And if he does a late September call up is not out of the question.
23. Brennen Davis – OF Chicago Cubs
The 2021 Futures Game MVP is nearing the “make it or break it” stage of his Minor League career. At 22 it’s now or never if Davis is gonna be the star so predict.
22. Khalil Watson – SS Miami Marlins
Watson has been a bit of a forgotten man from the 2021 draft behind Lawler and Mayer when it comes to shortstop hype. Could that chip of disrespect turn into a catalyst for Watson’s ascent?
21. Nick Yorke – 2B Boston Red Sox
A sweet swinging 2B, Yorke is projected by the Sox to be a .300 20 HR guy but he’s also recovering from a shoulder injury that’s limited his play the last few years.
20. Corbin Carroll – OF Arizona D’Backs
Another on the long list of guys trying to bounce back after injuries, Carroll has A+ speed and a good bat. Needs to add power but that might be a tough ask for a 5 ft 10 inch 21 year old. Only so much meat you can put on small bones.
19. Jordan Lawler – SS Arizona D’Backs
The other stud HS SS. Lawler is a 6-2 5-tool stud who has a chance to move quickly through Arizona’s farm system if he can turn that potential into reality.
18. Hunter Greene – RHP Cincinnati Reds
Greene hit triple digits on the gun in HS but that was pre-TJ surgery. Now the challenge is stay healthy and prove the hype was real.
17. Tristan Casas – 3B Boston Red Sox
Tristan Casas is thicccccc. At 6-4 265 Casas is 25 pounds bigger than the Big Hurt was at his playing weight. That’s a big boy.
16. CJ Abrams – SS San Diego Padres
Abrams was on a meteoric rise through the Minors until a devastating leg injury ended his season in July. Abrams had elite 80 grade speed pre-injury. What will that be now?
15. Anthony Volpe – SS NY Yankees
Volpe has overtaken Jasson Dominguez as the Yankee prospect du jour. At a slim 5-11 Volpe doesn’t exactly pass the eye test which is why Hi-Top has him at a conservative #15. The jury is out on Volpe until he proves otherwise.
14. Noelvi Marte – SS Seattle Mariners
A young Hanley Ramirez? That’s the offensive projection for Marte who could end up at 3B or even in the OF due to some shaky fielding.
13. Diego Cartaya – C LA Dodgers
12. Francisco Alverez – C NY Mets
There’s a lot of catchers in the Top 100 these days. Alverez and Cartaya are both guys that are as good behind the plate as they are up at bat.
11. Marco Luciano – SS SF Giants
Can I interest you in SS with pop? Luciano has raw power and a good eye at the plate. Add in plus arm strength and you’re looking at an everyday shortstop with All-Star potential.
10. Zac Veen – OF Colorado Rockies
You’re not going to find Zac Veen in the Top 10 in any other prospect list and that folks is the Hi-Top difference. Veen is a tall drink of water at 6-4 and as his frame fills out that’s a lot of power potential to add to a skill set that produced 36 stolen bases and hit .301 in his first Minor League season.
9. Jordan Walker – 3B St. Louis Cardinals
Walker is a big dude with big power potential. At 6-5 220 Walker has a nice easy swing that has routinely produced 100 mph exit velocities.
8. Grayson Rodriguez – RHP Baltimore Orioles
Rodriguez is the top prospect pitcher on pretty much everyone’s list. He’s right at 99 mph on his fastball and has a four pitch arsenal in his pocket.
7. Brady House – SS Washington Nationals
A year ago House was pretty much locked in as a Top 5 pick. A tough spring sent his stock tumbling and he landed at #11 in the draft. Will that initial superstar promise return? A fine showing in his first taste of pro ball has the Lil’ Dogg thinking yes.
6. Riley Greene – OF Detroit Tigers
At the plate is where Greene excels. A smooth swinging lefty with easy power and with a lean 6-3 frame Greene has plenty of room to add muscle.
5. Spencer Torkelson – 1B/3B Detroit Tigers
It’s all about the bat for Tork. With a 70 power grade he’s crushed homers at every level. At age 22 that level now needs to be the Majors.
4. Adley Rutschman – C Baltimore Orioles
Catchers catchers catchers. Rutschman is projected to be the best of the bunch but at age 23 it’s time to put up or shut up. Rutschman has excelled at every level he’s been at and now is the time for that level to be the Big Leagues.
3. Julio Rodriguez – OF Seattle Mariners
Rodriguez is projected as a next gen superstar but so far his minors career has been more about his injuries than his stats. Not that his stats are bad, the kid hits the cover off the ball but multiple hand-wrist injuries is not what you want to see for a kid that people are saying could be a perennial All-Star level guy.
2. Bobby Witt Jr. – SS KC Royals
A 30-30 season in his first full year in the pros. On the fast track to the Bigs. Some say with a decent Spring (if there is one of course) Witt could be KC’s opening day SS. The pressure is on. Can Witt keep on delivering?
1. Marcelo Mayer – SS Boston Red Sox
The Golden Boy. The most hyped Sox draft pick in well, ever. The Vinnie Chase look-alike is a powerful lefty with a velvety soft hands at shortstop. The kid has “Face of the League” potential. Sure that’s a lot to put on a guy who hasn’t even had 1 full season in the pros but all the tools are there. The baseball world is Mayer’s for the taking. Mayer is an all-field hitter with natural power and a great eye. He makes excellent contact with an easy, balanced swing. And on top of that he’s equally as good with his glove. Basically he’s an all-around stud.