Each offseason the prospect team at Baseball America engages in an exhaustive reporting process, polling front office personnel, scouts and analysts throughout the game to provide the most accurate possible prospect rankings. What emerges is a wide spectrum of evaluations. Our team whittles down a list of over 200 players to form our Preseason Top 100. Due to this narrow grouping, several talented prospects just miss out on inclusion. Below we have highlighted 15 prospects that garnered serious consideration for our annual Preseason Top 100.
Further down we have listed each player that earned a Top 150 vote from our team and sources in alphabetical order.
Edouard Julien, 2B, Twins: One can argue that Julien has the best on-base ability in the minor leagues. Over the last two seasons Julien’s 20.4% walk rate leads all batters in minor league baseball with 750 or more plate appearances. It’s not just Julien’s on-base ability that’s notable, as he’s the first player in over 20 years to start his career with consecutive seasons with an on-base percentage of .400 or better, 15 or more home runs and 15 or more stolen bases. A dynamic offensive player, Julien’s limitations in the field pushed him just outside the Top 100.
Dalton Rushing, C, Dodgers: Simply put, Rushing dominated the Low-A California League out of the draft. The second-round pick out of Louisville hit .424/.539/.778 with eight home runs over 28 games. Few players increased their prospect standing post-draft the way Rushing did. He fits onto the just missed list and will likely jump on to the Top 100 as soon as a few prospects graduate in the opening weeks of the season.
Wilmer Flores, RHP, Tigers: The younger brother of the Giants’ Wilmer Flores, the Tigers righthander has begun to carve out his place among the top prospects in the game. A nondrafted free agent in 2020, Flores has already ascended to Double-A. Flores uses a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a sweepy mid-80s slider and a high-70s two-plane curveball, and he’ll occasionally throw a high-80s cutter and a mid-to-high-80s changeup. Despite below-average fastball shape, Flores performed across two levels in 2022, posting a 2.79 ERA over 103.1 innings, while striking out 130 batters to just 23 walks.
Ryne Nelson, RHP, D-Backs: Nelson debuted in the major leagues late in 2022 with the D-backs, making three starts and allowing just three earned runs over 18.1 innings of work. A 2019 second-round pick out of Oregon, Nelson spent a…