Checking out MLB’s top 10 prospects, starting with rising star Jackson Holliday

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We’re now almost halfway through the minor league season, and the next wave of MLB prospects are looming.

Sure, plenty of big names have left camp with their big league teams, and even more have graduated since then, but plenty of other names are making their way through the lower tiers of the minors, with more or less of success.

Since we checked in last month, there’s been a new No. 1 prospect in baseball, but let’s start by checking out some players who are already wearing big league uniforms.

Reached their destination

Last month’s top prospect, Jordan Walker of the St. Louis Cardinals, is back in MLB and has officially exhausted his rookie eligibility. Eury Pérez, previously No. 6, is also absent from the list. Three other top prospects — Elly De La Cruz, Bobby Miller and Gavin Williams — are currently in the majors and still officially have prospect status, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll consider them graduates.

It’s also not like De La Cruz is coming back. The infielder is baseball’s closest thing to a sensation right now, leading his Cincinnati Reds to first place in the NL Central while hitting .301/.356/.518. Those numbers are likely to slip, given his .431 batting average on balls in play (which rarely lasts above .300), but he doesn’t need a batting title to be an electric player. .

Here are the other top prospects waiting to get the call.

1. Jackson Holliday, SS, Baltimore Orioles

High A: 0.301/0.441/0.486 in 229 plate appearances, Single A: 0.392/0.523/0.667 in 65 plate appearances

We mentioned last month that Holliday could give the Orioles a third consecutive No. 1 overall prospect after Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson. He didn’t wait long.

Last year’s top MLB Draft pick (and former All-Star Matt Holliday’s son) continues to tear up minor league pitchers at an age when most prospects are just starting to play ball in full season. He has the tools. He has production. Each indication indicates that he remains at shortstop. MLB Pipeline certainly isn’t the only one who thinks Holliday is baseball’s hottest prospect.

Even the most aggressive fast tracks won’t get Holliday to the majors this year, but the Orioles’ future is very bright with him.

Double-A: .251/.306/.412 in 187 plate appearances

The Brewers’ booming teenager isn’t blowing double A’s (he wouldn’t be the first prospect in that regard), but there’s a lot to like about an outfielder with elite athleticism who could be in the majors before he is legally allowed to drink alcohol. Pipeline rates all of its tools except its arm as above average, with a 70 on its lead run.

In other words: Chourio is younger than the guy above and a full level ahead of him. We can give him time to figure things out.

Double-A: 0.177/0.258/0.418 in 94 plate appearances, High-A: 0.290/0.366/0.524 in 164 plate appearances

Mayer was promoted to Double-A on May 29, and the results have been somewhat similar to Chourio’s in that there’s still not much to worry about, especially when the fourth overall pick of 2021 still shows his potency (nine of his 14 hits were for extra bases), drawing walks (10.6% walk rate) and not fully fussing there (20.2 strikeout rate %).

If Mayer does start batting again — and an unusually low .153 batting average on live balls indicates he will — it’s not unthinkable he’ll break camp with the Red Sox next season.

Double-A: .228/.321/.446 in 106 plate looks, High-A: .293/.392/.580 in 181 plate looks

The Nationals’ carrying crown jewel Juan Soto has at least been showing his power since his promotion to Double-A on May 28. More concerning is a 29.2% strikeout rate since promotion, but – and it’s a theme in this post – he’s a 20-year-old who just started in Double-A.

Now that De La Cruz is in the majors, there may not be any combination of height and athleticism that affects Wood in the minors. He’ll have a career in the league if his striking tool is viable from range, but the gains he’s shown over the past year leave reason to expect much more.

Double-A: .240/.335/.451 in 269 plate appearances

Well, could you look at that. Last time we checked, Lawlar was hitting .190/.315/.350 at Double-A. Since then, it has reached .313/.365/.594.

The former sixth overall pick is one of many promising young players for the Diamondbacks, who are looking pretty good in the present with a NL West-leading 48-33 record.

Double-A: .303/.422/.449 in 225 plate appearances

Here’s a 20-year-old who didn’t need much time to adjust to Double-A. Carter continued to show an advanced approach to home plate, in addition to the kind of tools that can make a player a star. He spent some time on the injured list due to wrist pain, but he’s already back and hitting as usual.

7. Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Chicago Cubs

Double-A: .280/.364/.486 in 250 plate appearances

The Cubs landed Crow-Armstrong in their return to the Javier Báez/Trevor Williams trade, and the move appears to pay very big dividends.

After a stellar Single-A and High-A campaign last year, hitting .312 / .376 / .520 with 16 home runs and 32 steals in 101 games combined, the former first-rounder is doing well enough in Double-A to there might be another promotion in the near future.

Did not pitch this season

We’re supposed to talk about how close the chances are of reaching the majors, but the question with Painter this season has been how close he is to reaching the mound. The 13th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft suffered a UCL sprain in March and hasn’t pitched since

He has held some bullpen sessions, but he still has a few more steps to go before he becomes fully operational. It shouldn’t be long for the majors once Painter returns, given the amount of buzz surrounding him in spring training.

High-A: .266/.300/.414 in 261 plate appearances

Usually, being Jackson’s third-best in the minor leagues doesn’t mean much, but the value of that status is at its highest this season.

The Padres have inspired questions about how aggressive they are when it comes to trade prospects and sacrificing depth for star power, but Merrill is the best prospect they’ve kept to themselves. As a big (6-foot-3, 195-pound), left-handed shortstop who dealt with injury issues last year, you can sort of see a comparison to Corey Seager, but there’s still a long way to go. browse for Merrill.

Triple-A: 4.53 ERA, 82 strikeouts, 39 walks in 49 2/3 innings

Harrison fell in the third round of the 2020 MLB Draft, but not for lack of talent. Signability issues left teams scared to pull the trigger, but the Giants managed to land him with a $2.5 million signing bonus that paid him off as a first-rounder.

After spending much of 2022 excelling in Double-A, Harrison has struggled tremendously with command in Triple-A this season, clocking a 17.5% walk rate (7.1 per nine innings), but he Still thinking about getting the big league call-up at some point this season, especially if the Giants experience more injury issues in the rotation.

It’s also worth noting that all of the above players, with the exception of Painter and Carter, will play in the MLB Futures Game on July 8.

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