ZiPS 2024 Top 100 Prospects

Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

For the ninth time (in 10 years — it’s a long story), we’ve reached the point in the offseason where I run down the ZiPS Top 100 prospects. For those wandering in who may hear “ZiPS” and think of the University of Akron or possibly the popular Cincinnati burger spot, ZiPS is a computer projection system that crunches a lot of data about players and attempts to peer through the fog that obscures the future. You can read more about the system here or in’s executive summary.

ZiPS prospect projections aren’t an attempt to supplant scouting. Rather, they try to be a supplement to scout-generated lists. There’s a lot of uncertainty in lower-level minor league stats that isn’t present at the upper levels. As such, non-statistical information about players takes on added value. ZiPS doesn’t seek to be the one-ring-to-bind-them-all-unified-field-theory-giant-Katamari-Damacy-ball of prognostication; it aims to give the very best data-generated predictions possible, for people to use, ignore, mock, or worship according to their personal tastes and worldview.

How does it work? Let’s turn back the clock to 2014 and the very first ZiPS Top 100:

ZiPS Top 100 Prospects – 2014
ZiPS Player WAR
1 Javier Báez 24.4
2 Gregory Polanco 6.0
3 Kris Bryant 31.1
4 Xander Bogaerts 38.5
5 Miguel Sanó 8.6
6 Byron Buxton 19.0
7 Arismendy Alcantara -0.5
8 Addison Russell 11.8
9 Oscar Taveras -0.9
10 Francisco Lindor 47.7
11 George Springer 35.2
12 Joc Pederson 14.1
13 Corey Seager 32.2
14 Carlos Correa 32.4
15 Nicholas Castellanos 13.7
16 Alen Hanson -1.0
17 Jon Gray 19.5
18 Christian Bethancourt 베탄코트 0.7
19 Gary Sánchez 16.0
20 Kolten Wong 18.7
21 Albert Almora Jr. 2.1
22 Chris Owings -0.9
23 Kevin Gausman 30.4
24 Colin Moran 0.9
25 Archie Bradley 6.4
26 Mookie Betts 58.5
27 Maikel Franco 2.4
28 Austin Meadows 5.9
29 Taijuan Walker 12.6
30 Mark Appel 0.1
31 Marcus Semien 31.8
32 Rosell Herrera -0.8
33 Carl Edwards Jr. 3.1
34 Jonathan Schoop 17.5
35 Yordano Ventura 6.9
36 Billy Hamilton 11.0
37 J.P. Crawford 13.4
38 Kyle Zimmer 0.2
39 Max Stassi 6.3
40 Matt Barnes 5.1
41 Jorge Soler 7.4
42 Garin Cecchini 0.2
43 Rougned Odor 12.1
44 Austin Hedges 6.2
45 Jameson Taillon 15.3
46 John Ryan Murphy 1.7
47 Blake Swihart 0.5
48 Rafael Montero 3.8
49 Taylor Lindsey 0.0
50 Eduardo Rodriguez 18.3
51 Jorge Alfaro 4.8
52 Clint Frazier -0.7
53 Noah Syndergaard 20.5
54 David Dahl 1.8
55 Mike Ohlman -0.1
56 Erik Johnson -0.8
57 Delino DeShields 5.5
58 Jesse Biddle -0.2
59 Andrew Heaney 9.8
60 Hunter Harvey 2.4
61 Alex Meyer 1.0
62 Eddie Butler 버틀러 -0.6
63 Julio Urías 14.1
64 Jon Singleton -1.4
65 Marcus Stroman 24.0
66 Jackie Bradley Jr. 14.6
67 Brian Goodwin 3.2
68 Matt Davidson -0.5
69 Domingo Santana 4.6
70 Hak-Ju Lee 이학주 0.0
71 Jake Marisnick 9.1
72 Travis d’Arnaud 17.3
73 Robert Stephenson 2.2
74 Dylan Bundy 10.1
75 A.J. Cole 0.6
76 Lucas Sims 2.7
77 Justin Nicolino 0.5
78 Eddie Rosario 13.4
79 Trayce Thompson 3.0
80 Nick Kingham 킹험 -0.5
81 Adalberto Mondesi 6.7
82 Stephen Piscotty 6.2
83 Henry Owens 0.5
84 Kyle Crick 0.7
85 Tyler Glasnow 9.8
86 Tommy La Stella 4.3
87 Max Kepler 18.9
88 Aaron Sanchez 6.3
89 Dorssys Paulino 0.0
90 Matt Andriese 3.9
91 José Ureña 3.2
92 Kaleb Cowart -1.5
93 Robbie Ray 17.2
94 Slade Heathcott 0.5
95 Julio Morban 0.0
96 Raul Alcantara -0.9
97 Brandon Nimmo 22.1
98 Ryan Rua -0.2
99 Tyler Naquin 3.4
100 Joey Gallo 15.7

You can see ZiPS’ failures and successes. Arismendy Alcantara and Alen Hanson appeared on other Top 100 prospect lists, but ZiPS was easily the most optimistic, which definitely didn’t work out. The computer went out on a limb with Taylor Lindsey, a projection it would come to regret (that is, if I were able to program something to have feelings). But there were successes, too. ZiPS was easily the most bullish on Mookie Betts and Kolten Wong, and Marcus Semien was a rarity on other Top 100 lists at all (Baseball America did have him at no. 91), let alone this high. It was the big believer in Jonathan Schoop, and it pumped the brakes a bit on Robert Stephenson and Kyle Crick. The players on the 2014 Top 100 have combined for 922.7 WAR in the majors through the end of 2023 (not including the stray WAR for pitchers as hitters); the top 50 guys have racked up 645.7 WAR.

So, without further exposition, let’s jump into the Top 100 for 2024:

ZiPS Top 100 Prospects – 2024
Rank Player Pos. Organization FanGraphs Rank
1 Yoshinobu Yamamoto P Los Angeles Dodgers Unranked (65 FV)
2 Jackson Holliday SS Baltimore Orioles 1
3 Jordan Lawlar SS Arizona Diamondbacks 8
4 Jackson Chourio CF Milwaukee Brewers 3
5 Shōta Imanaga P Chicago Cubs Unranked
6 James Wood CF Washington Nationals 6
7 Coby Mayo 3B Baltimore Orioles 23
8 Wyatt Langford LF Texas Rangers 2
9 Jackson Merrill SS San Diego Padres 30
10 Evan Carter LF Texas Rangers 12
11 Carson Williams SS Tampa Bay Rays 21
12 Masyn Winn SS St. Louis Cardinals 25
13 Pete Crow-Armstrong CF Chicago Cubs 20
14 Adael Amador SS Colorado Rockies 17
15 Jung Hoo Lee 이정후 CF San Francisco Giants Unranked (50 FV)
16 Ricky Tiedemann P Toronto Blue Jays 28
17 Cole Young SS Seattle Mariners 49
18 Marcelo Mayer SS Boston Red Sox 69
19 Andrew Painter P Philadelphia Phillies 11
20 Junior Caminero 3B Tampa Bay Rays 4
21 Jasson Domínguez CF New York Yankees 53
22 Roman Anthony CF Boston Red Sox 14
23 Emmanuel Rodriguez CF Minnesota Twins 39
24 Colt Keith 3B Detroit Tigers 46
25 Termarr Johnson 2B Pittsburgh Pirates 37
26 Ceddanne Rafaela CF Boston Red Sox 50
27 Samuel Basallo C Baltimore Orioles 7
28 Davis Schneider 2B Toronto Blue Jays Unranked
29 Jett Williams SS New York Mets 54
30 Paul Skenes P Pittsburgh Pirates 10
31 Kyle Harrison P San Francisco Giants 27
32 Noah Schultz P Chicago White Sox 35
33 Edwin Arroyo SS Cincinnati Reds Unranked
34 Brooks Lee SS Minnesota Twins 42
35 AJ Smith-Shawver P Atlanta Braves 63
36 Orelvis Martinez SS Toronto Blue Jays 66
37 Kevin Alcántara CF Chicago Cubs 33
38 Owen Murphy P Atlanta Braves Unranked
39 Jeferson Quero C Milwaukee Brewers 40
40 Yu-Min Lin P Arizona Diamondbacks Unranked
41 Dylan Lesko P San Diego Padres 76
42 Brayan Rocchio SS Cleveland Guardians 59
43 Jace Jung 2B Detroit Tigers 48
44 Harry Ford C Seattle Mariners 55
45 Cristian Mena P Arizona Diamondbacks Unranked
46 Jonatan Clase CF Seattle Mariners Unranked
47 Tink Hence P St. Louis Cardinals 79
48 Curtis Mead 3B Tampa Bay Rays 31
49 Jorge Barrosa CF Arizona Diamondbacks Unranked
50 Anthony Solometo P Pittsburgh Pirates Unranked
51 Noelvi Marte 3B Cincinnati Reds 41
52 Marco Luciano SS San Francisco Giants Unranked
53 Dylan Crews CF Washington Nationals 9
54 Mitch Bratt P Texas Rangers Unranked
55 Colson Montgomery SS Chicago White Sox 13
56 Edgar Quero C Chicago White Sox 58
57 Nolan Schanuel 1B Los Angeles Angels Unranked
58 Robby Snelling P San Diego Padres Unranked
59 Joey Ortiz SS Milwaukee Brewers 45
60 Kyle Manzardo 1B Cleveland Guardians Unranked
61 Jud Fabian CF Baltimore Orioles Unranked
62 Michael Kennedy P Pittsburgh Pirates Unranked
63 Ethan Salas C San Diego Padres 5
64 Bryan Ramos 3B Chicago White Sox 51
65 Ronny Mauricio 2B New York Mets Unranked
66 Kyle Teel C Boston Red Sox 80
67 Jorbit Vivas 2B New York Yankees Unranked
68 Danny De Andrade SS Minnesota Twins Unranked
69 Hurston Waldrep P Atlanta Braves 85
70 Jackson Jobe P Detroit Tigers 16
71 Drew Thorpe P San Diego Padres 73
72 Andy Pages CF Los Angeles Dodgers Unranked
73 Tekoah Roby P St. Louis Cardinals 88
74 Rhett Lowder P Cincinnati Reds 44
75 Jordy Vargas P Colorado Rockies Unranked
76 Nick Yorke 2B Boston Red Sox Unranked
77 Jared Serna 2B New York Yankees Unranked
78 Matt Shaw SS Chicago Cubs 32
79 Sal Stewart 3B Cincinnati Reds Unranked
80 Juan Brito 2B Cleveland Guardians Unranked
81 Carlos Jorge 2B Cincinnati Reds Unranked
82 Michael Busch 3B Chicago Cubs 84
83 Justin Foscue 2B Texas Rangers Unranked
84 Dax Fulton P Miami Marlins Unranked
85 Mick Abel P Philadelphia Phillies 22
86 Heston Kjerstad RF Baltimore Orioles 24
87 Luis Morales P Oakland Athletics 77
88 Carson Whisenhunt P San Francisco Giants 74
89 Caden Dana P Los Angeles Angels Unranked
90 Darell Hernaiz SS Oakland Athletics Unranked
91 Luisangel Acuña SS New York Mets Unranked
92 Angel Martínez 2B Cleveland Guardians Unranked
93 Marco Raya P Minnesota Twins Unranked
94 Bryan Rincon SS Philadelphia Phillies Unranked
95 Chase Petty P Cincinnati Reds Unranked
96 Ignacio Alvarez SS Atlanta Braves Unranked
97 Cade Horton P Chicago Cubs 18
98 Bubba Chandler P Pittsburgh Pirates 64
99 Jagger Haynes P San Diego Padres Unranked
100 Thomas Harrington P Pittsburgh Pirates Unranked

As usual, there is a lot of agreement between ZiPS and the prospect team when it comes to the game’s top prospects. This year, 60 names on the ZiPS Top 100 match those found on the FanGraphs Top 100. That’s slightly lower than the average (67), but a lot of that comes down to the fact that I’m still including foreign professional players (who can’t net their team draft pick compensation under the Prospect Promotion Incentive program) on this list. I like to contextualize how players like Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shōta Imanaga would fit in with other prospects coming up through the minor leagues; I don’t necessarily think that that’s a better choice, but I prefer to err on the side of providing too much information, not too little. (To that end, Eric and Tess noted in the introduction to their Top 100 that on talent, Yamamoto would have ranked second overall, while Jung Hoo Lee would have stacked next to Drew Gilbert. You can find their reports on The Board.) ZiPS is also still using the old rookie eligibility rules regarding September roster days, meaning the computer sees someone like Davis Schneider, who technically graduated from rookie status last year based on active roster days, as qualifying for the ZiPS Top 100.

As always, there are a few players who fall outside the purview of a projection system. ZiPS has literally nothing to go on for players like Leodalis De Vries or Jonny Farmelo. ZiPS also can’t do much with high school players, so the system has to go with very limited minor league data when looking at guys like Max Clark. If you’ve figured out how to translate high school stats in a meaningful fashion, you should be publishing this data rather than reading this article, because you’re way better at this than I am! Pitchers like Rhett Lowder and Chase Dollander take pretty big hits because while ZiPS uses college performance when it has to (to my eternal chagrin), it certainly doesn’t trust that data very much.

Let’s start by looking at the overall team numbers:

ZiPS Prospects by Team – 2024
Organization Top 50 Top 100 Top 200 Top 500
Chicago Cubs 3 6 10 20
Pittsburgh Pirates 2 6 10 24
San Diego Padres 2 6 9 17
Cincinnati Reds 1 6 6 14
Boston Red Sox 3 5 12 21
Baltimore Orioles 3 5 7 14
Arizona Diamondbacks 4 4 8 18
Texas Rangers 2 4 11 20
Minnesota Twins 2 4 7 15
San Francisco Giants 2 4 7 23
Atlanta Braves 2 4 5 11
Cleveland Guardians 1 4 6 16
Chicago White Sox 1 4 5 18
Seattle Mariners 3 3 7 17
Tampa Bay Rays 3 3 5 24
Toronto Blue Jays 3 3 4 13
St. Louis Cardinals 2 3 11 23
Milwaukee Brewers 2 3 9 19
Detroit Tigers 2 3 8 17
New York Yankees 1 3 7 16
New York Mets 1 3 7 23
Philadelphia Phillies 1 3 3 7
Washington Nationals 2 2 5 11
Los Angeles Dodgers 1 2 10 20
Colorado Rockies 1 2 7 20
Oakland Athletics 0 2 3 12
Los Angeles Angels 0 2 2 12
Miami Marlins 0 1 5 10
Kansas City Royals 0 0 3 15
Houston Astros 0 0 1 10

Twenty-eight of the 30 teams have someone in the top 100, with only the Astros and the Royals shut out. Last year’s shutouts — the Padres, Tigers, and Braves — all did notably better this time around, especially San Diego. The Red Sox featured the most players in the top 200; when we go all the way out to 500 prospects, the Rays take the top spot. Tampa Bay didn’t do nearly as well in the top 50 or 100, but it’s a deep system that can crank out Joey Wendles all day long, almost as if they were the Wonka factory. (I’m now picturing an Oompa Loompa song about Wendle, which amuses me, and possibly only me.)

I don’t do a full statistical writeup of each member of the Top 100 — there’s no way you’ve already finished reading all of the work from Eric and Tess, so get to it! — but I will break down the rankings into some more manageable position-related chunks and touch on a few of the highlights. Let’s start with the first basemen:

ZiPS Top 10 First Base Prospects – 2024
Rank Player Pos. Overall ZiPS Rank Organization FanGraphs Rank
1 Nolan Schanuel 1B 57 Los Angeles Angels Unranked
2 Kyle Manzardo 1B 60 Cleveland Guardians Unranked
3 Abimelec Ortiz 1B 140 Texas Rangers Unranked
4 Xavier Isaac 1B 155 Tampa Bay Rays 93
5 Matt Mervis 1B 209 Chicago Cubs Unranked
6 Spencer Horwitz 1B 248 Toronto Blue Jays Unranked
7 Ryan Clifford 1B 272 New York Mets Unranked
8 Nathan Martorella 1B 276 San Diego Padres Unranked
9 Hunter Goodman 1B 337 Colorado Rockies Unranked
10 Tyler Locklear 1B 351 Seattle Mariners Unranked

First base prospects usually aren’t an exciting bunch, simply because many of the next generation’s best first basemen will be players who didn’t quite make the cut defensively at other positions. This was always true to an extent, even before the mean old statheads with our vindictive positional adjustments ruined front offices. Many of top first basemen of the last generation or two started out at third base (Jim Thome, Albert Pujols, Mark Teixeira) or catcher (Carlos Delgado, Carlos Santana) in the minors. Miguel Cabrera played more minor league games at shortstop than any other position!

Nolan Schanuel just sneaks onto this list in terms of eligibility, and he looks like he’ll be an OBP-machine in the majors. He and Zach Neto reflect well on the ability of the Los Angeles Angels to draft position players who can contribute almost instantly in the majors. The problem with that organization, of course, is the lack of ability to do much else. Kyle Manzardo takes an injury hit from last year’s ranking, but he’s still on track to be a decent starter in the majors and was a good pickup for the Guardians, at least if the computer is correct.

After Manzardo, there’s a big drop to Abimelec Ortiz, a thicc first baseman who terrorized the Sally League to the tune of 26 homers in 80 games without putting up a criminal number of whiffs. ZiPS only projects a .227/.285/.435 line for him in 2024, but he’s still got a ways to go, and I suspect the Rangers will be more open-minded to a classic Swing from the Heels first baseman than most organizations these days. Xavier Isaac would rank higher, but he’s about six months to a year behind Ortiz, and ZiPS just wants to see a bit more. One should take Matt Mervis’s raw numbers in the minors with a grain of salt, simply because offense is so inflated in the upper minors right now, but ZiPS still sees him and Spencer Horwitz at least being decent stopgaps at first in a year or two. It’s not the most exciting stuff, but it pays the bills and racks up those pension days!

ZiPS Top 10 Second Base Prospects – 2024
Rank Player Pos. Overall ZiPS Rank Organization FanGraphs Rank
1 Termarr Johnson 2B 25 Pittsburgh Pirates 37
2 Davis Schneider 2B 28 Toronto Blue Jays Unranked
3 Jace Jung 2B 43 Detroit Tigers 48
4 Ronny Mauricio 2B 65 New York Mets Unranked
5 Jorbit Vivas 2B 67 New York Yankees Unranked
6 Nick Yorke 2B 76 Boston Red Sox Unranked
7 Jared Serna 2B 77 New York Yankees Unranked
8 Juan Brito 2B 80 Cleveland Guardians Unranked
9 Carlos Jorge 2B 81 Cincinnati Reds Unranked
10 Justin Foscue 2B 83 Texas Rangers Unranked

One thing that ZiPS regularly disagrees with the prospect team on is how it considers second basemen. This year, ZiPS landed 15 second basemen in the Top 100 while the FanGraphs list only has two! It’s understandable in that second base feels a bit like the consolation prize, like when you get Nacho Cheese Doritos instead of Cool Ranch. ZiPS generally agrees with Eric and Tess on Termarr Johnson and Jace Jung. I’m still not sure if Jace Jung ends up at second or third — this partially depends on what the team does with Colt Keith — but he ranks similarly either way.

After that, we get to the guys the computer likes more than the scouts. Jorbit Vivas appears for the second straight year with a nearly identical ranking, and while he doesn’t have a great deal of upside, he could be a fine fill-in for four or five years if the Yankees move on from Gleyber Torres. In that way, he’s not that dissimilar from a pre-Mariners Kolten Wong. And if Vivas doesn’t work out, ZiPS is also into Jared Serna, who showed some solid power numbers in A-ball last year.

ZiPS Top 15 Shortstop Prospects – 2024
Rank Player Pos. Overall ZiPS Rank Organization FanGraphs Rank
1 Jackson Holliday SS 2 Baltimore Orioles 1
2 Jordan Lawlar SS 3 Arizona Diamondbacks 8
3 Jackson Merrill SS 9 San Diego Padres 30
4 Carson Williams SS 11 Tampa Bay Rays 21
5 Masyn Winn SS 12 St. Louis Cardinals 25
6 Adael Amador SS 14 Colorado Rockies 17
7 Cole Young SS 17 Seattle Mariners 49
8 Marcelo Mayer SS 18 Boston Red Sox 69
9 Jett Williams SS 29 New York Mets 54
10 Edwin Arroyo SS 33 Cincinnati Reds Unranked
11 Brooks Lee SS 34 Minnesota Twins 42
12 Orelvis Martinez SS 36 Toronto Blue Jays 66
13 Brayan Rocchio SS 42 Cleveland Guardians 59
14 Marco Luciano SS 53 San Francisco Giants Unranked
15 Colson Montgomery SS 55 Chicago White Sox 13

Jackson Holliday is terrific, of course; if he doesn’t work out in the majors, it’ll be the most wrong the computers and scouts have ever been. He’s gotten so much press that I wonder if Jordan Lawlar hasn’t become a bit underrated in general fandom? An .840 OPS in Double-A is fantastic for a 20-year-old shortstop, and he was even better in his brief stint at Triple-A. Jackson Merrill’s projection doesn’t take much of a hit if he ends up at second base, but ZiPS, which uses a probabilistic measure of minor league defense based on the coordinate locations of every ball hit into play, isn’t actually worried about his defense at short, seeing him as about average there. The bigger problem for him, of course, is the presence of Xander Bogaerts on a large contract. If the Padres get off to a bad start this year, they may need to make a decision on Ha-Seong Kim, the incumbent second baseman.

Masyn Winn was one of the biggest one-year gainers in ZiPS, with the computer now loving him as much as any scouts do. Adael Amador would rank even higher, but ZiPS does have some concerns about his defense, leading to a -6 run projection for him at shortstop right now. Change that to zero, and he moves up behind Merrill. If you’re looking for a sleeper, I’d go with Danny De Andrade, who showed some moderate power in a full season in A-ball; the computer is also mildly optimistic about his glove.

ZiPS Top 10 Third Base Prospects – 2024
Rank Player Pos. Overall ZiPS Rank Organization FanGraphs Rank
1 Coby Mayo 3B 7 Baltimore Orioles 23
2 Junior Caminero 3B 20 Tampa Bay Rays 4
3 Colt Keith 3B 24 Detroit Tigers 46
4 Curtis Mead 3B 49 Tampa Bay Rays 31
5 Noelvi Marte 3B 52 Cincinnati Reds 41
6 Bryan Ramos 3B 64 Chicago White Sox 51
7 Sal Stewart 3B 79 Cincinnati Reds Unranked
8 Michael Busch 3B 82 Chicago Cubs 84
9 Luke Adams 3B 106 Milwaukee Brewers Unranked
10 Tyler Black 3B 135 Milwaukee Brewers Unranked

Between Coby Mayo and another Oriole in the next section, Baltimore could very well have yet another serious contender for the top spot going into 2025. ZiPS thinks Mayo will peak with an OPS+ in the 115-125 range and contribute above-average defense at third. ZiPS sees Junior Caminero as one of the better power hitters at third over the next decade, though he certainly doesn’t have the look of a burly slugger. ZiPS is still holding out hope that Michael Busch can play third base; if you only consider him a first baseman, he drops quite a bit, as the computer just doesn’t see him having the offensive upside you like there. Colt Keith, Noelvi Marte and Curtis Mead project similarly by both ZiPS and the prospect team.

Long-time ZiPS fave Bryan Ramos has actually slipped a bit since last year, by virtue of an early-season groin injury that nagged at him in 2023, as well as the fact that there’s now one fewer year left for some crazy breakout to happen. Ramos actually dropped to fourth in the White Sox organization in this ranking, passed by Noah Schultz, Colson Montgomery, and Edgar Quero. At least he’s not lonely on the Top 100 these days.

ZiPS Top 10 Catcher Prospects – 2024
Rank Player Pos. Overall ZiPS Rank Organization FanGraphs Rank
1 Samuel Basallo C 27 Baltimore Orioles 7
2 Jeferson Quero C 39 Milwaukee Brewers 40
3 Harry Ford C 44 Seattle Mariners 55
4 Edgar Quero C 56 Chicago White Sox 58
5 Ethan Salas C 63 San Diego Padres 5
6 Kyle Teel C 66 Boston Red Sox 80
7 Jimmy Crooks C 127 St. Louis Cardinals Unranked
8 Diego Cartaya C 134 Los Angeles Dodgers 68
9 Dalton Rushing C 141 Los Angeles Dodgers 60
10 Agustin Ramirez C 142 New York Yankees Unranked

Basallo! After a monster season that saw him get some time at Double-A Bowie while still a teenager, Samuel Basallo has shot up the rankings to be the top catcher on the list. The overall ranking is only lower than FanGraphs’ because, well, catchers sometimes have weird, unpredictable developmental patterns, so ZiPS isn’t quite as confident as it would be if he were the same player but at shortstop. Jeferson Quero will likely remain at catcher, and ZiPS is more optimistic about his offense now that he’s played a bit in the upper minors. The only thing I’m sadly missing is framing for minor leaguers. Ethan Salas could move up this list as fast as Basallo did in the last year, but the computer still wants to see more of him before taking the plunge. As long as he stays a catcher, Harry Ford will keep sticking on this list, but ZiPS doesn’t think he’ll provide quite enough offense — at least in the median outcome — to move to another position, seeing him as kind of Diet Dave Magadan.

ZiPS Top 25 Outfield Prospects – 2024
Rank Player Pos. Overall ZiPS Rank Organization FanGraphs Rank
1 Jackson Chourio CF 4 Milwaukee Brewers 3
2 James Wood CF 6 Washington Nationals 6
3 Wyatt Langford LF 8 Texas Rangers 2
4 Evan Carter LF 10 Texas Rangers 12
5 Pete Crow-Armstrong CF 13 Chicago Cubs 20
6 Jung Hoo Lee CF 15 San Francisco Giants Unranked
7 Jasson Domínguez CF 21 New York Yankees 53
8 Roman Anthony CF 22 Boston Red Sox 14
9 Emmanuel Rodriguez CF 23 Minnesota Twins 39
10 Ceddanne Rafaela CF 26 Boston Red Sox 50
11 Kevin Alcántara CF 37 Chicago Cubs 33
12 Dylan Crews CF 46 Washington Nationals 9
13 Jonatan Clase CF 47 Seattle Mariners Unranked
14 Jorge Barrosa CF 50 Arizona Diamondbacks Unranked
15 Jud Fabian CF 61 Baltimore Orioles Unranked
16 Andy Pages CF 72 Los Angeles Dodgers Unranked
17 Heston Kjerstad RF 86 Baltimore Orioles 24
18 Parker Meadows CF 119 Detroit Tigers Unranked
19 Samuel Zavala CF 138 San Diego Padres Unranked
20 Max Clark CF 153 Detroit Tigers 36
21 Victor Scott II CF 160 St. Louis Cardinals 83
22 Drew Gilbert CF 164 New York Mets 52
23 Colton Cowser CF 170 Baltimore Orioles Unranked
24 Lazaro Montes RF 185 Seattle Mariners Unranked
25 Owen Caissie RF 196 Chicago Cubs 65

Naturally, most of the players on this list are center fielders, because center fielders end up largely being the ones who end up filling all the outfield positions when they graduate. Jackson Chourio’s upside is massive and he comfortably fits on the top of the list.

There are two big exceptions to this centerfieldocracy, with two Rangers left fielders, Wyatt Langford and Evan Carter, fighting it out with Chourio and James Wood. Carter, of course, excelled in a late-season call-up and the playoffs, much like Randy Arozarena did a few years ago. Langford has as much power upside as anyone in the minors, and ZiPS sees him as the safest offense-only choice in the minor leagues as a whole, so it’s not hard to see why the Rangers intend to promote him aggressively this season. With Pete Crow-Armstrong’s ranking, you can see why I haven’t given the Cubs much grief for not having re-signed Cody Bellinger; I think Belli is simply more valuable to other organizations.

The two outfielders with the best defensive numbers in the minors also both make the Top 100. The first one you probably know: Ceddanne Rafaela of the Boston Red Sox. His offense was decidedly meh during his call-up, but ZiPS still believes he’ll hit justtt enough to support a glove that it thinks is terrific. Only one outfielder had better defensive numbers than Rafaela via the method I use, and he’s a player you may not know as well: Jorge Barrosa of the Arizona Diamondbacks. ZiPS basically sees him as the next version of Kevin Kiermaier, though with a slightly different shape (more walks but less power). The projections for his peak come in the .260/.350/.370 range with top-notch defense. ZiPS isn’t exactly coming out of nowhere when appreciating his defense, as he’s a 55/60 present/future glove in our rankings and a 70 over at MLB Pipeline.

ZiPS Top 25 Pitcher Prospects – 2024
Rank Player Pos. Overall ZiPS Rank Organization FanGraphs Rank
1 Yoshinobu Yamamoto P 1 Los Angeles Dodgers Unranked
2 Shōta Imanaga P 5 Chicago Cubs Unranked (45 FV)
3 Ricky Tiedemann P 16 Toronto Blue Jays 28
4 Andrew Painter P 19 Philadelphia Phillies 11
5 Paul Skenes P 30 Pittsburgh Pirates 10
6 Kyle Harrison P 31 San Francisco Giants 27
7 Noah Schultz P 32 Chicago White Sox 35
8 AJ Smith-Shawver P 35 Atlanta Braves 63
9 Owen Murphy P 38 Atlanta Braves Unranked
10 Yu-Min Lin P 40 Arizona Diamondbacks Unranked
11 Dylan Lesko P 41 San Diego Padres 76
12 Cristian Mena P 45 Arizona Diamondbacks Unranked
13 Tink Hence P 48 St. Louis Cardinals 79
14 Anthony Solometo P 51 Pittsburgh Pirates Unranked
15 Mitch Bratt P 54 Texas Rangers Unranked
16 Robby Snelling P 58 San Diego Padres Unranked
17 Michael Kennedy P 62 Pittsburgh Pirates Unranked
18 Hurston Waldrep P 69 Atlanta Braves 85
19 Jackson Jobe P 70 Detroit Tigers 16
20 Drew Thorpe P 71 San Diego Padres 73
21 Tekoah Roby P 73 St. Louis Cardinals 88
22 Rhett Lowder P 74 Cincinnati Reds 44
23 Jordy Vargas P 75 Colorado Rockies Unranked
24 Dax Fulton P 84 Miami Marlins Unranked
25 Mick Abel P 85 Philadelphia Phillies 22

There aren’t any real surprises here until you get to Owen Murphy at no. 38 a Braves first-rounder from 2022 who got a dynamite translation in ZiPS despite the relatively lackluster ERA. Really though, I just want him to pitch to Sean Murphy in the majors so I can make Murphy’s Law jokes and/or article titles. ZiPS doesn’t give Yu-Min Lin a huge ceiling and he certainly doesn’t have the big velocity, but it sees him as a relatively polished prospect who pitched very well at Double-A when you consider his age and the fact the Texas League was a high-offense league (5.23 runs per game) in 2023. Not to mention the fact that Amarillo’s Hodgetown, the only one word stadium I am aware of, was the biggest home run park in professional baseball last year.

Jackson Jobe had a good return in 2023, enough to place him high in the rankings, and ZiPS likes Drew Thorpe being included in the Padres trade. The love of Dylan Lesko — at least by a PC — is harder to grok, but ZiPS tends not to be quite as worried about walk rate in the low minors for a guy that whiffs a billion batters. There’s high variance here, but that’s enough to give him intriguing potential.

If you’re looking for reasons to be disappointed with how the White Sox are run these days, ZiPS is giving you a new one in the form of Cristian Mena. ZiPS already saw him as a legitimate starter in the majors in 2024, but the Sox traded him to Arizona for Dominic Fletcher. Fletcher hit well in his big league debut, but all the projection systems have him with a high-70s/low-80s wRC+, making him a prime fourth outfielder candidate. That has value, but less so for a rebuilding organization.

If you enjoyed the ZiPS top 100 and the rest of our Prospect Week coverage, why not become a FanGraphs Member and banish those pesky ads? None of our written content is behind a paywall and your Membership helps enables Eric to spend all his time scouting prospects and me to crank out projections like Keebler elves push out cookies. Plus, dark mode is pretty sweet!

Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.

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2 months ago

This is great, thanks Dan!