As we gear up for Top 50 month here at Prospects1500, we wanted to provide some holiday cheer and bring to you our New Year’s wishes for 2023. Our team correspondents have come up with their wishes for their team’s minor league organization. Some seem to be right on. Some are bolder and may be less likely to come to fruition. But these are wishes and we can all dream. Some dreams do come true and now is the perfect time of the offseason to do just that. Dream of your favorite prospects making it big in the new year to come!
Enjoy our list. Stay tuned to our new 2023 team Top 50 Prospects columns beginning Sunday. Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter (@Prospects1500) what you think of some of these wishes and please share yours too.
Arizona Diamondbacks – Tony Bps (@tonybps1)
Much of the fanfare has been on the hitting prospects in Arizona’s system and rightfully so. Corbin Carroll, Jordan Lawlar and Druw Jones are all very talented. But my wish for the new year is that some of the young pitching talent takes the next step in their development. Pitchers such as Ryne Nelson, Blake Walston, Brandon Pfaadt and Drey Jameson have a ton of potential and I hope to see them contribute to the Diamondbacks major league roster as soon as 2023.
Atlanta Braves – Michael Kelley (@MKelley_ND)
We all know the Braves can develop pitching prospects. The hitting side of the ledger is pretty barren after recent graduations and trades. That said, I’d like to see the Braves stockpile international hitting talent and develop the next pipeline of hitters to complement their deep cache of pitching prospects.
Baltimore Orioles – Ryan James (@RyanJames5)
I wish the Orioles would use some of the incredible offensive depth they’ve acquired through the draft to acquire an ace (like Corbin Burnes).
Boston Red Sox – Scott Greene (@Scotty_Ballgame)
I would love to see a healthy Brandon Walter get a shot at the big leagues. It likely would have happened this past season if an injury didn’t put him on the shelf in 2022. I’d also like to be proven wrong by many other prospectors who are rocketing Miguel Bleis up their rankings. I need to see more. Lastly, give Marcelo Mayer a full year in High-A/Double-A and let’s see if he’s ready sometime in 2024.
Chicago Cubs – Kevin Will (@CubsProspector)
I wish for some successful major league rookie seasons and big time minor league breakouts. At the big league level, I wish for Matt Mervis to establish himself as the starting 1B for the Cubs while Hayden Wesneski becomes a successful rotation piece or at least a 2-3 inning reliever. Mervis is projected by Steamer for a wRC+ of 123 and Wesneski is coming off a revelatory 33-inning stint last year with an ERA- of 54. Pete Crow-Armstrong‘s breakout came last season as he vaulted to the top prospect in the system. The Cubs have several others that are primed to breakout this season. OF Kevin Alcantara and RHP Cade Horton are the most likely but SS Cristian Hernandez, 3B James Triantos, RHP Porter Hodge, OF Owen Caissie and SS Kevin Made all have a chance to crack top 100 lists by season’s end. And older prospects like RHPs Ben Brown, Ryan Jensen, Caleb Kilian and Kohl Franklin and LHPs Jordan Wicks and DJ Herz, relievers Ben Leeper, Daniel Palencia, Bailey Horn, Cam Sanders and Jake Reindl all have a shot to establish themselves as solid major league contributors. These are my 2023 prospect wishes.
Chicago White Sox – Daniel Victor (@slydanno70)
For the White Sox, I hope that Jordan Sprinkle‘s bat develops as well as his glove. If that happens we are looking at an All-Star and multiple Gold Glove winner.
Cincinnati Reds – Daryl Hauck (@darylhauck)
My wish for the Reds farm system is that the top level talent Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, and Matt McLain all stay healthy and continue their rise through the system. I would really love to see Austin Hendrick take a big step forward, and also that Brandon Williamson and some pitching prospects continue to perform as well. Let’s hope the Reds take advantage of the high draft picks and nail the draft like they did last year with Cam Collier.
Cleveland Guardians – Sean Clancy (@Clancy1Sean)
My wish for the Guardians farm system this year is for some players to develop some pop. While counterintuitive to what the Guardians have drafted and developed lately, it would help immensely if the likes of George Valera or Bo Naylor develop into 20 to 25 home run players. The MLB club was the 2nd lowest in terms of home runs last season and, while signing Josh Bell and Mike Zunino can offer a few more dingers, a long term option can bring this team up another level.
Colorado Rockies – Brian Fonseca (@100percent3g)
Pitching. Mountains of electric, healthy pitching! Starters and relievers, openers and closers, rookies and vets – all fire-balling at Coors in ’23. Start at the top, with sizzling campaigns from Colorado’s top pitching prospects Gabriel Hughes (1st round pick in 2022) and Jaden Hill (2nd round pick in 2021).
Detroit Tigers – Kurt Moody (@DET_Guru_Kurt)
My wish for the Detroit Tigers organization in 2023 is simple really: see what the kids can do. While the Miggy Farewell Tour deserves to be a focal point of 2023, it should also serve as a celebration of getting out from under his $32M salary. While not prospects anymore, getting a full Spring Training and Season Opener with Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene together will be exciting. President of Baseball Operations, Scott Harris, will spend his first full year adequately assessing the farm system and every player in it. Hopefully this includes promoting young arms into Comerica Park after the All-Star Break. With a major league team that projects to be outside the playoffs…again, pitchers, Wilmer Flores, Ty Madden, or Reese Olson should see an MLB debut. This will allow not on the front office, but also the restless fans, to know if the “rebuild” needs to be rebuilt…again.
Houston Astros – Eric Killian (@USKillian)
I wish the Astros would throw Forrest Whitley into the deep end of the pool. Sink or swim in the big leagues. More accurately, I wish he would be healthy, excel and be the guy that was initially expected. But, I’m ready to find out whether or not he can be that guy.
Kansas City Royals – Tony Bps (@tonybps1)
I would like to see the Royals learn to develop their pitching prospects to catch up to the impressive young hitting talent they have assembled. After watching Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch and others struggle to find much success in the majors, the team still has others in the minors (Asa Lacy, Ben Kudrna among them).
Los Angeles Angels – Andrew Rhodes (@A_Rhodes77)
My wish for the Angels is to have a full breakout season from Jorge Marcheco and David Calabrese. Marcheco has had great command and has struck out batters at a decent clip, he just needs to limit the hard contact to take the next step. Calabrese finished last season hot batting .331/.405/.919 from August onward, now let’s see him do it for a whole year.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Nate Eckert (@GQ_82)
I wish that the Dodgers’ baby-prospects all reach their immense potential. Yeiner Fernandez (C), Rayne Doncon (SS) and Josue De Paula (OF) just to name a few!
Miami Marlins – Stoffer Cochran (@stoffer81)
My New Year’s wish is to have some positional player contribution from the minor leagues. We have been good at developing arms but the bats need to catch up. Would be good to see improvements from the likes of Kahlil Watson, Yiddi Cappe, Jose Salas, Ian Lewis and Jake Berry.
Milwaukee Brewers – David Gasper (@dgasper24)
I wish for Jackson Chourio to further cement himself as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball, for Hedbert Perez to show improved swing decisions, and for all the Brewers prospects to stay healthy in the new year.
Minnesota Twins – Dave Funnell (@sportz_nutt51)
This holiday season, the Twins wish-list is for health and prosperity. Last year, both Royce Lewis and Emmanuel Rodriguez lost significant time due to season-ending injuries. This resulted in both being unable to build upon their success. It’s hopeful that in 2023, both can get on the field and be the superstars everyone believes they can be.
New York Mets – Philip Frank (@PhilipFrank18)
My New Years Wish for the Mets is for Ronny Mauricio to finally get the respect he deserves as a Tier 1 prospect after absolutely dominating the Dominican Winter League and winning MVP. Hoping he can be used as a depth piece down the road for a very talented Mets team.
New York Yankees – Paul Woodin (@PaulWoodin1)
I’d like to see the Yankees have Oswald Peraza at shortstop and Anthony Volpe at 2nd base by midseason. If Josh Donaldson fails at third to begin the year I’d like to see Oswaldo Cabrera play there instead of the utility role he will probably get at the beginning o the year. It would also be great to see prospects such as Jasson Dominguez, Austin Wells, Everson Pereira, Trey Sweeney, Brandon Lockridge, Jhony Brito, Will Warren, Clayton Beeter and Randy Vasquez hit Double-A and/or Triple-A and be ready for a call-up if needed and/or develop good trade value.
Oakland A’s – Nick Leonardo (@Leobaseball3)
My wish, aside from new ownership, is for the bulk approach to acquiring arms to begin to bear fruit. This target of the recent firesale was certainly consistent and it will be fine – just as long as it works. Former first round names like J.T. Ginn, Ryan Cusick, and Gunnar Hoglund having positive campaigns in the system would be huge. Major hope will also be latched onto the like of Ken Waldichuk, Kyle Muller and Luis Medina as they vie for big league innings against this competition.
Philadelphia Phillies – Tony Bps (@tonybps1)
My wish for the Phillies organization is to develop offensive talent the same way they have been developing pitching in their system. Andrew Painter, Mick Abel and Griff McGarry are so close to the major leagues but the hitters haven’t been able to match the potential that the pitchers have been. I would love to see 2 or 3 of the younger hitters to take that next step to top 50 prospect status. Maybe Hao Yu Lee or William Bergolla will be those players?
Pittsburgh Pirates – Dylan Spaulding (@micdupdspau)
I wish to see Henry Davis make a quick rise to the MLB level. It may sound too soon but he can help make an impact for the youth movement in Pittsburgh. I also wish that Nick Gonzales and Termarr Johnson both continue to develop and realize their immense potential to form a spectacular middle infield for many years. While Johnson is still a few years away, Gonzales could be a late-season call-up. With all the suffering through losing seasons, it would be great to see all of these players give Pittsburgh fans a glimmer of hope for the future.
San Diego Padres – Alex Sanchez (@Alex_W_Sanchez)
My wish for the Padres is that Jackson Merrill continues to develop and surprises people and makes the jump into top 150 prospect status. With all the prospects that San Diego has recently moved, it would be great to see Merrill take the leap this season.
San Francisco Giants – Gonzalo Ventura (@LeyCastaway)
My wish is for good health and glad tidings. The 2022 season was an extremely challenging one for San Francisco from a health standpoint. Key players on the major league club (Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Evan Longoria) were injured and ineffective, while key prospects on the farm lost important developmental time with a variety of injuries (Marco Luciano, Luis Matos, Patrick Bailey). With good health across the organization in 2023, the Giants could take a significant step towards sustained contention this upcoming season.
Seattle Mariners – PJ Benasillo (@pjbenasillo)
My wish for the Mariners is to give Matt Brash another chance as a starting pitcher. Brash wasn’t good as a starter last year. Of the 25 ER he allowed, 17 were allowed out of the rotation. From July 9th, when Brash returned to the Mariners after a tune-up in AAA, through October 4th, Brash made 33 appearances out of the pen and allowed only 8 runs. Half of those runs came in a bad outing on 9/25 against Kansas City. There may not be a pitcher in the majors with filthier stuff than Brash. He’s in the 95th percentile for curveball spin rate, and that pairs with a 92nd percentile fastball speed. His slider is a WEAPON. If reports are correct and he’s developing a cutter to tie his arsenal together, I think it’s absolutely worthwhile to give him another chance to start at the MLB level. I know the Mariners have serious playoff aspirations on the back of JRod’s debut. But giving Brash another shot to join the rotation could have huge yields and give the Mariners the best SP5 in the entire league.
St. Louis Cardinals – Jeremy Mahy (@JMahyfam)
Our wish in 2023 is for outfielders Jordan Walker and Moises Gomez to bring their prodigious power up from Memphis to St. Louis by the All-Star break and make an already-solid lineup even deeper for another NL Central title run. If we can be greedy and have a second wish, let’s shift over to the pitching side. We wish that Gordon Graceffo and Michael McGreevy both come out strong at Double-A Springfield and build off their success from 2022. The Cardinals are going to need replacements in the rotation at the big level soon and strong season from these two promising arms would make life easier for Mozeliak and company next offseason.
Tampa Bay Rays – Jake Wiener (@GatorSosa)
My wish for the Rays farm system heading into the new year is sustained health for recently recovered pitching prospects, including Cole Wilcox, Nick Bitsko and Daiveyon Whittle. Each of these promising young prospects returned from their respective throwing arm injuries last year and finished the 2022 season with Low-A Charlotte. Sustained health would present these future studs with ample opportunities to progress through the system and to develop within a Rays’ organization known for making the most of pitching talent.
Texas Rangers – Byron Cox (@byrontx)
My wish for the Texas Rangers is to take a significant step towards returning to the playoffs and reward ownership’s spending. We’ve always complained about “getting some damn pitching” so my wish is also that deGrom stays healthy and gives the Rangers the ace they sorely need. On the farm, my wish is for Evan Carter to jump into the top 10 of all MLB prospects.
Toronto Blue Jays – Greg Bracken (@gregbracken07)
I wish that Yosver Zulueta has an outstanding spring and forces his way into the rotation so that we do not have to put with and automatic Yusei Kikuchi/Mitch White loss every 5 days again. I also with that the bad luck for Nate Pearson is finally behind him so he can start contributing.
Washington Nationals – Next Up Prospects (@UpNextMiLB)
My wish for the Nats is that they would focus on developing their younger arms. Their system has a plethora of high-profile bats (James Wood, Robert Hassell III, Cristhian Vaquero, Elijah Green, Brady House, etc.) but they are really lacking high quality pitching prospects. MacKenzie Gore and Cade Cavalli are nice pieces for the big league squad but there isn’t much outside of that in the minors. They really need to see big improvements and healthy seasons from some younger guys in their system (like Cole Henry, Jarlin Susana, Jake Bennett, Andry Lara, Aldo Ramirez, etc.)
I want to personally thank all of the Prospects1500 team for a great 2022 and I couldn’t be more excited for what 2023 has in store for all of us. We wish all of our readers a safe, happy and healthy New Year. We hope you enjoy all of the Top 50 Prospects columns to follow in January. Stay tuned for a great year of minor league content, prospects rankings, Prospects of the Week during the season and a whole lot more!
Tony Bps Spina is a lifelong baseball fan hailing from the City of Brotherly Love - Philadelphia! Tony has loved baseball since 1980 and has followed the Phillies through good and bad times. Tony is married with 3 kids and works for a financial institution but has enough free time to play in 20 fantasy baseball leagues with 75% of them being Dynasty Leagues. He lives a few blocks away from Citizens Bank Park and attends many Phillies games per year in addition to their minor league teams in Lehigh Valley and Reading. He can be reached on Twitter at @TonyBps1.
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