2022 Midwest League Top 10

Colt Keith, Tigers Spring Training, February 27, 2022, Lakeland, FL. Photo credit Tom Hagerty/MiLB.com, lakelandlocal on Flickr

With the 2022 Midwest League season now in the books, it’s time to start digging into the stats and reviewing who made the most of their time at the High-A level. It was a fantastic season for the Midwest League overall, with tons of blockbuster talent and legitimate breakout stars getting their shine.

These rankings are based on a semi-subjective combination of statistical performance and future projection and are not just a list of who I think are the best prospects. That is, the #1 Midwest League prospect might not be the top guy on a standard prospect 100 ranking, but this list is also not strictly the best statistical performers. Listing out 25-year-olds beating up on younger pitchers and vice-versa isn’t exactly insightful for prospecting, but I also want to give space to players who contributed significant statistical production.

So without further ado, here are my top 10 prospects who played in the Midwest League in 2022.

1. Elly De La Cruz, SS, 20, Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds)

De La Cruz took the Midwest League by storm this season, displaying an explosive set of tools that led to plenty of highlight-reel action. He slashed .302/.259/.609 with an incredible 20 HR and 28 SB in just 73 games with the Dayton Dragons before continuing to do more of the same at Double-A as a 20-year-old. While his power and speed are undeniable, his extremely aggressive plate approach and frankly unrefined swing will require plenty of work to survive against more advanced pitchers. It’s impossible to deny the production though, and it’s easy to see a legitimate superstar franchise player in De La Cruz. It’s just easy to see how it might not work out as well.

2. Gordon Graceffo, RHP, 22, Peoria Chiefs (St. Louis Cardinals)

If De La Cruz was the easiest pick for #1 overall, Graceffo was maybe an easier pick for #1 pitcher on this list. Graceffo dominated the Midwest League in his 45.2 innings of work, notching a 0.99 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, and 31.5 K-BB%. He checked all the boxes during his High-A stint, inducing tons of whiffs, pounding the zone, keeping the ball on the ground, and pitching deep into games. He also didn’t give up a single HR. In essence, Graceffo was about as perfect as a starting pitcher can be.

3. Robert Hassell III, OF, 21, Fort Wayne Tincaps (San Diego Padres)

Hassell had an extremely impressive season, making good on the hype that he’s gradually built throughout his pro tenure. He hit a robust .299/.379/.467 with 10 HR and 20 SB in 75 games. While the in-game power may not have played as much as some might have hoped, his power looks good enough to suggest a dynamic fantasy asset when combined with his plus-hitting ability and electric speed.

4. Gavin Williams, RHP, 23, Lake County Captains (Cleveland Guardians)

Williams made his pro debut with the Lake County Captains and quickly raised his fantasy stock with exceptional play. His 1.40 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and 31.6 K-BB% in 45 IP speak to his dominance, as he was able to miss plenty of bats and limit damage. Like Graceffo, he also did not give up any HR during his time in High-A.

5. Colt Keith, 3B/1B, 21, West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers)

Keith was quickly becoming my favorite breakout player of the Midwest League before an injury sidelined him in June. Through his 48 games this season, Keith hit .301/.370/.544 with 9 HR, and a 10.2 BB% and 19.4 K%, showing a burgeoning power hitter with good plate discipline. His contact skills also began to improve after the cold-weather start, as did his power. His injury prevented him from a full-fledged breakout, but on the bright side now is the perfect time to get in on Keith in dynasty leagues before he potentially has a true breakout in 2023.

6. Masyn Winn, SS, 20, Peoria Chiefs (St. Louis Cardinals)

Winn seemed unstoppable in his 33 games with the Peoria Cardinals this season, hitting .349/.404./.566 with 1 HR and 15 SB. While his over-the-fence power didn’t come through until he was promoted to Double-A, the 20-year-old showed supreme bat-to-ball and speed skills. There was some decent skepticism around Winn going into the season given his struggles at High-A last year. 2022 was a different story, and his potential future is much rosier heading into 2023.

7. Tyler Soderstrom, C, 20, Lansing Lugnuts (Oakland Athletics)

Soderstrom struggled to begin the 2022 season, as he worked to adapt to the cold Midwest weather and High-A pitchers. He, fortunately, figured some things out, eventually getting to his power and driving balls with authority. He eventually raised his batting line to .260/.323/.516 with 20 HR in 89 games, earning a promotion to Double-A. Soderstrom’s ability to adjust was very encouraging for the 20-year-old catcher, though he may need to make some plate discipline adjustments to continue to find success at the upper levels.

8. Angel Martinez, 2B, 20, Lake County Captains (Cleveland Guardians)

Martinez started off a little slower than some of the other names on this list but began to heat up as his season went on, blossoming into a very intriguing fantasy prospect. His .288/.384/.477 slash line with 10 HR and 10 SB in 77 shows a very well-rounded player. I’m not sure how much to buy into the stolen bases, but his excellent plate discipline (12.1 BB%, 17.5 K%) shows an extremely advanced hitter for his age (20). Martinez finished the season at Double-A without seeing any decline in plate discipline, which is a very encouraging sign.

9. Noelvi Marte, SS, 20, Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds)

Marte was traded into the Midwest League as part of the return deal for the Reds’ Luis Castillo from the Seattle Mariners. Marte was the centerpiece of the blockbuster deal and instantly slotted in as the Reds’ top prospect on his way to join the Dayton Dragons. While his time in the Midwest League was relatively limited, he managed to make a big impact with a .292/.397/.443 slashline, 4 HR, and 10 SB in 30 games.

10. Jackson Chourio, OF, 18, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Milwaukee Brewers)

Chourio was the breakout prospect of the season, rising from a relatively unknown name in Rookie ball to a top 10 prospect in all of baseball as an 18-year-old at Double-A. Though his batting average dipped a bit at High-A, his overall line demonstrates his immense raw power and ability to barrel up baseballs in-game that gets evaluators and dynasty players so excited. He hit 8 HR with a .252/.317/.488 slash line in 31 games before getting a promotion to Double-A to finish the season. He needs to work on his plate discipline, but he is way ahead of schedule at just 18 years of age.

Doug Otto is the High-A Central league correspondent and Arizona Diamondbacks correspondent for Prospects1500. He is an avid follower and consumer of prospect news, rankings, and data. He also has experience playing fantasy baseball, mostly in deep dynasty formats. When Doug isn’t researching prospects, he’s either watching movies or baking dessert. He can be found on Twitter at

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