MLB front office selections best prospect tools

In our 2023 MLB Pipeline Poll, we saw what team leaders from across the front office spectrum think of this season’s Rookie of the Year nominees and who they think has the best prospects. Let’s break down another level and take a look at the specific tools of the game’s future stars.

Player reviews look at a variety of tools for hitters and pitchers – shot, power, speed, arm and defense on the positional player’s side; Fastball, curve, slider, changeup (and any other pitch) along with control/command for pitcher. In Part 3 of our survey, executives were asked to comment on some of them.

Which prospect has the best hit tool?

29% – Corbin Carroll, OF, D back
23% – Gunnar Henderson, SS/3B, Orioles
9% – Sal Frelick, OF, Brewers
6% – Jackson Chourio, OF, Brewer
6% – Jackson Holliday, SS, Orioles
6% – Termarr Johnson, 2B/SS, Pirates
Also received votes: Jacob Berry, 3B/OF, marlin; Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, boys; Edouard Julien, 2B, twins; Marcelo Mayer, SS, red socks; Jackson Merrill, SS, Padres; Miguel Vargas, 3B/OF, imposter; Jordan Walker, OF, Cardinals

Executives interviewed preferred Henderson to Carroll in terms of his overall status as a prospect. But when it comes to pure feel? It was Carroll who came out on top after a season in the minor leagues in which he hit .307/.425/.611 between Double-A and Triple-A. Frelick hit .331 with nearly as many walks as strikeouts in his first full season, a big reason he finished third in the poll.

Which prospect has the most usable power?

43% – Jordan Walker, OF, Cardinals
11% — Francisco Álvarez, C, Mets
9% – James Wood, OF, Nationals
6% – Elly De La Cruz SS/3B Red
6% – Gunnar Henderson, 3B/SS, Orioles
6% – Tyler Soderstrom, 1B/C, A’s
Also received votes: Brett Baty, 3B, Mets; Triston Casas, 1B, Red Socks; Marco Luciano, SS, Giants; Matt Mervis, 1B, boys; George Valera, OF, Warden; Anthony Volpe, SS, Yankees; Matt Wallner, OF, Gemini

This is another question that I would have thought would have played out differently given the increased support for Álvarez and his 51 minor league home runs over the past two seasons (not to mention his career .526 percent with the minors). to have. Burned into the term “usable power” is a belief that a player will consistently use their raw pop to hit numbers in the big leagues, and it turns out more executives believe Walker’s feel means more usable power.

Which prospect has the most speed?

29% – Corbin Carroll, OF, D back
9% – David Hamilton, OF, Red Sox
9% — Druw Jones, OF, D-back
6% – Jackson Chourio, OF, Brewer
6% – Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, pups
6% – Elly De La Cruz SS/3B Red
6% – Jordan Lawlar, SS, D back
Also received votes: Jordyn Adams, OF, angel; James Bart, OF, White Sox; Vaun Brown, OF, Giants; Justin Crawford, OF, Phillies; Omar De Los Santos, OF, Mets; Duke Ellis, OF, White Sox; Greg Jones, SS, Rays; Garrett Mitchell, OF, brewer; Esteury Ruiz, OF, As; Tyler Tolbert, SS/OF, Royals; Bubba Thompson, OF, Rangers

It’s not often that a top all-rounder has the most speed as well as their other high-profile tools, with the minor leagues usually being full of people who can really, really walk but don’t do as many things as Carroll does. There are a few on this list who could beat Carroll in a race (although his 70-degree wheels are near the top of the scale), but perhaps “useful speed” was concluded here, and he’ll put it to good use on both sides of the scale ball

Which prospect has the best fastball?

33% – Daniel Espino, RHP, Guardian
15% – Eury Perez, RHP, Marlins
9% – Bobby Miller, RHP, Dodgers
9% – Mason Miller, RHP, A
9% – Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Orioles
6% – Andrew Painter, RHP, Phillies
Also received votes: Gordon Graceffo, RHP, Cardinals; Kyle Harrison, LHP, Giants; Griff McGarry, RHP, Phillies; Jacob Misiorowski, RHP, brewer; Abner Uribe, RHP, brewer; Cole Waites, RHP, Giants

Best doesn’t mean hardest, although everyone on this list throws hard enough. When healthy, Espino has a truly electric fastball with plenty of Velocity (trips in the triple digits) and impressive running action. He’s also improved tremendously in another area that sets some of the others apart from others on this list: the ability to dominate the pitch within the zone.

Which prospect has the best second place?

17% – Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Orioles (change)
11% – Hunter Brown, RHP, Astros (Sliders)
11% – Max Meyer, RHP, Marlins (Sliders)
11% – Bobby Miller, RHP, Dodgers (Sliders)
6% – Andrew Painter, RHP, Phillies (curveball)
6% – Daniel Espino, RHP, Guardian (Slider)
6% — DL Hall, LHP, Orioles (Slider)
6% – Jackson Jobe, RHP, Tigers (Sliders)
6% — Eury Pérez, RHP, Marlins (change)
Also received votes: Carlos Duran, RHP, Dodger (SL); Gordon Graceffo, RHP, Cardinals (SL); Nick Frasso, RHP, Dodgers (SL); Kyle Harrison, LHP, Giants (SL); Dylan Lesko, RHP, Father (CH); Chase Silseth, RHP, Engel (SPL); Ricky Tiedemann, LHP, Blue Jays (CH)

As you can see, EVERYONE throws a slider these days, and a lot of them are downright nasty. The only secondary pitch that got the most votes was Rodriguez’s move, a ridiculous off-speed offer that resulted in a 45 percent miss rate and got a bunch of weak groundballs when someone managed to make contact. One day Lesko’s move could match Rodriguez’s. So much emphasis is being placed on the 2022 draftee getting a vote, though he has yet to throw a pro pitch and won’t be for a while after Tommy John’s surgery last spring.

Which prospect has the best pitchability?

29% – Andrew Painter, RHP, Phillies
19% – Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Orioles
10% – Gordon Graceffo, RHP, Cardinals
6% – Eury Perez, RHP, Marlins
6% – Brandon Pfaadt, LHP, D back
Also received votes: Mick Abel, RHP, Phillies; Tanner Bibee, RHP, Warden; Taj Bradley, RHP, Rays; Luis Devers, RHP, boys; Wilmer Flores, RHP, Tiger; Landon Marceaux, RHP, Angel; Jared Shuster, LHP, Braves; Ricky Tiedeman, LHP, Blue Jays; Owen White, RHP, Rangers

Pitching ability is most often equated with command, but it also includes a general feel for pitching, how to set up hitters, what things to use when, and what things not to use if it’s not working that day. Most of the time, thoughts turn to gently tossing pitchers who stand above their natural stuff on the mound for their skill, and there are a few who have received votes that fit that description. But if you have the combination of premium material and pitchability? Well, there’s a reason Painter and Rodriguez are now widely regarded as the best pitching prospects in the game.

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