The flow of prospects never stops. Several top prospects should debut in 2022, including Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman, Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez, Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. and a pair of Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson and Patrolman Riley Greene.
In one year, a talented group of shortstops — led by Dominicans Marco Luciano (Giants) and Noelvi Marte (Mariners), and Anthony Volpe (Yankees) — should make it to the Majors, as should Venezuelan catcher Francisco Álvarez.
All those “graduations” mean new faces will have to replace them on the MLB Pipeline Top 100 Prospects list. Here, we feature one prospect from each NL organization who should make the top 100 in 2024.
Braves: Diego Benitez, SS (10th international prospect)
Perhaps the decision is a bit premature, considering that the Venezuelan is only 17 years old and has not made his professional debut. But he represents the most important international signing for the Braves since they were penalized for several rule violations. Benitez signed for $2.5 million and has drawn comparisons to Manny Machado.
Marlins: Jose Salas, SS (No. 10)
Salas grew up in Florida and moved to Venezuela before becoming Miami’s top target during the 2019 international window. The Marlins ended up signing him for $2.8 million. He’s a switch with 20-20 potential and the tools to hold his own at shortstop. All of that was evidenced when he hit .305/.391/.405 with two home runs and 14 stolen bases in his 55 pro debuts between the rookie level and Class-A.
Mets: Matt Allan, RHP (No. 4)
The mound puts his fastball around 96 mph, while the curveball and changeup have solid potential. He had Tommy John surgery before his first start of 2021. With his return in 2022 and a possible big 2023, Allan could become one of pitching’s top prospects in 2024.
Nationals: Cristhian Vaquero, OF (No. 2 international prospect)
The Nationals just signed the Cuban patrolman for $4,925,000 as part of the 2022 international window. For reference, Washington had $5,179,700 to spend, so Vaquero represents a significant investment. Immediately, the Cuban becomes the most dynamic prospect in the organization, being a center fielder with good speed and power. He recently learned to hit with both hands, after hitting exclusively left-handed. If he perfects it, he’ll be the team’s top prospect in two years.
Phillies: Andrew Painter, RHP (No. 3)
Abel is likely to have four above-average pitches, relying primarily on a fastball that hits 98 mph. If he sticks around, he has the potential to be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher.
Brewers: Jackson Chourio, OF (No. 16)
The Venezuelan demonstrated why he was Milwaukee’s top international signing last January, hitting .296/.386/.447 with five home runs in 45 games in the Dominican Summer League (DSL). His hitting tools give him a projection to be above average and he also has the potential to defend center field. He like that he develops power, he has the style to stay at the top of a lineup.
Cardinals: Joshua Baez, OF
Baez is capable of developing solid power. How much he can hit remains in question. But he has a similar profile to Jordan Walker, who made the top 100 in 2021. Baez could follow in his footsteps.
Cubs: Cristian Hernandez, SS (No. 3)
The Dominican is often compared to a young Alex Rodriguez and Manny Machado. He showed solid tools by hitting .285/.398/.424 with five home runs and 21 stolen bases during his 47-game DSL pro debut.
Pirates: Anthony Solometo, LHP (No. 7)
The Pirates may be talking Bubba Chandler, Lonnie Walker and Anthony Solometo in two years. But we’re going with the last one because of the potential he has with his repertoire of three above-average pitches.
Reds: Elly De La Cruz, SS/3B (No. 8)
The Dominican is about to make a big jump up the charts after coming out of nowhere in 2021. After signing for just $65,000 in July 2019, he broke out by making his U.S. debut in his first full season. He has to hone in on his mentality, but he has the intelligence and passion for the game that make him a safe bet to continue at shortstop.
D-backs: AJ Vukovich, 3B (No. 10)
Vukovich finished with three home runs and a .766 OPS in 92 games in his first taste of the minors, building his profile as a prospect with above-average natural power. That strength gives him a ceiling to be an everyday corner outfielder, if he can improve his contact ability.
Dodgers: Wilman Diaz, SS (No. 10)
The Venezuelan displayed one of the most advanced bats in the international pool from 2020-2021, displaying multiple tools and getting the Dodgers to sign him for $2,697,500. In 24 DSL games, Diaz hit .235/.309/.353 with one home run and eight stolen bases.
Giants: Aeverson Arteaga, SS (No. 12)
The Giants gave the Venezuelan their biggest bonus ($1 million) in the 2019 international signing period, primarily due to defensive skills. But his bat produced more than expected, leading the Arizona Rookie Complex League with 43 RBIs and ranking third with nine homers, along with batting .290/.362/.495 in 57 games.
Parents: James Wood, OF (No. 5)
The only question regarding the mighty gunship was whether it could live up to its potential. He answered those questions by hitting .372 / .465 / .535 over 101 times at bat in the Arizona Complex League. However, Wood struck out 31.7% of the time.
Rockies: Drew Romo, C (No. 8)
Many already think Romo belongs in the top 100 now, after showing off his defensive chops and hitting .314/.345/.439 in his Lower-A Class debut in 2021.
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Best prospects for 2024: National