Baseball America has released its top 100 prospects list for 2023 and it gives Guardians fans plenty to be excited about. All told, they have seven on the list, which is the second most in the majors behind only the Orioles, who have eight.
Here is where they rank:
- No. 19: Daniel Espino
- No. 20: Gavin Williams
- No. 68: Bo Naylor
- No. 72: George Valera
- No. 77: Brayan Rocchio
- No. 85: Logan Allen
- No. 86: Tanner Bibee
Without getting into too many specifics of the scouting reports as they are behind a paywall, Baseball America clearly still loves the Cleveland Pitching Factory. Daniel Espino and Gavin Williams were the Guardians’ top two prospects on last year’s list as well, and the former only fell three spots despite missing most of last season with various injuries. Williams made a big leap from No. 34 to No. 20.
If Espino can put together one full healthy season, I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see him crack the top 10, if not the top five, in next year’s list. Williams’ stuff was described as “some of the best pure stuff in the minors.”
First-year pitcher Tanner Bibee impressed enough with his highly-touted velocity uptick to land on the top-100 at No. 86. Baseball America notes that the Guardians have helped him add upwards of six mph on his fastball “without hindering his above-average control”.
The drops for Valera (No. 42 last year) and Rocchio (No. 69 last year), might be concerning, but I wouldn’t sweat it too much. Even the most hardline prospect evaluators will tell you that after the first handful of prospects, it’s all just shuffling immense amounts of talent in the dark — merely being in the top 100 is what shows how promising a player is.
Keep in mind that Valera and Rocchio were also very young for their respective levels, both turning 22 after the season ended and finishing the year at Triple-A. Strikeouts may end up being a concern for Valera down the road, but neither of them was given much time to adjust to Triple-A pitching before the 2022 season came to an end. If they struggle again in 2023 without getting a call to the majors, then we’ll talk about getting concerned. Baseball America sees both of them as everyday players at the very least.
Another interesting note: Logan T. Allen is the only pitcher on the list who doesn’t hit the mid-90s with his fastball.
Looking at the list, Id have to guess that pitcher is Logan Allen? https://t.co/lj80TkRPJP— Justin L. (@JL_Baseball) January 18, 2023
One big surprise is that Angel Martinez, who barely made the list at No. 99 last year (so maybe it’s not that surprising), is off entirely. This despite slashing .288/.384/.477 in High-A and .244/.356/.451 in Double-A as a 20-year-old all season long. If the vote holds as it is now, he is on track to be our community's No. 8 prospect, ahead of Allen.