We're almost two months into the 2023 MLB season, and several of the best prospects from my offseason top 100 list have now graduated from eligibility, which makes it a perfect time for an updated look at the best young players currently starring in the minors.
Because the top four players in my last rankings are among that group now playing in the majors, this top 50 will look dramatically different right from the start.
Here's what you need to know before we get into the list:
MLB rookie eligibility rules (130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched or 45 days on the active roster) apply here, but there are also a few players who are days away from graduating as I write this (Zach Neto, Brett Baty, Grayson Rodriguez), They've also been excluded to allow this list to be a reference for the next few months before our next version after the draft and trade deadlines.
FV (future value) is used to sum up a player's overall value and based on the 20-80 scale used in the industry. A 50 PV (present value) is a 2.0 to 2.5 WAR player. FV of a prospect who is big league ready maps to this pretty well: the top tier of prospects are projected to have multiple peak seasons of 4-to-5 WAR while the MVP winner is usually around 7-8 WAR.
This is also coming a little earlier than my previous midseason prospect updates, which have been either around the Futures Game in July or after the trade deadline in August. Because we are looking at a smaller sample of the season this time, we have some hot and cold starts to consider and a bevy of graduated prospects, but also no recent draftees to include. To account for that, I've slotted in where the top 2023 MLB draft prospects figure to slot in upon signing this summer.
Those factors, combined with some aggressive promotions to the big leagues due to the incentives in the collective bargaining agreement, have left the minor league crop down a bit right now -- with no player rising to the 65 future value tier where Corbin Carroll and Gunnar Henderson started this season. Generally, there's at least one player at that tier every offseason, and I'd bet we'll have at least one player who gets there by the end of this season.
Now on to my top 50 prospects in baseball, along with some of the toughest cuts from the list and a group of rising prospects worth watching closely for the rest of the 2023 season.