Predicting when top 2023 prospects will make their MLB debuts

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Now that we've covered the top prospects across baseball for 2023, there's one question you are probably asking -- when will we get to see them in the big leagues?

Because of a new rule in the collective bargaining agreement known as the Prospect Promotion Incentive, clubs have even more reason to give their prospects an Opening Day roster spot in the majors. If a top-100 prospect opens the season on the big league roster (or is up within the first few days) and wins Rookie of the Year or finishes in the top three for Cy Young or MVP in his pre-arbitration seasons, the club gets draft pick compensation, essentially in return for not keeping the player in the minors for a few weeks to get an extra year of player control. This incentive is especially strong for top-of-the-class type prospects.

Last year, three of my top-10 prospects made Opening Day rosters in Julio Rodriguez, Bobby Witt Jr. and Spencer Torkelson. They were joined by Rookie of the Year finalists Jeremy Pena, Steven Kwan, Spencer Strider and Nick Lodolo. On the heels of the historic rookie class that took the majors by storm in 2022, let's check in on when the top 20 players on my 2023 list might get their chance in The Show.

1. Gunnar Henderson, 3B, Baltimore Orioles
2023 MLB outlook: Opening Day
Highest level reached: MLB

2. Corbin Carroll, CF, Arizona Diamondbacks
2023 MLB outlook: Opening Day
Highest level reached: MLB