Tigers Hitting and Pitching Prospects of the Year

Detroit Tigers

The honorees include 14 members of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list, including Holliday (No. 1), Rays third baseman/shortstop Junior Caminero (No. 6) and Nationals outfielder James Wood (No. 7). Brewers right-hander Carlos Rodriguez is the lone repeater from our 2022 winners.

All 60 players were members of our organization Top 30 lists at some point during the season.

Blue Jays
Alan Roden, OF (No. 7)
The 2022 third-rounder was an on-base machine in his first full season, hitting .317 with a .430 on-base percentage while striking out only 12 percent of the time over 532 plate appearances with High-A Vancouver and Double-A New Hampshire. His 149 wRC+ led Blue Jays Minor League qualifiers, and his 24 steals ranked fifth.

Chad Dallas, RHP (No. 13)
Dallas led all Blue Jays Minor League hurlers in both strikeouts (144) and innings pitched (123 1/3) after impressing at High-A and Double-A. He also finished with a 3.65 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and .216 average against as one of only two full-season hurlers in the system to meet the qualifying standard.

Orioles
Jackson Holliday, SS/2B (No. 1/MLB No. 1)

There’s not much left to say about MLB Pipeline’s Hitting Prospect of the Year. The No. 1 pick in the 2022 Draft played his way from Single-A to Triple-A in his first full season, at age 19, and finished with a .323/.442/.499 line, 24 steals and a 159 wRC+.

Alex Pham, RHP (No. 29)
A 19th-round pick in 2021 who had pitched mostly as a reliever in college, Pham has taken an opportunity to start and run with it. He pitched his way from High-A to Double-A this year and led all Orioles pitchers with 100 innings or more in ERA (2.57), xFIP (3.68), WHIP (1.02) and K-BB% (19.9) while holding hitters to a .180 BAA and striking out 10.45 per nine.

Rays
Junior Caminero, 3B/SS (No. 1/MLB No. 6)
A Minor League Hitting Prospect of the Year finalist, Caminero clubbed 31 dingers in 117 games between High-A and Double-A and was the youngest of the 15 Minor Leaguers to hit 30+ homer this year, having accomplished the feat in his age-19 season. His .591 slugging percentage and .976 OPS each led qualified full-season teenagers, while his 156 wRC+ placed third, trailing only Samuel Basallo (162) and Jackson Holliday (159).

Yoniel Curet, RHP (No. 22)
Curet tied with Mason Montgomery for the organization lead with 144 strikeouts and accomplished that number in just 104 innings between Single-A and High-A. His 33.3 percent K rate and .147 average-against both led Rays Minor Leaguers (min. 100 IP), while his 2.94 ERA and 1.19 WHIP each placed second. Walks (16.9 percent) were the only things keeping this from being an even more dominant campaign.

Red Sox
Wilyer Abreu, OF (No. 17)
A Triple-A International League All-Star, Abreu slashed .274/.391/.539 with 22 homers in 86 games there before playing well with Boston down the stretch.

Wikelman Gonzalez, RHP (No. 9)
The Red Sox’s best pitching prospect, Gonzalez dramatically improved after moving from High-A to Double-A and posted a 3.96 ERA, .190 opponents’ batting average and 168 strikeouts in 111 1/3 innings between the two levels. He led the Minors in strikeout rate (13.6 per nine innings) and strikeout percentage (35 percent).

Yankees
Ben Rice, C/1B (
No. 23)
A back injury cost Rice two months and prevented him from officially qualifying for Minor League leadership, but among players with 300 plate appearances, he ranked first in wRC+ (183) while batting .324/.434/.615 with 20 homers in 73 games and rising from Single-A to Double-A.

Drew Thorpe, RHP (No. 5/MLB No. 99)
MLB Pipeline’s Pitching Prospect of the Year, Thorpe led the Minors with 182 strikeouts in 139 1/3 innings in his pro debut while also ranking first in strikeout minus walk percentage (26.9) and second in wins (14), winning percentage (.875), WHIP (0.98) and strikeout percentage (34.0). Despite getting promoted to Double-A in early August, he came within a strikeout of winning the High-A South Atlantic League pitching triple crown and was named the circuit’s pitcher of the year.

Guardians
Johnathan Rodriguez, OF (
No. 24)
Rodriguez batted .286/.368/.529 in 135 games between Double-A and Triple-A and topped all Guardians farmhands in hitting, slugging, OPS (.897), homers (29), RBIs (88), extra-base hits (59) and total bases (263).

Will Dion, LHP (No. 27)
Dion continues to baffle hitters with deception and polish, ranking second in the Minors in ERA (2.39) and eighth in WHIP (1.08) while logging a .216 opponent average and a 129/35 K/BB ratio in 116 2/3 innings between High-A and Double-A.

Royals
Samad Taylor, 2B/OF (graduated from Royals Top 30) 
Acquired from the Blue Jays last year for Whit Merrifield, Taylor made a good impression in his first full season as a Royal, leading full-season qualifiers in the system with his .301 average, .418 OBP and .884 OPS for Triple-A Omaha. His 43 steals in 89 games placed second, and it was that speed that played best during his Major League stints in 2023.

Mason Barnett, RHP (No. 12)
The 2022 third-rounder led Royals Minor League qualifiers with a 3.30 ERA, 137 strikeouts, a 28.8 percent K rate and a .205 average against spread out across 114 2/3 innings at High-A and Double-A. What’s more, he allowed only five homers over 23 starts.

Tigers
Colt Keith, 3B/2B (No. 2/MLB No. 25)
Some solid candidates were in the mix here with Justice Bigbie and Jace Jung also receiving consideration, but Keith gets the nod after leading the organization in hits (155), extra-base hits (68), total bases (280) and slugging percentage (.552). His 27 homers and .932 OPS ranked second among full-season Tigers while his 140 wRC+ placed third.

Brant Hurter, LHP (No. 12)
The 25-year-old left-hander spent the entire season with Double-A Erie and posted a 3.28 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 133 strikeouts and 33 walks in 118 innings. He was one of four starting pitchers named to the Eastern League end-of-season All-Star team for his efforts.

Twins
Yunior Severino, 2B/3B (No. 28)

Severino really found his power stroke at the upper levels of the Twins system in 2023. He finished the year tied for the overall Minor League lead with 35 homers and he topped all Twins Minor Leaguers with 400 or more plate appearances with his .274 ISO. He was second in OPS (.898) in that group and finished with 127 wRC+.

Cory Lewis, RHP (No. 13)
A ninth-round pick out of Santa Barbara in 2022, Lewis wasn’t even on the Twins’ Top 30 to start the year, but pitched his way towards the top 10 by season’s end. With a four-pitch mix that includes a legit knuckleball, Lewis dominated across both levels of A ball, leading all Twins hurlers with 100 IP or more in several pitching categories: ERA (2.49), BAA (.196), K/9 (10.48) and K% (28.6).

White Sox
Jacob Burke, OF (
No. 20)
In his first full pro season, Burke hit .294/.392/.439 with 19 steals in 85 games between Single-A and High-A.

Tyler Schweitzer, LHP (No. 25)
More efficient than overpowering, Schweitzer made a strong pro debut that included a system-best 3.94 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 107 1/3 innings at two Class A levels.

Angels
Trey Cabbage, 1B/OF (No. 26)

Cabbage joined the Angels as a Minor League free agent but then missed most of 2022 with a broken arm. He came back this year and mashed his way to his big league debut, hitting 30 homers in the process and finishing with a .306/.379/.596 line. He topped the system in homers, slugging, ISO (.289) and OPS (.975) along with 128 wRC+ in Triple-A.

Jorge Marcheco, RHP (No. 11)
Marcheco made his first full year in full-season ball a very successful one, pitching his way to High-A (where he was even better in five starts). He topped the organization in ERA (3.55), BAA (.218), WHIP (1.03), K/BB (4.77) and more. Perhaps most impressive for a young pitcher was his 1.92 BB/9 rate, leading to a robust 20.2 K-BB%.

Astros
Joey Loperfido, OF/2B/1B (
No. 6)
Loperfido proved his 2022 breakout was no fluke, earning Double-A Texas League all-star honors while hitting .278/.370/.510 with 25 homers and 27 steals in 124 games while advancing from High-A to Triple-A.

Trey Dombroski, LHP (No. 20)
In his pro debut, Dombroski topped the Single-A Carolina League in strikeouts (148 in 119 innings), strikeout rate (11.2 per nine innings), opponent average (.216) and WHIP (1.12) while finishing second in ERA (3.71).

A’s
Lawrence Butler, OF (graduated from A’s Top 30)
There might have been some other A’s hitters with slightly better numbers, but when you take into account Butler’s age (he turned 23 in July) compared to others, he’s the clear choice. The talented outfielder made his way to Oakland and graduated from prospect status, but put up a .284/.350/.475 with 15 homers and 21 steals (in 23 attempts) before getting called up.

Joey Estes, RHP (No. 12)
After coming from the Braves in the Matt Olson trade, Estes’ first season with his new organization in 2022 was so-so. But he picked up the pace, especially with Double-A Midland, and made his big league debut at age 21. The right-hander topped the organization with his 3.74 ERA and .223 BAA while finishing near the top of the leaderboard in K/9, BB/9 and K-BB% across 124 1/3 IP.

Mariners
Alberto Rodriguez, OF (No. 23)

Rodriguez was designated for assignment and cleared waivers after a ho-hum 2022 season, but he bounced back this year with a .300/.380/.504 line between High-A and Double-A, reaching career highs in home runs (14) and RBIs (85) to go along with 136 wRC+.

Prelander Berroa, RHP (No. 15)
Berroa’s move to the bullpen paid dividends as the right-hander made his big league debut and finished with a 2.89 ERA, .191 BAA and 13.9 K/9 rate over 65 1/3 IP. He picked up his first six saves to boot.

Rangers
Abimelec Ortiz, 1B (
No. 14)
After two nondescript seasons as a pro, Ortiz batted .294/.371/.619 with 33 homers in 109 games at two Class A levels. He led the Minors in slugging, ranked fourth in homers and OPS (.990) and won MVP honors in the South Atlantic League after topping the High-A circuit with 26 homers in just 80 games.

Jose Corniell, RHP (No. 23)
Corniell also raised his game to a new level this year, pacing the Rangers system in ERA (2.92), opponent average (.194) and K/BB ratio (3.8) while striking out 119 in 101 2/3 innings between Single-A and High-A.

Braves
David McCabe, 3B/1B (No. 16)

Of all Braves Minor Leaguers who still qualified as prospects, no one had a better wRC+ than McCabe (133). He finished with a .276/.385/.450 line to go along with 17 homers and 10 stolen bases across two levels of A ball.

AJ Smith-Shawver, RHP (No. 1/MLB No. 53)
Just 20 years old, Smith-Shawver started the year in High-A and touched the big leagues, making the NLDS roster. Along the way in the Minors, he posted a 2.76 ERA, .169 average against and 1.13 WHIP across 62 innings, striking out nearly 11.5 per nine innings in the process.

Marlins
Troy Johnston, 1B (
No. 22)
Johnston hit .307/.399/.549 with 26 homers and 24 steals in 134 games between Double-A and Triple-A, and he topped the Minors with 116 RBIs while ranking fourth in extra-base hits (67) and total bases (281). The only first baseman to post a 20-20 season in 2023, he earned Southern League all-star recognition after leading the Double-A circuit in slugging (.567) and OPS (.963).

Patrick Monteverde, LHP (No. 15)
Also a Southern League all-star, Monteverde led the system in ERA (4.18) and strikeout rate (8.9 per nine innings) and finished second in WHIP (1.29) and opponent average (.232) while spending time in Double-A and Triple-A.

Mets
Jett Williams, SS/OF (No. 3/MLB No. 78)
Williams ranked second in the Minors with 104 walks in 121 games between Single-A, High-A and Double-A, but he was more than just a player taking his free passes. He also hit 13 homers and swiped 45 bags in that span. Among qualified full-season teenagers, only Jackson Holliday (.442) had a higher OBP than Williams’ .425.

Tyler Stuart, RHP (No. 17)
A sixth-round pick last year, the 6-foot-9 right-hander led all full-season qualifiers with his 2.20 ERA in 110 2/3 innings at High-A and Double-A. He also chipped in a 1.10 WHIP and 112 strikeouts in that span, thanks to a slider-heavy approach from the bump.

Nationals
James Wood, OF (No. 1/MLB No. 7)
Wood led Nationals Minor Leaguers with 26 homers between High-A and Double-A in his age-20 season and finished two steals shy of a 20-20 campaign. He also topped full-season qualifiers in the system with his .520 slugging percentage and finished second with an .873 OPS and 134 wRC+.

Jackson Rutledge, RHP (No. 13)
After injuries plagued his earlier career, the 2019 first-rounder eclipsed 100 innings for the first time, tossing 119 between Double-A and Triple-A and 20 more in the bigs following a Sept. 13 debut. In the Minors, he finished with a 3.71 ERA and 1.27 WHIP with 106 strikeouts.

Phillies
Justin Crawford, OF (No. 3/MLB No. 77)

The Phillies’ 2022 first-rounder hit so well with Single-A Clearwater, he earned a promotion up to High-A in his first full season. The speedster finished with an impressive .332/.392/.467 line, swiping 47 bases and finishing with a combined 134 wRC+.

Orion Kerkering, RHP (No. 7)
Kerkering was our first-team reliever on our Prospect Team of the Year after starting the year in Single-A and finishing it on the Phillies’ postseason roster. Combined in the Minors he had a 1.51 ERA, .186 average against, 0.89 WHIP and 13.25 K/9 to go along with 14 saves.

Brewers
Tyler Black, 3B (No. 4/MLB No. 51)
Jackson Chourio’s 20-40 season was certainly a delight, but it’s tough to match Black’s overall production at Double-A and Triple-A in 2023. The 23-year-old infielder led Brewers full-season qualifiers in OBP (.417), slugging (.513), OPS (.930), wRC+ (145), extra-base hits (55), triples (12) and steals (55), while contributing a .284 average and 18 homers in 123 games.

Carlos F. Rodriguez, RHP (No. 6)
The lone returning honoree from last year’s list, Rodriguez was named Southern League Pitcher of the Year after leading the Double-A circuit with his 2.77 ERA, 29.5 percent K rate and .181 average against. His 158 strikeouts in 128 1/3 innings ranked third in the system.

Cardinals
Luken Baker, 1B (graduated from Cardinals Top 30)
Baker played in only 84 games for Triple-A Memphis but still managed to finish tied for fourth in the Minors with 33 homers. His .720 slugging percentage and 1.159 OPS were both tops among the 1,054 Minor Leaguers with at least 300 plate appearances this season, while his 180 wRC+ placed second among that group.

Max Rajcic, RHP (No. 18)
The 2022 sixth-rounder got his career off to a strong start by leading St. Louis Minor League qualifiers with a 2.48 ERA over 123 1/3 innings at Single-A and High-A. He also tied for the organization lead with 123 strikeouts in that span and finished second with his 1.01 WHIP.

Cubs
Owen Caissie, OF (
No. 3/MLB No. 64)
Despite being the sixth-youngest regular (turned 21 in July) in the Double-A Southern League, Caissie made the all-star team and ranked in the top five in 12 significant offensive categories, including third in on-base percentage (.398), slugging (.519) and OPS (.917), fourth in homers (22) and fifth in batting (.289).

Cade Horton, RHP (No. 2/MLB No. 29)
Kept on tight pitch counts in his pro debut, Horton compiled a 2.65 ERA, .191 opponent average and a 117/27 K/BB ratio in 88 1/3 innings while moving from Single-A to Double-A. Among Minor League pitchers with 80 or more innings, he placed fourth in strikeout minus walk percentage (25.8), fifth in WHIP (1.00) and 10th in strikeout percentage (33.5).

Pirates
Jack Brannigan, 3B (No. 21)

A two-way player at Notre Dame, Brannigan started taking off as a hitter with the Pirates. In his first full season, he finished a home run shy of a 20-20 campaign between Single-A Bradenton and High-A Greensboro, and his 146 wRC+ was the best in the organization among hitters with at least 350 plate appearances.

Anthony Solometo, LHP (No. 4/MLB No. 84)
Solometo has emerged as one of the best young left-handed pitching prospects in the game. Of Pirates arms who topped 100 innings, he led in ERA (3.26), xFIP (3.92), WHIP (1.19) and opponents’ average (.225) while reaching Double-A at age 20.

Reds
Blake Dunn, OF (
No. 22)
To call 2023 a breakout for Dunn would be an understatement, as he was one of three players in all of the Minor Leagues to finish with a 20-50 season. Playing across High-A and Double-A, he finished with a .312/.425/.522 line, 23 homers, 54 steals and a 158 wRC+ that trailed only Jackson Holliday among hitters with more than 500 plate appearances.

Julian Aguiar, RHP (No. 21)
A 12th-round junior college product in 2021, Aguiar took another big step forward by pitching his way to Double-A and finishing with an organization-best 2.95 ERA, 3.45 xFIP, .214 average against, 1.10 WHIP and 19.6 K/BB rate.

D-backs
Ivan Melendez, 3B/1B (No. 8)
Melendez finished third in the Northwest League with 18 homers and only managed 58 games with High-A Hillsboro there. His 30 overall homers and 54 extra-base hits led the organization, while his .578 slugging percentage and 139 wRC+ were also best among D-backs Minor Leaguers with at least 400 plate appearances.

Yu-Min Lin, LHP (No. 4)
The 20-year-old southpaw led the system with 140 strikeouts in 121 1/3 innings at High-A and Double-A and also managed a 3.86 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in that time, despite playing much of the second half in the launching pad that is Amarillo.

Dodgers
Michael Busch, 3B/2B/1B (No. 2/MLB No. 44)
The Pacific Coast League MVP and prospect of the year, Busch led the Triple-A circuit in slugging (.618, second in the Minors) and OPS (1.049, second) and finished second in batting (.323) and third in on-base percentage (.431, eighth).

Landon Knack, RHP (No. 9)
Knack compiled a 2.51 ERA and 99/30 K/BB ratio in 100 1/3 innings, pacing Dodgers farmhands with triple-digit innings in both categories while dividing his time between Double-A and Triple-A.

Giants
Wade Meckler, OF (
No. 11)
An oblique strain and a big league callup prevented Meckler from qualifying for the official batting title, but no one who matched his 363 plate appearances in the Minors posted a better average. He hit .371/.456/.510 with 13 steals in 83 games between High-A, Double-A and Triple-A.

Mason Black, RHP (No. 9)
In his first full season as a pro, Black compiled a 3.71 ERA, system-best .219 opponent average and 155 strikeouts in 123 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.

Padres
Graham Pauley, 3B/2B/OF (No. 11)
A 13th-round pick out of Duke in 2022, Pauley enjoyed a major breakout season that saw him become San Diego’s only 20-20 Minor Leaguer with 23 homers (system-best) and 22 steals across Single-A, High-A and Double-A. He also led the organization’s full-season qualifiers with his .308 average, .538 slugging percentage, .931 OPS, 152 wRC+, 148 hits, 60 extra-base hits and 259 total bases.

Robby Snelling, LHP (No. 3/MLB No. 60)
The 19-year-old left-hander was the first Minor Leaguer to post an ERA below 2.00 over 100 innings or more with his mark of 1.82 in 103 2/3 frames at Single-A, High-A and Double-A. In fact, he didn’t have an ERA higher than 2.34 at any of those three affiliates. He fanned 118 batters and walked only 34 over his 22 starts.

Rockies
Ryan Ritter, SS/2B (No. 20)

In his first full season, not only did Ritter hit his way across three levels, reaching Double-A, he finished with a .902 OPS to go along with 24 homers and 20 steals. His 140 wRC+ topped all Rockies Minor Leaguers.

Carson Palmquist, LHP (No. 21)
A third-rounder out of Miami in 2022, Palmquist pitched his way to Double-A in his first full season and led all Rockies Minor League arms (with 90 or more IP) with his 13.06 K/9 rate and 24.8 K/BB rate. He also finished with a 3.90 ERA and 3.76 xFIP to go along with a .233 batting average against.

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