Jung lands at No. 2 on 2024 Top 10 2B Prospects list

Detroit Tigers

MLB Pipeline will reveal its 2024 Top 100 Prospects list at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 26, with a one-hour show on MLB Network and MLB.com. Leading up to the release of the Top 100, we’ll examine baseball’s top 10 prospects at each position.

If you can hit anywhere, you’ve given yourself a chance. If you can hit at a position up the middle, clubs will make sure you’re in the lineup every day.

That just so happens to be the strength of this year’s Top 10 second-base crop.

Five of the Top 10 second basemen on MLB Pipeline’s list for 2024 boast 55 or 60 grades for their hit tools: Termarr Johnson, James Triantos, Thomas Saggese, Justin Foscue and Juan Brito. Two others — Jace Jung and Ronny Mauricio — are power-first hitters, which aren’t typically found at the keystone.

With all 10 expected to see the Majors in either 2024 or 2025, these bats could be in big league stadiums near you soon.

1. Termarr Johnson, Pirates (2025)
2. Jace Jung, Tigers (2024)
3. James Triantos, Cubs (2025)
4. Thomas Saggese, Cardinals (2024)
5. Justin Foscue, Rangers (2024)
6. Ronny Mauricio, Mets (2025)
7. Connor Norby, Orioles (2024)
8. Juan Brito, Guardians (2024)
9. Ryan Bliss, Mariners (2024)
10. Carlos Jorge, Reds (2025)
Complete list »

Top 10 prospects by position:
1/16: RHP
1/17: LHP
1/18: C
1/19: 1B
1/22: 2B
1/23: 3B
1/24: SS
1/25: OF
1/26: Top 100

Hit: Triantos (60)
The 2021 second-rounder batted .285 with a 10.7 percent K rate in 80 games at High-A last season, and he was even better in the hitter-friendly Arizona Fall League, where he went 35-for-84 (.417) while reaching base in 49.5 percent of his plate appearances. Triantos has a great feel for putting the barrel on the ball, and increased strength could help him pick up even more hits as he gets deeper into his 20s.

Power: Jung, Mauricio (60)
Mauricio laced a 117.3 mph double in his first Major League at-bat — the highest exit velocity of any Met in 2023 — and strung together three straight 20-plus-homer seasons in the Minors, despite major chase issues. He should be a threat to reach 30 long balls in a season once he recovers from the torn ACL he suffered this winter. Jung led all Minor League second basemen with 28 homers at High-A and Double-A in his first full season and has the strength and lift in his swing to remain one of the most powerful hitters at the position, should he stay there.

Run: Jorge (60)
Capable of some sub-4 home-to-first times on bunt attempts, Jorge can fly, and led Minor League second basemen in triples (10) and stole 32 bags over 109 games at Single-A and High-A. The Reds have talked about splitting his time between second and center to get the most defensively out of those wheels.

Arm: Mauricio (60)
Mauricio has the arm strength to work on the left side of the infield — and the Mets were considering him as part of their third-base competition before his torn ACL ruled him out for much, if not all, of the 2024 season. That said, 21 of his 26 starts in the bigs came at the keystone to see how he’d play as a potential double-play combo with Francisco Lindor.

Field: Johnson, Bliss (55)
Johnson has a bat-first reputation, but his range, hands and arm are good enough for him to provide ample value on the other side too. Bliss is an above-average runner with shortstop experience who can really shine with his athleticism on the right side of the bag.

Highest ceiling: Johnson
The shine has come off Johnson’s bat a little, considering it was once considered to be a 70-grade tool coming out of the Draft, but the 2022 No. 4 overall pick was impressively patient in his first full season and proved his power can play in the pros with 18 homers between Single-A and High-A. If the hit and power tools remain comfortably above-average, there’s real All-Star potential here for the Bucs prospect, who will still only be 19 on Opening Day.

Highest floor: Saggese
Jung and Triantos carry more defensive questions, and Johnson still hasn’t seen the upper Minors. That leaves us with Saggese — a Cardinals pickup from the Rangers in the Jordan Montgomery trade. The 2023 Texas League MVP doesn’t have much room between his floor and ceiling, thanks to an above-average hit tool and decent power that should make him at least a Major League utilityman who moves around the dirt. His experience with versatility certainly helps the case.

Rookie of the Year candidate: Saggese
Saggese might be behind Nolan Gorman and Brendan Donovan on the St. Louis depth chart, but he doesn’t have a ton left to prove in the Minors either. A first-half callup certainly seems possible, even likely, unlike other 2024 ETAs on the list.

Highest riser: Bliss
The 2021 second-rounder fell off the D-backs’ 2023 preseason altogether after hitting just .214/.298/.343 in 110 games at High-A in his first full season. Swing changes, including an emphasis on getting less uphill in his bat path, helped improve his quality of contact and fueled his Double-A breakout last summer (.358/.414/.594 in 68 games). The Mariners took notice and acquired Bliss at the Trade Deadline in return for Paul Sewald.

Humblest beginning: Brito
Brito signed for only $60,000 out of the Dominican Republic in July 2018, making him an afterthought in Colorado’s international class that summer. He’s proven to be an above-average hitter in the 5 1/2 years since and is now closing in on Cleveland after being swapped straight-up for NL Rookie of the Year fourth-place finisher Nolan Jones in November 2022.

Most to prove: Foscue
The World Series champs have Corey Seager and Marcus Semien signed to long-term deals up the middle, and Josh Jung and Nathaniel Lowe pretty well locked in at the corners. Foscue, fresh off a Triple-A season with more walks than strikeouts, should be pushing for time in Arlington, but he needs to prove to the Rangers he’s worthy of a spot somewhere when the rest of the dirt is so loaded.

Articles You May Like

Pennsylvania Lottery Online Plays
Max Anderson and Andrew Jenkins homer to power the Whitecaps
Justyn-Henry Malloy homers as the Mud Hens win in extras
Pennsylvania Lottery Online Plays
Dom Johnson and the Flying Tigers crush Bradenton with four home runs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *