Rankings and BA Grades developed with input from BA staff.
Baseball America follows prospects from the amateur ranks until they reach the major leagues, but then we tend to forget about them as we focus on the next wave of prospects.
We remedy that oversight in this space, where we rank the top 10 graduated prospects—you know them better as rookies—from the two West divisions in 2022.
Each prospect is listed with his preseason BA Grade and then his updated BA Grade based on what happened in 2022. Each player is graded on the 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is average. Risk is also assessed on a scale of Low, Medium, High, Very High or Extreme.
1. Julio Rodriguez, OF, Mariners
All-star. Rookie of the Year. Seventh in American League MVP balloting. Rarely is a rookie as productive as Rodriguez was in 2022, much less a 21-year-old rookie. His 147 OPS+ ranks 14th among qualified rookies since integration, and the only players as young or younger than Rodriguez were Mike Trout (168) and Albert Pujols (157). Throw in solid defense in center field, a strong throwing arm and better-than-expected speed and Rodriguez is a franchise player, potentially an all-timer. 2023 Age: 22
2. George Kirby, RHP, Mariners
Kirby doesn’t have one truly outstanding wipeout pitch. But he throws hard—his 95.2 mph velocity ranked 23rd among starters with 100 innings—and leans on veteran-level savvy and feel for six pitch types to keep hitters guessing. To that end, Kirby’s advanced metrics such as FIP and K-BB% were on par with wily veterans such as Shane Bieber and Zac Gallen. If he continues at this pace, he has a No. 2 starter floor. 2023 Age: 25
3. Reid Detmers, LHP, Angels
Detmers no-hit the Rays in May but didn’t truly shine consistently until after he learned to de-emphasize his fastball and tune up his slider and changeup usage. In his final 13 starts of the season he recorded a 3.04 ERA with 78 strikeouts, 25 walks and two home runs allowed in 71 innings. Detmers looks like a rock-solid No. 3 starter. 2023 Age: 23
4. Jeremy Peña, SS, Astros
Peña was up to the challenge of succeeding Astros franchise icon Carlos Correa. He produced at an average rate during the season, won a Gold Glove at shortstop and delivered a series of key hits in the postseason that made him MVP of both the AL Championship Series and World Series. What does…