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1. SS Adael Amador | 20 | AA | 2025

A plus hit tool combines with above average power and excellent plate skills to make Amador the easy number one in this organization. A switch-hitter at 6’0” 200 lbs, he slashed .302/.391/.514 with nine home runs, 12 stolen bases, 26 strikeouts and 31 walks in 54 games at High-A Stockton. His ten games in Double-A didn’t go as smoothly, but it’d be premature to care. More useful to note that he earned that promotion as a cherry on top of a good season than to parse the small sample. I have 2025 as the ETA here, but that’s partly because the Rockies figure to be out of contention by the time Amador might be ready to graduate Triple-A if he has another strong season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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1. SS Jordan Lawlar | 21 | MLB | 2023

The snakes slithered into the World Series on the strength of Corbin Carrol’s fantastic rookie season and some dynamite outings from the starting rotation. Lawlar’s on the books with a chance to repeat Carroll’s rookie of the year feat and establish himself as an everyday player in the top half of a contending lineup. At 6’2” 190 lbs, Lawlar plays plus defense at shortstop and brings plus power and speed on offense. The hit tool was his only question mark, but Lawlar answered that with a midseason surge that landed him in Triple-A, where he slashed .358/.438/.612 with five home runs, three stolen bases and 12 strikeouts in 16 games. He joined the big league club in September but couldn’t keep the hits coming and batted (and slugged) .129 with a 32.4 percent strikeout rate in 14 games. Would’ve been nice to see him help enough to have an obvious job entering 2024, but a couple weeks of 0-fers is no big deal for a guy his age debuting during a pennant race.

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Format = Position Player | Age on 4/1/2024 | Highest Level Played | Estimated Time of Arrival 

1. SS Masyn Winn | 22 | MLB | 2023

The outcomes were awful in Winn’s first big league stretch. It was just 37 games, but you can’t slash .172/.230/.328 across any stretch without creating some question marks. They wear caps and sleeves at this level. The son of big leaguer Randy Winn, Masyn is certainly aware that he’ll have to hit to hold his spot in 2024, and I’m betting he will. He’s as physically gifted as anyone on the team and has typically figured a level out after a brief adjustment period. Feels like a pretty easy buy at his current NFBC ADP of 449. A .250 average with 15+ homers and 25+ steals is well within his range of outcomes.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Format = Position Player | Age on 4/1/2024 | Highest Level Played | Estimated Time of Arrival 

 

1. RHP Paul Skenes | 21 | AA | 2024

Skenes gave up catching and quickly became the best pitcher in college baseball. At 6’6” 235 lbs, he wasn’t really built for crouching all day. What he was built to do is shove 100 mile per hour fastballs through the strike zone and bury unhittable sliders. The club jumped him up to Double-A for a couple of short outings, so it stands to reason that’s where he’ll open 2024, but this could be a situation where his stuff is just too dominant for the minor leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Format = Position Player | Age on 4/1/2024 | Highest Level Played | Estimated Time of Arrival 

1. OF Jackson Chourio | 20 | AAA | 2024

A phenomenal athlete who generates unique torque, Chourio hit 22 home runs and stole 43 bases as a 19-year-old in a Double-A league that used a pre-tacked ball to start the season. Hypotheses vary on how much the tacky ball impacted offensive outcomes, but there’s little doubt it increased the difficulty level for hitters. The league swapped out that experiment for a different one after a couple weeks, but the ball was still . . . unique enough that it creates a little error bar and reverse-explained some of Chourio’s early struggles. Mostly, he was pretty great, slashing .280/.336/.467 with an 18.4 percent strikeout rate and a 112 wRC+ across 122 games. This earned him a promotion to Triple-A for the final six games, where he slashed .333/.375/.476 with just one strikeout. Milwaukee has a lot of pieces to sort through, and you can see by the ETAs on this list that their path won’t get clearer anytime soon. There’s not much Chourio could prove at Triple-A Colorado Springs, so he’s got an outside shot to open the season in the big leagues. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Format = Position Player | Age on 4/1/2024 | Highest Level Played | Estimated Time of Arrival 

1. RHP Cade Horton | 22 | AA | 2024

Horton heard his name during the seventh overall pick in the 2022 Rule 4 draft, and he’s been making noise ever since. In 21 games across three levels this season, he pitched 88.1 innings and recorded 117 strikeouts with a 1.00 WHIP and a 2.65 ERA. Word around the north side is that they’ll be extremely active in free agency, and it’s hard to disagree after seeing the cash they’re shelling out for new manager Craig Counsell, but I hope they only block Horton for legitimate rotation options. I think he could win a spot out of spring training if they’d let him.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Format = Position Player | Age on 4/1/2024 | Highest Level Played | Estimated Time of Arrival 

1. OF James Wood | 21 | AA | 2024

At 6’6” 240 lbs from the left side, Wood is always just a bit of contact away from a double and a barrel away from a bomb. Last winter, he was mostly untouchable in all my leagues. This time around, that shiny new bloom seems to be off the rose. I kinda get it. He slashed .248/.334/.492 in 87 Double-A games, but he also had 40 extra base hits (18 HR) and ten steals in about half a season as a 20-year-old in Double-A. I think I’m more impressed with him now than I was then.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Format = Position Player | Age on 4/1/2024 | Highest Level Played | Estimated Time of Arrival 

1. RHP Andrew Painter | 20 | AA | 2025

Underwent Tommy John surgery in late July, so 2024 is mostly washed out. Can’t really put a clock on the value of elite pitching, so if he comes back at full strength, we’ll chart this blip up as a positive in the sense that it buys him a little safety window on the ticking time bomb that is a high-velocity elbow.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

1. SS Jett Williams | 19 | AA | 2024

Williams was fantastic for 36 games in High-A, slashing .299/.451/.567 with seven home runs, 12 steals, 32 strikeouts and 33 walks. He’d earned a midseason promotion by posting a .422 on base percentage in Low-A while improving throughout the season. If he hits in Double-A to open the year, the 5’6” 175 lb spark plug will be a top ten prospect in baseball by May. 

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1. RHP Max Meyer | 25 | MLB | 2022

Meyer’s an interesting sleeper pick for redraft leagues heading into 2024. The third overall pick in 2020, Meyer’s arrival in 2022 was cut short by Tommy John surgery. If he can come back with his dynamite slider and plus changeup, he might make an improbable run at rookie of the year. Feels like the kind of guy who’ll be an afterthought at the draft table until he pops up in the preseason and sends people scrambling to move him up their boards.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Format = Position Player | Age on 4/1/2024 | Highest Level Played | Estimated Time of Arrival 

1. RHP Hurston Waldrep | 22 | AAA | 2024

With the name of a 19th century oil barren and the arsenal of a high-end big league pitcher, Hurston Waldrep represented a nice windfall for Atlanta with the 24th overall pick in this summer’s draft. His delivery borders on relievery, but a double-plus fastball/split-change combo helped him carve his way to Triple-A in half a minor league season. Atlanta has been rushing its young arms for a while as they try to supplement their world-beating offense, so Waldrep should be on the shortlist for an early promotion. Might even have a shot to make the team in spring training. He signed for a few hundred thousand under his draft slot value, and you know this team loves that.

Please, blog, may I have some more?