2024 Top 100 Prospects | FanGraphs Baseball

2024 Top 100 Prospects | FanGraphs Baseball

Below is our list of the top 100 prospects in baseball. The scouting summaries were compiled with information provided by available data and industry sources, as well as our own observations. The ETAs listed generally correspond to the year a player has to be added to the 40-man roster to avoid being made eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Manual adjustments are made where they seem appropriate, but we use that as a rule of thumb.

All of the prospects below also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It has more details than this article and integrates every team’s list so readers can compare prospects across farm systems. It can be found here.

And now, a few important things to keep in mind as you’re perusing the Top 100. You’ll note that prospects are ranked by number but also lie within tiers demarcated by their Future Value grades. The FV grade is more important than the ordinal ranking. For example, the gap between Paul Skenes (no. 10) and Chase DeLauter (no. 29) is 19 spots, and there’s a substantial difference in talent between them. The gap between Kyle Teel (no. 80) and Will Warren (no. 99), meanwhile, is also 19 numerical places, but the difference in talent is relatively small.

You’ll also notice that there is a Future Value outcome distribution graph for each prospect on the list. This is an attempt to graphically represent how likely each FV outcome is for each prospect. Before his departure for ESPN, Kiley McDaniel used the great work of our former colleague Craig Edwards to find the base rates for each FV tier of prospect (separately for hitters and pitchers), and the likelihood of each FV outcome. For example, based on Craig’s research, the average 60 FV hitter on a list becomes a perennial 5-plus WAR player over his six controlled years 26% of the time, and has a 27% chance of accumulating, at most, a couple of WAR during his six controlled years. We started with those base rates for every player on this year’s list and then manually tweaked them depending on our more specific opinions about the player. For instance, Jordan Wicks and Luis Morales are both 50 FV prospects, but other than the fact that they throw a baseball for a living, they are nothing alike. Wicks is a polished, big league ready starter, while Morales has much more arm strength and body projection than Wicks but might never throw enough strikes for it to matter. Our hope is that the distribution graphs reflect these kinds of differences.

A note on foreign professional players: They will no longer appear on our Top 100. Foreign professionals are players who are at least 25 years old and have played in a foreign pro league for at least six seasons. They aren’t subject to bonus pool restrictions when they sign, and importantly, under the new CBA, teams are not eligible to receive draft pick compensation under the Prospect Promotion Incentive if a foreign pro wins Rookie of the Year (which maybe means the BBWAA shouldn’t vote for foreign pros for ROY). Their reports will still appear on team lists as a reference point for readers who might not be familiar with players from foreign leagues, but since the CBA is distinguishing between foreign pros and those subject to bonus pool restrictions for the purposes of the PPI, so will our Top 100. On talent, Yoshinobu Yamamoto would have ranked second on this list, while Jung Hoo Lee would have stacked next to Drew Gilbert.

This was a light group that almost didn’t get to 100 names with a 50 FV grade or better. Like a lot of other publications’ Top 100s, the 2023 draft class has strong representation on this list. That’s partially because it was an uncommonly talented group, though we also think the talent level in the minors has been down of late. Roster rules that make it easier for players to graduate from rookie status also contribute to there being fewer players who you can feel good about grading this high. Prospect publications tend not to rank very many players from the complex or DSL, but minor league contraction means that for the teams that have two of each, half of their minor league players exist at the rookie levels. It’s going to become more important to identify who belongs on this list more quickly, and more difficult to do so as teams keep players in the DSL for a second year more often than before so they don’t have to use a domestic roster spot.

For a further explanation of the merits and drawbacks of Future Value, please read this and this. If you would like to read a book-length treatment on the subject, one is available here.

70 FV Prospects

65 FV Prospects

60 FV Prospects

55 FV Prospects

50 FV Prospects

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