While we cut through the teeth of winter, let’s begin our march toward opening day with USA TODAY’s 100 Names You Need to Know, our annual look of emerging major league talent, topped by the son of a Hall of Famer by the same name. They’re not necessarily the top prospects but players you’ll get to know quite well this season.
Our list stipulates that players must have had more innings (for pitchers) or plate appearances (for hitters) in the minor leagues during 2018 than they have accumulated during all of their major league playing time. Players are ranked in order of their anticipated impact this season.
Player capsules written by Ted Berg, Scott Boeck, Stephen Borelli, Steve Gardner, Gabe Lacques and Jesse Yomtov.
1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays: Given the way the Blue Jays stubbornly adhered to service-time concerns in keeping Guerrero, 19, in the minors last year, it’d be a shock if the consensus top prospect in baseball breaks camp with the big club. But given how he performed against advanced pitching in 2018, it’d be equally surprising if Vlad finishes the 2019 season as anything less than a major league regular. Guerrero marries his family’s preternatural bat-to-ball skills with precocious plate discipline and power.
2. Victor Robles, OF, Nationals: After a lost season due to an elbow injury, Robles, 21, is healthy and projected to be the starting center fielder. He can impact both sides of the game. Look for Robles to be a fixture in Washington and perennial All-Star for years to come.
3. Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox: Jimenez, 22, should’ve arrived late last year, but it’s expected Chicago will suppress his service-time rights and call him up in late April. When he arrives, he’ll flash a hitting skill set that’s produced a .311/.359/.519 slash line across five minor league seasons.
4. Yusei Kikuchi, LHP, Mariners: Seattle landed the 27-year-old with a four-year, $56 million deal, and he could wind up as the ace as it recasts itself as a younger team. He throws in the low to mid-90s with some offspeed pitches and went 73-46 with a 2.77 ERA over eight seasons in Japan’s Pacific League. The Mariners may limit his innings, perhaps throwing him 1-2 innings in some of his starts.
5. Francisco Mejia, C, Padres: Acquired from the Indians in last summer’s Brad Hand trade, Mejia saw a bunch of time after being called up in September. A switch-hitter with raw power, the 23-year-old is expected to split time behind the plate with Austin Hedges. The Padres appear committed to keeping Mejia at catcher, but he played 28 minor league games in the outfield prior to the trade.
6. Ramon Laureano, OF, Athletics: The 24-year-old was electric during Oakland’s playoff push and looks to be a defensive star in center field. There are concerns about his strikeout rate but Laureano should be starting on opening day and has the tools to stick.
7. Austin Meadows, OF, Rays: A perennial top prospect and one of the big pieces of the Chris Archer deal, Meadows should open the year with an everyday role in the outfield mix. Injuries prevented the 23-year-old from reaching the majors sooner, but he performed well in big-league stints and has all the makings of a solid regular if he can stay healthy.
8. Peter Alonso, 1B, Mets: Defensively-limited righty power bats often get ignored, with good reason, on prospects lists, but Alonso forced his way onto the national radar with 36 home runs in 2018. Service-time manipulation will likely cost him a spot on the Mets’ opening-day roster, but they won’t keep him down long if he keeps hitting like he did last year.
9. Josh James, RHP, Astros: James, 25, has a shot at a rotation spot after showing overpowering stuff and striking out 9.8 hitters per nine innings in 104 minor league games. James hit 101 mph in his big-league debut and 102 in the 2018 playoffs but might need to improve his command to stick in the majors.
10. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros: It seems only a matter of time for Tucker, who has hit for power and shown speed at all levels and has a .849 minor league career OPS. He can play three outfield positions and is an injury away from a chance to play regularly.
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11. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, Padres: One of the most exciting prospects in the game, Tatis Jr. had his 2018 season cut short by a thumb injury. The 20-year-old has tremendous power and profiles as a 30-30 player down the road. Some wonder whether Tatis will last at shortstop as he continues growing, but he has been a plus defender in the minors.
12. Garrett Hampson, 2B-SS, Rockies: Hampson, 24, is competing for playing time at second base with Ryan McMahon and perhaps Brendan Rodgers. Hampson hit .314 with a .836 OPS in Class AAA last season. He has speed (123 steals in 305 minor league games) but limited power (20 homers). Rodgers could pass him if he struggles.
13. Danny Jansen, C, Blue Jays: Jansen has gone from looking like an organizational backup catcher to a potential future All-Star in two years. A former 16th-round pick, Jansen jumped from Class A to Class AAA in a breakout offensive season in 2017 and built upon his success with a solid 31-game big-league stint. The offseason trade of Russell Martin suggests Jansen is ready to become the Blue Jays’ full-time catcher in 2019.
14. Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals: While Reyes shouldn’t technically qualify for this list, we granted him an extreme unluckiness waiver. It’s actually Reyes’ fourth appearance in the 100 Names, but a pair of season-ending injuries have kept him from making his mark in the majors. He returned from Tommy John surgery to reel off 23 scoreless innings in the minors before tearing a muscle in his pitching shoulder in his first start with the Cardinals. The Cardinals could have the 24-year-old pitch out of the bullpen to start the season.
15. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros: The Astros’ top pitching prospect should get his shot in a thinner Astros’ rotation. He hasn’t pitched above Class AA and was stalled last season after violating the minor league drug prevention and treatment program. But he’s 6-7 with three plus pitches and has struck out 13 hitters per nine innings in the minors.
16. Ryan O’Hearn, 1B, Royals: Always good for 20 to 25 home runs in the minors, O’Hearn, 25, is a good bet to hit that mark in his first full season. O’Hearn should bat no lower than fifth and provide solid power and run production.
17. Luis Urias, SS-2B, Padres: A .306 career hitter in the minors, the 21-year-old reached the bigs at the end of 2018 and should be San Diego’s opening-day shortstop. Urias is a terrific contact hitter and a plus defender who will likely move back to second base when Fernando Tatis Jr. reaches the majors.
18. Nick Senzel, 2B-3B, Reds: Senzel, 23, has hit over .300 at every full-season level of the minors, but injuries have been a problem. The biggest question surrounding his promotion is what position he’ll play. Blocked by Eugenio Suarez at third, Senzel played mostly second base in 2018 and could get a look in the outfield, where the Reds have a major void in center.
19. Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers: The No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 draft, Hiura saw his stock rise considerably over the past year. He capped it off with an MVP performance in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .323 with five homers and 33 RBI in 23 games. Hiura, 22, will start at Class AAA to work on his defense, but his bat is close to major league ready.
20. Christin Stewart, OF, Tigers: Stewart, 25, has consistently hit for power and gotten on base since he was drafted 34th overall in 2015. Now, he’ll bat in the middle of the lineup on a rebuilding club and likely start in left field. Stewart’s future may be at DH, but his career .363 on-base percentage will play there.
21. Willie Calhoun, OF, Rangers: Calhoun has shown a power stroke in the minors (40 homers, .858 OPS in 236 games) and is next in line as a regular behind a projected outfield of Nomar Mazara, Delino DeShields and Joey Gallo. Calhoun, 24, who says he has dropped 10-plus pounds, could also be in the mix at DH. If DeShields struggles, Gallo could slide to center and Calhoun to left.
22. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics: The 21-year-old flew up three levels to Class AAA in 2018 and has a real shot to make Oakland’s rotation to start the season. Luzardo complements his mid-high 90s fastball with a plus changeup and curveball. Whenever he gets the call, Luzardo will become the first Peruvian-born player to reach the majors.
23. Jeff McNeil, 2B-3B, Mets: McNeil slowly hit his way through the Mets’ system and forced his way to the majors. At 26 and coming off a rookie season in which he posted a .852 OPS in 63 big-league games, McNeil figures to play regularly, either as an everyday left fielder or in a super-utility role.
24. Yandy Diaz, IF-OF, Rays: Arguably the biggest mark in Diaz’s favor is that the Rays gave up outfielder Jake Bauers to acquire him this offseason. Primarily a third baseman with experience at first and in the outfield, 27-year-old Diaz has been an on-base machine in the minors in recent years.
25. Alex Verdugo, OF, Dodgers: With nothing left to prove in the minors, the 22-year-old should break camp with the team and find at-bats in Dave Roberts’ platoon-heavy lineup. Verdugo is disciplined at the plate (86 BB to 97 K’s career in Class AAA) and can play all three outfield positions.
26. Billy McKinney, OF, Blue Jays: Acquired from the Yankees in the J.A. Happ deal, McKinney, 23, joined the Blue Jays in August and posted a sturdy .790 OPS. McKinney has never shown quite the power you’d like for a corner outfielder or the plate discipline you’d want from a hitter without a ton of power but should get plenty of opportunities.
27. Willians Astudillo, C, Twins: He gained notoriety online for his coiffure while running the bases as well as a momentous home run celebration in a winter league game, but Astudillo, 27, is remarkable for many reasons. Among them: He rarely walks or strikes out. In nine minor league seasons, he has 85 walks and 81 strikeouts. He should spend 2019 backing up Jason Castro.
28. Dakota Hudson, RHP, Cardinals: After a brilliant half season in the minors that earned him the Pacific Coast League’s Pitcher of the Year award, Hudson, 24, made his MLB debut in late July and became a valuable member of the bullpen. Although he features an upper 90s fastball, control issues and a lack of a put-away pitch will keep him in a relief role for the immediate future.
29. Corbin Burnes, RHP, Brewers: Burnes, 24, was knocked around as a starter at Class AAA Colorado Springs, but he thrived in the Milwaukee bullpen. The Brewers will give him an opportunity to compete for a spot in the rotation this spring, but unless he can come up with another pitch or two to complement his mid-90s fastball he’ll return to a high-leverage role in the bullpen.
30. Brent Honeywell, RHP, Rays: Honeywell ranked among the top pitching prospects in baseball but Tommy John surgery kept him off the field in 2018. With a plus fastball and a deep arsenal of pitches that includes a screwball, Honeywell should see big-league starts at some point in 2019.
31. Mike Soroka, RHP, Braves: The first-round pick out of Canada reached the majors in less than three years after being drafted at 20. He made five starts for the Braves last season before he was shut down with a shoulder injury. If healthy, Soroka is certain to be part of the Braves’ rotation but may have his innings limited.
32. Tyler O’Neill, OF, Cardinals: With a ton of raw power, O’Neill, 23, will compete for a spot in a crowded St. Louis outfield. The burly slugger struck out in 40 percent of his 142 plate appearances after being promoted, but he also hit a home run every 14.4 at-bats.
33. Brendan Rodgers, 2B-SS, Rockies: Rodgers, 22, the No. 3 pick in 2015, has yet to reach the majors. Shoulder and hamstring issues did him in last season, but DJ LeMahieu’s signing with the Yankees gives him a chance to win playing time at second base. Based on his overall game, Rodgers, a career .291 pro hitter, remains perhaps the team’s best prospect.
34. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Phillies: Sanchez, 20, is the organization’s top pitching prospect. His fastball is in the mid-90s and can touch 100 mph. Injuries prevented him from playing in the Arizona Fall League last season, but he projects into a true frontline starter.
35. Framber Valdez, LHP, Astros: Like Josh James, Valdez, 25, has a chance to claim the final rotation spot. Even after the team signed veteran Wade Miley, Valdez might be a good option in a right-handed heavy Houston rotation. His career 1.33 minor league WHIP is a cause for concern, but he has also struck out 10.3 per nine innings.
36. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates: The Pirates have resisted the urge to push their top pitching prospect but a promotion to the majors should be in the not-too-distant future. The 22-year-old will need to show more success with something other than his plus fastball.
37. Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves: Wright, 23, is a first-round pick and one of the many top pitching prospects in the farm system. With his four-pitch arsenal, he could see more big-league time in 2019.
38. Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP, Yankees: A diminutive, Nicaraguan-born righty who entered last season with all of five career starts above rookie ball since signing in 2013, Loaisiga excelled and found himself starting big-league games for the Yankees in June. He doesn’t figure for an opening-day spot in the rotation but could be the first call-up.
39. Jordan Luplow, OF, Indians: Blocked in Pittsburgh, Luplow, 25, found an opportunity after a trade to Cleveland, where he’ll come close to a full-time gig. Luplow will likely share at-bats with Tyler Naquin and Greg Allen but could be affected by a late outfield signing. He lacks a signature tool but hit 26 homers across three levels in 2017.
40. Nick Martini, OF, Athletics: Made the most of his opportunity after finally debuting in the majors at age 28, posting a .397 OBP in 55 games. He started 32 games batting leadoff and while he will have to fight off Dustin Fowler in left field, Martini should see the majority of the time against right-handers.
41. Keibert Ruiz, C, Dodgers: The departure of Yasmani Grandal was enabled in part by the development of Ruiz, a .309 hitter in four minor league seasons. The 20-year-old switch-hitter doesn’t profile with much power but has a strong arm. Ruiz enters camp on the 40-man roster and has the potential to make a big impact toward the end of the season.
42. Logan Allen, LHP, Padres: The 21-year-old lefty struck out 125 in 121 innings across Classes AA and AAA in 2018 and has the potential to be a strong starter in the majors. He is not overpowering but uses a changeup and slider well to deceive hitters. Allen is part of a logjam of San Diego hurlers in the high minors.
43. Touki Toussaint, RHP, Braves: Toussaint, 22, made big strides last season, earning him a spot on the postseason roster. In the NLDS against the Dodgers, he tossed three scoreless innings. The former first-round pick out of high school has a three-pitch arsenal, highlighted by a devastating curveball, and projects to be a mid-rotation starter.
44. Shed Long, 2B, Mariners: Long, 23, was traded twice in one day in January, going from the Reds to the Yankees to the Mariners. He doesn’t have one outstanding skill but does many things well. His combination of line-drive power and above-average speed should eventually lead to a major league roster spot. A full season at Class AAA will probably need to come first.
45. Kevin Newman, SS, Pirates: A first-round pick (19th overall) in 2015, Newman made his MLB debut in mid-August, playing both middle infield positions. The 25-year-old is an excellent defender and will be a leading candidate to replace free agent Jordy Mercer as the Pirates’ starting shortstop if he can hit.
46. Austin Hays, OF, Orioles: The 2017 Orioles Minor League player of the year was limited by injuries in 2018. He should be fully recovered from September ankle surgery in time this spring to compete for the big-league roster.
47. Daniel Ponce de Leon, RHP, Cardinals: Ponce de Leon had a storybook beginning to his MLB career, tossing seven no-hit innings at Cincinnati, until a blown save cost him the win. At 27, he’s one of the oldest players on our list, which makes it hard to resist suggesting he’s discovered the fountain of youth.
48. Brett Phillips, OF, Royals: Phillips, 24, can thank Mike Moustakas’ July trade to Milwaukee — where Phillips was blocked by Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun — for breathing opportunity into a lagging career. Phillips’ best pro season came in 2017, when he produced a .305/.377/.567 Class AAA line, only to see the Brewers grab Cain and Yelich. He doesn’t have a defined role yet but should stick on the roster.
49. Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays: The Blue Jays’ other extremely well-regarded second-generation prospect, Bichette spent all of 2018 as a 20-year-old played well for his age, showing off gap power and speed. Bichette boasts tons of bat speed and swagger, and though scouts seem to think he’ll eventually move off shortstop, the Blue Jays appear committed to keeping him there for now. He could wind up in the Toronto infield mix before the end of the season.
50. Chris Shaw, OF, Giants: A power-hitting lefty, the 25-year-old has 81 homers in 404 career minor league games and reached the majors at the end of 2018. He is penciled in as the Giants’ starting left fielder and should be able to stick all season.
51. Brandon Lowe, 2B-OF, Rays: A second baseman by trade who picked up an outfield glove in 2018 to add versatility, Lowe bashed his way through Class AA and Class AAA while playing regularly for the Rays in August and September. It’s not clear where Lowe fits, with fellow lefty-swinging second baseman Joey Wendle ahead of him on the depth chart, but it hardly seems like he has much left to prove.
52. Austin Riley, 3B, Braves: Riley, 21, has plus raw power, slugging 59 home runs in three minor league seasons, though he missed much of 2018 with a knee injury. It will be interesting to see what the Braves’ plans are with him with the emergence of Johan Camargo and the free agent signing of Josh Donaldson in the picture. Riley could see some reps in the outfield.
53. Michael King, RHP, Yankees: Acquired from the Marlins in a seemingly minor deal last offseason, King, 23, proved dominant in his first year in the Yankees’ organization. In 161 innings spread across the three highest minor league levels, King notched a stunning 1.79 ERA with stellar rate stats.
54. Kolby Allard, LHP, Braves: Climbing the ranks alongside Mike Soroka, Allard reached the majors last season at the 20. He struggled before being sent back to the minors in August.
55. Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Blue Jays: A live-armed righty, Reid-Foley, 23, looks liable to be a first-call replacement for any needs in the rotation or a potential late-inning cog if he moves into a relief role. He has stayed healthy and posted big strikeout numbers in the minors, but he has been dogged by high walk totals.
56. Leody Taveras, OF, Rangers: Taveras, 20, is the best defensive outfielder in the system, playing most of his games in center, making him an option there if Delino Deshields can’t stay healthy or Joey Gallo can’t keep his batting average up. While he only reached high A last season, Taveras has consistently played above his age level in the minors and might be able to hold his own in the majors, at least as a baserunner.
57. Chris Paddack, RHP, Padres: Tommy John surgery cost Paddack all of 2017, but he came back in a big way last year. He locates his fastball well but needs to work on command of his breaking pitches. This is a crucial season for Paddack, 23, as the Padres are loaded with pitching prospects.
58. Michael Chavis, 3B, Red Sox: The closest thing to a viable big-league ready prospect in the Red Sox’s fairly barren farm system, Chavis missed the first half of 2018 due to a PED suspension but hit well in Class AA ball after his return. Though blocked at third by Rafael Devers, the 23-year-old Chavis could hit his way into a job in Boston’s big-league infield mix with a hot start at Class AAA.
59 Victor Victor Mesa, OF, Marlins: The 2018 No. 1 international free agent is the son of Victor Mesa, one of the top Cuban players in the 1980s and ’90s. Mesa, 22, has not played organized baseball in nearly 22 months but made a lasting impression during a Marlins’ hitting camp mid-January. He likely will begin the season in Class A or AA.
60. Justus Sheffield, LHP, Mariners: The top-level prospect saw his chances to land in a big-league rotation as early as opening day improve dramatically when the Yankees dealt him to Seattle in November in the James Paxton trade. Sheffield, 22, held his own in Class AAA last season, and pitching in Safeco Field should improve his stock, especially as he gets better command of his two-seam fastball.
61. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates: Featuring more contact and speed than the raw power traditionally found at the hot corner, Hayes, 22, figures to spend most of the 2019 season at Class AAA Indianapolis. His calling card is his glove, which will play in the majors right now and could get him an early promotion if the Pirates find themselves in playoff contention. He’s s the son of 14-year MLB veteran Charlie Hayes.
62. Yusniel Diaz, OF, Orioles: The Cuban descent was the centerpiece of the Manny Machado trade. At 22, he is the closest thing to an everyday impact player the organization has and could develop into a middle-of-the-order hitter. Last July, he slugged two home runs at the All-Star Futures Game.
63. Nate Lowe, 1B, Rays: All Lowe, 23, did in 2018 was hit .330 with 27 homers and a .985 OPS across the three highest minor league levels. He has never played anywhere but first base and he’s behind Ji-Man Choi at first base and Avisail Garcia at DH on the depth chart, but neither of those guys exactly has a long track record of big-league success.
64. David Bote, 3B, Cubs: Bote, 25, had some memorable clutch hits in his first taste of the majors, including a walk-off grand slam against the Nationals in August. He saw action at five different positions, with the most playing time coming at third filling in for injured Kris Bryant. He should have a similar role in 2019.
65. Chance Adams, RHP, Yankees: One of the Yanks’ top pitching prospects entering 2018, Adams made his big-league debut in an otherwise disappointing season spent mostly in Class AAA. But he’s still 24, and a future rotation spot in the Bronx isn’t out of the question if he can correct control issues he battled last season.
66. Cionel Perez, LHP, Astros: A polished Cuban player, Perez, 22, has the power stuff to succeed in a big-league bullpen and could be the only lefty to land a spot in the Astros’ relief corps by opening day. He is also a sleeper to start at some point this season if he can outperform Framber Valdez and/or Josh James.
67. Aramis Garcia, C-1B, Giants: While the 26-year-old’s future might not be behind the plate with Buster Posey the incumbent and Joey Bart on the way, Garcia has tremendous raw power and will find at-bats in the majors.
68. Griffin Canning, RHP, Angels: After being drafted in the second round out of Southern California in 2017, Canning rose quickly in 2018. He has shown terrific command and has a strong changeup along with a plus breaking ball. The 22-year-old isn’t on the 40-man roster entering camp but should be up by the end of the season.
69. Pablo Reyes, OF, Pirates: Though the sample size was small, Reyes, 25, was able to build on his solid minor league numbers when he joined the Pirates in September. He has experience at second base, third base and shortstop, which should help his case to make the big-league roster.
70. Sandy Alcantara, RHP, Marlins: Alcantara, who was the top prospect in the Marcell Ozuna trade with the Cardinals last year, has all the tools to be a future ace. The 23-year-old is armed with a plus-fastball but he needs to work on his command. Alcantar should compete for a spot on the opening-day roster for Miami.
71. Michael Perez, C, Rays: The Rays’ offseason acquisition of Mike Zunino complicates Perez’s bid for regular playing time, but the 26-year-old should crack the opening-day roster in a backup role. He’s a lefty-hitting catcher with good on-base rates at the highest minor league levels.
72. Dane Dunning, RHP, White Sox: A 2019 debut seems very likely for Dunning, who would follow Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito as Adam Eaton trade pieces to crack the White Sox’s rotation. Dunning, 24, was slowed at the end of last season by an elbow strain. But with Michael Kopech lost to Tommy John surgery, Dunning should be on the short list of pitchers summoned.
73. Carson Kelly, C, Diamondbacks: Kelly, acquired in the Paul Goldschmidt deal with St. Louis, hasn’t hit much in 63 big-league games. But Kelly, 24, remains a top prospect with strong defense who would have had more chances without Yadier Molina around. He appears to be the projected starter for Arizona.
74. Kyle Farmer, 3B-C, Reds: Part of the blockbuster trade with the Dodgers that also brought Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Alex Wood to Cincinnati, Farmer, 28, provides depth at catcher and third base. He also gives the Reds a potent bat off the bench.
75. Jo Adell, OF, Angels: The 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft won’t be rushed to the majors in his second full pro season, but the 19-year-old could force his way into the conversation as early as this season.
76. Anthony Alford, OF, Blue Jays: A former college football defensive back with all the requisite athleticism, Alford made his big-league debut in 2018 despite a largely disappointing campaign in his first full turn at Class AAA ball. Alford, 24, is likely ticketed back to that level to start 2019 but looked like a future MLB leadoff man as recently as 2017.
77. Luiz Gohara, LHP, Braves: This is a pivotal season for Gohara, 22. He had a frustrating season in 2018 and took a step back in his development. Armed with a fastball that can reach 99 mph, the lefty needs to improve on his command and conditioning to get back to the big-league level.
78. Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, Orioles: Mountcastle, who turns 22 on Feb. 18, rebounded nicely from a broken wrist last spring training. He also made the transition from shortstop to third base. Likely starting in Class AAA, the right-handed slugger could hit his way into the majors early in 2019 and put pressure on projected third baseman Renato Nunez.
79. Nick Neidert, RHP, Marlins: Like the rest of the Marlins’ top prospects, he was acquired in a trade, moving from the Mariners for Dee Gordon. Neidert, 22, was named the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year last season. He compiled a 12-7 record with a 3.24 ERA over 26 starts in Class AA. While he doesn’t have an overpowering fastball, which sits at 92-93 mph, he does have plus control.
80. Elvis Luciano, RHP, Blue Jays: Luciano will turn 19 a couple of days into spring training and has never pitched above rookie ball, but a technicality made him eligible for the Rule 5 Draft and Toronto scooped him up. Luciano will get a crack at joining the Blue Jays’ big-league bullpen, where they’ll hope his live arm can make up for his lack of experience.
81. Trevor Oaks, RHP, Royals: Oaks, 25, pitched his way to Kansas City in his first year in the organization. The sinkerballer is not overpowering, nor is his command sublime. He remains, however, a master at suppressing the home run — just 28 given up in 546 professional innings. He’s likely the first man up when Kansas City needs an extra starter.
82. Jon Duplantier, RHP, Diamondbacks: Duplantier, 24, is 17-4 with a 1.79 ERA in the minors, but he has managed only 211 innings in three seasons while starting 40 of his 42 games. Should his elbow prove healthy, Arizona’s top prospect could find himself showcasing his mid-90s fastball and power slider in the middle of the big-league rotation.
83. Nick Madrigal, 2B, White Sox: There’s a good chance Madrigal becomes the first 2018 draftee to make the major leagues. Drafted fourth overall off a national championship Oregon State team, Madrigal, 21, has earned a non-roster invitation to spring training and isn’t far from big-league ready.
84. Mark Zagunis, OF, Cubs: With the Cubs’ crowded outfield, there doesn’t appear to be much room for Zagunis, 25, to find playing time, even though he has made cameo appearances in each of the past two seasons. His biggest strength is his plate discipline.
85. Josh Naylor, 1B-OF, Padres: A first-round pick of the Marlins in 2015, Naylor, 21, has tremendous power. With Eric Hosmer entrenched at first in the majors, Naylor spent most of 2018 in left field in Class AA. Naylor’s offensive prowess should help him force his way onto the team at some point in 2019.
86. Jahmai Jones, 2B, Angels: Still tapping into his power, the 21-year-old has a quick swing and the potential to hit for high average. The Angels moved him from the outfield to second base, where he played in high school. He reached Class AA last season and could be making an impact in the majors this year if he continues to adapt to advanced pitching.
87. Adam Haseley, OF, Phillies: Haseley, 22, the eighth-overall pick in 2017, earned an invite to the Phillies’ big-league camp. He’s an above-average hitter from the left side of the plate. Over parts of two seasons, he combined to hit .298, including .316 in 39 games in Class AA.
88. Dennis Santana, RHP, Dodgers: The 22-year-old began 2018 in Class AA before getting promoted to Class AAA and making his big-league debut in June. After just one game, he suffered a rotator cuff injury that held him out for the rest of the season. The Dodgers have depth in their rotation, but the right-hander could be a valuable arm out of the bullpen in 2019.
89. Carter Kieboom, SS-2B, Nationals: He has been learning to play second base for a quicker path to the majors. With Trea Turner entrenched at shortstop, Keiboom, 21, took reps at second at the Arizona Fall League. While he showed steady progress offensively, hitting 16 homers between Class A and AA, the Nats signed Brian Dozier to allow Kieboom to develop.
90. Chandler Shepherd, RHP, Red Sox: After working primarily in relief, Shepherd, 26, became a full-time starter at Class AAA in 2018. His spot on the 40-man roster gives him an inside track at a big-league job in either role when a need arises.
91. Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians: Bradley, 22, has hammered the ball on his way through the system and now onto the 40-man roster. His roadblocks are his strikeouts and a pair of winter trades that brought Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers to Progressive Field. After cutting his strikeouts to 122 in 2017, he spiked to 148 last year. He’ll start at Columbus, where his big bat will be harder to ignore.
92. Hunter Harvey, RHP, Orioles: Harvey, 24, the son of ex-major league pitcher Bryan Harvey, has been derailed by injuries. Harvey completed 321/3 innings in Class AA last season, which exceeded his combined output from the previous two seasons. If not a mid-rotation starter, he could be effective from the bullpen.
93. Kevin Cron, 1B-3B, Diamondbacks: Cron, 25, has powered his way up to Class AAA, hitting 22 or more homers and driving in 88 or more runs the past four seasons. Paul Goldschmidt now plays for the Cardinals, meaning there are opportunities at first base for the left-handed-hitting Jake Lamb and (perhaps in a platoon role or more) for Cron or Christian Walker. Cron mashed right-handers for a .862 OPS with 19 homers and 71 RBI in 280 AAA at-bats.
94. Sean Murphy, C, Athletics: The cannon-armed 24-year-old found offensive success in Class AA last year, posting a .856 OPS in 68 games. Oakland will want Murphy to get some more at-bats against advanced pitching, but he should be up this season.
95. Ariel Jurado, RHP, Rangers: Jurado, 23, should get his chances to start this season amid a mix of veteran starters who were ordinary in 2018. One, Shelby Miller, dealt with elbow problems most of last season. Jurado is not a strikeout pitcher, however, and in order to be effective in Globe Life Park, he’ll need to locate his pitches to precision.
96. Will D. Smith, C, Dodgers: The 32nd overall pick in the 2016 draft, Smith, 23, rose fast and bounced back from a broken hand suffered in 2017. He has good technique behind the plate and flashed some power last season, hitting 20 home runs in 98 games across Classes AA and AAA. Where he fits into the pecking order with Kelbert Ruiz, the Dodgers’ other top catching prospect, is left to be seen, but Smith played 43 games at third base in 2018.
97. Taylor Widener, RHP, Diamondbacks: Widener, 24, has shown a mastery of every level through Class AA, compiling a 2.96 minor league ERA, 1.027 WHIP and 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings in 66 games. He will need to polish his slider and changeup command to complement his low-90s fastball in AAA but will be a rotation candidate when Arizona has a need.
98. Cam Gallagher, C, Royals: Backing up Salvador Perez is typically baseball’s Maytag Repairman gig. But Salvy turned 28 last year and was limited to 129 games for the second season in a row. Gallagher, 26, accrued 96 plate appearances over those two years and figures to get a few more in 2019.
99. Justin Dunn, RHP, Mariners: Dunn’s developing stuff (plus fastball, changeup, curveball/slider) could get him from high A to start 2018 to the big leagues in 2019. Though he has been primarily a starter in the Mariners’ system, he was a reliever at Boston College, giving the Mariners options.
100. Josh Ockimey, 1B, Red Sox: A lefty-hitting first baseman with plus power and good plate discipline, Ockimey, 23, struggled to make consistent contact in his 27-game stint at Class AAA in 2018. His history of mashing righties suggests he could succeed Mitch Moreland at some point.