Every year, as soon as we publish the Top 100 Prospects List, we are asked a logical question. So who’s going to make next year’s list?
Yes. The new list is just 24 hours old, but it’s time to look 364 days into the future to project how it will look a year from now. It’s fair to expect a lot of turnover, since much of our Top 10 is likely to graduate during the 2024 season.
But we’re looking a little deeper than that. Here’s a look at some players who have a good chance to be sitting on the 2025 Top 100 Prospects list.
No Cigar, Close But No
Here are a few players who aren’t that far from making the Top 100 Prospects list right now who are logical candidates to be among the next up.
Kevin Alcantara (OF, Cubs)
There aren’t many baseball players who are athletic enough to stand 6-foot-6 and be plausible long-term center field options. Alcantara, a Nationals’ outfielder, is another example. Alcantara’s power potential is alluring, but he will need to continue to work to keep from letting his swing get too long and he chases too many bad breaking balls.
Enrique Bradfield, OF, Orioles
Bradfield is a potential 80 defender who has 80 speed. By itself, that makes Bradfield fascinating. Bradfield is a patient hitter. This should allow him to reach base quickly and make his speed work. Bradfield is a player who benefits from the new rules that place an emphasis on speed and athleticism.
Josue De Paula, OF, Dodgers
De Paula is not the player you want to be tracking down the ball in the field when the game is at stake, but he should still be there on the plate. De Paula is the next Dodgers prospect to break through. His 18-year-old season at Rancho Cucamonga last year was impressive enough, but he’s only beginning to scratch the surface of what he could do as a hitter.
Jackson Ferris is a Dodgers LHP.
Ferris was acquired by the Dodgers in the Michael Busch/Yency almonte trade. He’s been kept to strict pitch limits so far in his pro career, and he needs to add more strength and smooth out his delivery, but the pieces are there for him to blossom into a mid-rotation or better starter.
Thayron Liranzo, C, Dodgers
Liranzo, a teenager at the time, was the top slugger of the California League. Switch-hitting catcher Liranzo is the latest in a line of promising Dodgers Catchers. If he just continues to do what he did in 2023 in the Midwest League in 2024, he’ll be on next year’s list.
Chayce McDermott, RHP, Orioles
McDermott kept hitters at a.167 in 2023. He combines durability with bat-missing ability. The risk with McDermott is he could end up graduating in 2024, so maybe he won’t be around to crack the 2025 Top 100. If he’s a late-season callup, he could be a big-league ready Top 100 Prospect in 2025.
Chase Petty, RHP, Reds
If you remember Petty as the 100-mph flamethrowing pitcher he was in high school, you might have the wrong impression of the pitcher he’s quickly turned into. Petty will now throw a two seamer, a mix of a slide and a changeup as he does his old flamethrowing pitch. Petty doesn’t rack up a lot of strikeouts, but he rarely gets squared up. He didn’t give up a home run in 2023 while posting a 1.72 ERA.
Jefferson Rojas, SS, Cubs
Rojas didn’t look like an 18-year-old while battling much older pitchers in the Carolina League last year. He had a lot of great at-bats, and also showed good savvy on the field. Rojas could be a well-rounded shortstop, with good tools on all fronts. Rojas’s name is likely to rise up the list, as players move off during the season.
High Risk, High Reward
It’s likely a few names on the list below may not come close to cracking next year’s Top 100. Some names will look like sure things, while others may seem like no-brainers. Here’s a list of young potential stars, heavy on players who haven’t played in full-season ball yet, but who have the tools and skills to pop.
Robert Calaz, OF, Rockies
Calaz, who was a top hitter in the Dominican Summer League, should be able to make the move to the U.S. by 2024. He has the perfect combination of power and contact skills while still looking like an average corner outfielder.
Yoeilin Cespedes, SS, Red Sox
Cespedes combined a high power potential, excellent bat speed and solid pitch recognition with contact skills to make his Dominican Summer League 2023 debut. He’ll come to the U.S. in 2024 and may make it to Low-A Salem at some point. He needs to improve his defensive abilities, but overall he is a capable third baseman.
Alfredo Duno, C, Reds
Duno was regarded as one of the top two catching prospects for the international class 2023. Ethan Salas, who has already reached Double-A and is in the Top 10, has also made it to the Top 10. Duno followed a traditional path and spent his first year of professional baseball in the Dominican Summer League. Duno was unable to catch in 2018 due to a sore elbow, but should be catching at full speed in 2024.
Dillon Head, OF, Padres
Head is just another high-ceiling outfielder who has a variety of tools. This type of player is highly sought after by an organization. He’s a speedster who should make an impact in center field and on the bases, but he also has an intriguing bat with gap power and a solid ability to spit on pitches out of the zone.
Welbyn Franceca, SS, Guardians
Francisca is a short, sweet-swinging switch hitter who was the Guardians’ top international signing in 2023. After impressing in the Dominican Summer League, he should be coming to the U.S. by 2024. This could be a year early in predicting Francisca’s Top 100 arrival, but his ability to hit for average and play solid infield defense is worth filing away as a name to know.
Henry Lalane (LHP, Yankees)
Lalane is one of the few young pitchers who has received such high praise from scouts. He’s yet to make his full-season debut, so it’s hard to be too aggressive with his ranking just yet, but it’s easy to get excited about an athletic 6-foot-7 pitcher with three potentially plus pitches. If he performs well and stays healthy in 2024, his ranking could skyrocket.
George Lombard Jr.
Lombard should be part of one of the most stacked teams in the Florida State League in 2024, as he’ll join Roderick Arias, Lalane and a number of other high-ceiling young Yankees’ prospects. The club’s 2023 first-round pick is a very well-rounded player who has a chance to be an above-average hitter with above-average power who’s above-average defensively.
Jeter Martinez, RHP, Mariners
It’s a gamble or it may be too early to include him in this list. Martinez hasn’t thrown an outside pitch since the Dominican Summer League. The 6-foot-4, righthander has quickly adapted to pitching and is improving his velocity. He can also refine his secondary offering. Keep a close eye on Martinez’s development but he could quickly leap from deep sleeper to Top 100 prospect if everything breaks right.
Arjun Nimmala, SS, Blue Jays
Nimmala is just a few miles away from Lombard, a well rounded shortstop in the 2023 age group who could make the Top 100 after a good first season. Nimmala switched from cricket to baseball and his bat control was evident in his bat-to ball skills and keen batting eye. He’s athletic with power potential as well.
Ramon Ramirez, C, Royals
Royals players are not included in the Top 100 Prospects 2024 list. There are two catchers worth keeping an eye on in 2025. Blake Mitchell, the team’s 2023 first round pick, is a solid candidate, but also watch for Ramirez, a low-cost 2023 signing who is yet another backstop in what looks like an exceptional year for international catchers. Ramirez has a shot to be a catcher who’s solid defensively with above-average offensive tools.
Eduardo Tait, C, Phillies
Duno, Salas and Tait were considered the two top catchers in the international 2023 class. However, Tait quickly became the most popular prospect. He isn’t polished defensively yet, but his hitting ability is apparent. He has excellent power for his age and he doesn’t have to sell out to get to it.
Joendry Vargas, SS, Dodgers
Vargas was the Dodgers’ top target and one of the best prospects in the 2023 international class. In his Dominican Summer League debut he hit.328/.423/.529, living up to the expectations. He’ll likely eventually outgrow shortstop and slide to third base, but hit bat should be more than enough to make up for that move.
The article 20 Players Who Could Become Top 100 Prospects by 2025 first appeared on College Baseball – MLB Draft, Prospects, Baseball America.