With Major League Baseball scheduled to open camps for “spring training 2.0” in the coming days, teams had to submit their initial 60-man player pools Sunday. Players still can be added with many teams listing fewer than 60 names, but this at least gives us a glimpse of whom we’ll see when the players finally hit the diamond.
Many of the game’s top prospects, Rays phenom Wander Franco chief among them, will be in camp, although there’s no guarantee they’ll see any big league action this season. With the minor leagues shut down, these camps will provide the best opportunity for development for many players.
Players must be in their team’s 60-man pool to be eligible to play for the major league club this season. The pool can change throughout the season through standard transactions, such as waiver claims, free-agent signings and trades. A 30-man roster will be set for the start of the season, with the remaining players continuing to train at an alternate site. Roster size will be reduced to 28 two weeks into the season, then to 26 two weeks after that.
Borrowing liberally from the work of ESPN MLB prospect expert Kiley McDaniel, here’s a look at some of the notable prospects on each team’s initial 60-man pool, with teams grouped by division. We’ll update this story as more teams release their lists.
Outfielder Austin Hays was solid in a call-up last season and has a chance to contribute if his health issues are behind him. Catcher Adley Rutschman (No. 3 on McDaniel’s top 100) isn’t big league ready and isn’t on the Orioles’ initial list, but they have room to add to it.
Powerful Bobby Dalbec should have a shot at making at least the early roster. Also noteworthy: Connor Wong, the lesser prospect who came over in the Mookie Betts deal, is on the initial list, but Jeter Downs, the bigger prospect in the Betts trade, is not.
Righties Deivi Garcia (No. 45 on McDaniel’s top 100) and Clarke Schmidt (No. 82) both could be useful arms for New York.
Wander Franco, the phenom who is the consensus top prospect in the game, won’t necessarily make his debut this season — it would be a big leap from Class A — but he’ll get a good look and create a lot of buzz at camp.
Fireballing righty Nate Pearson, No. 6 on McDaniel’s list, is the biggest name and could make an impact this season, but infielder Jordan Groshans (No. 68) should be fun to watch in camp, too. Austin Martin, the fifth pick in the 2020 draft, remains unsigned.
Nolan Jones (No. 22 on McDaniel’s top 100) is the Tribe’s top prospect, with intriguing Bo Naylor a potential everyday catcher.
We knew Detroit’s young pitchers — Casey Mize and Matt Manning leading the way — would be here as they’re knocking on the big league door. Adding to the fun are catcher Dillon Dingler, part of the Tigers’ 2020 draft class, plus Riley Greene, their first-round pick in 2019. Spencer Torkelson, the No. 1 overall pick in 2020, could be added once he signs.
Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., the No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft, will get a chance to develop here, though he’s not ready for the bigs yet.
Righty Forrest Whitley has been tantalizing with his talent, but he still hasn’t pulled it together. His ceiling remains high.
Jo Adell (McDaniel’s No. 10 prospect and just 21 years old) was expected to make his big league debut this season; time will tell if the 60-game format changes that.
Keep an eye on Robert Puason, a huge international talent who drew scouts’ attention when he was 13 and would have made his pro debut this year. He flashed above-average-to-plus tools across the board, according to McDaniel.
The Mariners are bringing all their top prospects to the party, including 19-year-old Julio Rodriguez (No. 9 on the top 100) and fellow outfielder Jarred Kelenic (No. 12), as well as four of their 2020 draft picks, first-rounder Emerson Hancock among them.
Second baseman Nick Solak and third baseman Josh Jung, both big hitters, are the players to watch.
The Braves have a lot of young prospect talent on their initial list, with outfielder Cristian Pache (McDaniel’s No. 17 prospect) the headliner.
The Marlins, as one would expect, have all their top prospects coming to camp, including shortstop Jazz Chisholm (No. 37 on McDaniel’s top 100), right-handers Sixto Sanchez and Edward Cabrera, and outfielder JJ Bleday.
David Peterson, a 6-foot-6 lefty who works with a solid average four-pitch mix and above-average command, has a good shot to see some big league action.
Alec Bohm, the No. 3 overall pick in 2018, has a ton of raw power and is worth keeping an eye on.
Jackson Rutledge will be fun to see; the right-hander is 6-foot-8 and can hit 100 mph with a very good slider — if he can pull it all together.
Catcher Miguel Amaya and outfielder Brennen Davis aren’t ready for the bigs, but both have some pop and already are top-100 material.
The Reds will have four players in McDaniel’s top 100 in camp — catcher Tyler Stephenson, shortstop Jose Garcia, lefty Nick Lodolo and third baseman Jonathan India.
One scout told McDaniel that 6-foot-7 Oneil Cruz looked like a “left-handed[-hitting] Aaron Judge playing shortstop.” Cruz might not stay at short, but he’s a talent. As McDaniel wrote, “Cruz is fun and exciting and good for baseball — and he hasn’t failed yet.”
Top prospect Dylan Carlson (McDaniel’s No. 28 prospect) could be ready to contribute after a breakout 2019 in Double-A and Triple-A.
Brendan Rodgers, who played 25 games with Colorado last year before hurting his shoulder, is the Rockies’ top prospect.
There has been buzz that Josiah Gray could be the best pitcher in the Dodgers’ system — and that’s saying something.
The Padres have a boatload of talented prospects and are bringing many of them to camp, including pitchers MacKenzie Gore (No. 8 of McDaniel’s list) and Luis Patino (No. 11).