Top Right-Handed Pitching Prospects 2023 –

Top Right-Handed Pitching Prospects 2023 –

MLB Pipeline will announce its 2023 Top 100 Prospects list on Thursday, January 26 at 7:00 p.m. ET with an hour-long show on MLB Network and In advance of the release of the Top 100, we’ll be examining baseball’s top 10 prospects at each position.

Now that’s a fun debate.

Grayson Rodriguez ended 2022 as our top advertising contender. Andrew Painter shot out of goal to win MLB Pipeline’s Pitching Prospect of the Year award in his first full season. Eury Pérez flashed his towering 6ft 8 frame in Double-A at just 19 years old.

So who is the best right-hander in baseball? We ended up going with the guy in Phillies Red. But it was close. Very close.

It’s a debate we could have for some time, albeit soon at the major league level. Nine of the 10 hurlers featured on MLB Pipeline’s 2023 preseason RHP prospects top 10 list have estimated arrival times for 2023. The only one who doesn’t is No. 9 Mick Abel, who has 2022 with completed five Double-A starts and this could still cut the line to make his own debut this summer. If these deals all come off as expected, next year’s list will look very different. We have a full season ahead of us to learn for this debate as well.

The Top 10 (ETA)
1. Andrew Painter, Phillies (2023)
2. Grayson Rodriguez, Orioles (2023)
3. Eury Pérez, Marlins (2023)
4. Daniel Espino, Guardian (2023)
5. Taj Bradley, Rays (2023)
6. Bobby Miller, Dodgers (2023)
7. Gavin Williams, Guardian (2023)
8.Hunter Brown, Astros (2023)
9. Mick Abel, Phillies (2024)
10. Gavin Stone, Dodgers (2023)
Complete list “

Top 10 prospects by position:
Wed: C
Thu: 1B
Fri: 2B
1/24: SS
1/25: FROM
1/26: Top 100

Fastball: Espino (80)
The 24th overall winner from 2019 looked like he was on course for a stunning spring 2022 season as he sat at 150-100mph in spring practice – while touching 102-103 – and he kept the heat up throughout four starts with Double-A Akron and hit 35 batters in 18 1/3 innings before an injury ended his season early. As if the speed wasn’t enough, Espino’s fastball comes with plenty of carry, further cementing his 80 class.

Curveball: Brown (65)
The 24-year-old right-hander rose to the majors and was included in Houston’s postseason roster in part because of the dominance of his low 80s curve. The 12-to-6 offering has plenty of power and bite to deliver puffs. Without a quality change, Brown used his curveball as his featured secondary against lefties in the majors. The result: a 0.148 opponent average and a touch rate of 30.4 percent.

Slider: Espino (70)
Espino doesn’t just throw his fastball hard. Last spring he zipped the breaking pitch in the low 90s, giving him a more horizontal pitch, albeit one with Heat Velo. Before that, the Cleveland righty had demonstrated the ability to manipulate the speed of the pitch depending on how much depth he wanted on it. The plethora of options left players confused. So much for anyone even trying to sit on the three-figure fastball.

Substitution: Rodriguez, Pérez, Stone (70)
Attention leftists. These right-handers have something in store for you too. All three showed changes in the mid-’80s that looked like they were out of the hands of their fastballs, only to tumble and fade under waving bats. Neither Rodriguez (.157), Pérez (.204) nor Stone (.216) had lefties in 2022 due to those impressive cambios batting higher than .220 against them.

Control: Painter (65)
Thugs should be more patient when climbing the ladder, right? Consider this: The 19-year-old Painter finished his first full season at Double-A Reading, where he was more than five years younger than the average player. During his time there, he only walked two batters in 28 1/3 innings. His 6.2 percent three-level walk rate was the lowest among teenage pitchers with at least 70 frames in 2022. The 6-foot-7-righty’s ability to pitch in the zone improved throughout the season and could be plus-plus by late 2023 if he continues down that path.

Highest ceiling: painter
The 13th overall winner of 2021 gave everyone a taste of his peak performance with a 1.56 ERA, .89 WHIP and 155 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings across those three levels in his first full season, and he has what it takes to drive the results with an underpinning fastball that can touch three digits, a plus high spin slider and two more pitches in its curve and changes that leave players in the dark. That’s just the beginning. Painter won’t be turning 20 until April and may still have some development ahead of him. Be afraid, National League East.

Top floor: Rodriguez
The O’s slingshot almost certainly would have debuted with the majors in 2022 if he hadn’t had a Level 2 lat load that would have sustained him for three months. He also looked almost done on his return to the Triple-A rotation in September, before the end of the season for him. The 23-year-old’s deep four-tone mix and plus control have long made him a potential ace, but even if the stuff eventually takes a small step back, he’s likely still a mid-rotation option for Baltimore .

Rookie of the Year Award nominee: Rodriguez
If he can come through this spring healthy, Rodriguez is a strong contender to open the season in the Orioles rotation and would be a ROY contender from his number one spot. His innings might need some management — he hasn’t pitched more than 103 in a minor league season yet — but he’s a better prospect than Spencer Strider was at this time last year. We saw what he achieved when he had a full year in the bigs.

Highest climber & humblest beginning: Stone
The Dodgers selected the Central Arkansas right-hander in the fifth round of the 2020 shortened draft, meaning he was their final pick that year. Stone signed for just $97,500 (well below the $327,200 allocated to his slot as the penultimate pick in the entire process) and he wasn’t considered one of the top 30 Dodgers starting his first full season. Since then, he’s fanned 306 hitters in 212 2/3 innings over four levels all season and now fits comfortably on the top 100 overall list with three above-average pitches and good control.

Most to prove: Espino
We’ve already listed just how quirky the Panamanian’s stuff can be. Can he be healthy now? Espino missed time for the first time in 2022 with a knee problem and a shoulder injury kept him on the shelf all summer. He finished the year with just four Double-A starts. In our most recent executive prospect poll, front office members thought he was likely to be the minor league player to one day become a dominant closer, partly because injury worries could push him into the bullpen. This year it’s up to him to prove he can rotate regularly in the rotation and become Cleveland’s next homegrown starting star.

Keep an eye out: Tink Therefore, Cardinals
St. Louis has used its 63rd overall win of 2020 very cautiously to this point — first giving it just eight complex-level outings in 2021, then limiting it to 60 pitches on the course in Low-A last year. However, the arsenal is incredibly good. So his fastball with Palm Beach was about 94-97 mph and he got a lot of swings and misses on his curveball and changeup, not to mention his slider with good depth. The kid gloves will loosen a bit more in 2023 and as a result if the stuff sticks deeper into the starts it could easily make its way onto a top 10 RHP list soon.