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The Ultimate Guide To The Best Prospect Cards In 2023 Bowman Chrome [Tiers Added]

For many years, Bowman has been the self-proclaimed “Home of the Rookie Card”. Changing rules related to rookie cards have made Bowman also the “Home of the Prospect card” and “Home of the 1st Bowman Card”. This makes Bowman releases a much-anticipated release year after year.

2023 Bowman Chrome is no different. But who are the best prospects you’ll find in 2023 Bowman Chrome? Which are the best bets? And who are the long shots not worth investing in?

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2023 Bowman Chrome Baseball release

The expected release date for 2023 Bowman Chrome is September 13, 2023 (subject to change).

The 2023 Bowman Chrome Baseball release comes in two different formats, with different price points and chances at hits, so there are buy-in options.

If you want to learn more about what 2023 Bowman Chrome Baseball contains, you can check out Mike’s in-depth review.

Here’s What We Know About 2023 Bowman Chrome Baseball Right Now

Why Bowman Prospect & First Bowman Cards are so sought-after

Since prospect cards are released before a player’s official rookie card, they are often among the first opportunities to get an exciting young player on cardboard in a big league uniform. Bowman has the advantage of being a licensed product, so those actually include logos.

1st Bowman, a logo affixed to the first appearance of a prospect in a Bowman product, holds additional appeal as a player’s very first appearance in a big league uniform in a major product.

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Fanatics addresses 2023 Bowman Chrome Superfractor Buyback

Shortly after the release of 2023 Bowman Chrome, collectors began discovering that certain superfractors from the release had duplicates. This is alarming due to the fact that superfractors are by nature one of a kind.

In response to the duplicate cards, Fanatics has announced an aggressive buyback program where cards can be exchanged from $3,000 to $75,000 per card.

What determines what prospects appear in 2023 Bowman Baseball?

A player is technically eligible to appear in a prospect set if he has not yet appeared in the big leagues, or on the major league roster. Special attention is often given to top prospects, especially those who were recently drafted and have not previously appeared on a prospect card. That first card appearance in the popular Bowman product tends to get a lot of attention.

An example from the 2023 Bowman release is Druw Jones, the #2 pick in the 2022 draft who was held out of late 2022 products to give 2023 Bowman a headliner.

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1st Bowman Prospects in 2023 Bowman Chrome Baseball

As the regular season winds down for some teams and others make their push for the playoffs, all 30 teams have prospects in the upcoming 2023 Bowman Chrome Baseball release. There are 117 players with 1st Bowman cards in the 2023 Chrome release. This number includes players with base cards, autograph cards, and both.

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Three players currently on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list make their 1st Bowman debut in 2023 Bowman Chrome Baseball:

  • #6: Ethan Salas, C
  • #46: Samuel Basallo, C
  • #78: Sebastian Walcott, SS

My first reaction of the checklist is underwhelming. Ethan Salas is the player to chase, obviously. He has the potential to be franchise cornerstone, and he’s only 17 years old. The other two Top-100 players are intriguing but not in an overwhelming sense. There are a good group of solid pitching prospects in the checklist, but pitchers don’t generate the hype investors are looking for. Lastly, there’s a ton of players, especially those with 1st Bowman autographs, that have little to no publicly available scouting reports or information available.

The gap between Ethan Salas and the rest of 2023 Bowman Chrome players in Tier 1 is vast. I debated between putting only Salas in the top tier and bumping the other players down to Tier 2, or even creating a “Tier 1.5.” Ultimately, I wanted to keep it simple and the structure the same. Samuel Basallo, Felnin Celesten, and Luis Guanipa are worthy chases. However, they come with a larger risk than Salas. Because of this, I’d be conscious of the amount I’m investing in singles of Basallo, Celesten, and Guanipa.

Before release day, I was also seeing a lot of hype for Joendry Vargas. His Chrome Prospect Autograph spot in 20-case break went for $3,020, second to only Ethan Salas at $5,670. Joendry Vargas has big power upside, but his floor appears to be one of a below average player. I wouldn’t pay anywhere near the price that winning bidder did, which is more than half of Salas’ spot. Looking now at sales on release day, base autographs have sold for $150-$180 and refractors (/499) for $250-$300. These prices are much more reasonable for a player in Tier 2.

Investing in volatile teenage prospects comes with a lot of risk. Many of these players are four to five years from the big leagues and thus have ample time to refine their skills and evolve as players. Players who rank in Tier 3 or 4 now might be worthy of a higher tier in a season or two. With this in mind, weigh the pros and cons before going all in on a young player.

wdt_ID Card # Player Team Position Tier
1 BCP-151, CPA-JBN Juan Benjamin Cleveland Guardians SS 4
2 BCP-152, CPA-OO Oswaldo Osorio Los Angeles Dodgers SS 3
3 BCP-153, CPA-JSH Jun-Seok Shim Pittsburgh Pirates RHP 4
4 BCP-154, CPA-DG Daiverson Gutierrez New York Mets C 3
5 BCP-155, CPA-LT Luis Torres Los Angeles Angels OF 4
6 BCP-156, CPA-FC Felnin Celesten Seattle Mariners SS 1
7 BCP-159, CPA-JRS Javier Rivas Pittsburgh Pirates SS 4
8 BCP-161, CPA-DGE Dangelo Sarmiento New York Mets SS 3
9 BCP-164 Jesus Caba Philadelphia Phillies SS 4
10 BCP-168, CPA-LS Luis Serna New York Yankees RHP 4
11 BCP-169 Edwin Solano Washington Nationals SS 3
12 BCP-171, CPA-ESS Ethan Salas San Diego Padres C 1
13 BCP-173, CPA-HM Hans Montero New York Yankees SS 4
14 BCP-175, CPA-VI Victor Izturis Cleveland Guardians C 4
15 BCP-177 Elian Soto Washington Nationals OF 4
16 BCP-179, CPA-MT Miguel Tamares Tampa Bay Rays SS 4
17 BCP-181, CPA-JRR Jacob Reimer New York Mets 3B 3
18 BCP-183 Carter Young Baltimore Orioles SS 4
19 BCP-184 Janero Miller Miami Marlins LHP 4
20 BCP-185 Edryn Rodriguez Seattle Mariners SS 4
21 BCP-186, CPA-CD Camilo Diaz Houston Astros SS 3
22 BCP-187, CPA-JGZ Jesus Galiz Los Angeles Dodgers C 4
23 BCP-188, CPA-BMA Brandon Mayea New York Yankees OF 3
24 BCP-189 Sebastian Walcott Texas Rangers SS 2
25 BCP-191, CPA-KD Keiner Delgado New York Yankees SS 4
26 BCP-192, CPA-LE Ludwing Espinoza Chicago Cubs SS 4
27 BCP-194, CPA-LA Luis Almeyda Baltimore Orioles SS 4
28 BCP-195, CPA-JG Jose Gerardo Miami Marlins OF 4
29 BCP-198 Raymond Mola Pittsburgh Pirates OF 4
30 BCP-200, CPA-LG Luis Guanipa Atlanta Braves OF 1
31 BCP-203, CPA-AC Ariel Castro Minnesota Twins OF 4
32 BCP-204, CPA-CT Cristofer Torin Arizona Diamondbacks SS 4
33 BCP-205 Angel Cepeda Chicago Cubs SS 4
34 BCP-206 Jadher Areinamo Milwaukee Brewers IF 4
35 BCP-207, CPA-ADS Anderson De Los Santos Baltimore Orioles SS 4
36 BCP-208, CPA-APL Axiel Plaz Pittsburgh Pirates C 4
37 BCP-218, CPA-JV Joendry Vargas Los Angeles Dodgers SS 2
38 BCP-219, CPA-ASA Adan Sanchez Chicago Cubs C 4
39 BCP-221, CPA-YGA Yosy Galan Texas Rangers OF 4
40 BCP-222, CPA-RA Rayner Arias San Francisco Giants OF 2
41 BCP-228, CPA-WF Welbyn Francisca Cleveland Guardians SS 3
42 BCP-229 Kevin Ereu Milwaukee Brewers SS 4
43 BCP-234, CPA-BR Bladimir Restituyo Colorado Rockies OF 4
44 BCP-236, CPA-HC Hendry Chivilli Minnesota Twins SS 4
45 BCP-237 Andy Acevedo Washington Nationals OF 4
46 BCP-238, CPA-ADU Alfredo Duno Cincinnati Reds C 3
47 BCP-240, CPA-BG Brailer Guerrero Tampa Bay Rays OF 3
48 BCP-242 Arnaldo Lantigua Los Angeles Dodgers OF 4
49 BCP-245 Brooks Brannon Boston Red Sox C 4
50 BCP-250, CPA-API Adrian Pinto Toronto Blue Jays IF/OF 4
51 CPA-AU Abner Uribe Milwaukee Brewers RHP 4
52 CPA-APZ Andy Perez Colorado Rockies SS 4
53 CPA-BM Ben Metzinger Milwaukee Brewers 3B 4
54 CPA-BCE Bjay Cooke Oakland Athletics SS 4
55 CPA-BT Blade Tidwell New York Mets RHP 4
56 CPA-BME Brennan Milone Oakland Athletics 3B 4
57 CPA-BRN Bryan Rincon Philadelphia Phillies SS 4
58 CPA-BB Bryant Betancourt Colorado Rockies C 4
59 CPA-CH Cade Hunter Cincinnati Reds C 4
60 CPA-CDC Carlos De La Cruz Philadelphia Phillies OF 3
61 CPA-CE Chase Estep New York Mets IF 4
62 CPA-CN Chris Newell Los Angeles Dodgers OF 4
63 CPA-CSE Connor Staine Colorado Rockies RHP 4
64 CPA-CM Cristian Mena Chicago White Sox RHP 4
65 CPA-DMO Daniel Mateo Texas Rangers OF 4
66 CPA-DSI Danny Serretti Detroit Tigers SS 4
67 CPA-DBO Darío Borrero Chicago White Sox 1B 4
68 CPA-DL Dario Laverde Los Angeles Angels C 4
69 CPA-DCS Demetrio Crisantes Arizona Diamondbacks SS 4
70 CPA-DM Diego Mosquera New York Mets SS 4
71 CPA-EB Eddy Beltre San Diego Padres OF 4
72 CPA-ETO Enmanuel Terrero Pittsburgh Pirates OF 4
73 CPA-EC Everett Cooper III Washington Nationals SS 4
74 CPA-FM Fredy Michel Minnesota Twins SS 4
75 CPA-GQ Geraldo Quintero Atlanta Braves SS 4
76 CPA-GGO Gordon Graceffo St. Louis Cardinals RHP 4
77 CPA-GM Griff McGarry Philadelphia Phillies RHP 4
78 CPA-JPI Jack Pineda Kansas City Royals SS 4
79 CPA-JCA Jair Casanova Atlanta Braves OF 4
80 CPA-JSJ Javier Sanoja Miami Marlins SS 4
81 CPA-JVS Javier Valdes Atlanta Braves C 4
82 CPA-JBD Jesus Bastidas New York Yankees SS 4
83 CPA-JB Jesus Bugarin Colorado Rockies OF 4
84 CPA-JDZ Joel Diaz New York Mets RHP 4
85 CPA-JE Joey Estes Oakland Athletics RHP 4
87 CPA-JVG Jordy Vargas Colorado Rockies RHP 4
88 CPA-JORT Jorel Ortega Minnesota Twins SS 4
89 CPA-JCL Juan Corniel Arizona Diamondbacks SS 4
90 CPA-JFO Junior Franco Arizona Diamondbacks OF 4
91 CPA-JMN Junior Marin Kansas City Royals OF 4
92 CPA-KME Kristin Munroe Los Angeles Angels 3B 4
93 CPA-LB Leonardo Bernal St. Louis Cardinals C 4
94 CPA-LP Luis Perales Boston Red Sox RHP 4
95 CPA-LRE Luis Reyes Chicago White Sox RHP 4
96 CPA-LBL Luke Berryhill Houston Astros C 4
97 CPA-LGD Luke Gold Detroit Tigers 2B 4
98 CPA-MCO Maick Collado Cleveland Guardians SS 4
99 CPA-MVA Marco Vargas Miami Marlins 2B 2
100 CPA-OD Omari Daniel Minnesota Twins IF 4
101 CPA-PM Paul McIntosh Miami Marlins C 4
102 CPA-PW Peyton Williams Toronto Blue Jays RHP 4
103 CPA-RO Ricardo Olivar Minnesota Twins C 4
104 CPA-RH Ronald Hernandez Miami Marlins C 4
105 CPA-RSS Royber Salinas Atlanta Braves RHP 4
106 CPA-SB Samuel Basallo Baltimore Orioles C 1
107 CPA-SR Sem Robberse Toronto Blue Jays RHP 4
108 CPA-SCO Spence Coffman San Diego Padres SS 4
109 CPA-TM Torin Montgomery Miami Marlins 1B 4
110 CPA-TF Trey Faltine Cincinnati Reds SS 4
111 CPA-WG Wikelman Gonzalez Boston Red Sox RHP 4
112 CPA-WW Will Warren New York Yankees RHP 4
113 CPA-WAN Wuilfredo Antunez Cleveland Guardians OF 4
114 CPA-YLY Yeniel Laboy Oakland Athletics SS 4
115 CPA-YR Yoander Rivero Washington Nationals SS 4
116 CPA-YHE Yonatan Henriquez New York Mets SS 4
117 CPA-YZ Yosver Zulueta Toronto Blue Jays RHP 4
Card # Player Team Position Tier

Best prospect cards in 2023 Bowman Chrome

Below is my tiered breakdown for all 1st Bowman prospect in this release. Check back soon for my analysis on the best 2023 Bowman Chrome prospects to invest in! As always, I’ll give you the most information on the prospects that carry the highest investment value. You’ll see grades, organizational rankings, narrative reports, and minor league statistics when available.

Who are your favorite prospects likely to appear in 2023 Bowman Chrome? Who are you staying away from? Tell us all about it at card_lines on X (Twitter).

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Tier 1: 1st Bowman prospects worth ripping for in 2023 Bowman Chrome Baseball

Ethan Salas

C in San Diego Padres organization (#BCP-171, #CPA-ESS)

Age: 17 | Bats: L | Throws: R | ETA: 2026

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Speed: 40 | Field: 60 | Arm: 55 | Overall: 65
  • #6 prospect in MLB by Baseball America
  • #1 prospect in Padres organization by Baseball America

Ethan Salas already had high expectations as the top international prospect in the 2023 class, but he’s lived up to the hype and more. He made his professional debut at the Single-A level at 16 years old, slashing an impressive .267/.350/.487 in 48 games. The Padres then promoted Salas to High-A for nine games before promoting him again, this time to Double-A where he became the youngest player there at 17 years old. San Diego was aggressive in promoting Salas, who wound up playing only nine games at Double-A before suffering a right knee sprain. The injury isn’t serious, and the organization believes Salas could become the first teenage catcher in Major League Baseball in over three decades. The Athletic’s Dennis Lin noted earlier this year that Hall of Famer Iván Rodríguez was the last teenager to catch in the big leagues.

As for tools, Salas currently has hit-over-power stuff. Scouts believe the 17-year-old will grow into at least above-average power as he physically develops. He has a mature approach at the plate that allows him to spray hard hit balls all over the field. Baseball America’s scouts report he also recognizes pitches well, something most teenagers struggle with. Salas is also “an excellent defensive catcher for his age,” which prompted the Padres to have Salas catch bullpens from big leaguers like Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove.

He not only looked as talented as was hoped when he signed, but he was clearly also much more advanced, especially with the bat. Salas checks every scouting box and has begun to solidify the confidence in his hit tool…

Salas is a sweet-swinging, lefty-hitting catcher with baby soft defensive hands and an ultra-quick release behind the dish. His swing is very balanced and rhythmic, and he can shorten up to hit stuff toward the top of the zone or drop the bat head to scoop balls down and in. The risk with teenage catching is extreme, but Salas is very gifted and has elite ceiling.

FanGraphs

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Samuel Basallo

C in Baltimore Orioles organization (#CPA-SB)

Age: 19 | Bats: L | Throws: R | ETA: 2026

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 60 | Speed: 40 | Field: 50 | Arm: 70 | Overall: 55
  • #43 prospect in MLB by Baseball America
  • #5 prospect in Orioles organization by Baseball America

Samuel Basallo is another one of the Baltimore Orioles’ many prospects that are future impact players. The 18-year-old has spent most of his time catching but has also seen time at first base. With Adley Rutschman locking up Baltimore’s catching position for the foreseeable future, Basallo is likely to move to first base if he remains in the Orioles’ system or could be a highly coveted trade candidate. His power is immense, with Baseball America’s plus (60) grade on the conservative side. Some scouts envision him developing plus-plus (70) power, and this 454-foot bomb makes it easy to see why. Basallo’s 37% hard-hit rate (exit velocities of 95+ MPH) was fourth best among 18-year-olds in the minor leagues per FanGraphs. For comparison, investor darling Jackson Chourio is one of the three players with a higher hard-hit rate at 41%.

The Orioles are taking a more normal approach with him. He had strong seasons in the Dominican Summer League and Florida Complex League at 16 and 17 years old, respectively. He took big strides forward in 2023, starting at Single-A, dominating High-A, before progressing up to Double-A for a few games. Basallo doesn’t have any base cards in 2023 Bowman Chrome, only autographs. To be clear, Basallo isn’t a five-tool caliber catcher like Salas. However, if you’re hesitant to pay the high prices for Salas, I like Basallo as the next best thing.

Basallo is a large, physical catcher with easy plus power at 18 years old. There are some questions around Basallo’s ability to stick behind the plate due to his size but he possesses an easy double-plus arm. He’s a bat-first catcher with two plus tools and feel to hit.

Baseball America

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Felnin Celesten

SS in Seattle Mariners organization (#BCP-156, #CPA-FC)

Age: 18 | Bats: S | Throws: R | ETA: 2029

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 60 | Speed: 60 | Field: 50 | Arm: 60 | Overall: 55
  • #9 prospect in Mariners organization by Baseball America

Felnin Celesten, one of the most exciting prospects of the 2023 international class, earned a $4.7 million signing bonus, the largest in Seattle Mariners’ franchise history. Yes, even blowing by Julio Rodríguez’s $1.75 million. Celesten is a switch-hitting shortstop with three plus grades and a hit tool that could make it four. His power-speed combo has MLB Pipeline scouts theorizing he could become a Top-5 prospect in all of baseball.

All this hype, however, has come without the 18-year-old even making his professional debut. A hamstring strain sidelined him for a few months this summer, making his lack of playing time a hard player to project. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times had the most recent update on Celesten about a week ago, saying he is “close to being cleared for some game action in a ‘bridge league’ between the [Arizona Complex Rookie League] and the instructional league.”

International youngsters are always among the most challenging to rank — due to a lack of pro experience and age — yet Celesten has everyone in Seattle bullish on his makeup as possibly the highest-upside prospect in the system. Some have even suggested that the D.R. native might have the highest ceiling of any international shortstop prospect in a decade, including Marco Luciano, Wander Franco and Robert Puason.

MLB Pipeline

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Luis Guanipa

OF in Atlanta Braves organization (#BCP-200, #CPA-LG)

Age: 17 | Bats: R | Throws: R | ETA: 2027

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 60 | Speed: 70 | Field: 50 | Arm: 40 | Overall: 50
  • #8 prospect in Braves organization by Baseball America

17-year-old outfielder Luis Guanipa is really flying under the hobby’s radar and I’m not sure why. His base autographs have sold for $50$65 and refractor autographs for $100. His plus power and plus-plus speed grades are better than every single 1st Bowman prospect in 2023 Bowman Chrome. Although undersized, Guanipa is an explosive athlete whose “swing and wiry build are evocative of Trea Turner” for FanGraphs scouts.

Guanipa got off to a hot start in the Dominican Summer League, slashing .333/.400/.571 with three home runs and ten stolen bases in his first 15 games. It’s a small sample size against inconsistent competition, but one that teases Guanipa’s upside. He cooled off over the rest of the summer but remains one of the Braves’ top prospects and someone to watch when he comes stateside in 2024.

There are few players in this class who can match Guanipa’s combination of power and speed. He has a strong, compact frame with explosive athleticism, which is evident in the way he moves in center field with plus-plus speed, albeit with a below-average arm. That explosiveness also shows up at the plate, as Guanipa generates impressive bat speed combined with significant strength gains over the last two years that has led to plus raw power.

Baseball America

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Tier 2: 1st Bowman prospects I’m cautiously optimistic about in 2023 Bowman Chrome Baseball

Sebastian Walcott

SS in Texas Rangers organization (#BCP-189)

Age: 17 | Bats: R | Throws: R | ETA: 2029

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Speed: 55 | Field: 45 | Arm: 60 | Overall: 55
  • #78 prospect in MLB by Baseball America
  • #3 prospect in Rangers organization by Baseball America

Sebastian Walcott’s offensive tools are all average or better, helping him crack Top-100 lists. However, I have the Bahamian shortstop in Tier 2 because (at least right now) he doesn’t have the plus to plus-plus power/speed grades as the names above do. He’s also not in the autograph set, making him less of a chase than the Tier 1 players. Despite this, I still think Walcott has a well-rounded and appealing skill set for investors chasing prospects in the base set.

Don’t miss out on the next Jazz is the advice the Rangers’ assistant general manager got when scouting Sebastian Walcott. Jazz Chisholm Jr., the Miami Marlins star and fellow Bahamian, is the type of talent Walcott was compared to. At 6-foot-4, Walcott is much bigger than Jazz and “looks like a future NFL tight end in his uniform” according to scouts at FanGraphs. After a handful of games in the DSL, he came to the states and had an impressive stretch at rookie ball where he hit six home runs in his first 12 games. He cooled off after that and, like most teenage prospects, showed his vulnerability to striking out. There’s a ton of upside here. I just wish he had an autograph in 2023 Bowman Chrome.

With his bat speed, future strength and the leverage in his right-handed swing, Walcott could grow into plus-plus raw power and deliver 30 or more homers per season. He already can produce 110 mph exit velocities at age 16. While he’ll need to develop some polish at the plate, he has good hand-eye coordination and a relatively mature approach.

MLB Pipeline

Joendry Vargas

SS in Los Angeles Dodgers organization (#BCP-218, #CPA-JV)

Age: 17 | Bats: R | Throws: R | ETA: 2029

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Speed: 55 | Field: 55 | Arm: 55 | Overall: 45
  • #29 prospect in Dodgers organization by Baseball America

As I mentioned above, the Joendry Vargas hype is a bit puzzling considering scouts at Baseball America, FanGraphs, and MLB Pipeline all give him an overall fringe-average (45) grade. Vargas put up big numbers in the Dominican Summer League but going all in just based on DSL numbers is a questionable investment strategy.

This isn’t a knock on Vargas. He was one of the top international prospects in 2023 but there are differing opinions on the player he projects to be. Baseball America projects him to hit for average over power; FanGraphs sees him with a better power than hit tool. There isn’t enough concrete information for me to be confident investing in Vargas, especially at the current price tag. Check back with me next season.

A former switch-hitter now hitting righthanded only, Vargas drives the ball with impact too, with a chance to grow into above-average raw power. He is prone to swinging and missing and projects to hit for average over power… He is a long way away but has a chance to be a power-hitting shortstop if it all clicks.

Baseball America

Rayner Arias

OF in San Francisco Giants organization (#BCP-222, #CPA-RA)

Age: 17 | Bats: R | Throws: R | ETA: 2028

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 60 | Speed: 45 | Field: 45 | Arm: 60 | Overall: 55
  • #11 prospect in Giants organization by Baseball America

Rayner Arias, son of a former pitcher and current scout, grew up around the game which evaluators believe has helped turned the outfielder into an advanced and polished 17-year-old hitter. MLB Pipeline notes some scouts have compared Arias to Eloy Jiménez, which is high praise considering Eloy graded out as a plus hitter with plus-plus power.

To Arias’ credit, he was blazing hot in the DSL before suffering a season-ending wrist injury trying to make a diving catch. The Giants expect him to be fully healthy by the fall and make his stateside debut in 2024. Arias’ hit and power tools offer a future impact bat in the middle of the lineup, making him a worthy investment option despite his lack of speed.

Arias was one of the most coveted players in the 2022-2023 international class and was lauded by internal evaluators as the most complete in San Francisco’s class… Arias’ game is built around an offensive profile. He makes loud contact thanks to a swing powered by burly strength rather than lightning-quick bat speed. He has quick hands and rotates his hips well, which helps him catch up to high-quality fastballs. He’s also shown an ability to use right-center field to his advantage. He already recognizes spin well but has a ways to go in terms of learning to lay off of those pitches.

Baseball America

Marco Vargas

2B in New York Mets organization (#CPA-MVA)

Age: 18 | Bats: L | Throws: R | ETA: 2028

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Speed: 50 | Field: 40 | Arm: 50 | Overall: 50
  • #15 prospect in Mets organization by Baseball America

The Marlins traded Marco Vargas to the Mets at the 2023 trade deadline for closer David Robertson. He’s an infielder with an advanced, patient approach, excellent bat-to-ball skills, and impressive exit velocities. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him snag a spot on Top-100 lists in 2024. Ben Clemens wrote a really great article over at FanGraphs at the time of the trade highlighting Vargas’ upside, specifically noting that his skill set is similar to José Ramírez’s. Marco Vargas doesn’t have the enormous power/speed combo like the other players in this tier, but if I can snag a gold (/50) autograph of an under-the-radar Tier 2 prospect for $225, I’m taking it every day.

[José Ramírez is] a far-fetched outcome, but this amount of bat-to-ball ability is often a marker for elite hand-eye coordination, which lets hitters get the most out of their raw power. Vargas doesn’t have an obvious defensive home, but as a 2B/3B type with a high offensive ceiling, he has room to disappoint on roughly one skill and still profile as a big league regular. I’m exactly the kind of analyst who will overvalue this skill set, and I know it, but I look at Vargas and see a potential future stud.

Ben Clemens, FanGraphs

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Tier 3: 1st Bowman prospects with a higher risk than the potential reward in 2023 Bowman Chrome Baseball

Oswaldo Osorio, SS in Los Angeles Dodgers organization (#BCP-152, #CPA-OO): Osorio hits the ball hard and in the air, plus he’s walking at a decent rate. The Dodgers are one of the best teams at developing players which make him a strong, under the radar option.

Daiverson Gutierrez, C in New York Mets organization (#BCP-154, #CPA-DG): Gutierrez has an advanced approach and solid power but for now he’s more of a defense-first catcher. That could change, but there are better catching options.

Dangelo Sarmiento, SS in New York Mets organization (#BCP-161, #CPA-DGE): Sarmiento’s best tools are his plus-plus and defensive prowess at shortstop. His hit tool is merely average and power is below average. In the age of dual threat middle infielders, glove-first shortstops aren’t all that enticing to investors.

Edwin Solano, SS in Washington Nationals organization (#BCP-169): Solano fits the mold of hitters in Tier 3 with above average power and a fringe average hit tool.

Jacob Reimer, 3B in New York Mets organization (#BCP-181, #CPA-JRR): There isn’t anything that jumps off the page about Reimer. He has below average speed and isn’t a great defender, so his bat has to do all the work. Reimer hit decent at Single-A, albeit with a higher on-base than slugging percentage. He struggled after being promoted to High-A, his slugging percentage falling to .278. This isn’t a great sign for a bat-only prospect. 

Camilo Diaz, SS in Houston Astros organization (#BCP-186, #CPA-CD): It’s tough to put a prospect with plus power and speed in the third tier, but a 30-grade hit tool is cause for concern. Baseball America believes he has “some of the best raw tools in the class,” so Diaz is worth monitoring if he continues to develop the hit tool.

Brandon Mayea, OF in New York Yankees organization (#BCP-188, #CPA-BMA): I’m lower on Mayea than most. He’s a well-rounded prospect with average or better tools across the board, but I’m not sure the hit or power tools stand out at the moment. I firmly believe that New York Yankees prospects are unreasonably over-hyped to where I’m steering clear of investing in them. (Just look at Jasson Dominguez – the kid gets compared to Mickey Mantle and Mike Trout and is called a bust before he makes his MLB debut.) I think Mayea has the potential to move into Tier 2 but I’ve still got him in Tier 3 for now.

Welbyn Francisca, SS in Cleveland Guardians organization (#BCP-228, #CPA-WF): Francisca has a potential 70-grade hit tool but his size – 5-foot-8, 148 lbs. – puts him at a power disadvantage. His numbers in the Dominican Summer League were very good (.316/.419/.500) but I’m not putting a ton of stock in them. I’m keeping an eye on Francisca but not investing significantly in him just yet.

Alfredo Duno, C in Cincinnati Reds organization (#BCP-238, #CPA-ADU): We’ve already got two catchers in the top tier and Duno is a clear way below Salas and Basallo. Baseball America notes Duno’s “array of future outcomes spans the gamut from becoming a glove-first catcher to other paths where he becomes a plus-plus power slugger who also plays other positions.” That’s a vast difference and not one I’m confident investing in. FanGraphs’ scouts also compare him to Gary Sánchez, so…I’m out on Duno.

Brailer Guerrero, OF in Tampa Bay Rays organization (#BCP-240, #CPA-BG): Guerrero has elite bat speed that’s helped him post 110 mph exit velocities. His hit and power tools are presently above average but scouts currently have him as a below- to fringe-average player. He’s another player who could have some upside if he continues to improve.

Carlos De La Cruz, OF in Philadelphia Phillies organization (#CPA-CDC): De La Cruz has plus raw power, but all his other grades are below average. Even if he has the potential for 30+ home runs, there’s still too many red flags to be a real investment option right now.

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Tier 4: 1st Bowman prospects with currently little to no value in the hobby/publicly available data in 2023 Bowman Chrome Baseball

Juan Benjamin, SS in Cleveland Guardians organization (#BCP-151, #CPA-JBN)

Jun-Seok Shim, RHP in Pittsburgh Pirates organization (#BCP-153, #CPA-JSH)

Luis Torres, OF in Los Angeles Angels organization (#BCP-155, #CPA-LT)

Javier Rivas, SS in Pittsburgh Pirates organization (#BCP-159, #CPA-JRS)

Jesus Caba, SS in Philadelphia Phillies organization #BCP-164

Luis Serna, RHP in New York Yankees organization (#BCP-168, #CPA-LS)

Hans Montero, SS in New York Yankees organization (#BCP-173, #CPA-HM)

Victor Izturis, C in Cleveland Guardians organization (#BCP-175, #CPA-VI)

Elian Soto, OF in Washington Nationals organization (#BCP-177)

Miguel Tamares, SS in Tampa Bay Rays organization (#BCP-179, #CPA-MT)

Carter Young, SS in Baltimore Orioles organization (#BCP-183)

Janero Miller, LHP in Miami Marlins organization (#BCP-184)

Edryn Rodriguez, SS in Seattle Mariners organization (#BCP-185)

Jesus Galiz, C in Los Angeles Dodgers organization (#BCP-187, #CPA-JGZ)

Keiner Delgado, SS in New York Yankees organization (#BCP-191, #CPA-KD)

Ludwing Espinoza, SS in Chicago Cubs organization (#BCP-192, #CPA-LE)

Luis Almeyda, SS in Baltimore Orioles organization (#BCP-194, #CPA-LA)

Jose Gerardo, OF in Miami Marlins organization (#BCP-195, #CPA-JG)

Raymond Mola, OF in Pittsburgh Pirates organization (#BCP-198)

Ariel Castro, OF in Minnesota Twins organization (#BCP-203, #CPA-AC)

Cristofer Torin, SS in Arizona Diamondbacks organization (#BCP-204, #CPA-CT)

Angel Cepeda, SS in Chicago Cubs organization (#BCP-205)

Jadher Areinamo, IF in Milwaukee Brewers organization (#BCP-206)

Anderson De Los Santos, SS in Baltimore Orioles organization (#BCP-207, #CPA-ADS)

Axiel Plaz, C in Pittsburgh Pirates organization (#BCP-208, #CPA-APL)

Adan Sanchez, C in Chicago Cubs organization (#BCP-219, #CPA-ASA)

Yosy Galan, OF in Texas Rangers organization (#BCP-221, #CPA-YGA)

Kevin Ereu, SS in Milwaukee Brewers organization (#BCP-229)

Bladimir Restituyo, OF in Colorado Rockies organization (#BCP-234, CPA-BR)

Hendry Chivilli, SS in Minnesota Twins organization (#BCP-236, CPA-HC)

Andy Acevedo, OF in Washington Nationals organization (#BCP-237)

Arnaldo Lantigua, OF in Los Angeles Dodgers organization (#BCP-242)

Brooks Brannon, C in Boston Red Sox organization (#BCP-245)

Adrian Pinto, IF/OF in Toronto Blue Jays organization (#BCP-250, CPA-API)

Abner Uribe, RHP in Milwaukee Brewers organization (#CPA-AU)

Andy Perez, SS in Colorado Rockies organization (#CPA-APZ)

Ben Metzinger, 3B in Milwaukee Brewers organization (#CPA-BM)

Bjay Cooke, SS in Oakland Athletics organization (#CPA-BCE)

Blade Tidwell, RHP in New York Mets organization (#CPA-BT)

Brennan Milone, 3B in Oakland Athletics organization (#CPA-BME)

Bryan Rincon, SS in Philadelphia Phillies organization (#CPA-BRN)

Bryant Betancourt, C in Colorado Rockies organization (#CPA-BB)

Cade Hunter, C in Cincinnati Reds organization (#CPA-CH)

Chase Estep, IF in New York Mets organization (#CPA-CE)

Chris Newell, OF in Los Angeles Dodgers organization (#CPA-CN)

Connor Staine, RHP in Colorado Rockies organization (#CPA-CSE)

Cristian Mena, RHP in Chicago White Sox organization (#CPA-CM)

Daniel Mateo, OF in Texas Rangers organization (#CPA-DMO)

Danny Serretti, SS in Detroit Tigers organization (#CPA-DSI)

Darío Borrero, 1B in Chicago White Sox organization (#CPA-DBO)

Dario Laverde, C in Los Angeles Angels organization (#CPA-DL)

Demetrio Crisantes, SS in Arizona Diamondbacks organization (#CPA-DCS)

Diego Mosquera, SS in New York Mets organization (#CPA-DM)

Eddy Beltre, OF in San Diego Padres organization (#CPA-EB)

Enmanuel Terrero, OF in Pittsburgh Pirates organization (#CPA-ETO)

Everett Cooper III, SS in Washington Nationals organization (#CPA-EC)

Fredy Michel, SS in Minnesota Twins organization (#CPA-FM)

Geraldo Quintero, SS in Atlanta Braves organization (#CPA-GQ)

Gordon Graceffo, RHP in St. Louis Cardinals organization (#CPA-GGO)

Griff McGarry, RHP in Philadelphia Phillies organization (#CPA-GM)

Jack Pineda, SS in Kansas City Royals organization (#CPA-JPI)

Jair Casanova, OF in Atlanta Braves organization (#CPA-JCA)

Javier Sanoja, SS in Miami Marlins organization (#CPA-JSJ)

Javier Valdes, C in Atlanta Braves organization (#CPA-JVS)

Jesus Bastidas, SS in New York Yankees organization (#CPA-JBD)

Jesus Bugarin, OF in Colorado Rockies organization (#CPA-JB)

Joel Diaz, RHP in New York Mets organization (#CPA-JDZ)

Joey Estes, RHP in Oakland Athletics organization (#CPA-JE)

Jordy Vargas, RHP in Colorado Rockies organization (#CPA-JVG)

Jorel Ortega, SS in Minnesota Twins organization (#CPA-JORT)

Juan Corniel, SS in Arizona Diamondbacks organization (#CPA-JCL)

Junior Franco, OF in Arizona Diamondbacks organization (#CPA-JFO)

Junior Marin, OF in Kansas City Royals organization (#CPA-JMN)

Kristin Munroe, 3B in Los Angeles Angels organization (#CPA-KME)

Leonardo Bernal, C in St. Louis Cardinals organization (#CPA-LB)

Luis Perales, RHP in Boston Red Sox organization (#CPA-LP)

Luis Reyes, RHP in Chicago White Sox organization (#CPA-LRE)

Luke Berryhill, C in Houston Astros organization (#CPA-LBL)

Luke Gold, 2B in Detroit Tigers organization (#CPA-LGD)

Maick Collado, SS in Cleveland Guardians organization (#CPA-MCO)

Omari Daniel, IF in Minnesota Twins organization (#CPA-OD)

Paul McIntosh, C in Miami Marlins organization (#CPA-PM)

Peyton Williams, RHP in Toronto Blue Jays organization (#CPA-PW)

Ricardo Olivar, C in Minnesota Twins organization (#CPA-RO)

Ronald Hernandez, C in Miami Marlins organization (#CPA-RH)

Royber Salinas, RHP in Atlanta Braves organization (#CPA-RSS)

Sem Robberse, RHP in Toronto Blue Jays organization (#CPA-SR)

Spence Coffman, SS in San Diego Padres organization (#CPA-SCO)

Torin Montgomery, 1B in Miami Marlins organization (#CPA-TM)

Trey Faltine, SS in Cincinnati Reds organization (#CPA-TF)

Wikelman Gonzalez, RHP in Boston Red Sox organization (#CPA-WG)

Will Warren, RHP in New York Yankees organization (#CPA-WW)

Wuilfredo Antunez, OF in Cleveland Guardians organization (#CPA-WAN)

Yeniel Laboy, SS in Oakland Athletics organization (#CPA-YLY)

Yoander Rivero, SS in Washington Nationals organization (#CPA-YR)

Yonatan Henriquez, SS in New York Mets organization (#CPA-YHE)

Yosver Zulueta, RHP in Toronto Blue Jays organization (#CPA-YZ)

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Nicole Cahill

Nicole Cahill

Nicole Cahill is a freelance writer with recent bylines at Pitcher List and Fish On First and also works at a local card shop. She’s a baseball fanatic, mental health advocate, and Zack Greinke’s biggest fan. You can find her on Twitter at @NicoleCahill_ and Bluesky at @NicoleCahill.bsky.social
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