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What Are The Best Prospect Cards In 2023 Bowman Baseball? A Comprehensive List Of The Best 1st Bowman Cards [Updated]

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”.

But why are Bowman Prospect cards so desirable to collectors? And who are the best prospects in 2023 Bowman Baseball?

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2023 Bowman Baseball release

The release date for 2023 Bowman Baseball is scheduled for April 26, 2023 (subject to change).

The 2023 Bowman Baseball release comes in three different formats, with different price points and chances at hits, so there’s a buy-in for just about every collector.

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

2023 Bowman Baseball: Shining the Spotlight on Prospects

But today, we’re here to talk about prospect cards, a big part of Bowman releases.

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2023 Bowman Prospects

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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2023 Bowman Chrome Prospects

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 no previously appeared on a prospect card.

An example this year is Druw Jones, the #2 pick in the 2022 draft who was held out of late 2022 product to give 2023 Bowman Prospects a headliner. More on Jones later.

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Prospects in 2023 Bowman Baseball

The 2023 Bowman Baseball prospects set contains 150 rookie cards. The Prospect cards in 2023 Bowman comes in both paper and chrome versions, with the chrome typically being more popular with collectors.

The prospects included in 2023 Bowman are:  

1 Zack Gelof
2 Pedro Ramírez
3 Justin Crawford
4 Javier Osorio
5 Daniel Susac
6 Wilber Sanchez
7 Mishael Deson
8 Max Wagner
9 Cole Young
10 Ryan Clifford
11 Moises Ballesteros
12 Jesus Baez
13 Oscar Colas
14 Henry Davis
15 Jonathan Mejia
16 Drew Gilbert
17 Austin Charles
18 Jasson Dominguez
19 Randy De Jesus
20 Jackson Holliday
21 Daniel Guilarte
22 Dyan Jorge
23 Elijah Green
24 Cristian Hernandez
25 Druw Jones
26 Dayan Frias
27 Rickardo Perez
28 Martin Gonzalez
29 Ceddanne Rafaela
30 Yanquiel Fernandez
31 Brooks Lee
32 Colby Thomas
33 Ambioris Tavarez
34 Abdias De La Cruz
35 Frederick Bencosme
36 Logan Wagner
37 Bryan Acuña
38 Simon Juan
39 Kumar Rocker
40 Kenni Gomez
41 Eric Brown Jr.
42 Ruben Santana
43 Marco Luciano
44 Andres Mesa
45 Gabriel Martinez
46 Marcos Cabrera
47 Lizandro Rodriguez
48 Colson Montgomery
49 Jett Williams
50 Alex Ramirez
51 Justyn-Henry Malloy
52 Hao-Yu Lee
53 Jace Jung
54 Cristhian Vaquero
55 Mairoshendrick Martinus
56 Christian Cerda
57 Peyton Graham
58 Lazaro Montes
59 Gleider Figuereo
60 Aeverson Arteaga
61 Junior Caminero
62 Antony Peguero
63 Michael Arroyo
64 Zach Neto
65 Elly De LA Cruz
66 Edwin Arroyo
67 William Bergolla
68 Brady House
69 Mikey Romero
70 Jefferson Rojas
71 Roman Anthony
72 Yoffry Solano
73 Axel Sanchez
74 Matt Mervis
75 Samuel Zavala
76 Jackson Chourio
77 Juan Brito
78 Ariel Almonte
79 Manuel Beltre
80 Samuel Munoz
81 Nerwilian Cedeno
82 Edouard Julien
83 Jaison Chourio
84 Leandro Arias
85 Anthony Gutierrez
86 Yilber Herrera
87 Max Muncy
88 Termarr Johnson
89 Nikau Pouaka-Grego
90 Braylon Bishop
91 Kevin Parada
92 Jordan Lawlar
93 Kyle Harrison
94 Luis Garcia
95 Hector Rodriguez
96 Henry Ramos
97 Fraymi De Leon
98 Jorge Burgos
99 Yasser Mercedes
100 Luis Lara
101 Blaze Jordan
102 Vincent Perozo
103 Chase DeLauter
104 Luisangel Acuña
105 Juan Chacon
106 Miguel Bleis
107 Marcelo Mayer
108 Jacob Berry
109 Gavin Cross
110 Yhoangel Aponte
111 Josue De Paula
112 Ronny Simon
113 Abel Bastidas
114 Daniel Montesino
115 Brock Jones
116 Deyvison De Los Santos
117 Freili Encarnacion
118 Lyonell James
119 Trey Sweeney
120 Carlos Jorge
121 Yordany De Los Santos
122 Blake Loubier
123 Jorge Ruiz
124 Robert Perez Jr.
125 Cam Collier
126 Marcus Lee Sang
127 Joshua Baez
128 Emaarion Boyd
129 James Wood
130 Luis Rodriguez
131 Alejandro Osuna
132 Nelson Rada
133 Gabriel Gonzalez
134 Tony Blanco Jr.
135 Roderick Arias
136 Juan Olmos
137 Juan Alonso
138 Yeiner Fernandez
139 Spencer Jones
140 Angel Genao
141 William Lugo
142 Yunior Garcia
143 Dylan O’Rae
144 Colton Cowser
145 Xavier Isaac
146 Jase Bowen
147 Kahlil Watson
148 Kenedy Corona
149 Jose Peroza
150 Jace Avina

Analysis of the 2023 Bowman Prospects

Opening Day kicks off a new Major League Baseball season and with it comes the annual releases of popular sets in the baseball card hobby. A new season also means a clean slate for minor league prospects trying to prove they are worthy of a spot at the next level.

The annual Bowman Baseball release blends the best of both worlds, ushering in a new set of rookie and prospect cards. The upcoming 2023 Bowman Baseball release will feature the debut of 96 prospects with 1st Bowman cards.

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

  • #21: Druw Jones, OF
  • #35: Kyle Harrison. P
  • #67: Cam Collier, 3B
  • #97: Edouard Julien, 2B

Although four Top-100 players may not seem impressive, keep in mind that most players have little to no professional experience under their belt at the time they receive their 1st Bowman card.

There are many more prospects not on top prospects lists that are worth investing in. As a reminder, many 1st Bowman prospects are still a long way from the big leagues. This obviously adds more risk to potential investments, so weigh the pros and cons before going all in on a young player.

As always, I’ll break the 2023’s 1st Bowman prospects down into four investment tiers and give you the most information on the prospects that carry the highest investment value. You’ll see prospect grades, organizational rankings, narrative reports, and minor league statistics when available.

READ: The best 1st Bowman cards in 2023 Bowman Chrome

Update 5/7/23: 1st Bowman autographs

There are some players with 1st Bowman cards that are only found in the autograph checklists, meaning they do not have 1st Bowman cards in the base set. There’s no one in this group that jumps out at me.

Twenty of the fourth-eight prospects between the retail-only and regular prospect auto set are pitchers. Many of the position players were recently signed or drafted and have little to no publicly available data, meaning they’d fall in Tier 4. Of the players who have scouting reports on Baseball America, FanGraphs, or MLB Pipeline, I’d place all but two prospects in Tier 3 or 4.

Emmanuel Bonilla and Vaun Brown are the only two players who I’d consider investing in.

READ: Review of 2024 Bowman Baseball

  • Enmanuel Bonilla is a 17-year-old outfielder in the Blue Jays’ system. He has offensive upside that may be worth considering as a long-term investment option, but there’s extreme risk with Bonilla. (Baseball America grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Speed: 50 | Field: 45 | Arm: 55 | Overall: 50)
  • Vaun Brown is a 24-year-old outfielder that is the No. 6 prospect in the Giants’ organization. He’s put up eye-popping minor league statistics and has a good balance of power and speed. Brown is closer to the big leagues than Bonilla, but there’s still considerable risk with Brown. (Baseball America grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Speed: 70 | Field: 55 | Arm: 50 | Overall: 50)

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

Justin Crawford

OF in Philadelphia Phillies organization (#BCP-3)

Age: 19 | Bats: L | Throws: R | ETA: 2027

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 40 | Speed: 70 | Field: 60 | Arm: 50 | Overall: 55

Like his father Carl Crawford, Justin Crawford is an athletic outfielder with speed that grades at the top of the chart. The Phillies selected him at 17th overall in 2022, beating his father’s selection at 52nd overall in 1999.

Justin’s hit tool is above average and he’s presently a contact over power hitter, but he’s a young 19-year-old and scouts are confident he’ll grow into at least average power as he physically matures.

FanGraphs called Crawford “a Ferrari in spikes,” so it’s no surprise he’s swiped 16 bags in 26 career minor league games. That speed serves him well in centerfield and gives him the edge as the best athlete in the Phillies’ system.

Crawford is still raw and is years away from the big leagues, but his exciting blend of tools profiles well as a top-of-the-order bat who provides plus defense in center field. After getting his first taste of full-season ball in 2022, he’ll head back to Low-A Clearwater in 2023.

Baseball America

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Druw Jones

OF in Arizona Diamondbacks organization (#BCP-25)

Age: 19 | Bats: R | Throws: R | ETA: 2027

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Speed: 70 | Field: 70 | Arm: 60 | Overall: 65
  • #21 prospect in MLB by Baseball America

Druw Jones is the player everyone will be ripping for in 2023 Bowman Baseball. Druw is the son of 10-time Gold Glover Andruw Jones. Baseball America notes that “Druw reminds everyone of his father” and FanGraphs also sings high praises, calling him a “potential franchise-altering superstar.”

Jones is a future stud and everyone knows it, which means his cards will fetch sky-high prices. The Diamondbacks will carry a high price tag in team breaks and investing in 1st Bowman autographs will not be cheap. I’m not sure his value will ever be higher than it is on 2023 Bowman release day, so you’ve hit the jackpot if you happen to pull Druw Jones.

Jones provided little to nitpick during his amateur career, and he enters pro ball with sky-high expectations of a potential franchise-altering player. Once his shoulder is fully healthy–which could happen in time for Opening Day–he should open in Low-A Visalia to make his official pro debut.

Baseball America

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Druw Jones 1st bowman card

Edouard Julien

2B in Minnesota Twins organization (#BCP-82)

Age: 23 | Bats: L | Throws: R | ETA: 2023

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 50 | Speed: 45 | Field: 30 | Arm: 50 | Overall: 55
  • #97 prospect in MLB by Baseball America

Edouard Julien is that rare player who sneaks through the minor leagues and makes his big league debut before receiving a 1st Bowman card. He’s had a winding road to his debut with the Twins.

Julien was drafted in the 37th round of the 2017 draft, went to play for Auburn, then was drafted in the 18th round of the 2019 draft where he signed with the Twins. He also played in the Cape Cod League and with the Canadian national team, most recently at the 2023 World Baseball Classic where he hit very well (1.821 OPS).

During his stint with the Twins, Julien flashed the incredible plate discipline he came to be known for in the minor leagues. He also notched his first MLB hit and home run in the same inning of his second career game.

Baseball America grades him as having average power, but I think that might be a bit conservative. FanGraphs has him as a 60 (plus) power hitter, and he hit 18 home runs in the minors in 2021 and 17 in 2022.

He doesn’t have the wow factor of the other players in tier one, but I think he’s flying under the radar right now and is worth your consideration.

Some scouts have put plus raw power grades on him as well, and Julien smacked 18 home runs and 28 doubles between both levels. Just seven minor league hitters managed 15+ homers, 25+ doubles and a .400+ on-base percentage in 2021 (including Jose Miranda) and of that group, only Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe was younger than Julien.

Baseball America

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edouard julien 1st bowman card

Cam Collier

3B in Cincinnati Reds organization (#BCP-125)

Age: 18 | Bats: L | Throws: R | ETA: 2027

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Speed: 40 | Field: 50 | Arm: 65 | Overall: 60
  • #67 prospect in MLB by Baseball America

Cam Collier took the Bryce Harper path to the MLB Draft — leaving high school early, getting his GED, and attending junior college in order to be draft-eligible a year early. In what would have been his junior year, Collier slashed .333/.419/.537 with eight home runs and 47 RBI as a 17-year-old playing college baseball.

You have to possess both maturity and athletic talent to take this path to the big leagues, and Collier has both.

The Reds were thrilled Collier was still available when their No. 18 pick rolled around. They liked his advanced hit tool, natural power, and ability to drive the ball to all fields.

There’s some discrepancy in the way scouts project Collier’s power — Baseball America has a 55 and FanGraphs a 70 — but he’s still only 18 years old with ample time to develop.

Collier was set to be one of the best high school hitters in the 2023 draft class, but he sped up his timetable dramatically by passing the GED after his sophomore year at Mount Paran Christian School in Kennesaw, Ga…. Collier has always been an advanced hitter, which explains how he handled the big jump to facing junior college pitchers as a 17-year-old. He has a smooth swing with plenty of adjustability thanks to excellent hands. He uses the whole field, with a hit-over-power approach, but he has above-average power potential as well.

Baseball America

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Spencer Jones

OF in New York Yankees organization (#BCP-139)

Age: 21 | Bats: L | Throws: L | ETA: 2025

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 60 | Speed: 55 | Field: 55 | Arm: 50 | Overall: 55

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: there’s a 6-foot-7 slugger from California who glides around the outfield in New York. I’m not talking about Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton, but rather Spencer Jones.

Jones blossomed during his junior season at Vanderbilt, slashing .370/.460/.644 with 12 home runs and 14 stolen bases. He followed that up with a strong stint in the Cape Cod League, leading the Yankees to select Jones with the 25th pick in the 2022 draft.

The 21-year-old has a nice combination of strength and athleticism and has shown the ability to make adjustments during his time in pro baseball. There’s a lot to dream about here, especially considering another 6’7” outfielder in pinstripes that transformed himself from a slugger to a complete hitter.

Much like the Yankees’ other towering sluggers, Jones uses his massive frame to produce corresponding power and the exit velocities to match. He hit three home runs in the Florida State League, including one which produced an exit velocity of 111.3 mph…. After a brief appearance at Low-A, Jones and his Vanderbilt pedigree are likely to head to High-A Hudson Valley to begin 2023. He’ll work to continue maintaining his hitting ability against higher-caliber pitchers.

Baseball America

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spencer jones 1st bowman card

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

Lázaro Montes

OF in Seattle Mariners organization (#BCP-58)

Age: 18 | Bats: L | Throws: R | ETA: 2026

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 30 | Power: 60 | Speed: 30 | Field: 50 | Arm: 40 | Overall: 50

Lázaro Montes is a masher. Power is his best tool, and at 18 years old there’s consensus among scouts that his in game power has plus (60) potential. Scouts at Baseball America say that Montes’ raw power is 80-grade stuff, and those at MLB Pipeline compare him to Yordan Alvarez.

 In 56 games in the 2022 Dominican Summer League, Montes slashed .284/.422/.585 with 13 doubles, 5 triples, and 10 home runs. His hit tool is a bit murkier, however, with Baseball America grading him at 30 while FanGraphs gives him a 45. The 33.2% strikeout rate is concerning, but FanGraphs likes his potential based on Montes’ small sample size in professional baseball:

And it isn’t like Montes is a bull-in-a-china-shop young hitter relying solely on his power; his lower half is flexible and athletic, his hitting hands are deft and explosive, and he has good timing for a such a young, long-levered guy.

Montes is a physical specimen with tremendous strength. He makes loud contact to all fields from the left side and already posts some of the highest exit velocities in the Mariners organization. He destroys balls with true, 80-grade raw power and is a threat to leave the park at any time…Montes has the potential to be a 30-plus home run threat, but only if he closes the hole in his swing. He will make his stateside debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2023.

Baseball America

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Junior Caminero

SS in Tampa Bay Rays organization (#BCP-61)

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

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 60 | Speed: 45 | Field: 45 | Arm: 60 | Overall: 50

Junior Caminero is a bubble candidate for Top 100 prospects lists, with some outlets like Baseball Prospectus slotting him in as MLB’s 99th-best prospect. The 19-year-old has substantial playing time in the minor leagues compared to most 1st Bowman prospects.

In 2022, Caminero split time between Rookie ball and Single-A where he slashed a combined .314/.384/.498 with 11 home runs and 12 stolen bases. He displayed more power as he moved up to Single-A and faced better pitchers.

Caminero does a lot of things well. He has solid plate discipline, elite bat speed, and max exit velocities of 116 mph. Caminero jumped across the globe to play in the Australian Baseball League this offseason, hitting 14 home runs in 39 games against pitchers that averaged over 7 years his senior.

The Rays were aggressive in promoting him to High-A to start 2023 and it appears to have paid off. He’s slashing .373/.417/.702 with 6 home runs in 16 games.

Caminero is more physically mature than many 18-year-olds, but there’s likely further strength and power coming as he gets to his early 20s. He’s heavier than his listed 155 pounds. Caminero is strong enough and his hands work well enough that he can get fooled and still manage to hit the ball hard… Caminero will have to keep working on his agility to stay in the dirt, but his hitting ability may handle a move to the outfield one day. Caminero’s ceiling is as a 30-plus home run slugger, but he’ll have to keep improving as he climbs the ladder.

Baseball America

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Roman Anthony

OF in Boston Red Sox organization (#BCP-71)

Age: 18 | Bats: L | Throws: R | ETA: 2026

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Speed: 50 | Field: 50 | Arm: 50 | Overall: 55

If you need a reason to believe in Roman Anthony, look no further than the Boston Red Sox: they gave the prep outfielder a signing bonus that was triple the slot value to coax him away from a scholarship to Mississippi. Anthony, who was Gatorade’s Florida HS Player of the Year, hit a 450-foot moonshot at Coors Field during the 2021 HS All-American Game.

Like most young hitters, Anthony’s aggressiveness can lead to swing-and-miss issues. However, he’s shown an ability to work walks (~1:1 BB:K) and maintain hard contact. There’s good upside here albeit a significant risk factor as well.

In a system deep in up-the-middle athletes with balanced skill sets, Anthony stands out for his middle-of-the-order potential that could slot him as a run-producer, if his mature approach as a young hitter remains intact as he moves up and fills out. He most likely will become a power-hitting corner down the road, though the Red Sox won’t rush him off center field. Anthony will open 2023 in Low-A Salem, with the possibility of a 2025 or 2026 big league ETA.

Baseball America

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Matt Mervis

1B in Chicago Cubs organization (#BCP-74)

Age: 24 | Bats: L | Throws: R | ETA: 2023

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 60 | Speed: 30 | Field: 40 | Arm: 70 | Overall: 50

At 24 years old, Matt Mervis is the oldest player in the second tier and someone the Chicago Cubs could promote to the big leagues this season. He’s a lefthanded-hitting slugger that keeps his strikeout rate in check, and scouts believe he’ll benefit from the new shift rule.

He hit for average and power at High, Double, and Triple-A in 2022, slashing a combined .309/.379/.606 with 40 doubles and 36 home runs. I see Mervis as a high-floor and medium-ceiling type of player.

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Mervis is a hulking lefthanded hitter with plus raw power. He previously struggled to make enough contact to get to it, but he shortened his swing and honed his approach in 2022 to focus on pitches in the middle third of the plate. He has excellent bat speed and natural timing, and his improved swing path and selectivity give him a chance to be an average hitter… Mervis projects to be an everyday first baseman who hits for power, a case he amplified by tying for the Arizona Fall League lead with six home runs. His big league debut should come in 2023.

Baseball America

Kyle Harrison

P in San Francisco Giants organization (#BCP-93)

Age: 21 | Bats: R | Throws: L | ETA: 2024

  • Baseball America Grades: Fastball: 70 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 60

It’s a rarity that collectors and investors care about pitchers, but I think Kyle Harrison has the stuff that can put him in that rare group. The lefty has frontline starter stuff cemented by a mid-to-upper 90s fastball and a sweeping slider.

He generates a ton of whiffs and racks up strikeouts with ease (39.8% K% in 2022). Harrison came into the 2023 season as the #37 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America. Harrison is worthy of a spot in this tier but, for what it’s worth, I’m a Eury Pérez > any pitching prospect type of gal.

Harrison’s three-pitch mix is one of the nastiest in the minor leagues. He starts with a mid-90s four-seam fastball that peaked at 97 mph and got swings and misses at an absurd rate of 40.5%, the highest among any minor leaguer who threw 1,000 or more four-seamers… Harrison will likely head to Triple-A to begin 2023, and he has a ceiling of a starter who can dominate at the top of a rotation.

Baseball America

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Luis Lara

OF in Milwaukee Brewers organization (#BCP-100)

Age: 18 | Bats: S | Throws: R | ETA: 2027

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Speed: 70 | Field: 50 | Arm: 55 | Overall: 50

Luis Lara is an 18-year-old switch-hitting outfielder from Venezuela and someone I’d target as a long-term investment. He isn’t big and imposing, just 5-foot-9 and 155 pounds, but Lara has sneaky pop and plus-plus (70) speed.

Good bat speed has helped him post exit velocities up to 108 mph and, per Baseball America, some scouts “think he could hit 20 homers in the big leagues.” Despite the risk here, Lara has the potential for a very high reward.

A potential table setter at the top of a lineup who can play a premium position, Lara has been an arrow-up player and the most exciting Latin American signing in the system beneath the full-season level. He should make his U.S. debut in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League, though time at Low-A Carolina by the end of the year is possible.

Baseball America

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Jacob Berry

3B/DH in Miami Marlins organization (#BCP-108)

Age: 22 | Bats: S | Throws: R | ETA: 2025

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Speed: 40 | Field: 35 | Arm: 45 | Overall: 55

The Miami Marlins surprised people by drafting Jacob Berry with the sixth overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. No one knocked his ability to hit — Berry slashed .370/.464/.630 with 15 home runs at LSU — but he isn’t a lock for big-time power and is a question mark on defense.

With all of his value riding on whether or not he can hit consistently, his start to 2023 has not inspired confidence. In 19 games at High-A, Berry is 13-for-81 with two walks and 24 strikeouts. For a player who will likely to end up at DH, this is even more concerning.

Fortunately for Berry as a first-round pick that got a $6 million signing bonus, he’ll get ample time to prove himself. I’d be cautious about investing in Berry right now and wait to see how he looks over the next few months. If he doesn’t start to heat up, he’s a candidate to drop into tier three later in the year.

Nearly all of Berry’s value lies with his combination of hitting ability, power and plate discipline. The switch-hitter historically makes more impact from the left side, though he had far more success against southpaws in his brief pro debut… After warming up at the lower levels, Berry should start 2022 at High-A Beloit, where he’ll be challenged both by the colder climate early in the season and the advanced pitching. His ceiling is a slugger either at first base or DH.

Baseball America

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Josue De Paula

OF in Los Angeles Dodgers organization (#BCP-111)

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

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Speed: 40 | Field: 30 | Arm: 55 | Overall: 55

At just 17 years old, Josue De Paula has forced himself to the top of the organization’s prospect list. FanGraphs calls his swing “lovely and graceful while still being powerful,” and mentions that although he may outgrow even corner outfield positions, “the ceiling on his bat is so huge that it may not matter.”

De Paula’s numbers in the Dominican Summer League backed up the lofty narrative reports. He slashed .350/.448/.522 with 13 doubles, 5 home runs, 16 stolen bases, and more walks than strikeouts.

De Paula is a tall, projectable teenager with a gorgeous lefthanded swing. He is a calm, composed hitter who squares balls up with an efficient, balanced stroke that stays on plane through the hitting zone and hits balls hard no matter where they are pitched. He has an advanced knowledge of the strike zone and consistently conducts high-quality at-bats… De Paula has a chance to be an impactful offensive force but is many years away from that ceiling. He’ll make his stateside debut in the Arizona Complex League in 2022.

Baseball America

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Deyvison De Los Santos

3B in Arizona Diamondbacks organization (#BCP-116)

Age: 19 | Bats: R | Throws: R | ETA: 2025

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 65 | Speed: 45 | Field: 40 | Arm: 50 | Overall: 55

I’ll be honest, I waffled back and forth with where to place Deyvison De Los Santos. A player with game power that’s at worst a 65 doesn’t feel like a tier three guy, but there’s a lot riding on his power.

Baseball America scouts mention De Los Santos’ swing-and-miss issues, his tendency to expand the strike zone, and trouble recognizing pitches. Despite that, they’re comfortable saying he has “as much offensive upside as just about anyone in the organization” and compare his offensive profile to “a peak Miguel Sano.”

That’s great for the D-Backs, but it won’t be enough to wow investors. But then again, he dominated in 2022: .306/.348/.499 with 29 doubles and 22 home runs. Not only did he hit for power, De Los Santos also collected 157 hits, 8th most in the minors.

He isn’t someone I’ll be going out of my way to invest in, but I think he’s worth holding onto if you’re ripping a box and pull him.

De Los Santos’ strong frame produces explosive bat speed and his high-end exit velocities lead the D-backs’ system. When his swing is right, he keeps it tight and compact, getting his bat in the zone early and exiting late…. De Los Santos could have as much offensive upside as just about anyone in the organization, but his aggressive approach and willingness to expand the zone raises questions. If it comes together, he could be a masher in the mold of a peak Miguel Sano. De Los Santos figures to open 2023 with Double-A Amarillo.

Baseball America

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Nelson Rada

OF in Los Angeles Angels organization (#BCP-132)

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

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Speed: 55 | Field: 50 | Arm: 50 | Overall: 50

Nelson Rada is a well-rounded outfielder in the Angels’ organization. He won’t turn 18 years old until late in the summer, but Los Angeles was aggressive in promoting him to Single-A in 2023 after a strong performance in 2022. In the Dominican Summer League as a 16-year-old, Rada slashed .311/.446/.439 with 12 doubles and 27 stolen bases.

He’s showing a tick below average power at the moment but that doesn’t concern me right now because he’s so young.

FanGraphs’ notes on the outfielder are short but sweet: Among the youngest players in the 2022 Int’l class, Rada is a broad-shouldered, lefty-hitting outfielder with a chance to grow into enormous power.

Rada seems to be flying under the radar; a 1st Bowman paper autograph /250 sold for $45 on eBay a few days ago. I love Rada as a sleeper prospect.

Rada is a slim but projectable 5-foot-10 outfielder with exciting instincts and athleticism. He is a selective hitter with a short, line-drive swing and has excellent natural bat-to-ball skills that lead to consistent hard contact from the left side. He manages at-bats well beyond his years and is not fazed by facing older, more physically advanced competition. Rada is firmly a contact-first hitter, but he has shown the ability to pull the ball in the air with authority. He has enough raw power to project double-digit home runs as he matures physically and hits the ball in the air more consistently… Rada has the potential to be a leadoff-hitting center fielder, but he is many years away from that ceiling.

Baseball America

Gabriel Gonzalez

OF in Seattle Mariners organization (#BCP-133)

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

  • Baseball America Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 60 | Speed: 40 | Field: 45 | Arm: 70 | Overall: 55

Gabriel Gonzalez jumped from the Mariners’ #10 prospect in 2022 to #4 in 2023 thanks to his ability to recognize pitches, make contact, and annihilate pitches for max exit velocities of 116 mph. Seattle was aggressive with Gonzalez toward the end of 2022, promoting the 18-year-old to Single-A for the last month of the season.

Although the power didn’t jump off the page, Gonzalez held his own against more advanced pitching and only struck out 14.0% of the time. He’s back at that same level right now and looks really good through the first two weeks.

Gonzalez signed with the Mariners for $1.3 million out of Venezuela in 2021 and quickly established himself as one of the organization’s most promising offensive talents… Gonzalez has the thump to be a middle-of-the-order power threat, but he’ll need to improve his swing decisions and monitor his conditioning. He should reach High-A Everett in 2023.

Baseball America

Shop for Gabriel Gonzalez 1st Bowman cards on eBay

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

Zack Gelof, SS in Oakland Athletics organization (#BCP-1)

Pedro Ramírez, 2B/SS in Chicago Cubs organization (#BCP-2)

Max Wagner, 3B in Baltimore Orioles organization (#BCP-8)

Ryan Clifford, OF in Houston Astros organization (#BCP-10)

Jesus Baez, SS in New York Mets organization (#BCP-12)

Austin Charles, SS in Kansas City Royals organization (#BCP-17)

Dyan Jorge, SS in Colorado Rockies organization (#BCP-22)

Ruben Santana, SS/3B in Arizona Diamondbacks organization (#BCP-42)

Gabriel Martinez, OF in Toronto Blue Jays organization (#BCP-45)

Gleider Figuereo, 3B in Texas Rangers organization (#BCP-59)

Antony Peguero, OF in Miami Marlins organization (#BCP-62)

Juan Brito, SS in Colorado Rockies organization (#BCP-77)

Ariel Almonte, OF in Cincinnati Reds organization (#BCP-78)

Nerwilian Cedeño, 3B in San Diego Padres organization (#BCP-81)

Henry Ramos, OF in San Diego Padres organization (#BCP-96)

Yhoangel Aponte, OF in Toronto Blue Jays organization (#BCP-110)

Daniel Montesino, OF in San Diego Padres organization (#BCP-114)

Brock Jones, OF in Tampa Bay Rays organization (#BCP-115)

Carlos Jorge, 2B in Cincinnati Reds organization (#BCP-120)

Angel Genao, SS in Cleveland Guardians organization (#BCP-140)

Robert Perez Jr., 1B in Seattle Mariners organization (#BCP-124)

William Lugo, SS/3B in New York Mets organization (#BCP-141)

Dylan O’Rae, SS in Milwaukee Brewers organization (#BCP-143)

Xavier Isaac, 1B in Tampa Bay Rays organization (#BCP-145)

Kenedy Corona, OF in Houston Astros organization (#BCP-148)

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

Javier Osorio, OF in Detroit Tigers organization (#BCP-4)

Daniel Susac, C in Oakland Athletics organization (#BCP-5)

Wilber Sánchez, SS in Chicago White Sox organization (#BCP-6)

Mishael Deson, OF in Baltimore Orioles organization (#BCP-7)

Moisés Ballesteros, C in Chicago Cubs organization (#BCP-11)

Randy De Jesus, OF in Los Angeles Angels organization (#BCP-19)

Daniel Guilarte, SS in Milwaukee Brewers organization (#BCP-21)

Dayan Frías, SS in Cleveland Guardians organization (#BCP-26)

Rickardo Perez, C in Philadelphia Phillies organization (#BCP-27)

Martin Gonzalez, SS in Seattle Mariners organization (#BCP-28)

Colby Thomas, OF in Oakland Athletics organization (#BCP-32)

Ambioris Tavarez, SS in Atlanta Braves organization (#BCP-33)

Abdias De La Cruz, SS in Arizona Diamondbacks organization (#BCP-34)

Frederick Bencosme, 3B in Baltimore Orioles organization (#BCP-35)

Logan Wagner, 3B in Los Angeles Dodgers organization (#BCP-36)

Kenni Gomez, OF in Houston Astros organization (#BCP-40)

Andres Mesa, SS in Texas Rangers organization (#BCP-44)

Marcos Cabrera, SS in New York Yankees organization (#BCP-46)

Lizandro Rodriguez, SS in Kansas City Royals organization (#BCP-47)

Justyn-Henry Malloy, 3B in Atlanta Braves organization (#BCP-51)

Hao Yu Lee, 2B in Philadelphia Phillies organization (#BCP-52)

Mairoshendrick Martinus, SS in Los Angeles Dodgers organization (#BCP-55)

Christian Cerda, C in Arizona Diamondbacks organization (#BCP-56)

Peyton Graham, 3B in Detroit Tigers organization (#BCP-57)

Michael Arroyo, SS in Seattle Mariners organization (#BCP-63)

Jefferson Rojas, SS in Chicago Cubs organization (#BCP-70)

Yoffry Solano, SS in Miami Marlins organization (#BCP-72)

Axel Sanchez, SS in Seattle Mariners organization (#BCP-73)

Leandro Arias, SS in Baltimore Orioles organization (#BCP-84)

Yilber Herrera, SS in Minnesota Twins organization (#BCP-86)

Nikau Pouaka-Grego, SS in Philadelphia Phillies organization (#BCP-89)

Braylon Bishop, OF in Pittsburgh Pirates organization (#BCP-90)

Luis Garcia, SS in Toronto Blue Jays organization (#BCP-95)

Hector Rodríguez, OF in Cincinnati Reds organization (#BCP-95)

Fraymi De Leon, SS in Boston Red Sox organization (#BCP-97)

Jorge Burgos, OF in Cleveland Guardians organization (#BCP-98)

Vincent Perozo, C in New York Mets organization (#BCP-102)

Juan Chacon, OF in Boston Red Sox organization (#BCP-105)

Ronny Simon, 2B in Tampa Bay Rays organization (#BCP-112)

Abel Bastidas, SS in Detroit Tigers organization (#BCP-113)

Freili Encarnacion, SS in Boston Red Sox organization (#BCP-117)

Lyonell James, IF in Boston Red Sox organization (#BCP-118)

Blake Loubier, P in Boston Red Sox organization (#BCP-122)

Jorge Ruiz, OF in Los Angeles Angels organization (#BCP-123)

Marcus Lee Sang, OF in Philadelphia Phillies organization (#BCP-126)

Emaarion Boyd, OF in Philadelphia Phillies organization (#BCP-128)

Luis Rodriguez, C in St. Louis Cardinals organization (#BCP-130)

Alejandro Osuna, OF in Texas Rangers organization (#BCP-131)

Tony Blanco Jr., OF in Pittsburgh Pirates organization (#BCP-134)

Juan Olmos, C in Kansas City Royals organization (#BCP-136)

Juan Alonso, OF in Los Angeles Dodgers organization (#BCP-137)

Yeiner Fernandez, C/2B in Los Angeles Dodgers organization (#BCP-138)

Yunior Garcia, OF in Los Angeles Dodgers organization (#BCP-142)

Jase Bowen, 2B in Pittsburgh Pirates organization (#BCP-146)

José Peroza, 3B in New York Mets organization (#BCP-149)

Jace Avina, OF in Milwaukee Brewers organization (#BCP-150)

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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