MLB Top Prospects Rankings 2024: Consensus List From 6 Outlets

MLB Top Prospects Rankings 2024: Consensus List From 6 Outlets article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: Jackson Chourio, Jackson Holliday, Evan Carter.

The start of MLB spring training means a lot of things for a lot of people. For those who play dynasty baseball, engage with the trading cards market, or just have a vested interest in their team's rising young stars, top prospects lists are chief among them.

Reputable scouting-based outlets across the country have been releasing their top prospects lists for several weeks now. Which outlet you get your prospect information from is obviously a matter of choice, but here, we're breaking down six of the most reputable (in the eyes of this author) — Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, MLB Pipeline, The Athletic and FanGraphs.

Many of these outlets have their rankings and analysis behind a paywall, and I would greatly encourage you to click on their respective links above for all their prospect goods. Here, however, I've averaged out the six lists into a Consensus Top Prospects List. Below, you'll find the consensus rankings, averages, ranges of outcomes, and below that, some interesting tidbits that stood out while compiling these lists.

First, a few notes on how this worked:

  1. Baseball America, MLB Pipeline and The Athletic rank 100 prospects. Baseball Prospectus and FanGraphs rank 101 prospects. That's why you'll see a difference on occasion.
  2. For the interest of these averages, any player unranked on a list was given a 101 (or 102 in the case of Baseball Prospectus or FanGraphs). This is obviously unfair and imperfect. The authors of these lists undoubtedly have internal rankings that stretch toward 250 or even longer. We obviously aren't privy to the knowledge of where, for example, a player ranked by Baseball America and unranked by FanGraphs would have ranked on FanGraphs' list if it stretched beyond the 101 they publicly released. While I believe this list still serves a purpose of giving us a consensus idea of these sites' rankings, it's still important to keep that in mind.
  3. In the list below, you'll find each player's rank, organization, average of the six lists, and range of outcomes (highest and lowest ranking of the six lists, basically).
  4. There's no "tiebreaker" for players with the same average. For example, Walker Jenkins (No. 11) and Samuel Basallo (No. 12) have the same average score of 15.67. You can count them as tied, even if the rankings do not factor in ties.
  5. Every player ranked at least once on any of the six lists is included.

Here are the consensus top prospects ahead of the 2024 MLB season.

MLB Top Prospects 2024

Between the six outlets, 154 total players were ranked, but there was only one consensus ranking across the board: Orioles shortstop Jackson Holliday at No. 1. The 20-year-old — who is the son of ex-big leaguer Matt Holliday — reached Triple-A last season and could be in Baltimore as soon as this season.

All of the players ranked Nos. 2-4 are in the top-six in every prospect list. Brewers outfielder Jackson Chourio, was ranked second by four of the six outlets. Rangers outfielder Wyatt Langford was No. 2 in the other two outlets, but No. 6 in two others. Rays infielder Junior Caminero, came in at No. 3 or 4 in five publications, with one ranking him No. 6.

Langford, notably, is the top-ranked consensus prospect from the 2023 MLB Draft class despite going fourth overall back in July. The top overall pick in that draft, Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes, is ranked third by MLB Pipeline, but 10th by both The Athletic and FanGraphs. The No. 2 pick behind Skenes, Nationals outfielder Dylan Crews, is ranked in the 5-7 range by every outlet except FanGraphs, which has him ninth. Meanwhile, No. 3 pick Max Clark of the Detroit Tigers is all the way down at No. 19 overall, with a wide range of rankings from 13 (MLB Pipeline) to 36 (FanGraphs).

The biggest differences in the Top 10 come in Nos. 9 and 10, Diamondbacks shortstop Jordan Lawlar and Nationals outfielder James Wood. Lawlar is ranked as high as fourth by The Athletic, and as low as No. 17 by ESPN. Wood's top spot is No. 6 by FanGraphs, while The Athletic has him down at No. 19.

The range of outcomes becomes more extreme the further down the list you get, and the widest range overall comes from 20-year-old Rockies infielder Adael Amador. FanGraphs has him as the 17th-best prospect in baseball, while The Athletic did not include him in its Top 100.

Of players who were actually ranked by all six outlets, the widest range comes from Drew Gilbert. The Mets outfielder, who was acquired last summer in the trade that sent Justin Verlander to the Astros, is No. 29 at Baseball Prospectus and No. 100 at The Athletic. Behind Gilbert among players who appear on all six lists is Pirates infielder Termarr Johnson, whose range goes from No. 24 (The Athletic) to No. 90 (Baseball Prospectus).

One interesting way of analyzing these lists is seeing which players an outlet is out on an island on. Well, that's not entirely true, but the players in the above chart were only listed by a single outlet.

In some cases, this might not be entirely insightful. In several of these instances, these players were ranked in the 90s by outlets that chose to rank them. Meaning, in theory, there could only be a 10-or-so spot difference between that list and another one (in the hypothetical scenario where lists expanded beyond 101).

However, there's a trio of notable outliers worth highlighting. As you would expect, the better the Consensus Overall ranking is, the higher that player ranked on the outlet's list in which he falls under. Thus, you can deduce that Zach Dezenzo ranked higher on the Baseball Prospectus list than any of the above players did on their respective lists. Indeed, the Astros infielder is No. 40 at BP.

Right behind him in terms of the outliers are Jansel Luis of the Diamondbacks and Jairo Iriarte of the Padres. Luis came in at No. 51 on The Athletic's Top 100, while Iriarte is No. 61 at FanGraphs.

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In the flip side of the previous list, we have players that outlets are alone in not including in their top 100 (or 101) prospects. Again, like the above, it's entirely possible that the outlets that chose note to rank these players had them just missing the cut, perhaps in the 101-110 range if we were privy to that information.

The biggest outlier here was mentioned above, Amador of the Rockies. His consensus ranking of No. 35 shows you that he was ranked well on five of the six lists (his high is No. 17 at FanGraphs), but The Athletic did not see him as one of the Top 100 prospects in baseball. Indeed, of the five outlets that ranked him, none had him lower than 36th.

The Athletic's list — which is authored by former MLB executive Keith Law — was the biggest outlier list overall, with six players total unranked that the other five outlets chose to rank. In addition to Amador, outfielder Spencer Jones — the Yankees' first-round pick in 2022 — was ranked from 15-84 in every other list, while Cubs outfielder Owen Caissie was in the 43-65 range at the other five outlets.

MLB Pipeline was the only outlet without any outliers in this exercise. Of the 100 players they ranked, every single one of them appeared on at least one other list.

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Why Does [Outlet] Hate My Favorite Team/Player?

Authors who have developed some repute with the public are commonly accused of harboring some bias toward certain players/organizations, whether it be positively or negatively. While this rationale is difficult to parse, it might be worthwhile for fans to know which outlets are particularly high or low on players of interest to them.

If you're a Yankees fan, for example, wouldn't you like to know who thinks the most highly/lowly of The Martian, Jasson Dominguez?

For this exercise, we're excluding ties, and only listing players in which one outlet is alone as the high-ranker of each individual player.

On the flip side, we have the lower end of the spectrum. Which outlets are down an a particular prospect, relative to their peers?

Once again, we're excluding ties, and only listing players in which one outlet is alone as the lowest-ranker of each individual player.

So, Which Team Has the Best Farm System?

I say that in jest, of course. This silly exercise does not determine which team has the best farm system. That said, using a reverse points system where the No. 1 prospects gets his team the max points (154), No. 2 gets 153, etc., can tell us a bit of a story, too. So let's do that.

You'll find two columns below and both are sortable. You can sort by number of players on this list, and number of points using the reverse points system.

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