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Keith Law’s 2024 Top 100 MLB Prospects Rankings: Jackson Holliday Takes the Number 1 Spot




Prospects in Baseball

Welcome to this year’s ranking of the top 100 prospects in baseball

I’ve been compiling and writing such rankings for 17 years now, and those of you who’ve read them before will find the format here similar to those from the recent past. My farm reports covering at least 20 prospects in each team’s system, and notes on prospects who might appear in the majors this year, or who might be breakout prospects for the 2025 rankings, will appear starting the week of Feb. 12.

This year’s list has more players from the most recent draft than any top-100 I’ve ever done (I think), with 20 percent of the list — that’s 20 players, if you’re struggling to do the math here — on this list being 2023 draftees.

To be eligible for this list, a player must still retain Rookie of the Year eligibility for 2024, and have no experience in NPB/KBO, as those are major leagues and calling, say, Yoshinobu Yamamoto a “prospect” is pretty silly (not to mention it takes up the space I’d rather use on an actual prospect). I also don’t include the international free agents who just signed in January, since in nearly all cases those guys haven’t been scouted by other teams in a year or more.

I use the 20-80 scale for tools (or 2-8 — same scale, different dialect), where 50 is average, 60 is plus, 40 is well below average, 80 is Ke’Bryan Hayes’ defense, and 20 is Yasmani Grandal’s foot speed. I try to discuss players’ tools, their frames, their level of athleticism and other physical attributes, as well as their skills, their aptitude, and other mental or intellectual attributes as well. This is comparable to how major-league teams evaluate players, although they will always have the advantage of access to more and better data than those of us on the outside can get.

When referring to starters, I acknowledge that that role is still evolving and we don’t have 200-inning guys anymore, with a lot of “five-and-dive” (throw five innings and hit the showers) or twice-through-the-order guys, but I will still talk about league-average starters and sometimes refer to back-end (fourth or fifth) starters or above-average (ace, No. 2, and some No. 3) starters.

Team

Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves
Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland Guardians
Colorado Rockies
Detroit Tigers
Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers
Miami Marlins
Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins
New York Mets
New York Yankees
Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
Seattle Mariners
St. Louis Cardinals
Tampa Bay Rays
Texas Rangers
Toronto Blue Jays
Washington Nationals

Position

1B 2B 3B C IF LHP OF RHP SS

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2023 Ranking: 19

Holliday went from “maybe he’s a first-rounder” in the fall of 2021, his senior year of high school, to “oh my God he’s the best prospect in baseball” by May of 2023, an unbelievable rise — you could say meteoric, but I prefer to avoid such clichés — that’s a testament to both his natural talent and his incredible feel for the game. He played at all four full-season levels of the minors in 2023, dominating the first three before a solid stint at Triple-A Norfolk to end the year, with a composite line of .323/.442/.499 on the season and 101 walks against 118 strikeouts. He has exceptional hand-eye coordination, so even when he’s fooled by a pitch he often manages to make contact with it, even hard contact. I do think major-league pitchers will force him to shorten up his swing sometimes, as he nearly always swings full bore and no one has given him any reason to do otherwise. He’s a 50/55 runner, likely to end up average once he fills out, a process that will begin as soon as he starts shaving every day. Holliday is a natural shortstop whose position wouldn’t be in doubt if the Orioles didn’t already have an incumbent there — and Holliday is a better defender than Gunnar Henderson at short — but he’s moved around the infield a little and could come up at third or second if Baltimore doesn’t want to dislodge the AL Rookie of the Year. He reminds me in several ways of Troy Tulowitzki, but has the advantage of the left-handed bat and has a better feel for the strike zone. I think he’ll hit .280-.300 with strong walk rates and 25+ homers a year to go with above-average defense at shortstop, and that’s a profile that can win an MVP award.

2023 Ranking: 3

Chourio came into the year as my No. 3 prospect, behind the two eventual Rookie of the Year winners, but then got off to a slow start when the Brewers started him in Double-A Biloxi despite just 31 games in High A and six in Double A the year before. Whether he was pressing or just adjusting to the tougher level, when the sun rose on June 1, Chourio was hitting .254/.308/.418 and had punched out in a quarter of his plate appearances. The rest of the season, he hit .297/.353/.492 with a 15 percent strikeout rate and spent the final week with Triple-A Nashville. That week went pretty well, as Chourio put 21 balls in play, eight of them with exit velocities of 100 mph or better, peaking at 107.2 mph, and just five below 91 mph. Chourio still finished fifth in the Double-A Southern League in steals and tied for fourth in homers, and has barely begun to fill out physically, getting to that power and hard contact with strong wrists and incredible bat speed. It’s a simple swing with just enough loft in that follow-through for line-drive power, and he projects to hit for high averages as well. He’s a plus runner and at least a 60 defender in center already, likely to end up more. You can make a case for him over Holliday, as Chourio also plays a position up the middle, offers plus defense, has more speed, and is overall a twitchier, more athletic player. I think Holliday has the higher floor, between his position and better feel right now for the strike zone,…


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