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We talked about the prospects who impressed me in the Arizona Fall League, and we talked about the players who had the best chance at fantasy success in 2022.
Now, it's time to just rank.
Here are the top 10 prospects currently participating in the Arizona Fall League.
1. Spencer Torkelson, INF, Detroit Tigers -- Well, he's still in the Arizona Fall League as of this writing, anyway. Torkelson injured his ankle on a pickoff attempt at third base, and reports suggest that the top pick in 2019 is going to miss "significant time." The good news is with an ankle injury this shouldn't carry over to 2022, and the better news is that he's a prospect who can hit for a high average and power. There's a very real chance Torkelson becomes a fantasy star in the coming years.
2. CJ Abrams, INF, San Diego Padres -- Abrams is not participating in games, but his inclusion on the roster means he has to rank high on this list. And high on this list he does rank. He suffered an MCL injury to end his 2021 season prematurely, but when healthy he shows a plus-plus hit tool and top-of-the-scales speed that gives him a chance to be a contributor in at least two categories. The power isn't elite, but it won't have to be. There's superstar potential in his profile.
3. Marco Luciano, INF, San Francisco Giants -- Luciano got off to a bit of a rough start at the Low-A level, but he ended up hitting 18 homers in his 70 games with San Jose before struggling at the High-A level. Still, this is a player with easy plus-plus power that should hit for average as well because the ball jumps off his bat. Luciano may need to move to third someday, but if he reaches his offensive potential there he's still a fantasy star. If he sticks at short? Wow.
4. Brett Baty, 3B, New York Mets -- I try and not be a prisoner of the moment, but it was hard to not move Baty up based on my look in the AFL. So hard, in fact that I wasn't able to resist. Saying the ball jumped off his bat is to say that water is wet, and the power potential is obvious. I'm not convinced that he's going to stick at third base despite having the arm strength, but it's easy to see him being relevant even if he has to make the move across the diamond to first. I thought Baty was a high-floor hitter coming into the weekend, but there's clearly a significant ceiling here, as well.
5. Triston Casas, 1B, Boston Red Sox -- There's no doubt that Casas is going to have to play first, and that limits his real-life ranking. The fantasy potential, however, is palpable. Casas has easy plus-plus power in his left-handed swing, and while there's some obvious swing-and-miss in his profile, too, he does look like a hitter who can put up a decent average as well thanks to pitch-recognition skills and using the entire field. Casas looks just about ready, and he has a chance in the long-term to be a 30-plus homer hitter who gets on at a high clip. Nothing wrong with that.
6. Gabriel Moreno, C, Toronto Blue Jays -- If this list was just a list of the top prospects regardless of fantasy value, Moreno would rank a few spots higher than this. That's not to say he doesn't have fantasy potential, however, because he wouldn't be on this list if he didn't. He's a backstop who has the potential for above-average grades in both power and hit, and he put up monster numbers before his season came to an end because of a fractured thumb. Moreno should stick at catcher, and there's a reason he ranks as one of the very best at his position in terms of prospects behind the plate.
7. Nolan Gorman, INF, St. Louis Cardinals -- Gorman likely would have made his debut in 2021 if not for the Cardinals unbelievable run to the postseason, but that debut wait shouldn't extend too far into 2022. The best tool here is his power, but he's also improved his swing path; enough to suggest that he should be able to reach 50 -- or average -- in his hit tool. There won't be many steals and expect some ups-and-downs because he's going to strike out, but a second baseman (assuming that's where he lands) who could possibly hit 40 homers someday? Tough to not get excited about that.
8. Curtis Mead, INF, Tampa Bay Rays -- I knew very little about Mead coming into Arizona, and I left enamored. Signed out of Australia by the Phillies and then traded for Christopher Sanchez (editor's note: Whoops), Mead scorched everything in my brief look, and scouts were just impressed when I got the chance to talk with them. The only question mark here is where Mead is going to play -- just based on look I'd guess third but second isn't out of the question -- but the fact he was doing this as a 20-year-old with very little pro experience was incredibly exciting.
9. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, San Diego Padres -- We've talked about Gore in all of these writeups, but we'll do it again. He's no longer the best pitching prospect in baseball, but he's still a hurler who can get his fastball up to 98 mph with solid movement and with three above-average secondary pitches. The question is whether or not he can get back to commanding those offerings, and the hope is his new delivery will allow him to do just that. This is no longer a "sure thing" -- if there's even a sure thing that could exist in terms of pitching prospects -- but the upside is still here. Don't give up.
10. Nick Gonzales, 2B, Pittsburgh Pirates -- Gonzales hit .302 with a .950 OPS in his first professional season, and those numbers -- while excellent, for sure -- are even better when you consider that Gonzales was hitting just .214 in his first 29 games at Bradenton with 44 strikeouts in 129 plate appearances. There's a chance for a plus-plus hit tool here, and 20-plus homer seasons are a reasonable expectation, as well. There are some defensive issues with Gonzales, but the bat should allow him to be a regular -- perhaps a well above-average one.