Top prospects at second base 2023

MLB Pipeline will unveil its Top 100 Prospects list for 2023 on Thursday, January 26 at 7 p.m. ET with an hour-long show on MLB Network and MLB.com. Leading up to the release of the Top 100, we’re examining baseball’s top 10 at each position.

Second base is one of the least convenient positions. But as clubs value hitting more than ever, second basemen are making their way into the first round of the Draft more than ever.

In the last five Drafts, six second basemen entered the first round: Michael Busch (2019); Nick Gonzales, Justin Foscue and Nick Yorke (2020); and Termarr Johnson and Jace Jung (2022). That total matches the number of keystone first-rounders from the first 35 Drafts. The 2020 and 2022 Drafts doubled the number of times multiple second basemen have gone into the same first round.

Not surprisingly, our Top 10 Second Base Prospects list includes all six of those first-rounders – the most we’ve ever mentioned.

The Top 10 (ETA)
1. Termarr Johnson, Pirates (2025)
2. Michael Busch, Dodgers (2023)
3. Jace Jung, Tigers (2025)
4. Justin Foscue, Rangers (2023)
5. Zack Faith, Athletics (2023)
6. Connor Norby, Orioles (2023)
7. Edouard Julien, Gemini (2023)
8. Nick Gonzales, Pirates (2023)
9. Nick Yorke, Red Sox (2024)
10. Wenceel Perez, Tigers (2023)
Complete list “

Top 10 prospects by position:
R.H.P. | LHP | C| 1B| 2B
23/1: 3B
24/1: SS
25/1: OF
26/1: Top 100

Hit: Johnson (70)
Scouts considered Johnson the best high school hitter in years, with one saying he combined Wade Boggs’ plate discipline with Vladimir Guerrero Sr.’s bat-to-ball skills. The fourth overall pick in the 2022 Draft, he has a compact left-handed shot, excellent hand-eye coordination, and advanced swing decisions.

Power: Johnson, Busch (60)
Johnson isn’t particularly physical at a registered 5-foot-7 and 175 pounds, but his bat speed, power, and ability to catch balls project to produce more power. Busch has more raw pop, and last season ranked third in the Minors in extra-base hits (70) and total bases (285) and sixth in homers (32), splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A.

Walk: Perez (60)
Perez’s plus speed translates more into extra-base hits and advancing on base than stealing. He was fourth in the Minors last year with 10 triples while swiping 18 bags in 23 attempts between High-A and Double-A.

Arm: Perez (55)
While second base isn’t a position related to arm strength, Perez has a solid arm that allows him to play all over the infield. That could come in handy, as the arrival of Jung, the 2022 first-round pick, could make Perez more of a utility man for the Tigers in the long run.

Field: Johnson (55)
While his average arm and speed dictated a move from shortstop to second base, Johnson has the qualities of a solid defender in his new position. His hands and feet work well and he focuses on improving his speed and agility to extend his reach.

Highest ceiling: Johnson
Johnson has the advantage of winning batting titles while delivering 25-30 homers a season and being an asset to the defense. That’s the description of a perennial All-Star.

Top floor: Busch
Busch lived up to his reputation as one of the top all-around offensive talents in the 2019 college class, hitting .274/.365/.516 in his first completely healthy season as a pro in 2022. He should average and power while playing a lot walks, and he has worked to transform himself into an adequate defender.

Rookie of the Year Candidate: Busch
At least half of our Top 10 should be debuting in the big league this season, with Busch having less to prove in the Minors than anyone else. That said, he’ll need to find at bats on a packed Dodgers roster that also includes talented rookies Miguel Vargas and James Outman.

Highest climber: Julien
Although Julien led the Minors with 110 walks in his first full pro season in 2021, he only jumped into the Top 100 Prospects consideration last season. He hit .300/.441/.490 in Double-A while finishing fifth in the Minors in on-base percentage and sixth in walks (98), then hit .400/.563/.686 in the Arizona Fall League and led the development circuit in batting, OBP, OPS (1,249), runs (24) and walks (23).

Humble beginnings: Julien
The only members of our Top 10 not to receive a seven-figure signing bonus were Julien and Perez, who were rated as quality candidates, but not great talents. Julien signed in 2019 for an over-slot $493,000 as an 18th round Auburn sophomore, while Perez turned pro in 2016 for $550,000 from the Dominican Republic.

Most to prove: Yorke
A surprise first-round pick in 2020, Yorke led the Low-A East in hitting (.323) and OPS (.913) in his pro debut the following year, but dropped to .232/.303/.365 last season while dealing with injuries and ill-advised adjustments. He looked like his old self in the AFL, hitting .342/.424/.526.

Watch out: Eguy Rosario, Padres
Rosario, who came from the Dominican Republic for $300,000 in 2015, broke out at home six years later, scoring last season by hitting .288/.368/.508 with 22 home runs and 21 steals in Triple-A. Listed at 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds, he has a feel for hitting, some rogue power and solid speed.

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