The brand new 2024 top-400 MLB prospect rankings are here! We saw a ton of movement and moves last year that shook up the rankings. Now following the Michael Busch trade to the Cubs, Jackson Ferris trade to the Dodgers, Leo De Vries signing with the Padres, and a host of other MLB international signings and a few trades, we have a new set of rankings. Along with the new rankings are new MLB Farm System Rankings which sees the Chicago Cubs top prospects putting them at the top of the rankings. Who is my top prospect for 2024 fantasy baseball? Check out the rankings, positional rankings, and team rankings below.
MLB Prospect Rankings Process
Ranking prospects is a subjective undertaking more than an objective one — at least in most cases. Especially when we’re talking about fantasy baseball prospect rankings. Why is it subjective? Because everyone will look at a player’s tape and results in a different way and have a different view of their place in the organization, and the organization as a whole. However, that doesn’t really explain the process does it? No. So when we’re talking about how do we look at a huge pool of players and put them in order with numbers next to them? Well let’s dive into it a bit.
The biggest part of the evaluation and ranking is skills and which skills. Remember these are rankings with a fantasy baseball leaning. The prospects that not only have the best package of skills, but have been the most successful in showing them in games, are higher in the rankings. That part should be self-explanatory to a degree. However, there’s more to the rankings than just that.
The next considerations usually come in a group — age, level, and league. The younger a player is at a higher level and a tough or fair league, the higher in the rankings they tend to be. Why? Well two-fold, firstly, if they’re young and at a high level it means the skills have already shown through well enough to earn promotion(s); secondly, if they suffer a slump or an injury, there’s more time for them to get back to the previous level of production and still be a fantasy asset for a long time. Going hand-in-hand with age is the level (aka A-Ball, Double-A, Triple-A) a player is at or has reached. The rankings are based on how close a player is to helping us in fantasy baseball lineups so the closer to the majors the better. But, going along with that comes age in that an older player performing well at a higher level isn’t necessarily as impressive as a younger one doing the same thing. Finally, the third part of this trifecta is league. Not every MiLB league is created the same. Clearly the levels are different, but within the levels the different leagues have different tendencies. For example, the International League in Triple-A is a pretty fair league between hitting and pitching but the Pacific Coast League in Triple-A is way better for hitters. So a pitcher putting up great numbers in the PCL is really pitching well compared to a pitcher putting up the same numbers in the IL.
Lastly, the organization they’re in and that team’s MLB roster is taken into account. Now, while it’s true there’s a saying “talent always finds a way to the top,” that’s not necessarily true. Take the case of Michael Busch for the Dodgers. He had proven he’s a great bat with versatility but he was blocked by a bevy of MLB talent like Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and others. So even though he has the skill, performance, age, level, and league in his favor, his team’s roster didn’t help. Players in an organization better known for developing and getting the most out of their prospects do get a slight boost while others who aren’t as fortunate to be in good organizations, may not.
See what I mean with it being subjective? All of those factors get rolled into one package for a player and shakes out into an order list of players. Does that mean that the top prospect will always be the most productive MLB player for fantasy? Do weathermen always get the forecast right? No, the same is true for prospects. Being higher on the list simply means you have a stronger chance of being a better fantasy baseball asset.
Enjoy the rankings and be on the lookout for updates throughout the preseason and regular season!