Top 10 Prospects: May 9

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A reminder on how this works: This is a list for the 2022 season only. It is not a list of the top overall prospects, but the players who have the best chance of making a difference in 2022.

Also, it’s only a list of prospects who are currently in the minors/have prospect eligibility, so players on MLB teams do not count.

Those warnings out of the way, here’s a look at the top prospects who have a chance to make a fantasy contribution in 2022.

1. Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore Orioles

2022 stats: 10 G, .400/.500/.543, 0 HR, 0 SB, 6 BB, 2 SO at High-A Aberdeen, Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk.

With Rutschman now in Triple-A, it's time to place him at the top of this list. As you can see from the numbers above, he's shown very little rust, and the best prospect in baseball is now a step away from reaching the majors. The Orioles will probably want him to play a couple of weeks in the minors before making the call, but once Baltimore does, fantasy managers need to play him in their lineup. It goes without saying that he should already be rostered.

2. Nolan Gorman, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals

2022 stats: 26 G, .307/.360/.693, 12 HR, 2 SB, 8 BB, 38 SO at Triple-A Memphis.

Gorman has slowed down since his ridiculous run, but slowed down to the tune of .300/.349/.650 over his last 10 contests. The amount of players that would do bad things for that kind of slowdown is all of them. The reason Gorman slips to the second spot is not an insult to him is not an insult to him but a rather large compliment to Rutschman. He's a must-add once he's up, and it's an easy justification to place him on your fantasy roster now. Better too early than too late.

3. Oneil Cruz, SS/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

2022 stats: 24 G, .189/.300/.337, 2 HR, 8 SB, 13 BB, 30 SO at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Much better. Those numbers are still ugly, but Cruz ended the week with two multi-hit games, and swatted his second homer of the year earlier in the week. Quite frankly, I'm not going to change my opinion on Cruz based on a poor month of games and I'm going to use some confirmation bias for his success in he past few contests. Cruz is incredibly talented, and it's just a matter of time before he's helping fantasy managers in 2022.

4. Riley Greene, OF, Detroit Tigers

2021 stats: 124 G, .301/.387/.534, 24 HR, 16 SB, 63 BB, 153 SO at Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo.

It looked like Greene was on his way to making the Opening Day roster with Spencer Torkelson for the Tigers, but baseball can be pretty cruel sometimes. Instead of squaring off against the White Sox on April 8, Greene will be out ‘thanks’ to a fracture in his right foot. He’s not expected to need surgery, but the fracture will keep him out 6-8 weeks. He still deserves to be placed on this list as an outfielder capable of helping in several categories, and he should be back with Detroit before the end of June. It’d be a lot easier to justify carrying him on the roster if you could place him on the injured list, but he’s a must-add as soon as Detroit gives him the chance.

5. Josh Lowe, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

2021 stats: 6 G, .095/.208/.381, 2 HR, 0 SB, 3 BB, 15 SO at Triple-A Durham; 19 G, .188/.257/.344, 1 HR, 6 BB, 27 SO at Tampa Bay.

Lowe was sent back to Triple-A shortly after last week's list was posted, and as you can see from those stats, it was justified. It's also not a reason to give up on him as a fantasy contributor in the long or short term. He's an outfielder with plus power and speed, and he's already shown off the pop since being sent back to Durham with a couple homers. Lowe should get another shot before the season comes to an end, and he's worth fantasy consideration once he does.

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6. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Baltimore Orioles

2022 stats: 6 G, 27 IP, 4.15 ERA, 5 BB, 33 SO at Triple-A Norfolk.

After a couple of poor starts the previous week, Rodriguez was much better on Saturday against Nashville with 5 1/3 scoreless frame with five strikeouts. Not his normal dominant self, but certainly more in line from what we've seen from the right-hander over the last couple of seasons. The Orioles have one of the most talented Triple-A rosters with Rodriguez, Rutschman and left-hander D.L. Hall, and all three have a chance to be fantasy helpers at some point this summer.

7. Triston Casas, 1B, Boston Red Sox

2022 stats: 29 G, .260/.373/.500, 6 HR, 0 SB, 19 BB, 29 SO at Triple-A Worcester.

I've talked before about how this list isn't just about talent, but also about proximity and situation. Triston Casas is obviously talented, and is obviously a step away from the majors. But have you seen what Bobby Dalbec is doing right now? Or rather, have you seen what Dalbec isn't doing? Casas needs to show a little more consistency, but Boston has already turned to Jarren Duran to help their anemic offense. Casas could very well be next.

8. Max Meyer, RHP, Miami Marlins

2022 stats: 6 G, 31.1 IP, 1.72 ERA, 9 BB, 39 SO at Triple-A Jacksonville.

Meyer had one of his worst starts of the year on Friday, and it saw him strike out six over five innings while giving up just one earned run. He did walk three, but the fact that this was one of his poorer efforts speaks to how good the third pick of the 2020 draft has been over the first month-plus. Meyer looks ready to go, and it's just a matter of the Marlins making room for him. Those who saw George Kirby dominate on Sunday know it's possible for pitchers of Meyer and Rodriguez's talent to contribute immediately.

9. Gabriel Moreno, C, Toronto Blue Jays

2022 stats: 18 G, .297/.347/.373, 0 HR, 0 SB, 5 BB, 14 SO at Triple-A Buffalo.

The hits are starting to drop for Moreno, and the backstop punctuated a strong week on Friday with a 4-for-5 effort against Durham with a double. The backstop now has five doubles on the year, and the two-baggers should start turning into homers sooner than later. There's no guarantee Moreno makes his debut in 2022, but he's someone fantasy managers have to be cognizant of because of his talent and premium position.

10. Vidal Brujan, INF/OF, Tampa Bay Rays

2022 stats: 16 G, .300/.400/.467, 0 HR, 6 SB, 10 BB, 10 SO at Triple-A Durham.

Bruján ranking so "far" behind Lowe might raise eyebrows, and I think it's worth pointing out that I have the former ranked ahead of the latter on my overall list. My concern with Bruján is that when he gets another call up that it will be in a role that sees him playing in a utility role, while Lowe will be likely close to an everyday outfielder when he gets a chance. Still, because of his ability to hit for average and steal bases, it's easy to see fantasy relevance. Just be prepared for some inconsistent playing time if/when it happens.

Next in line: Shane Baz, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays; Shea Langeliers, C, Oakland Athletics; Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Rangers; Brennen Davis, OF, Chicago Cubs