As we inch closer to the 2023 season, I am going to give top three prospects at each position. This will be based on where they currently play and also where they may end up. This will culminate with my newly updated top 30 prospects before the season starts. This week, we are looking at the top pitchers and since there are a lot of good ones, I will list the top five.
1. Hunter Brown
Brown was drafted by the Astros in the 5th round in 2019 and after a very good 2021 season, he followed that up with an even more dominating 2022. The right-hander had a system leading 2.55 ERA and struck out 134 in just 106 innings. He also cut his walks down from 4.5 BB/9 in 2021 to just 3.8 BB/9 in 2022. His performance earned him a call-up to Houston where he had a 0.89 ERA in 20.1 innings. Brown features a high 90s fastball and a plus curveball and slider. He has all the makings of a top not starter. Read more on him here.
2022 Stats: 23 G, 2.55 ERA, 106.0 IP, 70 H, 30 ER, 45 BB, 134 K, 11.4 K/9
Arrighetti was drafted by the Astros in the 6th round of the 2021 draft and put together a strong first year in the system. On the surface, the ERA may look high (though 3.67 FIP), but he pitched the majority of the season at one of the best hitting environments in baseball. Still, the right-hander led the Astros system in strikeouts with 152 in just 106.2 innings. Arrighetti has a fastball that runs up to 97 MPH and a plus slider. He also has a solid curveball and changeup as well. Check out my interview with him here.
2022 Stats: 27 G, 4.73 ERA, 106.2 IP, 101 H, 56 ER, 55 BB, 151 K, 12.8 K/9
Tamarez was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2019 and has consistently posted solid numbers. At 22 years old, he struck out 142 over 121.1 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2022. Tamarez has really good stuff including a heavy fastball and an improving slider and changeup, but has to work on his command for him to really make it as a starter at the next level.
2022 Stats: 28 G, 4.30 ERA, 121.2 IP, 82 H, 58 ER, 70 BB, 142 K, 10.5 K/9
Ullola is a very intriguing prospect. As a 20-year-old, he struck out 120 in just 72 innings, good for 15.0 K/9 in Single-A. On the flip side, he also walked 55 in 72 innings. That was the only downside. He was nearly unhittable allowing just 39 hits over 72 innings. He has a fastball that pushes high 90s easy and hitters have a hard time touching him. He combines the fastball with a hard, sharp slider. He really throws the two pitchers for now and could end up in the pen, but he is electric.
2022 Stats: 22 G, 3.25 ERA, 72.0 IP, 39 H, 26 ER, 55 BB, 120 K, 15.0 K/9
Gordon was an intriguing draft pick in 2021 after a good college career, but went into the draft after having Tommy John Surgery. After recovering and making his way back, Gordon dominated on the mount in 2022. He started in Single-A and had a 2.21 ERA with 3 BB/27 K in 20.1 innings. He was promoted to High-A where he had a 2.66 ERA with 3 BB/29 K in 20.1 innings. He won’t over power hitters, but he has phenomenal command and pitchability with his secondary offerings making him an uncomfortable at-bat.
2022 Stats: 15 G, 2.35 ERA, 53.2 IP, 35 H, 14 ER, 8 BB, 78 K, 13.1 K/9