Last spring, Michael Harris II and Adley Rutschman featured prominently on the MLB Pipeline All-Defense Team, and solely months later, they proved how priceless their gloves and arms have been on the high degree of the sport.
Of all the foremost instruments, fielding is likely to be what interprets best as prospects graduate to bona fide Major Leaguers. Have gloves, will journey in any case.
It’s additionally some of the constant instruments, a minimum of for youthful gamers who’ve but to lose a step of their careers. That’s why sure members of this 12 months’s All-Defense class will look acquainted. Cubs outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong and Giants third baseman Casey Schmitt repeat from final 12 months’s version of the First Team, whereas Rockies first baseman Michael Toglia steps up from the Second Team. D-backs outfielder Corbin Carroll, Marlins shortstop Nasim Nuñez, Phillies outfielder Johan Rojas and Pirates third baseman Jared Triolo all seem on the secondary squad for a second consecutive season.
Our full All-Defense First Team consists of 4 Top 100 Prospects (end-of-2022-season organizational rankings in parentheses):
C: Jefferson Quero, Brewers (No. 7)
The 20-year-old backstop was one of many talks of the Arizona Fall League, the place he threw out 46 % (11 of 24) of tried basestealers to steer all backstops. It was the most recent in a string of sturdy defensive showings for Quero, who has constantly wowed Milwaukee officers along with his progress in blocking and receiving. His potential to work with a pitching workers additionally earns rave evaluations for somebody simply popping out of their teenagers. With his fast arm, Quero can look springloaded behind the plate when his plus arm is challenged by a basestealer, giving him all of the items to be a plus catcher for years to return.
1B: Michael Toglia, Rockies (No. 15)
At a listed 6-foot-5, 226 kilos, Toglia offers his fellow infielders a big goal at first base, however that measurement is not an obstacle to the remainder of his recreation both. The 24-year-old could be gentle on his toes, present fast reactions and supply glorious arms to play the place close to the highest of the dimensions. He additionally possesses an above-average arm that may be put to good use when wanted on throws throughout the diamond. Colorado gave Toglia seems in proper subject throughout his keep within the Majors, but when they hold him at first base, he could grow to be the primary Rockies first baseman since Todd Helton (2004) to win a Gold Glove.
2B: Robert Moore, Brewers (No. 17)
The son of former Royals exec Dayton Moore, the previous Arkansas star used a glove-first profile to grow to be the 72nd total decide final July. While Moore is not a speedster, he’s fast to react on balls up the center and has the arms to make quite a lot of tough performs. Below-average arm power probably limits him to second over shortstop, though he made 14 Minor League begins at six as a result of Milwaukee loves his fielding potential a lot.
3B: Casey Schmitt, Giants (No. 6)
Speaking of could-be shortstops, Schmitt slid over to quick for 40 video games with High-A Eugene final 12 months out of roster necessity and held his personal regardless of below-average pace. That’s how good his arms, plus arm power (courting again to his pitching days at San Diego State) and side-to-side vary could be on the grime, and it is why he was a repeat choice for this place, in addition to a Minor League Gold Glove winner for his work throughout three ranges in 2022. If all goes properly, he may very well be San Francisco’s sizzling hand on the sizzling nook within the first half of this season.
SS: Ezequiel Tovar, Rockies (No. 2, MLB No. 27)
Flashy defenders get the headlines and the highlights. Smooth defenders pop up extra in analytics and inner scouting studies. Tovar is able to being each on any given night time. The 21-year-old makes use of his footwork to typically be in the fitting place on the proper time, and he handles his glove tremendously properly to both facet. A plus arm turns out to be useful on shut performs, however the work completed forward of the throws lessens the burden on it too. Tovar was a high quality prospect on his defense alone earlier than final 12 months’s offensive breakout and now suits comfortably inside our Top 50 total prospects.
OF: Pete Crow-Armstrong, Cubs (No. 1, MLB No. 30)
Of anybody on this proficient listing, Crow-Armstrong appears almost definitely to win a number of, not only one, Gold Gloves sometime as a result of his defense is simply that particular. Watch Single-A Myrtle Beach or High-A South Bend highlights from 2022, and it wasn’t all that unusual that you simply’d see the 2020 first-rounder fly from exterior of the body to trace down a ball within the right-or left-center hole, such was Crow-Armstrong’s vary in his first totally wholesome Minor League season. An above-average arm helped him decide up six outfield assists, but it surely’s that mixture of instincts and pace that usually leaves opponents, followers and evaluators with their jaws on the ground.
OF: Drew Jones, D-backs (No. 2, MLB No. 11)
Because of a left shoulder damage suffered shortly after going second total within the Draft, Jones is the one First Team honoree but to play a Minor League recreation. irrespective of His newbie studies have been so glowing that he instructions a spot on this listing that’s extra about projection than it’s pure professional efficiency. Much like his father Andruw, Jones covers tons of floor in middle with environment friendly routes and plus-plus pace. A 65-grade arm makes him a candidate for middle or proper, and that’ll be necessary if and when he is competing with Alek Thomas and Second Teamer Corbin Carroll for outfield time within the desert.
OF: Ceddane Rafaela, Red Sox (No. 3, MLB No. 96)
It felt like a weekly prevalence with Double-A Portland final summer season. A ball can be hit to an Eastern League outfield fence. Rafaela would come flying in from his spot in middle subject and snatch mentioned ball simply earlier than it might drop for an extra-base hit, both as a homer or a double to the hole. Not dangerous for a 21-year-old who simply took to middle subject in 2021. Rafaela’s agility and willingness to dig deep to trace down the ball has moved him everywhere in the diamond in his early profession, however all of that defensive prowess would possibly function finest in middle the place he has essentially the most room to point out what makes him particular.
C: Drew Romo, Rockies (No. 4, MLB No. 63)
1B: Triston Casas, Red Sox (No. 2, MLB No. 25)
2B: Peyton Wilson, Royals (No. 21)
3B: Jared Triolo, Pirates (No. 24)
SS: Nasim Nunez, Marlins (No. 23)
OF: Jorge Barrosa, D-backs (No. 18)
OF: Corbin Carroll, D-backs (No. 1, MLB No. 3)
OF: Johan Rojas, Phillies (No. 5)