Usually, the highest-ranked MLB prospect any given year goes on to have an impressive career, often worthy of the Hall of Fame.
Sure, there are some busts, but more often than not, the number one prospect in baseball is someone with too much talent to fail.
Just look at the top prospects of the last five years: all studs.
TONS of young talent in baseball 👀 pic.twitter.com/c8aGOPTAA9
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 21, 2022
Rutschman was MLB Pipeline’s number one prospect in 2021, and Witt got the nod for 2022.
Baltimore And Kansas City Have Two Future Stars
Additionally, both are expected to contribute heavily to their teams in 2022.
“We’re coming off a nearly historic season from Witt. He was one steal shy of being the Minors’ only 30-30 player. (He had the steal, but it was later taken back because of a canceled game.) We’ve seen him thrive at Triple-A at 21 (two years younger than Rutschman). On top of all that, he plays a premium position at shortstop. Even if the Royals need to move him to third base because of organizational requirements, he’s a quality defender. It’s a five-tool package that you rarely see.”
Between Double-A and Triple-A, Witt hit 33 home runs and stole 29 bases, making him one of the most exciting rookies in the league.
Rutschman is injured at the moment, but will have his chance to shine later in the year.
Prospects expert Jim Callis had this to say about Rutschman in the same piece:
“I personally slightly lean to Rutschman because I think he’s a better pure hitter and plays a scarcer position. But you can’t go wrong with a five-tool shortstop with off-the-charts makeup either. Rutschman is the best catching prospect I’ve seen come out of the Draft in my 30-plus years in the business — I’m old — and Witt is the second-best shortstop prospect, behind Alex Rodriguez.”
Rutschman is capable of hitting .300 with 20 home runs, and the best thing of all is that he is a very good defender behind the plate.
Both are excellent prospects and future impact players, perhaps as early as 2022.