After a lengthy lockout, the regular season for Major League Baseball was delayed to start on April 7. Spring training has wrapped and rosters are being finalized as teams get ready to play their first games of the 2022 season on Thursday. As the season gets underway, there will be some top prospects who are going to be starting the season in the big leagues. Here are the notable MLB.com top prospects that are going to be on the major league roster from day one of the 2022 regular season.
Top 50 Prospects on Opening Day rosters
No. 1 Bobby Witt Jr. — SS/3B Kansas City Royals
Witt is not only the top prospect in the Royals organization but also in all of baseball. His natural position is shortstop, but he will start at third base on Opening Day until he knocks Adalberto Mondesi out of the lineup. In 2021, Witt split time between AA and AA and hit .290 with 35 doubles, 33 home runs and 97 RBIs.
No. 2 Adley Rutschman — C Baltimore Orioles
Rutschman has been a top prospect for the Orioles for a few years now. The switch-hitting catcher should spark some life into the Baltimore lineup. He is at the major league level already, but he will start the season injured. Rutschman is progressing well in his recovery and he is on track to debut only a few weeks into the season.
No. 3 Julio Rodriguez — OF Seattle Mariners
Rodriguez officially got the call up to the major league roster on Monday, April 4th. He is expected to be the everyday center fielder for the Mariners and brings another big bat to their lineup. Rodriguez is so talented that he is bypassing AAA entirely as the highest level he reached in 2021 was AA. He did hit .362 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 26 RBIs and 16 stolen bases during his time there.
No. 4 Spencer Torkelson — 1B/3B Detroit Tigers
Torkelson is the heir apparent to Miguel Cabrera in Detroit as he will man first or third base which will allow Cabrera to stay in the DH spot. Torkelson started 2021 in high-A ball and was able to end up in AAA by the season’s end. He hits for a lot of power and projects to eventually be the anchor of this rebuilding Tigers lineup.
No. 5 Riley Greene — OF Detroit Tigers
Greene was in the mix to be a starting outfielder for the Tigers as the season began, but fractured his foot. He fouled a pitch off his foot and didn’t realize anything was wrong until he had a few minutes to catch his breath after hitting a double in a spring training game. He will miss about six weeks to begin the year but assume that he will be an instant contributor when he is healthy.
No. 9 CJ Abrams- SS San Diego Padres
Abrams is going to be a depth piece for the Padres on the Opening Day roster. Starting shortstop Fernando Tatis will be sidelined for the first two months of the season. Abrams will be the backup shortstop behind Ha-Seong Kim to start the year, but with his talent, he could be an everyday contributor very soon.
No. 12 Shane Baz — RHP Tampa Bay Rays
Baz started the 2021 season in AA and spent the majority of the season in AAA for the Rays. He was a September call-up and went 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA with 18 strikeouts. Baz will be a pivotal piece in the Rays bullpen to start the year as they need to get healthy to get back to full strength.
No. 21 Reid Detmers — LHP Los Angeles Angels
Detmers will be tabbed as the sixth-rotation guy for the Angels. This means he will be in the bullpen, but can be used in a spot start if needed or he can be used in long relief if the game’s starter gets knocked around early. Detmers struggled when he got brought up to the big leagues in 2021. He finished with a 1-3 record with a 7.40 ERA.
No. 22 Hunter Greene — RHP Cincinnati Reds
Greene is the top prospect in the Reds organization and boy do they need him. Lineup problems aside, the pitching rotation is riddled with injuries. Greene will get his first career big league start on Sunday, April 10th. He is going to get an early test as he will pitch against the 2021 World Series champion Atlanta Braves.
No. 31 Joey Bart — C San Francisco Giants
Bart barely sneaks under the mark for at-bats to be considered a rookie. He will begin the 2022 season as the starting catcher for the Giants. Bart projects to be in the middle of the Giants lineup and will be a reliable bat for them. He hit .294 with 15 doubles and 10 home runs at the AAA level last season.
No. 45 Bryson Stott — SS Philadelphia Phillies
Stott should up through the Phillies organization in 2021 as he started at high-A ball and ended up in AAA. He hits for enough power that he will be a good addition to the Phillies lineup in 2022. He is behind Didi Gregorious at short so look for Stott to split time with Alec Bohm at third.
No. 50 Josh Lowe — OF Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays traded away Austin Meadows to the Detroit Tigers for a shortstop prospect that left a hole in the Tampa Bay outfield. Enter Josh Lowe who is going to be starting for the Rays in right field. He spent the entire 2021 season at the AAA level and he hit .291 with 28 doubles, 22 home runs, 78 RBIs and 26 stolen bases. He is very well-rounded and shouldn't have too much of an adjustment to make for the big league club.
No. 97 Joe Ryan — RHP Minnesota Twins
The Twins are in a weird place where they are set up to compete, but it also wouldn’t surprise anyone if they finished fourth in the AL Central. Ryan is set to be Minnesota’s No. 2 pitcher in their starting rotation at the beginning of the season. He was a September call-up for the Twins in 2021 and went 2-1 with a 4.05 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 26.2 innings. Ryan showed potential and the Twins are hoping he adjusts further and solidifies his spot in the rotation behind Sonny Gray.
No. 98 Matt Brash — RHP Seattle Mariners
The Mariners are looking to make some noise in the 2022 season. They signed 2021 AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray to a deal and acquired big bats in Adam Fraizer, Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker. Throw in top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez and Seattle is looking to compete. Matt Brash is listed as the No. 6 prospect in the Mariners organization but is looking to show that he is ready for the big leagues. He is currently the No. 5 pitcher in the starting rotation even though in 2021 he split time between high-A and AA.