The 10 MLB prospects who had breakout seasons in 2022

With the end of the season nearing, it’s time to look back at some of the best performances of the season in the minors. I want to apply the way scouts grade specific players’ tools — for the bigger fans of the prospect game, you’re well acquainted with the 20-80 scouting scale — for a prospect performance of the year-type vibe.

Here’s the basic idea: Grade 50 is major league average for any given tool (fastball, hitting, fielding, etc.) and the scale runs three standard deviations up and down. One standard deviation is 10 points, thus 80 (the best grade) is three standard deviations better than a 50 (average).

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of “better than an 80.” A scout would tell you it doesn’t exist, since they’re trained to know an 80-grade tool is incredibly rare (one of the best couple in the league) and also the highest possible grade. In reality, they know that there are some players a full notch better than the number that corresponds to the top of the scale — for example, Billy Hamilton’s speed at his peak.