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Road to the Show: Big names in new places

Draft picks, traded prospects make their presence felt quickly
Noble Meyer hurled 5 2/3 scoreless innings for Single-A Jupiter en route to a Florida State League championship. (Helene Haessler/
September 26, 2023

Each week, profiles an elite prospect by chronicling the steps he's taken toward achieving his Major League dream. Here's a look at the Top 100 prospects that made the biggest impact on their new organization. For more stories about players on The Road to The Show, click here. Each

Each week, profiles an elite prospect by chronicling the steps he's taken toward achieving his Major League dream. Here's a look at the Top 100 prospects that made the biggest impact on their new organization. For more stories about players on The Road to The Show, click here.

Each year, Minor League rosters undergo a drastic transformation from the All-Star break to September. While players traverse the organizational ladder, prospect pipelines are restocked with talent through trades and the Draft.

This year’s Trade Deadline was a bit mild compared to prior years, but the biggest names from the 2023 Draft class have quickly made an impact at the professional level. Angels infielder Nolan Schanuel, the No. 11 overall selection, has easily been that group’s fastest riser. He played 22 games at three levels of the Minors before he was called to the big leagues a little more than a month after the Draft.

There are plenty of other big names who didn’t start the year with their current organization but have quickly become centerpieces in that franchise’s future. Here’s a look at some of the best within MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects list.

Mets’ duo

Although this year’s Deadline didn’t have quite the frenzied pace, the Mets put some big names on the market.

New York traded future Hall of Famers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander to the Rangers and Astros, respectively. As part of that return, the club received two players who now rank as their top two prospects: Luisangel Acuña and Drew Gilbert.

The duo was at the top of the order for Double-A Binghamton’s loss in Game 1 of the Eastern League finals on Monday night. Gilbert, the No. 52 overall prospect, has torn the cover off the ball since being traded. He batted .352 with 15 extra-base hits and a .984 OPS in the final 35 games of the regular season. Acuña hasn’t made quite the same impact. He finished with a .245 average and 15 stolen bases, but he was seventh in the Eastern League with 25 runs scored after Aug. 1.

Deadline darlings

The White Sox and Cardinals were the other two big sellers, making 15 total trades between Opening Day and the Deadline. Out of all that, White Sox backstop Edgar Quero was the only Top 100 prospect acquired. The 20-year-old landed with Chicago as part of the deal that sent Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez to the Angels.

In 31 games with Double-A Rocket City, Quero posted a .277/.366/.393 slash line with three homers and 22 RBIs. Although those numbers may not jump off the page, they represent a significant jump in average and slugging percentage, which had been .246 and .332 over the first 71 games of the season with Double-A Birmingham.

The only other Top 100 prospect traded at this year’s Deadline was Kyle Manzardo. The No. 58 overall prospect was dealt to Cleveland from Tampa Bay for right-hander Aaron Civale and finished the season with Triple-A Columbus. It took a little while for Manzardo to tap into his power with the Clippers, but he finished with a .256 average and .938 OPS with six homers, all of which came in a nine-game span, and 16 RBIs. He’ll continue his season with Peoria in the Arizona Fall League.

Noble champion

Less than three months after Noble Meyer graduated from Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon, the Marlins right-hander became a Florida State League champion.

Meyer pitched 5 ⅔ scoreless innings for Single-A Jupiter in the FSL playoffs, including two frames in the finals against Clearwater. Over that span, he allowed just one hit and struck out five.

The playoff performance was an encouraging finish for the 18-year-old, who struggled to catch on right away in pro ball. Meyer made five starts, totaling 11 innings, and surrendered five runs for a 4.09 ERA with seven walks and 15 punchouts in the regular season.

We could be champions!

By this time next week, the Rangers’ Wyatt Langford and Cubs’ Matt Shaw may also be able to call themselves champions.

Langford, the No. 4 overall pick in this year’s Draft, absolutely mashed across four levels of the Minors to finish the season with Triple-A Round Rock. The Express claimed the final spot in the Pacific Coast League playoffs Sunday and will play Oklahoma City for a chance to reach the Triple-A National Championship in Las Vegas.

At each level, Langford showed the same dominance he dealt out at the University of Florida. In 44 games, he batted .360 with a 1.157 OPS, 29 extra-base hits -- including 10 homers -- 30 RBIs and 36 walks. The No. 13 overall prospect could be on a collision course with top overall prospect Jackson Holliday, whose Norfolk squad faces Durham in the International League finals.

At the Double-A level, Shaw is a win away from claiming a Southern League title with Tennessee. The Smokies took Game 1 from Pensacola and can lock up the championship Tuesday night.

Shaw, the No. 13 overall pick, hasn't contributed much just yet in the postseason, but he was excellent across three levels after the Draft. He did most of his damage with High-A South Bend but more than held his own for Tennessee, batting .292 with an .852 OPS and three homers. Overall, he finished the regular season with a .356 average and 1.018 OPS.

Gerard Gilberto is a reporter for