1. Ricky Tiedemann- AAA (Previous Rank: 1)
21 y.o / LHP / SP
The consensus top prospect of the system, Tiedemann had a roller coaster year that ended on a good note. The southpaw sits 94-97 MPH with a fastball that comes in from a low 3/4 arm slot. The pitch has two-seamer shape with the armside run and sink to miss barrels and induce weak contact consistently. It has also played like a swing and miss offering due to the uniqueness of his arm action and release point as well as his premium left-handed velocity. Tiedemann can struggle at times to command the pitch to his glove side given his delivery. He also throws a low 80s slider with tons of horizontal sweep. It was his most improved pitch last year and it can get whiffs and called strikes all over the zone. The pitch eats up lefties in particular, starting off looking like it'll hit them before landing in the strike zone. The third pitch in his arsenal is his good changeup which is 83-84 MPH with huge dip and fade. Tiedemann moved off the pitch a bit this year in favour of his slider but he will still lean on it especially as he gets deeper into outings.
As a whole, Tiedemann's arsenal is an elite combination of strong strikeout stuff and weak contact generating. He posted an incredible 44% K% and opposing hitters had just a .237 slugging percentage against him. Tiedemann's "modest" 3.68 ERA is largely a product of bad luck both statistically and anecdotally. His 1.68 FIP, the enormous rate of singles he gave up, and many defensive miscues behind him are indications of this. That being said, Tiedemann's wandering control of the strike zone put him bad spots this year. When he was healthy and syncing up his mechanics he was commanding his fastball and maintained a consistent release point. From April seemingly to September he was either sidelined or rehabbing from arm injuries and it clearly affected his control. Tiedemann is a great athlete for his size and has shown the potential to be an average strike thrower in the past, giving hope that he'll limit the walks and big innings in 2024. Any improvement in this area will start with health and consistent innings as Tiedemann threw just 62 innings in 2023 and only finished 5 innings three times (all in the Arizona Fall League). There are question to answer but he has the arsenal to be an ace in this league.