The Atlanta Braves right-hander Freddy Tarnok is yet another young arm in a seemingly endless arsenal of highly-rated pitching prospects. One viewing of Tarnok and three words quickly come to mind: electric, exciting, and raw.
This is the time of year that it is fun to take a look that prospects who may make a big jump in the coming season. It’s not so much a time to question whether or not Eloy Jimenez will be baseball’s best prospect by the years end (which he will), nor is it a time to wonder if Brent Honeywell is actually the most exciting pitching prospect (which he is).
No, this is the time to look a little deeper in the farm systems at several guys who had a big 2016 and wonder if in fact they are for real, ready to make their presence known in the Top 100. Guys like those who I have looked at in the past, like Carson Kelly and Joe Jimenez who seem ready for the big break, and other guys like Cornelius Randolph who are still climbing the ladder.
So, who is the first in the 2017 Prospect Watch?
Wednesday, in continuing our look at potential 2017 impact prospects, we took a look at the big name outfielders ready for their chance in the big leagues. Now, we look at some under-the-radar outfielders who may be ready to make a name for themselves at some point next season.
While Clint Frazier and Jesse Winker may be household names amongst prospect enthusiasts, this next round of guys may not be as well known, whether it be the market in which they play or the level on which they excelled. Still, all of these guys could very well see plenty of playing time in 2017 at the big league level.
As we continue our look at potential impact prospects for the 2017 season, we turn our attention to the catching position. Catchers tend to take a bit longer to mature because so much more goes into being a “good” catcher than a quick bat and a powerful arm. One needs to command a pitching staff and control the game, all while keeping the ball in front of him and holding the runners at bay. Blasting a few home runs here and there doesn’t hurt either. Today, we look at five who seem ready to contribute in 2016.
If you have been following the series, then you are aware that this is not meant to be a definitive list by any means. It is simply five prospects on the cusp of contributing regularly at the big league level. That being said, you won’t see names like the Indians Francisco Mejia or Yankees Luis Torrens because they are simply a few years away. Nor will you see names of “prospects” who claimed their rightful position, like Gary Sanchez. No, these are five prospects with less than 50 combined games in the big leagues amongst them ready for their turn to shine.
We continue our look around the minor leagues at which prospects could provide an impact to their big league club in the coming season. Today, we focus on Part One of the outfielders. Projecting outfielders by position once they reach the majors proves somewhat difficult as often times, they will fill a hole that wasn’t necessarily where they expected to be. So we will look at the outfield as a collective whole, looking first at the bigger names ready to move and then some under-the-radar guys who may be ready.
Now that first and second base are in the books, it is time to turn our attention to the hot corner. We continue our look at possible impact prospects for the 2017 season, with five third basemen who may be ready for The Show in 2017.
Once again, this isn’t a top prospects list. You won’t see names like Rafael Devers, Ke’Bryan Hayes or even Valdimir Guerrero, Jr. because they are far away from their big league promotions. You won’t seem Austin Riley, whose second half surge that led Rome to their SAL title has him fast-rising amongst baseball’s best third base prospects. This is not a rankings of any sorts, it is merely five prospects who could see enough big league time in 2017 that they impact their team’s play.
So, who’s in store for 2017?
Today we continue to take a look at some of the minors’ biggest and brightest prospects ready to jump out on the national stage next season. Having already looked at five impact first basemen, second basemen and third basemen, we turn our attention to the shortstops.
There are some big shoes to fill. Shortstop has become one of the more exciting young positions in the game with the emergence of Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor and even the little we saw of Dansby Swanson this season. Who is the next in line?
Remember, this isn’t a ranking or list of best shortstop prospects. You won’t see Brendan Rodgers because as long as Trevor Story is healthy, the Rockies are pretty set up the middle and can allow Rodgers another season of maturity. You also won’t see Amed Rosario, because even if the veterans at the big league level go down with injury, Gavin Cecchini is likely next in line. Nor will you see the New York Yankees dynamic duo of Gleyber Torres or Jorge Mateo, who are both a little bit away, despite Torres absolutely sizzling in the desert out in the Arizona Fall League. And you won’t see the aforementioned Swanson. Yes, by MLB’s statistical standards, he will still be a “rookie” in 2017, but there is no question that Swanson is the everyday shortstop for the Braves and he already showed his impact in their remarkable 20-10 September run.
Yesterday, we began our look at possible impact prospects for the 2017 season with five first baseman poised to bring their talents to The Show. Today, we switch our focus to their neighbor in the infield: the second baseman.
Remember, this isn’t a list of the best second base prospects in baseball. You won’t see names like Forrest Wall or Andy Ibanez (although he is hitting everything thrown his way in the Arizona Fall League right now) on the list with a 2018 full-time debut much more likely. Nor will you see the Chicago Cubs’ Ian Happ or Boston Red Sox’s Yoan Moncada (at least not until Sunday).
No matter how young and exciting Happ may be, there simply isn’t any room on the current roster with Ben Zobrist and the red-hot Javier Baez. That could easily change if Theo Epstein goes wheeling and dealing in the offseason as he has become infamously known for, but as it stands, the Cubs have time to allow Happ to mature for a full season at Triple-A. The Red Sox extended Dustin Pedroia until 2021, meaning Moncada is likely the new third baseman of the Red Sox future, which makes him ineligible for this list.
So who’s on tap for 2017?
The big influx of rookies over the last several seasons has since changed the landscape of Major League Baseball. The aging veterans have become more like dinosaurs on the verge of extinction, while a youth rebellion has taken over the big leagues. Names like Corey Seager, Tyler Naquin, Michael Fulmer and Gary Sanchez were some of this year’s big breakouts.
Who’s on tap for 2017? Let’s take a look at five first baseman who could contribute as early as Opening Day.
Travis Taijeron is in one of those career stalemates. Now 27 years old and coming off his sixth minor league season, he is no longer one of the Mets top prospects, yet there seemingly is no room in Queens for Taijeron to make his big league debut.
So what’s next?