Young Players to Watch in MLB This Season

Spring has sprung and Major League Baseball is back! Here are some young players to keep an eye on this season.

Chicago White Sox: Oscar Colas – Oscar rocketed through High A, AA, and AAA last season and hit every step of the way while tallying 23 bombs and knocking in 79 runs.

Cleveland Guardians: Andres Gimenez – Gimenez broke out last season with a 7.4 WAR season (third in the AL) hitting .297 with 17 HR and 20 stolen bases while playing gold glove defense. I expect a bit of a drop at the plate this season, but still someone to keep an eye on.

Detroit Tigers: Riley Greene – Riley got hosed last year breaking his foot just before the season started. This season we expect him to be the Yin to Spencer Torkelson’s Yang.

Kansas City Royals: Vinny Pasquantino – Vinny made quite the impact after his call up last season hitting 10 longballs in just 72 games. Expect his average (.295) to dip, but his power should continue.

Minnesota Twins: Trevor Larnach – Larnach compiled 44 doubles and 22 home runs in 195 Minor League games to go along with an .824 OPS. Twins fans are definitely hoping those numbers translate to Major League success

Tampa Bay Rays: Jeffrey Springs – More than half of Springs’ career innings pitched took place last season. He compiled a 9-5 record with a 2.46 era to go along with 144 k’s over 135 1/3 innings and only 31 walks.

Toronto Blue Jays: Alejandro Kirk – Kirk was an all star last season by hitting .285 with 14 bombs and more walks than strikeouts. Not bad output from your catcher position.

New York Yankees: Anthony Volpe – Listed at 5’9″ 190 pounds…Yankees fans are high on this guy. He seems to carry some pop (hit 22 homeruns and 35 doubles over AA and AAA last year) so I’ll be interested to see if it translates in the Majors.

Baltimore Orioles: Gunnar Henderson – .297, 19 home runs and 22 stolen bases over 112 games split between AA and AAA last season. Orioles will be fun to watch for sure!

Boston Red Sox: Masataka Yoshida – Yoshida played in the Japanese League last season and compiled 140 hits, 28 doubles, 21 home runs and 89 RBI over 121 games for a .336/.449/.538 split leading to a 1.007 OPS. He also struck out 42 times compared to 82 walks.

Seattle Mariners: George Kirby – Kirby was 8-5 last season while posting a 3.39 era over 130 innings. He also boasted a 133/22 k/bb ratio. His minor league numbers show that last year was no fluke.

Houston Astros: Mauricio Dubon – Dubon has yet to really put it together at the MLB level, but a career .303 average in the minors over 600+ games suggests that he’s better than his .244 average in the Majors. Maybe the Astros can bring out his potential.

Texas Rangers: Josh Jung – Jung was the 8th overall pick in 2019. Over 153 Minor League games, he’s hit .311 with 43 doubles and 30 dingers. Jung had to have shoulder surgery which cost him a quite a few games last season. Here’s hoping there are no lingering effects.

Los Angeles Angels: Reid Detmers – Detmers already has a no-hitter (in his 11th career start) to his credit. He had an era of 3.77 over 129 innings last season. If the Angels have any shot of making any noise this year, they’re going to need a healthy Trout and Detmers will have to be a solid number two to Ohtani.

Oakland Athletics: Esteury Ruiz – Do you have a need for speed in fantasy baseball? Then this is your guy. 85 steals in 114 games in the Minors last year to go with a .332 average while getting on base 45% of the time.

Chicago Cubs: Nico Hoerner – Either Hoerner or Nick Madrigal will need to prove that they’re for real this season. At the moment, they’re pretty much interchangeable as basically .280 hitters. Maybe Hoerner gets the edge for his speed and maybe defense while Madrigal is a better pure hitter. Time will tell.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Roansy Contreras – I touched on Oneil Cruz last season (all the raw tools in the book, just work on the strikeouts), so this year I’ll go with Contreras. Contreras was 5-5 with an era of 3.79 last season. If the Pirates want to look CLOSE to mediocre, they’ll need a good season from Contrares.

Cincinnati Reds: TJ Friedl – Insert Wil Benson/Jake Fraley here. Someone needs to step up in the outfield, but none of the underlying numbers suggest any of these guys stand out.

St. Louis Cardinals: Jordan Walker – Only 20 years old, but he’s got a spot on the Major League roster. The Cardinals saw enough in this guy to send Juan Yepez down to the Minors. Average, Power, Speed…this kid’s got it. If it wasn’t for another guy that we’ll get to shortly, Walker would be my odds-on favorite to win the National League Rookie of the Year award.

Milwaukee Brewers: Sal Frelick – I wanted to keep this list to all Major League players, but since Frelick played his college ball at Boston College and was sent down to the minors LATE in spring training, I thought he needed to make the list. he hit .331 combined through all stops in the minors last year to go along with 13 home runs and 36 stolen bases. I look forward to seeing what he can do when his number is called.

Philadelphia Phillies: Bryson Stott – A career .300 hitter in the minors while hitting a bomb every 7 games and stealing a bag every 10 games. I’m sure the Phillies are willing to work with that, especially with Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins out.

Washington Nationals: Joey Meneses – Where the hell did this guy come from? Making his Major League debut at the ripe old age of 30, all Meneses did was hit .324 with 13 homers in 56 games. I’m definitely rooting for “the old man.”

Miami Marlins: Bryan De La Cruz – Eh…average player at best. The Marlins have some good young talent, but they all have a little too much experience for this list.

Atlanta Braves: Vaughn Grisson – Another guy that probably shouldn’t have been sent down, but teams like to control their players for as long as possible. A career .315 hitter in the Minors and .295 in the Majors. Perhaps they want him to work on his defense before a full time position is offered in the Majors.

New York Mets: Kodai Senga – Another player coming over from the Japanese League. Senga has compiled a record of 104-51 with 1486 strikeouts in 1340 innings while walking 509.

San Diego Padres: No one! San Diego pretty much has a team of vets. We touched on Grisham last year I believe.

San Francisco Giants: Joey Bart – Is this the year we get to see Joey Bart full time? A career .287 hitter with 40 round trippers in 204 career Minor League games. Hopefully it’s Bart’s time to shine.

Colorado Rockies: Ezequiel Tovar – Zeke was handed the starting job early in Spring Training this year, so the Rockies must like what they see. He’s hit .284 with 74 steals over 283 Minor League games.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Miguel Vargas – Miguel Vargas like Tovar was handed the job when Gavin Lux went down with a torn ACL. Vargas has a much higher ceiling than Tovar AND Lux in my opinion. Slashing .313/.390/.488 for a .878 OPS over 410 Minor League games should be enough to keep him in the Majors for the foreseeable future.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Corbin Carroll – The odds-on favorite for National League Rookie of the Year. They’re already saying Carroll is the fastest player in the Majors. His Minor League number look like this: .310/.426/.588 for a 1.073 OPS with 52 stolen bases over 142 games to boot.

Well there you have it, folks. We’ll revisit this list around the all-star break to see how each of these players are doing.

Enjoy the season!


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