Major League Baseball is the best of all the major North American sports at developing young talent.
It’s extensive minor league system allows teams to develop future stars at a comfortable pace. Last year, the majors were flooded with young talent from the minor leagues. We saw talents such as Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Carlos Correa, and Francisco Lindor all debuted with their respective teams and make a monumental impact.
As the 2016 season approaches, who are some of the prospects that will battle it out for the N.L. and A.L. Rookie of the Year? There are some intriguing potential superstars on this list, some have had major league experience, while others have not.
But all of these prospects have the ability to turn the fortunes of any ball club.
Corey Seager- SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
Seager has already had a sip of the Major League coffee. He preformed relatively well during his first stint with the team, batting .337 with four home runs. Going into the 2016 season, Seager is ranked as the baseball’s top prospect by numerous scouting services. He is expected to be the Dodgers opening day shortstop.
Byron Buxton- OF, Minnesota Twins
Like Seager, Buxton has already seen time in the big leagues. He wasn’t as impressive as Seager, but he has five-tool potential. He will have a starting job locked up, and Minnesota isn’t expected to compete, which gives Buxton a little more time to develop at the major league level.
A.J. Reed- 1B, Houston Astros
The Astros have relied heavily on their young stars. Carlos Correa broke through last season, and it’s possible that Reed has the same type of impact this year. The power hitter slugged 34 home runs throughout High A and AA ball. With only the underwhelming John Singleton in his way, Reed could make the Astros roster rather quickly.
Blake Snell- SP, Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays have a history of finding and developing starting pitching. The current team features All-Star Chris Archer and a promising young talent in Jake Odorizzi. Snell is just another gem for the Rays. He features a fastball, curveball, changeup, all of which are plus offerings. Snell could challenge for a rotation spot relatively early in the season.
Jesse Winker- OF, Cincinnati Reds
Winker might not be the sexiest name on the prospect list, but he might be one of the best all-around talents. Scouts have raved about his improved approach at the plate. His ceiling might only be 22-25 homeruns, but he expects to be a get on base a lot. If he reaches the majors early in the year, expect Winker to reach 130 hits with 15 homeruns.
Joey Gallo- 3B/OF, Texas Rangers
If it weren’t for A.J. Reed, Gallo might be the minor leagues best power hitter. The 22-year-old has seen time with the Rangers, and while somewhat outmatched by major league pitching, he still hit six homeruns in only 108 at-bats. The 6’5 Gallo has the frame of an MLB star, and his prior experience with the Rangers was a great test for him, and this is the year he puts it all together.