Several prospects have come up to the major leagues with the goal of making the team out of spring training next year, they’re efforts day in day out aren’t going unnoticed. You shouldn’t dismiss their play either, because these players could make an impact in fantasy next year and beyond.
Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas Rangers
It was just a matter of time before the number one prospect in all of baseball made it to the big leagues. Prior to being called up by Texas, Profar was ranked the number one prospect in baseball by Baseball America, MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus and many other sites. They haven’t been able to give him every day at bats, but that’s because Elvis Andrus is blocking him on the Rangers roster.
What do the Rangers do now that they have two fabulous young shortstops? Its quite simple, they’re going to trade one of them away. Andrus came over as part of the deal that sent Mark Teixeira to Atlanta.
Here’s a look at what Profar did in the minors in 2012.
At Double-A Frisco: 76 R, 14 HR, 62 RBI, .281 AVG, 16 SB.
Matt Harvey, SP, New York Mets
Harvey was ready when he got the call from the Mets and he delivered an eleven-strikeout performance against the Arizona Diamondbacks in his major league debut. He set a new franchise record with 11 K’s, topping such players as hall of famer Tom Seaver, who had nine in his debut. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Harvey also went 2-for-2 at the plate in the game.
The rebuilding Mets were thrilled to see this from their young starter, after debating whether to call up Zach Wheeler or Harvey to replace the injured Johan Santana. Wheeler, a top prospect in his own right, came over from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Carlos Beltran in 2011.
Harvey’s MLB line: 3-5, 2.73 ERA, 70 K (in 59.1 IP), 1.15 WHIP
Manny Machado, 3B/SS, Baltimore Orioles
If it wasn’t for Profar, Machado might be the number one prospect in all of baseball. Regardless, he’s come up to the major leagues and impressed the Orioles with his tremendous fielding ability and clutch hitting. The Orioles had the luxury of moving Mark Reynolds over to first permanently and he has flourished since Machado took over third.
Baltimore has lost some key members of the team, including Nick Markakis. With the efforts of players like Machado, the team has continued to keep pace with the New York Yankees in the American League East.
Putting up the same numbers in the majors as you did in the minors is not an easy feat; clearly Machado is here to stay.
Minors: 60 R, 11 HR, 59 RBI, .266 AVG, 13 SB
Majors: 17 R, 4 HR, 17 RBI, .264 AVG, 2 SB
Wily Peralta, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
Peralta was thrust into a difficult situation during his major league debut, pitching in the ninth inning. Peralta is used to being a starter, so it was expected that he would struggle a bit. He gave up three hits and one earned run to the Colorado Rockies, bringing his MLB ERA to an even 9.
Since then, Peralta has lowered his ERA each and every outing as a starter.
September 5th @ Miami: 6 IP, 3 ER
September 10th vs. Atlanta: 6 IP, 1 ER
September 16th @ New York (NL): 8 IP, 0 ER
Peralta is widely regarded as the top prospect in the Brewers system and for good reason. He was signed as a free agent in 2006 and hasn’t looked back, developing into a very intriguing pitching prospect. Peralta boasts a fastball that reaches speeds as high as 97 MPH, he also throws a hard biting slider in the low to mid 80’s and he also features a very effective changeup.
Dan Straily, SP, Oakland Athletics
Lost in all the hype behind prospects like Jarrod Parker and Yoenis Cespedes, Straily continued to fly under the radar for the A’s. That’s just fine with him apparently, because he’s not used to being called a top prospect. He’s come a long way since being drafted in the 24th round by the A’s in 2009.
Across two levels in the minor leagues, Straily’s numbers are very impressive.
Straily’s line in the minors: 152 IP, 9-7, 2.78 ERA.
He doesn’t have an incredibly high ceiling, as you can see, but I see no reason why he can’t be an effective major league pitcher if he continues to improve with each season of experience.
Erasmo Ramirez, SP, Seattle Mariners
The Mariners have what can be described as an “embarrassment of riches” when it comes to pitching prospects. Like Straily, Ramirez will continue to fly under the radar and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Seattle boasts some terrific young arms, like Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker, but Ramirez has really impressed me in each of his starts with the Mariners.
Ramirez has pitched just over 46 innings to the tune of a 3.28 ERA and is coming on strong in the month of September. There’s no doubt that this kid wants to be a part of the Mariners' rotation in 2013.
September 11th @ Toronto: 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 K, 1 BB.
September 18th vs. Baltimore: 8 IP, 2 ER, 6 K, 0 BB.
What’s more is that Ramirez velocity has jumped from the high 80’s to the mid 90’s. Across the minors this year, you’d never see Ramirez hit the 90’s. Maybe learning from pitchers like Felix Hernandez, Ramirez has discovered a new level to his game.
I didn’t include Dylan Bundy, because we have no major league numbers from him, but he’s a fabulous prospect and you should expect big things in a few years.
Some other players to keep an eye on include Bundy (Orioles) Tyler Skaggs (Diamondbacks), Avisail Garcia (Tigers), Adeiny Hechavarria (Blue Jays) and Moises Sierra (Blue Jays).
Mac can be found on the forums as dmvincent, and you can also follow him on twitter @MacVincent1.