Top 15 prospects for 2012: part two
In case you missed it, here is part one.
Shelby Miller – Miller is widely regarded as the pitcher with the most potential in the minors right now. Off the field issues and questions about this guy’s character has slowed his promotion to the majors. Location has been a bit of a problem this season in triple-A. Having a 4.0 BB/9 and 2.0 HR/9 is not going to get you called up. His 12.5 K/9, however shows how much potential he has. I think he is the first guy to get called up if anyone struggles or there is an injury. I expect a June or July call-up.
Julio Teheran — This guy has all the talent in the world, but location is definitely an issue for Teheran. A 3-4 BB/9 is not going to cut it in the majors. He has three plus pitches and a fastball that sits in the mid 90s. He has a solid 8.76 K/9 this season and is on the brink of being called up for the Braves. With Jair Jurrjens already being demoted, all it is going to take is a few shaky outings by Randall Delgado for the Braves to call him up.
Brett Jackson — Like Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs are trying to be very patient with Brett Jackson before calling him up this season. He strikes out a bit too much, and his batting average is not going to win him any batting titles, but he has 20-HR, 20-steal ability, which anyone will take. With Marlon Byrd gone, there is room for this guy. He is spending his second season in triple-A, and with the Cubs not going anywhere this season (6-13, last in the N.L. Central) there is no reason for him not to come up.
Will Middlebrooks — With Kevin Youkilis struggling, the Red Sox have got to be feeling the pressure to bring this guy up, and he is not making their decision easy. In 79 PA, he is hitting .375 with 8 HR, 17 runs, 25 RBIs and 3 SB. Since being moved up from double-A to triple-A, he has taken off. I think Youk will need make a trip to the DL for the Sox to call him up, but be ready to grab him when he does come up.
Welington Castillo — It is only a matter of time before the Cubs lose patience with Geovany Soto and move to another option. This guy is not going to light the world on fire, but he has decent power and should not kill you batting average. If you own Soto, Castillo would be a nice upgrade. The only thing I fear about this guy is a possible platoon.
Nathan Eovaldi — The Dodgers do not have a problem promoting young players quickly, and this guy should be up sooner rather than later. In 12 IP he has a 2.25 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP with a 10.50 K/9 (a bit high from his career averages) and a 2.25 BB/9. He does not have the pedigree like some other players on this list, but he has talent and just needs an opportunity.
Danny Hultzen — This would be a very bold move, but James Paxton has done nothing to help his case to be called up. However, in 21.2 IP, Hultzen has a 2.08 ERA and a .092 WHIP with 10.80 K/9 and 4.57 BB/9. Right now the Mariners are second in their division (10-10), however, it’s only a matter of time before they slip out of the running. I think once this happens, they will bring up some of these elite pitching prospects. I think Hultzen could easily fill in some of the starting rotation holes right now.
Just off the cusp:
Bryce Harper — Sorry, but he is not lighting it up in triple-A. If he does start to hit and they do bring him up, I think he will start off very slow (like he has with every promotion).
Tyler Skaggs — He should be up this season, but I think it will be in the second half
Taijuan Walker — He maybe the best of the best in Seattle, but his innings cap could keep him down in the minors this season.
Dylan Bundy — I don’t think he will be up this year, but in 13 IP he has a 0.00 ERA, 0.08 WHIP, 1 BB and 21 Ks. He has not allowed a hit against the 39 batters he has faced.