Believe it or not, we’ve hit the last MLB Prospect Watch of the year. By next week, each level of minors will have completed the regular season. As per tradition, we dedicate this space to our version of the end of year awards.
Below, we’ve highlighted players and teams in six different categories of our own creation. It goes without saying that there are more individuals worthy of recognition than this format allows us to highlight. The minor leagues are a great apparatus, after all. Keep this in mind in case your favorite prospect isn’t mentioned.
Now, on the gas tank.
Carroll has had an eventful career for someone with just over 160 professional appearances since being selected in 16th place in the 2019 draft. He missed most of last season due to a shoulder injury and the year. it was previously deprived of a normal development cycle by the COVID-19 pandemic. Carroll looked no worse at all this season, as he scored .307 / .425 / .611 with 24 home runs and 31 stolen bases in 93 games spread across three tiers before being called into the majors. (Most of these came in Double or Triple A.) Don’t let Carroll’s frame (5-foot-10) fool you: he’s a well-rounded player who can hit and run and play a mean midfield. He was a strong candidate for No. 1 potential slot in the minors before his recent promotion to the majors, and the combination of his production, his star advantage and his background makes him our pick here.
Pitcher of the Year: Kyle Harrison, LHP, San Francisco Giants
Things didn’t go like the Giants at the big league level, as they failed to repeat themselves in the NL West, but at least they continued to employ Harrison. He made 25 starts between high and double A, amassing an ERA of 2.71 and hitting a ridiculous 14.8 out of nine hitters. Harrison has a sturdy three-shot mix, including a fastball that can touch the 90’s top. His tone quality is aided by a lower arm slot that creates a flatter top and an optical illusion that hitters can’t resolve. The only thing holding Harrison back is his position. He has walked four out of nine hitters this season – and that was progress after walking nearly five last year.
There are many ways to define this category. We like to keep it simple: the purpose of a minor league system is to improve the big league roster. This can mean through promotions; it can mean through trades; or a combination thereof. With that in mind, let’s give a nod to the Orioles. This season Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson graduated, both in the running for the No. 1 potential spot in all minors at the time of their promotion to the majors. (If it wasn’t for his injury, the righteous Grayson Rodriguez would also have been in the mix.) Rival Scouts also praised the progress made by Colton Cowser and Colby Mayo, among other future arrivals. Calculate the addition of n. I choose Jackson Holliday, and the O minor league system has had a great year no matter how you cut it.
We weren’t fans of what the Reds did last offseason when they dumped Wade Miley and Tucker Barnhart salaries to kickstart their rebuilding. Their work this summer was much more to our liking, however. Over the course of July, the Reds won interns Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand (among others) in the exchanges. They also captured Cam Collier, a dark horse candidate to go overall first in the draft, midway through the first round. This is what the “talent pool” phase of a complete teardown should look like.
Largest Riser: Jackson Chourio, CF, Milwaukee Brewers
Who else could it be, really? Chourio, who won’t celebrate his 19th birthday until next March, secured a spot near the top of potential lists this winter by beating .288 / .342 / .538 with 20 home runs and 16 steals (out of 20 tries). over the course of 99 games divided between Class A, High-A and Double-A. He did most of his damage in the Carolina League, where he led the Brewers’ A-ball affiliate in OPS despite being nearly three years younger than his average competitor – with that kind of age difference, it would have been okay to just stick with it. hold on to him. The fact that Chourio instead flourished while displaying impressive physical tools suggests that he is well on his way to stardom.
We have grown fond of Martin who dates back to his college days at Vanderbilt. In fact, we ranked him the best prospect in the 2020 draft for the strength of his bat-to-ball skills, approach and defensive versatility. He didn’t hurt that the scouts who spoke to CBS Sports believed he had more juice in the club than he did based on the exit speed readings.
Unfortunately, Martin has yet to prove that they (or us) are right. In 90 Double A games this season, he has scored .241 / .367 / .316 with two home runs and a total of just 18 extra-base shots. His career home count has now risen to seven in 185 professional games. It’s possible that low-powered hitters will be successful in the majors, but it’s not easy. Martin’s ISO .075 would be fifth lowest among qualified hitters. And this if it were translated in full.