We’re only a week into the 2012 minor league season, and there have already been some extraordinary performances from baseball’s brightest prospects. While pitching has dominated the start of the major league season, there has already been a healthy balance of both excellent pitching and offensive performances throughout the minors.
It should come as no surprise that many of the prospects making noise right out of the gate are among the best in baseball and destined to become big-league regulars over the next two or three years.
Therefore, before the minor league season gains too much steam, it’s time to preview the candidates for the 2012 MiLB Player of the Year.
All of the players on this list possess some of the highest ceilings in the game for their respective position and are staples in Prospect Pipeline’s Top 50.
As I did with my MLB Rookie of the Year predictions, I will break up all of the candidates into two groups: position and pitching prospects. After presenting and holding a fan vote for each class of prospects—position prospects were featured on Tuesday—I will publish a final, combined list on Monday morning. From there, we will be able to track and discuss the primary contenders for the 2012 Minor League Player of the Year award.
You will notice that this ballot lacks the big names like Matt Moore, Jarrod Parker and Julio Teheran. While it’s possible that they spend the better part of the 2012 season on the farm, it’s more likely that they will ultimately log enough big league innings to lose their rookie status.
So, here are the top position prospects vying for Player of the Year honors in 2012:
No. 13 Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
No. 15 Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
No. 18 Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
No. 44 James Paxton, LHP, Seattle Mariners
Maybe next time I should just poll everyone on which Diamondbacks’ pitcher will be named the 2012 Minor League Baseball Player of the Year.