5 Hottest MLB Prospects Now That Bryce Harper's in the Show
The Major League scene has been invigorated this year by the arrivals of the Angels Mike Trout, Washington's Bryce Harper and Tampa Bay's latest young gun, Matt Moore.
The question now is: Who are the best prospects in Minor League Baseball now that these three, and other young talents, including Jesus Montero and Yu Darvish, have reached the show?
Here are the top five prospects—and the game's future superstars—in baseball.
5) Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins
At just nineteen years old, Miguel Sano is quickly making a name for himself.
Although he is at Class-A Beloit for the Twins, he has shown the potential to be a Major League power threat. Through 52 games for the Snappers, Sano has hit 13 home runs—which leads the Midwest League—and has driven in 40 runs.
His average has dipped this season, and he enters play on May 31 hitting .245 with 60 strikeouts and 28 base-on-balls. If he can make more consistent contact, this young 6'3", 242-pound slugger has all the makings of the next big thing in Minnesota.
4) Trevor Bauer, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
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The third-overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft has wasted no time in ascending the Arizona farm system. He began the season in Double-A Mobile, where he dominated hitters, going 7-1 with a 1.68 ERA, allowing only nine earned runs in 48.1 innings of work. He gave up only one home run for Mobile and struck out 60 batters, which averages out to 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
This dominance earned Bauer a call-up to Triple-A Reno, and he has not missed a beat. The 21-year old made three starts for the Aces, going 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA, showing that he is the real deal. Don't be surprised if Bauer toes the rubber for the D-Backs come September, or sooner, if he keeps up this pace.
3) Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs
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Anthony Rizzo was the key acquisition for the new Cubs regime this past offseason, and he has not disappointed.
The 22-year old slugger has hit .354 for Triple-A Iowa, knocking a Pacific Coast League-best 17 home runs, and driving in 46 RBI. Last year in the Padres system, Rizzo hit .331 with 26 home runs and 101 runs batted in, playing in only 93 games.
After a disappointing late-season call-up last year in San Diego, Rizzo has showed why the Cubs front office brought him to the Windy City. With the Cubs in the midst of their worst season in recent memory, Rizzo may be the key to keeping the stands filled in the late summer months.
Rizzo, meet Waveland. Waveland, meet Rizzo.
2) Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas Rangers
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Profar has been one of the most exciting players to watch in recent years.
He is currently in the midst of a 47-game on-base streak for Double-A Frisco, hitting .294 with six home runs and 24 runs batted in. He has shown tremendous range up the middle but still needs some development, as evidenced by his eight errors this season.
Elvis Andrus has shortstop locked down for the Rangers, but there is no reason that Profar and Andrus can't form a middle of the infield that would make any opposing manager jealous.
He's still a couple of years from the Rangers major league roster, but there's no doubt this kid has what it takes to be an everyday threat at the big-league level.
1) Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
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Nine starts. 35 innings pitched. Two earned runs allowed.
Yes, you read that right. Orioles prospect Dylan Bundy has been lights out through two months at the low-level affiliates this season.
He has notched 46 strikeouts in those 35 innings of work, allowing an average of 2.8 hits per nine innings of work. He did not allow an earned run with Class-A Delmarva, going 1-0 and allowing just five hits in 30 innings of work.
Granted, he struggled in his first start with Class-A Advanced Frederick, allowing two earned runs in five innings of work. But then again, most minor leaguers would be happy with an outing like that.
At nineteen years old, Bundy is the real deal and, beginning in 2013, he will be a fixture on the mound at Camden Yards for years to come.