Predicting the Next 5 Top Prospects to Hit MLB
The Boston Red Sox made waves in the MLB prospects universe by calling up 20-year-old shortstop Xander Bogaerts on Monday.
According to Alex Speier of WEEI, the team has finally called up its top prospect in the hopes that his incredible bat can help the team secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe confirmed the report.
We've seen guys get called up in the middle of the year and make immediate impact in the big leagues this season, including Gerrit Cole, Wil Myers and Yasiel Puig.
With Bogaerts likely to have a big impact on the team, the real question is what prospects will be called up next?
Every MLB club wants the shot in the arm that comes with calling up a future star, but few receive it. However, these five guys could be that extra boost as they help their respective clubs when they get called up this year.
These are the next five prospects who should get the call in Major League Baseball.
Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
2013 Stats: .278/.351/.441, 49 XBH (14 HR), 86/53 K/BB (122 G)
Nick Castellanos has been talked about around the MLB trade deadline two years running, but after not being dealt, he appears to be ready to take on the big leagues.
With improved plate discipline, fantastic natural ability and impressive power, Castellanos could help out the Detroit Tigers offensively.
Unfortunately his defense is still a weakness because he was a third baseman a year ago, but he is still improving.
Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski appears to be excited about him, according to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press.
Do I think Castellanos can come in the big leagues and play right now? Yes, I do. Can he continue to develop? Yes.
Probably with some organizations in a different spot than us, he probably would be up there. But for us right now his bat continues to develop. He’s swung a very good bat. We saw him play yesterday — he’s swinging the bat well.
Castellanos has been turning heads, and if he can stay hot, he should be called up very soon.
Jonathan Singleton, Houston Astros
2013 Stats: .229/.354/.420, 27 XBH (11 HR), 97/53 K/BB (78 G)
Jonathan Singleton has had a rough year.
After being suspended 50 games for a second positive drug test, Singleton started the year in Single-A before being promoted twice.
Even though he has been back for most of the season, Singleton simply hasn't been as good as he was last year. He's following up a season during which he posted a .893 OPS with some upsetting numbers, as he has failed to get in a groove.
This kid has a ton of potential, however, and the Houston Astros know he's their first baseman of the future.
According to Michael Baldwin of NewsOK, Singleton has the talent to be a special first baseman in the big leagues, and the reviews of this kid are overwhelmingly positive.
Oklahoma City RedHawks hitting coach Leon Roberts has high hopes for Singleton (per Baldwin):
He's a can't-miss kid. He has the whole package. The life in his swing doesn't come along very often. He was off just a tick or there but I knew he wasn't very far off.
His numbers said he was far away but I could see his swing was close. Pete Rose used to say the cream always rises to the top. You knew a player with that type of talent would catch fire.
Singleton appears to be breaking out, and as of late he's been just as good as last season (if not better). Expect the Astros to call this kid up just to see what he can do this year.
George Springer, Houston Astros
2013 Stats: .303/.411/.611, 64 XBH (35 HR), 39 SB, 149/75 K/BB (122 G)
Speaking of prospects whom the Houston Astros will be calling up, George Springer is one guy who has always been underrated.
The Astros are out of the playoff race and will be looking to see what key pieces can help them in the future. During what we can assume will be a flurry of call-ups, we will finally see Springer in the bigs.
After showing off his ability to hit for both contact and power and proving that he has some wheels, Springer appears to be one of the top prospects in the nation.
What's more, Springer is hot right now. He's hit six home runs in his last 11 games and is proving to be too much for Triple-A pitchers. Now the only challenge left for him is MLB pitchers.
Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners
2013 Stats: 130.1 IP, 3.11 ERA, 1.182 WHIP, 145/51 K/BB (23 GS)
Taijuan Walker is tired of pitching to Triple-A batters. He's getting bored, and dominating on a nightly basis just isn't enough for him anymore.
Challenge me!!— Taijuan Walker (@tai_walker) July 23, 2013
Walker has been having a terrific season, and he's letting the world know that he wants to be pitching in the majors this year.
The Seattle Mariners have nothing to lose at this point, and they may as well promote their future ace and let him learn from Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma.
The kid just turned 21 less than a week ago, but he's proven that he wants to take the next step, and letting him face MLB hitters can't do any harm to the team's chances of making the postseason.
Archie Bradley, Arizona Diamondbacks
2013 Stats: 136.2 IP, 11-5 W-L, 1.84 ERA, 1.185 WHIP, 150/59 K/BB (23 GS)
Archie Bradley has been as dominant a pitcher as you'll find in the minor leagues.
It's hard to imagine that a 21-year-old kid could start a season in High-A and finish in the majors, but Bradley could do just that.
His nasty knuckle curve is responsible for his 150 strikeouts in just 136.2 innings and his 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
Bradley has been incredible this season, and with the Arizona Diamondbacks in desperate need of a pitcher and quickly falling behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, there's no need to keep Bradley in the minors. Expect this kid to be called up very soon.