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Top Prospect Report Cards Midway Through 2016 MLB Spring Training

Joel ReuterFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 11, 2017

Top Prospect Report Cards Midway Through 2016 MLB Spring Training

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    Rangers outfield prospect Nomar Mazara has turned heads this spring.
    Rangers outfield prospect Nomar Mazara has turned heads this spring.Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    One of the most exciting parts of spring training is that fans get a chance to see some of their favorite team's top prospects.

    Reading about a player's impressive tools and big-time potential is great, but seeing them in action alongside established big leaguers gives an entirely difference perspective.

    For contending teams, these prospects could provide reinforcement down the stretch as a team looks to make a playoff push. For rebuilding clubs, they represent hope for the future.

    Ahead is a rundown of the top prospects in big league camp for all 30 MLB teams and an overview of how they have performed so far this spring.

    The top-ranked prospect in camp with each team is profiled, and his performance so far this spring is graded based on on-field performance and his distance from reaching the majors.

    For example, a 20-year-old who has yet to play about Single-A going 3-for-10 is more impressive than a player who has reached Triple-A and is legitimately vying for a spot on the team going 3-for-10.

    A prospect receiving a "C" grade has neither turned heads nor disappointed, simply gained some valuable experience for the future.

    The number alongside each prospect indicates where they rank within the organization heading into the year, according to Baseball America

    A player with "OPTIONED" alongside his name is a prospect who has already been re-assigned to minor league camp after starting the spring on the MLB side.

    For the sake of simplicity, we've stuck to simple A, B, C, D and F grades, with no "+" or "-" thrown into the mix.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Braden Shipley has taken over top prospect honors in the Diamondbacks' system.
    Braden Shipley has taken over top prospect honors in the Diamondbacks' system.Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. RHP Braden Shipley (2 G, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K) OPTIONED

    With starting pitcher Archie Bradley struggling to stay healthy and fellow starter Aaron Blair traded to the Atlanta Braves, right-hander Braden Shipley has taken over top prospect honors in the Arizona Diamondbacks system.

    He didn't have any real chance to earn a roster spot, but he threw the ball well in his two appearances and a debut at some point in 2016 is not out of the question.

    The 24-year-old was 9-11 with a 3.50 ERA and 1.296 WHIP in a full season with Double-A Mobile last year.

    Grade: B

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. RHP Archie Bradley (3 G, 7.2 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)

    3. IF Brandon Drury (11-for-26, 5 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R)

    4. RHP Yoan Lopez (2 G, 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)

    6. OF Socrates Brito (9-for-23, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R)

    7. C/OF Peter O'Brien (11-for-35, 1 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 7 R)

    8. OF Gabby Guerrero (6-for-22, 1 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R)

    9. IF Jack Reinheimer (8-for-18, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6 R) OPTIONED

Atlanta Braves

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    Dansby Swanson could take over as the Braves' starting shortstop in 2016.
    Dansby Swanson could take over as the Braves' starting shortstop in 2016.Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. SS Dansby Swanson (5-for-23, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 3 R)

    Even without acquiring shortstop Erick Aybar from the Los Angeles Angels as part of the Andrelton Simmons trade, the odds were stacked against Dansby Swanson being on the Opening Day roster.

    After all, it has been less than a year since he was the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft. Still, he's on the fast track, and with Aybar headed for free agency next offseason and perhaps gone by July, he's gaining some valuable experience this spring.

    "He’s played some good baseball. It won’t surprise me that this guy will be up here sooner than later," manager Fredi Gonzalez told David Purdum of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the beginning of the spring.

    Grade: B

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. SP Sean Newcomb (2 G, 1.2 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 1 K) - OPTIONED

    3. SP Aaron Blair (3 G, 6.0 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

    4. LF Hector Olivera (14-for-32, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 4 R)

    6. SS Ozzie Albies (8-for-25, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

    10. CF Mallex Smith (8-for-25, 3 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R)

Baltimore Orioles

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    Dylan Bundy is out of minor league options, so he'll almost certainly be on the Opening Day roster.
    Dylan Bundy is out of minor league options, so he'll almost certainly be on the Opening Day roster.Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. RHP Dylan Bundy (4 G, 4.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)

    Dylan Bundy rocketed to the majors just a year after being taken No. 4 overall in the 2011 draft out of high school, but his career has been derailed by injury in the years since.

    Now the 23-year-old is out of minor league options, so all signs point to him breaking camp with the big club, albeit in a relief role as he continues to build his arm back up.

    "We’re over the fact that my arm is healthy now," Bundy told Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun. "We all know that. Now, it is getting results and going out there and competing, and also working on stuff."

    Grade: C

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. RHP Hunter Harvey (3 G, 2.2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K) - OPTIONED

    3. C Chance Sisco (0-for-2) OPTIONED

    5. RHP Mychal Givens (4 G, 4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K)

    6. OF Hyun-soo Kim (3-for-29, 2 RBI)

    7. LHP Chris Lee (4 G, 3.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 0 K)

    9. 1B Trey Mancini (1-for-12, 1 RBI, 1 R) OPTIONED

Boston Red Sox

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    Brian Johnson (pictured) could get a crack at the rotation if Eduardo Rodriguez lands on the disabled list.
    Brian Johnson (pictured) could get a crack at the rotation if Eduardo Rodriguez lands on the disabled list.Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Top Prospect in Camp

    6. LHP Brian Johnson (3 G, 4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

    None of the Boston Red Sox top five prospects are in big league camp this year, but No. 6 prospect Brian Johnson is, and with fellow lefty Eduardo Rodriguez nursing a knee injury, he's in the mix to break camp as the team's No. 5 starter.

    Those hopes of earning a rotation spot took a big hit on Monday, though, as he allowed allowed four hits and three earned runs while failing to get an out before exiting the game with a sprained toe.

    He may not be on the Opening Day roster, but after going 9-6 with a 2.53 ERA, 1.104 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 96 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket last year, there's a good chance he'll make an impact of some sort in 2016.

    Grade: D

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    7. 1B Sam Travis (8-for-16, 1 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R)

    8. SS Deven Marrero (4-for-22, 2 RBI, 5 R)

Chicago Cubs

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    Willson Contreras was one of the fastest-rising prospects in baseball last season.
    Willson Contreras was one of the fastest-rising prospects in baseball last season.Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    2. C Willson Contreras (5-for-10, 3 2B, 2 R)

    Willson Contreras was one of the breakout prospects of 2015, winning the Southern League batting title with a .333/.413/.478 line that included 34 doubles, eight home runs and 75 RBI.

    With veteran Miguel Montero signed through the 2017 season, there's no reason for the Cubs to rush the 23-year-old to the majors this year, but all signs point to him taking over full-time duties for 2018 and beyond.

    ""I've heard nothing but wonderful things, whether it's catching receiving, blocking, throwing and of course hitting - he's very good at the plate and he's got a great approach," manager Joe Maddon told Tony Andracki of CSN Chicago.

    "He's really dripping with some potential."

    Grade: A

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    6. CF Albert Almora (3-for-21, 2 2B, 1 RBI)

    10. 3B Jeimer Candelario (8-for-24, 2 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R)

Chicago White Sox

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    The White Sox are waiting for Tim Anderson's glove to catch up to his bat.
    The White Sox are waiting for Tim Anderson's glove to catch up to his bat.Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. SS Tim Anderson (1-for-6)

    Offense has never been the issue with Tim Anderson, who has hit .301/.343/.429 in three pro seasons since being selected with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2013 draft.

    The question is his defense, and whether he'll be able to stick at shortstop long-term or be forced to move to an outfield spot.

    The White Sox signed veteran Jimmy Rollins as a stop-gap option while they continue to work on figuring that out, but after hitting .312/.350/.429 in Double-A last year, Anderson's bat will get him to the majors in the near future, one way or another.

    Grade: C

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. RHP Carson Fulmer (3 G, 5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K)

    5. OF Jacob May (5-for-21, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R)

    6. RHP Tyler Danish (4 G, 3.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

    7. OF Adam Engel (0-for-4, 1 RBI, 3 R)

    9. OF Courtney Hawkins (1-for-14, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R)

Cincinnati Reds

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    A rotation spot may be available for Robert Stephenson with a number of injuries to Reds starters.
    A rotation spot may be available for Robert Stephenson with a number of injuries to Reds starters.Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. RHP Robert Stephenson (2 G, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

    With starters Homer Bailey and John Lamb already expected to begin the season on the disabled list, the Cincinnati Reds lost another starter Monday when it was announced that Michael Lorenzen had been scratched from his next start to undergo an MRI on his sore right elbow.

    That swings the door wide open for one of the team's top prospects—Robert Stephenson or Cody Reed—to win the No. 5 starter job, and both guys have pitched well this spring.

    Stephenson, a first-round pick in 2011, went 8-11 with a 3.83 ERA, 1.299 WHIP and 140 strikeouts in 134 innings of work between Double-A and Triple-A last season.

    Meanwhile, Reed split the year between High-A and Double-A, so Stephenson might have the upper hand based on experience.

    Grade: B

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. LHP Cody Reed (3 G, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

    3. LHP Amir Garrett (2 G, 1.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) - OPTIONED

    4. 2B Jose Peraza (10-for-23, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 R, 4 SB)

    6. LF Jesse Winker (5-for-15, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R)

    7. SS Alex Blandino (5-for-20, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R)

    8. RHP Nick Travieso (1 G, 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K)

    9. RHP Rookie Davis (1 G, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) - OPTIONED

Cleveland Indians

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    Tyler Naquin is making a strong push to be the Indians' everyday center fielder.
    Tyler Naquin is making a strong push to be the Indians' everyday center fielder.John Locher/Associated Press

    Top Prospect in Camp

    6. CF Tyler Naquin (10-for-24, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 RBI, 3 R)

    With star outfielder Michael Brantley still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and potential replacement Abraham Almonte suspended for 80 games, everything has fallen into place for Tyler Naquin to earn a roster spot with the Cleveland Indians.

    To his credit, he's made the most of the opportunity, hitting .417 so far this spring and showing off his plus defensive skills in the outfield.

    At this point, his biggest competition appears to be non-roster invitee Will Venable (1-for-18) and journeyman Collin Cowgill (2-for-22), so look for him to be in the lineup when the regular season begins on April 4.

    Grade: A

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    7. RHP Mike Clevinger (3 G, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 K) OPTIONED

Colorado Rockies

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    Can Jon Gray emerge as a difference-maker in the Rockies rotation?
    Can Jon Gray emerge as a difference-maker in the Rockies rotation?Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. RHP Jon Gray (3 G, 7.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 3 K)

    Hard-throwing right-hander Jon Gray made nine starts for the Colorado Rockies last season, going 0-2 with a 5.53 ERA, 1.623 WHIP and 40 strikeouts in 40.2 innings of work to maintain his rookie eligibility.

    He's all but assured of a rotation spot to begin the season, and a breakout performance of sorts is not out of the question as the 24-year-old continues to settle as a big league starter.

    Already boasting a fastball-slider-changeup repertoire, Gray has been working on a curveball this spring, but he won't be using it in games for the time being as he continues to work on commanding the pitch.

    Grade: C

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. OF David Dahl (4-for-16, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) OPTIONED

    4. RHP Jeff Hoffman (1 G, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) OPTIONED

    5. 3B Ryan McMahon (0-for-12, 1 R) OPTIONED

    6. LHP Kyle Freeland (1 G, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) OPTIONED

    7. C Tom Murphy (1-for-18, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R)

    8. SS Trevor Story (7-for-20, 1 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 8 R)

    9. RHP Antonio Senzatela (1 G, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

    10. OF Raimel Tapia (9-for-23, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 5 R)

Detroit Tigers

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    The prize of the Yoenis Cespedes trade, right-hander Michael Fulmer should arrive in Detroit at some point in 2016.
    The prize of the Yoenis Cespedes trade, right-hander Michael Fulmer should arrive in Detroit at some point in 2016.John Raoux/Associated Press

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. RHP Michael Fulmer (3 G, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 K)

    Starting pitcher Michael Fulmer is not expected to make any real push for a rotation spot with the Detroit Tigers this spring, but if he picks up where he left off last year, he could be the first starter called upon when a spot opens up.

    The 23-year-old went 10-3 with a 2.24 ERA, 1.075 WHIP and 125 strikeouts in 124.2 innings last season between High-A and Double-A, joining the Tigers organization in the deadline deal that sent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the New York Mets.

    "He's a high-intensity guy and when he's able to harness that for something good, it's going to be special," catcher James McCann told Katie Strang of ESPN after his first start of the spring.

    Grade: B

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    3. OF Michael Gerber (3-for-11, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 R)

    5. SS JaCoby Jones (3-for-12, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R)

    6. LHP Kevin Ziomek (2 G, 3.0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) - OPTIONED

    7. RHP Joe Jimenez (2 G, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) - OPTIONED

    8. SS Dixon Machado (2-for-18)

Houston Astros

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    A.J. Reed is in the running for the Astros' first base job.
    A.J. Reed is in the running for the Astros' first base job.John Raoux/Associated Press

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. 1B A.J. Reed (7-for-22, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 2 R)

    Jon Singleton was far from assured of winning the first base job heading into camp, and a 3-for-27 performance with 11 strikeouts so far has only further opened the door for one of the team's prospects to steal the job.

    Tyler White (10-for-27, 2 2B, 1 HR) can't be ignored as a candidate, but it's still A.J. Reed who appears to be the long-term answer for the franchise, and he's having a strong spring in his own right.

    That, of course, comes on the heels of a monster 2015 season in the minors that saw the former Golden Spikes winner hit .340/.432/.612 with 30 doubles, 34 home runs and 127 RBI while reaching Double-A.

    Grade: B

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    3. SS Alex Bregman (1-for-10, 1 R) OPTIONED

    6. RHP Joe Musgrove (2 G, 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) OPTIONED

    7. RHP David Paulino (2 G, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K) OPTIONED

    8. 3B Colin Moran (6-for-15, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R)

    9. OF Derek Fisher (1-for-7, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) OPTIONED

    10. RHP Michael Feliz (3 G, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K)

Kansas City Royals

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    Finally healthy, Kyle Zimmer is ready to make an impact for the Royals.
    Finally healthy, Kyle Zimmer is ready to make an impact for the Royals.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Top Prospect in Camp

    2. RHP Kyle Zimmer (3 G, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) OPTIONED

    Starting pitcher Kyle Zimmer was expected to move quickly after being taken with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 draft, but a series of injuries has kept him from reaching Kansas City to this point.

    That figures to change in 2016, as the 24-year-old finally has a clean bill of health and should be able to make his mark this season, whether it's as a starter or helping out in the bullpen.

    Zimmer was part of the first wave of roster cuts for the Royals, but he impressed in his three Cactus League appearances.

    "He’s a guy we’re counting on in the future,” Royals manager Ned Yost told Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star.

    Grade: A

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    3. OF Bubba Starling (2-for-18, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) OPTIONED

    4. RHP Miguel Almonte (3 G, 6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K) OPTIONED

    8. LHP Matthew Strahm (3 G, 5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) - OPTIONED

    10. 3B Cheslor Cuthbert (2-for-6, 1 R) - OPTIONED

Los Angeles Angels

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    Nate Smith is a solid upside arm in a thin Angels system.
    Nate Smith is a solid upside arm in a thin Angels system.Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    3. LHP Nate Smith (3 G, 4.1 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)

    An already thin Los Angeles Angels farm system was further weakened when the team shipped its top two pitching prospects—Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis—to the Atlanta Braves for shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

    That leaves the organization without an elite-level prospect talent, but one arm worth keeping an eye on is left-hander Nate Smith.

    He's had a rough go of it this spring, but he has some legitimate potential after going 10-8 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.257 WHIP and 104 strikeouts in 137.2 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2015.

    Grade: D

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    4. RHP Victor Alcantara (3 G, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K)

    8. 3B Kaleb Cowart (2-for-10, 1 2B, 2 R)

    10. OF Chad Hinshaw (2-for-7, 1 2B, 2 R) OPTIONED

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Corey Seager will be the NL Rookie of the Year front-runner heading into the season.
    Corey Seager will be the NL Rookie of the Year front-runner heading into the season.Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. SS Corey Seager (3-for-13, 1 2B)

    Most prospects enter spring training looking to make an impression on the organization but without any real shot at breaking camp with the big club.

    Youngster Corey Seager already made one heck of an impression down the stretch last season, hitting .337/.425/.561 with 13 extra-base hits in 98 at-bats, and he began the spring with the everyday shortstop job in hand.

    However, the 21-year-old phenom recently suffered a mild knee sprain.

    "Seager said his knee 'kind of buckled under me' when he tried to stop while running the bases on Friday," wrote Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. "He decided to take one more at-bat before the Dodgers removed him from the game, fortunately without aggravating the sprain or tearing the knee cartilage."

    Grade: C

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. LHP Julio Urias (1 G, 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

    3. RHP Jose De Leon (2 G, 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

    4. 1B/OF Cody Bellinger (8-for-16, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 5 R)

    5. RHP Kenta Maeda (2 G, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

    8. C Austin Barnes (8-for-21, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R)

    9. RHP Frankie Montas (DNP, rib surgery)

    10. RHP Jharel Cotton (3 G, 4.0 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

Miami Marlins

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    Left-hander Jarlin Garcia earned a spot in the Futures Game last season.
    Left-hander Jarlin Garcia earned a spot in the Futures Game last season.Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Top Prospect in Camp

    3. LHP Jarlin Garcia (2 G, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)

    Top prospects Tyler Kolek and Josh Naylor are headed for the lower levels of the minors and are nowhere to be found in big league camp with the Miami Marlins, but left-hander Jarlin Garcia is there trying to make his mark.

    The 23-year-old went 4-8 with a 3.57 ERA, 1.302 WHIP and 104 strikeouts in 133.2 innings while reaching Double-A last season, earning a spot on the World Team for the Futures Game in the process.

    With a ton of young starting pitching depth in the organization, the lanky left-hander will need to refine his command and hone his secondary offerings to push his way into the MLB picture.

    Grade: B

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    5. RHP Kendry Flores (2 G, 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K)

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Orlando Arcia was optioned back to the minors, but he won't be there for long.
    Orlando Arcia was optioned back to the minors, but he won't be there for long.Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. SS Orlando Arcia (4-for-19, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R) - OPTIONED

    "We're going to send [Arcia] to Triple-A and allow him to continue his development," Brewers GM David Stearns told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com after incumbent shortstop Jean Segura was traded this offseason.

    Stearns kept to his word, but it's fairly obvious that trade was made to clear a path for Arcia, who enjoyed a breakout season offensively last year for Double-A Biloxi.

    Always a strong defender, the 21-year-old hit .307/.347/.453 with 52 extra-base hits and 25 stolen bases, and he begins the year as the No. 8 prospect in all of baseball.

    Grade: B

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. RHP Jorge Lopez (3 G, 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) OPTIONED

Minnesota Twins

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    A path has been cleared for Byron Buxton to be the Twins' everyday center fielder in 2016.
    A path has been cleared for Byron Buxton to be the Twins' everyday center fielder in 2016.Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. CF Byron Buxton (4-for-20, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R)

    With Aaron Hicks traded to the New York Yankees and Danny Santana nursing a wrist injury, top prospect Byron Buxton has a clear path to the Minnesota Twins' everyday center field job to start the 2016 season.

    He hasn't exactly lit the world on fire this spring, going 4-for-20 and striking out eight times, but manager Paul Molitor has still seen plenty of positives.

    "I think he’s seeing the ball better, [pitch] recognition’s been better, and that’s going to be a huge part of how quickly he’s going to be able to develop offensively," Molitor told Derek Wetmore of 1500 ESPN.

    Grade: C

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. RHP Jose Berrios (2 G, 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K)

    3. OF Max Kepler (6-for-18, 2 RBI, 3 R)

    6. SS Jorge Polanco (7-for-25, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R)

    7. DH Byung Ho Park (9-for-25, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R)

    10. RHP Nick Burdi (3 G, 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K)

New York Mets

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    Steven Matz already has a spot in the Mets' rotation.
    Steven Matz already has a spot in the Mets' rotation.Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. LHP Steven Matz (2 G, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K)

    Were it not for a lat injury costing him roughly two months last season, Steven Matz would have blown past the rookie eligibility limits.

    Instead, he finished the regular season 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA, 1.234 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 35.2 innings, then made three more starts during the postseason.

    The 24-year-old is already penciled into a spot in the Mets rotation, so his spring grade is not as results-driven as most of the other prospects on this list. He can afford to work on fine-tuning certain things, rather than worrying about winning his spot on the roster.

    Grade: B

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    3. 1B Dominic Smith (4-for-22, 1 R)

    4. SS Gavin Cecchini (2-for-7, 1 R)

    5. OF Brandon Nimmo (DNP, torn foot tendon)

    9. SS Matt Reynolds (3-for-17)

New York Yankees

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    Speedy Jorge Mateo is one of a number of elite shortstop prospects around the league right now.
    Speedy Jorge Mateo is one of a number of elite shortstop prospects around the league right now.Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. SS Jorge Mateo (3-for-15, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 1 SB) OPTIONED

    "There is little doubt that the most fun player to watch in New York Yankees camp this spring has been Jorge Mateo. While he’s far from a finished product, the 20-year-old shortstop’s raw tools are undeniable," wrote Evan Halpine-Berger of Baseball Essential.

    Those wheels resulted in 82 stolen bases in 99 attempts between Single-A and High-A last season, while his overall offensive game continued to improve with a .278/.345/.392 line that included 23 doubles, 11 triples and two home runs.

    He's still at least a couple years from sniffing the big leagues, but his speed will continue to make him one of the game's most exciting prospects.

    Grade: A

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. C Gary Sanchez (0-for-10)

    3. RF Aaron Judge (1-for-14, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R) OPTIONED

    4. RHP James Kaprielian (2 G, 3.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) OPTIONED

    6. SS Tyler Wade (4-for-12, 1 RBI, 1 R) OPTIONED

    7. 2B Rob Refsnyder (4-for-16, 1 2B, 3 R)

    9. OF Dustin Fowler (3-for-14, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 R) OPTIONED

    10. RHP Bryan Mitchell (2 G, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

Oakland Athletics

21 of 31

    Franklin Barreto can still help the A's make good on the Josh Donaldson trade.
    Franklin Barreto can still help the A's make good on the Josh Donaldson trade.Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. SS Franklin Barreto (4-for-16, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R)

    The Oakland Athletics' decision to trade Josh Donaldson looked like a bad one from the get-go, and it only got worse as he tore apart opposing pitching on his way to AL MVP honors.

    There's still time for that deal to be salvaged for the Oakland organization, though.

    That's because the key return piece in that trade, 20-year-old shortstop Franklin Barreto, has continued to impress as he moves closer to the big leagues.

    He's certainly not lacking in confidence.

    "Miguel Cabrera. ... that’s the guy I always kept an eye on, the way he is, the type of player he is. His hitting was the main focus," Barreto told Susan Slusser of the ,when asked who he models his game after. "I want to be his level or better. In my head, I’m always trying to be better than he is."

    Grade: A

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. LHP Sean Manaea (2 G, 4.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K)

    3. 3B Matt Chapman (4-for-16, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)

    4. 3B Renato Nunez (3-for-15, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R) OPTIONED

    5. SS Richie Martin (0-for-3) OPTIONED

    6. 1B Matt Olson (1-for-16, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R)

    7. SS Chad Pinder (3-for-12, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R)

    8. LHP Dillon Overton (3 G, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) OPTIONED

Philadelphia Phillies

22 of 31

    Shortstop J.P. Crawford has a chance to be the face of the franchise for the Phillies down the road.
    Shortstop J.P. Crawford has a chance to be the face of the franchise for the Phillies down the road.Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. SS J.P. Crawford (3-for-20, 1 RBI, 4 R) - OPTIONED

    One has to think J.P. Crawford would have seriously pushed Freddy Galvis for the starting shortstop job with a big spring performance, but instead he'll be heading back to the minors to start the year.

    He won't be there for much longer, though, and looking forward he should be a cornerstone of the team's rebuilding efforts.

    "I think he knows in his mind that as long as I can stay healthy and keep going through the process, through the minor leagues, I have a chance to be a pretty good big league player," Larry Bowa told Gabe Lacques of USA Today.

    Grade: C

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. OF Nick Williams (5-for-22, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R) - OPTIONED

    3. RHP Jake Thompson (2 G, 5.0 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) OPTIONED

    4. C Andrew Knapp (4-for-16, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)

    5. C Jorge Alfaro (5-for-17, 2 RBI, 2 R)

    7. RHP Mark Appel (2 G, 4.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K) OPTIONED

    9. CF Roman Quinn (6-for-20, 3 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R) - OPTIONED

Pittsburgh Pirates

23 of 31

    Tyler Glasnow could be the first starter called upon when a spot opens up in the rotation.
    Tyler Glasnow could be the first starter called upon when a spot opens up in the rotation.Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. RHP Tyler Glasnow (1 G, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K) - OPTIONED

    Ryan Vogelsong and Jeff Locke will round out the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation to start the season, but neither pitcher will have much margin for error with Tyler Glasnow waiting for his chance in the minors.

    Glasnow was wild in his lone spring appearance, and reining in his command will be the determining factor in just how good he can be. But to this point he's looked like a man among boys every step of the way in the minors.

    The big 6'8" right-hander has gone 28-16 with a 2.07 ERA, 1.059 WHIP and 11.8 K/9 in 383.1 minor league innings, including a 2.20 ERA, 1.341 WHIP and 10.5 K/9 in eight Triple-A starts to close out the 2015 season.

    Grade: C

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    3. 1B Josh Bell (3-for-17, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 3 R)

    4. SP Jameson Taillon (2 G, 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) OPTIONED

    5. OF Harold Ramirez (11-for-19, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 4 R) OPTIONED

    6. C Reese McGuire (1-for-10, 1 R) OPTIONED

    10. C Elias Diaz (8-for-19, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

San Diego Padres

24 of 31

    The Padres are taking a long look at Manuel Margot this spring.
    The Padres are taking a long look at Manuel Margot this spring.Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

    Top Prospect in Camp

    2. CF Manuel Margot (7-for-18, 3 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 7 R)

    One of four prospects acquired from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for closer Craig Kimbrel, outfielder Manuel Margot is getting an extended look in Padres camp this spring.

    The 21-year-old hit .276/.324/.419 with 42 extra-base hits and 39 stolen bases between High-A and Double-A last year, and considering the tenuous grasp Melvin Upton has on the center field job, he could certainly be a factor in 2016.

    "Manny Margot moves at a different rate than everybody else on the diamond right now," manager Andy Green told Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. "He’s got a ton of range in the outfield."

    Grade: A

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    3. OF Hunter Renfroe (4-for-16, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 R) OPTIONED

    5. SS Jose Rondon (3-for-9, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 R) - OPTIONED

    6. OF Travis Jankowski (4-for-22, 2 RBI, 4 R)

    7. RHP Colin Rea (3 G, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 3 K)

San Francisco Giants

25 of 31

    The future is bright for Christian Arroyo, but where does he fit defensively?
    The future is bright for Christian Arroyo, but where does he fit defensively?Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. SS Christian Arroyo (7-for-13, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R) OPTIONED

    The San Francisco Giants always seem to have guys pop up and contribute from the lower levels of their farm system, but there's at least one elite-level prospect in the organization worth keeping a close eye on this season in Christian Arroyo.

    Where he winds up defensively is still a question, but after hitting .304/.344/.459 with 28 doubles, nine home runs and 42 RBI in High-A last season, the 20-year-old has put himself firmly on the top-prospect map.

    "To hear scouts rave about his pure and irrepressible hitting ability, it is not a stretch to believe that Arroyo, who turns 21 in May, could force his way into the majors at some point this season," wrote Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.

    Grade: A

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. RHP Tyler Beede (2 G, 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K) OPTIONED

    6. RHP Sam Coonrod (2 G, 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) OPTIONED

    7. C Aramis Garcia (0-for-2, 1 R) OPTIONED

    8. RHP Clayton Blackburn (3 G, 8.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

    9. OF Jarrett Parker (8-for-34, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R)

    10. LHP Adalberto Mejia (3 G, 6.1 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) OPTIONED

Seattle Mariners

26 of 31

    Boog Powell was acquired from the Rays in the offseason.
    Boog Powell was acquired from the Rays in the offseason.Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

    Top Prospect in Camp

    9. OF Boog Powell (4-for-20, 1 2B, 5 RBI, 1 R)

    Just one of the Seattle Mariners top-10 prospects is in major league camp this spring, and it's the newcomer Boog Powell.

    Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays as part of the six-player deal that also brought right-hander Nate Karns to Seattle, Powell is looking to make good as a former 20th-round pick.

    The 23-year-old hit .295/.385/.392 with 28 extra-base hits and 18 stolen bases between Double-A and Triple-A last season, and if Leonys Martin struggles again, he could get be next in line for a crack at the center field job.

    Grade: C

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    None

St. Louis Cardinals

27 of 31

    With Alex Reyes suspended, Tim Cooney (pictured) is the top pitching prospect in action for the Cardinals.
    With Alex Reyes suspended, Tim Cooney (pictured) is the top pitching prospect in action for the Cardinals.Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    2. LHP Tim Cooney (1 G, 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K)

    With top prospect Alex Reyes set to serve a 50-game suspension for a second positive marijuana test, left-hander Tim Cooney is the top St. Louis Cardinals prospect in action this spring.

    The 6'3" southpaw made six starts for the Cardinals last season, going 1-0 with a 3.16 ERA, 1.213 WHIP and 29 strikeouts in 31.1 innings. In the process he's moved ahead of Marco Gonzales on the organizational depth chart.

    An emergency appendectomy brought his 2015 season to an abrupt end, and the offseason signing of Mike Leake put an end to his hopes of breaking camp with a rotation spot, but he'll be the next man up when the staff is in need of reinforcements.

    Grade: B

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    4. RHP Luke Weaver (3 G, 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) OPTIONED

    5. LHP Marco Gonzales (3 G, 6.2 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)

    9. RHP Seung Hwan Oh (4 G, 4.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K)

Tampa Bay Rays

28 of 31

    Blake Snell won Minor League Player of the Year honors in 2015.
    Blake Snell won Minor League Player of the Year honors in 2015.Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. LHP Blake Snell (3 G, 4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K)

    The Minor League Player of the Year in 2015, Blake Snell went 15-4 with a 1.41 ERA, 1.022 WHIP and 163 strikeouts in 134 innings of work while climbing three minor league levels to reach Triple-A (6-2, 1.83 ERA).

    Despite the fact he's yet to throw a pitch at the MLB level, the Rays have already begun preliminary discussions on a possible long-term extension for the 23-year-old, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

    With a full rotation in Tampa, he'll be heading back to the minors to kick off 2016, but don't be surprised if he's the next in a long line of homegrown Rays pitchers to make a major impact with the parent club.

    Grade: C

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    6. OF Mikie Mahtook (4-for-22, 1 RBI)

    7. RHP Taylor Guerrieri (3 G, 5.2 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

    8. RHP Jacob Faria (3 G, 5.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

    10. SS Daniel Robertson (2-for-10, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R)

Texas Rangers

29 of 31

    Will slugger Joey Gallo be able to make enough consistent contact to tap into his immense raw power?
    Will slugger Joey Gallo be able to make enough consistent contact to tap into his immense raw power?Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. 3B Joey Gallo (5-for-19, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R)

    Between Double-A, Triple-A and a brief 36-game stint in Texas, slugger Joey Gallo struck out a whopping 196 times in 497 plate appearances last season, good for a 39.4 percent clip.

    However, he also crushed 29 home runs, and outside of Giancarlo Stanton there might be no one in professional baseball with more raw power than the 22-year-old third baseman.

    Six walks and six strikeouts in 25 plate appearances this spring is the stat to look at. He may not factor into the Rangers' immediate plans, but he still has a chance to be a huge part of their long-term outlook if he can find a way to make more consistent contact.

    Grade: B

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. CF Lewis Brinson (5-for-14, 1 RBI, 4 R)

    3. RF Nomar Mazara (11-for-25, 1 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 3 R)

Toronto Blue Jays

30 of 31

    Outfielder Anthony Alford has tremendous upside, as he's taken over as the Blue Jays top prospect.
    Outfielder Anthony Alford has tremendous upside, as he's taken over as the Blue Jays top prospect.Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. OF Anthony Alford (1-for-10, 3 R) OPTIONED

    An elite athlete who played football at Southern Mississippi, Anthony Alford only began focusing all of his attention on baseball in 2014, and he's already made significant strides.

    The 21-year-old hit .298/.398/.421 with 36 extra-base hits and 27 stolen bases between Single-A and High-A last season, as his 67/109 BB/K ratio belied his age and experience.

    Alford still has work to do, and his presence in big league camp was really just an opportunity to get his feet wet as he's still a few years away, but he's a legitimate five-tool talent who is only starting to scratch the surface of his potential.

    Grade: C

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. RHP Conner Greene (2 G, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K)

    7. 1B Rowdy Tellez (2-for-11) OPTIONED

Washington Nationals

31 of 31

    Lucas Giolito looks like the future ace of the Nationals staff.
    Lucas Giolito looks like the future ace of the Nationals staff.Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Prospect in Camp

    1. RHP Lucas Giolito (2 G, 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)

    The Washington Nationals will have a tough decision to make at the end of the upcoming season, as Stephen Strasburg is set to hit free agency and will be awfully expensive to bring back if it's even possible.

    The continued progression of uber-prospect Lucas Giolito could help offset that potential loss, as the 21-year-old is arguably the top pitching prospect in all of baseball and checks all the boxes of a future staff ace.

    An arm issue in high school that eventually required Tommy John surgery caused Giolito to slip to No. 16 overall in the 2012 draft, but there was no question he had the talent to go No. 1 overall.

    A late-season call-up with an eye on handing him a rotation spot in 2017 seems like his likely path this coming year, unless injuries necessitate him playing a bigger role.

    Grade: A

     

    Other Top Prospects in Camp

    2. SS Trea Turner (3-for-19, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R)

    6. IF Wilmer Difo (3-for-10, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R) OPTIONED

    7. RHP A.J. Cole (2 G, 2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) OPTIONED

    9. RHP Austin Voth (2 G, 2.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) OPTIONED

     

    All regular-season stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, while spring stats come via MLB.com and are current through Monday, March 14.

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