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USA Today

Byron Buxton just can’t catch a break. After making his season debut May 4 and playing in five games last week, the top-ranked prospect is back on the disabled list at High-A Fort Myers after re-injuring his wrist Saturday.

On a more positive note, shortstops Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa stayed hot last week and continued to post impressive numbers at their respective levels. Lindor put together a six-game hitting streak for Double-A Akron, during which he owns an .872 OPS with four extra-base hits and eight RBI, while Correa is batting .390/.419/.488 with three extra-base hits and 13 RBI during his current nine-game streak.

Several top-10 prospects—as determined by Prospect Pipeline's End-of-Spring Top 100 Prospects—are still sidelined with injuries. Shortstop Addison Russell (right hamstring tear) and right-hander Taijuan Walker (right shoulder) have been on the disabled list for most of the season, while right-hander Archie Bradley landed on the shelf last week with a right elbow strain.

Here’s a look at how the rest of baseball’s top-ranked prospects have performed through the one-quarter mark of the season.

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USA Today

In the past week alone, Detroit Tigers lefty Robbie Ray, Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman and Los Angeles Angels first baseman C.J. Cron became the latest prospects called up, following in the wake of the Houston Astros' George Springer, who debuted last month. All of which raises the question: Who's next?

With the Super Two deadline nearing—it typically falls somewhere around late May to mid-June—baseball is about to see a plethora of prospects promoted.

Here, then, is a look at a batch of 10 young stars who are on the verge of making it to the majors. They're as close as they are to getting the call because of their current performance in the minors—or lack thereof by or injury to the player(s) ahead of them on the depth chart at the big league level.

Here's the wrinkle: Instead of ranking these prospects based on their talent, they're listed in order of estimated time of arrival, from latest to earliest. The one thing these impact young'uns all have in common? They should be making it to The Show over the next month.

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Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

We’re over a month into the minor league season, and countless prospects are making strong impressions, for one reason or another, at each of the four full-season levels.

With most teams having played roughly 25-plus games since Opening Day (April 3), we’re beginning to distance ourselves from issues related to small sample sizes. This week’s installment of the season-long series also marks the debut of a new format, as we’ve decided to include reports on both hitters and pitchers in the same article.

Here’s a look at the hottest and coldest hitters and pitchers at every minor league level.

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AP Images

South Korean third baseman Jeong Choi won’t become an international free agent until after the season, but there’s already speculation he might pursue a jump to the major leagues in 2015.

According to Choi’s agent, Melvin Roman (via Jon Heyman of CBS Sports), the 27-year-old “has a strong desire to come and play in the major leagues.”

However, Yoo Jee-ho of the Yonhap News Agency reported several days later that Choi, through his team, SK Wyverns, claimed the rumor was not true and had had not hired an agent:

Regardless of Choi’s current level of interest in a stateside career, the reality is that he’ll be able to sign with any MLB team in time for the 2015 season, and there should be several interested in his services.

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AP Images

We’re a little more than a month into the season and it’s already clear the Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu is this year’s Cuban sensation.

In 2012 it was Yoenis Cespedes. Last year, it was Yasiel Puig. But once Abreu’s reign of rookie production comes to an end this fall, which Cuban player is the next in line to become a star in 2015?

The popular pick is 22-year-old Jorge Soler, who is currently on the seven-day disabled list for Double-A Tennessee, the Chicago Cubs’ affiliate in the Southern League. Signed to a nine-year contract in June, 2012, around the same time that the Los Angeles Dodgers and Puig reached a deal, Soler’s development in the minor leagues has been slowed by injuries, but it hasn’t softened his projection as an All-Star-caliber right fielder at the highest level.

However, even though Soler has enormous potential and represents a big part of the Cubs’ wave of the future, he shouldn’t be expected to make an immediate impact in the major leagues.

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USA Today

The big news last week on the prospects front was the return of Byron Buxton, who had been sidelined since spring training with a left wrist injury. The 20-year-old outfielder made his season debut Sunday for High-A Fort Myers, going 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts.

Elsewhere, shortstop Francisco Lindor and outfielder Oscar Taveras put up impressive numbers last week at their respective levels, as Lindor batted .450 with seven RBI and four steals for Double-A Akron and Taveras posted a .781 OPS with six RBI for Triple-A Memphis. 

Numerous top-10 prospects—as determined by Prospect Pipeline's End-of-Spring Top 100 Prospects—are sidelined with injuries. Shortstop Addison Russell (right hamstring tear) and right-hander Taijuan Walker (right shoulder) have been on the disabled list for most of the season’s first month, while right-handers Archie Bradley (right elbow strain) and Kevin Gausman (focal pneumonia) both landed on the shelf last week.

Here’s a look at how the rest of baseball’s top-ranked prospects fared during the fourth week of the minor league season.

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USA Today

We’re nearly a month into the minor league season and countless prospects are making strong impressions, for one reason or another, at each of the four full-season levels.

With most pitchers having made roughly four-to-six starts since Opening Day (April 4), it’s important to acknowledge the role of small sample sizes when evaluating a player's success using statistics. However, it's impossible to ignore there’s still a large contingent of pitching prospects who have either dominated or struggled in the season’s first month.

Here’s a look at the hottest and coldest pitchers at every minor league level.

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USA Today

We’re nearly a month into the minor league season and countless prospects are making strong impressions, for one reason or another, at each of the four full-season levels.

With most teams having played roughly 20-plus games since Opening Day (April 4), it’s important to acknowledge the role of small sample sizes when evaluating a player's success using statistics. However, it's impossible to ignore there’s still a large contingent of young hitters who have either opened the season on a tear or struggled to get things going at the dish.

Here’s a look at the hottest and coldest hitters at every minor league level.

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Getty Images

Manny Machado is back.

The Baltimore Orioles are expected to activate the 21-year-old third baseman before the series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. With Tuesday's game being postponed because of rain, it's expected that Machado will make his season debut on Wednesday.

Machado suffered an ugly, season-ending knee injury last September, and the Orioles were understandably cautious with his rehab this spring following offseason surgery. He might have been ready earlier in the season if not for a minor setback experienced while running the bases, but his recent three-game rehab stint with High-A Frederick suggests Machado is ready to pick up where he left off in 2013.

 

Machado was assigned to Frederick for the team's weekend series, after playing several games in extended spring training, and made an immediate impact by going 8-for-12 with four doubles and a triple. The 21-year-old convinced the organization he was ready to be activated following Sunday's game, when he went 4-for-4 with three runs scored, a pair of doubles and RBI, walk and stolen base.

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AP Images

Every season features players who take nontraditional, roundabout paths to unexpected success in the major leagues.

Last year it was the Atlanta Braves’ Evan Gattis. This year, it’s Chris Colabello of the Minnesota Twins.

Through the first month of the season, the 30-year-old Colabello is batting .308/.351/.505 with nine doubles, three home runs and 27 RBI.

Colabello went undrafted out of Massachusetts’ Assumption College and signed a contract in 2005 with the Worcester Tornadoes of the Can-Am Independent League. Other than a half-season stint with Nashua (another team in the league), Colabello spent the next seven years with Worcester and batted .317/.390/.514 with 166 doubles, 86 home runs and 420 RBI in 583 games.