Where Anthony Rizzo-Brett Jackson-Josh Vitters Rank in Top MLB Prospect Trios
After the Cubs’ weekend promotion of prospects Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters, the organization will seemingly have their future on display over the final two months of the season. After playing most of the season together at Triple-A, both will be united with slugging first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who has quickly become a dangerous presence in the heart of the batting order.
Throughout baseball, there are bands of prospects beginning to reach major leagues; some organizations have promoted one player at a time as needed, while other teams, such as the Cubs, have waited until the timing seems right.
This season, there are numerous prospect trios worth noting in the major leagues, as well as ones worth following closely. Here is a look at how they each compare and, for added depth, includes players with rookie status and prospects yet to make their big league debut but are on the active 40-man roster.
9. Detroit Tigers: LHP Casey Crosby, OF Avisail Garcia and RHP Brayan Villarreal
When healthy, Brayan Villarreal has emerged as one of the more dominant relief pitchers in all of baseball, as he’s posted a 12.2 K/9 in 34.2 innings. Crosby (who made his big-league debut earlier this season) and Garcia are patiently waiting for their opportunity in the upper-minors, and there’s even been talk that Nick Castellanos may reach the major leagues this season as a right fielder.
8. Toronto Blue Jays: OF Anthony Gose, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, OF Moises Sierra
Jose Bautista’s wrist injury and now Brett Lawrie’s tweaked oblique have opened the door for three of the Blue Jays’ top position prospects to be on the field at the same time.
While Gose was initially recalled when Bautista first went down, Hechavarria and Sierra were both promoted within the last week.
7. New York Mets: RHP Matt Harvey, IF/OF Jordany Valdespin, RHP Jeurys Familia
Since his promotion a little less than two weeks ago, Matt Harvey has quickly proven that he has the best pure stuff in the Mets rotation. He still has issues with his mechanics and command to iron out, but the right-hander has quickly become a lock in the 2013 starting rotation.
At the same time, Valdespin has found his niche as a utility player with the occasional platoon against right-handed pitching.
Although Zack Wheeler has certainly made his case for a September call-up, the next pitcher they call up will likely be right-hander Jeurys Familia—a right-hander who has his own control issues but has placed towards the top of the Mets’ prospect ranking for the last two seasons.
6. Seattle Mariners: C/DH Jesus Montero, LHP Danny Hultzen, RHP Carter Capps
While Jesus Montero and right-hander Carter Capps are the only players on the 25-man roster, it shouldn’t be long until Hultzen reaches the major leagues. The No. 2 overall draft pick in 2011 out of Virginia, the left-hander is nearly ready to become the fourth player from that draft class to reach the major leagues.
5. Colorado Rockies: C Wilin Rosario, SS Josh Rutledge, LHP Edwar Cabrera
Other than Carlos Gonzalez, Rosario has been the Rockies’ best power source this season, with an .802 OPS through 71 games. Filling in for the injured Troy Tulowitzki, Rutledge has made the absence far more manageable than expected by posting a 1.007 OPS in his first 21 games.
Cabrera, a left-handed pitching prospect, was promoted directly from Double-A and has had two less-than-impressive starts for the Rockies, but will likely see more time in September.
4. Arizona Diamondbacks: RHP Trevor Bauer, LHP Pat Corbin and OF A.J. Pollock
Although Corbin is the only one currently on the 25-man roster, both Bauer and Pollock have already gotten their feet wet this season. Easily the more high profile of the trio, Bauer has been shut down temporarily, and only time will tell whether he throws again this season.
Pollock, who filled in for an injured Chris Young, will likely see some time in the outfield once the rosters expand.
3. Chicago Cubs: 1B Anthony Rizzo, OF Brett Jackson and 3B Josh Vitters
One of the rare trios that features all three prospects together in the major leagues, Rizzo, Jackson and Vitters are among the Cubs’ top prospects as well as the foundation of their future. They figure to be main cogs in the team’s offense over the final two months of the season and moving forward.
2. Oakland Athletics: RHP Jarrod Parker, LHP Tommy Milone and RHP Dan Straily
The Oakland A's have one of the finest assemblage of pitching prospects in all of basebal and have been reaping the rewards all season. This doesn't even include RHP A.J. Griffin, who recently landed on the disabled list but has been stellar since first recalled.
Straily, baseball’s strikeout leader, was omitted from nearly every prospect list, but has pitched his way to the major leagues with excellent command of three above-average pitches.
1. Texas Rangers: 3B/1B Mike Olt, LHP Martin Perez, OF Leonys Martin
After the Rangers recently promoted Mike Olt, the Rangers have the most impressive prospect trio on their 40-man roster. Both Martin and Perez have performed well in the major leagues this season, and once rosters expand in September—if not sooner—all three should be playing together in Arlington.