Every year in Major League Baseball, there’s a handful of prospects that come up during the season and make a huge impact. That’s part of what makes baseball so great. The 2017 season will have it’s fair share of prospects, but the question is when they’ll make that jump to the majors. Teams are usually conservative with their future stars, but there are several prospects ready to make that transition now, or at least within a month or so. While baseball stats can be deceiving when trying to determine if someone is ready, a dominating player will most likely get his shot if he’s been performing well. Timing is key for teams to decide when to bring up a top prospect. Bring them up too early and it could be a disaster, but some guys are ready though and here’s five guys that are ready to break into the majors very soon.
(SP) Jose Berrios – Minnesota Twins: Berrios had a rough start with the Twins in 2016. In fourteen MLB starts last season, Berrios had an 8.02 ERA. However, he’s been nothing short of dominant this season at Rochester. In 39 innings, Berrios is 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA and also has a 0.81 WHIP. His command has improved and he’s not only getting batters out, but he’s striking a lot more of them out with an 8.09 K per 9 innings. While Berrios could make the transition to the majors a successful one the second time around, the Twins are showing no signs of rushing him. They gain an extra year on his contract if they keep him in the minors until June 27th even though he’s good enough to enter the rotation right now. Regardless of when Berrios gets the call, expect him to stay on the Twins roster permanently and for a long time.
(2B) Yoan Moncada – Chicago White Sox: Moncada could have competed for A.L. Rookie of the Year in 2017, but he’ll likely have to wait until next season. Although, he is tearing up Triple A ball at Charlotte this season, Chicago has been adamant about keeping him in the minors for the time being. The 21-year-old has shown a good mixture of power and speed. In twenty-nine games this season, Moncada is batting .342 with 6 home runs and 9 stolen bases. While he certainly has proven himself worthy of making the jump to the majors now, the White Sox are wanting to take their time in developing Moncada. But with shortstop Tim Anderson struggling this season, Chicago could give Moncada a shot earlier than expected.
(1B) Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies: Hoskins deserves a shot to break into the Phillies lineup soon. Especially since Tommy Joseph hasn’t been impressive so far in his career. Hoskins is currently leading (tied with two others for first) the International league with 8 home runs and has a league best 1.023 OPS. Last year in Double A at Reading, the Sacramento, CA slugger belted 38 home runs and had 116 RBIs. The Phillies could definitely use the power that Hoskins has, but they would like to see him cut down on his strikeouts. Hoskins could be productive in Philadelphia right now, but it’s doubtful that the Phillies will bring him up before the All-Star break.
(3B) Patrick Leonard – Tampa Bay Rays: Leonard has been on fire this year in Durham. He currently has an International League best .385 batting average. He can play both third and first base and could be on his way to Tampa Bay soon if Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison continue to struggle. The biggest question with Leonard’s performance early this season is trying to determine if this year is a fluke or just his breakout year. His average has been sporadic throughout his minor league career so this will be an area that the Rays will watch closely. Leonard wasn’t expected to reach the majors this year, but that will change if he can continue on with his hot streak.
(SP) Brandon Woodruff – Milwaukee Brewers: Brandon Woodruff is ready for the show and when he does leave Colorado Springs for Milwaukee, many hitters in Triple A will be relieved. Woodruff has been lights out so far this year in the minors with a 1.83 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, and a 5-0 record. Also, Opponents are only batting .210 when Woodruff is on the mound. What makes him most likely to be called up soon is his consistency. Woodruff’s numbers have been very good throughout his baseball career and he’s been consistent at every level of minor league ball. Milwaukee is only two games out of first place at the moment and they desperately need some help in the rotation. Look for the Brewers to call up Woodruff any day now in hopes of him helping the Brewers make a push for first in the N.L. Central.