You don’t need the unseasonably warm weather across most of the country to tell you that baseball season is right around the corner. As pitchers and catchers begin to report to training camp, the rest of the squads won’t be far behind. Did you even realize we only have 13 days until the first exhibition game?
Every April, Opening Day comes around with familiar faces in different places. With guys like Pujols, Wilson, and Reyes changing locales over the winter, this year is no different. But every year major league clubs also welcome fresh faces altogether. Last year rookies like Eric Hosmer and Darwin Barney stole headlines as youngsters in the show. With this in mind, SportsHead presents the top five baseball prospects who should make an impact in the show this season:
5 | Mike Trout/OF/Los Angeles Angels: Perhaps the one person to lose the most in the signing of Albert Pujols, Mike Trout has long been considered one of baseball’s best stars of the future and he didn’t disappoint amidst the September call-ups last year. Trout can make the Angels’ active roster out of Spring Training, but he’ll likely have to fight with Peter Bourjos for playing time. And in such a potent lineup, even when he does play, he should get used to batting in the bottom of the order.
4 | Bryce Harper/OF/Washington Nationals: There is little that can be said about Bryce Harper that hasn’t been said already. He’s not a 5-tool athlete, he’s a 6, 7, or even 8-tool (don’t bother asking me what that means because I don’t have an explanation for you). Any betting man knows that Harper is going to make an impact, the only question is when. At 19, the Nationals may be in no rush to bring him to the majors. If he can get there in 2012, however, Harper should make an impact immediately.
3 | Matt Moore/SP/Tampa Bay Rays: If hoarding young, talented pitchers was a felony, the Rays would be doing 25 to life. As it is though, Moore proved to everyone that he deserves a spot in the rotation when he stepped up for the club in the playoffs last year. With such a talented corps., Moore will likely be at the back of Tamapa Bay’s rotation. But he’ll still have plenty of opportunities to make an impact this season.
2 | Yu Darvish/SP/Texas Rangers: One of the most talked about stories of the offseason was the Rangers’ signing of pitching phenom Yu Darvish. Everything is bigger in Texas, and at 6’5”, Darvish is half Japanese, half Iranian and wholly expected to be the future of the Rangers’ rotation. Bringing big-hype pitchers across the Pacific has been hit and miss in the MLB, but Darvish has as good a chance as anyone to become a superstar stateside. Even if his numbers are pedestrian coming out of the gate, the media mass following his every move will make plenty of impact in the show.
1 | Jesus Montero/C/Seattle Mariners: Signed by the Yankees in 2006, Montero instantly became the best hitting prospect in an already-talented farm system. When he got up to the big leagues last year his only problem was being stuck behind future Hall of Famer Jorge Posada and Russell Martin. But in the offseason, Montero got traded for the previously untouchable Michael Pineda. Now, in Seattle, not only is there no one in his way at catcher, he instantly becomes arguably the best offensive weapon on the Mariners’ roster. He’ll get every opportunity to perform out west, now it’s just up to the young catcher to deliver.
NOTE: This article was originally posted on SportsHead. To read this article and more click here.
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