Travis Snider, OF Las Vegas 51s (Blue Jays)
Snider has always tantalized us with his potential, and at times, he’s flashed it at the big league level.
He lost out on the starting LF job this year to Eric Thames, and has been in the Pacific Coast League for the first part of the year, and he’s been thriving.
He’s sporting a .426/3/17 line through the first 12 games, and has only struck out 6 times so far.
This is a player who can provide you with an immediate impact bat.
There’s nothing imminent coming down the pike with the Blue Jays, but any injury could bring him back up.
Keep an eye on him.
Wil Middlebrooks, 3B Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox)
Though Middlebrooks has long been a favorite of many prospect heads, I’ve never really thought he would be an impact player at the major league level.
His hot start may leave all of his doubters behind.
At .365/4/12 through the first couple of weeks, he’s adjusted well in his jump to AAA ball.
Being a Red Sox farmhand, there’s truly not an opening for him in the immediate future.
If something were to happen to Youkilis, I’d think the Sox would first call up Jose Iglesias to man SS, and move Mike Aviles to 3B.
Still, Middlebrooks has my attention, and he should yours as well.
Tyler Thornburg, SP Huntsville Stars (Brewers)
If the Brewers are in need of an impact arm later in the year, Thornburg could very well be that arm.
Through his first 3 starts, his 1-0 record does not stand out, but his 0.98 ERA certainly does.
He’s only thrown 18.1 innings, but struck out 24 batters and only allowed 8 hits.
The K’s certainly are not a fluke as the numbers have been there throughout his career.
With a fastball that can get up in the high 90’s Thornburg holds immediate value for fantasy rosters if he’s called up this year.
I’m sure the Brewers are very thrilled with his current progress, and may give him a shot near the end of the year.
Matt Davidson, 1B Mobile Baybears (Diamondbacks)
Davidson just turned 21, and he’s already raking at the AA level.
.420 with 7 doubles and 2 HR in the early part of the season will certainly turn some heads.
He’s very likely the best hitting prospect in the Diamondbacks’ organization, and will be fast-tracked if he continues to hit.
The biggest problem is that Paul Goldschmidt stands in his way of progress.
Davidson possibly profiles as a 3B, but has not played there in Mobile yet this year.
Still, the bat is for real, and it’s definitely one you need to monitor.
Billy Hamilton, SS Bakersfield Blaze (Reds)
I never thought about highlighting the same player in back-to-back weeks, but Hamilton has made it so that he needs to be highlighted.
He’s destroying the Cal League right now.
His .388 average is very impressive.
So are his 11 stolen bases.
What’s impressing me about Hamilton more is his 7 to 9 BB to K ratio, which has always been an issue with him.
His OPS is also an obscene 1.147.
What does this all mean?
He’s very likely the most exciting player to watch in the minor leagues right now.
I know I’m going to watch every bit of him that I can.
I’m still not sold on the bat long term, but the speed plays at any level, anywhere.
Dylan Bundy, SP Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles)
Can you possibly have a better minor league debut than what Bundy has done to this point?
The O’s are rightfully treating him with kid gloves, because, well, he’s a kid.
At only 19 making his pro debut, Bundy has thrown 9 innings on three separate starts.
He’s allowed no hits through those innings, only one walk, and has 15 strikeouts.
The sample size is tiny, but it’s also insanely impressive.
The Orioles will take their time with him, but it is very possible that this name is quickly mentioned near the very top of prospect boards.
I don’t mean the Orioles team list.
I would not be surprised if he’s a top-10 prospect after this year.
Very rarely do low class-A guys make it that high.
Then again, very rarely are guys this talented.