Top 15 MLB Outfield Prospects Heading into Spring Training
Top 15 MLB Outfield Prospects Heading into Spring Training
If you are a big enough fan of Major League Baseball to pay attention to the future of the sport, you are probably glued to the recently released 2014 top MLB prospects. Though the prospects at every single position and for every single team are very important, outfield is always one of the top positions represented in the top 100 players. The 2014 list is no different.
As a matter of fact the official list of top prospects has had an outfielder in the number one spot for at least the last couple of seasons. Once again, 2014 proved to be no different. Many of the players you will see on the following 15 slides will be in the top 20 overall prospects in the game. Only pitchers seem to come close to showing up as frequently as the outfield boys do.
What is it that makes an outfield prospect such a great overall prospect? It could be any number of things but it seems to come down to the fact that the outfield tends to be where a team’s big players are. There is Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Jason Heyward, Andrew McCutchen and Josh Hamilton just to name a few.
Whether it is the team’s leadoff hitter and best guy to get on base or their number one power hitter, combined with throwing runners out from the outfield and making great catches no one has a bigger impact on the game. Catchers and pitchers perhaps do but in a different way. The outfield is the star position. Who are the future stars in the outfield? Click through to find the MLB top 15 outfield prospects.
15 – David Dahl – Colorado Rockies
The Rockies’ number 2 prospect just sneaks into the top 15 this season. Dahl is worthy of the honor though with the full potential to develop all 5 tools of an all-star outfielder. He has a little time to grow yet though.
14 – Clint Frazier – Cleveland Indians
Frazier was drafted high in 2013 and has done nothing but impress ever since. He absolutely has the chance to be a superstar for the Indians but they will need to wait a few more years for him to arrive; likely somewhere around the 2017 season.
13 – Jake Marisnick – Miami Marlins
Marisnick played 40 games for the Marlins in 2013 and has a ton of potential as most of these top guys do. He will need to improve upon his debut numbers however if he hopes 2014 will live up to the minor league numbers he compiled.
12 – Joc Pederson – Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers need another good outfielder like they need a ninth starting pitcher but nonetheless, they had better clear a spot somewhere because Pederson is on the way. It might take until 2015 though so they have time to make room. He might not be quite as explosive as Yasiel Puig and then again he could be even better.
11 – Bubba Starling – Kansas City Royals
Some Royals fans have made or at least heard this argument: It’s okay that we traded Wil Myers because we have Starling. Well here you go. Starling has the makings of a player that could be as good as or better than Myers if you can believe that. He still has a lot of minor league time left though so don’t plan on seeing him make a mark until 2016.
10 – Mason Williams – New York Yankees
The Yankees have signed outfielders a plenty for the next few years. By the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016 they will possibly be looking to find an everyday spot for Williams. When is the last time you saw a Yankees prospect this strong? Don’t be too surprised, that farm system is improving and Williams is proof.
9 – Jackie Bradley – Boston Red Sox
Most Red Sox fans were unhappy to see Jacoby Ellsbury go, especially considering who he went to. I won’t mention the team but we just talked about them one slide back. You know who they are. Anyway, Bradley has the ability to be even better than Ellsbury if you believe the Red Sox officials. Defensively they think he could be better when he steps onto the field on Opening Day. I guess we will see because he will be there this season.
8 – Jorge Soler – Chicago Cubs
We talk about the coveted 5-tool players so much because they can be so vital to an organization. Well here is one for the Cubbies at number 8 on the list. He is one of the better prospects in the game and climbing. If the Cubs can hang on to their young guys and have them all reach close to their potential, they could be a force in a few years. Soler could be the key part of it all. He has that kind of potential.
7 – George Springer – Houston Astros
Any Astros fans I talk to all say the same thing about Springer. They are all excited but have seen enough down years that they don’t want to count their chickens before they hatch. Basically it is a safe and sensible wait and see approach. The wait is almost over because Springer should arrive on the scene this season.
6 – Albert Almora – Chicago Cubs
Here we go again Cubs fans. You saw how I talked about Soler at 8; well Almora is at number 6. I think that about says it all. He should possibly hit the majors at the same time as Soler if not a little earlier.
5 – Billy Hamilton – Cincinnati Reds
This guy is easily the most recognizable name on this list because of the enormous impact he had in September 2013. He could be the best base stealer the game of baseball has ever seen if one question is answered positively. Can he consistently get on base? We shall see.
4 – Gregory Polanco – Pittsburgh Pirates
Polanco should arrive on the MLB scene sometime this year for the Pirates. When he does the Pirates think he can be as good as NL MVP Andrew McCutchen. Those are lofty expectations but it seems Polanco could well meet them.
3 – Nick Castellanos – Detroit Tigers
This is not questionable because of Castellanos’ talent. He has all the potential in the world to be a great outfielder. The only issue is that he is very likely to start in 2014 for the Tigers but not in the outfield. He should take over at third for the now first base dwelling Miguel Cabrera. Still, he has been an outfield prospect and therefore here he is.
2 – Oscar Taveras – St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals can develop some talented baseball players folks. Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols win that point all by themselves and you know there are many more. The next really big one, Pujols kind of big could well be Taveras. We’ll see what he can do this season in all likelihood.
1 – Byron Buxton – Minnesota Twins
Was there every any doubt in this? Buxton has consistently been the top prospect in the game and remains to be just that. He won’t arrive on the scene this season as he will probably make Twins fans wait until at least 2015. All the same, he looks to be very much worth the wait.