10 MLB Prospects Who Will Make Their Teams Contenders

10 MLB Prospects Who Can Elevate Contenders

MLB Prospect at Futures Game
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The future of the game is certainly well stocked with great, young talent. Because of the early success of guys like Mike Trout, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, events like the Players Draft and Futures Game have become must-follow events. Young players are starting to make just as many headlines as guys already in the show, which adds an extra element of excitement to the game. Here are 10 prospects who could soon make their teams contenders.

10. Jorge Alfaro

Jorge Alfaro
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

10. Jorge Alfaro

Jorge Alfaro
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jorge Alfaro may be a prospect under the radar on the national stage. In the Texas Rangers' system, he is the 31st ranked prospect in the league, the second rated catcher, and the Rangers' top prospect. Alfaro has raw talent and power that still needs to develop. However, that power will certainly play down in Texas. Texas can play the long-ball game, and with a slight need at catcher, Alfaro could make a big impact in time.

9. Francisco Lindor

Francisco Lindor
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

9. Francisco Lindor

Francisco Lindor
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Indians' top prospect is the ninth overall prospect in the game. Francisco Lindor is one of the best minor league shorstops going. He has speed, can handle the bat for average, and is terrific defensively. He has found success at all of his minor league stops and is on the verge of helping the Indians try to make regular playoff appearances in the big leagues.

8. Taijaun Walker

Taijuan Walker
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

8. Taijaun Walker

Taijaun Walker
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Taijaun Walker is the second rated right-hand pitcher, the No. 5 overall prospect, and the Seattle Mariners' top guy in the minors. He has had a cup of coffee with the Mariners, but is still waiting to stay with the big league club on a regular basis. Walker has top-talent stuff on the mound, however, it has taken awhile for all of the moving parts to get going. Once they do, Walker and Felix Hernandez could be a great 1-2 punch in Seattle.

7. Miguel Sano

Miguel Sano
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

7. Miguel Sano

Miguel Sano
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

At the start of the season, Miguel Sano was rated as the top third base prospect and the third best prospect overall, yet he was not the Minnesota Twins' top man. Unfortunately, Sano has missed the 2014 season with a Tommy John injury. When healthy, he has raw power that will equate to a ton of big league home runs. Possibly hitting behind Joe Mauer one day could lead to a bunch of RBI chances as well down the road.

6. Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

6. Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins' top prospect is also the No. 1 rated player for 2014 in the form of Byron Buxton. For the Twins, he has the ability to develop into a five-tool player. Buxton can also cover a ton of ground in the outfield. His speed and power combo leading off for the Twins will in time make that lineup look a lot more dangerous. In a few years' time, Buxton, Mauer and Sano could evolve into a strong top end of the order.

5. Javier Baez

Javier Baez
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

5. Javier Baez

Javier Baez
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Javier Baez is the Chicago Cubs' top rated prospect and the sixth ranked player in the minors. Baez has a powerful bat that will produce a ton of long home runs. During Spring Training, even the outs that he made were hit loud and hard. His glove can also transition to any infield position, but it will be his bat that will allow the Cubs to take that next step to contention. Baez is just one of the reasons why things are looking up in Chicago.

4. Oscar Taveras

Oscar Taveras
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

4. Oscar Taveras

Oscar Taveras
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Oscar Taveras made is big league debut earlier in 2014 for the St. Louis Cardinals. It did not take long for the No. 2 overall prospect to belt his first home run either. Taveras has all of the tools to become a solid Major League centerfielder, however, he just needs to be able to stay healthy as well. The Cardinals are struggling to find a spot for him currently, but once they do, Taveras can have an immediate impact on the St. Louis lineup.

3. Noah Syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

3. Noah Syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Noah Syndergaard is a quality right-hand pitcher. He is the 10th overall prospect and the New York Mets' top guy. His stuff resembles that of Matt Harvey, who is also in the Mets' future plans. With an overpowering fastball, Syndergaard is also developing a second and third out pitch as well. The Mets could soon have an elite rotation that can win some games with Harvey, Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler at the front. Pitching does win championships.

2. Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2. Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kris Bryant is one prospect not yet at the Major League level who is creating a ton of headlines. In the Chicago Cubs' organization, he is doing nothing but hitting. In the past week, he has won a home run derby, been promoted to AAA, and has already hit four home runs since the promotion. Bryant's ceiling is expanding daily. He is on the fast track to Wrigley Field, and once their the Cubs could finally be in business with their young pieces.

1. Gregory Polanco

Gregory Polanco
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

1. Gregory Polanco

Gregory Polanco
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Gregory Polanco has been in the big leagues now for two weeks. Since his arrival, he has sparked the Pittsburgh Pirates' offense batting leadoff. His speed is dangerous, his bat is solid, and he now completes one of the best young outfields within the game. Polanco will be the first prospect who will ultimately get the chance to make his team a contender. The Pirates are starting to roll, and the youth movement could lead to another postseason.

 

Nick Schaeflein is a Sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.

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