The two top prospects of 2011 (Trout and Harper) have bursted onto the big stage of the MLB quite well I would say… Harper was an All-Star selection and Mike Trout leads the AL in average and SB while also collecting his first All-Star appearance. Harper was clearly the more hyped player but now it seems that Trout is getting all the attention from top analysts and scouts around baseball. They all consider Trout a 5-tool prospect while Harper is more of a 4.5-tool with half being his passion which somewhat makes up for his lack of speed. Trout, who is only 20 years old, has already gained supporters for AL MVP. Wouldn’t that be something! Whether you favor Harper or Trout you really can’t go wrong. These guys are big time. They are here and are here to stay. Now every single club is looking for the next ‘Big Thing.’ Both Harper and Trout are outfielders and that seems to be the easy route to the bigs. Just let your big, strong, athletic top prospects run around in the outfield. They will be up there in no time! Could this be the new trend in the MLB player development department? Here are some players I feel could definitely become the stars of tomorrow.
Billy Hamilton, SS Cincinnati Reds
For starters he is my favorite prospect in all of baseball. Call it favoritism, but, trust me these numbers are nothing short of unbelievable… Many have speculated what Cincinnati Reds will do with speedster Billy Hamilton who is currently a shortstop in Double-A. Hamilton has stolen 104 bags in 82 games. Let me just add that to steal bases you must get on base. Hamilton is pretty good at that as well with an OBP .413. These astonishing stats have people quoting the great Skip Bayless by saying, “Are you kidding me?” The only dilemma is that the Reds have Zack Cozart at shortstop. Cozart is extremely young and promising showing flashes of brilliance this season despite hitting a weak .246 on the year. Nonetheless, Hamilton’s only way to really make it big in the league would be for him to be put into center field. A man with that amount of speed should have no problem what so ever adjusting. According to MLB.com Hamilton’s ETA to the bigs isn’t until 2014. Despite that I think they will call him up early September of this season if they are in the hunt for October. For Billy the sky is the limit. My MLB comparison would be as far as Rickey Henderson. I believe Hamilton will made his presence felt on the base paths and is surely ready to shock the world.
Wil Myers, OF Kansas City Royals
If I had to put money on the next big star… Wil Myers would be my guy. Myers is the perfect blend of Trout and Harper. Physically he has a nice build to fill out his 6’3″ 205lb frame. He has good power and a cannon in the outfield. Like Harper, Myers was formerly a catcher and doesn’t posses blazing speed which can make his move from catcher to the outfield a little rough and will most likely have him end up in a corner outfield spot. One of the things scouts rave about is his hitting ability. Meaning how well he squares up on the ball and gives it the extra pop of the barrel of the bat. MLB.com has him in the bigs in 2013. He is 21 years old so he may not have that extra year or two that Harper and Trout will have, however he may be able to adjust better due to his maturity. The Royals also are not looking so good for the rest the season so they might bring up one of their many, many skilled prospects from their top-tier farm system. Statistically Myers has been stellar to say the least, batting solid .343 with 13 long balls and 30 RBIs. Here is the catch. 35 games played! That is productivity. With an average that high Myers also has drawn 16 walks which is a boost for his .414 OBP. At his peak Myers should surpass 35 home runs and over 100 RBIs while lingering around a .320 average. My MLB comparison would be Matt Holiday and potentially even Josh Hamilton.