Saturday, July 28, 2012

Guest Post: MLB Prospects: The Next 5 Young Stars Who Could Debut and Impact their Teams in 2012

MLB Prospects: The Next 5 Young Stars Who Could Debut and Impact their Teams in 2012

This is a guest post submitted by Chris Ludwig. Chris played a wide variety of sports growing up and now passionately follows everything sports, especially Detroit sports. He works with Phoenix Bats, a company that creates world-class wood bats for amateur and professional ball players around the world. Chris enjoys writing on different sports topics and is very grateful to be able to contribute here.

The 2012 season has already seen young prospects making solid impacts—Mike Trout has given the Los Angeles Angels a huge lift with his hot start, and Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has helped solidify the outfield as the Nats continue to set the pace in the NL East Division.

Both Harper and Trout made their debuts in late April after spending the early part of the season in the minors. Here are five other prospects who could step up and make an impact for their teams in 2012.

Wil Myers: Kansas City Royals
The question surrounding outfield prospect Wil Myers isn’t about how good he will be, but about when he’ll be showing off his talents at the major league level.

Myers has been ripping minor league pitching all season long to the tune of a .319 average, 28 HR and 76 RBI through mid-July. Myers will likely be starring in the Kansas City Royals’ outfield within a matter of weeks.

Danny Hultzen: Seattle Mariners
When Seattle Mariners pitching prospect Danny Hultzen made his professional debut this season, he toyed with hitters at the Double-A level, posting an 8-3 record, a 1.19 ERA and giving up just 38 hits in 75.1 innings.

Hultzen has cooled a bit since being promoted to Triple-A Tacoma, posting a 3.52 ERA in his first five starts, but he is clearly on the fast track and could very well be seen at Safeco Field by the end of the season.

Josh Vitters: Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs promoted highly-touted first base prospect Anthony Rizzo back in June, and he has flourished, hitting .330 in his first 17 games. Could third base prospect Josh Vitters be far behind?

Vitters was the third overall pick by the Cubs in the 2007 MLB Draft, and he has steadily progressed at the minor league level, now hitting .297 with 13 HR and 52 RBI at Triple-A Iowa through mid-July. Vitters is the long-term solution at the hot corner for the Cubs, and his debut could come sooner rather than later.

Starling Marte: Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates are attempting to end their dubious MLB record of 19 consecutive losing seasons this year, and the future looks even brighter with the youngsters currently stockpiled in their farm system.

One of those youngsters, 23-year-old prospect Starling Marte, could be joining star slugger Andrew McCutchen in the outfield by the end of the season. Marte is hitting .285 with 11 HR, 58 RBI and 19 stolen bases for Triple-A Indianapolis. With a combination of speed and power, Marte would give the Pirates a formidable tandem along with McCutchen.

Jedd Gyorko: San Diego Padres
Third-base prospect Jedd Gyorko has done just about everything right thus far in 2012 at the minor league level. Now, it’s just a matter of when the San Diego Padres will decide on his big league future.
Since his promotion to Triple-A Tucson earlier this year, Gyorko has hit .351 with 15 HR and 54 RBI in 55 games. Gyorko’s play could speed the departure of incumbent third baseman Chase Headley, who has been mentioned in various trade rumors over the past several weeks.

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