The baseball world is captivated by the simultaneous promotions of Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. The comparisons are inevitable, but Trout’s trial last season proves that most prospects fail in their first tryout. Trout came back late in 2011 and started to turn it on. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him continue to perform better than Harper in the short-term. Yet, to focus solely on Harper would be to ignore a whole list of qualified prospects.
Jacob Anderson– Toronto Blue Jays (A-)
Anderson performed well last season, so I am surprised to see them moving him along so slowly. He will play in short season A ball this season which means we won’t have anything substantive on him until June. At 19, he has plenty of time to develop, but you’d think they’d want him to get some at bats.
Oswaldo Arcia– Minnesota Twins (A+)
The numbers are virtually average. A .750 OPS from a corner outfielder is neither good nor bad. The three to one strikeout to walk ratio is not good. He is striking out in nearly one in three plate appearances. That cannot continue to happen if he wants to make it anywhere.
Robbie Grossman– Pittsburgh Pirates (AA)
If you recall, Grossman made the list on the strength of a 100+ walk campaign last season. He probably won’t draw more than 100 walks this year, but his patience is still keeping him afloat. His contact rate isn’t great, but it’s better than his average would indicate. I would expect him to be up to .250 or .260 by the next update.
Bryce Harper– Washington Nationals (AAA-ML)
It’s hard to see how these numbers warranted a promotion, but their center field situation is dire. At this point, it is impossible for him to live up to the hype. Like Mike Trout last season, he is likely to fall short in his first go around, but at 19 he has plenty of time. I’d imagine this current trial will end in him returning to AAA. He’ll come back and dominate soon enough.
Rhymer Liriano– San Diego Padres (A+)
It’s been a struggle all the way around for Padres prospects this season. It’s funny how things tend to happen that way. Liriano simply doesn’t have the plate discipline right now to make it very far. Of course, one month of action can amount to nothing more than a slump and hitters have a way of looking like they have no plate discipline in slumps.
Wil Myers– Kansas City Royals (AA)
The strikeout to walk ratio is somewhat disconcerting, but this guy is mashing. He represents the last of this generation of hitting prospects for the Royals. Once he, Johnny Giavotella, and Lorenzo Cain finally establish themselves, the Royals will have the best young lineup in baseball. Look for him to being 2013 in right field.
Marcell Ozuna– Miami Marlins (A+)
The strikeout rate is actually not that bad, but it should be accompanied with more walks. Right now, Ozuna is not doing anything that would expect from a premier prospect. He either needs to get on base, hit for power, or show some superior base running. Right now he is not doing enough of any of those to be an elite prospect.
Domingo Santana– Houston Astros (A+)
His numbers look worse than they really are. He missed about a week and a half of action and that means a lot more when you are only a month in. His walk rate is actually pretty good, but he simply isn’t make enough contact. He has what they call light tower power when he makes contact, so hopefully his slump will end soon.
Oscar Tavares– St. Louis Cardinals (AA)
There is a lot to like here. For one, he has a ton of power and is making good use of it so far. Secondly, he has one of the better contact rates of any prospect we are looking at. However, his walk rate is the worst of any player we’ve looked at. This cannot continue if he wants to have a viable big league career.
Danry Vazquez– Detroit Tigers (A)
Let’s ignore the obvious and move onto some optimism. He is only 18 years old and this is his first taste of full season baseball. Secondly, his contact rate indicates he has suffered from some bad batted ball luck so far. I don’t think he will be pushing for all-star status at the second update, but he should be well above the Mendoza Line.
In addition to being the editor of hardballchat.com, Scott Barzilla is also the proud father of one and the author of four books. His books can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Barzilla's Hall of Fame Index was nominated for the Sporting News Award for statistical advancement.