Editor’s Note: This is a guest post submitted by Mike Wright. Mike played all kinds of sports growing up and adamantly follows everything sports now that he is too old to contribute at a high level. He currently works with The Phoenix Bats Company, a company that creates world-class wood bats, such as their famous maple bats, for amateur and professional ball players around the world and loves writing on different sports topics.
With the beginning of spring training every year, each MLB team takes the opportunity to get long looks at their prospects as they do all they can to convince their teams that they are ready for the jump to the majors.
Certainly not every prospect will be ready for the jump, however, at some point during the season, they could be called up on to impact the major league club. Here are five prospects who could be called up mid-season.
1. James Paxton, RHP: Seattle Mariners
Young 23-year-old right-hander James Paxton may not be with the Seattle Mariners at the beginning of the season, but with his quick rise through the farm system last year, he could very well be impacting the starting rotation by the All-Star break.
Paxton was 6-3 last season in 17 starts, including 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA after his promotion to Double-A Jackson. With great velocity and command, Paxton is a name worth watching.
For the other four top prospects likely to break the bigs in 2012…
2. Trevor Bauer, RHP: Arizona Diamondbacks
Last year’s third overall pick in the MLB Draft, UCLA right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer, averaged 15.1 strikeouts in seven minor league starts after signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Bauer is already close to major-league ready, and may need just a few starts in the minors before he sees a promotion in Phoenix.
3. Ryan Lavarnway, C: Boston Red Sox
Last season, catcher Ryan Lavarnway impressed the big club in a September call-up, helping the Boston Red Sox win a vital game against the Baltimore Orioles with a huge two-run home run. Lavarnway is behind Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach on the depth chart, however, it may be difficult to hold his bat down for much longer. Lavarnway hit .290 with 32 HR and 93 RBI last year between Double-A and Triple-A.
4. Brett Jackson, OF: Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs outfield is currently set with Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and David DeJesus. However, with an injury or slow start, 23-year-old Brett Jackson could be ready to step up.
Jackson, the Cubs’ first-round draft pick in 2009, hit .274 with 20 HR and 58 RBI last season between Double-A and Triple-A. The Cubs love Jackson’s five-tool skills and would dearly love to see him take that next step in his progression.
5. Drew Hutchinson, RHP: Toronto Blue Jays
Last season, 21-year-old right-hander Drew Hutchinson climbed the ladder quickly in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, rising three levels and impressing at every stop. Hutchinson was 14-5 with a 2.53 ERA between Single-A and Double-A, with 171 strikeouts in 149.1 innings.
Hutchinson’s rapid rise has been fun to watch, and considering Toronto’s shaky outlook for its fifth starter role, Hutchinson could be in Toronto sooner rather than later.