I’m not sure how many of you are aware of the United Cardinals Bloggers (aka the UCB) but it is a loose collection of bloggers that write about the Cardinals. It’s run by C70 and each month they have a project that many of the sites participate in. Future Redbirds participated briefly in the exercise years ago when Erik was running the blog. It wasn’t something that FR was consistent about but I think that this year we’re going to change it.
One thing to keep in mind is that the UCB is focused on the Cardinals and, by that, I mean the major league team. FutureRedbirds continues to occupy a rather unique spot in the blogosphere in that our focus is 95%+ minor league. We’ll have the occasional post on a player like Lance Lynn or Daniel Descalso but the vast majority of what we write is about the minors. There isn’t any other site that operates like that right now. So when the March project came out as predictions for the divisional standings in 2012, my goal was to give that a prospect twist to stay in line with Future Redbirds.
What follows is the top prospect for each club with the prediction of whether they make the majors in 2012. Moreover, one prospect will get a more detailed discussion for you to digest and comment on. Tuesday through Thursday we will cover the NL divisions, which Jeff and I will be splitting up. On Friday, Jeff and I will take a stab at an award prediction unique to prospects: Rookie of the Year.
Baltimore Orioles – Dylan Bundy, RHP
Majors in 2012? The Orioles suck pretty badly but I doubt that they’re dropping their first round pick from 2011 into the majors in 2012 especially considering he was a high schooler in 2011. Give it a couple years.
Boston Red Sox – Xander Bogaerts, SS
Majors in 2012? Nope.
New York Yankees – Manny Banuelos, LHP
Majors in 2012? Yes. At least for a cup of coffee in the bullpen.
Tampa Bay Rays – Matt Moore, LHP
Majors in 2012? Given that he signed a five year deal with three subsequent club options, Moore is a lock to be in the Rays rotation.
Toronto Blue Jays – Travis D’Arnaud, C
Majors in 2012? Unlikely. The Jays have a good young catcher in J.P. Arencibia so they’ll likely delay the Arencibia-D’Arnaud decision for as long as possible.
Chicago White Sox – Addison Reed, RHP
Majors in 2012? Certainly.
Cleveland Indians – Francisco Lindor, SS
Majors in 2012? Another teenager that won’t see the majors for years, if ever.
Detroit Tigers – Jacob Turner, RHP
Majors in 2012? He was in the running for the fifth starters slot out of Spring Training. It seems likely that he’ll crack the majors for a spot start at some point this year.
Kansas City Royals – Wil Myers, OF
Majors in 2012? Probably not. After switching from catcher to OF he scuffled a but at AA in 2011.
Minnesota Twins – Miguel Sano, 3B
Majors in 2012? He’s 18 and hasn’t made it out of short season baseball yet. Not going to happen.
Los Angeles Angels – Mike Trout, OF
Majors in 2012? Yes.
Oakland Athletics – Michael Choice, OF
Majors in 2012? Oakland will probably choose to wait. Though there are plenty of choice headlines awaiting his eventual graduation to the majors.
Seattle Mariners – Jesus Montero, C
Majors in 2012? Yep. The Mariners need all the help they can get on offense.
Texas Rangers – Jurickson Profar, SS
Majors in 2012? Nope. Teenager in the low minors.
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Let’s Talk More About: Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are a really bizarre team right now. They have a set of rapidly aging outfielders signed to big contracts in Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu. They traded for a terrible outfielder signed to a big contract in Vernon Wells. As a result, defensive wizard Peter Bourjos and uber-prospect Mike Trout have to justify playing time when they’d be guaranteed 700 PAs on almost any other team.
Consider that Trout posted a .958 OPS in the Texas League last year before making the jump directly to the majors. He’s one of a handful of players considered to have a true 80 tool (speed) in baseball right now. He hits for average, power, has a strong arm, can play defense and is a burner on the field. On top of that, he’s just 20 years old and projected by ZiPS to be the best offensive outfielder on the team. That’s a pretty good prospect.
Note: Top prospects are according to Kevin Goldstein’s Top 101 Prospects at Baseball Prospectus.