On our Consensus Top Prospects list there are nine prospects that stand out from the crowd. These nine are all players expected to spend some time with their big league club this season and five are likely to make an impact. Let’s take a closer examination of these nine and their role in the majors.
Jason Heyward, OF, ATL—This guy has superstar written all over him. He’s so good, Atlanta won’t be able to send him down to the minors to start 2010 so they can save money on him as he goes through arbitration. He won’t flash his power this season, but he will be a solid contributor and will be the full time guy in right field. If you are in a keeper league, this is an “all-in” situation.
Stephen Strasburg, P, WAS—Here is another guy who looks like a future superstar. Leo Mazzone referred to Strasburg’s delivery as “easy gas”, so his mechanics shouldn’t be a problem that can cause injuries. He’s another “all-in” guy for keeper leagues.
Jesus Montero, C, NYY—Montero is the only guy of the nine that might not see time on his Major League squad this season. Think Mike Piazza with this kid in terms of ability with a bat and behind the plate. That being said, he might find himself at a different position than catcher.
Buster Posey, C, SF—Unlike Montero, Posey will stick at catcher and will be up for good this season. The power is mediocre, but the average will be high. Think Joe Mauer-like potential with less power.
Desmond Jennings, OF, TB—Jennings is a 5-tool athlete who will be Tampa’s centerfielder of the future. The only question is when he’ll be centerfielder of the present. The assumption is that Carl Crawford will be too expensive to resign and B.J. Upton will be moved over to left field to make room for Jennings. He has speed, power and a contact bat.
Michael Stanton, OF, FLA—Though his time with the Marlins this season will be limited, Stanton should be up for good next year. He’s a serious power bat, but strikeouts will be a concern.
Carlos Santana, C, CLE—Santana is an all around hitter with power and patience. His defense is solid, but the Indians might hold him down for another year to improve this part of his game.
Neftali Feliz, P, TEX—Very raw and still developing, but dominated in his time in the Rangers bullpen last year. Feliz might be in the bullpen again in 2010, but his future is in the rotation.