30 Players 30 Days
A 2011 first-round Draft pick out of St. John’s University, Joe Panik had a meteoric rise to Major League glory last season — not only putting up impressive numbers as the Giants’ new second baseman in 73 regular season games, but also helping San Francisco earn its third World Series championship in the past five years.
Heading into the 2014 season, Eddie Butler was hailed as the top arm in the Rockies’ system and one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. Heading into this year, things were quite different.
So when you look at the roster right now, there aren’t many young, inexperienced players who have a chance to make a big impact on the Padres in 2015. One name that does come to mind, however, is pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne.
The influx of Cuban players in MLB has been much discussed, and after the wild success Jose Abreu had with the White Sox in 2014, teams will continue to scout and give big money to defectors. Yasmany Tomas is a perfect example, as the D-backs gave him a six-year, $68.5 million contract as a 24-year-old this offseason.
Joining the 40-40 club (40 homers and 40 steals in a single season) has always been a rare feat, evidenced by the fact that it’s been accomplished just four times in baseball history. But if you were to make a list of baseball’s top candidates to even have a shot at reaching the milestone, Astros outfielder George Springer would be at or near the top.
An 11th-round Draft choice by the Dodgers out of high school, Los Angeles knew it was taking a risk by drafting Joc Pederson, as he had pretty high bonus demands and had already committed to play baseball at USC. But the Dodgers were OK with the risk that late, and OK with giving him a hefty bonus, and now five years later it looks as though it’s all going to pay off.
Mike Zunino’s first full season with the Mariners was an intriguing one, as the young catcher showed off some of the skills that prompted Seattle to take him third overall in the 2012 draft. But he also showed a lot of his inexperience and a continued lack of plate discipline over the course of 131 games.
It’s been a crazy couple of years for Andrew Heaney, who has risen through the Minor League ranks, been traded twice in a matter of hours this offseason and has struggled to find effectiveness at the big league level. But at 23 years old, the Angels’ new top prospect still has plenty of time to break into the rotation this season.
Now, at 21 years old with almost a full season under his belt, Odor is ready to prove that it is he who is actually the Rangers’ second baseman of the future.
When you take a look at Marcus Semien’s stats, nothing really jumps out at you, until you get to his on-base percentage. If you were wondering why he was the main target of Athletics GM Billy Beane in the Jeff Samardzija trade, look no further.