Early in the season, there’s always an explosion of promotions and roster jockeying among teams, so it’s difficult to generate a list of players who we as a site are excited about following. The most notable of these promotions was Jon Singleton, who was absolutely murdering baseballs in AAA and thus will not be featured on this list, but rest assured he would’ve been. This is not a top prospect list, but a list of top performers.
OF Joc Pederson (LAD) – .417/.523/.736, 8 doubles, 5 HR, 6 SB, 16 BB, 16 K
He’s the Dodgers top position prospect and is more than ready for the major leagues. Pederson does have a long swing, but that’s not why he’s a major leaguer, it’s because the Dodgers already have Puig, Kemp, Crawford and Ethier in the outfield. Still, to Pederson’s credit he’s leading the PCL in hits and finds himself in the top 5 in runs, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and steals. Pederson is the entire package and will be a star someday.
IF Grant Green (LAA) – .392/.432/.568, 5 doubles, 2 HR, 2 SB, 6 BB, 12 K
Green was acquired by the Angels last trade deadline for Alberto Callaspo. The A’s felt he was a player without a position, yet under the guidance of Angels infield instructor Alfredo Griffin, Green has blossomed at shortstop, second and third base. It’s his bat however that makes him intriguing. He’s batting .392, with a blend of patience and power. He’ll be an everyday big leaguer within the next season and should provide considerable upside from the middle infield position – assuming the Angels can find a spot for him in their every day lineup.
1B C.J. Cron (LAA) – .300/.349/.575, 10 doubles, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 5 BB, 17 K
The Angels are pretty well set at 1B for the foreseeable future, however they’re currently sending out the likes of Raul Ibanez and David Freese at DH. Cron is a 24-year-old power hitter that also happens to hit for contact. He’s the league leader in doubles and among the best in total bases, RBI, hits and runs. Watch for him as a late season call up and emerge as a serviceable everyday 1B/DH option in the future, especially if Albert Pujols suffers another injury for the Angels.
LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (CHC) – 3 starts, 21 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 2 BB, 23 K
Wada came over from Japan with considerable previous success and the repertoire for success. Unfortunately, injuries and subsequent rehab prevented him from ever reaching his potential with the Orioles. Now with the Cubs, Wada has been lights out in his first three starts, compiling a 0.83 ERA, more strikeouts than innings pitched, only 2 walks, and a .135 batting average allowed. He isn’t a prospect, but the Cubs don’t have much preventing them from promoting him. Wada will never blow it by anyone, but his deception and control as well as the opposition’s lack of familiarity could generate immediate success.
RHP Boone Whiting (STL) – 4 starts, 18.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 BB, 26 K
It’s really unfair for everyone involved that Boone Whiting is in the Cards organization. They’re pitching depth goes beyond deep with the type of talent other teams only dream of. Whiting sports the best K/9 in the league and has the stuff to be a big league starter. Still, given his parent organization’s embarrassment of riches, he may end up forced into a bullpen role.