The Next Generation: 4 Young MLB Prospects Who Will Make an Impact in 2016
The 2016 MLB season is officially underway. All of the work teams put in during the offseason and in spring training is now put to the test through a grueling 162-game schedule. Every year, many major sporting news outlets publish their opinions on who the top prospects are for the season. These prospects have the potential to make huge impacts on MLB rosters during the season. However, prospects can also turn out to be flops. Today, I want to focus on a few prospects who might make a significant impact for their teams in 2016.
Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
According to both MLB.com and ESPN, Corey Seager is this year’s #1 overall prospect. Seager burst onto the MLB scene in September of last year, hitting .337 in 98 plate appearances, including 4 HRs, 17 RBI, and 14 walks. Seager is highly touted, and has been for the past few years, as a future star within the MLB. Manager Dave Roberts says that they will bat Seager second in the lineup due to his great hitting ability and his tendency to spread the ball all over the field. Seager also plays 3B, but because that position is currently occupied by Justin Turner, the Dodgers want to use Seager to replace the recently departed Jimmy Rollins. The Dodgers have high hopes for the 21-year-old this year as he begins his 1st full year of MLB service.
Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins
Byron Buxton enters 2016 as one of the most exciting prospects in the MLB. Unlike Seager, Buxton is technically not a prospect because he played in 46 games last year in the MLB. However, Buxton is still a rookie. Drafted by the Twins as the second overall pick in the 2012 Amateur Draft, Buxton is expected to be the answer to the Twins recent outfield issues. In the minors in 2015, Buxton hit .305 in 72 games before making his MLB debut on June 14, 2015. The Twins hope he can showcase his talents at the big league level this year as they look to a young set of outfielders.
Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals
Lucas Giolito was selected 16th overall in the 2012 Amateur Draft by the Washington Nationals. Giolito and Braves prospect Max Fried were both taken in the same draft, with Fried going 9 picks before Giolito. Both of players pitched for Harvard Westlake in Los Angeles, CA. Giolito underwent Tommy John surgery after high school, but has recovered quickly and has shown remarkable results from the surgery. This year, Giolito has climbed to #2 on MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects. Even though he is not currently on the Washington Nationals MLB Roster, he is expected to make his debut in 2016 for a Washington Nationals team that already features Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez, and Stephen Strasburg. Giolito’s fastball has been clocked in the mid to upper 90s. Be on the lookout for Giolito this year, especially if one of the Washington’s starters proves to be ineffective.
Julio Urias, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
As a Dodgers fan, it is hard to contain my excitement about Julio Urias. Urias is ranked as MLB.com’s #3 prospect for 2016. At only 19 years old, he has already catapulted through the Dodgers system. Urias was purchased as a part of a $1.8 million package deal from the Mexican League’s Mexico City Red Devils in 2012. Because of his age, the Dodgers have been very careful with Urias by limiting his innings each year so as not to wear his arm out, especially in a time where Tommy John surgery is becoming more common for pitchers. He has a very lively fastball that ranges from the low to mid 90s. Having watched Urias pitch two years ago in Rancho Cucamonga for the Dodgers Single A team, I can tell you that this kid is for real. Look for him to make a big impact at the major league level this year before he turns 20 years old in August.
All stats courtesy of MLB.com