Which young hitters does PECOTA see as having breakout potential in 2017?
“Breakout” can mean different things to different people. It can mean a prospect or untested young big leaguer establishing himself as a valuable regular. It can mean a relative unknown becoming an impact player. It can mean a well-known star making the leap to full-blown superstar, perhaps even following up a “breakout” one year with an even bigger “breakout” the next. Your own definition may vary, but in PECOTA’s case “breakout” is all about out-performing track records.
The best prospect remaining in the minors will join the Twins on Sunday.
The situation: The surprising Minnesota Twins sit near the top of the American League Central despite a recent five-game losing streak and middling offensive production. What better remedy to cure those offensive woes then the best prospect in baseball, Sir Byron Buxton?
Background: Buxton wasn’t an unknown quantity by any stretch of the imagination, but the outfielder from Appling County, Georgia burst onto the scene with an outstanding performance at the East Coast Pro Showcase and Under-Armour All-American Game in Chicago in the summer of 2011. Some concerns over his performance against mediocre competition during his senior season, along with bonus demands and the emergence of Carlos Correa, dropped him to the second overall selection, though he was considered the consensus top talent on the board in 2012. That “drop” has been the Twins gain. Outside of an injury-marred 2014 campaign, Buxton has done nothing but impress; ranking at the top of not only the Twins’ top-ten list, but as the top prospect in baseball for the last two years running.
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The Twins are teeming with top prospects, but there are big leaguers who could help your fantasy squad in 2015, too.
Byron Buxton. Miguel Sano. Alex Meyer. Kohl Stewart. Eddie Rosario.
This is how 2013/2014’s offseason preview for the Minnesota Twins opened, and with good reason. It seemed like a fait accompli that most or all of these prospects would begin their promising big league futures with the Twins at some point in 2014. As we know now with the benefit of sweet, delicious hindsight, it didn’t work out that way. Every one of these future studs hit a bump in the road, and not one of the Twins vaunted five put up a single MLB at-bat or inning pitched in 2014.
The future still looks bright for both these prospects and the Twins, but 2014 reminded us that if you want to make God laugh, show him a well-defined prospect timetable. With the exception of Stewart, all of these prospects could still make an impact in 2015 but 2014 reminds us to temper our expectations. Given the Twins fantasy outlook otherwise, for the most part we will be the same position in 2015 that we were in 2014: shying away from most of this roster in shallower formats while waiting for better days, both in the real world as well as in our fantasy realm.
Rather than re-printing the BP Prospect Staff Midseason Top 50 debates—much of which involves discussion of multiple players at the same time—we thought it would be interesting to call out some of the more interesting pairings of players who have been in consideration for the #BPTop50 and allow an advocate for each to make his case as to why that player should be ranked ahead of the other.
A positional and visual breakdown of the players on our top 101 prospects list.
Today, Jason Parks and the Baseball Prospectus Prospect Staff released our Top 101 Prospects of 2014. Here is the Top 101 list displayed by position, by organization, by prospect age, and by tool grades. Enjoy!
Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras leads the way as the first 28 prospects come off the board.
Sometimes there’s just a more fun way to do things. I am currently in the final stages of drafting my Top 100 Fantasy Prospects list (which will hit BP in mid-February), but everyone does lists. What everyone doesn’t do is gather together a whole bunch of experts across the industry, from both a fantasy and scouting perspective, to gather in one e-mail chain and draft 140 of their favorites. Last month, I sent out the bat signal to people who really know and love prospects—and from that alarm, a group of 14 have assembled to carry out this exercise with much aplomb. We hope you have half as much fun reading about this draft as we had carrying it out.
But first, we must examine the parameters. There are always parameters. These were the instructions for the participants of this draft, straight from the email I sent out prior to kickoff:
A look back at the teenage years of Byron Buxton, Courtney Hawkins, Francisco, Lindor, and other prospects in the division.
As part of Perfect Game's partnership with Baseball Prospectus, David Rawnsley, Todd Gold and Patrick Ebert will be conducting a “Before They Were Pros” series, providing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in baseball from when they were in high school attending PG events. This six-part series (one for each division in MLB) will appear once Baseball Prospectus has provided their own detailed scouting reports of the top prospects, team-by-team, as part of their “Prospects Will Break Your Heart” series.
We continue by looking at select top prospects from American League Central teams. Be sure to read Baseball Prospectus' features on each of these five teams: White Sox | Twins | Royals | Indians | Tigers