When the St. Louis Cardinals sent consensus No. 3 MLB prospect Oscar Taveras to the minors, one of the game’s top young guns left the list of players breaking camp with the big league club. Spring training is a time for position battles and breakout performances for baseball’s best young players, but that doesn’t mean they are going to open the season on a Major League roster.
Between prospect ratings by Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America, and the official MLB list, it’s possible to gather a consensus of the top prospects in the game. Whether they are slotted for a real impact on the game this year is a wholly different story. Here are the top 10 MLB prospects one can expect to make hay in the big leagues in 2014.
1. Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
One thing is certain about Nick Castellanos: he’ll have an impact on the Detroit Tigers one way or another. Following the Prince Fielder trade to Texas, Miguel Cabrera moved to the other side of the diamond and will play first base in 2014. Castellanos will start at the hot corner for the Tigers out of the gate, meaning the No. 15 MLB prospect has plenty on his plate.
That assignment gets even tougher with the terrible injury report Jose Iglesias received in spring training. Gone is the expansive range of Iglesias on the left side of the infield, as is the immense power of Fielder backing up Cabrera. Through 15 game in spring training, Castellanos was hitting close to .400 with 16 RBI. Though that’s impressive, the key to Castellanos’s success will be pacing himself and, for the organization and fan base, tempering expectations for the 22-year-old.