#10 – Xander Bogaerts, shortstop, Boston Red Sox
Height/Weight: 6’3″, 175
Born: October 1, 1992 (age 21)
2013 MiLB Stats (Double-A/Triple-A): .297/.388/.477, 15 HR, 67 RBI, 7 SB, 63 BB, 95 SO, 116 G (515 PA)
2013 MLB Stats: .250/.320/.365, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB, 5 BB, 13 SO, 18 G (50 PA)
Heading into 2013… Bogaerts was considered the Red Sox’ top prospect and nothing has really changed.
Now that the 2013 season is over… Bogaerts is still looking like one MLB’s top prospects after hitting very well in both Double-A and Triple as well as putting up some solid numbers in limited plate appearances in the majors. He has impressed with his plate discipline and ability to get on base, posting some very high OBP numbers even in Triple-A Pawtucket.
Looking ahead… Bogaerts will probably be one of MLB’s top 5 prospects going into 2014 with rookie eligibility intact. He probably starts for the Red Sox (either at 3B or SS) and, with a good season, could be the Rookie of the Year for the AL.
#9 – Gerrit Cole, right-handed pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
Height/Weight: 6’4″, 220
Born: September 8, 1990 (age 23)
2013 MiLB Stats (Triple-A): 5-3, 2.91 ERA, 12 GS, 68 IP, 28 BB (3.7 BB/9), 47 K (6.2 K/9), 1.06 WHIP
2013 MLB Stats: 10-7, 3.22 ERA, 19 GS, 117.1 IP, 28 BB (2.1 BB/9), 100 K (7.7 K/9), 1.17 WHIP
Heading into 2013… Cole was one of the best pitching prospects in baseball and was expected to make an impact in the majors at some point this year after reaching Triple-A last year.
Now that the 2013 season is over… Cole was very impressive in his rookie season, posting a 3.22 ERA and actually improving on his Triple-A strikeout and walk rates. With a fastball that averages over 95 mph and a very effective slider and change, Cole came to the majors and did pretty much exactly what the Pirates were hoping for.
Looking ahead… Cole is going to be one of the backbones of the Pirates rotation going forward, particularly after A.J. Burnett leaves the team.
#8 – Oscar Tavares, outfielder, St. Louis Cardinals
Height/Weight: 6’2″, 180
Born: June 19, 1992 (age 21)
2013 MiLB Stats (Triple-A): .310/.348/.471, 5 HR, 32 RBI, 5 SB, 10 BB, 22 SO, 47 G (188 PA)
2013 MLB Stats: n/a
Heading into 2013 . . . Taveras was looking at a full season in Triple-A and a possible promotion to the majors before an injury derailed his year.
Now that the 2013 Season is over . . .Taveras is still looked at as one of the league’s top prospects and will be closer to the bigs than ever. The big question that the Cardinals will ask themselves is whether or not they want Taveras to get another two or three hundred at bats at the Triple-A level before coming to the big leagues. Despite his very low strikeout rate, I’m sure the Cardinals would like to see him take some more walks before cracking the big leagues.
Looking ahead . . . Losing a half a season of development thanks to his injury, Taveras is in kind of a strange zone. He could be ready for the majors already but the Cardinals may want him to get some more development under his belt. How he does in Spring Training will likely go a long way to determining if Taveras breaks camp with the big club or not.
#7 – Taijuan Walker, right-handed pitcher, Seattle Mariners
Height/Weight: 6’4″, 210
Born: August 13, 1992 (age 21)
2013 MiLB Stats (Double-A and Triple-A): 9-10, 2.93 ERA, 25 GS, 141.1 IP, 57 BB (3.6 BB/9), 160 K (10.2 K/9), 1.20 WHIP
2013 MLB Stats: 1-0, 3.60 ERA, 3 GS, 15 IP, 4 BB (2.4 BB/9), 12 K (7.2 K/9), 1.00 WHIP
Heading into 2013 . . . Walker was expected to dominate the high-minors . . . and he did.
Now that the 2013 Season is over . . .Walker’s name has been linked to attempts to get someone like David Price to Seattle but it appears that the (ahem) price is not right for the Mariners who are looking to keep their prized prospect. With 15 major league innings under his belt and having had an outstanding year in the minors, Walker has nothing left to prove in the minors.
Looking ahead . . . Walker will be regular in the Seattle rotation and, if things go as expected, should have some decent offense behind him. He could be another AL Rookie of the Year candidate in 2014.
#6 – Jose Fernandez, right-handed pitcher, Miami Marlins
Height/Weight: 6’3″, 215 lbs
Born: July 31, 1992 (age 21)
2013 MiLB Stats: n/a
2013 MLB Stats: 12-6, 2.19 ERA, 28 GS, 172.2 IP, 58 BB (3.0 BB/9), 187 K (9.7 K/9), 0.98 WHIP
Heading into 2013 . . . No one expected that Fernandez was going to make the big club until the Marlins shocked the baseball world. He hadn’t pitched about the High-A level and, despite being dominant there, his surprise promotion to the majors for the 2013 season (at the age of 20) took baseball by storm.
Now that the 2013 Season is over . . . Well, when you’re right, you’re right. Congratulations go to the Miami Marlins for getting it right with Fernandez, the overwhelming 2013 NL Rookie of the Year, even beating out the Dodgers’ phenom Yasiel Puig. In addition to the ROY, Fernandez finished in third place in NL Cy Young voting. Not bad for a kid who’s barely old enough to drink.
Looking ahead . . . Look for Fernandez to toil in obscurity in Miami until the Marlins decide they don’t want to pay him what he’s worth.