Cole Winn, Starting pitcher, Texas Rangers
The 22-year-old right-hander is on the cusp of cracking a Texas rotation that could really use some help. according to MLB.com, “Winn owns a pair of plus pitches in a 92-95 mph fastball that tops out at 97 with running action and a curveball with a 12-6 break.”
The former 15th overall pick of the Rangers back in 2018 should undoubtedly make his major league debut this season. After signings Kyle Seager and Marcus Semien, it seems that the Rangers may have a little more pep in their step in regards to getting these young pitchers up to speed in the majors.
Last season the 6’2 starter logged 86 innings in 21 starts split between AAA and AA. His numbers were awe-inspiring, logging a 2.41 ERA and 107 strikeouts, making him a huge candidate to make that jump to the majors this season.
Scouting Grades: (Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale)
Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55
Shane Baz, Starting pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays
I think it’s pretty apparent this kid will be a stud at the Major league level for a long time. I added him to this list because I could see him becoming a household name fairly quickly, similar to teammate Tyler Glasnow.
The 22-year-old prospect slots in at the #19 spot on MLB’s top 100 prospects, but he already has some big innings under his belt, unlike many of the guys on that list.
With the Rays, he got in three starts and 13.1 innings pitched, managing to pitch to a 2.03 ERA. Due to Tampa Bay’s injuries last season, Baz was really thrown into the fire, giving him high leverage pitching opportunities right in the middle of a pennant race.
According to MLB.com, this is how they view some of Baz’s weapons. “He has a four-seamer that can touch triple digits and sits in the mid-90s and a hard, biting slider that is perhaps the best in Tampa Bay’s system. He can generate whiffs with both pitches, albeit while operating with fringy command.”
Baz is very similar to Winn above. Both have shown no significant struggle in their journeys to the majors and could have breakout years for their respective ball clubs.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 40 | Slider: 65 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55
Adley Rutschman, Cather, Baltimore Orioles
Rutschman had to go on this list; being the best prospect in baseball, there is always a chance he makes the Majors this season, especially on a lack-lustre squad like the O’s.
The 23-year-old has had a pretty smooth road in pro baseball so far. A unanimous #1 overall pick arrives at the draft every once in a while and doesn’t live up to expectations. Then there are guys like Rutschman, who seems like a sure-fire pick.
In his junior year at Oregon State back in 2019, he won both the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Award as the best player in college baseball. According to Orioles personnel, he was also the best player at their alternative training site back in 2020.
In his first full pro season split between AA-AAA, the young signal-caller hit for a .285 average and a .397 OBP in his 543 plate appearances and added 23 home runs.
Based on that, it seems like this guy could be up on the Orioles in no time, considering they need help and developing Rutschman sooner rather than later should be a priority.
Scouting Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 65 | Run: 30 | Arm: 60 | Field: 65 | Overall: 65
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