Every Friday this year, I will be answering your questions about prospects. You can submit them here at any time to have your question answered on the site.
Who will be the first couple minor leaguers to make to the show in 2014?
Depending on what happens with the Red Sox and Stephen Drew, Xander Bogaerts should start the season in the majors, as will his teammate Jackie Bradley, Jr. Nick Castellanos should be the Tigers opening day third baseman. The Reds have all but announced that Billy Hamilton will be their starting center fielder. Top pitching prospects Taijuan Walker, Kevin Gausman and Yordano Ventura all have a better than average chance of winning a rotation spot in spring training.
As for the call-up season this summer, we could see some big name prospects come up. George Springer will end up in right-field for the Astros by June. Gregory Polanco should be doing the same thing for the Pirates as soon as the super-two deadline safely passes. Marcus Stroman is a stud, and the Blue Jays could move him quickly.
Of all the SP who made their debut in the MLB in 2013,which ones do you prefer for 2014 and beyond (in order)....???
Jose Fernandez, T.Walker, M.Wacha, K.Gausman, G.Cole, Z.Wheeler, D.Salazar, S.Gray, HJ Ryu, Carlos, Martinez, Y.Ventura, A.Wood, Erik Johnson.
If I was building a team tomorrow: Fernandez, Cole, Wacha, Walker, Gausman, Ventura, Ryu (I hate comparing older international rookies to young ones), Salazar, Wheeler, Wood, Johnson.
You'll notice that I skipped Carlos Martinez on this list. That's because I don't know what to do with him. I absolutely love Martinez, and there's a reason they call him "Little Pedro" and don't get laughed at. It's not complete hyperbole, which tells you all you need to know about Martinez's abilities. I assume this question was asked with some kind of fantasy purpose in mind. The problem with Martinez is that I have no idea how the Cardinals are going to use him this year.
They're saying all the right things right now about how he's coming into spring training with a chance to compete for a rotation spot. If that's actually true, he's going to push a very good pitcher like Joe Kelly or Lance Lynn to the bullpen. If the Cardinals actually give Martinez a legitimate shot to win a rotation spot this spring, he's going to win it. More likely, however, is that they handle him like Trevor Rosenthal and he ends up in the bullpen.
Will Wilmer Flores make the Mets this spring?
I think so. He's been hitting great this winter in Venezuela. If he can carry that over into a hot couple of weeks this spring, that should be enough to grab him a bench spot. The Mets could still do something with Ike Davis or Daniel Murphy and open up a spot for Flores to get some at bats at first or second base, but even if they hold on to those two, I think there are enough at-bats to go around at one of the number of positions Flores plays (albeit poorly) to justify keeping him in the majors. I still see him falling in as a super-utility type player.