This is the tenth and final part of our series taking an in-depth look at when the top prospects in the game will reach the majors. For the rankings on this list, I used the Baseball Prospectus Top-101.
The Twins farm system is much more than just Buxton, but he's the one it all hinges on. When they decide to call him up is the official start of their future, and the date of his arrival at Target Field will be about more than just when he's ready. To this point, the minor leagues have offered nothing close to a challenge, and an assignment to Double-A probably won't do much to change that. Some guys just don't need a lot of time in the minors and Buxton appears to be one of them. He'll start the year in New Britain but I can't see him being there much past the Futures Game (which just so happens to be in Minnesota this year). Whether he gets promoted to Triple-A at that point or jumps straight to the majors remains to be seen, but it's not a stretch to think he could get a late-season cameo in the big leagues. At the very least, he should be in the middle of the Twins lineup by next season.
ETA: Late 2014
What Could Speed It Up: If he continues to hit in the upper minors the way he did in A-ball, he may just stay in Minnesota after the all-star break.
What Could Slow It Down: If he comes back to Earth and plays like a normal human being, the Twins could let him split the season between Double and Triple-A and call him up next June. He is just 20, after all.
As of right now, Bogaerts is the Red Sox starting short stop. That shadow lurking over him is the possibility of the still-unsigned Stephen Drew returning to Boston. If that happens, Bogaerts will likely slide over to third base, making Will Middlebrooks the odd man out, but that's not a given. Bogaerts could also return to Triple-A so everyone gets at-bats. A lot of things have to happen for Bogaerts not to make the Red Sox roster this spring, but all of them are possible. The most likely scenario, however, is that he's playing short stop for the defending world champions on Opening Day.
ETA: April 2014
What Could Speed It Up: N/A
What Could Slow It Down: Drew's signing would throw a wrench into things.
Taveras is going to head back to Triple-A to begin the season both because he was injured too often last year to really get his feet wet there, and because the Cardinals major league outfield is overcrowded. Taveras is one of those prospects who will do some special things in spring training and make everyone wonder why he's not on the team yet, but the Cardinals are so deep that they can afford to wait until the time is right. The long grind of a major league season should provide an opportunity for Taveras to come up and get a chance to get some at-bats, but much of that will be out of his control. Until then, he'll head to Triple-A, hit everything in sight, and generally make Peter Borjous feel inadequate.
What Could Speed It Up: It would take an injury this spring to open up a spot in the Cardinals outfield for him.
What Could Slow It Down: If everyone in the majors plays up to their potential there won't be a place to put Taveras this year. He also is coming off a nagging injury.
The things Baez did to baseballs across minor league parks last year were too impressive to ignore, hitting 37 home runs and finishing the year in Double-A as a 20-year-old. He spent just 54 games in Double-A, so theoretically he could return there, but his 20 home runs in that time suggest that that may be unnecessary. Putting him in Triple-A would make him just an easy phone call away from the majors at any time during the season, and one look at the Cubs roster makes it apparent that they'll need him sooner rather than later.
ETA: Late 2014
What Could Speed It Up: An early-season power binge could convince the Cubs to promote Baez as soon as the super two deadline passes.
What Could Slow It Down: If Starlin Castro rebounds and re-affirms himself as the team's shortstop, Baez will have to shift over to third base. That transition could take some time in the minors for him to adjust to.
Correa broke out the way scouts expected he would in his first full-season in 2013, but having just turned 19, he still has plenty of time before he's in Houston. The Astros are going to do their best to time things so that all of their top prospects are together in the majors at the same time, and that could mean moving Correa quickly now that he's established himself in a full-season league. He'll head to the California League in 2014 and could do some serious damage there. The Astros don't want to move Correa too quickly, however, and rush him to the majors before his power has a chance to fully develop.
ETA: June 2016
What Could Speed It Up: If he goes off on the California League to start this season, he could be in Double-A by mid-year and all bets will be off.
What Could Slow It Down: If the Astros decide to go level-by-level with him throughout the minors, which would still get him to the majors by 22.
If you needed a routine ground ball fielded to save your life, Lindor would be the minor leaguer you'd choose to field it. He's ready to play short stop in the majors today if the Indians needed him. As it is, he's still blocked by Asdrubal Cabrera for the 2014 season. Cabrera could be on the move if the Indians aren't contending, and Lindor will be just a step away. He'll probably return to Double-A Akron to start the year, but he could be in Triple-A by mid-season or he could just straight from there.
ETA: Late 2014
What Could Speed It Up: Moving Cabrera, either to another position or by trading him.
What Could Slow It Down: If the Indians are contending again and Cabrera returns to form, Lindor will have to wait until 2015 for his shot.
Russell put together a great all-around season in High-A ball last year, and soon as he proves he can do it outside of the California League, he should get a call to come to Oakland. The A's have Jed Lowrie doing a great job at short stop at the moment, but he has a long injury history and the ability to slide over to second base upon Russell's arrival, where the A's currently have below-average offensive production. Russell may not be ready this year, but it's a possibility. At the very least, however, he's someone the A's hope to be able to count on in their off-season plans for next year.
ETA: June 2015
What Could Speed It Up: If he takes off in Double-A this year and Lowrie goes down, Russell could be called on as reinforcements.
What Could Slow It Down: Russell wouldn't be the first prospect to see his production drop off dramatically from Stockton to Midland, and if he hits a funk, he could need most of the season in Double-A to work it out.
The Mariners are penciling Walker in as a member of their rotation this spring, and it's his job to lose. I wouldn't count on that happening.
ETA: April 2014
What Could Speed It Up: N/A
What Could Slow It Down: It would take a disastrous spring for him to head back to the minors.
Bradley is a prime candidate for spring training helium because his arsenal is so impressive at first glance. He's going to wow pitching coaches and beat writers alike this spring and generate talks of him breaking camp with the team. The Diamondbacks have to make some roster decisions early because of their Australia trip, however, and Bradley isn't likely to make the trip. The Diamondbacks have pitching depth at the moment and don't need Bradley, but you can bet that they will. He may not be in their starting five, but as soon as a starter inevitably goes down, Bradley should be on the short list to take his place.
ETA: Summer 2014
What Could Speed It Up: The Diamondbacks will do their best to hold him off until after the super two deadline in June.
What Could Slow It Down: If all of their starters are healthy and effective, the Diamondbacks will have to make a tough decision somewhere if they want to work Bradley in.