St. Augustine Sports

Unknown Prospects Ready to Take MLB by Storm by 2014

If baseball fans weren’t interested in and well aware of the top prospects in the game before last season, they probably are now thanks to what Mike Trout and Bryce Harper did to the league as rookies.

Everyone wants to know who the next Harper or Trout will be. While those two are a rare breed, there’s no denying that the top prospects don’t fly under the radar very long, and unattainable expectations are often set for them.

On the other hand, many prospects who aren’t well known one season can see their value skyrocket from one season to the next.

Take lefty Tony Cingrani of the Reds, for example. A fringe prospect at the start of 2012, he dominated in High-A and Double-A before earning a September call-up.

After rising to the top of most prospect rankings, the 23-year-old is at it again with 12.1 shutout innings in Triple-A while allowing only three hits and two walks to go along with 21 strikeouts.

In less than a year, he’s gone from unknown lefty in the low minors to someone who would very likely be a solid contributor in most big league rotations.

Evan Gattis of the Braves is another great example. If you don’t know his story, this is a recommended read by David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

That’s the beauty of following an organization from top-to-bottom, instead of focusing on just the 25-man roster and a handful of the team’s best prospects. If you haven’t yet figured it out, baseball is a very unpredictable sport.

Here are five lesser known prospects who could follow Cingrani’s or Gattis’ path and have an impact in the big leagues by 2014.

Eddie Rosario, 2B, Minnesota Twins

It’s becoming clear that Rosario can hit and will continue to hit as he moves up the ladder to the majors. The left-handed hitter is 11-for-30 (.367) to start the season with High-A Fort Myers, showing that he hasn’t cooled off since putting on a hitting display in the Puerto Rico Winter League (.338 BA, 4 HR, 9 2B, 20 RBI in 36 games).

The 21-year-old has bounced back and forth between second base and the outfield as the Twins try to find the best fit for his skills. He’s fast and athletic but still has a long way to go defensively and on the base paths.

If he can stick at second base, where he’s currently playing, Rosario has a chance to move up the ladder quickly and could push Brian Dozier for the starting job next spring. The Twins seem to think he has a shot to stick there.

Aaron Hicks’ rough start will make them think twice More

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