MLB Prospect Watch: 2022 minor-league awards, together with Orioles as high staff and Corbin Carroll as finest hitter

September 22, 2022

Imagine it or not, we have reached the ultimate MLB Prospect Watch of the yr. By this time subsequent week, each stage of the minors may have accomplished the common season. As is custom, we’re devoting this house to our model of end-of-year awards. 

Beneath, we have highlighted gamers and groups in six completely different classes of our creation. It ought to go with out stating that there are extra people worthy of recognition than this format permits us to focus on. The minor leagues are an enormous equipment, in spite of everything. Simply preserve that in thoughts in case your favourite prospect is not talked about. 

Now, onto the gasbaggery. 

Carroll has had an eventful profession for somebody with simply over 160 skilled appearances since being chosen sixteenth within the 2019 draft. He missed most of final season due to a shoulder damage, and he was robbed of a traditional improvement cycle the yr prior by the COVID-19 pandemic. Carroll seemed no worse for any of it this season, as he hit .307/.425/.611 with 24 residence runs and 31 stolen bases in 93 video games cut up throughout three ranges earlier than getting known as as much as the majors. (Most of these got here in Double- or Triple-A.) Do not let Carroll’s diminutive (5-foot-10) body idiot you: he is a well-rounded participant who can hit and run and play a imply middle area. He was a powerful candidate for the No. 1 prospect slot within the minors previous to his latest promotion to the majors, and the mix of his output, his star upside, and his background makes him our selection right here. 

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Pitcher of the yr: Kyle Harrison, LHP, San Francisco Giants

Issues did not go the Giants’ method on the big-league stage, as they fell brief of their try at repeating within the NL West, however at the least they continued to make use of Harrison. He made 25 begins between Excessive- and Double-A, amassing a 2.71 ERA and hanging out a ridiculous 14.8 batters per 9. Harrison has a sturdy three-pitch combine, together with a fastball that may contact into the upper-90s. His pitch high quality is aided by a decrease arm slot that creates a flatter airplane and an optical phantasm that hitters can not seem to clear up. The one factor holding Harrison again is his location. He walked 4 batters per 9 this season — and that was progress after he walked practically 5 final yr.

There are various methods to outline this class. We wish to preserve it easy: the aim of a minor-league system is to enhance the big-league roster. That may imply via promotions; it may possibly imply via trades; or some mixture thereof. With that in thoughts, we’re giving the nod to the Orioles. They graduated Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson this season, each of whom have been within the working for the No. 1 prospect spot in all of the minors on the time of their promotions to the majors. (Had been it not for his damage, righty Grayson Rodriguez would’ve been within the combine, too.) Rival scouts have additionally praised the progress made by Colton Cowser and Colby Mayo, amongst different future arrivals. Issue within the addition of No. 1 decide Jackson Holliday, and the O’s minor-league system had an important yr, regardless of the way you slice it.

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We weren’t followers of what the Reds did final offseason, after they salary-dumped Wade Miley and Tucker Barnhart to kick off their rebuild. Their work this summer time was rather more to our liking, nevertheless. Over the course of July, the Reds obtained infielders Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Spencer Steer, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand (amongst others) in trades. Additionally they nabbed Cam Collier, a darkhorse candidate to go first total heading into the draft, in the midst of the primary spherical. That is what the “expertise accumulation” section of a full teardown is meant to appear to be.

Greatest riser: Jackson Chourio, CF, Milwaukee Brewers

Who else may it’s, actually? Chourio, who will not have a good time his nineteenth birthday till subsequent March, assured himself a spot close to the highest of prospect lists this winter by batting .288/.342/.538 with 20 residence runs and 16 steals (on 20 tries) over the course of 99 video games cut up between Class-A, Excessive-A, and Double-A. He did the majority of his harm within the Carolina League, the place he led the Brewers’ A-ball affiliate in OPS regardless of being practically three years youthful than his common competitor — with that sort of age hole, he would’ve been doing properly to merely maintain his personal. That Chourio as an alternative flourished whereas exhibiting spectacular bodily instruments suggests he is properly on his technique to stardom.

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We have been keen on Martin courting again to his collegiate days at Vanderbilt. Actually, we ranked him as one of the best prospect within the 2020 draft on the power of his bat-to-ball expertise, his strategy, and his defensive versatility. It did not damage that scouts who spoke to CBS Sports activities believed he had extra juice in his bat based mostly on his exit velocity readings.

Sadly, Martin has but to show them (or us) right. In 90 Double-A video games this season, he hit .241/.367/.316 with two residence runs and a complete of solely 18 extra-base hits. His profession home-run complete now’s as much as seven in 185 skilled video games. It is attainable for low-wattage hitters to achieve the majors, but it surely’s not simple. Martin’s .075 ISO can be the fifth lowest amongst certified hitters. And that is if it translated in entire.