May 28, 2016
Blake Snell may be the solution to the Rays starting pitching woes. In a tryout spot-start on April 23 he impressed in 5 IP, allowing only 2 hits and 1 run while striking out 6 batters. His minor league pedigree and top prospect status are based on his deceptive fastball and above-average four pitch arsenal. At this point the only things holding Snell back are the Super Two deadline and a walk rate that he will continue to work on. The Rays were able to get away with a 4 man rotation for the first quarter of the season, but as June nears they will require reinforcements if they hope to compete into the fall. Once Blake Snell is promoted, he can help them compete by fortifying the rotation with his high strikeout rate thanks to his late moving fastball. In a year where the Yankees and the Blue Jays have underperformed, look for the Rays to close the gap between them and the Red Sox as their starting pitching positively regresses to their true talent levels, joined by the super prospect Snell.
May 22, 2016
Once concerns over the Super Two deadline pass and A.J. Reed is called up, his special blend of power and patience will allow the Astros to improve the first base situation by not only adding Reed at first, but possibly shifting Tyler White to the DH/PH role, where he can look to improve on the poor results of other lighter-hitting teammates. Reed has seen his stats decrease in AAA, but nothing seems to indicate that he is being overpowered, but rather that he is getting unlucky. When the line drives start to drop in for hits again, expect Reed to heat up and take his advanced approach to the major leagues
May 16, 2016
José Berríos’s high-strikeout style operates well in the AL Central, however, by preventing the ball from being put into play. With an aggressive, controlled approach, Berríos can make an immediate impact on the Minnesota rotation in 2016 by challenging and overpowering hitters. This will be a nice reprieve for Minnesota fans, who will have to endure the more subdued approach the rest of the Twin rotation employs.
May 11, 2016
While young prospect Tim Anderson is untested and unproven, his dangerous speed, both with the bat and on the basepaths, may offer a solution to the anemic production from the Chicago White Sox shortstop position. Anderson will find himself under the fantastic tutelage of Jimmy Rollins, who has been a mainstay at the position for the past 17 seasons. Should Anderson be able to improve his plate discipline and defense, two of Rollins’s excellences, he could become a bona fide top-of-the-lineup hitter, with solid defense at a valuable position to boot.
May 9, 2016
Lefty Sean Manaea looks to make an impact in the Oakland Athletics rotation in 2016 with his powerful fastball and slider combo. His high strikeout rate throughout the minors signals that he has the stuff to overpower opposing batters, and if he is able to make improvements to his control, his rookie season looks to have promise. Manaea originally made it to the bigs on his own talent and merit. But, the fact that Oakland’s other rotation options have not panned out well so far provides Manaea with an extended opportunity to test his mettle at the highest level of competition.
April 17, 2016
Tyler Glasnow tops this list as the midseason callup likely to have the biggest impact in the NL in 2016 because he has the immediate potential to contribute to a pennant-chasing team. Considering the fact that Pittsburgh has fallen just 7 cumulative games shy of winning the NL Central the past three years, the ability to have a top of the rotation talent like Tyler Glasnow called up midseason is a salivating prospect for a contender like the Pirates.
April 17, 2016
It is highly probable that Aaron Blair will make an appearance with the Atlanta Braves in late May to early June and have an immediate impact. His consistent approach and ability to attack hitters will be a big improvement over the Braves current, less aggressive options. Blair figures to pair with Teheran and younger Braves prospects in the not too distant future to form the basis of the Atlanta rotation, something Braves fans have to anxiously await.
April 16, 2016
With Arcia’s fast ascension to AAA, advanced defense, and already promising hitting development, he is a candidate to take over the everyday shortstop role for the Brewers possibly as early as June. What is likely is that Arcia will make an immediate impact for the Brewers with his legs and glove, with the ability to help them even further with his bat. The Brewers do not project as a great team this year, but Arcia’s debut will be a very bright spot for an otherwise inconsequential season.
April 16, 2016
The advanced metrics indicate that Robert Stephenson might indeed be growing into a great young pitcher, and continued success and development at AAA should earn him a spot in the big leagues this year.
April 14, 2016
With Philadelphia’s current ho-hum options to play, it is not hard to picture prospect Nick Williams in the Phillies outfield of the future along with Odubel Herrera, starting as soon as May or June of the 2016 season. Williams has the bat speed and power potential to blossom into an answer for the Phillies questionable outfield.