Every season, we get a new batch of Top 100ish prospects to digest before the season starts. We watch as many Spring Training games as we can, paying special attention to that pitcher with the number 66 on the back, throwing at the end of a "meaningless spring game". It’s not meaningless though, at least not for the prospect that’s in big league camp for the first time.
The player I’m referring to above is Braves southpaw Max Fried, the 23 year old former 7th overall pick. After missing the majority of the 2014 season, and the entire 2015 campaign, Fried came back strong with an impressive season in Rome last year. With an equally impressive Spring Training, he’s on track to skip High-A and crack AA Mississippi’s rotation to begin the season. Early word is that he has a good chance to play in SunTrust Park by the end of the year.
Max Fried is just one of many players I know I’m keeping my eye on. Fellow Brave Dansby Swanson is another player high on my list. To name a few more I would say the two newest White Sox, infielder Yoan Moncada and RHP Lucas Giolito, outfielders Andrew Benintendi of the Red Sox and Clint Frazier of the Yankees, and Brewers LHP Josh Hader (I really reached on a few of those, huh).
With the calendar flipping to April soon, it’s the perfect time to ask; which rookies and prospects are on your shortlist of players to watch? It can be for whatever reason you like - he plays for your favorite team, he’s on your fantasy team, you’ve tracked his entire career and have some vested interest in him, he grew up near your hometown or where you live now. Whatever the case may be, the only caveat is that he has to have the potential to throw an inning for his respective MLB team.