Top Minor League Prospect at the End of 2018

The postseason teams are decided and the baseball season is wrapping up. For minor league prospects, that means the end of their hopes of being called up – for this year.

However, there are still a lot of very high-quality players in the minors waiting for their chance. Here are some top minor league prospects to keep an eye on during this offseason. For the purpose of this list, I’ve left off players who have already had a call-up to the majors.

Who knows who will show up big in spring training? Maybe some of these guys will start in the bigs next year!

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., AAA for the Blue Jays

At only 19 years old, Guerrero Jr. has a ton of time to develop his upside. He’s already in AAA at third base.

He’s got excellence in his blood – his father is nine-time All-Star Vladimir Guerrero. Guerrero Jr. has been in the Toronto system since he was drafted in 2015. He has definitely impressed – he recorded .323/.425/.485 line with 13 homers during his Single-A season and .410/.460/.668 over his first 54 games in AA.

He’s definitely got the power and athleticism to follow in his dad’s footsteps. He certainly already knows these facts about how to get stronger. Guerrero Jr. will be a lot of fun to watch in the 2019 season!

Fernando Tatis Jr., AA for the Padres

After being drafted by the White Sox in 2015, Tatis Jr. was traded to the Padres the following year. In 2017 he became the first 18-year-old in Midwest League history to post at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases.

In Double-A San Diego in 2018, he recorded a .286 average with .507 slugging and 16 home runs. Unfortunately, he was sidelined with a broken thumb in July 2018. Hopefully he will return to form in 2019 and continue to impress!

This is another prospect with baseball in their lineage – his father is former 11-year Major Leaguer Fernando Tatis.

Eloy Jimenez, AAA for the Chicago White Sox

Welcome to the outfield! Jimenez was drafted in 2013 by the Cubs, but was traded to the White Sox in 2017 as part of a huge trade for Jose Quintana. All signs point to a call-up to the majors in early 2019.

He’s been slowed by muscle strains, but has performed at a very high level in AAA during 2018. He has incredible bat speed and hits for extreme power. In 2018, he recorded a .335 average with .597 slugging and 12 home runs.

Unfortunately, his speed outside the batter’s box leaves a lot to be desired, but he still compares favorably to today’s superstars simply from his bat. He could be a left fielder and a superstar as long as his power and discipline at the plate continue.

Nick Senzel, AAA for the Reds

Drafted in 2016 as the second overall pick to the Reds, Senzel has not disappointed. He made his way into Double-A for the Reds in his first full season. He was also red-hot in Triple-A during 2018 with the Louisville Bats.

Unfortunately, like many of the prospects on our list, his season was also cut short by injury. A torn tendon in his right index finger required surgery.

Like Jimenez, Senzel is a high-class power hitter who doesn’t strike out a lot and is disciplined enough to score walks. While he’s not incredibly fast, he is aggressive and has the instincts to steal bases. He’s been played at 2B, 3B, and shortstop with success at each position.

Of all the prospects we’ve discussed so far, Senzel is especially likely to find himself in the majors in 2019. There’s nothing left to prove as long as he recovers nicely from the finger injury.

Brendan Rodgers, AAA for the Rockies

As if the Rockies need any more help (sorry, my hubby is a Dodger’s fan) – Rodgers is poised for a breakout year in 2019.

As a passable shortstop, he can hit for average and power better than many middle-infielders. He hit for .232 in AAA. However, his discipline can use some work – he rarely walks, which can be a drawback as he eyes the bigs.

Because he’s so close to the majors, there’s been some discussion on where he’d play. While he’s OK at short, he may be better at 2B or 3B. However, with Arenado at third right now, Rodgers isn’t going to come up at that position any time soon.

Forrest Whitley, AA for the Astros

Our first pitcher to make the list, Whitley was selected at #17 overall in the 2016 draft. He advanced to AA in his first full season, which is amazing for a pitcher. In fact, only Zack Greinke, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, and Dylan Bundy have done it.

Despite some poor choices in 2018, those are great names to be mentioned with. Whitley looks poised for another great year in 2019. With a nasty fastball as his top pitch, along with an excellent curve, slider, and changeup, all he needs to do is work on his repeatability and command.

The power and strikes are there – he’s well on his way to becoming a feared ace.

Bo Bichette, AA for Toronto

The second-best Toronto prospect is also the son of royalty - four-time All-Star Dante Bichette. Bo moved into Double-A in 2018 after posting great stats in the Gulf Coast League the year before.

He’s an incredible power hitter and won the Under Armour All-American Game home run derby in Chicago before he was drafted. He has good range and instincts at short, so the Blue Jays plan to keep him there as long as they can.

His offensive prowess is where he really shines – in 2018 he posted a line of .286/.343/.453 with 11 home runs. He and Guerrero Jr. could be battling it out for batting titles and Jays records.

2019 Will Be a Great Season!

These are just the very top prospects in the minor league system – each team has excellent prospects that have a chance for a call-up in 2019. No matter who you root for, your team will look very different in five years.

I hope you enjoyed reading about some of the faces you might see!

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