The baseball season is in full swing now, and with that hope springs eternal for all 30 ball clubs who hope to be hoisting that World Series Trophy come October!
With an eye to the future though, how is the league's top prospects doing so far in the early going?
I will be doing the top 15 prospects in Baseball America's Top 100 List.
1. Byron Buxton - OF - Fort Myers Miracle - Class A Advanced (Twins)
Buxton has started off the young season on the 7-day DL and hasn't played yet. I'm sure the Twins are very eager to see this guy get back out there, he has put up the best minor league stats so far since Mike Trout was down there tearing it up.
2. Xander Bogaerts - SS - Boston Red Sox
As of right now he has a .286 batting average and .388 on-base percentage which is very good for a rookie in the early going of the season. I'm sure playing in the World Series was huge for him though in terms of experience. He was probably still a little nervous in his first Opening Day start, but he was much more prepared than most rookies. While he doesn't have a single RBI yet, he has 6 runs which is a better measurement for his role on the team. Keep an eye on this guy. He could be your 2014 AL Rookie of the Year.
3. Oscar Taveras - OF - Memphis Redbirds - Triple AAA (Cardinals)
Taveras is the centerpiece in what is probably the best outfield in the minor leagues. Between him, Stephen Piscotty, and Joey Butler the Red Birds aren't exactly hurting for offense. As of right now Taveras has a .289 BA and a .341 OBP, so he is looking ready and poised for a promotion if the Cardinals have a need for him in case of injury.
4. Masahiro Tanaka - SP - New York Yankees
Tanaka has looked like a solid innings eating pitcher for the Yankees so far. If a pitcher finishes a season with a 3.21 ERA (Tanaka's current ERA) he usually thinks he's had a pretty good year. Tanaka has also gone 7 innings for the Yankees both times out. The Yankees have to like what they've seen so far from him against two good offenses from their division. Another good candidate in the early goings for the AL Rookie of the Year award.
5. Javier Baez - SS - Iowa Cubs - Triple AAA (Cubs)
Baez has had a rough start to his season. His BA and OBP at the moment are .154 and .214. He has shown some power though as he already has 2 home runs on the season. He will need to improve before the Cubs call up their star of the future though.
6. Miguel Sano - 3B - New Britain Rock Cats - Double AA (Twins)
Like fellow Twins top prospect Buxton, Sano is also hurt, but his injury was much more serious and he is out for the season after needing Tommy John surgery. The Twins are excited about this guy returning as well after a 35 HR 2013 from Sano. His power and ability to get on base as well (.382 OBP in 2013) will be very much welcomed back in 2015.
7. Carlos Correa - SS - Lancaster JetHawks - Class A Advanced (Astros)
Correa has had a pretty good start to the season. He hasn't shown much power (which really isn't his game anyways), but he has gotten on base at a clip of .350 which is pretty good. I'm sure the Astros would like to see a little more from their #1 overall pick at the Class A Advanced level though.
Bryant has a great start to his season so far. He has already shown power with 3 HR's but his OBP is also .406. The Cubs have to love seeing this from Bryant with the struggles Baez is having so far. The faithful fans of this club are looking forward to this guy who was the Cubs' 2nd overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft.
Bradley has had a fantastic couple of starts to begin the season. He has a 1.50 ERA in 12.0 IP at the moment. The D'Backs are really hoping he can develop quickly because their major league starting rotation has been awful to start off the season and any and all help is needed.
10. Gregory Polanco - OF - Indianapolis Indians - Triple AAA (Pirates)
Polanco has been on absolute fire to begin the season!!! His current BA and OBP are .500/.537! He also has 2 HR's as well. His OPS is 1.300. If he keeps this up he could complete the star trifecta outfield for the Pirates playing next to Marte and McCutchen, two of the best in the game. Watch out for this guy for NL Rookie of the Year if gets promoted quick enough to have a shot.
11. Taijuan Walker - SP - Jackson Generals - Double AA (Mariners)
A guy who many thought could go after the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year award had to start off the year in the minors after an injury set him back in spring. Right now at two different levels of the minors though he has a 0.96 ERA so far. He looks like he might be ready to return soon and the Mariners are hoping so with Paxson on the DL now.
12. Jonathan Gray - SP - Tulsa Drillers - Double AA (Rockies)
The guy who many thought would go first overall in the 2013 MLB Draft but ended up going third has had an awful start to his season. His first start he went 6.0 innings with 3 ER which isn't too bad. His second start was absolutely abysmal though, only got 2 outs while giving up 6 ER to skyrocket his ERA all the way up to 81.00 from the 4.50 in the game before. The Rockies have to really hope it was just an off day or the two teams who passed on him with the first two picks will look real smart instead of them.
Francisco Lindor - SS - Akron RubberDucks - Double AA (Indians)
Francisco has been only getting on base at a clip of .302 so far, but he has 2 HR's and his fielding is what will also carry him through the minors if he can bat .303 like he did in 2013. With Kipnis now locked up, whenever Lindor finally arrives the Indians will have their complete middle infield of the future.
14. Addison Russell - SS - Midland RockHounds - Double AA (Athletics)
Russell was off to a torrid start with a .714 BA and OBP and a HR in 2 games before he hit the 7-day DL. I'm sure the Athletics are hoping he can get whatever good vibe he had going before to get going again!
Bundy had Tommy John surgery in June of 2013, and hasn't pitched since 2012. The Orioles are eyeing the return of their star pitcher and hoping the stars align just right in his rehab process so no big setbacks occur.