MLB Prospect Watch: 2022 minor-league awards, including Orioles as top team and Corbin Carroll as best hitter

Believe it or not, we have reached the ultimate MLB Prospect Watch of the 12 months. By this time subsequent week, each stage of the minors can have accomplished the common season. As is custom, we’re devoting this area to our model of end-of-year awards.

Below, we have highlighted gamers and groups in six totally different classes of our creation. It ought to go with out saying that there are extra people worthy of recognition than this format permits us to focus on. The minor leagues are a giant equipment, in spite of everything. Just hold 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 growth cycle the 12 months earlier than by the COVID-19 pandemic. Carroll seemed no worse for any of it this season, as he hit .307/.425/.611 with 24 dwelling runs and 31 stolen bases in 93 video games cut up throughout three ranges earlier than getting referred to as as much as the majors. (Most of these got here in Double- or Triple-A.) Don’t 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 subject. He was a robust 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 alternative right here.

Pitcher of the 12 months: Kyle Harrison, LHP, San Francisco Giants

Things did not go the Giants’ manner on the big-league stage, as they fell brief of their try at repeating within the NL West, however at the very least they continued to make use of Harrison. He made 25 begins between High- 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, including a fastball that may contact into the upper-90s. His pitch high quality is aided by a decrease arm slot that creates a flatter aircraft and an optical phantasm that hitters can not seem to remedy. 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 12 months.

There are some ways to outline this class. We prefer to hold it easy: the aim of a minor-league system is to enhance the big-league roster. That can imply via promotions; it may 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 operating for the No. 1 prospect spot in all of the minors on the time of their promotion to the majors. (Were 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. Factor within the addition of No. 1 choose Jackson Holliday, and the O’s minor-league system had a terrific 12 months, irrespective of the way you slice it.

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 far more to our liking, nonetheless. Over the course of July, the Reds obtained infielders Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Spencer Steer, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand (amongst others) in trades. They additionally nabbed Cam Collier, a darkish horse candidate to go first total heading into the draft, in the midst of the primary spherical. This is what the “expertise accumulation” section of a full teardown is meant to seem like.

Biggest riser: Jackson Chourio, CF, Milwaukee Brewers

Who else might it’s, actually? Chourio, who will not have fun his nineteenth birthday till subsequent March, assured himself a spot close to the top of prospect lists this winter by batting .288/.342/.538 with 20 dwelling runs and 16 steals (on 20 tries) over the course of 99 video games cut up between Class-A, High-A, and Double-A. He did the majority of his injury 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 effectively to merely maintain his personal. That Chourio as an alternative flourished whereas exhibiting spectacular bodily instruments suggests he is effectively on his strategy to stardom.

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

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

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