Eleven years ago, two promising young outfielders made their debuts in the MLB. Over the past decade, those two men have become a couple of the best players of their era. One even being considered the greatest of this generation. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am of course talking about Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.
Harper and Trout have had their bouts with injuries and being on bad teams. But they are both still top 10 players in the league. Over the past few years, some more generational prospects have come to the big stage quickly. Such as Orioles C Adley Rutschmann, and Royals SS Bobby Witt Jr.
In the past few months, some very recently drafted/signed prospects have made considerable jumps in the minor leagues. And by considerable, I mean somewhat unheard of sized jumps, in the short time they’ve had in pro ball. Below, I will highlight three prospects that you should remember, because you could see them in a Big League uniform sooner than later.
OF Dylan Crews, Washington Nationals Organization (21 Years Old)
Earlier this year, Crews and LSU Teammate P Paul Skenes, set the baseball world on notice leading LSU to a National Championship. Which in turn, led to Skenes and Crews being drafted #1 and #2 this past July in the MLB Draft.
Crews won the Golden Spikes Award, which is awarded to the best player in Amateur baseball. The Florida native had a slash line of .426/.567/.713 with 18 HRs and 70 RBIs this past season. Those are some insane numbers if you ask me. Not to mention he reached base safely in 75 straight games.
That dominance has kept going in the minor leagues. Hitting .355/.423/.645 in 14 games for the Nationals Low-A Affiliate, the Fredericksburg Nationals. Earning him a call-up to Double-A Harrisburg. There’s talk that this move means that Crews could see the Majors at some point before this season ends. At least, Keith Law of The Athletic thinks so. Whether that be the case or not, this move shows me, that Crews will be seeing Nationals Park in DC, before long.
1B Nolan Schanuel, LA Angels Organization (21 Years Old)
Schanuel, the 11th overall pick by the Angels, just six weeks ago. Has seen his dream come true quicker than the majority of minor leaguers in MLB History. The “Halos” called up the 21-year old Florida Atlantic alum, to “The Show” just a couple days ago. Making this move in such a short time, is probably more unlikely than a shark bite.
While very unprecedented, Schanuel was said to be the most “ready-now prospect” in this past July’s draft. In 21 games through three minor league levels (Rookie, Single-A, Double-A), he slashed .370/.510/.493 with 15 RBIs. Having an On-Base % higher than your Slugging % is about unheard of in itself.
I don’t blame the Angels for making this move. They are hoping to make a late push for the playoffs, and if Schanuel can keep that sort of stat line going, then hopefully it’s enough to get them there.
C Ethan Salas, San Diego Padres Organization (17 Years Old)
Yes, you read that right. Salas is only 17-years old. The Padres signed the 6-foot-2 Catcher back in January for $5.6 million. He is already regarded as the #5 Prospect in the league, according to MLB.com. With the Single-A Lake Elsinore Storm, Salas slashed .267/.350/.487 along with 9 HRs in 48 games.
At the beginning of this month, he was promoted to the High-A Fort Wayne Tincaps. Becoming the youngest player in Tincaps history. And the youngest in the Midwest League since Julio Urias in 2013 (16 years old).Since arriving in Fort Wayne, his production has fallen off. Only slashing .200/.243/.229 in 9 games. But the Padres must have seen something the stats don’t show, as they have now brought him up to Double-A San Antonio.
Could it be to steer the headlines away from the Padres disappointing season. As they sit 59-66, 18.0 GB from the division-leading Dodgers. Not something you’d expect to see from a team with a $256 million payroll. But no matter the fact, Salas could be on his way to step foot in Petco Park before his 19th birthday. Which hasn’t happened since Brian Milner in 1978.
The future of the MLB is bright. Especially with these 3 guys being a few “leaders” of the pack.