Jason Heyward / OF / Atlanta
To start the year, Heyward has done everything one could expect of him and nothing to deter me from his lofty future stat projections. A superstar is born.
Stephen Strasburg / SP / Washington
Strasburg has been fantastic in his first four Eastern League starts. His command has been especially impressive considering the level of competition and his lack of professional experience.
Jesus Montero / C/1B / NY Yankees
The best news regarding Montero’s start is that the Yankees continue to stay dedicated to keeping him behind the plate.
Desmond Jennings / OF / Tampa Bay
A sprained wrist in spring training will keep Jennings out until at least May. Wrist sprains are notorious for lingering longer than they should and wreaking havoc on a hitter’s swing. We will see soon how Jennings reacts.
Madison Bumgarner / SP / San Francisco
Bumgarner’s last two starts have demonstrated improvement, and the dip in velocity that had many worried appears to be a thing of the past. The lack of strikeouts is what’s worrisome at this point. I blame it on his secondary offerings. They need to develop if he is going to eventually be an ace.
Carlos Santana / C / Cleveland
Santana is off to a great start at Triple-A Columbus, while Lou Marson is struggling in Cleveland. It won’t be long now.
Justin Smoak / 1B / Texas
After a strong minor league start, Smoak was promoted to Texas but has had a shaky six-game debut. It will be interesting to see how much patience Texas demonstrates if his struggles become chronic.
Buster Posey / C / San Francisco
Posey is off to a torrid start at Triple-A Fresno, including his trademark 1:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. However, it’s going to take an injury to get him to San Francisco.
Neftali Feliz / SP/RP / Texas
Feliz has had an up-and-down start as Texas’ closer, but he’s proved himself enough to remain in high-pressure situations for the rest of the year, even if he eventually settles in as the setup man.
Martin Perez / SP / Texas
Perez has been impressive in the early going adjusting to the Texas League. Just 19 years old, his stock continues to rise.
Christian Friedrich / SP / Colorado
After a promising first three starts at Double-A Tulsa, Friedrich has landed on the disabled list with a tender elbow. It’s expected to be a brief stint, but it’s also prudent to always play it safe when dealing with a pitching arm injury.
Mike Stanton / OF / Florida
Wow! I’m finally fully buying into Stanton. I don’t have a choice. The strikeout rate is still high, but a .338 batting average, nine home runs and 20 walks in 71 at-bats from a 20-year-old in Double-A is fantastic.
Michael Saunders / OF / Seattle
It’s a small sampling, but Saunders has been disappointing in Triple-A Tacoma. I made up my mind to be aggressive with his preseason top-100 ranking, but I’m having second thoughts. His stock is falling.