This is a guest post submitted by Ally Silva. Ally played all kinds of sports growing up and adamantly follows everything sports now, particularly Chicago sports. She works with Phoenix Bats, a company that creates world-class wooden bats for amateur and professional ball players around the world. Ally loves writing on different sports topics and is very grateful to be able to contribute here.
Major League Baseball saw a new crop of rookies make a sparkling debut during the 2012 season. Led by former MLB prospects Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, these promising youngsters showed that baseball still shines as a sport that gives fans ongoing thrills with new faces replacing older veterans whose time has passed. There are quite a few young prospects that promise to deliver in the 2013 season as well. Here are five MLB prospects to watch this spring and summer.
1. Travis d’Arnaud: New York Mets
The New York Mets took a big chance this offseason, trading reigning Cy Young Award-winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays for catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud. The risk could pay off in a big way for the Mets. D’Arnaud hit .333 with 16 HR and 52 RBI before a knee injury cut short his season in Triple-A last year. D’Arnaud has also been praised for his abilities behind the plate and a strong throwing arm as well. The Mets may well have landed a player who could be a leader for years to come.
2. Jarred Cosart: Houston Astros
At just 22 years of age, Houston Astros pitching prospect Jarred Cosart had a breakthrough season in 2012, posting a 3.30 ERA in 20 starts at the Double-A and Triple-A level. Cosart features a solid four- pitch repertoire with developing plate command. Cosart is in a battle for the final spot in the Astros’ starting rotation this spring. He got off to a solid start, delivering two scoreless innings in his spring debut against the Philadelphia Phillies. A few more efforts like that could have Cosart heading north with the Astros in April.
3. Zack Wheeler: New York Mets
The New York Mets have a great stable of young pitchers in their organization. Zack Wheeler heads that list. Wheeler posted a 3.26 ERA in 25 starts at the Double-A and Triple-A level last year. Much like Jarred Cosart, Wheeler also impressed in his first spring outing, pitching two scoreless innings against the Washington Nationals in Grapefruit League play. Wheeler could join fellow prospect Matt Harvey in the Mets’ rotation if he continues to impress this spring.
4. Mike Zunino: Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners selected University of Florida catcher Mike Zunino with the fourth overall pick in the 2012 MLB draft. Zunino hit the ground running in his professional debut, hitting .360 with 13 HR and 43 RBI in just 44 games last season. The Mariners traded away catcher John Jaso and failed to bring back Miguel Olivo, giving Zunino a unique opportunity to vie for a roster spot during spring training. If Zunino continues to shine offensively, he’ll do more than just take up a roster spot.
5. Jedd Gyorko: San Diego Padres
When Jedd Gyorko was drafted by the San Diego Padres, they envisioned a player who could be their third baseman of the future. However, with incumbent Chase Headley having a breakout year in 2012, Gyorko is trying to find his way as their future second baseman. Gyorko hit .324 with 24 HR and 83 RBI in 92 games at the Triple-A level last season, so the Padres would love to add his bat into a lineup in need of power. An impressive spring training could see Gyorko make a successful transition at the major league level.
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