As Major League clubs begin to narrow down their rosters in the final days of spring training, each organization has identified a top prospect that missed the entire season or may have had a brief look in “The Show”, but could make an impact this season.
Today we will look at the American League West.
A.J. Puk – A big lefty that has the physical package of Randy Johnson, the 6’7”, 245 lb. Puk was drafted 6th overall in 2016 and struck 184 batters at two levels in 2017, but has missed most of two seasons with a myriad of injuries.
The 25-year-old has only had one outing in spring training and will likely start the season stretching out, but Puk is projected to be a part of the A’s rotation as soon as he is ready.
Chas McCormick – The 25-year-old outfielder was a 21st round pick in the 2017 Draft who played in AA and AAA in 2019 and was added to the Astros post-season roster after spending all of last year as a reserve at their alternate training site.
With George Springer going to Toronto and Josh Reddick not returning, McCormick and Myles Straw will battle for the third outfield spot next to Kyle Tucker and Michael Brantley.
Jarred Kelenic – The key part of the return for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, Kelenic was the Mets first-round pick in 2018 and is ranked by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus as a top-10 prospect.
Hampered by a knee sprain in spring training, the 21-year-old outfielder could miss Opening Day (which would be convenient for the Mariners to get an extra year of service time), but it is expected that Kelenic will play center field in Seattle for many years to come.
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Los Angeles Angels
Jo Adell – The Angels were never close to being in the AL West race and chose to rush Adell to the majors at 21 years old. A .161 batting average in 132 at-bats last season proves that decision was a mistake. The 6’3”, 215 lb. right fielder is hitting well in spring training and might start the year in AAA, but with an aging Dexter Fowler starting the season next to Mike Trout, it is only a matter of time before Adell takes his place.
Leodys Taveras – Signed by the Rangers at age 16, Taveras jumped from AA in 2019 to the majors last season based mostly on his defensive ability and his speed. The 22-year-old is considered a future Gold Glove-level center fielder, but needs work on the offensive side of the game, after hitting .227, with four HRs in 33 games.