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Poll: The Next Top Prospect To Be Recalled

We're barely more than 30 games into the season and yet we've already seen a number of high-profile prospects called up from the minors. Bryce Harper has injected some life into the Nationals' lineup, Mike Trout has been part of the Angels' outfield shakeup, and Jarrod Parker assumed a spot in the Athletics' rotation. Will Middlebrooks, Drew Pomeranz, and Wily Peralta have also lended a helping hand following their promotions.

The new collective bargaining agreement moved the Super Two cutoff up just a little bit, so players do not need as much service time to qualify for four years of arbitration as before. Clubs are expected to promote their top prospects a little later than usual because of that, as in early-June rather than mid-to-late May. That hurts baseball and fantasy owners alot, unfortunately. Let's take a look at baseball's top prospects in the upper levels of the minors to see when they could break into the show.

Nolan Arenado | 3B | Rockies

Colorado has used three different third baseman this year and none of them have hit, producing a collective .238/.328/.352 batting line on the season. Arenado, 21, was the talk of the Arizona Fall League and Spring Training but he's only hit one homer this year, resulting in a .299/.368/.410 batting line in 133 Double-A plate appearances. That's not bad by any means, but you have to figure the Rockies hoped to see a little more after he hit 20 homers last season. Arenado has only played 33 games above Single-A, so he shouldn't be expecting a call to the big leagues anytime soon.

Trevor Bauer & Tyler Skaggs | SP | Diamondbacks

The D'Backs have already replaced Josh Collmenter with prospect Patrick Corbin, who has allowed seven runs in nine innings across two starts. He's jut keeping the seat warm for either Bauer or Skaggs. Bauer, 21, has made seven Double-A starts this season, posting an 11.1 K/9 and 1.96 ERA in 41 1/3 innings. The problem is that he's walked 5.4 batters per nine, so Arizona could leave him in the minors for a few more weeks to iron out his control. Skaggs, 20, is also in Double-A. He's pitched to a 3.06 ERA with 12.0 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 32 1/3 innings across six starts. It's worth noting that Bauer is on the team's 40-man roster but Skaggs is not.

Travis d'Arnaud | C | Blue Jays

There aren't many times that a .276/.346/.405 batting line could be considered a disappointment, but when a team's top prospect does that in an extreme hitter's environment like Triple-A Las Vegas, it's easy to feel underwhelmed. d'Arnaud, 23, had surgery to repair torn ligaments in his thumb this past offseason, which could be hampering his offense. With J.P. Arencibia producing a .346/.375/.558 batting with five doubles and two homers in his last 16 games following an awful start, the Jays can afford to be patient with their top young prospect.

Matt Harvey | SP | Mets

There may not be a player in this post with an easier path to the big leagues than Harvey. The 23-year-old has a 4.00 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 36 innings across seven Triple-A starts, but his primary competition for a MLB job at the moment is Miguel Batista and the rehabbing/injury prone Chris Young. There's almost no doubt that Harvey is one of the five best starting pitchers in the Mets' organization right now, so his biggest obstacle may be his own service time and the Super Two cutoff.

Brett Jackson & Anthony Rizzo | OF & 1B | Cubs

Not much is going right on Chicago's north side this season, but their two best prospects are giving fans reason to be excited in Triple-A. Jackson, a 23-year-old outfielder, is hitting .246/.350/.443 with three homers in five steals this season while Rizzo, a 22-year-old first baseman, owns a .356/.420/.661 batting line with ten homers. With Bryan LaHair is hitting the snot about of the ball (.384/.476/.767), Jackson's path to the show is much more clear, especially following the trade of Marlon Byrd. All he has to do is outproduce Tony Campana or wait for Alfonso Soriano to be traded. Rizzo could be stuck waiting a while.

Shelby Miller | SP | Cardinals

Arguably the top right-handed pitching prospect in the minors, the 21-year-old Miller is off to a bit of shaky start in Triple-A: 4.45 ERA with an 11.8 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9 in 28 1/3 innings across six starts. He's also facing an uphill battle because the Cardinals have a pretty strong pitching rotation at the moment, with three starters with a sub-2.10 ERA and four with a sub-3.80 ERA. Their worst starter this year has been Adam Wainwright (5.76 ERA), but he's not going to lose his job anytime soon. It'll probably take an injury (or trade) for Miller to crack the rotation in St. Louis in the coming weeks.

Wil Myers | OF | Royals

Myers, 21, has already hit more homers this year (11) than he did all of last year (8), when he battled a knee injury. He's currently mashing in Double-A, posting a .339/.394/.722 line in 127 plate appearances. It is worth noting that he's repeating the level, however. Kansas City has gotten very little out of Jeff Francoeur (.252/.308/.333) and a hodge podge of center fielders (.245/.306/.327), so the need at the big league level is there. However, as J.J. Cooper of Baseball America writes, the Royals are likely to take a similar path to the one they took with Mike Moustakas before bringing up Myers. That means some time in Triple-A.


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