At the beginning of Season 17 we did a series of articles on Major Leagues' top pitching, defensive, and overall position prospects. Here's a look at them 2 seasons later.
1. Eswalin Camacho, SP (SEA, Sea 16 IFA - $20MM): 23 wins, 3.04 ERA, a Gold Glove and a no-hitter over 2 seasons - I'd say he's fulfilling his promise. His ratings may not have reached the stratospheric levels of a Miguel Rojas, but he could be on the CY ballot for hte next 10 years.
2. Keith Caldwell, SP (PIT, Sea 15 #1 pick): Put up a very solid 13-8, 2.70 rookie season; the woeful Pirates offense may have cost him 3-4 wins. Control has improved a bit more than projected...poised to dominate.
3. Albert Velazquez, SP (BAL, Sea 14 IFA - $20MM): Posted a fine 13-9, 3.38 first campaign. If teams can pack the lineup with lefties, he could face some rough outings, but he should join Camacho as a fixture on the AL CY ballot for years to come.
4. Del Redondo, SP (LA Dodgers, Sea 13 #1 pick): had a promising cup of coffee in SEA 17 and a 13-10, 3.06 in his first full season last year. Unfortunately, he went down with tendinitis in ST and will miss a chunk of the first half.
5. Steve Davenport, SP/RP (KC, Sea 14 #2 pick): Traded to the Jays in SEA 17, he debuted last year and rolled up 7 wins, 6 saves and a 3.73 ERA in 72 relief innings. Could be anything from a spot starter to closer...looks like he'll settle in as Toronto's primary setup man.
Overall Position Player
1. Albert Santayana, IF (SEA): posted .249/27/59 in 100 games...frankly a disappointing effort. No matter - this dude can seriously rake. His durability and home park will suppress his numbers some, but 40 HR's a year should be routine. The Mariners appear to have assigned him to RF, where he could be a multi-time Gold Glover, rather than 2B.
2. Hector Bennett, IF (PHI): .297/30/105 last year en route to the NL 3B Silver Slugger (first of many, no doubt), and chipped in 33 doubles and 22 steals for good measure. Maybe the most versatile player in the league at age 22...hits well enough for any position on the field and could play SS adequately in a pinch.
3. Melvin Charleston, 2B (SD): Featured in numerous trade rumors last year, the speedy, multi-talented Charleston may get 1 more minor league season to hone his hitting against righties before hitting the majors.
4. Len Sullivan, CF (PIT): in 2 seasons, Sullivan has been exactly as expected: a .400-OBP, 18-HR, 30-SB, sure-handed but under-ranged CF. The Pirates will take it.
5. Luke Gleason, OF (CHI): After pummeling minor-league pitching for 87 HR's the last 2 seasons, Gleason impressed (.316/7/32) in 36 games at the end of last season. Big power numbers on the way in Chicago.
Defensive Position Player
1. Jumbo Bravo, IF (ATL): Had a pretty good offensive season (.273/14/61) while playing 4 positions in his rookie season. Hasn't developed into an everyday SS, but will shine at 2B or 3B.
2. Hector Bennett, IF (PHI): could dominate GG and Silver Slugger at 3B for a decade.
3. Luis Fernandez, IF (FLA): hit well in last year's brief callup and has settled in as the starting 2B for the Marlins.
4. Jim Garcia, 3B (LAA): .351/17/121 in AAA last year but stuck behind Hector Sojo (3B) and Javier Melian (2B). Trade chip?
5. Albert Santayana, IF (SEA): didn't quite develop into an IF, but he's a potential Gold-Glover in RF.