MLB Prospect Watch: 2022 Minor League Awards, Including Orioles as Top Team and Corbin Carroll as Top Hitter

MLB Prospect Watch: 2022 Minor League Awards, Including Orioles as Top Team and Corbin Carroll as Top Hitter

Believe it or not, we hit the final MLB Prospect Watch of the year. By this time next week, all Minority tiers will have finished the regular season. As tradition dictates, we’re dedicating this space to our version of the year-end awards.

Below, we’ve highlighted the players and teams in six different categories we created. It goes without saying that there are more individuals worthy of recognition than this format can bring to light. The minor leagues are a big fixture, after all. Keep that in mind in case your favorite lead isn’t mentioned.

Now onto the gasbaggery.

Carroll has had a turbulent career for someone with just over 160 professional appearances since being selected 16th in the 2019 draft. He missed most of last season due to a heart injury. shoulder, and it was deprived of a normal development cycle the previous year by the COVID-19 pandemic. Carroll hasn’t looked any worse this season, hitting .307/.425/.611 with 24 homers and 31 stolen bases in 93 games across three tiers before being called to the majors. (Most of them came in Double or Triple-A.) Don’t let Carroll’s small frame (5-foot-10) fool you: He’s a well-rounded player who can hit and run and play a average central field. He was a solid contender for the No. 1 prospect spot in the minors before his recent promotion to the majors, and the combination of his production, upside-down star, and experience makes him our pick here.

Pitcher of the Year: Kyle Harrison, LHP, San Francisco Giants

Things didn’t go the Giants’ way at the big league level as they failed in their bid to repeat in the NL West, but at least they continued to employ Harrison. He made 25 starts between High- and Double-A, amassing a 2.71 ERA and hitting a ridiculous 14.8 batters per nine. Harrison has a solid three-pitch mix, including a fastball that can hit the upper 90s. Its pitch quality is aided by a forearm slit that creates a flatter plane and an optical illusion that hitters can’t seem to solve. The only thing holding Harrison back is his location. He walked four of nine batters this season – and that was progress after walking nearly five batters last year.

There are several ways to define this category. We like to keep it simple: the purpose of a minor league system is to improve the roster of major leagues. This can result in promotions; it can mean through trades; or a combination thereof. With that in mind, we give the nod to the Orioles. They graduated Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson this season, both of whom were in contention for the No. 1 prospect spot in all minors at the time of their promotions to the majors. (If it hadn’t been for his injury, right-hander Grayson Rodriguez would have also been in the game.) Rival scouts also hailed the progress made by Colton Cowser and Colby Mayo, among other future arrivals. Factor in the addition of first pick Jackson Holliday, and the O’s minor league system has had a great year no matter how you slice it.

We weren’t fans of what the Reds did last offseason, when they dropped Wade Miley and Tucker Barnhart to kick off their rebuild. Their work this summer, however, was much more to our liking. During July, the Reds secured infielders Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand (among others) in trades. They also nabbed Cam Collier, a darkhorse contender to be first overall heading into the draft, midway through the first round. This is what the “talent accumulation” phase of a full teardown is supposed to look like.

Highest amount: Jackson Chourio, CF, Milwaukee Brewers

Who else could it be, really? Chourio, who won’t celebrate his 19th birthday until next March, secured a spot near the top of prospect lists this winter by batting .288/.342/.538 with 20 homers and 16 interceptions (out of 20 tries) on the course of 99 games divided between Class-A, High-A and Double-A. He did most of his damage in the Carolina League, where he led the Brewers’ A-ball affiliate in OPS despite being nearly three years younger than his average competitor – with that kind age difference, he would have done well. just hold his. The fact that Chourio has rather flourished while showing off some impressive physical tools suggests he’s well on his way to stardom.

We love Martin dating back to his collegiate years at Vanderbilt. In fact, we ranked him as the top prospect in the 2020 draft because of his batting skills, approach, and defensive versatility. It didn’t hurt that scouts who spoke to CBS Sports thought he had more juice in his bat based on his out-speed readings.

Unfortunately, Martin has yet to prove them (or us) right. In 90 Double-A games this season, he hit .241/.367/.316 with two homers and a total of just 18 extra hits. His career home run total is now seven in 185 professional games. It’s possible for low-powered hitters to succeed in the majors, but it’s not easy. Martin’s 0.075 ISO would be the fifth lowest among skilled hitters. And that is if it translates in full.

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