Misc Baseball News

Matt Eddy’s Breakout MLB Prospects Team For 2024 — College Baseball, MLB Draft, Prospects

Matt Eddy's Breakout MLB Prospects Team For 2024 — College Baseball, MLB Draft, Prospects

Ahead of minor league Opening Day each year, Geoff Pontes, Dylan White and myself publish our breakout MLB prospects teams.

In this exercise we focus on non-Top 100 Prospects, and wherever feasible we focus on those without a ton of pro experience. You can see Geoff’s team here and Dylan’s team here.

Players are listed with their projected Opening Day assignments and will be updated as minor league rosters are finalized.

Baseball is entering a golden era for catchers. Adley Rutschman, William Contreras, Francisco Alvarez, Gabriel Moreno and Yainer Diaz are all impact hitters who are 26 or younger. Duno follows in the rich tradition of Venezuelan catchers—see Contreras, Alvarez and Moreno above—and is coming off a strong pro debut in which he hit .303/.451/.493 with six homers in 45 Dominican Summer League games. An arm injury locked him into DH last season, but this year he is clear to catch and begin to show the power and feel to hit to stand out. 

Other catchers: Blake Mitchell, Royals; Eduardo Tait, Phillies; Yovanny Rodriguez, Mets

1B Ralphy Velazquez, Guardians

Low-A Lynchburg | Age 19

First base is a tough position to evaluate because the offensive bar is set so high to play every day in MLB. Despite his youth, Velazquez has the potential to clear that bar one day. Though drafted 23rd overall last year as a catcher, he is listed on Lynchburg’s roster as an infielder, presumably a first baseman. Velazquez and Walker Jenkins had arguably the best hit-plus-power combos in last year’s high school draft class. So if catching is out of the picture for Velazquez, then the lefthanded hitter could make a rapid ascent up the prospect ranks, a la fellow first baseman Xavier Isaac last year.

Other first basemen: Haydn McGeary, Cubs; Ryan Clifford, Mets; William Sullivan, Cardinals

2B Jeremy Rodriguez, Mets

Rookie-level Florida Complex League | Age 17

Rodriguez joined the Mets last August in the trade that sent Tommy Pham to the Diamondbacks. He performed in the Dominican Summer League, hitting .293/.411/.467 in 51 games, and then was appointed to the Mets’ Spring Breakout roster—he delivered an RBI hit—at the tender age of 17. Rodriguez has a sweet lefthanded swing and exemplary feel for the strike zone at a young age. He should hit the ball harder more consistently as he matures. Rodriguez is primarily a shortstop but many scouts project him to second base.

Other second basemen: Luke Keaschall, Twins; Mac Horvath,…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at College Baseball, MLB Draft, Prospects – Baseball America…