In this edition of Promising Prospects, I will profile Wil Myers of the Tampa Bay Rays, Billy Hamilton of the Cincinnati Reds, and Edward Salcedo of the Atlanta Braves. All three of these guys have unlimited potential in their own different ways, but as we know in the prospect game, anything can happen on the road to Major League Baseball.
Wil Myers OF, TB
Highest Level: AAA
MLB ETA: 2013
After batting .314 and slugging 37 home runs between AA and AAA in 2012, there is no doubt that Myers is an elite hitting prospect. That is why the Rays acquired him as the centerpiece in the James Shields trade with the Kansas City Royals. Myers is a former catcher that has been converted to the outfield. While, he is unspectacular in the field, he is solid and makes all of the necessary plays. He is considered by most to be a top 3 prospect in all of baseball, and even the best overall by some. Myers has a legitimate chance to make the Rays out of Spring Training, but more than likely he starts in AAA and comes up later in the year. The ceiling on Myers is unlimited, and it should be very fun to watch him try to reach it.
Billy Hamilton OF/SS, CIN
Highest Level: AA
MLB ETA: 2013
Billy Hamilton is the fastest man in baseball, period. To be honest, it really is not even close. Hamilton broke the record for most steals in a season by a minor league player, that was set at 145 in 1983 by Vince Coleman. Between A+ Bakersfield and AA Pensacola, Hamilton swiped 155 bases, and was the talk of the prospect world. He is now in the process of a position change from SS to CF. Early reports on the change are very good, and it appears that he will translate to the outfield just fine. With Hamilton’s speed in centerfield, you would have to imagine that there will be very few balls dropping in the Reds’ outfield. Hamilton is less likely than Myers to start in the majors after spring training, but Cincinnati has a clear hole in centerfield, as they are trying to convert lifetime corner outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to the spot. If Choo struggles with his new position and the Reds’ defense suffers, I think that there is a very good chance that Hamilton gets the call. If he can get on base with any sort of consistency, he will be a very dangerous weapon for the Reds.
Edward Salcedo 3B, ATL
Highest Level: A+
MLB ETA: 2014
Salcedo is a very raw prospect in the Atlanta Braves organization. He is not near as heralded as Myers and Hamilton, but not many are. Salcedo is widely consider a top 100 prospect in all of baseball, although he does have a long ways to go. He is a smooth fielder, and has plenty of power and speed, but he strikes out way too much, and doesn’t take many walks. With some more seasoning in the minors, I think there is a good chance that Salcedo eventually grows into his body, and becomes a solid every day major leaguer. That being said, he does have a long ways to go.
I will be posting another edition of Promising Prospects soon. If there is a player that you would want me to profile. Write in the comments, or tweet me @DSchmelzerTSB and I will do so.