Years from now, the 2015 baseball season may well be remembered for the flood of prospects who arrived in the majors and took over the sport. Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Joe Ross, Noah Syndergaard and a slew of others have already left major imprints on the standings. The wave may not be over yet. Here are six prospects, who either just made their debuts or haven’t seen the majors yet, who could yet make an impact on pennant races.
SP Luis Severino, Yankees
In his debut Wednesday against Boston, Severino allowed one run on just two hits while walking none and striking out seven. He made just one mistake, yielding a mammoth home run to David Ortiz, and it cost him the game. But he became the first American League starter to keep a team to two hits or less while striking out at least seven and walking none in his debut. Severino, 21, could boost the Yankees’ rotation with his mid-90s fastball, which he complements with a cutter and a change-up that’s advanced for a pitcher his age.
SS Corey Seager, Dodgers
The wave of top prospects that matriculated to the majors this season left Seager as the consensus top prospect in all of baseball. The Dodgers have been patient with Seager, keeping the 21-year-old at Class AAA Oklahoma City while Jimmy Rollins plays every day at replacement level. Seager may not replace Rollins, but after posting an .842 OPS across two levels and playing 78 games at Class AAA his call-up would be likely, even if the Dodgers would need to clear a 40-man roster spot.
SS Trea Turner, Nationals
The Nationals have remained committed to struggling veteran Ian Desmond in both word and deed. Even if they continue to keep Desmond in the lineup, Turner could make an impact as a call-up. In 37 games and 152 plate appearances at Class AAA Syracuse, Turner has hit .312/.351/.449 with 10 stolen bases and three home runs. If nothing else, the Nationals could add Turner to the 40-man roster and use him in September as a pinch-running weapon off the bench. He’s one of the fastest runners in baseball, at any level.
OF Michael Conforto, Mets
Before the Mets acquired Yoenis Cespedes at the trade deadline, they turned to Conforto, the 10th pick in the 2014 draft, for a needed offensive jolt. Even with Cespedes giving the Mets a big bat in the middle of their lineup, Manager Terry Collin still put Conforto in the lineup twice this week. Conforto, who posted a .396 on-base percentage in the minors this year, began his career by going 6 for 26 with a homer and four walks. He’s seemingly a candidate to be sent down once David Wright comes off the disabled list, but Conforto will be around in September when the rosters expand at the very least.
RP Carl Edwards, Cubs
The Cubs converted the electric right-hander, formerly known as C.J., from starter to reliever before this season. He’s got wicked stuff, evidenced by his 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings this season at Class AA and AAA. His command would make him hard to trust in big spots – he’s issued 38 walks in 51 1/3 innings, a huge spike compared to his days as a starter. The Cubs have a deep bullpen, but Edwards could still serve as a weapon for Joe Maddon, who plays matchups as well as any manager in the game. Since he’s on Chicago’s 40-man roster, there’s little reason not to find out what he can do.
P Alex Reyes, Cardinals
In 2012, at age 22, Trevor Rosenthal made his major league debut for the Cardinals in July and appeared only seven times before September. In October, the fireballer struck out 15 batters in 8 2/3 scoreless innings over seven appearances. It may be long shot that Reyes follows a similar path – he’s not on St. Louis’s 40-man roster, he’ll only turn 21 at the end of August, he just recently reached Class AA and he dealt with a minor arm injury this season. But the Cardinals have a history of promoting flame-throwing starting prospects and giving them key bullpen roles; Carlos Martinez is another example. Reyes has a booming fastball and a huge curveball to match – he’s struck out 19 of the 48 batters he’s faced at Class AA Springfield.