Prospect Watch: The Next Wave of Phenoms

A couple years back we experienced the year of the pitcher. 2012 appears to be the year of the phenom. Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and now Manny Machado have all burst onto the big league scene at incredibly young ages and made an impact. While it's impossible to say that the next prospects in line will have Trout-like impacts, there are other exciting prospects that we could be seeing this season.

Pennant Race Promotion?

Dylan Bundy

A lot of people, including myself, had their doubts about whether the Orioles bringing up Manny Machado was the right move. Well, three home runs later, Machado is fitting in nicely in his first few days of big league action. The question that raises is will Machado' success lead Baltimore to continue to make bold moves with their elite prospects? If it does, perhaps we'll get a look at arguably baseball's best pitching prospect, Dylan Bundy, this season.

The flame throwing right-hander still has a test to pass at the Double-A level, but you get the feeling that if he continues to dominate there that we will at least see him in September. And, if Baltimore remains in the race, maybe they will view Bundy as that spark down the stretch to put them over the top. In other words, if you're looking for an off the wall potential x-factor down the stretch, think of David Price in 2008 and keep Bundy in mind.

2013 Sneak Peak

Wil Myers

Whether it comes in September or sooner, it feels like a safe bet that we will see Wil Myers in Kansas City at some point this season. And, if you're looking for a player to have a phenom-like impact in 2013, Myers may very well be the guy to watch. His right-handed power is going to play at any level, and he has the type of approach that could allow him to catch fire almost immediately in the big leagues. That doesn't mean he won't eventually experience growing pains, but a taste of the big leagues this year should only help him in what figures to be a fascinating full rookie season in 2013.

The Longshot

Oscar Taveras

The only reason Taveras is even in this discussion is the tremendous season he's had. Entering the season, the idea of this 20-year-old ending up in the big leagues this year would seem implausible. But, we've seen a maturation in every facet of the game before our eyes, as Taveras has become a very complete and dangerous power hitter. St. Louis may give him the call in September simply to reward him for having one of the best all around seasons in minor league baseball. But, more importantly, whether it's this season or not, pretty soon we are going to be introduced to a potential superstar outfielder with a combination of speed, athleticism, and power.

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