The time is now.
Some players burst on the scene unannounced. Others have been cultivating for years, waiting to be harvested. Eventually, despite the preparations, hype, contract oddities, ups and downs, the real show begins.
Prospects undergo a rigorous grading scheme seemingly every day, and their ranking against one another is largely tied to potential future performance. But the future may constantly be on hold for a number of reasons. Furthermore, the impact each prospect has on his team may take even more time than simply projecting when it begins.
While it is impossible to give an accurate estimated time of arrival for every future Major League ballplayer, it is still exciting to watch a new crop of athletes emerge in front of our eyes. Therefore, this list is not necessarily the breakdown of the best prospects we may see this year – nor the order in which they should perform – but instead the ones whose debut is most anticipated.
The group was limited to players who have never officially appeared in a Major League Baseball game. This includes international signings but excludes anyone who has previously ‘debuted’ via a late-season callup.