It’s been confirmed that we’ll have a Major League Baseball season in 2022. After months of lockout, it’s a relief to know baseball will be played this year. There’s no better time to look at the prospects who could have an impact in 2022. Every year, young talents prove themselves as Major League studs, and this season will be no different.
While they might not be featuring on teams at the top of MLB futures odds, these prospects can bring hope to their franchises. Rebuilders are reliant on their highly touted youngsters living up to expectations, and a strong rookie year can quickly change the course of an organization.
Here are three prospects we’re tipping for big seasons in 2022.
Bobby Witt Jr
The Royals need to bite the bullet and put Bobby Witt Jr straight in at shortstop rather than potentially capping his ceiling by using him at third. ZiPs projects Pipeline’s third overall prospect to post three WAR in 2022. He’s coming off a .936 OPS across double-A and triple-A in 2021, and has a great approach to all fields. There are good signs for his power translating to the big leagues, too.
Possessing speed, good hand-eye coordination and a cannon of an arm, Witt should be a plus-defender at short from day one. On top of his defense and pure hitting ability, he’s got the potential to be a good base stealer in the Majors. Kansas City might not be ready to compete just yet, but keep an eye on the 2019 second overall pick.
The Tigers are upwardly mobile and have been aggressive in free agency. Their young pitchers have begun to make an impact in The Show – they will be joined by former first overall pick Spencer Torkelson in 2022. Drafted as a third baseman despite not playing the position since high school, it’s not clear where Torkelson will play long-term, but it’s obvious his bat is going to be great in the big leagues.
He’s got natural power, paired with an elite eye. Hitting 30 bombs and drawing over 70 walks in 121 minor league games last season is a combination which will have Tigers fans excited in 2022. No one would be shocked if Torkelson is immediately an elite Major League hitter.
On the back of a 3.30 ERA season over double-A and triple-A, Hunter Greene is heading for the Reds’ rotation at some point in 2022. Cincinnati made the cynical call to cut Wade Miley, leaving plenty of innings to be filled at the back of the rotation behind Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle. It’s possible one of those trio is dealt before or during the season, too.
It’s all about the triple-digits fastball with Greene. He’s back touching 102mph after Tommy John surgery, and there are flashes of plus secondary pitches with his slider and change. Watch out for a cutter he’s been working on, too. Cincinnati is likely to manage Greene carefully. Regardless, he should get a good run in the Majors this season, and he’s bound to be box office.