Commentary

Prospects emerging from winter

Near-big league ready prospects who were helped by a strong offseason showing

Updated: January 25, 2012, 2:01 PM ET
By Kevin Goldstein | Baseball Prospectus
Tanner ScheppersAP Photo/Tony DejakWith a nasty fastball-slider combo, Tanner Scheppers could be in Texas' bullpen by this summer.

Winter leagues can serve a variety of purposes. Sometimes players are sent there to get extra playing time due to injuries, sometimes players are sent there to be showcased, and sometimes players go on their own to places like Venezuela and the Dominican Republic to earn a little extra cash.

While the small samples and inconsistent competition levels can produce dangerous assumptions, there are still plenty of players who have seen their stock rise during this offseason due to a combination of performance and scouting reports.

Here's a look at 10 of them:


Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Cleveland Indians

In a system desperate for prospects, Aguilar made some noise by slugging 23 home runs across Cleveland's two A-level clubs. But as a 240-plus-pound, bat-only player, scouts need to see him do it at the upper levels before they believe.

That will have to wait until the regular season, but the 21-year-old gave evaluators a two-headed preview of things to come by hitting .339 with three home runs in 16 Arizona Fall League games. Aguilar followed that up with an equally impressive showing in his native country, Venezuela. If he can carry the momentum into the regular season, he'll be on more radars.