6) Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays – At one point this season, Sanchez was expected to compete for the closer role in Toronto. When Marcus Stroman went down with a torn ACL during PFPs this spring, that plan was scrapped and Sanchez is now the Blue Jays number four starter, but could feasibly be their best starter this season. He can show three plus potential pitches, with his fastball and curve already sitting as plus pitches. He has struggled a bit this spring, but he should put up good strikeout numbers with a solid WHIP and could rack of plenty of wins with that Blue Jay offense.
7) Steven Souza, OF, Tampa Bay Rays – Souza may be best known for the phenomenal catch to preserve Jordan Zimmerman’s no-hitter to end the regular season last year, but his offense is often overlooked. His numbers were not good last year in limited big league action, but stole 20+ bags in all but two of his minor league season, and one year he came just two shy of that mark. His power is regularly in the mid-teens, and he should be able to reach that mark in the big leagues this year. He is essentially replacing Wil Myers in Tampa, and Souza could be the player they wanted in Myers. A guy who can bat at the top of the order, steal some bags while providing pop.
8) Micah Johnson, 2B, Chicago White Sox – Johnson still has to win the job at second base for the White Sox, but I think he is their best option. There is an easy argument the best place for him to start the season is at Triple-A given he has seen just 107 games in the upper minors, but if he is the opening day starter he could win you a league. Johnson showed he had the speed and base running chops in 2013 by stealing 84 bags. In 2014, he battled a hamstring injury which limited his steal numbers, and by his own admission, he had already shown he could steal bags and was focusing on other aspects of his game. If he gets back to running and hits anything like his .297 career average, he could really help win you steals, if not the league given he is currently not being drafted in standard leagues.
9) Dalton Pompey, OF, Toronto Blue Jays – I was made aware of Pompey by a fellow writer before the start of last season, and boy was it a fun year to pay attention to him. The Canadian native hit .317 over three minor league levels before getting called up and making his big league debut on September 2nd. He didn’t hit as well at the big league level, but that can be chalked up to a small sample. When I got a firsthand look at him in the Arizona Fall League, he really stood out. He is a legit leadoff hitter with blazing speed and a smooth swing from both sides of the plate. He will sneak some balls over the wall, but he will really be a double and triples threat and steal you 25-30 bags.
10) Nate Karns, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays – I nearly overlooked Karns as he doesn’t feel like a prospect anymore given he has spent part of the past two seasons in the big leagues, but pitched just 12 innings in each. Karns has a power fastball with a big curve, which is pretty much a birthright for a big bodied Texan. Karns was likely to get the chance to see a full season in the Rays rotation, but with injuries and illness hitting the rotation; it is now all but a guarantee. Karns is not a high upside guy, as he will likely never be much more than a mid-rotation starter, but there is some strikeout potential, and he should see a good number of innings, which is more than you can say for most rookie starters.