Richie Mirowski is currently a prospect in the Washington Nationals minor league system. After pitching to a 1.83 ERA over 68.2 innings, Mirowski was voted MiLBY Relief Pitcher of the Year, exceeding all other candidates by a 37% voting margin. Mirowski was also able to maintain a walk rate of 2BB/9 and a strikeout rate of 11.5K/9. Both of these numbers are outstanding for any pitcher, and he was able to do this between A+ Potomac and AA Harrisburg. Mirowski possesses a two-seam fastball, a split-changeup, a cutter, and a curveball. The 45th round draftee out of Oklahoma Baptist University may even spend some time in Washington D.C. this upcoming season if he can continue his dominance. Mirowski also spent time in the Arizona Fall League pitching for the Mesa Solar Sox.
Noah Syndergaard is on the fast-track to the major leagues. He looks to follow in the footsteps of the Mets' other prospects in their path to pitching on the MLB level. Both Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler were called up from the Las Vegas 51's to pitch around midseason in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Harvey, who started for the NL All Star Team, underwent successful Tommy John surgery recently and will miss the 2014 season. Wheeler also looked great in his debut but still struggles with command and consistency due to limited time in the minor leagues. Syndergaard seems to be the next man up to begin his career with the Mets and all signs point to him being called up at date similar to his predecessors, as long as he can pitch well enough in AAA in the early part of 2014.
Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, and James Paxton make up the incredible pitching prospect trio that will inevitably fill up the Mariners' rotation. Walker (21), Hultzen (23), and Paxton (24) were all drafted within the first four rounds and all have advanced quickly through the minor leagues. All three of these prospects will eventually step into the rotation; the only question remaining is when. Walker and Paxton have each made a few starts in September for the Mariners and pitched very well. Hultzen was injured for most of the 2013 season, and as a result did not get called up when the other two did. Expect all three to be in the major league rotation by the end of the season though; Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma have claimed spots. Joe Saunders and the other fill-ins have just been simply waiting for the trio's arrivals and for each to take their own spot in the rotation.
Billy Hamilton is a stolen base artist already. Being able to steal 155 bases in just one full season is incredible. Possibly faster than a Rickey Henderson in his prime, Hamilton has the tools to become one of the greatest base stealing threats of all time. Even this season, Hamilton knew every pitcher he ran against had his eye on Hamilton when on base. Stealing 13 bases in the MLB over an entire season is considered not that great, but doing it in just one month with 19 at bats is amazing.
While not guaranteed a starting nod in 2014, center field is an area of issue for the Reds in this offseason. Shin-Soo Choo will most likely demand a paycheck out of the Red's reach, especially since his agent is Scott Boras. Choo will probably get a free-agent deal slightly higher than Hunter Pence's recent extension of five years and $90 million. If the Reds decide not to bring back Choo or sign a different free agent, expect the Reds to give Hamilton the starting center field job out of spring training.
Billy Hamilton was not that impressive this year to most, but he still managed to swipe 88 bases in AAA and the MLB. His first half of the season was spent adjusting to the higher level of pitching in AAA and registered a low batting average. However, he began to improve after the second half started and recovered the seemingly lost season. With a September call up from the Red's, Hamilton provided invaluable run support in close games, which is the reason why he earned a spot on the wild card roster. In first major league start against the Astros, Hamilton went 3 for 4 with 2 runs, 2 walks, an RBI, and a double. Unfortunately, he was not used at all in the postseason. Even in pinch running situations, Hamilton proved he could make a considerable difference. He can even switch hit.