Prospects In The Pool: Setting The Odds Of Making An Impact In 2020


It appears that many teams are going to be including some of their top prospects as part of their 60-man player pool.  Keep in mind that it doesn’t mean that these players will be utilized in the Majors this season, as that would require adding them to the 40-man roster and start their arbitration clocks (something teams have become increasingly skeptical of doing).

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the names being rumored to be included on their team’s roster and if there could be an opportunity for them to make an impact (all according to MLB’s Jesse Sanchez unless otherwise noted):

  • Corbin Carroll (ARI) – According to Zach Buchanan of The Athletic
  • Wander Franco (TB)
  • Ivan Herrera (STL)
  • Marco Luciano (SF)
  • Noelvi Marte (SEA)
  • Geraldo Perdomo (ARI)
  • Robert Puason (OAK)
  • Julio Rodriguez (SEA)
  • George Valera (CLE)

Corbin Carroll (ARI, OF)

Carroll was a first round pick in 2019, totaled 186 PA after being selected and hasn’t played above Low-A.  Especially with Daulton Varsho in the mix, and expected to move off catcher to expedite his arrival to the Majors, this seems like more of a way not to lose development time than there being an opportunity to make an impact.

2020 Debut Odds – 100/1

Wander Franco (TB, SS)

He’s obviously the sexiest name on this list and it’s not like we’ve never seen a 19-year old make the leap to the Majors.  He hasn’t played above High-A as of yet, but with the Rays a legitimate candidate to make a World Series push you have to think that it will be all hands on deck…

Of course are the Rays really likely to start a top players clock sooner than they need to?  Always thinking long-term, and not just today, adding Franco to the roster this season would obviously have long-term financial ramifications.  That doesn’t completely rule out the possibility, though the Rays also have various alternatives already on the MLB roster (Wily Adames is the starter, with Joey Wendle and Daniel Robertson also available).

2020 Debut Odds – 10/1

Ivan Herrera (STL, C)

Teams are going to be looking for catching depth, but would the Cardinals really rush Herrera?  Considering they already have Yadier Molina, Matt Wieters and Andrew Knizner on the 40-man roster it seems highly unlikely (though due to the position we can’t completely rule it out).

2020 Debut Odds – 150/1

Marco Luciano (SF, SS)

He won’t turn 19-years old until September and has just 38 PA above Rookie Ball, so this is clearly all about not losing development time.  Theirs is virtually no shot of Luciano making his MLB debut in 2020.

2020 Debut Odds – 250/1

Noelve Marte (SEA, SS)

Marte is basically the same as Luciano, though he hasn’t played above Rookie Ball and won’t turn 19 until October.  This is again all about development and not about making an impact in 2020.

2020 Debut Odds – 250/1

Geraldo Perdomo (ARI, SS)

Prior to the season we projected an MLB debut of 2021 for Perdomo, with the thought being that he’d spend time at Double-A and maybe Triple-A this season.  That obviously isn’t going to happen now, but it also isn’t impossible that the Diamondbacks push the shortstop to the Majors if there is a need (Nick Ahmed is penciled in as the starter).

The question facing Perdomo simply is if he’d be overmatched against more advanced pitching.  Thus far he’s shown a terrific sense for the strike zone and he clearly has speed, which is where his value would come from.  Here’s what we said when we awarded him a “B” grade:

The question facing Perdomo is if he’ll develop enough power in order to thrive at the highest levels, as he hit .275 with 3 HR and 26 SB over 499 PA split between Single-A (385 PA) and High-A (114 PA).  There’s no questioning his approach/understanding of the strike zone given these numbers:

  • Single-A – 56 K vs. 56 BB
  • High-A – 11 K vs. 14 BB

Expected to stick at shortstop, if he could mature into a 12-15 HR threat with his speed he’ll be an impressive prospect.  Having turned 20-years old this offseason there is time, but even if he’s at 6-9 HR he can’t be ignored.

2020 Debut Odds – 5/1

Robert Puason (OAK, SS)

Puason is a high upside prospect, the 17-year old was signed for $5.1 million last year as an international free agent. Of course he has a lot of development to do physically (he’s currently listed at 6’3″ and 165 lbs.) and is years and years away of being ready to produce at the highest level. This is clearly a way to avoid losing developmental time and not about making an impact in 2020.

2020 Debut Odds – 250/1

Julio Rodriguez (SEA, OF)

Next to Franco, Rodriguez is among the more intriguing names coming out of this list.  Rodriguez is a longer shot to make an impact in 2020 however, because of the presence of Jarred Kelenic.  Kelenic is further along in his development and we projected him to debut in 2021, compared to Rodriguez who had a 2022 expected debut date. 

The other issue is need for development, given these SwStr% last season:

  • Single-A (295 PA) – 16.1%
  • High-A (72 PA) – 11.0%

While it’s not 100% impossible that Rodriguez arrives, it’s a fairly long-shot to happen.

2020 Debut Odds – 50/1

George Valera (CLE, OF)

Valera would be much more likely to debut in 2020, had he not missed 2018 with a broken hamate bone (costing him a year of development).  With that in mind it makes sense that the Indians don’t want him losing another year, so including him on the taxi squad is appropriate.

At the same time he only has 236 PA since signing as an international free agent in 2017, and only 26 of them has come above Low-A.  There’s no questioning the upside and talent, but he’s a long way from being ready to make an impact.  This is all about development and not about 2020.

2020 Debut Odds – 250/1

Sources –, Fangraphs

Make sure to check out all of our 2020 prospect rankings:

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PositionLast Updated
First Baseman--
Second Baseman04/15/20
Third Baseman04/20/20


    • Kirby is a real long-shot since he’s only played Low-A ball. Gerber isn’t impossible as a reliever, but probably in low leverage situations


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