Ten Prospects Who Will Reach the Majors the Fastest

1) Marcus Stroman, RHP, Duke

Stroman could easily pitch in the Majors this year, and if he gets tabbed by the right team he very well might. His fastball-slider combo was lethal enough to strike out 136 batters in less than 100 innings, and while he’ll likely be given every reason to start in his first few years, he could be a major asset to a team in contention.

2) Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford

Appel hasn’t gotten as much love as he normally would have in any other draft, but lost in the will he or won’t he go number one shtick, is the fact that whoever drafts him will likely be able to plug him into their rotation in a year or two.

3) Chris Stratton, RHP, Mississippi State

The least talked about of the top college arms, Stratton possesses four pitches with decent command. Those two traits should allow him to dominate the lower levels of the minors, and might even allow him to start as high as Double-A.

4) Deven Marrero, SS, Arizona State

For all the attention that his dismal offensive performance received this year, Marrero still possesses big-league defensive ability. He’s likely better than half the defenders playing the position right now. If his bat ever decides to wake up, he could reach the big-leagues very quickly.

5) Andrew Heaney, LHP, Oklahoma State

Taking a look at the fastest players to reach the big-leagues from each class the past decade, one can see that many have been lefty pitchers. Like Mike Minor before him, Heaney could reach the Majors in less than 30 starts.

6) Tyler Naquin, OF, Texas A&M

Naquin has been one of the best hitters in college baseball the past two seasons. Toss in the fact that he has one of the best and most accurate throwing arms, and he could be on a quick ride to the big-leagues.

7) Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M

Wacha has an incredible fastball, but his other pitches still need fine-tuning. That equals a couple of years in the minors as a starter, or a quick ride to the big-leagues as a reliever. Like Stroman, he could help a team this year.

8) Kyle Zimmer, RHP, San Francisco

Zimmer likely won’t pitch again this season due to a case of arm fatigue that made him much more ineffective towards the end of the season. Coming back at full strength in 2013, he could blow through the minors, a la Matt Barnes, who needed only five starts to reach High-A ball.

9) Mike Zunino, C, Florida

Zunino doesn’t have any plus-plus tools, but he draws rave reviews for his defensive ability, as well as his leadership capabilities. He could rocket through the minors like Jason Castro did a few years ago, needing only 215 games to reach the Majors.

10) Richie Shaffer, 1B, Clemson

There aren’t too many college hitters to write home about in this year’s draft class, but Shaffer is one of the best. He hasn’t showed his true power-hitting ability at Clemson, but could be a 25-30 homer threat per season in the big-leagues.

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