Jul 21, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; An official Major League Baseball is seen during Detroit Tigers batting practice before a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Top MLB Prospects to Watch for in 2018

The 2018 baseball season is in full swing. Jim Callis, MLB.com draft and prospect expert, talked a little about the opening of the 2018 season and some top guys to look out for this year.

American League

(AP Photo/Ben Margot) (Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Starting with the American league, Callis’ two picks were Shohei Ohtani, the two way guy from the Los Angeles Angels and Willie Calhoun from the Texas Rangers.

Ohtani is a pitcher and hitter from Japan. His fastball’s top speed reaches 102 MPH, with a wipeout slider and splitter. He’s nicknamed the “Babe Ruth of Japan” because of his above average raw power and speed.

Coming out of a rough spring, Ohtani is trying to play both pitching and hitting, but could only end up pitching because of the difficulty to play both. Whether he plays one position or both, Angel fans shouldn’t be upset with his game.

Callis’ second pick is Willie Calhoun, an outfielder for the Texas Rangers. Calhoun is one of the best hitters in the minors, rarely swings-and-misses and has tremendous power. If Calhoun gets full playing time, Callis says he could hit 25 home runs as a rookie.

National League

Jumping over to the National League, Callis’ picks were Ronald Acuña from the Atlanta Braves and Víctor Robles from the Washington Nationals.

Acuña, an outfielder for the Braves, hit 20 homers and got 40 steals last year in the minors and went to Triple A at 19 years old. If his free agency can be delayed a year, Acuña will be a superstar.

Víctor Robles, and outfielder for the Washington Nationals, may not have Acuña’s power, but is a better hitter and is faster. Out of all the prospects in baseball, Robles is the best defensive player.

Gator Prospects

Photo courtesy of floridagators.com

At the start of the season, Brady Singer was the consensus number one overall draft pick but Callis’ believes he isn’t as dominant as scouts hoped him to be. Jackson Kowar and Singer still have a very good chance to go in the top ten picks.

Jonathan India has bounced back from his injury, and can go as a second round pick, but if he continues to hit like he has been (.430 with nine homers in half the season), then he will go right into the first round.

View Jim Callis’ work at www.MLBPipeline.com

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