The 2015 Minor League season begins today, when the Buffalo Bisons host the Rochester Red Wings at 2:05 p.m. ET. Fans can once again follow the progress of all the top prospects in action, tracking them throughout the 2015 season on MLBPipeline.com, Prospect Watch and MiLB.TV.
Of the prospects on MLB.com's Top 100 list, 10 were on Opening Day big league rosters. A total of 88 have been assigned to full-season rosters in leagues that are getting started this week. There are six on the disabled list, while six are in extended spring camp awaiting assignment. Here's a closer look at where the top 20 prospects will be playing in 2015. Check Prospect Watch to find out where all the game's top prospects are starting the season.
1. Byron Buxton, OF, Twins -- Chattanooga Lookouts (AA)
2. Kris Bryant, 3B/OF, Cubs -- Iowa Cubs (AAA)
3. Carlos Correa, SS, Astros -- Corpus Christi Hooks (AA)
4. Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians -- Columbus Clippers (AAA)
5. Addison Russell, SS, Cubs -- Iowa Cubs (AAA)
6. Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals -- Extended spring training
7. Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers -- Tulsa Drillers (AA)
8. Julio Urias, LHP, Dodgers -- Tulsa Drillers (AA)
9. Yoan Moncada, 2B, Red Sox -- Extended spring training
10. Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers -- Frisco RoughRiders (AA) -- DL
11. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets -- Las Vegas 51s (AAA)
12. Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins -- Chattanooga Lookouts (AA)
13. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates -- Altoona Curve (AA)
14. Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers -- Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)
15. Carlos Rodon, LHP, White Sox -- Charlotte Knights (AAA)
16. Archie Bradley, RHP, D-backs -- Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)
17. Jon Gray, RHP, Rockies -- Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA)
18. Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays -- Toronto Blue Jays (MLB)
19. Blake Swihart, C, Red Sox -- Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA)
20. Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox -- Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA)
The general rule of thumb is that the Double-A level is the one with the most prospects. In this case, conventional wisdom is correct. A total of 38 Top 100 players are beginning the year at the stop many consider is the one that separates the men from the boys. No single league has more prospect power than the Southern League, with 16 Top 100 representatives. The Twins' move to Chattanooga in 2015 certainly helps with top prospect Byron Buxton, No. 12 Miguel Sano and No. 33 Jose Berrios all beginning the year with the Lookouts. The Texas League has 13 prospects, topped by Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (No. 3), while the Eastern League comes in with nine, with the Pirates' Tyler Glasnow (No. 13) heading that group.
Teams have made a habit of late of trying to get their top prospects some time in Triple-A before calling them up to the big leagues, and this year continues the trend, with 25 top prospects at the highest level of the Minors. No. 2 prospect Kris Bryant's brief stop in the Pacific Coast League gives the circuit a dozen players to the International League's 13, topped by No. 4 Francisco Lindor of the Indians in Columbus.
Class A Advanced affiliates have nine members of the Top 100, with the Florida State League topping the trio of circuits with five. The Class A Midwest and South Atlantic Leagues, the lowest rung of full-season ball, have a combined six Top 100 players beginning the year there.
Teams on TV
The 2015 MiLB.TV package will provide more than 5,000 games streamed live, as well as archived games for on-demand viewing soon after their completion.
On Opening Day alone, you can watch Pirates prospect Josh Bell (No. 35) and the Altoona Curve face the Harrisburg Senators, the Mets' Brandon Nimmo (No. 73) and his Binghamton Mets visiting the Akron Rubber Ducks, the Rockies' David Dahl (No. 60) with the New Britain Rock Cats taking on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and the Yankees' Aaron Judge (No. 69) leading the Trenton Thunder against the Erie SeaWolves in Eastern League action. Lindor is the top-ranked prospect on MiLB.TV on Thursday as the Columbus Clippers visit the Indianapolis Indians in an International League contest. Other Top 100 players on TV for the opener include No. 19 Blake Swihart of the Red Sox (Pawtucket), No. 39 Jose Peraza of the Braves (Gwinnett) and No. 51 D.J. Peterson of the Mariners (Jackson).
There are many prospects getting used to a new organization, having arrived via trade or as members of the 2014 Draft class making their full-season debuts.
None of the new faces traded to new places are ranked higher than lefty Andrew Heaney. No. 26 on the Top 100, Heaney competed for a spot in the Angels' rotation this spring after coming to them in a Winter Meetings trade, but will start the year with Triple-A Salt Lake. No. 66 Daniel Robertson, having gone from the A's to the Rays, begins in the Double-A Southern League. Recently dealt Matt Wisler (No. 70) will begin his Braves career in Triple-A Gwinnett, as will fellow new Brave Mike Foltynewicz (No. 79). No. 86 Franklin Barreto, the 19-year-old the A's got from the Blue Jays in the Josh Donaldson trade, will be pushed to Class A Advanced Stockton in the California League.
No. 15 Carlos Rodon, the No. 3 pick in the 2014 Draft, is not only the highest-ranked draftee from last June, he's also starting higher up the ladder than anyone from the class, with Triple-A Charlotte. No. 2 pick Tyler Kolek (No. 28) and No. 6 pick Alex Jackson (No. 29) both broke camp with full-season teams for the Marlins and Mariners, as did No. 5 pick Nick Gordon (No. 34) with the Twins. Aaron Nola (No. 38), the seventh pick in the Draft, joins Rodon in the upper levels, heading to Double-A Reading in the Phillies' system.
On the shelf
Of the half-dozen Top 100 prospects whose 2015 season will be delayed, Joey Gallo is the highest ranked, at No. 6. The future Rangers slugger had heel surgery and will miss three weeks. No. 22 J.P. Crawford of the Phillies is out with an oblique issue, while No. 32 Jameson Taillon (Pirates) is still recovering from 2014 Tommy John surgery.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.