Top prospects vying for Opening Day roster spots

Top prospects vying for Opening Day roster spots

Every year, a plethora of prospects are invited to Spring Training, but as April approaches the number of prospects begins to dwindle as teams are forced to make cuts and the final 25-man rosters start to take shape.

As Opening Day approaches, teams have gone through multiple rounds of cuts, but there are still a number of roster spots up in the air, and a number of top prospects are vying for those slots.

Top 100 Prospects list

So who will make the team? Who still needs to leave a strong lasting impression? And who needs a perfect sequence of events to fall just right?


Andrew Benintendi, OF (Red Sox's No. 1, No. 1 overall): Baseball's top prospect will be at Fenway Park on Opening Day. Benintendi proved he was ready for the Majors last year when he hit .295 with two homers and 14 RBIs in 34 games. He also went 3-for-9 with a home run in the postseason.

Dansby Swanson, SS (Braves' No. 1, No. 4 overall): The early favorite to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award, Swanson also fared well in his first taste of the Majors. Swanson made his debut on Aug. 17 and went on to hit .302 in 38 games. After missing a little time early in Spring Training with back soreness, Swanson returned to game action and it shouldn't affect him long-term.

Tyler Glasnow, RHP (Pirates' No. 1, No. 8 overall): One of several hurlers competing for a spot in Pittsburgh's rotation, Glasnow showed improvement over the course of Spring Training and ultimately won the Pirates' fifth-starter job.

Manuel Margot, OF (Padres' No. 1, No. 23 overall): A swollen knee sidelined the 22-year-old center fielder earlier in the month, but he returned to game action in March and captured a spot on San Diego's Opening Day roster.

Josh Bell, 1B (Pirates' No. 3, No. 27 overall): After hitting .273/.368/.406 with more walks (21) than strikeouts (19) in 2016, Bell recovered from offseason knee surgery ahead of schedule and made his spring debut on March 6.

Hunter Renfroe, OF (Padres' No. 3, No. 42 overall): The 2016 Triple-A Pacific Coast League home run leader (30) and MVP, Renfroe impressed during first taste of the big leagues last September, hitting four homers in just 11 games to claim NL Player of the Week honors.

Aaron Judge, OF (Yankees' No. 4, No. 45 overall): Judge struggled in his first taste of the Majors last season, batting just .179 in 27 games, but after a strong spring, he was named the Yankees' Opening Day right fielder.

Amir Garrett, LHP (Reds' No. 2, No. 66 overall): The Reds' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2016, Garrett appears ready to take the next step. The left-hander did all he could to force the Reds' hand, throwing well during Spring Training and was rewarded with a spot in the Opening Day rotation.

Albert Almora Jr., OF (Cubs' No. 3, No. 75 overall): Fresh off of scoring the go-ahead run in the 10th inning of Game 7 of the World Series, Almora, 21, is expected to platoon with Jon Jay in center field.

Others: Dan Altavilla (SEA No. 9), Shawn Armstrong (CLE No. 25), Austin Barnes (LAD No. 11), Ty Blach (SF No. 11), Allen Cordoba (SD No. 27), Jharel Cotton (OAK No. 6), Dylan Covey (CWS No. 27), Rookie Davis (CIN No. 17), Yandy Diaz (CLE No. 10), Kyle Freeland  (COL No. 6), Kevin Gadea (TB No. 23), Koda Glover (WSH No. 7), Robert Gsellman (NYM No. 5), Jandel Gustave  (HOU No. 20), Mitch Haniger (SEA No. 4), Alen Hanson (PIT No. 17), Jonathan Holder (NYY No. 26), JaCoby Jones (DET No. 9), Andrew Knapp (PHI No. 14), Jose Leclerc  (TEX No. 26), German Marquez (COL No. 4), Jacob May (CWS No. 26), Adalberto Mejia (MIN No. 8), Frankie Montas (OAK No. 5), Dillon Overton (SEA No. 20), James Pazos  (SEA No. 26), T.J. Rivera (NYM No. 30), Daniel Robertson (TB No. 17), Drew Robinson  (TEX No. 23), Robby Scott (BOS No. 30), Antonio Senzatela (COL No. 9), Josh Smoker (NYM No. 20), Matt Strahm (KC No. 1), Jose Torres (SD No. 23), Trevor Williams (PIT No. 18), Tony Zych (SEA No. 14), Andrew Toles (LAD No. 9), Raul Alcantara (OAK No. 24), Anthony Santander (BAL No. 9).

William Boor is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.