Catch 'em while you can

Catch 'em while you can

Want to know where David Price is pitching? How about info on Jason Heyward's home for 2009? You've come to the right place as MLB.com takes a look to see where the Top 50 prospects in baseball are beginning their respective seasons.

Four of the top 10 in MLB.com's Top 50 prospects are in the big leagues, with Rick Porcello (No. 4) a surprise member of the Tigers rotation in Detroit and outfielders Cameron Maybin (5th), Travis Snider (7th) and Colby Rasmus (10th) all making Major League rosters.

Five others in the Top 50 -- No. 13 Brett Anderson, Dexter Fowler (15th), Trevor Cahill (17th), Elvis Andrus (21st), Nick Adenhart (35th) and James McDonald (45th) were all on 25-man rosters as the season began in earnest on Monday.

What about the other 41 players? They'll all be getting their seasons going on Wednesday or Thursday at various ports of call. Some of them will even face each other in terrific opening series matchups. Here's a closer look at where you can find the Minor Leaguers on the Top 50 list as the 2009 season kicks off.

The Top 10

1. David Price, LHP, Tampa Bay
Game:
Norfolk @ Durham
When: Friday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: MiLB.TV

If you want to see Price, you'll have to head to Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Friday. Go now, because who knows how long the first overall pick of the 2007 Draft will be in the Minors. Stay for an extra day and also get a peek at No. 31 prospect Wade Davis' start for the Bulls.

2. Matt Wieters, C, Baltimore
Game:
Norfolk @ Durham
When: Friday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: MiLB.TV

It doesn't get much better than this to kick off the season, does it? The best hitting prospect in Wieters facing the top pitching prospect in Price in the second game of the year? How much longer before we all get to see that matchup in the AL East? It's obvious Wieters' stay with the Tides will be short-lived. Add the fact that No. 16 Chris Tillman also throws in this series and it's a must-see.

3. Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta
Game:
Wilmington @ Myrtle Beach
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

Go to a Pelicans game and you get two for the price of one, Top 50-wise. Not only do you get to see one of the best all-around young talents in the game (Heyward), you can see No. 38 prospect Freddie Freeman. And judging by how they tore up the South Atlantic League in their first full seasons, this is a tag team you won't want to miss.

6. Madison Bumgarner, LHP, San Francisco
Game:
Stockton @ San Jose
When: Friday, 10 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

Do you know the way to San Jose? You should figure it out because that is one talent-laden club, fed heavily from the 2008 South Atlantic League champion Augusta GreenJackets. Six former first-rounders are on the roster, headlined by this prized lefty. He'll get the ball on Friday after Tim Alderson pitches the opener. They'll get to throw to No. 19 Buster Posey, the fifth overall pick in last year's Draft. As a bonus, there's No. 48 Angel Villalona, the Giants' big, young first baseman.

8. Alcides Escobar, SS, Milwaukee
Game:
Nashville @ New Orleans
When: Thursday, 8 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

Fresh off sticking around big league camp all spring, the shortstop is ready to play every day for the Sounds while honing his craft. Joining him on the left side of the Nashville infield will be No. 23 prospect Mat Gamel.

9. Neftali Feliz, RHP, Texas
Game:
Oklahoma City @ Memphis
When: Thursday, 8 p.m. ET
Where: MiLB.TV

After a grand total of 10 regular-season starts above Class A, the 20-year-old has been deemed ready for the highest Minor League level, a phone call away from the pitching-hungry big league club. If you want to see the pitcher with perhaps the best raw stuff to go along with the easiest delivery, this might be your ticket. Plus, stick around the RedHawks for a little while and you can see lefty -- and No. 46 prospect -- Derek Holland.

The Rest

11. Mike Moustakas, 3B, Kansas City
Game:
Wilmington @ Myrtle Beach
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

Moustakas got off to a very slow start in his full-season debut but turned it on in the second half. He'll get to show just how much of that carried over as he makes his Carolina League debut against Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman and Co.

12. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh
Game:
Toledo @ Indianapolis
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: MiLB.TV

McCutchen made the decision to send him down very difficult for the Pirates by having a very solid spring. Still only 22, don't expect his second tour of the International League to last too long.

14. Matt LaPorta, OF, Cleveland
Game:
Columbus @ Louisville
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET

Indians fans will get to know the real Matt LaPorta this year after he barely got to play with the organization following the big CC Sabathia trade. He had a good big league camp, so you have to wonder how long it will be before the Tribe wants his right-handed power in Cleveland.

16. Chris Tillman, RHP, Baltimore
Game:
Norfolk @ Durham
When: Friday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: MiLB.TV

There's no word on the Tides' rotation yet, but if the cards fall right, maybe Tillman will get the ball on Friday, so he can oppose David Price. Just watching Tillman throw to Wieters should give O's fans hope for the future.

18. Jarrod Parker, RHP, Arizona
Game:
Visalia @ Lake Elsinore
When: Saturday, 10 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

The ninth overall pick in the 2007 Draft had a very solid full-season debut last year. Watching him follow that up in the hitter-friendly California League should be interesting. He gets the ball on Saturday. Move 'em on, head 'em up. Head 'em up, move 'em out. Move 'em on, head 'em out. Rawhide!

19. Buster Posey, C, San Francisco
Game:
Stockton @ San Jose
When: Thursday, 10 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

As if seeing Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson pitch isn't enough, you get the No. 5 overall pick from last year's Draft catching them. Of course, it's Posey's bat that will keep you glued to your seat. Better go now though, because a trip to Connecticut and the Eastern League probably isn't too far off.

20. Brian Matusz, LHP, Baltimore
Game:
Frederick @ Salem
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

Matusz has yet to make his official Orioles debut, though he did pitch -- and pitch well -- in the Arizona Fall League and in big league camp this spring. If you head to Salem on Thursday, you can see the real start to the No. 4 overall pick's pro career as he was tapped to be the Keys' Opening Day starter.

22. Tim Beckham, SS, Tampa Bay
Game:
Bowling Green @ Hickory
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

It's always important to know where the No. 1 overall pick from last year's Draft is starting his first full season. Beckham will be the shortstop for the brand-new Bowling Green Hot Rods, the Rays' affiliate in the South Atlantic League.

23. Mat Gamel, 3B, Milwaukee
Game:
Nashville @ New Orleans
When: Thursday, 8 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

A shoulder problem limited him this spring, though he managed to get in 25 at-bats in big league camp. Now he'll continue to try to prove he can play third base at Triple-A, alongside fellow prospect Alcides Escobar.

24. Tommy Hanson, RHP, Atlanta
Game:
Gwinnett @ Charlotte
When: Thursday, 11:15 a.m. ET

Aside from the Eastern League's curious Wednesday opening, the G-Braves' first game kicks off the 2009 Minor League season. And Hanson's getting the ball for the opener. Baseball brunch, anyone?

25. Lars Anderson, 1B, Boston
Game:
Connecticut @ Portland
When: Thursday, 6 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

Anderson didn't seem to have too much trouble in his first try at hitting Double-A pitching in the second half of last year. If he gets off to a similar start in 2009, don't expect him to stay in Portland for long.

26. Mike Stanton, OF, Florida
Game:
Jupiter @ Palm Beach
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

Sure, he hit an impressive 39 homers and slugged .611 during his full-season debut with Greensboro. Let's see him do it in the cavern that is Roger Dean Stadium, where power hitters go to die.

27. Austin Jackson, OF, NY Yankees
Game:
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre @ Lehigh Valley
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

The future of the Yankees in center field -- with all due respect to Brett Gardner -- will make his Triple-A debut at the ripe old age of 22. He's got tools aplenty and continues to refine his skills. How quickly he does that will determine how quickly he sees the Bronx. Watching him hit against Carlos Carrasco (see below) in this series should be fun.

28. Carlos Carrasco, RHP, Philadelphia
Game:
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre @ Lehigh Valley
When: Friday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

The prize right-hander in the Phillies' system, he made his Triple-A debut last year and seemed fairly comfortable. Now he'll get to start the year there, waiting for that first call to help out the World Champions. Kyle Kendrick gets the ball for the opener, but Carrasco will pitch to the aforementioned Austin Jackson on Friday in Game 2 of the series.

29. Eric Hosmer, 1B, Kansas City
Game:
Clinton @ Burlington
When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

The real treat might be if and when he gets promoted and can play in the same infield as Moustakas, but that will come in time. Seeing the No. 3 overall pick in Burlington should be plenty of fun in what more or less counts as his pro debut, since his summer was cut short by all the signing deadline nonsense.

30. Carlos Triunfel, SS, Seattle
Game:
West Tenn @ Montgomery
When: Thursday, 8 p.m. ET

He turned 19 in February and is ready for Double-A. He's still a shortstop, at least for now, and it's worth the price of admission just to watch him make the throw from the hole. Throw in the fact he'll face Jeremy Hellickson (below) in the opener and it's a Southern League tilt worth checking out.

31. Wade Davis, RHP, Tampa Bay
Game:
Norfolk @ Durham
When: Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: MiLB.TV

After watching Price go after Wieters on Friday, stick around another day to watch this right-hander go for the Bulls. Only 23, he's no slouch, either.

32. Fernando Martinez, OF, NY Mets
Game:
Pawtucket @ Buffalo
When: Thursday, 3 p.m. ET
Where: MiLB.TV

It might seem like he's been around forever, and this is a big year to show he can stay healthy, but F-Mart is still only 20 and only a phone call away. His first test comes against a pretty talented PawSox rotation.

33. Phillippe Aumont, RHP, Seattle
Game:
Lancaster @ High Desert
When: Thursday, 8 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

The big Canadian, taken 11th overall in the 2007 Draft, will be making two adjustments. The first will be to the California League and one of its best hitting parks. The second will be coming out of the bullpen, with the M's thinking he could get to the bigs faster that way.

34. Yonder Alonso, 1B, Cincinnati
Game:
Sarasota @ St. Lucie
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET

He impressed with his professionalism in big league camp, played some with the Double-A squad once he got sent down, then settled in with Sarasota in the Florida State League. With his advanced approach at the plate, though, don't expect him to spend too much time at old Ed Smith Stadium.

36. Jake Arrieta, RHP, Baltimore
Game:
Bowie @ Akron
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET

The wacky Eastern League is the only one starting the season on Wednesday, instead of Thursday. With Jason Berken likely taking the opener for Bowie, perhaps Arrieta, who led the Carolina League in ERA a year ago, will get the ball on Thursday against the Aeros.

37. Scott Elbert, LHP, LA Dodgers
Game:
Omaha @ Albuquerque
When: Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

It looked like he might get a job out of the Dodgers 'pen to start the season, but they want the southpaw to pitch more. So he's going to start for the 'Topes, at least until there's a need in LA for his electric left arm.

38. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta
Game:
Wilmington @ Myrtle Beach
When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

It's always fun to watch a tandem of prospects move through a system together. They did it last year and there's no reason to expect that Freeman and Jason Heyward won't push each other to excel in their new location.

39. Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Tampa Bay
Game:
West Tenn @ Montgomery
When: Thursday, 8 p.m. ET

He sometimes gets forgotten behind guys like Price and Davis, but any pitcher with a career 5.28 K/BB ratio is worth noticing. And you can notice him right away as he goes after Carlos Triunfel and the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx on Opening Night.

40. Jesus Montero, C, NY Yankess
Game:
Tampa @ Lakeland
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET

There's no question about the bat, not after hitting .326 with 17 homers and 87 RBIs as an 18-year-old in the South Atlantic League. The step up to Tampa should be a nice challenge and give some indication just how much progress he's been making with his defense.

41. Adam Miller, RHP, Cleveland
Game:
Columbus @ Louisville
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: MiLB.TV

Tuning in to this series won't give you a glimpse of Miller, who's starting the year on the disabled list. The good news is that he's making very good progress and should be back soon. More good news? The opener of this one offers up David Huff vs. Homer Bailey.

42. Brett Wallace, 3B, St. Louis
Game:
Frisco @ Springfield
When: Thursday, 8 p.m. ET

All he's done is hit everywhere he goes, including a brief stop with Springfield last summer in his pro debut. There's no reason to think that won't continue as the No. 13 overall pick kicks off his first full season in the Texas League.

43. Lou Marson, C, Philadelphia
Game:
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre @ Lehigh Valley
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

There was some talk of him being the backup in Philadelphia, but it's better for the 22-year-old Olympian to catch every day and work with future Phillies starters like Carlos Carrasco.

44. Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Milwaukee
Game:
Mobile @ Huntsville
When: Thursday, 8 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

The 2006 first-rounder hasn't been able to throw a ton of innings since joining the organization, but when he's been out there, he's shown as much electric stuff as any pitcher in the Minors (his career ratio of 10.4 Ks per nine innings attests to that). Now he'll get to show if he's figuring out how to become a complete pitcher in the Southern League, where he's slated to start Huntsville's opener.

46. Derek Holland, LHP, Texas
Game:
Oklahoma City @ Memphis
When: Friday, 8 p.m. ET
Where: MiLB.TV

He's made a grand total of four regular-season starts above Class A, but in a year that saw him dominate at three levels, this southpaw is ready for the Pacific Coast League, just a phone call away from Texas.

47. Kyle Blanks, 1B, San Diego
Game:
Portland @ Fresno
When: Thursday, 10 p.m. ET

Blanks had a terrific season last year in Double-A, then played exceptionally well in big league camp. He's blocked by Adrian Gonzalez in the Majors right now, but that's good news for Portland fans, isn't it?

48. Angel Villalona, 1B, San Francisco
Game:
Stockton @ San Jose
When: Thursday, 10 p.m. ET

Was his finish to the 2008 season a fluke or was it a sign that he'd made some adjustments and is ready to take off? The guess is the latter and he'll get to hit in the California League at the ripe old age of 18.

49. Matt Dominguez, 3B, Florida
Game:
Jupiter @ Palm Beach
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

The 2007 first-rounder shook off a rough start to his first full season (mono) to have a solid campaign with Greensboro. Now he's ready for the challenge of a tough hitter's park in Jupiter. Still, to watch him and Mike Stanton develop together is worth the price of admission.

50. Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Game:
Iowa @ Round Rock
When: Thursday, 8 p.m. ET
Where: Gameday Audio

He was in the running for a roster spot for much of the spring, but the Cubbies decided they want him to pitch more down below. Chicago's loss is Iowa's gain as the Notre Dame standout will begin the year in relief, then ease back into the rotation, at least until the big guys need him back.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.