MLB prospects to watch down the stretch in 2013
C Travis d'Arnaud (NYM): Spending most of his career as a highly valued trade piece (was involved in the deals that landed Roy Halladay in Philadelphia and R.A. Dickey in Toronto), d'Arnaud's MLB debut had been long delayed due to injuries. After finally recovering from a troublesome foot ailment this summer, d'Arnaud was able to make his first Major League appearance on August 17. He has batted only .091 (1-for-11) in four games this season, but has shown a good eye at the plate, drawing four walks to bring his OBP up to .375. The premier catching prospect in the game, d'Arnaud has the potential to hit for both average and power, and he'll be the Mets' primary starting catcher down the stretch this year.
RHP Taijuan Walker (SEA): While Walker possesses some filthy stuff, he has struggled with control to this point in his career, leaving him more as a work-in-progress than an MLB-ready pitcher. Having just turned 21 on August 13, the Mariners have no reason to rush him to the Majors. With a team that will not make the playoffs, however, getting a few starts under their best prospect's belt might be a good idea. Walker has a nasty fastball and cutter, while his curveball has shown some promise and he also has a changeup in his arsenal - but once again, control issues are all that are holding him back.
SS/3B Xander Bogaerts (BOS): Debuting on August 20 and going 0-for-3, the world has certainly not yet seen what Bogaerts is capable of. This is a kid who reached Double-A at the age of 19 thanks to sensational bat speed and a wealth of raw power. He was batting .297 (.388 OBP) with 67 RBI and 72 runs scored before being called up to the Red Sox this year. He'll get a few starts per week in Boston down the stretch, mixing in with Stephen Drew and Will Middlebrooks at shortstop and third base. Still only 20 years old, Bogaerts may not be a big-time player this season, but has a very bright future ahead of him.