Technically Tyler Zuber is the lone player to make the Kansas City Royals who has yet to make his MLB debut, but Brady Singer will be activated before making his debut on Saturday.
Zuber began his time at Arkansas State as a starter, but shifted to the bullpen his senior season and was dominant. It was that dominance that lifted his draft stock to the point he went in the sixth round in 2017 and has quickly moved up the ranks since. This winter he went down to the Dominican to play in their winter league and pitched 15 innings while giving up just two earned runs. He is a rare reliever who still features four pitches, although the change should be scrapped and he should rely purely on the fastball, slider, and curve.
Singer is arguably the best pitching prospect in the Royals organization and was a bit of a shock for the Royals to get him with the 18th pick in the 2018 draft. There was a point heading into the draft that Singer was the favorite to go number one overall, and he has shown that would not have been a reach as he had an ERA under three last season. He has a heavy sinking fastball that sits in the low-90s that he pairs well with a power slider. He also has a quality change and occasionally adjusts the grip on his fastball to a traditional four-seam and blows it by hitters. He has plus command of all his offering and has the makings of being a front of the rotation guy very soon, as is evident by the fact he will get the nod in game two of the season.
I first saw Nick Neidert in the 2015 AZL after he was selected in the second round by the Seattle Mariners. He absolutely dominated in his 11 starts that season and was eventually traded to the Miami Marlins along with Christopher Torres and Robert Dugger in exchange for Dee Gordon. He has only pitched as a starter as a pro but will likely see his debut come as a reliever, although moving back to the rotation is a definite possibility. He has a good fastball, but it is made even better by the fact he has a changeup that flashes the potential of a plus offering. When in the pen, he will rely heavily on these two offerings, both of which he can put right where he wants, but he can also mix in a solid slider and a get-me-over curve as well.
Jordan Holloway’s draft round is misleading, as he slipped to the 20th round due to signability concerns, but eventually opted to turn pro. At 6’6” and 230 lbs. with a fastball that has touched triple digits, he has the chance to be an impact reliever for the Marlins. He has worked almost exclusively as a starter in the minors, but his lack of command and a change that is incredibly inconsistent has long made it a long shot for him to be a viable rotation option at the big league level, but the big curve and power fastball to go with excellent length and extension are tailor-made to be a high-leverage reliever.
After four years at D-II Cal State East Bay, the Miami Marlins got a clear steal in the 17th round when they took Alex Vesia in 2018. He pitched at two levels that season and put up an ERA of 1.35 over 14 outings and 33.1 innings. In 2019 he managed to see time at three levels, threw exactly double the innings as the year before, and put up an ERA of 1.76, including a cool 0.00 in 16.1 innings at Double-A. he capped off the year with over ten scoreless innings in the Arizona Fall League. He brings a fastball that sits up to 95, a change that has plenty of fade, and a curve that is quite effective against fellow lefties. He should settle in well as a middle reliever, which is a fantastic return on the Marlins $25k investment coming out of the draft.
The final piece to make the Marlins bullpen is one of the best young personalities in the game, Rule 5 pick Sterling Sharp. He was another low round selection, going in the 22nd out of Drury University, a D-II school he transferred to from Eastern Michigan, to the Washington Nationals. Sharp impressed in the AFL this Fall after seeing time in Double-A each of the past two seasons. He has an outside shot at eventually finding his way into a rotation thanks to a three-pitch mix that features an above-average fastball and change to go with a slider that is still below-average at this point. He has walked less than 2.5 per nine innings in his minor league career, so he knows how to pound the zone.
Top prospect Alec Bohm will likely be joining the Philadelphia Phillies soon after the first week of the season to gain a year of team control, so the only player on the roster yet to debut in the bigs is Ramon Rosso.
Rosso will likely be a multi-inning reliever in low-leverage situations for the Phillies. He has a career ERA in the minors of 2.80, but had a rough 2019, his first above A ball, with an ERA of 4.46. He made just a single appearance in Spring Training, going 5.2 innings and giving up two runs, so he was a bit of a surprise to make the club.
He has a fastball that sits in the low-90s with some cut to it along with a two-plane slider and a serviceable change. Until last season, he has always put up more than three strikeouts per walk, so he has demonstrated he has the ability to strike guys out and avoid too many walks. He is a low ceiling but relatively high floor arm to round out the bullpen.
It appears the Toronto Blue Jays are officially calling Buffalo home for 2020, a place Santiago Espinal finished the season a year ago. He is the super utility man for the Blue Jays this year as he has seen a dozen games in center, nearly twenty at third, over 120 at second, and more than 220 at short in his minor league career. The first two sections of his career triple slash line are solid (.285/.345) but the slugging is telling in regards to the hole in his game, just .390.
Thomas Hatch was drafted by the Chicago Cubs out of Oklahoma State in the third round of the 2016 draft and traded to the Blue Jays for David Phelps at the deadline last season. He has only appeared as a starter in his pro career, but the Blue Jays will likely be rolling him out as a multi-inning reliever. He has a good fastball and above-average slider to go with a changeup that works well in getting lefties out. Expect him to be the long man this season with a chance to get more high-leverage innings in the future, but there is little chance he has a future as a starter.
A third member of the Blue Jays who will be making his MLB debut is Shun Yamaguchi. He is another guy who can throw multiple innings but has also been an effective closer in Japan. The 33-year old has spend 14 seasons in the NPB with 50 starts (16 of those complete games) and 112 saves. His career ERA in Japan is 3.35 with a K/BB ratio just over 2.50. He has a four-pitch mix and can command each of them, fastball, slider, curve, and fork/change. He could quickly become the eighth inning man to set up Ken Giles.