This article is part of our Minor League Barometer series.
Everyone wants to find the next Wander Franco, but it's easy to get too excited over Rookie or Short-Season League statistics. They provide a mere snapshot of a particular player's skill set or production, and oftentimes that snapshot can change significantly once that player reaches full-season ball. For every Franco, there are many more players like Kevin Maitan or Carlos Tocci. While top recent draftees are easier to analyze, of course there is always a level of uncertainty as to how any of these players will perform as they progress up the ladder.
Currently, Marco Luciano of the Giants, Riley Greene of the Tigers and CJ Abrams of the Padres are turning heads with their standout performances in these lower-level leagues. Greene and Abrams were high draft picks, while Luciano was the top international prospect signed in last year's class. All three players could be stars. All three players could be busts. The truth likely lies somewhere in between. Despite the high hopes and early success, it would be foolish to simply assume these players will be stars because of this small sample size against inferior competition. They remain projections.
Prospecting is an inexact science. Remember, five players were drafted before Derek Jeter in 1992, and none of them are going to be in the Hall of Fame like Jeter. While Mike Mussina was a first round pick, Mariano Rivera was signed for $2,500 back in 1990. Both players entered the Hall this past weekend. We'd like to