MLB: Top prospects to earn big league roster spots

MLB: Top prospects to earn big league roster spots
March 29, 2014, 2:15 pm
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Former A’s prospect Micheal Choice led the Rangers in hits, home runs and RBI this spring. (USATSI)

Ali Thanawalla

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Spring training is the time for top prospects to showcase their abilities and try to win a spot on an Opening Day roster. These youngsters were able to get the attention of their coaches and secured a spot with their big league clubs (statistics as of Friday, March 28):

Michael Choice - RF - Texas Rangers
Did the A’s make a mistake giving up Choice? Only time will tell, but the former A’s prospect led the Rangers in hits, home runs and RBI this spring. To make matters worse, Craig Gentry didn’t play for the A's while dealing with a back injury.

Yordano Ventura - SP - Kansas City Royals
On March 18, a day after the 22-year-old flamethrower struck out six batters in six shutout innings, the Royals announced Ventura would be a part of their rotation when the season started. In 20.1 innings, he struck out 18 and allowed four earned runs.

[RELATED: Ventura expected to pitch 180-200 innings this season]

Chris Owings - SS - Arizona Diamondbacks
Owings outplayed Didi Gregorious during the spring, and he started the first game against the Dodgers in Australia. The Diamondbacks may carry both on their Opening Day roster, but they reportedly started shopping Gregorious last week.

Mike Olt - 3B - Chicago Cubs
The former top prospect lost his touch in 2013 and was traded by Texas. But a monster spring that saw him launch five home runs has landed him a roster spot with the Cubs. Power is his calling card with 67 home runs and 68 doubles in 344 career minor league games.

[RELATED: Cubs see upside in Olt]

Kolten Wong - 2B - St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals thought so highly of Wong that they dealt David Freese this offseason so that they could move Matt Carpenter from second base to third base. Wong didn’t disappoint this spring, leading the Cardinals in hits and doubles.

Jonathan Schoop - 2B/3B - Baltimore Orioles
After getting a quick taste of the majors at the end of 2013, the 22-year old from Curacao hit .385 this spring and earned a spot on the Opening Day roster. He’ll split time between second and third base.

[RELATED: Can Jonathan Schoop play second base regularly?]