This article is part of our Minor League Barometer series.
The floodgates may soon start to open in terms of prospect promotions. The minor league season begins next week, but phenoms are already making their way to the big leagues en masse. Luis Patino pitched for the Rays on Sunday as an opener and hurled 2.2 scoreless innings while fanning three batters. Michael Kopech dazzled for the White Sox Sunday in a surprisingly long outing by punching out 10 batters over five innings. He had previously been relegated to the bullpen, but shined in his first start of the year. And Deivi Garcia got his first start for the Yankees on Monday. All three hurlers are among the top pitching prospects in baseball, while names like Logan Gilbert, Nate Pearson and Daulton Jefferies could soon be joining the fray for their respective clubs.
As we round out the first month of Major League action, here are some additional neophytes to keep tabs on.
Ryan Weathers, P, SD – The question repeated during the spring was whether MacKenzie Gore would make the starting rotation, or at the very least be kept as a reliever on the active roster. The Padres instead retained Weathers, a high draft pick and the son of former big leaguer David. After all, it was he who pitched in the postseason in 2020. The Padres even went to a six-man rotation recently, and Weathers delivered an inspiring start and tossed 5.2 scoreless innings against the defending champion Dodgers while only allowing one hit and walking one batter while fanning six. On