This article is part of our Minor League Barometer series.
The minor league season extends through September. But as discussed before, the big clubs are only allowed two extra slots for the final month of the season. As a result, many top-flight prospects will be forced to stay in the minors instead of getting their first taste of action at the highest level. Nevertheless, there have been plenty of phenoms who have helped their cause in 2021 even if they didn't make it to the bigs. In the final Minor League Barometer of the year, we'll outline which up-and-comers made the biggest moves and improved their stock. As always, this list is not exhaustive. Similarly, we will discuss some neophytes who have really lost some of their prospect luster along the way.
Anthony Volpe, SS, NYY – Perhaps no prospect improved his outlook as much as Volpe, though fellow Yankees minor leaguer Oswald Peraza also enjoyed a breakout campaign. But it's Volpe who appears to have ascended to virtually the top of the prospect rankings. Only 20, he's slashing .293/.420/.602 with 24 home runs, 82 RBI and two steals in 98 games between Low-A and High-A. Volpe has an advanced, patient approach at the dish with a mastery of the strike zone well beyond his years. He also has that power/speed combination fantasy participants seek. Add in a type of Derek Jeter-esque way in which Volpe carries himself along with the ability to hit for average, and it's clear why he's now considered among the best in baseball.
Zac Veen, OF, COL – Still a teenager,