Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

10 times MLB superstars previewed their greatness by dominating in the Minor Leagues

Watch 10 MLB stars doing their thing in the Minors

Our favorite Major League stars weren't born Major League stars. First they were babies, then children, then teenagers, then some of them were 20-something college students. And then, before MLB, they were Minor League players. 

Whether it was Bryce Harper mashing home runs or Clayton Kershaw laying waste to lineups or Mike Trout doing a little bit of everything, the following 10 players previewed their talents for fans at every level of MiLB -- and were kind enough to get caught on video so we can continue enjoying these flashbacks for all posterity.

Mike Trout gave us hints of how good we was going to be

It's well-established at this point that Trout can do anything he pleases on a baseball diamond, as he seemingly bends all of MLB to his will. You can see glimpses of this greatness from his time in MiLB -- watching The Fish God's Minors highlights is like watching a minor deity's home movies.

Like in 2011 with the Double-A Arkansas Travelers, when Trout slugged a homer over a bouncy house.


Or hit a leadoff triple in Triple-A:

Or scored from first on a single:

Josh Donaldson's Triple-A walk-offs

The American League MVP is no stranger to dramatic moments. He has seven walk-off home runs in the Majors, but he's always had a penchant for heroics.


As you can see, Triple-A walk-offs are no less of a reason to celebrate.   

Clayton Kershaw, strikeout prince 

In 2015 with the Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw recorded 301 strikeouts, good for 11.6 Ks per nine innings. In 2007, with the Class A Great Lakes Loons, he racked up 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings.


Lorenzo Cain has never been in the habit of not catching baseballs 

Fun fact: No one has ever been able to get a ball past Lorenzo Cain in center field. Not in the Majors, not 4 1/2 years ago in Triple-A. Not ever. 


Reminder: Bryce Harper is absurdly young

Do you know how old Harper was when he hit his first grand slam in professional baseball?

Do you know how old Harper was when he hit his first walk-off home run in professional baseball?

HE WAS 18.

Not that Dellin Betances was intimidated by that

Speaking of Harper, here's Betances striking him out swinging in 2011. Sure, it was just a strikeout -- but when you're facing a guy who's capable of the things shown in the videos above, it's never just a strikeout.

The two have never faced each other in MLB, but in Double-A, the immovable object got the best of the unstoppable force.


Jose Fernandez was a Class A phenom 

Before he was inspiring haircut strikes and fantasies about his pitches, Fernandez was simply tearing it up in Class A. 

Francisco Lindor sent a lot of MiLB batters back to the dugout disappointed 

Since his big league callup in June, Lindor routinely made plays like these. As it turns out, he didn't just start magically robbing hits when he reached MLB. Just watch this gem from Class A:


Billy Hamilton has always been fast

Hey, remember when Hamilton swiped 155 BASES in 2012 between Class A and Double-A, setting a pro baseball record?

And we can't say he didn't warn us about his speed -- watch these inside-the-parkers he hit in Class A and Triple-A, and marvel at how cool he looked:


Matt Harvey, two-way threat

Mets pitchers drove in more runs (28) in 2015 than any other big league staff, and Harvey alone had seven RBIs. Once a proud member of #pitcherswhorake, always a proud member of #pitcherswhorake: 

And don't worry -- he threw plenty of heat, too:

Read More: Los Angeles AngelsCleveland IndiansLos Angeles DodgersKansas City RoyalsNew York YankeesCincinnati RedsMiami MarlinsToronto Blue JaysWashington NationalsNew York MetsMike TroutJose FernandezDellin BetancesClayton KershawFrancisco LindorMatt HarveyBilly HamiltonDavid PriceLorenzo CainJosh Donaldson