These are the 5 AL East prospects to watch

May 24th, 2018

The 2018 MLB Draft is less than two weeks away, which means the focus will soon shift to the next generation of talent, but there are already some top prospects knocking on the door in the American League East.

As part of MLB.com's weekly series that dives into some of the biggest storylines within the division, here's a closer look at some prospects who deserve some of your attention.

ORIOLES

Prospect:
, RHP

MLB Pipeline rank:No. 3 (Orioles)

Why you should keep an eye on him: The Orioles are going through a tough time, and there isn't much on the horizon in the Minor League system when it comes to top-flight pitching. Harvey could be an exception. The son of former All-Star closer Bryan Harvey, Hunter was terrific in his 2014 full-season debut, earning a spot in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at just 19, roughly one year after Baltimore had selected him with the 22nd overall pick in the '13 Draft. But elbow issues slowed Harvey's progress, and he missed part of '14 and all of '15 before ultimately undergoing Tommy John surgery in June 2016. Harvey finally returned to the mound last July, and he looked like his old self while excelling across three levels. His injury history aside, Harvey remains loaded with upside. Now a member of the Orioles' 40-man roster, he has already made a trip to Baltimore (thought he didn't get into a game), and he could still achieve his projection as a solid MLB starter -- an area of need for the O's.

ETA: Harvey will be back in orange and black this season, his debut a much-anticipated event among Orioles faithful.

RED SOX

Prospect:
, LHP

MLB Pipeline rank: No. 15 (Red Sox)

Why you should keep an eye on him: Beeks has been electric for Triple-A Pawtucket this season, posting a 2.28 ERA in nine starts and striking out 65 in 43 1/3 innings.

ETA: As soon as this season. If the Red Sox have an injury in the rotation, Beeks could be the next man up. A 12th-round Draft pick in 2014, Beeks has progressed steadily in his time in the farm system.

YANKEES

Prospect:, LHP

MLB Pipeline rank:No. 3 (Yankees), No. 44 (MLB)

Why you should keep an eye on him: Sheffield recently earned a promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after posting a 2.25 ERA in five starts at Double-A Trenton, where he struck out 39 against 14 walks in 28 innings. Though he is still working on refining his command, Sheffield's three-pitch mix continues to excite the Yankees, who project him as a mid-rotation starter in the near future. Sheffield has served a brief stint on the seven-day disabled list with shoulder tightness, but he is set to return to action this week. A prize of the July 2016 trade with the Indians, Sheffield could be an option for the big league squad this summer.

ETA: Sheffield could get his first call to the Majors some time this season.

BLUE JAYS

Prospect:
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B

MLB Pipeline rank:No. 1 (Blue Jays), No. 2 (MLB)

Why you should keep an eye on him: Guerrero arguably is the Blue Jays' most hyped prospect of all-time, and there is a real expectation that he will develop into one of the best players in baseball. Double-A pitchers have been no match for the Dominican native, who has a ridiculous .425/.479/.694 slash line and 45 RBIs in 41 games. It has been almost too easy for the son of a Hall of Famer, and even at just 19 years of age, his bat appears to be big league-ready.

ETA: Most people would say 2018, but the Blue Jays are taking a very cautious approach here. Guerrero is all but assured of having a stint at Triple-A Buffalo before making the jump to the Major Leagues. That means his arrival in Toronto is not going to happen any time soon, and there's still a very real chance he won't be promoted until late April of next year.

RAYS

Prospect:, SS

MLB Pipeline rank: No. 2 (Rays), No. 22 (MLB)

Why you should keep an eye on him: Farm director Mitch Lukevics has long said that Adames has the "It" factor. He has succeeded at every level since coming to the Rays in a 2014 trade that sent to the Tigers. Adames has a slick glove, he hits for average and he hits for power.

ETA: The Rays brought him up Monday, though they've already said he will be returned to Triple-A Durham, even though he homered in his first Major League game. He shouldn't be back down in the Minors for long.