Cy Young – RHP Roansy Contreras
This is also a pretty easy one; Roansy Contreras is arguably the most talented pitcher on the 40-man roster right now. He has become one of the National League’s best pitching prospects after massive strides forward in 2021. Now, he’ll be in line to take over a starting rotation spot early into the season, if not from the outset of opening day.
Contreras was one of the highly talented players at Altoona this year. Although he was only limited to 54.1 innings, the right-hander put up impressive numbers. Contreras had a 2.65 ERA, 2.74 FIP, and 0.90 WHIP. He struck out well over a third of batters faced with a 34.9% strikeout rate but also had an equally as good 5.5% walk rate. Contreras only gave up five home runs for a 0.83 HR/9. But with a 47.5% ground ball rate he could have put up an HR/9 below 0.70.
Not only does Contreras have the great numbers, but he has the stuff to back it up. Contreras saw his fastball velo go from 90-95 MPH to 96-98 MPH. He was hitting the upper-90s with ease while showing a phenomenal curveball and plus slider. His change-up is considered in the below-average to average range, but with plus command and three other great offerings, he easily has the stuff to prove himself as a long-term arm.
Contreras made his major league debut at the end of the season, firing off three scoreless innings with a walk and 4 strikeouts. Contreras will start the year at Indianapolis. Although service time always becomes a center point of discussion when demoting a talented prospect at the end of Spring Training, he only has 6.2 innings pitched above Double-A. Sure three of those came in the major leagues, but it will do more good than bad to let Contreras make a few more Triple-A starts before he reappears in the majors.