Earning a spot among Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects is typically a sure sign for a player that the bright lights of big league ballparks aren't too far off in the distance. Yet a select group of Top 100 players will be able to boast an additional distinction this season, one that shows they have truly arrived: bobblehead status.
At least 11 members of this year's Top 100 Prospects class will be celebrated in bobblehead form at ballparks around the minors, and that number could grow as minor league teams finalize their promotional schedules and get a better feel for what players will be on the roster. Another handful of players are being memorialized in other varieties of memorabilia.
Becoming a bobblehead is no small feat. Minor league teams often center their top promotional campaigns of a season around bobbleheads. The Memphis Redbirds, for example, are rolling out a homegrown stars series that includes Top 100 Prospects Carlos Martinez and Kolten Wong, as well as current big leaguer Michael Wacha.
Many teams choose not to include minor leaguers in their promotional campaigns, in part because it's difficult to predict if the player will be on the roster when the giveaway rolls around, and they prefer to wait until a player reaches the big leagues.
“We tend not to do things until guys are in the majors or on the cusp,” a minor league team official wrote in an email. “And since the planning for the upcoming season began in the fall, we don’t take the gamble on promoting a player that we may or may not get in the future.”
Now that the Top 100 Prospects list has been unveiled—as well as a list that includes scouting reports for subscribers—check out what minor league teams will be passing out Top 100 bobbleheads and souvenirs, and plan your road trip accordingly.
|Top 100 Bobbleheads|
|Rank||Player (2014 Org.)||Minor League Team||Date|
|No. 2||Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox)||Portland Sea Dogs||July 21|
|No. 6||Miguel Sano (Twins)||New Britain Rock Cats||May 14|
|No. 7||Carlos Correa (Astros)||Quad Cities River Bandits||Date TBA|
|No. 10||Gregory Polanco (Pirates)||West Virginia Power||Aug. 25|
|No. 11||Taijuan Walker (Mariners)||Tacoma Rainiers||April 3*|
|No. 13||Francisco Lindor (Indians)||Lake County Captains||Aug. 23|
|No. 25||Nick Castellanos (Tigers)||West Michigan Whitecaps||May 9|
|No. 31||Carlos Martinez (Cardinals)||Memphis Redbirds||Aug. 22|
|No. 36||Albert Almora (Cubs)||Kane County Cougars||Aug. 12|
|No. 43||Billy Hamilton (Reds)||Cincinnati Reds||July 12|
|No. 58||Kolten Wong (Cardinals)||Memphis Redbirds||May 16|
|*For season-ticket holders only|
|Top 100 Souvenirs|
|Rank||Player (2014 Org.)||Souvenir||Minor League Team||Date|
|No. 5||Javier Baez (Cubs)||T-Shirt||Iowa Cubs||Date TBA|
|No. 14||Addison Russell (Athletics)||Mesh Jersey||Stockton Ports||June 6|
|No. 14||Addison Russell (Athletics)||Garden Gnome||Sacramento River Cats||Aug. 1|
|No. 22||Jameson Taillon (Pirates)||Taillon Tuxedo T-Shirt||Altoona Curve||June 27|