© USA TODAY Sports

Michael Harris' recent extension with the Braves is just the latest example of players locking themselves into fair market extensions early in their careers. If this trend is here to stay, we'll take a look at which players could be next.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Corbin Carroll (OF, 21)

Put Carroll in conversation of “players who could get a huge contract extension before ever taking a MLB at bat”. The 21 year old outfielder has 600 minor league plate appearances, and he’s gotten better at every level. The #2 prospect in baseball could be a September callup for the floundering Diamondbacks, but a full-time promotion seems imminent. Luis Robert’s 6 year, $50M deal in Chicago seems a likely starting point here, though Carroll may want a year in the big league’s to show his talents before signing anything

Don’t let the current MLB standings fool you. Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, and recently drafted Dru Jones are all legit positional talents, and 6 of Arizona’s Top 10 prospects are pitchers. This is a team prepping for a run.

Atlanta Braves

Vaughn Grissom (SS, 21)

Yea, he hit a towering home run over the green monster to start his MLB career, but we’re looking at the whole picture here. Dansby Swanson is a pending UFA (having one of the best seasons of his career), so there’s a logical hole at the position forthcoming, but Grissom might not be ready defensively to step into that big of a role. With the rest of the infield completely intact (Riley, Albies, Olson), Atlanta probably doesn’t want to take a chance at such an important position - but they might. 

Baltimore Orioles

Adley Rutschman (C, 24)

The Orioles have been one of the better stories in MLB this season, and Rutschman’s promotion is a big reason why. Rutschman is one of the best offensive catching prospects we’ve seen in years, and could be a future captain for this organization. Baltimore appears ready to take the next steps forward in their rebuild process, and are expected to be aggressive this winter. As we move closer towards an automated strike zone, forward thinking teams will place an emphasis on offensive catchers as their defensive contributions will be minimized.

The problem? MLB currently possesses 4 catchers with an average salary north of $10M. The average signed age of those 4 contracts: 30-years-old. Buster Posey’s 8 year $159M extension with the Giants at age 26 was the last young catcher contract - and it was signed 10 years ago. Baltimore probably wants to see a full 2023 season under his belt before any sort of offer is made.

Boston Red Sox

Rafael Devers (3B, 25)

Devers has been in the league for the better part of 5 seasons now, including back to back All Star selections, and two Top 12 MVP candidacies. The 25 year old projects to an 11 year, $368M contract in our system right now. Are the Red Sox willing to bite this bullet before Devers enters his final year of team control?

Cleveland Guardians

Andres Gimenez (SS, 23)

Acquired from the Mets in the Francisco Lindor trade, Gimenez has had a breakout campaign in 2022 (currently ranks as the 7th best value in the league according to our True Value Statistic). He becomes arbitration eligible for the first time next year, so there’s no rush to a new contract, but (despite a strong pipeline of middle infielders in the system), the Guardians have a track record of signing blossoming young talent to less than market extensions - so why wouldn’t they at least try here?

Detroit Tigers

Spencer Torkelson (1B, 22), Riley Greene (CF, 21)

With general manager Al Avila now out, the Tigers “process” appears to be at a standstill, despite big offseason contracts for Javy Baez & Eduardo Rodriguez. While the organization still possesses strong young position players like Greene, their arms (Matt Manning, Casey Mize) leave much to be desired.

Will the next front office look to trade a few of these bats in order to quickly fill these pitching holes? Or will they zag, and lock in these young position players, looking to solidify a core that can hopefully attract offseason talent to Detroit? Easier said than done.

Houston Astros

Kyle Tucker (OF, 25)

On pace for back to back 30 HR/90 RBI campaigns, Tucker isn’t just a complementary piece to Houston’s puzzle, he’s a core element. He’s team-controlled through 2025, which aligns with the expirations of both Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman’s contracts, but Tucker may be the centerpiece for Houston’s next generation. He projects to a 6 year, $180M contract currently.

Kansas City Royals

Bobby Witt Jr. (SS, 22)

Witt is the perfect candidate for an early extension, as he’s filling up the stat sheet (power, speed, etc..) despite battling injuries and a lackluster lineup around him. The Royals aren’t going to attract major free agents, and their payroll going forward is minimal at best. Locking in one of their own makes perfect sense, and an adjusted version of Wander Franco’s 11 year, $182M contract should be the floor.

Seattle Mariners

Julio Rodriguez (OF, 21)

The clock just started on J-Rod, and he’s already an All-Star selection and soon to be rookie of the year nomination deep. Will the Mariners follow the Padres’ lead with Fernando Tatis Jr. (bad timing), and build out a career long contract now before the going gets too good? FTJ was 21 when he signed his 14 year, $340M contract. J-Rod will be 22 this December. With legitimate 5-tool production already here, Seattle should be attempting to lock in this deal now. The per 162 game comparisons for these two players are extremely close, with Tatis Jr. projecting to produce slightly more power on average. An extension in the $340M ballpark makes sense.