Both the Major and Minor League Baseball seasons are underway, making this as good of a time as any to bring back Prospect Watch. This week's edition, the second of the year, highlights the one prospect in each National League system that we're looking forward to tracking throughout the season. (We covered the American League last week.)

To be clear, this is not a roundabout way of identifying the best prospect in each system, though in some cases that individual is exactly who we picked to represent their clubs. Rather, for several teams we picked the player who we felt was most fun to watch, or who we believe has the most riding on this season. There are no wrong answers here, so consider it fair play if you disagree with our selections.

With that out of the way, let's get to the good stuff.

Prospect Watch

CF Druw Jones: We're excited to see Jones play again. Andruw's son and the No. 2 pick in last summer's draft tore his labrum while taking his first batting practice as a member of the Diamondbacks organization, thus delaying his professional debut. He recently singled off Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani during a spring training contest, giving us a glimpse of a matchup that could occur down the road, be it in a regular season contest or, if we dream a little, an All-Star Game. And yes, a fully healthy Jones has that kind of potential.

RHP Spencer Schwellenbach: Speaking of first-round picks making their professional debuts. Schwellenbach, formerly a two-way player at Nebraska, underwent Tommy John surgery after being selected in the second round of the 2021 draft. He's returned to the backfields this spring, firing strikes with a good fastball-slider combination. He's yet to make his official debut, but that'll change soon enough. Expect him to climb prospect lists this year.

1B Matt Mervis: The Cubs signed two first basemen this offseason, inking Trey Mancini to a two-year deal and Eric Hosmer to a one-year pact. Nevertheless, we think Mervis has a chance to spend serious time in the majors this season. He ended last year with a .977 OPS in 57 Triple-A games, showing off above-average strength and a propensity for hitting right-handers. Even if Mervis tops out as a platoon player, he'll have been a scouting and developmental win given he joined the Cubs as an undrafted free agent.

SS Elly De La Cruz: De La Cruz is a fascinating player. He's fast and strong and he has a chance to stick at shortstop despite being listed at 6-foot-5. However, he struck out in more than 30% of his plate appearances last season because of a subpar and swing-happy approach. It speaks to his ability to impact the baseball that he was still able to post above-average production. De La Cruz figures to spend most of this year in Triple-A, where he'll attempt to shore up that weakness. There's star potential here if he's able to make strides.

OF Zac Veen: Veen, the ninth pick in the 2020 draft, used to garner Jayson Werth comparisons because of his frame and skill set. He's coming off a rough introduction to Double-A, where he posted a .496 OPS and punched out 42 times in a 34-game sample. He did perform better in the Arizona Fall League, but again sputtered in big-league camp this spring. Veen just turned 21 in December, so there's no use quitting on him. We would just like to see him channel the natural hitting ability that made him an acclaimed prep player.

RHP Gavin Stone: Stone, the penultimate selection in the truncated 2020 draft, has a chance to reach the majors this spring. His arsenal features one of the best changeups in the minors, and last year he dominated in six Triple-A starts, amassing a 1.16 ERA and a 4.13 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Dodgers have a plethora of young arms to take starts as needed, including fellow changeup maestro Ryan Pepiot, but we have faith Stone will find his way.

SS Yiddi Cappe: The Marlins signed the lanky, well-rounded Cappe for almost $3 million in early 2021, but he didn't make his stateside debut until last year. In 67 total games, he batted .290/.328/.438 in the complex league and Low-A. Alas, most of that damage occurred prior to his promotion, as he posted a .679 OPS once he was moved to Jupiter. Cappe won't celebrate his 21st birthday until September, so we're content to see what he can do in his second tour there.

RHP Jacob Misiorowski: The Brewers' second-round pick last summer, Misiorowski is a 6-foot-7 right-hander with loud stuff and putrid command. He walked 45 batters in 76 innings last season at Crowder College (that's in Missouri, for those wondering), and he subsequently issued seven free passes to the 14 batters he faced in two professional assignments. Can the Brewers help him find the zone, or will his pitches prove to be too much to handle? We're unsure, but Milwaukee's second-round investment hints that they believe they can get him throwing strikes. Should that prove to be the case, they may have unearthed themselves a future big-league starter.

RHP Dominic Hamel: Hamel appealed to analytical front-office types coming out of Dallas Baptist because of his good Trackman readings. The Mets were able to pop him in the third round of the 2021 draft, and he did well to reach High-A in his first pro season. He most recently pitched for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Hamel has an above-average fastball-slider combination and he could, in theory, put himself in the mix to debut late this season or early next with a strong showing in Double-A. 

RHP Griff McGarry: It's been easy to lose track of McGarry in favor of the other big pitching prospects in the Phillies system, in Andrew Painter and Mick Abel. The former's injury means McGarry might be the first of the trio to reach the majors. He has big stuff, including a near-elite fastball-slider combination, but he's struggled with his command. To wit, he's walked more than five batters per nine innings in 35 professional appearances to date. Sloppy geography could leave McGarry pitching in a relief role. For now, we're holding out hope that he learns to throw enough strikes to hold down a rotation spot.

RHP Luis Ortiz: Not to be confused with the former Orioles and Rangers lefty of the same name, this Luis Ortiz made four starts for Pittsburgh's big-league club down the stretch. He showed off an upper-90s fastball and a slider that coerced a 47% whiff rate. Even so, the Pirates demoted him this winter in favor of opening the season with Vince Velasquez in their big-league rotation. Ortiz is almost certainly going to take that (or another) spot before long. We want to see if he can apply the lessons he learned from last year and this spring to his game, and, in the process, become a better pitcher along the way. 

C Ethan Salas: Salas is, by far, the youngest player highlighted in either piece of this series. He was born in 2006 (yikes) and he hasn't played in an official minor-league contest yet. What he has done is appear in a big-league spring training game while showing more polished defensive skills than his age suggests. He's a ways off from the majors, but he could eventually compete for the title of the game's best catching prospect. That journey begins this year.

LHP Carson Whisenhunt: Whisenhunt did not pitch for ECU last season after failing a performance-enhancing drug test. That mistake cost him, as he ended up slipping to the Giants in the second round. We thought he was one of the best arms in the draft entering the spring, and we think that he'll prove as much over the coming years provided that he stays healthy. The upshot here, for those wondering, is a strike-throwing lefty with a solid three-pitch mix, including a good changeup. The Giants have a solid track record of getting even more than expected from pitchers. Who knows, maybe Whisenhunt levels up.

LHP Matthew Liberatore: It feels like folks have been waiting on Liberatore to claim a spot in the Cardinals rotation forever. It hasn't been quite that long, but St. Louis acquired him as part of the trade that sent outfielder Randy Arozarena to Tampa Bay in early 2020 -- right before the global pandemic hit and distorted all sense of time -- and he's spent the past two seasons in Triple-A. There were some rumblings this spring that he had fixed his fastball spin. He was also reportedly throwing the ball harder. Color us intrigued. 

RHP Jarlin Susana: We'll end this piece and series with Susana, who went from relative unknown to hot commodity at last year's trade deadline. He was, if you'll recall, identified as one of the key parts of the trade that shipped Juan Soto to San Diego thanks to his power arsenal and upside. Susana just turned 19 in late March, but he's already listed at 6-foot-6, 235 pounds and he has touched above the 100-mph threshold in the past. The Nationals had him throw 10 innings above the complex last season, and we're intrigued to see how he fares with a heavier workload in A-ball this go around.