Because the baseball season is so long, it’s often unwise to put too much stock in early-season performances before teams and players have a chance to find themselves. This is particularly true for prospects, who can be even more volatile while needing even more time to figure things out.

The other angle, however, is that these young players have provided less to go on in their still-nascent careers—they are prospects for a reason—making any noticeable change in production that much more stark.

On the pages to follow, there are 10 prospects whose early 2015 performances stand out—for better or for worse—and could indicate a new path.

Keep in mind that these players are still eligible as prospects—meaning, they have not exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the majors—and also are currently in the minors. That rules out, say, Preston Tucker, the Houston Astros outfielder who was leading the minors in home runs and RBI at the time of his call-up this week to help cover while George Springer is out.

Here’s another key, not-to-be-glossed-over aspect to all of this: In finding prospects who are taking big steps forward so far, the choices were limited only to those who either struggled or were hurt last year; conversely, in picking youngsters who are taking big steps backward to date, the criteria considers only those highly regarded players who were good and healthy in 2014.

In other words, there’s no Carlos Correa or Corey Seager here. Both are off to fantastic starts that could be called steps forward, but they already were great in the first place. Same goes for others such as, say, Alex Reyes, Steven Matz and Raimel Tapia, who were good in 2014 and look even better in 2015; or Robert Stephenson, Lucas Sims and Chris Stratton, who were shaky last year and haven’t done much about it yet this season.

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