For some lucky prospects, their development goes exactly to plan, and they smoothly transition through their stops at each system on their way to a successful big-league career.
For most, however, there are bumps in the road. Baseball is hard, and whether you're making your living on the mound or with the bat, there are going to be points in your development where you have to make significant adjustments if you're going to reach the lofty expectations placed upon you.
"It's one of the most underrated aspects of the game," a National League executive said. "These are barely adults, often teenagers, who have to figure things out while playing an extremely difficult game.
"People seem to think that natural talent will just take over, but talent is only part of it. A large part of it, certainly, but you have to be able to deal with the failures this game provides."
This year saw plenty of talented prospects struggle for various reasons in 2017, and it'll make the 2018 season a big one for their development. Here's a look at six prospects -- three pitchers and three hitters -- who face make-or-break seasons next year.