September is an exciting time in the baseball season.
For many organizations, every game in September is hugely important as teams battle for limited playoff spots.
For others, September is a time to preview the future of their respective franchises, giving managers and fans the opportunity to see what they have in their prospects.
With the Blue Jays 6.5 games back of the second AL Wildcard spot, it may be pessimistic to say that the 2012 season is lost. But without Jose Bautista, Brandon Morrow and the Ricky Romero Jays fans used to know, it'll be surprising to see playoff baseball in Toronto this fall.
However, there's always the excitement of seeing the Jays' prospects get a chance to display their talents with the big club.
Here's a look at the prospects that will shine in September.
According to MLB.com, Moises Sierra is the Jays' 15th-best prospect, behind high-end players like Travis d'Arnaud and Anthony Gose as well as long-term pitchers like Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Sanchez.
However, other than d'Arnaud, Sierra has had the strongest 2012 of any of the Jays' big-name prospects in Triple-A.
The 23-year-old Dominican had 17 home runs with 63 RBI while posting a solid .832 OPS in 100 games with Las Vegas.
And since he was called-up a few weeks ago, Sierra has exceeded all expectations, smacking six hits in 16 at-bats.
It will be very interesting to see how Sierra settles into the Jays' lineup going forward. The Jays don't exactly need outfielders right now but if he keeps hitting the ball like he has been, it will be tough to send him back to Triple-A.
After starting his major-league career with only two hits in five games, Anthony Gose has become much more comfortable on the big stage.
In his last 10 games, Gose has raised his average 100 points from .143 to .243, has his first two RBI and his first two stolen bases. Perhaps most importantly, he looks more confident and relaxed, something that late-season call-ups are meant to do for prospects.
With Jose Bautista returning soon, it will be interesting to see if Gose sticks around. But if he does, he will end 2012 with two and a half months of MLB experience which will only help his development.
September could be Gose's chance to show Alex Anthopoulos that he deserves a starting spot in 2013.
Baseball America's No. 67 ranked prospect pre-2012, Jake Marisnick has had a big minor-league moving year.
He started 2012 in A+ with Dunedin and, after 65 games was promoted to Double-A New Hampshire. Since being called up, Marisnick has not been spectacular by any means. His .289 OBP is worrisome and he has had problems adjusting to more powerful pitching.
But that doesn't mean Marisnick won't get a brief shot with the Blue Jays at some point this fall.
He's a few years away, but Anthopoulos and Jays' management might think that arguably their best outfield prospect would benefit from some real world experience. He's certainly part of the outfield equation going forward so a September call-up wouldn't be out of the question.
"Hech" was called-up on Sunday and has struggled in his first four games with the Blue Jays.
He has only one hit and has struck-out five times in 11 at-bats.
However, Hechavarria has potential to emerge as the next Jays shortstop. He has never been a game-breaker with his bat, but his .312 / .362 / .424 line in Triple-A shows that he can get the job done against quality pitching.
And he can do spectacular things on the defensive side of the ball. I know he might sound like a younger, poor-man's Yunel Escobar but his defence is so highly regarded that Jays fans will have something to watch with Hechavarria in August and September.
Of course, Travis d'Arnaud would have been on this list if not for a season-ending posterior cruciate ligament injury. He was having a great year at the plate and possesses much more defensive ability than JP Arencibia. He'll get his shot in Spring Training.
Sean O'Sullivan, who was acquired from the Royals in June has been lights out as a starter with Las Vegas, going 7-1 with a 2.16 ERA in nine starts. He also has posted a dominant .977 WHIP in those appearances. It wouldn't be surprising to see O'Sullivan get a look at some point this fall.
And David Cooper seems to be a part of the Jays roster, graduating from the vague status of a "call-up". He still remains a work-in-progress but has certainly replaced Adam Lind as a much more reliable first baseman. Cooper's finish to the 2012 campaign will very much affect some of the offseason decisions made by Blue Jays' management.