September Call-Ups 2012: Predictions for Every MLB Team
Will the Rangers give Jurickson Profar, the top prospect in baseball, the call this September? Photo Courtesy of MILB.com
As the calendar gets ready to flip to September, Major League Baseball teams will be making decisions about who is ready for at least a look.
Teams will have the luxury of expanding their rosters to give the regulars a break down the stretch and to to see what some new blood can do down the stretch.
For playoff contenders, now is the time when they get a look at potential impact players they weren't counting on having when the season started. Just think about what Francisco Rodriguez did for the Angels in 2002, or Joba Chamberlain's "Welcome to the Show" moment with the Yankees in 2007.
There will be September call-ups who go on to be difference-makers in the postseason race. With the addition of a second wild-card team, if you have one impact player among the September call-ups, it could be enough to push you over the top.
For non-contenders, now is the time when they get a look at players who can play a role in 2013. All of these call-ups are playing for something, which can make for a lot of really good baseball that you weren't expecting to see.
So with just 24 hours before teams can expand their rosters, here are our predictions for who will get the call for all 30 teams.
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Record: 79-51, 1st Place in National League East
Key Stats: 3.26 ERA (1st in NL), 567 Runs Scored (7th in NL)
The biggest need for the Nationals this September is quite obvious. They will need to find a starting pitcher who can fill innings that won't be going to Stephen Strasburg.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson has reportedly told Strasburg that he has two or three starts left before they shut him down for the season.
Aside from that, the Nationals could look to add a few hitters to their lineup just to try to catch a spark. They have a lot of power already—their 140 home runs is fourth in the NL—-but because their on-base percentage is .318 (10th in the NL), they are middle of the road in runs scored.
Unfortunately, there does not appear to be imminent help on the horizon in that regard. But in a small sample size, you never know what can happen.
John Lannan, SP
4.30 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 164 Hits, 86 K, 50 BB in 148.2 IP (Triple-A Syracuse)
Big league experience; would take Strasburg's spot in the rotation.
Eury Perez, OF
.314/.344/.361, 22 Extra-Base Hits, 51 Stolen Bases (Across Three Levels)
Has no power whatsoever, but has great speed and can be a valuable asset as a pinch-runner.
Corey Brown, OF
.285/.365/.518, 23 Home Runs, 18 Stolen Bases (Triple-A Syracuse)
.188/.188/.438 in 16 MLB at-bats in 2012
A 26-year-old journeyman who has shown good power in Triple-A; strikes out a lot, but could be available to give outfielders a day off
Winslow Townson/Getty Images
Record: 74-57, 2nd Place In National League East; Lead NL Wild Card
Key Stats: 593 Runs Scored (4th in NL), 3.62 ERA (4th in NL)
There might be some trepidation with fans in Atlanta this year after last year's collapse, but this team is better than the 2011 team.
The biggest area of concern is in the starting rotation. Tim Hudson is the stabilizing force at the top. Kris Medlen has been masterful since moving from the bullpen, though he is in his first full season since coming off Tommy John surgery late in 2010.
After that, there are a lot of question marks. Tommy Hanson is not the same pitcher he used to be. Mike Minor has pitched much better the last two months to get his ERA under 5.00.
The good news is the Braves are not short on pitching depth in the minors, so they will have plenty of options to choose from.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez did say that there won't be "any surprises" with September call-ups, so take that for what it's worth.
Randall Delgado, SP
4.06 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 47 Hits, 6 HRs Allowed, 51 K, 21 BB in 44.1 IP (Triple-A Gwinnett)
4.42 ERA, 89 Hits, 8 HRs Allowed, 73 K, 42 BB in 91.2 IP (Atlanta)
The 22-year-old got a demotion in July because Jair Jurrjens' arm was still attached to his body even though he couldn't pitch. He should get another look in the rotation. At the very least, he could be a long reliever in the playoff rotation.
J.C. Boscan, C
.189/.264/.284, 3 HRs, 23 RBI
Not really a prospect, but a catcher the Braves can use to spell Brian McCann a few days in September. Mark Bowman of MLB.com wrote that he would likely get a call-up.
Anthony Varvaro, RP
2.11 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 37 Hits, 1 HR Allowed, 47 K, 21 BB (Triple-A Gwinnett)
5.40 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 16, 2 HR Allowed, 21 K, 9 BB (Atlanta)
Another prediction from Bowman, Varvaro will likely be brought on board as a way to give other guys in the bullpen a break.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Key Stats: 3.97 ERA (10th in NL), 540 Runs Scored (11th in NL)
The Phillies are in an interesting spot. They are still technically built to win right now with that starting rotation, but age and injuries have shined a bright light on several problems this franchise faces.
That said, September could be a slow month for the Phillies. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has said he doesn't "anticipate bringing very many people to the big leagues."
Since that is the case, it is hard to predict anything for this team. Plus, the Phillies really don't have any players in the upper levels of the minors right now who are ready to go. It also hurts that players like Domonic Brown and Phillippe Aumont have already been brought up.
Tyson Gillies, OF
.299/.371/.441, 4 HRs, 58 Runs Scored, 25 Extra-Base Hits (Across Three Levels)
Since Amaro is playing coy, we have to do a lot of speculation. Gillies is a likely candidate simply because he has had a strong season in Double-A Reading. He is not an impact player, nor is he likely to be a starter for a playoff contender next season, but the Phillies should at least give him a shot.
New York Mets
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Record: 61-70, Fourth Place In National League East
Key Stats: 548 Runs Scored (9th in NL), 4.13 ERA (11th in NL)
After a surprisingly good first half, the Mets have played like the team everyone expected after the All-Star break.
On the plus side, Matt Harvey's stellar debut has people in Queens buzzing about the future. The next big prospect chip to fall will be Zack Wheeler, though I would bet good money he doesn't see Citi Field until next season.
There are a few intriguing options for the Mets to look at this September, with most of them being former top prospects who have been lost in the shuffle due to injuries or poor performance and need a look for the team to determine their role.
Jenrry Mejia, RP
3.06 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 64 Hits, 4 HRs Allowed, 34 K, 24 BB in 67.2 IP (Triple-A Buffalo)
Mejia has been on the radar for years, but arm problems have kept him from moving quickly. He had Tommy John surgery in 2011, which all but sealed his fate as a future reliever. He has a great arm and the Mets are in desperate need of bullpen help for next year, so they might as well see how close Mejia is to being ready.
Collin McHugh, SP
3.42 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 60 Hits, 8 HRs Allowed, 70 K, 29 BB in 73.2 IP (Triple-A Buffalo)
McHugh could end up being the beneficiary of Johan Santana's injury. The Mets are going to look at all their options this month to see what they have for the rotation in 2013.
Having already made one start in the big leagues, a seven-inning, nine-strikeout performance, McHugh is going to be given every chance to succeed this September.
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images
Record: 59-72, Last Place in National League East
Key Stats: 498 Runs Scored (14th in National League), 4.13 ERA (12th in National League)
What a disaster this franchise is right now. With the exception of Giancarlo Stanton in the big leagues, almost everything that could go wrong with the Marlins has. They traded Hanley Ramirez to Los Angeles, Anibal Sanchez to Detroit, acquired Carlos Lee and spent a ton of money to sit in last place.
They did get Jacob Turner back in the Sanchez trade, though his status has taken a hit due to a dip in velocity on his fastball and overall lack of improvement in his stuff.
On the plus side, their top two prospects entering the year—outfielder Christian Yelich and starting pitcher Jose Fernandez—have elevated their status with stellar seasons. That doesn't help the Marlins right now, but it is at least something.
Manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters that he isn't expecting a lot of shuffling in September because the names that you would look to for a call-up are "already there."
Brett Hayes, C
.356/.397/.576, 3 HRs, 21 Hits (Triple-A New Orleans)
.202/.229/.254, 23 Hits in 114 at-bats with Miami
Most teams will carry three catchers on the roster in September. Hayes has already been in Miami this season, but was sent down when Rob Brantly, another acquisition in the Sanchez trade, was brought up.
At 28, he doesn't have a real future in the big leagues, but could end up being a backup if he can show enough defensive prowess behind the plate.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Record: 80-52, 1st Place in National League Central
Key Stats: 577 Runs Scored (6th in National League), 3.46 ERA (2nd in National League)
The Reds have had a remarkable season, especially when you consider that Joey Votto has missed the last six weeks with a knee injury.
With Votto looking like he will return on Saturday, there is no doubt that he will be their most important player in September.
Since the Reds hold a comfortable 8.5-game lead in the division, they can afford to give a lot of young players a look in September. However, Dusty Baker is so anti-young players that even if someone does get called up, he probably won't play.
The name on everyone's mind is Billy Hamilton, but general manager Walt Jocketty has said that he "probably" won't get the call.
Todd Redmond, SP
3.31 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 145 Hits, 133 K, 36 BB in 146.2 IP (Two Triple-A Teams)
The Reds can afford to take some chances with their starting rotation this month. Redmond has performed well in Triple-A, though he is 27 years old. He should get a chance to at least make a spot start this month.
St. Louis Cardinals
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Record: 71-60, Second in National League Central, Lead Second Wild-Card Spot
Key Stats: 633 Runs Scored (1st in National League), 3.75 ERA (7th in National League)
On paper, the Cardinals should be the best team in the National League Central, if not all of baseball. The depth in their lineup is better than any NL club, though there are a few players who look tired right now.
Since games aren't played on paper, we have to judge them based on what they have done. Thanks to a bad bullpen, they are a very good team that will have to fight to stay in the playoffs.
Because they are in a battle with four other teams for one playoff spot, they might not want to take a chance this September. However, there is one big chip they have to play that could swing the pendulum in their favor.
Shelby Miller, SP
4.89 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 133 Hits, 9 HRs, 151 K, 50 BB in 130.2 IP (Triple-A Memphis)
Club will deny it up to the day of announcement, but I'm hearing strong sentiment exists to promote Shelby Miller after AAA season.— Joe Strauss (@JoeStrauss) August 27, 2012
Ignore the ERA and WHIP because Miller has gotten back to his old self over the last two months. In his last 55.2 innings pitched, he has an ERA of 3.40, striking out 65, allowing 46 hits and walking 11.
His stuff and status are back to being what they were when everyone was talking about him as one of the two or three best pitching prospects in the game.
The Cardinals have enough depth in the rotation to call him up and use him as a reliever, if they are so inclined. He is an impact arm who can turn the race in the Cardinals' favor if given the chance.
J. Meric/Getty Images
Record: 70-60, 3rd Place in National League Central
Key Stats: 3.69 ERA (6th in National League), 541 Runs Scored (10th in National League)
Unlike last year's fluky first half that fooled people into thinking they were contenders, the Pirates were better built this year and have found a way to hang around the playoff race into September.
They are fading right now thanks to slumps by Andrew McCutchen, James McDonald and A.J. Burnett. If those three can't right the ship in a hurry, those playoff chances are going to go up in smoke.
The Pirates don't have a lot of potential impact players to call up—Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are not coming, sorry—but they can add depth to the big league roster.
Tony Sanchez, C
.247/.332/.392, 8 HRs, 41 RBIs, 78 K, 39 BB (Across Two Levels)
Sanchez is a former first-round pick whose stock has tumbled in the last two years as he has been pushed up the ladder. He did have a .370 on-base percentage at Double-A before being moved to Indianapolis, but he was repeating the level as a 24-year-old.
Justin Wilson, SP
3.78 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 138 K, 66 BB in 135.2 IP (Triple-A Indianapolis)
As mentioned before, Burnett and McDonald are scuffling. If that keeps up, the Pirates are going to need to find a starter who can at least eat some innings. Wilson has performed quite well in Triple-A this season, so he should be given a shot.
He has a good arm, pumping mid-90s velocity, and can pitch in the rotation or out of the bullpen.
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
Record: 62-68, Fourth Place in National League Central
Key Stats: 609 Runs Scored (3rd in National League), 4.26 ERA (13th in National League)
For all the talk about Prince Fielder leaving, the Brewers offense has not really missed a beat. They are still third in the league in runs scored.
Their biggest problem has been the complete collapse of their pitching staff. Zack Greinke was great while he was there, but because the team fell so far out of contention early, the front office had no choice but to deal him.
The farm system did get better after the trade with the Angels, though it is still not great by any means.
Tyler Thornburg, SP
2.89 ERA, 106 K, 35 BB, 89 Hits in 109 IP (Across Two Levels)
Thornburg's first run with the Brewers did not go well, but if he is put in the right situation, he can be a quality big leaguer for a long time.
He could turn into a No. 4 or 5 starter in the big leagues, or if his home run problems persist, he could move to the bullpen, kick his velocity up a little bit and be a reliever.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Record: 50-80, 5th Place in National League Central
Key Stats: 4.47 ERA (14th in National League), 488 Runs Scored (15th in National League)
Cubs fans are going to have their patience tested for the next few years, which is not exactly breaking news. The new regime is doing exactly what it needs to in order to get this franchise back to prominence, but it is going to take a long time.
Their best prospects are in the lower levels of the minors, so don't expect to see them until at least 2014.
This September is not likely to feature a lot of movement from the Cubs. The team has said there won't be many moves, though there are a couple of position players listed who are obvious candidates to get a shot.
Tony Campana, OF
.280/.338/.329, 1 HR, 18 Stolen Bases (Triple-A Iowa)
Campana is one of those players who is more fun to think about than actually watch. He has incredible speed, though he is not a great baserunner.
He has the ability to change the game with his legs, but can't really do anything else. He has no power, doesn't make enough contact to be a threat and doesn't have enough patience to get on base.
Still, the Cubs could use him as a pinch-runner and part-time starter. It's not like they will lose anything by playing him.
Adrian Cardenas, 2B
.300/.381/.461, 3 HRs, 30 Runs Scored, 32 RBI (Triple-A Iowa)
Cardenas was already given a shot by the Cubs this season. In 32 games, he hit .234/.265/.362 with 10 strikeouts in 47 at-bats.
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Record: 40-91, Last Place in National League Central
Key Stats: 478 Runs Scored (Last in National League), 4.74 ERA (15th in National League)
Would anyone be surprised if the Astros failed to win four more games to avoid tying the record for most losses in a season?
People can laugh at the Astros right now, but general manager Jeff Luhnow is doing exactly what needed to be done with this franchise. It is going to be a long and painful process, so patience will be a virtue.
The Astros have already made a few moves that make it difficult to predict what they will do in September. Adding Matt Dominguez and Jimmy Paredes to the roster was not a surprise, though it does thin their crop of possible call-ups.
Of course, they could just sign Roger Clemens and blow everything up.
Honestly, I am going to cop out here. I think, given the state of this franchise, that anyone and everyone in Triple-A is a likely candidate to get brought up. They have nothing to lose and could perhaps hit on someone to go with in 2013.
San Francisco Giants
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Record: 74-57, 1st Place in National League West
Key Stats: 3.68 ERA (5th in National League), 565 Runs Scored (8th in National League)
New year, same old Giants. For the second straight year, the Giants were so pitching-heavy that they had to make a deal at the deadline to upgrade their offense.
While they didn't have to give up a player of Zack Wheeler's caliber to acquire Hunter Pence, they did give up a really good offensive catcher, assuming he can stay behind the plate, in Tommy Joseph.
Losing Melky Cabrera to a 50-game suspension did hurt, but the pitching staff was always going to carry this team as far as it can go.
I would expect the Giants to call up some of their older Triple-A players who have big league experience just because I doubt Bruce Bochy is going to trust young players in a pennant race.
Brett Pill, 1B
.285/.336/.500, 11 HRs, 45 RBI (Triple-A Fresno)
Pill is a player whose offensive production has benefited greatly from a friendly offensive environment in the Pacific Coast League. The Giants will try to catch lightning in a bottle, though his performance will not carry over in spacious AT&T Park.
Connor Gillaspie, IF
.282/.340/.444, 14 HRs, 49 RBI
Gillaspie is a utility infielder who can play multiple positions for the Giants if they need to give someone a day off. He won't do much with the bat, so his glove has to carry him in September.
Los Angeles Dodgers
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Record: 70-62, 2nd Place in National League West
Key Stats: 532 Runs Scored (12th in National League), 3.48 ERA (3rd in National League)
The Dodgers might not have time to make any September call-ups. Their blockbuster deal with the Red Sox to acquire Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett—and Carl Crawford who won't return until 2013—has put them under immense pressure to win now.
There will obviously be players who get the call, though they will have to perform immediately if they want to play consistently. There are a couple of names worth mentioning, though none will swing momentum in their favor.
Alex Castellanos, OF
.338/.431/.610, 17 HR, 52 RBI, 16 Stolen Bases (Triple-A Albuquerque)
Castellanos was given the call to The Show earlier this season and really scuffled in his 12-game audition. His numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, as Albuquerque is probably the best hitting environment in the minors.
Depending on what happens with Matt Kemp's knee and face after crashing into the wall in Colorado, Castellanos could see significant playing time.
Dee Gordon, SS
.229/.280/.282, 30 Stolen Bases (78 Games with Dodgers)
Gordon has played just five games at Triple-A while recovering from torn ligament in his thumb. He's hitting .133.
I still think the Dodgers are going to bring him back up in September to at least be used as a pinch-runner.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Record: 65-67, 3rd Place in National League West
Key Stats: 3.96 ERA (9th in National League), 582 Runs Scored (5th in National League)
Almost everything that could go wrong for Arizona this season has. Justin Upton has lost all his power. Ian Kennedy's ERA has increased to 4.27, Daniel Hudson had Tommy John surgery in July, and Trevor Bauer's first big league stint did not go as planned.
They have had a few pleasant surprises. Wade Miley has posted an ERA of 2.85 in 158 innings pitched and Aaron Hill's OPS is .857.
With the big league club falling out of the race, September could be very interesting in the desert.
Trevor Bauer, SP
2.42 ERA, 157 K, 107 Hits, 61 BB in 130.1 IP (Across two minor league levels)
Bauer has looked more like the pitcher everyone thought he would be since getting sent down to Triple-A Reno. He has struck out 66 and allowed 54 hits in his last 57 innings pitched, which includes a complete game, 12-strikeout performance on August 17.
A.J. Pollock, OF
.323/.373/.413, 49 RBI, 20 Stolen Bases, 30 Extra-Base Hits
Pollock's performance warrants a call-up. He has produced solid offensive numbers at Triple-A and at 24 years old, the club might as well see what he can do in a short big league stint.
San Diego Padres
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Record: 61-71, 4th Place in National League West
Key Stats: 508 Runs Scored (13th in National League), 3.83 ERA (8th in National League)
The Padres' rebuilding project has seen them debut a lot of young players this season, including Casey Kelly and Yasmani Grandal. We also saw the re-debut of Yonder Alonso.
It is still a process with the Padres, but at least there are solid offensive players to watch, which is not something that was said a lot last year.
There is still a long way to go, though this franchise is headed in the right direction. It also helps that they still have one of the best and deepest farm systems in the game.
Jedd Gyorko, 3B
.329/.377/.594, 24 HR, 83 RBI, 61 Runs Scored
Gyorko has seemingly been on the verge of a call-up all season. It hasn't happened yet, as the Padres really have no need to rush him. A late-season move could pave the way for him to get on the radar for an Opening Day job in 2013.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Record: 53-76, Last Place in National League West
Key Stats: 5.22 ERA (Last in National League), 615 Runs Scored (2nd in National League)
Even though the Astros are the laughingstock of baseball right now, the Rockies are probably a bigger mess. They have failed to draft and develop any pitching, which has left them with five black holes in the rotation.
Jim Tracy is one of the worst tactical managers in baseball, though he doesn't have much to work with right now anyway.
Things are going to get worse before they get better, but at least the Rockies will have Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki to watch in 2013.
Guillermo Moscoso, SP
6.13 ERA, 85 K, 127 Hits, 26, HR in 98.1 IP
Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Moscoso is going to get called up. He is not going to save the rotation, nor is he likely to do anything to help, but he is an arm the Rockies can slot in. He is 28 years old, so there are not going to be expectations attached to him, in case anyone had any to begin with.
Matt McBride, 1B
.342/.364/.527, 10 HR, 83 RBI, 72 Runs Scored
Another name Renck reports is on the list to be called up, McBride was part of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade with Cleveland last season. He has always produced solid offensive numbers throughout his minor league career, though he is not likely to hit enough to be an everyday starter in the big leagues.
New York Yankees
Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images
Record: 75-55, 1st Place in American League East
Key Stats: 629 Runs Scored (3rd in American League), 3.78 ERA (4th in American League)
The Yankees are on the verge of another postseason appearance, big surprise. They do have a few questions that don't make them prohibitive favorites to win the American League, like what will happen in the starting rotation after CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda.
The most notable moves the Yankees make could be getting players like Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Andy Pettitte back from injuries
As for September call-ups, the Yankees could use a lot more bodies to give their aging roster a few extra days off as they try to lock down a playoff berth.
Austin Romine, C
.263/.343/.442, 4 HRs, 14 RBI, 11 Runs Scored
While Romine has only played in 28 games this season, he could have tremendous value for the Yankees down the stretch. I know Joe Girardi loves Russell Martin, but Romine could step in right now and give them significantly more offense and close to the same level of defense.
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
Record: 72-58, 2nd in American League East, Lead Wild-Card Race
Key Stats: 4.08 ERA (8th in American League), 548 Runs Scored (9th in American League)
The Orioles are contending despite numbers that suggest they are a well-below .500 team. Their biggest asset is their bullpen, as their starting rotation and offense have been inconsistent all season.
They do have a very big chip in the minors, though they don't seem to have any interest in call him up right now.
We are talking about Dylan Bundy, who Buck Showalter says will remain with Bowie, then go to the Instructional League. That could just be posturing, but given how the Orioles have handled their top prospect this year, I tend to believe what they say.
Zach Phillips, RP
3.17 ERA, 45 K, 22 BB, 56 Hits in 54 IP (Triple-A Norfolk)
Though the Orioles can use another starter to make it through September, Phillips is their safest option in the minors. He is not an overpowering guy, but has enough control to be a mid-inning reliever.
Jake Arrieta, SP
4.24 ERA, 45 K, 27 BB, 43 Hits in 51 IP (Triple-A Norfolk)
Since a lot of September call-ups are going to be players who have spent some portion of the season with the big league team, Arrieta is a natural candidate to move back up.
He was terrible for the Orioles this season, allowing 112 hits with an ERA over 6.00 in 101.1 innings, but his experience will be too much for the team to overlook.
Zach Britton, SP
4.12 ERA, 48 K, 23 BB, 57 Hits in 63.1 IP (Triple-A Norfolk)
Another pitcher with big league experience, Britton has more upside than Arrieta, and because he can get groundballs, is more likely to succeed in a small sample size.
Again, and not to belabor the point, the Orioles need bodies to throw into the rotation in September.
Tampa Bay Rays
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Record: 71-60, 3rd Place in American League East
Key Stats: 548 Runs Scored (10th in American League), 3.26 ERA (1st in American League)
The Rays are in a very precarious position. We keep waiting for them to make another big run, but their offense is seemingly incapable of doing anything consistently.
But because they have so much pitching, they are never going to be out of a game. Unlike years past, when they were able to bring up a Matt Moore or David Price or Desmond Jennings, there really isn't that one elite prospect in the system who will change their fortunes.
Still, as we learned last year, you can never count this team out. Even when there are no signs of hope, the Rays find a way to win.
Cesar Ramos, SP
3.77 ERA, 46 K, 58 Hits, 16 BB in 62 IP (Triple-A Durham)
Ramos is expected to be one of four players in the Rays' first wave of call-ups, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
He is likely going to play a role in the bullpen, which will help maximize his value. It also helps that the Rays don't need anything in the rotation right now.
Chris Archer, SP
3.76 ERA, 134 K, 61 BB, 97 Hits in 122 IP (Triple-A Durham)
Archer was given a brief audition with the Rays earlier this season, posting a strong 14-2 K-BB ratio in 11.2 innings pitched.
He certainly has the stuff to be a dominant starter, though his lack of command could push him into the bullpen. Regardless of what his role is, the Rays should give him another look this September.
Boston Red Sox
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Record: 62-70, 4th Place in American League East
Key Stats: 4.42 ERA (11th in American League), 647 Runs Scored (2nd in American League)
I don't know if you guys have heard, but there was a little bit of chaos going on with the Red Sox in 2012.
In a lot of ways, what happened worked out well for the Red Sox. They were able to get rid of an albatross contract for a player they clearly wanted nothing to do with (Carl Crawford), an albatross contract of a player who was still producing but showing signs of decline (Adrian Gonzalez) and a pitcher who had worn out his welcome (Josh Beckett).
Plus, they got two players back in Allen Webster and Rubby de la Rosa who have a lot of future value if they come close to reaching their peak. September is going to be a quiet month as the Red Sox try to get through the season without any more major stories.
Daniel Bard, RP
7.03 ERA, 32 K, 29 BB, 31 Hits in 32 IP (Triple-A Pawtucket)
To be fair, this isn't a prediction, as the Red Sox have already called Bard back up. He is still not close to being what he was when he was a dominant reliever, but he really wasn't gaining anything by pitching at Triple-A.
Jose Iglesias, SS
.266/.306/.318, 11 Extra-Base Hits, 12 Stolen Bases
Iglesias is the best defensive shortstop in the minor leagues. He could step in the big leagues right now and be one of the five best defensive shortstops immediately.
The problem comes with his bat. His swing is more geared toward line drives, though he doesn't have a great approach or enough power to really hit the ball into the gap. If he can give you an empty batting average with a .310-.320 on-base percentage, he has a lot of value.
Toronto Blue Jays
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Record: 59-71, Last Place in American League East
Key Stats: 592 Runs Scored (6th in American League), 4.55 ERA (12th in American League)
The Blue Jays fell apart this season due to injuries to their starting rotation and lineup. Brandon Morrow was finally having the breakout season everyone has been waiting for, then he had to miss two months with an oblique injury.
Jose Bautista is done for the year with a season-ending wrist injury. Those are the two biggest injuries, but hardly do justice to just how hard this team has been hit by the injury bug.
Fortunately, their system is stacked with talent, especially pitching, so not all hope for the future is lost.
Anthony Gose, OF
.288/.371/.425, 35 Extra-Base Hits, 31 Stolen Bases
While Gose was a disaster in his brief nine-game big league introduction earlier this season, that should not stop the Blue Jays from giving him another chance this September.
His inability to make adjustments to off-speed pitches at the big league level was alarming, though hardly a death blow to his prospect status. He still has a great collection of tools that make him one of the 50 best prospects in the game.
Sean O'Sullivan, SP
4.18 ERA, 65 K, 43 BB, 144 Hits in 135.2 IP (Two Triple-A Teams)
O'Sullivan is not the right kind of pitcher for the American League East. He gets by on manipulating hitters into swinging at his pitches, as well as a lot of good luck.
The Blue Jays could give him a shot to see if he connects for a few starts in September, though I don't see him being a long-term solution in the rotation.
Chicago White Sox
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Record: 72-58, 1st Place in American League Central
Key Stats: 3.99 ERA (7th in American League), 614 Runs Scored (5th in American League)
The White Sox were expected to take a big step back this season because no one in the front office seemed to know what was going on.
But the re-birth of Jake Peavy and emergence of Chris Sale have stabilized the rotation. The offense has found a second wind thanks to Adam Dunn, A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Rios all having strong seasons.
However, trying to find a call-up who is going to do anything in this system is problematic. They did do well in the draft this year, but Courtney Hawkins is light years away from being ready, though they will need players to help them get through the month.
Dan Johnson, 1B
.265/.388/.492, 28 HR, 84 RBI, 94 BB (Triple-A Charlotte)
If you are looking for the definition of a September call-up, Johnson would be it. He was the player who hit the huge home run for the Rays against the Red Sox in 2008 and the pinch-hit home run against the Yankees last year on the final day of the season to tie the game.
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Record: 69-61, 2nd Place in American League Central
Key Stats: 589 Runs Scored (7th in American League), 3.91 ERA (6th in American League)
Everyone expected the Tigers to run away with this division because of Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera in the lineup and Justin Verlander in the rotation.
What no one failed to realize is that they really had no depth once you get past those stars. Austin Jackson has had a remarkable season, but no one else has stepped up enough for them to be consistent.
The Tigers are always aggressive with trades, which is why their system is pretty bare once you get past Nick Castellanos, though I don't figure he will get called up this season.
Andy Oliver, RP
4.98 ERA, 109 K, 87 BB, 100 Hits in 115.2 IP (Triple-A Toledo)
Oliver has been shifted back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen this season. While that is certainly the right of the organization, it does a lot to hurt the development of a player.
His best role is as a reliver with a fastball and breaking ball. The Tigers can use him to shore up their 'pen in September, though his high volume of walks could force them to keep him off the roster.
Adam Wilk, SP
2.77 ERA, 128 K, 28 BB, 123 Hits in 149.2 IP
While the Tigers have solidified their rotation, there is always a need for a spot start here and there.
Of course, as they chase a playoff spot, they might have to start Verlander on three days rest every now and then.
Wilk's numbers certainly warrant a promotion, though some of that can be attributed to the fact he is repeating the league.
Kansas City Royals
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Record: 59-71, 3rd Place in American League East
Key Stats: 538 Runs Scored (12th in American League), 4.26 ERA (10th in American League)
The Royals were supposed to take a step forward this year with a young offensive nucleus that included Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Billy Butler and Alex Gordon.
Things did not materialize because you still have to have pitching to hold the opposition at bay. It also didn't help that Hosmer has completely changed his swing to the point where he isn't making solid contact anymore.
September will be all about finding players who can be a part of 2013, though hopefully Dayton Moore's process doesn't keep running out Jeff Francoeur in right field with Wil Myers clearly ready for the big time.
Wil Myers, OF
.306/.383/.592, 36 HR, 105 RBI, 94 Runs Scored (Across Two Levels)
It does not sound like Myers will get the call, according to Dayton Moore, though these things can change in a hurry.
While I understand the Royals are not contending and have no reason to start Myers' clock right now, he is obviously ready to take the leap. Everyone is waiting to see it, so why not do it in September?
Jake Odorizzi, SP
3.03 ERA, 135 K, 50 BB, 132 Hits in 145.1 IP (Across Two Levels)
Like Myers, Odorizzi has been biding his time in Triple-A waiting for the Royals to make the call.
To me, that Odorizzi wasn't called up is more surprising than Myers not getting the call. The Royals have no one in their rotation who should be there next year, so why not give your top pitcher some experience this season?
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Record: 55-76, 4th Place in American League Central
Key Stats: 4.83 ERA (Last in American League), 532 Runs Scored (13th in American League)
Where to begin?
Everything that the Indians thought coming into the season about this team was wrong. It was destined to blow up in their faces. It took a few months into 2012 before it happened, but they have gone down in a blaze of glory.
There is no immediate help on the horizon, as their farm system is built on a lot of depth and toolsy athletes who are years away from coming close to showing what they will be.
On the bright side, Francisco Lindor looked like a superstar in his first full season at Low-A Lake County.
Jeanmar Gomez, SP
4.41 ERA, 54 K, 17 BB, 75 Hits in 69.1 IP (Triple-A Columbus)
Look, Gomez is probably a No. 4 or 5 starter at best. He is not going to save the rotation, but would he really be any worse than Roberto Hernandez, Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez or Corey Kluber right now?
Juan Diaz, SS
.262/.311/.426, 13 HR, 59 RBI, 60 Runs Scored (Across Two Levels)
The Indians are cleaning house with a lot of veteran purges in the last two months. Diaz can spell Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop and Jason Kipnis at second, if need be.
They just need to find some bench bats who can do something, though I am not sure Diaz is really going to make that much of an impact.
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Record: 53-78, Last Place in American League Central
Key Stats: 570 Runs Scored (8th in American League), 4.79 ERA (13th in American League)
Another bad season for the Twins has brought some bright spots. Ben Revere, while not hitting for power, is hitting .303 and Joe Mauer is hitting like Joe Mauer so often does.
Josh Willingham is having a career year, though it doesn't really make sense for the Twins to hang on to him since his value will never be higher and he is not likely to duplicate this season again.
They still have a rotation built on finesse pitchers who must pitch to contact, which gets them in trouble early and often.
Oswaldo Arcia, OF
.317/.388/.528, 15 HR, 91 RBI, 71 Runs Scored (Across Two Levels)
Arcia has made a lot of noise this season, as evidenced by his slash line at High-A and Double-A. He is probably the Twins' third-best offensive prospect—behind Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton—and the one closest to making an impact in the big leagues.
He is just 21, so the Twins don't necessarily need to see what they have in him right now, but they could learn a lot about how far along he is in a September call-up.
Aaron Hicks, OF
.284/.380/.453, 13 HR, 31 Stolen Bases (Double-A New Britain)
Hicks has long been lauded for his tools and looked like a superstar with a .900 OPS in his first full season in 2008. But his development went backward as he moved up the ladder, which caused his stock to drop.
At just 22 years old, he is still young for Double-A and having his best season since 2008. He is doing all he can to prove to the Twins that he warrants at least a big league look right now.
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Record: 77-53, 1st Place in American League West
Key Stats: 3.88 ERA (5th in American League), 670 Runs Scored (1st in American League)
It is a testament to the depth the Rangers have built that they can lose Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson from the rotation in the last two years and still be the best team in the American League.
They obviously don't have to do anything this September and could still win the division comfortably, though Oakland is doing all it can to make things interesting.
One big conundrum facing the Rangers right now is what they do with Jurickson Profar. Elvis Andrus is entrenched at shortstop right now. Unless they want to sit Andrus for a few days at a time, or give Ian Kinsler days off, there is no room for Profar.
Jurickson Profar, SS
.281/.368/.452, 47 Extra-Base Hits, 16 Stolen Bases (Double-A Frisco)
At 19 years old, Profar could step into the big leagues right now and hold his own. He is the best prospect in baseball, a potential superstar and MVP candidate for a long, long time.
Yet the Rangers have a really good shortstop signed for the next two seasons on the roster. It is a really good problem to have. I can't think of a reason why the Rangers would call up Profar right now, other than to say he is really, really, really good and clearly ready to take the jump.
Julio Borbon, OF
.302/.347/.436, 10 HR, 19 Stolen Bases, 75 Runs Scored (Triple-A Round Rock)
The Rangers have a fragile outfield that could use some days off down the stretch. Borbon is essentially a fourth outfielder who can post good numbers in Triple-A, so getting him on the roster to give Josh Hamilton a break every now and then makes sense.
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Record: 73-57, 2nd Place in American League West, Lead Wild-Card Race
Key Stats: 540 Runs Scored (11th in American League), 3.45 ERA (2nd in American League)
The A's have been the talk of the baseball world since the All-Star break. They were supposed to be rebuilding after trading Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez in the offseason.
Yoenis Cespedes has taken to the big leagues much faster than anyone could have anticipated. Their pitching rotation, even without Cahill and Gonzalez, has not missed a beat. Brett Anderson, albeit in a very small sample size against two bad offensive teams, looks great.
They do have depth at the upper levels of the minors, so we could see some movement in September.
Grant Green, OF
.292/.336/.449, 14 HR, 13 Stolen Bases (Triple-A Sacramento)
The A's are in need of help in the outfield. Aside from Cespedes, they are getting next to no offensive production from Josh Reddick, who has been slumping for the last two months, and Coco Crisp.
Green is not a dynamic player, but he would give them more offensive production than anything Crisp or Reddick have been giving them.
Los Angeles Angels
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Record: 69-62, 3rd Place in American League West
Key Stats: 4.21 ERA (9th in American League), 622 Runs Scored (4th in American League)
The Angels had one of the most noteworthy offseasons of any team in baseball by signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. They were finally taking risks to compete with the Rangers in the American League West, yet find themselves in third place in the division.
By the way, they have the player who should win the MVP, Rookie of the Year and any other award you can think of in Mike Trout. They also acquired Zack Greinke from Milwaukee at the trade deadline.
Toiling in the wild-card race at this point in the season is certainly not what they expected, but they are just 4.5 games behind Oakland in the race.
Andrew Taylor, RP
4.27 ERA, 56 K, 25 BB, 60 Hits in 59 IP (Across Two Levels)
I don't see the Angels doing a lot, simply because they have to play all of their starters just to get back into the race.
Taylor is not exactly an impact arm to add to the bullpen, but he has shown the ability to get hitters out consistently in a very small sample at Triple-A.
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Record: 64-68, Last Place in American League West
Key Stats: 517 Runs Scored (Last in American League), 3.72 ERA (3rd in American League)
While Felix Hernandez is always exciting to watch, it would be nice to see the team actually develop one of these hitters that everyone touts.
Jesus Montero has come around a bit in the second half, though he still does not look like the hitter we all expected him to be this year. Dustin Ackley has regressed dramatically this season after a promising rookie season.
And the less said about Justin Smoak, the better. They are flirting with .500 thanks to the efforts of King Felix and the pitching staff.
Casper Wells, OF
.217/.385/.467, 10 Extra-Base Hits, 16 BB (Triple-A Tacoma)
Wells spent 74 games with the Mariners this season before being sent down a few days ago to make room for the returning Franklin Gutierrez.
The Mariners will have to wait, but Wells seems like a good bet to get a look at least as a bench bat.
Carlos Triunfel, SS
.252/.302/.380, 10 HR, 68 Runs Scored (Triple-A Tacoma)
Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider speculates that Triunfel could get a look in September, writing that he can handle shortstop but his bat isn't getting any better, so he likely wouldn't "survive even a few weeks" in the big leagues.
Still, if you have a true shortstop with some offensive potential, you might as well give him a shot when there really is nothing to play for.