10 MLB Prospects Who Will Be Second-Wave September Call-Ups
As I already wrote about earlier today, there’s been a slew of September call-ups who’ve already made an impact.
And as the minor league playoff schedule winds down—a majority of the championship series conclude around September 15—it’s probable that several more top-ranked prospects will be recalled.
While some of these players, like Trevor Bauer and Wil Myers, are relatively safe bets to reach the major leagues before the end of the month, other prospects, like Oscar Taveras and Bruce Rondon, are also quietly drawing consideration for a late-season promotion.
Here is a look at 10 prospects who figure to be part of the second wave of September call-ups.
Wil Myers, OF, Kansas City Royals
2012 Stats (AA, AAA): .314/.387/.600, 69 XBH (37 HR), 109 RBI, 140 K/61 BB (134 G)
Recently named the 2012 Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America, Wil Myers has relentlessly mashed all season. And he finished his impressive campaign with the second-highest home run total in the minor leagues.
With a .987 OPS this season between Double-A and Triple-A, including 37 home runs, Myers has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues. However, the Royals would rather he finish the Pacific Coast League playoffs before calling him up.
Trevor Bauer, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
2012 Stats (AA, AAA): 12-2, 130.1 IP, 2.42 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 (22 GS)
Although he still has some command issues to iron out—as was evident in his four big league starts—Trevor Bauer has still turned in a remarkable season in the minors by dominating at both Double-A and Triple-A.
Since allowing 14 hits and 13 walks over four starts (16.1 IP) with the Diamondbacks, Bauer has walked only four batters over his last 22 innings while registering 26 strikeouts.
Expect him to join fellow pitching prospects Tyler Skaggs and Pat Corbin in the rotation once Triple-A Reno’s season ends.
Jedd Gyorko, 2B, San Diego Padres
2012 Stats (AA, AAA): .311/.373/.547, 58 XBH (30 HR), 100 RBI, 95 K/51 BB (126 G)
After leading the minor leagues with 192 hits last season, 23-year-old Jedd Gyorko thrived following an early-season promotion to Triple-A—all while learning a new position (second base).
In 92 games for Tucson in the Pacific Coast League, the right-handed hitter batted .328/.380/.588 with 24 doubles, 24 home runs and 83 RBI.
Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Kansas City Royals
2012 Stats (AA, AAA): 15-5, 145.1 IP, 3.03 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 (26 G; 25 GS)
One of the top pitchers in the minor leagues this season, Jake Odorizzi is poised to join the Royals rotation in 2013 after an impressive season (his best) in the high minors.
Despite his success this season, Odorizzi’s tendencies as a fly-ball pitcher (0.44 GB/FB) are somewhat concerning. However, he was able to excel in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, so it’ll be interesting to see how he’s affected in the major leagues.
Dan Straily, RHP, Oakland Athletics
2012 Stats (AA, AAA): 9-7, 152 IP, 2.78 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 11.2 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 (25 GS)
Drawing little consideration as a legitimate pitching prospect headed into the 2012 season, Dan Straily has emerged as one of baseball’s top young arms thanks to continued dominance at both Double- and Triple-A.
The minor league strikeout leader this season (190 in 152 IP), Straily reached the major leagues at the beginning of August after starting the season at Double-A.
With a three-pitch mix of above-average-to-plus offerings, the right-hander has dealt his way to the major leagues and seems the most capable of filling Brandon McCarthy’s spot in the rotation, presuming he hits the disabled list following surgery on Wednesday night for an epidural hemorrhage.
Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
2012 Stats (AA): .321/.380/.572, 67 XBH (23 HR), 94 RBI, 10 SB, 56 K/42 BB (124 G)
One of baseball’s top prospects, Oscar Taveras has the makings of a future superstar. He possesses excellent contact skills, plate discipline beyond his years and emerging power.
According to Derrick Goold, the Cardinals have internally discussed calling up Taveras once Double-A Springfield’s season is complete.
Bruce Rondon, RHP, Detroit Tigers
2012 Stats (A+, AA, AAA): 2-1, 29 SV, 53 IP, 1.53 ERA, .172 BAA, 66 K/26 BB (52 G)
With a fastball that regularly sits in the 99-102 mph range, Bruce Rondon has refined his command this season and has the makings of a future closer. He’s been fast-tracked to the majors this season, beginning the year at High-A and now sporting a 2.25 ERA with two saves in nine games at Triple-A Toledo.
The Tigers will need Rondon in their 2013 bullpen, as he’s a cheap power arm capable of closing. And I would imagine that if he performs well in September, the team could look to move Jose Valverde this offseason.
Chris Archer, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
2012 Stats (AAA): 7-9, 128 IP, 3.66 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 9.8 K/9, 4.4 BB/9 (25 GS)
Archer has enjoyed his best season since 2010—when he was still in the Cubs’ organization—thanks to improved command down in the zone. Furthermore, all of his ratio statistics this season are close to his career best.
In any other, less-talented starting rotation, Archer may have earned a few more looks after he posted a 3.86 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 11.2 innings in two starts for the Rays in June. Notorious for his high strikeout and walk rates, the right-hander’s command was better than expected in those starts and definitely warrants a follow-up look at some point in September.
With 132 strikeouts and a career-best 59 walks this season, the 6’3”, 200-pounder has vastly improved his command and may not be destined for a bullpen role after all.
Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Minnesota Twins
2012 Stats (A+, AA): .320/.388/.539, 61 XBH (17 HR), 98 RBI, 107 K/51 BB (124 G)
Enjoying a breakout campaign, Oswaldo Arcia has posted career highs in every offensive category, as he was finally healthy enough to complete a full season.
Already on the Twins’ 40-man roster, the left-handed-hitting outfielder registered a .955 OPS since a midseason promotion to Double-A New Britain. Considering that the Twins were willing to call up Joe Benson last season, there’s reason to believe they’ll do the same with Arcia.
Charlie Leesman, LHP, Chicago White Sox
2012 Stats (AAA): 12-10, 135 IP, 2.47 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 6.9 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 (26 GS)
He’ll never overly impress anyone, but Charlie Leesman is a crafty left-hander who simply knows how to pitch. In his first season at Triple-A, he’s posted his best statistical season since entering the White Sox’s system in 2008.
Considering the recent elbow injury to Gavin Floyd, as well as left-hander Jose Quintana’s recent ineffectiveness, Leesman may be next in line for a September start.
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