The Biggest Impact September Call-Ups of the Last 15 Years
MLB rosters will expand to 40 players in less than a week as some of the best talent in the minor leagues will get the call to live their dreams in September.
For some teams, those extra players will allow them to rest their starters for the playoffs. For others, it's all about seeing what they have in-house before deciding what moves to make in the offseason.
Some of the call-ups will come up huge as they will propel their teams to wins, and possibly a playoff berth or home-field advantage.
With that in mind, here's a look at some of the best September call-ups over the last 15 years.
Note: Statistical information was courtesy of Bill Petti of FanGraphs and ESPN.com.
Shane Spencer, 1998
When the New York Yankees called up Shane Spencer in 1998, they had no idea what he'd bring to the team.
Spencer responded by batting .421 with eight home runs and 21 RBI. Because of that, he earned a spot on New York's postseason roster. In the postseason, he batted .263 with two home runs and four RBI.
The Yankees went on to win the World Series, and did the same the two following years.
While Spencer won't receive the credit for propelling the Yankees to the World Series, his September is among the best for September call-ups in MLB history.
J.D. Drew, 1998
J.D. Drew is one of the few players to ever get drafted No. 2 overall and then not sign. Instead, he opted to return to college for one more year.
However, in June of 1998, the St. Louis Cardinals drafted him and he was called up to the big leagues in September.
During the month, Drew batted .417 with five home runs and 13 RBI, totaling a 1.1 WAR for the month.
The Cardinals didn't make the playoffs, but it was a jump start to Drew's career.
Josh Beckett, 2001
Josh Beckett made four starts during his September call-up for the Florida Marlins in 2001.
Beckett pitched six innings in each of his starts, going 2-2 with a 1.50 ERA and 24 strikeouts.
He did give up three home runs, but only allowed 11 other hits.
From there, he slowly started to get better. When he was sent from Florida to Boston, he was the key piece in the deal.
Francisco Rodriguez, 2002
In 2002, Francisco Rodriguez was called up by the Los Angeles Angels, and appeared in five games in September.
He gave up no runs and struck out 13, earning a spot on the postseason roster thanks in large part to injuries in the bullpen.
In the postseason, K-Rod earned his nickname.
He came up huge by going 5-1 with a 1.93 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 18.2 innings pitched across 11 appearances.
The San Francisco Giants roughed him up a little in Games 4 and 6 of the World Series—they got three runs out of him.
But three strikeouts in the eighth inning of Game 7 shut the door and helped the Angels clinch the title.
Daric Barton, 2007
Daric Barton was called up by the Oakland Athletics on Sept. 10, 2007, he immediately began to hit the cover off the ball.
Over 18 September games, Barton batted .347 with four home runs and eight RBI. He also racked up nine doubles and a 1.3 WAR during the month.
His WAR in September ranked him 22nd for the year ahead of guys like Adam LaRoche (1.2) and Adam Dunn (1.2).
Nyjer Morgan, 2007
Nyjer Morgan was once one of the most promising outfield prospects in all of baseball.
When the Pittsburgh Pirates called him up in 2007, he showed why as he batted .299 with one home run, seven RBI and seven stolen bases.
Morgan tallied a 1.1 WAR in September, which would have ranked him ahead of Andre Ethier (0.9) and Manny Ramirez (0.8).
He started getting regular playing time in 2009, but has been nothing more than a mid-level base stealer during his career.
Matt Moore, 2011
I remember Matt Moore in 2011 like it was yesterday.
He made three appearances in September for the Tampa Bay Rays, including one start where he threw five innings and struck out 11.
Then the Rangers threw him out in Game 1 of the ALDS and he impressed. Moore threw seven innings of two-hit ball, allowing no runs and striking out six.
I'd say that's pretty dominant.
However, the Rays didn't make it out of the series as they lost in four games.
Moore did pitch the fifth through seventh innings of Game 4, giving up one run. That run ended up being the difference as the Rays lost 4-3.
That doesn't take away from what Moore did in his brief September call-up.
Chris Parmelee, 2011
Although he didn't help the Minnesota Twins get to the playoffs, Chris Parmelee had a huge impact late in 2011.
Parmelee batted .355 with four home runs and 14 RBI in 21 games.
But his greatest stat comes in WAR where he totaled 1.4; to put that in perspective, that would have tied him with Freddie Freeman for 19th among first basemen for the entire season.
Guys like Eric Hosmer (1.3), Ryan Howard (0.9) and Mark Reynolds (0.5) ranked lower and got significantly more at-bats.
It may not have made a difference in the division race, but Parmelee definitely stood out in September.
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