September Call-Up Odds for MLB's Top 25 Prospects, 3 Weeks Out

Mike Rosenbaum@GoldenSombreroMLB Prospects Lead WriterAugust 8, 2014

September Call-Up Odds for MLB's Top 25 Prospects, 3 Weeks Out

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    While there already has been a large influx of prospects promoted to the major leagues this season, there are even more set to arrive when active rosters expand from 25 to 40 players on September 1.

    Last year’s wave of September call-ups marked the arrival of some of baseball’s top rookies, including Billy Hamilton, Yordano Ventura, Nick Castellanos and Jonathan Schoop.

    It’s still hard to say which prospects, if any, will be promoted to The Show this September, but there’s certainly no shortage of intriguing candidates, with Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor, Noah Syndergaard, Joc Pederson and Alex Meyer all in the mix.

    So, with three weeks remaining until rosters expand, here are the latest call-up odds for baseball's top 25 prospects, as determined by Prospect Pipeline’s midseason rankings.


    Omitted due to injury: SS Carlos Correa (No. 2), 3B Miguel Sano (11), RHP Hunter Harvey (22), RHP Jameson Taillon (25), RHP Kohl Stewart (31) and RHP Kyle Zimmer (33).

    Already in MLB: 2B/SS Javier Baez (No. 6), IF/OF Arismendy Alcantara (23) and RHP Aaron Sanchez (32).


    *All stats courtesy of, Baseball-Reference or FanGraphs unless otherwise noted.

25. Mark Appel, RHP, Houston Astros

1 of 25

    2014 Stats (A+/AA): 2-5, 53.2 IP, 8.72 ERA, .350 BAA, 2.9 BB/9, 8.1 K/9 (14 GS)

    To say that Appel’s season has been disappointing is an understatement. The 23-year-old struggled mightily in High-A Lancaster’s rotation to the point where he spent a month trying to figure out things in extended spring training.

    While Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow has taken the blame for assuming the right-hander would fit the organization's tandem rotations in the low minors, per Fox's Ken Rosenthal, Appel’s overwhelming lack of success against younger hitters this season is very concerning.

    However, the Astros don’t seem as concerned as the rest of us, as the organization recently promoted Appel to Double-A Corpus Christi, where he's allowed four runs and struck out eight batters in 9.1 innings spanning two starts.

    With all that being said, it’s safe to say that Appel won’t reach the major leagues in 2014. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 1,000-1

24. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

2 of 25

    2014 Stats (A+): 9-5, 100 IP, 1.53 ERA, .171 BAA, 4.6 BB/9, 11.0 K/9 (19 GS)

    Tyler Glasnow's performance at High-A Bradenton this year is shaping up to be a lot like his breakout 2013 campaign at Low-A West Virginia.


    The 20-year-old right-hander boasts an upper-90s fastball that can touch triple digits to go with a potential above-average curveball and changeup, but his command will need to improve before the Pittsburgh Pirates consider moving him up to Double-A, let alone the major leagues.

    However, there’s no question that Glasnow could start moving quickly next season should his command and pitch execution come together. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 1,000-1

23. Jorge Alfaro, C, Texas Rangers

3 of 25

    2014 Stats (A+/AA): .261/.321/.441, 41 XBH (14 HR), 75 RBI, 6 SB, 26 BB, 102 K (103 G)

    Jorge Alfaro continues to drop jaws with his potential on both sides of the ball, but at the same time both areas of his game remain raw and inconsistent.

    The 21-year-old once again is enjoying a strong offensive campaign, with a .261 batting average and 41 extra-base hits through 103 games, but he’s also struck out 102 times against just 26 walks. And while he’s thrown out base stealers at a 26 percent clip in 76 games behind the dish, he’s also committed 13 errors to go along with 18 passed balls.

    Alfaro likely will need at least two more seasons in the minors to refine his defense and approach, which means he could be ready to debut with the Rangers at some point during the 2016 season. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 19-1

22. J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies

4 of 25

    2014 Stats (A/A+): .285/.376/.389, 27 XBH (7 HR), 35 RBI, 18 SB, 58 BB, 62 K (104 G)

    J.P. Crawford turned in an impressive professional debut last summer after the Phillies selected him with the No. 16 overall pick in the draft, reaching Low-A Lakewood as an 18-year-old.

    This year, Crawford has emerged as one of the game’s better shortstop prospects in his first full professional campaign, as he’s already received a well-deserved promotion to High-A Clearwater.

    Overall, the left-handed hitter has the potential for an above-average to plus hit tool thanks to a short, compact stroke and advanced approach that should help him keep making quick adjustments against quality pitching.

    He obviously won’t receive a call-up this season, but Crawford definitely is on the fast track to the major leagues and, assuming his development goes as planned, he could be ready to debut during the 2016 season.

    September Call-Up Odds: 1,000-1

21. Daniel Norris, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays

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    2014 Stats (A+/AA): 9-1, 102 IP, 2.38 ERA, .219 BAA, 3.1 BB/9, 11.0 K/9 (21 GS)

    Daniel Norris quietly has emerged as one the game’s better left-handed pitching prospects this year thanks to a mechanical adjustment he made late last season. The 21-year-old already was promoted to Double-A New Hampshire after registering a 1.22 ERA and 76-18 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 66.1 innings at High-A Dunedin, and now it appears as though he’s headed for Triple-A, per Sportsnet.

    Given his overwhelming success at both stops and the Blue Jays' chances of winning the AL East this season, it’s not crazy to think the organization might offer the left-hander a call-up in September. However, a debut at some point next season probably is more realistic. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 2-1

20. David Dahl, OF, Colorado Rockies

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    2014 Stats (A/A+): .296/.335/.487, 53 XBH (12 HR), 46 RBI, 20 SB, 26 BB, 76 K (102 G)

    David Dahl, the No. 10 overall pick in the 2012 draft, quickly made up for his lost 2013 season with a strong performance this season at Low-A Asheville, and he’s continued to put up impressive numbers since moving up to High-A Modesto in late July.

    Though he played his home games with Asheville in a notoriously hitter-friendly park and is now playing in the hitter-friendly California League, the 20-year-old outfielder’s 53 extra-base hits and 20 stolen bases in 102 games are still plenty impressive.

    Dahl's below-average pitch recognition and selection are a product of his time off and overall inexperience, so don't read too much into his 76-26 strikeout-to-walk ratio this season. However, for that same reason, there’s no chance he receives a call-up in 2014. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 1,000-1

19. Braden Shipley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

7 of 25

    2014 Stats (A/A+/AA): 6-7, 112 IP, 3.94 ERA, .258 BAA, 2.9 BB/9, 9.2 K/9 (19 GS)

    Braden Shipley, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2013 draft, began the season at Low-A South Bend but since has received well-deserved promotions to High-A Visalia and Double-A Mobile.

    The 22-year-old right-hander should continue to move up the ladder in a hurry thanks to a mid-90s fastball, a plus-plus changeup that already ranks as one of the best in the minor leagues and a hard curveball that projects as another plus offering at maturity. More importantly, Shipley has advanced command of all three pitches.

    Much like the Dodgers, Orioles and Tigers, Arizona doesn’t mess around with its pitching prospects (think Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs). So expect Shipley, as long as he stays healthy, to get to the majors sometime during the 2015 season. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 19-1

18. Raul Mondesi, SS, Kansas City Royals

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    2014 Stats (A+): .209/.253/.304, 21 XBH (8 3B), 20 RBI, 13 SB, 19 BB, 95 K (86 G)

    Raul Mondesi is one of the top up-the-middle prospects in the minor leagues and has spent the season playing in the High-A Carolina League as an 18-year-old (he turned 19 on July 27). Therefore, the switch-hitter’s rough season at the dish, including a .557 OPS and 95-19 strikeout-to-walk in 371 plate appearances, is somewhat understandable.

    As you might already have inferred, Mondesi won’t be reaching the major leagues this season or probably next season for that matter. Ideally, he’ll be ready to debut with the Royals at some point during his age-20 season. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 1,000-1

17. Alex Meyer, RHP, Minnesota Twins

9 of 25

    2014 Stats (AAA): 6-4, 112 IP, 3.05 ERA, .216 BAA, 4.4 BB/9, 10.3 K/9 (22 GS)

    Alex Meyer, 24, has held opposing hitters to a paltry .216 batting average this season while posting a 10.3 strikeout-per-nine rate in 112 innings. The right-hander’s command still needs some refinement, hence the career-worst 4.4 walks-per-nine rate, and he’ll get hit around when working up in the zone with his fastball. However, it’s time for the Twins to turn him loose on major league hitters and see what he can do.

    Plus, the 6’9” right-hander has checked all the developmental boxes as of late, with a 1.77 ERA and 45-21 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 50.2 innings spanning his last seven starts for Rochester. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 1-3

16. Blake Swihart, C, Boston Red Sox

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    2014 Stats (AA/AAA): .297/.350/.482, 38 XBH (12 HR), 55 RBI, 7 SB, 29 BB, 67 K (94 G)

    Arguably the most underrated catcher in the minor leagues, Blake Swihart has quietly put together an outstanding season on both sides of the ball between the Double-A and Triple-A levels.

    Swihart, 22, has posted an .832 OPS with 38 extra-base hits through 94 games, and the switch-hitter also has fared well from both sides of the plate, with an .835 OPS as a left-handed batter and .824 OPS as a righty. Defensively, Swihart has thrown out 47 percent (28 of 59) of all base stealers this season and is yet to allow a passed ball in 81 games behind the plate.

    I feel confident saying Swihart would have no problem in the major leagues during the final month of the regular season. However, Boston’s decision to thoroughly audition Christian Vazquez hurts his chances of receiving a call-up in September. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 3-1

15. Joc Pederson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    2014 Stats (AAA): .300/.427/.559, 42 XBH (24 HR), 58 RBI, 25 SB, 78 BB, 125 K (99 G)

    Joc Pederson went on a tear after returning from a separated shoulder in early July, but since then the 22-year-old has cooled off considerably, with a .098 batting average and 15 strikeouts in his last 10 games. However, despite his recent struggles, the toolsy outfielder is having yet another impressive season, with a .986 OPS, 24 home runs and 25 stolen bases.

    Though he was a frequent subject in trade rumors over the last month, the Dodgers wisely held on to Pederson at the deadline, as manager Don Mattingly believes, per Rosenthal, he is the team’s best long-term defensive center fielder.

    However, there’s still concern about his strikeout rate at Triple-A Albuquerque this season, which seems to be the primary reason—besides the presence of Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford in an overcrowded outfield—Pederson is yet to debut in the major leagues.

    The Dodgers will need to add Pederson to the 40-man roster if they decide to promote him in September, so he’s not a lock to reach the major leagues this year. However, given his power/speed combo and ability to play all three outfield positions, I’d expect him to get a look during the final month of the regular season. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 1-2

14. Austin Hedges, C, San Diego Padres

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    2014 Stats (AA): .232/.274/.344, 27 XBH (6 HR), 41 RBI, 19 BB, 75 K (98 G)

    Austin Hedges has struggled to get things started at the plate this season—his first full campaign at the Double-A level—with a .618 OPS and 75-19 strikeout-to-walk ratio through 98 games. Meanwhile, his overall numbers have been weighed down by a rough second half during which he’s batted .211/.244/.266 with four extra-base hits and a 34-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 34 games.

    On the other side of the ball, Hedges has posted a 40 percent caught-stealing rate this season and committed only five passed balls in 91 games behind the plate. The 21-year-old’s defense could make him an everyday player in the major leagues right now, but that doesn’t mean the Padres are willing to risk his offensive development for an ahead-of-schedule taste of The Show. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 9-1

13. Julio Urias, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    2014 Stats (A+): 1-2, 67.1 IP, 2.94 ERA, .208 BAA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.4 K/9 (21 G/17 GS)

    Julio Urias emerged as a can’t-miss prospect last season as a 16-year-old at Low-A Great Lakes, excelling against significantly older hitters in a full-season league.

    This season, the 17-year-old has further improved his prospect stock with another outstanding performance against advanced competition, this time at High-A Rancho Cucamonga.

    Despite pitching in the hitter-friendly California League and having his workload limited by the organization, Urias has managed to hold opposing hitters to a paltry .208 batting average while missing well over a bat per inning (10.4 K/9). On the other hand, the left-hander’s control and command (4.1 BB/9) both are a work in progress.

    Urias isn’t your average pitching prospect, so don’t expect the Dodgers to treat him as such. He won’t debut with the Dodgers this season, but Urias still is a safe bet to reach the major leagues as a teenager, with the only question being whether it happens when he’s 18 (2015) or 19 (2016). 

    September Call-Up Odds: 1,000-1

12. Robert Stephenson, RHP, Cincinnati Reds

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    2014 Stats (AA): 5-8, 113.1 IP, 4.29 ERA, .210 BAA, 4.9 BB/9, 9.1 K/9 (22 G/21 GS)

    Robert Stephenson has held his own this season at Double-A Pensacola with a respectable 4.29 ERA and 114 strikeouts in 113.1 innings. However, the 21-year-old right-hander’s inconsistent command has led to an elevated walk rate (4.9 BB/9), while his tendency to pitch up in the zone with his mid-to-upper-90s fastball has allowed hitters to take him deep 13 times (1.0 HR/9).

    That said, Stephenson is still young for the level, so the fact that he’s held opposing hitters to a .210 batting average and has missed more than one bat per inning speaks volumes about his overall potential. There’s no denying that Stephenson’s pure stuff gives him impact potential, but don’t expect the Reds to call on him this season unless they’re in a serious bind due to injuries. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 4-1

11. Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    2014 Stats (A+/AA): .349/.402/.620, 63 XBH (19 HR), 79 RBI, 32 BB, 96 K (95 G)

    Corey Seager has been one of the more impressive hitters in the minor leagues this season, as he’s shown the ability to turn on the ball more consistently this year and has done so without detracting from his innate feel for driving the ball to the opposite field.

    And for those wondering whether he’d hit for as much average and power outside the California League: the 20-year-old is batting .333/.349/.550 with nine extra-base hits and nine RBI in 15 games since his promotion to Double-A Chattanooga.

    Seager’s arrival in the major leagues will depend on whether the Dodgers agree to a contract extension with Hanley Ramirez. If the team ends up having to replace Ramirez next season, then it might be more inclined to challenge Seager and accelerate his timeline. That said, I’d still be surprised to see him reach the majors before late 2015. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 9-1

10. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets

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    2014 Stats (AAA): 8-5, 107 IP, 4.79 ERA, .302 BAA, 2.9 BB/9, 9.3 K/9 (21 GS)

    Noah Syndergaard’s performance at Triple-A Las Vegas this season has been frustrating, as he’s continued to miss bats at a favorable rate (9.3 K/9) and limit free passes (2.9 BB/9) but has also been knocked around at times in the Pacific Coast League (.302 BAA, 10.9 H/9).

    The 21-year-old gave the baseball world a scare in June when he hit the disabled list with a minor elbow injury, but he returned to the mound and appears to be fully healthy.

    The Mets previously stated that Syndergaard isn't a lock to reach the major leagues this season, but as long as his elbow is a non-issue moving forward, he should still make his highly anticipated debut with the Mets in September. Plus, the right-hander has pitched well as of late, with a 3.29 ERA and 29-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his last 27.1 innings. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 1-2

9. Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    2014 Stats (R/AA/AAA): 3-5, 66.2 IP, 4.32 ERA, .250 BAA, 4.9 BB/9, 8.1 K/9 (14 GS)

    Archie Bradley has spent a majority of the season on the disabled list due to a mild flexor strain in his right elbow, but the 21-year-old is now healthy and gradually working his way back from the injury.

    Bradley’s last eight outings have come at Double-A Mobile, where he’s posted a solid 3.76 ERA in 38.1 innings but struggled to consistently pound the strike zone (31-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio). The right-hander would have a much more appealing 2.27 ERA at the level if we removed his July 25 start (7 ER in 2.2 IP) from the mix.

    Bradley should return to Triple-A Reno once the Diamondbacks are confident with his progress, and a taste of the major leagues as a September call-up seems to have been all but ruled out. Don’t expect the organization to risk both Bradley and the team’s future with an unnecessary promotion. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 1.5-1

8. Jon Gray, RHP, Colorado Rockies

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    2014 Stats (AA): 9-5, 112 IP, 3.78 ERA, .235 BAA, 2.7 BB/9, 8.2 K/9 (21 GS)

    Jon Gray has been impressive this year in his first full professional season, as the 22-year-old right-hander has pitched well against advanced competition at Double-A Tulsa. While he’s experienced some growing pains here and there, which was expected given his lack of professional experience, Gray has been tough to barrel (.235 BAA), and has maintained steady strikeout and walk rates throughout the season.

    Given the struggles of the Rockies’ starting rotation as well as Eddie Butler’s injury in early June following his big league debut, it’ll be interesting to see how the organization handles Gray’s development during the final two months of the regular season.

    It has no obvious reason to promote the hard-throwing right-hander, but a September call-up could serve as a healthy challenge for Gray as the the team grooms him for a spot in the 2015 rotation.

    September Call-Up Odds: 1.5-1

7. Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles

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    2014 Stats (SS/A+): 1-3, 41.1 IP, 3.27 ERA, .250 BAA, 3.5 BB/9, 8.1 K/9 (9 GS)

    Dylan Bundy continues to work his way back from the Tommy John surgery he underwent last spring and has now spent the last month at High-A Frederick after a series of dominant starts for Short Season Aberdeen.

    The 21-year-old right-hander’s velocity is yet to return to pre-surgery form, with Pat Stoetzer of the Carroll County Times (via The Baltimore Sun) reporting he topped out at only 89 mph in his latest start, while his ugly 15-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio indicates he’s still working to regain his overall feel for pitching.

    However, if all goes as planned in his recovery, Bundy could be ready to rejoin the Orioles in early September and pick up where he left off in 2012. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 2-1

6. Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals

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    2014 Stats (A): 8-2, 88 IP, 2.35 ERA, .191 BAA, 2.7 BB/9, 10.1 K/9 (18 GS)

    Lucas Giolito’s starts and innings have been (and will continue to be) limited by the organization as he continues to work back from Tommy John surgery, but it hasn’t prevented the right-hander from absolutely dominating hitters in the South Atlantic League.

    The 20-year-old is simply too good to remain at the Low-A level much longer, though at this point it’s doubtful the Nationals offer him an aggressive promotion in his first full season back from the elbow injury.

    Unfortunately, at least for baseball fans, the right-hander is unlikely to join the Nationals until late 2015 at the earliest, as the organization has and will continue to dictate his workload like it has in the past with Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 1,000-1

5. Joey Gallo, 3B, Texas Rangers

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    2014 Stats (A+/AA): .291/.408/.651, 58 XBH (37 HR), 93 RBI, 73 BB, 152 K (108 G)

    Joey Gallo led all minor league hitters in 2013 with 40 home runs, and he’s on pace to shatter that mark with 37 home runs (which ties him with Bryant for the minor league lead) through 108 games, including 16 in his first 50 games following a midseason promotion to Double-A Frisco.

    Beyond his legitimate 80-grade power, the 20-year-old slugger has shown better plate discipline and pitch recognition this season, as he’s drastically improved both his strikeout (33.3 percent) and walk (16.0 percent) rates and hit for a high average without sacrificing any power.

    Gallo is a long shot to reach the major leagues this season, but one has to believe it’s at least on the Rangers’ mind given his success at the Double-A level. It’s a fun thought to entertain, but I wouldn’t expect Gallo to arrive until 2015. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 3-1

4. Addison Russell, SS, Chicago Cubs

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    2014 Stats (A+/AA): .296/.364/.509, 17 XBH (9 HR), 28 RBI, 5 SB, 16 BB, 35 K (45 G)

    Addison Russell missed most of the first half with a hamstring injury, but he’s been fully healthy now since early June and is playing well against advanced competition in Double-A. The 20-year-old seemingly has benefited from the change of scenery after coming over from the A’s in early July, as he's posted a .295/.339/.562 batting line, eight home runs, four doubles and 19 RBI in 27 games at Double-A Tennessee.

    He was unlikely to reach the major leagues this season with the A’s on account of the lost time developmentally, and he definitely won’t as a member of the Cubs, with Baez and Starlin Castro now ahead of him on the organizational depth chart. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 1,000-1

3. Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians

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    2014 Stats (AA/AAA): .270/.342/.381, 25 XBH (8 HR), 54 RBI, 27 SB, 45 BB, 78 K (103 G)

    After getting his first taste of Double-A late last season, Lindor excelled on both sides of the ball this year despite being one of the youngest everyday players in the Eastern League.

    In addition to his trademark defensive prowess at shortstop, Lindor, 20, once again hit for both average and modest power, reaching base at a high rate thanks to plate discipline that exceeds his years while also stealing bases with efficiency.

    It's long been believed that the Cleveland Indians would promote Lindor to the major leagues at some point late in the season. Well, before trading Asdrubal Cabrera to the Washington Nationals, the Indians decided to promote Lindor to Triple-A, suggesting that his debut could come sooner rather than later.

    He's set to take over at shortstop full time in 2015, so it makes sense for the Indians to have the youngster get his feet wet in the major leagues over the final month of the season.  

    September Call-Up Odds: 1-9

2. Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs

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    2014 Stats (AA/AAA): .342/.448/.692, 70 XBH (37 HR), 96 RBI, 15 SB, 70 BB, 130 K (115 G)

    Bryant continues to pass every test the organization throws his way and has done nothing but surpass all expectations since the Chicago Cubs selected him second overall in the 2013 draft. The 22-year-old slugger has put up remarkable numbers this season between the Double- and Triple-A levels, as he currently ranks among the minor league leaders in every offensive category.

    Cubs president Theo Epstein previously stated, via's Jesse Rogers on Twitter, that he doesn’t “foresee” Bryant playing in the major leagues this season—which is what any wise front-office official would say when trying to temper expectations.

    Don’t get me wrong—there’s nothing I want to see more than Bryant playing alongside Baez, Arismendy Alcantara and Jorge Soler during the final month of the regular season. Those four players have spent a good chunk of the year playing together in the high minors, so in theory it wouldn’t be a terrible idea for the Cubs to at least consider giving Bryant a look in September.

    In my personal opinion, I think he’ll get the call. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 1-2

1. Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins

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    2014 Stats (A+): .236/.308/.396, 9 XBH (3 HR), 13 RBI, 5 SB, 9 BB, 29 K (26 G)

    Byron Buxton is still viewed as the sport’s top prospect despite missing roughly half of the season with a wrist injury, as there’s simply no other player who can match his combination of elite athleticism, legitimate five-tool potential and advanced secondary skills.

    Yet, while the 20-year-old is finally healthy, he’s yet to settle in offensively at High-A Fort Myers, which makes it difficult to envision a scenario in which he reaches the major leagues before the end of the season.

    Buxton originally was supposed to begin the year at Double-A New Britain, in which case he would have been on schedule to debut with the Twins in August or September. However, given the amount of developmental time he’s missed this season, it’d be surprising to see him in the major leagues before mid-2015. 

    September Call-Up Odds: 9-1