Top MLB Prospect Call-Up Radar Report, Week 22
The 2014 season has seen a number of notable prospects receive call-ups to the major leagues. With the final month and the corresponding roster expansion approaching, there will be more to come—and soon.
September brings with it 40-man rosters, so Monday should be filled with prospects getting promoted.
During the past week or so, Jorge Soler and Daniel Corcino debuted, among a handful of others.
Soler, as you might've heard or seen or read, hit a homer in his very first plate appearance with the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. Corcino, a right-hander in the Cincinnati Reds' system, hurled a perfect inning on Aug. 26—which just so happened to be his 24th birthday.
Meanwhile, outfielder Randal Grichuk and reliever Heath Hembree returned to contribute yet again to the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox, respectively.
Highly regarded youngsters such as Marcus Stroman, Jonathan Singleton, Oscar Taveras, Ken Giles and Javier Baez have been seeing regular time for their respective clubs for quite some time now. Others, such as Mookie Betts and Taijuan Walker, have been shuttling up and down between the minors and majors for much of the year.
More young impact talent will be joining the mix too. Who will be the next to reach the major leagues? In order to predict estimated times of arrival this season, we've classified the prospects on this list using the following color-coded scale:
- Red: September call-up, at best.
- Green: Call-up within a week/call-up is imminent.
Here's a look at the top prospect call-up report for Week 22 of the 2014 MLB season.
Others on the Cusp
Jacob Lindgren, LHP, New York Yankees
Domingo Santana, OF, Houston Astros
Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians
Christian Binford, RHP, Kansas City Royals
Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs
Maikel Franco, 1B/3B, Philadelphia Phillies
Cam Bedrosian, RHP, Los Angeles Angels
Andrew Chafin, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Mike Wright, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Kansas City Royals
Nick Kingham, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Alex Colome, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
Nick Tropeano, RHP, Houston Astros
Kyle Parker, 1B/OF, Colorado Rockies
A.J. Cole, RHP, Washington Nationals
Marco Gonzales, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Tim Cooney, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Robert Refsnyder, 2B/OF, New York Yankees
Matt Barnes, RHP, Boston Red Sox
Chris Reed, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Garin Cecchini, 3B/OF, Boston Red Sox
J.T. Realmuto, C, Miami Marlins
Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets
Matt Reynolds, SS, New York Mets
Andrew Lambo, 1B/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Matt Davidson, 3B, Chicago White Sox
Daniel Norris, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays
2014 Stats (High-/Double-/Triple-A): 12-2, 2.57 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 160:42 K:BB (122.2 IP)
Despite Daniel Norris' first hiccup of a start in his fourth turn at Triple-A—he allowed six runs on eight hits in four innings on Aug. 26—he remains a candidate to get called up by the Toronto Blue Jays for the first time before the end of the season.
The 21-year-old's three other outings for Buffalo produced 16.2 frames of six-hit, two-run ball with a ridiculous 32 strikeouts.
If the Jays want to reward him for flying through three minor league levels by giving him a handful of innings out of the bullpen, it wouldn't be a bad idea. He's going to be a big part of their rotation soon enough, so even some limited exposure to the majors would help.
Christian Walker, 1B, Baltimore Orioles
2014 Stats (Double-/Triple-A): .288/.359/.489, 72 R, 51 XBH (25 HR), 94 RBI, SB, 128:55 K:BB (579 PA)
Although he's not as well-known of a prospect as some of the others on this list, Christian Walker suddenly has a little clearer path to playing time with the Baltimore Orioles.
In the wake of the second straight season-ending knee surgery for Manny Machado, the club has been playing Chris Davis at the hot corner and journeyman Steve Pearce at first. Should they want some insurance there, though, Walker is ready.
The 23-year-old, who was a fourth-round pick in 2012, has shown increased power this season. After managing just 13 home runs in his first full pro season, Walker already has more than doubled that total.
With the O's in good shape in the AL East, they could afford to give Walker his first taste in September.
Carlos Rodon, LHP, Chicago White Sox
2014 Stats (Rk/High-A/Triple-A): 0-0, 2.75 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 31:10 K:BB (19.2 IP)
The trek to reach the majors before his first professional campaign is continues for Carlos Rodon, who was the No. 3 overall pick not even three months ago.
The 21-year-old has now made two starts for Triple-A Charlotte, the second of which was about as dazzling as a four-inning outing can be. In that one, Rodon allowed only a run and a hit while striking out eight batters.
The Chicago White Sox have indicated they're open to getting him to the bigs as long as he's throwing well, as Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune writes:
Sox general manager Rick Hahn remains publicly noncommittal about whether Carlos Rodon will be called up in September, so I will only say it seems likely, especially if he progresses with another solid outing at Triple-A Charlotte this weekend.
The Sox have preached that they will only bring Rodon in if it looks to be the right move for his development, and as Hahn noted, he has bolted up the ranks over the last two months. But if they think he can handle the call-up, there’s no reason not to make it.
Considering Rodon is holding up his end, expect to see him for a September cameo.
Alex Meyer, RHP, Minnesota Twins
2014 Stats (Triple-A): 7-6, 3.41 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 153:63 K:BB (129.1 IP)
Frankly, it's getting a bit boring to keep writing about Alex Meyer in this space every week without the Minnesota Twins following through by finally calling him up.
The 24-year-old ranks among the top 10 in the minors with 153 strikeouts, and he has to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 draft anyway.
So, c'mon, Twins, just bring him up already.
Andrew Heaney, LHP, Miami Marlins
2014 Stats (Double-/Triple-A): 9-6, 3.23 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 138:34 K:BB (131.0 IP)
Although Andrew Heaney has had some ups and downs since heading back to Triple-A after four turns with the Miami Marlins, it's hard to argue that he's not deserving of another stint.
The 23-year-old southpaw has six quality starts in his last eight, and he hasn't allowed a single home run over his past five. In that stretch, he's also sporting a 33-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 31.2 frames.
Heaney has a good chance to be a part of the Marlins' 2015 Opening Day rotation, so they might as well try him out again in the majors, especially with New Orleans' season coming to an end on Monday.
Alexander Guerrero, INF, Los Angeles Dodgers
2014 Stats (Rk/High-A/Triple-A): .332/.371/.614, 45 R, 41 XBH (16 HR), 55 RBI, 4 SB, 51:15 K:BB (302 PA)
It's a good bet that Alexander Guerrero is going to add to his lone major league plate appearance—which came all the way back during the Los Angeles Dodgers' season-opening Australia series in March—once the calender flips to September.
The 27-year-old Cuban has been hitting the ball all over the park at Triple-A Albuquerque of late, going 16-for-37 (.432) with three homers and 13 RBI over his last nine games.
Also of note, Guerrero has been getting time at second base, shortstop and left field, which could be a sign that the Dodgers have him pegged for a utility role as they aim to secure the NL West crown.
Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners
2014 Stats (High-/Double-/Triple-A): 7-4, 4.37 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 91:27 K:BB (82.1 IP)
Taijuan Walker's most recent Triple-A start was a bit of a mixed bag. He gave up five runs on nine hits in six innings but still struck out six and walked just two. That brings his strikeout-to-walk ratio to 43-to-11 over his past 32.1 frames (six games).
Another thing that's in the 22-year-old's favor as far as returning to the Seattle Mariners? Erasmo Ramirez, the club's sometimes fifth starter, has been all over the map and was particularly terrible in his last outing on Wednesday, during which he surrendered a whopping 10 runs on nine hits in only three innings.
As Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times writes of Ramirez, who was returned to the minors Friday, per Bob Dutton on The News Tribune: "I understand the debate about whether Taijuan Walker is a better option than Erasmo Ramirez. But Ramirez had pitched better in Tacoma of late and in his last few spot starts. I doubt he’ll get any more chances."
Walker didn't have much trouble doing better than that in any of his three turns with Seattle earlier this summer. Given their dogfight for the AL wild card, the M's are going to want Walker on hand to help out.
Joc Pederson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
2014 Stats (Triple-A): .307/.437/.590, 103 R, 54 XBH (33 HR), 78 RBI, 30 SB, 146:98 K:BB (543 PA)
It’s no longer a question of if or even when the Los Angeles Dodgers will call up Joc Pederson, because they’ve already said they will. The question, then, revolves only around how much Pederson will play once he’s brought up in September.
Despite Pederson being named the Pacific Coast League's Most Valuable Player, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly indicated the 22-year-old likely won’t see much action, in part because the club has too many outfielders as is.
"We’ll use him," Mattingly told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. "But I’ll use him like any other guy coming up in September. Not really planning on throwing him out there or anything. I think it’ll be a good experience for him to basically be here."
The other factor? L.A. is trying to hold off the San Francisco Giants in the NL West, while simultaneously jockeying with the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers for a higher seed in the Senior Circuit.
Regardless, Pederson—who became the first 30-30 man in the Pacific Coast League in 80 years this week—could be at least a late-inning defensive replacement in center field.
Dilson Herrera, 2B, New York Mets
2014 Stats (High-/Double-A): .323/.379/.479, 98 R, 51 XBH (13 HR), 71 RBI, 23 SB, 96:47 K:BB (587 PA)
The New York Mets are dipping down to Double-A to bring up Dilson Herrera, who is debuting Friday, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com:
With Daniel Murphy landing on the DL with a right-calf strain, and with the Mets needing to add the 20-year-old Herrera to the 40-man roster after the season anyway, Herrera instead received a ride from upstate New York to Queens on Friday.
Acquired as an under-the-radar second-base prospect along with reliever Vic Black in last August’s waiver trade that sent Marlon Byrd to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the 20-year-old Herrera has had a breakout 2014 campaign.
Promoted to Binghamton in mid-June, the righty hitter has been even better at Double-A, slashing an impressive .340/.406/.560 with 10 of his 13 homers and 48 of his 71 RBI in 61 games, compared to 67 at High-A St. Lucie.
While Murphy is under team control through 2015 and was the Mets' lone All-Star this year, he’s considered a trade candidate. If Herrera, who has worked his way into becoming the club’s second baseman of the near-future, shows he can hang in the bigs immediately, the Mets might have an interesting decision on their hands this winter.
Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Boston Red Sox
2014 Stats (Triple-A): 14-4, 2.61 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 111:54 K:BB (138.0 IP)
Having thrown the ball well in his first two turns, Ranaudo has been shuttling between Pawtucket and Boston over the past month. With September just about here, though, expect the 24-year-old to stay up.
As a former first-round draft pick who has steadily climbed through the Red Sox’s system, Ranaudo could put himself in position to break camp as part of the five-man rotation next spring with a few more solid starts.
After all, even if Boston brings in a free-agent arm or two, it’s not like there won’t be an opening in the rotation after the club traded away Jon Lester, Jon Lackey and Jake Peavy in July.
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