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The Chicago Cubs are ticketed for another last place finish in the National League Central this year, but there won’t be a more exciting team to watch over the final month of the season.

The Cubs have played .500 ball (22-22) since the All-Star break thanks to an electric offense that is pacing the National League with 56 home runs during that span.

In general, things have been looking up for the North Siders since the beginning of July, when they began infusing the big league lineup with some of its prized prospects.

Now, a little less than two months since the process began, it’s easy to see why the Chicago Cubs’ future is so bright.

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The door to The Show opened for some of baseball’s top prospects Monday with the expansion of the active roster from 25 to 40 players.

The Los Angeles Dodgers wasted no time promoting outfielder Joc Pederson, as the team purchased his contract from Triple-A Albuquerque before Monday’s game.

The Blue Jays and Royals took advantage of the expanded rosters by each calling up a pair of non-roster prospects.

The Royals added game-changing speed to their bench for the stretch run in outfielder Terrance Gore, and they also called up 2014 first-rounder left-hander Brandon Finnegan, who is expected to work out of the bullpen down the stretch.

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Sept. 1 marks the expansion of every team’s active roster from 25 to 40 players. In general, it allows teams to address their needs at the major league level by essentially plucking specific talent from within their farm system to add bench and bullpen depth.

More importantly, at least as far as we’re concerned, the final month of the season represents a time when teams have the freedom to audition their top prospects at the highest level.

Even though most organizations hold off on promoting their young talent until the completion of the minor league playoffs, which are set to begin this week, there should be several notable promotions announced Monday.

As part of our ongoing coverage here at Prospect Pipeline, we’ve put together a list of each team’s announced call-ups headed into Monday. And as news pertaining to September call-ups develops over the coming week, we’ve got you covered with updated information, scouting reports and predictions on baseball’s top prospects.

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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.

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The final month of Major League Baseball’s regular season is just around the corner. For many teams, that means help is on the way.

Starting Monday, Sept. 1, teams are allowed to carry as many as 40 players on their active roster. And after playing the first five months of the season with a strict 25-man squad, the chance to bolster a roster with upward of 15 additional players, whether it be in the form of serviceable depth or young, talented prospects, can be the deciding factor for teams still in the playoff hunt.  

At face value, the expansion of rosters in September makes for an exciting end to the season—especially after the implementation of a second wild-card spot. However, MLB teams will never be fully on board with the idea until the system itself is reformed to favor all 30 clubs equally.

Outrage over September call-ups is nothing new. Back in 2009, Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin blasted the notion of expanded rosters in a conversation with MLB.com:

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With rosters set to expand from 25 to 40 players on Monday, September call-up fever is officially in the air.

In the last week we’ve looked this year’s potential call-ups in a variety of ways, including an overall ranking, position-by-position breakdown and, more recently, a deeper look at prospects capable of improving their teams’ playoff chances.

And with roster expansion still a long weekend away, we’ll be rolling out even more call-up-related content in the coming days.

The rankings for this article were based on those released earlier in the week in our look at the top 25 call-up candidates. However, instead of simply identifying the best prospects, this article strives to focus on players who have been rumored to be in the mix for a call-up as well as those facing an imminent promotion thanks to a spot on the 40-man roster.

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Teams now have less than a week to decide which of their prospects, if any, will be promoted to the major leagues on Sept. 1.

While most clubs typically recall players already on their 40-man roster, teams chasing a playoff berth may be more inclined to think outside the box and take a chance on a prospect not already on the roster.

Last season, some of the game’s top prospects, namely Billy Hamilton and Yordano Ventura, were promoted to the major leagues on Sept. 1 and ultimately made significant contributions to their respective teams over the final month of the season.

This year, we’re unlikely to see playoff contenders call up their big-name, future stars for the stretch run, but there will be numerous lesser-known but deserving prospects promoted when rosters expand Monday.

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Chris Sale went from first-round draft pick in 2010 to big league reliever in a span of two months, beginning what has turned out to be a brilliant five-year career with the Chicago White Sox.

This year, the stage has been set for fellow left-hander Carlos Rodon, the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft, to follow in Sale’s footsteps, as his recent promotion to Triple-A Charlotte has fueled speculation that his professional debut will conclude in the major leagues.

Earlier this month, Scott Merkin of MLB.com reported there was a "better-than-average chance" the White Sox will promote Rodon to the major leagues in September, just as they did with Sale five years prior.

Since then, the front office has tried to temper expectations regarding a potential Rodon call-up, with general manager Rick Hahn recently discussing the situation on the Mully and Hanley Show (h/t MLB Trade Rumors).

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Even though a majority of the game's top prospects have already received promotions, teams will receive an infusion of fresh, young talent on Sept. 1 when the active roster expands from 25 to 40 players.

With roughly five weeks remaining in the regular season, expanding rosters will allow teams to address their needs at the major league level by essentially plucking specific talent from within their farm systems. In general, it's an opportunity for every organization to add bench and bullpen depth by utilizing its full 40-man roster.

In anticipation of what should be a flurry of promotions starting next Monday, we've got you covered with a look at the top prospects ticketed for the major leagues for the season's final month. The rankings for this article are based primarily on Prospect Pipeline's midseason top 50 update, though factors such as 2014 performances, 40-man roster status and teams' specific needs at the major league level were also considered.

Here are the top 25 prospects most likely to be called up on Sept. 1.

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The 2013 playoff races were defined by strong rookie performances.

There was Michael Wacha, who went from first-round draft pick in 2012 to No. 2 starter for the St. Louis Cardinals down the stretch and well into the postseason. Gerrit Cole and Sonny Gray had similar impacts on their respective teams, as both right-handers reached the major leagues in the middle of the season and ultimately shined in their first tastes of playoff baseball.

Meanwhile, Billy Hamilton literally stole the show on the other side of the ball. The infamous speedster was called up in September and blew past all reasonable expectations by batting .368 with nine runs and 13 stolen bases over 13 games.

This season, there should be just as many, if not more, big-name prospects who influence their team’s quest for a playoff berth.