September Call-Up Odds for MLB's Top 20 Prospects, 3 Weeks Out

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2015

September Call-Up Odds for MLB's Top 20 Prospects, 3 Weeks Out

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    Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    When the calendar turns over to September, MLB active rosters officially expand from 25 to 40 players.

    Generally this is a time when teams promote the guys that have bounced between the minors and majors for most of the season, adding a few arms to the bullpen and bats to the bench in the process.

    There are always at least a handful of top prospects who are given a chance to show what they can do during this time as well.

    Last season, names like Joc Pederson, Daniel Norris, Maikel Franco, Dalton Pompey, Cory Spangenberg and Brandon Finnegan headlined the crop of September prospect promotions.

    So who could we see get the call this year? Let's take a look at the top 20 prospects in the league and the odds they make the jump.

    First, a few notes on requirements for this list and prospect rankings before we get started.

    • Must Still Have Rookie Eligibility: To be considered for this list of prospects, a player has to still have rookie eligibility. That means someone like Javier Baez, who exceeded rookie limits last year, if not included. At the same time, someone like Joey Gallo, who has already debuted this season but still holds rookie status, is included.
    • Must Have Reached at Least Double-A: The odds of a player being promoted straight from Single-A to the majors for a September call-up are incredibly low, so those players were excluded from the conversation here.
    • Rankings: Prospect rankings were not pulled from any one source specifically, but are instead a combination of the updated top 100 prospect list from MLB.com, the midseason top 50 prospect list from Baseball America and my own personal opinion.
    • 40-Man Roster: It's noted on each slide whether or not a player is currently on his team's 40-man roster. If he is not, a player will need to be designated off the roster in order for that player to be promoted, so guys who are already on the 40-man roster obviously have a better chance of being promoted in most cases.
    • 100-1 Odds: No prospect was given worse than 100-1 odds, so think of receiving those odds as an indication that there is little to no chance that player will see the majors here in 2015.

    Check out the top 20, ranked by their chances of hitting it big in September, in the following slides.

20. SP Tyler Glasnow, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Call-Up Odds: 100-1

    2015 Stats (Low-A, Double-A and Triple-A)

    16 GS, 5-4, 2.41 ERA, 1.072 WHIP, 28 BB, 101 K, 78.1 IP

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    With a lanky 6'8" frame and a repertoire that includes a high-90s fastball and solid curveball/changeup combination, Tyler Glasnow certainly looks the part of a future frontline starter alongside Gerrit Cole in the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation.

    After moving him slowly to begin his pro career, the organization has promoted him aggressively this season, and he was recently bumped up to Triple-A.

    Command has always been the big question mark with Glasnow, and a six-walk performance in his last start on Aug. 6 doesn't help ease those concerns.

    He'd be an interesting arm out of the bullpen down the stretch, but my guess is the Pirates remain somewhat cautious with the 21-year-old and line things up for a 2016 debut sometime after the All-Star break.

19. SP Jose De Leon, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Call-Up Odds: 100-1

    2015 Stats (High-A and Double-A)

    18 GS, 6-5, 3.09 ERA, 1.031 WHIP, 33 BB, 135 K, 96.0 IP

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    A 24th-round pick in the 2013 draft, Jose De Leon was well off the prospect radar before a breakout performance last season.

    Splitting the year between the rookie league and Single-A, he went 7-0 with a 2.22 ERA and 119 strikeouts in just 77 innings of work.

    He handled the jump to High-A to start the 2015 season well, going 4-1 with a 1.67 ERA, 0.903 WHIP and 58 strikeouts in 37.2 innings to earn a quick promotion to Double-A.

    Things have not gone quite as smoothly in the upper minors, as he has a 4.01 ERA through 11 starts, but his strikeout rate is still impressive (11.9 K/9), and he certainly has the stuff.

    With Mike Bolsinger, Joe Wieland and prospect Zach Lee all on the 40-man roster, the chances seem slim for De Leon to be part of the September wave of call-ups. That being said, a strong start to 2016 could have him knocking on the door next year. 

18. SP Alex Reyes, St. Louis Cardinals

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    Call-Up Odds: 100-1

    2015 Stats (Rookie, High-A and Double-A)

    17 GS, 2-6, 2.30 ERA, 1.187 WHIP, 37 BB, 118 K, 78.1 IP

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    Alex Reyes took an interesting path to the majors, as laid out by MLB.com's Prospect Watch:

    Reyes grew up in New Jersey but wasn't drawing much exposure as a high school infielder/pitcher, so he decided to move to the Dominican Republic before what would have been his senior season. His arm strength took off once he returned to his parents' homeland, making him a coveted international free agent who landed a $950,000 bonus in December 2012.

    With a mid-90s fastball that can touch triple-digits and a plus curveball, he's another in a line of electric arms to come through the Cardinals system.

    He was recently promoted to Double-A, where he has a 3.09 ERA through his first three starts. Chances are he'll open next season at that level, and the 20-year-old could push to debut in St. Louis as early as 2016 if he keeps pitching like he has this year.

17. RF Nomar Mazara, Texas Rangers

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    Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

    Call-Up Odds: 100-1

    2015 Stats (Double-A)

    105 G, 389 AB, .288/.360/.450, 20 2B, 13 HR, 53 RBI, 54 R, 2 SB

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    The Texas Rangers gave Nomar Mazara a $4.95 million signing bonus back in 2011 when he was just 16 years old, a then-record for an international player, and he's starting to show why he was such a highly regarded prospect.

    After posting an .840 OPS with 28 doubles and 22 home runs last season, he's continued to shine offensively in a full season with Double-A Frisco at the age of 20.

    His power grades out as his best tool, and while the 22 longballs he hit last year were a career high, he has the potential to be a 30-homer guy once he reaches the big league level.

    Given his age and the fact that he has yet to see any time in Triple-A, chances are Mazara will simply finish up the season in the minors. He seems like a prime candidate to play in the Arizona Fall League, though, and could see the majors by the second half of next season.

16. CF Manuel Margot, Boston Red Sox

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    Call-Up Odds: 100-1

    2015 Stats (High-A and Double-A)

    83 G, 332 AB, .265/.312/.398, 16 2B, 4 HR, 35 RBI, 55 R, 30 SB

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    Still just 20 years old, Manuel Margot has been steadily rising up the prospect rankings as he makes his ascent through the Red Sox organization.

    A .293/.356/.462 line in his first full season splitting the year between Single-A and High-A served as his coming out party, and he's been aggressively promoted this season as a result.

    After hitting .282/.321/.420 in 46 games for High-A Salem, he was bumped up to Double-A Portland where he's one of the youngest players in the league.

    He's struggled a bit with a .245/.301/.371 line, but that's to be expected from such a young player making such a big jump. A return to Double-A to begin next season seems to be the likely path, and a September call-up is a longshot at best.

15. 1B Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Call-Up Odds: 100-1

    2015 Stats (Double-A and Triple-A)

    104 G, 400 AB, .298/.367/.413, 17 2B, 5 HR, 61 RBI, 49 R, 7 SB

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    He's still growing into his power, but Josh Bell has a chance to be the next All-Star-caliber homegrown player for the Pittsburgh Pirates and a staple at first base for a long time.

    The 22-year-old was given a bonus out of high school after slipping to the second round due to signability concerns, and that investment is looking more and more like it could pay huge dividends for the Pirates.

    There has been a different Opening Day first baseman in Pittsburgh each of the past seven seasons, so some stability at the position would be a welcome change.

    Bell was only recently promoted to Triple-A, where he has eight games under his belt so far. The Pirates went out and added veterans Aramis Ramirez and Michael Morse at the deadline, to join Pedro Alvarez, so look for Bell to finish out the season in the minors.

14. SP Lucas Giolito, Washington Nationals

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    Call-Up Odds: 75-1

    2015 Stats (High-A and Double-A)

    16 G, 14 GS, 3-6, 3.34 ERA, 1.332 WHIP, 30 BB, 98 K, 86.1 IP

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    Lucas Giolito has thrown just 223 innings since being selected with the No. 16 pick in the 2012 draft, but he's shown enough when he has been on the mound to check in as the consensus top pitching prospect in baseball.

    The 21-year-old has absolutely filthy stuff, with a high 90s fastball, devastating hammer curve and a changeup that has improved significantly and is now a third plus offering.

    A sprained UCL during his senior season of high school caused Giolito to slip in the draft, and he wound up needing Tommy John surgery because of it. The team has brought him along slowly as a result, but he's still managed to reach Double-A.

    A 5.94 ERA and 5.4 BB/9 rate in three starts since being promoted are good signs that he needs more seasoning, but don't be surprised if he finds his way into the big league rotation next year.

13. Julio Urias, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    Call-Up Odds: 50-1

    2015 Stats (Rookie, High-A and Double-A)

    13 GS, 2-4, 3.36 ERA, 1.051 WHIP, 15 BB, 66 K, 59.0 IP

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    The fact that we're even talking about an 18-year-old potentially being called up into the heat of a pennant race is borderline ridiculous, but that's the situation we find ourselves in with Julio Urias.

    Urias missed roughly two months following elective cosmetic surgery on his eye in May, and that became a creative way for the team to limit his innings in 2015.

    Now with just 59 innings of work under his belt, it's full speed ahead the rest of the way, and that includes a potential call-up if the team thinks he can help down the stretch.

    Following the acquisitions of Mat Latos and Alex Wood, and with guys like Mike Bolsinger and Joe Wieland on the 40-man roster and waiting in Triple-A, it's a longshot. He has a better chance than fellow pitching prospect Jose De Leon, though.

12. SP Sean Newcomb, Los Angeles Angels

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    Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Call-Up Odds: 25-1

    2015 Stats (Single-A, High-A and Double-A)

    22 GS, 7-1, 2.19 ERA, 1.261 WHIP, 60 BB, 138 K, 111.0 IP

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    Sean Newcomb was the No. 15 pick in last year's draft after a standout career at the University of Hartford, and he's quickly established himself as one of the top pitching prospects in the game.

    He began the season in Single-A but has climbed two levels and more than held his own in two starts for Double-A Arkansas so far. He's allowed just five hits and two runs in 11 innings of work, walking away with a no-decision in both outings.

    It's hard to argue with the results to this point, but Newcomb does still need to work on his overall command. He's walking batters at a 4.9 BB/9 clip so far this season, and pitching around those free passes won't be as easy as he continues to climb the ladder.

    With C.J. Wilson expected to undergo season-ending elbow surgery, veteran Jered Weaver is set to rejoin the Los Angeles Angels rotation on Sunday. There's not much depth behind the current rotation, so another injury could open the door for Newcomb to get a look, though it's still far from likely.

11. CF Bradley Zimmer, Cleveland Indians

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Call-Up Odds: 20-1

    2015 Stats (High-A and Double-A)

    100 G, 368 AB, .291/.390/.481, 23 2B, 13 HR, 53 RBI, 73 R, 38 SB

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    At this point there's a good chance that Bradley Zimmer beats his brother Kyle, who is a prospect in the Kansas City Royals system, to the big leagues.

    The Cleveland Indians outfielder was viewed by many as the best college bat in the 2014 class—a class that also included the likes of Kyle Schwarber, Michael Conforto and Trea Turner.

    He already possess a good mix of contact skills, on-base ability and speed, and his power should continue to develop as his 6'4" frame fills out. He also has the glove to stick in center field, which only adds to his value.

    The Indians' recent trade of Michael Bourn to the Atlanta Braves has left a clear path to the starting center field job. Zimmer has played just 22 games in Double-A to this point, but his advanced feel for the game could lead to a surprise call-up.

10. SS Orlando Arcia, Milwaukee Brewers

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    Michael Spooneybarger/Associated Press

    Call-Up Odds: 15-1

    2015 Stats (Double-A)

    101 G, 399 AB, .298/.342/.436, 30 2B, 5 HR, 53 RBI, 60 R, 20 SB

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    The Milwaukee Brewers made it clear they were ready to start rebuilding when they pulled the trigger on trading Carlos Gomez at the deadline, and shortstop Orlando Arcia figures to be a cornerstone of what they do going forward.

    Always viewed as a premier defender, Arcia has made huge strides with his bat the past two seasons and now looks like a potential star in the making.

    With incumbent shortstop Jean Segura hitting just .255/.282/.320 and likely to give way to Arcia next season anyway, calling up the 21-year-old and letting him get his feet wet over the final month of the year would make sense.

    At the same time, the team might prefer to give Segura at-bats in hopes that he can finish strong and build some trade value heading into the offseason.

9. RF Aaron Judge, New York Yankees

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Call-Up Odds: 12-1

    2015 Stats (Double-A and Triple-A)

    97 G, 377 AB, .268/.340/.472, 23 2B, 16 HR, 59 RBI, 51 R, 5 SB

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    An imposing figure at 6'7" and 275 pounds, Aaron Judge has a chance to be an offensive force if he can get his strength to better translate to in-game results.

    MLB.com's Prospect Watch had the following to say about his offensive approach.

    He has huge raw power, though he's content for now to use a shorter stroke and the entire field, working counts and producing line drives. A more advanced hitter than expected, he currently projects to bat .275 with 20-25 homers per season but could produce more power if he becomes more aggressive and turns on more pitches.

    At any rate, he should be able to help the Yankees offense in some fashion in the not-too-distant future.

    He's hitting just .236/.320/.386 with four home runs in 127 at-bats since being promoted to Triple-A, but as the Yankees try to hold off the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East, he could be an intriguing bench bat down the stretch.

8. SS J.P. Crawford, Philadelphia Phillies

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    Call-Up Odds: 10-1

    2015 Stats (High-A and Double-A)

    82 G, 330 AB, .285/.379/.400, 15 2B, 5 HR, 32 RBI, 52 R, 7 SB

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    The youth movement has finally begun in Philadelphia, where Maikel Franco and Aaron Nola might already be the two best players on the big league roster now that Cole Hamels is suiting up elsewhere.

    Those two will soon be joined by shortstop J.P. Crawford, who has moved quickly since being taken out of high school with the No. 16 pick in the 2013 draft.

    A ridiculous 50/39 BB/K ratio is a good indication of the advanced contact skills and great approach Crawford has at the plate, and he pairs that with an above average glove and plus range.

    All signs point to Crawford stepping into the starting job from Day 1 next season, and Freddy Galvis (.666 OPS) isn't going to stand in his way if the team decides it wants to give him a look over the final month.

7. SS Trea Turner, Washington Nationals

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    Call-Up Odds: 8-1

    2015 Stats (Double-A and Triple-A)

    107 G, 414 AB, .319/.368/.461, 21 2B, 8 HR, 53 RBI, 62 R, 25 SB

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    There's a good chance that the Steven Souza for Joe Ross and Trea Turner trade is one we're going to be talking about for a while as an absolute steal for the Washington Nationals and a regrettably poor decision by the San Diego Padres.

    Ross has already broken through with a 2.80 ERA in seven starts with the big league club, effectively relegating Doug Fister to the bullpen in the process.

    Meanwhile, Turner has his sights set on replacing another struggling star, as incumbent shortstop Ian Desmond is having a dreadful contract year with a .222/.272/.370 line offensively.

    Turner is already slated to take over next season when Desmond walks, and with the Nationals in a tight battle with the New York Mets in the NL East, they may give the 22-year-old a look as a potential upgrade over the struggling veteran.

6. SP Robert Stephenson, Cincinnati Reds

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    Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

    Call-Up Odds: 5-1

    2015 Stats (Double-A and Triple-A)

    21 GS, 8-8, 3.50 ERA, 1.217 WHIP, 60 BB, 130 K, 118.1 IP

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    In trading away 80 percent of their starting rotation since the offseason, the Cincinnati Reds have acquired a ton of young talent. At the same time, they are still in the process of sorting out which five guys will make up their rotation in 2016 and beyond.

    Anthony DeSclafani and Michael Lorenzen both look like solid bets to be part of the future staff, while they are currently joined by the trio of Raisel Iglesias, David Holmberg and Keyvius Sampson.

    There is a lot of potential in that group, but the future ace of the staff is still expected to be 2011 first-round pick Robert Stephenson.

    He has the power stuff and durable build to be a stud, and he's been impressive this season after a relatively disappointing 4.75 ERA in Double-A last year. Getting him a few starts down the stretch as an audition of sorts for a 2016 rotation spot is a real possibility.

5. SP Jose Berrios, Minnesota Twins

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    Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Call-Up Odds: 3-1

    2015 Stats (Double-A and Triple-A)

    22 GS, 11-4, 3.06 ERA, 1.116 WHIP, 36 BB, 135 K, 135.1 IP

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    Jose Berrios has put up terrific numbers every step of the way while climbing through the Minnesota Twins farm system, going 33-19 with a 3.06 ERA, 1.151 WHIP and 424 strikeouts in 409.1 career innings.

    The right-hander didn't miss a beat when he was promoted from Double-A to Triple-A earlier this year, posting nearly identical numbers across the board.

    His last time out he threw a gem, allowing just five hits and striking out nine in seven scoreless innings, and he's now gone 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA over his last five starts.

    As the Twins look to hold strong in their hunt for a surprise postseason berth, Berrios could be a serious weapon down the stretch, either in a spot starting role or in the bullpen, where his stuff would play up.

4. 2B Jose Peraza, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Call-Up Odds: 2-1

    2015 Stats (Triple-A)

    105 G, 427 AB, .304/.327/.400, 13 2B, 4 HR, 41 RBI, 57 R, 27 SB

    40-Man Roster: Yes

    Player Overview

    Heading into the season, many expected Jose Peraza to be manning second base for the Atlanta Braves on an everyday basis sometime after the All-Star break.

    Instead, the solid play of Jace Peterson turned the speedster into a trade chip, and he was sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the three-team deal that sent Hector Olivera to the Braves.

    Howie Kendrick is having another solid season offensively in his first year as the Dodgers second baseman, but he's set to hit free agency this coming offseason.

    Calling up Peraza would give the team a useful pinch-runner down the stretch, as he stole 60 bases last season. It would also give the team a closer look at the man that could wind up taking over the second base job as early as next season.

3. IF Hector Olivera, Atlanta Braves

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Call-Up Odds: 1-1

    2015 Stats (Rookie, Double-A and Triple-A)

    19 G, 69 AB, .348/.392/.493, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 12 R, 0 SB

    40-Man Roster: Yes

    Player Overview

    Not a prospect in the traditional sense, Hector Olivera is already 30 years old and still just getting his feet wet here in the States after he signed a six-year, $62.5 million with the Dodgers in the offseason.

    The Cuban defector wound up traded before he ever suited up in Los Angeles, with the Dodgers using him in the deal that brought Mat Latos and Alex Wood to the team at the deadline.

    In moving to the Braves, Olivera becomes a key piece of a rebuilding team, and one who will be counted on to make a significant impact next season.

    For now, Olivera is sidelined with a hamstring injury and not expected to begin rehab work for at least another week, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com.

    Given his status on the 40-man roster and his expected role going forward, a call-up still seems likely if he can get healthy.

2. SS Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Call-Up Odds: 1-1

    2015 Stats (Double-A and Triple-A)

    100 G, 393 AB, .298/.349/.491, 30 2B, 14 HR, 57 RBI, 62 R, 3 SB

    40-Man Roster: No

    Player Overview

    Outside of Joey Gallo, there is not a more safe bet among the 20 prospects listed here to see the majors in September than Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager.

    The Dodgers took a similar approach with Joc Pederson last season, leaving him in the minors despite stellar numbers before promoting him in September and then handing him the starting job out of camp in the spring.

    Incumbent shortstop Jimmy Rollins has hit just .222/.279/.364 on his way to a minus-0.2 WAR in what will almost certainly be his one and only season with the Dodgers, but the team has stuck by him to this point.

    Don't expect Seager to come in and take the job away from the veteran in September, but he'll give the team another bat off the bench and an opportunity to give Rollins days off heading into the playoffs.

1. 3B Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Call-Up Odds: 1-1

    2015 Stats (Double-A and Triple-A)

    MiLB: 66 G, 244 AB, .250/.361/.566, 15 2B, 20 HR, 53 RBI, 33 R, 2 SB
    MLB: 25 G, 87 AB, .218/.306/.448, 3 2B, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 13 R, 2 SB

    40-Man Roster: Yes

    Player Overview

    The only player on this list who has already seen big league action this year, Joey Gallo is all but guaranteed to join the Texas Rangers once again when rosters expand.

    There is no ignoring his raw power, which is some of the best in all of baseball, but he has to find a way to cut down on his strikeouts.

    He has struck out in 49.4 percent of his at-bats during his 25-game audition in Texas this season, up slightly from 42.2 percent in the minors in 2015. 

    Adrian Beltre is signed through next season, so Gallo figures to have one more year to figure things out before the team expects him to step into the everyday third base job.

    All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference unless otherwise noted.

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