These prospects could be called up

Detroit Tigers

Movement from alternate site camps to the big leagues has been constant this season, with injuries and COVID-19 positive tests making it necessary for nearly all teams to dip into their pool of prospects for help.

We’re talking elite-level, highly ranked prospects being called up to contribute. As of this writing, and that could change at any moment, there were 21 Top 100 prospects in the big leagues, with Giants catcher Joey Bart being the latest.

There are likely going to be many more to come. What prospect is likely to get called up by each organization between now and the end of the season? Read on to find out.


Blue Jays: Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP (No. 4)
The former Mets second-round pick (2018) joined the Blue Jays in last summer’s Marcus Stroman deal and finished the season as an 18-year-old in the Class A Advanced Florida State League, posting a 2.54 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and .182 BAA in six starts. The 6-foot-3 right-hander may be young — he doesn’t turn 20 until Sept. 27 — but he’s advanced for his age in all regards on the mound and likely would have spent much of the 2020 season in Double-A. Much like Nate Pearson, Woods Richardson is a big part of the Blue Jays’ future.

Orioles: Dean Kremer, RHP (No. 10)
After a very strong Arizona Fall League showing last fall (2.37 ERA, 23 K, 4 BB in 19 IP), Kremer was added to the Orioles’ 40-man roster. One of the prospects who came to Baltimore from the Dodgers in the Manny Machado trade, Kremer had a minor groin injury earlier this summer, but he has been throwing well at the alternate training site as he’s built himself back up, putting him in prime position for a callup soon.

Rays: Wander Franco, SS (No. 1/MLB No. 1)
That the Rays have a deep and versatile active roster and player pool makes Franco, MLB Pipeline’s top-ranked prospect, a bit of a longshot to get called up this season. At the same time, there’s little doubt that the 19-year-old switch-hitter would be just fine in the big leagues if that were to happen after he posted a .336/.405/.523 line with 71 extra-base hits, 110 RBIs and more walks (83) than strikeouts (54) across his first two pro seasons.

Red Sox: Bobby Dalbec, 3B/1B (No. 3)
The Red Sox are struggling, so they might as well start figuring out what they have for the future. Dalbec has massive raw power (his 59 homers in 2018-19 rank sixth in the Minors), plays a fine third base (though he’s blocked by Rafael Devers there) and is also worth a look at first base or DH.

Yankees: Clarke Schmidt, RHP (No. 2/MLB No. 97)
A near lock for the postseason, the Yankees should focus on building the best postseason club possible — and that would include Schmidt, who starred down the stretch in Double-A last year as well as during Spring Training and Summer Camp. He can show three plus pitches and his command continues to get better as he puts Tommy John surgery in 2017 further behind him.


Indians: Daniel Johnson, OF (No. 14)
The Indians look like a playoff lock despite lacking a single outfielder with an OPS better than .636. Johnson made the Opening Day roster and was sent to the alternate training site after going 1-for-12, but he’s worth another look because he has one of the best power/speed combinations in the organization, not to mention a well-above-average arm and the ability to play all three outfield spots.

Royals: Daniel Lynch, LHP (No. 4/MLB No. 66)
The Royals have begun to reap the fruits of their incredible 2018 Draft haul in 2020 with their early-season promotions of right-hander Brady Singer and left-hander Kris Bubic, and the club has several more impact-caliber arms waiting in the wings at its alternate training site. Among that group, Lynch, the No. 34 overall pick in the ’18 Draft, possesses the most big league-ready stuff with his electric fastball-slider combo. He could conceivably be used as either a starter or reliever if the Royals want to begin acclimating him to the Majors.

Tigers: Matt Manning, RHP (No. 3/MLB No. 25)
This week has already seen two of the Tigers’ three Top 100 prospects (Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal) make their big league debuts, and it might not be long until Manning, the 2016 Draft’s ninth-overall pick, gets his turn. He’s less polished than Mize and Skubal but arguably possesses better pure stuff with a fastball that reached triple digits during Spring Training, a plus curveball and a changeup that continues to improve.

Twins: Alex Kirilloff, OF (No. 2/MLB No. 34)
When he’s healthy, the 2016 first-rounder always rakes. He hit well during Summer Camp and has continued to show off his sweet left-handed swing at the Twins’ alternate site. There isn’t a clear spot to playing time right now, but having his bat coming off the bench, while being able to nab occasional at-bats in an outfield corner, at first or at DH, could come in handy.

White Sox: Dane Dunning, RHP (No. 8)
The White Sox have a firm hold on a Wild Card spot despite an inconsistent rotation, and Dunning showed he’s ready to help with seven strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings during his big league debut Wednesday night. Sent back to the alternate site after battling 2018 No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize to a standstill, he throws strikes with a four-pitch mix headlined by a heavy low-90s sinker and a downer curveball.


Angels: Reid Detmers, LHP (No. 3/MLB No. 87)
Bringing their 2020 first-round pick up might make more sense if the Angels were competing, as Detmers is the kind of advanced college lefty who could make the leap if needed. But hey, if manager Joe Maddon says it could happen, who are we to argue? He’s been getting stretched out and working on his repertoire at the Angels’ alternate site.

Astros: Bryan Abreu, RHP (No. 5)
With 12 rookies already on their active roster, top prospect Forrest Whitley dealing with a sore arm in alternatate camp and World Series hero Jose Urquidy still on the injured list, the Astros don’t exactly have a lot of callup options. The best appears to be Abreu, who was optioned out Aug. 6 after walking seven in 3 1/3 innings. Abreu features an absolute hammer of a curveball, flashes a wipeout slider and runs his four-seam fastball up to 97 mph.

Athletics: Sheldon Neuse, 3B/SS (No. 7)
Neuse had a huge year in Triple-A Las Vegas in 2019 and got 61 at-bats during his Major League debut. He has power and run-producing potential, with the added bonus of being able to play third, second, short and left field. He might not be an everyday guy in one spot now, but he could provide an offensive boost while moving around the diamond.

Mariners: Jarred Kelenic, OF (No. 1/MLB No. 12)
Kyle Lewis continues to swing the bat well as he contends for American League Rookie of the Year Award honors, so why not bring up Kelenic to provide some additional excitement? Maybe the M’s don’t want to get his service time clock started, but enough time has passed to ensure that this wouldn’t count as a full year, and all reports are that he’s continuing to swing the bat well in alternate camp.

Rangers: Demarcus Evans, RHP (No. 22)
The Rangers are hanging in the American League Wild Card race despite a 5.44 bullpen ERA, something they could address by promoting Evans, who attacks hitters with a mid-90s fastball with outstanding spin rates and extension and also features a downer curveball. He dominated during the past two years, topping all Minor League relievers in strikeout rate (16.6 per nine innings) in 2018 and opponent batting average (.119) last season.


Braves: Ian Anderson, RHP (No. 3/MLB No. 42)
Just 22, Anderson reached Triple-A for the first time last year. There are some command issues he needs to keep working on, but he’s shown he’s just about ready to go after big league hitters. The No. 3 pick in the 2016 Draft could very well be next in line given the injury to Mike Soroka and the ineffectiveness of starters not named Max Fried in Atlanta.

Marlins: Lewin Diaz, 1B (No. 8)
Matt Joyce isn’t going to be a Marlin when they’re ready to contend again, so Miami should move Jesús Aguilar to DH and give Diaz more at-bats at first base. He went 2-for-8 after a brief callup last week, but he might already be the club’s best left-handed power option and also plays a quality first base.

Mets: Thomas Szapucki, LHP (No. 9)
Szapucki’s career trajectory has been derailed by myriad injuries and setbacks; but when he’s been healthy, the left-hander has demonstrated natural bat-missing ability with his sneaky fastball and high-spin curveball. Of course, durability is always a concern with the 24-year-old lefty, as he’s totaled just 145 Minor League innings – only four of which have come at the Double-A level – in five pro seasons. With that in mind, Szapucki may be better suited to work out of the bullpen than start for the Mets in 2020.

Nationals: Jackson Rutledge, RHP (No. 3)
The No. 17 pick in the 2019 Draft showcased dominant stuff last summer during his pro debut, racking up 39 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings while posting a 0.99 WHIP and .169 BAA across three levels, including Class A Hagerstown. Rutledge continued to make noise during Spring Training and again in Summer Camp, with the 6-foot-8, 250-pound righty pumping upper-90s heat and complementing it with a plus slider. The Nationals have never shied away from promoting their top prospects — 20-year-old Luís Garcia, for example — and Rutledge has all the ingredients needed to make an immediate impact out of the team’s big league bullpen.

Phillies: Enyel De Los Santos, RHP (No. 10)
The organization’s top two prospects, Alec Bohm and Spencer Howard, are already in the big leagues. De Los Santos has Major League time on his resume, both in 2018 and 2019. He even got called up this year without making an appearance, then was designated for assignment to make room for Howard on the 40-man roster. He did clear waivers and is back in Phillies’ alternate camp, with the ability to start or relieve as needed.


Brewers: Zack Brown, RHP (No. 15)
Brown’s underwhelming 2019 campaign at Triple-A San Antonio prompted the Brewers to leave him off their 40-man roster in November, and he subsequently went unselected in the Rule 5 Draft the following month. Both his fastball command and the action on his plus curveball looked better this past spring in big league camp, and with that in place, it’s easy to envision the 25-year-old righty getting opportunities in Milwaukee’s bullpen as the regular season unfolds.

Cardinals: Angel Rondón, RHP (No. 15)
Rondón broke out in earnest in 2019, as he garnered midseason All-Star honors at Class A Advanced Palm Beach before advancing to Double-A Springfield in mid-May at age 21. He proceeded to win the Texas League ERA (3.21) title and finished second in the circuit in WHIP (1.23), and the Cardinals named him their Minor League pitcher of the year after he finished second in the system in ERA (2.93) and strikeouts (159).

Cubs: Cory Abbott, RHP (No. 13)
The Cubs already have given Tyson Miller and Adbert Alzolay spot starts, and Abbott could be next in line. The organization’s Minor League pitcher of the year in 2019, when he led all of Double-A with 166 strikeouts in 146 2/3 innings, he learned his best pitch (a slider) by watching video of Noah Syndergaard and also mixes in two- and four-seam fastballs, curveballs, cutters and changeups.

Reds: Tyler Stephenson, C (No. 4)
Stephenson kicked off his Major League career with a bang, homering in his first at-bat and was a perfect 2-for-2 before being sent back to alternate camp. There’s often a need for more catching, given how easy it is to get injured behind the plate, and the Reds’ big league catching tandem is currently hitting a combined .181, so Stephenson could be an upgrade offensively when he gets another shot.

Pirates: Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B (No. 2/MLB No. 45)
If it hadn’t been for a positive COVID-19 test, Hayes likely would’ve played his way up to Pittsburgh by now. Because he was so delayed in getting started, he’s just recently begun getting at-bats in the simulated games at the team’s alternate site. But the Pirates need something to create some excitement, and Hayes will be a big upgrade at third over anyone they’ve used at the hot corner thus far.


D-backs: Tommy Henry, LHP (No. 22)
Henry’s inclusion on Arizona’s big league taxi squad may have surprised some folks considering he worked just three innings at Class A Short Season Hillsboro in his pro debut last summer. But reports from the D-backs’ Summer Camp had the 23-year-old southpaw throwing with increased velocity, with his normally pedestrian fastball reaching 96 mph, and he’s long been revered for his overall pitchability. While that alone doesn’t make him an obvious candidate to receive a promotion, Henry wouldn’t be overmatched in the Majors if called upon to start.

Padres: MacKenzie Gore, LHP (No. 1/MLB No. 5)
Padres fans have been clamoring for Gore’s promotion for roughly a year now, and they have watched fellow pitching prospects such as Luis Patiño and Adrian Morejon get called up ahead of him. That’s okay, though, because the Padres are saving the best for last with Gore, who garnered MLB Pipeline Pitcher of the Year honors at age 20 in 2019 after he finished first in ERA (1.69) and WHIP (0.83), second in opponent average (.164) and fifth in strikeout rate (35.7 percent) among Minor League hurlers who logged at least 100 innings.

Dodgers: Gavin Lux, SS/2B (No. 1/MLB No. 2)
After dominating the upper Minors and becoming the youngest player ever to pinch-homer in the big league postseason in 2019, Lux entered this season as a prohibitive favorite to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award. Though his arrival in Summer Camp was delayed for undisclosed reasons and he has yet to crack the Dodgers’ deep roster, he still has the hitting ability, power and speed to make an impact on a club not getting much production from its left-handed hitters.

Giants: Jaylin Davis, OF (No. 13)
The Giants acceded to the wishes of their players and fans by calling up Joey Bart on Thursday, and they could add even more power to their lineup by giving another chance to Davis. Acquired from the Twins in the Sam Dyson trade last July, he hit 36 homers in 2019 and has gone deep twice in 21 games over the last two years with San Francisco, albeit with a .515 OPS and a 29 percent strikeout rate in the Majors.

Rockies: Ben Bowden, LHP (No. 13)
An absolutely dominant showing in Double-A in 2019 led Bowden to get a Futures Game invite last July, but he scuffled when he made it to Triple-A. He has the stuff to be an impact reliever in the big leagues, one who could help a team that finds itself in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Jim Callis is a reporter for Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

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